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.
so the question remains why are the Niners so needing to have Measure C fail – what is in it for them to have this change not go forward? What are they wanting to do? call me suspicious but let’s look at the facts here if they poured so much money into the stadium to get Measure J passed why do they want Measure C to fail? because once again they are pouring thousands of dollars into the campaign and I dare say more that the $350 dollars per voter they spent on Measure J. What asset are they protecting here, what scheme in the field of dreams are they trying to protect. You cannot tell me that they hate the current mayor so much that they are doing this out of vengeance for her and her colleagues change in attitude towards the Niners? The drama continues. Vote Yes on measure C to find out what the niners will do next!!
Yes, the one thing we can be sure of is this is not a good neighbor helping us.
I feel everyone needs to hear this mainly cause often we feel silenced or many here have amnesia.
I only interrupted the City Clerk because the City Clerk would not let me finish my thoughts. It felt rushed and incomplete what I wanted to talk about because of the consistent interruption. . He said it is not a debate, yet that is what a town hall is. People engaging in a back and forth discussion, robust but respectful. I was respectful. I had to interrupt, and I asked him, ‘can I finish? ‘
Unfair assumptions by the writer. I was there to ask questions that many residents have that are not involved in the clique.
It is understood that the entire town hall was a bias attempt to drag the niners through the mud. That’s why I asked the question on the law the ‘dark money’ ordinance on where is the teeth? A fine? What? No one has said what the consequences are for late filing or no one has done anything. Why?
The Why is maybe cause The City is practicing hypocrisy. It is not practicing what it preaches on clean elections. let me explain why…. and before I do, I will reference that I mentioned it on the record last night that whatever anyone’s opinion is against the Yes on C crowd including me are suddenly attacked, bullied, and ridiculed.
I was asked by a devout YES ON C fan, Gillmor Loyalist and 49er Derangement Syndrome sufferer, “Do you see this as an attack on the city by the Niners?”
I say it isn’t…. what I see is an attack on voter rights by the city and the Gillmor agenda. It is bias and non-impartial flyers. The city attorney shows he is bias by taking sides and informing individuals on NextDoor how to vote and if you don’t agree you get derogatory remarks. It is an all too common trend by the YES ON C crowd.
Councilmember Watanabe posted on Facebook the comments about the city behind the YES ON MEASURE C campaign. I asked is the city having bias and taking sides? Since then and calling it out at the town hall…. the comment and entire post has since been removed by Mrs. Watanabe. RED FLAG.
This is not an attack on her this is stating the facts she wrote. She was also posting as a profile picture YES ON C logo which looks to be for campaigning usage.
This now brings me to more concerns on the YES ON C game. Where is the filings? If we are talking dark money, it goes both ways. Where is the Yes on C spending?
It seems like the city is footing the bill and many in the residents in the city are starting to agree. Why are they so keen on everyone voting YES? Jed York while unpopular puts his name on his mailers that he funds it, transparently and everyone knows now. On the other hand, YES ON C is silently campaigning on what? Defiantly not $0…. There has to be some cost. Trust me I ran a campaign you have to spend something.
So the only answer or question is, are city funds are being used ? It makes no sense there is no funding for YES ON C. Yet I feel councilmember Watanabe admitted to it… why delete the comment or entire post if it’s not true? RED FLAG #2. Once again facts and questions, not an attack.
Yes on C seems to have taxpayers footing the bill via city bias protecting those in power. Again, it is obvious by many, no wonder why POA did a poll there is fear Santa Clara will reject YES ON C.
Speaking of the poll.
The poll is the next concern for the YES ON C campaign. A texting poll done on Sunday February 24th sent out to Santa Clarans phone numbers.
It came from the POA with questions regarding Measure C and Mayor /council majority. There are random bond questions I feel to disguise the background of the poll which again is for Measure C.
Right there proves the intentions of the poll was for Measure C driven by the YES ON C bias. The poll also came 1 day before the townhall which is REDFLAG #2.
I could not ask the city clerk about 2016 and 2018 elections on Dark Money. In those elections Developers were funneling money through POA –(Police Officer Association) to elect, Tino Silva, Kathy Watanabe, Debi Davis, Teresa O”Neil, Mayor Gillmor, City Clerk Haggag and Police Chief Candidate Pat Nikolai. This proof is on filings of independent expenditures and donations for candidates like Tino Silva in 2016 who admitted taking $5,000 from developers I admire that transparent of him.
Yet, if we go after the Niners for money you have to look on the other hand…. the developers are funding candidates under the veil of the POA. FUNNELING is the word of the day, and that is dark money, gray money, money that is there with an agenda or trying to hide the sources. Same can be said in what happen in the 2018 Measure A campaign. In that campaign out-of-state sources were funding it. YES, THAT IS TRUE AND FACTUAL.
In 2018 Measure A was for 2 districts and deployed did same tactics now…. the City Clerk knows this as he was part of that campaign before he ran for city clerk.
Now 2 years later here we are with Measure C and it asked for 3 districts proving Santa Clara does not want to adapt and that it will do as little possible to comply with court orders. Those in the city and supporters of YES ON MEASURE C forget that the city submitted the 6-district plan to the court.
The city selected that draft plan and the judge accepted the 6-district model.
In return we gone and done the complete opposite. We initiate a charter review that was bias from the beginning. They selected 3 districts despite the fact that a majority of Santa Clarans wanted 6. We ignored that data because it didn’t fit the narrative of those in power. RED FLAG #4
This is why I am voting No on C and I ask others too.
Because all of the people who voted against the niners stadium (No on Measure J)- folks like Debbie Bress, Karen Hardy, Suds Jain and more are now voting NO ON C despite the niners influence. WHY? Because they know what’s going on …. They know this is the City/Gillmor playing politics with the niners.
It is suddenly strange bedfellows siding with niners. It does not mean everyone is a Niner candidate or sympathizer… it’s just means we are all on the right side of history.
Niners did something right by helping to support NO on a measure that essentially takes away voting rights.
I was there when Santa Clara Plays Fair started and those that were involved with that group would vote No on C.
What I saw at the town hall was that the two sides have flipped. Those that pushed me and majority of Santa Clarans to vote for the stadium (like mayor Gillmor, Kathy Watanabe, Debi Davis etc) are now anti stadium. Those who were against the stadium in 2010 today know the shill’s that pushed many to vote YES on Measure J, then YES on Measure A are the same shills that want you to vote YES on MEASURE C.
Just like the D.A.R.E. campaign, “JUST SAY NO” . SAY NO to this poor decision making. The record shows the failing patterns of these decision-makers.
VOTE NO ON C and take our city back from those who continue to sell it out.
Anthony Becker writes:
“I was there when Santa Clara Plays Fair started and those that were involved with that group would vote No on C.”
Just a small clarification–I was part of the small group that founded Santa Clara Plays Fair in 2007 shortly after the 49ers announced their intention to seek a public subsidy for a football stadium in Santa Clara. I was the one who connected the small group of concerned citizens, and I chaired the organization for many years.
I’m guessing you joined our mailing list at that early stage, and I appreciate the support. I’m also guessing that you were one of the hundreds of residents who helped in the campaign against Measure J, and I appreciate that too. I know we did not meet until several years after the Measure J campaign and the attempt to have a referendum on the deal that was finally adopted.
For those of us who lived through those campaigns, I think we all wish we had been wrong in our predictions about the influence outside money would continue to have in our elections. We tried to warn residents and the City Council that they needed to put the interests of Santa Clara first. Unfortunately, the predictions we made back then have been proven correct.
But even with my very negative experience running a campaign against the subsidy for the stadium–where we were outspent 500-1 (I’ve heard that it was the most money spent per yes vote than in any other election in US history–about $350 per yes vote)–my decision about Measure C will be based on the merits of the arguments for both sides, and I hope all of the residents of Santa Clara will do the same.
Wow, double WOW! That tells me they are running scared in spite of all the money they have already spent. In spite of the glossy fliers that arrive daily and the trolls on social media, they are still scared they are losing. This election season we are getting lessons on how to buy, or try to buy, and election. Here’s hoping they lose.
This is a pretty simple concept, not reporting campaign donations. I was surprised with all the questions. Some didn’t realize it wasn’t just for measure C. Wes and Becker seemed very confused.
Hosam did great job explaining dark money. I was surprised the opposition to measure C came just to interrupt Hosam explain the ordinance. Hopefully they also listened.
City of Santa Clara, thanks for the opportunity to come together and to let everyone know, we are awake, and we will not be fooled again. Looking forward to the next Town Hall Meeting.
One idea going forward, I think Mr. Haggag should have someone in the room to act as a Moderator, there was no need for some of the words and actions of a couple of people. It wasn’t bad, but a level of decorum should be the standard for sure.
isn’t York always crying poor, he can’t afford to pay the workers more at the stadium, his events make a loss, the Taxes are too high need them re distributed BUT MIRACULOUSLY has 600K and then some floating around to fight a Campaign because he wants control of a city? Be it 6 or 3 districts or NONE – Why does this person / company want to ‘own’ our city? Don’t debate how many seats we have or whether we have a minority person on council DEBATE why does one Person want to own our City?? Ask that question and Vote YES on measure C because in my mind there is more at stake here than whether there is one seat. two seats, six seats. We may never know the truth but this much we know that’s a whole lot of money to be spending on wining peoples votes. They bought this city to get the stadium built for a reason and now their cronies who helped them get it are discovering what its like to have them as ‘business partners’ they are throwing money that could have gone to higher wages, schools, low income housing, etc etc at you the VOTER. Vote Yes on taking our city back. So what if the Niners Cronies don’t want them here any more or have woken up and smelled the Roses to discover this is not a good deal. Lets Question why this Family / Corporation want to take control again. Its not because they like us. they already showed us how good a neighbor they are not.