Paul Fong in the News
Concerns arise that Assembly race could be distracting
5/11/2007. Mercury Newsk
Two elected officials from Santa Clara - Councilman Dominic Caserta and City Clerk Rod Diridon Jr. - are gearing up to run for the 22nd Assembly District seat next year. A third, Councilwoman Jamie McLeod, is considering it.
Why are so many Santa Clarans weighing a bid for higher office? Chalk it up to a vibrant political climate in recent years - and maybe some of the fame afforded by the city's nationally recognized campaign ethics program.
But with up to three officials vying for termed-out Democrat Sally Lieber's seat - which covers Cupertino, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, most of Santa Clara and a slice of San Jose - some political observers wonder whether the campaign for the Democratic primary could harm the city leadership's dynamics and ability to craft meaningful policy at the same time the city is evaluating a mammoth stadium proposal from the San Francisco 49ers.
"At a minimum, people competing for the same Assembly district have an incentive to compete for getting attention or credit for stuff that was done," said Bruce Cain, director of the University of California-Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies. "It doesn't have to happen, but conceivably the relationships can turn sour and make it hard for them to cooperate."