Coastsider endorses Boyd, Slater-Carter for MWSD

Editorial

Posted by on Thu, November 1, 2007

Let’s get one thing straight from the get-go. Scott Boyd and Kathryn Slater-Carter are friends of mine. I’ve known them as long as I have anyone in this community and I don’t know of anyone who is more dedicated to the future of the Midcoast or works harder to make our community a better place. We’re lucky to have their services on the board of the Montara Water and Sanitary District.

You can stop right here if you like. That’s reason enough to feel good about for voting for Scott Boyd and Kathryn Slater-Carter. What follows is an angry rant.

The MWSD’s water supply is at the nexus of the development pressure on the Coastside. Developers, large landowners, and citizens who confuse growth with progress would like to see the district more focused on serving the needs of future residents than current residents. The Half Moon Bay Review is their newspaper.

And the Review has tried to blunt criticism of its candidate Richard Bulan by targeting Kathryn Slater-Carter.

An anonymous letter tipped the Review to the fact that Bulan, who is running on a campaign of fiscal responsibility "owed San Mateo County $19,562 in unpaid property taxes on his Moss Beach home until being confronted with evidence last week. He had also not paid $687.78 in MWSD property assessments over the last two years." The charges were true and they are a significant issue in this election.

What followed was even more revealing.  The Review investigated a charge from an anonymous poster in its TalkAbout forums that "Slater-Carter’s primary residence was in Incline Village, Nev. The poster questioned whether that would preclude Slater-Carter from running for office in California." Review reporter David Smydra checked out the allegation and discovered it was meritless, but the paper published the story under the disingenuous headline "Controversy surfaces over Slater-Carter residency". A more accurate headline would have been "Slater-Carter qualified to run for MWSD seat". But who would read that?

The next week, the Review revealed that Slater-Carter was 11 days behind in paying her Nevada property taxes of $2,433. This was presented under the headline "Slater-Carter owed taxes in Nevada", and featured an incendiary lead: "Montara Water and Sanitary District board member and current candidate Kathryn Slater-Carter recently owed delinquent taxes on her family’s vacation home in Incline Village, Nev., the Review confirmed Monday." The accurate headline?  "Slater-Carter pays Nevada taxes 11 days late".

The Review really likes Richard Bulan. They endorsed him before they found out about his tax problems, but they’re standing by their man. They’re also in a snit because Scott Boyd and Kathryn Slater-Carter (understandably) chose not to attend the Review’s endorsement interview:

Montara Water and Sanitary District: This race turned nasty in the last few weeks after revelations that challenger Richard Bulan had fallen years behind on his local taxes, including the MWSD assessment. Incumbent Kathryn Slater-Carter later admitted that she had fallen behind on property taxes for a Nevada vacation home. Meanwhile, incumbents Slater-Carter and Scott Boyd ignored the Review’s repeated calls for an endorsement interview. We continue to back Bulan because we think some new blood would still be valuable on the board, but we were disappointed to learn a self-described fiscal watchdog had lost track of his tax bill.

Yes, the Review is still struggling to manufacture an equivalence between the tax issues of Bulan and Slater-Carter. It’s as if the editorial board only read the Review’s headlines and not David Smydra’s reporting.

Scott Boyd and Kathryn Slater-Carter are experienced, dedicated to the community, independent, and the best candidates for the Montara Water and Sanitary District board.

NOTE: There’s a great discussion of the Review’s bias in the comments attached to this story, including important information about Kathryn Slater-Carter’s tax situation the paper declined to publish. Click the story headline or CLICK HERE to read and comment.


Here’s an excerpt from the gushing (and now embarassing) endorsement that Review editor Clay Lambert and Publisher Debra Godshall gave to Richard Bulan.

“For a neophyte, [Bulan, a 37-year-old Moss Beach Resident and “mortgage lender”] is fantastically organized and well-informed about water issues and the finances that govern them on the coast…He has pored over the district’s financials and has serious questions about the flow of money as well as water within MWSD”

It turns out that mortgage lender Bulan is so “fantastically organized and well informed” about “finances” and “the flow of money” that he lost track of how much money he owed on all of his many real estate properties.

Rather than retract the ill-informed endorsement of Bulan, the Review took the low road and went after Slater-Carter.

AMEN! This is a no brainer - sort of like the Review’s endorsement. Scott Boyd and Kathryn Slater-Carter made a savvy decision not to attend our local shopper’s session “to take questions from independent arbiters in the press” [LOL] Give me a break! You just have to wonder what level of contempt the Review’s publisher has for the intelligence level of her readers!

Richard Bulan has shown he can’t manage a single accountant to know for years he hadn’t paid his real-estate bills - yet the unbiased “Review editorial board” think his most compelling capability is his financial expertise he would bring to MWSD? The Review’s Publisher wrote “he is fantastically organized and well-informed about water issues and the finances that govern them on the coast” - oops!

Of course the sharp “Review editorial board” wrote “Larimer, Coverdell and Feldman are part of an experienced team that has generally proven more interested in serving customers than engaging in long-simmering Coastside political feuds.” Maybe they forgot about the years of the “Jim Larimer and Ken Jones Opinion Pieces” that ran ad nauseam on their editorial pages? Or again, the “Review editorial board” depends on the contempt she has for their readers’ intelligence? Apparently she believes voters don’t know how to do a search and have no memory.

The last line in the ‘Review editorial board’ endorsement: he “thinks district officials should do more to cooperate with CCWD” is chilling. Translation: Bulan will take outside direction obediently!

Please vote for Boyd, Slater-Carter for MWSD and send a message.

Ken Johnson

Comment 3
Fri, November 2, 2007 8:38am
Ed Carter
All my comments

The Review’s position on the MWSD race was obvious early on when they ran an incendiary cartoon in the September 5th edition slamming MWSD for not providing water hookups to houses with failed wells.  Then on September 19th they printed the story about the Skowron’s failed well at their Moss Beach residence.

In their 10/24/07 edition the Review ran the story about Slater-Carter being delinquent on property taxes on her Nevada vacation home. The article did not mention information they had been given that the Carters were part of a class action lawsuit against Washoe County and had been overpaying their property taxes in Nevada since 2003 according to two court decisions.  They also knew that we and had received a tax refund of over $3,000 from Washoe County in late September, 2007 and are due more refunds. They were given the following link for reference:

http://www.nevadapropertytaxrevolt.org/

If they had called me for clarification as, Kathryn had suggested to the reporter, they would also have known that we have paid their Nevada property taxes under protest for the past several years.

In the same edition, in an article about MWSD’s commissioning of its new Alta Vista well the Review couldn’t help itself and referenced the Slater-Carter story in what should have been a straight news story.

Is the Review biased?  You decide.

I also decided not to participate in The HMB Review’s candidate review process.  Years ago, I was sucked into attending the Fire Board meetings by all of the misinformation in The HMB Review about what was going on at the Fire Boards.  As I shifted from reporting on MidcoastL to advocating a position, every letter to the editor that made print in The HMB Review was mangled by their staff to make me look the fool.  In articles in 2005, I was misquoted.  Misinformation was printed.  The Editor refused to print my letter of response.  As a candidate in this election, I decided to demonstrate some good judgment by not playing the Review’s game.

I’m thankful that alternate news sources and forums for discussion such as Coastsider exist and flourish.  Darin Boville’s videos have made it easier to hear from the candidates directly.  It’s exciting to see to see this small community using technology not to passively watch and consume, but to do production that fits the needs of the community.

As a homeowner in Moss Beach looking at the candidates for MWSD, I know my interests are best served by voting for Scott Boyd and Kathryn Slater Carter.  As an advocate for the Fire Board, I know that present MWSD Board members are setting the right priorities in terms of mains and hydrant replacement and pushing forward the capital projects for more storage capacity.  Decades of neglect by the previous corporate owners of the water system can’t be fixed in the Coastal Zone as quickly as we all would like.  We need to face the reality of the constraints of where we live, the price tag it took to purchase the water system and what we can afford to pay as a small community.  We need to have dedicated experienced Board members to assure these critical projects happen.  I have seen on the Fire Boards how dissident members can slow a Board down and add
to costs.  Don’t let that happen at MWSD.

Vince Williams
Moss Beach

This is probably a rookie gaff for me to post something here – but I’ve told my bosses that I think it’s more valuable to reach across the digital aisle, as it were, and respond to readers when they believe I’ve led them astray. The bosses gave me the go-ahead, so here I am.

I recently made a post on Talkabout explaining our reporting process for the various MWSD controversies that surfaced in the past month. It’s extremely important for readers to know how we cover the news. In fact, it’s your right to know. We’re covering the news on your behalf.

I’ll start off by reminding everyone that I only started here in June. So I think it’s presumptuous to lump me with any long-held assumptions or beliefs about the Review’s coverage. I’ve been clear with every candidate I’ve spoken to that I don’t particularly know or care about their previous experiences with Review reporters. I offer myself as a fresh chance for candidates to build a new relationship with a Review reporter, and I’ve been heartened that many sources have taken me up on that offer.

Given that approach, I respectfully disagree with the suggestion that I bottled up evidence in order to make some candidates look bad or in order to promote their opposition. On the contrary, my goal has been to unfold every story in ways that candidates can respond to the facts that we’ve gathered and be accountable to them.

I won’t get into a point-by-point debate of which elements I allegedly did or did not report. But I’m always willing to re-examine my reporting when asked, because it’s only fair that readers have a check on the press. So I’ve spent most of this morning reviewing all of my notes and documents from my MWSD stories, and I’m satisfied that my work withstands all the accusations made here. Moreover, my editor hasn’t expressed any discontent with my work.

Let me also say that sources will likely always disagree with how reporters do their jobs, but that doesn’t mean sources get to dictate how we work. That would be the precise moment that journalism becomes PR, and that’s not our business.

As for the headlines, it would have been disingenuous to phrase them as Barry suggests. There was indeed a controversy about Slater-Carter’s residency, and she did in fact owe taxes in Nevada. Those were the cores of both stories. That’s why they became the headlines. If I hadn’t written those headlines, then some readers would have told me that I smothered the real story with a soft headline — and they would have been right.

Lastly, here’s why I mentioned Slater-Carter’s situation in the Alta Vista story. Just looking at the calendar raised the question of why the ceremony was held so close to such a contentious election. I’m in the business of asking questions, especially the obvious ones. Politicians have the obligation to answer them — and that’s all that happened here.

As always, thanks for reading. If you have any further questions or thoughts, you know where to find me.

Comment 6
Fri, November 2, 2007 1:57pm
Barry Parr
All my comments

David, thanks for posting. I appreciate your willingness to come over to Coastsider and respond to my angry rant.

I have to disagree with your take on the headlines.  I didn’t propose my own headlines seriously, but to show that the Nevada residency was a total non-story and the tax story was weak.

I’m not the only person who believes that the (valuable) journalistic principle of objectivity has been used in recent years to get the good reporters nationwide to propagate smears, flack, and propaganda in the interest of fairness and presenting the other side of an issue.

Sure, you would have gotten complaints if you had handled those stories differently. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t the right thing to do.

It’s a tough job to develop an objective point of view at the Review, where the average reporter’s tenure is about 18 months. It’s even tougher if you spend too much time breathing the fumes over in TalkAbout.

I think you got this one wrong.

Comment 7
Fri, November 2, 2007 4:41pm
Carl May
All my comments

All anyone needs to do is look at Bulan’s list of prime supporters to know what he is all about.

If you are new to the area and harbor some misguided notion that most candidates hereabouts are objective and altruistic—well, you should know that what we are seeing is a bit of local theater. Nonetheless, virgins to midcoast politics need go no farther than Bulan’s overly general, oblique,  and/or evasive responses to questions to understand that he doesn’t know diddly about how the MWSD is currently managed. Look at the online video sessions with the candidates. He demonstrates no knowledge of what it was like under the previous private corporations that owned the water district, what the community clearly understood in voting to take over the water service, what has been done to seek and better understand reliable water resources available in our limited watersheds and aquifers in the few years since the takeover, what the governmental procedures are for bringing new resources online, why the already oversubscribed water district would be mismanaging and creating inequities if it tried to compensate for county mistakes in allowing houses to be built on dubious wells, etc. In other words, he apparently knows little about the actual district he would attempt to “direct.”

With no exhibit of qualifications, he claims he could get things done in a water and sanitary district. He has not provided any credentials nor has he said anything to show he knows anything about the workings and necessary approvals of the various state agencies involved in what the district does—the Coastal Commission, the PUC, etc. He implies he could somehow provide more water to the district but says nothing about the nature of a magic spigot or hydrologic knowledge beyond the professional expertise already employed by the district. (But look at his endorsements from outside the district and you will quickly realize a hookup with CCWD and all the financial, environmental, and ethical problems that go with that are probably lurking somewhere.)

I looked at some threads on the Review’s website when I saw mention of them here. Paul Perkovic has been a one-man wrecking crew, demolishing innuendos, false assumptions, baseless challenges, and mistaken implications emanating from The Ancient Larimer, et al. with factual point after factual point. It has gotten to the stage that he has so thoroughly rebutted all the falsehoods that the HMB-style clods are overwhelmed by his intrusion into their high-school-style electioneering and are asking him to just go away.

I only hope voters relatively new to the issues can add it up and realize that shills for environment- and community-wrecking development are repeatedly put up for local office and often elected with the help of infusions of money from those who stand to receive short-term financial benefits from additional overpopulation and its handmaiden, overdevelopment.

Carl May

David F. Smydra Jr.,

I have some issues with the objectivity of your reporting and your editors from an article you wrote entitled “One night, three races, 10 candidates”, on Oct. 18, 2007.

From your article:
“Williams said that Montara’s fire station is practically falling down and that the engine will soon need to be replaced.”

What I actually said:
“...If you think in terms of replacing fire apparatus on a twenty year cycle, replacing the El Granada station, which is literally ready to fall down.  I calculate there should really be three quarters of million dollars in the fund right now to rebuild that station.  Instead, there is a hundred thousand dollars.  The Point Montara Station has to be to be seismicly retrofitted…”

Link to the video:
http://www.montarafog.com/video/426f.php?title=2007/Montara_Fire_Debate/Montara_Fire_Debate_Q4

Your misreporting was significant.  As a candidate, I am attempting to demonstrate an understanding of the details of the financial issues of the District.  You claim I said things I did not say.  By substituting incorrect facts, you make me look incompetent to your readers.  Was that your intent?

From your article:
“In his closing comments, Williams made one last push for the contract, saying a couple dozen firefighters are ‘holding the majority hostage.’ “

What I actually said:
“The new nine member Fire Board needs to move forward as one. The days of strife and the minority holding the majority hostage have to end.”

Link to the video:
http://www.montarafog.com/video/426f.php?title=2007/Montara_Fire_Debate/Montara_Fire_Debate_closings

Again your misreporting was significant.  You made me look like I was being critical of the Firefighters.  I was being critical of having a Board minority which caused strife and prevents the Board from moving forward.  Why would you fabricate a “couple dozen firefighters”, when I never said that phrase or anything like it in the whole candidate forum?

Vince Williams
Moss Beach

It is interesting to compare this thread with some from hmbreview.com, at the address

http://talkabout.hmbreview.com/topic.php?c=4&d=m&o;=&t=831#comment_form 

I think interaction between the two forum might be instructive and helpful to the voters.

There are two sides to every story.

terry gossett
moss beach

Terry, you’re right.

An old friend of ours has posted a response to this endorsement over at TalkAbout. I’d reply to him there, but I’ve seen what the anonymous trolls over at TalkAbout do to people who try to reason with them. 

The TalkAbout crowd (both of them) are welcome to come over here and defend the Review, but they prefer the cloak of anonymity. Draw your own conclusions.

Who but Brian Ginna could charm us in this fashion?

Take the “endorsements” with a big heap of skepticism, even with his milquetoast disclosure of “friendship” of Slater-Carter and Boyd. Comrades is more like it.

Comrades? Apparently Brian hasn’t cleaned out his bookshelf since he visited that John Birch Society bookstore back in ‘63.

Brian may still be smarting from when I started moderating his comments and banned him from Town Hall for abusing our readers and lying about me. I miss him, but I am happy that he has found a place where he feels at home.

Sorry, but does anybody actually buy the damage control that rookie reporter David Smydra was sent over here to do at the bidding of his bosses Lambert and Godshall?

The guy, possibly well-meaning but obviously naive, has allowed himself to be exploited by his politically biased superiors. Same thing happened with Smydra’s “reporting” on the Mickelsen “going postal” incident back in August.

I’m not going to recount it here, but go back and read the 8th and 9th comments down (by Barry Parr and myself) in the Coastsider news story linked below, where Smydra’s “article” about Mickelsen completely distorted the facts. Who knows, maybe Lambert rewrote it after David turned his copy. I’ve heard that it what happens. 

https://coastsider.com/index.php/site/news/ccwd_director_sends_anonymous_hate_mail_to_hmb_planning_commissioner/

Why is the Review all over this election? Because they want their people to have control over water for development. The Review is on the side of developers and realtors. Who do you think is their biggest source of advertising revenue?

By the way, Richard Bulan is a realtor who owns lots of land.

Barry

You stated the following in your comment to your story “Coastsider endorses Boyd, Slater-Carter for MWSD”

“An old friend of ours has posted a response to this endorsement over at TalkAbout. I’d reply to him there, but I’ve seen what the anonymous trolls over at TalkAbout do to people who try to reason with them. “

What I do not understand is how you have such disdain for “anonymous trolls over at Talkabout” yet you embrace what I have referred to as “anonymous canaries” like those parties finding delinquent taxes by Bulan and by Slater-Carter and providing that info to HMB Review.

You have also supported anonymous photographers, like the party that took pictures for Coastsider of Big Wave being prepared for its field to be planted for this season. You and I both know who that anonymous photographer is, so it makes this column and your responses all the more relevant to me.  I believe all prior coastsider stories with pictures have had credits for the photographer.  Why not for the Big Wave photographer?

I am for the right of the accused to be able face their accuser in whatever forum.  You, Barry, have taken a different tack.  Please explain how some forms of anonymity are OK, even very strongly supported, and other forms are to be condemned.

Anonymity, to me, is the scourge and the bane of the coast.  It affects us all, mostly negatively. To have selective domains of anonymity is a double bane.  To have you, Barry, as the self-designated judge and jury to determine what domains should and should not be anonymous for the rest of the coast is a triple bane.

I admire David Smydra, HMB Review, for his courage in describing how he negotiates through the process of putting together a report, when given facts, and anonymous input.  Barry, if you seek to be the equal of the HMB Review, I would request you do the same.

My wife had a saying that she used thousands of times when we raised our kids.  She said “If you know all the truth, and tell me half the truth, that is a lie”.  I believe that to be true.

terry gossett

That’s a fair question. There are at least five reasons why my use of material from anonymous sources is different from the anonymous gang behavior in TalkAbout:

Responsibility: I take responsibility for anonymously-sourced material on the site. The Review doesn’t take responsibility for the anonymous posters on its site.

Accuracy: I won’t run any anonymous material that I have not personally verified to be accurate.

Security: Coastsiders have been physically intimidated by developers, contractors, and their stooges. No one should have to risk physical assault or vandalism to get the authorities involved in a crime or a code violation. We’re not talking about witnesses—who certainly must be identified—but whistle-blowers. We have a tradition of protecting the anonymity of whistle-blowers in this country.

Intent: I don’t publish anonymous attacks.  But I want to encourage the sharing of information by knowledgeable people who might face retribution.

Identity:  I’ve never published material from anonymous sources whose identity I don’t know and whom I’ve assured of confidentiality.  The Review has no idea who’s posting on TalkAbout, or even whether separate names represent separate people.

Barry,

Thanks for providing an answer to my question. Answers are very hard to come by on our coast.

Point 1—Responsibility—What does “take responsibility for anonymously sourced material” mean?, If you take responsibility, does that mean you are liable in a court of law? Or like in this post,  “Let’s get one thing straight from the get-go. Scott Boyd and Kathryn Slater-Carter are friends of mine.” So, does that disclaimer then allow you to “rant”?  Commingling facts, biases, and proclamations?

Point 2—Accuracy—Your position is very similar to that by HMB Review and what David Smydra espoused for the paper version of HMB Review.  However, the Review web version of Talkabout is more like “Open Line”.  It allows people that might not have spoken for whatever reason (intimidation, timidity, fear of ridicule, poor grammar, etc) to participate in the community. Open Line is a monitored forum causing minimal damage to the poster or the postee.

Point 3 & 4—Security and Intent—The HMB Review also monitors and deletes anonymous postings on issues that touch on your points 3 & 4.  However, for you to say “Coastsiders have been physically intimidated by developers, contractors, and their stooges.” Is what my wife would say is half the truth.  To omit the other side, “That Coastsiders have also been intimidated by the Coastal Commission, by anonymous and false claims to Gov agencies, SMC Planning and Building, etc,  does not meet your own standards.

Point 5 –Identity, It is clear all anonymous sources on Coastsider must also subscribe to your own philosophies, ideas, and credos.  If, even one, anonymous source was permitted on Coastsider that was not congruent with your own views, I might not be responding here.  But that is not the case.

Compare Coastsider with HMB Review.  The Review took anonymous sources regarding taxes for Bulan and Slater-Carter, and published same, with a rationale for doing so.  What did Coastsider do?  Coastsider focused on half the story, or served as an apologist for your friends. 

Barry, be all that you can be.  Please cover both sides of the story,

PS—Barry, If an anonymous source made a statement about you or your family, would you want to know and face your accuser?

I would demand the right to face my accuser, most especially an anonymous accuser.  I am very confused with your position on this anonymity issue. 

I do not think a court, or a real newspaper, or a policeman, or a person on the street would be able to understand, a very arbitrary, wavy line on issues, sources, and development issues as you suggest for determining when anonymity is appropriate.

Your position on anonymity seems to depend on whether the anonymous source are friends of yours, or if the attacks support your beliefs (look no further than this topic), or if the “information is from “knowledgeable” people”, or for whatever reason you may propose.

terry gossett

Comment 15
Sat, November 3, 2007 8:30pm
Ken King
All my comments

I take issue with you, Terry, regarding your characterization of TalkAbout’s advantages listed in your #2 description of the democracy it promotes for humble and terrified souls. Poppycock. It allows the worst elements of all of us to come out spitefully demeaning others, often at the expense of facts, logic, and fairness. The same thing began to occur on Coastsider, but Barry ended it when he demanded we post under our own names.

The result? Your friends abandoned Coastsider wholesale for easier pickings, where they now name-call, taunt, and tell falsehoods with relish. Not to mention taking shots at the very same innocents you say it encourages to participate. They’re ok only so long as they agree with the conservative posters dominating that forum. Most quickly learn to post anonymously to avoid embarrassment and harassment. Because everyone is hiding behind assumed identities, there is greater boldness to say any damn thing, nothing you would say to someone’s face, unless you were fully armed. And you claim that is a service to the community? Poppycock.

For all of your calls for mutual respect and civility, Terry, which I see you practicing to some extent, it seems to have escaped your notice that your friends don’t aspire to this at all. That is where you might better direct your solicitation. Preaching to Barry on this topic just doesn’t square, Terry. Sorry.

Terry, you raised the following issue:

What I do not understand is how you have such disdain for “anonymous trolls over at Talkabout” yet you embrace what I have referred to as “anonymous canaries” like those parties finding delinquent taxes by Bulan and by Slater-Carter and providing that info to HMB Review.

I gave you five clear differences between what we do here and what the Review does at TalkAbout. If you still don’t understand, I don’t know how to help you.

Ken

Have you already changed your clock?  Your post says 930pm.

My clock is 838pm on 3 Nov 07.  No wonder we have problems on communicating, we can’t even agree on the time of day.  It is dark and night out here, how about you?

Ok, enough attempts at levity.

Ken, if we just agree on a coupla things, we could communicate, like what dictionary to use, and how to enable weary and/or intimidated souls to participate in a sometimes caustic community, and how to be more civil.

Can you tell me when you think it is OK to use anonymity?  I am already on record as saying “I am for the right of the accused to be able face their accuser in whatever forum.”

Ken, just where do you stand on anonymity?

terry

Barry,

You and I agree.  You don’t know how to help me.

terry

My time seems to be off by an hour as well. I suspect that my software has a problem with this year’s new daylight savings time start date.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Well, now we have Terry Gossett saying that people should tell “all the truth.”

Gee Terry, does that concept also extend to you? What about the time you filled out those multiple fraudulent petitions in your name and your spouse’s in an attempt to stop the MROSD Coastal Protection Program*  back in 2004?

Didn’t the judge in that MROSD case specifically ask you about those multiple fraudulent petitions and you could give no explanation?


* MROSD = Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District

http://www.openspace.org/plans_projects/cpp.asp

Comment 21
Sat, November 3, 2007 11:28pm
Ken King
All my comments

Terry, or should I call you, Tawdry Glamor? I told you what I thought of the Review’s anonymous posting policy, that it encourages rude behavior. If the cost of having to sign your name to each post is fewer posters, that would be a good thing in my book. At least you’d know who you are dealing with.

Despite past denials, George Muteff and Brian Ginna post frequently under bogus identities—both have easy to identify styles, yet follow this practice to create the illusion that others support them. The resulting “discussions” can hardly be viewed as honest, can they?

And here’s a great example for you, since you ask, Terry. The TalkAbout blog produced by “Activist” got mainly conservative property rights guys like you commending Activist’s honesty and courage to speak up about environmentalism, and knock the “no-growth” philosophy imputed to League for Coastside Protection.

You all claimed it was such an informative discussion because it squared with your group’s hostility toward LCP. Besides the signed names of those commenting, the same people posted repeatedly under pseudonyms to “pile on” their support for Activist’s banner. Restricted to their real names, there would have been about a third the number of posts, maybe fewer. This is all harmless stuff, mind you, but it is also deceptive, because there is no debate going on, just rudeness and unsubstantiated claims.

For the record, and I’m the last person to defend Brian Ginna, but he has posted on TalkAbout that he believes in signing posts with his real name. Now, maybe that has changed, I don’t know.

But your general point is, I think, correct. You get a clear sense that there’s a lot of multiple posting going on.

—Darin

That’s one problem with anonymity.

You’ll never know who’s succumbed to the temptation to give themselves a pat on the back from anonymous admirer or two.

 
 
 
 
 

Comment 24
Sun, November 4, 2007 8:57am
Ken King
All my comments

Darin, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you, but you should not believe everything politically-motivated ideologues aver. Take Ginna at his word? The political calculus of the Rush Limberger crowd is that lies and distortion are justified in the name of the Higher Cause, and that liberals are soft-headed bleeding-hearts who don’t deserve any quarter.

A conservative friend of mine sent me for comment a supposed speech by Nancy Pelosi being circulated on the Internet. I won’t repeat the whole thing, but here’s a sample; “We need to raise the standard of living of our poor, unemployed and minorities.  For example, we have an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in our country who need our help along with millions of unemployed minorities. Stock market windfall profits taxes could go a long ways to guarantee these people the standard of living they would like to have as ‘Americans’.” 

There is no attribution of source, place or date given, of course. Not only is there no Democrat who advocates silly stuff like this, but it was easy to verify the origin of this exercise in creative writing, iElvira, a right-wing newsletter with a Rovian agenda. The quote marks fooled my friend, btw.

Believe Ginna if you want to, Darin, but, at a minimum, stay away from any good deals he might offer.

Ken King

Please clean your glasses.

I am way under 6 feet tall and I have never been to Texas.

And yes, Terry Gossett and I have both been seen in the same place at the same time as two different bodies.

Comment 26
Sun, November 4, 2007 10:43am
Ken Johnson
All my comments

Ken King,

People lie on the internet? Gol-ly-Gee! Do you think maybe those shares in the Main Street Bridge might be a bad investment?

OK, as to reader reputability of:
Coastsider.com vs hmbreview.com

                Monthly Unique Visits 

            Coastsider.com         hmbreview.com
Global           6,068
U.S.             5,535            4,827


Ken Johnson

Hey Ken,

Don’t worry about me on the Internet. I’ve been active online since the late 1980’s or so, before the Web, before America Online was formed, etc.

I know how it works. :)

—Darin

Data in my immediately prior post provided by Quantcast Corporation, a San Francisco, CA company.

Barry Parr, et al, should be proud of their accomplishment and the public’s recognition of a web model that respects the publics’ ‘sensibility’.

Ken Johnson

Barry

I have been door to door in Montara today so missed a few posts, but when I read your comment…

“That’s one problem with anonymity.

You’ll never know who’s succumbed to the temptation to give themselves a pat on the back from anonymous admirer or two. “

I died laughing. 

Why?, Because no one has ever given me a pat on the back on Talkabout or on Coastsider to my knowledge. But I am accused of being Tawdry Glamour, and anonymous postings, and I never met her/him, and don’t think her/him ever gave me credit for much.

I take your analysis as a very obverse, like a coin, complement from you.  I know it is a stretch, but I will take this opportunity to thank you for a big laugh.

My guess is that for all coastsiders the one with the most, by far, anonymous admirers is MWSD Slater-Carter.  What does that suggest?  Go figure.

Again, I find myself laughing.  As I said, I just spent the afternoon walking door to door in Montara.  And talking to about 70 folk.

terry gossett

I believe I didn’t say that anyone in particular was engaged in a little harmless autoeroticism on TalkAbout. I said that the use of anonymity creates an atmosphere of uncertainty and casts a shadow on everyone’s participation.

Sorry I missed you on your rounds of Montara.