City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

May 11, 2012
Union boss bets candidate $1,000 he can't win Sacramento council race

Labor unions apparently aren't too fond of Mitch Netto.

Matt Kelly, head of the Sacramento-Sierra Building and Construction Trades Council, sent an email to Netto on Wednesday offering to bet him $1,000 that he can't beat incumbent Councilman Kevin McCarty in the race for City Council District 6. McCarty is closely aligned to the city's trade unions.

The Netto campaign had invited Kelly and others to a fund-raiser hosted by steel company executive Steve Ayers and former Councilman Robbie Waters. In his response, Kelly made it pretty clear what he thinks of Netto. His unedited email read:

"I will bet you $1,000 you won't beat Kevin McCarty. You are simply a pawn for the anti-union, anti-worker, fat cat business interests that want to hijack city hall to make it their own and rape the city for all it's worth with subsidies for their development projects and stealing public education from the tax payers....speaking of taxes, I hear you are a tax scofflaw. So I must ask, do you realize you're being used or is it possible you simply don't care?....which is it? Regardless, care to take me up on the wager?"

Kelly's "tax scofflaw" reference relates to federal and state tax liens that have been filed against Netto. Those liens total about $75,000. Netto said the liens are a result of an identity theft issue, but he has not formally challenged the accusations in court.

Kelly stood by his comments in a phone call with me, saying "It's a shame (Netto) is letting himself be used."

Netto, an information technology consultant, is seeking to unseat McCarty from the district covering Elmhurst, Tahoe Park and other neighborhoods on the city's southeast side. He has the support of the police union, development groups and some high-profile business leaders.

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at rlillis@sacbee.com

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