Recently, The Town Talk uploaded a couple of campaign finance reports from the two candidates for Rapides Parish Sheriff, Mike Slocum and Chuck Wagner. The paper encouraged readers to view the reports for themselves, implying that these reports represented an accurate reflection of the money raised by both candidates. But there is one glaring problem: Both reports were issued nearly a year ago, in December of 2006. Then, yesterday, the paper editorialized about the fundraising, arguing that Mike Slocum is “well ahead” of Chuck Wagner.
Had the paper actually taken the time to review the most recent reports (and then offer those reports to the public, instead of reports from last year), they would have known that this claim is simply patently false. In fact, according to the most recent comprehensive reports, Chuck Wagner has $171,554 more “funds on hand” than Mike Slocum. (And even if one were to deduct the money Wagner has personally staked on the election, he still has at least $83,000 more than Slocum).
The Town Talk‘s misrepresentation of campaign finance reports is yet another symptom of its inability to accurately cover and address this important election. After the primary election, The Town Talk‘s online forums have been invaded by a handful of people who ostensibly “support” Mike Slocum (though, based on their statements, I find it hard to believe that anyone would want these individuals actively working for their campaign), and throughout the past two weeks, these individuals have repeatedly leveled scurrilous and potentially defamatory accusations against Chuck Wagner, Mayor Roy, the Alexandria Police Department, and practically everyone who vocalizes their support for Wagner’s candidacy. (H/t to blogger “RepublicanForWagner,” who sent me a compelling e-mail documenting these egregious statements).
To be sure, after browsing the online forums, I recognize that a small group of people who ostensibly “support” Chuck Wagner have also made ridiculous statements, but I have yet to find anything that compares to the level of egregious dishonesty demonstrated by so-called “supporters” of Major Mike Slocum. To bonafide Slocum supporters like Nora, I hope you will pass this information along to Mr. Slocum, and I hope he will officially distance himself from the comments made by these “supporters.”
On October 30, 2007, a Slocum supporter named “tomcat” wrote:
Your comparison of Chuckie (Chuck Wagner) to Mayor Roy brings this to mind. Wonder if Chuckie would have handled the Giordano murders like your Mayor Roy. Just leave the innocent and dying people in the office – whatever you do, DO NOT go in and shoot a black man! To hell with the dead, dying and the families. Politics first, innocent lives when we get around to it. Your Mayor Roy, along with his spineless police chief, should have resigned the morning after that horrific embarrassment.
I also believe that your mayor would not allow RPSO to intervene because it might have looked good for the candidate whom your mayor does not want in office. How’s that for honor??? Let two people die and another one lay for 2 hours critically wounded beside his dead son because calling in the RPSO SWAT immediately might have given the sheriff’s office a little pat on the back. That’s who you want in your mayor’s office and in your sheriff’s office? Not me… Major Slocum would have had that murdering coward out of that office instantly. He is trained in SWAT and is not afraid of what the black city councilmen might think.
Shame, shame, shame on your mayor and his police chief. I don’t know how they sleep at night.
Although the investigation into this terrible event is not yet complete, I am extremely confident, based on my personal knowledge, that the claims made by “tomcat” will be proven to be scabrous, dishonest, and purposely misleading. (RepublicanForWagner says he “know(s) who tomcat is,” but I will not reveal his assumption until it is confirmed). On a personal note, even though I caution against hyperbole, I consider tomcat’s statement both hateful and evil.
During the aftermath of this tragedy, I attempted to deflect my personal feelings, because I understood that we all grieved as a community. There was no reason for me to claim my own personal reaction. I purposely attempted to minimize it (though I did talk about a Southern Breeze concert I attended at Tunks).
But the truth is: I live only a few houses down from Joey Giordano’s family. (I regret being evasive about whether or not I knew Joey, because the truth is that I did know him. I was just shocked, and I felt it was important to maintain privacy).
The night after the tragedy, I was at Mayor Roy’s house (who is another one of my neighbors) with the Mayor, his wife, their daughter, and Joey Giordano’s 3-year-old son Jacob. The Roy family was babysitting while Jacob’s mother attended to her father-in-law in the hospital. The Mayor wasn’t just Joey’s neighbor; the Mayor considered Joey to be one of his best friends.
The notion that Mayor Roy (who never gave any orders that night) would have allowed Joey Giordano and Marty Thiels to die for “political reasons” (sadly, the truth is that both men had lost their lives before the stand-off even began) is one of the most hateful distortions of the truth I have ever encountered in any political campaign. According to RepublicanForWagner, the woman he believes who leveled this charge, “tomcat,” was not at work yesterday, and coincidentally, tomcat alerted everyone at The Town Talk about what they were up to:
While I hate to leave this fun and games, I’m out to walk for my candidate. We’re taking the next two weeks off to focus on doing something that might actually make a difference! You waggie folks have fun petting each other here.
VOTE FOR MAJOR MIKE SLOCUM
#62 – RAPIDES SHERIFF
MAINTAIN RPSO’s HONOR, INTEGRITY AND EFFECTIVENESS!!!
GOOD LUCK MIKE!!!!!!
Speaking of honor and integrity, Major Mike Slocum needs to publicly rebuke tomcat, her/his support, and her/his hateful, racist, and insensitive comments about the courageous work performed by the Alexandria Police Department during one of the darkest moments in our city’s history.
And our friends at The Town Talk need to learn how to moderate the conversation occurring on their own website.