Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Mark Behan Requests Retraction

A message from Mark Behan of Behan Communications:

Hi, Matt:

I enjoy your blog, but you're wrong about our work on the Bud Taylor
brochure. Our folks wrote the copy and designed the piece in conjunction with Bud Taylor's team. They did not copy the brochure from a web site or any other source nor base it on a template. It's a simple, straight-
forward piece that sets forth clearly what the voters should know about Bud Taylor. Another campaign decided to flatter us by copying the design and much of the content. I trust you'll retract your false statement.

Regards,
Mark Behan


* my response *

Dear Mark,

My regards to your family. I am very surprised to hear that you are familiar with my blog. How did you first hear about it, if you don't mind my asking? Its always good to know who's out there promoting it. I like to give thanks where it is due. Please let me know.

My blog is simply a place for me to vent about the substandard quality of the Post-Star. It is an archive of letters, more than anything else. It may be accessible by the public, but I honestly have done nothing to promote it, at all. In other words, it is not well-read or well-trafficked. In it, you'll have noticed that I focus primarily on issues the Post-Star is NOT covering (or, in other cases, just how badly they cover the issues they do see as important).

In other words, like a letter to the editor, the blog primarily uses the Post-Star as its source (or its source of frustration). As such, if you read the Post-Star article on the "brochure plagiarism", as I did, looking for information about who is really responsible, they totally let the guilty party off the hook. They did very little follow-up.

That, along with the waste of valuable space spent on substantive issues, and the further "McTaylorizing" of their audience angers me. As someone involved, I imagine that it angered you, too. Bud's message is lost in such trifling and he is done a great disservice when they cover him without covering his issues and his wonderful vision for "teamglensfalls".

Peter McDevitt is a friend of mine but let me make this perfectly clear, if Peter or one of his more hapless subordinates did copy your brochure design, as you maintain, then the Post-Star should have figured this all out BEFORE they wasted valuable space in my Sunday paper on this "issue". That space would have been much better served by giving voice to parties other than just the one that Jim Marshall and Ken Tingley and Michael O'Connor belong to. Some reasonable amount of space should be devoted to the candidates that the huge majority of Glens Falls residents might actually vote for (61% of them are not enrolled Republican). You'd think the Post-Star would, at least, TRY to project an air of neutrality, wouldn't ya? (Its a rhetorical question.) ;-)

I do apologize for "throwing you in" by daring to suggest that a template for the brochure might have come from a website or a cd or some other external source rather than from one of the creative minds at Behan Communications. I thought that possible because, the day of the article, I went online and looked at various "Running for Office" websites. One of many that I looked at had a template very similar, if not identical, to the one shown in the paper. When I wrote my blog later that day, I couldn't find the exact site, and so, I merely opined that this was what had happened (as opposed to posting the web address for all to see).

I tried to find the site again today to reference the address for you, but I don't really have time at this moment to do the surfing to find it (too many balls in the air, Mark). When I do have time to look again, I'll send you the address. That said, I would be happy (with your permission of course) to post your email to my blog, if you wish. I would also be happy to print anything else you wish to write or post, anytime. Can I assume that that is all right?

Peace,
Matt

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Idiot Editor Censors Truth (Again)

I sent a letter to the Post-Star about a week ago. The "powers that be" at our "hometown paper" just sent me back a form letter citing "factual errors" as the reason why they will not be printing my letter (they, in no way, elaborated as to what the factual errors were, of course). The letter concerned the Post-Star's All-Republican Mayoral Debate and was intended to let the Post-Star's sleepy readership know about the REAL Mayoral debates sponsored and hosted by the Glens Falls Labor Council and the Informed Constituent to which ALL FIVE CANDIDATES have been invited. (September 12th - Wood Theater - Free - 7:00 pm)

Please help me by seeing if you can find the "factual errors" in the letter below which caused the "good folk" at the Post-Star to engage in censorship. ;-) Good luck!
** the red text indicates sources and/or explanations which back up the parts that aren't merely "opinion."

Peace,
Matt



Dear Editor:

Our “hometown newspaper” is hosting what they call a “mayoral debate” on September 7th. Only two of the five candidates have been invited. (Post-Star article ID No. 183491 - "Mayoral debate planned" - see archives) When questioned about this un-American behavior (see a little thing called the Constitution of the United States for more information about democracy), they claimed that the event is really a “primary debate” (even though they call it a “mayoral debate”). They say that a “forum” may be held sometime in the future where other candidates “may” be “allowed to participate”. (The article made no promises about further debates, it only suggests that another event may take place. I also had quite a lengthy conversation with Maury Thompson about a week after the article was run and he valiantly defended this disgusting behavior on his paper's part.)

Does the Post-Star really see the huge non-Republican majority of its Glens Falls readership (61%) as totally irrelevant? (There are 7993 voters registered in Glens Falls according to the Warren County Board of Elections. Only 3101 are Republicans. In case some help with this basic math is in order, 3101 is roughly 38.8% of 7993, meaning that more than 61% of enrolled GF voters are NOT enrolled as Republicans). They consistently withhold any substantive information about the Independent and Democratic candidates while dosing us daily with the squabbling between the two “conservative” camps. Esmond Lyons, Bill Berg and Leroy Akins have been virtually ignored. Why? (Less than a quarter of the Post-Star's stories on this mayoral race include the "other three" in any meaningful way. They just tag line Akins, Berg and Lyons at the end. Shameless pandering. Easily provable through their archives or by reading the dastardly rag daily, as I have.)

If you’re a business owner or an artist, Esmond Lyons is you. If you are a worker or someone who chooses not to live off the backs of others, Esmond is you. If you enjoy walking or biking and you understand that our downtown needs to be preserved, not sold off to the highest bidder, your vote's wasted on anyone else. Esmond is with us on all these major issues and many others that the Post-Star can’t see as locally relevant, like the impending energy crisis and how it will affect us in “Hometown USA”. You can learn more at “esmondlyonsformayor.org”.

If you want to see all five mayoral candidates in an un-manipulated setting, the Glens Falls Labor Council and The Informed Constituent (an independent news-monthly) are hosting a real debate at the Wood Theater on September 12th at 7:00 pm. Come hear all the candidates speak their minds and when you’ve heard all of them, I’m fairly confident that you’ll be voting for Esmond. That’s precisely why you haven’t heard much about him in our “hometown newspaper”. (These last two paragraphs may not be in agreement with the Post-Star's whole "Smash McDevitt and Kiss Taylor's Ass" agenda, but I would certainly love to hear directly from their mouths how any of these remarks have no basis in fact. Thats just completely asinine.)

Sincerely,
Matt Funiciello This is, in fact, my actual name. ;-)

Friday, August 19, 2005

Patriotic Behavior: Threatening Grieving Mothers and Ignoring the Truth

The post I have copied below is from First Sergeant Perry Jeffries (an Iraqi War veteran and a member of Operation Truth). The letter is addressed to the "patriot" who ran over all the crosses placed at Camp Casey honoring our fallen soldiers. Its well worth a read as Jeffries fought alongside and knew many of the soldiers those crosses represented. In fact, he placed the crosses there, himself, to honor those men.

On a similar note (false patriots dishonoring those who serve), there are those who have suggested that many soldiers who are mortally wounded in Iraq are shipped elsewhere to die (Germany, Afghanistan, back in the U.S.). Then, the Department of Defense doesn't need to count them as casualties of the "Iraq War". This was standard practice in Vietnam (ask any Vietnam vet).

While I can understand the DoD's self-interested reasoning for perpetrating such vicious, dishonorable lies, I cannot understand why our media has no interest in covering this story. The DoD has to downplay the real costs of the war to the American public or they don't get to "play" anymore. Do the media also seek to "downplay the real costs of the war to the American public"? Rest assured - this is a rhetorical question.

Local soldier, Steven Z. Madison, died at Fort Hood, Kansas on June 26, 2005. , from complications resulting from severe burns suffered in a recently-repaired shower while he was stationed in Iraq. Can anyone say Depleted Uranium? The official DoD website charged with recording these deaths is: http://www.defendamerica.mil/fallen/oif/oif-army.html#m . Check the site out. See if you can find Steven's name on it. I sure can't. I wonder how many "Steven's" there are all across this country that the press and the DoD don't want us to know about?

Our local press should investigate this, shouldn't they? I've sent them two emails over the past few months asking them to do so. I will forward this one to them. They have not, as of yet, responded. You'd think the Post-Star would jump on this! A local story with truly international implications. I'm not sure which is worse, starting a war against a civilian population, dishonoring those who died or covering up the truth of it. Has this behavior replaced real patriotism?

As Thomas Paine wrote, "It is the duty of every patriot to protect his country from its government." Where are the true patriots?

Peace,
Matt

Two Political Parties = One Massive Corporation
mattfuniciello@earthlink.net


From First Sergeant to Civilian Shithead:

Mr. Northern - I know little about Cindy Sheehan except that she is a grieving mother, a gentle soul, and wants to bring harm to no one.
I know little about you except that you found your way to Crawford on Monday night in August with chains and a pipe attached to your truck for the sole purpose of dishonoring a memorial erected for my friends and lost Soldiers and hundreds of others that served this nation when they were called.

Aug 17, Perry Jefferies, First Sergeant, USA (retired); Operation
Truth.com

Mr. Northern:

I am a Veteran of the Iraq war, having served with the 4th Infantry Division on the initial invasion with Force Package One.
While I was in Iraq, a very good friend of mine, Christopher Cutchall, was killed in an unarmored HMMWV outside of Baghdad. He was a cavalry scout serving with the 3d ID. Once he had declined the award of a medal because Soldiers assigned to him did not receive similar awards that he had recommended.

He left two sons and a wonderful wife.

On Monday night, August 16, you ran down the memorial cross erected for him by Arlington West.

One of my Soldiers in Iraq was Roger Turner.

We gave him a hard time because he always wore all of his protective equipment, including three pairs of glasses or goggles. He did this because he wanted to make sure that he returned home to his family. He rode a bicycle to work every day to make sure that he was able to save enough money on his Army salary to send his son to college.

At Camp Anaconda, where the squadron briefly stayed, a rocket landed inside a tent, sending a piece of debris or fragment into him and killed him.

On Monday night, August 16, you ran down the memorial cross erected for him by Arlington West.

One of my Soldiers was Henry Bacon.

He was one of the finest men I ever met. He was in perfect shape for a man over forty, working hard at night. He told me that he did that because he didn't have much money to buy nice things for his wife, who he loved so much, so he had to be in good shape for her.

He was like a father to many young men in his section of maintenance mechanics. They fixed our vehicles with almost no support and fabricated parts and made repairs that kept our squadron rolling on the longest, fastest armor advance ever made under fire.

He was so very proud of his son-in-law that married the beautiful daughter so well raised by Henry. His son-in-law was a helicopter pilot with the 1st Cavalry Division, who died last year. Henry stopped to rescue a vehicle belonging to another unit on what was to be his last day in Iraq. He could have kept rolling - he was headed to Kuwait after a year's tour. But he stopped. He could have sent others to do the work, but he was on the ground, leading by example, when he was killed.

On Monday night, August 16, you took it upon yourself to go out in the country, where a peaceful group was exercising their constitutional rights, and harming no one, and you ran down the memorial cross erected for Henry and for his son-in-law by Arlington West.

Mr. Northern - I know little about Cindy Sheehan except that she is a grieving mother, a gentle soul, and wants to bring harm to no one.

I know little about you except that you found your way to Crawford on Monday night in August with chains and a pipe attached to your truck for the sole purpose of dishonoring a memorial erected for my friends and lost Soldiers and hundreds of others that served this nation when they were called.

I find it disheartening that good men like these have died so that people like you can threaten a mother who lost a child with your actions.

I hope that you are ashamed of yourself.

Perry Jefferies, First Sergeant, USA (retired)

Friday, August 12, 2005

Jim Kunstler (and Esmond Lyons) Speak

Today, the Post Star published the story (copied below) covering James Kuntsler's visit to Rock Hill, this past Tuesday.

Although, I think that Maury Thompson, as always, did a pretty good job of relaying the pertinent information, I also think that the things left out (or, more likely, edited out) of the story show the full spectrum of the Post Star's political agenda.

We all know there is a mayoral race on. Five candidates are running. The Post Star has already made it their job to serve as a free advertising venue for Peter McDevitt and Bud Taylor, the two Republican candidates.

However, Leroy Akins, the Democratic candidate (and arguable front-runner) is being totally ignored. Esmond Lyons and Bill Berg (both running as independents) might just as well be running for Dogcatcher based on the insanely small proportion of newsprint the Post Star gives either of them. We're all used to reading the huge front page Sunday stories that chronicle the latest Peter & Bud story and then attach the tagline: "Leroy Akins, William Berg and Esmond Lyons are also running". Thats hardly balanced coverage of the race, folks!

For those who don't know who Kunstler is and who didn't attend, he is an author well-known for his criticism of the car culture and the ensuing suburban sprawl and destruction of traditional and meaningful architecture in many of our nation's historic down towns
("Geography of Nowhere").

Since the "Podunk-Star" refuses to talk to Esmond's campaign about development issues but is quick to give Bud Taylor whatever time he deems necessary to defend his son-in-law's Sheridan Avenue "plastic housing nightmare"; Since the Post Star refused to print Esmond's letter to the editor on the subject; Since the Post Star refuses to see Peak Oil and urban planning as key issues in this campaign (when they may, in fact, be the ONLY meaningful issues); since they consistently steer the public away from any other truly substantive issues in this race, it seemed that it was time to force their hand. We decided to invite Jim to come and speak. If they won't cover Esmond, maybe they'll cover Jim, we thought and they are saying many of the same things. It'll be good food for thought.

The attendance (not including employees or Jim or myself) was just about 70 people. It was standing room only and there were some people who didn't stay because they couldn't get a seat. I can only say that, given that level of interest, if the Post Star wishes to ignoring and downplaying the growth of a progressive community in Glens Falls, we will only be that much more successful at recruiting more people and at starting a new paper to compete with them out of spite. Not really a very smart way to look at things if you ask me .... but I guess they're not asking me, are they?

Here's what they left out of their story. It's very telling what they saw as fit to print and what they didn't.

Aaron Civic, an 11 year old fellow Green and singer/songwriter, played guitar and sang for about an hour. Although Aaron is too young to vote, I collected signatures with him last summer (so I think he's politically-engaged enough to be considered a Green). He sang covers of CCR and Dylan and the Rolling Stones (Sympathy for the Devil). He sang a wonderful tune that he himself wrote called "Driving in Circles" about how the American suburban landscape is so dreadfully uniform that it makes you think you are "driving in circles". Bravo, Aaron! Thanks for your performance. You were great! I'm just sorry the Post Star didn't have enough space to even mention your name, even in passing. Very strange and disappointing behavior on their part.

The Adirondack Progressives hosted this event. They are not even mentioned in this article, once ... anywhere. Thank you fellow members, for your endless support and hard work. I, and many other members of your community recognize your hard work and we love you for it even if the Post Star is too short-sighted (or mean-spirited) to value it as well. You are all great people and good friends. Just remember, they did exactly the same thing when we hosted Ralph Nader's visit to Glens Falls and when we put on a fantastic Martin Luther King Day Celebration. They literally pretended that these events happened all by themselves with no one orchestrating or planning them at all!

Thank goodness for the Chronicle and its far more honest reporting of what went on at both events. If it had been anyone else doing all this work to strengthen our community, our democracy and the progressive spirit,
the Post Star might have declared a day in their honor. We are destined to be ignored (by them) because we won't stand for their bias and we have "the nerve" to regularly ask them to cover things in a "fair and balanced" manner. That makes us "enemies" in their eyes, I guess, and singles us out for negative treatment.

The article made absolutely no mention of the fact that Jim had eaten dinner with Esmond Lyons and his wife, Danielle, just before arriving. Jim mentioned this while onstage and then proceeded to invite Esmond to come up and share the stage with him for Q & A since development issues are such an important part of this upcoming race and of Esmond's campaign. We did not pre-arrange this. Jim generously offered this from the stage and we honestly had no idea that he was going to. I thought that Esmond was great, but, then again, I'm admittedly biased in favor of intelligent and visionary mayoral candidates over insurance and real estate salespeople every time. ;-)

They also failed to mention Walter Combs who is running for his ward's city council seat and who also said some great things about development issues being ignored in this race by the media.

Not to say that I care much about the Post Star giving Rock Hill free press (in fact, I refuse to post their glowing review of my cafe because the byline is "E.D. Gourmet", a non-existent "person"). We are, in actuality, one of the few food businesses downtown (like Glen Street Bistro) that doesn't seem to have to kiss-up to the Post Star to be filled right up every lunch-time. I never look to them for free publicity in any way. The community has been overwhelmingly supportive of our cafe and I thank each and every one of you for that.

As a business owner, though, I just have to wonder if its really fair that if you join their business club (one I obviously don't belong to), you get a front page story with pictures in it every time you blow your nose (see: the embarrassingly boring story about coffee shops and massage last weekend or the congratulatory story about AngioDynamics dipping into our pockets by "securing" a $100,000 dollar "grant" - you would think they weren't just another corporate welfare recipient to hear Scott Donnelly tell the story).

For me, their stalwart critic (or much-needed unofficial ombudsman), there is no picture, no mention, no interview. They placed a bat-eradication story on today's front page instead of Cindy Sheehan's picture to represent her brave, motherly stakeout at Bush's Crawford Ranch. There's no figuring how they determine what is actually newsworthy and what is fluff. I'm still trying to figure that out but the preferential treatment of other GF businesses is kind of obvious to me and it is not fair. Expected, but never accepted.

Lastly, they left out the fact that Esmond Lyons was the only mayoral candidate to attend the event. NOT A SINGLE OTHER candidate showed up. Interesting, but again, NOT newsworthy. I would think that in a race where future development is the ONLY real issue (one that effects everything else exponentially), it is very telling that the Post Star does not want to give voice to those who wish to talk about it. Its also interesting that they don't want you to know that while one of the nation's premiere development critics was right here in downtown Glens Falls, Esmond was the only mayoral candidate who bothered to show up at all. I bet he was the only one who actually knows who James Kunstler is. Why don't they ask all the mayoral candidates what they know about development and development issues and let them speak. Wouldn't that be informative?

I'm sure when they have their little "bi-polar mayoral debate" in September (its just between the two Republican candidates), completely excluding all the others in the running, they'll ask Bud and Peter what they think. And ... won't that be nice?

Peace,
Matt

Matt Funiciello
mattfuniciello@earthlink.net
Two Political Parties = One Massive Corporation



Author offers views on Glens Falls’ future
Kunstler believes it has ‘basic armature’ of a futuristic city

By MAURY THOMPSON thompson@poststar.comPublished on 8/12/2005

GLENS FALLS -- Historic architecture, access to water, tree-lined streets and recreational trails that could be converted back to use as railroads: Glens Falls already has many of the features in author James Kunstler’s vision of a futuristic city. “The basic armature of the city is here,” he said in a talk Tuesday evening at Rock Hill Bakehouse Cafe. But the city is not without its defects, the most notable of which are the two office buildings at Civic Center Plaza on Warren Street, said Kunstler of Saratoga Springs, who writes books about urban planning and the environment.

Downtown buildings built in Glens Falls and other cities in the 1970s and ’80s don’t fit in, he said. “They land like UFOs, but they don’t go away,” he said. The building on Warren Street that previously housed Trustco Bank is built with the first floor above ground level, requiring the use of an ugly concrete handicapped access ramp that would be unnecessary if the first floor were at the ground level, he said. Having the first floor at ground level puts shops and restaurant at eye-level with pedestrians, and entices them to come in, he said.

Kunstler said that the ideal downtown building would have up to six stories, with retail on the ground floor and apartments and offices above. “Not all of the waitresses of the world are looking for single-family homes, despite what you hear on (Internet mortgage company) Ditech commercials,” he said. Kunstler also said the park at Civic Center Plaza should be planted with trees instead of “cartoon” plants. “Liking plants is not going to be enough of a solution to rescue your towns,” he said. Tree-lined streets expose neighborhoods to natural lighting when branches shed their leaves in the winter months, he said. Instead of closing Hudson Avenue, as Mayor Robert Regan and others suggested several years ago, city officials should seek to redevelop some buildings and ban some features such as chain link fences, he said. “Very bad idea,” he said, referring to closing the street that feeds the five-way intersection at Bank Square. “What the street needs is to be civilized.”

More than 75 people packed into the cafe to hear Kunstler talk about his latest book, “The Long Emergency.” The book talks about changing trends that will be influenced by high oil and gas prices. “The 21st century is going to be very much more about staying where you are, not motoring about,” he said. Kunstler predicted that people will move from suburbs back into cities and small towns. “Queensbury is going to be just as troubled as the major cities nearly 40 years ago,” he said. People who live in small towns will be isolated and work on small farms, he said, with centralized school systems replaced by neighborhood schools. “We will probably be lucky 30 years from now if kids get an eighth-grade education,” he said. The Internet won’t be the economic panacea it’s cracked up to be, he predicted, because of exorbitant shipping costs and electricity shortages.

Glens Falls may fare better than some cities because it has waterfalls that can generate electric power, he said. Communities along the Hudson River and state canal system may be attractive to people who travel by boat, he said. “Even places like Fort Edward and Hudson Falls will be more inhabitable,” he said. Instead of studying the feasibility of establishing high-speed rail service, government officials should be focussed on restoring conventional rail service, he said. “We have a rail system that the Bulgarian government would be ashamed of,” he said.

Kunstler said that Saratoga Springs “is creeping” into the future, but that chain hotels built in recent years don’t look much different from senior citizen apartment complexes. “They both look basically like pathology labs,” he said. He praised the Saratoga Springs city Planning Board for making developers redesign a proposed Hampton Inns & Suites at the corner of Lake and High Rock avenues. “The Planning Board, for once, said, “That’s not good enough; go back to the drawing board,’” he said.

Kunstler said he disagreed with some Saratoga Springs residents who are opposed to having rows of buildings on both sides of streets because it blocks scenic views. “It’s not about having a view; it’s about living on a great street,” he said.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Candidate McTaylor - The Only Mayoral Candidate in Town

The Glens Falls Post Star has once again outdone itself. This is the third weekend in a row in which they have unabashedly given huge coverage to their two favorite candidates for mayor and all but ignored the other three candidates. These two “rivals” must be paying someone “beaucoup bucks” to get this kind of placement almost daily in Metroland Magazine’s “Best daily Newspaper of 2005”!

The story (posted below) is about the brochures designed by the two Republicans’ campaigns and how they are almost identical (suggesting plagiarism by one from the other). I would say the real story here is that they each hired someone else to design their brochure. One or both of the companies in question went online, found a simple template with built in rhetoric and ran with it. Undoubtedly, they then charged the campaign about 30 times what it was worth to do the work, I’m sure.

Maybe the real question that the brave and intrepid Post Star should be asking is do we want people so unimaginative and visionless and wasteful to be in charge of spending our tax money when they’re elected in the fall? Does this behavior represent anything concrete besides a shared stupidity?

The Post Star usually runs a story on Bud Taylor and Peter McDevitt. Then, halfway through, they run a quick sentence which goes something like this, “Esmond Lyons, William Berg and Roy Akins are also running for mayor”. Maybe, if the Post Star got its head unstuck from deep within its own posterior and actually covered the other three candidates (even a little bit), it wouldn't be a foregone conclusion that the next mayor will be yet another unimaginative, uninformed, two-party type with deep development connections and a love of the franchise and big-box concepts. Unfortunately, their heads do seem stuck pretty far up in there!

Peace, Matt

Matt Funiciello
mattfuniciello@earthlink.net
Two Political Parties = One Massive Corporation


WHO'S WHO?
Similar fliers by two GOP candidates make for a confusing campaign
By MAURY THOMPSON thompson@poststar.com
Published on 8/7/2005Local NewsTHE POST-STAR

GLENS FALLS -- Mark Behan did a double take when he saw the back of a brochure that Republican mayoral candidate Peter McDevitt began distributing last week. It looked "strikingly similar" to a brochure his staff designed in January for McDevitt's Republican opponent, Harold "Bud" Taylor, said Behan, president of Behan Communications, a local public relations firm. The layout and the graphics of the two, in fact, are almost identical, and many of the headings are the same. Even the wording under the heading "Open Government" is identical, with the exception of three words. Taylor's card reads, "Provide 24-hour response time to all inquiries and be available to residents by appointment." McDevitt's card reads, "Provide 24-hour response time to all inquires and be readily available to all residents." "It should raise questions in the mind of voters," said Behan, a consultant on Taylor's campaign. Taylor and McDevitt will face each other in a Republican primary in September. Taylor is also running a write-in campain for the conservative line against McDevitt, the Conservative Party's endorsed candidate. McDevitt, contacted Saturday, acknowledged the design of his card may have been partially based on that of Taylor's but said it was not a direct copy. He took a half-dozen different campaign brochures, including Taylor's, to a printer and asked him to come up with a design. Some were from current and some from past elections, he said. "This is what this professional came up with, and we ran with it," McDevitt said. He would not identify the printer. Obviously, some aspects in a campaign platform are going to be the same, McDevitt said. "I think we all agree on open government. That's motherhood and the flag," he said. Democratic candidate Leroy "Roy" Akins Jr.'s brochure has a similar heading, "Open Door Policy," with a photograph of him holding open the front door of City Hall. Independent candidates William Berg and Esmond Lyons also are running for mayor. Despite any similarities in appearance, there are some clear distinctions between his and Taylor's brochures, McDevitt said. His stance that the Henry Hudson Town Houses complex should be relocated and that Earth Tech Inc., the private firm that operates the city's Water and Sewer Department, should be replaced are among them.
"I see nothing on Bud's palm card suggesting how he's going to hold the line on taxes," McDevitt said. His brochure specifically calls for regionalizing the Glens Falls Civic Center, while Taylor's does not. McDevitt said he was the first candidate to publicly call for regionalizing the Civic Center. Taylor would not respond to McDevitt's criticism. "What he's (McDevitt) trying to do is distract from the fact that he did, indeed, copy the card," Taylor said. Behan said he was actually flattered that McDevitt liked the design his staff created. "In politics, one candidate poaching another candidate's ideas is a tradition. ... This seems to rise to a different level," he said. Victor Mallison, a former political consultant on regional and statewide elections, said he had never heard of a case where one candidate complained that another candidate co-opted campaign literature. "I'm not so sure that's even a good idea," he said. "You want to make sure there's a difference between you." Saratoga Democratic Chairman Larry Bulman also said he had never heard of a controversy over the design of brochures. Sometimes, he said, a candidate will copy a logo or design element from a previous election, but not from a direct competitor. "The only thing that I usually see that are the same is that they both have a union label," he said. In this case, of the three major party candidates, only Akins' brochure sports a union label.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Post-Star's ALL-REPUBLICAN Mayoral Debate

I know what you're going to say after you read the article I've posted below.

"What else do you expect, Matt? You were thinking maybe that a mayoral debate organized by the Post-Star would have ALL FIVE
mayoral candidates in it? Come on, man! Get real! The Post-Star isn't going to go through all that work to set up a 'debate' and then give ALL of the candidates exposure. You're not really that naive, are you?"

Well, when you're done with your imaginary little rant, I will defend my friends at the Post Star and their terrible and exclusionary behavior. I know many of the fine people who work at our daily paper and I am very upset at what you say about my friends there. I don't agree that they are all failed, miserable, low-down, dirty, egg-sucking dog types as you make them out to be (despite all of the completely solid evidence to the contrary). I believe that many of our friends at the paper are doing their best to work within the confines established by the paper's management and by the same token, it is obvious that Post-Star management thinks that only "Bud" Taylor and Peter McDevitt are running for mayor in our sleepy little burg.

If this is our "hometown paper's" idea of a MAYORAL debate, its no wonder that many people are canceling subscriptions and talking about the need for a new paper. I talked to the reporter who wrote this and was told that he was, in essence, writing about a "primary" debate, the purpose of which is to better inform Republican (and Conservative) party voters about their choice in the September primary between "Bud" and Peter.

I asked Maury why they were calling it a "MAYORAL" debate then and not a "PRIMARY" debate, instead. I also asked him why the remaining "debates" being sponsored by the PS were referred to as "forums". Are Bud and Peter scared of a real debate? Duuuhhh. You bet your a--! Of course they are! Frightened to death. Maury stuck to his guns. The "real debates" will come later, he said, after the two Republicans fight out there primary.

Its truly a sad world we live in when people without any journalistic integrity (editors) make decisions for us about what they will ALLOW us to see and what they will report on. Guys! If its news, report it. Don't make up rationales and excuses for behavior that is, at best, insane and, at worst, undemocratic and unAmerican. Most of us who read the paper every day are well aware of your corporate, right-wing bias. Why be so freakin' obvious about it to boot?

* As an important side note, since May 1st , the number of stories in the Post-Star per candidate is as follows;

Bud Taylor 68

Pete McDevitt 39

Esmond Lyons 22

William Berg 20

Leroy Akins 20

This is the number of stories published since May 1st in which the candidate in question is mentioned (not to be confused withe being written about or covered). It should be noted that the Democrat and the two independents running are mentioned less than a third as often as Bud Taylor and half as often as his SAME-PARTY "opponent". The truth, in total, is that most stories that mention Bud or Peter are actually ABOUT them, primarily. The mention of the the other three candidates is usually just a casual mention that they're running as a tag line tacked on to the end of the story. They are denied voice and are often neither quoted nor consulted.

Enjoy your distorted, unfair, "Metroland's Best Daily Newspaper of 2005". Its great!

Peace,
Matt



Mayoral Debate Planned

By MAURY THOMPSON thompson@poststar.comPublished on 8/3/2005
GLENS FALLS -- The Post-Star announced Tuesday that it will sponsor a debate between mayoral candidates Harold "Bud" Taylor and Peter McDevitt from 7 to 8 p.m. Sept. 7 in the Common Council Chambers at City Hall. The two candidates will face off in a Republican Party primary on Sept. 13. Taylor also is waging a write-in challenge against McDevitt for the Conservative Party line, also on Sept. 13. The Post-Star will conduct at least one forum with all mayoral candidates sometime in October. McDevitt said Tuesday that he is pleased to debate, and suggested the candidates meet in a series of debates prior to the primary. Taylor said he would agree to up to two debates, provided they are organized by media or other neutral organizations. Under the format of the Sept. 7 Post-Star forum, candidates will answer questions prepared by Post-Star editors, as well as written questions submitted by the audience. Each candidate also will be permitted to ask the other candidate a question, and make opening and closing statements. The forum will be covered and televised by WNCE-TV8, station co-owner Jesse Jackson said Tuesday. TV8 just opened a new studio on Glen Street in downtown Glens Falls. Over the last several years, The Post-Star has hosted similar candidate forums in key area elections, including for federal, state and local offices. The newspaper plans several more candidate forums before the general election in November, including at least one for the Glens Falls mayor's race. "We think the voters benefit greatly from seeing their candidates for elected office in a public setting, answering questions and debating one another on the issues," said Mark Mahoney, The Post-Star's editorial page editor and coordinator of the newspaper's political forums. "We hope voters will turn out in large numbers, or watch the telecasts on TV8, to learn more about their candidates." During the general election mayoral candidates' forum, all candidates for mayor will be invited to participate and given an equal opportunity to answer questions. The other candidates for mayor are Leroy "Roy" Akins Jr., Democrat and Working Families; William Berg, independent; and Esmond Lyons, independent. Voters who wish to submit questions for the candidates for the Sept. 7 forum are encouraged to e-mail them to Mahoney at mahoney@poststar.com by Friday, Sept. 2. Editors will consider the submissions when preparing questions for the candidates.