Measure B Passes; Chu Re-elected; Herrera Faces Runoff in District 8

The polling results looked grim as Mayor Chuck Reed stood with District 4 City Council candidate Tam Truong on Tuesday night. As the two men spoke, awaiting the last returns, a group of the latter’s family and friends milled about a north San Jose business park office eating food and laughing as a projector slideshow of the District 4 candidate beamed against a wall.

In the end, though, the San Jose police detective fell short of his goal of pushing incumbent Kansen Chu to a runoff in November. As of deadline, Chu had more than 54 percent of the vote.

Knowing his bid had failed, Truong said he didn’t regret the potential of alienating his fellow officers by aligning himself with the mayor’s pension modification plan, Measure B, which had nearly a 70 percent approval.

“When I ran for this position, I couldn’t think like a cop,” Truong said. “If I was an executive of the city, making the decisions for everybody, I would make the same decision (to run).”

“Tam ran a great campaign,” Reed said. “He’s a courageous person—for a police officer to step out against the unions. Younger police officers and city employees understand they’re the ones at risk.”

District 2 incumbent Ash Kalra chose to sidestep an election party Tuesday night. Nonetheless, he certainly had reason to worry. His only challenger, Tim Murphy, nipped at his heels in the polls by garnering more than 46 percent of the vote, despite raising hardly any contributions in his council bid.

Mayor Reed called Murphy’s losing effort a referendum on Kalra and labor’s efforts over the last four years.

“If (Murphy) had spent any money I think he could have beat Ash Kalra,” Reed said. “He has been the No. 1 cheerleader for the unions.

“It was a pretty resounding ‘no’ vote, and clearly he was out of step with his constituents.”

Kalra disputed the mayor’s assessment.

“If I was the mayor, I would be more concerned about the fact that candidates with his endorsement seem to always lose, even in his home district,” Kalra said, noting Truong’s loss in District 4.

“I never expected it to be a landlside for a few reasons: one, I was essentially running a part time campaign; two, Mayor Reed and his millionaire cronies spent more money on Measure B in my district than I did on my race; and the voter turnout was ony 20 percent, which means it will be more conservative voters who lean toward Meaure B and may be against my stance on things like marriage equality and other issues.

“All in all, it was a good result and I look forward to continuing my work on behalf of the residents.”

The clear winner of the primaries was Measure B. The mayor made the rounds from a brief victory party in Willow Glen before joining Truong and then moving on to a gathering for District 8 incumbent Rose Herrera, who will take part in a November runoff with Jimmy Nguyen, who had a surprisingly strong showing by taking second over Patricia Martinez-Roach.

The mayor called Measure B’s passage a victory on several counts.

“For the taxpayers it’s good news, because it means we’re going to restore services,” he said. “I think its pretty clear the unions’ only plan was that they couldn’t win on Measure B and they would try to gain control of the council by getting Rose Herrera out, because we only had a six person majority. That was clearly their strategy and they spent hundreds of thousands against Rose. We’ll just have to see how it plays out.”

22 Comments

  1. There’s going to be a runoff for d8?  She won by over 20%.  I thought it had to be 10% or less difference in order for a runoff to happen.  (and if someone can clarify the rules, I’m just a bit rusty on them)

    Well, at least Roach won’t be there.  D8 really dodged a bullet on that one.

  2. Now that the people have spoken, I wonder if Chu and Kalra will see the handwriting on the wall?  These guys ran against stiffs, and they still struggled.

    On the other hand, Rose Herrera clearly benefited from the pension issue.  I think in any other year, someone with her personal baggage would not even make the runoff.  If Mr. Nguyen is smart, he’ll become a real pension reform supporter.  Without pension reform as an issue, I believe a lot of people wouldn’t support Rose Herrera.

    • Yes, Kalra and Chu are such a thorn in the side of the Chamber funded nearly unanimous position of the Mayor, the Merc, the Metro, KLIV AM, the Chamber, and don’t forget, the Realtor PAC.  It’s unfortunate that these 2 out of sync guys understand that legal protections are not just toys to play with, but that all laws have moral bases.

      The CalPers system has state laws specifically protecting legislators AND THE ELECTORATE from enacting BREACH OF CONTRACT. I never thought I would see the day when this Nation, through corporate sponsorship, would begin to cannibalize itself (the middle class voter), thinking somehow by raiding the vested rights of others will make them better off. It’s all part of the national chamber and tea party driven B.S.

      • I’m a middle class voter, and I voted for Measure B.  I voted for my school district’s bond measure too.  I’m not a Tea Party follower.  I just think things need to be brought back into balance.

        I posted these links in a comment elsewhere here.

        There are a couple of things I found about vested rights.  They don’t apply to health insurance, and if the San Jose goes bankrupt, Federal bankruptcy law would probably trump state law.

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-01/california-law-said-unlikely-to-avert-stockton-bankruptcy.html

        http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/17/business/untouchable-pensions-in-california-may-be-put-to-the-test.html?pagewanted=all

        • I think you need to calm down and think clearly.

          If things get too bad or too expensive, I will move.  I’m sure others will do the same too.  Your pension is stuck here in San Jose.

          If San Jose goes bankrupt and whatever political capital the public employees unions have diminishes, you will not get the pensions that you are complaining about having to contribute so much for.  It’s in your interest to make sure that San Jose remains strong and stays out of bankrupcy.

          As much as you all hate Chuck Reed, I view him as trying to be fair.  You may disagree, but imagine if someone like Pete Constant is the mayor when the city declares bankrupcy.

        • S . Randall , so you think 53% of salary before taxs and med/den is Fair??
          This fight has just began. personally dont care how much it costs the residents of San Jose, they had every opportunity to stop this , now they get what they deserve a long drawn out court battle that Residents will be on the hook for. So keep drinking Mr Burns Kool aid, because its going to cost us alot.

        • S Randall its nice that you think someone can lose 53% of their salary before paying Med/Den and Taxes and remain calm. Public safety made a deal with this city, They have put themselves in harms way for you and the rest of this ungrateful city. doesnt Honor ,Integrity, Character mean anything anymore. How about mean what you say and say what you mean, any of that ring a bell. Its funny that most individuals who couldnt possibly do or understand what our public safety does , have an opinion. have you ever fought a meth head, how about try to revive a drowned infant, been in a shoot out,ever seen a decapitation, how about an innocent12 year old who had been nearly cut in half with a knife. How many surgeries have you had in the last 15 years? Me I’ve had 6 ( Back injury, knee injury,torn bicept,double hernia, ruptured achilles,shoulder injury. I love what I do but am seriously questioning how much more risk I will take.  remember this ,The city was offered a proposal that would have saved 500 MILLION DOLLARS in 5 Years, Mayor Greed wouldnt even look at it.You are seriously confused if you believe this is about pensions, Its about Mr. Burns setting himself up for his next career. yes he will receive a big pension as will all the top administrators of this city, yes he will try and double dip.This city is a disgrace

        • Correction, the Federal government actually appreciates vested rights by insuring private sector defined benefit plans for companies in bankruptcy. Give me a break, San Jose is not going bankrupt. This years budget is 2.8 bil. Pension costs are 243 mil. Debt service is more of an influence on the City’s solvency.

        • Sorry to repeat, as I predicted major service to revenue budget imbalance 15 years ago due to the housing to commercial development imbalance, Sam Liccardo in his first neighborhood newsletter upon taking office, correctly identified this as the primary cause of CSJ’s budget woes.

  3. Wow, first PO attacks his fellow council members, now Chuck takes a cheap shot at Kalra as well.  There is no love on this split council.

    • Pension reform is no longer going to be a divisive issue.  Everyone’s a reformer today.

      If you’re on the Council and you can’t figure that out, you probably aren’t smart enough to run for higher office anyway.

  4. Once again the Mayor shows his lack of political acumen. He clearly takes advice from all the wrong people.
    Has he ever backed a winning candidate?
    It’s scary to see the people he supports. Would he really any of those folks serving as elected officials? Do qualifications really not matter to him?

  5. Ever think how you would like it if your business income was voted on by common folk with no understanding of corporate management and the compensation required to garner a competent workforce? The “reformists” talk about City services only in terms of physical assets ad nauseum. Libraries, Parks, Roads. There are actually people behind these who perform the services. Schools buildings don’t provide education, teachers do. Likewise with municipal services.

    So the same electorate who voted in Councils in the past who underfunded the retirement system for a decade, granted 3% fixed retirement COLAs, and 13th checks, 90% PD/Fire pensions, are now our validators of the Mayors pathetic scapegoating. These same former council members were then voted by our wise voters on to County and State governance as a reward for creating this mess, not to mention the incredible bond debt service. Its a 2.8 billion dollar budget with a 240 mil pension liability. And what pays for all of these glorious Airport, Police Station, City Hall, and RDA projects? Property taxes, the same primary source of the General Fund.

    Lost is the fact that over the past 8 years Federated employees have already had their retirement contribution double as a % of salary, without a ballot measure! There total salary deductions have tripled. Net pay down 6%. Now add the CPI increase over that period, 18%, a 23% loss in purchasing power over these 8 years. So let us all be proud of what the these wage sages, the San Jose electorate have achieved.

    • I absolutely agree with your second paragraph.

      Shirakawa, Yeager and Cortese were clearly culpable for San Jose’s financial mess.

      I really do expect Chu and Karla to move over to the “dark side” on pension reform.  I say this because anyone running for Mayor isn’t electable if he/she is against pension reform.  Any council member running for County or State office cannot expect the same level of financial support from City-related unions, and without the extra financial support to counter the public’s pension reform bias, you’d have to believe these folks would be disadvantaged.

      • “Shirakawa, Yeager and Cortese were clearly culpable for San Jose’s financial mess.”

        s randall

        Shirakawa, Yeager and Cortese??? How about some more recent history: Reed, Nguyen, Constant, Herrera and Oliverio… All Council members for at least 4 years (that’s at least 2 police and fire -P&F- regular and retirement contracts) while Mayor Reed has just over 13 years (8 as D4 Councilmember and just over 5 as mayor – 13 years is at least 5 regular P&F contracts and 4-5 retirement). 

        Every one of the aforementioned VOTED FOR EVERY SINGLE P&F Regular and Retirement CONTRACT that came before them while sitting on THE COUNCIL. EVERY SINGLE ONE!!! I am sure that other’s more familiar with those 5’s past support of their contracts can verify similar voting records.

        Somewhere in this site you claimed to be old and easy to pick on, I hope you are not vulnerable due to short term memory loss.

        • I don’t know that you’re correct about all the votes, but it’s likely you are.  If your point is that they should share the blame for the problem, then you must believe there is a problem.

          It is a fair question to ask though.  Why now and not earlier?  10 years of deficits is a long time.

  6. I’m so glad to see that Kansen and Ash were re-elected, despite some of the dirty campaigning that went on, and the huge amounts of money that went into trying to defeat them.

    I was sad to see Steve Kline lose. The guy is incredible, and has spent much of his life trying to make San Jose a better place. Big money over took that race, and knocked him out of his bid for a Council seat. Our great loss.

    Jim Beall kicked butt, and will again in Nov.

    It will be interesting to see who Roch endorses in the run off between Rose and her opponent. This should be a very interesting campaign to watch in the coming months.

    Legal challenges against Measure B have already been flied. Can you feel your wallet aching yet tax payers?

  7. Kansen Chu ran a positive campaign. He only discussed his accomplismments. Today, many
    people are runnig negative campaigns.

    I respect Kansen Chu.