Lisa Gillmor, Larry McColloch and Christian Pellecchia Battle 49ers’ “Deathstar” Campaign

By Robert Haugh

Yesterday, Mayor Lisa Gillmor co-signed an opinion piece with Larry McColloch (District 2 Council Candidate) and Christian Pellecchia (District 3 Council Candidate) in the Mercury News.

They touched on all the hot issues in Santa Clara:

  • The 49ers’ massive campaign spending to elect Councilmembers Anthony Becker, Raj Chahal and Karen Hardy;
  • The fact that the team hasn’t paid a dime to the City’s general fund in four years;
  • The Grand Jury Report says Becker, Chahal and Hardy have sold out Santa Clarans to help the 49ers;
  • A warning from an ethicist about Becker, Chahal, and Hardy’s unethical behavior and possible corruption; and
  • The firing of City Manager Deanna Santana and City Attorney Brian Doyle at the team’s request and replacing them at a cost that’s almost $3 million this year. Wow.

But they probably saved the best line in their second to the last paragraph.

Finally, it’s important to note that we face great odds to create higher ethical standards in Santa Clara. Santa Clara political campaigns usually spend $10,000 to $45,000. The 49ers have spent more than $3 million against us using mostly negative advertising. To say we are engaged in a David-versus-Goliath battle is an understatement. We feel like we’re up against the Death Star. However, we are willing to challenge a special interest using money and negative campaigns to control City Hall.

Star Wars fans would understand the feeling. So would any Mission City resident whose mailbox has been flooded with 49ers mail and screens running negative ads.

The three candidates close with the question that everyone seems to be asking these days:

For the sake of Santa Clara’s future, our voters have a clear choice: Do we want to be governed by an NFL football team or city leaders who are independent?

May the Force will be with them.


  1. Campagin season sucks, Death Star or not. But what really sucks is when candidates purposley portray themselves at the community level as someone they are not. Today, the Reclaim Our Downtown Group posted on Facebook a ceremony of giving a check to Briarwood Little League collected from a Go Fund Me account organized by a founding member of that group, Mary Grizzle (thank you Mary). In the video councilmdember Karen Hardy presents the check to a person in the little league whom she doesn’t even know the name off, if that’s not bad enough the Go Fund Me page shows she never even contributed. What it does show is that Lisa Gillmor did make a gracious contribution. Nice photo-op Hardy, what a phony you are.

  2. Regardless how you feel about my comment below, you must +1 for the Yoda quote above!

    Whether as a contributor on the city council or as the Mayor, Lisa Gillmor has been part of what she and Watanabe feel is a losing relationship with the 49ers organization. For years, there has been little more than constant bickering when it comes to Gillmor and the 49ers. A real leader would have identified the root cause of contention and designed plan to reach mutually beneficial objectives. Less than two weeks ago the Editorial Board of the Mercury News released an opinion piece titled, “Voters should end Gillmor era in Santa Clara.” Gilmor’s response to the same editors and community yesterday was, “Santa Clara shouldn’t be run by the 49ers.” I agree with both sentiments, vote Anthony Becker for Mayor and let’s work towards a mutually beneficial objectives with all of the city’s business partners!

  3. J Byron Fleck, “If the 49ers follow the MO of similar billionaire NFL owners, it gets much worse ahead.”

    This is one area where we agree. And this is precisely why we need to oust the 49er friendly council. Otherwise Becker and his gang will continue to give away the farm – one $3 million sign at a time.

    • The question then becomes, how much should Santa Clara residents be willing to pay in legal fees to go after the 49ers? What’s the upper limit knowing the 49ers have infinite more resources than the city. That’s why I suggest to keep the powder dry, ie don’t blow money on fighting every dispute. Save up for when the 49ers inevitably demand major remodel for stadium or they (threaten?) to move. That day is coming.

  4. There were several proposals for the land the 49ers stadium now sits on I recall. Run of the mill business companies for one. Now we hear in return for the selection of the stadium over all other proposals, this team has not paid a token dime into the City’s general fund coffers in four years. ATTENTION voters guess who will be left holding this empty bag (with a gaping hole still in the bottom of it) if the 49ers complete their brazen purchase of City Hall?

    • You had a pliant City Council who supported the disaster. Only two left: Gillmor and Watabne to get out. Vote Becker, Hardy and Chalal. It’s just damage control as best they can.

    • 58% of Santa Clara voters voted for the debacle that is the 49ers stadium, promoted, most prominently by now Mayor Gillmor and Councilmember Watabane. It’s just damage control going forward. If the 49ers follow the MO of similar billionaire NFL owners, it gets much worse ahead.

    • J. Byron Fleck,

      It was not “most prominently” Lisa Gillmor nor Kathy Watanabe promoting the stadium

      The most prominent public figures promoting the stadium were then mayor Patty Mahan and councilperson Jamie Matthews and chief of police Steve Lodge and former Councilperson John McLemore and then former councilperson Lisa Gillmor and former city manager Don von Raesfeld as well as state senator Elaine Alquist. And Kathy Watanabe appeared within montages of a bunch of other people who were not well known as well as quite a few who were.

      Mahan and Matthews and McLemore were at least as prominent as Gillmor in the campaign.

      If you are trying to revise history and pretend as if Gillmor and Watanabe were the tip of the Measure J spear you need to try to pull that sham with people who do not remember the history well.

      Your argument is rhetorically disingenuous to begin with because the Measure J battle is over and Gillmor and Watanabe are at the forefront of fighting to keep the Forty Niners honest in managing the stadium that we Santa Clarans own.

      You can try to go back in time and relitigate Measure J but the current battle is over transparency over stadium management. The Forty Niners through their allies on council are denying us full financial accounting access to be able to verify that they are managing the stadium honestly. Their council bloc has given us no reason to believe that their voting on stadium issues is not tied to the fact that the Forty Niners have spent around $7,000,000 to help get them all into office or keep them in office or promote them into higher office.

    • How did you vote on Measure J subsidy to a billionaire NFL owner from Santa Clara residents? Did you vote yes or no? Funny (sad) no one I can find anyone who will fess up to voting for Measure J?!?! As 58% of Santa Clara voters did vote yes.

    • How did u vote on Measure J. Residents are stuck with the consequences. Right?

  5. The consultants working against Lisa, according to the 460s, carry the name
    CRIMINAL LLC. The 49ers hired a company that celebrates crime on its website.

    • Byron is at the Gilbeys. 49ers are spending 4 million to elect Becker to hold them accountable???? Jain Park Becker have meetings once a week with 49ers to be their watchdog??? Didnt fleck refere to Mahan, Becker’s mentor, as something that rhymes with witch?? Fleck, something that rhymes with bore

    • 1993. Spring 1994

      A man named kept visiting an office in the Franklin Square. Man named Fleck. Not post office, not for flowers, hmmm wanted some GG support.

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