Monday, November 5, 2018

Right-wing River City News tries to game local election

With mainstream media having abandoned northern Kentucky, fringe websites are swooping in to fill the void, and the River City News is at least as right-wing as any outlet it replaced.

The River City News reported today that Republican Campbell County Judge-Executive Steve Pendery's main challenger in tomorrow's election is Tea Party favorite Charlie Coleman. The site provided no polling data to back this up. The site treated Democrat Calvin Sidle as merely a third party candidate, even as Sidle runs on serious issues such as affordable housing and transit. Not only that, but Sidle was the Democratic candidate for U.S. House in 2016.

To relegate a Democrat to third party status is not only factually wrong, but also part of a new effort by local Republicans to try to convince Democratic voters that they might as well just pick their favorite Republican and vote for them instead. No dissent is to be tolerated. This is important because if the Democrats consistently come in third place, they would lose major party status in Kentucky, leaving the Republicans to fill both major party slots.

This isn't a problem we can just bubble away - though I know some of you will. I'm sure that tomorrow, as you're in the voting booth, you'll be blowing a huge bubble with your gum that bursts and sticks to your glasses. Barack Obama once urged, "Don't boo. Vote!" He might as well have just said, "Don't bubble. Vote!" But feel free to do both.

For the media to game our elections is dangerous. Judge-executive is one of our top local offices, and the public has a right to have leaders who will move the community forward, not backward.

The River City News isn't wrong at all when it says there's "an internal squabble on the county's political right." But if the Right is split perfectly down the middle, the opposition gets to prevail - unless we get instant runoff voting. We deserve better than the authoritarian government that the Republican Right wants to foist upon us. If you want to build a right-wing one-party police state, do it in your own back yard, not ours.

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