Chris Garland makes me feel so dirty

Eww …

Eww …

With every election, I become more certain that there’s not much upside for me in Sacramento’s alt weekly endorsing candidates. At some point, I will be calling most everyone we didn’t endorse, asking for some insight or comment for some story I’m working on. Invariably, some of those calls will be returned more slowly than they used to be. Some not at all. And I really don’t need any help alienating people.

Just ask Matt Gray, one of many candidates for state Assembly who, for reasons mostly having to do with limited space and limited prospects for winning, were not profiled in my take on local elections last week (“The political junkie’s down & dirty guide to the local primary,” SN&R Feature, May 20). Matt sounds like a genuinely interesting guy, and I’m sure I’ll run into him down the road. But right now I think he’s pretty pissed at me. Same with Adam Sartain, who thought I’d take his Assembly campaign more seriously if he threatened to sue SN&R for “equal time.”

Then, there’s this: A Chris Garland mailer, bashing Assembly candidate Kevin McCarty, and I felt so dirty I had to skip dinner and head straight for the shower.

The mailer was put out by Garland’s main benefactor, the California Faculty Association, along with Blue Shield and developer committee Home Builders of America. The CFA also happens to be Garland’s employer (he’s on a leave of absence during his Assembly campaign), but the union is acting through a no-limit “independent expenditure” committee, completely independently of the Garland campaign.

Anyway, Garland—sorry—the CFA uses my story from a few months back about Sacramento City Council discretionary funds to slime McCarty, saying he “went on a spending spree with your tax dollars.”

It’s true that McCarty bought some gadgets for his staff. But the Garland campaign—sorry—Garland’s employers and campaign donors took that information way out of context.

All the city council members—including another rival in this Assembly race, Councilwoman Lauren Hammond—use a chunk of their discretionary funds for office operations.

But most of the money went to fund pretty worthy projects, like the $30,000 in discretionary funds McCarty gave to fund Operation College at Hiram Johnson High School.

But “Kevin McCarty used tax money to help get disadvantaged kids into college” just wouldn’t work as well in that Garland hit piece. Sorry—CFA hit piece. You know what I mean.

Compiled from Snog.