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[whitespace] Peas in a Pod Peas in a Pod: Council race runners get down and dirty.

Public Eye

Lien on Me

TERRY GREGORY's been catching a lot of flak lately as he claws his way through the spectator sport of SJ's District 7 City Council race against his opponent, the business-lobby-approved ED VOSS. And the latest snag shows there's no logic to the strange bedfellowship of politics. Witness the following: Gregory's council campaign website touts his standout status as a "community activist and uniter." He backs this claim by listing organizations he's presided over, like the Senter Creek Homeowners Association, a mention he hopes will win over voters who think it's commendable that he's helped take care of the ranch. Gregory opponents, however, point out that he didn't pay his dues and other fees for some months in the '90s. Indeed, the association tried to foreclose on Gregory's condo, as is procedure for these kinds of control-freak bodies. But political enmity being as changeable as screensavers, Gregory has since won tender endorsements from association president WILLIAM WONG and vice president DANA RAWLINGS. Gregory supporters have since hauled out Merc reports from last spring, pointing out that Voss obtained some indie expenditure dollars (a technique for boosting campaigns with large, ethically questionable sums) from big District 7 developer ROBERT ENAMI, who, they allege, operated in cahoots with Vice Mayor GEORGE SHIRAKAWA JR.'s chief of staff, DAVID GARRETSON Jr., whom, sources say, Voss promised a job if he's elected. But back to mud-slingee No. 1. Gregory, who ended up paying his association debts, suggests that his personal money problems have surfaced during the campaign as a result of his detractors' inability to find any professional incompetence to sling at him. "If they could find anything wrong with my performance [balancing the multimillion-dollar budget] on the school board, they'd be talking about that," Gregory needlessly assures Eye.

Road Rave

Two years and one letter make all the difference. CARL GUARDINO, prez and CEO of Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group (SVMG) and a fan of the environment, went fang to fang with certain county supervisors over 2000's ultimately successful public-transit money pot Measure A. "It seemed to be controversial with everyone but the voters," Guardino now says, reflecting on the total slam-dunk Measure A turned out to be come election time. Well, things just got slam-dunkier. Recent polls show Measure B, which doesn't require a new tax and only needs 50 percent plus one to win, is a hit with about 70 percent of valley voters, Guardino tells Eye. "It's an easy victory if people know that this does not raise taxes," adds JUDE BARRY, a political consultant for Measure B who co-directed the Measure A campaign. Notably, loudmouth opponents of SVMG's Measure A (a $6 or $7 billion injection for commie transit modes) county Supervisors JIM BEALL, BLANCA ALVARADO and DON GAGE are now practically kissing the manufacturing group over Measure B's $2 billion just for roads. OK, maybe not an open-mouthed kiss. "I don't really particularly think about any groups when I make my decisions," the apparently independent-minded Beall tells Eye. Gage, on the other hand, says he's always been chums with Guardino's group. He just thought Measure A was "unbalanced" because it left out money for the roads that cement Silicon Valley's identity, and he believes Measure B is simply a cleanup round. "We had a general difference of opinion, and we resolved that," he says. That being the case, the unifying power of pavement (so long as voters don't need to cough up more moolah) is a beautiful thing. Too bad officials can't all hold hands when it comes to public transit dollars.

No Means No

Eye visited San Jose State last week and became sentimental. Yes, it's that time of year again--that time when adults try every gimmick they can think of to protect college kids from the utterly frightening real world. On Sept. 24, for the San Jose State Safety Fair, sponsored by the University Police, Eye strolled by the obligatory car sacrificed to the drunk-driving gods and admired the deceptively cute police dog. Eye then headed over to the YWCA's date-rape education table to check out the new date-rape coasters. The coasters are equipped with two test areas that change color when a drink containing a date-rape drug (like Roofies) is dribbled on them. "It really has been honed to an exact science," YWCA spokesperson MELODY SITTENAUER tells Eye. "It's not 100 percent foolproof, but it really is another tool in the fight against date rape." LEANDRA PELOQUIN, YWCA rape-crisis advocate, concurs. "We don't want people to depend on it and have a false sense of security," she says, "but it's probably going to save a lot of people. It's something that really needs to be out there." Eye longs for the good old days, when one had only to fear rapists, not rape drugs, and wishes someone would invent a coaster that could detect a potential rapist when held to a forehead.

Save Your Breath

Eye hereby states the obvious: There's nothing funny about cancer. So when Eye noticed the headline "Las Isabelas: In the fight against breath cancer," on the front page of the Sept. 26 San Jose-based bilingual paper El Observado, Eye did not laugh. Instead, Eye thought, Oh, crap! another reason to fear being awake. Further reading proved this was a typo. El Observador's article was about the Sept. 19 Third Annual Gala de Esperanza benefit for women with cancer. The good news is that there is no new breath-based cancer to worry about. The bad news is that there are still plenty of unsolved medical reasons to hide under the bed.

WAAAAH!

Gubernatorial hopester BILL SIMON has apparently kindled a whining bandwagon. Gov. GRAY DAVIS indicated that dignifying his opponents with a debate bestows upon them some easy publicity that they haven't necessarily earned. Why would he want to help his competitors by letting his fame and name recognition leak onto them on prime-time television, he wonders. Simon, his loudest foe, however, makes lemonade. Simon seized on Davis' elusiveness as an opportunity to dub the guv a "Debate Dodger," the awkward nickname Simon uses in most communications with the press. Simon's Republican colleague JOE NIXON (no relation to the esteemed former president) gifts the press with attacks on Rep. ANNA ESHOO for declining debates in the race for her congressional seat, a Democratic stronghold. "After I challenged my opponent in July to seven debates, Anna Eshoo said in a letter date 8/2/02, she would participate," Nixon wrote in a campaign flier. "But then ... weeks after [the League of Women Voters] set the date for 8:30pm Oct. 17 in Mountain View's City Council room, her office still wouldn't commit even to that single one." Aghast, Eye called Eshoo's office. Actually, Eshoo tells Eye, "I have never missed a debate in 20 years of public service. I've never turned one down and I look forward to every single one of them." Eye wishes she had said, "We'd be happy to debate Mr. Nixon, except that he's a nobody that nobody's heard of, and he's not going to even come close to winning, OK?"

Eye Goofed

Eye is red-faced to report that Eye made an culturally insensitive error last week in the item about the former De Anza College student found with weapons and an alleged plan to attack his school. The actual, honest-to-gosh truth is that Chinese characters are written in plain ol' Chinese, not Chinese dialects like Mandarin.


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From the October 3-9, 2002 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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

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