Ken Yeager

Who Mayor or May Not?

Any day now, the 2014 San Jose mayoral race is expected to start, with two Sicilian-Americans from wealthy families and a Vietnamese immigrant vice mayor formally declaring their intent to run. But in the coming months, several unexpected candidates could join Sam Liccardo, Dave Cortese and Madison Nguyen.

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County Updates P-Card Policies; Alvarado Moves to Shirakawa’s District

While the District Attorney’s Office and Fair Political Practices Commission continue their investigations into Supervisor George Shirakawa, the county has moved forward with updated policies on P-Cards and expenditures. Also, sources have confirmed with San Jose Inside that Teresa Alvarado, a potential candidate to replace Shirakawa if he is forced out of office, is moving to District 2.

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Campbell Leadership Breaks New Ground

Campbell’s reputation as a sleepy town once known for prunes and Western wear shops—and more recently for its Oktoberfest and Mardi Gras parties—might need an update, as it can now be argued that it has become one of the Bay Area’s hot spots for progressive politics.

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Shirakawa Wonders if People Dislike Him because He’s a Raider Fan

The day after a county audit demanded George Shirakawa reimburse $12,772 in improper charges with his county-issued credit card, the president of the Board of Supervisors threw out a checklist of reasons why the media would make up “straight-up untrue” reports about his fraudulent expense reports, misuse of taxpayer money and missing campaign disclosure forms.

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Shirakawa Promises Explanation in the Future, Blames Media for ‘Political Lynching’

Supervisor George Shirakawa says he doesn’t want his board colleagues, county staff or the community to be distracted by the “political lynching” taking place in regards to media coverage of his fraudulent expense reports. At its bi-monthly county Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, Shirakawa tackled the issue head on by saying he would release a formal statement sometime in the future.

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County Officials Knew of Shirakawa’s Spending, 2009 Audit Shows

An attorney with the county counsel’s office has provided San Jose Inside with a third, previously unreported audit of Supervisor George Shirakawa’s county charge card, also known as a P-Card. The audit shows that county officials were aware of Shirakawa’s free spending and disregard for county rules related to P-Cards as early as November 2009 — yet did nothing to stop the violations.

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Labor Party Knows How to Party

“Please, just don’t talk to Cindy, OK?” begged a public relator at the South Bay Labor Council’s Election Night party when she spotted our operative. As people scarfed down tri-tip and fried chicken and frequented the open bar, U.S. Congressman Mike Honda kicked into an impromptu karaoke performance. SBLC CEO Cindy Chavez led cheers.

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Story of the Week: Police Chief, Others Reimburse County for Shirakawa’s Spending

Metro reported this week that Supervisor George Shirakawa—the top elected official in the county—has been submitting fraudulent expense reports. He has spent thousands of dollars on lavish dinners, alcohol and luxury hotel rooms and rental cars with a county credit card. Amazingly, he avoided detection despite two audits of his county credit card purchases. Many of the people Shirakawa treated to meals were unaware that taxpayers were picking up the tab, and have since sent checks reimbursing the county. This group includes San Jose Police Chief Chris Moore.

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Animal House

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors recently passed its $4 billion annual budget, and in one of her last meaningful acts, Supervisor Liz Kniss, who will be termed out at the end of the year, recommended that the county give $47,000 to Palo Alto Animal Services. This wouldn’t be that big of a deal—the amount accounts for .001 percent of the budget—except for the fact that the animal shelter is in no way related to county business. Oh, and there’s one other important detail: Kniss is running for a seat on the Palo Alto City Council this fall.

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