By Robert Haugh
49ers CEO Jed York was recently forced to register as a lobbyist in Santa Clara.
In February, Santa Clara News reported that York was spending money to influence Santa Clara City Council decisions.
But he wasn’t doing it under his own name. York is hiding behind a shadowy organization called “Santa Clara Now.”
During a City Council meeting, the 49er Five mentioned emails they were getting from Santa Clara Now to support the 49ers’ FIFA World Cup bid.
City Clerk Hosam Haggag reported that York was the creator of the organization. Since he was spending more than $5,000 to influence the City Council, he was required to register as a lobbyist.
York has never registered as a lobbyist in Santa Clara.
After being sent a warning letter by City staff, York was forced to register.
At the February City Council meeting, Haggag also said that York started spending money on Facebook ads on January 13.
But that was weeks before the public knew the FIFA issue was coming to the City Council. Hmmm.
The 49er Five meet with the team regularly to discuss Council agenda items.
They did not publicly disclose at the February Council meeting whether they discussed Santa Clara Now with York or other team officials.
Santa Clara Now looks like the latest York attempt to influence Santa Clara politics.
In 2016, York was reportedly behind the scandalous dark money group BluPac.
BluPac tried to take over the Santa Clara City Council that year but failed. They were also fined by both the City and the FPPC.
In 2020, York succeeded in taking over the City Council by spending $3 million to elect Anthony Becker, Suds Jain and Kevin Park.
The three had never won a Santa Clara election before. They were a combined 0-6.
Since taking office, Becker, Jain and Park have repaid York.
They’ve joined Councilmembers Karen Hardy and Raj Chahal to vote for every 49ers request since they’ve been in office. The total runs into multiple millions of dollars, and counting.
This is a developing story.