Mayoral Debate on Monday

I’ll be attending the Sacramento Mayoral Debate between Mayor Heather Fargo and Kevin Johnson on Monday at CSUS. It will be broadcast on KCRA-3 and Capital Public Radio 90.9 from 6:30-8:00 pm. Walt Gray, Pamela Wu and Jeffery Callison will moderate.

Most of the audience will be college students, who will also present most of the questions.

What questions would you like to ask the candidates?

Ugly Flyer Tries to Fool Naive Voters

Ah, what kind of election would it be if we didn’t have last-minute desperation from candidates with too much money in their campaign chests?

The SacBee reports today on a mailer sent out by a group called Democratic Voters Choice with the catchy slogan, “Make it Emphatic, Vote Straight Democratic!” The only problem is that this group has been sending out virtually identical flyers for almost 20 years to trick Democrats into voting for GOP candidates in non-partisan local races. Local candidates Susan Peters, who is VERY Republican, and Kevin Johnson, who I will very kindly refer to as an “idealistically conflicted Democrat”, are both endorsed and are both listed in the fine print as the folks who paid for this deceptive flyer.

Kudos to the Bee for being on top of this story. The flyer is included for your enjoyment after the jump.

Continue reading “Ugly Flyer Tries to Fool Naive Voters”

Bee on KJ vs Fargo on crime

An interesting front page piece in the Bee today contrasting KJ’s view of crime in our fair city with Comrade Fargo’s. And I think it dispels any myths out there about the Bee’s balance on KJ vs Fargo.

To hear Kevin Johnson tell it, Sacramento is a violent place.

But to hear Heather Fargo tell it: Which city is Sacramento again? Oh right. And you say I’m the whatchacallit? Mayor?

Fargo initially questioned Johnson’s [crime] figures. But she now says Police Chief Rick Braziel has confirmed they are correct.

Continue reading “Bee on KJ vs Fargo on crime”

Fargo asks police to reopen KJ allegation???

OK this is the most ridiculous thing I have seen in a while. Well maybe in like, 6 days.

Mayor Heather Fargo called Wednesday for police to reopen their investigation into a Sacramento High School teacher’s report last year that a 17-year-old student had told him she was inappropriately touched by the charter school’s founder, Kevin Johnson. … The mayor said she spoke to Police Chief Rick Braziel after reading an article in Tuesday’s Bee.

Via The BUZZ. I love the Johnson dude comparing Fargo to Vladimir Putin. But seriously, comrade Fargo, what will you think of next. I might vote for Jim Anchower.

And again I ask you: Am I the only one who thinks it is absurd/fishy… fishurd?… how many Bee stories in this scandal rely heavily on things that were reported in other Bee stories? At some point shouldn’t they ixnay on that?

More legal questions for KJ

The questions about Kevin Johnson’s past just keep on coming. The SacBee reports on a federal investigation into St. Hope’s suspected misuse of grant money for the AmeriCorps program and of reports of KJ’s inappropriate behavior towards two teenagers.

From 2004-2007, St. Hope received more than $800,000 for their Hood Corps program aimed at leadership development among inner city youth. Last year, federal funding was terminated because half of the youth involved had dropped out. The program is also supposed to be non-religious and completely voluntary, yet former members report that they were required to study the Bible, attend church, and receive communion. Many participants also had trouble with the mandatory “boot camp” style physical fitness training, another activity forbidden by the funding guidelines. Participants were also allegedly required to perform activities outside of the program’s scope, including campaigning for Sacramento City School Board candidates, a major violation of campaign rules and electoral ethics.

If these allegations turn out to be true, they will be a major blow to KJ’s mayoral campaign, as they show that he cannot even manage a simple government grant within the specified rules. And if he cannot do that, how much success will he have with an entire city?

Nail in the coffin for KJ?

The Bee reports this morning that Kevin Johnson’s personal attorney conducted an internal investigation of the allegations brought against KJ by a Sac High student last spring, before notifying law enforcement or CPS. As a result the student recanted before the Sac PD conducted their investigation. According to Sgt. Matt Young, the Sac PD’s investigation was wrapped up in 8 days.

Maybe commenter Jean was right and this was the new angle the Bee was researching. It is unclear to me yet whether the sequence of events did not proceed according to legal SOP in this realm. The lawyer, Kevin Hiestand, claims he did tell the teacher, Erik Jones, to file reports with the police and CPS. Jones claims Hiestand told him the school would investigate first. The girl and her family still claim the story was made up. On the other hand we still have the decade old transcript of the confrontation call. All anybody can really do at this point is assume that the creepy guy in that 1996 phone call was guilty of crossing the same boundaries in 2007.

KJ’s comments hurt his defense

The fact that it is not easy for KJ to put this issue to bed is not entirely the fault of the sloppy Sac Bee who published documents dropped off by a political opponent. It is impossible sometimes to discern what KJ is trying to say, to put it mildly. When asked if he paid a settlement to the Phoenix teenager who brought accusations against him in 1996 he said

“I think the important thing, and I’ve always said this all along, is you have to protect the rights of individuals,” Johnson said. “And privacy rights are at first and foremost of what I have to do on a regular basis in this community.”

The Bee correctly points out he doesn’t mention whose privacy. It must not be his own, since a flat “No” answer would be very helpful in clearing this up. I suppose though, since it is not totally established that a settlement request was made, saying No would confirm that there was a request to turn down. I don’t know. It’s true that he has never been charged with anything in these cases, but one wishes that for clarity’s sake, just for once a man accused in a case like this would have more to say than “no charges have been ever assessed toward me.” Something like “I have never acted in an improper manner toward any teenage girl.”

Bee pats itself on the back for KJ allegations

Buried at the bottom of this story about Heather Fargo’s uphill battle against KJ’s celebrity status, the Bee’s Mary Lynne Vellinga mentions yesterday’s Padilla bombshell about KJ:

This week, Johnson has again had to contend with allegations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls in Phoenix and Sacramento. Charges were never brought in either case, but rival mayoral candidate Leonard Padilla on Tuesday distributed the police report in the Phoenix case to the press.

Yes, he had to contend with them again because they were reported on in the same paper after being dropped off by a very concerned political opponent. Continue reading “Bee pats itself on the back for KJ allegations”

Padilla circulates creepy allegations against KJ

The allegations against Kevin Johnson are definitely troubling. As usual with these things, the truth is almost impossible to discern for those of us who actually want to know it. For example, why are we in Sacramento just supposed to be concerned about the 1995 Phoenix case now and not, say in 2003 when he took over Sacramento High School? Hmm, highly coincidental timing. If it is important now to know that it took place, wasn’t it far more important to know back then when he was taking over a school full of 16-yo girls?

Continue reading “Padilla circulates creepy allegations against KJ”