Earlier this year, Santa Clara County announced a $64 million plan to shelter 6,000 of the region’s chronically homeless. The ambitious proposal stemmed from an ad hoc Housing Task Force formed by Board of Supervisors prez Dave Cortese. To answer what Supervisor Cindy Chavez called the “$64 million question,” the board decided to appeal to constituents. Any week now, pollsters from EMC Research will start calling likely voters to gauge their willingness to bump up the countywide sales tax. But the questions don’t exactly relate to homelessness—rather, the poll will query three groups about a special, general and combined tax. This isn’t the survey’s first run, either. South Bay Labor Council (SBLC) chief Ben Field had EMC ask voters those same questions last year, yielding less-than-favorable results. The labor council attempted to give it a second shot by teaming up with the Silicon Valley Leadership Group on a transportation tax, but the answers were apparently even less promising and that partnership has since fallen through. The SBLC has now targeted taxpayer funds to ask the same questions until they get the answers they want. A no-bid county contract approved by supervisors will spend $50,000 to conduct the three-pronged poll, by the same firm, EMC, used by the SBLC. One miffed insider compared the back-door polling efforts, as well as conducting three different surveys on the county dime, to taking “three different bites at the apple.” The ploy is especially disingenuous considering the county just asked voters to approve a half-billion dollar sales tax in 2012. Measure A pushed the county’s sales tax to one of the state’s highest at 8.75 percent, and ended up raising more money than the county needed. Supervisors put $9.6 million in “surplus” funds up for bid in 2014. It came as no surprise when Kathleen King, who ran the county’s Measure A campaign along with Chavez, nabbed $6 million for her fledgling nonprofit, the Healthier Kids Foundation.