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' "