A couple of years ago, the magazine Vanity Fair gave San Jose positive treatment in a Michael Lewis piece that sympathized with Mayor Chuck Reed's stand on pensions. Alas, how fickle are the media: The January 2014 edition of the magazine includes a trashing of the would-be "Capital of Silicon Valley" by architectural critic Paul Goldberger.

In a piece that talks about the bold new architectural ventures by Silicon Valley companies in San Francisco and the Peninsula, Goldberger writes, "it's curious how indifferent the Silicon Valley culture seems to be about a city that is just beside it: San Jose."

Acknowledging that the city does have Adobe and a few smaller companies, Goldberger speculates how different things might have been if Apple had asked Norman Foster to design a new tower in downtown San Jose rather than locate its campus in Cupertino. (In the 1980s, then-Mayor Tom McEnery actually did try to lure Apple to downtown San Jose.)

Then the writer delivered a parting shot: "What's more likely is that San Jose will remain almost entirely off the Silicon Valley radar, while the rest of the region will change -- slowly -- for the better." Ouch.

The city's director of economic development, Kim Walesh, answered by pointing out that Goldberger had ignored the new Samsung building in North San Jose, which is being designed by the same architect, NBBJ, that works with Google and Amazon.

"Goldberger also missed the point about the future," she said by email. "Make no bones about it, San Jose stands alone in the valley in welcoming the kind of dense, high-rise, urban-form development that Goldberger advocates and that more and more companies want."

Mayor Reed throws his weight behind 'Chappie'

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed has proved popular with voters in his own campaigns and efforts to pass ballot measures.

But he's been cautious with his endorsement for candidates in this primary election season. As he enters his final year in office with most of his City Council allies seeking to succeed him in the June primary, he has declined to name a favorite.

So it did catch our eye this week when Charles "Chappie" Jones proudly announced he's got Reed's endorsement as he seeks the council seat of termed-out Reed ally and mayoral contender Pete Constant in western San Jose's District 1.

Who, you ask? His campaign website describes Jones as a 52-year-old business manager at Apple who grew up in Sacramento and moved to San Jose years 20 years ago, where he and his wife have raised two children now in their late teens.

It points to a June 2012 Wall Street Journal article before the 2012 vote on Reed's pension reform Measure B that quoted his supportive remarks questioning the cost of public safety pensions "at the expense of community centers, parks and potholes."

It quotes Reed saying Jones' "leadership in taking difficult positions because he believed they were right convinces me he would serve District 1 and the city as a whole with integrity."

Jones faces plenty of competition in a race that may well go to a November runoff. Democratic state Assemblyman Paul Fong has set up shop in the district to make a run for Constant's seat, and he is expected to enjoy generous support from unions that see Reed's agenda as unfair to government workers. Other hopefuls we've also told you about include Tim Gildersleeve, Robert Levy, Susan Marsland, Richard McCoy and Art Zimmerman.

The snickering over Reed's short coattails after the defeat of his endorsed council hopefuls like Hon Lien and Larry Pegram seems to have subsided some since Councilman Johnny Khamis' 2012 election.

Cortese, Nguyen launch mayoral campaigns

A couple of more mayoral campaigns officially kicked off last week. Supervisor Dave Cortese launched himself at the Unify Event Center on Thursday evening, counting among his marquee supporters Assembly members Paul Fong, Mark Stone and Bob Wieckowski; fellow Supervisors Ken Yeager and Cindy Chavez; and San Jose City Councilmen Don Rocha, Kansen Chu and Ash Kalra.

Also leaving the launchpad was San Jose Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen, who was set to celebrate the beginning of her campaign at Dynasty Seafood Restaurant on Saturday and listed among her supporters Empire Broadcasting President Bob Kieve, Cupertino Mayor Gilbert Wong, Los Gatos Mayor Steve Leonardis, Campbell Mayor Rich Waterman, Campbell Vice Mayor Evan Low, Franklin-McKinley school trustee Buu Thai, and Santa Clara Valley Water District board members Nai Hsueh and Linda LeZotte.

Rosen, attorneys union continue to do battle

Like a low-grade fever, the power struggle between Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen and the government attorneys union dominated by prosecutors continues to fester without a cure in sight.

Relations have heated up recently over three issues -- contract negotiations, Rosen's choice of a prosecutor to head the office's misdemeanor team and the fierce competition to fill two elected posts on the board of the Government Attorneys Association.

The battle over contract negotiations is too technical to unspool. Suffice it to say, the association claims Rosen made a power grab to supplant the county supervisors at the bargaining table that delayed negotiations for six weeks before he backed down under criticism from county unions. The Rosen administration vehemently denies it.

That fracas helped set the stage for a fiercely fought association election. The two candidates in Rosen's camp -- prosecutors Cindy Hendrickson and James Leonard -- lost in a landslide to prosecutors Mark Duffy and Kevin Smith. Both Leonard and Hendrickson had defended Rosen's controversial decision to make an end run around the union contract by quietly granting extra paid time off to supervising attorneys whose bonus pay had been cut under the agreement.

But Leonard landed well anyway.

The day before the election ended last week, Rosen named him to run the misdemeanor unit, typically staffed by new attorneys who need a helping hand.

He beat out at least 13 other internal candidates to replace James Gibbons-Shapiro, whom Rosen appointed to his top-level executive team.

This week's items were written by Scott Herhold, John Woolfolk, Tracey Kaplan and Paul Rogers. Send tips to internalaffairs@mercurynews.com, or call 408-920-5782.