A proud passenger on the Trumptanic


Republican Tony Amador

“With less than a month in the campaign and Trump flailing, dumping the utterly unfit Republican presidential nominee should be a no-brainer for any politician with a spine,” says the Sacramento Bee today.

But Tony Amador, Rep. Jerry McNerney’s Republican rival for the D9 congressinal seat, says he “stronlgy: supports Trump, “even more after the debate on Sunday night.”

“He apologized,” Amador said in today’s Record story. “He used the word ‘locker room.’ I think that’s an adequate explanation unless you’re trying to divert from the real issues.”

If nothing else, Trump’s candidacy has been useful for seperating Republicans of conscience from obstinate ideologues  locked in to a curdling conservatism. The latter must be abandoned — unless, like perpetual candidate Amador, Republicans want to lose races at every level of government.


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San Jose trying tiny houses


The interior of a tiny house in Madison, Wis.

San Jose can ignore California’s silly, excesively restrictive building codes for five years and build tiny houses, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

“Gov. Jerry Brown temporarily suspend state building, safety and health codes for the purpose of building “unconventional” housing structures — everything from wood-framed sheds to tiny homes,” the paper reports. “The city will adopt its own regulations, the law says, based on some minimum standards.”

Fresno has done that. Los Angeles is doing it. Stoctkton city staff threw up scads of roadblocks — or pointed out codes that prohibit the idea — but mayoral candidate Michael Tubbs successfully guided revisions to those codes through the Lesislative Committee and to approval by the Council.

Here’s a map of proposed tiny house villages. If formerly homeless people living in these houses are linked to the services they need — like, mental health services — not to mention permanent housing — then Stockton will get numerous homeless people off the streets.

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A modest suggestion for Mayor Silva

Inspired by Mayor Anthony Silva’s new campaign slogan, “They talk smack, but I have your back!” a reader sends his suggestions for other slogans Silva might consider.

My favorite:

• ”Enough of the flubs, I wish I was Tubbs. “

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Drain on the system

Ashley Drain in 2015

Former Manteca Unified trustee Ashley Drain is attemtping the same motion as her predecessor and alleged co-conspirator Sam Fant did in response to charges of voter fraud: move that the District Attorney’s office recuse itself because of its alleged systemic racism.

Drain is accused of falsifying her address to run for a seat for which she did not qualify.

“We have a prima facie case that there’s something wrong here,” said Drain’s Oakland-based attorney, David Beauvais. “It has to be fixed.”

Prima facie — “on its face” — means the plain truth is out there for all to see. In this case, the alleged racism of the District Attorney’s Office.

I don’t take allegations of racism lightly. But I don’t see it. Not on the face of it, anyway. What I see is that Drain’s other alleged co-conspirator, Alexander Bronson, plead out. Sam Fant’s motion to oust the D.A.s Office for its racism was rejected.

Drain is innocent until proven guilty. Like Fant, she deserves her day in court. And I would be open to hearing her contention about the racism in the D.A.’s Office. Vigilance against racism in Stockton institutions is every citizens’ duty.

But since her attorney has not made the motion articulting this contention yet, what one sees on the face of it is an attorney who presents no exculpating evidence — you know, evidence that Drain is innocent of voter fraud. Instead what one sees is an attempt by two Manteca Unified trustees to racialize their court cases and portray themselves as victims.

I don’t want to be cruel to Ms.Drain, who deserves respect in any case. But every person in jail is the victim of glaring injustice. Just ask them.

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Image of the day

Stockton native Greg Adame takes long-exposure photographs of Stockton buildings at night.

Here’s Stockton Iron Works, a historic building on the north bank.

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Mayor Silva’s death scene

“I am PISSED OFF! I want something done but your (sic) not listening. Stop being brainwashed!”

—Mayor Anthony Silva, ranting in a Facebook post reported in today’s story.

Different characters recite different lines at their death scene. “O, I die, Horatio; The potent poison quite o’er-crows my spirit: … The rest is silence,” is how Hamlet bows out.

But Hamlet is a tragedy. In the tragi-comedy that is Anthony Silva’s tenure, his death speech includes such memorable lines as, “I am PISSED OFF!”

The whole screed is remarkable as a document of Silva’s intellectual limitations. Or, as the reporter tactfully puts it, “a 652-word Facebook rant rife with spelling, punctuation and grammar errors.”

The document is completely unmayoral in the way Silva complains about … well, everything, including his supporters, those “brainwashed” zombies who don’t see the city as the vast conspiracy it is.

Then Silva offers no solutions. He argues for no policy, because he has none to offer. He boasts of no political successes because he has none. All the things he complains about were there when he took office. He failed to improve them.

He has made no difference in four years. None. Remarkably, he doesn’t seem to think his blank record matters. He seems to believe he should be re-elected because he’s accomplished nothing so there’s still plenty to complain about.

All he can do is to lanch a personal attack against Michael Tubbs as “privileged” and as a milquetoast for living with his mother. Privileged, right. If your dad is in prison and your mother is poor, you’re privileged.

He even turns on his supporters, as if low-information voters who get no closer to City Hall that Facebook were ever going to join a cipher in transforming City Hall. “I’m getting tired of fighting by myself Stockton.”

Anthony Silva has never been anything but an expression of Stockton’s low civic IQ. If the immiment increase in that IQ pisses Silva off — because his pending defeat is what really angers him — we can look forward to putting a bankruptcy-era anomaly behind us and electing better leadership.

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Sam Fant’s dizzying 180

Sam Fant with his attorney Yolanda Huang.

The story about Dist. 6 Council canidate Sam Fant’s failed motion to stop the San Joaquin District Attorney’s Office from prosecuting his voter fraud case contains a U-turn on Fant’s part severe enough to cause whiplash.

“There is one person in the District Attorney’s Office who Fant and Huang say they would be comfortable with as the prosecutor in the election fraud case: the D.A. herself, Tori Verber Salazar,” the story reports.

Whoa. Hold your flippin’ horses. Fant challenged Verber Salazar on two counts: first, when they sat on the fair board together, she took a dislike to his politics; second, the D.A. and Fant’s rival for the council share the same political consultant.

Of course, both these contentions were feeble. But Fant repeatedly asserted them in his argument that the D.A.’s office was so biased against him he could not get a fair trial.

Now … that just goes away? Yes, because the real prejudiced guy biasing the rest of the D.A.s Office is the #2 guy, Scott Fichtner, Fant’s attorney said. See, Fichtner doesn’t distort Verber Salazar’s fairness because she’s above him on the pecking order.

“Asked why she would trust Verber Salazar to handle the case, (Fant’s attorney, Yolanda) Huang said, “She’s not subject to Mr. Fichtner’s supervision. … If she was the prosecutor hopefully she’s not going to execute the same type of decision making.”

So … Fant repeatedly impugned the integrity of the District Attorney — of the entire office — and now says “never mind.” Right. Up till now, I gave Fant a measure of creedence. Now it appears he’ll say anyting and do anything to try his case in the court of public opinion and to fight prosecution on voter fraud charges.

He’s innocent until proven guilty, and he deserves his day in court. But I’m no longer inclined to believe him on this subject.

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The decrease in gun violence

People tend to judge crime by the homicide rate. But the homcide rate sometimes goes its own way, apart from overall crime trends.

So while homicides in Stockton are stable, more or less …

… overrall crime in Stockton has dropped around 18% over the period 2013-15.

And gun violence — not just people who die from shootings, but total shootings — is trending down. If it comes down, sooner or later the murder rate will come down with it.

Here’s a police chart.

So when Mayor Anthony Silva calls Stockton “lawless” he may be channelling the feelings of people in dangerous neighborhoods; he may be reacting emotionally; he may be behaving politically; but he is not reflecting the city’s progress.

The other thing I said I’d post is mayoral candidate Michael Tubbs’ public safety platform. Here’s an outline he sent me months ago.

Safe Streets, Secure Neighborhoods

• Continue building better police-community relations by expanding community engagement, further developing a community policing model, and diversify our police and fire departments

• Further develop a Community Policing model that is based on building trust, identifying specific needs of neighborhoods, and using data to identify where to step in before crime happens

• Increase the Capacity of the Office of Violence Prevention to partner with the community to provide job opportunities and other supports to those most at-risk for violence

• Retain our current Police Officers by ensuring they receive competitive benefits that we can afford and the training and support to be successful ambassadors of our city

• Partner with the Parks and Recreation, the Police Department, Non-Profits and the City to create a Summer Lights Program for youth and families, modeled after Los Angeles’ successful program that saw a reduction in violence over the past 8years

• Revive the Marshall Plan Commission and Partner with County to fully implement the Marshall Plan Recommendations to increase the capacity and effectiveness of our criminal justice system, especially in regards to recidivism and re-entry Paid for by Michael Tubbs for Stockton Mayor 2016

• Support authentic community engagement so that our City is responsive to the experience and perspectives of our most vulnerable residents

• Ensure the Office of Violence Prevention is keeping its promise to taxpayers by adopting evidencebased programs that are proven to be effective and hold it accountable for making measureable progress on reducing violence, robberies and recidivism


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Delta Collegian: Mayor’s actions “weird and sick”

Calling on Mayor Anthony Silva to resign, The Collegian, the student newspaper of San Joaquin Delta College, calls the mayor’s alleged strip-poker crimes are “weird and sick.”

Take a number, guys.

“The city has been working hard to revamp itself as a better place in hope Stocktonians can express pride,” an editorial says. “But how can people be jubilant about their city when Mayor Anthony Silva pushes us back into the dark with his actions?”

The thrust of the editorial is that Silva should resign because his unbecoming behavior embarasses the city. I agree, with one reservation. The proviso is that Silva is innocent of the strip-poker charges until proven otherwise. So we are left with a mayor repeatedly guilty of  doltish behavior. He need not resign over that so near to the election; he should be roundly booted out of office.

What the editorial omits is the other reason for ousting Silva: he’s accomplished so precious little while in office. He contributed nothing but distraction to the city’s drop in crime. Nothing but publicity stunts and an unworkable proposal to fight homelessness. Nothing to water issues but fearmongering. His efforts at job recuitment are a farce; when city officials negotiated in secret to sit the Tesla gigaplant here, or an ancilliary facility, they didn’t even tell Silva for fear he’d bungle any deal.

To the embarassment decried by The Collegian I would add that Silva has made Stockton look bad deliberately within the city. His constant assertions that city leaders and staff are untrustworthy and dysfunctional — so he deserves strong mayor powers — have distorted the image of City Hall beyond the obloquy it sometimes deserves and undermined the basic trust essential to our community’s democracy and law enforcement.

But to the degree the students at The Collegian have seen through Silva, they are to be applauded. The high standards for Stockton government advocated by these young Stocktonians portend a better future for the city.

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Mayor Silva’s new slogan

Posters bearing Mayor Anthony Silva’s new campaign slogan went up this week.

And one wag immediately commented it reminds him of the line from O.J. Simpson’s trial, “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”


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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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