San Jose resident Scott Herhold misses badly shilling for the San Francisco 49ers

shill Scott Herhold

The Snake Oil Salesman

San Jose resident and San Jose Mercury News employee Scott Herhold took the time to shill in the San Jose newspaper for the San Francisco 49ers and their plans to play at a stadium subsidized and tax sheltered by the city of Santa Clara. In a shameful piece Herhold refers to concerned Santa Clara citizens gathering signatures for a revote on the stadium as "snake oil salesmen". To the contrary, the signature gatherers have signs and literature that clearly show why they are collecting signatures - the terms and financial agreements voted on are not the same as those of the final agreement.

Ironically, the people that Herhold is trying to protect are the snake oil salesmen - the Santa Clara Stadium Five and the San Francisco 49ers and their front group. Those very people who did not disclose any costs in the lengthy ballot measure question, and carefully chose not to mention the San Francisco 49ers, referring to them as a "private party". Those very people who did not disclose that the stadium would cost the city General Fund $67 million dollars as was shown in a City of Santa Clara staff presentation. Those very people who wrote the ballot question as an advocacy piece for the San Francisco 49ers. Those very people who put a non-binding term sheet into the ballot pamphlet as if it represented the final terms of the city's subsidy for the 49ers. Those very people who now want Scott Herhold to pretend that the people upset about the way the terms of the agreement have changed drastically from what was put in the ballot pamphlet are the deceptive ones.

Just Say No

no subsidized stadiums

Herhold advises Santa Clara residents from his home in San Jose to "just say no" to a revote on the stadium. He mentions that this is what we tell kids with regard to drugs, gamblers craving a bet and parents who yearn for chocolates after dinner. Herhold's analogy of just saying no to these temptations is like his charge of "snake oil salesmen", EXACTLY BACKWARDS. With drug use, gambling and eating sweets - the pleasure is immediate and the pain comes down the road. Just like with a stadium. People voting yes are eager to brag about being in a city with a football stadium, and disregard the long term consequences of owning a stadium. Long term consequences like the fact that they don't make money. Which is why the San Francisco 49ers don't want to own the stadium. In the case of the city of Santa Clara, they have a unique long term consequence in that it will cost the General Fund $67 million in redevelopment agency repayment money as shown in a City of Santa Clara slide presented to the city council. So city residents should "just say no" to the temptation of owning a stadium.

The Big Fight

fight mismatch

Herhold claims that there was a big fight in which 49er opponents "threw everything but the kitchen sink at the idea". Once again, Herhold has it wrong. The opponents of the stadium had only enough money to send out one postcard during the entire campaign. One postcard. The 49ers spent over four million dollars sending out countless glossy brochures and broadcasting TV commercials.

This wasn't a situation where both sides had equal amounts of mailings and TV commercials and the voters of Santa Clara made up their mind based on hearing from both sides. To the contrary - the greater than 200 to 1 disparity in spending between the two groups ensured that only one message got out, the one from the San Francisco 49ers and the Santa Clara politicians who got in bed with them. How many Santa Clara residents know that the city's General Fund will lose $67 million in repayment money that was loaned to the Redevelopment Agency if the stadium is built? They didn't hear anything about that from the 49ers. Instead they were repeatedly told that a 10 to 20 events a year stadium would create thousands of jobs. In reality it creates only hundreds of jobs. But not full time jobs. Part-time temporary minimum wage jobs that wouldn't even fund a Comcast digital cable subscription for the year.

Far from a big fight, what took place was a one-sided propaganda campaign financed by a sports team with plenty of money to inundate the voters of a city of 120,000. The San Francisco 49ers bought an election. The first poll taken after their massive mail and TV assault began still had the stadium losing. Every subsequent poll reflected that the lies and deception were working as the number of yes votes increased each time.

Trust Politicians Sometimes

inconsistency has it's ups and downs

Herhold says that "you can question any loan" but that in this case it is not questionable because Jamie Matthews told him there is no problem. The same Jamie Matthews who saw the city of Santa Clara presentation which showed building the stadium costs the General Fund $67 million dollars in lost repayment money and yet claimed in 49ers campaign literature that there would be no impact to the General Fund from the stadium.

Herhold says that Santa Clara voters need to trust their "representational government" on the ins and out of a complex loan since they are busy people with their own "household problems". Since the Ballot Pamplet had all kinds of details about the financial terms of the agreement between the city of Santa Clara and the 49ers, it is clear that Herhold is in the minority with respect to how much information voters need and want. And while Herhold advises to just trust the politicians on the stadium, when it comes to the California High Speed Rail on which voters voted and passed he's not trusting the politicians. Which is it Scott, do we vote yes and trust (Santa Clara Stadium) or do we vote yes and not trust (High Speed Rail)?

Those Rascals

Herhold suggests that if you don't like the work of the city of Santa Clara politicians you should just "throw those rascals out". That is, after you have quietly allowed them to get in bed with the 49ers and completely change their stadium subsidy deal from what was put in the ballot pamphlet that you used to determine your vote. After all, every politician in the CITY NEXT DOOR is entitled to some "rascally behavior" in a democracy. Do we have that right Scott?