This is Not an Article

Back in the day, as the saying goes, when we were actually in print, my wife, The Chief, used to pen a column called “Political Fix.” I remain convinced it was the best feature of the paper. She has abstained from that effort, largely because we have been shifted to an online presence, but I’ve been arguing for her to resurrect the column and return it to its former greatness. Although she has so far demurred, she had many hundreds of readers, followers. She used to make well-researched, tongue-in-cheek observations. She also used to make solid election predictions. Catherine is brilliant.

Now, the Valley Voice will never–and never will, at least under our leadership–endorse candidates. We can’t, and then hope to report properly on any election. Therefore, this is NOT an article.

What follows are my own, personal, viewpoints on two local races that I think might be incredibly impactful on our collective future. What follows is not the editorial stance of this newspaper. It’s my stance, alone.

I’m just going to write about what I’ve witnessed first-hand. And I’ll bust it down, easy, by contest.

Vote for Steve Harrell and Drew Phelps.

I think I first interviewed Carlton Jones, via telephone, in 2014. Having had but sparse previous journalism/interviewing experience, I initially landed on Jones’ side. I was filled with hope for who would become Tulare’s first Black mayor.

Then Tony Maldonado and I sat in during all manner of city council meetings.

While we sat there Jones in short order dishonored himself as a city councilmember, as a mayor and as a man. The disgrace was continuous and nauseating. Not to mention he cost his city who knows how much in ransom to his nonsense. Then he had to quit being mayor. Because–incredibly–he finally went along with the tide and voted himself out.

Harrell, on the other hand, has been measured. Not a bad thing if you’re charging someone with the accuracy of your hospital board meeting minutes. Again, Tony and I have sat through enough meetings to see that, as secretary, Harrell is conscientious. Tedious as they remain, he amends the minutes down to the minutiae. This means he respects the task and takes it seriously.

Contrast this with Jones’ behavior lo these many years. There are too many lowly instances to list. Suffice it to say that, just recently, Jones admitted to tearing down his opponent’s signage. He only takes himself seriously.

As does Devon Mathis–who couldn’t be bothered to help Tulare’s lone hospital by requesting a JLAC audit during the dark days of HCCA’s administration.

The question is this: How many deaths, during the hospital’s possibly sub-standard care under HCCA and during its eventual closure, is Mathis conceivably complicit in?

As you ponder that, ponder as well his accomplishments. I can’t think of a single tangible thing Mathis has brought his constituents in six years–except one, an anti-dumping bill.

I have to believe differently of Drew Phelps.

He certainly cannot do worse than Mathis has. Plus, I believe him to be a man of honor. Something Mathis clearly is not.

Yes, I can hear you–“But Mathis is not only a veteran, he wears the Purple Heart.” And, yes, I laud him for his service. So I ask you: In his time as assemblyman, what have his military service and Purple Heart brought home to his district? Exactly nothing.

Vote for Steve Harrell and Drew Phelps.

6 thoughts on “This is Not an Article

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  1. Well stated!!

    I personally had 3 people die unnecessarily during those dark days of hospital mismanagement.
    We weee helpless when Mathis refused to cooperate.

    I too have witness things at council meetings. So sad to watch.

  2. Good read. I agree with your view points. I also hope that Catherine resurrects Political Fix as soon as she is able.

  3. I, too, have been fooled by Jones in the past. I had such great hopes for our district only to be disappointed. Although yours is not “an Article”, you merely need to reach out to the Fresno Fire department to inquire about their reaction to Jones’ malicious destruction of his opponents property and his defaming of him on social media shortly thereafter. As a first responder, I certainly would not want any members of my brotherhood acting as Jones’ has over the past years. You’ll find a story there. Vote Harrell!

    • Thanks for the tip. Let’s hope instead that he loses the election and slips back into obscurity.

  4. Mr. Oldenburg, I have not sat on any Hospital Board meetings and witnessed how well Mr. Harrell performs his duties as board secretary but I am glad to know he does what he is expected to. As I said in an earlier post related to the article on Mr. Jones so-called homophobic slurs, which I will say again were actually not that at all, I am very cautious about voting ex-police officers into office. I also think it would be fair to say that you and I probably have a very different experience with law enforcement as I am a person of color in a conservative county while you are a white male. So forgive me if I there are trust issues there. But! I can’t believe after knowing Mr. Harrell’s additude about his son’s current arrest you are unofficially endorsing him??? Yes, stand by your children, support them always, but don’t be a hypocrite in doing it. He was better off not saying anything about weather his son did any of what he was arrested for. The best way he could support his son would be to drop everything else and focus on helping him. Yes, that would leave us with no one to choose from but when those are the choices why choose at all? Why not focus our efforts in trying to remove Mr. Jones.? The fact that Steve Harrell’s son was arrested for soliciting sex with a minor bears no reason at all for my not feeling he is unfit for his election bid, it is his nonchalant additude about the entire thing and his obvious denial, that his son looks to have an actual problem and needs help. If a person is not willing to admit their own child needs help how can we expect him to help the city of Tulare to its fullest capacity??? Please! Get real !

  5. The only thing that can be more NAUSEATING is the fact that we only have these two candidates to choose from and that anyone would even consider voting for either one!

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