I'm fine with political snark. Obviously, given the theme of this blog. But ridicule, insults, and such should be based on some reasonable facts. Otherwise politics is reduced to childish name-calling.
Which is what frequent Salem Chamber of Commerce spokesman T.J. Sullivan did in a letter to the editor in today's Statesman Journal. Here's some excerpts.
I have worked with both Carole Smith and Chuck Bennett and had the opportunity to watch them engage with citizens in Salem.
...there aren’t many worse choices for mayor than Carole Smith. If she were elected mayor, and people like her elected to the City Council, they would set our city back years with their inability to make decisions that are in the best interest of Salem.
Meaning, from Sullivan's and the Chamber's perspective, decisions that reflect the broad public interest rather than narrow special interests.
But if Sullivan had simply stood up for the right-wing political positions of Bennett and the Chamber of Commerce, I would have been fine with his letter.
Here's what irritated me about it.
First, he claimed to have worked with Carole Smith. Well, not according to Carole Smith. She left an online comment on the Statesman Journal web site.
I am still trying to think of anytime I ever worked with TJ Sullivan. As far as I can remember, its never happened. I don't really know him, but I know of him. Both he and Jim Bauer wrote negative comments about me, they both serve on the Chamber Executive Board. Say all the nice things you want about Bennett, but leave me out of it since I don't really know you TJ and I can tell by your comments that you really don't me either. Stop the hate.
Good advice. I hope Sullivan takes it. (I noted that Sullivan is prone to making accusations he can't back up in "T.J. Sullivan misinforms about police facility 'misinformation'.")
Then there's the mention of "people like her" being elected to the City Council in Sullivan's letter. He must be referring to the three candidates being supported by Progressive Salem: Cara Kaser in Ward 1, Matt Ausec in Ward 7, and Sally Cook in Ward 7.
Yes, these people -- Kaser, Ausec, Cook -- are like Carole Smith. Meaning, they lean liberal.
Ooh, heresy! To Sullivan and the Chamber of Commerce at least, who are supporting conservatives like Chuck Bennett in the May election.
But Salem is a liberal town. This is a fact, as I said in "Salem, Oregon is more liberal than many people think." I ended that post with:
So Salem is more liberal/progressive than many people give the city credit for.
If Salemians voted for local officials such as the Mayor and City Councilors in the same political fashion as they voted in the last presidential election, this town would have a much more liberal-leaning city government than it does now.
I can only hope... for 2016.
Thus what Sullivan is afraid of is that Salem citizens will elect a Mayor and City Councilors who reflect their liberal leanings. How a majority of people in Salem could choose City leaders who would make decisions that aren't in the best interest of Salem is beyond me.
Isn't this called "representative democracy," T.J. Sullivan?