By Robert Haugh
It’s questionnaire time for local candidates. There’s an interesting one from Stand Up for Santa Clara (SUFSC). They’re the powerful grassroots group that stopped the 49ers from getting a sweetheart deal on the Youth Soccer Park in 2015. They packed the chambers with hundreds of people and had supporters flowing out into the courtyard.
In 2015, the soccer park giveaway was pushed by former Mayor Jamie Matthews and supported by Councilmen Pat Kolstad, Jerry Marsalli (now deceased) and Dominic Caserta (now disgraced and former). It was opposed by Councilwomen Lisa Gillmor (now Mayor), Debi Davis and Teresa O’Neill.
SUFSC sent their questionnaire to all Santa Clara candidates. Here’s what they’re asking. We’ll see how the candidates answer.
We’re really interested in Anthony Becker who seems to be positioning himself as pro-49er. At least he did in an early head-scratching TV interview.
2018 Stand Up for Santa Clara Questionnaire
1. The 49ers want to change the weekday curfew that ends concerts at 10 p.m. to help residents who need to get to bed at a reasonable time to go to school or work the next day. The weekend curfew is 11 p.m. The team says they, as the stadium manager, and the city will make more money by changing the curfew. The residents say just because a concert ends at 10 p.m.doesn’t mean it’s quiet that early since it takes a couple hours for crowds to clear out. Would you vote to uphold or change the weekday curfew?
2. Residential neighborhoods near the stadium and the 49er training facility have complained about the increase in noise from the 49ers practices when loud music and crowd noises are used to simulate games. Do you believe the City should enforce the noise ordinance and fine the 49ers for violations?
3. The 49ers have supported city council candidates in the past with direct contributions. In addition, the team supports candidates indirectly through third parties and “independent expenditures.” Will you accept direct contributions from the team, the 49er leadership or staff, or affiliated consultants and vendors?
4. Will you publicly ask the 49ers to refrain from assisting you through indirect contributions or independent expenditures?
5. In 2016, a “dark money” organization (a political committee that would not disclose its donors) called BluPac spent heavily to support and attack council candidates. BluPAC had direct ties to the 49ers. The team would not say if they funded the efforts. If BluPAC or another “dark money” organization supports your candidacy, will you disavow their help and ask them to stop spending money to support you or attack your opponents?
6. Have you done work, directly or indirectly, or received gifts or compensation from entities who do business with the city: developers, contractors, vendors, or the 49ers?
7. Some political consultants use aggressive tactics and threats to force candidates to hire them and sometimes pay them undisclosed amounts of cash, which is illegal. Will you refrain from directly hiring or indirectly hiring consultants who have a known history of engaging in illegal or unethical behavior?
Tomorrow’s Council Meeting
There will be three major items on the agenda:
- Admonishment of Mahan and Kolstad — more on that tomorrow.
- More information on Santa Clara’s major legal victory over the 49ers on stadium rent — that should be good.
- More information on Convention Center management and the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce — that should not be good.