Hey folks, our first big election season s#!tstorm went down yesterday! And it got interesting REAL QUICK.
We've been talking a lot lately about the ethics of the media being in bed with local politics. That point couldn't be more perfectly highlighted, than it is by what you're about to read.
Before you point it out, yes, we all know (after we all googled it) that the word, niggardly, is defined simply as 'Not generous, or stingy.' Many people seem to believe, that the use of the word in this case, felt out of context, and was a questionable choice given the surrounding language in the letter.
I also want to make it abundantly clear that I am NOT AT ALL a fan of unjustly accusing people of racial insensitivity when I don't personally know their motives, and this is not a piece intended to do that. I believe misidentifying people is a huge and dangerous problem across the country, and has even crept into our small town recently, sowing seeds of undeserved division in our genuinely loving and accepting community. Going around accusing people of racism for political gain or attention is wrong, not only because it can ruin a person's reputation, but also because it dilutes the impact of the word and actions of true racism.
AGAIN ****This article IS NOT intended to accuse ANYONE of racism, however there are clearly parts of this exchange that were inappropriate, need to be addressed properly, but have not been. With that being said, it is my personal opinion that this entire situation simply should have been handled differently by everyone involved.
This is an honest, un-opinionated look at the factual answers I can offer you.
Ok. So here we go...
Politics is a wild game to play, and the people that candidates choose to rub elbows with can be a major factor in the rise or fall of their campaigns. Many have learned this lesson the hard way politicly.
Most recently here in town, questions have gone unanswered from Jill Pacetti after a huge campaign related mishap yesterday, as to just how significant her campaign manager's role in her decision making really is. My 904 News readers have bombarded us with articles, videos, and comments regarding the political manager's response to a request to be taken off the mailing list.
Let's start from the top.
WHO IS HER THE CAMPAIGN MANAGER?
Jill Pacetti's campaign manager in question is Michael Gold, who also happens to be the owner and editor at Historic City News, a local blog. Gold has some experience representing candidates. He also once found himself in the middle of an ethics investigation for his involvement with Mayor Nancy Shaver's campaign.
They were both ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing.
IS HE REALLY INFLUENCING HER DECISIONS?
First, to put their relationship into perspective, Pacetti and Gold are tied in extremely deep financially right now. In fact, the majority of her campaign spending at this point, has gone straight into Michael Gold's pockets.
Exactly how much power does that give Mr. Gold in Jill Pacetti's actions at the moment? Well, we unfortunately have some first-hand experience.
The first time I spoke with Jill Pacetti personally, I talked with her about booking a CONVO interview for My 904. She was excited about it when we talked, but about as soon as I could get back to the office, I found out that our interview had already been abruptly cancelled.
Gold apparently has so much influence over Pacetti's decisions at this point in time, that he promptly persuaded her to cancel our appointment for a CONVO. The only reason she expressed to me for the cancellation, was that that her campaign advisor didn't think she should do it at this time.
That makes Pacetti the only candidate in the commission races, across the entire county BTW, who has cancelled or declined ALL of our multiple requests for interviews. Each time, she's said that either her campaign manager, or her husband would not allow her to do the interviews with My 904.
ABOVE: Interview request regarding the monuments
My Third attempt to let her comment on an issue that she cares about, was again derailed by her husband and friends...
(My question as I was turning the camera on was, "What do you think of tonight's decision on contextualization?")
The pattern of repeated cancellations was disappointing, as I initially had high hopes about Jill's run, even announcing it as a positive on our site - HERE "Ready 4 Change..."
Today, people have been asking, 'If Michael Gold is such a major influence now, will he be a major influence on Pacetti if she gets in office?'
He seems to be a huge driving force in her every move, even accompanying her, and doing much of the talking on her behalf during recent radio interviews...
VIDEO: Gold discusses racial accusations (not against him) on Jill Pacetti's WSOS Interview
Even consulting with her before and after important public speeches...
ABOVE: Jill Pacetti and Michael Gold strategize during meetings on Confederate Memorials
In fact, people will often tell you Pacetti has rarely been seen without Gold since election season kicked off.
WHAT WERE THE COMMENTS THAT PUT EVERYONE IN HOT WATER?
So now that we have some context on Gold's influence on Pacetti's decision making, here's where yesterday's viral story comes in, and why people are confused about the answers they've been getting, or lack thereof...
On Thursday, Michael Gold gave what some perceive to be, a racially charged response to a request he had received, from a man wishing to be removed from a political mailing list which encouraged recipients to vote for Jill Pacetti.