Newspapers abandon credibility, endorse Blair, Hagan
For four years the Tribune and the Times have been bashing county commissioner Brian Blair, and when we finally get a chance to vote him out of office they turn around and endorse the Bozo?!?
The Tribune’s endorsement column begins with a few understatements:
[Blair] often appears less thoughtful, less farsighted and more strident than his colleagues.
He joined the majority in an unwarranted assault on wetlands protections
“Joined the majority?” As chair of the EPC, he led the assault, largely as a favor to his developer buddy Stephen Dibbs. He has relentlessly continued to attack our wetland protections ever since. Just last month he tried again to get the rules weakened. As I reported here, he didn’t seem to understand the issues and lamely resorted to reading a developer’s letter aloud. Yet the Tribune says he doesn’t do this anymore:
When he first joined the board, Blair seemed uncomfortable, often reading from a prepared statement that seemed to have been prepared by someone else. But as he learned the issues, Blair found his voice.
Pay attention, Tribune editors! Blair is still (constantly!) reading from the developers’ scripts.
The Times endorsement starts out less flattering,
Since winning election in 2004, Brian Blair has championed silly issues, peddled paranoia and marched to the command of the building industry.
They agree with Don Kruse, Blair’s Republican challenger in the primary, that his “mistakes” include:
Blair’s effort to roll back protection of environmental lands, his focus on roads at the expense of mass transit, and his ties to development and other special interests.
According to the papers, Blair is bad on the environment, but good on reining in spending. Guess they forgot that when the environmental issue was the lake in his own backyard, he blew a million dollars of our tax money on his own personal pork project.
The Tribune also endorsed another incumbent, a member of the anti-wetlands “Gang of Four” equally deep in the developers pockets, Ken Hagan. Sticks readers may recall that both Blair & Hagan kicked off their campaigns with big fundraising parties hosted by the kingpins of the local development lobby, including Hung Mai, whom they had just appointed to the Planning Commission in a disgusting display of cronyism. Both incumbents are hip deep in the good-old-boy network that has over-developed our county for the sake of their own careers with no regard for the citizens they are supposed to serve.
Looking at the two Republican primary races, those voters have a very qualified candidate running against Hagan: Tom Aderhold. Blair’s opposition, Don Kruse, is less experienced in community issues than Aderhold, but that is no excuse to put your seal of approval on Blair.
People are hungry for change and our newspapers are peddling the same old Shinola. And they wonder why their readership is plummeting. If you want to give them a clue about what their readers expect from them, write the editors of the Tribune and/or Times.
Hagan’s District 2 race will be settled in the primary. The winner of Blair’s primary will face the winner of the Democratic primary among Denise Layne, Kevin Beckner and Joe Redner. Blair’s district 6 is county-wide.
I am deeply disappointed that our local papers don’t get this: If the citizens of this county re-elect these incumbents it will send a powerful message to all our politicians that no matter how many citizens send angry e-mail, picket the Governor, create anti-Blair blogs and anti-incumbent videos, and fill county center calling for their heads — they don’t need to listen to us at all because it will all blow over in time for the elections.