The following was sent to the Times-Call for publication, they refused to run it for reasons unknown at the time of this posting. I ran the subject matter by a few random people, all were outraged and asked why they hadn’t heard about it. I wasn’t going to write about it as it’s old news to me, but apparently unknown by most. I assume the Times-Call isn’t running it because of the subject matter, but they’ve been running some pretty screwy Open Forum letters lately, so that can’t totally be it. I also assume this is something plenty of people in Longmont, while disturbed by it, would find interesting – dare I say newsworthy.
Unlike the people I talk about below, I’m not one of those dancing on the graves of newspaper publications that are going under or being taken over by mega-corporations, sort of like the Times-Call now being part of the Denver Post, Daily Camera, etc. We need credible and independent local newspapers, and reporters that ask the tough questions, hold their elected officials accountable, and don’t make their personal biases so obvious.
Unfortunately, we’ve become accustomed to parts of the media now that do or say whatever it takes to get their guy elected or keep him in office – complete frauds and sellouts. I’m not talking about commentators like myself, we have biases, we try to move opinion and we are usually balanced by others with opposing opinions. I’m talking about reporters and editors. They are blurring the lines, and that part of the media I shed no tears for.
For years I’ve had an on again/off again love/hate relationship with the Times-Call. Many bloggers try to rip off or do whatever they can to put their local newspapers out of business. I’ve never attempted that, not that I could, but I never even hinted that was an agenda. I always link back to them and give them credit when due. I’ve given them information on stories, some they weren’t first to (’09 Thistle debacle), and help fill in the blanks whenever they called me. But I also caught them using something I’ve posted on my blog (prior to them) and using it as front page material, sometimes using exact phrases of mine. I finally called them on it, as well as butchering my Open Forum letters, and I was offered the chance to write regular 700 word Guest Opinions, unedited, pretty much whenever I wanted.
Those of you who read the Times-Call regularly know I don’t use that privilege very often. There have been times when I’ve submitted a piece and they gave a candidate I wrote about a copy of it ahead of time so she could write a rebuttal before mine even ran! I suspected as soon as new ownership took over that my “privileges” would change, which is their prerogative, of course. But I will also note that many of those half-pagers, sometimes called St. Vrain Valley Voices, are rife with people who pretty much like to hear themselves talk, usually about the same thing, every month. It’s become often quite boring to read. I, on the other hand, like to throw the occasional Molotov cocktail into the editorial section to wake people up from time to time.
So below is the only submission of mine they would not run, and I’ve been sending in letters to them for over 10 years fairly regularly – but not excessively. I have plenty of other ways to be read and heard, that’s not a problem. Once, an employee there said I was the “competition” which I said was preposterous. If they truly think that, they have more problems than I thought. -CRod
Longmont’s Liberal/Progressive Thugocracy
I’m willing to bet most citizens and voters in Longmont aren’t aware of some of the more unseemly activities going on right here in town, but allow me to fill you in, sorry if it troubles or disgusts you.
What if I told you your picture was being taken at a debate, fundraiser, or candidate forum and being posted to the internet without your knowledge or permission? Or that someone was taking pictures of your underage children and posting that on the internet? How about if someone was stalking parking lots specifically targeting vehicles with stickers of candidates they oppose and taking pictures of those cars, including license plates, and posting that on the internet?
The person and website doing this is proud of this activity, and publicizes and defends it. What else could the intent be but to intimidate people from attending these events? They include parts of the Longmont Area Democrats. They took and posted numerous pictures from Governor Hickenlooper’s Longmont visit and the recent Ellyn Hilliard/Jonathan Singer debate.
There should be a large and diverse marketplace of ideas, unfortunately that marketplace may include shops you’d rather avoid.
Other “activities” these people and groups engage in include the hateful anti-LifeBridge Church crusade that not only went after the church leaders but churchgoing members as well, including celebrating and posting pictures of vandalism to make their sign say LIE-bridge. These are the same people, more or less, that are leading the anti-fracking crusade – again, not only going after oil companies but also their employees and mineral rights holders.
I’ve noticed less political signs this year, and while many of you may welcome that, there is a more sinister side to it. In 2009 members of LAD were witnessed placing Karen Benker signs directly in front of Katie Witt signs on private property that Ms. Witt had permission to place her signs. In 2011, on the same property, city council candidate Heath Carroll had his large (and expensive) campaign sign sliced to shreds and countless others stolen, along with former mayor Bryan Baum. This is another form of intimidation – that they will come on to your property or private residence and steal or vandalize your campaign sign, which is a form of your freedom of speech and association.
These are the folks that marched on Main Street against the Iraq War including their hate-on for the military and our troops, or love of Occupy Wall Street. Their ranks include former city councilman Sean McCoy with tweets calling those he disagrees with “local/homegrown terrorists and Taliban”, that Mitt Romney is a Nazi, and ridiculing current councilmembers weight. They include the anti-fracking, pro-ballot question 300 crowd that all but assaulted Governor Hickenlooper during his recent Longmont visit.
You might be considering voting for people (or issues like 300) who are connected to or condone this kind of activity at worst, or look the other way at best. This includes former LAD president Jonathan Singer, and former Boulder County Democratic chair Deb Gardner, and State Senator Brandon Shaffer – they hold campaign events and fundraisers at the homes and facilities of those who engage in this activity and stay connected to these groups and these people.
They also know that as long as they run in safe, gerrymandered districts that they don’t have to care what you think about this activity. Rank-and-file Democrats, not of the hardcore leftist variety, should apply peer pressure to weed out the more unseemly elements in their midst. Ignorance of this is no longer an excuse. Send a message to Democratic candidates by voting for anyone else, including Write-In’s or third party candidates if you refuse to vote for a Republican.
I know there’s a contingent that says “whatever Chris says I’ll vote opposite”, and they would be morons who can’t think for themselves. I hope that would not include you, dear reader. Remember, your vote is your voice, how do you want to be heard?