The 49er Five Ignore Grand Jury and Insult Santa Clara Portuguese Community

By Robert Haugh

The agenda for last night’s Santa Clara City Council meeting was looking routine.

But because of public testimony, it was not boring.

Santa Clara business leader Kirk Vartan reminded Mission City residents that exactly one year ago, the Civil Grand Jury released it’s report on how the 49er Five sell out our City to the team.

The well documented report “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” was rejected by the 49er Five who won’t follow its recommendations to stop giving away city tax dollars to the 49ers and act more ethically.

But Vartan reminded us that indicted Councilmember Anthony Becker was the worst offender and most unethical Councilmember.

During public presentation, Vartan illustrated how Becker leaked the report and lied about it. Becker faces a felony charge and could serve as much as four years in prison.

Vartan also pointed out that the 49er Five insulted the Santa Clara Portuguese community at the State of the City address.

During a performance by Filarmonica Uniao Portuguesa De Santa Clara, the 49er Five walked off stage. 


Becker responded to Vartan’s presentation saying that City staffer Michelle Templeton told them to leave.

Becker blames City staff and names names.  Double wow.

But Councilmember Kathy Watanabe said that was untrue. She heard Templeton tell all the Councilmembers they could voluntarily leave at any time. Watanabe decided to stay because it would be rude to leave early, she said.

But it looks like the 49er Five have a different standard of behavior and courtesy than Watanabe.

“The Portuguese community and the Portuguese band are deserved an apology,” Watanabe said.

Because of the past behavior of the the 49er Five, Santa Clara News Online speculates that the Grand Jury will get an apology before the Portguese community.

Editor’s Note: The 49er Five are Councilmembers Anthony Becker, Raj Chahal, Suds Jain, Karen Hardy and Kevin Park.

Jed York spent $3 million in November 2020 to elect Becker, Jain, and Park. They were previously 0-6 in Santa Clara elections. Chahal and Hardy have received gifts from the team without reporting them and received $1 million each for their elections in November 2022.

In 2022, the team spent approximately $2.5 million for Becker in his failed attempt to unseat Mayor Lisa Gillmor.

The 49er Five met with the team on an almost weekly basis and have voted to help the team win millions of dollars in concessions from the City since December 2020.


  1. It is getting weird out there. A day after Vartan’s impressive presentation, Jain was firing off emails to his critics insulting them for their disability and attacking the Mayor and people criticizing Becker. He got very mean. Guess the truth hurts. All Vartan is put out what is already in the public domain. If Vartan wants to do that, it is fair game. If Jain had not began these secret meetings, no grand jury report, no indictment. No secret meetings, no rush to support to Gillmor. LG is mayor and Becker is indicted due to Jain’s stupidity. If Field had been reappointed, no traction on all this. It is their fault

  2. Well
    I sure hope this has all been worth it to all of them. They are all equally complicit in the systematic breaking down of our City and its structure.
    Budgets? ..Who cares.
    Our Future? Ask Jed Baby, or I guess Al Guido
    Gone are the Days of the “Best Interest of the Residents” even mattering or a concern.

    Tip… let’s revisit “Measure J”.
    Let’s see how close we are to honoring what the residents voted to support.
    Let’s also filter out the BS the 49ers are trying to sell us, I know it’s a lot, but we are intelligent people, who can make intelligent choices and decisions.

    Another Tip… how do you know when the 49ers are lying to us?
    You already know that answer….
    Sorry I can’t laugh it’s just too real.

    Thanks Burt Field

  3. Kirk Vartan is becoming a very key advocate for ethics. This is a great contribution. He deserves applause.

  4. Happy anniversary, becker Hardy jain Chahal and park! What a difference a year makes. None. You’re just as rude and even worse. Hope Jed gave you something nice as an anniversary gift!

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