Caserta Loses Another Endorsement (Opinion)

Caserta Loses Another Endorsement

By Robert Haugh

Santa Clara Vice Mayor Dominic Caserta is running for County Supervisor. But right now, he’s losing, not gaining endorsements.

We’ve learned that former County Supervisor Don Gage has switched his endorsement from Caserta to another candidate: former San Jose City Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio.  It’s like when Virgil turned on the villainous Million Dollar Man and won the million dollar championship.


Both Caserta and Oliverio are running to succeed Supervisor Ken Yeager who is termed out of office next year.

This blow comes on the heels of Caserta losing the support of popular Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor. Mercury News reporter Ramona Giwargis broke that story in May. She wrote that Caserta was not happy that Gillmor “un-endorsed” him by texting him.

Gage is a significant name not just because he was on the Board of Supervisors, but because he is Chair of the Oversight Board for Successor Agency to the City of Santa Clara Redevelopment Agency.

Caserta would not return messages asking for comment. We’re dying to know if Gage texted his “un-endorsement.”

Now’s a good time to update the candidate rankings from last month.

Ranking the Race for Santa Clara County Supervisor, 2018

  1. Don Rocha — San Jose City Councilman — he maintains the top ranking. Rocha voted against his city entering into an exclusive negotiating agreement with Google for property in downtown San Jose. That should make labor happy and solidify their endorsement.
  2. Jason Baker — former Campbell City Councilman — he keeps a hold on second. We were really impressed with the strong connections Baker has to Santa Clara which he listed in a piece he wrote for this website. He may have a shot at winning the Mission City.
  3. Oliverio — He keeps making the right moves, like opposing the 49ers’ effort to lift the stadium curfew on weeknights, a contrast to Caserta’s position. And he’s picking up good endorsements, like Gage. Oliverio is nipping at the heels of Rocha and Baker.
  4. Susan Ellenberg — San Jose Unified Trustee — She moves up a slot from last month, switching places with Caserta. To be honest, we haven’t heard much about what Ellenberg is doing. But at least she’s not losing endorsements.
  5.  Caserta — See above.




  1. Wasn’t Pierluigi the one caught stealing opponents lawn signs when he ran for the SJ City Council? I think there is a youtube video of it.

  2. Dom must be getting really RED about this.

    I agree with the other commenter to check the record on Don Gage.
    But I’d also check the record of PLO as he is derisively called in San Jose.
    PLO has fooled the soccer moms in Willow Glen neighborhood of San Jose…
    but he makes bedfellows right and left with corporate/developer interests,
    including vendors like CH2M-HILL that most likely will fund his current claim.

    PLO is even more of a bully than Dom… he has his staff look over shoulders of
    opponents and the staff texts PLO while on the Dais.

    Worse than that is that PLO lies even more than Dom, if that is possible, and will
    savage his opponents.

    I know that Dom lectures the opponents of the mini Dorms but PLO lectures those in
    San Jose even more.

    As far as I’m concerned both claim not to be career politicians but both are doing everything
    they can to be career politicians.

    We all need to make sure that we investigate both thoroughly and if the real corruption of both
    comes to surface it could stop them from advancing.

    Because if either advance and become our next Supervisor there will be record levels of corruption.
    And the County has had far too much of that!!!

  3. I wouldn’t want Don Gage’s endorsement. One of the biggest slimes is Santa Clara County politics.
    His heading up the Oversight Board is an example. Why did he get put on that?
    The RDA claw-back was itself one of the slimiest maneuvers in California State politics.
    Any RDA that actually did work, i.e., raise the defined property’s market value was a target. That included the Santa Clara Convention Center, which the City subsequently repurchased at that new market value price (although one might debate that decision).
    None of the past property tax proceeds returned to that location (which is probably why Ken Yeager and Rich Santino, who’s districts included those properties and the City of Santa Clara were too embarrassed to sit on a board they knew would reap benefits to tax entities which had other designs for that money; tax entities that had no involvement in the developments that increased the property market value and the increased taxes from any sale or other valuation on those properties.)
    Jerry Williams, the Deputy County Executive leading the fight for the County’s clawback maneuvers has been quoted saying “Go Gilroy!” (Gage was the Mayor of Gilroy) when the State Supreme Court ruled the RDA claw-back as legal. I can only imagine some of the inside deal making involved there.
    When Santa Clara argued that they would no longer be able to provide maintenance and continue operations on the properties including the Convention Center, Gage’s suggestion was to seek additional taxes from City residents and property owners.
    That he’s now decided to switch beds and support Caserta’s opponent is a very telling story of not only Gage, but the candidate he’s chosen.
    Gage, although retired, does apparently have a lot of influence given his years of inside politics, in Gilroy, the County Board, the Water District and HSR. (over 34 years).
    Dominic Caserta strives to gain support for a wide range of citizens and leadership, some of which I’d personally disagree with. This is one disassociation of which he should be happy. I’d instead give him points, not a denouncement.

  4. Mr. Caserta (aka “Lance”), shouldn’t you be teaching our class rather than fuming and writing comments on this blog site all day? I have a question about the Federalist Papers.

    • And school is out Pierre maybe it is time for you to sexually harass another employee or steal a lawn sign you troll!

      No wonder you have lost three elections in a row!

  5. I kinda of sorta agree with Derek. Half the people in Santa Clara hate Caserta because he’s in the pocket of developers. The other half hate him because he’s in the pocket of the 49ers. That means he will get one vote in Santa Clara. His own. In all seriousness, Caserta is not popular. He won his elections before Jamie Matthews led the massive development spree in Santa Clara and before the 49ers became so unpopular. Now he has 2 cement shoes to wear.

  6. I don’t give a damn about endorsements or money or anything else people have been fighting about in this column and comments. What I do care about is development. Or should I say over development. I’m looking for an alternative to Caserta because he’s in the pocket of developers and has ruined many Santa Clara neighborhoods with his votes. Many of us haven’t forgotten about BAREC and the money that he took right before the vote.

    I’m happy to see that he’s bring up the rear. He does not deserve the support of Santa Clarans. Maybe when he loses, he will be chastened and stop screwing the people.

    • Derek it was Dominic who got us new roads and sidewalks as I live in that neighborhood. And it was Dominic’s motion that is getting us a great agrihood development. Derek Dominic is only in the pocket of our community pls get your facts right!

    • Derek, our problem is if Dominic loses in the primary he will run for re-election for his seat. If the wins in the primary the council will be shut of him but he will have a chance of being on the BOS. So the sweet spot is win the primary lose the general.

  7. And Robert answer Mr. Meyers question what is criteria for your ranking. Normally a campaign strength is based on contributions, volunteers, endorsements and social media on EVERY one of those criteria EVERY one Caserta is ranked first. So ranking him last is a reflection of your bias and sham reporting Robert. Answer his question please…

    • I don’t have time to answer every question posed in comments.
      However, we form rankings based on information we review in the community, and from those closely connected to polling and election data.
      Note, it’s an OPINION, based off an array of subjects and items.
      Caserta did raise the most money, but others will raise substantial money as well.
      Where are your rankings from?

    • What polling and election data? You are making his up Robert. I told you my criteria contributions, endorsements, volunteers and social media. Do you agree that Caserta is ranked first in all of those criteria? And you have no polling info at all in this race NONE! Making things up Robert! And election data Caserta has WON FOUR races in a row in Santa Clara even without Lisa Gillmor’s endorsement. Your opinions w based in fantasy and a bias against Caserta thank you for showing that to us ALL!

    • Robert, for me, I would just as soon you blocked ‘Lance’ since his comments are basically attacks and don’t add to the discussion. (As nicely as I can say it)

  8. Interesting how you have not Responded Robert. And Caserta keeps gaining endorsements why don’t you cover that in your column EVER?

    You cherry pick ONE endorsement and to say Caserta is not inspiring young voters nor that his campaign has energy and passion by his huge number of volunteers is FLAT wrong! Let’s see how you spin this in your response…Caserta is doing very well it is sad you won’t write about that and he will win Santa Clara as he has done FOUR times in a ROW!!! Sad Robert you clearly have it in for Dominic and I look forward to you saying you don’t show me ONE instance where you have written well about him? Why won’t you cover that he was Vited Teacher of the Year for the SECON year in a row or chosen as a community leader you would do that if it was Gillmor!

    • If you scroll back just within the past two weeks, I commended Caserta for his efforts in pushing the City to honor LGBTQ pride month and awareness. Caserta was given ample opportunity to respond about the pulled endorsement of Gage. He has been offered an opportunity to write a guest editorial for this site as well.

      Interesting that you don’t sign your true name to comments. I allow a multitude of opinions to be share on this site. Sometimes, some people choose not to respond for comment, or choose not to submit guest opinions.

      I never said his campaign wasn’t doing well. In fact, I reported months show that he Had in fact raised the maximum amount of donations for the race.

      Hats off to Dominic for walking precincts and winning teacher of the year. We are anti-Dominic, but we will always report on this campaign.

      Despite you comments regarding Mayor Gillmor, we were critical of her pulling her endorsement by text.

      She and Caserta actually worked together on several issues … Some people love Caserta, others hate him. For me, I just report on what’s going on around Santa Clara. Congrats to him on the precinct walking and his award.

      I will continue to report on this race as things develop. There’s a lot of time before the election.

    • Sorry you only report items to make the Caserta campaign look weak and you DONT cover positives which are numerous. In his campaign. When you reported that he raised the maximum you did it in a critical fashion stop playing games Robert! You have an axe to grind with folks like Caserta and Mahan you are a JOKE no wonder you have so few people read this garbage blog!

    • I have no axe to grind with anyone in or around Santa Clara, despite what folks might be telling you.
      This “garbage blog” has over 70,000 views and over 14,000 regular visitors, all with zero advertising and zero investment from ANYONE, except my time.
      Thanks for sharing your opinion here – it is something we allow here that other places do not do.
      We allow differing opinions and viewpoints to be shared, which is why you are able to post comments with what appears to be a bogus name and email address.

    • If you had many viewers you would have advertisers as other credible blogs do. Robert you clearly are lying AGAIN!

    • Actually, I have chosen to not allow advertising on the site. I have had many requests. Im not going to argue sure statistics. Want to ask WordPress the stats of this site? I have no reason to lie about the site numbers/views.

    • But you ask for money for a legal defense and most of it is cash from anonymous people who we all know was Gillmor. You beg for money and won’t take advertisements. Give me a break! Let’s see if you allow this True comment through moderation Doubt it!

    • Actually, you would be surprised where many donations came from. None were cash by the way. Most anonymous donations were from family and friends. I also refused donations over $2,000 from any person or entity. By the way, I won the anti-slapp motion in that lawsuit.

      I won’t take advertisements because I believe it 1) influences editorial 2) looks tacky and 3) I prefer focusing on content over ads.

      Thanks for reading and supporting the site.

  9. Wow, when I first saw the headline I thought Caserta had lost MY endorsement.
    But then I remembered, I don’t endorse him. That was scary.
    Thanks for the continued coverage.
    Where do you get your rankings for this race?

    • Robert are you saying Lisa Gillmor did not give you by money for your legal defense. And why would your family’s help want to be anonymous? Fishy again Robert!

    • Sometimes people do give anonymously. That’s really up to then people who donated. The legal fees far exceeded what was raised. Either you supported the campaign to raise funds, or didn’t.

      Notice you are attacking anonymous donors to something you have zero matter in (unless you work for the plaintiff of their attorney).

      Some people donated in anonymity. I published information on who some of major anonymous contributors were.

      I have allowed you to comment as you wish on my site, just as I have others.

  10. Robert,

    What do you think about school board member Susan Ellenberg texting with a member of the audience during a San Jose Unified School Board meeting?
    Please read:

    During the San Jose Unified meeting:

    “Matt Hammer, who makes $225,000 a year to lobby for charters as CEO of nonprofit Innovate Public Schools, picked up his cellphone and fired off a series of terse text messages to district trustee Susan Ellenberg about a motion to put off the Promise Academy hearing for another month.” Please read the San Jose Inside article to see the whole texted conversation. Audience member Matt Hammer and school board member Susan Ellenberg conducted a private conversation via text message during the school board meeting.

    Public meetings are held so that the public can view/hear all of the conversation between elected officials, hired administrators, and those who present in front of the elected body. Elected officials should not be involved in private conversations going on via texting or other means during a public meeting.

    • Very interesting, might be good material for another column.
      She wouldn’t be the first elected official to have conversations during meetings though.

  11. There you go again Robert showing your bias again against folks like Caserta. To say his campaign is not doing well is a JOKE and lazy reporting. He has the most endorsements, contributions received, best website and mostly importantly has hundreds of volunteers helping him out, including embracing diversity with multiple translations in his website, he has walked 45% of the district already. To promote Santa Clara and continually bash the only Santa Clara in the race is terrible and I look forward to your comments bashing Caserta soon again what a joke! Every indicator of a campaign Caserta is WINNING this race…!!! Shame on you your bias is disgusting!

  12. This is interesting. We have some good choices. I’m not voting for someone just because they’re from Santa Clara. But I want to know if they agree with the city and me on issues. Maybe you can write an endorsement column for this race.

  13. Nice to see the county may not have to bear the brunt of Caserta. I think it’s clear Santa Clara is on to him so hopefully he won’t try to run again.

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