My guest editorial in the Times-Call

Some of you may not live in the Longmont area, or don’t subscribe to the local paper, the Times-Call, so below is the guest editorial they ran on Sunday September 6, 2009.  They don’t post these on their website.  It was based on my earlier “Shifting blame for incompetence and failure“, and was shortened slightly for space and the title had “to others” added to it.  All in all I’m pretty happy with how the paper handled it, and in a first they mentioned my websites which was important to keep it all in context.

Like I’ve always said, I’m not the competition as some there have said, I’m more the Times-Call Supplement.  My editorial, like many of my writings, was brutal in spots and I avoid being politically correct.  A newspaper can’t always be so direct for various reasons.  I don’t have advertisers to worry about, and I’m not afraid to offend if a point needs to be made.  But make no mistake, while I may not always agree with the paper, and while I may not share the following sentiment with all newspapers, I believe we need a paper like the Times-Call and I want it to thrive, not just barely survive.  I’m sure I’ll be writing more about this as the attacks from our local government against the paper continue…but now:

Shifting blame to others for incompetence and failure

By Chris Rodriguez / Guest opinion for the Times-Call

With great amusement, I watched City Councilman Sean McCoy go on the attack at the Sept. 1 City Council meeting.  I will only speak for my part of his tirade; LIFT and Longmont Report can speak for themselves.  I will point out LIFT’s blog hasn’t had any new entries for more than a year, and Longmont Report hasn’t had any activity since February.  He also mentioned YourHub, which in Longmont has slowed to a trickle of activity.  I write most of the Longmont-specific articles and nearly all politically related articles.  So it’s obvious who he’s talking about.

So, let’s go through his tirade one point at a time:

  • He endorsed Richard Juday’s Civil Campaigns concept.  Ironically, earlier in the day I communicated my ideas and concerns with Richard.  I thought it was pretty productive and constructive.  Mr. McCoy reinforced my main concern and stuck a shank in the back of those trying to get this group going. I doubt this group, headed by his father Tom McCoy, will “denounce” Sean McCoy for what he did .
  • He used the terms “radical,” “negative,” “fringe groups” and “radical fringe elements” to go after people he disagrees with.  All I can say about that: deluded paranoia.  And this guy is a teacher!
  • His laundry list of placing blame goes beyond the point of ridiculousness.  I would like one shred of proof that I/we:
    •  have “hurt businesses and financial opportunities for Longmont and her citizens;”
    • are responsible for “the millions of dollars in commercial real estate rentals that must have been lost;”  or
    • negatively effected “job growth for Longmont citizens. ”   

Even if you disagree with everything I’ve ever written or think one person out of nearly 90,000 people on a blog that costs ZERO to run could do all that, you are either a) a mental patient, b) so blind (or fearful) in your allegiance to this ideology that you’re beyond reason and help, or c) giving me/us way too much credit.  I am a bit flattered he thinks I have that kind of influence. As misguided and delusional as those claims are, I don’t find it remotely possible.

I know the vast majority sees this exactly for what it is: a political hatchet job and an attempt to silence detractors.  This is not new, but this is now being done at a governmental level, with Mr. McCoy speaking as an elected representative of the city.

Mr. McCoy is attempting to shift blame that rightly belongs on himself and his fellow “bloc of 4” members (Karen Benker, Sarah Levison and Brian Hansen) who have dragged this city and its image to gutter levels.  Their anti-business, anti-growth and anti-religious policies speak for themselves.

The simple fact is, they don’t like anyone to point out any of the above. This is one extreme they will go to, to try to silence and turn the public against their critics.  Another method is the Civil Campaign Committee Mr. McCoy endorsed.  Another method is the onerous and convoluted “Fair” Campaign Practices Act.  People like Mr. McCoy either assume you aren’t paying attention or you can’t understand and are easily manipulated.

Me?  I’m not into treating adults like children (except for those who act like children) and figure you don’t need to be told how to think by some nebulous committee or an elected loudmouth.

I know many of you will not get into this ring out of fear of retribution — you are a city employee or are a  business owner who fears the city will make life or staying in business extremely difficult.  Some of us say the things you think but are afraid to say.  We get all kinds of nastiness thrown our way —  vandalism to our houses; insults to our wives, families and our dogs; racial epithets; and Internet stalking, intimidation and harassment.

But next time, you could be under the proverbial gun.  Are you “radical”?  Do you consider truth, or one’s opinion of truth, “fringe” or “radical”?  Do you appreciate government officials leveling these attacks and insults, whether on the federal level collecting e-mail addresses and comments they consider “shady,” or at the local level displaying this utter contempt for citizens?

I’m not asking for your sympathy or money; I don’t need either.  I’m suggesting you get involved and be heard on this.  Or sit idly by and hope you’re not next.

Chris Rodriguez is the editor and publisher of Wrongmont and Longmont Advocate and is a regular contributor to YourHub and the Times-Call.
What was I talking about?  Watch the following video:

About Chris Rodriguez

Chris is the editor/publisher of LightningRod Blog - as well as founder/editor of Wrongmont, Longmont Advocate, Vote!Longmont, Longmont Politics, the LightningRod Radio Network, as well as being the original Longmont Examiner. Chris is a writer and talker - whether it be blogs, podcasts, music, or public speaking. When he's not heard on Air Traffic radio, he can be heard on his podcasts or seen in the local paper causing trouble.
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