Labor Council Execs Insult, Lie to Palo Alto City Council Candidate

The South Bay Labor Council’s once formidable political machine has seen better days, with the implosion of the Campos siblings, Mike Honda’s impending downfall and Ash Kalra’s distant second showing in the District 27 Assembly race. There’s always the next generation of political stars to groom. Competently managing the endorsement processes is another matter, however. Earlier this month, SBLC political director David Urhausen sent an email to Palo Alto City Council candidate Danielle Martell, inviting her to take part in the SBLC’s endorsement interviews on Aug. 11. The email not only misspelled Martell’s name but also referred to her as a man. It was a silly blunder for an organization that claims to be the “most sophisticated” political campaign operation in the South Bay. Martell, who last ran an aggressive and comically phallic council campaign in 2005, responded with corrections while also noting that the timing of the interviews seemed odd since the deadline to file for Palo Alto’s four open seats wasn’t expected to fall until nearly a week later. Martell told Fly that holding off on the interviews would be the “fair thing to do,” as she is the only one of 11 expected candidates to have filed paperwork, according to the City Clerk’s Office. Urhausen explained that the SBLC already knew the “serious candidates” expected to run—more or less admitting the interviews are a formality—before blaming the clerk’s office for providing a misspelled name. Fly spoke with the clerk’s office, which has known Martell for quite some time, and they said that Urhausen was provided the correct spelling. Unimpressed with the games being played, Martell politely called Urhausen out on his lie and CCed labor council CEO Ben Field. Proving that SBLC leadership works as well as trickle-down economics, Field actually replied-all to both Urhausen and Martell with a one-word response: “Nutty.” Martell forwarded the unprofessional email to AFL-CIO’s national headquarters, asking: “Is this the image you wish for the AFL-CIO to project?” No one at the SBLC responded to Fly’s requests for comment. Martell says she is running a different campaign from a decade ago and wants to “leave a positive legacy” in her hometown.

Send a tip to The Fly

The Fly is the valley’s longest running political column, written by Metro Silicon Valley staff, to provide a behind-the-scenes look at local politics. Fly accepts anonymous tips.


  1. Is this the very well educated silicon valley elite Hillary voting left wingers SJI spoke so highly just two days ago, or in reality the AFL-CIO, SEIU low information labor union thugocracy voters that you normally associate Republican or Trump voters with?
    I’m confused again!

    • Empty Gun, you have seemed a little confused every time you toss off a reply to what I write. You may have acquired the newest kind of diabetes, so-called Diabetes Type Three which seems to lead to meaningless statements and unawareness of your surroundings. Of course, it could be helpful if you are in trouble with the law. Repeat: “I’m so confused. What is my name? Where am I? Can you take me home, officer?” It works in sit-coms.

      • Very unprofessional response. Don’t know the candidate who deemed it necessary to contact SJI with such nonsense. Don’t really care who she is and how she spells her name and really could care less about dysfuntional Palo Alto city politics. “Nutty”?, Probably should have filed this report under BS.

  2. Considering the sleazy manner in which they endorsed the sheriff, claiming “deputies supported her” based on the opinion of one well-placed lieutenant, people are surprised? Or is only okay when they manipulate, lie, and scheme against the opponents of your chosen ones?

  3. Ben Field, SBLC’s CEO, was suspended from the state bar for multiple acts of misconduct and ethical lapses. Need I say more?

  4. Nonstory. With all the other crap going on this is barely interesting as a tweet, its just more of the overkill against working families by SJI.

  5. Is this like a “rigged” endorsement process wherein they know ahead the outcome and one can fairly assume that only candidates they want to endorse are invited. In the past, the endorsement process began until after the deadline for filing for candidacy had passed and all candidates were invited to participate. It is too bad the leadership elected to short-circuit the process.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *