The Barbara Ellestad November 15th opinion piece in the Mesquite Local News (MLN) is a veiled threat to elected officials to support her view of what she thinks the public wants or face her wrath in print.
She threatens those recently elected to the Mesquite City Council to remember that they work for “us,” and not for those who donated to them. By dividing the population into “us” and them (donors) she sets herself up for future articles where she can criticize elected officials who push issues that benefit both the community and maybe donors but are against her view of “us.”
Consider the self-financed candidates who have business interests in the community and claim only small contributions on their disclosure forms. Who do they represent? Themselves, their business? How about the candidate who discloses about $9,000 in contributions with one at $1,000 but the remaining $8,000 from individual $100 donations? Is that person compromised by a $1,000 donation? What about the high-end campaigner who spends $20,000 on a campaign, with donations from individuals, contractors and labor unions. Is that person any more compromised then self-financed individuals with community business interests? These are just examples and not meant to represent any one candidate.
Ellestad’s attempt to divide the community into “us” and “donors” is self-serving and misguided. She is not the arbitrator of the interests and values held by those who vote, donate or run for public office.
As a final thought, the printing of opinion pieces above the fold in a “news paper,” is a form of yellow journalism and should be avoided if retaining public confidence is of interest to the owners.