Illustration: Nicole Rifkin

The Plot to Take Down Michael Tubbs

The young Black mayor of Stockton, California, was a progressive superstar. Then a feisty local blog decided he had to go.

Michael Tubbs, former Mayor of Stockton at his office. Photo: Nick Otto/AFP via Getty Images

The way the 209 Times team saw it, between the Stanford degree, the White House internship, and the top-down leadership style, Tubbs was in some ways a mirror of the traditional elitist hierarchy.

“Our goal has never been to be fair. That’s not one of our requirements. We let the public know, point-blank, we are biased.”

Motecuzoma Sanchez (left); Jemal Guillory (right). Photos courtesy of the subjects.

“I used to joke, ‘Man, this is some Russian disinformation shit, like, some Hillary Clinton shit,’ you know?”

Among Tubbs’ supporters, bewildered by his loss, one hears considerable speculation about larger forces at play — shadowy figures behind the scenes.

Medium editor-at-large, with bylines in the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, the New York Times and numerous other publications. ¶ aarongell.com

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