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Changing the Rules: For the attorney general's race, DA George Kennedy is making an exception to his policy of not endorsing political candidates.

Professional Courtesy

Eye-watchers may recall the very public clash between this column and District Attorney George Kennedy a few months back. The rift stemmed from an item in which Eye labeled Kennedy a "Blantonista," because he had turned up at a fundraiser for the then-supervisorial candidate (and fellow Los Gatos Reep) Steve Blanton. Kennedy immediately issued an indignant press release condemning Eye for jumping to conclusions. The DA informed the public that, as a rule, he usually doesn't endorse political candidates. Well, there are apparently exceptions to the rule. At a recent meeting of the Rotary Club, Kennedy brought along Orange County District Attorney Mike Capizzi to hobnob with Silicon Valley's business elite. Capizzi, by the by, happens to be a Republican candidate for attorney general. "He's the best person running for attorney general," Kennedy gushes. "The reason I'm supporting him is because I've known him to be a professional prosecutor, and that's what this office needs—not a politician." So what about his rule of not endorsing political candidates? Well, this is a little different, Kennedy explains. In this case, Kennedy says he has professional insight into who is the best-qualified person for the job. ... Also being mentioned as candidates for attorney general are David Stirling, Dan Lungren's chief deputy, and Democratic state Sen. Charles Calderon, whose campaign will be handled by Terris & Jaye of San Francisco. ... Most likely not in the running now for AG is state Senate prez Bill Lockyer of Hayward. With term limits having been thrown out by the courts, observers expect Lockyer to stay put.


What's $82K Between Friends?

After getting a charismatically challenged Susan Hammer elected mayor in 1990, the political consulting team of Carol Beddo and Roger Lee was a hot commodity. A few years later, their fortunes took a dive when Lee started stuffing business profits up his nose, putting an end to the Beddo & Lee team and their company. Beddo got stuck with the bills and decided to get out of the consulting biz, taking a job as the Redevelopment Agency's $91,000-a-year public apologist. Lee went through rehab and started up a new consulting business. But as every recovering addict knows, the wreckage from the past must be dealt with in the sober present. In December, Lee filed for bankruptcy, trying to get a handle on his debts. This summer, Eye has learned, Beddo filed an $82,000 claim in federal bankruptcy court, saying that's how much Lee owes her from the dissolution of their business partnership. "It's not a surprising number to Roger," Beddo nervously assures Eye. "It's a number we discussed quite some time ago, and he's in complete agreement with it." Both say they remain on friendly terms. "We talk regularly," Lee says. "She understands I went through many problems with the disease of substance abuse." ... Eye-watchers will remember the recent legal spat between Lee's new business partner, Greg Sellers, and his former associate, political consultant Rich Robinson. Sellers sued Robinson for $3,000 in small claims court, over an old unpaid vendor's bill. A defiant Robinson said if he lost the case, he'd pay Sellers in pennies. Well, Robinson lost, but Sellers says he hasn't seen any money yet, let alone pennies. Robinson, who recently graduated from Santa Clara University's law school, explains that's because he plans to exercise his legal know-how and appeal the ruling.



BYOW: Mayor Hammer was nabbed by Stanford Stadium officials for trying to sneak in a glass of wine.

Wine, Brie and Pigskin

According to a reliable eyewitness account, security guards at Stanford Stadium caught San Jose Mayor Susan Hammer trying to sneak in a cup of wine at Saturday's football game. Vigilant stadium officials confiscated the wineglass as Hammer was passing through the entrance with her hubby, Phil, and two female companions, who managed to get through the gates with their wine undetected. Readers may at least take comfort in the fact that sneaking doesn't come naturally to their leading lady and that she wasn't caught with a beverage unbecoming a big-city mayor, like, say, a 40-ouncer of Old English (Marion Barry, take note). The mayor has been known to knock back a glass of chardonnay on occasion at trendy Eight Forty North First Street before those long, dull council meetings, though Eye finds wine and football an oxymoronic combo.


The Q-Word

This month's scathing Forbes article on state Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush raises a pivotal question: How do Chuck's friends address him in private? The article suggests that Chuck's buddies call him "Quack." This strikes Eye as odd, since if memory serves, the Chuckman gets his knickers in a twist each time Eye applies to the aforementioned its longtime tradition of mangling political names on an equal-opportunity basis. In fact, the Quackster has refused to speak to Eye solely on the grounds that he doesn't like to be called by the various terms of endearment on which Eye prides itself. Upon further investigation, Eye confirmed its suspicion that the Forbes article was all wet. "It's just an indicator of how this whole article was approached," sniffs Dana Spurrier, the Quackster's flack-catcher. "I told them it wasn't his nickname, that it was derogatory, but they went ahead and used it anyway."


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From the October 23-29, 1997 issue of Metro.

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