Dominic Caserta Returns To Santa Clara City Hall– To Push Flavored Tobacco

By Robert Haugh

Last month, disgraced former Councilman Dominic Caserta returned to City Hall. A source familiar with the meeting says he’s pushing for flavored tobacco.

Caserta was accompanied by Tony Alexander, the former political director of UFCW Local 5 who does consulting now. UFCW Local 5 represents grocery clerks and cannabis employees.

Caserta and Alexander met with Councilman Suds Jain twice, on April 13 and 19. They met with Vice Mayor Raj Chahal on April 22.

Neither Caserta nor Alexander are registered as lobbyists on the City’s lobbyist database.

Last year, ​a California law banned the sale of flavored tobacco products.  But it was placed on hold when a referendum by the tobacco industry qualified for the November 2022 ballot.

According to a source, Alexander is helping the campaign.

Caserta has “sold himself to Tony as someone who can line up Santa Clara endorsements.”

“It’s a sad day for California when the money of Big Tobacco is able to delay the inevitable while continuing to addict and kill more Californians,” former state Sen. Jerry Hill told the Los Angeles Times. Hill authored the law before he left office.

Also, according to the paper:

“​The tobacco industry has raised more than $21 million so far for the campaign to overturn the ban, but health groups said Friday they are ready to fight back.

‘This is a battle between the people of California and Big Tobacco over the health, lives and future of our kids,’ said Matthew L. Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a health advocacy group that includes leaders of the American Cancer Society and American Heart Assn. ‘Big Tobacco is going to use every deceptive trick in their playbook just so they can continue to market and profit from hooking young kids on their candy-flavored products.’”


  1. Let’s see if any of the squad comes forward to push flavored tobacco to our kids. What good can come from taking a meeting with defamed Caserta?

    Guilt by association will be obvious by the stench.

    • The city did a pretty good survey
      and outreach to hear opinions of
      residents. Survey results say it
      all. I hope these yahoos read
      the survey results. Pretty clear
      how residents feel.

  2. Have Suds Jain and Raj Chahal never heard of former city councilman, Dominic Caserta, who was disgraced when his inappropriate sexual comments, touching and harassment on his campaign staff and even on his high school students was reported in 2018? Multiple police reports were filed on him in Santa Clara. He resigned from the city council when more and more claims of his sexually inappropriate behavior were reported and endorsers in his Santa Clara supervisor campaign began to back out because of these credible reports. And now Mr. Caserta has the unmitigated gall and arrogance to try to use our city council and Santa Clara to line his pockets with money from the flavored tobacco industry (while not registering as a lobbyist, which he should know is the law in our city), which harms young people by catering to their tastes and getting them hooked on nicotine?

    As a former (albeit disgraced) high school instructor, he should care about the health and welfare of young people. Instead, his behavior shows that he (still) cares only for himself. Mr. Jains and Mr Chahal would do well to log onto the nearest database (San Jose Inside would be a good place to start) and type “Dominic Caserta” into the search engine. The reports of his predatory behavior are well documented, and not one sitting councilman or councilwoman should consent to meet with him – EVER.

  3. A long standing simmering feud bubbles up in the Mission City. Dominic should not have dished someone who has the motor mouth of a tobacco spewing baseball coach and has connections to Jerry Hill. And perhaps as the former Councilman and former educator sucks on the teat of newfound consulting business he will endeavor to pay his past bills.

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