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[whitespace] Gore Detail: Candidate for supervisor Liz Kniss is being accused by her opponent of having "hosted" Vice President Al Gore.

Public Eye

Reeping the Benefits

Dolly Sandoval LIKES TO BRAG that she's the only county supervisor candidate endorsed by the local Democratic Party (even though this is technically a nonpartisan race). But this past weekend Sandoval appeared on a slate card bragging--or at least pretending--that she's a Republican, a clear attempt to woo conservative voters. The front of the California Voter Guide (www.calvoterguide.com) recently received by North County Reeps says, "Attention: Republicans. Election Day Voting Guide." On the inside, the guide urges Republicans to support George W. Bush for prez and, yes, Dolly Sandoval for supe. The area below Sandoval's name also contains a few choice words about her opponent, Palo Alto Mayor Liz Kniss: "Liz Kniss is a Democratic Party Activist who's hosted Al Gore. Don't be fooled! Dolly is our choice for supervisor." A pretty odd thing to say since Sandoval is clearly the more liberal of the two Democratic candidates, Kniss opines. (And, by the by, what does it mean that Kniss hosted Al Gore? Sounds kinky.) "We believe it's an ethics violation," Kniss fumes. "Also, it calls into question: is Dolly what Dolly says she is? ... It's hard not to read this as misleading." But Sandoval's political fixer, Darren Seaton, begs to differ. He says all the information on the card is accurate. The slate card never actually describes Sandoval herself as a Republican, Seaton points out. And the fine print cautions, "Non Partisan candidates selected independent of party affiliation." "Dolly is supported by Democrats and Republicans," Seaton reasons, adding, "She wouldn't be the first Democratic candidate to buy onto a Republican slate card." True, true. For instance, Democrat-endorsed San Jose City Council aspirant Ken Yeager also appears on the version of the California Voter Guide in his district. Still, Seaton does concede the nasty text about Kniss in the guide was a mistake and has been removed from newer versions. That might not be enough to appease Ms. Liz, who is contemplating filing a complaint against Sandoval with the Campaign Ethics Foundation.

All Wound Up

Oh, those rowdy Rowens. Through the years, ill-tempered members of Santa Clara's infamous activist family have been accused of harassing and even stalking their opponents. Now comes word of the latest imbroglio, this one involving Ed Rowen, the 37-year-old chairman of the Silicon Valley Young Republican Federation. According to witnesses, Rowen got so unruly and angry during a forum on Latino political participation sponsored by the Mexican-American Studies Department at San Jose State last week, campus cops were called in. "We were all like, 'What is wrong with this man?'" says grad student Lupe Guzman, who served as moderator for the two-person forum which included Rowen and union organizer Anabel Ibanez. "He [Rowen] was out of control. He was ranting." ... Ibanez recalls that after some verbal sparring over Prop. 38, the school vouchers initiative, Rowen became increasingly hostile. "He accused me of making fun of him. He asked if I thought he was funny." Ibanez acknowledges that she said yes. ... At some point, Rowen reportedly lifted up his pant leg to show a wound he suffered while in the military. "He was just yelling, saying I was making fun of him because he was a veteran and he was disabled," Ibanez says. "I had no idea he was a veteran or disabled." The petite Ibanez alleges that the portly political activist got six inches from her face and Guzman had to physically get between them. Then Guzman told someone to call the cops, at which point Rowen fled the scene, both Ibanez and Guzman say. The cops didn't take a report or press any charges, but they did escort Ibanez to her car at her request. "The way he was behaving," she shudders, "I didn't feel safe." ... Rowen, meanwhile, tells a very different story. He denies ever getting in Ibanez's face and doesn't recall hearing anyone call for the police. He insists he left because he was fed up with Ibanez calling him a racist fatso. "She started the personal attacks," Rowen protests, "calling me funny-looking and stupid."

Chambers Made

Is Cisco CEO John Chambers hedging his bets in the closely watched Silicon Valley congressional race between Republican Jim Cunneen and Democrat Mike Honda? On Monday, Chambers--the co-chair of Cunneen's campaign--hosted an event at his Los Altos Hills home featuring House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.), who was in town stumping on Honda's behalf. Hondanistas initially leaked word that Chambers--who has hosted some of the valley's most successful fundraisers including one that yielded $200,000 for Cunneen earlier this year--was putting on a fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The DCCC, of course, is trying to defeat Cunneen and get Honda elected. An oft-solicited high-techie also told Eye that a Democratic operative hit him up for money in connection with the Chambers event. ... When Eye called Jimbo's troops, Cunneen campaign manager Terry Miller said he knew nothing about the event, but promised to check it out. Miller later phoned back and reported that Chambers was not hosting a fundraiser, but a "meet and greet" between Gephardt and tech execs. "I don't see a problem with that," Miller mused. "John Chambers has a custom of working with both sides and he needs to in his position." DCCC mouthpiece John Del Cecato also insisted, "At no time was that event supposed to be a fundraiser."

Bridge Toll

It's enough to make Adam Smith leap out of his 200-year-old grave and do a rewrite on his Wealth of Nations. The father of modern economics came up with the theory that an "Invisible Hand" will guide a prosperous marketplace through the narrow channels of selfish human greed. But the A-man wasn't thinking in terms of modern-day auction-type marketplaces, like eBay. Or tickets to the Bridge School Benefit featuring Neil Young, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Beck and Foo Fighters this weekend at the Shoreline Amphitheater. So what if the tickets originally sold for $38 and are now occasionally bidding above a thousand bucks on eBay? Who cares if the concert is to benefit a school for disabled children? Palo Alto resident Elizabeth Cully does, and thinks that Smith's Hand is beginning to look more like an Invisible Extended Digit when it comes to the ethics of scalping tix for benefits like this. She sent out a heated email to some of the more than 30 Bridge Benefit scalpers on eBay but--surprise!--none seemed too ashamed. ... One seller named Devin retorted, "Yes I will be donating to my bank account, are you going to be donating your next paycheck to the Bridge School?"

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From the October 26-November 1, 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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