Outside Groups Attack Johnson, Fargo

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, October 24, 2008

The California Teachers Association and other unions that back the mayor released a radio ad yesterday.  It features two Sacramento teachers making some strong claims: 
Ad: “I’m really worried.  Kevin Johnson’s running for Mayor, but he also runs two Sacramento charter schools that federal investigators have cited for serious financial misconduct.  It means no federal funding for reading programs or school lunch programs for low-income students.”
Not true, says the non-profit Johnson founded that runs the schools.  St. HOPE officials say the schools haven’t lost federal funds, though KXJZ hasn’t been able to verify that statement.  Also, only one school has come up in the federal investigation, Sacramento High.  Fargo says the ad could’ve been a little more accurate, but agrees with it on the whole.

Fargo : “He is under federal investigation, and there has been money that has been misspent, and he does need to be held accountable for it.  And to me, it does bring into question his ability to run the city as well as he's saying he's going to be able to. (0:13)

Johnson says the ad’s wrong, and besides, he’s not a fan of ads produced by outside groups.
Johnson: “Our record will stack up against anybody, but it's not fair to the community when you spread things that are dishonest or not true.  And if anybody who did an independent expenditure on my behalf says something that's not true, I would denounce them immediately and tell them to stop. (0:14)

But Johnson’s supporters actually have sent out mailers – and at least one of them makes some untrue statements.  A mailer funded by police, fire and sheriffs unions accuses Fargo of putting trees above public safety.  It shows a picture of a fire station with a big “closed” sign, and says a station gets shut down each week.  In fact, only one fire engine at a time is taken out of service.  Full stations never close.
In response, Johnson campaign manager Steve Maviglio says under the mayor, the city still gives fire fighters fewer resources than before.