Santa Clara County’s scofflaw Supervisor George Shirakawa had no problem admitting in last week’s Metro cover story his four-year failure to file campaign disclosure forms. But that seems to have changed now that the reported illegal conduct —along with payments he made to friends and family members with money he raised to run for office and retire campaign debts—has resulted in a Fair Political Practices Commission investigation into the supervisor’s secretive activities. Shirakawa apparently avoided the mirror last week while pointing fingers at Councilmember Sam Liccardo, state Assemblyman Jim Beall and Shirakawa’s 2008 campaign manager, Rich Robinson, for leaking details of his noncompliance. This is not true, though. Metro broke the story for the exact reason Shirakawa finds himself in this predicament—he didn’t file his forms, and we routinely monitor these things, even if state agencies and other newspapers don’t. It does, however, make some sense that Shirakawa would blame Robinson. Unlike the supervisor’s two daughters or baby mama, who got checks, Robinson is still owed money from his work during the 2008 campaign. And while the supervisor has spun the story as a personal attack, a telling response can be found in the deafening sound of silence coming from his political allies at the South Bay Labor Council, which rushed to the defense of Councilman Terry Gregory before he went down. Meanwhile, John Chase of the District Attorney’s public integrity unit is reviewing the matter for potential criminal charges—something the Mercury News editorial board supports.
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