49ers accused of laundering money into Santa Clara politics

By Vincent Frank
Courtesy of AP Photo/Tony Avelar

The San Francisco 49ers have not necessarily had a good relationship with political leaders in Santa Clara since moving to the Silicon Valley back in 2014.

This really isn’t news to anyone that’s kept a keen eye on the political situation there. Whether it’s the 49ers allegedly going back on their word to help fund community projects or something else, they simply haven’t found a way to make peace with leaders in the Santa Clara area.

Now comes this potentially riveting and equally damaging claim from a local community group suggesting that the 49ers have funneled money into an opposition PAC in an attempt to impact November’s election.

“Money is being secretly laundered to influence Santa Clara politics and we believe the 49ers are likely behind the scheme,” Burt Field, a spokesman for Stand Up For Santa Clara, said on Tuesday, via the Bay Area News Group . “The way this PAC is set up, it does not have to report its donors. This does not belong in Santa Clara and it’s not the type of politics we want to have here.”

Claiming a multi billion-dollar NFL organization is laundering money in hopes of impacting an election is rather startling.

Though, it must be noted that the community group, Stand Up For Santa Clara, has long been an opponent of the 49ers. It did not support relocation of the team from San Francisco, and has done everything possible to throw mud at the 49ers since.

Whether these claims hold any ground or can be substantiated by outside forces remains to be seen.

It is, however, yet another black eye for the 49ers’ PR game in the Silicon Valley Mecca. That definitely isn’t going to bode well for their hopes of better relations with the political power players in Santa Clara.

The interesting dynamic here is that all this has taken place in the midst of a non-profit called BLUPAC being created overnight. That organization has since made it a point to attack Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor, who has also been critical of the 49ers’ motives in the past.