City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

May 15, 2012
War of words continues between union chief, Sacramento council candidate

First he bet Mitch Netto $1,000 he couldn't beat Councilman Kevin McCarty in the race for council District 6. Now, a union leader wants Netto to drop out of that race until he settles federal and state tax liens.

Matt Kelly, the executive secretary of the Sacramento-Sierra Building and Construction Trades Council, released a statement late Monday telling Netto, "It is no joke to refuse to pay the taxes you owe!"

Netto has federal and state tax liens against him for roughly $75,000. He said the liens were a result of identity theft issues, but has not formally challenged the accusations in court.

Last week, Kelly emailed Netto betting him he couldn't beat McCarty in the race for District 6, covering Elmhurst, Tahoe Park and other neighborhoods on the city's southeast side. He also called Netto "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."

Kelly said in his statement Monday that he was "challenging (Netto) to immediately suspend his campaign and pay his taxes and help us start restoring some services." He added "instead of taking care of these liens, Netto is spending personal money on his City Council campaign."

I asked Tab Berg, who is Netto's campaign consultant, for a response to Kelly's statement. Berg said that "failed Assembly candidate Kevin McCarty should drop out since he's planning to quit if he wins anyway (McCarty has said he could not guarantee he would serve an entire four-year term on the council and might run for Assembly in two years)."

"Or would (McCarty) campaign instead of doing his council job?," Berg continued. "Maybe Kelly should focus more on who's going to solve some problems instead of puffing out his chest like some PLA-fueled barrier to job creation."

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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


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