I’ve taken a step back. If I lose because of the Trib’s falsehoods I think Duluth will suffer just as it did when Forum Columnist Ralph Doty called me horrid things three days before the 2007 election preventing me from joining a slim majority of Board members willing to walk back the ruinous Red Plan. I never mind losing fair and square. The Trib is not playing fair and square. But, instead of fulminating I sent this email to Chuck Frederick for his consideration. His integrity depends on how he responds. I was tempted to go with guns blazing but have chosen instead my Mother’s admonition “Honey catches more flies than vinegar.” Honestly, I know of no one who has had much trouble with me other than arrogant fellow School Board members.
I have not been perfect but you have done me an injustice. In your critique of me in your Kirby endorsement you passed on two falsehoods about me. The first I could call a half truth. I did indeed reveal, bone-headedly, the sale price of Central on my blog and there was always a chance that the buyers could have used that as an excuse to drop their offer. Except that they didn’t drop it because I’d revealed the sales price. They dropped it after a couple months before they had to lose any earnest money because the Central site was not economical for them. They also found greener pastures and built the apartment block on London Road below McDonalds. But your column says I was the reason the ten million sale didn’t go through. That was wrong. And ironically I voted for a much larger sales price in later years but was in the minority. David Kirby voted against that sale.
This is, however, not your most damaging false accusation. You state unequivocally that I released the unredacted Mary Rice report on Art Johnston thus revealing the names of private citizens. I knew that was baloney the minute I read it. I just had to confirm that Jana Hollingsworth and Jennifer Martin Romme of the shuttered Zenith Weekly didn’t get it from me. Jennifer got it but won’t tell who she got it from. It wasn’t me. And I did not have any remembrance of sending it to Jana. She just told me that she has no recollection of getting it from me. She no longer has access to her email from the Trib but she pulled up your column of November 1, 2014 berating me for putting the Central sale at jeopardy. You will find a link to this column at the end of this message.
Along with that accusation you wrote a number of other things suggestive of my having made private data public. But even in your 2014 column you don’t mention the full unredacted Mary Rice Report which gave the Board cover to kick Art off. I did comment widely about the column, but I recall being very careful not to disclose information about innocents with one exception which I agonized over for months before listing her name. It was the villain who told the Board that Art, (a board member of the NAACP) had used racist language. This was only one of a great many acts of villainy on her part. Other than her name I think you would be hard pressed to find anything that I released to the public that would embarrass anyone other than the School Board. I had no idea when you published this column in 2014 telling me to “keep it to myself” that you were making reference to the entire unredacted report. I don’t think you did either at the time but in the haze of four years you have remembered incorrectly that I released the whole damn thing and you said so in your attack on me in today’s endorsement.
We have fenced before and I haven’t always gotten your endorsement. But until now you have never defamed me with inaccuracies twenty days before an election. I don’t mind your endorsing David Kirby. I do mind your staining my reputation with falsehoods no matter how innocently you intended them.
I want only one thing from you – an honest walking back of the false allegations that accompanied your endorsement. You can call me divisive; but my heroes Washington and Lincoln fought wars over principles that we all honor today. I prefer thinking of myself as steadfast. I have not fought wars but I have abided by all the tenets in Duluth’s famed civility proclamation. I would wish for the same from you.
Here is your column from November 1st 2014.
You can see for yourself that the 2014 criticisms of me do not match your far more expansive comments today either with regard to my killing the Central Sale or of disclosing the full Mary Rice Report.
Knowing this now what are you going to do about it?