By Robert Haugh
Looks like Jed York is serious about taking over the Santa Clara City Council.
We’ve been hearing stories for a while that the 49ers’ owner has been telling people that he would make a big move to take over the City. York sure did that yesterday.
York dropped $250,000 into a new committee to elect: Anthony Becker, Harbir Bhatia, Suds Jain and Kevin Park. Last week, he opened the committee with $51,500. Wow.
That’s over 10x the voluntary campaign expenditure limit of $25,000 for Council races. Double wow.
York thinks Becker, Bhatia, Jain and Park will be 49er friendly when it comes to things like lowering stadium rent or changing the curfew that protects our neighborhoods. Both are major things the 49ers have been fighting the City for.
The official name of the Committee is Citizens for Efficient Government and Full Voting Rights. That’s a good clue about their strategy. It fits with a poll conducted in Santa Clara a few weeks ago.
According to some of our neighbors who got emails, texts and calls, pollsters asked a lot of questions about City Manager Deanna Santana’s salary and travel.
The pollsters also tested Santa Clara’s opposition to the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) lawsuit.
We’re glad the City is appealing the CVRA lawsuit. We don’t think Santa Clara voters are racist.
In fact, a judge had to lower the established threshold for racially polarized voting to create six districts. So we think the City will win the appeal.
But look for York to use the racial argument in the campaign.
Don’t be surprised if his brochures feature the Asian Law Alliance and the local NAACP, groups the 49ers work closely with.
Both groups were mentioned in a story yesterday by a reporter friendly to the 49ers: Ramona Giwargis of San Jose Spotlight.
Giwargis was critical about the Santa Clara Police Officers Association raising money from the Related Companies to pay for brochures for “all white” candidates.
Carolyn Schuk of the Weekly/SVVoice wrote a similar story yesterday criticizing the POA. Schuk has been a 49er friendly reporter for a long time.
The amount raised by the POA from Related: $25,000. (yup, not a typo, $25,000).
Schuk and Giwargis did not mention York’s committee or contribution.
This is a developing story that we’ll be following closely.