[Metroactive News&Issues]

[ Silicon Valley | Metroactive Home | Archives ]

[whitespace] Fred Keeley A Moving Story: Fred Keeley says the 'logic of moving' is 'very compelling.'

Public Eye

Turn of The Screw

The screwing Assembly Speaker Pro Tem FRED KEELEY (D-Santa Cruz) got from his Democratic peers during reapportionment was thorough enough that some political observers wondered aloud if it would end the hardworking lawmaker's career. Keeley had had his eyes on the 11th Senate District, whose current officeholder, BYRON SHER (D-Palo Alto), is termed out in 2004. Instead, the new maps shifted Keeley's Boulder Creek home from the 11th to the 15th--a district redrawn for Assemblyman ABEL MALDONADO (R-San Luis Obispo). As a young Latino Reep, Maldonado is a rising star and a darling of the state party. The 15th District, however, stretches up the coast to take in Almaden and Saratoga, so he'll have some introducing to do down the road. Meanwhile, the current 15th District senator, BRUCE MCPHERSON (R-Santa Cruz), is running for lieutenant governor against incumbent Cruz Bustamante, and his campaign might not be the long shot everyone thinks. "Some of the early polling shows that Bruce has a fairly decent chance to win," says Keeley, adding that the numbers show McPherson within single digits of Bustamante. "So there's a rumble going around that McPherson could actually win this." (McPherson campaign manager PETE MONTGOMERY goes a step further, saying the poll had Bruce within the margin of error.) That's good news for Keeley. If McPherson left midterm, Keeley would be able to run in the old 15th, something that has not escaped his notice. "I'm preparing for a special election in the 15th," the speaker pro tem reveals. "In that eventuality, my candidacy is very strong." With $420,000 in the bank, Keeley sounds optimistic, especially with Senate President JOHN BURTON (D-San Francisco) backing him enthusiastically. Burton oversaw the drawing of the lines that aced Keeley out, but now Keeley could make Burton a happy guy if he wins because Burton could have a solid two-thirds majority if Keeley replaced the Republican McPherson. But even if he is able to succeed McPherson, 2004 is just around the corner, and that would raise even more questions for Fred. As an incumbent senator, Keeley could choose to run again in the new 11th District or move down the hill into the 15th and take a shot at blocking Maldonado's ascent. "Democrats would push me very hard to run in the 15th, and I've said that, if there's a special election, I'm absolutely interested in the 15th," Keeley says. "The question is what I would do in 2004, and I've made no commitment about which seat I would run for, but what I have said is that the logic of moving into the 15th is very compelling."

Cheerleader Mag

San Jose mayoral aspirant JOSE POSADAS, who last fall ditched his job as an aide to Councilwoman CINDY CHAVEZ to challenge RON GONZALES, probably won't be back on the city payroll anytime soon. So what to do? Start a magazine, says the eternally optimistic Posadas. Posadas tells Eye he's teaming up with JOEL CRUZ, owner of the now-shuttered Rush Cybercafe, to create Downtown Magazine, a free monthly that should hit the streets by the end of the month (Posadas says he's also planning to go back to school and get an MBA at San Jose State University). Posadas will act as editor and Cruz as publisher, but don't look for a big staff pumping out exposés on Redevelopment Agency boondoggles. Instead, Posadas says, look for a mag that promotes small businesses in the downtown area. And although Posadas took shots at the mayor whenever he got the chance during his campaign, big bad Gonzilla apparently didn't take it personally: Gonzales and Chavez both gave the publishing duo letters of support for their venture. ... Cruz had been thinking about starting a publication to promote downtown businesses, as Eye reported in February, but Rush closed before he could get the project started. "When I had my business, it was hard for me to reach out to the community. As a businessperson selling coffee, I couldn't advertise, because I couldn't afford it. So that's why I wanted this magazine to be a voice to promote downtown--and not just the businesses but also the neighborhoods and artists." Cruz adds that he's not discouraged about doing business downtown: "I'm still hoping to reopen the cafe."

Round One?

ELAINE ALQUIST had Assembly colleague MANNY DIAZ fuming the other day after she reversed her vote on one of his bills in committee. The two are both positioning themselves to succeed Sen. JOHN VASCONCELLOS in 2004, so maybe it's no surprise that Diaz got his toes stepped on when he brought a charter school bill to committee late last month. "Manny was gathering support for the bill, and Elaine voted yes, but two hours later she changed her vote," says Diaz staffer DRINA COLLINS. "Manny, of course, was not very happy." With his bill, which would have had local school districts approve charter schools, shot down after a yearlong effort, Diaz asked Alquist why she changed her mind. "She just said. 'I don't like it anymore, and I don't care,'" Collins says. "He was very disappointed because he felt she didn't give him a heads-up when she was going to pull her vote. He felt it was a political move on her part." Alquist allows that she changed her mind on the Diaz bill but disputes that account. "No, I would never say anything like that. It's a blatant lie, and I would have to wonder why anybody would say that I said that." Alquist says she supported another charter-school bill by Assemblywoman SARAH REYES (D-Fresno) that would have counties grant approval for charter schools instead of districts. "Yes, I changed my mind after I looked at the two bills because I thought about it a little bit more. I base all my decisions on what's best for students. ... That's why I ended up abstaining and voting for the Reyes bill." So what did she say to Diaz? "I said, 'Manny, I disagree with your bill on policy now that I've heard more because I think it's better to do it at the county level,'" Alquist recounts. "He didn't say anything." Alquist called back later to leave another thought on Eye's voicemail: "I think Mr. Diaz and his office are beginning the disinformation campaign against me a little early for a Senate race that's in 2004."

Don't forget to tip: Leave messages by calling 408.200.1346. Or .

Send a letter to the editor about this story .

[ Silicon Valley | Metroactive Home | Archives ]

From the May 9-15, 2002 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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

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