Trump-Backed DeBartolo Family Floods Money Into Campaign for Politician Cindy Chavez

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.

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You Did It!

you Did It!

While this has been the longest period of vote counting in recent memory, we need to remember that we have also just seen the highest number of votes cast for mayor in our city’s history. The count as of today now shows our campaign for common sense will win a majority of the votes. This has been a long and hard-fought campaign. But what unites us as a city is much more powerful than any divisions from a political contest.

I have just spoken with Supervisor Chavez and appreciate her most gracious concession in the true spirit of our robust democracy. I congratulate Supervisor Chavez on her strong campaign and I hope to work with her closely in the years ahead to address the challenges facing San Jose. We all want our city to be safe, to prosper, and our mission is to work together for common-sense solutions to end street homelessness, fight crime more effectively, make our city more affordable, clean up San Jose and hold ourselves as elected officials accountable for results.

I want to send my gratitude to every single voter who cast a ballot for our campaign or for Supervisor Chavez. Your vote was thoughtfully cast and your voice will be heard. And I want to personally thank our incredible volunteers and the 40,000 San Jose citizens who joined our campaign for common sense. You built one of the most powerful grassroots campaigns that this city has ever seen. It was your work that made this victory for common sense possible. 

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