Scrap the Longmont Fair Campaign Practices Act

A version of this ran in the Tuesday December 15, 2009 Longmont Times-Call 

The Longmont City Council has an important decision to make in the near future:  what to do about the Longmont Fair Campaign Practices Act (LFCPA).  Whatever honeymoon the new council enjoys will probably come to a screeching halt regardless of how they move forward on this.  Inaction is not an option because of their 7-0 vote to end the lawsuit between the city and multiple plaintiffs (including myself) over the LFCPA, and the terms of that probable settlement. Continue reading…

Enviro board stopped in its tracks

It’s becoming obvious that radical environmentalism is one of the chief weapons left-wing Progressives use to impose their socialistic will on individuals, businesses, and free markets. We see it on the national scene with a deluge of climate change propaganda and carbon cap & trade talk, and locally with green building mania and open space overkill. Continue reading…

Longmont never leaned left

(The following guest opinion appeared in the November 24, 2009 Longmont Times-Call)

One of my more favorite hobbies is to collect data, sift through and crunch the numbers, and then try to make some sense out of it or look at it in a slightly different way.  I’m a political junkie, especially when it comes to elections, so I’d like to put to rest this falsehood that keeps floating around town. Continue reading…

Party politics at the heart of negative tone

by Aaron Rawlins
Guest Opinion for the Times-Call
October 14, 2009

As I sat down to write this, I realized I have not spoken or written publicly since I gave my concession speech on Nov. 6, 2007. The Times-Call said the Ward 1 election was “a surprise” and council member Hansen was quoted as saying, “I did not think I had a great chance of winning.” I can honestly say I was stunned. I did all the things that people advised would make me successful. However, my opponent used a much more effective strategy. He won by a healthy margin.

Almost two years after that day, a lot of things became clear about the 2007 election. For the first time, political party power was used to pick and elect the candidates in Longmont city government.

Political parties were created to win elections. They have been doing it for more than 200 years in this country, and they brought many of the same tools that made them successful at the national level to our elections. Candidates choosing to band together was a powerful strategy that in the last election showed to be key.

There seem to be some lingering issues with choosing that strategy. When political parties pick candidates, the candidate takes a much smaller subset of the community than someone starting out as a whole. The edges of the party are the hardest support to get, so you get candidates even farther from the center. In the “old guard,” you in fact had people in parties but never driven by them or indebted to them. The bloc members selected and supported by a party during the last election are much farther from the center than what we have ever seen in the past and run an agenda that does not match issues important to running a city.

Another issue is you get candidates that in the past might not have been able to get elected on their own merits. We elected a bloc that has been shown to have weak communication skills or little ability to lead a city in such difficult times. Sadly, most of our current council can’t even run a meeting. Poor communication and incompetence often leads to increased anger. The few centrists left don’t have the votes or pull to move city business forward. The city’s business has quickly become a mess.

The parties and the voters brought partisan politics to our community last election. Sadly, or ironically, I can’t tell which, Richard Juday, who was a lead architect of bringing about this culture, has now called for a solution that can make things worse. Creating yet another partisan group to limit speech is much like the idea of bloodletting in the late 19th century. The cure is most likely much worse then the cause and is the exact opposite of what needs to be done. Why would we put four political partisans in a single group and think this will solve partisanship?

There is no group that can fix the issue of the candidates drifting farther and farther from the political center. This is up to you, the voter, to look at each candidate based on his or her own views and not which party he or she belongs to. If you want to change the political culture, you need to vote for moderates who will work together to solve common problems. We don’t need to vote for blocs. We need to vote for independent thinkers and people who will use their votes on council to push what is right for the people of Longmont, not to whichever party they belong to.

Sadly, the voters cannot fix this issue this year alone. I think we will have to deal with partisan politics for some time. If we vote for free thinkers, the civility will hopefully once again return to what it once was. But voting is a responsibility, and if the voters of Longmont step up and take ownership instead of letting people with agendas take the lead, then the voters can also take responsibility for fixing the issue as well. That is my true hope for ending the current political culture we are now in.

Aaron Rawlins has lived in Longmont for 11 years. In 2007, Rawlins lost his bid for the Ward 1 seat on the Longmont City Council to Brian Hansen.

Benker decries, then engages in dirty politics

You would think Longmont Council member Karen Benker was the Saint of All Things Clean when it comes to campaigning, that is if you were living under a rock.  In a Denver Post story (which apparently it’s left arm the Boulder Daily Camera re-posted) Ms. Benker, presumably with a straight face, said “It’s unfortunate that a few people are just so angry that they play dirty politics.”  She would know better than anyone.

Most of you probably missed the Longmont Chamber of Commerce debate that was held last week.  In a surprise twist at the end of the Ward 2 debate between Karen Benker and Katie Witt, the moderator opened up the questions to people in the crowd.  An obvious Benker plant asked a question right along the same lines as the Denver Post article about a push-poll.  In his misleading question that was more an accusation than anything else he yammered on about this push-poll.  Katie Witt made it pretty clear in her answer that she had nothing to do with it and since she had no coordination with the people doing it, she couldn’t stop it.

Why would I say this person (with a pushed pole planted) was a Benker plant?  They virtually walked out of this event hand in hand, I was almost expecting Ms. Benker to give him a pat on the back, along with a “heckuva job” thrown in.  It didn’t surprise me one bit to then see this story in the Denver Post.  A comment I found interesting (and no, I didn’t post it or any of the others) about Ms. Benker and the large assortment of people who have come to loathe her over the years up and down the Front Range went like this:

“Katie Witt doesn’t need to attack Karen Benker (and has stated publicly that she is not conducting this push poll). Karen Benker is under attack for her own record of failures from multiple sources. LifeBridge is the one that just pushed people too far, for this large church is a well respected one that a lot of her own constituents and members in the community attend.

This article is a fine example of why local news should be covered by local news. It’s not just about LifeBridge. Karen Benker has upset a lot of people, and not just locally. Which is why I’m not surprised that it’s a possibility that someone outside Longmont is not pleased with her.

Ask Karen Benker about the other issues people are upset with her about and she skirts around them. Google Karen Benker + any of these and you’ll see why she needs to go: LAEC, LEN, HOPE, Thistle, RTD, DRCOG + Doves, Jon Caldara, Clover Basin Fire DistrictGE, Longmont Airport prairie dogs, FAA, Innovate Energy, Richard Juday, Longmont Civility Campaign Committee, “Dying” Twin Peaks Mall, FacetheState, City Events, etc.

She’s also not the only tool in the shed…funny how media outside Longmont is latching onto this story. She knows the people who live here know the real truth about her, luckily they are the ones who will be voting.” (emphasis added, removed references to myself as you are obviously reading my blog and know who I am)

I couldn’t have put it much better myself, so I didn’t bother trying.

This whole push-poll thing and this feigned outrage is starting to sound manufactured.  Sort of like Ms. Benker’s brochure and website listing any accomplishment from City Council, city staff, or dumb luck as if she did it all single-handedly.  How did we ever get along without her?  (Note: Longmont was once in the top places to live and All America City, was).

It appears The Benker Bungler’s, er, campaign team’s newest campaign tactic is to continue the mudslinging Ms. Benker started, and throwing out this accusation they know to be false, but do it anyway.  I thought Ms. Benker was touting her signing that civility pledge?  At least now we know what her version of civility is.

Maybe she can join this civility committee as a (former councilmember) citizen starting November 4th.

Campaign sign warfare: Day 1

I had heard that all of a sudden, a slew of Karen Benker campaign signs were popping up in strange places.  I called the City Clerk to verify what I heard about sign placement.  During the candidate orientation (which Karen Benker skipped), it was made pretty clear where you can and can’t place campaign signs.  She or her volunteers have decided to ignore that advice.

Signs are being placed in the right-of-way in front of businesses, clear violation.  But in a more despicable act of campaign incivility, Ms. Benker (or her volunteers) must assume because her opponent was able to put a sign in a vacant lot that a Benker sign should also be there, in front of or blocking her opponents sign.

Here’s a tip: signs placed on commercial property, even a vacant lot for sale, is still private property where permission is required before placing a sign.  A Benker volunteer was witnessed placing just such a sign, and I find it hard to believe that a landowner who approved Katie Witt‘s sign placement would also allow a Karen Benker campaign sign.  In another example a Benker sign was placed 1 foot from the shoulder in an area that the right-of-way is at least 10 feet from the shoulder.

From what witnesses saw, the “Benker Brigade” wasn’t exactly like fairies sprinkling pixie dust – more like junkyard seagulls dropping, well, you know.  Many of these misplaced signs sounds as if they ended up being dropped into a pile at the City’s garage courtesy of Code Enforcement.  Like they have nothing better to do.  I guess if I had more time on my hands I could go around and place signs hither and yon without regard to silly city codes, but I have a job, family, this hobby – basically a life.

This reminds of a similar situation during the January ’08 special election between Richard Juday and Gabe Santos.  I even wrote something about it called “(Illegal) signs of desperation“.  While you might hear from some sources that all parties are equally guilty in this first big day of sign warfare, I’m hearing from sources closer to the situation that this just isn’t the case.  Could it be history repeating?  Is someone getting worried or desperate?  I think someone may need to pool their campaign funds for a possible legal defense.  And this has nothing to do with signs.

Fine line between stupid and clever

The 1984 movie “This Is Spinal Tap” had one great quote after another.  One of my favorites was from Michael McKean (as David St. Hubbins) that I thought applied to something I read in the paper today, and it goes like this:  
It’s such a fine line between stupid, and clever.”

How often to you hear or read someone apologize in this way:  “I’m sorry if I offended you“?  When in all reality this person is saying “I’m sorry you were offended by what I did or said, but I’m not sorry for saying or doing it, it’s just an issue you have, not me.”  In other words it’s not an apology at all, right?  Talk about meaningless mea culpas.

I guess Longmont City Councilmember Sean McCoy thinks you’re all pretty stupid, or won’t read his non-apology apology more than once or read between the lines.  For those that don’t get the Times-Call, here’s what he wrote – with running commentary:

I would like to apologize for upsetting some citizens regarding the comments I made during the Sept. 1 City Council study session concerning a small portion (Insult #1) of the community’s uncivil bloggers (Insult #2) and their comments and behavior during this and years past election periods.  I also would like to apologize for providing the opportunity of giving them and others a convenient excuse (Insult #3) to cite my forceful words as their reasons to be uncivil (Insult #4), and for that I am additionally sorry.  (Sorry he provided reasons for people to be offended?  What twisted logic.)
I sincerely back Dr. Richard Juday’s “civility and truth in campaigning” efforts and encourage all to do the same.  I further encourage all in the community to be civil and to remember always to speak and write positively about Longmont (echoes of Stalin, Castro, Chavez and others who remind you that you should only talk positively of the mother country.  Sometimes the truth isn’t positive.  Does his statement bother anyone else?).  I love Longmont and always want the best for our community  (then resign).   Sean P. McCoy  (left unresolved: the embarassingly ridiculous claim that I/we caused job losses, hurt business opportunities, commercial real estate rental losses, and slow home sales)

Seriously, who helped him write this?  Anyone want to come forward?  He’s just not clever enough to hide that many insults in a so-called apology letter to the public.  And if someone truly wanted to apologize, they should do it the same forum they “upset” people in, like during a council meetingOn TVWithout further insults.

I’d rather not spend too much time on this, I have bigger fish to fry.  Not to worry though, Mr. McCoy will get his turn when he’s up for re-election in 2 years (or sooner if someone were to mount a recall challenge).  But just to put it all into context of who’s been civil and who’s hasn’t (and yes, candidate civility – as well as sitting councilmember civility – isn’t a bad thing), here’s a walk down memory lane of the last couple years featuring the YouTube videos of Sean McCoy and friends.  Enjoy.

January 31, 2008  Sean McCoy targets “lunatic fringe
Longmont City Council member Sean McCoy scolds the “lunatic fringe” in Longmont who don’t pay homage to the People’s Republic of Boulder. (Council meeting; 1-29-08) http://longmontadvocate.blogspot.com/2008/02/symbionic-smackdown.html

March 19, 2008   Sean McCoy targets Firestone Mayor Simone
Longmont City Council member Sean McCoy accuses Firestone Mayor Mike Simone of slander. (Council meeting; 3-18-08) http://longmontadvocate.blogspot.com/2008/03/longmontfirestone-dustup-pt3.html

March 26, 2008  Sean McCoy’s perceived agitators and aggressors
Paranoid Longmont City Council member Sean McCoy lauds police presence at the meeting to protect against supposed “agitators and aggressors.” (Council meeting 3-25-08)
http://longmontadvocate.blogspot.com/2008_03_01_archive.html

April 02, 2008   Sean McCoy fears being taken out of context?
Longmont City Council member Sean McCoy claims people are being cute and taking him out of context when reproducing his on-the-record public rants. (Council meeting; 4-1-08)

May 28, 2008  Sean McCoy cheapshots LifeBridge
Longmont City Council member Sean McCoy makes snide inferences and exaggerations toward the LifeBridge Christian Church previous annexation process into the city. (Council meeting; 5-27-08)
http://longmontadvocate.blogspot.com/2008/05/city-council-cheap-shots.html

July 09, 2008   Sean McCoy shows anti-growth agenda
City Council member Sean McCoy overreacts with anti-development extremism to a simple IGA for potential access points providing better traffic flow along the CO Hwy 119 corridor into Longmont. (Council meeting; 7-8-08) http://longmontadvocate.blogspot.com/2008/07/let-confusion-reign.html

July 16, 2008  Sean McCoy charges “phony patriotism”
Longmont City Council member Sean McCoy makes slanderous remarks toward the Vote! Longmont booth presence at the city’s Rhythm on the River event. (Council meeting; 7-15-08)
http://longmontadvocate.blogspot.com/2008/07/phony-patriotism.html

January 28, 2009   Sean McCoy disses Centerra development
No-growth Longmont City Council member Sean McCoy decries neighboring Larimer County and the city of Loveland’s use of urban renewal tools to achieve its dynamic and successful Centerra development along I-25. McCoy labeled the process “loose and fast play.” (Council meeting; 1-27-09)

January 28, 2009   Sean McCoy: Obama worshiper
Longmont City Council member Sean McCoy makes sappy praise and a bumbling reading on the evening of Barack Obama’s inauguration. (Council meeting; 1-20-09)

February 26, 2009  Sean McCoy bungles agenda reading
Longmont City Council member Sean McCoy stumbles through a consent agenda motion in his typical bumbling style. (Council meeting; 2-24-09)

April 1, 2009  Sean McCoy explains sucking methane gas
Longmont City Council member Sean McCoy muddles thru what he learned at recent NLC Conference regarding green initiatives, saying “one of the members of a community close to Portland is sucking methane gas” and “they suck enough methane gas off (from garbage dump) to run a city of 75,000.” (Council meeting; 3-31-09)

May 13, 2009   Sean McCoy gripes about noisy minority
Longmont City Council member Sean McCoy once again bellyaches saying those who criticize are a “noisy minority” using the local newspaper as a “stick to beat council with on a regular basis.” (Council meeting; 5-12-09)

May 13, 2009   Sean McCoy rails against Gabe Santos
Worked up Longmont City Council member Sean McCoy denounces fellow councilmember Gabe Santos for his supposed rhetoric and negativity. (Council meeting; 5-12-09)

June 8, 2009   Longmont City Council vs. Longmont Times-Call
Longmont City Council members Sean McCoy and Karen Benker have it out for the local paper, the Times-Call. Watch the maneuvering in this May 26, 2009 council meeting as the subject shifts from legal notices to marketing materials to, well, any way to divert money away from the paper in this political vendetta.

June 9, 2009   Longmont City Council shares dislike of blogs and YouTube
Longmont City Councilmember Karen Benker shares a story about “negative blogs”, and Sean McCoy reminds everyone of his opinion on “the YouTube type of stuff”.

August 19, 2009   Sean McCoy sinks to a new low
Longmont City Council member Sean McCoy re-targets the “lunatic fringe” in Longmont with another round of juvenile name-calling and public insults toward those who raise legitimate concerns about public policy done in secret at council executive sessions. (Council meeting; 8-18-09)

September 1, 2009   Sean McCoy slanders “radical negative bloggers”
Longmont City Council member crosses the line into slander by absurdly accusing “fringe groups like LIFT and websites like Wrongmont and Longmont Advocate” of costing the city millions of dollars in lost real estate and business revenue. (Council meeting; 9-1-09)

Sean McCoy:  The gift that keeps on giving.

City Council opposed to openness in government? (Times-Call guest opinion, published 9/10/09)

Wow, it has been a busy couple weeks in town on the 1st Amendment front for the City Council Bloc of 4 and its surrogates! Both the city and its supporters are suddenly actively seeking to prevent and stifle exchange of information and free expression of ideas.

In an attempt to disenfranchise the citizens of Longmont by eschewing a public, permanent record of city business as called for by the city charter, they’ve called to quit publishing city notices in the newspaper. Instead, they are tossing around the idea of internet only, or putting it in the City Line with your electric bill (which only comes once a month, I believe).  Continue reading…

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:
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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.
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What was I talking about?  Watch the following video:

Shifting blame for incompetence and failure

It was with great amusement as I watched Longmont City Councilman Sean McCoy go on the attack at the September 1, 2009 Longmont City Council meeting.  I will only speak for my part of his tirade, LIFT and Longmont Report can speak on their own behalf.  I will point out that LIFT’s blog hasn’t had any entries on it for over a year, and Longmont Report hasn’t had any activity since last February.  He also mentioned YourHub, which the Longmont hub has slowed to a trickle of activity in the last year.  Most of the Longmont specific articles and nearly all politically related articles are written by myself.  So it’s obvious who he’s talking about.

So, lets go through his tirade one point at a time:

  • He endorsed Richard Juday’s Civil Campaigns concept.  Ironically, earlier in the day I had had some communications back and forth with Richard about this, sharing my ideas and concerns.  I thought it was pretty productive and constructive.  But what Mr. McCoy did following this endorsement reinforced my main concern with this group, and of course stuck a shank in the back of those trying to get this group going.  Why do I doubt that this group, headed by his father Tom McCoy will “denounce” Sean McCoy for what he just did?  This will show what this group is made of, or if it’s just a sham protecting like-minded council members and candidates.
  • 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 ridiculous.  I would like one shred of proof to the following.  According to him, I/we have:
  1. “hurt businesses and financial opportunities for Longmont and her citizens”
  2. are responsible for “the millions of dollars in commercial real estate rentals that must have been lost”
  3. negatively effected “job growth for Longmont citizens”
  4. and if we hadn’t been “so negative in their actions” more “home sales”could have ocurred.  

Now, even if you disagree with everything I’ve ever written, if you think 1 person out of a population of nearly 90,000 people on a blog like this that cost ZERO could do all that – you are either a) a mental patient where “incredibly stupid” doesn’t even begin to cover the diagnosis, 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 – but thanks for the thought!  I am a bit flattered that he and his ilk think I have that kind of influence, as misguided and delusional as those claims are, but I just don’t find it remotely possible.

Thankfully, I know most normal people (the vast majority) see this exactly for what it is: a political hatchet job and the attempt to silence detractors.  This is not new for me, but this is now being done at a governmental level with Mr. McCoy speaking as an elected representative of the City of Longmont.

I’m sure I don’t have to point out to any rational thinking person that all Mr. McCoy is attempting here is shifting the blame that rightly belongs with himself and his fellowbloc 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 inside and outside of this city.

The simple fact is they don’t like anyone to actually point out any of the above, and 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 are too stupid to understand and are easily manipulated.

Me?  I don’t care one way or another if you read or follow what I write.  Take it or leave it, buy my arguments or not.  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, because I’m told, that many of you will not get into this ring out of fear of retribution – either as a city employee, or a business that fears for their leases with the city, or the city making life or continuing to stay in business extremely difficult.  But some of us out here say the things you think but are afraid to say out loud.  We get all kinds of nastiness thrown our way for doing it – like vandalism to our house; insults to our wives, family, and even our dog;  racial epithets; and internet stalking, intimidation, and harassment.

But next time this could be you under the proverbial gun.  Are you “radical”?  Do you consider truth, or ones opinion of truth, “fringe” or “radical”?  Do you appreciate government officials leveling these kinds of attacks and insults, whether it is on the federal level collecting email 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 in your own way and be heard on this.  Or sit idly by and hope you’re not next.