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Duluth News Tribune, Tuesday, November 19, 2013 – Paper displays double standard on elections

READER’S VIEW

   Paper displays double standard on elections

   The News Tribune’s double standard with regard to the school district is striking; it’s the blindest bias I’ve seen from any mainstream “news” organization.

   The newspaper laments that after the election City Councilor Jay Fosle stands alone on “an island of conservatism” surrounded by a “mega, can-do-anything-they-want majority” (Our View: “Clearly, election was a bit puzzling,” Nov. 7).

   But the newspaper seems to have no problem bolstering the crushing, administration-controlled majority ruling the School Board. At least Fosle has real input into agendas. School Board member Art Johnston isn’t allowed in the room. Would Fosle be OK with the mayor having a hand in the council’s agenda-setting sessions while he was banned? At least the mayor had to earn his position from voters; the superintendent isn’t even elected.

   The minority voice on the School Board hasn’t had one actionable item on the agenda I can recall in more than six years. The boardroom essentially is ruled by an unbending dictatorship. Former School Board member Gary Glass and Johnston have stood alone in dissent. Both men were run over time and again by the most dysfunctional farce of representative government I’ve witnessed.

   While decrying the mess this juggernaut left in its wake and preaching that the new board must get the district’s fiscal house in order, the News Tribune endorsed a candidate for the 4th District who knows virtually nothing about school-district finance. The newspaper lobbied as hard as it seemingly could to throw out the only board member with any in-depth understanding of the budget and the financing structure of the Red Plan.

   The News Tribune editorial page always has been masterful at the backhanded compliment. Its Nov. 7 editorial stated, “Western Duluthians in the 4th District clearly saw something (italics added by me) in their incumbent.” Thankfully, western Duluthians also clearly (and wisely) saw nothing in the newspaper’s endorsement.

   LOREN MARTELL

   DULUTH

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