San Jose proposal would keep Sam Liccardo as mayor two more years

As part of a new proposal to move San Jose’s mayoral race in line with national presidential elections, Sam Liccardo would hold the city’s highest elected office an extra two years.

In a new memo, Vice Mayor Magdalena Carrasco and her council colleagues Sergio Jimenez, Don Rocha and Chappie Jones call for a ballot measure to move the mayoral election back two years to 2024 to take advantage of the higher voter turnout that is typical during presidential elections.

“We value our electorate,” Carrasco said in a statement, “and believe that with increased voter turnout we will be able to elevate the Office of the Mayor and capture a more diverse constituent that is reflective of our city.”

But the suggestion has sparked concern from some of the city’s more right-leaning residents. Councilman Johnny Khamis, one of San Jose’s more conservative members, said he’d received a number of phone calls from unhappy people who see the move as a “power grab” by the left.

Not only would the measure allow Liccardo, a Democrat, to be mayor for a full decade at a pivotal moment in San Jose, as the city prepares for a massive Google campus near Diridon Station and several new BART stations, but it would likely drive up voter participation among residents who tend to align with Democrats. Low-income voters and minorities are more likely to turn out in presidential years.

Bob Nunez, the head of the Santa Clara County Republican Party, said he’s not concerned about more Democrats turning out, but about the mayoral race getting lost in the shuffle.

“As Republicans,” Nunez said, “it is really having the opportunity to go out and talk about very specific issues to our constituents in our cities…and not getting swept up in all the other kinds of things and losing sight of what’s important, and …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


Alex Trebek moderated a gubernatorial debate. It didn’t go well.

By Antonia Noori Farzan, (c) 2018, The Washington Post

It was a surreal moment in the middle of a surreal news cycle. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, D, and his Republican challenger, Scott Wagner, sat on stage, their faces frozen and their hands clasped. And Alex Trebek, the “Jeopardy!” host and the moderator of Monday night’s debate, let loose, joking that the only thing with a lower approval rating than the Pennsylvania legislature was the Catholic Church.

Polite laughter from the audience quickly turned to boos. Trebek, dressed in a purple flowered tie with a matching pocket square, looked out at the crowd watching the two candidates face off at an upscale hotel in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

“Don’t go there,” the white-haired television host said, wagging a finger. “I was born and raised in the Catholic Church and I’m just as ticked off as everybody else is over what has happened with the church.”

He went on, unfazed by the ticking clock and the fact that the debate was nearly halfway over. “When I was a young teenager I attended a Catholic boarding school run by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Two-hundred and fifty students, other boys and I, spent three years sharing the same accommodations 24/7 with 44 priests and not once in those three years was there any sexual misbehavior. Now boys are pretty sharp, we talk, we would have known. So I believe that there are Catholic priests out there who are able to minister to their congregations without preying – that’s P-R-E-Y – on the young people.”

The comments on WNEP-TV’s live feed were merciless. “Where is this going?” said one. “When do we get to hear from the candidates?” added another. A third viewer put it succinctly: “Alex, shut up.”

Ryan Tarkowski tweeted “Hearing a LOT of Alex Trebek tonight. Not sure I’ve …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


Brett Kavanaugh implicated in bar dispute involving man who wasn’t UB40 singer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was accused of throwing ice at a man during an altercation at a bar while in college.

A report released Tuesday by police in New Haven, Connecticut, says Kavanaugh, then a junior at Yale, was questioned after the 1985 incident but wasn’t arrested.

The report says Dom Cozzolino, then 21, told police that Kavanaugh threw ice at him for “some unknown reason.” Cozzolino said he then got hit on the ear with a glass. His ear was bleeding and he went to the hospital for treatment, the report said.

Chad Ludington, a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s, told the New York Times the altercation happened while they were drinking at a bar called Demery’s after seeing a concert by the reggae group UB40.

He said members of their group had been staring at Cozzolino because they thought he was Ali Campbell, the frontman of UB40. Cozzolino objected to the scrutiny. In Ludington’s retelling, Kavanaugh “threw his beer” at Cozzolino, and their friend Chris Dudley threw the glass.

UB40 lead singer Ali Campbell, 2007. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, file)

Dudley and Cozzolino didn’t immediately return messages on Tuesday.

The White House noted that Kavanaugh wasn’t arrested or charged and questioned the incident’s relevance.

Meanwhile, Mark Judge, a high school friend of Kavanaugh’s, has completed his interview with FBI agents.

His attorney, Barbara “Biz” Van Gelder, wouldn’t say Tuesday when the interview concluded or what Judge was asked. Judge is one of multiple people the FBI has already interviewed as part of its reopened background investigation into Kavanaugh.

On Monday, Van Gelder said her client had been questioned by the FBI but the interview was “not completed.”

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Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


Editorial: Why Oakland voters should re-elect Libby Schaaf

The challenges Oakland faces: High crime, homelessness, large pockets of poverty, soaring rents, escalating home prices, exorbitant property taxes, huge debt for public employee retirement benefits, labor unions that demand more than the city can afford, and a teetering municipal budget.

It all comes down to money. Unless city leaders solve the budget crisis and confront the rising debt, they won’t be able to adequately address other critical problems. Some progress has been made by Libby Schaaf in her first term as mayor despite a City Council with most members in denial about Oakland’s precarious financial perch.

Schaaf is the only reasonable candidate in the field of 10 otherwise disappointing mayoral hopefuls. The compelling need to solve Oakland’s woes makes Abel Guillén the best pick for City Council in District 2, Charlie Michelson in District 4 and Loren Taylor in District 6.

The only thing that has saved Oakland from financial calamity in recent years is the regional, state and national economy. That stimulus has driven the city’s building boom, in turn boosting tax revenues that have reduced the municipal budget shortfall. If the city doesn’t get a handle on its finances before the next economic downturn, it’s going to be in deep trouble.

The question now for voters is whether they want to elect a mayor and council members who recognize that solving the budget crisis is key to fixing the city’s other woes, or do they want leaders who ignore the interconnected reality.

Click here for a complete list of our election recommendations.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)
Mayor: Libby Schaaf

Schaaf’s has had a tough first term: The budget mess she inherited from her predecessor. The Ghost Ship fire, which killed 36 and exposed huge deficiencies in the fire and police departments. …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


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