My letter to the editor about Jeff Gahan’s Money Machine: These are down-low times for local journalism and governance — but I’m just a self-promotional blogger.

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I throw back my head and emit raucous laughter.

Roger,

The News and Tribune received a letter to the editor from you regarding the New Albany mayor’s race.

In reviewing the letter, there are a couple of changes needed for it to be published. The parts of concern are highlighted and referenced below:

• The “point of fact” is inaccurate; it is opinion.
• The highlighted phrases and word indicate criminal wrongdoing and since no such criminal convictions exist, cannot run.
• We do not publish Blog promotions in taglines

We are happy to reconsider publication of your letter once those concerns have been addressed.

— Susan

Tellingly the local chain newspaper’s editor has found it expedient in the past to take many similar liberties when lambasting Donald Trump, but I suppose that’s somehow different.

Roger: Here is my second try. I changed some words and omitted a few others. I don’t suppose the newspaper would be willing to divulge the dollar amount of ads purchased annually by taxpayers for Gahan’s self-promotional “city of New Albany” ads? The city won’t tell me. Perhaps the expenditure comes from a third party. Is that how it works?

Susan: Thank you addressing our concerns. This version is just fine and will run on Thursday’s Opinions page. I don’t have the information you are seeking, but it wouldn’t be appropriate for us to share client information anyway.

Sharing the amount of tax revenue being expended to advance Jeff Gahan’s personality cult dozens of times yearly as part of the mayor-for-life’s quest to brand a city with his own face?

Jeff Gahan has been branding the city in his own image, and using our money to do it, but we need collective thinking, not the shoddy veneer of a personality cult.

No can do, bucko. Revealing the money in this fashion apparently would violate the sanctity of journalism, which brings to mind the words of Abraham Lincoln to his hesitant general, George McClellan — paraphrased to suit my own thoughts.

If the Jeffersonville News and Tribune does not want to use journalism, I would like to borrow it for a time, provided I could see how it could be made to do something.

Bill Hanson was cc-ed in the preceding discussion. He never uttered a peep. Perhaps he was busy in the home library listening to Tom May audio books.

Here’s my letter. Don’t forget to #FireGahan2019

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR — For Thursday, Feb. 14


Mayor Gahan has too many outside backers


During the past eight years, Mayor Jeff Gahan has presided over a campaign finance operation of unprecedented scale and dimension. Let’s call it the Jeff Gahan Money Machine.


Presumably collecting campaign finance donations from the usual suspects is Gahan’s only real skill as a politician. The game is simple: self-interested parties give Gahan lots of money, and receive benefits so blatantly obvious that a six-year-old could figure it out.


Could someone run off and fetch a six-year-old to narrate the video?


Let’s make one thing perfectly clear. While it’s true that everyone involved is responsible for perpetuating the cynical patronage system Gahan has so laboriously constructed, the upshot is that one person and one person alone might have chosen from the beginning to erect a higher bar and deter the possibility of corruption stemming from the practice of “paying to play.”


That’s Jeff Gahan himself, but apparently transparency is too much for citizens to expect from a C-minus student, and so Gahan opted for the behind-the-scenes money. Tens of thousands of dollars have migrated to Jeff Gahan from out-of-town companies, lawyers, lobbyists, unions and PACs. Now there is a pervasive odor requiring a long overdue electoral purge.


Fortunately there’s a better way. Democratic mayoral candidate David White has stated publicly that he will not accept donations from individuals and corporate entities seeking favors to do business with the city. As such, White rejects personal benefit from the disbursement of public funds.


Rather, White seeks to restore genuine merit to the process of vending, consultation and contract seeking. With White we’ll have ethical standards from the get-go — not a cesspool on the down low.


I encourage you to visit White’s website, to engage with him and to vote White in the primary. White won’t have Gahan’s $175,000 campaign finance war chest, much of it coming from outsiders, but he has something even better: straight talk, transparency and an honest desire to put the people of New Albany first, not Gahan’s cliques and special interests.


White’s web site: www.davidwhiteformayor.com


— Roger A. Baylor, New Albany

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