By Robert Haugh
We watched City Clerk Hosam Haggag hold a town hall meeting on dark money last night. It was historic since it was the first time this has been done.
But we weren’t expecting to hear some breaking news. Last night, Haggag said that the 49ers dropped another $300,000 into the No on Measure C campaign. Wow.
That brings the team’s total campaign spending to $617,500. Double wow.
We know the 49ers want to control the Council to change the curfew. But that’s a lot of dough.
As a comparison, the Mayoral and Council candidates have a voluntary campaign expenditure cap of $40,500 for their campaigns.
We guess the 49ers really, really, really want to change the curfew and beat Measure C.
Dark Money Town Hall
Santa Clara residents could participate in the dark money town hall by showing up to the Council chambers or calling into a phone line or posting questions on FaceBook Live.
Haggag did a good job at the meeting. He gave us a history lesson on dark money in Santa Clara going back to 2016 and BluPAC. That’s the group with direct ties to the 49ers that unsuccessfully tried to take over the Council.
Haggag gave us a lot of details about the most recent violations. That happened when the 49ers spent money on an anonymous poll in December and didn’t disclose it until he sent them warning letters on January 31.
A lot of people had questions about Measure C. But Haggag said that the meeting was a discussion about dark money and not a debate about the measure. He also said he has taken no position on Measure C.
We compliment Haggag for answering everyone’s questions respectfully and thoroughly. He was even patient with Wes Mukoyama and Anthony Becker who either heckled or repeatedly interrupted him.
Haggag said he will be doing more town halls in future, including some with council members. We look forward to it. If you missed it last night, you can watch it on YouTube. It’s a little over an hour long.