PART ONE IN A SERIES OF SIX PROFILES
Leonard Padilla is a professional bounty hunter. He could also be called a professional candidate. Padilla has run for countless offices including California Governor in the 2003 recall election. And this is his fourth time running for Mayor of Sacramento.
“I’m a candidate, I’m viable. The media can sit there and overlook me…but I don’t think the people will.”
It may be no surprise that as someone who tracks-down criminals for a living, Padilla calls public safety his number one issue.
“We have let the streets of Sacramento become governed at some periods of time be governed by gang members and drug dealers and people like that. In order to get rid of that stuff you got to get the parolees locked up, get the probationers locked up that are violating. If you don’t do that, you have no business doing anything else.”
Padilla proposes the establishment of a City Marshal’s office to round up fugitive parolees and probation violators. He says the police department doesn’t need more money to do a better job -- only to re-arrange its priorities. And Overall, he doesn’t think Sacramento City Government is working very well. If elected, he’d push to change the city’s form of government to give the Mayor more power, and he’d make other changes.
The first thing I’d do is get rid of the city Manager. I’d want Robert Fong to take over his duties. I’d keep Heather on as my special assistant. I don’t want to have to look up phone numbers for departments. She’s got that memorized.
With all his talk about crime and punishment, Padilla is the only mayoral candidate who’s actually had experience behind bars – he did a year in prison for tax evasion. It’s not something Padilla is hiding – it’s on his campaign website in a section called “Skeletons”