Home East County Update 2.0: Oakley Mayor Should Skip Candidate Forums

Update 2.0: Oakley Mayor Should Skip Candidate Forums

by ECT

Silly season has hit the City of Oakley as City Council Candidate Randi Adler provided some interesting information on Saturday which may highlight that the Contra Costa Times may already be biased prior to their upcoming candidate’s forum.

Ms. Adler claims that Times writer Rowena Coetsee asked her what questions should be asked during the interviews and what should not be asked.  It was also insinuated that the Times was offering to help Adler’s campaign against Kevin Romick and other candidates.  She also informed me that the Times was getting ready to go after Romick in the near future and were going to “hammer him” at their forum.

It was actually astonishing she would state this to me with two witnesses by my side.

In speaking with Judy Prieve who is Ms. Coetsee’s editor at the Times, she denies this ever happened and stated Rowena would never do anything like that. I tend to agree.

While it’s no secret that I have not agreed with Ms. Coetsee’s angles on stories about Oakley, ultimately I do not believe Ms. Coetsee is that thoughtless and careless to have a conversation like that with Ms. Adler of all people.  The most likely scenario in knowing Ms. Adler, it’s a distortion of a reality at best.

When looking at this situation objectively, even with Adler’s information from Saturday, the Times  has been reckless with its coverage of Oakley for the past two years. The editorial Board has likely already made up its mind that anyone associated with the City Manager deal they won’t endorse. Being that its the Times, they wont change a lot of peoples minds when it comes to election day.

Romick should simply skip it for obvious reasons as there is little to gain from it.

On a side note, Ms. Alder also stated that Paul Seger, who is Ron Borland’s campaign manager, called her on behalf of Ron Borland asking to team up to take out the other candidates. She declined that invitation and rightfully so.

Now onto the Oakley Chamber of Commerce Forum where they have not yet announced who the moderator will be with the debate to occur in less than 48-hours. Rumor has it the moderator will be Charleen Earley of Delta Living Magazine, but I have been unable to confirm. Earley is not the problem, the Chamber should simply announce who the moderator is.  This is actually pretty reckless of the Chamber because it puts all the candidates at risk of being embarrassed rather than in a situation to provide information to voters. This will likely have a low attendance with a Q&A session likely to get out of hand.

Finally, I’ll say it again; the Chamber is a terrible organization to host this type of event due to the conflict of interest as Romick and the Chamber host a Breakfast with the Mayor while Doug Hardcastle is a former Board Member and is currently a chamber member.

Romick would be better off heading to the movies so he can add to his Nacho Movie Review section of his blog than putting up with the uncalled for attacks these forums will send his way.

Update 2.0

Any public candidate should know that when you are having a conversation with a reporter or blogger that that conversation is on the record unless stated otherwise–I do honor off the record conversation. Rather than accusing me for her mistake and threatening civil action she needs to understand this conversation was with three other people including her. My two other witnesses are very credible and would be able to verify what was said in the context above.  Further more, when she stated what she said, the two with me asked for clarification because they were so shocked by her claims.  She stated it a second time but was paraphrased. Ms. Adler towards the end of the conversation, tried to downplay her comments because I suspect she realized she said things that probably she should not be stating.

I just spoke with Randi Adler via phone who disagrees with my account of what happened and is upset.  She says it was taken out of context and was misreported. I stand by what I wrote. I know the context and what was said as this was not a rumor as her information was volunteered and no one asked her to provide it during the friendly conversation.   It’s my intention to report what is going on in East Contra Costa County and this was something that was troubling to me so I put it out there.

This was not an attack on Ms. Adler or meant to embarrass her,  this was simply a reporting back to the public on a City Council Candidate who decided to open her mouth and now wants to blame someone for her mistake.  Again, I do have two credible people who will be able to verify what was characterized above is accurate and truthful the way it happened.

I invite Ms. Adler to provide her account of what transpired and I will publish it. I am all ears.

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JimSimmons42 Sep 17, 2012 - 8:41 am

This is insane! I am glad we get Paul Burgarino reporting on Antioch. Like him or not, he is a straight shooter and does good journalism. I’d probably not attend either knowing this conversation took place in one form or another.

JAJAMES304 Sep 17, 2012 - 8:55 am

I don’t think its wise for any candidate to skip any forum. If they can’t take the heat, don’t run. In this situation, with such a clear vendetta against one candidate, I’d agree with Burk on this one even if I don’t like it.

Barbara DuMont Sep 17, 2012 - 9:11 am

Its nonsense like this that causes the general public to disengage from the election process. Who wants to sit through an evening listening to BS and attacks when you could be home enjoying the Giants game???? I mean, what are you going to learn that will help you make your decision on who to vote for? Who is the biggest bully or crybaby? Who has thick skins? Come on lets be adults.

Judy Prieve Sep 17, 2012 - 10:29 am

I am Rowena Coetsee’s editor and none of this ever happened. She never had such a conversation about questions or the forum. No one offered to help anyone’s campaign or “hammer” any particular candidate more than any other. No one has a vendetta against any particular candidate. It’s all absoultely absurd. And why anyone reading this would simply take it all as fact is beyond me. I guess anyone can write anything on a blog, but intelligent readers would vet the info themselves instead of swallowing it all hook, line and sinker.

burkforoakley Sep 17, 2012 - 10:41 am

Judy for the record, i did state I didn’t believe this conversation occurred the way Ms. Alder described, I was simply stating what she said which is likely bogus.

Jayson Jackson Sep 17, 2012 - 7:40 pm

Wow Mike, you have the CC Times editor actually commenting on your blog. Impressive. Should we go over their many errors not only from their editorial board, but their local beat reporters as well? This post by Judy is kinda like the pot calling the kettle black!

I applaud you for stating what you did even if its unpopular by a select few.

B-wood Sep 22, 2012 - 6:36 pm

Sorry Ms. Prieve…..

Your paper has no credibility whatsoever. Every single person I know has had issues with the journalism contained within the few pages of “news” that you are peddling. For the most part many writers are lazy and apparently that has become acceptable to you. (Apparently you can write anything in a newspaper….intelligent readers have figured it out and dumped their subscriptions). Most former readers-customers-subscribers have spit out the hook!

The CCTimes has become nothing more than an embarrassment to the citizens in the entire county and a bully pulpit for a few out of control editors. It is no wonder the readership is dismal and continues to trail off. Too bad those of you who have been spared by the downsizing have not figured it out.

Reader Sep 17, 2012 - 12:50 pm

Burke is responsible for the misinformation that he spreads as well as the results. In the comments here we see two readers drawing what is both an entirely reasonable, yet also very incorrect conclusion about both the Times and the forum.

Burke believes that his guy Romick will not receive the endorsement from the times so in one fell swoop Burke is able to denigrate the Times and the forum that is being planned. All the while Burke himself, despite promoting the false allegations about the Times also says he doesn’t believe they are true. It’s easy to throw out horrible allegations attributed to someone else and then sit back and count how many people you mislead; isn’t it Burke?

Burke needs an editor.

burkforoakley Sep 17, 2012 - 2:44 pm

Reader, maybe the Times should ask Ms. Adler who all was involved in the conversation so they can track down what was said or not. These people are not hard to find based off my Marsh Creek photographs. Just sayin…

Rob Saw Sep 17, 2012 - 3:34 pm

What is this crap about civil action? Sounds to me Ms. Adler wants to be in the newpaper for all the wrong reasons and not the right one. If she said it, fess up or provide her side of the story as Burk is giving her. Taknig civil action on someone reporting what you said with multiple witnesses is a waste of everyone’s time and likely will be thrown out anyway.

If a council candidate cant handle what someone says on a website, maybe they shouldn’t be a candidate at all.

Griff Sep 17, 2012 - 4:03 pm

Personally, from my interaction with Burke… there is no embellishment, no exaggeration, just non emotional fact reporting. While much of what is put out there is very controversial, specially to those that are involved in the post, you have to give him credit for reporting things that actually happened. I am so tired of all the crazy politics out there, I am tired of the CC Times only reporting partial stories and failing to report both sides of an issue when it has been provided. Unlike the other online publications (like the patch and cc times) Burke won’t delete your comment if it is not inline with his thoughts on the issues.

If Ms. Adler has something she would like to address, she should provide an explanation how she thinks she was wronged or explain what she thinks actually occurred. I have had dealings with others that make threats, in my experience they do that only because they have no other way to defend themselves.

Rob Saw Sep 17, 2012 - 4:39 pm

To add to that, I almost fell over in my chair when he complimented Rowena and the Times for having better sense than what Ms. Adler stated they did. He does play it down the middle doesn’t he? He rarely gives the Times credit and on a topic like this, he could have easily gone in attack dog mode but chose to remain level headed. I am impressed Burk. It would have been so easy to attack Rowena and the Times.

Insert Name Here Sep 17, 2012 - 4:44 pm

Let me get this straight. Ms Adler had a conversation with a known political blogger/ reporter and said these things TO him & IN FRONT of other people and now she has an issue with the blogger? And she wants to threaten a lawsuit? From what I can tell Burk doesn’t just make make things like this up. He certainly can get people going and he even tends to favor some people more than others, but I don’t see anything he benefits from by reporting this story except as he stated, to report what he heard. This isn’t just him reporting what he has heard from someone else, this is him reporting something that was SAID TO HIM.

I would like to hear Ms Adler’s side of the story.

There are a few things she needs to clarify: Did the Contra Costa Times reporter ask her for input on the questions they should ask? (I find it really hard to believe that they would do that.), Did they tell her that they were going after Romick? (Again, I find it hard to believe they would that.) As I write this, I suspect Ms Adler was trying to express her importance and influence in order to impress the reporter/ blogger and whoever else she was talking to.

As for the rest of this blog, I wonder why the Chamber hasn’t announced the moderator. I think whoever it is would be a possible influencer on whether people would want to attend. If it is Charlene Earley, that would be fine. She is a journalist and lives in Oakley from what I understand. They should promote that if it is true.

As for the Seiger stuff, that all falls under the realm of political strategizing. If that is truly an approach they were pursuing I suspect their campaign will not do very well.

My hope is that all the candidates represent their city in the best light possible by showing their abilities to be good city councilmembers rather than trying to play political games. We need folks on our City Council that can get things done and not drag Oakley in to any other controversy.

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