Mike Kueber's Blog

October 11, 2012

Money and the campaign to be the Bexar Country Sheriff

Filed under: Media,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 4:12 pm
Tags: , ,

An article by Nolan Hicks in the San Antonio Express-News recently reported on the race for Bexar County Sheriff between Republican challenger Susan Pamerleau and incumbent Amadeo Ortiz.  I am not familiar with the reportage of Nolan Hicks, but I can’t imagine writing a less useful, more unfair article. 

Hicks’s main point appears to be that Pamerleau is raising and spending about twice as much money as Ortiz and that, according to a Democratic strategist, “In politics, money is everything. And if you control the financial advantage, then you, almost by default, control the messaging advantage.”  If candidates are well organized and have significant grass-roots support, they can overcome being outspent, but “overcoming a three-to-four-time fundraising advantage is no easy task, even in a Democratic-leaning county like Bexar.”  Sounds like good reporting, so far, but….

Hicks obtained this financial information by reviewing the candidates’ mandatory financial disclosures, but he apparently failed to grasp that disclosure laws are intended to reveal not just amounts given, but more importantly who is giving the money.  Nowhere does the article indicate who is giving how much to persuade the electorate to replace the incumbent.  I attempted to find the information on-line, but was unsuccessful.  What good are disclosure laws if the media declines to use the information? 

(Incidentally, Pamerleau had called me earlier this year, based on a referral from a mutual friend, to help with her campaign, and I told her that I was ready and eager to do anything for her other than raise money.  She never called me back.)

Even worse than its failure to report on who is bankrolling each campaign, the article concludes with an unattributed statement that is worth more to any candidate than any outsize financial contribution.  Hicks reports the following:

  • Low fundraising numbers are yet another headache for Ortiz, who spent the summer battling negative headlines about staffing problems at the jail, two department K-9 unit dogs that died after being left in a county car, and persistent reports of poor morale in the department.”

I would love to know how Hicks concluded there have been persistent reports of poor morale in the department.  How can any self-respecting journalist write such a biased article?


1 Comment »

  1. i worked with susan some. she is an organizer and leader. what do you folks in san antonio need from a sheriff – a gun slinger or an organizer and leader?


    ps – i would not be surprised if susan was qualified in weapons during her militry career!!

    Comment by Q — October 16, 2012 @ 2:38 pm | Reply

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