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The 49ers Santa Clara Stadium issue: an interesting email

On June 8th 2010, election day, and the same day of the Angry Luxor Cab Driver incident, the San Francisco 49ers scored and important and this blogger thought impossible victory in getting Santa Clara County to give the go-ahead to build the 49ers new stadium.

But in the wake of the victory, knifes are coming out from all over because of the very valid claim that Santa Clara can't afford to pay their share for the stadium. This email, the name withheld, and which will be expanded on in the coming weeks, is telling:

Hi Zennie,
Re: your interview with Mr. (Don) Perata and that both of you were surprised that the 49ers won the stadium vote. I live in Santa Clara and I'm on the board of the grassroots organization that was opposed to the stadium subsidy.

If you want to know how they won, you can contact me. They spent >$4.1 million on a saturation campaign of misinformation to tell the voters that the stadium won't cost residents anything. We have a mayor and 4 city council members who campaigned heavily for the 49ers, and our schools superintendent and entire school board did too.

All of their names, faces, and titles appeared repeatedly in campaign materials.

We've had a virtual media blackout here on what the true costs of the stadium are, because both the SJ Mercury and the Santa Clara Weekly wanted the stadium so badly, they were both unwilling to make a fair presentation to the voters of the costs, loss, debt, and risks. The TV news was just as bad or worse. The Chron was better, but not many people here subscribe to the Chron compared to the SJ Merc, and the Weekly is delivered for free to every house in the city.

Then the 49ers conducted a TV, Radio, and mail saturation campaign with misleading information
(no cost to residents, no general fund impact, no new taxes for a stadium-ever, etc.).

The 49ers took away our right to vote on a city charter change by going to Sacramento.
They took control of the ballot language through the initiative process and thus we had a ballot with no cost disclosure other than $40 million in RDA funds. The remainder of the $444 million that Santa Clara and its agencies are responsible for was not included on the ballot. In CA, there is no law that requires financial disclosure on city ballot measures like there is on state ballot propositions. The 49ers paid big bucks to an attorney who specializes in - wait for it - initiatives!

I'm sure he knew that if they wrote their own initiative they could control the language and not disclose costs, as well as not be subject to CEQA challenges.

If your interested in the real story of what happened here, contact me. I've tried for months to get print or broadcast media to tell the truth about what's been happening here, but all of the print and broadcast media are too concerned about their relationships with the 49ers to write about what really happened.

As I say, stay tuned...
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