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[whitespace] Craig Mann Favorite Sign: East Side Union High School trustee Craig Mann saw dozens of his posted campaign signs disappear recently. A noted area sign-hating vigilante has since been charged with grand theft.

Public Eye

A Fine Sign

EAST SIDE sign-hating vigilante Earl Magoun is at it again. And this time his sign-hating antics have caught the attention of the San Jose Police Department. ... Eye-watchers will recall that during the primary San Jose City Council candidate Patricia Martinez-Roach complained to city street and traffic officials about Magoun ripping down her signs. Ultimately, city honchos told Magoun to leave political signs alone, lest he be accused of interfering with free speech. ... In the latest episode, sign-poster Nelson Romero of Rome Enterprises says that while working on a job he noticed 60 to 70 percent of the campaign signs he had previously hung for East Side Union High School trustee Craig Mann were missing. Mann later told Romero he had gotten a call from someone who identified himself as a city volunteer named "Mr. Williams," who claimed the signs were illegally posted. After doing a little research, Mann discovered that "Mr. Williams" was an alias used by Magoun. ... A couple of days later, Romero says someone stole 50 of Mann's campaign signs from his shop. Romero then decided to drive by Magoun's house where he spotted dozens of Mann's and Assembly wannabe Sue Jackson's campaign signs in Magoun's recycling bin. "I was lucky enough," Romero muses, "to drive by before his garbage had been picked up." Romero called the cops, who initially cited Magoun for petty theft, but are now investigating the alleged sign-snatcher for grand theft because the loot's value exceeds $400. Magoun informs Eye that he has retained attorney Carl Lindstrom, a one-time sign-posting city council candidate himself. According to Magoun, police are investigating whether he took signs from the back of Romero's truck outside Rome Enterprises. "Of course," Magoun assures Eye, "I didn't do it." ... Meanwhile, Mann philosophically opines, "[H]ad Mr. Magoun not been discovered, he would not only have gotten away with violating my constitutional rights and those of other candidates, but the rights of the community as well."

Tax Tack

Willow Glen neighborhood busybody Kris Cunningham likes to say she's not really a politician, even if she is a candidate for San Jose City Council (District 6). Considering her puzzling opposition to Measure A, which promises to pay for a smorgasbord of transit projects including bringing BART to San Jose with a 30-year sales-tax hike, maybe she isn't a politician. No politician--at least not those cognizant of BART's polled popularity with local voters--would be masochistic enough to oppose a traffic-relief measure with an election pending. To wit: No San Jose City Council candidate, except for Cunningham, is opposed to Measure A. (South San Jose council contender Kathy Chavez Napoli, who's never met a tax she couldn't oppose, still hasn't made up her mind about Measure A.) And it's hardly a coincidence the two politicos spending the most energy defeating Measure A--supervisors Jim Beall and Blanca Alvarado--don't have to contend with their own re-elections this November. "It would be much easier to be for it, just like everybody else," Cunningham concedes. But the transit plan was rushed onto the ballot without careful study, she says. It won't hurt frustrated commuters, Cunningham suggests, to wait two years for a better ballot measure. But it might hurt her political chances next month. An adviser to Ken Yeager, Cunningham's opponent, promises voters will be hearing more about Cunningham's position "in debates and probably in the mail closer to the election."

Cunneen the Barbarian

Eye was unpleasantly surprised this weekend to find a message from a Jim Cunneen for Congress phone-banker clogging up its answering machine. Apparently, the paid campaign-caller, who identified herself as "Heidi," didn't really know Jimbo--at least not well enough to pronounce his name correctly. Over and over, Heidi urged Eye to support Jim Cunn-een--instead of Koo-neen, as it's supposed to be pronounced. Heidi did manage to pronounce the name of Cunneen's foe, Democrat Mike Honda, correctly. Honda campaign manager Jennifer Van der Heide tells Eye she has heard reports of phone-bankers also mispronouncing Cunneen's name as Koo-nin. "They should get their money back," she advises, "from whoever they're paying to do their calls." Vandy's counterpart for Cunneen, Terry Miller, retorts, "As long as people can spell the name and recognize it on election day, that's all that matters."

Stay, Joe, Stay

Larry Ellison probably would have told San Jose air-traffic controllers to stick their 11pm curfew you-know-where. But not veep wannabe Joe Lieberman. While already seated in the plane and ready to go to Portland Tuesday night, Lieberman's pilot "negotiated" with officials at San Jose International Airport for 30 minutes to get clearance for takeoff. But curfew-conscious airporters refused to budge, forcing Lieberman and his entourage to spend the night at downtown San Jose's Fairmont Hotel. ... The trouble began earlier in the evening at a fundraiser in Atherton where dual windbags Bill Bradley and Hyatt giving soporific introduction speeches. And according to one report, Lieberman--not exactly short on words himself--spoke for 22 minutes. Sources say he didn't leave until 10:15pm or 10:20pm--15 to 20 minutes behind schedule. ... Although Joe's advance crew likely busted a few capillaries, Gore strategists should be thanking San Jose's stubborn airport rulers for not doing any special favors for Lieberman. Now, that would have been an embarrassing story: "San Jose clears way for candidate to break curfew."

Lane Change

Just two years ago, Democratic congressional nominee Dick Lane was habitually bad-mouthing his opponent, Rep. Tom Campbell (R-San Jose), as a right-wing nut given high marks by the John Birch Society. Now, Lane is endorsing his former Reep nemesis in Campbell's improbable bid to unseat Democratic U.S Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Lane acknowledges, "I have never voted for a Republican before." So why dick over the Dems now? Lane praises Campbell, a constitutional law prof at Stanford who has handily defeated Lane twice at the polls, as an intellectual giant who can fill the role of resident egghead in the Senate with Daniel Moynihan retiring. As for Feinstein, well, Lane muses that she doesn't quite possess the same brainpower as the Campster. And she has already had eight years to do her thang, he adds. Besides, Lane argues DiFi is getting a little long in the denture--another six-year term and she'll be in her mid-70s. "I don't see ... getting that much more out of her," Lane predicts.

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From the October 12-18, 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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