49ers CEO Jed York has dropped $3 million ($100 per registered voter!) to elect a new Santa Clara city council that would be far friendlier to billionaire NFL owner interests.
While the 49ers’ Santa Clara Levi’s Stadium facility feels “new,” it has actually now been more than 10 years since Santa Clara voters approved the $937 million Measure J to build it. (The 49ers remained at Candlestick until 2013 and moved to the terrible turf of Levi’s in 2014.) The 49ers’ relationship with their new hometown has been a pretty consistent disaster; tickets sales were initially awful, the 10 p.m. weeknight curfew has axed weeknight concerts there after contentious incidents with U2, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, and the Rolling Stones, and the 49ers and the city of Santa Clara are still locked in a bitter lawsuit with the city trying to take control of all non-football events at the stadium.
The current dustup over the Santa Clara County DPH not allowing fans to attend games at Levi’s Stadium only adds to young Jed York’s antagonism towards Santa Clara officials.
York’s solution, as multiple news outlets are pointing out, now seems to be centered on just buying a better city council. The Mercury News reports that York has poured $3 million into a super PAC to defeat most of the current city council. (For perspective on how ungodly a sum that is for a Santa Clara city council race, consider that one of the incumbents he is trying to unseat has raised a grand total of $6,234 thus far in 2020, according to her campaign filings.)
Jed York just added $600k for a new total of 3 million dollars to purchase his seats! Obscene!— Lisa Gillmor (@LisaGillmor) October 21, 2020
The tweet from Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor above, whose "Yorkville" video is quite funny though paid for by a Police Officers' Association, references that York just gave $600,000 to a super PAC called “Citizens for Efficient Government & Full Voting Rights.” The Santa Clara News reports Jed founded that PAC himself, and he is effectively the only one donating to it. That’s on top of the $250,000 he gave the PAC on Sept. 30, another $800,000 the very next day, $300,000 more on Oct. 6, plus $950,000 on Oct. 13.
As Politico points out, “his total campaign spending breaks down to $100 per registered voter in the City Council districts he's targeting.”
San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York has sunk a jaw-dropping $3 million into four City Council races in this Silicon Valley capital that's home to his team's glittering Levi's Stadium https://t.co/OtRja5ccQ1— POLITICO (@politico) October 22, 2020
The people on York’s payroll insist he just wants to see more diversity on a mostly white city council. “Mayor Gillmor is once again supporting a slate of all white candidates while she spends millions of dollars in taxpayer money to upend voting rights to dilute minority representation,” 49ers spokesperson Rahul Chandhok told the Merc.
I’m no genealogist and I have not not reviewed these people’s reported Census ethnicities, but a look at the current Santa Clara city council indicates to me that we see one Asian American man, four white women, and one empty seat. There are no white men currently on the council. York’s preferred slate of York-friendly replacements, who all just happen to be endorsed by the Mercury News, comprise of two Asian American men, one Asian American woman, and one white male.
49ers' Jed York pours millions into Santa Clara race amid rising tensions with city https://t.co/vY4ASLzcbX— Ann Killion (@annkillion) October 23, 2020
But sitting councilperson Teresa O’Neil, whom York’s group opposes, makes a great point about diversity and civil rights discourse. "If Jed York cares so much about civil rights, why isn't Colin Kaepernick still playing for the 49ers?" she rhetorically asked Politico.
Image: @LevisStadium via Twitter