Kevin Johnson still using mayor’s office as political fundraising ATM

Once again, Mayor Kevin Johnson appears to be selling Peter to buy Paul. As reported in a recent Bites column in this paper, the mayor—whose hard work on behalf of the NBA would make most observers think that Sacramento has no big problems—picked up $50,000 from the NBA and another $250,000 from the mother of a Kings arena developer.

Those donations went straight to St. HOPE Academy, Johnson’s charter school and the platform from which he first ran for mayor. And then there’s the recent news that the mayor’s wife, Michelle Rhee, has taken over as the new chairwoman of St. HOPE’s board of directors, which is a nice way to keep control of all that money in the family.

We’ve got to point out, once again, that even the appearance of using the mayor’s office as a cash machine is bad news.

Oh, right: That money went to the mayor’s nonprofits. Which, we know from past experience, are staffed by people who can quickly hit the ground to support his political campaigns, since many of them left the city’s payroll to work for him in the first place.

This sort of political ATM behavior shouldn’t be business as usual in Sacramento’s City Hall.