Cindy’s Hendler: South Bay Labor Council PR Flack Flips Out

Stacey Hendler Ross used to be KNTV’s late night anchor, and later worked as a globetrotting KGO journalist, covering everything from the Columbine massacre to Princess Diana’s funeral. But now her life is less exciting and she’s on the other side of the First Amendment, plying her trade as the spin manager for the South Bay Labor Council. Apparently since she no longer has a captive TV audience—her March 2012 Democratic TV video got a whopping 131 views on YouTube in the past 13 months—she doesn’t think others should be able to inform the public either. At least if it involves sullying the pristine reputation of former SBLC head Cindy Chavez, who’s running for her good buddy George Shirakawa Jr.’s supervisor seat. Hendler Ross would prefer that we live in a world where less people know that Chavez tried to talk District Attorney Jeff Rosen out of prosecuting Shirakawa back in January. The Fly’s impeccable sources threw a bombshell into the D2 race when they disclosed that Chavez threatened in not-so-subtle fashion that minority voters wouldn’t look favorably on Rosen’s decision to jail George. A couple media outlets picked up the story, including radio station KLIV 1590. In an interview with KLIV’s John Kelly, Metro/San Jose Inside editor Josh Koehn explained how the Chavez-Rosen lunch unfolded and why Chavez’s actions—not Rosen’s—should concern voters. The piece certainly struck a nerve, as an apoplectic Hendler Ross speed-dialed the station and demanded that the interview be taken off the air. Her screeching argument to station News Director George Sampson: Metro/San Jose Inside is not a credible news source, even if its investigations helped uncover the biggest scandal of political corruption in county history. But when Hendler Ross was asked to dispute any of the facts in the story … silence. And when given the chance to make Chavez available for comment—basically the reason communications directors exist—Hendler Ross told the station that Chavez was very busy in meetings in a land where telephones probably go to die. Unfortunately, this frantic response by the SBLC is all part of a larger pattern of intimidation of local media. As a journalist, Hendler Ross certainly wanted to have her say, but now she’s spending more time obstructing information and screaming at reporters. Rather than go on record in a story that doesn’t fit the sunshine and rainbows narrative of solidarity, Chavez and her minions only choose to bully and/or ignore news outlets that dare ask difficult questions.

The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.

7 Comments

  1. Could SJI check if Ms. Hendler Ross is billing a county contract for her time attacking the media to bolster Ms. Chavez’s campaign for supervisor.

  2. What a shame… While some of the SBLC folks are just hapless tag-alongs and wannabes, Ms. Hendler Ross is clearly intelligent. Because she’s smart, she has to know how crooked the SBLC leadership is, and how they ruthlessly bully anyone that gets in their way.

    I remember her excellent reporting back in the 90’s, when Stacey Hendler was a respected journalist. How sad to watch her career slide down this dirty path. Is she ‘screeching the screech’ just to make a buck?

    • What a complete disappointment Ms Handler turned out to be.  She should do her job and get Cindy Chavez up front and center to answer the questions.  If they weren’t all so guilty of suspicious behavior and criminal accusations they wouldn’t be so afraid of the public.

      For a group that acts like they own the exclusive rights to the “people” they sure are afraid of addressing the people.

  3. > Rather than go on record in a story that doesn’t fit the sunshine and rainbows narrative of solidarity, Chavez and her minions only choose to bully and/or ignore news outlets that dare ask difficult questions.

    There’s that “n” word again: NARRATIVE.

    Hopefully, people are getting burned out on “narratives” and are ready for some “reality” and some “truth”.

  4. OK, let me try tact.

    It seems like the occasional contributors to this site, Peter Allen and Rich Robinson, are experiencing some of the “blowback” from a change that is occurring.  They complain about democrats that are no longer democrats and try to stay relevant by kibitzing in races that they are no longer involved with.  However, they are like the “messengers that are shot” – or in their cases treated like political pariahs.

    http://aerotoxic.wordpress.com/2010/01/22/dont-shoot-the-messenger/

    The message that is hard to accept is that labor no longer has the political clout it used to have.  It all started with pension reform, but you can see it in these “proxy” elections where union backed candidates lose, and you see it when people like Ro Khanna challenge people like Mike Honda.

    When things like that happen, people aren’t as willing to listen when someone says, “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWyCCJ6B2WE

    Sooner or later other voices will join in asking to see what’s behind the curtain, because you either get in front of change, or you get run over by it.

  5. In Jan. 2012, when Santa Clarans were signing petitions for a referendum which would have given voters a chance to weigh in on $850 million in loans for the stadium (loans which were not disclosed on the June 2010 stadium ballot measure,) labor’s IBEW advertised for its members to help stop the collection of signatures.

    From Field of Schemes dot com:
    http://www.fieldofschemes.com/2012/01/09/3263/49ers-santa-clara-kick-in-more-money-for-stadium-land/
    “The 49ers, meanwhile, are taking the referendum campaign seriously enough to have asked a local electrical union to hire “interceptors” to disrupt the petition-gathering. The union has since toned down its web page seeking anti-referendum workers, but not before somebody did a screengrab of the original.”

    Here’s the screengrab asking for ‘interceptors’ to ‘derail a ballot measure’:
    http://ftp.demause.net/public_html/fos/documents/IBEW_Local_332_20120106-1.pdf

    FPPC 460 forms filed by the Yes on the 49ers Stadium campaign committee, Santa Clarans for Economic Progress, show tens of thousands of dollars paid to try to stop the signature collection efforts.  Those forms are on the City of Santa Clara’s website, found under a link to the City Clerk’s office.

    Pity that labor tried to shut down the voices (signatures) of regular voters who aren’t backed by big money political contributions.  In the end, enough signatures were gathered, but the 49ers sued to stop the people of Santa Clara from having the right to vote. 

    Taxpayers are weary of politicians backed by moneyed special interests, labor included.

  6. I’D LIKE TO TAKE A BREAK FROM ALL OF THE BACK BITING AND POLITICAL POSTURING FOR A MOMENT, TO EXPRESS MY DAY IN SAN JOSE.
      I WAS AWAKENED TO A WELCOMED BLUSTRY, COOL MORNING.
    I MADE MY WAY TO THE FAIR GROUNDS, TO EXPERIENCE THE EVENTS OF CINCO DE MAYO, HANDS ON!
      MY FIRST ENCOUNTER WAS SEEING LOTS OF SECURITY, AND ALL VERY POLITE.
      A SPRINKLING OF TEAMS OF SHERIFFS, SIMPLY HANGING OUT. BEER WAS 10 BUCKS, THE FOOD MUST HAVE BEEN DESIGNED BY JULIA CHILDS. IT WAS EXPENSIVE. 90% OF THE BOOTHS WERE FOLKS TRYING TO SELL PHONE SERVICE OR INSURANCE, ENTICING FOLKS TO SPIN AND WIN, WHATEVER? THIS WAS NOT THE HOMESPUN EVENT I HAD HOPED TO PHOTOGRAPH. THERE WAS A VERY INGENEOUS FELLOW, WITH A BOOTH WITH HIS MECANICAL BULL. 5 BUCKS TO RIDE, AND WITH A PHOTO 10 BUCKS. I WISH I HAD HAD A BEER AND RODE THAT BULL. THIS GUY MADE A TON OF MONEY. WE ALL HAD SO MANY LAUGHS. HE WAS GENTLE WITH THE CHILDREN.
    BY THE EARLY AFTERNOON, THE PLACE IS A SEA OF MEXICANS, STROLLERS EVERY WHERE. THE MUSIC IS TEX-MEX, EVERY WHERE, OUT OF NOWHERE THE NINJA GANG TASK FORCE ARRIVE IN A GROUP, DRESSED FOR A RIOT. UNCOOL!
      I TOOK ONE LAST LAUGH AT THE BULL RIDERS, AND HEADED FOR A WARM AND SAFE PLACE, HOME!
      I STOPPED AT MI PUEBLO FOR SOME TAKE HOME. DELICIOUS, AND INEXPENSIVE.
    I WAS TAPPED ON THE SHOULDER BY MICAELA FREGOSA. WHAT A WONDERFUL SURPRISE TO ME.
    MICAELA IS MY HERO IN “SAL SI PUEDES”!
    AFTER ALL OF THE DISTRICT 5 POLITICIANS FAILED TO BE CHAMPIONS FOR THE PEOPLE THERE FOR DECADES!
    IT WAS THIS HEROINE, THAT CHANGED SAL SI PUEDES, FOR EVER. IN SPITE OF BEING EVICTED, PERSICUTED, HARRASSED, AND HAVING TO SLEEP IN HER CAR WITH HER DAUGHTERS , SHE STAYED THE COURSE. THE ARBITRATORS, ATTORNYS, AND POLITICIANS, YES EVEN MACSA AND MHC DENIED HER. EVEN THE GRAND JURY WAS DISBANED AFTER THEY WENT OUT THERE TO LOOK AT THE LIVING CONDITIONS.
      MICAELA’S COMMITMENT TO HER COMMUNITY WAS ANSWERED BY THE EPA, WHO FOUND THAT WONG WAS GUILTY OF MANY CONDITIONS, UNSUITABLE FOR HEALTY LIVING.
      THE EPA CONTINUES TO HAVE A PRESENCE IN SAL SI PUEDES. WHAT I AM SHARING WITH YOU IS BUT THE TIP OF THIS 3RD WORLD POLITICAL ICEBERG.
      MICAELA’S SMILE TOLD ME EVERYTHING I HAD HOPED FOR IN SAL SI PUEDES. PERHAPS IN TIME THE FOLKS IN SAL SI PUEDES WILL FIND THEIR CHAMPION.
      THE CHILDREN OF SAL SI PUEDES NEED A CHAMPION, THAT WILL OFFER THEM HOPE.
      NEPOTISUM AND GREED IS NOT THE ANSWER! CHOOSE WELL SAN JOSE. MICAELA CERTAINLY DID!
    JUST ANOTHER DAY IN SAN JOSE!

    THE VILLAGE BLACK SMITH