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[whitespace] Carl Guardino Transit Manic: Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group Prez Carl Guardino says he doesn't know whether his influential group will get involved in the campaign to bring BART to San Jose.

Public Eye

Measured Approach

SILICON VALLEY MANUFACTURING GROUP Prez Carl Guardino is being mighty quiet these days about a ballot measure that would bring BART to San Jose. A few short weeks ago, Guardino was leading the effort with San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales to persuade the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors to put a transportation tax on the November ballot. The supes refused to comply, forcing Gonzales to switch to Plan B: getting the more BART-friendly Valley Transportation Authority board to put something on the ballot. But Guardino, listed as one of the ten most powerful people in the Valley by the Mercury News, has been noncommittal as to whether the Manufacturing Group will help run the campaign for the VTA ballot measure. "I'm not the Manufacturing Group," Guardino protests. "I'm the CEO. The Manufacturing Group is owned by 175 employers, and as with all decisions, it's theirs, not mine." But a source familiar with the situation opines that Guardino is being more cautious now because of his bad experience with the supes. Many observers say Guardino played his hand too aggressively, angering the likes of supervisors Jim Beall and Blanca Alvarado. "He went way out there before," the source says, "and he got burned. So he's been hesitant, more cautious." ... There are other legit reasons for Guardino to be more cautious. Local pundits are skeptical whether the VTA measure can get the needed two-thirds majority. In contrast, a supes-approved ballot measure would only have needed a simple majority of voting simpletons. The Manufacturing Group just commissioned a poll testing support for the VTA alternative, which has a couple of different wrinkles from the one considered by the county. Most notably, the VTA version calls for a 30-year tax instead of a 20-year tax, and only funds transit projects, not highway improvements. ... The Manufacturing Group has led the past three transportation tax campaigns and its board of directors will decide this week whether to get involved in a fourth. The group's support would no doubt help persuade high-tech leaders to exercise some stock options to help finance a campaign that will need at least $1.2 million, sources estimate.

Buried Hatchet

An estimated 400 to 500 people jammed into the Darling & Fischer Garden Chapel earlier this week to pay their respects to San Jose Flea Market eccentric George Bumb Sr., who died in his sleep last week at the age of 76. One person, however, was conspicuously missing from the rosary service: Jeff Bumb, George's oldest son, who didn't speak to the old man for the last few years of his life and who waged a bruising court battle with his younger brothers over Bay 101 card club. "My issue with [George Bumb Sr.]," Jeff Bumb complained about his father in a July 1999 Metro story, "was his control of where you lived, what kind of house you bought, where your children went to school, ... who your friends are, ... whether your children went to college, who they would marry, what kind of wedding they would have." During the family's court feud, details of George Bumb's quirky behavior emerged, such as the time he allegedly fired one of his sons for showing up to work wearing sneakers. Bumb Sr. liked to keep things all in the family, so to speak, starting his own church on Mt. Hamilton and, according to Jeff, demanding that his 60-some grandchildren go to the private school at the flea market. ... Perhaps it was divine intervention--a source says it was Jeff's mother Lorraine--but a witness says George's disowned son showed up for the public burial the day after he was a no-show at the rosary. "Jeff and his mother sat together," the witness reports. "She had her arm around Jeff, and Jeff had his arm around her. There's peace."

Cyber Bomber

Just before he might have gone e-postal, former UCSC student and accused cyberstalker Michael Scott was nabbed by the FBI recently in Littleton, Colorado, stockpiling an arsenal of 80 weapons and 40,000 rounds of ammunition stacked in his digs. The G-men say Scott has been threatening to kill immediate family members, a former university professor and several FBI agents via email. Metro readers may remember Scott from a 1999 story on cyberstalking in which his ex-girlfriend accused him of harassing her with threatening emails. ... Professor James Scott, Michael's father, claims Santa Cruz's radical lefty politics tipped his son over the edge, packing him off down the politically incorrect--if not insane--path. Over the years, Scott has posted raving messages ranging the spectrum from wanting to beat his father to death with a baseball bat to refusing to deal with "lezbo-fuckhead-liberal-commie-shitbrained-fuckers," at work, home or play. ... While at UC-Santa Cruz, Scott's breakup with fellow student Deirdre des Jardins was anything but sweet. Many of his emails detailed explicit rape fantasies and violence against those who had dissed him. "If you fuck with me," he wrote des Jardins, "I will fuck with you." And Scott did that exceedingly well, allegedly cyberstalking des Jardins for 11 years. ... Scott is currently being held without bail, charged with 28 federal counts of extortion, and threats to murder. He faces up to 270 years in prison. While the aggrieved, like des Jardin, believe a greater tragedy has been averted, Scott seems nonplussed. "This will be something to laugh about next year," he predicts.

My Gift Is My Song

Working-class Valley millionaires with an extra $50,000 to donate to the Democratic Party may be able to buy face time with Elton John next month at a Silicon Valley fundraiser for Al Gore. Word is that the pop crooner has worked out an arrangement with party organizers to perform for 45 minutes at a Gore event on Sept. 19. The most generous Demo donors--those who have kindly parted with at least $50,000 for the cause--will apparently get an intimate face-to-face with Elton and Al before the main event (campaign finance reform is apparently like a candle in the wind). The fundraiser, sources tell Eye, will be Gore's last one in the Bay Area before the November election. The biggest remaining question seems to be: Where will the shindig be held? One popular theory has it that ubiquitous venture capitalist John Doerr will host the festivities at his Woodside palace, though one Demo operative says that's looking unlikely at this point. And Jeff Modisett, a consultant for TechNet, refuses to disclose where else the party might be held, only saying, "The location has not yet been determined."

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From the August 24-30. 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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