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The Other Races You Should Know About

By The Left Hook

There are a number of critical races going on this campaign season, and  just in case you’ve missed some of the more interesting details, we’re here to bring you up to speed.  Let’s start with….

Santa Clara Valley Water District

Did you know that Gary Kremen, founder of is running for Santa Clara County Water Board?  His campaign website lists dozens…and dozens (9 dozen to be exact) of endorsements from Congressional Representatives to elected officials up and down the peninsula.  His opponent Brian Schmidt lags far behind in recommendations.  Unusual for an incumbent to have so few.  Schmidt has held a spot on the Valley Water Board for 4 years, claiming to have brought change to the District.  So, why doesn’t he have more public support?  Kremen also won the endorsement of the South Bay Labor Council’s 90 affiliated local unions, increasing his chances of winning the office.



Petition Takes Aim at Pot Club Controls

By The Left Hook

Marijuana collective owners have a chance to overturn the San Jose City Council’s new restrictions on pot sales, now that they’ve overwhelmingly qualified to put a referendum on the 2016 ballot.  Mayoral hopeful Sam Liccardo helped lead the charge to adopt regulations that many are saying will actually increase crime.

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Policy Watch: Your weekly tip sheet for what’s going on in your community

By The Left Hook

San Jose

City Positions on November Ballot Measures

Among the recommendations city staff is making for the council is to keep CA prisons as overcrowded as possible.

Proposition 47 – Criminal Sentences. Misdemeanor  OPPOSE

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Ajlouny’s Thin Skin Reveals His True Character…or Lack Thereof

By Rich Robinson

I am not now, nor have I ever been a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), so says political consultant to Mayor Chuck Reed and professional victim Victor Ajlouny. 

Ajlouny was initially charged with being a member of the PLO in a missive from the Paul Fong campaign.  Fong is currently the target of political attacks by the aforementioned victim, Ajlouny.  The Fong campaign later clarified their statement citing a Mercury News article on Mayor Chuck Reed’s political brain.  To wit:

Correction 09/22/2014 – Vic Ajlouny was not a member of the PLO as previously stated. Ajlouny was the American adviser to the chairman of the PLO. (Source: Molina, Joshua. “San Jose Mayor’s advisor courts controversy, inspires loyalty” MERCURY NEWS, Jan. 30, 2009 (posted online at 09:18 PM).

The fact that Ajlouny went ballistic after the charge was made is not unexpected.

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In Case You Missed It…

By The Left Hook

From The Daily Fetch

A mere weeks before making the motion and casting a vote directing the San Jose Redevelopment Agency to pay substantially above the appraised amount for land, Sam Liccardo took campaign cash directly from the property owner and his family for his city council re-election campaign in 2009 and 2010.  The property purchase was acquired to build a road to a baseball stadium that isn’t going to be built.

The Akatiff family, who benefitted from Liccardo’s motion and vote to pay them $4,610,000 (nearly a million over the appraised value) for their land, apparently want to ensure Liccardo stays in City Hall.  They have written 10 more checks to Liccardo for his mayoral run.


Recent Articles

Immigration Overload Hot Spot

Child Migrants: Not Just An Immigration Issue

By Lupe Rodriguez

The heartbreaking headlines about thousands of Central American children making the treacherous journey alone to seek refuge in the U.S. have me thinking about my own American immigration story more than 25 years ago — and how different my family’s experience was from the inhumane policy response of our current government.

My family came to the U.S to escape from poverty in Mexico and to find medical care for my brother, who suffers from a rare form of muscular dystrophy. Because my father was a farm-worker, U.S. policy allowed our family to move here, and my brother was finally able to get the care he needed. It saved his life.

That kind of government compassion and far-sighted investment in hard-working immigrants seems unthinkable now. Read more »


Education: Mike Honda vs. Ro Khanna CA17

By SlowButSure

Congressman Mike Honda believes that “igniting the American Dream” begins in the classroom. But, he recognizes that attaining it is endangered by an opportunity gap in public education where wealth disparities too often dictate which students at which schools will have the most success. He says it is time to shift the education paradigm by focusing on opportunity for each child based on their unique needs.

Mike Honda is a former High School science teacher, principal, and school board member. Before that he was an English language learner who was often too shy to speak up and failed his classes. Read more »


Personal Protection Wanted, Apply in San Jose

By Steve Kline

Moving to San Jose? Don’t forget to bring your own police officers.  And be prepared to pay for them.  That might very well be the sales pitch in the near future, as San Jose residents become increasingly fed up with their City leaders decimating the local police force.   It seems the new trend to ensure personal safety here in the 10th largest city in America, is to hire private security to make sure no one is breaking into your home, stealing your valuables, or committing other, more serious crimes. Read more »


Policy Watch: Your weekly tip sheet for what’s going on in your community

By The Left Hook

Santa Clara County

Expanding CalWORKs subsidized employment 

In 2013, Santa Clara County implemented an Expanded Subsidized Employment Program with the goal of increasing job opportunities for CalWORKS Employment Services participants.  The program offers local employers financial compensation for providing participants with a combination of employment, training, skill development and employment. The proposed recommendation would expand the program at no cost to the General Fund and approve a standard template for employer agreements, including a wage requirement equal to the San Jose minimum wage.

Link to item:
Link to agenda: Read more »


Short Term Political Gain Hurts Liccardo

By Rich Robinson

Sam Liccardo must be kicking himself for sticking with an unconstitutional approach to public pensions that he knew, as a lawyer, could not withstand legal scrutiny. It was a political miscalculation based on the views of the electorate during a recession.

When the economy is suffering, the public has a tendency to look critically at public employee compensation and benefits because people are unemployed and resources are scarce. In a growing economy people do not begrudge cops and firefighters compensation. If fact, they are willing to over-pay for public safety so long as someone comes to their door when needed. Read more »


Here’s Why Teachers Deserve Due Process Rights

By Gemma Abels

At the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Education Summit, David Welch was given the Education Leader Award for 2014. Mr. Welch is the founder of Students Matter and the mastermind behind Vegara v. California.  The SVLG recognized him for innovating the teacher tenure system and teacher seniority rights.  In fact, Welch’s efforts had just the opposite effect.

When education reformers begin to dismantle teacher tenure (the right to due-process) and seniority rights (keeping the most experienced teachers in classrooms), they speak of veteran teachers who are “phoning” in their jobs.  They forget the statistic that 50% of teachers leave the profession within five yearsRead more »


Setting The Record Straight

By The Left Hook

At The Left Hook we feel it’s our responsibility to make sure you, the reading and voting public, are properly informed about issues so we want to set the record straight on a recent post on San Jose Inside.  Jennifer Wadsworth reported the San Jose Ethics Commission “ordered” mayoral Candidate Dave Cortese to return close to $10,000 in campaign contributions that were inadvertently accepted during campaign downtime before required paperwork was filled out over the summer.  What actually happened during that Commission meeting, according to our much more reliable sources, is that Cortese’s campaign reported the donations had already been returned and that the commission decided it wasn’t worth scolding him for.  

You’re welcome.


Obamacare and Family Values: Parents Get to Stay Home With Children

By Dean Baker

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was pushed primarily as a way to extend health insurance coverage. This was and is an important goal.  However another important aspect of the ACA is its impact on the labor market. The vast majority of people who are below Medicare age get their insurance through their job. This meant that tens of millions of people felt tied to a job because this was the only way they could get insurance for themselves and their families.

A key feature of Obamacare is that by allowing people to get insurance through the exchanges, workers would no longer feel tied to their jobs in the same way. Workers that wanted to look for jobs that may be a better fit, or wanted to try to start their own business, or just hated their boss, could now take this step without worrying about losing insurance for themselves and their families. Read more »

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Policy Watch: Your weekly tip sheet for what’s going on in your community

By The Left Hook


 Reed, Liccardo, Khamis plan to delay Measure B

 As outlined in the memo from Reed/Liccardo/Khamis & recommended by Rules on Sept. 10, direct the City Manager to begin negotiations with the Police Officers Association and other applicable bargaining units to:

(a)    Enter into a stipulation to defer the implementation of the portion of Measure B that calls for employees to make an additional 4% contribution of salary to the Police & Fire and Federated retirement plans or take a 4% reduction in pay, for at least an additional year beyond July 1, 2015, the expiration of the existing stipulation; and Read more »

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Whopper of the Week: George Will and Extremism

By Bob Brownstein

This week we have a Galactic Whopper from George Will in the Washington Post. His column is titled “Senate Democrats Extremism on Display.” It contends that the effort by Senate Democrats to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision by a proposed constitutional amendment constitutes true extremism – an effort to radically shrink First Amendment protection of political speech. In fact, he claims the measure menaces “the constitution’s architecture of ordered liberty.”

There are, however, a few noteworthy problems with Will’s shrill and hysterical assertions. Read more »


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