Reporting Sam Shane
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — There is one overriding reason why Jack Ohman is a political cartoonist for The Sacramento Bee
“Rex Babin, the cartoonist here, was my best friend, and he died, and they asked me to come in, and I wanted to do that,” Ohman said.
After spending more than two decades drawing political cartoons for a newspaper in Portland, Ore., Ohman came to Sacramento, where he creates political cartoons at the Bee.
And he thinks about his friend of 25 years, Babin, every day.
“It’s been the most poignant thing that’s happened to me,” he said. “I think about him every hour in the Bee building.
The two would often talk on the phone.
“He would say, ‘Oh, I’m doing something on Schwarzenegger,’ ‘Hey I’m doing something on Newsom,’ ‘I’m doing something on Kevin Johnson,’ and we’d talk about what he was doing. It was a very brotherly, close relationship.”
Ohman now sits in the office, in the chair, at the very desk where Babin once sat. And like Babin, he creates political cartoons about the government shutdown, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, the Sacramento Kings, and the arena debate.
He says he considers it an honor to be able to comment on Gov. Jerry Brown.
“He’s like a historical figure now,” Ohman said.
Especially popular are his cartoons on Brown’s dog, Sutter. But what is it that Ohman finds so fascinating about the governor?
“My sense of Brown is he doesn’t care. He doesn’t care about what I do. He doesn’t care about what Channel 13 does. He doesn’t care about what CBS News does. He doesn’t care about anything. He’s a philosopher king, and he reads what he wants and thinks what he wants, and if you happened to have an opinion about it, that’s cool but he doesn’t care.”