Angelo gets CPR

A word from their sponsor: Public radio listeners hate hearing the commercials that stations now allow to lift their sagging bottom lines. But we’ve mostly accepted them because the underwriting announcements are generally pretty innocuous. Until now.

Things have clearly gone too far when local public radio cartel Capitol Public Radio allows wealthy sponsors to be less than truthful to listeners. The latest spot touts AKT Development’s commitment to “smart growth.” That’s the company owned by Sacramento’s King of Sprawl Angelo Tsakopoulos.

Bites wondered if anybody else noticed this and decided to call the station. Underwriting director Linda Onstad wouldn’t say if she received complaints. When asked how much AKT paid for the spots, she replied, “That’s none of your business.”

She then passed Bites off to General Manager Mike Lazar. Isn’t the ad a bit misleading, Mike? “It complies with FCC guidelines,” Lazar replied. OK, but what about CPR’s guidelines? “We don’t judge whether it is truthful or not.” How many complaints have you gotten so far? “None that I am aware of.”

Really? It took one more phone call to reveal that the honchos at CPR are well aware of what many listeners think of the AKT’s misinformation campaign. Turns out, Sacramento anti-sprawl warrior Vicki Lee and many of her friends have been writing to the station for months.

Simon says: Speaking of distortions and double-speak, Republican Bill Simon’s campaign limped into Sacramento last Friday, a day after newspaper headlines trumpeted a jury’s $78 million business fraud judgment against his investment firm.

His standard pro-business stump speech, delivered at the Hyatt to the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, took on telling new dimensions.

“We need to strip away excessive regulations and red tape,” is pretty standard stuff for a Republican speaking to a Chamber, but in light of the public’s corporate governance concerns—not to mention Simon’s use of sketchy tax shelters—the old canard gets revealed for what it truly is: a Republican favoring corporate interests over the public interest.

Even his repeated “God willing, when I’m elected governor” phrase made Bites chuckle, because God may be the only consultant who can salvage this campaign.

Death and abduction: Assemblyman John Longville had some fun on the floor at Simon’s expense, solemnly asking for time to honor the dead and moving that the Assembly adjourn for the day “in the memory of the Simon for Governor campaign.”

A Riverside Press-Enterprise account of the antics concludes “Longville, who rarely pulls his partisan punches, said Davis would have to be arrested in a child-abduction case to lose to Simon now. ‘If I were looking for organ donors … where I’d be going is to the Simon campaign,’ Longville said. ‘If I needed something other than a brain, that is.’ ”

The “child-abduction” line offers a segue to a funny Davis administration gaffe last week, which came in a press release typo.

“Governor Gray Davis will hold a press conference to discuss the State’s abduction of two Southern California teenagers this morning.”

Perhaps they refused to contribute to his campaign?

Mea culpa, you-a culpa: Last week, Bites skewered the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department for not responding to an SN&R request for information on a deputy that a tipster said had narcotics and stolen property found in his house.

Just as the paper was going to press, Bites saw a letter that had been mailed by Sgt. James Lewis, in which he wrote: “In response to your inquiry, we do not have an employee with the name you provided. Further, we are prohibited by law from disclosing information regarding personnel matter [sic] of public safety employees. Therefore, if there were such an employee under investigation for the matters you allege, I would be barred, by law, from confirming or denying your questions.”

Which, of course, is a load of crap. If your house got raided and they found drugs and stolen booty, you’d better believe the cops would let us know. So, if it is one of their own, we’ll never know. Like the tipster, Bites smells a cover-up. Stay tuned, loyal readers.