By Robert Haugh
Santa Clara City Councilman Dominic Caserta is flat on his back on the canvas. The only question is when he’ll be counted out.
Yesterday, morning, Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor revealed that there are now nine police complaints against Caserta. Wow. She also publicly called for him to resign.
Yesterday afternoon, Lydia Jungkind, a 19-year-old former Caserta student and campaign worker, who accused him of sexual misconduct appeared at a press conference. It was organized by parents and community leaders who want Outfront Media to take down a campaign billboard on Stevens Creek Boulevard. It’s a smiling Caserta with his family.
View of #DominicCaserta campaign sign for county supervisor on Stevens Creek Blvd in SJ. Protesters want it taken down in light of new complaints of alleged #SexualHarassment filed w #SantaClara #police. pic.twitter.com/8F7JvmceyE
— Robert Handa (@RHandaNBC) May 15, 2018
Their message was “daughters over dollars.” Ouch.
KTVU-Fox ran a clip of a strong and confident Jungkind saying this about Caserta:
“He’s a liar. He doesn’t want to admit what he’s done and I think he should finally admit the truth and admit what he did.”
Both Gillmor and Jungkind got a lot of press coverage. Every local TV news station ran the story. Caserta has become the poster child for a politician/teacher who doesn’t understand sexual misconduct boundaries. Or he does, but he doesn’t care.
Caserta’s behavior has landed him on something called the Creep Sheet. It’s an “encyclopedia of public figures accused of sexual assault and harassment.” It’s been described as a sort of an international Megan’s Law database for public officials.
Here’s how they describe their standards:
The Creep Sheet is a list of public figures accused of sexual assault and sexual harassment. We only use mainstream, credible news publications as sources. The site does not contain original research, does not republish poorly-sourced rumors, and does not include allegations against people who are not of public interest.
As of today, there’s only 545 people on the Creep Sheet. Caserta is now famous (or infamous) for being on the same list as Bill Clinton, Elton John and Eddie Murphy.
If Caserta doesn’t know he’s down and out, a lot of his supporters do. Major organizations pulled their endorsements last week.
But you know Caserta’s in big trouble when some of his closest personal supporters in Santa Clara head for the hills. We got confirmation that the following people and organizations unendorsed Caserta after the sexual misconduct allegations became public:
- former Councilman Kevin Moore
- 4-time unsuccessful council candidate Mohammed Nadeem
- Santa Clara Police Officers Association
- Santa Clara Firefighters Local 1171
But other Caserta supporters are sticking with him, like:
- Councilwoman Patty Mahan, Caserta’s closest friend on the Council
- Jeannie Mahan, Patty’s sister and organizer of an independent expenditure for Caserta
- Miles Barber and the Santa Clara Weekly
- The Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce and their PAC
- The San Francisco 49ers who have given Caserta a lot of money for his campaigns.
These supporters will need a lot of smelling salt to help get Caserta off the canvas.