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How the Game has Changed

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For years political mail and TV commercials have made up the bulk of campaign spending. But it’s clear that the same tired tactics are not working. Voters, turned off by the seemingly hate-filled missives that arrive in droves during campaigns, are simply tossing mail in the trash.

The mantra coming from fearful consultants is that candidates must send this type of mail, or else risk being buried by the opponent; television ads must also keep pace. The need to stay up with the Joneses has caused the majority of voters to reject politics altogether. The beneficiaries are those who have a vested interest in the outcome—they already vote and no amount of mail or television advertising will change their views.

In races that have more than one candidate and “down-ballot,” the need to stand out becomes even more pressing. Arithmetic shows that almost everyone loses in political campaigns. The mayor’s race is a good example: eight candidates ran but one could win. Another example: 14 lost souls failed to defeat Gov. Jerry Brown in June.

Legitimate candidates are weeded out by the media, based on qualifications and level of support in polling data, but just as—if not more—important is whether a candidate raises enough money to compete.

Top-level races receive the most scrutiny. While most of the money is spent on these contests, it’s the down-ballot races, where voting drops off, when money makes the biggest difference. For instance, billions were spent on the Presidential race in 2014. News coverage was extensive. But nothing changed from a polling perspective. President Obama won with the same polling figure he started with at the beginning of the contest.

Consultants might claim that President Obama would have lost had he not matched Mitt Romney in resources. But Meg Whitman spent over $165 million to become governor of California in 2010, and she lost to the frugal Brown. Voters actually rejected her spending as crass and unnecessary. So the big races aren’t really about money.

Television advertising, in particular, has become a huge turnoff. Again, many consultants will say that a candidate must compete on the same level of their opponent to win. But that doesn’t explain the Ed Gillespie-Mark Warner race in Virginia. Gillespie, behind in the polls, stopped his advertising. Warner stayed up, with most pundits agreeing he would win in a walk; he ended up barely limping over the finish line. Could it be that Gillespie actually won over voters by foregoing TV ads?

This brings us back to down ballot races. Resources do have an effect, as Gary Kremen’s water district victory showed. (Full disclosure: I worked on Kremen’s campaign.) He won, but it wasn’t just that he had resources. Kremen effectively spent money on things that matter. Yes, he did mail, but he also did voter identification, GOTV and worked very hard to convince voters on the issues.

It is never about how much a candidate spends, but how they spend that money. Kevin Jensen had the best sign campaign in the county last summer but still lost to Sheriff Laurie Smith (another client of mine). Signs have never been effective—but, again, they are necessary because of the Joneses mentality in politics.

Winning in politics is a simple formula, more arithmetic than art. You have to get more voters to the polls than your opponent. In a down-ballot race, this means defining an environment and making sure supporters vote, which can be much easier said than done. But candidates who target resources on things that matter will always have the advantage.

Ready for the Super Bowl?

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Little known Glendale, Arizona, played host to Super Bowl XLIX, reaping economic benefits anywhere between $50 million and $600 million. Next year, Santa Clara stands to gain that windfall. Are we ready?

The discrepancy between the two economic benefit figures depends on who’s doing in the analysis. But even the “worst-case” scenario means the game will be an economic boon to the community.

Most studies refer simply to the city that hosts the Super Bowl. Having been to five Super Bowls, the flaw in such an analysis is it fails to take the whole region into consideration. New Orleans, which does a great job for patrons, certainly received an economic windfall when it hosted the Harbaugh Bowl (a.k.a. The HarBowl). But every city in the surrounding region also got a boost. Hotels in Baton Rouge were filled, as were hotels in Biloxi, Mississippi—both more than 80 miles from the host city.

The Super Bowl generates billions in activity nationwide, as consumers rush to buy everything from big screen televisions to Doritos for the big game. So are we ready?

The host committee in Santa Clara will have its hands full and it should look to how other cities have fared. New Orleans and Miami are great venues. Palo Alto hosted in 1984, and those folks should be queried on what went wrong and what went right.

There is a myth that a home team has never hosted a Super Bowl. But in 1984, the 49ers won the event. Only by a technicality—the game was hosted at Stanford and not Candlestick—can people make that claim. Reasonable individuals know the 49ers are 1-0 in Super Bowls played in the Bay.

For those who have never been to a Super Bowl, it’s basically two weeks of partying followed by a football game. Fortunes can be made in two weeks with the right enterprise. Hotels, taxis, bars, restaurants and everything in between will be in great demand. Those who prepare and market themselves are sure to see profits increase. Those who fail to understand the magnitude of the opportunity will forever regret it.

It’s not simply the two teams and their fans who show up to the game; it’s the entire world. Every network works remotely for two weeks from the host city. Reporters from around the globe descend upon the host city. How Santa Clara treats these people, and how much fun they have, will be recorded for posterity. Of course, major corporations will sponsor huge events and parties, as well as be on hand to sell their wares.

The opportunity to sell Santa Clara as a place that knows how to do business will be on display for these high-rollers. And preparations need to begin now.

More Super Bowls could be forthcoming if Santa Clara and the region receive high marks from the NFL and business community. NFL executives have been salivating to return to the Bay since the successful Super Bowl of 1984. The only downside was the stadium itself was ill-equipped to host a gathering of that size.

Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara has solved that problem. Now the NFL is coming back to take advantage of everything this region has to offer. Are we ready?

The Soap Opera at City Hall: ‘As San Jose Turns’

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A recent San Jose Inside story uncovered the hubris exhibited at the top levels of our city’s government. The piece shatters the mythology that “professional” governance is somehow better than elected leadership. But salacious details aside, the fact remains that San Jose will remain a second-class city until we adopt a strong-mayor form of government.

The major reason we do not already have a big city government is that the body politic is united in its mistrust of the process. Progressives don’t want to grant this mayor more power, and voters who backed Mayor Sam Liccardo would likely oppose such a move had Dave Cortese won the election. The theory is that a strong-mayor system is somehow more dangerous than a city manager run amok. Ed Shikada demonstrated the absurdity of that argument, much to the chagrin of our elected leaders.

The simple fact is we’ve lived with a quasi-mayor form of government for years. Each mayor brings in their own brand of “yes-person” to do their bidding. Not since Dutch Hamann have we had a city manager who ruled with certainty. And his form of growth caused the sprawl that clogs our freeways and divides our neighborhoods.

Our current mayor should put a charter amendment on the 2018 ballot to change the way San Jose operates. The number of council members should be reduced from 10 to seven and the mayor would become the chief administrator of the city. In this structure, the council would remain a policy making body and the mayor would get veto power.

Each of the seven members would still represent a different region within the city, thus preserving the idea of district elections. They would elect a council president to lead the meetings. The number of committees would be reduced and three members would serve on each, thus streamlining the process.

Putting this idea to voters would help avoid the appearance of a power grab. He would have to be re-elected in order to serve in this new, stronger administrative role. The current position of city manager would become the chief operating officer, leading to a reduced salary and smaller staff. The city would also be wise to reduce the amount of department heads and increase the number of line-service providers.

There is no question that San Jose is in transition. Reordering chairs on the Titanic is not a prescription for success. We should build a new, bigger and better ship for the future, and finally act like a big city rather than the butt of a joke.

Margie Matthews a Brilliant Choice Despite Flawed Process

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On a 6-4 vote, the San Jose City Council has agreed to appoint an interim member for District 4. Barring any last minute hiccup, former Councilmember Margie Matthews will receive the appointment.

Without question Matthews is a brilliant choice to be an interim councilmember. She is smart, experienced and understands San Jose. Adding to her credentials, she has previously served as the District 4 council member. Despite fears to the contrary, she will not be an automatic vote for the incoming mayor, Sam Liccardo.

Moreover, Matthews has gravitas. She garners respect from around the city of San Jose. Many believed she was the natural heir-apparent to former Mayor Susan Hammer. Her decision not to run for mayor opened the door for Ron Gonzales.

Matthews is a throwback to a different and better era in San Jose, when decisions were made through consensus. The city would benefit from her collegial nature.

Those who argue that the process in selecting her has been rushed have a fair point. It is true that community input was bypassed, creating the perception that this is a power play by the new mayor-elect. And there is merit to the idea that newly elected members of the council, who will have to work with the appointee, should have a voice in the decision. So, why the rush?

The answer to that question probably determined the fate of City Manager Ed Shikada. Before Tuesday’s council meeting, closed session focused on the fate of Shikada. The council took the extraordinary step of continuing the meeting until after regular session.Shikada announced his resignation Wednesday.

Tradition has always called for a new mayor to pick his or her own team. It is no secret to insiders that Mayor-elect Liccardo’s first choice for city manager is Kim Walesh, a deputy city manager. The new mayor wants to hit the ground running and establish his team well before he is sworn in to the position. Delay can often result in denial, especially if the body politic has a long time to ruminate over a decision. The downside is the process becomes perceived as unfair and heavy handed.

Which brings us back to Matthews, who, while not a rubber stamp, will certainly be a team player for the new mayor. Of course, all of this drama could have been avoided if San Jose would simply become a strong-mayor form of government.

It remains embarrassing that the largest city in the Bay Area still runs its government like a stage coach stop on the way to San Francisco, instead of a real big city with an economic engine that drives the nation’s economy. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee doesn’t have to have closed-door sessions to fire the city manager or appoint a new supervisor.

But, judging by the way Mayor-elect Liccardo is making moves, San Jose might be able to accomplish a few things by the end of his first term. One can only hope.

Does Mayor Sam Have the Votes?

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People opposed to incoming Mayor-elect Sam Liccardo are also concerned with an interim appointment to the District 4 council seat, fearing it will give the mayor a governing majority. The truth is Liccardo already has a majority.

Chappie Jones won handily in District 1. Though not a Republican like predecessor Pete Constant, he will have a very conservative approach. The same people who supported the mayor backed him. In regards to development, housing and big-ticket items, Jones will probably follow Liccardo’s lead.

Magdalena Carrasco in District 5 will be a true independent. Liccardo endorsed her candidacy, even though she stayed out of the mayor’s race. Given that her constituents went with Dave Cortese, it was a smart move. Carrasco is more progressive than people give her credit, but she will likely side with the mayor when it is not antithetical to her district, making her more of an ally than opponent.

Pierluigi Oliverio in District 6 is sometimes a 10-1 vote on issues. But he is never the sixth vote for progressives. Look for him to side with the mayor on important issues and continue to be a gadfly on others.

Tam Nguyen in District 7 is another newcomer. He was not supported by the progressive elements of the community. That said, his interest is in being in power, not out of power. He is the true wildcard, but he’ll probably go with the mayor as he learns the global issues of the city.

Rose Herrera in District 8 is a solid vote for Mayor Liccardo. Had it not been for her own campaign in the primary, we might be talking about Mayor Madison Nguyen. Herrera has dreams of going to the State Assembly and offering a loyal vote to Liccardo gives her a better chance—but it’s still unlikely.

Johnny Khamis in district 10, as the lone Republican on the council with the exit of Constant and Mayor Reed, will be a team player for the new mayor on almost every issue of consequence.

Raul Peralez in district 3, Don Rocha in district 9 and Ash Kalra in district 2 are reasonable people who will work with the mayor on issues of common interest, but they can and will provide vocal opposition. The new mayor should not reject their ideas outright if the city is going to heal itself. This block represents many of the public employees Liccardo will need to implement his agenda. To play politics and ignore the three council members’ proposals—or worse, to demonize these individuals politically—would be a grave mistake unworthy of a great mayor.

The pension issue will continue to linger, but it is clear the next mayor knows he has a problem.  He has already started to broach a long overdue political solution. The courts have already thrown several parts of the law out. If he can work out a deal through negotiation that avoids the city spending more resources on a doomed appeals effort, he will have made a great start. As for other public employee issues, Liccardo understands he has a morale problem and needs to address it. San Jose has a serious deficit of police officers and it will take creativity and cooperation from his previous opponents to stem the current exodus.

Many people hope the new regime builds bridges. People who supported Cortese have had difficulty accepting the current result. But a continued entrenchment is an unnecessary political battle. People should do the math—this mayor already has what looks to be a working majority. More importantly, government is not a zero-sum game. The philosophical divide is not so great that people cannot work together on many issues. To do that, they must make the past just that.

A major opponent of the current mayor once said, “If the Mayor of San Jose is successful, San Jose is successful.” If everyone keeps that fact in mind and puts the city ahead of their egos,  San Jose will be able to move forward.

 

District 4 Special Election Wastes Time, Money

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San Jose’s City Council decided that District 4 residents will have a special election to fill the seat of Kansen Chu, who is moving on to the State Assembly. They could have simply appointed someone—a far better and less expensive option.

Recent voter turnout shows that people are not interested in voting. As a group, they sent a loud message to the body politic: “Don’t bother us.” The paltry turnout in the midterm elections was a statement of indifference that should have resonated with local leaders.

The handwringing for democracy and insistence on elected representation is coming from the minority. Special interests are the ones who vote. The people who need representation most—the poor, young, ethnic minorities and women—simply don’t vote. Let’s stop fighting that fact and accept it.

Reasons for voter apathy are well chronicled. Ballots are too long, campaigns too uncivil, messages too trite—and most importantly: studying up takes time and energy. With everything going on in people’s lives, the public refuses to have its entertainment interrupted for issues of consequence. It really is too much to ask. It hurts their collective brains.

It’s fashionable in our system of government to blame elected officials, the system, the corrosive effect of money in politics, the ugly campaigning, the length of the ballot and the overwhelming sense that nothing changes. Rarely does anybody blame the real problem—the public. Such an analysis is impolitic; nobody ever wants to offend, at least not out loud.

But election results are significant and have significant consequences. We live in an entitled era, when most people can still give you the names of three deceased stooges but not a single Supreme Court justice. Most people today are ignorant of their history, their laws and their governance. It is tragic that the last, best hope of mankind is left in the hands of the willfully ignorant masses who make up a majority of our citizenry.

As Winston Churchill said, “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

The District 4 race will be full of sound and fury. But voter turnout will be less than 25 percent of the registered voters and less than 13 percent of the eligible electorate. The ultimate winner may or may not be competent to hold public office. But the majority of the public simply doesn’t care.

Of course, a political race is good for business. Thousands of dollars will be spent convincing the 20 percent of people who happen to remember the date of the election, whether informed or not, that all but one of the candidates is evil. And the winner will get to run again in less than two years for re-election. Of course, this assumes the antiquated and incompetent Registrar of Voters office will have the votes counted before the next election cycle.

The cost of having an election is a waste of public funds. We should heed the voters silence as a call to simply leave them alone. If and when they get worked up enough to participate, only then should the body politic consider having an election. As it stands now, the entire exercise is a farce.

We no longer live in a democracy, and we have abandoned the thought of a republic. What we have is a small oligarchy that controls the government through money and the limited participation of those who have resources. The irony is that, if the masses chose to do something, they could change that dynamic simply by educating themselves and participating.

But their collective silence is deafening. They do not want to be bothered with such decisions. Let’s respect their will—most won’t even realize what happened.

 

Mayor Liccardo’s Biggest Test

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The sense of disappointment was palpable as we walked into Dave Cortese’s Election Night party. This was not supposed to happen.

Most political prognosticators, including this blogger, believed San Jose’s electorate would move in a new direction based on valid polling information known before the election. But in a low-turnout race, the winning candidate is the individual who gets their supporters to the polls, not the one who looks the best on paper. Sam Liccardo got his supporters to vote, opinion polls be damned.

Now the new mayor of San Jose faces huge challenges. The most striking problem is not simply putting more cops on the street, though it is an important goal. The real work will be bringing a divided city together. The vote total reflects the intense divisions that currently exist in San Jose, as Liccardo will likely win with 51 percent of the vote.

The causes and blame for the deep political divisions are well chronicled, but now they must become irrelevant. As a city we can continue to fight the old battles, entrench ourselves in anger and wage wars of attrition that only hurt our community. A move in that direction—business vs. labor, moderates vs. progressives—or we can come together for the good of the city.

Disagreements will not disappear and pension reform will continue to move through the courts. We need to make an effort to look at issues where common ground can be found. Good will from both sides is needed to engage in an honest dialogue.

Liccardo has been a leader on affordable housing, transportation and smart growth principles. He will find willing partners who supported his opponent but are open to working with him on these issues.

But labor needs to be invited to the table. Unions are not the enemy; they are made up of good people who care deeply about this city. Likewise, the Chamber of Commerce is not simply a group of rightwing, heartless Tea Party nuts; they care about San Jose as well. In the past, these two groups worked together on issues of common interest for the good of the city. That collaboration must take place again.

Mayor Liccardo has the ability to bridge the divide and his speech after the campaign has indicated he will try. But it will take cooperation from many who are bitterly disappointed. They must meet him half way. In the current grief that accompanies all campaign losses, this may seem like a huge request.

As the victor, Liccardo will get to choose his team and agenda—those decisions can be inclusive or exclusive. He will need to rebuild trust. Already some of Liccardo’s most ardent supporters have expressed sentiments less than gracious regarding the vanquished. Those statements and editorials are not helpful in bridging the divide. It is important to note Liccardo has not been among this group.

The late John Vasconcellos was a fan of Liccardo. He also liked and supported Cortese. San Jose, he said, would be in good hands with either candidate. He had hoped to be in a position to help bring the two sides together in the spirit of the Politics of Trust after the election. Unfortunately, he passed before he got the opportunity.

But both men knew and understood the late state senator’s philosophy. It will be Mayor Liccardo who gets the opportunity to implement it, if he chooses.

In the final analysis, the goals of the city of San Jose are bigger than any single election. The city has been fighting with itself for too long. It is time to work together; this is not Washington DC.

So congratulations to our new mayor. This is the same blog I had intended to write regardless of a winner.

IE Attack Ads Render Candidates Irrelevant in Many Local Races

 

 

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Stupid local laws and the rise of unfettered independent expenditure committees are making a mockery of the election process. Candidates are no longer in control of their own messages and in many local races they are not relevant to the debate.

Mountain View is just the latest example of this farce. Candidates are saddled with a “voluntary” expenditure limit of $22,689. The word voluntary is for legal purposes, as Mountain View cannot constitutionally restrict campaign spending. But woe to any candidate who does not agree to the spending cap—outside of the San Jose mayor’s race. The bad press for “spending” would likely doom most candidates. (Full disclosure: I did some volunteer work on Ellen Kamei’s campaign.)

Independent Expenditure committees are able to spend unlimited funds, and candidates are not allowed to coordinate with them on messaging. Those unauthorized messages sometimes help, but more times they hurt their preferred candidate. Regardless of whether they assist or harm a contender, the sheer volume of messages can drown out a candidate’s attempts to communicate with the electorate. Candidates’ messages simply get lost in the avalanche of unlimited campaign spending by these independent committees.

The problem isn’t limited to Mountain View. The mayoral and council candidates in San Jose are subject to the same restrictions. Candidates, whether they like it or not, must live with the messages sent on their behalf by special interests. And most voters are blissfully unaware of who sends out the information. In fact, they often assume the candidate for whom the missive is supposed to help is the author.

More often than not, the local “hit” piece in a voter’s mailbox, comes not from a candidate but from an independent expenditure committee. But negative mail does not win elections; it simply makes voters less likely to participate in the electoral process. This is a major reason why we expect the lowest mid-term voter turnout ever Nov. 4.

Sadly, many political consultants still haven’t realized that negative mail actually hurts their own candidate. But you can see it in the polling and in the declining voter turnout for elections. Besides, bypassing client permission to send out negative information on a political opponent is nirvana for some pols.

To end this idiocy, we need to get rid of expenditure limits for candidates, with the caveat that all who donate to the campaign will be posted in real time on a website. Transparency is the key. Voters and more importantly, their opponents, would know who is really funding the campaign.

In the final analysis, it is buyer beware for voters. They will have to take responsibility for evaluating information which, surprise, is not always truthful.

A Tale of Two Cities: Santa Clara and Cupertino

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The city of Santa Clara’s success is largely due to its political leadership, which is why voters are likely to re-elect Mayor Jamie Matthews, Council member Pat Kolstad and former Council member Dominic Caserta.

Elected leaders in Cupertino, on the other hand, have been an embarrassment, and none of those incumbents should be allowed to return to office. But because few people focus on down-ballot races, erratic and irresponsible Council member Barry Chang, who is the worst of the bunch, could be re-elected.

Currently, candidates Savita Vaidhyanthan and Darcy Paul are the best options running in Cupertino. But their messages are being lost in the avalanche of mail.  Their inability to define the incumbents’ shortcoming, combined with a system that simply elects the top-three vote getters, is a recipe for disaster.

The process in Santa Clara makes it easier to determine who the qualified candidates are, as they vote at-large by seat number. In the mayor’s race, Deborah Bress is a paranoid gadfly who sees conspiracies everywhere. (She’s even accused the city of killing her dog.) At a recent forum she declared she was ready to leave the city. The public would do itself a favor by taking up a collection to help her.

Bress is a candidate from the misleadingly named group Santa Clara Plays Fair. This collection of irrational individuals came together to oppose the new 49ers stadium. Because the cameras and news media gave them public attention, their myopic views were given an oversized voice and they decided to run candidates in an effort to seize political power. All of this occurred after they were crushed at the polls in the stadium vote. But because few people pay attention to down-ballot races, their candidates have succeeded at the school board level. Their divisive nature can currently be seen on the dysfunctional Santa Clara Unified School Board.

Santa Clara Plays Fair has now set its sights on the City Council. They have endorsed Bress, Karen Hardy and Kevin Park. None deserve to be elected.

Councilmember Kolstad is a straight shooter and will be reelected. The former police officer is a reasoned voice on the council and his clear understanding of the issues facing the city makes him a wonk worth retaining. Hardy is perennial candidate and her enlistment in Santa Clara Plays Fair is apparently a last ditch effort to gain enough support for public office. Dr. Mohammed Nadeem is also in the race. He is an earnest member of the community, but he lacks the political gravitas of Kolstadt. But Nadeem is a person to consider in the future.

Caserta has a record of service that is unmatched by his opposition. Both of his opponents have little resources and seem to be running for purely personal reasons. Park is the choice of Santa Clara Play Fair; he is simply out of his depth in terms of public service. Rosann Alderete LaCoursiere is the third candidate who doesn’t seem to have a cogent answer as to why she is running.

While neither Santa Clara Plays Fair candidate—Hardy or Park—seem as unbalanced as Bress, her endorsement of their candidacy is not a plus.

Juxtapose the situation with Cupertino, however, and it’s obvious things could be much worse. Chang is the poster child for what is wrong with local government. His unstable behavior got him a reprimand from County Executive Jeff Smith, and his antics are well chronicled for those who actually follow the city. But in a race with several people, where a contingent will vote mainly based on ethnicity and name identification, he may well return to office.

The other incumbent is Mark Santoro, whose has exhibited less egregious behavior in public. But his record in office can best be characterized as undistinguished.

Though Cupertino’s council, especially Chang, mortifies many city leaders, few are willing to take on the challenge or expense of educating the public. Cupertino, like Palo Alto, is a polite town and the idea of engaging in a political brawl is reserved only in times where Apple’s interests are at stake. As a result, the majority of the electorate in Cupertino remains unaware of this council and Chang’s repeated displays of uncivil behavior. Chang also has the personal resources to get a benign, positive message out that simply ignores his own record.

Cupertino’s most credible leaders are heavily backing Paul and Savita (the latter emphasizes her first name). But that may not matter if Chang’s record remains hidden to the public at large. So long as Apple remains in Cupertino, the status quo can win the day. Thus, term limits may become the public’s best friend for the likes of Chang, who can only serve one more four-year stint.

Sadly, not so long ago it was Cupertino who had the good government moniker with leaders like Dolly Sandoval, Sandy James and the late Don Burnett. During that same time, Santa Clara had a dubious cast of characters, including the former convicted Councilmember Jim Arno. Santa Clara voters became so embarrassed by the antics of their council that they swept in ethics leaders that include former Mayor Judy Nadler, Councilmember Rod Diridon Jr. and the late Councilmember Aldyth Parle. The results of that change speak volumes for how Santa Clara’s government performs today.

One can only hope Cupertino will return to its roots as a good government city. But that won’t happen until people like Chang are no longer anywhere near municipal power.

Chris Stampolis Should Resign from Santa Clara Unified

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Videotape evidence appears to show Chris Stampolis, a Santa Clara County Unified School District board member, forming his hand in the shape of the gun and aiming it at a school principal. These are not the first charges of aggressive behavior against Stampolis.

In a highly charged TMZ tape, Stampolis is heard angrily berating a storage clerk. Now he is accused of harassing a middle school principal, his actions—despite denials—are caught on video.

Stampolis would like people to believe these are politically charged accusations, made by people who don’t like his politics. But the tape doesn’t lie and it is clear he has an anger problem. He should resign and seek help for his obvious anger management issues.

It is also disturbing that his bullying is often directed toward women. Both the storage clerk and the principal are females.

This is contrary to Stampolis’ long professed political beliefs. He has been a supporter of women’s rights in general. But his personal actions put those public comments into doubt.

With the heightened awareness of domestic attacks against women in the NFL, on college campuses and in the general population, we all need to speak out when violence or the threat of violence is readily apparent.

It is incumbent upon all of us to speak out when individuals openly exhibit hostile behavior on a repeated basis. Stampolis needs help. We should all encourage him to get it before his anger gets someone hurt.