One member of the DeBartolo family was pardoned by Donald Trump for giving $400,000 to an elected official. Now the DeBartolo Corporation supports politician Cindy Chavez with at least $400,000 in the hotly contested race for Mayor of San Jose.
San Jose – New financial filings show the DeBartolo Corporation, the billionaire developers that own the San Francisco 49ers, are about to launch a massive new political campaign in support of long-time career politician Cindy Chavez.
The 49ers have already spent nearly $4,200,000 in the past two election cycles working to elect a developer-friendly council in Santa Clara, where they have faced a city council working to hold them accountable. In 2020, they also contributed $300,000 to defeat a ballot initiative that attempted to change how the city’s council members are elected. This year alone, Mercury News reports that their spending in Santa Clara City Council races could reach $2,700,000.
Now they are working to buy San Jose City Hall through a group they fund called “Citizens for Cindy Chavez Sponsored by DeBartolo Corporation and Affiliated Entities, Including Forty Niners Football Company.” Public records show the so-called “Independent” Expenditure backing Chavez has reserved $400,000 in television time to support Cindy Chavez.
One member of the DeBartolo family was pardoned by President Donald Trump in 2020 for paying former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards $400,000 in exchange for a casino gambling license. The family member was forced to give up controlling interest in the team after the bribery scandal.
“These are billionaire developers who are making a massive investment in a career politician for a reason. They have already tried to buy the city council in Santa Clara and now they are trying to buy San Jose City Hall,” said Matt Mahan, who faces long-time politician Cindy Chavez in the hotly contested race for San Jose Mayor.
“Our campaign position is clear – the voters should choose our leaders, not special interests. You can be a fan of the Niners but still oppose this kind of obvious pay-to-play politics – exactly the kind of pay-to-play behavior that has been the hallmark of Cindy Chavez’s political career,” Mahan said.