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[whitespace] Tom McEnery/David Cohen
Can He Be Serious? Ex-SJ Mayor Tom McEnery, left half, told METRO publisher David Cohen, right half, that he's running for mayor.

Public Eye

Let's Get Ready to Rumba

ASK SAN JOSE'S EX-MAYOR about his career plans and he'll offer an empty-calorie phrase like, "I'm keeping my powder dry." Every South Bay reporter knows Tom McEnery will never directly answer with a simple yes or no when asked, "Are you going to run for mayor of San Jose again?" ... Which is why Eye was truly shocked to hear that before flying out to London this weekend he told Metro publisher David Cohen, "I wanted you to be the first to know--I'm running for mayor." ... The day before, the Chronicle's Mark Simon devoted his column to quoting His Mac-jesty's rants against unworthy incumbent Ron Gonzales (see his earlier criticisms of Gonzales in the April 12, 2001, Public Eye). McEnery attacked Gonzales for not clipping Oracle chief Larry Ellison's wings in the press, not championing a proposed power plant in Coyote Valley and not doing enough for the downtown. "Being mayor is all about instincts," McEnery informed Simon. "He [Gonzales] doesn't have any instincts. He has bad instincts." But, of course, when asked if he was going to take on Gonzales, McEnery "dodged" the question. ... An old friend and fellow Bellarmine boy expresses sincere shock that McEnery would nominate himself to run. From a strategic standpoint it makes no sense, the political insider opines. The superior and more expected strategy would be to claim important people are urging him to run and plot a media spectacle with Gonzales defectors standing beside him as he announced his inevitable return to his leather Herman Miller throne in City Hall. "It makes me think he's not being serious," the observer reasons, "that he's just playing games." Certainly, with McEnery it's possible that he was joking, though he didn't tell Cohen he was kidding around. Eye couldn't reach traveling Tom for further questioning. No doubt, he'd give Gonzo an expensive and brutal battle. And more importantly, he'd give Eye plenty to write about for the next year.

Modern Love

Call it a symptom of 21st-century marriage, but San Jose City Councilgal Cindy Chavez and her husband, Mike Potter, still don't know what to name their soon-to-be-born son. That is, they're still not sure what the baby's first and last name should be. Since the lovebirds have different last names there are two possibilities of the hyphenated variety. But that raises another question: Whose name would come first--Mike or Cindy's? Chavez-Potter. Potter-Chavez. Certainly, other great duos must have had similar discussions over who should get top billing. But right now hubby Mike doesn't want to figure it all out right now--he's too busy renovating the room where Baby Doe will sleep and play. "I'm more concerned," grumbles Potter, an aide to state Sen. Byron Sher, "about getting the baby's room ready than what we'll name it later."

Phone Tag

Got your May 2001 Pacific Bell Yellow Pages? Good. Turn to page 14 of the A-L book, which lists government officials with their photos. It seems not-so- recently elected Congressman Mike Honda has had some plastic surgery. And maybe some skin peels considering how pale he looks. Wait. He looks familiar. Like the guy he replaced. Hey, that is the guy he replaced--Republican Tom Campbell in all his eggheaded, fair-haired glory. But the shots accompanying the name, address and telephone listings for "federal and state elected officials in your directory coverage area" are topped by a disclaimer stating, "All information in this section was accurate at the time of publication." Honda, of course, took office at the beginning of the year. ... Curious as to Honda's whereabouts, Eye called the state's leader in telephone service. One hour and nine service-friendly phone referrals later, Dave Trussell of Pac Bell's Directory Marketing Unit in Los Angeles insisted the goof-up wasn't the phone company's fault. "It's the responsibility of newly elected officials to inform us of changes," Trussell sniffs. Honda's district director Meri Maben agreed--up to a point. "It's the House Communications Office in Washington that informs Pac Bell of changes. And our local office did get a call from Pac Bell confirming the number we'd given the House," says Maben. ... But when Honda opened up his San Jose office in January constituents complained they were having trouble getting through. "They'd call 411 and be given Campbell's number instead," Maben smirks. Frustrated, Maben called Victor Arranaga, Pac Bell's San Jose-based man in charge of sucking up to public officials. "He told us Pac Bell was 'working' on it, and the problem originated in Washington," Maben says. So how come the phone books got messed up, too? "All orders are placed by Congress. We went by the information sent us," Arranaga explains. Hmmm. Will Honda get a free listing in April 2002? Will 411 calls to his number be free of charge? ... By the by, the White Pages list both Campbell and Honda as reps. But if you really want to complain to your congressman, ignore the Campbell listing.

Celibate Valley

Beauty-product pushers from The Skin Market, a recent addition to the expanded Westfield Shoppingtown Valley Fair, face their own makeover this week--courtesy of whining mallrats and concerned mall management. Conservative shoppers have taken offense at the Simi Valley-based skin-care shop's massive promotional sign, which reads, "You know, sometimes we think shopping is better than sex." And several shoppers promptly mall-walked to the management to share their horror and dismay. ... The bubbly clerk who took Eye's call declined to comment, and said that all sex sign controversy calls are being forwarded to Skin Market masterminds. She did share the store's spirit of innuendo by answering the telephone, "Thanks for calling the Skin Market. Do you want to make out ... like a bandit?" No one from the shop's corporate marketing department returned calls, but Phillip St. Pierre of Westfield Management assures Eye that the mall will soon be sexless once again. "There was some controversy over that, but store management will be replacing it," St. Pierre promises, avoiding the word "sex" and opting for "edgy" instead. "They tried it, and it didn't give them the desired affect. Some patrons weren't crazy about it, and we weren't either." ... The mall's content editor says that the offending sign will be down in a number of days. Apparently nobody has taken offense at the sale signs peppered among the scented candles, soaps, makeup and accessories. They read, "Take it off, baby."

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From the April 26-May 2, 2001 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2001 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.

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