Two days after Santa Clara City Councilman Anthony Becker allegedly denounced his peers during a closed session, the San Francisco 49ers donated more than $368,000 to boost Becker’s bid for become mayor.

On Sept. 1, according to state records, the 49ers donated to an independent committee supporting Becker, who is running against incumbent Lisa Gillmor. Becker led efforts to settle contentious lawsuits between the city and the team, in which Santa Clara accused the 49ers of diverting stadium revenue into the public facility.

Gillmor is a longtime 49ers critic and fought against the rule book. The city officially accepted the team’s proposal on August 31, the day after Becker’s alleged tirade.

Also on Sept. 1, the 49ers donated more than $380,000 to two committees supporting pro-49ers board members Karen Hardy and Raj Chahal, who are both running for re-election. That means the team donated nearly $750,000 in total to the three council members who lobbied for the settlement and are running for office in November.

The donations, reported to the Secretary of State’s office, followed a stormy closed session on August 30. Gillmor and board member Kathy Watanabe said Becker yelled “F— you!” and turned his middle finger to Watanabe, then berated Gillmor, because they argued the settlement was bad business for the city.

Gillmor and Watanabe left the meeting while it was still in progress.

The following day, Acting City Attorney Steve Ngo wrote in an email that the city had settled the lawsuits “in accordance with the direction of the majority of council” at the closed meeting. The city has not released details of the process, even refusing to confirm that a vote took place.

Chahal was not present at the closed session, but in previous meetings he had spoken in favor of settling the lawsuit. Chahal and Hardy have refused to recuse themselves from the case, even though the two are the targets of a state ethics investigation for allegedly taking expensive tickets to the team’s 49ers.

Becker, Chahal and Hardy did not respond to emails Tuesday seeking comment on the 49ers’ donations.

The big cash injection marked team CEO Jed York’s second financial foray into local politics in Santa Clara in the past two years. In 2020, he spent $2.9 million to boost pro-49ers board candidates, electing Becker, Sudhanshu “Suds” Jain and Kevin Park.

They joined Hardy and Chahal to form the majority of the five-member board that fired both City Manager Deanna Santana and City Attorney Brian Doyle, who had demanded tougher financial scrutiny of the stadium’s management by the stadium. 49ers. Then the board turned to the lawsuits, in which the city — at a time when team critics dominated the board — sought to replace the 49ers with a professional management company.

The 49ers pushed for a settlement that would leave their executives in charge of running the stadium. In Facebook ads, the team claimed the settlement would mean $13 million in benefits for the city, but a Chronicle analysis found only a fraction of that amount was in cash.

Watanabe, who won re-election in 2020 despite the 49ers spending to support her opponent, said she doesn’t think big donations from the 49ers will sway the election this time around.

“I think the Santa Clarans get it,” she said. “They are aware of what is happening.

In 2020, the 49ers spent heavily on television and internet ads, according to records. In their drive to elect Becker, they begin with newspaper ads – on September 1, the San Francisco Examiner ran a “promo in partnership with the San Francisco 49ers” titled “Anthony Becker’s Vision for Santa Clara “.

The upbeat campaign biography, released two days after his alleged outburst at City Hall, paints Becker as a council member for whom personal respect is a byword.

“People should be respected, and our different thoughts and opinions should be respected,” Hardy quotes Becker. “And Anthony is the one doing it.”

Ron Kroichick is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle and Lance Williams is a freelance writer. Email: [email protected], [email protected] Twitter: @ronkroichick, @LanceWCIR