By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Why do so many politicians in trouble make excuses?
Placeholder Image
Beware of public officials who can't accept responsibility for their troubles.

It would be most refreshing if those who are elected after gaining public trust would refrain from using what they learn in the Political 101 course of "Dodging, Ducking and Deflecting" when caught in a political mess. Perhaps they missed the other course - the morals course - that calls for you to resign and go away quietly when you're caught doing wrong.

One need not go far to get a taste of what I'm referring to. Let's start with Thom Crowder, the Hughson city councilman who is the subject of an August recall election. Crowder is the one of three on the council who feel they're too essential and too valuable to the operation of city government in Hughson to step down after the Civil Grand Jury said the all three should resign. The jury said they violated the open meeting policies found in the Ralph M. Brown Act. Specifically the three were determined to be conspiring to can City Manager Joe Donabed outside of a regular closed door session.

But of course, Crowder says the jury got it all wrong. Ask yourself how many people have to wrong for him to be right and ask yourself about the law of averages.

At Monday's council meeting Crowder pushed for the city's IT technician to be canned. Question: What was the crime committed by Cullen Byrne of MidValley IT to deserve being fired? Answer: Speaking truthfully about Hughson's troubles at a Patterson City Council meeting in a "negative sense." More specifically Byrne told the Patterson to beware of how they fire a city manager, citing the case of Hughson. I might add, the botched way it was handled in Hughson.

Crowder needs a reality check. There's a lot of negativity going on in Hughson and it involves him, Councilmen Doug Humphreys and Ben Manley. Of course, Humphreys and Manley sided with Crowder and went along with canning Byrne. Mayor Ramon Bawanan and Councilman Matt Beekman voted against the majority. Bawanan adeptly discerned that Byrne did nothing wrong and only exercised his freedom of speech while in Patterson. He also observed that three embroiled councilmen are engaged in micromanagement that steps over the line of their authority.

I ask can Crowder hold up under his own standard? If he can fire the city's techie for speaking negatively about Hughson - and it warrants it - shouldn't he remove himself for being the source of the negativity in city leadership? Why hasn't he removed himself from office for creating this dark cloud of negativity and suspicion that had City Hall in turmoil?

How sad that the people of Hughson will have to do the job come recall election day.

Then there's the case of Jesse James White, a Riverbank councilman and state Assembly candidate who got busted for possession of drugs during a probation search. White's attorney jumped right into this one and insinuated the search was designed to destroy his candidacy for Assembly.

So let me get this straight. The very man who technically should have never taken office because he never met the qualification of being a registered voter now thinks he was targeted by Sheriff Adam Christiansen? A conspiracy? Judging from White's character, I say not. Even if the drugs found in his possession belonged to someone else, I might wonder about the crowd he hangs out with and if that might cast any aspersions on his character.

Man up dudes, man up!

How do you feel? Let Jeff know at