County Supe Race Rankings: Caserta Loses Another Santa Clara Endorsement (Opinion)

County Supe Race Rankings: Caserta Loses Another Santa Clara Endorsement


By Robert Haugh

It’s still early. There’s still almost nine months until the June, 2016 primary. We don’t expect there to be a lot of news in the race to succeed termed-out Supervisor Ken Yeager. But there were some interesting developments nonetheless.

The big news, especially for the Mission City, is that Councilwoman Kathy Watanabe unendorsed Vice Mayor Dominic Caserta. This is not good news for the Caserta campaign, since Watanabe is the first representative from the Northside and is really popular in that area of the city.  This makes it even harder for Caserta to win Santa Clara, a “must do” for him if he is to have any shot at making the run-off. No word yet on why Watanabe unendorsed Caserta — and if she did it by text.

As our readers know, Caserta has had some problems — to put it mildly — with endorsements.  First, it was Mayor Lisa Gillmor who unendorsed him.

Then, it was Don Gage.

Then, former Assemblyman Jim Cunneen who is a featured endorser on Caserta’s website, endorsed other people, too.

So did former State Senator Elaine Alquist, also a featured endorser on the Caserta website. LINK

To be fair to Caserta, he still has a lot of good endorsements listed on his website, like former Congressman Norm Mineta.

But nine months is a long time. The campaign needs to stop the endorsement bleeding or the campaign brochures will need a lot of White Out.

With that un-endorsement news, here’s an update on our rankings.

#1. Pierluigi Oliverio, former San Jose Councilman. He retains his top position from last month’s ranking.

Oliverio seems to think Santa Clara is an important city in the district (we agree), so he’s taken a position against lifting the weekday stadium curfew and he’s showing up at key events like the weekly Rotary Luncheon, the Franklin Square Street Dance and the Northside stadium curfew discussion that was scheduled and cancelled last week by City Staff.

#2. Susan Ellenberg, San Jose Unified School District Board of Education Vice President.  She moves up from No. 3 last month on the strength of some new endorsements: former State Senator Becky Morgan (adding to an impressive list of female endorsers), former Santa Clara Planning Commissioner J. Byron Fleck (who also was an anti-Measure J leader and still has a following) and former Judge LaDoris Cordell who recently led the task force to investigate the County Jail.  Ellenberg says she will be at the Annual Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival on both days.

#3. Don Rocha, San Jose Councilman. He started off as our frontrunner. We still think he’s a good bet to make the runoff. A lot of  the smart money is on him to win important endorsements from Labor (which could be split with Caserta) and the incumbent Supervisor Yeager.  He shared with us his endorsement list. These are the top names: State Senator Jim Beall, Alquist and County Supervisor Dave Cortese. Rocha got off to a slow fundraising start compared to the other candidates. But there’s a plenty of time to catch up before voters start focusing. The Rocha campaign is not doing much in Santa Clara which could hurt him. That’s why we put him in third for now.

#4.  Jason Baker, former Campbell Vice Mayor. We like Baker as a sleeper pick to make the runoff. He has some nice roots in Santa Clara and could do well here. And he’s recently lined up Santa Clara University interns for his campaign which should help. But, Baker is lagging in fundraising. That could change with some major endorsements. Baker promises to reveal some new names soon. We’ll keep on eye on this campaign.

#5. Dominic Caserta, Santa Clara Vice Mayor. We’d like to see Caserta move up the rankings and give Santa Clarans an opportunity to elect a County Supervisor for the first time in the city’s history. The campaign is stumbling. But there’s plenty of time to turn it around, especially if the volunteers don’t have to spend time whiting out names on brochures.

Editor’s Note: We asked all the candidates to take a position the weekday stadium curfew, an important issue for Santa Clarans. We’ll print their answers in the coming days.



  1. “I wanted to start canvassing this summer because we are taking this campaign very seriously, because the issues our neighbors face are serious,”

    SERIOUSLY? He’s taking this “seriously” because the issues are … drum roll please … “serious.” Wow, Caserta is profound. And he sends out a press release about how much MONEY he raised. Wow, Caserta is clueless. This is not a smart campaign.

  2. Love all these comments. Nice that everyone sees what a joke Caserta is. I miss Lance and all his alias With his embarrassing tantrums at council meetings and his alias names on here, he will never win a campain for anything. And no Caserta, im not PLO. I’m a Santa Clara resident that can’t wait to see you off the Dais.

  3. Robert,

    Your support of Mr. Oliverio is disappointing, but reveals a lot about how seriously anyone should take your opinions. Don’t mistake his insidious and dangerous positions because he showed up to a few events, and is willing to feed your ignorant narrative about the curfew. You have removed your voice from having value in the conversation, you are no journalist.

  4. I’d like to test SC Don’s idea. Can we start a GoFundMe page for Kevin Park and get him to run for County Supervisor? He’s a great guy. I voted for him. He is about 100 x smarter than Caserta and 1000 x more honest.

  5. GO Away Dom … You are a LOOOOSER …

    If there is a God, we all will be spared more of the Mayor Vice and his BS. He is so arrogant and so stuck on himself that no one, including anyone with the last name Peters (and Dom knows who SHE is) wants him to cast a shadow in their door ever again. All his self-importance … Ick! Watch the show at Santa Clara Council meetings … He wants respects but doesn’t give it himself, probably wouldn’t recognize it if he tripped over it or if it hit him on his orange-faced head … He is nothing more than an self-important punk who wants to be important to somebody, someday. Money can’t buy you love nor success nor anything else — even though you keep trying. Do all the developers and your “supporters” know what they aren’t buying? MAke the pain stop Make him go away … We have suffered enough with the Dom of Nowhere representing Nobody!

  6. I’ll vote for anyone over PLO, he ruined San Jose with Measure B and is only out there for his own political gain

  7. Hey Dominic,

    Thanks for putting a long press release in the comment section that doesn’t even address the main issue! Why are you losing endorsements? Is it a personality thing? Are you hard to get along with because you’re a maverick? If so, what are the issues that make you a maverick? Or are you just difficult to work with? If there’s no good reasons to explain your unique ability to lose endorsements during the course of a campaign, people should assume it’s some problem with you. Dishonesty? Temperament? Sleaziness? All of the Above?

    • I am voting for Dominic so I am a bit biased but Dominic has over 2,000 endorsements and losing Gillmor and Watanabe is a reflection of them and their inability to keep their word not a “stumbling” of the Caserta campaign. They endorsement him for a year and now they don’t that is their problem not a reflection of a weakness in the Caserta camp. Dominic is independent and anyone that knows Santa Clara City Hall knows that the appointed Mayor wants control and Dominic agrees with Lisa quite a bit but NOT 100% and that is Gillmor’s Achilles Heel as a leader, she wants “bobbleheads” as the SC Weekly says. So Sad! And Caserta did not lose Alquist nor Cunneens’ endorsement, they endorseed multiple candidates which is common in a primary election.

      I know the Caserta campaign and they are winning in EVERY objective benchmark, EVERY one! Robert is in the pocket of Jude Berry, the blackballed, sleazy consultant hack! And Caserta’s independence is why Robert is not covering the truth about his campaign. But, look at the source Robert Haugh, someone who was FIRED from the Weekly, how do you get fired from the Weekly? Robert does not even have a “real” job that he is paid for, he is truly a reflection of FAKE news!!!

      Caserta will win this race, in my humble opinion.

  8. This is a good ranking. Robert links to evidence to support his positioning. The truth is Dominic has never won a competitive race. He had trouble beating underfunded candidates last time. If you could give Kevin Parks $5,000 and convince him to run, he’d be #5 on the list and Dominic would move to #6.

  9. Thanks for the info. I will definitely be at Arts and Wine and look forward to meeting Susan and someone I could vote for. I hope the other candidates are there too.

  10. Folks:

    Does this look like a campaign in last place. Absolutely not! Robert you are so biased against are amazing work our campaign is doing, you cherry pick and claim to want a Sannta Claran to win but do not cover the truth. As Ronald Reagan said in 1980 to jimmy Carter “there you go again” as as John McCain says you are entitled to your opinion NOT your facts.

    Here are the facts on my campaign:

    In a nutshell, the campaign is going extremely well, we have the most money raised, most endorsements, most volunteers (walking over 82% of the District already), and the best website. We also have secured major organizational endorsements like the California Nurses Association and Santa Clara Police Officers Association.

    Here is our most recent press release:


    Caserta Campaign for Open Supervisorial Seat First to Accomplishes Major Milestones

    SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CA – Dominic Caserta, candidate for June’s primary open District 4 Santa Clara County Board of Supervisor seat, achieved two major campaign milestones ahead of other challengers. Dominic and his team of volunteers have door-to-door canvassed over 70% of the district and donors helped Dominic be the first to raise the voluntary expenditure limit of $250,000!

    With Supervisor Yeager termed-out next year, several candidates have announced their hopes to carry on his successes as Supervisor for Santa Clara County and our entire community. It’s clear with today’s financial filing deadline that Dominic is most active fundraiser and campaigner to emerge from the group.

    “It has been an amazing campaign so far and it’s all been possible because of a great team of supporters and volunteers,” Dominic excitedly noted. “We are so grateful to everyone that contributed, our campaign has the resources needed to reach the voters. I can focus my time on talking to voters instead of making donor calls.”

    Caserta’s grassroots campaign for Supervisor launched in January, and to date has raised $309,000 from 330 individuals and businesses. Today’s filing shows the campaign has spent over $19,000 so far, primarily on direct voter outreach.

    “I wanted to start canvassing this summer because we are taking this campaign very seriously, because the issues our neighbors face are serious,” Dominic continued. “Thanks to our wonderful volunteers, we have logged over 2000 hours knocking on doors, calling and writing voters! We continue to have amazing conversations and build support for our campaign. Our people first message resonates with voters.”

    The campaign extends is gratitude to everyone that donated and to every volunteer that has invested their time to help us connect with voters. The campaign will continue to canvass neighborhoods and is scheduling various neighborhood events. District 4 represents Santa Clara, Campbell and the Rose Garden, Willow Glen, Cambrian, Burbank and other western and unincorporated sections of San José.

    Please visit for more information about the campaign or how to get involved.

    Dominic Caserta is in his twentieth year as a teacher at Santa Clara High School and is an instructor at De Anza College and Foothill College, and formerly at San José State University. He is currently serving his third term on the Santa Clara City Council. He attended Bellarmine Preparatory, graduated from Santa Clara University and earned his master’s from San Francisco State University. Dominic is a fifth generation Santa Clara County resident, his wife Mafalda is also a teacher and their son Gianni was born in 2015.

    Robert you are so biased!

    • Go home Dominic. You’re drunk.

      You’d also be wise to spend some of that developer and 49er money on hiring a proofreader for your press releases.

      Or maybe you can also retain 50+1 Strategies LLC to do some PR for you like they’re doing for the 49ers to sweet-sell extending the stadium curfew which you support.

      You also forgot to put in your bio how you’re a shill for developers and the 49ers and put their needs over residents. Or how you middle-finger people who come up to speak at the podium during public comments when the cameras aren’t focused on you.

    • This is a joke right?? I am so confused. On another note I don’t trust people or organizations that make multiple endorsements in a race.

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