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Town Square

Censorship By The Pleasanton Weekly. com

Original post made by Dave, Birdland, on Oct 6, 2012

Interesting that articles pointing out Pete Stark and his less than honest actions and comments are removed from this site. Wonder why. Review of the guidelines for posting comments and articles did not identify anything in the posting that would give a legitimate reason for removing. Censorship of opposing views does not speak highly of the entire Pleasanton Weekly Staff.

Comments

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Posted by Why?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Pleasanton Weekly - it is important that you respond to this. Please explain your rationale for filtering.


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Posted by Some Dude
a resident of Parkside
on Oct 7, 2012 at 9:52 am

I completely agree. My earlier post about [comment removed] seems to have been deleted. Is there some reason we are being discouraged from discussing [comment removed] when it comes to Pete Stark? Open dialogue is a cornerstone of democracy, and filtering out comments about Pete Stark's behavior or policies really undermines the Pleasanton Weekly's perception of objectivity.


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Posted by Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2012 at 9:57 am

PW you must come clean on your rationale for this censorship.

You sometimes censor specific comments, but why censor the entire topic.

Please comment and address. Your credibility is at stake here.


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Posted by Very concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2012 at 12:21 pm

I am more concerned about the potential backroom arm twisting from the Stark team and PW caving to that.

Gina - please provide your perspectives on this situation.


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Posted by Wow
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Whoever posted the original information, can you repost?

PW - are you going to provide an explanation for your actions?


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Posted by Dave
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 7, 2012 at 9:58 pm

For Wow; here's the posting that apparently Pleasanton Weekly reacted to.

Hopefully, voters in the 15th District will not fall prey to voter apathy and blindly vote for Pete Stark.
He has shown himself to be both morally dishonest and questionably legally dishonest.
If one examines his record over the last decade, all one sees is a person that has scammed the system and short changed his constituents.
Dishonest? Examine his record and here's what you will find. So far this election year he accused Eric Swalwell of taking bribes without evidence; he later apologized. He accused a local opinion columnist of donating to his opponent without evidence; he later apologized. He berated former state Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico for endorsing his opponent—including threatening his family and livelihood, according to Torrico. In recent weeks, prominent local Democrats, led by former Rep. Ellen Tauscher and former state Senate leader Don Perata, have publicly endorsed Swalwell. Newspapers such as the San Francisco Chronicle, Contra Costa Times and the Hayward Daily Review have also endorsed Eric Swalwell. As a result he has been cloistered from the press and his constituents and has refused to debate Eric Swalwell again (their first debate resulted in the false bribery charge) and has said the reason is because he will be asked "stupid" questions. (SF Chronicle and ABC 7 News, 7.3.12).
Serving his constituents? He was passed over by his own party to become chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. In a House in which seniority means everything, he was next in line to become chairman of Ways and Means. The Democratic members of the committee said no — unanimously
He continues to make Esquire's "10 Worst Members of Congress" list.
However let's examine his track record further.
Dishonest? You be the judge. The office of Congressional Ethics United States House of Representatives investigated Pete Stark in November 2009 for alleged violation regarding listing his house that he owns in Harwood, Maryland as his principal residence on Maryland tax forms. By doing so, Representative Stark received state and county homestead tax credits and any annual increases in his home assessments were capped at no more than 10 percent. In order to qualify for the Maryland Homestead Tax Credit, Maryland law requires the home to be used as the owner's ''principal residence''—where the homeowner regularly resides and is designated for voting, obtaining a driver's license, and filing income tax returns. When questioned on this he continually didn't remember or didn't recall.
The San Francisco Chronicle editorialized as far back as 2003 on Stark, "Only a politician who assumes he has a job for life could behave so badly on a semi-regular basis by spewing personalized invective that might get him punched in certain East Bay taverns. Surely there must be someone along the shoreline between Alameda and Fremont who could represent the good citizens of the district with class and dignity. It's not the case now"
His financial disclosure form shows he has assets worth as much as about $30 million. At the yearly pay of $174,000, how many of us could generate that kind of net worth? In addition, with a net worth of as high as $30 million, Stark's three minor children are collecting benefits from Social Security. Here's a quote from Debra J. Saunders a San Francisco Chronicle columnist.
"If Stark wanted to protect Social Security, his family wouldn't cash in on a benefit, designed to protect income-starved nuclear families, which thanks to Washington's lethargy turned into a financial bonus for old guys with new families".
I call his action over the last decade morally dishonest and questionably legally dishonest and definitely is not the kind of person that should be representing people in the 15th district.
Each of us please take the time to review Pete Stark's recent history and get him out of office and back to his permanent residence in his $1.7 million Maryland home.


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 7, 2012 at 10:15 pm

The First Amendment protects and even encourages The PW to do whatever they want to with their publication and website.
We're all free to start our own...


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Posted by Dave
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 7, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Jack, not sure I would agree with your remark "The PW to do whatever they want to"
One of the leading voices in the U.S. on the subject of Journalistic Standards and Ethics is the Society of Professional Journalists. The Preamble to its Code of Ethics states:
...public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist's credibility.
Do you honestly think that PW has provided "a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues" by arbitrarily censoring postings that highlight major failings of people that are supposedly serving us?


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Posted by Wow
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 8, 2012 at 8:18 am

Thanks for reposting.

PW - can you explain why this posted information/opinion warranted a complete filtering of the topic?

Thanks


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Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 8, 2012 at 10:55 am

PW removes anything critical to itself. My original comment stating that it was wrong of Jeb to out a registered user was removed. So Gina, are you implying that it was OK for Jeb to out that user? Or are you going to remove this post because it is critical of your heavy handed tactics?


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Posted by Gina Channell-Allen
president of the Pleasanton Weekly
on Oct 8, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Gina Channell-Allen is a registered user.

I saw one post that was removed over the weekend because it contained, basically, just a link to an article on another site. We encourage discussion, not just links with snarky comments.

If you want to engage others in a conversation and refer to a story from another source, that's fine. But something inane such as "check out his latest... " with a link doesn't lead to thoughtful discussions.


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Posted by None of the Above
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 8, 2012 at 4:40 pm

@resident:

"PW removes anything critical to itself."

So why is this thread still here?


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Posted by Jeb Bing
editor of the Pleasanton Weekly
on Oct 8, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Jeb Bing is a registered user.

[This post was removed because it was a story copied from the Contra Costa Times by Josh Richman and is copyrighted by that publication. If the original post had included discussion and referenced a link to the other publication, that would have been acceptable, but this poster simply copied Mr. Richman's story, letting others add the commentary. See below.]

"Pete Stark continues to spout inaccurate and untruthful statements. Check out his latest inflammatory and inaccurate charges.
Web Link


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Posted by Dave
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 8, 2012 at 8:35 pm

Jeb Bing; Not sure I follow your reasoning for deleting the entire posting. Your rationale is that "If the original post had included discussion and referenced a link to the other publication, that would have been acceptable, but this poster simply copied Mr. Richman's story, letting others add the commentary"
A statement was made that Stark does speak untruths and the supporting article supported that statement. From that, one then gets discussion, unless your implying that one should talk to themselves for that discussion! Does the Pleasanton Weekly editorialize in support of either candidate, and if so what is the basis for PW support? I'm not at all sure that your statment has rung true on all postings. I'll leave that for discussion by others!


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Posted by ANON
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 8, 2012 at 9:29 pm

This is why I'm no longer a Democrat and am now an Independent:

""At a meeting with the Bay Area News Group editorial board in May,

Swalwell called stabilizing Social Security "a big problem, it's a big concern" best addressed by raising the payroll tax cap from its current level of $110,000. He also called for building into the system an index that would automatically raise retirement ages in proportion to life expectancies.

Stark also called for raising the tax cap and said he would be willing to scale up the retirement age; he said that to guarantee current benefit levels indefinitely, the payroll tax would need to be increased by 3 percent – 1.5 percent for the worker, 1.5 percent for the employer. "It's a strong social program that I think has been the backbone of protecting the less fortunate in this country, and I think we can make it work.""

So we have two Democrats, neither of which have probably worked in the private sector, and I'm pretty sure neither one of them have ever owned/managed/run a small business, claiming we need to raise the tax cap on Social Security, above the 110K limit. As a small business owner, and this applies to both Sole Proprietors and S-1 Corps, we pay both ends of Social Security & Medicare - 7.65% TIMES 2 = 15.3% on my 110K in wages. I'm paying 15.3 percent of income toward Social Security & Medicare (6.2 toward Social Security & 1.65% toward Medicare - like everyone else - except TIMES TWO!).

These same members of the Democratic Party, who claim to be big supporters of the middle class, apparently aren't big supporters of middle class small business owners. While I pay 15.3% of wages toward Social Security & Medicare I'll still only receive about 30K annually in benefits when I retire at age 65. What irks me is that we have Public Employee Union members paying nothing toward their retirements, retirement eligible at age 50-55, and will receive 3-4 times in pension benefits what I'll receive in Social Security - and they can retire and collect 10-15 years earlier.

Where are Swalwell, Stark, and the rest of Democrats on Pension reform? If they want to raise my retirement age - again, and increase my contributions "by 3 percent – 1.5 percent for the worker, 1.5 percent for the employer" (I'm both as a small business owner) then how do they justify allowing government employees to retire at 10-15 years earlier while paying almost nothing for six-figure pensions? Where do they stand on pension reform? Or are they only concerned about what more they can extract from taxpayers while ignoring the elephant in the room.

Eric Swalwell fits into the category of paying little if anything toward his pension as a Prosecutor/City Council member. Stark is incompetent. Is there a write-in candidate anyone is endorsing?


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Posted by Some Dude
a resident of Las Positas
on Oct 8, 2012 at 10:31 pm

How does switching your political party to Independent change anything?


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 8, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Dave, disagree all you want, but The First Amendent does give The PW the right to do whatever they want to with their publication and website...


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 8, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Rights aren't given.


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 9, 2012 at 1:46 am

Rights certainly are given!
And then they are protected by people like James Madison, who produce documents such as The Bill of Rights!


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 9, 2012 at 2:20 am

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.-
Thomas Jefferson 1776


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Posted by Wow
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2012 at 7:30 am

PW - thanks for explaining your rationale for filtering this topic.

I must say that your actions were chilling and I do wish there had been a way for you to explain your actions without eliminating the entire topic. I found it very helpful in broadening my perspectives on Stark.

Your site continues to play an important role in this community with disseminating information. I do hope PW personnel's political views don't get in the way of other people publishing opposing political perspectives. In general PW does not do this which made this particular action so jarring.


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Posted by Dave
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 9, 2012 at 8:13 am

Jack, my question to you still remains; Do you honestly think that PW has provided "a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues" by arbitrarily censoring postings that highlight major failings of people that are supposedly serving us? If PW follows the path of "The PW the right to do whatever they want to with their publication and website...", then they will lose the respect and faith of many people that turn to them for news as it becomes apparent that they are not being obective in their reporting and/or selective postings.



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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 9, 2012 at 9:01 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Jack wrote: "The First Amendent does give The PW the right to do whatever they want"

OK, so men are endowed with rights by their Creator and this equality is self-evident. Have you considered what that really means? The state of being human is equal amongst humans no matter what you believe is the origin of humans. Kings are no more human than subjects and so can't claim a divine right to rule. Every human is born to think, feel, use force, and use these faculties to do whatever is humanly possible to assert their rights.

Nothing in the First Amendment says it "gives" this right to free speech. It only says government can't abridge that right. The First Amendment removes any government imposed barrier to exercising that right. Citizens don't need to expect to use force to assert their right to free speech (which is a good thing because our society wants to discourage the use of force amongst members). There's even a legal system set up for citizens to seek justice when their rights are violated.

Now check out the Ninth Amendment. It protects your rights that the Framers didn't even think to explicitly list because they didn't want a list of rights to be interpreted as rights that are "given". Humans always "retain" their rights even when a government document doesn't list them.


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Posted by Dave
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 9, 2012 at 8:25 pm

It's interesting that Gina Channell-Allen, president of the Pleasanton Weekly would make the following comment, "I saw one post that was removed over the weekend because it contained, basically, just a link to an article on another site. We encourage discussion, not just links with snarky comments.
If you want to engage others in a conversation and refer to a story from another source, that's fine. But something inane such as "check out his latest... " with a link doesn't lead to thoughtful discussions", when several postings by "editor" are exactly the same. The most recent example would be the posting by "editor" titled "Pleasanton school board to hear latest state funding estimates at tonight's meeting".
It would be a service to all if PW was forthright with legitimate reasons for deleting postings at the time they decide to delete.
Gina's comment in itself was snarky.


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 9, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Dave, I would never advocate for low ethics or standards, but Gina and Jeb are publishing a periodical, plain and simple. They have no responsibility nor obligation to help you explore the "major failings of people that are supposedly serving" you. As a free thinking American, that responsibility falls squarely on your shoulders.
They buy the ink, buy the paper, get the paper out, sell the ads, and maintain this website. They have bills to pay. For this trouble they get to print what they want and maintain the website how they see fit. In short, they're Gina's marbles. If she picks them up and goes home... The game's over.
Stacey; good to see you come around...


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Posted by Dave
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 9, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Jack, I would never argue that they don't have the right to publish what they want, however then it falls in the area of "tabloid journalism", which tends to emphasize topics such as sensational crime stories, astrology, celebrity gossip and TV. In the United States, it is commonly the format employed by alternative newspapers. Is that what the Pleasanton Weekly has become where news is what the owner/editor wants to report? Or should they strive to a higher level of honest reporting and unbiased critiquing?