There’s been an increasing controversy, and one largely created by local news media (slow news cycle), concerning some activities on Facebook, by government officials. There’s a blog entry (here) that gives a little background on one of the people involved. Let’s dig deeper into this.
The issue is about how much of a public officials social interactions online, are subject to scrutiny by the public, and are those instances covered by public information requests.
This became an issue way back when Lary Coppola was the Mayor of Port Orchard. As a reference, here’s Lary’s thoughts on online commenting (here). And yes, how actually Lary anonymous online commenting (here), (here), and of course, his late night antics (here). Lary, as some might remember, wanted his salary raised. He used his private email address in the solicitation. Another piece of this puzzle concerns his relationships to the Kitsap Sun, Kathryn Simpson, and Fred Chang.
For it’s part in this mess, the Sun has employed Lary, and even bought one of his publications. The Sun has also enabled Simpson to carry out an online campaign against people, like Fred Chang, that she doesn’t care for. Simpson is rarely portrayed as a polarizing figure, that she actually is. For a refresher, here’s a link about how she make charges in open court that don’t meet the burden of proof (here). The Sun also has bad blood with regard to a legal notices contract it lost in 2010 (here), and again Chang is involved.
So these links are a start into the background of thhe critics complaining about Chang. That includes a former mayor with drinking problems, a divorced former school board member that has a history of court problems, and probably some other people who don’t actually live in Port Orchard, or anywhere near the district represented by Chang. Start running some of these personalities through the courts.wa.gov databases. Do online searches involving Simpson for fiscal/financial issues of the South Kitsap School District, frequent personnel turnovers, video taping in the athletics locker rooms.
Fred Chang isn’t the problem here, as most of the critics have arrest records, residency issues, or some other character flaws. And really ask yourself if $200 for an annual subscription to a news media outlet is justified, when they do business with, and consider these critics as quoteworthy reliable news sources.