The Columbian Paints Targets on Three Strong CRC Opponents (UPDATED)

by lewwaters

In continuing exposing the anti-Republican bias evident at the Columbian, the unofficial daily newsletter for the Democrat Party in Clark County, the last few days have supplied even more than I recently wrote of at Representing Constituent Views Earns Commissioner Mielke the Columbian’s Scorn and More Columbian Bias Against Commissioner Mielke.

It is also well known that the Columbian is a strong supporter of the Columbia River Crossing, many thinking the papers owner has a vested interest in seeing the CRC completed and Portland’s financially plagued light rail run into our community.

There are three strong opponents to the CRC, each with an increasing following that have had the Columbian paint targets on their backs. 17th Legislative District State Senator Don Benton, Clark County Commissioner Tom Mielke and successful businessman and candidate for the County Commission, David Madore.

You will be hard pressed to find any positive mention of either in the pages of the Columbian, but will readily find several negative mentions of each.

Commissioner Tom Mielke

In addition to the latest slur against Commissioner Mielke above, you will find articles on him being two whole days late on property taxes, well within any grace period before a fine is assessed, condemnations for speaking against CRC and light rail from Portland, ridiculed for making a joke at Commission Meetings, an allegation of “wanting to be king,” poked fun at because he is also a car collector, condemned for opposing a non-enforceable smoking ban in county parks an if I looked hard enough, possibly his choice of after shave or cologne. I wouldn’t doubt they would complain if he had a hang nail.

Senator Don Benton

Four term State Senator Don Benton is another favorite target for his views and effectiveness in holding liberalism in check where he can. Like Commissioner Mielke, you will find several hit pieces on him. One of their favorites is to claim he misses many votes. What they don’t say is that he never misses a vote on major legislation.

I asked Don about that recently and his view basically is, given a choice between debating and voting on designating a state rock (yes, there really was such a piece of legislation) or meeting with a group of school children, he will choose the children every time.

Their latest hit piece on Senator Benton, Benton, Probst begin to trade jabs in Senate race, accuses him of sending out a mailer warning constituents that his opponent, State Representative Tim Probst, who is leaving his seat in the 17th Legislative District in order to run against Benton, was pledged some $250,000 by the Democrat Party to entice him to run against Benton.

Of course, Democrats and Probst claim it not true, but the pledge is well known throughout Clark County and was relayed to me by several people, including a few Democrats, who will remain unnamed.

Their article contains the comical claim of, “So far, The Columbian has yet to come across any political ads sent out by the Democratic campaign committee that attack Benton.”

May I suggest they simply look the archives of the Columbian to find several negative articles on Don Benton?

Technically, while the claim might be truthful that the Democrat Party has not sent out negative ads yet, the Columbian has more than made up for that by doing it for them in negative hit pieces against Senator Benton for several years now.

David Madore

The third person to frequently be subjected to the wrath of the Columbian is David Madore, owner of U.S. Digital, a company he began in his garage and now employs over 100 people.

Madore receive the scorn of the Columbian twice this week in their articles, Madore apologizes to Boldt for false claim in mailer, where even a public apology and announcement of a mailer to be sent also as an apology to his opponent is met with condemnation more so than acknowledgment of owning up to a mistaken claim and Madore spending draws complaint that focuses on a Public Disclosure Commission complaint filed by Democrats.

And attempt to give the article a façade of “objectivity” by Stephanie Rice, one writer who seems to take delight in writing negative articles on all 3 of these people, fails. It fails because most PDC complaints filed are rarely mentioned in the Columbian as most end up being nothing more than attempts to smear an opponent.

It also fails as the inclusion of another PDC complaint filed against judicial candidate David Gregerson by well informed blogger Kelly Hinton, merits scant mention compared to the main thrust of the article, another smear against Mr. Madore.

Also omitted from the latest hit piece is any mention of the failed PDC complaint leveled against Mr. Madore last year, PDC: Madore, didn’t violate campaign finance laws. As expected from the Columbian, more attention is given to the complaint that was rejected than to it actually being rejected.

Most astonishing to me is that the Democrats would base part of their complaint this time on Madore owning an online news site, and using it “to illegally further his candidacy” after all of the years Democrats have accepted the Columbian’s favorable articles on their candidates while publishing hit pieces on Republicans.

The claim of “illegal” remains to be seen and is the opinion of the one filing the complaint, not a fact.

Of note, the Columbian chooses to mention it as if fact and not using their usual term “allegedly” as they do in other stories were accusations have yet to be proved.

And too, we cannot ignore Stephanie Rice’s effort to slam both Don Benton and David Madore, along with every other Republican in her All Politics is Local blog post No offense, Don Benton … where she gleefully pokes fun at Madore over a recent Birthday Gift of a small plaque calling him “The World’s Best Candidate.” I guess all of us parents, grandparents or what have you should be ashamed of receiving such gifts as mementos, coffee mugs, plastic trophies or what have you where we have been labeled “World’s Best” in some form.

The Columbian has had its share of financial difficulty in the last few years. As our economy declined as well as facing a decreasing subscription, the company has had to seek and gain a large tax cut, lost a massive building they were constructing that was foreclosed on by the bank and even the paper’s publisher sold his multi-million dollar river front home, moving into a much smaller and far less expensive home.

They have yet to understand that a significant portion of the citizens in Clark County are conservative leaning people who tire of seeing themselves portrayed negatively in the pages of the paper as well as the left-wing bias of the paper and their continual lack of any resemblance of objectivity when it comes to political coverage.

Little wonder they are linked in with the rest of the “Jurassic Media.”

UPDATE: Not too surprisingly, yet another hit piece on David Madore in editor Lou Brancaccio’s weekly Press Talk column, Press Talk: The crazy season is on us!

My comment left,

LOL, another hit piece against Madore, even dragging Josephine Wentzel into it, Lou? Are ya’ll that afraid of the manor just doing more to show the Columbian is the unofficial daily newsletter on behalf of the Democrat Party?

Did Madore get it wrong? Why yes. But is the only one to get something wrong? Uh, no. In fact, we see the Columbian getting thngs wrong too.

The difference, the Columbian posts or prints a very small retraction buried somewhere while Madore made a phone call, publicly issued an apology and plans on funding another mailer correcting and apologizing for his mistake.

Has Marc Boldt apologized or been held accountable for his errors in his mailer? No.

Was Joe Tanner held accountable for his misleading claim on “numerous combat medals” when questioned by 2 Veterans? No. In fact, the APIL blog post was written slanted against the 2 Veterans for even questioning, until you came in and begrudging admitted we were correct as Tanner agreed to change his claim to “Meritorious Achievement Awards.”

When will you hold yourselves to the same standard you place on candidates like David Madore and stop doing the Democrats dirty work for them?

6 Comments to “The Columbian Paints Targets on Three Strong CRC Opponents (UPDATED)”

  1. I trhink most pewople in Clarke County already know what a scummy rag The Columbian is.

  2. Lew – if you look that column over, you notice Editor-on-High Brancaccio suffers from a case of severe mispelling-itis and lack of letter technology. Also known as typographical errors. May be before Mr. Brancaccio hits the return button, he might use a simple matter-of-factly fact checking service. (also again known as a spell checker…)

    I dare Lou, where is your Democrat hit pieces. Tell me, where is Stephanie Rice going after Jim Moeller, Annette Cleveland or many of the local democrat running for office? No, Lou. I am calling out you and your reporter. Even I have been around the political roadblock as Stephanie has and a good proportion of the articles like the ones Lew is mentioning are from her. I only see a few from the other reporters and more often than not, they are better written and researched, though I do condemn them just the same, if they don’t have the decent caliber I know other regional newspapers in the metro area have!

  3. Speaking of the CRC opposition…

    Anybody read the article “Expected Life of I-5 Span Fuel’s Debate” this morning??? Apparently a certain segment of a report by ODOT, written in 2005 has been removed. You know…the part that states the bridges are good for another 60 years!!! Guess it’s negative PR for ODOT…for the rest of the proponents of the crossing project. Funny how they keep claiming the bridge is unsafe should there be a massive earthquake. Why not save the taxpayer $$$ and retrofit the danged thing!!! But then again…should there be a massive earthquake, will anything remain standing??? What about the soundness of the roads, the overpasses, the underpasses, the off ramps???? All hype just to scare the voters.

    And we’re supposed to trust the powers that be???

    Oh dither…

  4. I notice 3 pro-CRC/light rail articles in the Sunday edition, Carolyn.

    Full court press to ram it down our throats

  5. Goldie – if you don’t know, they DID think through the retrofit many, many moons ago. If my memory serves me, it was pre-2008 when the task force was disbanded. So my guess is 2006 or so, early in the process. The reason if I remember was that the retrofitting of the Interstate 5 bridge was going to cost just as much as building a new bridge.

    I wish I could ask some of the older, moldys who were with me in that process to confirm my memory….

  6. Jeremy, I came across an article “Replacing VS Reuse Existing Bridges,” courtesy of columbiarivercrossing. org which states the reasoning behind the retrofit idea. It states “The existing bridges can be retrofitted to meet design standards for LRT and BRT use. However, these retrofits would be substantial for LRT and would still result in much lower operational efficiency and reliability compared with transit operation on a new structure. Seismic safety would require major seismic upgrades to nearly all bridge elements, whether used for LRT or BRT. If the Coast Guard were to allow bridge lifts during peak periods, which appears likely, the negative impact on either LRT or BRT reliability, travel time, and ridership would likely fall short of meeting the project’s purpose and need.”

    It’s all about the transit mobility, nothing more…nothing less. They weren’t even discussing the cost to retrofit…only the tunnel vision of CRC’s iconic design.

    According to a letter to the Columbian dated April 9th entitled “Not too late for alternatives,” the writer states the studies show seismic upgrades would cost $200 million for both bridges.

    On another website by Portland Transport, an alternative mentioned the cost of seismic upgrades to be between $125 million and $235 million according to the expert panel they mentioned in their report back in 2006.

    Click to access CRC_Alternatives.pdf

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