By Robert Haugh
Last week, the City was notified that the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) will investigate the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce PAC for major violations.
Here’s the letter:
For those following the story, you’ll remember that the City started an investigation after our October 9 report. We showed that the PAC failed to file campaign finance reports with the City — for four years!
Another city audit also discovered that there may be potential criminal violations. So the FPPC suggested the City send info to the District Attorney. Double wow!
That’s a lot of potential investigations. And a lot of potential trouble.
Who’s in Charge of the Chamber PAC?
According to a source familiar with the PAC, these people left the organization some time ago:
- Lou Mariani
- Christian Pellecchia
- Jan Nordmo
- Joe Siecinski
That leaves the following people still involved:
- Miles Barber — Santa Clara Weekly Lobbyist/Publisher
- Rahul Chandhok — 49ers Government Relations
- Dave DeLozier — former Councilman
- John Mlnarik — attorney for Dominic Caserta and Santa Clara Rotary Club President
- Andy Ratermann — SCUSD board member
As we’ve reported, Dave Tobkin is the PAC treasurer and a CPA. He’s personally and legally responsible for the reports. He’s also personally responsible for the fines.
This is a big deal because it looks like the PAC spent most of its money attacking Mayor Lisa Gillmor with a late campaign hit piece. They have little money left to pay any fines.
Most people in town are still scratching their heads over the PAC’s mailer. They didn’t even say one positive thing about their endorsed candidate, Anthony Becker in the hit piece. Everyone knew Becker had no chance to win. With 94 percent of the vote counted, Gillmor has 74.07 percent. Maybe their goal was to keep Gillmor under 75 percent.