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Silicon Valley News Notes

U-Turn of Phrase

In a video that was circulated among City Hall insiders last week, District 8 Council Candidate Pat Waite can be seen addressing a rally in favor of the recall effort against District 7 Councilmember Madison Nguyen. Word of the appearance set off a storm of controversy, and Waite immediately began to backtrack. He sent an email to Nguyen in which he performed a verbal tap-dance to explain that the "rumor" of his support for the recall was untrue. On the video, Waite says, "I look forward to working with you on the recall." Waite insisted that was not an indication of support. Nor this: "What you've proven to me is that our democratic process works, and that we can make it listen to us. Because it was not listening to you and you stood up and said, 'No, I will not tolerate this,' and 5,181 signatures later, we're all here, and you're going to get your recall election, and that's fantastic." Councilmember Pete Constant, a Waite supporter who happens to be adamantly opposed to the recall, says he believes Waite's version of events. "I'm taking him at his word," Constant says, sounding more generous than credulous. "As a person who frequently has to speak in public, I know that sometimes what comes out of my mouth is not what I meant."

Run, Forrest, Run

San Jose City Councilman Forrest Williams has put an end to speculation about whether he might be running for Santa Clara County supervisor. According to the county clerk's office, Williams became the first person to file his intention to run for the District 1 seat in September, and he's still the only announced candidate. Which isn't surprising, given that the election is in November 2010. Williams, who is termed out from the City Council this year, says he went ahead and filed two years in advance of the vote because people kept asking if he has plans to stay in politics after he leaves the council. "Just so that there is no question whether I am or not," Williams says. "I'm making a definitive statement: I'm interested in running." Fact is, Williams has been strongly alluding to his desire to take over the seat, currently held by Don Gage, for months. Williams told Fly in June that he planned to ask Gage for an unpaid internship in his office so he could learn the ropes of the district. He says he hasn't approached Gage yet with his idea, but that even if Gage doesn't go for it, he will ask around to see if other supervisors would let him be a shadow in their office. "I want to understand the needs and key things," Williams says. The candidate says he is currently forming a committee, but has no plans to ramp up his campaign for about 16 months, until March 2010, which should give him plenty of time to organize.

Hush Money

Apparently, Rose Herrera can't escape the reputation for shoddy business practices that have trailed her since the revelation that she once had to file for bankruptcy. The most recent charge comes from Van Le, organizer of the Children's Moon Festival. Le says Herrera, who was running against Pat Waite for San Jose's District 8 council seat, tried to pull out the day before the Sept. 13 cultural event. Le, who had lost to Herrera in the June primary, claims Herrera's staffers called 24 hours before the event to tell her that she couldn't be a sponsor because she didn't have the $1,000 she had pledged for the event. Le says she then told Herrera she would go to the press if she pulled out of the event. "Her staff called back and said, 'We made a mistake,'" Le said. So Herrera was introduced onstage. But after the event, Herrera still hadn't paid up. Le says she sent her an email, giving her until the end of the week to deliver the check. Herrera says as far as she is concerned "nothing happened at all." "We participated in the festival and we paid the bill and that's all I have to say about it," Herrera says.

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