A CASA Volunteer, Another Questionable Mailer and Yellow Journalism

by lewwaters

Once again we see Clark County’s version of Pravda, the state mouthpiece for the former Soviet Union engaging in yellow journalism to the benefit of a candidate they openly prefer and support as they “appear’ to label city council candidate Josephine Wentzel as a liar in their hit piece, Claim on group’s flier supporting Wentzel appears false.

Andrea Damewood claims to have “been looking into claims made by all candidates and PACs” and to have “waited two days to hear a response from Josephine about whether she was a CASA in the past, and where it was if not in Clark County” and not hearing from Ms. Wentzel, decided to run with her hit piece.

No word on just what verification she found on some of Wentzel’s opponent, incumbent Bart Hansen’s claims he makes in this campaign. Some of his claims might be difficult to confirm on paper, but I find them believable, just as I find Wentzel’s claims of being a CASA Volunteer since speaking with her personally.

I cannot fault Wentzel for not speaking much with those down at the Columbian after they chose to personally denigrate her in their endorsement of Hansen by labeling her “a toxic influence at council meetings, a chronic complainer whose frequent trips to the podium have followed a pattern of unproductive negativity” and “has shown no capacity to cooperate with any elective body. Her obstructive, combative approach does not fit well in collaborative community discussions.”

Anyone attending or viewing video of city council meetings readily sees that as untrue. Speaking before council in opposition to a project many in the community oppose is an inherent right of ours as Americans and does not give elected officials the right to try to silence, or as we have come to say here, to ‘gavel down’ taxpayers first amendment right.

In yet another example of their dislike of conservative women, and since Damewood claims to be checking into claims made by candidates and PACs on their behalf, a mailer arrived at many homes Tuesday, November 1, 2011 on the behalf of another city council candidate Anne McEnerny-Ogle, a more liberal candidate preferred now by the Columbian over conservative Bill Turlay.

As you can see, the first impression is electing Ms. McEnerny-Ogle would be preferred by the Troops over a retired Navy combat pilot.

Anne is a capable person and someone I have no problem with, even though I may disagree with her on some positions. The flyer is distributed on her behalf and if the New York Union, Unite Here Tips followed the law, was sent without her fore-knowledge.

My source for the flyer stated,

“I find this wrong on so many levels and certainly sends the wrong message. I didn’t realize Council members dictated to the military!! Also sends the message Unions / Police / Fire will do as Anne orders. Funny, I thought we wanted clear thinking, independent decisions up on Council. Certainly is an insult to all of those who have distinguished military careers.”

Anne did not serve in the Military, as many women did not back during the Vietnam War era, but her husband did. I know she has the deepest respect for the Military and would hope she will distance herself from this misleading mailer as both claims made on the inside, of Firefighter and Police support indicates the support of the majority of individuals instead of the Unions that endorsed her.

Will the Columbian interview those Firefighters and Police to determine the veracity of how many individuals support and respect her? Do they desire you to believe that a retired Navy combat pilot would not also find respect from within our Police and Firefighters? Will Andrea Damewood do a hit piece on this ad? The last Union PAC ad on Ms. McEnerny-Ogle’s behalf did make the paper, but in what appeared to be a more supportive article including more denigration of successful Vancouver businessman, David Madore and candidates he might support.

I am beginning to believe the Columbian should begin purchasing yellow paper to publish on to reflect their yellow journalism.

19 Responses to “A CASA Volunteer, Another Questionable Mailer and Yellow Journalism”

  1. I am shocked that any paper calling themselves “newspapers and investigative reporters” would run an article without first making sure that the information in question was actual and factual. It is not a candidates responsibility to do the investigative work for the newspaper it is theirs. How low can it be to not consider another last name, especially since she is a woman in the USA we commonly change our name when we marry. If you cannot verify service yet, you cannot verify NO SERVICE then you should be liable for slander if you print a story like this one with a headline declaring the service to be a false claim.


  2. Bill Turlay’s father was a Portland fire fighter as was his Grandfather. He tried many times to get an audience with the head of the Fire Fighter’s Union early in the campaign process last Spring but was never granted so much as a return phone call. He was never vetted in the endorsement process instead learned later they “decided” on endorsing Anne Mc Enerny-Ogle.

    I question the intent of the Fire Fighter’s Union to endorse any political candidate without going through the process of hearing each candidate’s position and challenging them on the issues more pertinent to their concerns.

    This flier is an insult to the intelligent voters of Vancouver.


  3. The problem I see here is that The Columbian seems only to be interested in “investigating” the candidates that they don’t support whilst giving the candidates that The Columbian does support a “free pass”.

    That definitely is “bias”, “yellow journalism” and an insult to the community.

    Of course, no one ever accused The Columbian of knowing anything about “Journalism”, because they surely don’t. The Columbian once again proves it is nothing more than a back-handed propaganda sheet for the Leftist Elite.


  4. When the truth comes out about this story, the Columbian is going to have egg on their face. So will Jack Burkman. Watch.


  5. I’m just shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, that some of you people think the Columbian would lie for political purposes, or lie to cover up for a favored liberal candidate or trash a candidate they thought was in any way Conservative!

    I mean, just look how fairly the Columbian handled Brian Baird….


    How about the fair way they treated Joseph James?

    oh yah……..I fergot about dat………………………….

    What about the way they revealed Tim Leavitt for who he really is….??


    Never mind!!


  6. Damewood and the Columbian editors clearly violated the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics. Go to spj.org for confirmation.


  7. My God, I suppose that for your next act, you people will try and convince me the Columbian actually allows honest, hardworking Union members to threaten people on their website…..


  8. J. David, I spoke to Josephine this evening and the proof will be coming out real soon.

    Whether the Columbian will receive I don’t know.

    But, if not I can understand her cutting off contact with the paper.

    The hit pieces on candidates not supportive of CRC and Loot Rail is glaring and will cost them readers.


  9. Ever since the democratian let Jim Jacks off the hook… I’ve got to wonder why it is that they have no problem “investigating” a candidate’s claim but seem to have trouble investigating the alcohol-fueled misconduct towards female staff by Jacks while he was in the legislature.

    To call the paper “scum” does a disservice to the word.


  10. They have shown a definite proclivity for investigating candidates and elected officials.

    Democrats misconduct always seem to be approved of or overlooked.

    Conservatives will undergo rigorous investigations of when they last cleaned their fingernails and they better be able to document that.


  11. I think it’s important to keep the lines of communication with the media open. Regardless of perceptions of bias the candidate may believe The Columbian has, Josephine Wentzel needs to talk with reporters when they call her regarding a story about her claims. Otherwise it will appear to everyone that she did lie about her experience with CASA. Andrea said that she searched for evidence regarding Josephine’s experience with CASA in Clark County, but found nothing to corroborate Josephine’s claim. Perhaps she volunteered in a different State before she moved to Clark County, but how would Andrea know that if Josephine doesn’t return her calls?

    David Madore is also making a mistake by cutting off communications with The Columbian. It may feel good to tell Lou Brancaccio that you’re not going to talk to him anymore, but what does it accomplish? Josephine: call Andrea Damewood. David: don’t refuse to talk with Lou or John or anyone else who wants to cover you. If you want to be taken seriously, you have to engage the media even when it hurts.


  12. Craig, if we actually had a media, I’d agree with you.

    The Columbian calls themselves media but let’s face it, their goal anymore is to promote CRC and Loot Rail first and they have shown they will resort to whatever tactic they can to demean and denigrate any candidate who they know is opposed to the project.

    Sorry, but they are no longer media but a biased mouthpiece.

    There are just too many alternatives for Clark County’s own Pravda.


  13. Lew,
    True, the Columbian is a skeleton of a newspaper and has, as of yet, demonstrated (lately) they are incapable of balanced journalism. However I couldn’t agree with Craig more. Since the Columbian has the majority of citizens’ attention ignoring their attempt to gather both sides of an issue only lends itself to a very unbalanced story. Granted, they could wait untill further proof was uncovered to add sustenance to the story but I guess, this close to the election they took the lower road.

    Like it or not, Josephine has entered the political arena and therefore it’s usually in her best interest to answer and address any and all questions and concerns to the best of her ability. Let the reader then form their own opinion.


  14. Fascinating (fascinating here having the meaning of “complete disconnect”) that someone would put a *troop* in uniform on the front of a *City Council* candidate’s mailer. (Does the Vancouver City Council have a militia we don’t know about?) Would have been relevant in a congressional or presidential race, but kinda looks like the New York union quickly recut and repasted one of Senator Clinton’s old brochures.


  15. AS someone who also watched the Joseph James mess along with Don Benton and some others while I used to live in the 17th District was a hit piece by Kathy Durbin? (Gosh, she’s now penning pieces about Washougal and the Gorge lately??)

    If it did not start with my memory of the Richard Curtis affair, Jim Dunn, Joseph James and how many more are the columbian going to target? Then going after Bob and Kelly..

    And for Lou to say there is no bias, since he became the Main Squeeze of the News department some time in the early 2000’s, there has been one hit piece on conservative candidates after another…. How many has he ever gone after that were on the Democrat side? I DARE Lou to name ONE! since he took the reigns from Tom Koenninger.. Do it simply in one of his weekend Press Talk columns…

    Anyone remember the debacles with Jeff Mize and Don Hamilton? Kathy Durbin did it for some time and now its Andrea. And I personally had some higher hopes of her since she came to the paper.

    Does anyone see a pattern of betrayal here that goes to the top? It was started way before John came to the paper. (Lou started as an assistant editor about the time that Scott bought a controlling interest or become the main publisher in 1996, if my memory serves me right…)

    Guys, If there has been a repeating theme of psychosis for some time that has gone through many different reporters over a decade or more. And the head puppet is the one giving the orders. If this were not a problem I have seen over and over again, why is it still repeating itself?


  16. It seems now that Lou has entered the fray in the discussions about the article questioning the casa credentials of Josephine Wentzel….

    Honestly, I think he’s looking like a fool right now and lew is just handing his butt to him on a silver platter. Keep it up Lou!


  17. Just for the record, I don’t believe David Madore said he was “going to stop talking to The Columbian”. I think if you re-read his comment I think David stated he wasn’t going to engage in further discussion on that particular topic.


  18. Jack that might true but after the hell they visited upon him and his employees, I would believe that he has more justification for a feeling of just cutting the newspaper out of his existance over the multiple issues and negativity they have done to him.



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