Jokes in the 23rd installment of San Jose’s annual political sketch-fest, Monday Night Live!, aimed squarely below the belt.
Vietnamese media exec Manh Nguyen held on to his fundraising lead in San Jose’s special election for the District 4 council seat. But Bob Dhillon, a retired realtor, has also tallied impressive numbers with just a week until absentee ballots can be cast.
Kathleen King ran the county’s $450 million sales tax campaign, and she also happens to be CEO of the organization most likely to get leftover money from Measure A. So, coincidence or kickback?
The South Bay Labor Council-aligned think tank Working Partnerships USA named interim organization head Derecka Mehrens its new executive director this week. Mehrens fills the role once held by the just-elected Santa Clara County District 2 Supervisor Cindy Chavez, who took unpaid leave from the position in April to campaign.
In what may turn out to be one of the most expensive races ever for a local county office, Cindy Chavez has captured the District 2 Supervisor seat held by her disgraced former ally, George Shirakawa, Jr. The victory places the largest county government in the global home of leading edge technology—from Teslas to Google Glass—firmly in the hands of an old-fashioned political machine; a classic one that delivers votes, wins elections, rewards its followers and dispenses benefits. Over the next two years, the board will vote on billions of dollars in employee compensation contracts—the county spends $3 billion a year on salaries, benefits and pensions—for the members of the unions who returned the former San Jose city official to public office.
A new survey recently commissioned by the William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI) and supported by Californians Against Utilities Stopping Solar Energy (CAUSE) reveals some striking trends in key voting demographics in California and nationwide.
The District 2 county supervisor’s race is one of the most important in this region’s history. Two-thirds of the county budget—about $3 billion annually—goes to compensation and retirement benefits. Virtually all of the public employee union contracts are up for negotiation in the next two years, and there’s an unfunded $1.7 billion liability for retiree health care. The election will determine whether those issues are tackled by a board majority firmly in the pocket of the South Bay Labor Council—or one that might be a little more independent. For this and many other reasons, Metro and San Jose Inside endorse Teresa Alvarado for county supervisor.
The Santa Clara Family Health Foundation was created to help raise money to pay for poor children’s health insurance premiums. In recent years, however, the tax-exempt organization has also acted as a political entity, helping the South Bay Labor Council and Working Partnerships USA fund local tax measures through year-round planning and coordination. While there are some allowances for tax-exempt organizations to get involved in issue campaigns, nonprofits and public agencies cannot play a role in individual candidate campaigns. Kathleen King, executive director of the Health Foundation, has not always followed this rule.
County supervisor candidate and labor organizer Cindy Chavez has not always been the biggest fan of San Jose Inside and Metro‘s coverage of local politics. In fact, she was so perturbed by a report in March about the political activities of the Santa Clara Family Health Foundation, on which she was previously a board member, that she suggested a lawsuit.
Push polls are a common occurrence in campaign season. They are designed to leave voters with a more positive or negative reaction to topics and/or individuals after answering questions. Political consultant Rich Robinson recently wrote a column on San Jose Inside about his distate for the leading questions, which are often asked without proper context, he argued. Based on email records obtained through a court order last week, it can be said that Kathleen King, executive director of the Santa Clara Family Health Foundation, does not share this opinion about push polls.