This morning's "article" on incumbent councilmember Marc Elrich (D - At Large) is not only another example of the local media's continued policy of featuring only Democratic candidates in the At-Large council race. Moreover, it is a blatant whitewash designed to boost Elrich in the upcoming election, at the expense of his opponents.
Most notably, the advertorial - by Steve Hendrix - completely covers up the fact that Mr. Elrich is under investigation by the Montgomery County Ethics Commission. It characterizes Elrich's ethics scandal as a personal and private disagreement between him and County Executive Ike Leggett. Leggett then goes on the record to say he not only still supports Elrich, but is making a personal contribution to a candidate under an ethics investigation.
What Hendrix and the Post failed to mention, is that this is an ethics scandal, not a disagreement. I am opposed to the Fillmore project. The difference is, I'm not getting paid to oppose it, as Mr. Elrich is. The Fillmore's competitor has made a recent $2500 contribution to the Elrich campaign. In other words, Elrich's actions on behalf of this business stand to profit that competitor, from which he is accepting money. This is a clear ethics violation.
It is also one that the local media is avoiding like the plague.
As for Elrich's radical transformation into a pro-developer councilman, that is easily explained, but the reporter didn't bother getting into the details.
You know, such as that Elrich's Bus Rapid Transit could be used to "radically" redevelop areas like Aspen Hill and Olney into dense, urban centers. And that, oh, there were those little matters of Elrich voting "YES!" on Carmageddon East (White Flint Sector Plan) and Carmageddon West (Science City), which included a resounding endorsement of a 9 mph top speed for rush hour travel.
And, gosh, Mr. Hendrix is just completely unaware that Elrich received $8000 from unions outside of Montgomery County. Gee whiz, who knew?
The article also claims that Elrich is wildly popular in Poolesville. Hold on a minute. I'm laughing so much, I have to stop typing here. Okay, they didn't mention that only Democrats were voting in the Democratic primary. Minor detail. I would like Mr. Hendrix to present Elrich's agenda on a wide variety of issues to a large group of Poolesville residents, and then quote their responses in the Post. Wildly popular in Poolesville? Mmm, not quite.
This is yet another piece of work from the Post that really demands reporting of a different sort: reporting on Mr. Elrich's campaign finance records as an in-kind contribution from the Washington Post. And another example of the local media's truly strange obsession with giving Elrich, Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal and Hans Riemer unlimited, free publicity. Despite the fact that they could probably launch their own newspaper with the massive, six-figure campaign accounts they all have.
The only question as pressing as the Post's motivations in helping Mr. Elrich return to office despite his and his colleagues' records of utter failure, is when are the Republicans in the At-Large race going to receive their own puff-piece prominently presented in the Washington Post?
Having contacted the Post's ombudsman twice about their total blackout on the Republicans in the At-Large race, I have received no response. The ombudsman admitted weeks ago that the Post did not provide adequate coverage of the campaigns, beyond the favored incumbents and Hans Riemer. Yet he and the Post have taken no action to correct this. In fact, the problem continues to get worse. I've found the "ombudsman" to be a weak one, who can barely criticize the newspaper that employs him.
I laugh when people claim TBD (I think it stands for To Boost Democrats) is a "Post-killer." TBD could only succeed if it provided the hard-hitting coverage the Post does not in Montgomery County. Every time I complain, they tell me to contact the reporter for the county. When I do, she never writes anything or covers any event. Don't even get me started on Bruce Dupuyt, who - as one of many self-appointed armchair kingmakers in Montgomery County - believes he doesn't even have to answer messages from the unwashed masses regarding his failure to have an At-Large council debate on his program.
TBD is not a serious news outlet. It is a cross between Next Door News (remember that?) and a Twitter feed. Is your elected official incompetent or corrupt? You won't find out from TBD. You will find out that there is a hipster street fair going on somewhere in DC, and that the donuts are ready at the Krispy Kreme down the street. Gee, thanks guys, I couldn't survive without knowing that.
This is why you have to come here, to this blog, to find out what's really going on in Montgomery County - because the local media is too busy trying to elect Democrats to report on the real stories.
"And that's the way it is."
"And so it goes."
"Good night and a good tomorrow."
"Good luck and be well."
"Good night and good luck."
"Good evening, I'm Chevy Chase and you're not."
Pulitzer, please. Oh, by the way, the donuts are ready.