Breaking down Fresno's Bonusgate

George Hostetter dives into City Hall amid Mayor Swearengin’s Bonusgate crisis, providing the backstory & questions from the fallout.

With hindsight, No on Measure G team looks even better than in 2013



Please note when the bonuses and deferred compensation began, according to Sloan’s two-page document – Fiscal Year 2014.

Of course, that fiscal year began July 1, 2013. And that was only a few weeks after the Measure G special election.

All of this means Marina Magdaleno, business representative for the city’s blue-collar union, comes out of Bonusgate looking darn good.

No need to belabor Measure G. This was Swearengin’s effort to privatize the collection of the city’s residential trash service. She and her allies said the complex proposal was pivotal to the city’s financial survival.

Magdaleno led the campaign to stop Swearengin. In the eyes of many, the fight was literally Magdaleno vs. Swearengin.

Magdaleno had many arguments against privatization. But the one she hammered home time and again was that the city’s finances were 1.) not so bad that privatization was necessary, and 2.) getting better.

Voters rejected Measure G and privatization by a narrow margin.

Magdaleno responded with a few gracious comments outside the Fresno County elections office.

Swearengin responded with her Bonus Parade.

  1. The point is that these payoffs have been “dark money,” dark taxpayers’ money lavished on favorites furtively, well out of taxpayers’ eyes and knowledge. AKA personal slush fund

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