Oakland attorney Doug Boxer, the son of U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, is a sworn foe of bringing the A's baseball team to San Jose. The 47-year-old political consultant is a co-founder of Let's Go Oakland, which is organizing the effort to build a stadium in Oakland and keep the team. The organization was recently behind the effort to get the upper-deck tarps removed for playoff games.
So it was more than passing strange when Boxer popped up as a consultant for the effort to move the Golden State Warriors to San Francisco. He's been hired to help the team navigate the tricky currents of the State Lands Commission and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.
Is there a tiny bit of, uh, hypocrisy lurking here? We couldn't reach Boxer for comment. But the San Francisco Business Times asked him that question. And his response?
"The entire Bay Area shares one NBA team, its fans are all over the region, and the best place for it to be situated is right in the middle of the whole region," the newspaper quoted Boxer as saying.
Here at IA, we may not be quite as agile as Boxer. But we're wondering whether he's a guy that Mayor Chuck Reed should have on his side. Couldn't he craft an equally convincing rationale for San Jose?
Shirakawa pushes his guy for county schools
As the Santa Clara County Board of Education weighs who should fill a vacant seat on its board, it's getting heavily lobbied by county Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr. and his chief of staff Eddie Garcia. In pushing for Javier Gonzalez, they argue that he was active in the board's redistricting efforts earlier this year.
But they don't mention that the three of them successfully got the board to gerrymander a new district that seems just slightly odd but tailor-made for Gonzalez.
He is one of five applicants the board will interview on Wednesday. Generally, County Board trustee areas follow school district boundaries. Gonzalez lives in San Jose Unified, but is applying for a seat representing an area covered by three East Side districts plus his Washington-Guadalupe neighborhood.
Those neighborhoods have been represented by Craig Mann, who was redrawn out of the district and who's now running for the Evergreen Community College board.
Gonzalez works for the California Restaurant Association, a heavyweight in the campaign against Measure D to raise San Jose's minimum wage. The other contenders are Darcie Green of San Jose, a community and government relations manager at Kaiser Permanente South Bay and also a trustee of the Alum Rock School District; Jessica Rodriguez of San Jose, a preschool teacher; Kendra Fujino of San Jose, a secondary-school teacher, and Anita Sunseri of San Jose, a juvenile justice commissioner with Santa Clara County.
Reed's backing is sort of good news for Khamis
In the neck-and-neck race for San Jose's District 10 council seat, where financial adviser/insurance agent Johnny Khamis is facing off against sportscaster Robert Braunstein, Khamis last week picked up three significant endorsements: Mayor Chuck Reed, and former San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce bosses Jim Cunneen and Pat Dando (she also is a former longtime District 10 councilwoman.)
Of course, pundits are the first to point out that Reed's endorsement has been an unlucky charm in several races: In the June primary, for example, he endorsed police detective Tam Truong in the District 4 race against incumbent Kansen Chu, a failed follow-up bid to oust Chu in 2007, when Reed endorsed businesswoman Hon Lien. In 2010, he endorsed Larry Pegram, co-founder of a local group that supports banning same-sex marriage, in the District 9 race over Don Rocha. The same year, he endorsed retired San Jose Police captain Richard Calderon for Santa Clara County Sheriff over then three-term incumbent Laurie Smith.
Nevertheless, Khamis -- who had been a member of Reed's 2006 transition team after the mayor's victory -- was happy to have his blessing. "I'm deeply honored," said Khamis of Reed's nod. "His approval rating in my district is in the 70 percent range in the job he's done for the city, and getting costs under control." Khamis called Dando "a legend'' in the district, and is happy to note that Cunneen is a district resident.
Meanwhile, in the tit-for-tat department: San Jose code enforcement officials in late September fined Braunstein's campaign $250 for illegally posting an election banner at the intersection of Almaden Expressway and Coleman Road. Payment is due within 30 days of the date the citation was issued.
Missing Milpitas mailbox creates furor
The ongoing feud between Milpitas City Councilwoman Debbie Giordano and her ex-husband kicked up a notch this summer after he videotaped her removing his mailbox from the home they once shared.
Giordano, who is running for re-election against six others, can be seen on the morning of June 6 taking the mailbox off its post in front of the home. The clip was played by a friend of her husband's in front of a packed Milpitas City Council meeting on Oct. 2.
Giordano has since defended her actions to her constituents.
"As many of you have pointed out," she wrote in an email, "every time I run for election, my ex-husband decides to try and hurt my campaign. Once again this is true."
Giordano said the hand-painted mailbox was a gift from her mother when Giordano was living at the home. She said she considered it a family heirloom. Because it was rusting and looked bad, she said, she gave it to a friend to restore and returned it after about a week. "I did it as a gift to my daughter -- to restore the mailbox that came from her grandmother," she wrote.
Her ex-husband reported the theft to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department, but the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office in August said it wouldn't file criminal charges against Giordano.
The fact that the issue is now being raised, she said, "does not surprise me because of the close relationship between some of my political opponents and the Sheriff's Department."
The video of Giordano grabbing the mailbox begins here at the 32:10 minute mark: http://vp.telvue.com/player?height=300&id=T02061&noplaylistskin=1&video=131586&width=400.
Internal Affairs is an offbeat look at state and local politics. This week's items were written by Scott Herhold, Sharon Noguchi, Tracy Seipel and Paul Rogers. Send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 408-975-9346.