Marin IJ

Article Last Updated: 11/17/2005 08:35 AM

'Disservice' to democracy

We were disappointed by the IJ's coverage of the Nov. 8 election.

The IJ breached its reporting duties concerning the anonymous political attacks on longtime Fairfax Councilman Frank Egger, and the campaigns of attorney Ford Greene for San Anselmo Town Council and to defeat Tax Measure B.

In the case of Egger, the IJ barely paid lip service regarding a series of smears launched against his re-election effort. The IJ failed to publish the news that the League of Women Voters Campaign Watch Committee issued an Nov. 3 press release condemning the anonymous "oust Egger" assaults, and finding that the Attack-Egger campaign anonymously employed "false and misleading statements" which were an "unfair campaign practice."

The weekly Ross Valley Reporter gave front-page coverage entitled "Dirty politics in Fairfax," quoting the league's condemnation.

This omission deprived voters of vital information, and could have turned the razor-tight Fairfax race in Egger's favor - had the electorate only known.

There were similar omissions in Ford Greene's San Anselmo campaign, another close contest.

Because the IJ did not contact Greene on election night for comment, Greene could not note that his strong stand against the defeated Measure B tax was a victory. In the words of his campaign, the electorate rejected a "pension porkfest."

In the IJ's post-election article, San Anselmo officials bemoaned Measure B's demise and promoted their next taxation initiative. No critics, including Greene, get a chance to comment, while Greene's rival candidate Ian Roth is given substantial reference, including quotations.

Is this just lazy, incompetent reporting, or is it intentional?

Without accurate and complete reporting, especially when political campaigns peak, the IJ does our democracy - and its readers - a serious disservice.

Ford Greene, San Anselmo

Kyle Keilman, San Rafael


Hub Law Offices 711 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, San Anselmo, California 94960-1949 415-258-0360