Monday, April 26, 2010

The Ostrich reports in … sort of

Shame, shame on us for doubting whether the Ostrich would be on top of the breaking story about John Richardson’s withdrawal from the gubernatorial race.

Proving us wrong, they led with their “above the fold” print coverage, hinting at what was to happen at Brunswick’s beloved library, which now is even more hallowed ground than before.  We were shocked that Richardson didn’t schedule his presser for the convenience of the NOTWIUM, and conversely, that they couldn’t hold their presses to provide full coverage of the event in today’s edition.

Let’s be honest; the Ostrich did the best it could.  We thought this passage from the print story most misinforming:

Richardson did not immediately return calls to the Times Record.

No doubt they meant to say ‘return calls from the Times Record,’ but we understand how tough it can be to type and edit when tears of anguish are raining down on your keyboard.

They made up for it with their subsequent web update, which included this paragraph:

Citing a decision last week by the Maine Ethics Commission that some signatures collected by three of Richardson’s volunteers were not verifiable, and that he was therefore not eligible for public campaign funding from the Maine Clean Elections fund, Richardson said he would not continue his campaign “for the good of the people of Maine and the good of the Democratic party.”

One could argue that ‘were not verifiable’ were Richardson’s words, not those of the Ostrich.  But as Brunswick’s self-identified “government watchdog,” we assert Ostrich editors could have challenged the characterization on the basis of this language from the Maine Ethics Commission as reported by other sources:

“Staff has found that certain campaign workers falsely stated that they collected qualifying contributions,” Commission Executive Director Jonathan Wayne wrote to Richardson last Thursday. “The Commission staff also declines to grant MCEA certification because of the submission of documents containing material false statements and other substantial violations of the MCEA.”

It’s no secret that Side does not have the legal credentials of say, a candidate for governor.

But we do have an innate sense that ‘not verifiable’ is a country mile away from ‘material false statements and other substantial violations.’

We trust the Ostrich, vigilant watchdogs they are, will report on the difference tomorrow, once they’ve had a chance to research and digest the details.

And now you know…..the Other Side of the story.

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