South Bay Labor Council

2013: The Year in Review

The year 2013 will be remembered for its political turmoil, local and nationwide. A former county supervisor went to jail and the spotlight subsequently landed on his political buddy, a San Jose councilman. The Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to get married, and the president lied to the nation about domestic spying. San Jose Inside runs down the list of stories that caught our attention this year.

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Forrest Williams: Old Campaign Debt Not an Issue in Mayor’s Race

More than a baker’s dozen have declared plans to run for mayor of San Jose next year, but no announcement was more startling than former councilman Forrest Williams’. Out of the spotlight since his failed 2010 county supervisor bid against Mike Wasserman, his announcement last month came out of left-left field considering his past supporters at the South Bay Labor Council are all-in for former vice mayor and present county supe Dave Cortese. Fly isn’t the only one scratching its head over Williams’ kind-of, sort-of run. He said SBLC officials have called to “ask what’s my plan,” which is code for “WTF, Forrest?” There are some theories that 2010 figures into his new effort. A look at disclosure forms shows that Williams and his wife, Dorothy, had to forgive $116,950 they loaned his supervisor campaign. Williams insisted that he forgave only about $50-60K, though, and isn’t running to help pay off old debts.

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Why NBC Bay Area’s Reporting on Xavier Campos is a Sham

As previously noted in this space, it’s nearly impossible to get Xavier Campos to agree to an interview. It helps, however, if you have a close relationship with the media-dodging councilman like NBC’s Damian Trujillo, who scored a rare on-camera chat last week. What did we learn from Trujillo’s interview and a follow-up report? Hardly anything. But we did learn plenty about Trujillo and NBC Bay Area.

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Turkey Trot Still Funds Political Foundation

Almost 28,000 people are expected to run in the 9th Annual Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, the Thanksgiving morning race put on each year by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation. The runners, walkers and joggers might be surprised to note that money raised in previous years to pay health care premiums for low income kids was diverted to political campaigns.

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South Bay Labor Council Speeds up Endorsement Process for Mayor’s Race

Dave Cortese’s announcement this week that he is running for mayor of San Jose, more or less, sets the field for next year’s race. Campaign fundraising can’t officially start until December, but endorsements are right around the corner. In fact, the South Bay Labor Council has taken an unusually quick approach to finishing its endorsement process for mayor. Today, questionnaires for the SBLC’s Committee on Political Education (COPE) were due today. San Jose Inside has attained a copy of that questionnaire.

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Chamber, Democratic Central Committee Make Amends? No, Not Really

TV sportscaster and former San Jose City Council candidate Robert Braunstein penned a heartwarming editorial in his newsletter about the reconciliation of two political rivals: the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce and Democratic Central Committee. The business backers and the labor supporters, Braunstein wrote, have let bygones be bygones. Except they haven’t.

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Political Consultants, Lobbyists Deny Running The Daily Fetch

The Daily Fetch takes no prisoners—at least that’s what political consultant and lobbyist Dustin DeRollo told Fly when denying he has any role in producing the anonymous links blog. In the past six months, the Fetch—under new ownership—has taken a decidedly aggressive tone in going after everyone from Mayor Chuck Reed, his City Council allies and defeated county supervisorial candidate Teresa Alvarado to Metro and its staff. But one group that has received far less criticism from the blog is the organized labor machine and its elected allies, such as Cindy Chavez. So, when DeRollo’s name turned up as the quasi-editor of a PDF the site posted for a story last week, speculation in Silicon Valley political circles percolated that he and his business partner, Tom Saggau, have been orchestrating the site. Both men say that couldn’t be further from the truth, claiming DeRollo was improperly ratted out as a source for a story he expected not to lead back to him.

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Rules to Consider Bill that Limits Nonprofit Political Spending

A gut-and-amend state Senate bill that would restrict nonprofits from spending taxpayer cash for political purposes has elicited opposition from K-12 and community college associations, various local governments—including San Jose—and the nonprofits that get money from them. That and more at Wednesday’s Rules and Open Government Committee meeting.

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