I can't believe what I read in the Hickory Daily Record this morning. To put forth the piddly amounts of money that the current crop of candidates owe in taxes in the Hickory Municipal Elections is ridiculous. What does this have to do with this campaign??? Can you honestly say that this would have a negative effect on how any of them would govern?
Here we are 10 days away from the "Ward Primaries" and "Mayoral Primary" and nary a word on where the candidates stand on issues... nary a word on the direction they would take the city. Two candidate forums have been held and not one person from our local Paper attended. Notice that I called it a Paper, because I would be lying if I added the title News to it.
The Hickory Daily Record has been basically extorting the candidates, in my opinion, and maybe that is where this article comes from. The HDR keeps soliciting the candidates to buy advertising; soliciting them multiple times in multiple ways. They have changed policies on candidates getting their message out multiple times. I have reported it here. Those policies only make sense if you are trying to force candidates to buy space in the Paper to get a message out.
And how effective is their advertising. The Citizens for Equity in Government bought advertising from the Paper and advertised the Million Dollar Tent. The Paper went running to the other side and created a series of articles against the CEG based on the advertisements that they spent a lot of money on. No Steps Backwards morphed into Hickory United PAC and ran some pretty lame advertsing against Dr. Inglefield and Joe Brannock a couple months ago. I know that there were responses to those ads and none of them were run. Jeff Cline wheeled his 96 year old father out from the nursing home a couple days before the referendum election to say "why change something that isn't broken" and the HDR made a story out of that and there was no response afforded to the supporters of the referendum. They say there will be no letter to the editor allowed by candidates and then they allow Hank Guess's "I have a Dream" letter and don't allow anyone to respond. People can only speculate about what is up with the HDR, their ambiguity, and their lack of consistency about policies.
What about the public service obligation of a newspaper. This is your community Hickory Daily Record. Do you not give a damn about what is going on around here? Maybe, just maybe the HDR should focus more on service and circulation, instead advertising sales. That doesn't mean to create an enemies list like our local government just because you don't like criticism. It mean become better. These policies don't make any sense unless you are attempting to (unfortunately there is no better word for it) extort money from the candidates. Why not allow there to be a back and forth in the editorial section? Why not run real profiles on each candidate, why not attend and report on the forums? The people's governance is what is at stake! Shouldn't the paper be interested in the community making the best and most informed decision?
You might not like what I have to say, but at least you can see that the Hound is attempting to get people involved and interested in their governance. If you support a certain candidate, then get people interested in what that candidate is all about. I do not pretend to be a neutral bystander. I am an advocate. If you want people to have more than a half a clue about what is going on around here, then you are going to have to get them to come here. And I welcome others who have a different opinion to start their own blog. We can't be anything other than better off.
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