Santa Clara Focus
By Robert Haugh
As the gun slinging continues with a plethora of election mailers, we continue to focus on finding truths in what’s being disseminated. Unfortunately, some media outlets continue using their publications as an outlet to support certain candidates and local businesses.
While many community members have voiced their displeasure at the Santa Clara Weekly being a mouthpiece for its publisher Miles Barber and candidates and issues of his liking, there are also concerns that the newspaper is also serving the needs of the San Francisco 49ers.
Last week, we raised a red flag about Mr. Barber’s self-dealing practices (which the IRS prohibits) as a member of the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce, Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce Government Relations Committee and Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee (https://santaclaranews.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/santa-clara-focus/).
* We were recently given a tip regarding a Sept. 23, 2016 email from Santa Clara City Council candidate John McLemore to Barber and other Chamber members (see photo below).
A portion of the email read: “Miles- Here is the very latest polling breakdown for the City of Santa Clara….Hope you can plan around some of these numbers. This data is from a California Company that deals with selling the data/addresses to you once you decide how you want to cut the voters up… These numbers are through the June 2016 primary election.”
We have talked to a variety of people involved in the landscape of politics and ethical campaigning, and some believe this to be obvious illegal coordination. Others think it falls into a grey area. Further, McLemore has bought a number of ads in Barber’s publication, with multiple ads appearing in last week’s (Oct. 19, 2016) publication alone. We believe the best referee in this matter is the FPPC, so we will be filing a complaint with the FPPC to find out if this is illegal coordination between John McLemore and Miles Barber and the Chamber of Commerce.
* We reached out to Chris Horton, Chairman of the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce and are waiting for a response. We’ve also sent e-mails to other local Chambers asking if they have self-dealing policies for their board members or PAC members.
Santa Clarans deserve better. Follow the money and do your homework. I won’t say who to vote for, but you can easily see who has Santa Clara’s best interest in mind.
Robert Haugh’s column will appear on Tuesdays and Thursdays.