Letters to the Editor

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ELECTION: Recent articles on Jinkins and Fey unfair

Letter by Dan Barkley, Tacoma on Oct. 26, 2010 at 2:40 pm with 3 Comments »
October 26, 2010 2:42 pm

I was dismayed by the quality of journalism in the News Tribune’s Oct. 23 articles on Jake Fey and Laurie Jinkins. (“Fey takes advantage of ‘retire-rehire’ system” and “Jinkins’ candidacy for state House may violate federal act, say critics.”)

The information in these articles has long been available, and the articles appear timed to simply harm both candidates. If these two stories were intended to inform voters, they should have appeared sooner – not a week after ballots were sent out and some 39,000 Pierce County voters had already returned them.

Worse, the articles were misleading. Despite the headline’s implication of wrongdoing, Fey did nothing unethical. He planned his retirement well.

Further, the article on Jinkins did not contain a balanced discussion of the issues involved. Specifically, the article cited the opinions of two lawyers and stated that “other lawyers familiar with the law have specifically advised” that the Hatch Act applies to the kind of duties Jinkins performs.

Adding Fey’s opinion (“From my read, it looks to me like she potentially violated the act,”) sheds no light on the legal issues, and provides no balance, either. While Jinkins was quoted providing a legal justification that her campaign is not in violation of federal law, the article would have been more complete if another view on the legal issues involved had been sought out and included.

Dedicated public servants like Fey and Jinkins deserve better than ill-timed and distracting articles like these, and the News Tribune usually does better.

Leave a comment Comments → 3
  1. Pecksbadboy says:

    The TNT’s only fault is not reporting on this before the absentee ballots went out.

  2. Zillahboy says:

    Dan, I’ll say one thing about “The Big Dipper” he has a lot of guts. Maybe he wants to be a tripple-dipper. Who said “Money isn’t everything.?”

    One good outcome may be that enough people may speak up and demand that the Legislature should close the loophole that lets people retire, rehire and scoop in our tax dollars

  3. PumainTacoma says:

    Is this the same Dan who received a pension while working for the schools? Sounds like someone has personal experience double dipping. And with regards to the Hatch Act, it is clear. Vote none of the above.

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