Claremont Insider: Daily Bulletin Opinion on Measure CL Influenced by Supporter

Monday, October 25, 2010

Daily Bulletin Opinion on Measure CL Influenced by Supporter

Why the Bulletin Editorial Sounded Like Regurgitated Measure CL Talking Points

It was just a little too pat. The phrases had the ring of a familiar cant even if there was nothing of the truth in them: improvements that will save operating costs in the long run ... $45 per $100,000 of assessed valuation ... long-term investment ... sustainability improvements ... construction costs are low ... modern-day computers ...

It was a bunch of pedestrian nouns decorated with jargonish adjectives.

The words seemed to be cut and pasted from the Yes On CL 4-color glossy mailers that have been arriving at about the rate of one per day in Claremont recently.

It was a disappointment but not much of a surprise, this Daily Bulletin opinion.

Who writes these things?

We have our ideas on this.

Take a look at the masthead below. The Bulletin uses an editorial board. Presumably the editorial positions are hashed out by said board, and whaddya know? The name "Nick Quackenbos fairly jumps out at you.

Click to enlarge

Could this be the selfsame Nick Quackenbos whose name appears as a supporter of Measure CL? We are pretty sure it is. How many N. Q.'s could there be?

Click to enlarge

When we tumbled to this, the similarity of the article to the Measure CL propaganda was instantly explained. We wonder if the Daily Bulletin is willing to reveal whether or not Mr. Quackenbos, a local commercial real estate broker, participated in the discussion leading to the decision of the paper to endorse Measure CL? We think he should have recused himself from that discussion based on his obvious bias and conflict. If not, he should have been excused by Editor Mike Brossart. And if Mr. Quackenbos participated in the decision, did he reveal to the board his public position on Measure CL? And if he participated, was Mr. Brossart careful to include a member, from Claremont, with a counter-balancing bias to ensure robust, informed, and fair discussion?

The Bulletin could clear up any questions about the objectivity of its endorsement of Measure CL by publishing a short statement of the facts of its deliberation and decision.

Meanwhile, we see that the NO on CL people, on their website, have posted a deconstruction of the Bulletin opinion piece. We clip it below along with this link: nocusdbond deconstruction

Although the point and counter-point in the aforementioned deconstruction is lengthy, it is complete. It's beginning to get out, for example, that the first $10,000,000 in bond money, should CL be approved, does not go to the kids, to safety, to technology, to modernization, but rather to bail out the District from a tricky financial scheme it entered into in 2001, where it leased out Claremont High School to investors. This garnered the District an immediate $11,300,000 payment to refurbish the District Offices at 170 San Jose by the 10 freeway but obligates it to an ANNUAL payment of some $930,000. This payment is what the district would like to shift to the taxpayers.

But we digress.

The Bulletin opinion has the air of illegitimacy if Mr. Quackenbos participated in it. But Claremont should not be surprised, The Yes on CL people have their tentacles everywhere in town and, to mix a metaphor, have been assiduously working their traplines in all of the Better Organizations: The Claremont League of Women Voters (endorsed CL without hearing from the opponents), The Claremont Chamber (endorsed CL without hearing from the opponents), Sustainable Claremont (endorsed CL without hearing from the opponents), Claremont teachers' union (endorsed CL without hearing from the opponents and also has a pecuniary interest in its passage), California School Employees Assn (ditto).

Even the Claremont Police Department. Here, here, and here.