Following the Money – Where the 49ers Donated in the 2016 Election Campaign
By Robert Haugh
Recently, 2016 campaign finance reports were made public. We took a look at the 49ers report, which includes Jed York’s personal political contributions.
Here’s what jumped out:
- They spent a lot of money — over $150,000.
- They spent no money in Santa Clara races, unless you count $1,000 to Dominic Caserta for Supervisor, 2018. This may be because every city council candidate who answered the Old Quad candidates questionnaire said that they would reject 49ers money. Caserta lives in the Old Quad and may have some explaining to do if the group uses the same questionnaire for the supervisorial candidates next year.
- They spent money to support over two dozen incumbents or candidates for state assembly and state senate races. That’s a lot since there’s 100 state legislative races each cycle. The team clearly has an eye on the state legislature.
- They contributed to the following San Jose city council candidates: Dev Davis and Sergio Jimenez who won. And they gave to Norm Kline and Manh Nguyen who lost.
- Coincidentally, or not, they gave some more big checks to San Jose. They contributed $25,000 to the pension reform campaign that the Mercury News reported was done at the request of Mayor Sam Liccardo.
- They gave $9,500 to the San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, but only $2,500 to the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce. Ouch.
Of course, we looked to see if they wrote a check to the infamous dark money group, BluPAC. No such luck. The 49ers won’t say if they secretly financed the group that spent a lot of money unsuccessfully and clumsily slinging mud in last year’s city council races. So we’ll have to wait and see if the Fair Political Practices Commission that investigates these things uncovers anything. On behalf of Santa Clara residents, we’ll be watching.