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Told You: Ledger Doesn't Endorse; ‘Unendorses' Melton Four Years Late

Turns out we were right: The Clarion-Ledger today did not endorse a candidate for Jackson mayor in Tuesday's primary—but finally came out and said that it was wrong about Frank Melton four years ago. The editorial was careful to lay equal blame on "an overwhelming majority of Jackson voters"—oddly admitting that as the area's daily newspaper, it still didn't know better than the average citizen or have any information that could have have educated voters before electing a very unfortunate mayor. (They did have information right in their own archives, and in front of their noses, that they ignored in their rush to replace Johnson with Melton.) The editorial today:

Four years ago, this newspaper endorsed Frank Melton for mayor of Jackson. We regret that error.

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It was an error based on good intentions, hope for change and was an opinion in line with an overwhelming majority of Jackson voters. We sincerely thought Melton's political abilities and his concern for fighting crime and helping youth could translate into positive progress for a city on the move.

Unfortunately, we were proven wrong, along with Jackson voters who put their confidence in him. [...]

This is not an endorsement for a particular candidate at this point. With so many in the race, there likely will be a runoff election. But if the choice is between two of these candidates, Jackson's voters cannot lose.

This is, however, a clear non-endorsement of the person who now occupies the mayor's office.

_____________

By the way, here are money quotes from The Clarion-Ledger's endorsement of Melton four years ago. My favorite nonsensical statements are bolded:

Here are some money quotes:

We believe Frank Melton offers the type of dynamic leadership Jackson needs to help it move ahead and thrive at this point in the city's history.

While Johnson is excellent at planning and handling the mundane details of municipal government, he has not tended to the big picture. And, tending to the big picture means aggressively attacking Jackson's No. 1 issue — crime.

While the mayor is correct in his assertions that crime has dropped statistically (as it has nationwide) and that there are more police on the streets, crime still is the major hindrance to economic development and quality of life and the major contributor to suburban flight. Whether hard numbers or perceptions, the effect is the same. Questions about public safety undermine Jackson's best efforts. [...]

Melton has worked on the crime problem, especially drug-related crime, for more than a decade, cajoling, criticizing officials, advocating aggressive change and working with kids on the streets. While he has been criticized for not making more arrests as director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, at least the people of Mississippi knew the agency was aggressively taking action. The same can't be said of Jackson's law enforcement leadership.

Jackson needs a mayor who will make crime-fighting a priority, will not tolerate crime in any form and will instill public confidence — that the city's law enforcement officials are doing all they possibly can to keep the public safe.

[...]

This newspaper has not always agreed with Melton. He tends to shoot from the hip and, at times, relies too heavily on the force of his personality. But no one can doubt his motivations, commitment and dogged work ethic.

Melton exudes action and this city needs action. Jackson needs to dash ahead and not continue to plod. There may be questions or disagreements about what Melton may do, but at least we know he will do something.

Frank Melton offers strong, dynamic, decisive leadership. We recommend Frank Melton in the Democratic Primary for Jackson mayor.

How is that the Ledger was so out of touch with Melton and his track record that they could write this garbage and, apparently, believe it!?! We were a young newspaper with a much smaller staff, but it took three months to uncover the red flags about Melton. They were everywhere we turned. And we tried to warn people, who desperately wanted to believe a facade.

So sad.

Previous Comments

ID
146716
Comment

When I read that this morning, I was hoping you were going to say something about this. Also, how does the Clarion-Ledger--a Jackson-based newspaper, mind you--not endorse a candidate for mayor of Jackson, but did endorse the incumbent mayors of Ridgeland, Canton and Pearl?

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-05-03T17:20:57-06:00
ID
146727
Comment

It could be that they have reached the same conclusion we did, and can't stomach endorsing H. Johnson because it wouldn't go over well with their desired client base—and because they would have to admit how dramatically wrong they were four years ago about him. (They really should publicly apologize for their coverage of Melton and Johnson, being that it was so off-base.) If not, why wouldn't they endorse Horhn, Crisler or R. Johnson? Think about it. Of course, they hate being wrong, and have serious endorsement mud on their faces, so maybe they're too chicken to even consider who should be Jackson's mayor. And their coverage of the city elections has been so hideous that it's not like they can rely on that to help them decide. Remember how they finally saw the light in the final weeks of the D.A.'s race, but it was too late to reverse all the damage they had helped the Peters-Melton crowd to inflict on Peterson for all those years? They tried to back the mutha up, so to speak, but to no avail.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-05-03T23:03:25-06:00
ID
146736
Comment

We will be in prayer tomorrow for the city of Jackson. We pray that the person/people chosen will be the right ones to lead our Capitol City into the future. We also pray for improved relations between Jackson and all of us in the suburbs. None are better than the other: we all depend on each other for survival. I pray that Jackson becomes the shining star we all expect the city to be. The way is being paved every day: we all just need to keep pushing forward.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2009-05-04T09:26:52-06:00
ID
146793
Comment

Author
wade G.
Date
2009-05-05T12:26:44-06:00
ID
146794
Comment

Wade, you are a man of few words. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-05-05T12:35:10-06:00

Comments

donnaladd 9 years, 7 months ago

Haha, doing some research today, I ran into my blog post four years ago about how The Clarion-Ledger decided not to endorse in the Jackson mayor's race--and, in fact, un-endorsed Melton four years after it did everything in its power to get him elected and Mayor Harvey Johnson defeated.

I would guess that they plan to endorse Jonathan Lee this year--but it'll be interesting to see after http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/...">our reporting last week about Mr. Lee's apparent dishonesty about owning a business in Jackson (he never has, he told us last week) and the various lawsuits he and his family company lost over the last year and a half, including when he was still president of it.

Of course, they still endorsed Melton the first time, timing full well that http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/...">he had lied under oath in a Meridian lawsuit that they were named in as well. So, who knows? They don't seem to worry too much about honesty in public servants.

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