Council Debate Preview, Rowen No Longer Part of Bouza Campaign

By Robert Haugh

Tomorrow night, the League of Women Voters will host a forum for Santa Clara council candidates. We’ll be watching to see how the candidates distinguish themselves.

There’s a lot of similarities. For example, none of the candidates in District Two or District Three will take 49ers contributions. They won’t change the weekday stadium curfew either according to a Stand Up for Santa Clara survey.

District Two

At 6:30 p.m., Nancy Biagini, Mario Bouza and Raj Chahal will take the stage. All have a lot of commission and volunteer experience.

We’ll see how much Chahal pushes his anti high-density housing position. He’s sending a booklet to voters with that message on the cover.

If the other candidates agree with him, that’ll kill the massive Mariani development proposal and the Kylli project. Both projects look like they have the conceptual support of Teresa O’Neill and Patty Mahan. No one else on the council looks supportive.

Both projects need four votes. So they need two winning candidates to support them. But no council candidate looks willing. Looks like a double thumbs down.

But wait. Maybe Kevin Moore can work his magic again and get someone to flip-flop. He’s lobbying for both projects.

Bouza Dumps Rowen

Interesting development: Bouza hired political consultant James Rowen who has antagonized and harassed people in Santa Clara for years.

Now, he’s gotten rid of him. Bouza wrote last week: “James is no longer affiliated with my campaign.” Bouza also said he didn’t know Rowen was arrested for assaulting a female bus driver years ago. Smart move for Bouza to dump Rowen before the debate.

District Three

At 7:45 p.m., Karen Hardy and Sam Kumar will face off. Hardy has a lot more commission experience and volunteer work. She’s run before. So Hardy has more name id, too. It’ll be interesting to see how Kumar tries to overcome her advantage.

Will Kumar bring up his business experience and successful Mayuri Indian Restaurant to distinguish himself? It’s a popular place with good food.

But we don’t think Kumar will bring up his connection to the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce. After the city audit and losing management of the convention center, the Chamber is now political baggage.

Chamber PAC Endorsement

The PAC is technically different than the Chamber. But they look like the same organization. They’ve also been co-mingling resources. The also have overlapping directors. And there’s a lot of self-dealing.

Despite all these obvious problems plus a potential fine, the PAC decided to endorse candidates. Really. No kidding.

They’ve picked Anthony Becker for Mayor, Peta Roberts for City Clerk and Chahal for District Two. They even endorsed one of their own PAC members, Andy Ratermann for Santa Clara Unified School Board.

It’ll be interesting to see if anyone wants to use the PAC’s name. The first test will be Chahal in District Two. We’ll see if he mentions the PAC endorsement tomorrow.

League of Women Voters Forum

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Council Candidates, District 2

7:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Council Candidates, District 3

City Council Chambers, 1500 Warburton Avenue


  1. raj is raj. he plays it safe on the fence ’cause he doesn’t want to get a bad name for approving projects. not a good way to show leadership. stoo being mouse. shameful to attack biagini at mca. really, you just knew her month ago? ha. ha.

  2. You’re a great service for our community. You give us great local news. You give us news we can use. So I ask you. Do you have to be a cheerleader for a lobbyist? Moore is working for the 49ers against Santa Clara. You’re giving him free publicity. His Kylli project wants to build 75 story skyscrapers! That will destroy our small town feel. It’s like another stadium. We can’t handle the traffic. Our roads are full and getting fuller. When more convinces the mayor and council to vote for Kylli I’m leaving town.

  3. Well, first Bouza did the wrong thing by hiring Rowen. He corrected it. That’s all well and good. But I still won’t vote for him.

  4. Kevin Moore sold out the Northside with the stadium. He sold out the Youth Soccer Park for the 49ers. Now he wants to sell out neighborhoods for a buck. Not cool.

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