I read the blogs like everyone else and what I read today under the announcement on NIT concerning Chris Watts declaration that he is running against Phil Dougherty for County Commissioner, was terribly upsetting.
We have a local paper in this town, whether it is good or bad it’s what we have, it’s been here for close to one hundred years. In this paper we print public notices, news of record, births and deaths…this is known as a “paper of record” in our community.
Chris Watts, who is a long time resident of this city, has decided to run for County Commissioner. His opponent will be the incumbent Phil Dougherty. That is the very basis of democracy in America….that is what our constitution is all about, it’s why this country was founded…the freedom to chose who you want to represent you in public office. Just how many young lives were lost on foreign soil over the past hundred years so we could chose?
Whereas when Alex Kuhn declared his candidacy for councilman at large this same paper ran it on the front page in color no less, similar attention has been given to other candidates more to the liking of the local editorial board of the Globe-Gazette. This is no less than despicable on the part of this newspaper. To intently shun Chris Watts candidacy is unthinkable; is this a third world country?
Lee Enterprises owns the Globe-Gazette; they are a company that at one time owned dozens of newspapers across America….and still do. In recent times their stock price has plummeted to 50 cents due to a variety of reasons, for example millions in debt, another being the Internet that operates without brick and mortar locations. I am old enough to remember when this same local paper had publishers and editors that were giants in this community, men of great respect and honor…real community leaders. We are far from that today, in fact the bridge that once existed between that paper and this community has long since fallen into that river below. It now has been replaced with a drawbridge mentality where the price of entry onto the printed page is in total compliance with the editorial board and complete capitulation to their way of thinking. For many who think for themselves that is medicine far too bitter to swallow.
To me and many others this snub against Chris Watts is far more serious than anyone can imagine. It smacks of ignorance and intolerance by the staff of this local paper who by any standard or measure…. owe this young man an apology. After all, his only want is to take part in the American democratic process.