The November election will either shift the body politic in San Jose toward change or provide a continuation of the status quo. With the problems facing the city, change should be in the air.
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed decided to endorse Johnny Khamis for the District 10 City Council seat in November’s election. Reed, who was joined in supporting Khamis with former San Jose Councilmember Pat Dando and State Assemblymember Jim Cunneen, both of whom are Republicans, called Khamis “a long time friend and a loyal supporter” in a press release sent out Tuesday morning. His selection is interesting on a number of fronts.
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed has a dubious history when it comes to endorsements. In years past, Reed has given his blessing to a number of individuals who went on to lose. Don Gage is hoping to avoid that same fate as he begins his Gilroy mayoral campaign in earnest with Reed’s support.
Blue skies and 75-degree temperatures were good news for Democrats, who generally lose a couple of points in bad weather, academic researchers concluded in a recent study.
Still, we have to ask the question, “What were voters smoking?” The state voted not to legalize pot, but in 420-friendly San Jose, we voted to tax it anyway, by a 4-to-1 margin. And we re-elected that crazy ole Jerry Brown over the eBay scold who got confused. “Election?” Meg Whitman must have been saying. “I thought you said auction.” No Meg, high bids don’t win. Maybe someday democracy will come with a blue “Buy It Now” button.
Though trailing to Xavier Campos, District 5 candidate Magdalena Carrasco’s election night party was nonetheless packed with about 100 exuberant wellwishers.
Downtown San Jose councilman Sam Liccardo attempted to set a mood for the evening: “You guys took on the machine, and I know your going to win tonight!,” Liccardo shouted, to a round of applause.
Many old-guard members of the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee (ChamberPAC) were disgruntled with the group’s decision to withold an endorsement from evangelical activist Larry Pegram in the race for the District 9 seat on the City Council. So a month ago, Republican Councilman Pete Constant spearheaded the creation of an independent expenditure committee, the “San Jose Taxpayers for Reform 2010: Support Pegram/Oppose Rocha.”
Eighteen months after leading the local battle against gay marriage—and shortly after an aborted plan to move to Tracy and run for U.S. Congress—Larry Pegram promised that his campaign for San Jose City Council would be about fixing the city’s pressing money troubles, not social issues. Since that time, Pegram has emphasized his commitment to balanced budgets and cited his own credentials as a professional financial planner.
Candidate Larry Pegram of District 9 says he is focused on fiscal issues, but his Values Advocacy Council focuses on religion. A questionnaire they have sent out to school board candidates asks their position on such issue as the role of religion in education, their stance on abstinence education and abortion, and the teaching of intelligent design.
The city’s fearless and occasionally politically tone-deaf leader, Chuck Reed, was riding high after successfully placing pension reform and binding arbitration on the ballot with a carefully stitched-together coalition that seemed to spell the end of organized labor’s control of the San Jose City Council.
The afterglow was short-lived, however. Reed threw the new majority into chaos with his divisive endorsement of gay marriage opponent Larry Pegram for a council seat, just a day before a California court overturned Prop 8.
Fresh off what may have been the biggest victory of his political career, Mayor Chuck Reed last week decided to immediately blow some of his hard-earned political capital, endorsing the conservative Christian council candidate Larry Pegram.
Unless Fly is missing something, the timing of the mayor’s announcement couldn’t have been worse. In recent years, Pegram has been San Jose’s most high-profile anti-gay activist. He campaigned locally for the ban on gay marriage, without success.