In a bit to improve transparency, San Jose will consider increasing the frequency of its lobbying reports.
Former Santa Clara Mayor Patricia Mahan, who’s again running for City Council, has been accused of failing to register as a lobbyist.
Last month ex-San Jose Councilman Xavier Campos joined a lobbyist and consulting firm. Less than two weeks later he took a meeting with a council member’s chief of staff. City Attorney Rick Doyle says that’s concerning when it comes to San Jose’s revolving door policy.
As Bay 101 floats plans to build a new casino with adjoining hotels closer to competitor Casino M8trix, our selfless public servants in Sacramento are trying to do the right thing by green-lighting the San Jose card club’s exit to Milpitas. At least that’s one version of the story.
State Assemblyman Paul Fong has owed $100,000 to one of Sacramento’s most notorious lobbyists throughout his five-plus years in the State Assembly. A review of Fong’s voting record shows the favor has not gone unreturned.
Santa Clara County is going forward with a new ordinance to govern lobbyists. By definition, everyone who has an issue or interest is a lobbyist. But this new ordinance would apply only to those who are paid to redress county government.
Voters love term limits for politicians, but they shouldn’t. The quaint notion that public service should be held only for utilitarian purposes for a short period of time, and that these limits create better government, is misguided and fundamentally flawed. The proof can be seen locally in the current mire that represents our public policy.
The recent incendiary headlines regarding the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) employing “lobbyists” was another attempt by opponents to avoid substance and attack the process of building our nation’s first high speed rail system. Make no mistake, this isn’t an abuse of taxpayer money and the holier than thou statements of some pundits are simply cowardly political attacks on very good people.
While the idea sounded good in principle, City Council members are finding that it’s not as easy as it seems to put all the text messages that they receive about city business on the municipal record. The city is currently considering a policy that would make all personal electronic communications about official matters public. Ideally, the policy would include all personal emails, text messages, and even Facebook postings. But as Councilman Pete Constant learned, there is no way for him to transfer text messages from his personal iPhone to the municipal email system.