City Warns of Dark Money in 2020   

By Robert Haugh

The City warned residents about dark money.  So it must be an election year.

Before the holidays, we got info about someone doing a telephone poll in Santa Clara. Based on the questions that were asked, our sources think it was a 49er-sponsored poll.

There were a lot of questions about city councilmembers, City Manager Deanna Santana and the team. 

The poll also asked about Measure C, the opportunity for us to vote to create council districts in Santa Clara.

At the January 14 City Council meeting, City Clerk Hosam Haggag made a presentation about the poll. He also issued a warning to residents that the expenditure could be a violation of Santa Clara’s dark money ordinance.  

Haggag asked for any residents with information about the poll to contact him or the City.

That ordinance was created in 2018 after BluPAC, a dark money organization tried to elect a slate of city councilmembers.  

BluPAC had lots of ties to the 49ers, like local political consultant Rich Robinson. 49ers exec Al Guido would not give a direct or honest answer about their involvement in the 2016 Santa Clara elections

BluPAC wasn’t successful in 2016. And their failed effort led to the dark money ordinance. So it really backfired.

Now, it looks like the 49ers may be gearing up for another attempt to elect a slate of councilmembers in 2020. Or maybe they want to defeat existing ones.

Let’s hope their effort is as good as it was in 2016.

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