Thursday, September 21, 2006

COMPAC Victorious In Case Against SJ

The Merc has the story here: http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/politics/elections/15571274.htm.

Groups now may spend amounts of unrestricted money in support of or in opposition to specific candidates as the city's ordinance has been rejected outright.

Supporters of Chavez warn throughout the article that the new tone of SJ elections will be that s/he with the most money wins.

The article also mentions that Dennis Fong contributed $26K to COMPAC. Hmmm...

The last line of the Merc's article states: "The judge ruled that COMPAC is entitled to recover from the city the costs of pursuing the lawsuit." Come on. How ironic that the CHAMBER will likely now seek to cost the taxpayers of San Jose even more money. Isn't the whole essence of COMPAC fiscal conservativism?

14 Comments:

At 7:34 AM, Anonymous sanjoseoutside.com said...

Be careful what you say about Dennis Fong! He may get his internet sleuths to go after you guys!!!

http://72.14.209.104/search?q=cache:ZwjuURWfgXwJ:www.coalitionforredevelopmentreform.org/news/svbj_021110.php+%22Dennis+Fong%22+San+Jose+city+hall&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=1

 
At 7:42 AM, Blogger SanJoseLady said...

Who is "ethical?" The chamber? They break the law, then claim they think the law is wrong, then they sue, then they ask for their money back. Oh, and then we can be sure that their new found "freedom" will take our city elections to the lowest level we have ever seen.

It will be open season from now until November, and we can thank the chamber for taking us there. Ethics? Out the door, replaced with unsubstantiated attacks, and worse.

 
At 7:46 AM, Anonymous concerned dem said...

does anybody know how much Dennis Fong has already contributed to Chuck Reed's campaign through his name and his surrogates? it's amazing how much influence this city allows when you have a lot of money!

 
At 8:04 AM, Anonymous d.h.k. said...

Hey MayorWatchers...

There's another article in the Merc today about the election - http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/politics/elections/15571311.htm

For clarification, you guys made a mistake when earlier you stated that you were unaware of any IE's coming out on behalf of Cindy. There were.

But the Mercury tries to group them together to sound as if they are on the same level as the COMPAC mailer: "Various union committees spent more than $200,000 in independent expenditures on behalf of Chavez in the primary." More ev of the Merc's attempt to make Cindy look bad. The article later cites two of these labor groups - one made a $2,500 IE and another made a $2,000 IE. COMPAC spent $160,000. Which mailer(s) is gonna make a bigger difference?

The point behind campaign finance restrictions is not to silence people's political opinions. It's to make sure that the wealthy few don't wield too much influence over the masses.

Politicians are supposed to have thick skin. But I really feel bad for Cindy. When FONGPAT, err, I mean COMPAC brings the full force of their funds, the effect will be tough to counter.

 
At 8:14 AM, Blogger Mr. 408 said...

OURA CULPA.

 
At 8:51 AM, Anonymous My 2 cents said...

Has anybody seen the decision itself? Does anybody have a link.

Judge Ware is the same guy who made up an entire story about his brother being a civil rights activist and being murdered. I'm not surprised he likes to error on the side of free speech.

The right to free speech is not without limits. Some limits are needed to make sure candidates cannot be bought and sold. The court has decided that the ordinance was not an appropriate limitation. But just because you CAN does not mean one should. Judge Ware had the right to say the things he said. But ethics impose a higher ethical obligation. COMPAC has already neglected their legal obligations. Let's hope that they don't neglect their ethical obligations as well.

 
At 9:20 AM, Anonymous super phaedra said...

Unions have been doing it for years in SJ. You're just upset that now they're getting a dose of their own medicine.

Labor DID THE SAME EXACT THING!!!

 
At 11:16 AM, Anonymous concerned dem said...

I don't believe "labor did the same thing". Dennis Fong donated 26K!

Besides COMPAC broke the law. Notice that Reed's attacks against the labor IE's circle around the filing of paperwork. They didn't violate the contribution limits like the Chamber did.

 
At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Larry Hughes said...

Courts generally allow a victorious party to seek repayment of their legal fees when 1) the case was particularly frivolous or 2) the party vindicated an issue in the public's interest. Free Speech claims are a common situation for seeking attorney's fees. Usually the pecuniary damages are low. The fear is that without remuneration, these claims will dry up. Therefore, it makes sense that COMPAC is entitled to pursue fees. That being said, Compac would be perfectly within its rights to refuse to pursue these fees (obviously). Interestingly enough, when their attorney James Sutton argues FOR THE FEES, he will be racking up even more billables. A reputable attorney like Sutton probably charges around 250 per hour at a minimum and probably doubles that when in court. Point is the money is going to be racked up and the city will likely have to foot the bill. Just as Ron will likely be able to seek reimbursement for his legal fees, just because its allowable doesn't mean its appropriate. I would urge Ron and COMPAC to pay their costs themselves. Both litigants were ethically in the wrong. Both should do the right thing and take some financial responsibility.

 
At 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Free speech can't depend on who owns the microphone." - Ronnie Earle (aka the Texas Prosecutor who indicted Tom Delay and co.)

 
At 1:45 PM, Anonymous D. Wrangler said...

I think I see some Chavez-supporters who are a little cranky cuz their candidate is trailing in the polls...

 
At 1:48 PM, Anonymous L. Fitzey said...

I'm not cranky - I'm frustrated at how the Merc can manipulate facts and exagerrate. As concerned Dem pointed out, Labor and COMPAC's issues are completely different!

 
At 5:37 PM, Anonymous In need of a nap said...

Forget Reed's juiced polls, at first I thought those were released for comedic relief. The reason Chavez-supporters are getting cranky is because we're tired of hearing the same attacks over and over again. That's not to say that I don't love anonymous' insightful and topical comments about Cindy costing $11.25 million, but maybe it's time that Reed-supporters try a new tactic. Stop campaigning like a broken record and maybe take some initiative. Reed has no vision, no plans, no method and no leadership abilities...I guess that's why Chavez-supporters are getting cranky.

 
At 10:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yo sanjoselady,

They sued for your rights. Your right to free speech.

 

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