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Which factions does The World represent?

The World editors use the term "factions" in an editorial to represent groups of which I am no doubt a member

Which factions does The World represent?
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The Federalist Papers #10 published November 22, 1787, addresses how to guard against “factions”, the subject of paper #9. Founding father, James Madison defines faction as “…a number of citizens, whether amounting to a minority or majority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community”. So when The World editors use the term “factions” in an editorial to represent groups of which I am no doubt a member, I am more than a little offended.

“While some factions see him as representative of the county’s established old guard,” writes the paper in its recent endorsement of John Sweet for Commissioner. “Mr. Sweet has endeavored to work with his fellow commissioners to portray an image of transparency and balance.”

Sweet isn’t merely perceived as a pawn of economic development and pro-gas “factions”, a look at his campaign contributions reads like a who’s who of moneyed special interests ranging from John Knutson, Sause Bros, the Coquille Tribe to DB Western to Southport Lumber. Sweet is fully funded by the old guard and, in fact, has raised more money for his campaign than he has revenue for the county.

As for Sweet’s efforts to “portray an image”, the paper could not have characterized him better. In fact, I chuckled and read that line twice. The editors are actually acknowledging the pervasive big smile theatrics Sweet inflicts upon the public. It’s stunning that the editors perceive subterfuge, the portrayal of an image, as an admirable quality in an elected leader.

Sweet along with Melissa Cribbins are always attempting to portray an image while doing the opposite or worse, doing nothing. Case in point, the so-called strategic planning that Cribbins campaigned on in 2012 and which is still in the jar of rocks, pebbles and sand phase after almost two years.

The best example, of course, is the CEP (Community Enhancement Plan) the supporters of which truly meet the definition of faction. Sweet reluctantly gave in to bylaw changes that would allow the public to attend meetings of the non-profit SCCF (South Coast Community Foundation) which, if Sweet has his way will be funded via property tax exemptions given to Jordan Cove LNG. The bylaws do not follow Oregon public meeting statutes to the letter, however, and deny the public access on investment decisions. So much for Sweet’s “image of transparency” and to make matters worse, it doesn’t comply with public records law at all. Without access to all the records, not only is the public left in the dark the paper cannot fulfill its role as watchdog. Still, The World shot itself in the foot and caved in to the CEP privatization scheme.

Based upon the reasoning offered in the paper’s endorsement Sweet is preferable because he is openly pro-gas whereas his opponent, Don Gurney, correctly believes that FERC, not the Coos County Commission, has authority over that matter.

Ironically, Madison believed factions were caused by “various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society”. One could argue that Madison would view the CEP as factious and its proponents actions as a “adverse to the rights of other citizens”.

So which factions influence the publisher and editor? Sadly, not the Yahoo Populist faction…

Stay tuned for part 2

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About magix

When my oldest son, a Marine, left for war and crossed the border from Kuwait into Iraq in March 2003 I started writing my conscience. After two tours that young combat veteran’s mother is now an ardent peace activist and advocate for social, environmental and economic justice. MGx has matured since those early vents and ramblings and now covers relevant and important local and regional matters in addition to national and global affairs.

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2 Responses to "Which factions does The World represent?"

  1. Themguys  October 18, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    “Mr. Sweet has endeavored to work with his fellow commissioners to portray an image of transparency and balance.”

    To hell with doing anything to actually improve the condition of Coos County, these clowns cannot even ‘portray an image of transparency’ properly.

    Perhaps What’s Her Name and Sweet could actually TELL us what they
    have actually DONE to forward Coos County? Come on Sweet, with your ‘ contributions’, you could hire someone to actually respond to your constituents, since What’s Her Name announced she won’t answer the
    questions of the rabble in her midst. That’s because she’s been outed, imagine that, she and Sweetie-pie now don’t even have to respond to citizens
    taking their time to attend their public meetings. Just another big circle-jerk
    for the faux-elite residing in Coos County. Little Fish, but fed extremely well.

    My personal opinion only boys and girls, of course.

    Reply

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