Friday, August 27, 2010

Standard-Examiner: Discount Vouchers Mailed With Water Bills

The SE has dropped the ball on a Godfrey administration story yet again

By Curmudgeon

The Standard Examiner has dropped the ball on a Godfrey story yet again. This morning's paper runs a brief story by Scott Schwebke regarding the coupon for businesses in the Historic 25th Street Association that arrived, postage paid by Ogden City, at every home in Ogden City this month, in the City's utilities bill envelopes. Yes, that's right: advertising for private businesses delivered by the city free of charge to 24,000 Ogden homes:
Discount vouchers mailed with water bills
But only for some private businesses, of course. Asked why the City was sending ads out free for only some private businesses, postage paid by the city --- those associated with the Historic 25th Street Association --- the Mayor's mouthpiece, CAO "Pureheart" Patterson, replied that it was OK, because the Historic 25th Street Association had "co-sponsored" public events with the city. The utilities envelopes in the past had included advertising for WSU events for example, he said.

OK, fair enough. If an organization [or I presume public body, like WSU] organizes a public event or co-sponsors one with the city [like Mountain to Metro or the Ogden Art Fest], including promotional flyers for those events, naming the sponsors, can be included in the city utilities envelope. Seems reasonable to me.

Of course, the advertising that arrived this time did not promote any co-sponsored event or public event at all. It was simply an advertising piece for some, but not all, businesses on Historic 25th Street. Did Mr. Schwebke ask why advertising that related in no way to any co-sponsored event was sent out on the city's dime this time? He did not.

Marketing for the Historic 25th Association is Mr. Thaine Fischer. That name should ring a bell with WCF readers and even with SE readers. Mr. Fischer is a long-time political supporter of Mayor Godfrey and a major contributor to he re-election campaign. $2000 last time round I think.

One of the reasons newspapers assign reporters to beats is so that, over time, they become familiar with the players and the landscape and so can make connections that others might miss. Did Mr. Schwebke inquire about Mr. Fischer's long and close association with the Godfrey administration? Did he even wonder if this was a case of returning a political favor to a long time FOM [Friend of Matt]? Crony government in action? Apparently not.

Did Mr. Schwebke ask how many of the directors and key players in the Historic 25th Street Association were contributors to the Mayor's re-election campaigns? Apparently not.

So, what seems to have happened? The marketing director for the Historic 25th Merchants Association, tight with the Mayor, a major campaign supporter and contributor, arranged for his merchants, and his alone, to have their advertising distributed free of charge by Ogden City to 24,000 Ogden homes, even though the advertising was not for any co-sponsored city/merchants association event. And in covering the story, the SE does not so much as mention Mr. Fischer's close association [personal and financial] with the Godfrey administration, nor does it even ask whether other key players in the merchants association getting their ads delivered free by the city have been contributors to the mayor's campaign. Nor did it ask why, if promoting co-sponsored events free by the city is OK, this particular ad, which was unrelated to any co-sponsored event, was sent out free by the city? No.

This was not good reporting. The SE has dropped the ball on a Godfrey administration story yet again.

Not good work, guys. Not good work at all.


Dan S. said...

And yet, my expectations for the S-E have dropped so low, I was happy that the story was covered at all.

ozboy said...

Comment bumped to fron page

Curious 1 said...

Does Thayne still have his vehicles registered in AZ to avoid Utah higher registration costs? Provident is still a slum lord with all the rentals his company deals with.

Enquiring minds want to know if the enforcement fines Providents property when weeds are out of control.

RudiZink said...

Interesting sidebar. I recently learned from a reliable source that Fischer is no longer working for Provident Partners.

Tom said...


Does that mean he is slopping out of the public trough full time?

Anonymous said...

Curn, The S-E did not really question the flyer inserted into the utility bills but then again they did not print any Bristol Palin or Levi Johnston stories in the daily print edition.

ccr said...

if you only knew!!!! Thaine makes a living on other peoples money.  He has never met a creditor or investor who hasn't ended up on the wrong side of Mr. Fischers equation

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