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Posts from the ‘Politics’ Category


Khamis v. Liccardo for Mayor?

The rumor around City Hall is that Republican Council Member Johnny Khamis is considering running for Mayor against Sam Liccardo in 2018. Is it no surprise that Council veteran Khamis was hoping to be appointed Vice Mayor and was handed a blow when Liccardo bowed to the political reality of a more progressive City Council by appointing Magdalena Carrasco instead.  While this slight might be the motivator in inspiring Khamis to run against his often-time ally, perhaps Khamis is making the move because he sees his clout on the Council diminishing as a more progressive majority sets the Council agenda.


Policy Watch

City of San Jose

Approving Ad-Hoc Council Committee on Development Services to facilitate private sector development; Mayor Liccardo to chair

As recommended by the Rules and Open Government Committee on July 27, 2016, approve the creation of an Ad-Hoc Committee on Development Services and setting the following dates for the meetings to be held in the City Manager’s Conference Room.

August 25, 2016 9:00 – 10:30am

September 29, 2016 9:00 – 10:30am

October 27, 2016 9:00 – 10:30am

November 18, 2016 10:30 – 12:00pm

December 15, 2016 9:00- 10:30am

The Agenda for the meetings will address: (1) Key Process Improvements, including updating performance metrics, creating a development services dashboard, and implementing change management, cost of service study adjustments, and code reform programs; (2) Update on Development Services staffing, filled positions and vacancies; (3) Status Report on Major Development Projects in Entitlement and Construction Process; and, (4) Customer/Public Feedback.

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Chamber Email Riddled With Misleading Information About Opportunity to Work Initiative

Earlier this month Victor Gomez, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, sent out an email containing false information about the Opportunity to Work (OTW) initiative, which will be on the November ballot in San Jose. In fact, the Chamber deliberately mislead many of the email recipients who are not covered by OTW to believe that they would be gravely impacted by the measure. Employers with 35 or fewer employees – the vast majority of San Jose’s employers – are exempt from the measure. But you wouldn’t know that from reading the Chamber’s email.

Below are some of the Chamber’s misrepresentations, followed by the truth about OTW:

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The Latest on Who Is Running for Which City of Santa Clara Council Seat

As of 5 pm yesterday, all candidates who had filed to run for Santa Clara City Council had officially selected the specific seat for which they would be vying. Below is the breakdown of the current candidates and the Santa Clara City Council seats they are running for:

Seat 3
*Debi Davis
John McLemore

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New Poll Shows Honda Holds Considerable Lead over Khanna

A new poll released earlier today shows that, among likely general election voters, Congressman Mike Honda holds a considerable lead against Ro Khanna in California’s 17th Congressional District race. The poll, conducted by Lake Research Partners, shows that Honda heads Khanna 41% to 35%, with 23% of voters undecided.  Additionally, Honda leads Khanna in favorability and name recognition, with 52% of voters viewing him favorably.


Lan Diep Beats Manh Nguyen…AGAIN

The official recount is over and Lan Diep has been named the winner of the San Jose City Council District 4 race, again.

But the news of a confirmed defeat has not stopped Nguyen and a voter from requesting yet another recount, this one at their own expense.  The recount will cost approximately $20,000 and take one month.  The general consensus is that Diep’s margin remains and, in what will be a long, drawn-out race, Diep will, for the third time, be named the new City Council Member for District 4.



Advice To The San Jose City Council: How To Deal With The Chamber Of Commerce’s Lies

Now that the Opportunity to Work Initiative has been placed on the November Ballot, I’d like to make a prediction. San Jose’s elected leaders are going to hear from outraged business owners who will argue the proposal will do them grievous harm. The source of their information will be the Chamber of Commerce, and the information will be a disgraceful pack of lies. Some might say, lying is to the Chamber as swimming is to a duck. It just comes naturally.

Since I’ve been involved in local government for nearly four decades, I have a solid historical perspective on this issue.

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Election Day Scorecard


One indicator of the political strength of an organization or individual is the success of the candidates they endorse, particularly in contested races for open seats.  In the hotly contested race for the open seat in the 27th Assembly District, which pitted Ash Kalra, endorsed by Labor, against Madison Nguyen, endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce, Mayor and the Mercury News, both candidates advanced to the November Election.  Below is a scorecard for the three open seats on the San Jose City Council, which will determine the balance of power there.

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Former Staffer Claims Khanna Lied About Owing Him Money

In an article published on, Bill Ferguson, a former Ro Khanna staffer, says Khanna refused to pay him $6,000 for work done during an unsuccessful 2004 Congressional race and is now lying about the money owed.  Khanna claims that Ferguson has been paid.  However, emails sent between the two men, starting as far back as July of 2004, show Khanna acknowledging his debt to Ferguson.  Ferguson spent 10 years asking Khanna to pay him.  Each time Khanna came back with an excuse and no payment. Up to now, the focus has been on Khanna’s refusal to pay a debt he owes, but the bigger issue is Khanna’s credibility.  Not only does Khanna owe Ferguson money, but now Khanna appears to be lying about it.


Opportunity to Work Headed to San Jose City Council, Supporters Urge Adoption

Today, the San Jose City Clerk announced that the Opportunity to Work Initiative has the signatures needed to be placed on the November 2016 ballot. The Council, which will hear the item at their May 24th meeting, has the option of placing the measure on the November 2016 ballot, adopting the ordinance or requesting an impact report. Silicon Valley Rising, community and religious leaders, and impacted hourly workers are urging City Council to adopt the measure.

Last month, a new report by Working Partnerships USA, The Center for Popular Democracy and the Fair Workweek Initiative, uncovered an epidemic of underemployment in San Jose. To help combat the crisis locally, Opportunity to Work would require employers to offer current, qualified part-time employees the opportunity to work additional hours before they hire any additional staff. This is the first initiative of its kind, aimed at providing part-time employees across all industries access to the hours needed for a reliable, livable paycheck.



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