Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Morning Round-up -- 11/05/2008

The Santa Clara Registrar has posted results in an "easy to read" format on their Semi-Final Unofficial results page. Turnout was high in the County, over 79% of registered voters turned out with 47% of registered voters taking advantage of the kitchen table, coffee, and slippers version of voting through Vote by Mail.

Incumbent Congressmembers Jerry McNerney, Anna Eshoo, Mike Honda, and Zoe Lofgren coasted to victory. Only McNerney's seat was considered contentious. State Senators Joe Simitian, Elaine Alquist, Abe Maldonado, Alberto Torrico, Ira Ruskin, Joe Coto, and Jim Beall held on to their jobs -- no surprise there. The freshman Assembly will see two new faces Attorney Bill Monning will take over for the 27th AD as Assemblymember John Laird terms out. The 22nd AD will see teacher Paul Fong replacing Assemblymember Sally Lieber.

San Jose Defense Attorney Ash Kalra will be replacing outgoing District 2's Councilman Forest Williams. Kalra won (only) 55% of the vote against challenger Jackie Adams, who dropped out before the primary. Kalra should pay close attention to the 45% the challenger that wasn't received, he has a lot of work to win over the rest of his district.

San Jose's Vice Mayor Dave Cortese engaged in a friendly campaign with Sunnyvale Councilman Otto Lee. Both maintained a polite relationship throughout, in the end it was Cortese who took Supervisor Pete McHugh's seat on the County Board of Supervisors.

Cortese's seat in San Jose's Evergreen area will be filled by Rose Herrera whose race against Pat Waite was not as polite.

Surprises happened around the Valley on School Boards. Losing their seats were Eddie Garcia, a Comcast executive, on the East Side Union High School District and Lalo Morales at the Alum Rock Union School District. Nearly bounced was Santa Clara Unified School Boardmember Don Bordenave who was bested by newcomer Albert Gonzalez and nearly taken out by his friend Noelani Sallings. This race is still very close and as results come in Watch Dog will be watching.

No sooner is one election over than another is gearing up. San Jose Councilwoman Madison Nguyen stepped in it when she held fast to naming a strip of Story Road Vietnam Town as suggested by the Vietnamese American Business Access Group (VABA) . A little background, San Jose residents will remember the uproar, the first Vietnamese-American elected to City Council thought she was doing the right thing in respecting the many accomplishments of San Jose's Vietnamese community. The past year has included San Jose's Council chambers filled to overflowing and a war hero engaged in a hunger strike. This is the story that wouldn't die, San Jose's City Council decided to flip flop and support the Little Saigon name. Little Saigon activists are preparing for a special election in March in an attempt to recall Nguyen.

San Jose Council hopeful Pat Waite jumped into the act hoping to garner support from District 8's Vietnamese community with a video circulating on city hall's 18th floor supporting the effort to recall Nguyen. The move didn't help and Waite has denied support for the recall effort, Watch Dog can't find the video, looking forward to a Watch Dog insider sharing the film. At this point it seems the recall advocates have other motives, Little Saigon has been named and welcome signs are posted. The road to the recall election in March will be interesting, if not confusing. Stay tuned with Watch Dog as developments progress.

Times are hard even for the oldest profession, San Franciscans rejected a ballot measure to decriminalize prostitution and, in the days leading up to the election, 136 arrests were made locally in an FBI sting on child prostitution and the Governor signed a bill recognizing minors as sexually exploited children rather than criminals. Nationwide over 600 people were arrested. Even quiet Morgan Hill did not escape and ended up with 11 arrests

Los Altans have the opportunity to weigh in on a new civic center and parking garage. At 18 acres the site is less than 1% of the total land mass. Residents are invited to a November 15 meeting to review design options. The proposal is 300% larger than the current town hall.

The election is over and the residents of Los Altos are going to have to accept each other regardless of their presidential choices. It was lawn sign madness in Los Altos with signs stolen from both sides, perhaps it was supporters without time to swing by campaign offices. McCain supporters filed multiple police reports. Detective John Korges doubted it was an organized attempt to stifle freespeech. Dick Blanding, a Republican volunteer estimated more than 40 residents had signs stolen. Obama supporter Juli Kline chastised would be thieves by writing on the replacement sign "Whoever stole my sign, shame on you."

The economy hurts everyone these days, thieves broke through the wall between a tax office and Harold's Jewelry's in Los Altos to steal more than $300,000 of jewelry and loose stones. Could this be the same savvy thief who struck Los Gatos stealing a ring out of the shop window?

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