An investigation by CBS News’ Sacramento affiliate has revealed that former D.C. schools chief Michelle Rhee, who is Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s wife and has been campaigning for his “strong mayor” campaign, Measure L, is not even eligible to vote in Sacramento. Measure L would amend Sacramento’s charter to give the mayor direct power over hiring and firing the city’s manager, and veto power over the city council.
As CBS13 Sacramentoreports, Rhee, a former Washington, D.C., schools chancellor and founder of StudentsFirst, is only eligible to vote in Tennessee, where she retains joint custody of her children. Johnson’s campaign admits that Rhee spends most of her time in Tennessee.
Yet Rhee is acting like a Sacramento native as she is out on the stump; on Tuesday she spoke out in support of the measure during a debate in downtown Sacramento.
Yes on L spokesman Josh Wood defended Rhee’s credibility, saying, “Today we’ve had this news but what’s most important is regardless this isn’t about one single person its about what’s best for Sacramento. And she loves this city and she was speaking as the mayor’s wife.”
But Steve Swatt, a political analyst, was skeptical, telling CBS 13, “It’s a a momentary distraction, and it’s because it takes the campaign off message, you have a spokesperson talking about Michelle Rhee’s voter registration situation.”
Kay Knepprath, the past president of the Sacramento Old City Association (SOCA), commented, “To invite other people to vote for measure L, and not be able to vote herself, is kind of curious.”