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Candidate Supe

The list of candidates to replace outgoing Supervisor Mike Honda keeps growing. The latest head count has at least six people vying for the District 1 supe's chair, while Honda heads for the state Assembly. Those who have already announced their bids include Keith Honda (Mike's cousin), Gilroy mayor and conservative Republican Don Gage, GE exec John Redding, Los Gatos Councilman Steve Blanton, and Santa Clara Valley Water District Board member Rosemary Kamei. Last week Gilroy winery owner and slow-growth advocate Tom Kruse--not to be confused with the Hollywood Scientologist--sent out letters addressed "Dear Fellow Democrat" to announce his candidacy. While the county election is non-partisan, playing up party ties may not be a bad idea in this south county district where Democrats have a slight edge in voter registration. Kamei is the only other Democrat in the race so far. But Kruse, chair of the county planning commission, may be drowning his sorrows rather than uncorking the champagne bottle on election night. Eye sources say Cousin Keith, who's enlisted bigshot consultant Richie Ross to do his campaign literature, is an early favorite to win because of the name-recognition factor. With precious little time to organize or raise money before the Feb. 4 primary (one campaign still hopes to raise $100,000), candidates no doubt will need a simple and effective gimmick. Having the same last name as an established politician is a good start. Just ask San Jose Councilman George Shirakawa Jr. or Assemblymember-elect Elaine Alquist. ... One person who won't be running is Gerald Norve. Eye watchers may recall that Norve, an Almaden Valley accountant and government gadfly, ran against Pat Dando for San Jose City Council last year. He lost, but his complaints helped motivate the Fair Political Practices Commission to investigate and fine developer Barry Swenson $20,000, plus five other businesses, for allegedly laundering money into Dando's council campaign. Norve says he briefly entertained running for the District 1 spot but decided against it. "I don't have the time or the money to run that kind of campaign," he understates. Even though he's not going to run for supervisor, Norve says he plans to keep a close eye on the race. ... Speaking of Dando, Reep heavyweights are apparently pushing her to run for the open supervisor seat in the south county district as well. Insiders say that considering the relatively weak opposition, Dando would be "formidable." That's potentially bad news for Redding, who planned on having Dando's support during the campaign. But Erik Schoennauer, Dando's aide, assures Eye there's no way she's going to run for Honda's seat. "Pat strongly supports John [Redding] and thinks he's the best candidate and the person most likely to win." ... "Everyone still expects her to run for mayor," a campaign source said.


Jocks Strapped

After graduating high school together, having the same priest preside at their weddings and moving to the same neighborhood, Jude Barry and Joe Guerra are preparing to consummate their longtime relationship with a major act of political intercourse. The 1998 San Jose mayor's race will likely pit Barry, county Supe Ron Gonzales' chief of staff, and Guerra, aide-de-camp to SJ Councilmember Frank Fiscalini, against one another in support of their respective bosses, culminating a friendly rivalry that goes back to the sixth grade, when they attended competing Catholic schools. (They both graduated from Bellarmine in 1980.) When they each tied the knot with their wives, the same priest did the honors. And they both own homes in Willow Glen. (Note: Jude's is bigger.) ... Gonzales has virtually declared his candidacy, and it's looking more and more like it's a go for Fiscalini. On Tuesday, Barry and Guerra lunched together at trendy 840 North First. (Joe had the chicken salad; Jude ordered pasta.) Barry tells us they talked about their "high school reunion." But Guerra, who picked up the tab, says they discussed their future "careers."


Eye Scream

Sweet-toothed members of the San Jose City Council bribed by ... ice cream? Not really. Double Rainbow treated councilmembers to a cup of vanilla ice cream while they considered revising a botched five-year lease deal to let the company operate out of the soon-to-be restored Twohy Building, owned by the Redevelopment Agency. Just before the council voted, Mayor Hammer suggested, "We better vote on this first so there's no charges of bribery or anything." ... Maybe it was the ice cream that sweetened Councilman David Pandori's recently sour relations with the mayor. Pandori found himself congratulating Hammer and Redevelopment czar Frank Taylor on a fantastic budget proposal. Just two months ago, however, Hammer snarled that while some councilmembers like Pandori won't vote for tax increases they'll offer people free lunches, free dinners and champagne cruises. The mayor wasn't being literal, but Pandori blew his top. ... A few weeks ago, the two traded salvos again over the city's troubled utility billing system. While Hammer explained her position, Pandori got up and whispered to City Attorney Joan Gallo. A perturbed Hammer stopped and waited until Pandori was done whispering to finish her statement. When Pandori later criticized the mayor's position, Hammer exploded, calling Pandori the council's "self-appointed ethicist," and scolding him for his earlier rudeness. "It would have been nice if you had afforded me the same courtesy I afforded you. I listened to every word you said and as soon as I started to speak you got up and talked to Joan." An Eye source says the feud stems from Hammer's failure to endorse Pandori for her old council seat. Pandori once worked as an aide to former mayor and Hammer-nemesis Tom McEnery. Eye says let them eat ice cream.


Sucker Alert

It's not every day that a criminal leaves a return address. But that's exactly what one home PC whiz did on a flier left on unsuspecting commuters' windshields at De Anza College, offering to make an authentic-looking California ID from a photo of any size. Just send $35 to a San Jose post office box. Amazingly, the crook is still at large. Authorities say it's likely that the P.O. Box was rented with cash and a fake name. Sgt Jim Harada from the sheriff's department tells Eye"It's definitely an illegal scam of some sort. ... There are people who prey on those who need ID cards." Harada adds that because the crook used the postal system to commit fraud, he or she could also be subject to federal charges. Yet another reason not to leave a return address.


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From the December 12-18, 1996 issue of Metro

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