Arizona Boycott Initiates Sacramento Recall

Katy Grimes: With Sacramento City Council voting this week to join Los Angeles and San Francisco in the Arizona business boycott in response to the states’ recent immigration bill, many Sacramento residents are scratching their heads.

Maybe because some back-scratching went on earlier in the week behind the doors of council chambers. Sacramento City Council Mayor Kevin Johnson voted to support the Arizona business ban, in spite of his usual pro-business stance, leading me to surmise that in exchange for his much-needed vote on the Strong Mayor charter initiative, council member Rob Fong pressured Johnson to keep up the Arizona boycott charade. But it’s just my educated guess.

Immediately after the Arizona immigration law passed, Johnson announced on his blog that he would boycott Arizona, but then took the blog down the very next day. Johnson spoke to Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordo and appeared to agree to withdraw plans for the boycott.

But that didn’t stop council member Rob Fong who is taking credit for initiating the boycott resolution, and continues to champion the silly cause. Fong has been largely silent for years on all issues Sacramento, despite being reelected (with no opponent) in 2008. His only apparent goal has been to become Mayor. After Johnson was overwhelmingly elected Mayor against a two-term incumbent, Fong’s hopes were dashed. He’s apparently hoping for Vice-Mayor at this stage in the game.

When asked earlier in the week by local media why he was continuing to push the resolution, Fong’s response was “How can we not?” And then yesterday at a press conference to announce a new effort to recall the Sacramento City Council, Fong spoke to Channel 13 news. When asked if he had conducted any townhall meetings for his district regarding the Arizona immigration law and his push for sanctions, Fong replied, “Well, I didn’t ask them what they want me to do cause I’ve never asked people what they wanted me to do or how they wanted me to vote.”

He’s right. Fong does not ever ask the voters in his district for input. I live in his district.

To add insult to injury, during the city council Tuesday meeting, council member Steve Cohn ducked out right before the Arizona boycott vote began. He returned when it was over, demonstrating a pathetic sort of cowardice for a guy who just won reelection in his district.

Responding to an overwhelming outcry at such spinelessness, cluelessness and arrogant politicians, Recall Sacramento was born… yesterday.

Recall Sacramento is a new website site and conduit for Sacramento city residents and voters to oust the current elected leaders.

Created by local 1380 KTLZ radio talk show host Eric Hogue, Recall Sacramento offers individual citizens a chance to offer their specific (council district) citizen information to be securely stored within Recall Sacramento for an immediate action of the ‘intent to recall’ any member, or all membership, of Sacramento’s City Council.

Born of a desire to hold each city council member member accountable, citizens might finally have the leverage they need.

The website will collect data for each district. Already, there are four individuals who are considering pushing for recall of Cohn and Fong, and making a run at the council seats.

Will other cities also start up recall efforts? Stay tuned.

For a current, local take on Sacramento city politics, I have an opinion column posted on the Hogue News website: The Plan, the City, the Mayor and his Council.

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