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  • Last modified 211 days ago (Jan. 19, 2017)

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Donald Dallke?

Perhaps. Or maybe Randy Trump. Take your pick. Personally, I like the ring of Donald Dallke.

If you’re following along, and our readers generally do, yes indeed, I’m mixing the names of our President-elect, Donald Trump, and our less-flamboyant county commission chairman, Randy Dallke.

If you jumped ahead, another common trait among our insightful readers, you figured out before you read this that I’m about to attempt an arduous task: Compare the incoming leader of the free world to the leader of county government.

At first glance, it’s a tough task:

Trump doesn’t really have to work and he’s filthy rich; when Dallke puts in a hard day’s work, he’s likely to come home filthy.

Trump owns hotels; Dallke sleeps in them.

Dallke’s hair is always short and neatly trimmed; Trump’s hair ... need I say more?

Yet for all their dissimilarities, certain things they appear to hold in common:

Both are Republicans, although it’s far easier to know where Dallke stands on issues that Mr. Switcheroo Trump.

Both are governmental leaders. but sometimes fail to live up to the standards of decorum civilized Americans once took for granted in their elected officials.

And finally, both have been known to openly attack and belittle the press without just cause.

If you want examples of that for Trump, tune in to a news channel on your television on any day of the week that ends in ‘y’ and you’re likely to find one. It seems to be a favorite past time of his.

We’ll grant that on occasion, some of our colleagues in the national media deserve a stiff rebuke for jumping the gun with stories they haven’t researched fully that prove to be inaccurate regarding something about Trump. There are so many national news and pseudo-news outlets trying to scoop each other that journalistic integrity is sometimes neglected, and in the case of blatantly partisan sites, both left and right, willingly ignored.

As for Dallke? Examples are thankfully few and far between, but one only has to rewind the clock to the Jan. 9 commission meeting to discover him leveling his sights on us.

We’re not quite sure what agenda Dallke was trying to push when he slammed us for not reporting every comment and everything that happened, but we’re certain there was one. We suspect it might have something to do with the attempts to oust commissioner Lori Lalouette from her position, and not including statements from every person that agreed with Dallke in our report. The more the merrier when it comes to a dogpile, right?

Dallke knows better. Newspapers have never been government’s stenographers. It’s never been our job to write minutes of a county meeting, and that’s never going to change. We distill and condense the important issues into factual articles that are comprehensible to people unfamiliar with the daily goings-on of government.

But that wasn’t enough -- Dallke claims what we put in the paper is an injustice to county citizens. That’s patently absurd, and again, he knows it.

For nearly a century and a half, the public has weighed in on this one, and unlike government, which takes whatever it wants without asking, they’ve willing paid for annual subscriptions or regularly purchased the paper at newsstands for one reason only: We report the news that matters. We go beyond simplistic meeting coverage to cover issues that matter. We scour the county from corner to corner for stories about life in Marion County that inspire, that move emotions, and on occasion, even save lives.

And we give readers the information and tools they need to see through underhanded, lame attacks on our integrity. We’re not giving unwarranted handouts to rule-breakers -- we shine the light on the problem until such things change.

As part of your constituency, Mr. We All Need to Think of Ourselves as a County, we deserve better from you. Who knows if we’ll get it, but we do.

Nonetheless, we’ll continue to put our stock in 148 years of satisfied readers who put their money where their mouths are, instead of their feet.

-- david colburn

Last modified Jan. 19, 2017

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