Friday, June 07, 2013

Democratic Party Hack Du Jour: George Shirakawa

The California Democratic Party Hack Du Jour is Disgraced Santa Clara County Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr. While awaiting sentencing for lying on campaign finance reports and gambling with public funds, Shirakawa is faced with a new charge that is downright bizarre: impersonating a political opponent. The critical evidence? Shirakawa's DNA pulled from a postage stamp on an illegal campaign hit piece. The new charges could get the supervisor-turned-defendant three more years in the pen.

Here is the part of the story relevant to our California Green Party: Shirakawa was a solid good 'ole boy in the San Jose Democratic Party Machine. He has been strongly backed by the big labor unions. His illegal campaign "hit piece" was on behalf of a former aide, Xavier Campos, who is, himself, a relative of Democratic Assembly Member Nora Campos. Finally, Shirakawa was one of those "People of Color" we are told all progressives, including Greens, should defer to without question. And what was in his campaign "hit piece?" The piece, written in Vietnamese, accused Campos' opponent of being a Communist (you can't make this stuff up).

Thus, Shirakawa's saga represents everything wrong with the Democratic Party Machine politics in the U.S.A. today.

News Report from KGO-TV in San Francisco, June 5, 2013
DNA Links George Shirakawa, Jr. to New Felony Charge

Published in San Jose Mercury News, June 7, 2013
Mercury News editorial: Shirakawa Corruption Plot Thickens with Charge of Slimy Campaign Tactics
The latest felony charge against former Santa Clara County Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr. probably marks the last time anybody personally licks a stamp for a sleazy campaign hit piece.

The only surprise is that DNA is the evidence apparently tying Shirakawa to the political slime that helped propel his former aide Xavier Campos to a San Jose City Council seat in 2010. Shirakawa's DNA was found on stamps used on mailers that made Magdalena Carrasco out to be a communist, probably sealing her narrow defeat, since many Vietnamese American voters see communists as a lower life form. The charge is impersonation because the mailer said it was from Carrasco's own campaign.

We hope District Attorney Jeff Rosen's office and the state Fair Political Practices Commission are continuing this line of inquiry. Mailers like the one on Campos' behalf are not the product of one person, and the fact that a similar hit was used against Shirakawa's opponent for supervisor in 2008 implies a pattern.

Dishonest campaigning on this scale poisons the well for honest politicians and makes it harder to attract good people to run for office. Some consultants and candidates treat it as a joke. We're glad our county and state criminal justice agencies do not.

My one frustration is that, once again, I have to read this news in the mainstream media after my son-in-law told me about it on a trip from Los Angeles up to San Jose. Why aren't California Greens monitoring this? We Greens will never achieve our goals so long as we continue giving our local Democratic Party Hacks a free pass. The Green Party is no longer an a;ternative. The Green Party is an imperative.