Dreier “Is he or isn’t he?” not as important as News, Suppressed

Well well well… a political dustup is coming to town. Or rather, to my congressional district. My congressional Rep is David Dreier (R- Glendora). Who’s being outed by some (it’s yet rumor, folks). Dreier lives with his chief of staff Brad Smith, who’s very highly paid. The dustup’s going to hit three local papers owned by MediaNews, including the Pasadena Star News and the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Hustler‘s getting into the act, making inquiries of those local papers about their nudge-nudge wink-wink policies which explicitly or implicitly state don’t ask the congressman about how his personal lifestyle squares with his voting record.

Raw Story : LA Weekly‘s coming out with a story tonight on the web; tomorrow on the streets.

Background: I first saw this last week: BOP News links to a dailyKos post by (MichaelD) called ” Outing the House Rules Chairman,” which led to Raw Story, a site with many stories about Dreier. The links also led to BlogActive (the site that’s into outing politicians. I’m not linking it because their “let’s out him and get him!” tone turns me off, as well as does the way they de-linked a significant post on BoiFromTroy when Boi’s clarifications no longer supported BlogActive’s conclusions).

I debated about whether to post about this or not. I feel sullied by the out him! out him! tone, and I don’t give a rip about Dreier’s personal life. I’m concerned about his record as congressman, and how the local papers cover relevant news about the congressional district. Dreier sends out regular communiques to his constituents (heh. here a fellow constituent says the handwritten notes look like “ransom notes,”) with the occasional “survey” to find out what is important to the voters (only Republican talking poitns allowed, along the lines of:

Do you oppose terrorism? [_] yes [_] no
Do you believe in promoting the general welfare of the children? [_] yes [_] no
Does the knee-jerk wording in my little surveys insult your intelligence ? [_] yes [_] no
Okay, it’s not exactly like that, but you get the idea.

Also, I called up his local office on the day that a certain vote was held (something in the realm of vote against undue restrictions on tech inventions called for by the entertainment industry lobby). I later received a letter from his office with an alleged statement that described his so-called position. It was circular gibberish, vaguely hinting that he supported the entertainment industry. Frankly, I haven’t followed his voting record on the whole Support The Family (as long as it’s a heterosexual union), Oppose Domestic Partnerships that has set the out him! out him! crowd frothing so. On the plus for Dreier is that he’s been a good supporter of Jet Propulsion Lab (my regular readers will be shocked, shocked! that I note such a thing. 😉 ).

Dreier’s opponent in the last two races, Janice Nelson, M.D., posted a response on Sept 15 to the RawStory, with a couple of bombshells about the way our local papers did not report news :

You couldn’t be more correct about the fact that the local newspapers make sure that Mr. Dreier’s charmed life continues at the expense of the public’s right to know. I was the Democratic candidate for Congress against Mr. Dreier in 2000.

The Pasadena Star News/SGV Tribune knew that I had commissioned a poll which revealed that Dreier had a 40% approval rating in the District. For an incumbent like Dreier, this should have been front page news. The newspapers refused to cover this congressional race or to mention my name in any way, shape or form from the time I announced my candidacy.

When it came to their endorsement of Dreier, they refused to even mention me or that there even was a Democratic candidate! How is that for letting the public know what is going on in the local elections?

When I called Pasadena Star News Editor, Larry Wilson, about why the race wasn’t being covered, he called me “aggressive.� I guess this meant the local paper wants congressional candidates to be “passive� particularly when it comes to getting the word about one’s candidacy. Despite this lack of publicity, I went on to get 40% of the vote in this 5-person race. Redistricting occurred and Mr. Dreier’s charmed life continues.

After this election, editorial page editor, Steve Scauzillo, wrote an op-ed piece in the Pasadena Star News (I believe it was 10/13/00) about how much he adores (meaning admiration rather than anything sexual) David Dreier because of a plane trip that they took together where Dreier was charming. And so it goes in the San Gabriel Valley.

We have a committee chair (Dreier) who bought his position in 9/98 by giving $500,000 to the RNC. Now he is termed out as the Rules Committee Chair. He could have done so much to clean up the air and water pollution as well as to really do something significant to improve the traffic gridlock that many of us face every day. He exemplifies government at its worst. His sexual preference is of no interest to me.
[emphasis mine; line breaks added for easier reading; read original as posted]

Raw Story ran a story on Nelson after her post.

The treatment of the local papers is what concerns me. I worked on a nonpartisan judicial campaign a while back, and got a taste for the way Star News supported some (ahem) well-established, well-backed parties, without taking a look at all sides. Nelson’s story is consistent with our limited experience.

I just saw that The Area Pasadena Liberal Arts Center is holding a free special event on Tuesday, November 30th, 6pm, with Star News editor Larry Wilson (at the Altadena Library). It’s after the election, but it oughtta be interesting.

UPDATE 10pm: via L.A. Observed a link to a Democrat who knows Drier, disagrees with his politics, “But I won’t applaud his being torn down.” She also has some perspective on Dr. Nelson, too.

Unsurprisingly to me – and any other active Claremont politico, the Raw Story site contacted perennial Dreier opponent, Dr. Janice Nelson – an embittered, ill qualified woman with a penchant for attacking 20 year old college interns who interact with high profile alums. [Read More]