ABV News Gets Transparent; Khamis Still Unsure of Braunstein’s Intentions

ABV News’ sixth issue hit digital news racks Monday, this time with a little less sensationalism and a little more transparency. Robert Braunstein, high school sportscaster and defeated District 10 City Council candidate, now signs his name at the end of the newsletter, which includes news links and a brief editorial.

“This is the first newsletter where, I think, he got some facts correct,” says Councilman Johnny Khamis, who in November beat Braunstein with 52.5 percent of the votes. “I’m glad he’s putting his name to it because it used to be just an unfactual—I don’t know how to be generous here. Let’s just say at least he got his facts straight and put calls in to my office and others.”

Khamis, who says he has fielded calls from constituents over ABV News, appreciated the recent issue’s commentary on gay marriage, written after the City Council voted last week to add San Jose to an amicus brief going before the Supreme Court, as it considers whether to overturn Prop. 8. (Khamis missed that vote.) But the council member says he remains unsure of Braunstein’s larger goal.

Here’s an excerpt of the sympathetic, if not awkwardly worded, editorial about “Gays” and their uphill legal battle to marry closes the Feb. 18 newsletter:

“This is an emotional issue that can bring in different parts of society. As [Councilman] Pete Constant said, it involves your church and faith. It involves the sanctity of marriage. It involves our feelings about Gay people. If Gays are to be considered truly equal then they should be allowed to marry … Like the Civil Rights movement of the 60s, we will look back at this time as one of a compassionate nation doing what is right for a minority needing our support.”

The comparison to the Civil Rights era rings true, but calling the struggle now and then an example of “a compassionate nation” doing the right thing sounds a little like revisionist history. There is nothing compassionate about segregation, race riots, assassinations, hate crimes or the Westboro Baptist Church.

Braunstein graduated with a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and has covered Bay Area high school sports for more than 20 years. He says the goal of ABV News is to inform the community he ran to represent, and maybe even make some money on the side.

“My goal is to have a good information source for the area that I thought was lacking during the campaign,” he says. “I plan to make this a long-term effort that will eventually bring in some sponsorship revenue.”

Adding his name to the newsletter, he says, was done in an effort to make them more personable.

“Initially, I thought ABV News would be its own identity since I get the items from lots of people and sources,” Braunstein says.  “Merc editorials do not have names attached and most people don’t know who they are. But I think I should take responsibility for what is being written, so I decided to put it in there this week.”

The political ambitions that inspired his newsletter have been cast aside, he says.

“I have no plans to run for office ever again,” Braunstein says. “My show is doing very well and I have plans for my production company that will keep me from running in the future. It was an educational experience. I’m glad I ran. I met some great people. But politics is behind me now.”

Khamis still feels the newsletter is an extension of the race.

“Honestly, I thought the race was over; maybe he doesn’t,” Khamis says. “If he wants to be helpful to the community, I support that. I think that providing information is helpful, as long as it’s done correctly. He studies journalism, he shouldn’t have been doing what he was doing earlier.

“He was putting a tiny bit of fact and a whole lot of conjecture.”

ABV News’ Facebook page is now up to 80 fans. Khamis isn’t one of them.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth. Or, click here to sign up for text updates about what she’s working on.

7 Comments

  1. Khamis is a joke. When the Police called him on his lies this is what he said according to ABV:

    Khamis takes officer to task for disagreeing in public.

    In a confrontation caught on an ABVnews video and seen in person by hundreds of Almaden Residents, a San Jose Police officer disagreed with Johnny Khamis. If you think that’s no big deal, then your initials are not JK. According to sources inside the Police Department, Khamis was so upset he went to the City Managers office to get Lieutenant Tim Kuchak called to task. Our source says Lieutenant Kuchak was called into the office of an Assistant Chief to explain what he said. The source says Captain Tim Porter who was at the community meeting was also called in to tell what he saw and heard. The source says no reprimand was given, but the message was Khamis was not happy with the remarks in front of a big crowd.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__cSPTxr2EQ

    The video shows Khamis explaining his position on how he feels Measure B has had nothing to do with officers leaving the force in droves. Lt. Kuchak disagreed and explained his position.

    ABVnews saw another officer at a public event this week. He said Kuchak is being seen as a hero among the rank and file. “No way he could just stand there and listen to what was just completely wrong”, he said.

    Kuchak is eight months from retirement himself. His wife succumbed to cancer last year, leaving the Lieutenant to raise his son on his own. Our source says Kuchak should not have been called to task for telling the truth. Both officers we spoke with asked to remain anonymous. We emailed Khamis’ staff asking for a comment but received no reply.

    • Proof positive that Khamis is out of touch with whats happening in this City . But I guess thats what you get when you Blindly follow your Leader (REED) . Khamis is as Arrogant and Elitist as Reed is , But the hope the hope was that just maybe he would listen to people. Obviously thats not happening , so this City will continue to sink because leaders dont want to listen and or take responsability . kudos to Mr. Kuchak for attempting to enlighten the uninformed

  2. “He was putting a tiny bit of fact and a whole lot of conjecture.”
    Now there’s the Hookah calling the Arghile black!

    What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.
    Now get back to crying to the city manager the next time someone publicly corrects your lies and propaganda.

  3. I can just see it now as he runs into the City Manager’s office with arms flailing…“Mommie Figone, Mommie Figone. The bad policeMAN embarrassed me while I was lying to the public. I was in the middle of telling another all time great, and the bad policeMAN corrected me and told the truth and I was embarrassed. Do something to him Mommie Figone. Whaaaaaaaaaaa.”

  4. Khamis should have stuck around the city council meeting long enough to vote his conviction about gay marriage, as deplorable and outdated as it is. The whole thing about having a bad cough and runny nose and ducking out of the meeting was silly. At least the mayor, as backwards as his view on gay marriage are, stuck around to vote.

  5. AND..the public he was speaking to KNOWS that what he was saying was not true. He is going to wear his welcome out with them pretty quick if he is not careful.