City Beat

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Men paid by mystery source hand out fliers slamming Sacramento Councilman Schenirer

05/30/2014 8:30 PM

05/30/2014 8:33 PM

In a bizarre scene, three men said they were paid Friday to stand on a busy downtown Sacramento street corner to hold signs and hand out fliers calling Councilman Jay Schenirer a racist.

None of the three men would provide their names or say who had paid them to stand at the corner of Ninth and I streets at the lunch hour.

A man who identified himself to The Sacramento Bee as “Brother X” met with the men in an alley behind the Tsakopoulos Library after they had left the street corner. That man would not tell The Bee where the money to pay the sign-holders came from or whom he was working for.

One man handing out fliers said that divulging who was behind the demonstration would be “too much information.” A young man holding a sign saying “Jay Schenirer is a racist and bigot” said, “I’m just getting paid to hold this sign.”

Schenirer is seeking re-election in the primary on Tuesday. He called the display “sad.”

“I have a lot more faith in Sacramento than to think anyone would believe it,” he said. “It just makes you question why they’re there.”

Schenirer is facing labor organizer Ali Cooper in the election. Cooper said he did not know who was behind the signs and called the demonstration “ridiculous.”

“Whoever is behind it should cut it out,” he said.

The flier handed out by the men included 10 statements and questions. The flier compares Schenirer to disgraced former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. It also says Schenirer took millions of dollars from the conservative Koch brothers and hatched a plan to tear down homes in Oak Park to build a Walmart. Neither statement is true.

About This Blog

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

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at or 916-321-1085. Twitter: @Ryan_Lillis.

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