Friday, October 31, 2014

Dominic Caserta and the Housewives of Silicon Valley

Dear Santa Clarans,

To truly measure a political campaign, follow the money - from all sides.

Dominic Caserta's money machine amassed $64,000 between January 1st and October 18th.

Less than $4,000 of that even came from Santa Clara businesses, and less than $2,000 of it came from Santa Clara residents.  That's less than 10 percent from the city and residents that Mr. Caserta claims he's suited to represent.

So much for that so-called "grassroots campaign," eh?

Now, Kevin Park's campaign committee received less than $3,000 over that same interval.

One hundred percent of Kevin Park's support came from Santa Clarans and Santa Clara small businesses.

Now that's what we mean by "grassroots campaigning."   I encourage you to search for "Caserta" and "Kevin Park" here .   Look for "Form 460."

I'm the committee Treasurer for Santa Clara Plays Fair, so I must also submit Form 460s - same place as you'll find the two candidate reports above.  I'm required to correctly identify contributors to our group by occupation and employer when their donations amount to $100.00 or more in an election cycle.

For example, the designation "Homemaker , No employer" is a perfectly acceptable entry on a Form 460 when a homemaker tenders a contribution which is a contribution from  is large enough to be reported.  Since a typical donation to us is $50 or less, our group doesn't get to itemize large gifts from homemakers that often.

Dominic Caserta, however, sees a lot of them.   His campaign Treasurer, a Mr. Pietro Costa, recorded on Dominic's 460s a total of thirteen "Homemakers" donating an average of $336 each and putting a total of $4,400 dollars into the Caserta moneypot.  What gives?

Well, the first "homemaker" I picked at random on the form, from Scott's Valley, turned out to be a real estate broker.   Her name popped immediately in the state Department of Real Estate's licensing lookup.  Her out-of-town contribution to the Caserta Machine?   $500.00 .

Another "homemaker" is from Danville - and her name came up in connection with a luxury goods business.   Another $500 to Dominic Caserta.

A third "homemaker" is apparently the vice-chairwoman of a wholesale beverage distributing business.  $250.

A fourth is in fact a gentleman "homemaker."   That trail ran cold - but it ran real close to a real estate and insurance office in San Jose.  Another five hundred bucks to Dominic.

You get the idea.   Also, note that not a single one of the thirteen "Housewives of Silicon Valley" conduct business in Santa Clara or reside here.

This is troubling from another standpoint, too:  Note that Dominic Caserta is the one who signed the City of Santa Clara's Campaign Ethics Pledge.   Yet, part of those same campaign ethics is the truthful disclosure of who's really funding one's campaign.

Kevin Park, declined to sign that same pledge - but he then proceeded to honor the very process our city's leaders and their consultants claim that they want.

H. Jackson Brown, Jr., has noted, "Our character is what we do when we think that no one is looking."   Dominic Caserta and the Housewives of Silicon Valley have some explaining to do, I feel.

But Kevin Park, the true grassroots candidate, has explained himself rather well.   He deserves all of our support, and he's earned our votes this coming Tuesday.

Thanks for your continued support, and best regards,

William F. "Bill" Bailey, Treasurer,


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Dominic Caserta and his Niner Bucks

Dear Santa Clarans,

In addition to the $32,000 from developers and real estate interests accepted by the Caserta campaign, ten executives from the front office of the San Francisco 49ers poured in an additional $5,000 - all within 48 hours beginning on May 1st.

Anyone can read what I've read.  The FPPC Form 460 for Dominic Caserta's dollar-drenched campaign is here - just search for "Caserta."

But the 49ers have their subsidized stadium in our city - and we Santa Clarans are stuck with it.  So what would make the team's management so fearful?

Well, Santa Clarans will probably learn that the San Francisco 49ers need a compliant council in order to guarantee a compliant Stadium Authority.  This means a Santa Clara Stadium Authority that won't stand up to the team on issues such as parking stalls on the Montana hotel parcels - and which will not ensure access to the city's Youth Soccer Park by parents, soccer coaches and players during the NFL season (The 49ers want your Soccer Park so that they can park stretch limos on it.).

If you have a council and Stadium Authority that considers the 49ers' needs to be more important that residents' needs, then we have a big problem.   But putting the 49ers first has been an agenda for our city's leaders since at least 2007, when then-Mayor now-Councilwoman Patricia Mahan justified putting a 14-acre stadium on a 17-acre plot by stating:  "This site, we believe, would give the fans a great game-day experience and that's what it's all about: doing what's best for the 49ers and doing what's best for the fans."   (Emphasis mine.)

Santa Clarans living north of U.S. 101 will tell you exactly what the price of the above policy has been.   Does anyone actually believe that Dominic Caserta will go up against his 49ers when real neighbors truly need his support?

Recall Dominic's sandbagging the "No-on-A/B" voters on the BAREC issue in the previous post.  Still believe him?

We need an independent city council in Santa Clara - but Dominic Caserta is simply too flush with developer dollars and Niner Bucks to claim as much - any more than he can claim that he's running any kind of "grassroots" campaign.

But I want a council that puts Santa Clarans at the top of the list, and I believe you do also.   We'll only achieve that by denying Dominic Caserta our votes.

The candidate who has taken no developer money or Yorkbucks - and whose campaign is truly grassroots - is right there on that same ballot for Council Seat 5.

Please. Vote for real change.   Vote Kevin Park on November 4th.

Best regards,
William F. "Bill" Bailey, Treasurer,
http:://www.Santa Clara Plays

Still coming:   Dominic Caserta and the Housewives of Silicon Valley

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Dominic Caserta and his Developer Dollars - Kevin Park and a TRUE Grassroots Campaign

Dear Santa Clarans,

Would you consider for just a moment?:

A single-family dwelling next door is about to get razed to the cellar and replaced with a "mini-dorm" holding ten SCU students - with no onsite parking for their ten automobiles.

A hotel/banquet complex will be torn down.   The very first plan we see shows it being replaced with 511 living units - with a density of 67 dwelling units per acre (!) - and with barely enough parking provided for its residents.  For the mere fact of the 22 bus passing by this site, the developer is actually entitled to demand an additional increment of 25% more living units as a "transit sop."

These are not hypotheticals.  They're 2325 Park and 2500 El Camino, in fact.

Now consider who will represent you on the Santa Clara City Council:

Kevin Park accepts not one dime from developers, real estate brokers or their lawyers.  That's $0.00.

Dominic Caserta has taken, between January 1st and October 18, over $32,000 from those same developers, brokers, developers and their lawyers.  That's $32 grand.

So, which candidate, if elected, will more fairly hear the legitimate grievances of homeowners forced to watch the value of their homes destroyed in the name of unconstrained and reckless development?

Unquestionably, that's Kevin Park.   He sat on the very General Plan Steering Committee that proposed moderation in the mad rush to super-dense housing.  In the case of 2500 El Camino Real, for example, that new General Plan recommends a much more sensible 280 units, maximum, instead of 511.

On the other hand, anyone who remembers the battle over open space at BAREC, or 90 North Winchester, will recall clearly how they were treated by Dominic Caserta:   After they had walked precincts and planted yard signs for him over a period of some months, Dominic proceeded to take thousands of dollars from Summerhill Homes, the developer of BAREC - and he then tanked the open space proposal altogether.  Mr. Caserta has struggled to stamp this website out, but thanks to web archives, we can see it for the truth it told us back in late 2007.

If this were youthful indiscretions, we could wave this stuff off.   But please see these links, two accounts from one columnist six years apart,  which tell this Santa Claran pretty much who Dominic Caserta really is:   2008    2014

We really do have an alternative.   In my own dealings with Kevin Park, I've found him to be ethical and above board.   Over the past eight weeks, I've been quite pleased to walk precincts for Kevin and help get the word out:   A resident rather than a professional politician is actually running for our city council, and that's been extremely gratifying to see.

Truth be told, it was precisely over this revolving door of stale candidacies that Santa Clara Plays Fair endorsed Kevin Park along with four other candidates for council and our school district's Trustee seats.

As Santa Clarans, we can make a real difference in the governing of our city.   I'd like to urge all of you not to pass up this opportunity.

Please vote Kevin Park for Seat 5, Santa Clara City Council.

And as usual, thanks to all of you who have given Santa Clara Plays Fair your generous support - contributions, shoe leather, hand work and words of encouragement.

Best regards,

William F. "Bill" Bailey, Treasurer,
http://www.Santa Clara Plays

Coming:  "Dominic Caserta, his Niner Bucks - and the 'Housewives of Silicon Valley' "

Friday, September 26, 2014

Walk with us.

Dear Santa Clarans,

I'd like to thank the many Santa Clarans who visited new candidates' tables at the Santa Clara Art and Wine Festival.   Meeting new people and connecting with old friends was a welcome delight for me, and I know that the candidates we support enjoyed the opportunity to meet with you all.

We think our platform is clear:

  • Santa Clara Councilmembers responsive to Santa Clarans, not to developer dollars or Niner Bucks.
  • Santa Clara Unified Trustees standing for academic excellence and resisting political pressures out of City Hall and monied interests.
We can make that case.   It sells itself, in fact.

But will you help us get the word out?

The most important way we can reach voters between now and Election Day is by walking the voting precincts of Santa Clara.   Volunteers are already out there, and they're not politicians or pretend-consultants - they're your neighbors and your friends.

If you'll provide your time, we'll provide the materials, the training and the partners.   Just contact us at:

...and let us know when you are available to walk for Chris Koltermann, Michael HelmsKevin Park, Karen Hardy and Deborah Bress.

I'm walking myself, and I'll look forward to joining you these next several weeks.

Thank you for volunteering - and as always, for all of your support,

William F. "Bill" Bailey, Treasurer,

Please visit our blogs at:

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

                                            --- Mahatma Ghandhi

Monday, September 15, 2014

Why we need an independent City Council

Dear Santa Clarans,

Whether you’ve got “mini-dormitories” in your Old Quad neighborhoods, or abusive 49ers’ fans parking up and down your streets while dropping their litter behind them, or automobile speeders using your streets as expressways, we’re betting that you can feel it:

A city government far less accessible to city residents than it ever has  been, and much more beholden to special interests.

A quick look at the FPPC campaign finance reports on file with the City Clerk’s office – and only as of June 30th! – tells just a part of the story.   Just halfway through the Form 460 of returning candidate Dominic Caserta, one finds the following totals of contributions:

~$18,000 from real estate, construction and developers,
  ~$5,000 from the San Francisco 49ers

And that’s only the first twenty some-odd pages.  For Patrick Kolstad,

  ~$3,750 from the San Francisco 49ers. 

You get the idea.  But what if there were an alternative?

What if, rather than “returning incumbents”  pretending to be challengers, we had real challengers who have accepted NO money from special interests?  Candidates who believe that Santa Clara is for Santa Clarans? 

It could be that the best way to welcome regular city residents into City Hall may be to elect more regular residents, with the energy and desire to serve, to our City Council.

And that is why Santa Clara Plays Fair strongly endorses:

√ Karen Hardy  for Santa Clara City Council, Seat 2:

√ Kevin Park  for Santa Clara City Council, Seat 5:

√ Deborah Bress  for Mayor,  City of Santa Clara:

On November 4th, elect a truly independent City Council.
Thank you for all of your support,

William F. “Bill” Bailey, Treasurer


Why an independent SCUSD?

Dear Santa Clarans,

Do you recall the 2010 Candidates’ Forums?

Candidates-for-mayor Jamie Matthews and Chris Stampolis squared off on the mayor’s role in the affairs of the Santa Clara Unified School District.   Mr. Matthews solemnly lectured Mr. Stampolis about the proper separation between the city as a political entity and the school district, which is charged with preparing young Americans.  Two necessarily separate things, said Matthews then.

But it’s 2014, and our Santa Clara Unified School District is apparently just a little too independent to suit this same Jamie Matthews, Lisa Gillmor and certain candidates for Council.  They’re singing a far different tune this year.  Would you believe that it’s all about soccer pitches?

Here’s why:   Throughout the summer of 2009, Santa Clarans were fed a load of nonsense about some “synergy” among the 49ers’ stadium, Great America, the Golf and Tennis club and the Youth Soccer Park.   Jed York and the 49ers’ front office were happy to exploit the appeal of a youth athletic facility such as the YSP in order to get up the steam for the stadium subsidy – the $42,000,000 that the 49ers sucked out of our former Redevelopment Agency.

But by last fall the 49ers knew that they didn’t have enough parking for their guests’ stretch limos.   They then decided that the Youth Soccer Park was just too close to their stadium – but that it would still make dandy parking spaces.  The Soccer Park would have to go.

Rather than engaging with soccer parents and young players fairly, the 49ers reneged on an agreement to fund the relocation of the Soccer Park.  They reneged yet again when they refused to fund the development of additional soccer pitches in our city.

The Council should be stepping up on the issue for us residents.  However, Councilmembers Mahan, Gillmor and Kolstad are instead running interference for the San Francisco 49ers.   Their ad hoc Council Committee claims to reach out to all the stakeholders – but its real aim is to force Santa Clarans give up even more to the 49ers than we already have.

This coercion started against youth soccer in our city, but it’s now a squeeze play intended to make the School District solve Jed York’s parking problems for him.  Why are they demanding that our childrens’ schools (!) surrender control of district athletic fields for soccer pitches which are unlikely ever to be enjoyed by those same students?

They’re not done:   This arm-twisting now continues with attempts to carve up city park lands.  In the City Council meeting of June 10th, the neighbors of Jenny Strand and Montague Parks saw this firsthand.  In particular, friends of the Ulistac Natural Area, know all about it.

Santa Clarans, you can see how the dominoes are truly falling:  This City Council voted to build a 14-acre NFL stadium on a 17-acre plot.   They are now running a blame game against the SCUSD along with a possible grab of city park lands.    The City Council – not the Santa Clara Unified School District – have led us exactly to where we are today.  Clearly, this City Council no longer believes in an independent SCUSD. 

We’re Santa Clara Plays Fair, and we do believe.   For an independent SCUSD,  we urge your vote on November 4th for Dr. Chris Koltermann and Dr. Michael Helms for Trustee Areas 2 and 3.  They will work for all of us – not for special, monied interests.

Say NO to the blame game – and NO to giveaways of park and school land.

Thanks for your support,

William F. “Bill” Bailey, Treasurer


Monday, September 1, 2014

Santa Clara Voters, please vote for an independent Council and School Board!

Dear Santa Clarans,

Santa Clara Plays Fair is proud to announce our group's endorsements for the November 4th General Election.   We urge all city residents to cast their votes for an independent City Council and for independent Trustees of the Santa Clara Unified School District:

 Karen Hardy for Santa Clara City Council, Seat 2:       Email:
Kevin Park   for   Santa Clara City Council, Seat 5:                        Email:

Deborah Bress for Mayor, City of Santa Clara:   Email:

Dr. Christine Koltermann for SCUSD Trustee Area 2:            Email:

Dr. Michael Helms for SCUSD Trustee Area 3:                  Email:

If one Santa Claran or School District resident will endorse these candidates to three or more neighbors, we have a real chance to build a Council and a School District which represent residents and taxpayers - not special interests. 
As always, we thank you for all of your support.

Best regards,

William F. "Bill" Bailey, Treasurer,

If you are a Santa Clara resident not registered to vote in the November 4th election, you must register on or before October 20th.   A paper registration is available at the Office of the Santa Clara City Clerk at 1500 Warburton Drive, Santa Clara.   Telephone the City Clerk at 1(408)615-2220 for more details.