Ledger falls into leftwing trap

People make mistakes, that’s fine.  The Longmont Ledger made a couple of large ones recently, but at least they corrected it quickly.  But, as always, there’s more to the story.

In a February 10, 2010 story titled “Longmont settles open meetings suit with newspaper” there were two factual errors (in bold):  1) That Firestone suit, another of the three raised during the fall campaign, is still pending, as is another against the city’s campaign-finance rules, and 2) The City Council approved an annexation for that project in 2007, but citizens overturned that decision at the ballot box in 2008.  The original story was written by “Clay Evans“, the corrected version was by “Longmont Ledger“.  Hmm, okay. Continue reading…

Unabashed favoritism

(Copy of letter e-mailed to both publications.)
The way The Denver Post and Longmont Times-Call are promoting their favorite liberal politicians lately, giving them glowing publicity of the kind and extent that no conservative could ever hope for, I’m wondering what sort of ethical standard for journalistic fairness today’s newspapers follow.

The Post’s display of ecstasy over Mayor Hickenlooper’s gubernatorial candidacy defies description. The syrup oozed all over the front page and spilled over inside. It’s as if we had never seen nor heard of this fellow. Continue reading…

Longmont Advocate on the 11/17/09 Amy Oliver radio show

Another great big thanks goes out to Amy Oliver (AM1310 KFKA) for asking me to come on to her show to discuss Longmont politics.

We discussed several items, including

  • the ’07, ’08, and ’09 elections
  • Karen Benker
  • Wrongmont
  • Executive Sessions and ensuing Times-Call lawsuit
  • Firestone/LifeBridge annexations litigation
  • The price of activism and free speech
  • Longmont’s Fair Campaign Practice Act

And even MORE free advertising

The “Defend Queen Bee Benker” Brigade are really pulling in overtime with their howling in the Times-Call and Boulder Weekly (see previous post)!  One guy, who I’ve never even heard of, and you probably haven’t either, said I called him a bigot!  Go ahead, read away on this site, see where I said that.  I’ll wait……
Didn’t find it did you?  Nope, these people are desperate.  And last I checked I’m not even running for City Council, but if they want to waste their time on me, well, ain’t too smart.  Go ahead, vote against me, although my hits just keep going up. Continue reading…

Big city’s big guns aimed at Longmont?

Judging from the outbreak of newspaper racks planted around Longmont by his Denver News Agency to accommodate the remade version of their freebie YourHub.com, henceforth to be known as the Longmont Ledger, Denver newspaper magnate Dean Singleton clearly has his eye on the Longmont market. The last time I noticed, Singleton owns or controls 60 dailies and 97 non-dailies. Operating through DNA’s Daily Camera of Boulder, Longmont resident Clay Evans of that newspaper will be in charge of the reconstituted Longmont Ledger.

Some speculation has risen as to the DNA’s right to use the title of a longtime Longmont newspaper of the same name, which ceased publication years ago, the Longmont Ledger. It’s been my experience that there would probably be no barrier to reusing the title unless some publisher of the Ledger at some time or other had registered the name as a trademark or printed a copyright symbol in the masthead. Either of those acts might complicate things.

A brief rundown on some of Longmont’s newspaper history as gleaned from the extensive works of the late Walter Stewart, who was a professor of journalism at UNC, and his wife Elma St. John Stewart:

Longmont Times founded in 1871 by Elmer Beckwith.

Longmont Ledger founded in 1879 by Charles Boynton and J.J. Jilson; name changed to Boulder County Commercial Ledger in 1970.

Longmont Call founded in 1898 by George W. Johnson.

Longmont Times and Longmont Call merged in 1931 to become the Longmont Times-Call. The Lehman family became owners in 1957.

Longmont Scene founded in 1970 by Agnes Roberts bought and merged the Boulder County Commercial Ledger in 1971.

Longmont Scene suspended publication in 1978.

Longmont Ledger or Leecher?

In what appears to be the last YourHub to be delivered to Longmont, I saw on page 3 something that made me chuckle.  Apparently the YourHub print edition, which comes in Thursday’s Denver Post will be replaced by the Longmont Ledger (not to be confused with the Longmont Leader) on Sundays.  This will also be part of the Sunday Boulder Daily Camera.  That wasn’t the funny part, this is:

It said “On October 25, we will re-launch the Longmont Ledger, the oldest newspaper in Boulder County, established in 1879.”  Sounds pretty romantic, including a history of this newspaper and the recently deceased owner .  Now the Denver Post/Daily Camera has “adopted” this moniker and plan to make Mr. Robert Keeler (said former owner) “proud”.

Only one problem, most of the above story is complete bullflop.

Hearken back, not to 1879, but to September 25 – 2009.  “Camera launches Longmont Weekly” was a press release about a weekly joint publication between….drum roll, the Daily Camera and the Denver Post.  Now wait a sec, Longmont Weekly?  Longmont Ledger? What’s the story?  Turns out the wizards at each of these non-Longmont businesses didn’t look into the actual registration and/or trademark of the Longmont Weekly name.  Ironically, it was already taken….

By the Longmont Daily Times-Call!  The very company these entities are trying to take advertising dollars and subscribers away from.  Is the term “carpetbagger” appropriate here?  What surprised me is that we haven’t heard Councilmembers Sean McCoy or Karen Benker suggest we use this new paper for our Legal Notice’s, since they sure don’t want them in the Times-Call but have offerred no realistic alternative.

I’m sure all of you “Shop Local” types, which Ms. Benker often pretends to advocate for, are appalled by this outside corporation (last I heard the DC is owned by the DP) trying to help put a local business under.  If so, perhaps some of you so-called local business supporters should cancel your Denver Post and Daily Camera subscriptions and subscribe to the Times-Call.

Or at least call the DP/DC on this desecration in the from of honoring the Longmont Ledger name by “adopting” it for themselves.  Of course you now know it sure wasn’t their first choice.

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:

It’s on! Longmont Times-Call sues Longmont City Council

My jaw about hit the ground when I saw this headline on the Times-Call website:

Times-Call sues City Council
Lawsuit seeks tapes of closed meeting

After catching my breath, I really wasn’t surprised at all. Just a quick glance at some recent posts on this website should have been a warning to this council. (The lawsuit is over Longmont’s appeal to the Firestone lawsuit, and how they possibly abused the Open Meetings/Records law)
Friday, May 2, 2008 Longmont: Take The Deal

Sunday, June 7, 2009 Longmont running out of moves

Thursday, June 25, 2009 Longmont’s Open Meetings violations

Wednesday, July 1, 2009 Longmont’s secret meeting addiction

Tuesday, July 28, 2009 Rogers Rules of Order

Tuesday, August 4, 2009 Citizens speak out over Firestone legal actions

and lets not forget:

Monday, June 8, 2009
Longmont City Council vs. Longmont Times-Call
Here’s the PDF of the actual filing.

This could be politically devastating to the councilmembers who want to keep this charade alive, especially if the public gets a hold of these tapes. The lawsuit, if the Times-Call wins, allows a judge to hear the tapes and release (to the Times-Call) the relevant portions of it. What the paper does with that information will be interesting. Unfortunately, what we may not get to hear are the conversations leading up to this questionable “straw poll” (a vote they took concerning the appeal) which could be the most interesting of all.

I strongly feel this council holds so many secret meetings because they don’t want certain things they say to be heard by the public. All one has to do is watch all of the YouTube videos in my channel to see why they’d rather not be heard. I suspect there’s all kinds of name calling and stuff us citizens wouldn’t stand one second for. This is a cowardly maneuver to avoid the light of public scrutiny, nothing more, nothing less. If you thought they said crazy things in public, one can only imagine what they say when they figure you’ll never hear it.

Hats off to reporter Rachel Carter and Lehman Communications Corp. for taking this bold move. To some trying to avoid the truth, you’ll now be Public Enemy #1. But not here.

Longmont City Council-Public invited to be heard 6/16/09

The following is my text from my speech at the public invited to be heard portion at the Longmont City Council meeting on June 16, 2009.

I’d like to talk about more than one topic tonite.
Firstly, I am a writer for the Longmont community for a variety of media publications and I think it’s a disservice to the Longmont citizens for councilmember McCoy to suggest that any other paper besides the Daily Times Call should be looked at as a source for local announcements, in particular legal notices. Why? The Times Call has the largest circulation in town and if you really want Longmont residents to best be aware of these notices, the Times Call is the best place to do that. I’ve also heard Councilmember Benker make comments about the paper being “a conservative paper” and have heard that she wants to pull city business out of the paper. They do seem very happy with the pricing Lehman Communications does for providing printing services for the new upstart Longmont Life “newspaper.” I really don’t see why this is being made a problem. Continue reading…