Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Weaver Resigns As Port Orchard Planning Director

After almost 5 years as City Development Director for Port Orchard, James Weaver has submitted his resignation. He will take a job as the Building Official for the City of Bainbridge Island. He made the City Council aware of his decision at the December 11, Council meeting, and then submitted his resignation letter to Mayor Tim Matthes, who claimed to be "surprised" by Weaver's action. His last day will be January 2.

James Weaver's departure is a tremendous loss for the City of Port Orchard, and a huge gain for Bainbridge Island. He was universally recognized as the best Planning Director in the County by not only his peers, but by other elected officials as well.

I'm proud to have hired him and worked with him. He cleaned up a HUGE mess in the Planning Department that I had inherited upon becoming Mayor. Those included 546 unprocessed permits, some dating back nearly 3 years, that he and his staff cleared within 60 days, as well as a Comprehensive Plan 4 years out of compliance with the GMA, just for starters.

James and his staff, brought the City into compliance with state law in less than a year — an almost unheard of time frame for such an accomplishment — and did 97% of the work in-house, saving the citizens of Port Orchard hundreds of thousands of dollars in consultant fees.

Ironically City Councilman Fred Chang, who is angling to be appointed to Derek Kilmer's vacant State Senate seat, was chair of the City's Growth Management Committee at the time, and was responsible for the plan not being in compliance.

I have remained quiet about what has happened in Port Orchard since leaving the Mayor's office, but a savvy news reporter with an ear to the ground and no personal agenda would recognize this as just the first in a line of coming departures, and pursued this story from that angle. 

Just remember, you heard it here first...

There's a reason people are leaving, and it will eventually become public. In the meantime, I'll just sit back and smile...

Sunday, December 09, 2012

KING 5 News Torpedoes "Up Front with Robert Mak"

The final regularly scheduled edition of KING 5’s Emmy Award-winning political program Up Front with Robert Mak aired on December 2. The highly popular political news and commentary program has been running on the NBC affiliate for the past 11 years.

Robert Mak
KING-TV Executive News Director Mark Ginther cited “...a slowdown in advertising revenue,” as the reason the long-running Sunday morning program was axed.

Ray Heacox, President and General Manger of KING-TV, was quoted as saying, “We will continue the award-winning coverage we have given to political and public interest programming in our more than eight and a half hours of local news and, from time to time, we will run Up Front as specials when events demand. KING-TV, along with our regional news channel NWCN, airs more hours of news and more coverage of politics than any other news outlet in the Northwest. We intend to continue our partnership with the Seattle Times in bringing some of the most important political debate to television.”

Yeah, right...

“Robert Mak is an award winning journalist and is the lead for our full team coverage of all the political issues impacting our community. Up Front producer Mike Cate will continue to produce politics and other priority coverage for KING-TV,” Ginther said. Well that’s a lie, since Mak has voluntarily left the station’s employment.

Ginther also said seven newsroom positions were eliminated recently through layoffs and the elimination of several already vacant positions.

Could it really be that advertising revenue is down because viewers and advertisers alike are just disgusted with the quality of the non-objective, blatantly biased, so-called "journalism" that passes for “political news” these days? Or is KING-TV just another victim of the Obama economy that they keep reporting to us is getting better?

Inquiring minds want to know...

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Is honest, unbiased, political journalism roadkill?

Now that Election 2012 is finally history, after what seemed like an endless — two-plus years — two things remained consistent — the Lamestream Media served as the official press office of the Obama campaign — so no matter what he did, or didn’t do that he should have (can you say Benghazi?), they had his back — and its systematic and successful branding of every Republican contender as an obnoxious loser representing only the wealthy.

I’ve said for years there isn’t a way for Republicans to shoot themselves in the foot they haven’t thought of, but that I have great confidence in their ability to invent new ones. Election 2012 was no exception. There are more reasons the Republicans lost than I have room to describe here, but as usual, the wounds were self-inflicted. Conservatives scared half the women in America into voting Democratic with their agenda of eliminating abortion, while the Lamestream Media used that to convince women the Republican Party had actually declared war on them — and to some extent, it has.

Abortion has been the law of the land for almost a half century, and is widely supported. If the Republicans ever want to win another national election, they need to get over it and move on. It’s time for the conservative old white men running the party to step aside and turn the reins over to new, younger, and more diverse and pragmatic thinkers — people like Florida Senator Marco Rubio, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer for example. That doesn’t mean abandoning the fiscally responsible principles of the party, but it does mean moving much closer to the center than it’s been for decades, because Republican Candidates at every level from local dogcatcher to Congress are painted by the Lamestream Media with that reactionary Conservative brush — even when there is no shred of credibility in it. One only needs to look at our local and state election results to confirm that.

However, from the very start of the race in early 2011, every single Republican candidate who represented a serious threat to Obama was trashed in the media — most so badly they couldn’t salvage their campaigns afterwards.

And let’s be honest, there were some — like Michelle Bachman — who had no business even being in the race. She threw herself under the bus by providing sideshow entertainment for the predatory media with her outrageously uninformed pontifications.

For example, Sarah Palin was attacked very early on as “vacuous, crass, and vindictive” — just in case she did decide to run.

Meanwhile, Politico and other media outlets gunned down Herman Cain — who, as a successful African-American, Republican businessman — represented a potential game-changing threat to Obama. So he was tried and convicted of sexual harassment in the Lamestream Media without his accusers ever being named, without the opportunity to face them, and without a trial.

The Washington Post reported Rick Perry’s family had leased a hunting property where the N-word was painted on a rock, neglecting of course to mention it was Perry’s family that painted over it. Chris Matthews didn’t hesitate to smear Newt Gingrich — who I personally believe represents everything wrong with politics in America today — by saying “He looks like a car bomber.”

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney was the only candidate who seemed to avoid his own personalized media hit squad until he became the nominee. Once that happened, all hell broke loose, as the entire Lamestream Media now had him in its crosshairs.

Why is the Lamestream Media so protective of Obama, despite the fact we actually know little of his history, and that he rarely reciprocates with them? The answer is that the White House has turned access — the lifeblood of news reporting — into a sledgehammer. For any serious reporter asking real questions, or writing about the ongoing serial dishonesty of this administration, access to sources is systematically denied, and/or terminated. For reporters on deadline — especially network TV reporters — that’s the kiss of death.

Before Election Day, Obama hadn’t called a White House press conference since June. He should have been in Washington attending intelligence briefings leading up to the September 11 attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya. As General Petreaus has testified, Obama was made aware of the threats, and the requests for increased security, but he felt focusing on one softball interview after another — Leno, Letterman, The View and Access Hollywood, as well as fundraisers in Las Vegas and Hollywood — were much more important. So it’s ironic at best that the only man hammered by the Lamestream Media on the Benghazi scandal was Mitt Romney.

But now that Obama has been re-elected, we can look forward to making the best of another four years of his same “progressive” agenda — only carried out more aggressively since re-election is no longer a threat. That means continually increasing energy prices as the administration works to shut down the coal, oil, and gas industries to support economically unviable green energy; the same slow economy, weighed down by debt, higher energy costs and ever-increasing regulations; further reductions in the military and our ability to protect our nation; more gridlock in Washington as America is more polarized than at any time since the Civil War; and more of the same Lamestream Media relentlessly reporting that all these are good things under Obama.

But before you accept what’s reported in the Lamestream Media as fact, let me suggest reading, or re-reading, one of the most prophetic books of our time - 1984, by George Orwell, a dystopian tale in which language and truth are corrupted. It contains two quotes the Lamestream Media — if it had any cojones — would embrace... “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” And my personal favorite - “In times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”