Thursday, February 28, 2013

ZAP! #112: Blog Wars

ZAP! #112

     As most have probably noticed, the CCR is not an “official” journalistic publication.  We do not have roving reporters.  We do not have features.  We do not have cute headings.  However, we do have “informers.”  

     In fact, we are as far removed from any and all journalistic standards that some would place us one step above a restroom wall-graffiti publication.

     So, we find it amusing when a genuine pseudo-journalistic beacon (in their own mind) of the community attempts to mask reality with purported facts and biases by taking a cheap and condescending shot at the CCR.  And such was the case when Irving Issues PAC recently ‘attacked’ our pine scented publication by including a “Rumor Buster” column in their multi-colored internet publication.  (Bright colors must appeal to all the Irving Issues PAC Kool-Aid-sipping minions.) 

     REALLY?  The gist of their “Rumor Buster” blurb was that in a previous CCR report, we referred to the Irving Issues PAC as being “married” to the Irving chamber of commerce.  The CCR must have hit a sensitive nerve, because Irving Issues PAC quickly initiated ‘divorce’ proceedings and stated in their report that they just support all the great and wonderful things the chamber does spending the $1.6 million tax bucks the city council and city manager have doled out.  (Cue the Kumbaya singers.)

     You Be The Judge:  Jill Martinez is the titular force behind the creation and running the Irving Issues PAC; Martinez’s hubby has served as a leader of the chamber; hubby has also done legal work for the chamber; Martinez sends out “alerts” when the chamber wants to pack the city council chambers with the chamber’s Kool-Aid-sipping minions in support of the city manager or some other special interest concern the chamber is promoting (30/70 alcohol sales for restaurants being one recent issue); the bulk of those contributing to Irving Issues PAC are probably chamber members; the chamber president could consider Irving Issues PAC their political shadow and an extended PR arm.  
     Perhaps, the CCR was in error by claiming that Irving Issues PAC was “married” to the chamber.  Maybe the proper terminology should have been that Irving Issues PAC is carrying on an “adulterous” relationship with the chamber.

     REALLY?  Finally, Irving Issues PAC also attempted to deflate the current ginormous salary/benefit package of the city manager (est. $500,000+) that was also reflected in a CCR report by using their own set of numbers, rationalizations and figure crunching.  They even went so far as to embrace a conspiracy theory that WFAA-TV’s Bret Shipp was part of a secret group whose intent must be to shine a bad light on the Irving Issues PAC’s golden boy, city manager Tommy Gonzalez, by reporting on items related to the city manager’s actual performance.  How dare someone question the performance of the ‘dear leader!’

     You Be The Judge:  Did Brett Shipp have a city vendor deliver sporting event tickets and place them under his front door mat?  Did Brett Shipp create the $51 million McDougalville folly in downtown Irving?  Did Brett Shipp accept the resignation and then re-hire the ex-fire chief for an unlisted, unadvertised $161,000 “grant writing” position?  Did Brett Shipp authorize $4 million unaudited Entertainment Center expenses by “unnamed city employees?”  Does Brett Shipp utilize ICTV and “City Spectrum” as propaganda vehicles and resumé puffers to promote his self-importance and “award” trove?  Is Brett Shipp part and parcel of the Irving branch of the Lubbock Mafia led by Gonzalez with crew enforcer Wallace, the chamber president who serves as his ‘fixer and gofer?’  Does Brett Shipp wine and dine with chamber cronies at La Cima Club/Four Seasons at the city’s expense?  Does Brett Shipp reorganize city hall staff to blur lines of accountability, demote those not swearing fealty to ‘dear leader,’ or increase taxes and fees while claiming $40 million in cost savings via 6-Sigma/7-Omega or the Management Process de jure?

     Here’s a suggestion for Irving Issues PAC: Stick to one-sided, special interest group, city manager-protective scribblings and leave the real “cat kicking” to the CCR.  

     After all, the CCR is an equal opportunity cat kicker...biased only to those not in agreement with our position on issues. (snicker)

……………………….Mark Holbrook