Scam Election: 15th State Senate District

Scott Lay in The Nooner gave a report on the State Senate race in the 15th—the San Jose area.

He asked why is Charles Munger spending money on the candidacy of Ken Del Valle (Ruiz).  Here is my answer to Scott:

“There is a real reason for the Munger PAC supporting Valle (Ruiz).

He wants Johnny Khammis for 15SD.  So when one GOP’er got in the race, he needed another to divide the GOP vote in the primary, to get Johnny (who held a press conference to denounce the Republican Party, leave the Party and to denounce President Trump) into the top two.  When you look at Facebook Shane Patrick Connolly is a friend of Valle–he is also the Chair of the Santa Clara GOP AND the chief of staff to San Jose City Councilman Johnny Khamis.

Propping up Valle is an effort to put an anti-Trumper on the November ballot.  Did I mention that according to the Secretary of State Valle was a registered Democrat from 2010-2019?”

This is another scam by those working hard to kill the Republican Party—from the inside.

15SD?  Why?

The Nooner,  2/17/20   

SD15 (San José): Guess who’s back, back again. Spirit’s back, back again. After reporting only compliance expenditures last year and seeming to be dormant, the Spirit of Democracy PAC that was primarily funded by Stanford physicist and Walmart heir Charles Munger, Jr. reported new activity yesterday. Anyway, late last year, the committee received $2,000 from Bad Boys Bail Bonds in San José and another $1,100 combined from three Silicon Valley donors.

Yesterday, the PAC reported spending $1,666 on WEB — assumedly for ads — in support of Army Staff Sergeant Ken Del Valle-Ruiz (R) in the heavily Democratic seat currently held by termed-out Jim Beall (D). Huh. Del Valle has zero chance of making the top-two in a Clinton+51.7% district. From what I can tell, Del Valle doesn’t even have a website and has reported no campaign financial activity.

So, what the hell is Spirit of Democracy doing?

Let’s look again at the candidates for the seat:

  • Nora Campos (Democratic) – Public Policy Advocate
  • Dave Cortese (Democratic) – County Supervisor, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors
  • Ken Del Valle-Ruiz (Republican) – Army Staff Sergeant
  • Tim Gildersleeve (No Party Preference) – Paratransit Operator
  • Robert Howell (Republican)
  • Johnny Khamis (No Party Preference) – Small Businessman/Councilmember
  • Ann M. Ravel (Democratic) – Public Interest Attorney

I’ve written about this race several times because it is fascinating just like the one to the immediate north, SD13 (San Mateo), another safe Dem seat. For ATCpro users, the reason I haven’t been able to provide detailed analyses other than campaign finance is that nobody has a clue. Polling is unclear and all I can get is spin jobs from the campaigns who of course all claim they have the lead.

For SD15, the three Democrats fall into lanes. Speaking most simply (which is always dangerous), Campos is the business-oriented mod Democrat, Cortese is the labor Democrat, and Ravel is the environmental and women’s-organizations Democrat.

Of course, a fourth candidate is certainly in play and that is San José council member Khamis, who is registered with no party preference. As I’ve previously written, you can’t count Khamis out despite the previous cycle Clinton and Newsom margins. Beyond a longstanding deep social justice fabric in San José, this is also Silicon Valley, which is liberal-libertarian. This is Tom Campbell territory.

What is Spirit of Democracy, a committee traditionally focused on supporting moderate Republicans, trying to do by supporting a non-campaigning Republican in a top-two election?

If you have a clue, let me know. I can’t even figure out how that would play in this strange field.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.


  1. John Steele says

    Another reason to not vote any longer in Kaly. All voting is rigged.. No need to get your hopes up. Corruption and payoffs negate most races..

Speak Your Mind