If Council candidates Marcie Bayne (left) and Sam Fant (right) join incumbent Christina Fugazi on the Council, Mayor Anthony Silva will command a majority of votes.
Council candidate Sam Fant is innocent until proven guilty of the felony election fraud charge against him. But he’s guilty of one thing: preaching distrust of local government.
“Stockton (residents) are tired of the good ol’ boys using their influence to attempt to suppress leaders that challenge the status quo,” Fant said.
He sounded a familiar populist line: City Hall is against you. I’m for you. A line often espoused by candidates who find it easier to exploit the distrust of low-information voters than to detail substantial policy proposals.
Fant added, “I was told that if I ran for Stockton City Council, that this was going to happen. And sure enough less than 15 hours after I filed my candidacy, I was contacted by the DA’s office. So I can’t say that I am surprised, but extremely disappointed that the district attorney would allow a law enforcement agency to engage in political warfare.
“I find it very convenient that the district attorney and my political opponent share the same campaign manager.”
So, in other words, District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar wants to wreck Fant’s candidacy because he’s not a good ol’ boy who challenges the status quo. Verber Salazar’s not busy enough; she’s got to meddle in Stockton political races, presumably at the behest of the oligarchs who really run things.
Why target Fant? Fant is a friend of Mayor Anthony Silva, who is trying to get enough supporters elected to command a majority on the council. In this view, Silva and his supporters represent change unwelcome to the powers that be.
But who are the powers that be? Developers? Silva took office with the support of developer Matt Arnaiz, who contributed to Silva’s policy vacuum the one policy idea he campaigned on: Stockton Safe Streets, the flawed crime-fighting plan.
Once in office, Silva championed cutting developer fees, a policy proposal handed to him by the developer’s lobby, the Building Industry Association of the Greater Valley.
Those are really the only two big ideas Silva has proposed. Nothing against developers, but if they are not the good ol’ boys around here, I don’t now who is. Sounds to me like Fant wants to become part of the status quo, not to challenge it. And in response to his claim to be the victim of a conspiracy, I’d point out he’s the one facing conspiracy charges.