N. Allen Sawyer: fight, fight, fight

The controversial political consultant N. Allen Sawyer seems to be strong-willed, and he loves to argue.

Perhaps too much. Sawyer has clawed his way back to slightly cloudy respectability by successfully challenging the criminal justice system that made him a felon – a conviction he undid — and by challenges such as the court case against Councilman Elbert Holman’s web page, which called Sawyer one of San Joaquin’s most notorious criminals.

One just wonders whether discretion would not have been the better part of valor in this case. As a result of the court challenge, multiple stories ran with “Sawyer” and “notorious criminals” in the same sentence. How many people, after all, visit Holman’s website? Not as many as read the paper.

Hence the Sawyer paradox: after clearing himself legally, had he simply returned to private life to manage his business interests, his criminal case would have receded into the background. One would think that would be better for his family, if nothing else. But Sawyer wants to be a player in the public arena. Which means he must constantly be vetted, and his past constantly resurfaces.

He fights tooth and nail for his past to go away. But doggedly remains in the one arena where it never will.

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    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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