Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Anonymity and Accountability

At the beginning of the month, I was surprised to see that MayorWatch had caught the attention of the Metro. In its article "Who's Watching Mayor Watch?" (, the Metro criticized this site for remaining anonymous while criticizing Chuck Reed for not being upfront with his politics. They wrote:

SJ Rookie and Governator Jr. have refused to identify themselves, although they ironically demand that Reed be up-front about his party affiliation in a nonpartisan race.

To me, this logic was a little twisted. For starters, why does the fact that the election is officially 'nonpartisan' matter? To pretend like this election isn't politically charged is absurd. Chuck's attacks against Cindy have centered around labor and spending - two issues that are partisan litmus tests to most. A political affiliation is seen as shortcut for many voters. Attempting to gain support by tapping into both voter bases by using BOTH shortcuts is problematic. His political identity must be front and center especially when Chuck is calling himself a Democrat and yet proudly boasting of his endorsements by Republicans (like Republican Women's Associations - read here.) Reed supporters may challenge this analysis by arguing that Chuck's nuanced political ideals cannot fit into this partisan dichotomy. That might, indeed, be the case. But insofar as Chuck is using these shortcuts to gain support, he owes it to the voters to outline what his true political values are. MayorWatch's point was that if he is claiming to be a Democrat - in an area where a majority of voters are Democrat - we should challenge him to be true to the political ideals of the party. If, for example, he were truly a Democrat, why would he be supported by a website like Click here to see his banner posted in a discussion board by supporters on a website that includes on its front page "THE HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA" and "PROLIFE" tabs on the top. To me, it makes no sense. (But remember this article - which discussed Chuck Reed's vote on 3/4/2004 opposing the city's recognition of same-sex marriage and on 9/20/2005 opposing a resolution urging the Gov to sign the Civil Marriage Protection Act.

The Metro alleged that it was hypocritical to request that Chuck be open about his political affiliation while MayorWatch remained anonymous. These issues are as different as apples and oranges. We, the contributors, are politically interested students. Kids. Trying to make some sense out of this election. It is a tad ironic that the anonymity of this site was criticized by a columnist known only as "The Fly" (read the bottom of the Metro article...) Remember who purports to be the REAL journalists in this blogosphere. It reminds me a bit of when John Stewart was on Crossfire and was criticized by Tucker Carlson for making jokes out of politics. (See it here:

It's interesting that this site gets picked on for anonymity when letters to the editor like this one are printed in the Mercury News:

Chavez missed important event

As a Democrat, I found it odd that mayoral candidate Cindy Chavez chose not to attend the COMPAC barbecue because of the mailers that attacked her (Page 1B, Aug. 25). Chavez claims she has the skills to bring people together, create jobs and become mayor; I don't think boycotting the COMPAC barbecue is a sign of a strong person, nor is it a sign of someone who can overcome differences and bring people together. It's time to get over it; there are more important matters in San Jose that a mayoral candidate should be concerned about.

Denelle Fedor
San Jose

Fedor, after all, was a legislative assistant to Pat Dando. (Check here, for reference.) It should come as no surprise, then, when Fedor - who has written in twice asking to draft Dando to run for Mayor in years past (here and here) - attacks Cindy for not attending an event that raised money that eventually will be spent against her.

Those who have been paid by the very machine that is going after Cindy should not be able to pretend like their letters to the editor are from objective democrats. Come on... we at least admit to our biases...


At 12:11 PM, Anonymous Ricky P. said...

Well Mr. 408, I appreciate how well-researched your article is. But the few things that make Reed a conservative in your mind have little to do with the mayor's job. Rather than proving that he is pro-life or anti-gay, you should tell us about his budgetary philosophies.

At 1:56 PM, Anonymous Where is Dino Watch? said...

I think if Chavez is going to be attacked on her ethics, then Reed should be held to the same standards. While these political stances do not exactly factor into the duties of mayor, they do factor into political affiliation. If you're pro life and anti-gay, then it's a pretty fair assumption that you are infact a Republican. Reed has made his stance on these issues abundantly clear with his voting record on the Council. But now that he is running for mayor in a predominantly liberal area, he has tried to mislead the public and experience the best of both worlds. There is a difference between refusing to conform to party lines and trying to deceive the public.

However, that being said, you bring up an interesting point Ricky. While Reed's socially conservative positions are a reliable litmus test for his party affiliation, they are not the issues that the voters need to concern themselves with. The truth is, Reed's wallet is tighter than spandex on Ruben Studdard. There's a reason that Cindy has gained recognition as the green candidate and it is not because she has close ties to Ralph Nader. Cindy votes to fund parks, while Chuck Reed has not. Chuck's name gets dragged through the mud regarding Turnkey Park and other PDO's and PIO's for a reason.

Chuck Reed has the right to his own social philosophies, even though I do not agree with him. However, when it comes to our city, I cannot accept Reed's policies as mere ignorance. Forget party lines, do what is best for San Jose, elect Cindy Chavez for mayor.

At 3:04 PM, Anonymous lovinsj said...

Party counts and you can't have it both ways, Mr. Reed.


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