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Santa Clara Mayoral Candidate Anthony Becker Declines POA PAC Endorsement Opportunity

Santa Clara candidate for mayor Anthony Becker declined any endorsement opportunity from Santa Clara’s Police Officers Association (POA) PAC today, saying the endorsement would come with strings attached including swearing to “protect” the elected police chief.

In a release to the media Becker said, “When we, as public officials take the oath of office, we vow to serve our community without reservations or exceptions. Our city ethics and values state that councilmembers will ‘work toward consensus building and gain value from diverse opinions.’ This is the opposite of pledging in advance to ‘protect’ a specific city official or office from the democratic process.” Becker News Release on POA PAC Endorsement

The POA PAC invited Becker to share his views on the City through a Candidate Questionnaire before announcing whether it would endorse Becker or incumbent Lisa Gillmor. Santa Clara POA PAC Questionnaire

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The first question on the candidate questionnaire distributed by the POA PAC said the POA “firmly believes that Santa Clara voters have the right to elect the Police Chief as enshrined in the City’s Charter. Will you agree to sign the attached Pledge to Protect the Elected Chief of Police?”

In his statement to the media, Becker said he could not in good conscience agree to such a stipulation.

“The discussion of an elected versus appointed police chief has been a hot topic of late,” said Becker. “I cannot in good faith take a pledge that might oppose the lawful will of the community that I am elected and committed to serve.”

The issue of an elected police chief has been a topic of discussion at recent City Council meetings. During the Aug. 30 City Council meeting, Vice Mayor Suds Jain proposed adding an item to a future agenda to discuss a ballot measure that would eliminate the City Clerk and Police Chief as elected offices.

Santa Clara Police Chief Pat Nikolai spoke at that meeting against the ballot measure. Nikolai ran unopposed in 2018 and was backed by the City’s POA PAC in the election.

In 2018, the POA PAC endorsed Gillmor.

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15 Comments
  1. Gabe 2 weeks ago
    Reply

    It’s about time someone called out the shady operations of the police union PAC.

  2. Davy L 2 weeks ago
    Reply

    Well, the “pinnacle of democracy” (City Clerk Hosam Haggag) would simply be to allow our citizens to decide now whether or not to make changes to the City Charter. So, let’s just simply put it on the ballot, and then the voters can make their choices known.

  3. District 6 Resident 2 weeks ago
    Reply

    Hmm…creative choice in framing why Anthony Becker would never be honored with a POA endorsement.
    What the article fails to mention is context. Why doesn’t this say that Becker reached out to the POA to get an endorsement and was given the questionnaire? He didn’t have to decline anything, he never was offered it.
    …another empty hit piece article by this publication.

    • Phil 2 weeks ago
      Reply

      How do you know Becker reached out to the POA do you have that proof?

    • Davy L 2 weeks ago
      Reply

      Lisa Gillmor, Kathy Watanabe, Teresa O’Neill, Deanna Santana, Brian Doyle, Robert Haugh, Burt Field, Lee Broughman, James Rowen, Bob McDuffy, Tom Shanks, the Dude, Jill B, SVV owned by 49ers, BuchserAlum, SC Resident, Another SC Resident, Average Joe, Michael B, TIE, District 6 Resident, Pat Nikolai … all Birds of the Same Feather.

  4. Sam 2 weeks ago
    Reply

    It’s about time someone denounces the POA and their shady politics.

  5. CSC 2 weeks ago
    Reply

    The SCPOA questionnaire would be laughable if not for being utterly abhorrent.
    .
    “It is true that nobody is above the law, but power can make somebody invisible.” ― Toba Beta
    .
    Two of the five SCPOA questions are (i) seeking a politician who will “protect” another politician and (ii) support firing of police managers who, at the behest of the rank and file, might seek to report, discipline, or terminate the employment of corrupted junior officers.
    .
    The other three questions are a sullied employement union looking to dig up dirt on someone else.
    .
    Remember: the greater majority of peace officers employed by the City of Santa Clara and who pay membership dues to the SCPOA don’t live in this city and likely never will. Councilmember Anthony Becker doesn’t need the endorsement of people who can’t vote for him, he needs the endorsement of those who can. Vote for Becker!

  6. The Dude 2 weeks ago
    Reply

    Well thats an easy way to explain why he would have never received the endorsement anyways.

    • Davy L 2 weeks ago
      Reply

      Sorry, I don’t agree. My thoughts are if he had accepted their ridiculous offer, he would have promptly received their endorsement. Glad he refused.

  7. Davy L 2 weeks ago
    Reply

    (W.S) — Santa Clara needs to have a Police Chief based on the very best qualifications not just the address he/she lives at.

  8. Buchser Alum 2 weeks ago
    Reply

    This is a child’s way of trying to spin the situation.

    “I know I will not get the endorsement so I am going to pretend that I did not want it anyway!”

    • Davy L 2 weeks ago
      Reply

      Ho, hum. More “fake” news. If what you suggested is true, you can bet the POA would be screaming loudly and jumping up and down. But not even a “peep”. So, again, you are wrong, as is just about everything else you have written.

  9. Buchser Alum 2 weeks ago
    Reply

    The real question for all Santa Clarans is: why do the 49er Five all of a sudden all want the Chief of Police to be an appointed position?

    Could it be that they were told by the 49ers to do this so that they can use their council majority to appoint a Chief of Police who will serve the 49ers as well as they do?

    Could it be that the 49ers would like to have a Chief of Police who owes them a huge favor when determining the cost of Santa Clara police involvement in Levi’s Stadium events?

    • Davy L 2 weeks ago
      Reply

      You and “the Dude” are the same. Right? My diagnosis: You have both been very seriously stricken with this virus: “49ers Paralysis”. Just take a deep breath and relax. The “vaccine” shall be arriving soon this November.
      Long before the presence of the 49ers, this issue of having our Chief of Police and City Clerk being appointed by the City Council had earlier already been discussed many times. However, all prior attempts were “blocked” by Lisa Gillmor and her “cockatoos”. But with our current City Council, let’s now put this measure on the ballot box, and allow our voters the right to decide.

  10. W.S 2 weeks ago
    Reply

    The Santa Clara POA is seriously damaging the respect that the Police Officers themselves need. The POA comes across as a hoodlum-style organization that does whatever it needs to “protect” itself. Two years ago, it sent out a donation request to businesses stating that if a donation is made, that the Police would send “friendlies” to protect the business in the event that police support was needed. Now it is stating that to support a candidate, the candidate must swear to support the current Police Chief. Police Officers all across the country are under all kinds of criticism for various behaviors. To now add political manipulation to the Santa Clara POA is completely inexcusable behavior for a Police organization. What the heck is going on with the Santa Clara POA?

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