Mercury News Buries Story of Indicted Councilmember Anthony Becker’s Trial

By Robert Haugh

On Tuesday, the Mercury News ran two stories involving Indicted Santa Clara City Councilmember Anthony Becker.

They were even written by the same reporter Grace Hase.

One of the stories could result in Becker serving up to four years in prison. It was buried.

Becker’s trial for leaking and lying about a Grand Jury report was finally set. Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Daniel Nishigaya set a trial date for March 2024, almost a year after Becker was indicted.

Becker has delayed his trial with deceptive tactics. Becker said he was looking for a private attorney when there’s no evidence he was doing so or could afford one.

His public defender Christopher Montoya is trying to delay it longer.

Becker has refused to resign from the Council and will continue to collect his taxpayer funded paycheck while he awaits trial.

That story was buried on page 3 of the Local section.

The second story was about how Becker with his 49er Five colleagues Councilmembers Suds Jain and Kevin Park filed ethics charges against Stand Up for Santa Clara, a grassroots organization.

As Hase wrote in her story, the charges look frivolous. Stand Up for Santa Clara was created by the Mission City residents who successfully fought the 49ers’ attempt to take over the Youth Soccer Park.

The organization educates the public about how the 49ers control the Santa Clara City Council, but it does not engage in political campaigns. 

According to documents shared with Santa Clara News Online, they are a registered nonprofit, a fact that is not in Hase’s story.

Becker, Jain and Park falsely claim the organization is not registered.

That ethics complaint was on the Local section’s page 1. Wow.

To be fair to Hase, she doesn’t determine placement of her stories. It’s her editors.

But this is another in a long list of stories that show how bias the Mercury News is against Santa Clara and for the 49ers.  

Here’s just a few of the many examples Santa Clara News Online has documented in the past:

Mercury News Pro-49ers Bias Ignores Facts and Covers Up Law Breaking

A Tale of Two Newspapers: How the Mercury News and the Chronicle Covered the 49ers Rent Story

The Mercury News Doesn’t Like Change in Santa Clara or a Female Voting Bloc

How the San Francisco Chronicle Became the Paper of Record for the Santa Clara – 49ers Story


  1. I hope everything is in order with Stand Up for Santa Clara and I agree that this complaint is a quite frivolous one when one considers the scope of this organization and what has become the new normal in corporate spending on Santa Clara elections through independent expenditure committees. This includes of course the Forty Niners spending millions and also Related spending hundreds of thousands.

    But I disagree with your statement that Stand Up for Santa Clara does not engage in political campaigns. What I have seen of online posts by the group is political messaging that are attacks on council members who have and will run for election. I of course understand the reason for the attacks and believe a lot of the criticism is valid but this does not mean that they do not put out a lot of messaging that is essentially political campaigning against certain council members.

    So if the organization has paid for advertisements that are like the online posts I have seen then I hope that they have their ducks in a row when it comes to the proper organizational categorization and paperwork. It is best if they are above reproach even if the reproach is frivolous. I cannot imagine that they are receiving any large financial donations from any corporations or private interests who are putting money into them in order to mask donations that might be more appropriately given to a properly documented independent expenditure committee.

    • The rule is 2000 in contributions. If a sponsor pays for the ads, it does not become a major fppc issue unless it is done in a campaign and goes over 5 grand.

      Stand up filed a 501 c 3 earlier this month.

      Blupac was a 501c4. NEVER RECORDED CONTRIBUTORS.

      Park has FIVE ACTIVE fppc violations. 49ers 2
      The 49 page complaint alleges conflict of interest for stand up. That is an elected official rule. Accuses them of using gillmor office, mail not delivered. Wrong address. If stand up had used gillmor address and mail accepted, lg would have been liable, the three mailed it incorrectly.

      Accused stand up of using eic number.

      Did not list number

      Cited previous fppc complaint.

      Fppc rejected it.

      I assisted with only legit complaint on gabe foo. Check it.

      Though stand up and i had very bitter arguments in 2016, 2018, 2020, I back them in 2023. Why?
      We resolved our differences. We met, talked it over, exchanged concerns we had each other.


    • I recall reading that the complaint alleges eight thousand or more dollars being spent on ads on Facebook. I do not know the veracity of this allegation or how it relates to requirements for filing. I just hope that everything was done to the letter and any mistakes or oversights there might have been have been or will be fixed.

  2. Mr. Haugh
    Again all great points. As for the ailing San Jose Murky News… no surprise, none whatsoever. It’s an industry that is looking to find ways to stay afloat, and relevant.
    Sadly survival mode is where they are at right now.

    In our lifetime we will see the Print Newspaper just go away.
    Here are some examples of recently deceased modes of communication, or recreation.
    1. Phone Booths
    2. Land Lines, (What kid didn’t Dialed “PopCorn” as a kid?).
    3. Pagers
    4. Disc Music Albums
    5. 8-Track, Cassette Tape, DVD and CD players….etc

    By the way, I think Apple saved the wrist watch…so far.

    In truth….I did appreciated that our story was printed at all. I’m betting that sometime this week, Ms. Hase will be called into a backroom office and once again told how she is to view the World.
    Her job may be on the line because she actually printed something that might be deemed against the “King and his Court”.

    Did I mention that we all need to get more people registered to vote?

    Burt Field

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