…the local media-political complex is first with all the Santa Clara news that’s not fit to print. But they’re old hands at it.
As Council Member Lisa Gillmor wrote in a 1994 letter to its editor, “The Mercury News … is once again dealing in innuendo instead of fact — and inaccurate innuendo … Once again your sources were woefully misinformed and your reporting unforgivably sloppy. Once again, what you reported as fact is really fiction.”
The Daily Tattler from the town southof us has always had it in for the Mission City; habituallydescribing its politics as “small town,” “back-room,” “shady” “bitter,” “divided” and “a pie fight.” Santa Clara needs to “shed its image of small-town, back-room dealing,” they admonished just last December.
Maybe it’s because the Santa Clara City Council never sent any sweetheart deals its way. Or maybe it’s because no Santa Clara mayor ever called it “one of the nation’s best newspapers,” as a San Jose mayor did – possibly in return for unstinting editorial ink promoting his administration (San Jose Inside, June 13, 2014).
Perhaps seekingsimilar rhetorical hugs from the new mayor, the Tattler’s propagandists-in-chief recently beatified Gillmor as a populist Joan of Arc, astride a minivan, soccer ball in hand; winner in a “strange bloodless coup;” and a “hero” “doubling down” in a holy war against Wickedness in High Places. She’s the great hope to “end both the reality and perception of deals being cut behind closed doors.” (A perceptionthe Tattler tirelessly promoted.)
Sort of like Sarah Palin with a soccer ball.
Heads are spinning. It’s like Karl Marx returned from the grave to endorse Donald Trump. The name ‘Gillmor’ used to beTattler shorthand for ‘back room deal.’
For three decades, Lisa Gilmor’s name triggered loaded references to her father – former Mayor Gary Gillmor, a transformational figure with a larger-than-life personality – her “power broker” “clan,” andan insider “old guard;” a cabal endowed with super powers conspiracists typically attributeto the Illuminati, shape-shifting telekinetic extraterrestrials and Hillary Clinton.
Only recentlyhas her name not beenthe cue for recappinghistorical Tattler hostility to all things Gillmor.
Whenshe first ran for Council in 1988, Mount Olympus decreed,”We probably would be inclined to recommend against Gillmor simply because her father is one of Santa Clara’s premiere power brokers.”
Give them points for atypical candor.
The particular reason for opposition was she worked in her father’s real estate business and had appeared before the City Council to advocate for some big projects.
“Are we to believe that as a city council member, Lisa Gillmor could vote on them objectively?” thundered the editorial Jupiters, mentioning Gary Gillmor 10 times, twice as often as the actual candidate.”Or that she would otherwise be independent of her father’s longtime political alliances?”
What’s changed? She’s now the Gillmor Real Estate’s VP, with 28 more experience in real estate deal-making and … control of the advertising budget.
Even without Gillmors in office, the clan’s machinations reach far, according to all-seeing Tattler eyes. “Control of the city of Santa Clara is up for grabs … it could go back to the old guard with links to the Gillmor family that has pulled strings in Mission City politics for decades,” said a 2004 thunderbolt.
When the Council appointed Lisa Gillmor in 2011 to serve out Mayor Jamie Matthews’ Councilterm, the Tattler crammed its favorite spins into the lead. “Bypassing a slate of fresh faces, the Santa Clara City Council chose a former official with deep political ties to fill an open seat on the council.” Dad was mentioned in the next sentence.
Five years later editorial alchemy transforms the “former official with deep political ties” into a scrappy outsider opposing civic subversion by “gung-ho supporters of the 49ers,” and shining light intopolitical cronies’ – what else? – back-room deals.
In 2010 no one was more “gung-ho” about the 49ers moving to Santa Clara than private citizen Lisa Gillmor. She threw her not inconsiderable energy and political talent into an effort taking two years; while”officials and the 49ers haggled behind”– guess what– “closed doors.”
Back in the 1990s, Lisa Gillmor’s calls for transparency about Santa Clara Convention Center finances didn’t getthe Tattler’s “lavish praise” – what the reigning Jupiter promised another politician in return for compliant behavior (San Jose Inside Dec. 2, 2012). Instead she gotthe “pile on.”
A 1993 editorial described her probeas a “witchhunt” and “fool’s errand”marked by “hysterical ranting and loony accusations.”
“The city of Santa Clara is about to waste $100,000 on a pointless study of its convention center for one reason: A milquetoast city council can’t stand up to the empty, vicious bluster of two of its members, Lisa Gillmor and Mayor Eddie Souza.”
Despite today’s infatuation, Lisa Gillmor’s new BFFs willlikely fall out of love and dust off the anti-Gillmor arsenal as soon as she fails to mind a policy diktat. We at the Santa Clara Weekly advise her: Stay skeptical, my friend.