By Robert Haugh
City Councilman Anthony Becker ended the last Santa Clara City Council meeting of the year by attacking Santa Clara News Online, residents who have written opinion pieces, Mayor Lisa Gillmor, and City staff.
One resident texted that “he’s like a bad mall Santa. I think he’s making a list and checking it twice.”
If you want to watch his tirade, you can see it here. Becker was not a happy camper.
But don’t make the mistake of clicking a few minutes later. Becker flipped a switch. He decided to wish everyone happy holidays and told them how much he enjoyed working with them.
Becker started by personally attacking me for something I didn’t write. No kidding again.
It was an opinion piece on this site by a Santa Clara resident.
Becker is right that there were some errors in the opinion piece. I was planning on correcting them in an investigative story on the same topic.
It would have been done by now, but some Councilmembers aren’t responding to simple questions. Becker is not one of them. I thank him for responding quickly.
But I’m really surprised Becker is upset about factual inaccuracies.
A couple hours before Becker’s late night tirade on Tuesday, he was called out for mistakes he made in a letter. Yup.
Karen Hardy and Gillmor pointed out a lot of factual inaccuracies in a letter that Becker wrote as an apology for the CVRA lawsuit.
You can watch Hardy’s brief statement followed by Gillmor.
Becker responded: “That’s why it was a draft letter. There were a lot of mistakes in there.”
No kidding. That’s what he said.
Becker’s draft letter was written in July and the mistakes were pointed out then on this site. It still hasn’t been corrected after six months.
So I now pledge to the Santa Clara community that I will correct the errors in a resident’s opinion piece written last week. And I will do it before Becker corrects the errors in his draft apology letter written six months ago.
But seriously, I think Becker is just upset that I criticize him.
I’m especially critical when Becker supports the 49ers after Jed York spent $3 million last year to get him, Suds Jain, and Kevin Park elected. These three never could get elected on their own. They were 0-6 in city elections before York opened his wallet. They may not want to admit it. But they know it.
I’m sure Becker prefers the coverage he gets in the Santa Clara Weekly/SVVoice. They never criticize him or the other Councilmembers known as the 49er Five.
The 49ers are a major ad sponsor for the Weekly/SV Voice. I know how critical the team is to the Weekly/Voice. I was a reporter there for years and was there when the stadium campaign happened in 2010.
In fact, that’s why I started this site in 2016. I think the Mission City deserves an independent voice.
I don’t have advertising. I’ve only received money to fight back against legal bullying by the Weekly/Voice’s Publisher Miles Barber.
And I capped my GoFundMe campaign donation amount to $2,000 because I didn’t want to owe anyone any favors.
Thanks to the Mission City community, I had the resources to defeat Barber – and I did. That victory gave me extra motivation.
I remain committed to calling out our elected leaders and others who I think are giving away what’s best about Santa Clara, my home.
That’s why I write and that’s why this site exists. And I’ll keep writing, even if it makes people like Becker unhappy.