By Robert Haugh
Is the 49ers owner mad that he lost the Super Bowl?
Yesterday, Jed York filed a report that he contributed $300,000 to the No on Measure C campaign. Wow. That’s a huge amount of money for a Santa Clara election.
This happened one day after he created the committee and put $17,125 in its account. That action is now being investigated. It may be the first violation of our 2018 Dark Money Ordinance.
As we’ve reported, someone did an anonymous poll last December. They asked questions about the Mayor, City Council, City Manager, Measure C and the 49ers.
But whoever did the poll, was supposed to report it because Measure C is on the March ballot. But no one did. Whoops.
That is until City Clerk Hosam Haggag sent out warning letters on January 31. He sent them to seven people, including York, 49er executives and lobbyists Kevin Moore and Ed McGovern.
Only one business day after Haggag’s warning letters, York created the committee and put in his first contribution.
What’s York’s Motivation?
The 49ers say that they’ve been asked to help elect more minorities to the City Council. Huh? They’ve never done that before. And I’ve been reporting on the team since 2008.
The ask for help came from the Asian Law Alliance. It went to the team only one day after Haggag’s warning letters. It was also the day before the Super Bowl. And it was on a Saturday. Looks suspicious.
But not everyone.
An SF-based consultant who has worked against the 49ers in the past tells us that it’s just a cover-up story. They want to mask their real goal to take over the Council. “They don’t care about candidates of color. They care about the curfew and concert cash. Duh.” said the consultant.
Another Bay Area consultant said that $300,000 may backfire in Santa Clara. “The spending is out of whack. Voters will see this as a big-money play to buy the Council,” said the consultant.
The Mayor and City Council elections have a voluntary cap of $40,500. But initiative spending is not capped so York can spend as much as he wants to.
A local community leader said this looks like another BluPAC campaign. That was the 2016 dark-money organization that had direct links to the 49ers. They refused to disclose their donors. They tried and failed to elect a majority of the Council.
Coincidentally, two of the BluPAC-supported candidates in 2016 are co-chairs of the No on Measure C campaign. They are former City Councilwoman Patty Mahan and former Police Chief Mike Sellers.
Measure C is the plan to create three council districts with two representatives each in Santa Clara. It’s what the diverse Charter Review Committee came up with after months of meetings.
We’ll be reporting more about this campaign in the coming days and weeks. It just got really interesting.