Extremely liberal Spokesman Review Columnist, Shawn Vestal, offered up this opinion piece on June 2nd, 2016.
One of the truly laughable statements Vestal makes in his column is this.
“The council members should not have done business on private emails. But Condon doesn’t seem to understand that the problem with that email isn’t that it reveals political motives. Heck, his own letter is more nakedly political – more beside the point and opportunistic. The problem would be that public officials were doing business out of public view, which is precisely the kind of secrecy Condon is trying to defend, only for much, much greater stakes.”
Even though Vestal’s Columns appear in the news section of the SR most readers know they are simply opinion pieces. Vestal has been provided a platform to express his opinions, a privilege most folks don’t have, but Vestal in providing his opinions to the public continually leaves out facts important to his story. The same is true for the SR’s token conservative Sue Lani Madsen who, not surprisingly, has not shared her opinion on the Condon Administration.
There are many examples of Vestal’s leaving important facts out of his opinions, he even did a half hearted mea culpa regarding his Rachel Dolezal column, but that is the only one in recent memory and I doubt you will see one with his column linked above.
Here are the FACTS regarding the use of private email and cell phones:
1) As I have pointed out time and again, at least at this point, there is nothing illegal, unethical, or wrong about government employees in the State of Washington using their private cell phone or email to conduct government business.
2) It only becomes illegal, unethical, or wrong when the government business conducted is hidden from the public.
3) The lead case on the matter is Nissen v Pierce County, which would be a good read for anyone, including Shawn Vestal
***4) We as taxpayers actually pay for City of Spokane Employees to use their own private cell phones, messaging, and email.
5) Mayor David Condon, under oath, declared he uses his private cell phone, messaging, and email. As do several others in the Condon Administration, here are a few:
Sources (Confidential Informants in LEO terms) inform me that Shawn Vestal is among many of the people at the SR that follow my stories, so I find it odd that he wouldn’t include all of the FACTS readily available to him in his opinion piece and would say; “The council members should not have done business on private emails.”.
*** Item 4) was noted of course because in many instances WE pay City Employees to use their private devices, and at least in my opinion, WE have a right to access the City Business conducted on those devices and not have it hidden.
The question that other members of the press should be asking are the same ones I continue to ask…but for the most part they don’t.
I’m waiting of course for more forced transparency on the part of the Condon Administration with yet another request. A request I might add any self-respecting Journalist, Columnist, Reporter, or Investigative Reporter would have made long ago.
Another funny quote from Vestal’s opinion story:
“The mayor is asking us to be scandalized by a nothingburger, while insisting that we pay no attention to the documents he wants to keep behind a curtain.”
Well of course he is Mr. Vestal! Most folks can see that even many Conservatives, and to add to his narrative the newspaper you work for is making every effort to assist in helping the Cowles Candidate by attempting to mitigate and belittle any effort to bring forward the truth.
For those that aren’t aware the Reporters and Columnists at the SR religiously read and follow the comments made to their stories and if a critical comment is made about the story or the reporter those comments, factual or not, are quickly deleted, regardless of the source of the comment.
A perfect example here:
I REPORT YOU DECIDE!!!