Thursday, October 29, 2015

Thinking about Darrell Steinberg and Angelique Ashby in a post-K.J. Sacramento

Sacramento News & Review - Thinking about Darrell Steinberg and Angelique Ashby in a post-K.J. Sacramento - Essay - Opinions - October 29, 2015:

Thinking about Darrell Steinberg and Angelique Ashby in a post-K.J. Sacramento

Cosmo Garvin pushes aside the Steinberg buzz to ask some real questions about the candidate






Really? It was the video that did it for you? The transcripts, that whole, “Again, I didn't recall us being one hundred percent naked” conversation—that was OK? But post the actual video of 17-year-old Mandi Koba telling her story to the police and suddenly it's, “Ugh, Kevin Johnson is a creep!”
All right, whatever.
In any case, there was really no point in Johnson running for mayor again. It wasn’t going to get any better for him, or his big-money backers, than “saving the Kings.”
And K.J.’s assorted mini-scandals and ethical lapses were starting to stick. Or at least they were getting the attention of reporters at national outlets, who were writing stories with a pronounced what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-Sacramento angle.
So, time for a new mayor.
If you’re looking for a less-handsy version of the Johnson administration, then Councilwoman Angelique Ashby may be a good bet. She’s spent the last five years as a loyal member of Team K.J., then launched her own campaign for mayor more or less simultaneously with Johnson’s announcement that he wouldn’t run again.
But it’s former state senator and political fixture Darrell Steinberg who is generating the excitement. A not-exactly-grassroots social-media campaign to “convince” Steinberg to run—comprised largely of Democratic politicians, party activists and fundraisers—materialized immediately after K.J.’s announcement.
Steinberg has broad appeal. In fact, lots of people who hate Johnson’s guts want Steinberg for mayor. In their eyes, Steinberg is a policy heavyweight where K.J. is all about branding and government-by-press-release. They see Steinberg as a man of integrity where Johnson is, well, not.
But is the culture of low-grade corruption and self-dealing that thrived under Johnson really going to improve in a Mayor Steinberg administration? I’m not so sure.
Believe me, I understand as well as most the differences between Johnson and Steinberg.Steinberg in many ways turned me on to public policy and public affairs. Anyone remember Steinberg’s Assembly Bill 680, to distribute sales taxes more equitably among local governments? No? I do. It was goddamn Sacramento News & Review - Thinking about Darrell Steinberg and Angelique Ashby in a post-K.J. Sacramento - Essay - Opinions - October 29, 2015:

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