Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Langley Times Editor Finally Comes Clean - Mayor Alberts Had And Does Have A Slate! Alberts is clearly NOT an “Independent Candidate”

After at least 3 years (and more likely 6, if not 9 years) Langley Times Editor Frank Bucholtz finally admits that Langley Township Mayor Kurt Alberts ran a slate in the last two elections.
It’s about time.

Has journalistic objectivity finally won out over advertising dollars? Will a new political day now dawn over Langley? Or will the annual Township big dollar advertising budget still reign supreme?

Today, Bucholtz’s Langley Times editorial and his article say: "... Alberts endorsed a group of candidates in the 2002 and 2005 elections — most of whom were elected."

This admission is remarkable especially since Bucholtz virtually ignored the Alberts’ slate and its implications in the last two municipal elections (2002 and 2005) while allowing Alberts to conveniently hide behind a so-called ‘independent’ label. Bucholtz has continued to do so right up until today.

In a November 18, 2005 Langley Times article, Bucholtz wrote: “Kurt Alberts said after the [November 16, 2005 All Candidates] meeting that the list distributed...and published in an ad contains people he can work with cooperatively on council... ‘As an independent, my bias is naturally towards those candidates I see as free of pressure group influence or affiliations’”.

Really? (So how does Frank justify Township Council’s consistent 8-1 voting record over the past 3 years? Is this really truly “independent thinking free of influence and affiliations”?).

Bucholtz’s November 18, 2005 article also says that Alberts’ list was based on recommendations from a group of people throughout the Township. It references an “advisory panel of citizens” that helped come up with the list that Alberts published in an ad in the same issue of the paper. Interesting how this particular Alberts’ ad appeared under the same article that Bucholtz wrote on the day before the November 19th election. (See Langley Times, page 5 – November 18, 2005).

One member of Alberts’ so-called “advisory panel of citizens” admits in the same article that “he did not help select the list and should not have been included in the ad” (i.e. nobody asked him for permission or told him otherwise).

Isn’t it funny how this Langley Times 2005 “breaking news” story was never really followed up on?

Did Bucholtz and the Langley Times take the time to ask other members of Alberts’ so-called “advisory panel of citizens” if there was in fact a panel? How many meetings did they have? Were there any face-to-face meetings?

If you check back issues of the Langley Times, there is no more on this story after the November 18, 2005 issue. It just died. How’s that for investigative journalism?

So let’s fast-forward. It’s 2008. The current Mayor and his “I-don’t-really-have-a slate” slate has been busy spending money on polls. They’re endorsing replacement “non-slate” members for the next round. Money is apparently no object. Just like our tax dollars.

In today's same Langley Times editorial and article, Bucholtz quotes Mayoralty candidate Rick Green statements and says: "He [Green] is firmly independent”. Bucholtz writes that: Green also made it clear that he is running by himself, and is not involved with formal or loose alliances with any other candidates".

So how on earth can the Langley Times Editor Frank Bucholtz ever reframe this reversal of his without questioning the integrity of Mayor Kurt Alberts and his silent slate? Curiously, integrity and leadership were centerpieces of Albert’s Election 2005 campaign ads (see actual above pictorial Alberts' ad). The other centerpiece theme in Alberts' 2005 election ads was ‘Solutions’. I guess this means lots of advertising for an Alberts’ slate (Keyword: Advertising).

In any event, Frank Bucholtz’s long overdue admission about an Alberts’ slate is welcome and needed in this community. It’s time for some fresh and truly independent faces on Council who don’t misrepresent themselves. That includes the Mayor.

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