FPPC Rejects Jed York Campaign Complaint Against the City

By Robert Haugh

The City circulated a mailer in early October laying out the facts of how the 49ers have sued the City multiple times.

The City has never sued the 49ers.  But a lot of people don’t know that and assume the City is antagonizing the team. It might be because of bad reporting.

The City’s information was also shared on social media.

This effort was decided at a September 29 Stadium Authority meeting. It was a unanimous vote.

The next day, on September 30, Jed York set up a campaign committee to elect four Council members.

York is trying to take control of the City Council by electing the following people:

  • Anthony Becker (District 6),
  • Harbir Bhatia (District 1),
  • Suds Jain (District 5),
  • Kevin Park (District 4).

York is officially opposing the following candidates:

  • Rob Mezzetti (District 6),
  • Bob O’Keefe (District 5),
  • Councilmember Teresa O’Neill (District 4),
  • Councilmember Kathy Watanabe (District 1)

On October 1, the law firm for Jed’s campaign committee, Miller and Olsen, filed a complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC).

They argued that the City’s mailer was a political communication paid for by taxpayers. 

The FPPC rejected their complaint last week.  Here’s what they concluded:

The Enforcement Division found that the mass mailing and email sent on or around October 2020 by the City of Santa Clara did not contain express advocacy or unambiguously urge a particular result in an election with regard to either ballot measures or candidates on the November 3, 2020 General Election ballot. Since the mass mailing and email in question did not constitute campaign related material under the Act, we will not open an investigation into this matter.

This is the second time this year that the FPPC has received a complaint against the City from someone complaining about information the City has sent out.

Former Councilmember Patty Mahan attempted to do the same thing in March, 2020. But her complaint was more personal.

A couple weeks before the March primary, Mahan filed a complaint against Mayor Lisa Gillmor, City Clerk Hosam Haggag, City Manager Deanna Santana and City Attorney Brian Doyle.

The FPPC also rejected Mahan’s complaint.

18 comments

  1. I must disagree with Bill Bailey and Jed York’s Favored son….

    Suds Jain, as a son of immigrants, certainly has been blessed by this great country. Most of us children of immigrants are gracious and express gratitude for our good fortune. Suds Jain was fortunate to earn a slot at MIT, one of the best technical schools in this country. Yet, contrary to his views today, he did not step aside and allow less fortunate students, like an African-American or a Hispanic student, to have a better life. Sad! So, Suds Jain received his elite education, and, as he admits, he designed semiconductor integrated circuits for a quarter of a century (i.e., 25 years!). During the later years of his career, the semiconductor industry in which he worked shamelessly dumped toxic waste throughout our beloved Santa Clara, thereby poisoning our ground water. The US Government (i.e., the EPA) identify a number of “SUPERFUND” (danger!!!) sites in Santa Clara, which include toxic waste. Santa Clara city’s district 6 has a toxic plume extending from neighboring Cupertino via Santa Clara into Calabazas Creek, which flows through our city. The plume originates from the old Intersil/Siemens Superfund Site and the plume includes volatile organic compounds (“VOCs”) in soil on- and off-site. The primary contaminant is trichloroethene (“TCE”). Santa Clara city’s districts 1 and 2 have other toxic plumes.

    Suds is not directly responsible for the poisonous discharge of the semiconductor industry that provided him his wealth, which, unlike most Santa Clarans, gifted him an early retirement at 50 years old with a $2.5 million house.

    Yet Suds said recently: “In the old days, a plastics factory could set up and dump all their toxic waste into your river. And the justification was its bringing jobs and money to our community so we have to let them do this,” Jain said. “Then we had the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act say ‘This isn’t acceptable.’ I see traffic as a form of pollution.” See sanjosespotlight.com

    Sounds like Suds is OK with his semiconductor industry dumping toxic waste into our environment in Santa Clara, just not a plastics factory. Sigh. Transition from engineer to politician is a heart-breaking journey.

    But what crusade would a smart, rich, retired MIT engineer do in “retirement?” Would he expend his skills to help, in any way he can, to help clean up the toxic waste originating in an industry that made him rich? No, he is too smart. So… as a “politician,” he went for the “easy” fixes… he is against climate change and plastic bags. Why? Because he believes that Santa Clarans are dumb enough to agree that his position on climate change and plastic bags are worthy of a vote. He “talks” about fixing climate change, without proposing solutions, just like at his rich, wealthy, Kona Kai Country Club member: http://konakaiclub.com/uploads/1/2/5/3/125312307/2-november_2019_-_newsletter.pdf

    Question: will Suds, if elected, set a PROVABLE goal measuring a change that improves climate change during his term? I doubt it. But if he is bold enough to commit a provable and measurable improvement to climate change that HE ALONE implements, I will WHOLE-HEARTEDLY endorse him in second term. My guess is I’d be holding my breath….. for an abnormal length of time.

    Suds live in District 5, which, coincidentally does not have a Superfund Site! hmmmm….. what does he know that we don’t? In view of the foregoing, I ask Santa Clarans to now and forever REJECT Suds—allow him to enjoy retirement without meddling in our lives!!

    • And electing Bob O’Keefe – a candidate with absolutely no experience in government – is going to fix all of this….how, exactly?

      Suds was an ongoing member of the city commissions actually helping to make Santa Clara a better city in which to live – a commitment that neither you nor I seem to be able to match.

      I read more jealousy into your statements above than any constructive criticism.

      • Mr. William Bailey, thank you for your response. However, you do not contest, and, further, do not refute the veracity of what is set forth regarding Suds. First, any non-politician or government hack is BETTER than one already there. Most politicians who have “government experience” have already learned how to grift and secretly take corrupt $$$. So, in my view, having no exposure to government corruption is a GOOD THING. Second, yes, Suds was/is on the planning committee, as is another Jed York bought-and-paid-for hack, Anthony Becker. Regardless, under Suds’ time on the planning committee (for which they provide guidance for zoning and development), our city of Santa Clara is being over-developed without concerns for traffic and quality of life of its current citizenry. And personally, I, as well as many in our community, do not believe that the “square” Cold War Soviet-style Block Multi-family architecture is appealing to our beautiful city and culture. Yet, under his watch, they proliferate…. and continue to do so! So, I disagree that his efforts on the planning committee is “benefiting” Santa Clarans. Third, we live in Silicon Valley, which is peppered with multimillionaires. Jealousy on my part? I say pshaw! But I am disgusted when wealthy individuals use their monetary power to subjugate, control, and ruin the lives of “little people.” From his public comments, Suds, unfortunately, aims to do just that and interfere with OUR LIVES. Down with Jed York and those 4 who sold their souls! Long Live Santa Clara!

        • Looks like you can’t answer my question: How does the election of Bob O’Keefe fix your problem?

          If you truly deplore what “multimillionaires” are doing to our city with their money, then you need only pull back the curtain on the _real_ reason that Jed York’s Astroturf committee is doing with those so-called endorsements.

          Your envy basically undermines any argument you think you’re making above.

          • ZZZZzzz. Snore. Yet AGAIN, you ignore all the arguments set forth and respond with “envy.” As response, implying I am envious. You are devoid with cogent and reasonable arguments against any of the points raised. You support your Lackey, Suds Jain, without blind devotion. Gotta hand him that! Maybe your exulted leader, Suds Jain, is “envious.” What to you give a man that has everything? What does a man desire that has everything? POWER! When RICH and WEALTHY individuals, like Suds Jain, has everything, what does he want other than naked, merciless power? William Bailey, you SUPPORT Jed York and Suds Jain, both individual that are BOTH WEALTHY, and desire to do nothing more than gain MORE POWER over the peoples of Santa Clara!!! JED and SUDS–please leave us alone!!! Go spend your $$$ in Tahiti or some other rich tropical island!!!

  2. Bill Bailey, won’t you Please Come Home!

    Love the moniker, but…. your position, I am sorry to say, is “seriously lacking.”

  3. Hey Bill, We want someone in district 5 that can vote on all issues important to us.

    I’m sure Kevin will pull maybe 24%. It’s more than his efforts deserve, but $750,000!

    • Bob, please take the trouble to read Kevin Park’s own Form 460 – the largest contribution he got was only $500.00, and all of the itemizable contributions he got were from Santa Clara Residents.

      An astro-turf “committee” turning out untruthful bits of cardboard certainly isn’t giving Kevin Park any of its cash.

      As I said: Neither Kevin nor Suds is taking money from special interests, and most assuredly not from the 49ers front office. The so-called “endorsements” by Jed York are nonsense. Anybody can say anything they want – and based on what’s been dripping out of my mailbox this last month, they’re saying a lot of nothing.

      Bob O’Keefe sat on not one city commission, not one committee and has participated in the work of our city not nearly as much as Kevin and Suds have – let’s put real residents on our city council, and not opportunists.

      • Mr. Bailey
        To use the term, “so called endorsements”… on the back of $750,000 per candidate contribution is beyond explanation. That’s a lot of money to spend for any office, even the Presidential race…
        Not to mention a Santa Clara City Council seat where the annual pay is $24,000… yeah that’s a lot of money. It would take a City Council person just over 31 years of service to our city to equal this “so called endorsement”.

        When I first read this, I thought you were trying to be funny. Then I saw your other post, and I knew you were actually trying to be serious.

        If you are really trying to help Mr. Park, and Mr. Jain, I would suggest trying something else.
        If you don’t believe me, why don’t you ask them, hopefully they will fill you in how foolish some of your statements are.

        Burt Field

        • Mr. Field,

          I fail to see how pointing out the facts of the so-called “endorsements” is foolish.

          Neither Suds nor Kevin has received a single penny from the 49ers, their front office or anyone else associated with Jed York.

          Read the 460s. I have. All of them are on file with the City Clerk’s Office.

          1…..The $750k figure is totally bogus – it’s nothing more than what Mr. York’s little committee has chosen to spend on the misleading nonsense filling up your mailbox and mine – but by no means is any of it a cash contribution to either of those two District 4 & 5 campaigns.

          2…..Both Kevin and Suds FULLY SUPPORT 10:00pm weekday curfew for Levi’s Stadium. This is one of the best things that we can do for neighbors in District 1: Force the 49ers to honor the agreement they made when we agreed to subsidize their stadium for them.

          3…..Any “endorsement” of Kevin or Suds is nothing more than a slap at Lisa’s Gillmor’s put-up job involving Mr. O’Keefe. That’s all it is.

          I’m sorry if the difference was too subtle for you. But I stand on the facts as I related them.

          If you think you can refute those, please dig in.

  4. When the 49ers withheld their endorsement for Bob O’Keefe in District 5, that was nothing more than childish playground games directed against Lisa Gillmor, who hand-picked Bob O’Keefe to run.

    Districts 4 & 5: Please visit the websites for Suds Jain and Kevin Park, You will learn that THEY FIRMLY SUPPORT THE 10:00pm WEEKDAY CURFEW for the benefit of our neighboring Santa Clarans in District 1.

    Both of these candidates have been on the city’s own Committees and Commissions, and they’ve got the experience that their opponents don’t. They’re real residents. They don’t take contributions from entrenched political interests, and they are most emphatically NOT taking a single penny from Jed York.

    The so-called “49ers endorsements” are nothing-burgers.

    We’re voting for Stadium Authority Directors as well as City Councilmembers. I’ll be voting for Suds without reservation. If you live in District 4, please cast your vote for Kevin Park.

    –> Putting these two candidates on our City Council will do more to keep Santa Clara free of the pernicious influence of Jed York and the 49ers’ front office than anything else we could possibly do.

    -=0=-

    • All we keep hearing is “…NOT taking a single penny from Jed York”. Interesting how they never explain why on earth Jed York would spend 3 MILLION DOLLARS to get them elected? Because Jed cares about diversity? Because Jed cares about the city of Santa Clara and wants nothing but the best representation for its residents? If you believe that you’re pretty naive.

      Why would a billionaire owner of a foosball team who – gasp – happens to play in Santa Clara in a multi-billion-dollar business suddenly care oh-so-much about the City and who’s on the Council?

      • SV Voter,

        Those so-called endorsements are a wheeze of hot air – it’s just the 49ers’ front office huffing and puffing. Nothing more than a slap at Lisa Gillmor, fronting for Bob O’Keefe for the District 5 seat.

        Ignore Jed’s astroturf committee, and examine who’s actually been doing the committee and commission work. That’s Suds (District 5) and Kevin (District 4).

        It certainly has not been been the opportunists supported by the entrenched interests already on our Council.

        “Why would a billionaire owner of a foosball team who – gasp – happens to play in Santa Clara in a multi-billion-dollar business suddenly care oh-so-much about the City and who’s on the Council?”

        —Because he cares not half as much about who gets on the City Council as who becomes a Santa Clara Stadium Authority Director.

        A lot of the mail-in ballots are probably already cast. But if you haven’t sent yours in yet, here’s your chance to get residents with experience on your Santa Clara City Council:

        Suds Jain, for District 5
        Kevin Park for District 4

    • Thanks Richard… I can picture him walking away with his bat and ball, screaming “Mommy, they don’t yike me”.
      We all knew kids like this.
      On my street, the same one I live on today, we had three kids who could play together. My best friend, (Remember I only had two to choose from) would tell me, “Billy’s parents have to tie a pork chop around his neck just so the dog will play with him”.
      If Jed lived on my street, I’d play with Billy first.
      Thanks for the laugh
      Burt Field

Leave a Reply