News

Editorial: Vicki Veenker for Assembly

Patent attorney could bring fresh, important perspective to Sacramento

As one would expect for an open legislative seat, the race to replace termed-out State Assemblyman Rich Gordon has attracted a large field of candidates.

In California's new open primary system for state legislative offices, the names of all eight will appear on all ballots, and the top two vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, will face off in the general election in November.

One Republican (Menlo Park City Councilman Peter Ohtaki), one Libertarian (Mountain View City Councilman John Inks) and six Democrats are in the race, but it is likely that two Democrats will emerge at the top given the district's voting history and an expected low Republican turnout due to the now-settled Republican presidential nomination battle.

While the candidates would each bring unique qualities and experience to the job, we believe three attorneys -- Mike Kasperzak, Marc Berman and Vicki Veenker -- are the clear standouts.

Measured only by the depth and breadth of political and governmental experience, 14-year Mountain View City Council veteran Mike Kasperzak, 62, would be the hands down choice. He has been a dedicated and hard-working council member and is respected at both the regional and state level. An attorney who specialized in mediation, his orientation is toward problem-solving and building consensus and he has devoted most of his adult life to public service. While we haven't always agreed with him on local issues, such as his position favoring the VTA's express lane proposal for El Camino, his values and priorities have been sound.

Marc Berman, 36, finishing up his first four-year term on the Palo Alto City Council, has been active in politics since college and has built strong connections with the local Democratic party. Uninspired by corporate law practice, he shifted gears two years ago and was development director for the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, a resource and advocacy group seeking innovation in public education. Berman has much less governmental experience than Kasperzak, but he has been similarly drawn to politics as a way to solve problems and bring about social change. Kasperazak was a Republican two decades ago before he switched parties, but he and Berman share a similar moderate progressive agenda.

Vicki Veenker, 53, is a respected Silicon Valley intellectual property attorney, mediator and Palo Alto resident who has never held public office. She has chosen to focus her public service on advocating for the legal rights of low-income and other vulnerable local residents through the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, where she has served on the board of directors for 13 years and as board president for one term. In 2008, she also helped start a national women's professional soccer league, reflecting her commitment to expanding opportunities for women.

All three have similar traditional Democratic political views, although the nuances of their positions on policy issues will likely come into greater focus when only two are vying in the fall. The role and influence of unions and interest groups, which have mostly split their endorsements in the primary among these three, will be something to watch and assess in the fall. We will especially probe the finalists' views on education and the role of the California Teachers Association, which has endorsed Veenker and which, in our judgment, holds too much sway over the Legislature. Recent independent mailers costing almost $100,000 in support of Berman by the Realtors Association and California Dental Association raise concerns as well.

With the exception of high speed rail, which Kasperzak still supports but Berman and Veenker do not, all three identify increases in education funding at all levels, universal preschool, transportation infrastructure spending, climate change, affordable housing and transportation as priorities. They each support the legalization of recreational marijuana use (with appropriate state regulations) and increased state funding of affordable housing through tax incentives and bond measures.

Kasperzak and Berman are classic local elected officials seeking higher office. There are many Bermans and Kasperzaks in Sacramento, appropriately so.

But we believe Veenker is the rare candidate whose lack of experience as an elected official is outweighed by a strong legal background in a highly technical field, well-honed advocacy and negotiating skills and a passion for public policy and social justice.

She has represented Silicon Valley companies and served as a mediator in complex patent litigation with huge financial stakes, giving her an important window on what makes the Valley tick and how disputes are successfully resolved.

Without the visibility or limelight of elected office she has devoted much time and energy to the Law Foundation, a group that provides pro bono legal services to individuals facing housing and other forms of discrimination, obstacles to obtaining access to health care and mental health services, and advocates for legislative reform. (The Law Foundation has been representing the residents of the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park in Palo Alto through the park closure process, still underway.)

We also strongly believe in the importance of electing more women to state and federal offices. Women currently make up just one-fourth of the state Legislature in California, barely above the national average and much lower than in Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Arizona. That's shameful in a state like California.

We look forward to the campaign narrowing to two candidates and a sharpened debate on the issues in the fall, and we recommend Vicki Veenker in the primary as a uniquely qualified candidate who would bring a fresh and important perspective to Sacramento.

Candidate interviews

Videos of candidate interviews conducted by Bill Johnson, the publisher of the Palo Alto Weekly and its sister papers, the Almanac and the Mountain View Voice, are online here:

Marc Berman

Jay Cabrera

Barry Chang

Mike Kasperzak

John Inks

Peter Ohtaki

Vicki Veenker

Note: Seelam Reddy did not attend his scheduled interview.

Comments

11 people like this
Posted by South PA
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 13, 2016 at 7:19 am

It's disappointing that the Weekly would choose a candidate who doesn’t have any policy proposals on her website and is endorsed by the CA Teachers Association, CA Nurses Association, and the Teamsters. We need a reformer, and I don’t see anything to indicate that person is Vicki Veenker.


36 people like this
Posted by Cate
a resident of Southgate
on May 13, 2016 at 11:00 am

Vicky is head an shoulders more qualified than the others. It isn't enough to sit on a dias as part of a city council - what matters is what one does on a council. She is so smart and has deep experience in policy. I saw her in a forum and she was excellent and mature with a highly successful career. She is not searching for the next thing to do to fill her time as some candidates mentioned are. Very little leadership or accomplishments have been achieved by the other palo alto candidate. His tern has been unremarkable in every way and that won't change - he will be just a lackluster.


10 people like this
Posted by South PA
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 13, 2016 at 11:24 am

@Cate, If Vicki has such "deep experience in policy," then why hasn't she put forward any policy proposals? You can make vague criticisms of other candidates all you want, but at least they've offered concrete proposals for how we can address the housing and affordability crisis, traffic congestion, infrastructure repairs, and improving public education. I'm looking for ideas, not platitudes. I watched Vicki's editorial board interview, and she spends more time repeating questions than answering them, and her answers lack specificity and any kind of vision for our our region and the state.

Can you show me where I can find Vicki's policy proposals?


61 people like this
Posted by Sylvia
a resident of Midtown
on May 13, 2016 at 11:45 am

"Recent independent mailers costing almost $100,000 in support of Berman by the Realtors Association and California Dental Association raise concerns as well."

Amen. Berman's "build it and they will come" philosophy is well known. My own view is anybody but Berman.


7 people like this
Posted by 38 year resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 13, 2016 at 12:09 pm

The last thing we need is another democrat to bring "perspective" to Sacramento. Sacramento has all the liberal perspective it needs. Peter Ohtaki would bring a different view to the legislature, one that makes fiscal sense.


48 people like this
Posted by Democratic hack
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 13, 2016 at 12:24 pm

Contributions to candidates for Jan.1-April 23 show Berman receiving
$8,500 from the CA Association of Realtors,
$7,500 from the Northern CA Carpenters Regional Council,
$4250 from the CA State Council of Laborers, and much more.
Being a Democratic party hack is not a qualification for public office.

On the Council he always votes for developers. Always. We cannot know when he has a conflict of interest because his sizable real estate holdings are in a Trust.


63 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 13, 2016 at 12:51 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

It's very significant that Marc Berman, who never met a development project he didn't like, has endorcements from the CA Association of Realtors and other elements tied to developers and construction. I found him in general to be a lightweight and full of himself. His comments that he had more votes than votes against Measure D were distasteful and arrogant in my view. As a progressive, I don't feel like he represents me at all. I wouldn't vote for him for any public office, and he will not get any votes from any member of my family.


21 people like this
Posted by Voting for berman
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 13, 2016 at 1:19 pm

The veenker endorsement by the weekly seals the deal for me. I will not be voting for her. I have learned over the years that the weekly endorsements involve some agenda that they have.
Plus maurucios attached of Marc berman gets him my vote.


16 people like this
Posted by Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on May 13, 2016 at 1:28 pm

@Voting for berman. So...your well-researched vote for Berman consists of voting for him because poster Mauricio ISN'T voting for him? Isn't that special.


13 people like this
Posted by Voting for berman
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 13, 2016 at 1:41 pm

Don't be naive, midtowner. I have voted for berman twice for city council. I think he is a good councilmember. It is a plus that he is not in the pocket of PASz. I have done my homework about berman and think he will a plus for the assembly.
So, midtowner, is the extent of your research on a candidate involve waiting for our local for profit, with an agenda, newspaper to tell you whom to vote for.


Like this comment
Posted by Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on May 13, 2016 at 2:34 pm

@Voting for berman: Where did you get the idea I was voting for the Weekly's recommendation? I'm not.


14 people like this
Posted by South PA
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 13, 2016 at 2:40 pm

All this talk about development makes me wonder what Vicki's position is on growth and development and how she would address the housing and transportation crisis. Too bad she hasn't seen fit to share one...


49 people like this
Posted by Democratic hack
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 13, 2016 at 3:19 pm

When I watch the City Council on tv, after Mr Berman speaks I pause for a moment and ask myself, what did he say?
The answer is usually _nothing_. No content, no information, sometimes it reflects that he has not even read the staff report.

Its embarrassing when compared to a few knowledgeable colleagues.


11 people like this
Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on May 13, 2016 at 3:31 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

On Veeker and development:
At the LWV Forum on May 10 (video = Web Link), the first question (Web Link) was on housing mandates and Veenker spoke first. Veenker said that that "The State needs to hold local governments accountable for the Housing Elements in their plan... Role for the State in mandating a certain amount of growth...". Listen to the full context for your own interpretation.

The question asked was "The State has multiple laws to make cities more dense, in the name of reducing the housing shortage.
These are controversial for multiple reasons including
(1) exceeding existing infrastructure, especially streets,
(2) changing the character of towns, and
(3) benefiting developers at the expense of residents.
What is your position on the arguments and proper balance?"


7 people like this
Posted by Voting for berman
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 13, 2016 at 3:31 pm

Everyone berman name comes up on this forum, we get a comment like the on above from democratic hack making outrageous a cusations about berman competency. Like the weekly endorsement they should be ignored


11 people like this
Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on May 13, 2016 at 3:41 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

On candidate statements on development at the LWV forum:
Berman and Kasperzak both advocated building enough housing for anyone who wants to live/move here -- for exact quote and context continue watching the video : their turns come immediately after Veenker.


16 people like this
Posted by South PA
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 13, 2016 at 3:47 pm

@Democratic hack, If you're going to call out donations from interest groups, you should tell the whole story and also point out that Vicki Veenker has received:
- $8,500 from the CA Teachers Association
- $8,500 from the CA Nurses Association
- $1,000 from the Teamsters
- $1,000 from the Foothill-De Anza Faculty Association

Combined with her complete lack of policy proposals, it's hard to see how she'll be an independent voice in Sacramento.


32 people like this
Posted by concerned
a resident of Los Altos
on May 13, 2016 at 4:05 pm

After listening to the videos, I agree with your editorial. Vicki is the stronger candidate. Her answers were inciteful and precise. She did not wonder around the topic as did Berman. The legislature requires someone who has good ideas and leadership skills. I did not see that in Berman, while Veenker exudes quiet confidence. She will not be the first who enters the government without legislative experience who went on to shine.


15 people like this
Posted by Carlos
a resident of Green Acres
on May 13, 2016 at 4:49 pm

"...she has devoted much time and energy to the Law Foundation, a group that provides pro bono legal services to individuals facing housing and other forms of discrimination, obstacles to obtaining access to health care and mental health services, and advocates for legislative reform. (The Law Foundation has been representing the residents of the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park ..."

This is enough for me to understand where she and the Weekly are coming from. Buena Vista was never about housing discrimination. It's an attempt to shake down a rightful owner using all kinds of social welfare excuses.


18 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 13, 2016 at 5:46 pm

She's definitely better than Berman. [Portion removed.]

However, I will vote for John Inks. Environmentalist politicians who are addicted to tax money are eating California alive. The need to shrink and reinvent government is more urgent than ever before.


2 people like this
Posted by Richard Winger
a resident of Mountain View
on May 13, 2016 at 7:10 pm

This is good reporting, but it would better if it didn't say California has an "open primary". "Open primary" has been defined for 100 years in political science textbooks as a system in which, on primary day, any voter is free to choose any party's primary ballot, but each party has its own primary and its own nominees. In California, there are no party nominees and party primary ballots (except for president). California is a top-two state.


48 people like this
Posted by Judith
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 13, 2016 at 7:20 pm

Granted this is Marc Berman’s first term on the Palo Alto Council, and I probably voted for him. But, unfortunately, having either attended or watched a good many council meetings since he was elected I have been disappointed. My main impression has been of someone unprepared, uninterested, unknowledgeable, and/or bored. During many of the discussions his head down working on his laptop hidden on his knees. Only on a few occasions, when a topic was clearly of interest, have I seen Mr. Berman take the initiative and appear knowledgeable, insightful, and with eloquence make a real contribution. Although in his favor he does seem to have a fairly good attendance record, and doesn’t take up council time restating what has already been said or make long winded speeches.

Another unfortunate observation has been that when seated next to Greg Scharff (a like minded council member and both vote the same way) Mr. Berman, when someone else was speaking, would lean over and whisper in Mr. Scharff’s ear. From the expression on Mr. Berman’s face there was almost always a strong impression that the butt of his “joke” was the person speaking.

Others who attend or watch council meetings regularly, perhaps meetings I haven't, may have a different impression. However, from my experience there is a huge discrepancy between Mr. Berman's campaign claims regarding his suitability for higher office and his performance during council meetings.


55 people like this
Posted by who knows
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 13, 2016 at 8:07 pm

I did cringe when I received the slick Berman mailer paid for by the CA Assoc of Realtors five days after watching him vote down a quite reasonable compromise proposed by Tom DuBois that would have allowed for a temporary (nothing permanent, just enough to do some brief home preservation while policy was worked out) single story overlay for the Royal Manor Eichler area. Seemed to be bordering on conflict of interest issues ethically if not legally.


23 people like this
Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on May 13, 2016 at 9:27 pm

The Palo Alto Weekly has had a history of endorsing candidates who are in the pocket of special interests. This editoral makes a very weak case of Ms. Veenker, whose main qualification is that (1) she supports the same "social justice" causes as the Weekly editors, she's an attorney, and Veenker is a woman.

More than ever, we need someone who will represent the interests of the Peninsula above all special interests, "social justice" causes, etc. We need someone who will make the government work for the people - addressing issues such as UC admissions, reducing the regulatory burden on our public education system, developing regional transit solutions, making the ABAG mandates more rational, reducing the government pension liability, etc.

It is also very likely that whoever is elected will face a change in the economic cycle, as the current boom is looking tired, and venture investors are retrenching on their investments.

In my opinion Veenker has not shown the passion for making government work for the people. Berman acts like a Prince with the attitude he displayed towards the residents during the whole Maybell/Measure D fiasco. And Kasperzak voting for dedicating 2 lanes of El Camino to buses only is just another special interest hack.

I think Chang, Ohtaki or Inks would be my choices.


11 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 13, 2016 at 10:40 pm

Thanks very much for the video link. Very informative and substantive.


35 people like this
Posted by Retiree
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 14, 2016 at 3:06 pm

Although I don't always agree with the Weekly, particularly on education issues in Palo Alto, their endorsement of Vicki Veenker for the 24th Assembly District makes perfect sense. Her credentials and priorities are outstanding. Not only is she a supporter of education, but she's also qualified from her law practice to represent Silicon Valley in the legislature. Most of all, she comes across as a solid, thoughtful, trustworthy individual, one who will represent us all well in Sacramento.

For the record, California is 46th out of 50 states in per-pupil support for education, although we may be a LITTLE better in coming years. The Weekly is concerned about the California Teacher's Association's influence with the legislature? Maybe our legislators don't do enough to ensure equal education for poor districts. Good for Vicki for taking up this cause!

Marc Berman's support for development in Palo Alto, and his contributions from developers and realtors, concern me as well. Also, I don't quite understand why Chang received no mention in this review, although his background does seem limited. But all in all, this editorial is pretty thorough in its analysis.

It's wonderful to have a well-qualified, independent, and fresh voice running for the California Assembly!




11 people like this
Posted by Remember Well...
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 14, 2016 at 4:47 pm

It is very important to remember that Ms Veenker is a lawyer, and lawyers tend to be very smooth talkers, good at twisting words. Many of America's worst politicians are lawyers. Chew on that fact.


27 people like this
Posted by Voter
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 14, 2016 at 4:53 pm

[Post removed.]


11 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 14, 2016 at 6:15 pm

I wish this forum would not be a place to make personal attacks but I don't know how it can be avoided. Personally, I won't do it.

I think there are several well qualified candidates. Vicki, although never having been elected to any public office, just shows a maturity of someone who has lived here a long time and understands how things work in Silicon Valley, the needs, and has some pretty good ideas on how to address them. She doesn't pretend to have the answers to all the problems we face, like others purport to have, but she will listen and learn before she casts a vote on any issue. I'll wait a little longer to learn more about positions and responses from the candidates before I vote, but as of now, she would get my vote.

What I don't like: Hearing all of the candidates telling us about our problems. Anyone who has a brain, reads a newspaper, or has computer access already knows what our problems are. Let's hear some really viable solutions. It's tough and maybe there are no good solutions. Maybe the real solution will be the economic driven one with people not being able to afford to live here anymore and moving out of the area. Then, when we see many 'for rent' signs up we know we've turned the corner and rents and home prices will go down to possibly a level of affordability.


2 people like this
Posted by Re: who knows
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 14, 2016 at 10:15 pm

Re: who knows is a registered user.

@who knows: historical data shows single story overlay increases house prices... I can't see how what you just explained can be a conflict of interest?



3 people like this
Posted by Sea_seelam Reddy
a resident of College Terrace
on May 15, 2016 at 7:22 pm

24th assembly district is uniquely positioned to continue to be great communities in our beloved California.

You have the choice to elect your leaders as a unique opportunity.

1. Do you want lawyers to represent your assembly district?
1. Do you want your assembly person with a lot of connections with ringing endorsements with people contributing to the campaign?
1. Do you want high speed rail to be pushed on your throat?
1. Do you want no to help east Palo Alto?
1. Do you want not to do anything about traffic gridlocks
1. Do you want status quo about environment?
1. Do you not want an honest proven in inustry that will address all these?
1. Do you want ABAG to dictate how much growth 24th should have?
1. Do you believe in empty statements on pre-school initiatives without having hands on experience on raising children
These are all 1 s because they are all important to our constituency.

Think about the opportunity to elect a person that got things done in private reputed industry. You do have some good choices.

Respectfully


44 people like this
Posted by Dem Voter
a resident of Barron Park
on May 15, 2016 at 8:08 pm

@Voting ...
"It is a plus that he is not in the pocket of PASz."

Um, PASZ has no money. They are a citizen group that rose up entirely as a democratic response to overreach by the then City Council, who were acting like they were actually in the pocket of developers. That's what being in the pocket means, undue influence because of money. To say Berman ignores PASZ means he ignores constituents exercising their democratic rights - more a sign of being in the pocket of moneyed interests, and the reason I will never vote for Berman again. He is a typical insular wonk who thinks he's smarter than the people he's supposed to represent, and smarter than he really is. Watching him over the years, I have observed him to be the kind of person who justifies what he believes with his efforts rather than really taking an unbiased look at issues. IMO, that is a dangerous trait in a legislator. Maybe it's just immaturity and he will grow to be the kind of person who can serve the people, but he is definitely not there now. Politicians should work for the people, not first their own ambition.

This essay was very persuasive and I will be voting for Venkeer. Thank you for the insightful analysis.


31 people like this
Posted by Dem voter
a resident of Barron Park
on May 16, 2016 at 10:07 am

@mauricio,
Yes, Berman's [portion removed] twisting of the Measure D vote exemplifies my point about him justifying anything he wants [portion removed.] I could have easily said he got less than 20% of the vote but Against Measure D got almost 60%. Neither argument is honest, because of misleading and wrong assumptions. Besides, I was one who voted for him before but never again. For him to suggest that a vote for him to take office would imply support on that issue is also the height of slick dishonesty. But it's another demonstration of why he shouldn't get office. [Portion removed.]




20 people like this
Posted by Lynn
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 16, 2016 at 4:30 pm

I agree, Vicki Veenker is the one. I like that she has had a full set of professional accomplishments. Nothing against Berman per se, he might not be too bad, but Veenker is truly outstanding.

I heard her speak, and liked what she had to say about transportation issues, housing, education, her answers were thoughtful and complete.

And, frankly, she had the backbone to tell us some things we didn't want to hear. I deeply respect that in a public official.


24 people like this
Posted by Lynn
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 16, 2016 at 4:42 pm

I meant to also say:

I see that of the folks who work closely with Marc Berman on the City Council, it's probably important to note that 4 have endorsed Vicki Veenker, while just 2 have endorsed Mr. Berman. I find that telling.

Again, Berman might not be awful, but Veenker is better, and I want better!


4 people like this
Posted by Retired
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 16, 2016 at 9:49 pm

[Post removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by Revolting attacks on berman
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on May 16, 2016 at 10:49 pm

[Post removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by Frank
a resident of Downtown North
on May 17, 2016 at 3:23 pm

I will not comment negatively about the other candidates. Instead, I will simply say that I have found Councilman Berman to be a sharp guy, with a sincere interest in serving the community. He is willing to listen, and to compromise in order to solve problems. He is also a lifelong Palo Alto resident. I think he would represent our community's interests in Sacramento.


3 people like this
Posted by Me
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 18, 2016 at 3:13 pm

"She has chosen to focus her public service on advocating for the legal rights of low-income and other vulnerable local residents "

In other words, does not have the experience to understand the issues facing typical Palo Alto residents who are not considered "low-income" or "vulnerable."

Thanks, but no thanks. Need someone with broader experience.


27 people like this
Posted by The Smear has started
a resident of Midtown
on May 20, 2016 at 8:45 pm

Got the mailing today out to smear Veenker based on her lack of being on the city council and noting that she has "skipped the steps." Pretty slimy and likely to backfire in local politics (paid for by the "patient protection independent expenditure account", whatever the hell that is). Thanks whoever paid for this (I have my suspicions, it arrived with the mailing from the candidate who sends something everyday), Vicki now has my vote.


23 people like this
Posted by Marcia
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on May 21, 2016 at 7:00 am

Marcia is a registered user.

Berman has so much superpac money from the building industries that he can now afford to send us daily attack ads. It's clear to me he has decided he'd rather face anyone besides Vicki Veenker in the general election so he's going after her for lack of experience. Little does he realize that the voting public has concluded that experience in political life unfortunately has not led to better decision making. I'm voting for character and intellect over experience and I believe that's what Vicki brings.


19 people like this
Posted by Merry
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on May 22, 2016 at 7:31 am

Berman spends too much and sends too many mailings. That does not show good judgement.


1 person likes this
Posted by Gobi
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on May 24, 2016 at 10:04 am

Good choice!

I saw Vicki Veenker (and all the other candidates except Barry Chang) at the League of Women Voters candidates forum held in April at the Sunnyvale library.

Veenker was the most impressive candidate by far. Very well spoken.

Berman is too much in the pocket of special interests.

Chang is very corrupt with numerous campaign finance issues, and backing from big developers and general contractors. His performance on the Cupertino City council has been abysmal, and an embarrassment to Cupertino. He is in the process of being recalled. Plus, as has been pointed out, he is not even eligible to run in the 24th district. His house is in the 28th district. In February 2016 he moved to a property in the little part of Cupertino that is in the 24th district, but he did not move there in time, and he still claimed his 28th district home as his primary residence, taking the homeowner's exemption for it.


6 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 24, 2016 at 10:45 am

Anyone else as tired as I am of getting telephone push polls for Berman? I've already gotten at least 4. He must have money to burn.


4 people like this
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on May 24, 2016 at 10:21 pm

"Berman and Kasperzak both advocated building enough housing for anyone who wants to live/move here "

Nothing is wrong with that. If someone had not built enough housing for us, WE wouldn't be able to live here. Except maybe in tents.


Like this comment
Posted by Veenker v. Berman in Nov.
a resident of Mountain View
on May 28, 2016 at 2:24 pm

Veenker will finish first and Berman second. Every other candidate who thinks he has a chance is dillusional.


Like this comment
Posted by Roger Overnaut
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 28, 2016 at 4:05 pm

[Post removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by too much of dems
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Oct 22, 2016 at 10:13 am

the only revolutionary vote in california today is voting non-democrat. they have been in power for decades and this is definitely not good. whatever you do, don't vote democrat


4 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 22, 2016 at 10:24 am

If our city council election has shown us anything, it's that claimed political party affiliation is meaningless. Plus the "Republican" party is sending out mailings for Mr. Berman.


Like this comment
Posted by Dan
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 23, 2016 at 10:40 pm

Why there is no line for a write-in candidate on the vote-by-mail ballot? If ever there were a need for viable write-in candidate(s) , this is the election year. Almost all candidates from the top of the ballot to the bottom present only a choice between the lesser of two evils . Top-two voting is a disaster as the only choice you have now occurs in the primary which typically has little active campaining, poor turnout anyway and "name recognition" is really the only deciding factor.
I want to write in Ohtaki, and for US senator, Donald Duck would be better than our current choices. I refuse to cast an affirmative vote for any of these candidates. I checked the California voting info, and found this:

Under California's vote-enacted Top Two Open Primary Act, the rules for write-in candidates have changed. See this page from the Secretary of State for more details. In order to be eligible to receive write-in votes and have them actually count, a candidate must file a written statement declaring him or herself to be an official write-in candidate for a particular election.

Write-in votes cast for someone who has not filed as an official write-in candidate will not be counted.

So much for democracy. Your vote actually doesn't count...sad.


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​On Friday, September 21, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run, or—for the first time—half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

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