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[whitespace] Head Pat: Republican Dando scores big with democratic diehards.

Little-d Demos

Never has Erik Schoennauer been more pleased to receive a call from Eye. For once, the campaign manager for mayoral candidate Pat Dando, a Republican, had some excellent news to propagate. "We got the endorsement of the Santa Clara County African American Democratic Club," he gushed. "I said DEMOCRATIC club," he repeated, proudly listing other Dems on Dando's rickety bandwagon: Tommy Fulcher, Mohinder Mann and Annie Dandavati. But Sam Brown, spokesman for the group, says the word "Democratic" in the club's name stands for little-d democracy, as in the form of government not the party. "The club is a non-partisan organization," he informs Eye. "We have the name 'democrat' simply because we stand for the common people." Brown adds that the group, which has 30 active members, conducted "extensive interviews" with both Dando and Ron Gonzales to determine "the best candidate for San Jose." Brown's determination: "Pat showed stronger sensitivity on many issues that are key concerns with African Americans and other people of color living in the San Jose area." Gonzo supporters suspect Fulcher of pulling strings behind the scenes, although Brown insists that the Dando partisan is not a member of the club. ... Eye notes that this latest endorsement is probably the best news to come out of the Dando camp since Schoennauer was "promoted" from "campaign manager" to "campaign director." That was the day that Schoennauer shook off his "no comment" malaise and started swinging for the seats. This weekend, he said, he's "bringing in the big guns for fundraising" at a $100-a-head event called "Sunset at Cinnabar" at the Cinnabar Hills Golf Club. Expected are local celebrity jocks Peggy Fleming, Ronnie Lott and Tony Granato ... One piece of good news for Gonzales: He now boasts the endorsement of retired Congressman Norm Mineta.

Dog Dude

So who was the guy who jumped out of his car on Dempsey Road in Milpitas last week, knocked a motorist in the mouth with his fist or with a weapon, and then jumped back in his car and fled the scene? Well, Milpitas police don't have a positive ID on the alleged assailant, but they consider Santa Clara County Republican Party Central Committee member and Milpitas City Council candidate Dan Terry to be a prime suspect, since the getaway car is registered to the 40-year-old electronics engineering manager, and the victim's description of his attacker fits Terry's description. ... Eye would like to get the straight scoop from Dan himself, but he's not returning our voicemail messages. ... Milpitas police say they believe the attack was some sort of road rage assault resulting from one car cutting off the other. The unidentified African American motorist suffered serious lacerations to his mouth. Based upon the results of their investigation, Milpitas police say charges in the case could escalate to assault with a deadly weapon. ... Eye notes this is the second time in six months that the Milpitas cops have been asked to look into an assault possibly involving a member of the Terry household. In May, police were called after receiving complaints that Terry's pit bull terrier, Dude, had attacked a German shepherd belonging to a neighbor, Don Giberson. "Terry says it's a terrier," says Milpitas animal control officer Felix Reliford, who notes that the police report lists several previous confrontations between the two dogs, counting Dude as a pit bull. ... Plain terrier or pit bull terrier, the dog is apparently no slouch in the maiming department. "It appeared from the medical reports and photographs that Giberson's dog was seriously hurt," Reliford says, though a hearing deemed both animals were dangerous. Both dog owners appealed the hearing officer's ruling to the Milpitas City Council, which spent an hour last month discussing the various nuances of barks and bites. Terry didn't show, though he sent his wife and a representative. But Giberson was there to defend his dog, Argus, and testimony got as graphic as the Lewinsky deposition tapes: At one point, council minutes say, "Mr. Giberson shared photographs of what Dude did to his dog." Following that bit of show and tell, Councilmember Jim Lawson (who is running against Terry in this fall's election) suggested helpfully that maybe Dude and Argus should be neutered, because that really can help in situations like this.

Subcity Towers

If Matt Drudge lived in Silicon Valley, he'd have to devote a section of his e-rag to tracking the subsidies that the Redevelopment Agency is throwing at the Knight Ridder Corp. To recap: First, to make room for the Merc's parent corp, RDA agreed to abandon its own offices on the top floor of the city's tallest building and spend $500,000 to move four floors down. This maneuver will buy new furniture and fixins for RDA only temporarily--the agency will move again when the new City Hall comes on line five blocks away in 2003. Then, RDA pushed the city to jettison its sign ordinance so the media giant could erect a towering monument to itself above the San Jose skyline (ten times the size allowed under the city's rules). That plan crashed last week, when the Federal Aviation Administration ruled that the hundred foot-long logo posed a danger to the incoming flights that pass over downtown on their way into San Jose International. (we're not making this up). Now, Eye has learned that RDA chief Frank Taylor decided that a half-million wasn't enough to spruce up his provisional digs, and has gone back to the Redevelopment Board (otherwise known as the City Council) to sign off on another $90,000 outlay--this time to beautify the agency's new lobby.

Sun Risings

The transition from bomb-thrower to politician is one few can manage, a reality not lost on Santa Clara City Council candidate Deborah Bress in her dark-horse attempt to unseat incumbent mayor Judy Nadler. Bress led the effort to stop Sun Micro's destruction of Agnews Developmental Center; Nadler championed it. Also running is former parks commish Fred Clegg. But Bress doesn't fear political death at the ballotbox, for she says she's been clinically dead twice before. The first time was in 1981 during surgery to correct a congenital lung defect. The second was in recovery from the same surgery. "It was a life-changing experience," Bress says. "That's the biggest reason I'm running for mayor. I never want to look back and say, 'I should've.' " Another rumor in Mission City is that John McLemore plans to yank his endorsement of fellow council inmate Pat Mahan. Mahan, who says she still has Mac's support, is being challenged by Bill Murphy, who served as Sun flunky during council debates on Agnews, often locking horns with Debby "Nine Lives" Bress.

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From the September 24-30, 1998 issue of Metro.

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