Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Morning Emerald City Election News Roundup

"Pathetic" is the chosen keyword of the day
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.

H.L. Mencken
Mencken on Democracy
1880 - 1956

There are a couple of 2009 local election pieces in this morning's Standard-Examiner which are well worthy of note:

First, the Std-Ex serves up a strong lead article, calling Tuesday's municipal primary election turnout "pathetic":
OUR VIEW: Voting turnout pathetic
Of course the Std-Ex gets it mostly right. With a mere 9% of eligible Ogden voters bothering to show up at the polls, we just couldn't resist invoking H.L. Mencken's above quote.

And while we're on the subject of what's pathetic... how 'bout this? Here's an amusing paragraph, plucked straight from this morning's Std-Ex editorial:
If, as we hope, substantially more Top of Utah voters trek to the polls on Nov. 3. Voters will cast ballots for candidates who will decide some pretty important issues. In Ogden, council candidates for three seats -- two held by incumbents -- will face decisions that involve fighting gang crime, the economic future of The Junction and The Ogden River Project, other development projects, protecting Junction City's foothills and fitting in with a city council that has a contentious relationship with the city administration.
That's right, folks. The Standard-Examiner apparently believes there are only three Ogden City council seats up for grabs in November.

Here's a helpful hint for the Standard-Examiner: Check out our WCF 2009 Council Candidate Roster in our right sidebar, where you'll learn there are actually four. It's kinda awkward to scold northern Utah voters for being apathetic, dontcha think, when they're forced to rely on the Standard-Examiner's crack reporting of local election news? If the lumpenvoters seem confused, has the Std-Ex's previous election reporting been a factor in this?

And now that the adjective pathetic seems to have become the WCF keyword of the day, how about this morning's Scott Schwebke story, which reports on the most recent council candidate David Phipps blunder? Seems the bumbling Phipps "accidentally" sent out a postcard just prior to Tuesday's primary, without properly verifying at least one of his candidate endorsements:
Council candidate offers apology
In the wake of Phipps's earlier slip-up, in which he plastered those scores of giant lawn signs all around Ogden, erroneously touting his candidacy for the wrong council seat (his signs said Seat "A"... he's running for Seat "B"), this latest campaign boo-boo might lead some skeptical voters to logically deduce that Mr. Phipps might be a mite deficient in the "attention to detail department."

Of course maybe that's just us.

That's it for now.

Take it away, O Gentle Ones...

Update 9/21/09 5:00 p.m.: Well Lo and behold and hallelujah! the Digital Edition story we linked directly above, has now been published in the SE Live! website:

Council candidate offers apology

We see SE regular flatlander has already offered a critical comment. Let's also get over to the SE site to add our own comments, eh?


althepal said...

Proposed Phipps Campaign Motto: "Oops!"

Curmudgeon said...

Let's see: Mr. Phipps claims an endorsement he didn't in fact have. Sent out news of the endorsement to thousands of votes a couple of days before the primary. He comes in first, and after he's benefited from the phony claim of an endorsement he didn't have, he corrects the record. [Didn't we have a candidate last time who took money from a shadowy political group called FNURE, membership unknown to this day, didn't report the donation properly before the election, but after the election... long after... he decided to correct the record? Fella named Johnson, wasn't it? And wasn't he supported by the same Godfrey-and-developer cabal that's backing Mr. Phipps? Imagine that....]

Curmudgeon said...

Reading the Schwebke article this morning, wondered about something. Late in the article, he identifies Ms. Thurber as a member of the Ogden Sierra Club.

Why? How, exactly, does that relate to the rest of the story or anything in it? Did the Ogden Sierra Club endorse one of Mr. Phipps' opponents in the primary? [No, it didn't. It endorsed no candidates in the primary election.] Does Ms. Thurber disagree with Mr. Phipps' stand on matters of interest to the Sierra Club, presumably regarding environmental matters perhaps [since that was an area Ms. Thurber dealt with when she worked for Ogden City]? The story doesn't mention any such issues. Nor does it cite Ms. Thurber as raising any such issues to explain why she did not endorse Mr. Phipps.

So, I'm curious: how, exactly, does reporting Ms. Thurber's OSC membership relate to the rest of the story?

Ed J said...

This is a quote from Phipps covert campaign manager, money man Thaine Fisher:

"As an Ogden resident of three years I have experienced some of what Ogden has gone through in the past and I know what it faces in the future."

Mr. Fisher, it's been three years and you still have Arizona license plates on your vehicles.

And Phipps has been here a year.

I wish you were both on the ticket. The ticket out of town.

Curmudgeon said...

Ed J:

I believe Utah law requires new residents to register their vehicles in Utah within several months of moving here, doesn't it?

Curmudgeon said...

Well, I'll give Mr. Phipps credit for this: either he or one of his advisers knows something about damage control. Of course, it's always nice to be helped along in that by the credulity of the local paper.

The story here should have been "Council Candidate Claims Endorsement He Did Not Have." It should have reported the false claim as the story, and of course, included Mr. Phipps saying it was all a mistake.

But that's not how the SE reported it. In the SE version --- the first hint it gave its readers that Mr. Phipps had made a false claim ---the story, is not Phipps false claim of a Thurber endorsement only a day or so before the voting [too late to permit of correction or even reporting in the SE]. The story, for the SE is Phipps' apology, his claim that it was all a mistake, and his self-serving bleating about the lengths to which he will go [now that he's already benefited from the false claim in the primary voting] because he's so committed to open government. How noble.

Hard put to see how news editors could have permitted a story about a candidate's false claims to become instead a story instead about his [after the voting] efforts to correct the record as evidence of his integrity.

Mr. Schwebke and the SE's news editors got spun. But good.

RudiZink said...

Excellent points, Curm. And here's something else I'm wondering about:

Significantly, I think, the Phipps story doesn't appear on the SE Live! site; and I thus had to link the Digital Edition version in our WCF article this morning.

I can't help but to speculate that there may have been some hidden intentions on the part of the SE, in leaving this story off the free site.

Free site articles allow reader comments. Is the SE publisher killing off reader discussion of Phipps's latest campaign blunder in order to let the latest Phipps campaign spin stand?

I've already emailed the SE editors about this, with the request that the SE add this article to the Live! site in the morning.

Observing the SE's response to this request will be quite instructive, I think.

Curmudgeon said...


Yup. I noticed the same when I tried to find it on the SE site to post a comment.

Before the registration policy and website makeover, the SE comments sections were beginning to develop, sometimes, into interesting and lively forums on some stories... moving in the direction of the SL Trib's very active comments sections. Some of that seems to have evaporated since the make-over and registration policy.

I understand the registration policy [most papers have one]. It's a way to limit posts by the knuckle-dragging racists and their ilk. Fine with me. But it would seem, if the SE wants to increase comments [and so page views] that a story like today's would be available for comment.

On the other hand, it could be the SE editors realized, too late, how badly they'd been spun on the story, and were hoping to limit their embarrassment by limiting the number of people who would see the story.

If they're not embarrassed, they should be.

BC said...

Didn't Harry Truman have a sign on his Oval Office desk that read, "The Buck Stops Here?" When in politics, how true that is. For a couple of weeks now, I've been reading about Phipps being associated with Thayne Fischer, the Realtor PAC cabal, one of the Mayor's cronies, carpetbagging, ad nauseum, all of which led up to "for these reasons, this is not our guy."

Now, I can understand why many on this blog would take those balls and run with them, but they're really not needed. Phipps is destroying himself, without any help from the above satanists or any down and dirty (I use this term loosely) campaigning from Mr. Blair. Phipps advertising that he's running for the wrong seat and then inadvertantly claiming to be endorsed by someone who had clearly (according to her) not done so, speaks for itself.

Details were over-looked and mistakes were made (reminds me of the attorney who asks a leading question, which is strongly objected to by the other side and then the judge tells the jury to disregard it-yeah, right, but the attorney did get his seed planted), all of which makes me wonder if Phipps will behave in a similar fashion if elected..making mistake after mistake and then justifying them by saying they were basically simple, honest errors brought about be a lack of communication.

Stuff like this doesn't bode well for a candidate, especially when one is in a run-off with a formidable foe like Mr. Blair, a candidate who has yet begun to fight.

Jennifer Neil said...

This is what D. Phipps wrote on my FaceBook wall early on ... August 26th ...

Vote David Phipps

Good luck! I promise you an open and clean race. I think it will be fun and is a great opportunity for us to force open the door in the government. Thanks for running.

August 26 at 8:59pm ·

Comment · Like / Unlike · See Wall-to-Wall

you can check ... my FB Wall ... all you have to do is scroll down to the date (Oh, and you have to be my friend.)

J Neil

Go Wildcats! said...

It is spelled Satanists, capitalized; not "satanists", lower case.
Just a friendly heads up; during these times of impending economic doom and possible civil strife, I assume one of the last things you would want is to give the local Satanic Cabal a reason to put a blue thumbtack on the Big Board Wall Map at SatanHQ; a big blue thumbtack right on your little windowed and often empty domicile.

Chances are they are these armed, organized, fairly well funded, and suavely bat-shit insane.
This tangentially comes to mind.
Have a great day.

disgusted said...

the news story on phipps seemed to me to be another free plug for him by the se. campaign worker screws up so the good guy that he is is going to spend a thousand dollars to right the wrong.

he gets to reinforce in the article “i have made the centerpiece of my campaign open and accountable government” and “i truly believe in being accountable to the residents of ogden”. gag me.

who else has gotten their name in the paper three times over stories that went beyond the facts and let the candidate go on about their platform. granted he or should i say one of his campaign workers screwed up and he is there to do the right thing. that was the story unfortunately not the unauthorized use of someone endorsement.

whoever is managing him is finding ways to keep his name in front of the public in a positive light and at zero cost. could only work if the paper was on board. mark my word the se will come out and endorse this guy.

this is all about exposure and name recognition setting up for the coming election.

Curmudgeon said...


Yup. Nice that Mr. Phipps has so much realtor and other [sources unknown?] money coming in that he can afford four-figure fixes for his purported goofs, and get them reported as he wants them reported: as examples of his integrity.

Anonymous said...

Knowingly sending out last minute mailers with blatantly inaccurate info should be a felony, as it violates core democratic principles. We believe it should also disqualify one from assuming public office.

Curmudgeon said...

SE corrected its editorial on line. It now reads "four" Council seats.

Curmudgeon said...


The problem, RJ, is that important word "knowingly." It'd have to be proven, certainly to the "preponderance of evidence" standard at least, that it was done "knowingly" and was not simply an error resulting from that favorite explanation of politicos caught with their hand in the metaphorical cookie jar, a "mis-communication." In this case, the intern/campaign assistant would have to stand up, on the record, and say "Hey, I'm not taking the heat for this. He told me to do it. Said we'd fix things after election day." I wouldn't wager much on that happening.

Ed J said...


Bullshit! Flipper Fisher is as critical to Phipps campaign as anyone. In fact, he's the ring leader. Phipps spends more time at PPC and Fishers home then you did in council meetings. Before calling me a satanist, get your facts straight. What I am reporting is crucial for voters decision making. Don't try to spin this. It is what it is.

Go Wildcats! said...

Since when does calling someone a Satanist rise to the level of insult?
Take it as a compliment; you would be in good company: founding fathers, great scientists and thinkers, ex-presidents, Dean Martin, Frank S. and Sammy D., Marilyn Manson..?

Inaccurate, sure. But an insult?
I would take satanic family values over some superstitious ape-nonsense that evidently fills the head of this Phipps kid.

I think it is time to write and print a few thousand satirical pamphlets, and get the local 17 year old young'ins to pass them around the town. This Phipps kid is now officially begging to be skewed by a pro.

Carolyn said...

The most obvious thing to me about this apology story is that it is the BOLD HEADLINE STORY on the page. It looks like Mr. Phipps has friends at the Standard Examiner who are taking every opportunity to put his name in the paper. Free publicity! Imagine that.

Bill C. said...

Carolyn, that's exactly right. Big wigs at the gondola examiner (squirrel patroller lee carter) will do anything to aid the lying little matty administrations rudderless voyage into the rocks on which the ultimate high adventure sirens lure stupid insane fools to their suicidal end.
How a coat and ski warehousing operation combined with a dayglow bowling alley/penney arcade/gym morphed into the mecca of WOW, high adventure capitol of the universe, is beyond my humble ability to fathom. Halucinations of this magnitude can only come from partaking of the most deadly kool-aide imagineable and after a significant loss of brain cells.
Or just plain stupidity.
I suggest to counter this ploy we no longer aid in this name recognition attempt and no longer mention the name Phipps. From now to the end of this election cycle I propose we refer to this hand picked wanton gondolaist as Alfred P.

Carolyn said...


Tired of SE's Inaccurate Reporting said...

When will the SE editorial board acknowledge that the "contentious" relationship between this council and the administration is mostly the Mayor's doing? Are they blind to the fact that Godfrey has had a contentious relationship with every council except for the "rubber stamp" council of 2004 and 2005?

Come on SE!

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