Originally Published: November 29, 2017 6 a.m.
I know I am not alone in viewing Ken Sain’s Nov. 27 column in the Courier comparing those who voted for Greg Mengarelli with the 900+ souls who committed mass suicide in Jonestown to be WAAAAYYY beyond the pale of acceptable “journalism.”
To lament the state of polarization in American politics today and then publish that comparison is the height of hypocrisy and irresponsible use of the forum given to Sain by his position as “news editor” of a local newspaper.
First, Mayor Mengarelli did absolutely nothing wrong by mentioning the fact that he is a Republican.
A nonpartisan race simply means the candidates’ parties are not listed on the ballot. Identifying oneself with a party is simply another tool to let voters know your general governing philosophy.
Second, if one had attended even a small portion of the various forums and other campaign events held during both the primary and general election seasons (which I assume Sain did), they would know full well that there was considerable discussion and coverage of the issues pertinent to the city elections.
Mayor Mengarelli stated his positions in a thorough and educated manner on these occasions. To single out 30-second radio ads, broadcast on a radio station largely listened to by Republican voters, is to ignore the vast bulk of the campaign to make a skewed point.
Third, the vote count in both the primary and general election indicated that many Republican voters cast their ballots for non-Republican candidates in both the mayoral and council races. So the accusation that Republicans were “drinking the Kool-Aid” is simply inaccurate on its face.
Finally, I would point out that Mayor Mengarelli was at least honest in stating his party affiliation publicly. This is in stark contrast to at least one city candidate who reportedly changed their registration just prior to filing as a candidate to mask their true party loyalty.
I believe that Sain owes a public apology to Mayor Mengarelli, all of those who voted for him, and to the Republican Party of Yavapai County for this egregious pairing of human tragedy with well-meaning citizens of Prescott and Yavapai County who are simply dedicated to making this an even better place to live and work.