I wrote a column on it here. It underlies Stockton politics.
Now District 6 Council candidate Sam Fant, charged with voter fraud, says maybe the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office should relinquish prosecution of his case.
“Fant said he has “profound respect” for District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar but cited a number of reasons it would be best if the case were transferred from her stewardship,” the story says.
The reasons: D.A. Tori Verber-Salazar has the same campaign consultant at Fant’s rival for office; he and Verber-Salazar served on the fair board together and she may have come to dislike his politics; the charges seem suspiciously timed to hurt his campaign.
Of the three, the first has the most weight, but that’s not much. Political consultants work for their clients, not the other way around. In Fant’s view, the D.A. works for her political consultant, bringing charges against Fant just to help the consultant’s effort to advance one of his other clients.
At best that is unlikely. At worst it is the kooky paranoia that’s so prevalent in this town, the distrust of institutions borne not merely of healthy skepticism (which Stockton institutions deserve, but) of poverty and civic illiteracy. Likely it is somewhere in between, as Fant seems smart enough to exploit that distrust in the court of public opinion.
Of the other two reasons, well, shucks. Fant alleges the D.A. is prosecuting him because she doesn’t like his politics and she timed the charges for political and not legal reasons. But he has “profound respect” for her! Sure!
If a candidate is crooked, I want to know it before the election.
Fant deserves his day in court. He’s innocent until proved otherwise. But I’ll make a general observation: in this town, the shady characters and the hustlers always put the system on trial. These ethicists hold officials to the highest conduct, while they ignore the rules.