By Robert Haugh
The South Bay Labor Council (SBLC) held its endorsement interview last Thursday. Their decision may be a surprise to some, but not to the loyal readers of this site.
Its executive committee will recommend both Santa Clara Councilman Dominic Caserta and San Jose Councilman Don Rocha for County Supervisor, District 4, according to multiple sources close to the five supervisorial campaigns. Last September, we wrote that this might happen.
Ben Field, Executive Officer of the SBLC, would not confirm the recommendation yesterday. He said that the delegates who represent the SBLC’s 101 affiliates will meet in mid-February to make the official decision. According to our sources, the delegates “rubber stamp” the executive committee’s recommendations.
Caserta thought he would get a sole endorsement from the SBLC, so this is potentially a major blow to his campaign. He has told numerous people that he expected labor’s endorsement because of what he’s done in Santa Clara to raise the minimum wage and pass a workers retention ordinance.
Even just last month, a Caserta “supporter” (who just happens to use a computer at the Santa Clara Unified School District during the school day) posted this comment on Santa Clara News Online. It was in response to a previous column where we wrote that a dual endorsement from Labor was likely:
“Caserta will get the endorsement from Labor and make the runoff! In fact Labor money is going to Caserta clearly in this race! Caserta wins! Count on it!”
Other interesting news that we’ve heard about the endorsement interviews:
- Caserta criticized Rocha a lot during his interview for Rocha’s early pension votes in San Jose, six years ago.
- Caserta was criticized for siding with the 49ers and Landmark Event Staffing over union workers just last year.
- Former Campbell Mayor Jason Baker and San Jose Unified School District President Susan Ellenburg did not interview well.
- Former San Jose City Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio ditched the SBLC interview. He’s likely to get support from the Silicon Valley Organization’s PAC or businesses linked to them, our sources say.
Our sources also say that if the SBLC makes a dual endorsement, individual unions are free to contribute to either Caserta or Rocha. But both candidates have raised the max allowed ($250,000). So has Ellenburg and Oliverio. So money won’t likely be a factor in this race.
But Labor can provide people power to a campaign. SBLC volunteers will be asked to help both campaigns once they are officially endorsed.
Things are getting interesting in the Supervisorial race. So stay tuned.