From: San Jose Mercury News
It was bad enough for Superintendent Craig Goldman that the union representing teachers in the Mountain View-Whisman School District declared an impasse last month. But when someone posted on Facebook a cartoon depicting him jumping in anger, shouting “How dare you speak out! I am the superintendent!” and wearing a two-cornered naval hat associated with Napoleon, Goldman had enough.
“You might know that at 5’7″ Napoleon was of average height for his time, but there is an historical belief that he was quite short. I’m assuming that the person who drew the picture, as well as those who celebrated it, found humor in making fun of me on the basis of my height (5 foot 3),” Goldman wrote to the union’s president, Jonathan Pharazyn, in an email he kindly shared with us.
“Some would say, however, that demeaning someone on the basis of their height or attributing their behavior to their stature is no different than demeaning individuals or stereotyping them on the basis of their gender, race, ethnicity, weight, or sexual preference. Some might consider it a form of harassment, bigotry, or discrimination. What do you think?”
Pharazyn emailed back an apology, saying that he hadn’t approved the cartoon and that it was inappropriate and had been taken down from the Mountain View Education Association group site. Goldman wrote back seeming to doubt the sincerity of the apology, asking if it had been sent to those who saw the cartoon, and if those responsible had been reported to their supervisors.
“Maybe they think it is appropriate to use personal humiliation through social media as a negotiation strategy,” Goldman wrote.
After the cartoonist, California Teachers Association staffer Wendy Dillingham-Plew, responded, Goldman blasted back that the cartoon “constitutes bigotry, intolerance, and discrimination.”
Dillingham-Plew responded that Goldman had “a pattern of tyrannical, paternalistic and bullying behavior toward your educators.” She noted that at a September board meeting he chastised educators and followed them out of the meeting, still talking. The videotaped incident was posted online.
“I would think the 668 views of that incident on YouTube (in addition to the 600-plus views on the district website) should be of far more concern to you than the 20 views the cartoon received,” Dillingham-Plew wrote. “I have witnessed firsthand your completely inappropriate angry outbursts during negotiations and other meetings which make people feel frightened and shamed. It seems to be a factor in the current impasse in negotiations. I encourage you to stop using the cartoon as a distraction and address the real problem at hand.”
Goldman retorted that if the CTA staff didn’t understand how offensive the cartoon was, “then you are truly bigots, using your positions with CTA to humiliate and bully me into submitting to your demands.”
FORMER MAYOR MCENERY’S BEARD RETURNS — FOR NOW
When Tom McEnery was appointed to the San Jose City Council in 1978, four years before he was elected mayor, one of the things that distinguished him quickly was his beard. As a Young Turk, he wanted to emphasize his differences with the status quo.
Among other things, the beard bore a resemblance to the facial hair of Thomas Fallon, an early San Jose mayor, subject of a McEnery book, and centerpiece of a controversial statue.
Welcome to the McEnery Beard redux. At a Silicon Valley Leadership Group mayoral debate Monday night at eBay in north San Jose, we spotted the ex-mayor, now 69, wearing a neater and vastly grayer goatee.
Alas, McEnery tells us that it may not be around for much longer. He says he plans to let his 6-year-old granddaughter shave it off.
WEBSITE TAKES POLITICAL MAILERS TO TASK
Considering that most San Jose elections are largely fought through those little mail advertisements that show up in a steady stream at houses across the city this time of year, there can be surprisingly little accountability for their content.
But while in years past, political operatives could send out targeted (and often misleading) mailers to certain voters and hope the public at large wouldn’t find out, you can’t hide anything in the Internet age — especially in Silicon Valley.
Case in point: As the San Jose mayor’s race kicks into full gear ahead of the Nov. 4 election, San Jose resident Terry Reilly has started sjpoliticalmail.com — a crowd-sourced website for voters to view all the political mailers sent out during the campaign. Anyone who gets an ad mailed to their home can send it to the website, and their name and address will be blocked out.
“I always hated reading about a particular political piece in the paper, but not being able to view it myself,” said Reilly, a registered Republican who doesn’t get most mailers aimed at independents and Democrats.
The site doesn’t take any position on the candidates or fact-check the ads but provides a valuable public resource for voters looking to get a full picture of each campaign.
Already, there are more than 10 mailers and other ads posted to the site after they were sent out in recent weeks from both candidates — Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese and Councilman Sam Liccardo — and the independent committees that support them. Included are notes on how much the ads cost and who paid for them. There are also some door hangers and campaign emails posted to the site, and ads from the three City Council races (in districts 1, 3 and 5) will be accepted as well.
Prosecutors in hot water get a good lawyer
When Santa Clara County prosecutor Ted Kajani screwed up, the big question was whether District Attorney Jeff Rosen would discipline him — and if so, how harshly — since Kajani was one of the “Rosen Chosen,” hand-picked to head the high-profile cold-case unit.
Well, the answer to the first part of the question is “yes, ” Kajani is in very hot water.
Kajani admitted having an affair with a crime lab analyst (and chief DNA witness) and is also accused by the defense in a 25-year-old murder “cold case” of withholding a mountain of evidence in a murder case. Rosen has since dismissed the charges.
We won’t know how severely Kajani will be dinged, though, for awhile.
All eyes are upon the Rosen administration, particularly because arbitration hearings will begin next month for another prosecutor whom Rosen punished a while back, Danny Carr.
Carr was suspended for a month without pay for failing to turn over evidence to six or so defendants in a gang murder case until the brink of trial. (That’s more than $10,000 in lost pay.)
Carr is appealing his smackdown on the grounds of “disparate treatment,” claiming that what he did wasn’t particularly out of the ordinary.
Now, Carr and Kajani have the same superb lawyer — Mike Rains — well known for defending cops.