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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Newspaper De-Emphasized Council Endorsement Of Political Group

The Janesville Gazette published an article detailing actions and discussion from Monday’s Janesville City Council meeting and predictably, the newspaper completely de-emphasized the city council’s endorsement of the politically active and special interest group Forward Janesville’s legislative agenda.

This is the full extent as to which the paper reported on this huge council decision.
JG Excerpt:
-- Adopted Forward Janesville's 2009-10 legislative priorities, one of which is the expansion of Interstate 39/90.
The truth is, the city council needn't endorse a special interest group to proclaim support for the expansion of I39/90 or any other aspects of the group's lobbying action if that was merely the case. They might also attempt to distort their ties as a public-private partnership, but this council endorsement was politically driven with partisan intentions, an important aspect of the council vote deliberately downplayed by the Gazette.

It was less than a year ago that the Janesville Gazette, inspired by and aided by at least one letter to the editor, cast negative dispersions against a Janesville resident running for city council and effectively shut down his electability. The candidate of course was not a member of Forward Janesville or the republican party, instead he was targeted by the letter writer and the newspaper for his ties to union labor and democratic support.

The letter writer and the newspaper eventually joined forces so-to-speak, and warned voters about electing such individuals to Janesville’s supposedly non-partisan form of city government. Back then, the County Republican party believed Democrats were making a powerplay at the local level for more political control. Remember, this was all less than a year ago.

It's all different now. The newspaper's seemingly sharp focus (actually selective) on partisanship in local government has suddenly gone AWOL. Ever since that last council election, the Janesville Gazette throttled up newsprint publicity for their politically active business crony. Nary a week goes by for the newspaper without favorable mention of Forward Janesville in some way, shape or form.

Because of the recent council endorsement, the city has entered a new era of regressive goverance beholden to political persuasion and special interests. In addition, the City of Janesville will be forced to entertain and make allowance for any and all political platforms and movements, lest they be accused of partisanship or discrimination. But these are just some of the new changes folks will have to get used to, not all necessarily negative depending on your point of view.

I bring this up because Janesville residents appear less concerned about the increased political influence and partisanship among elected officials as they are about political support for candidates in local elections. At least that's what the Gazette wants to convey. When in fact, there should be a heightened concern and alarm when it reaches the stage it achieved Monday night in the city council chambers. Our city council has failed like it never failed before. When any form of elective government (non-partisan or partisan) endorses the legislative agenda of a special interest group, it is a huge shot across the bow of democracy that we must not ignore. I know I won't.


Anonymous said...

I don't like the new comment id system here, it won't accept my screen name.

But I couldn’t agree with you more about the council overstepping their bounds and the Gazette’s obvious abuses. But why pick on Forward Janesville? They did nothing wrong.

Lou Kaye said...

Who’s picking on Forward Janesville? Calling them a politically active special interest is not picking on them. Standing in opposition to some of their politics and heavy-weighted business agenda is not picking on them either. To the contrary, Forward Janesville successfully injected advocacy politics into Janesville’s quirky if not inadequate government, That is an accomplishment few other special interest groups would get away with. It deserves a “mission accomplished” banner.

Thanks for the comment

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