Opinion: Local media have made race for Council District 8 more transparent
On Saturday May 26, 2012 I received the following letter in the mail paid for by Better Sacramento Political Action Committee, major funding by Western Electrical Contractors Association Inc, Good Government PAC, Mark Friedman and Frank Ramos:
Your city council district has Sacramento’s worst crime area – but your City Councilwoman, Bonnie Pannell, voted to cut police protection and now wants to cut even deeper. Her budget priorities are very wrong.
While voting to cut public safety, Bonnie Pannell:
– Voted to pay a new city manager $305,000, plus a $150,000 – making him the highest-paid employee in Sacramento history
– Demanded big raises for two of Sacramento’s highest-paid employees, saying they were "underpaid"
– Rejected a
budget audit by a national accounting firm that could have prevented cuts in public safety
Bonnie Pannell “is stunningly tone-deaf,” wrote the Sacramento Bee. With city services being slashed and workers being laid off, “pay hikes for top bureaucrats ought to be off the table.”
We agree. To protect public safety, it’s time for someone new.
Advisory Board Member
Crime Victims United of California
It is again disappointing to receive literature from the United Crime Victims of California relating to District 8. It is concerning, when the author of the literature has previously sent out misleading information regarding crime, unemployment, Councilmember Pannell and efforts to keep the public safe.
On Saturday I also read an article within the Sacramento Bee where an informed SacBee analysis found, "Ad targeting Pannell distorts crime stats" http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/26/4517791/business-group-issues-misleading.html The article states, "A campaign mailer attacking Sacramento Councilwoman Bonnie Pannell exaggerates crime and unemployment figures in Pannell’s south Sacramento district."
As I continued reading articles relating to Sacramento local elections I found the following article within the Sacramento News and Review "Pannell, McCarty" http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/pannell-mccarty/content?oid=6025647 The informed article states, "Two incumbents on the Sacramento City Council—Bonnie Pannell in District 8 and Kevin McCarty in District 6—have served the city well and deserve another term."
Today, I also read "No promises" a May 3, 2012 Sacramento News & Review article where I learned of the city’s Code of Fair Campaign Practices pledge: http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/no-promises/content?oid=5889097 The article reads "Of the 21 candidates running for city council or mayor, just six have refused to sign the city’s Code of Fair Campaign Practices pledge.
"But Mayor Kevin Johnson ally Betty Williams has already chosen to go negative on her opponent, incumbent councilwoman Bonnie Pannell. One Williams brochure attacks Pannell for opposing Johnson on his strong-mayor initiative and a key redistricting vote." SN&R
"Williams just got $25,000 from independent-expenditure committee Better Sacramento Political Action Committee to help her keep up the attack. Better Sacramento is the outgrowth of the so-called Sacramento 60, a group of businessmen and developers who formed to support strong-mayor and other Johnson initiatives." SN&R
The negative and misleading District 8 council election literature is concerning. Citizens in the city of Sacramento are entitled to truth and transparency. Thomas Jefferson once said, ""The sheep are happier of themselves, than under the care of wolves." It is alarming when their are wolves attempting to manipulate the public during elections.
Elections can be overwhelming when you are struggling for truth and a better quality of life.
When I received the first misleading mailer I was angry and wrote of the shameful tactics. Years ago, a friend of mine was murdered in District 8 near Danger Island and another in G Parkway. I seen the improvements to clean up the area. I seen the results of councilwoman Bonnie Pannell determination to improve the quality of life for many in District 8.
Today, as I was catching up on my election reading, I learned while residents of District 8 are given misleading information by the Better Sacramento Political Action Committee; our local media has given us truth and transparency.
It is unacceptable our mayor, who wanted more power – through a strong mayor iniatiative- will walk away from this election not being held accountable for his role in dirty politics. Not assuring residents of District 8 are provided a truthful opportunity to vote for the best candidate to represent our district is shameful.
It is disturbing our mayor does not hold transparency and truth as a vital component for public office for himself and our council/ candidates.
It is unacceptable candidate Williams did not run a clean campaign. It is disappointing candidate Williams did not compliment Pannell on her labor and then informed us ways if elected she (Williams) can do a better service for the district.
As a resident of District 8 I feel we are entitled to an apology from both Mayor Johnson and Candidate Williams.
As a low income city resident I am overwhelmed with life’s struggles. It is overwhelming to see the deceitful tactics condoned by our mayor and council candidates wanting to represent us.
Thank you Sacramento Press, Sacramento News and Review and Sacramento Bee for giving us the transparency the citizens of Sacramento are deserving of.
I read so many well-informed comments on the Sacramento Press by so many community members on various city agenda topics. I am truly impressed by the citizens of Sacramento who are actively engaged in our city politics.
Our mayor, elected officials and candidates, such as Williams, may have thousands of dollars to fund their campaigns. But to have an engaged community with an unbiased media is priceless during an election.
It appears, in regards to transparency and accountability, the residents of Sacramento do not need a strong mayor form of government. If we have determined community members combined with an informed media we can hold our elected officials accountable and vote the undeserving out of office.
I hope election 2012 will teach Sacramento elected officials and candidates that it is your labor combined with integrity that will vote you in office. And be careful, regardless of whether you have labored; a deceitful, negative and misleading campaign or endorsement of one will result in you losing our trust and vote.
Someone once said, ‘A lie can take care of the present but it has no future."
I want to offer my sincere appreciation and thanks to both Sacramento’s engaged community members and writers within our local media. Due to your efforts, it seems, Transparency in government has a future in Sacramento.
Disclosure: resident of district 8 overwhelmed by negative and untruthful campaign literature