On March 3rd, Sacramento city voters soundly rejected Measure G, the Sacramento Children’s Fund, a “feel good,” but fatally flawed measure ostensibly to fund youth services, but virtually mandated financial fraud and cover-up. The Sac Kids First coalition headed the pro-G ballot effort.
Stung by defeat, a Sac Kids First alleged study has emerged under the title “A Tale of Two Cities: The Campaign for a Sacramento Children’s Fund.” This “paper” constitutes an attempt to dishonestly smear as racists anyone that dares to oppose a similar next attempt to plunder hundreds of millions of dollars in city funds diverted to private entities, purposely designed to have absolutely no effective public accountability.
That intended racist accusation threat is exposed in the first line that reads, “In this paper we explore the dynamics of race and class that were part of a 2020 ballot measure campaign that sought to stabilize and increase funding for children and youth services in the city of Sacramento.” The long-proved disaster of ballot box budgeting, along with city tax money transparency and accountability were the real issues, while race and class were never considered nor mentioned in any of the many meetings in which I participated to defeat Measure G.
Further, careful reading of Measure G reveals no racial connotation in the language. However, rather than benefit all children of the city, funds would be showered just to those selected by the Measure G committee, which the City Council could not alter. It did speak of “target populations” impacted by poverty, trauma, and violence, and they would receive “culturally-based healing practices,” truly bizarre language for a legal document. Law must be precise to be implemented and enforceable. To illustrate how ambiguous and silly “culturally-based healing practices” is as a term ensconced into law, it can include any number of things from innocuous to horrors such as herbal compotes, Ouija boards, hallucination inducing mushrooms, and satanic masses, and far worse.
Measure G would have forced annually 2.5% of the city’s general fund, starting at $12.5 million, to a Children’s Fund, leaving no discretion to the City Council, even in time of extreme emergency. There was huge money behind getting G onto the ballot as evidenced by signature collectors brought in from southern California. It was financed by those seeking to plunder the city treasury through this measure to at least $200 million dollars before the G expiration date.
Further, Measure G was a city charter amendment which legally disallows corrections of problems by the City Council. All corrections would have to go through the lengthy process to get back to the voters, while tax dollars are funneled to private organizations with absolutely no transparency or public accountability.
The “Tale” grim fairytale is intentionally dishonest and misleading, which is readily illustrated by several of its main elements, and a careful reading of the report yields where it conflicts with itself and draws wild conclusions based on carefully selected and very incomplete “evidence.” It also conspicuously fails to mention things, doubtless known to the authors, that would destroy their dishonest narrative of racism.
Most obvious is their demonizing of former Sacramento Bee columnist R.E. Graswich as author of items published by Inside magazine which debunked much of Measure G. His work was labeled racist, while forgetting to mention he was a top aide to Kevin Johnson, Sacramento’s first black mayor.
“Tale” labeled as a white racist “dog whistle” Graswich’s truthful exposure of misappropriation of hundreds of thousands of dollars of public funds by an organization that was big in collecting signatures to put G on the ballot and expected to gain millions in tax money if it passed. That misappropriation was successfully prosecuted by the politically extremely liberal Hispanic California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, so that prosecution was clearly not a racist act.
“Tale” conflicts with itself when it states that voters in the areas that voted for or against Measure G largely received the same information about Measure G, and points to “white” voters in higher income areas as the sole explanation for votes against Measure G. Campaign mailers from both sides were apparently evenly spread around various neighborhoods, so that part may be true. However, “Tale” then acknowledges how impactful Inside publications articles were in turning voters against Measure G. Inside is a free publication that goes only to neighborhoods based upon advertisers from that area and does not go to every area of the city. The logical conclusion from information in “Tale” itself is that, had the entire city received Inside, the vote against Measure G would have been far greater.
In a logically perverted and completely irrelevant twist, “Tale” puts a huge and inflammatory emphasis on the death of Stephon Clark, a subject never mentioned by anyone or in any written consideration, or in forums about Measure G. It was added as a “dog whistle” to sucker liberal leaning voters for the next tax money rip-off attempt. Conspicuously not mentioned was that one of the police officers that shot Clark as he advanced on them in the dark, was a black cop.
Another leftist “dog whistle” was the inclusion of photos of white faces of City Council members and others that opposed Measure G, while the document contains dozens of photos of every other race as supporters of Measure G. There were no photos of the white City Council members that supported G.
“Tale” refers EBAYC numerous times as the primary financial source and major supporter of Measure G, though it is careful to never mention that organization actually is the Oakland group, East Bay Asian Youth Center, funded by millions from an Oakland ballot box budgeted youth fund. EBAYC has already collected over $190,000 from contracts with the city of Sacramento, and if Measure G had passed expected to extract millions more. “Tale” just refers to EBAYC, to hide the fact this was an attempt by that Oakland private group to legally colonize and subjugate Sacramento tax payers. The EBAYC also has a Fresno operation, reinforcing its colonial proclivities.
“Tale” claims a “stark difference” between financial backers and opponents of Measure G, and goes on to suggest the labor unions and developers opposed to Measure G had designs on city budget money, while neglecting to mention that the main financial backers of G also expected huge infusions of city tax money had Measure G passed.
While signatures were being gathered to qualify Measure G for the ballot, supporting organizations were listed. All had great sounding titles, but a number had not filed legally required documents to keep up to date, or even legally exist. Others seemed to have no record at all at any level of government. The term for that is great sounding fake organizations.
The Children’s Fund was in reality is a conduit for city tax dollars to outside private organizations with no audit authority by the city and no legal transparency for the public to see what those organizations were doing, and that is no accident. Legally, under the verbiage of Measure G, a private organization could expend city tax dollars in a cruise ship casino and the public would never know.
The pro-Measure G ballot argument directly lied in stating, “The measure requires the city to annually evaluate programs for impact and effectiveness.” In fact, language of the measure only requires the City Auditor to assure the full 2.5% is transferred to control of the expenditure committee. The commission created to administer Measure G would publish an annual report to assess progress toward plans of their own creation, but that is not a city staff, as the ballot argument incorrectly stated. Further, it is nothing recognizable as accounting standards such as those legally required for corporations or used by governmental agencies.
The surprising Sacramento Bee editorial support for Measure G was the most irresponsible editorial position since that paper’s long and vehement anti-Asian “yellow peril” policy of the late 19th and early 20th century. After Eleanor McClatchy became publisher (1936-78) that policy was dropped, and the thoughtful and powerful Sacramento Bee of her era would have exposed the obvious flaws and potential for fraud in the verbiage of Measure G. That can be safely asserted because I personally knew Eleanor McClatchy, and her successor, C.K. McClatchy III. Clearly the current Bee editorial board never read the entire ballot measure language or did not understand specific impacts of legal verbiage.
Worse, the major Bee article on Measure G directly misled the public by stating, “Measure G would create a … committee…to recommend what projects the city should fund.” The direct ballot measure verbiage was precisely the opposite, stating the City Council must accept all of the committee’s funding proposals, and “…shall not approve or disapprove individual applicants and projects,” removing all effective City Council control of city funds. The only City Council option would be to block all funding proposals, creating a legal conundrum where Measure G required the Council to accept or reject all proposals, yet the measure also required that the funds be expended, setting up legal deadlocks. This virtually guarantees expensive litigation, with lawyers being the real financial beneficiaries of Measure G, not children or the public, and the Bee editorial board should have known that. Bee editorial boards of previous decades would have.
Since the early 1900s children’s and youth activities have been common elements of municipal parks and recreation departments, and Sacramento is a good example, currently expending on those programs several times the Measure G required 2.5% of the general fund. Additionally, local governments frequently contribute to private children’s projects of merit depending on fund availability. That is very different than the Measure G forced percentage of tax monies legally taking precedent above all other city expenditures, and flowing to private entities. Also, Measure G removed all City Council control of which groups projects get funded, creating obvious corruption opportunities.
Ballot box coerced tax allocations to children’s funds is a spreading malady. San Francisco in 1991 was the first in the nation. However, the San Francisco fund is administered by the city government, not the all-powerful commission out of the reach of elected officials created by Measure G. Similarly, the Richmond Fund for Children and Youth is also under city control. Ballot box forced children’s funding has spread east to cities long noted for corruption, such as Baltimore.
Sacramento Voters are Not Racist
When Mayor Kevin Johnson was in office, 45% of the City Council members were black, yet black residents constituted only 14.65% of the city population. Further, those black Council members were not elected from majority black areas, proving Sacramento voters are not racist. Sacramento has also had Latino and Asian Mayors, as well as three women. The authors of “Tale of Two Cities” are the real race baiters, as is easily seen by knowing the facts and careful reading of that hatchet-job screed.
“Tale of Two Cities” is a prime example of the highly profitable Fake Racism Industrial Complex, knowingly and dishonestly sliming those that seek public accountability and transparency for city tax money expenditures.
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