Monday, December 12, 2011

A double standard in local political reporting of elections

By R.S. Gates

On December 2nd 2011 the Waco Tribune-Herald published an article titled Tax Assessor candidate pulls endorsement from website. I the article by political writer Michael Shapiro, the paper pulled out the stops and blasted the former city manager of the city of Lacy-Lakeview. Shapiro almost gleefully points out a candidate was not aware of the allegations against the manager until the Trib pointed it out.

Here is the part I think most people missed. The city manager was never charged with a crime. In the article, like the original coverage of the purchasing irregularities, there was innuendo tying the questionable purchases to the city manager. The city council voted by majority vote not to pursue a criminal investigation related to the purchases.

Now contrast that with the recent endorsement announcement by the local Sheriff’s Officers Association. The association endorsed Randy Plemons. Mr. Shapiro's article pointed out that Sheriff Larry Lynch endorsed Chief Deputy Plemons.

The Texas Ethics Commission fined Sheriff Lynch a few years ago. So the Trib will crucify someone who was not only never convicted of a crime but, like the City Manager of Lacy Lakeview, was not even charged with a crime, and at the same time promote an endorsement by someone who was found to have violated the law.

Remember that the Trib did not cover the news of Lynch’s violation of the law. Only KWTX-TV covered it. The common story was that the only way laws were broken was by committing clerical errors. If you review the document linked from KWTX you will see the violations took place in three different years and happened after Lynch had been in office for 6 years. It was not a rookie mistake.

- The Knight of the Woeful Countenance

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