Political Attack Misses Target

Here's an update on Wednesday's Dark Money political attack on Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor by McManis Faulkner, Brian Exline SCU Law Student @bxline18, Patricia Mahan.

Santa Clarans saw through your BS, and are smart enough to see this was simply a nasty politically charged hit on Mayor Gillmor just like the BluPac attacks on City Council candidates in 2016.

Only the San Jose Murky News and soon to be published fake news by Carolyn Schuk and Miles Barber of the Santa Clara Weekly. Why is it that NO other news organization covered this story ?

Next-up, we will expose the connection between all the parties involved in this failed smear campaign.

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From Political Dark Money to Judicial Dark Money

Yesterday, a law firm with connections to the 49ers filed a frivolous lawsuit against Mayor Lisa Gillmor about how she files her economic interest forms.

Months ago, the firm was told by the District Attorney that there was no merit to their complaint.  Here’s what Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen wrote:  

“The Public Integrity Unit investigated whether income to Public Property Advisors was properly reported on Mayor Gillmor’s Forms 700. After reviewing documents, interviewing witnesses, conducting legal research, and consulting an FPPC representative, we concluded that Ms. Gillmor properly reported the income.”

But they filed a lawsuit anyway -- just two weeks before the election when Mayor Gillmor is on the ballot.  

This reminds us of 2016 when the dark money group call BluPAC was sending negative mailers and text messages to Santa Clarans to try to buy our city council elections. The dark money group had numerous ties to the 49ers. The team would not deny their involvement in funding BluPAC.

Now, McManis Faulkner, a major San Jose law firm (with annual salaries of approx. $9.3M), is filing the lawsuit against Mayor Gillmor on behalf of Brian Exline -- a Santa Clara University law student.  It’s not believable that Mr. Exline is paying the firm. So who is? Is it the 49ers? McManis Faulkner recently worked on a project for Santa Clara City Council Member and former Mayor Patricia Mahan. Is this the equivalent of “dark money” being used in our judicial system?

Let’s hope the true source of funding is uncovered. Above all, let’s hope that voters reject someone using a frivolous lawsuit right before the election. I think they will and Mayor Gillmor will enjoy a big victory on election night.

Burt Field
Stand Up for Santa Clara

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Santa Clara Chamber Makes Illegal $1,000 Contribution to Becker Campaign

Santa Clara Chamber PAC makes illegal donation to Anthony Becker

 

By Robert Haugh, Santa Clara News

We’re not following the Mayor’s race closely. Sorry, but we just don’t think it’ll be a close race. Mayor Lisa Gillmor will cruise to victory. She’s done some great things to turn Santa Clara around. Mission City voters will reward her for it.

Her campaign doesn’t need much help. But she’s getting it anyway from the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce PAC and the Anthony Becker campaign.

It’s like an epic match where James Ellsworth kept making stupid mistakes against the superior AJ Styles. It ended up being a big smackdown. And Styles didn’t really need any extra help to win.

But yesterday, the Chamber PAC filed a report that showed that they contributed $1,000 to Becker for Mayor campaign. Okay, what’s the big deal? They endorsed him.

Well, there’s this funny thing called contribution limits. They’ve existed for decades. It’s clearly spelled out on the City’s website. In Santa Clara, it’s $590 per person, or per PAC. Yup. That’s a lot less than $1,000. So the contribution is illegal and will have to be returned.  D‘oh!

We don’t think the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) will investigate this action. They have more important and serious Chamber investigations to do.

But this was a mistake the Becker campaign should have caught. (Note to Team Becker: there’s a reason no one else is writing checks for more than $590 to you!)

We’ll look for an explanation next week in the Santa Clara Weekly. Maybe PAC Treasurer Dave Tobkin can justify the $1,000. Maybe Tobkin will come up with an interesting explanation just like he justified not filing campaign reports with the city for four years, from 2010 to 2014.

In a story written by Weekly reporter Carolyn Schuk, Tobkin says that then-City Clerk Rod Diridon, Jr. told him not to file reports with the City. But Schuk never asked a basic and obvious follow-up question: then why did you file reports with the City before 2010 and after 2014? We bet in an investigation, the City or the FPPC will ask the obvious.

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2018 Candidates Respond to Our Campaign Questionnaire

Last month we asked all the 2018 Santa Clara election candidates to fill out our questionnaire and return it to us by August 27, 2018. Here are their responses:

Stadium Issues

The 49ers want to change the weekday curfew that ends concerts at 10 p.m. to help residents who need to get to bed at a reasonable time to go to school or work the next day. The weekend curfew is 11 p.m. The team says they, as the stadium manager, and the city will make more money by changing the curfew. The residents say just because a concert ends at 10 p.m. doesn’t mean it’s quiet that early since it takes a couple hours for crowds to clear out. Would you vote to uphold or change the weekday curfew?

Santa Clara Mayor Candidates

  • Mayor Lisa Gillmor - I upheld the weekday curfew.
  • Anthony Becker - did not participate.

 

Santa Clara City Clerk Candidates

  • Tom MacDevitt - The City Clerk position does not have voting responsibilities with the City of Santa Clara.  Personally I feel that the stadium was built with assurances such as the current curfew time in place, and I would want the actual affected residents to vote for any change in the stadiums curfew.  Quiet enjoyment of your residence is an essential right, and is more important in my opinion then an incremental increase in potential revenue.
  • Hosam Haggag - I don't get a vote as City Clerk, but I'm fully in support of upholding the curfew and upholding the law. As Clerk, it is within my scope to engage residents and give them an avenue to voice their concerns and complaints with regards to violations of the curfew and other neighborhood nuisance generated by the Stadium events or patrons.
  • Robert O'Keefe - I would vote to support the curfew.
  • Christopher Stampolis - I generally would vote to uphold the current curfew in most cases. I might be open to consideration of occasional later curfew times during school vacation periods. Of course, it takes a while for crowds to clear out and City leaders need to be clear that all sides entered into an agreement to respect neighborhoods when local residents were asked to decide whether the City should participate in stadium construction.
  • Roseann LaCoursiere - did not participate.

 

Santa Clara City Council District 2 Candidates

  • Nancy Biagini - I would vote to uphold the curfew. Neighborhoods matter!
  • Raj Chahal -  I would like that the weekday curfew should stay at 10pm and should only be reviewed after detailed survey from the residents. Residents quality of life and input should be prime.
  • Mario Bouza - did not participate.

 

Santa Clara City Council District 3 Candidates

  • Karen Hardy - My first reaction to the change in weekday curfew is "Over my dead body." No, I don't think the weekday curfew should be changed. Also according to Measure J, any change in the agreement would need to go to a vote of the residents citywide.
  • Sam Kumar - will keep the curfew as is for the foreseeable future.

Residential neighborhoods near the stadium and the 49er training facility have complained about the increase in noise from the 49ers practices when loud music and crowd noises are used to simulate games. Do you believe the City should enforce the noise ordinance and fine the 49ers for violations?

Santa Clara Mayor Candidates

  • Mayor Lisa Gillmor - yes.
  • Anthony Becker - did not participate.

 

Santa Clara City Clerk Candidates

  • Tom MacDevitt - I believe that all ordinances, including the above mentioned noise ordinances should be enforced.
  • Hosam Haggag - Absolutely they should. As Clerk, I would be the people's ombudsman to City Hall, and I will ensure they have easy and simple avenues to report issues and concerns they have of things in violation of city code and the agreements we have in place with the 49ers. I will also strive to make information easily available to the residents, such as live-monitoring of the sound levels, so their complaints can be substantiated with City-monitored data of the violations as they occur.
  • Robert O'Keefe - the city should enforce the noise ordinance and use all measures (Legal), including fines and citations.
  • Christopher Stampolis -There are two questions posed here, and I want to answer them separately.  The noise ordinance as written should be reviewed on a regular basis at public meetings of the City Council, the Planning Commission and the Parks and Recreation Commission.  Those bodies deal with most possible noise impacts and the voting members and staff members need to understand this ordinance in detail.  As City Clerk, I will communicate with community groups regularly regarding the City's noise ordinance so residents are aware of their rights and their responsibilities, and so they understand the law.  Any noise complaint should be reviewed in the same way as any other complaint, and I write this to state my belief that the noise ordinance should be enforced equitably to all complaints, without either special favors or targeted enforcement.With regard to fines, the City's Code Enforcement procedures lean towards achieving compliance, with fines issued as a step after steps towards voluntary compliance are not successful.  The 49ers should be treated like any other business and the noise ordinance should be enforced fairly.
  • Roseann LaCoursiere - did not participate.

 

Santa Clara City Council District 2 Candidates

  • Nancy Biagini - The City should enforce the noise ordinance and take the necessary steps when violations take place – including fines.
  • Raj Chahal -  As mentioned above quality of life of residents should be prime and yes, city’s noise ordinance should be enforced in all circumstances.
  • Mario Bouza - did not participate.

 

Santa Clara City Council District 3 Candidates

  • Karen Hardy - I watched the 49er's training camp being built from my window.  The townhouse we were renting was sold in 1989, but I have experienced first hand the change in the neighborhood with the "sweetheart deal" the city gave them.  The disdain for the residents who lived close by was galling at the time and it has not improved.  The noise ordinance should be enforced!  If the penalty and fine needs to be increased to get their attention, so be it.
  • Sam Kumar - City should enforce the noise ordinance as per the City code violation.

Clean Campaigns

The 49ers have supported city council candidates in the past with direct contributions. In addition, the team supports candidates indirectly through third parties and “independent expenditures.”  Will you accept direct contributions from the team, the 49er leadership or staff, or affiliated consultants and vendors?

Santa Clara Mayor Candidates

  • Mayor Lisa Gillmor - no.
  • Anthony Becker - did not participate.

 

Santa Clara City Clerk Candidates

  • Tom MacDevitt - That depends on the donation.  I'm personally not accepting any donation over $99 from any individual source.  I also don't want to lump all of the team's staff in the same bucket as the team's ownership group.  
  • Hosam Haggag - Absolutely not. I have even openly declared in my ballot statement that I will not take any corporate money (which goes even beyond the 49ers) - that extends to their leadership, staff, consultants, executives, vendors.
  • Robert O'Keefe - I will not.
  • Christopher Stampolis -There are many businesses in town that are considerably more wealthy than the 49ers. I am not comfortable stating that candidates for public office should not take donations from any business entity or from any specific individual, as state and federal law permit campaign donations and public participation. However, as City Clerk, I will ensure that all donations are disclosed timely and publicly so voters and the public may assess the merits of a candidate's acceptance of a particular campaign donation. And, as City Clerk, I will seek to minimize the impact of donations on elections by encouraging multiple candidate forums so residents have multiple opportunities to assess a candidate's positions.
  • Roseann LaCoursiere - did not participate.

 

Santa Clara City Council District 2 Candidates

  • Nancy Biagini - No, I will not accept direct contributions from the team, the 49er leadership or staff, of affiliated consultants and vendors.
  • Raj Chahal -  I am not taking any contributions from PACs, developers and special interests (neither did I take any contributions from such entities in 2016 election). I am not taking any contributions from the team, the 49er leadership or staff, or affiliated consultants and vendors.
  • Mario Bouza - did not participate.

 

Santa Clara City Council District 3 Candidates

  • Karen Hardy - I highly doubt the 49ers would support my run for council in any way.  The opposite is probably true.  I have heard that I am one of the LAST people they want to see on the city council. I have been a board member of Santa Clara Plays Fair from the beginning. I have fought against the 49ers at every turn - Measure J and the referendum to stop the city agreement.  I don't want their help and I would not accept any help that I knew was tied to them.
  • Sam Kumar - I will not accept neither direct nor indirect contribution from the 49er. Also will not accept contribution from any source that has link to 49ers, including not limited to 49er leadership or staff or affiliated consultants and vendors.

Question 2) Will you publicly ask the 49ers to refrain from assisting you through indirect contributions or independent expenditures?

Santa Clara Mayor Candidates

  • Mayor Lisa Gillmor - yes.
  • Anthony Becker - did not participate.

 

Santa Clara City Clerk Candidates

  • Tom MacDevitt - I will. I would rather have direct contributions than indirect from any of my donors.
  • Hosam Haggag - Given my past history with the 49ers and how vocal I've been, I don't expect them to want to assist me in any way :) In fact, they'll likely be supporting one of my opponents given how much grief I've given them in the past.
  • Robert O'Keefe - yes.
  • Christopher Stampolis -I do not believe the 49ers or any particular businesses in Santa Clara are de facto enemies of the community.  I want all businesses and residents to know I will enforce the law equitably and I will seek to educate businesses and residents about the value of transparency in campaign finance laws and compliance with City codes.
  • Roseann LaCoursiere - did not participate.

 

Santa Clara City Council District 2 Candidates

  • Nancy Biagini - yes.
  • Raj Chahal - yes.
  • Mario Bouza - did not participate.

 

Santa Clara City Council District 3 Candidates

  • Karen Hardy - If there is a picture of me at the 49ers headquarters it is probably on a dart board with holes in it.  I don't want their help direct or indirect.  I don't like the stadium in town for MANY reasons.
  • Sam Kumar - yes, will ask 49ers publicly to refrain from assisting me thru indirect contributions or independent expenditures.

In 2016, a “dark money” organization (a political committee that would not disclose its donors) called BluPac spent heavily to support and attack council candidates.  BluPAC had direct ties to the 49ers. The team would not say if they funded the efforts. If BluPAC or another “dark money” organization supports your candidacy, will you disavow their help and ask them to stop spending money to support you or attack your opponents?

Santa Clara Mayor Candidates

  • Mayor Lisa Gillmor - yes.
  • Anthony Becker - did not participate.

 

Santa Clara City Clerk Candidates

  • Tom MacDevitt - I am a firm believer in "sunshine" laws.  I would disavow any dark money trying to come into my campaign.
  • Hosam Haggag - Not only will I disavow any dark money groups, but when I'm elected City Clerk, I will ruthlessly enforce the new dark money ordinances until we run them out of our city. I have explicitly called this out in my ballot statement, and I mean every word.
  • Robert O'Keefe - yes.
  • Christopher Stampolis - I do not know much about BluPAC, but I do not support any skirting of the law to avoid campaign donation disclosure. Independent expenditures designed to influence the outcome of any election need to be disclosed per California State law.  I ask all groups and individuals that seek to influence an election to comply with the law, including required disclosures.
  • Roseann LaCoursiere - did not participate.

 

Santa Clara City Council District 2 Candidates

  • Nancy Biagini - yes.
  • Raj Chahal - As mentioned earlier, I am not taking any money from PACs and I will be disavow any such help from any such help.
  • Mario Bouza - did not participate.

 

Santa Clara City Council District 3 Candidates

  • Karen Hardy - I would be one of the BluPAC targets not an ally.  I don't like outside money meddling in our city elections. So many of the long-term and short-term concerns I had about the 49ers and the stadium have occurred.  I predicted that they would try to influence and impact the city government by any means possible and unfortunately I was right.
  • Sam Kumar - Yes. I Will disavow 49er help and ask them to stop spending money to support my campaign or attack my opponent.

Question 4) Have you done work, directly or indirectly, or received gifts or compensation from entities who do business with the city: developers, contractors, vendors, or the 49ers?

Santa Clara Mayor Candidates

  • Mayor Lisa Gillmor - no.
  • Anthony Becker - did not participate.

 

Santa Clara City Clerk Candidates

  • Tom MacDevitt - Not to  the best of my knowledge.
  • Hosam Haggag - My employer (Facebook) I believe has a datacenter in Santa Clara, and my ex-employer of 10 years (Intel) is based in Santa Clara. But I'm not involved in any of those decisions and would recuse myself as required by law from anything related to benefiting either company's financial interests.
  • Robert O'Keefe - no.
  • Christopher Stampolis - I have worked in the past for the Laborers' International Union of North America and I worked more than 10 years ago for a now closed industrial recycling firm that may have provided environmental services to the City of Santa Clara.
  • Roseann LaCoursiere - did not participate.

 

Santa Clara City Council District 2 Candidates

  • Nancy Biagini - no.
  • Raj Chahal - no.
  • Mario Bouza - did not participate.

 

Santa Clara City Council District 3 Candidates

  • Karen Hardy - This is my third official run for city council and I have worked hard to be an independent voice with the residents as my main concern.  I served as a Planning Commissioner in the past and I made a vow to stay independent and not take funds or help from any entity who has known ties to developers at all.  Maybe that is why I lost in the past but my integrity is more important than a political race.  Maybe that is why I am considered "dangerous" because I cannot be bought.
  • Sam Kumar - none.

Question 5) Some political consultants use aggressive tactics and threats to force candidates to hire them and sometimes pay them undisclosed amounts of cash, which is illegal. Will you refrain from directly hiring or indirectly hiring consultants who have a known history of engaging in illegal or unethical behavior?

Santa Clara Mayor Candidates

  • Mayor Lisa Gillmor - yes.
  • Anthony Becker - did not participate.

 

Santa Clara City Clerk Candidates

  • Tom MacDevitt - I will. There's no room for individuals like this question mentions in my campaign.
  • Hosam Haggag - Not only has one such individual tried to do this with me in the past on my house remodel permits, but I have blocked him on social media (and from the rest of my life) and he's retaliated pretty harshly against me publicly and using local newspaper mouthpieces. These bottom-of-the-barrel leeches bring nothing but toxicity to our city.
  • Robert O'Keefe - yes.
  • Christopher Stampolis - Yes, I will refrain from directly hiring or indirectly hiring consultants who have a known history of engaging in illegal or unethical behavior.
  • Roseann LaCoursiere - did not participate.

 

Santa Clara City Council District 2 Candidates

  • Nancy Biagini - I will not engage in such illegal and unethical behavior, nor hire consultants who do either directly or indirectly. I abhor such behavior.
  • Raj Chahal - I believe in highest moral and ethical standards and I have not and will not indulge in hiring any such consultants.
  • Mario Bouza - did not participate.

 

Santa Clara City Council District 3 Candidates

  • Karen Hardy - I don't plan on hiring any consultants.  I have friends I consult with but I make my own decisions.
  • Sam Kumar - I will not hire any consultants who have had a illegal or unethical behavior in their past history.

 

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Santa Clara Candidate 2018 Questionnaire Challenge

Our goal at Stand Up for Santa Clara is for our community to be managed by an honest, transparent, trustworthy city government, not an NFL franchise. We plan to support candidates who share our goals.

This week we asked all the candidates to fill out our questionnaire and return it to us by Monday, August 27, 2018, 6pm. We will post the responses online. If any candidates choose not to respond, we will share that information with our community and voters.

Here is the list of candidates running for office in the November 2018 Election:

Burt Field
Stand Up for Santa Clara

Here is our Questionnaire:

Candidate
Name
Occupation
Employer

Stadium Issues

  1. The 49ers want to change the weekday curfew that ends concerts at 10 p.m. to help residents who need to get to bed at a reasonable time to go to school or work the next day. The weekend curfew is 11 p.m. The team says they, as the stadium manager, and the city will make more money by changing the curfew. The residents say just because a concert ends at 10 p.m. doesn’t mean it’s quiet that early since it takes a couple hours for crowds to clear out. Would you vote to uphold or change the weekday curfew?

  2. Residential neighborhoods near the stadium and the 49er training facility have complained about the increase in noise from the 49ers practices when loud music and crowd noises are used to simulate games. Do you believe the City should enforce the noise ordinance and fine the 49ers for violations?

Clean Campaigns

  1. The 49ers have supported city council candidates in the past with direct contributions. In addition, the team supports candidates indirectly through third parties and “independent expenditures.”  Will you accept direct contributions from the team, the 49er leadership or staff, or affiliated consultants and vendors?

  2. Will you publicly ask the 49ers to refrain from assisting you through indirect contributions or independent expenditures?

  3. In 2016, a “dark money” organization (a political committee that would not disclose its donors) called BluPac spent heavily to support and attack council candidates.  BluPAC had direct ties to the 49ers. The team would not say if they funded the efforts. If BluPAC or another “dark money” organization supports your candidacy, will you disavow their help and ask them to stop spending money to support you or attack your opponents?

  4. Have you done work, directly or indirectly, or received gifts or compensation from entities who do business with the city: developers, contractors, vendors, or the 49ers?

  5. Some political consultants use aggressive tactics and threats to force candidates to hire them and sometimes pay them undisclosed amounts of cash, which is illegal. Will you refrain from directly hiring or indirectly hiring consultants who have a known history of engaging in illegal or unethical behavior?

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Vote Yes for Measure A and Stand Up for Santa Clara

Santa Clarans - Please Get out and Vote "YES" for Measure A on June 5th!
Sit down with Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Santa Clara Charter Review Committee Member Hosam Haggag to learn the truth about Measure A.
Did you know that:
  • Measure A was created by Santa Clarans for Santa Clarans by our very diverse Charter Review Committee.
  • Hosam Haggag discusses how Measure A's rank choice voting might have prevented Caserta from being elected because under the current system, he was elected with less than 50 percent of the vote.
  • Mayor Lisa Gillmor explains how Santa Clara is being sued for millions of dollars by some of the people opposed to Measure A.
  • Hosam Haggag reveals how the attorneys suing the city approached him to be a plaintiff because they were outsiders and needed to find someone in Santa Clara to sue.

Please Get out and Vote "YES" for Measure A

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