Exposé? Or Just More Hate? Updated

by lewwaters

Senator Don Benton

Senator Don Benton

It’s a downright shame that we do not have a trustworthy or objective source of news when it comes to political matters in Southwest Washington. Instead, we have the Lazy C, more of an unofficial daily newsletter for the Democrat Party that rarely discovers scandal on the left, but gleefully reports the slightest bit of salacious claims against conservatives.

One name that frequently appears in the pages of the Lazy C connected to just about any bit of gossip that can be made to appear a scandal is 17th Legislative District Senator Don Benton, recently appointed by the County Commission to also head the County Department of the Environment.

In spite of winning his seat in the Senate 5 times in a row, a feat accomplished by few in the face of continual assault by the local media over nearly 20 years, you would be hard pressed to find much ever appearing in the pages of the Lazy C that could be considered favorable. That voters five times now have chosen Sen. Benton over the Lazy C’s more favored Democrat challenger is apparently of no concern to them down there, they only know that they want him gone and will not cease their hateful commentary until he is.

The Lazy C remains incensed that a majority of the County Commissioners chose Benton quickly, based upon their knowledge of him and his resume’ he presented, spurring an unprecedented number of articles and editorials in opposition, some 35 to date in less than two months.

That is in addition to more articles against Sen. Benton, to include mention of him to connect him to anytime the sun did not rise on time.

Word is out now that the Lazy C has yet another exposé coming soon that some would consider little more than ‘character assassination.’

Sources say they plan to claim Sen. Benton paid himself $78,000 and has been the subject of *gasp* lawsuits in his personal business.

I can only imagine how much digging they must have done to discover this old news while they ignored the personal bankruptcy of a Democrat candidate they endorsed just last year that was billed as a very effective candidate to handle budgets, in spite of owing over $100,000 in student loans, back taxes, multiple credit charges and even a debt to Walmart.

That one readily came up under a simple Google search of the candidate’s name, but you would not have ever seen mention of it in the Lazy C, considering that candidate was one of their favored ones.

But, they can dig back three decades to uncover a lawsuit that didn’t go anywhere against Sen. Benton, it didn’t even make it to court.

Goldfish CrackersFrivolous lawsuits, even unfounded lawsuits happen all of the time, sometimes by those looking for a quick buck, sometimes by those who may feel wronged, but only have themselves to blame for what shortfall they may feel.

For example, a lawsuit pending back east currently against Pepperidge Farms for “mislabeling its popular Cheddar Goldfish snack crackers ‘natural,’ plaintiff contending they contain genetically modified soybeans.”

It is doubtful this would ever merit mention within the pages of the Lazy C, unless of course, it was found that Sen. Benton may have owned stock in the company at one time.

If it could be twisted to smear Benton, you’ll likely find it in the Lazy C.

As for the claim of Sen. Benton paying himself $78,000, I received the reply from Benton of, “One company I own an interest in, National Advertising Consultants, is a nationally recognized advertising agency. I used this company to buy all of the television, radio, and cable advertising for my recent campaign. After 20 years in the advertising industry, I wanted complete control over my campaign’s advertising. The campaign wrote checks for some 78 thousand dollars to a company I own. That company then scheduled the ads and paid KOIN, Comcast, KATU, KGW, The Wolf and many others. So the claim is partially true, but not completely. Using my advertising company to schedule and buy my campaign ads does not violate any Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) rules or Washington State campaign laws. Given the expertise, it was the logical choice.”

Perhaps, the effort here is to smear Benton by equating his Ad Agency to that of Moxie Media that was fined some $150K in 2011 for “Creating a phony campaign to defeat a Democrat who didn’t toe the Progressive Line.”

There is no comparison.

Benton also claims that “During the last three weeks, I have been receiving calls from old friends, customers, and acquaintances I haven’t heard from in 30 years,” that have been receiving calls from two writers employed by the Lazy C as well as Freedom of Information Act requests being filed with the “State Senate for my senate expense and per diem reports, and with Clark County for my county time cards and emails. They have even poured over all of my old public disclosure documents on file at the State PDC office from previous campaigns.”

Benton claims the two, Stevie Mathieu and Erin Middlewood, “have repeatedly called my old business partners from 30 years ago, some private business customers of one of my companies (who gave positive testimonials on one of the company websites), schoolmates, employees and even one of my old community college professors—where I was an active member of student government.”

Particularly disturbing to me is Benton’s claim that Middlewood said to him, “I’m giving you the vetting that you didn’t get for the county job.”

An email request to Ms. Middlewood for confirmation or denial of the comment remains unanswered. Ms. Middlewood confirmed in email to me Monday, Aug 12 that she did in fact make that comment to Sen. Benton, but did not address the question of how such a comment would affect any objectivity.

Having approached the interview such an attitude towards Sen. Benton, can we trust anything in the article to be “objective” after such a display of arrogance?

That is the crux of the matter as well as the reason I label the paper the Lazy C, their lack of objectivity and the depths they go to dig up dirt on a long sitting and effective Senator like Don Benton and inability to find or report a major shortcoming of a candidate they endorsed, as I mentioned above.

Voters in Southwest Washington deserve objectivity in what is supposed to be the “newspaper of record,” not biased and manipulative commentary masquerading as news or exposés of old news that has little relevance to today’s conditions.

I will grant you that Benton is often much like a Bull in a China Shop, but when you have been in the minority in the State Senate, it takes a bold, aggressive manner to effectively serve those who have repeatedly elected you into office, as Benton has been doing in his 4 terms elected.

He wasn’t chosen to head the Dept of the Environment due to any lengthy environmental activism and I wouldn’t want any more environmental, job killing activists making top decisions in the county. Benton was chosen due to his managerial abilities and skill and desire to return Clark County to a balance of protecting the environment, but creating jobs for our citizens as well, the county well into its fifth year in a row of double digit unemployment, higher than the state average.

He at least deserves a chance to do the job he was hired to do before being frog-marched out, doesn’t he?

We elected both Commissioner Tom Mielke and David Madore by wide margins did we not? Shouldn’t we also trust their judgment?

I expect this latest hit job, exposé from the Lazy C at any time and you can bank on faithful liberals filled with hatred of anything conservative to line up in the comments, high fiving the writers and editors, metaphorically slapping them on the backs for yet another divisive commentary.

What I don’t expect to see is any semblance of objectivity.

UPDATE: The Lazy C ran their hate piece Sunday, September 1, 2013 Benton’s ballyhooed management experience is hazy as a headline story

Columbian Front Page Benton Hate Short

14 Responses to “Exposé? Or Just More Hate? Updated”

  1. This sounds like a really, really bad Mafia movie. The G.O.B.K. is pulling out all the stops and they’re using what was once a reputable firm to do their dirty work! SHAME ON THEM!!!


  2. They just didn’t get their way and they can’t stand it!


  3. “We elected both Commissioner Tom Mielke and David Madore by wide margins did we not? Shouldn’t we also trust their judgment?”

    No, the Good ole boyz did not select them, how can they trust them?

    Mr Branccacicci e-i-e-i-o, is not a fisherman, So apparently, he has taken to farming, Which of course in this cause means digging up dirt to watch it blow away, shoveling manure only to have it stick on him, and planting seeds, which divisive intend only feeds the now very negative image of the family which owns the paper as well as the “Journalist” they’ve apparently hired to run it. Good ole what’s her name, you know, Governor Kitzhaber’s friend and non consultant that he loaned to Governor Jaybird.

    The problem Brannca-e-i-e-i-o is running into, is weed control. By getting into the weeds on the deep background checks he runs the risk of being choked out by them, much like the untold weeds generated by the non stories about the candidate they supported.

    What is looking to me to be a very strange twist, as Head of the Dept of Ecology, Mr Benton may be forced to cite Brancca-e-i-e-i-o for all the toxic waste being generated by the hired hands. Apparently they are dirt farmers too.


  4. “What I don’t expect to see is any semblance of objectivity.” Well now Lew, you aren’t using the same definition of objectivity. For you that would mean stepping back and looking at a story without your personal bias interfering with your judgement. For Brancacca-eieio objectivity means keeping ones eye on the prize, doing whatever it is has to be done. The Chicago way, or in this case the Salem way.


  5. The good ole boyz apparently have too much personal fortune tied up in pre-purchased Machinery and with so much riding on the passage of the CRC the Corporatocracy is leaning on Branncacca-e-i-e-i-o to deliver. When he fails I expect this to get really ugly.


  6. Dennis Henry – August 12, 2013 at 5:37 AM:

    A bit of clarification on the term “dirt farmers” might be in your favor, so I’ll take this opportunity to clarify the definition. The “Dirt Farmers” you mention do NOT include the honest, hard-working people trying to provide nutrition to the community. They’re in it for themselves.


  7. They produce nothing of nutritional substance whatsoever!


  8. Erin Middlewood has confirmed she did in fact make the comment to Sen. Benton of giving him the vetting he did not receive for the County position.

    She did not address the question of objectivity


  9. If it is a fair vetting, and thorough then the logical result will be the Columbian Newspaper’s Editorial board coming out in support of Don Benton as the Commissioner’s choice. However, this is the Columbian Newspaper.
    Golden, I appreciate the de-stink-tion, and clarification about hard working people. A real “Dirt farmer” does all the work himself, without hired hands, which of course cannot be said about Brancacca-e-i-e-i-o.


  10. Brancaccio’s column on Aug 31 said their article (read hit piece) will be in the Sunday Sep 1 paper. hence this is stuck back at the top


  11. Here is the latest scam from the Columbian.
    They let opponents post but hide the posts from everyone except the poster!
    I just posted this:
    Complaining about waste is pretty funny from someone who has been pushing the waste of a billion dollars on light rail.

    Or supporting a politician that sues the people to get rid of a roadblock to raising taxes.

    Where were your editorials against giving a millions of dollars in tax abatements to developers?

    I can see it in the browser that I used to post it, but cannot see it in a different browser. Previous test show that my friends cannot see it. The same thing happened a while back to one of my friends.


  12. That’s been an ongoing complaint there for some time.

    They just wave it off as a facebook glitch.

    Funny how a glitch is so selective, isn’t it?


  13. we used to call it “Blanking” Lew, and The Lazy C has been doing it for quite some time.Some Smartass thinks he’s being really “sneaky”.



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