By Robert Haugh
Last night during the City Council discussion, we learned that 49ers owner Jed York violated Santa Clara’s lobbyist ordinance.
According to City Clerk Hosam Haggag, York has spent at least $20,000 in ads for “Santa Clara Now” to get the Council to support a FIFA World Cup bid for 2026. York has not registered, even though it’s a legal requirement. Wow.
Haggag spoke up at the meeting, after Councilmembers referenced letters they’ve received supporting the bid. As readers of this site know, those letters were auto-generated. They came from a group that no one in town has heard of until they started posting Facebook ads recently.
Stand Up for Santa Clara created it’s own Facebook post that warns Mission City residents that York is capturing their personal information.
Last night, we also learned that 49ers president Al Guido has a major conflict of interest. According to City staff, Guido has signed the FIFA bid documents as “Chair” of the 49er Stadium Management Committee. But there’s no such role.
Guido is also the Chair of the Bay Area Host Committee. That’s the group that’s negotiating to bring the World Cup to Levi’s Stadium. So Guido is negotiating with himself. That’s a legal no-no and a double wow.
Councilwoman Karen Hardy is leading the Council effort on this issue. Last night, she called in from Disneyland just for the FIFA item.
But she couldn’t answer any questions presented by City staff about bid details or Guido’s conflict of interest.
Last November, Hardy presented the FIFA resolution and was asked about details then. That’s when she had a “deer in the headlights” look. Hardy still hasn’t done her homework on an important item. That deserves a triple wow.
The Council did pass a resolution supporting the bid, 6-0. Vice Mayor Suds Jain was absent.
For the resolution, Mayor Lisa Gillmor asked that a copy of Measure J be attached. That’s the 2010 measure that ensures that Mission City taxpayers won’t pay for stadium expenses.
Gillmor mentioned how Measure J has helped Santa Clara with other major events. In 2016 for the Super Bowl, Santa Clara got reimbursed for all expenses associated with the game. Other cities like San Francisco got stuck paying a $5 million bill.