A Response to a TheTentacle.com Column
I have written columns for TheTentacle.com now for over a decade and for The Gazette for a number of years prior. I strongly believe in newspaper and online columns as valuable vehicles to promote the exchange of ideas and philosophies among citizens.
I am proud to have contributed hundreds of columns, and my readers can judge whether they were worth the column inches or bytes they consumed.
I have never viewed the column as an appropriate forum for pursuing back and forth attacks between two parties who have had a private disagreement. However, the editor, John Ashbury, has permitted Patrick Allen to attack me viciously and repeatedly on this website, so I feel compelled to respond.
Mr. Allen was at one time an independent contractor providing services to a political direct-mail firm which also did work for me. He was paid by that firm. After a while, his services were no longer deemed necessary. His contract was terminated.
Since then Mr. Allen has waged a particularly vicious, personal and persistent attack against me and my character. These attacks should not, in my opinion, have been given space on TheTentacle.com multiple times, but unfortunately they were. Mr. Allen’s personal feelings about me add nothing to the free exchange of ideas and thoughts among the columnists and readers on TheTentacle.com. They, instead, represent his venom, which apparently arises from the fact that he is no longer receiving a paycheck to do political research for a firm with whom I also do business.
As background to his April 9, 2014, column where Mr. Allen references the dismissal of an ethics complaint against me, the readers of this website should understand that it was Mr. Allen himself who filed that complaint. Mr. Allen, therefore, created the story himself, by filing a complaint which later was found frivolous and was summarily dismissed. Every journalist knows that it is unethical for a journalist to manufacture the news on which he or she then intends to comment. This is exactly what Mr. Allen did, as it was the only way to make it news, and it is not only unethical, but it is reprehensible.
Mr. Allen’s attack on Bud Otis, a member of the Frederick County Ethic Commission, likewise is misplaced. Contrary to Mr. Allen’s assertions in his column, it was not Mr. Otis himself who saw to the dismissal of Mr. Allen’s complaint or any other complaint. That can only be done by action of the Ethics Commission as a body. Mr. Otis had no more authority than any other member of the Ethics Commission over Mr. Allen’s complaint, or any other complaint, and his suggestion to the contrary is inappropriate, and perhaps defamatory. The Ethics Commission decision on this matter was unanimous.
As I stated above, I do not believe this is an appropriate forum for a back and forth argument between two people with disagreements. As such, this is the last time I shall mention Mr. Allen’s name in this or any other media.
In my opinion poor judgment was exercised in allowing Mr. Allen to pursue his private complaint with me through this website. I would hope that this is the end of it, but that is not up to me. I am all for free speech, but this is totally inappropriate in my opinion for a website with the journalistic integrity TheTentacle.com has so frequently displayed.
One final note: Mr. Allen was not denied his right to testify at the Monrovia Town Center public hearings as he asserted in his latest column. Mr. Allen attended on day three of the hearings and wanted to butt in line and go first in front of those that had been waiting patiently for days. If he wanted to wait until his turn, which would of have been at the end of the meeting, he could have testified, as we allow all those who take their time out of their lives to do so.
[Editor’s Note: It has been the policy of TheTentacle.com since its inception to prohibit one columnist to rebut another on its website. However, the circumstances of this current situation warrant this one time exception to that rule.]