By Robert Haugh
Last week, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Facebook forced Jed York to take down ads for Santa Clara Now.
The organization claimed to be a nonprofit but it didn’t really exist, according to the Chronicle. It looks like a front group for York and the team.
An early ad disclosed that 49ers CEO York was behind it. This was one from early this year:
Because of this advertising campaign, York was forced to register as a lobbyist because of the requirements of the City’s lobbyist ordinance.
York was using ads to influence the City Council’s decision on supporting the FIFA World Cup bid. That triggered his requirement to register.
Ads recently appeared to push for the City Council to accept the 49ers’ offer to settle their lawsuits against the City.
Here’s one, but it’s paid for by the team and not York:
The settlement discussions don’t have anything to do with Levi’s Stadium concerts and the stadium curfew. So the ads are interesting. They’re also really deceptive.
So would anyone really believe the support that comes in from these ads?
Maybe. Some Councilmembers (and reporters, unfortunately) are believing the numbers that the 49ers are putting out about the settlement. There’s no evidence that it’s accurate.
The team has refused to open its books as required by their City agreements. So the team’s numbers can be made up and deceptive. Just like Santa Clara Now.