Tuesday, September 19, 2006

COMPAC Case Continues

It is interesting how much the Dando camp complains about the city wasting money... but how willing they are to lockup taxpayer money through lawsuits.

For a brief historical reference, Dando's choice to replace her in District 10 Rich de la Rosa challenged the city's usage of eminent domain over the Tropicana shopping center. Regardless of the merits of the case (the lead plaintiff received $6.5M to drop the case), the lawsuit cost San Jose $1.4M in LEGAL FEES! (
Now, Dando is behind another lawsuit as her organization COMPAC sues the city over its mailers bashing Cindy Chavez. For those who don't remember, COMPAC sent out literature singling out Cindy Chavez for a number of votes she cast while sitting on the City Council. The mailers just happened to be sent out just weeks before the election.

The city requires that independent expenditures "in aid of or opposition to" a candidate be financed by individual contributions not exceeding $250. COMPAC's mailers were financed by contributions that exceeded this limit. COMPAC's argument, therefore, is that this mailing was "issue-oriented" and not "in aid or opposition to" a candidate.

At stake in this case is the very essence of campaign finance restrictions. If this facially ludicrus argument succeeds, the entire structure of CFRs will be gutted. These mailers could potentially serve as the blueprint for flouting campaign finance restrictions: just leave out the words "vote" and "election" and you got yourself an "issue-oriented" mailer!

This case is not about free speech. This case is not about ideology. It is about this election. From the Merc: Sutton asked the judge to be aware of the approaching Nov. 7 election as he reaches a decision. This is about COMPAC wanting to get one more chance to take another low blow against Cindy Chavez.


At 4:30 PM, Anonymous jessica1 said...

The Mercury News sits on the Chamber's Board of Director. I think their rep is the Secretary or the Treasurer, I can't really remember.

Shouldn't the paper have some disclosure with respect to its role in the controversy before writing about the COMPAC issue with any claim of impartiality?

At 4:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Total Chavez propaganda.

No matter what you say, can't ignore that she cost the taxpayers 11.25 million.

Reed '06

At 5:11 PM, Blogger SanJoseLady said...

Anonymous thinks that Cindy alone had something to do with all of this, don't forget that it takes a majority of the council to vote for/against anything.

Cindy is a woman who has the vision to take San Jose to the top, Reed likes to play it safe, which in the long run, can do more economic harm to our city then many people realize.

COMPAC may or may not win their lawsuit, but what is key is that they broke the law in our city, their argument is that the law is unconstitutional.

There was not one person I talked to who didn't think the mailers COMPAC sent out were anything but attack mailers against Cindy. NO other member of the city council was mentioned, and they were mailed right at the time of the election for mayor.

For those with vision, for those who really understand what it takes to move a city forward, there is no doubt who is the better candidate: Cindy.

At 5:39 PM, Blogger Governator Jr. said...

How very topical of you anonymous!

At 5:55 PM, Anonymous d.h.k. said...

I agree with sanjoselady: the mailer BROKE THE LAW. Claiming that the mailer was "issue-oriented" is b.s.

At 6:17 PM, Anonymous DINO watcher said...

The Chuck Reed camp going after campaign finance laws? WHAT A SURPRISE!!! Abolishing CFR has been one of the biggest republican goals over the last 15 years.

Do people still believe Chuck is a DEM?! If he is... Why do so many Republicans like him, fight for him, and break laws for him like they do here?

It's no wonder his supporters are all over the hatemongering website FREE REPUBLIC (a site which discusses "the homosexual agenda")

At 6:33 PM, Anonymous formerly surprised said...

I already made it clear on SJI but thought it was relevant here too:

Fact, Chuck Reed does use surrogates do his dirty work for him. Milpitas City Council, Reed’s first campaign, and several school board races. It has been in the Mercury News and the Sun newspapers.

Fact, Aramndo Gomez is on the Milpitas City Council, yet participates in Chuck’s meetings concerning confidential negotiationswith the City of San Jose and Milpitas, thus participating in a conflict of interest.

Fact, Chuck Reed lied in a public meeting about his votes on a controversial proposal dealing with a rock quarry.

Fact, Chuck voted to benefit his client on a gas station deal and is now the subject of an FPPC investigation.

Fact, Armando Gomez is stalling on a request by a public citizen, not connected to any San Jose City Council campaign, for clarification to an email about a check to a garbarge company sent hours before the vote on the company’s contract.

Fact, Reed used his title as a county planning commissioner to advocate for a client before the City Council twice.

At 6:56 PM, Anonymous hatorade said...

I hate your site...

...but it's the only place with any news on the election these days.

At 7:06 PM, Blogger Governator Jr. said...

To "formerly surprised":

How very topical of you!

To "hatorade":


(i guess)

At 9:17 PM, Anonymous da critic said...

Mercury News loves McEnery

McEnery is San Jose Inside

McEnery loves Dando

Dando loves de la Rosa

Dando hates Chavez

Dando is COMPAC

Mercury News is a part of COMPAC

At 9:43 PM, Anonymous sebastian said...

The SJ ordinance is bullshit. So what if they cost the city money? They're fighting for free speech. You can't put a price tag on that.

At 10:44 PM, Anonymous d.h.k. said...

It is pretty funny that only now Chuck Reed comes forward with some actual ideas for what he would do if finally elected. What's even funnier is how mediocre and undercooked the ideas are! He wants to get SJ facilities on solar panel yet he cites no specifics of such a plan, no timeline, and doesn't even explain if this is feasible. No cost. No plan. Sounds like he just made it up 5 minutes before the press conference. Or my favorite is his discussion of how he wants to preserve open space. Yet he opposes the only environmental-friendly initiative in this approaching election! Again - what is the plan? What are the costs? What is the funding? Anybody can throw out aspirations. It takes a real candidate with actual vision to articulate specifics. Anybody can run on a platform of unqualified aspirations. Virtually every candidate IN THE WORLD has the same outcome preferences: environment preservation, safety, saving money, education, etc. etc. What separates them is their POLICY PREFERENCES. In terms of policy preferences, we know exactly where Mr. Reed stands. He won't spend a dime. Until he's willing to pledge to actually allocate resources to trying solar energy, to building/improving more parks, and to preserving open space, these goals he articulates mean NOTHING.

At 11:25 PM, Anonymous Ware Watch said...

just an fyi: the fed judge overseeing the compac case is judge ware. ware is the same judge who lied and claimed he had a brother who was killed.

At 12:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give me a break. Chuck doesn't oppose Measure A.

Cindy claims Guadalupe River Park as an accomplishment. Have you tried using the trails? Please! And with the airplanes overhead, some picnic.

Cindy also wants to convert the existing city vehicle fleet to clean fuel vehicles such as hybrids, electric, and biodiesel. Any idea what that is going to cost?

At 6:43 AM, Blogger SanJoseLady said...

sebastian said..."The SJ ordinance is bullshit. So what if they cost the city money? They're fighting for free speech. You can't put a price tag on that."

Not true sebastian, the SJ ordiance doesn't in any way take away speech, what it does is make those who would spend unregulated amounts of money on a city campaign raise those funds in limted amounts, just like the candidates have to do. There are limits to what each candidate can raise for city council and mayor. If an outside group decides they want to support or attack a candidate,they too are held to these same standards.

When someone is running for office in San Jose, and they are supported by lets say, a group of business people, that group must adhere to San Jose City Campaign laws. Now, if that same group wants to put information out about an issue, there is NO limit on the amount they can collect or spend.

The fact of the matter is that free speech is in no way effected by limiting the size of the donation that a group can collect when they decide to get involved to support or attack a candidate. The business group is being held to the same standards that the candidates are, for a reason.

If COMPAC had either raised the money from individuals in amounts of $250, or if they had sent out "issues mailers" they would have been fine, but they instead allowed for a very few people to write big checks to effect the mayors race.

I for one do NOT think it is a good thing for our elections when a few wealthy people or organizations can come along and write a check to finance a campaign for "their" candidate, effectively silencing my voice if I am adhereing to the law, and also silencing the voice of the other candidates who are abiding by the law.

Once again, COMPAC could have run a real issues campaign and they would not have been breaking the law, their "freedom of speech" is not effected, but their ability to wrongly influence elections is effected.

At 8:47 AM, Anonymous chuck = new flip flopper said...

first, only someone on chuck's campaign staff would be able to know how chuck really feels about measure A. i'm glad my comments have brought such a representative out into the public forum. please - enlighten me. enlighten me to how chuck "does not oppose the Measure but has serious questions about it". enlighten me about how he'll be interested in creating a committee to study the implications of hillside development. explain to me fully what chuck's position is. is it that "he doesn't oppose it, but he doesn't support it"? when push comes to shove, he can say whatever he likes, but there are two factors that we can test his commitment based upon: (1) is he endorsing the initiative? and (2) is he voting for it?

i'm willing to bet a couple hundred bucks that the answer is NO on the 2nd factor. and we all know the answer is NOPE to the the 1st.

At 10:51 AM, Anonymous d.h.k. said...

Hey anonymous...

You're right about one thing: Cindy did discuss her agenda without discussing the financing details for them. And you are right, I criticized Chuck for doing the same. We have reason to subject Chuck's alleged platform to more exacting scrutiny because of two reasons:

(1) He has contradicted his own goals. He does not support Measure A. Perhaps he does not OPPOSE it. But he is not supporting it. How can he claim to lead on the issue of preserving open space when he isn't even behind the major measure advancing said goals? Cindy has not made such contradictory statements or undertaken such contradictory proposals.

(2) Track record. Chuck - aka Dr. No - has not supported his "issues" while sitting on the Council. He hasn't done much to illustrate dedication to these proposals to warrant facial credibility.

Until Chuck presents his plan for achieving these goals, they're just aspirations. Outcome preferences without policy preferences are meaningless.


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