Santa Clara Chamber Drops Political Action Committee

By Robert Haugh

It looks like the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce told its PAC to go packing.

We heard from reliable sources that the Chamber board voted to distance itself from the PAC. They won’t be able to use the Chamber name anymore. Ouch.

We asked Chamber CEO Nick Kaspar to confirm. But he didn’t respond to emails for over a week.

So on Monday, we sent him a message that one page of the Chamber’s website still had a reference to the PAC.

Within 24 hours of sending Kaspar the email, the web page got changed and the PAC reference was taken out. No kidding.

We’ll consider that official confirmation.


The PAC has misfired on Santa Clara elections for many years.  They looked like the “Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight.”

Last October, we broke the story that they hadn’t filed campaign reports for four years with the City.

That resulted in a City investigation that found that they could be fined $43,250. Wow.

But did they save their money for a possible big fine? Nope. They spent almost all their cash on a negative brochure against Mayor Lisa Gillmor a few weeks later. She won her election with 75 percent of the vote.

And the PAC’s brochure was horrible. It was a long list of confusing, whiny complaints. It was like a badly written column in a local publication.

Coincidentally, here are the people who are still involved with the PAC.

  • Miles BarberSanta Clara Weekly Lobbyist/Publisher

  • Rahul Chandhok — 49ers Government Relations

  • Dave DeLozier — former Councilman

  • John Mlnarik (suspended by CA Bar) — “attorney” for disgraced former City Councilman Dominic Caserta

  • Andy Ratermann —  Santa Clara Unified School District 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.

We’re not sure what the PAC will call itself now. Maybe GoFundMe PAC would be a good name.


  1. Im no fan of Dom Casherta, but werent the charges againgst him dropped? What about innocent until prove guilty? But even Casherta needs to have “disgraced’ removed from your title and have idiot, too big for his own good used instead.

  2. The question is does the PAC reflect the Chamber accurately? Did the PAC stink up the Chamber or did the Chamber stink up the PAC?
    I don’t have a favorite answer to that question, I am just asking it for consideration.

  3. It’ll take the chamber a while to wear the stink off from the rancid PAC.

Leave a Reply