FPPC Will Investigate Chamber of Commerce PAC

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!

The City investigation concluded that the Chamber may be hit with a fine in excess of $43,250 or more! Wow.

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 BarberSanta Clara Weekly Lobbyist/Publisher
  • Rahul Chandhok49ers 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.



  1. I was talking to someone before the election and mentioned I was voting for Lisa. She asked, isn’t the mayor in trouble with the law?
    Seems that some were fooled (not for long) but it is more than a bit ironic the accusers may be the guilty parties.
    I don’t wish ill fortune on people but justice according to the law is just that.

  2. These groups are so incestuous it is scary. CHAMBER, CHAMBER PAC and ROTARY. Not to mention ALL the self-dealing, conflict of interest, etc. And who knows what else will turn up. SMH

    Pay attention people! ASK QUESTIONS! Why is Mlnarik defending Caserta? AGAIN, there is so much incest here and it’s time to STOP IT. Look at the membership leadership of EACH group. The *rentention* overlap of membership is HILARIOUS. They should just merge into ONE GROUP! SAVE MEMBERSHIP MONEY! THEN THERE ARE the *endrosements!* These groups ALL endrosed Anthony Becker OR HELPED HIM! PAC even gave him money and if you look at his campaign 460s looks to have helped feed Becker’s staff then put on a campaign. Ha! SMH

    CHAMBER PAC wasted money they had ATTACKING Lisa Gillmor with a bad hit piece full of misspelled words. ENDROSES and RENTENTION! Ha! Get rid of the incest! PLEASE FPPC and DA do a THOROUGH investigation so the bums get KICKED OUT. SMH

    This is not leadership. It is NOT GOOD MANAGEMENT! Which should make you worry about the employment of these leaders too. They are an embarrassment to all Chambers of Commerce and Rotarys around the world that work for the good of the BUSINESS and LOCAL COMMUNITY and NOT their own personal politics and interests. SMH

Leave a Reply