Friday, July 30, 2010

Brancaccio set to drive a wooden stake through my heart in tomorrow's column

As always, I relish the Columbian’s concerns about me and I always look forward to trying to be as helpful as possible when they come searching for the truth. But unfortunately, I’m going to be gone all day today doing route preparation and patrol for 100 miles of the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de’ Cure west of Hillsboro. Time, tide and the press wait for no man, so under the circumstances, I thought a statement better than nothing.

I must admit confusion. Who am I that your newspaper has now, after 5 years or more, decided to pay attention to my blogs? I’ve been blogging off and on for 5 years now. And until I provided proof that Jon Russell was lying about his “degree,” this paper has not, to the best of my knowledge, ever even acknowledged that my blogs exist… even when I scooped you by a mere 2 weeks or so (and you’d read about it on my blog but didn’t mention it) on the bogus Baird death threat scam.

So, a political opponent sets up a blog using me to trash another candidate. They put up 5 anonymous posts to attack me and that other candidate. And low and behold, the Columbian feels compelled to not only write about it, but to fail to demand the identity of the people in question behind that particular blog, something that most people, given your stance on false identities, would have thought you would demand before you EVER mentioned it.

Odd, isn’t it? The paper acted so upset a decade or so back when Pennington told Koenninger about me… even though he knew who I was in the paper for 4 years before saying it, and only in retaliation for what he wrongly thought was an attack orchestrated by me in the form of a column from Zuzel. Someone else they refer to without fact checking a thing uses no name at all, and what does the Columbian do about it? Why they push it and Brancaccio writes a column about it. No hypocrisy there, right?

And, of course, it doesn’t matter that most everything in the article and in the political blog is either wildly exaggerated or factually wrong. Did their fine newspaper call me about it?

Nope. Might not like what I have to say. And “fact check?” Are you kidding me?

I freely admit it; over the years I have hammered the Columbian every time I find them engaging in what I believe to be lying, distorting or wrongfully attacking. They haven’t changed anything because of it, you understand, but that pesky First Amendment applies to so much more than the bastions of the press.

So let me make the following facts clear; facts that the Columbian knows but which they seem to want to ignore.

Fact One: I first posted against Jon Russell some 8 months before reality set in and he dropped his abortive congressional run. Thus, Russell might want to believe this is somehow connected to another candidate, but it isn’t. There isn’t a single word I’ve written about Russell that I would have changed if Ann Rivers didn’t exist. And not only that, I told him to his face right after he first announced that I was going to do everything I legally could to keep him from being elected because I didn’t even want him in my government, let alone representing me. There was a witness to all of that, but what the heck.

Fact Two: Having known and worked with Russell 6 years ago during another campaign; having watched him make a shambles of 2 other candidate’s efforts (Harris and Rhine), having seen him make over $10,000 consulting FOR the Port Levy (THAT’S true conservatism!) having heard during his congressional campaign that for some reason, he was calling his wife a “physician” or a “doctor” as if an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner WAS a “doctor” or a “physician,” I knew precisely what kind of person he really is.

Of course, his early effort to secure Pam Brokaw’s social security number from me during the campaign back in 04 is what really tipped me off.

Fact Three: Any candidate or anyone else looking at my blogs can freely contact me to point out where I’ve got it wrong. Many of Russell’s supporters have claimed I “lie,” but oddly, none of them have ever come forward to anyone to show where that’s happened. Neither has Jamie Herrera or her supporters. But a review of Clark County Politics shows where I have corrected errors made for both Martin Hash and Richard Carson. The standard policy for all to see?

When I'm wrong, those in question may feel free to call ME out. I will provide them with my soapbox, unedited, but not uncommented on. One has done so, but he never answered the questions. The vast majority complains but never rebut.

Fact Four: Once again, for the record: NO ONE IS PAYING ME A THING TO WRITE THESE BLOGS.

I am NOT ON ANY CAMPAIGN’S PAYROLL. I do what I do ENTIRELY because I believe in it… as hard a concept as that may be for some to grasp… and the reason why I make no money (not even google advertising) on my blog.

That some people (Russell) may be claiming or whining that I AM on the payroll is beside the point. I’m not.

Ann Rivers is NOT paying me. We have not worked together on any project since May of 09. Neither is anyone else connected to politics.

Fact Five: One not well known fact is this: Jon Russell is actually paying someone to do his hits on his opponent. Gary Wiram, Russell’s rather abysmal congressional campaign manager, has neglected to mention that Russell has paid him, according to Russell’s C4’s, in the past for this very kind of thing while he has done it… to lend himself the air of someone acting purely out of altruism.

I, on the other hand, write what I believe in for NOTHING. Wiram? He gets his 30 pieces of silver to write lies, innuendo and “what he’s heard” for “unanswered questions” that he’s apparently too stupid to ask.

Fact Six: None of the claims I’ve made concerning Russell are anything but the truth as I understand it. I know what he’s said in my hearing, I see what the Vancouver Business Journal wrote; I know that he worked for the Port Levy, I know he was Washougal city finance chair when $100K disappeared; I know he’s taking credit for getting rid of Sellers when, by his own admission she walked all over him for years and she resigned; I know he lied to the 18th District PCO’s (I was there), I know he almost has a fetish about identifying his wife as a doctor. I know that he has used, and claimed to use in violation of the PDC’s, state representative campaign funds to pay off congressional debt. I know these things. You and your paper know these things… but you never mentioned them. He or his supporters mention lies, exaggerations and complete falsehoods, and you’re all over that.

I have offered up this statement for Mr. Brancaccio because he’s not interested in the truth as much as he’s interested in ammunition. He will not be fair. He will not even try and hide an agenda. In fact, this isn’t even news as much as it’s Brancaccio allowing his paper to be used as a campaign arm of Jon Russell.

Let me re-iterate what is posted on the “Who Am I” section of CCP:

I cannot abide political corruption. When politicians lie and I find out about it, I'm going to call them out. When payoffs are made and I find out about it, I'm going to call them out. When others present themselves as "unbiased" while working very hard to support their candidate... I'm going to call them out.

I have even taken my own brother-in-law to task for his failure to hold a county wide advisory vote on the bridge/light rail project that he promised me he WOULD hold on Feb 20 at the GOP convention at Prairie High School.

So, in the end, Mr. Brancaccio is not interested in interviewing me to be honest or factual. If that was their standard, maybe someone would have called me before they referenced the self-serving, mostly untrue or wildly exaggerated claims of my name sake blog.

As a result, when he asked me to call him, I declined and asked him to send me any questions he has via email. He replied that option was “too impersonal.” Well, given history and my efforts to attack him for it, I saw no need to provide grist for his particular mill. My respect for Mr. Brancaccio at least matches his respect for me.

Since Lou is sharpening his shiv for a little revenge that I will not be able to reply to in anywhere close to the numbers he goes out to, and since he’s being a tool for another campaign who has completely manipulated him into being their PR arm in a way that media professionals can only envy, I have limited my contact with Mr. Brancaccio to this statement. For those reading this, I thank you for your time. For Lou, it’s just a damned shame that truth and honesty play so little a role in your paper.

I do want to thank him in advance, however for publicizing MY blog. Since he’s finally acknowledged my work, my readership has taken off. And for that, I surely do appreciate Lou’s efforts.

Cross posted at Clark County Politics and Jon Russell Watch.

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