San Jose Taxi Company Beefs Up on Lobbyists to Fight Uber, Lyft

In a strategic advance earlier this year, Yellow Checker Cab owner Larry Silva made a calculated decision to hire many of the city’s most well-known lobbyists/consultants before Uber or Lyft made a move.

Mayor Reed Calls for Police Union Probe; Former Officer Accuses Reed Consultant of Payoff Offer

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed on Wednesday called for a federal investigation into accusations that the police union president abused his authority by thwarting the city’s recruitment efforts. A day later, Reed and his political consultant found themselves on the receiving end of calls for an inquiry.

Paul Fong’s San Jose Council Campaign Plays the Race Card

For a serial officeholder, Paul Fong sure has issues running smooth campaigns. The state assemblyman who carpet-bagged his way from Cupertino to San Jose to run for a seat on the City Council has found trouble yet again. This time his campaign manager has thrown out the race card.

A Tale of Two Polls

The recent poll showing Dave Cortese in first place—and Madison Nguyen in second—for the San Jose mayor’s race must have been a shock to the Sam Liccardo camp. So much so, that Liccardo released his own polling information showing him now in second.

Odd Bunch: Republican Sheriff Laurie Smith, Organized Labor

Politics can make for strange bedfellows, but there was something surreal about last week’s re-election kickoff party for Sheriff Laurie Smith.

Progressives, Conservatives Form Tense Partnership to Defeat Chavez

Cindy Chavez is a people-uniter. How else could one explain why so many incongruous political actors of varying stripes are singing Kumbaya as they work to defeat her in the county supervisor race to replace George Shirakawa Jr. Progressives and conservatives in Silicon Valley are teaming up to battle the Chavistas, and it’s causing some friction for top opponent Teresa Alvarado as she stitches together a coalition.

Who Wasted the Most Campaign Money in 2012? Well, a Lot of People

The deadline for semi-annual campaign disclosure forms covering the last half of 2012 came due last week. The documents provide a clearer picture of how winning and losing candidates raised money and how they spent it—or misspent it—in the final weeks of the campaign. We also tracked a number of political action committees (PACs). The most interesting findings: How much money was wasted in trying to defeat Councilmember Rose Herrera, a potential quid pro quo between the ChamberPAC and a person quoted in its ballot statement against minimum wage, and hangover debt for losing candidates Jimmy Nguyen and Robert Braunstein.

The Lighter Side of Mercury News Emails

Turning the page on 2012, it’s also time to close out the final chapter on emails between politicos and Barbara Marshman, the opinionated opinion editor of the Mercury News.

Braunstein Congratulates Khamis on Win

At 8:58 this morning, Robert Braunstein sent out a mass email congratulating Johnny Khamis on his victory. “The voters of District 10 made their choice,” he wrote. “I know Johnny will work hard on City Council to represent San Jose and this District well.”