Dan Orum, president and CEO of the San Jose Giants, sent an email to the San Jose City Council about a week ago "to address the spate of misinformation recently published in the Mercury News and elsewhere regarding the San Jose Giants involvement in litigation against the City of San Jose."

That would be the still-pending December 2011 lawsuit by an outfit called Stand for San Jose that challenged the city's environmental review and land sale offer for a proposed downtown ballpark that would be the new home of the Oakland A's. The San Francisco Giants, majority owner of the minor-league San Jose Giants, have blocked that move for more than four years, citing territorial rights to Santa Clara County.

"Simply said," Orum wrote, "the San Jose Giants are not a party to any litigation against the City of San Jose. The petitioners in the Stand for San Jose lawsuit are six individuals and Stand for San Jose, an independent organization which has many members and is neither funded nor controlled by the San Jose Giants."

We were greatly distressed when the note found its way to our inbox -- and rushed down to the courthouse to triple-check our earlier reporting.

Here's what the suit says:

"Petitioner and Plaintiff SFSJ is an unincorporated coalition of entities and individuals, including residents and taxpayers in San Jose and the County of Santa Clara, and the San Jose Giants, formed and dedicated to addressing the risks to the environment and financial issues posed by the Ballpark Project."

So we weren't hallucinating. We left messages with Mr. Orum to ask what gives, but got no reply by press time.

His email comes at a delicate time for the team, which is seeking to negotiate a new lease with the city for Municipal Stadium. Some city officials, notably Councilman Sam Liccardo, have questioned why San Jose should continue subsidizing the San Jose Giants with a below-market lease while the team and its deep-pocketed major-league parent vex the city's downtown ballpark development project in court. The team also wants the city to continue providing $6,800 worth of extra policing around its July 4 fireworks show.

"My hope is that the San Jose Giants and the City of San Jose can move swiftly ahead with our shared interest in continuing to provide safe, fun, affordable family entertainment for hundreds of thousands of citizens in this great city for many years to come," Orum wrote.

Liccardo couldn't resist a tart email reply, asking Orum if he planned to ask Stand for San Jose to amend its complaint to remove his team, and asking again who is paying the group's legal bills from the San Francisco Giants' lawyers.

Dogfight: Simitian rips contract with pet food provider to shreds

By his own admission, Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian did not think he'd be spending time as a public servant talking about dog food.

That was before an item on the board's consent calendar Tuesday -- an agreement with Hill's Pet Nutrition to provide pet food for the county's animal shelter -- unsettled him.

By the time he was finished taking the deal apart, county staffers were ready to eat dog food themselves.

The deal with Hill's, which began in 2008, saves the county $19,000 a year in food costs. In turn, the county agrees to push Hill's products on its website and to people adopting pets.

In a polite but devastating sequence, Simitian checked off the problems with renewing the contract. For starters, the county was giving the phone numbers and email addresses of adopting families to Hill's, raising privacy concerns.

Moreover, the shelter wasn't explaining why it was recommending the dog food. "The public doesn't know the reason we're hyping the dog food is that we're getting it for free," Simitian said, castigating the staff for using verbatim Hill's language in its report.

And finally, the food has gotten less-than-rave reviews. Simitian pointed out that in 2007, Hill's went through a recall because its food contained melamine, which caused kidney failure.

Finally, with a "no mas" smile, County Executive Jeff Smith agreed to take back the contract and find a better solution. "I look forward to hearing more about dog food in the future," Simitian said.

Budget revise shows Gov. Brown clearly in control

It took a Republican -- Assembly GOP Leader Connie Conway, R-Visalia -- to call Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown the "adult in the room." But it doesn't take a genius to know that, after his "budget revise" news conference last week, the governor is still fully in control at the Capitol, and he knows it.

Brown defended a $96.4 billion budget that was less upbeat than his January blueprint -- it spends $1.3 billion less. But there was nothing defensive about his manner in taking questions from reporters. Here's a sample of his responses:

Asked about fellow Democrats' desire to increase spending on social safety-net programs that have been cut, Brown said: "Everybody wants to see more spending. That's what this place is. It's a big spending machine. You need something, come here and see if you can get it. Well, I'm the backstopper at the end, and I'm going to keep this budget balanced."

On the complaint by some wealthy school districts that his new funding formula unfairly favors districts with more than 50 percent disadvantaged students: "If you ask somebody in Beverly Hills or Palo Alto or Piedmont, 'Would you like to move to Compton? Would you like to move to Watts?' and if they say, 'Yeah, let's do it because I want to get the extra money,' then I'll believe it. But I don't think so."

When asked about a bill to impose an oil severance tax on oil companies: "Look, we just got a nice tax," Brown said, referring to the Proposition 30 sales and income taxes he campaigned for this past fall, "and I think we ought to take a deep breath and show how we are spending it in a wise way before we start looking around at ways to fill up with more money."

Chavez campaign defends mailers, but Alvarado's camp is not convinced

Gary Winuk, the state Fair Political Practices Commission's chief enforcement officer, would not comment on the recent accusations by Teresa Alvarado's camp that Cindy Chavez, her chief rival for the Santa Clara County District 2 supervisor's seat, skirted the law with a series of similar mail pieces by her campaign and groups supporting her. But when we checked with Winuk this week, he did allow that if the campaign mail by the other groups were indeed "member communications," as Chavez's campaign says, that would be OK.

Alvarado's campaign consultant Leo Briones filed a complaint asserting that Chavez's campaign mail matches mail pieces paid for by political committees of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council (which Chavez led until this year) and the Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committee. That, he said, evidences unlawful collusion between Chavez's campaign and independent political committees.

Chavez campaign consultant Ed McGovern has insisted that the Labor Council and Democratic Party pieces were "member communications" sent only to their members. But Briones said some of the mail wasn't sent to the members of those organizations, so he's standing by his complaint.

Internal Affairs is an offbeat look at state and local politics. This week's items were written by John Woolfolk, Scott Herhold, Steven Harmon, Tracy Seipel and Paul Rogers. Send tips to internalaffairs@mercurynews.com, or call 408-975-9346.