Something's Rotten at the Loudoun Times-Mirror

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The only question is: Which direction is the Loudoun Times-Mirror rotting from, bottom up or top down?

When I got slimed recently by the area's widest-circulation local newspaper, I took it in stride because in my view "integrity" and "journalism" go together about like "prudent judgement" and "puppy." Editor Paul Smith saw fit to print in prominent position a letter with the headline "Shame On Mr. Budzinski," in which the "shame" derived from a deliberate misreading of a disingenuous quote by a reporter who put the word "political" in my mouth - in a front page story in the Loudoun Times-Mirror. Although he posted my rebuttal on the paper's Web site, Mr. Smith did not publish my 300-word response in the print edition which reaches a much larger audience.

The latest offense by the LTM is an order of magnitude more serious: In a story about this week's Sheriff candidates' debate, the LTM printed a slander transcending bias or ethical lapse and treading awfully close to criminal.

On page A5 in Wednesday's print edition, reporter Jana Renn writes:

While Ahlemann tended to criticize the Latino and Hispanic population of eastern Loudoun, George contended that crime exists in every race and culture.

The sentence was since removed from the online version of the story, but the damage has most certainly been done as the paper gets into the hands of tens of thousand of readers this week.

Why do I characterize this as an offense? Primarily because, of all the candidates, Greg Ahlemann is the only one who said nothing about any culture or ethnic group.

You can listen to the entire debate here, but I have transcribed the relevant portions below.

Here is what Mr. Ahlemann said:

Question 3: During the recent debate on illegal immigration in Loudoun, some elected officials and residents have portrayed parts of eastern Loudoun, especially Sterling Park, as being run down and unsafe. Oftentimes these issues have been attributed to illegal immigrants. Do you think this is a fair portrayal of Sterling Park and, if so, what can the Sheriff's department do to improve the quality of life in this community?

Ahlemann: It's a good question and it is the issue in this race. And I don't know that we can quantify and really put a number on the amount of problems that are caused by illegal immigrants. Clearly, as the federal government themselves has stated, I think 12 million illegal immigrants, some people say 20 million. That's quite a large gap, so I don't expect Loudoun County Sheriff's Office or anybody in Loudoun County to have the intelligence to tell us how many are here. Clearly, we've seen a move and change - I've seen it firsthand from working on the streets of Sterling Park since 1997 in how the demographics have changed. I know that many of the people who I arrested initially who had no identification, couldn't speak any English, I'm just gonna guess that they might have been here illegally because at the time we chose not to participate in ICE. Those people lived in Herndon at the time. Now many of those same people live in Sterling. So I think there is a correlation between the two. Trying to say that crime statistics have gone down, you know, seeing that written on a piece of paper doesn't really make the single mother feel much safer as she goes out to buy groceries late at night and there's a lot of people hanging out at different bars or at Pepe's, where we have continuous problems. A place like that clearly needs attention from the Sheriff's Office and probably needs to be shut down.

Pepe's is an establishment notorious in Sterling for the amount of violence and police activity it manages to host - and the police activity is a fraction of what most residents THINK it should hosting. It is six doors down from the local Safeway. Everyone in Sterling who is not a gang member thinks Pepe's needs to be shut down and the fact it has not been is an anomaly much like the Enron scandal was an anomaly. There are many Latino businesses in the shopping complex: Singling out Pepe's demonstrates not a speck of ethnocentrism and any reporter who thinks it does should be working a different beat.

Here are Steve Simpson's and Mike George's answers to the same question:

Simpson: I do think it's wrong to assume, like some people do, that everyone who's in Sterling that's Hispanic is first of all illegal and second of all a gang member, because that's just not true. From our gang unit, the people we deal with, only one in about 20 people we deal with that are in gangs are illegal. So we have to be very careful when we start pointing fingers and saying, making those comments that some people are very quick to make in a campaign. I think there are some issues with Sterling Park. I've been with the Sheriff's Office for 20 years. I think a lot of the issues we see as some of these communities deteriorate are things I've brought to the Board's attention and they're already aware of, and we've talked about this and had a dialogue about housing issues, occupancy issues, zoning issues, those kinds of things. When you have 15 or 20 people living in a house, eight or ten cars parked all over the yard, that's not a law enforcement issue, that's not a Sheriff's Office issue. I can't knock on the door and ask for identification to see who's living there and are they here legally or not. That's not something I can do legally. But zoning officials, housing officials, ordinances that deal with those kinds of things, those are the kinds of things that play out in communities. And with our community policing office we deal with quality of life issues in community policing. That's a program I started when I first took office 12 years ago and we have it throughout the county. Those are the kind of things, working with the county resources, working with the Sheriff's Office in community policing to try to address some of these quality of life issues, that's how you solve those kinds of problems. You don't lock everybody up and everybody doesn't need to go to jail. That's not what it's all about. It's looking at it from a multi-pronged approach with all of us working together to deal with that issue.

George: I agree with Sheriff Simpson when he says we can't look at a certain culture and say they're gang members. I've worked Asian crimes, I've worked Nigerian crimes, I've worked Russian mafia crimes. There's crime in every culture and every race, and we need to be specific about what we're looking at. The crime, if it goes up, is one thing. We need to target crime, we don't need to target a culture.

Setting up a straw man and knocking it down is a classic feature of dishonest argument. It is a technique widely employed in the illegal immigration debate. Greg Ahlemann never mentions any ethnic group, but his opponents do so and go on to accuse him in not-so-veiled manner of "targeting" a culture.

The story by Ms. Renn also said about Mr. Ahlemann:

He said that 4,000 students in Sterling schools do not speak English in their homes, and that while he can't say all 4,000 of them are illegal, 100 of them may be...He later tried to clarify that he was using the numbers as examples and they may not be totally accurate.

Here is what was actually said when Purcellville Gazette publisher Ben Weber had this exchange with Mr. Ahlemann:

Question 4: In light of the recent opening of the new jail facility here in Loudoun County, how do you propose working with the Board of Supervisors and with the areas outside the area, such as Frederick County, in dealing with the overcrowding and housing that we most likely will have in light of the increased gang activity that will likely be taking place?

Ahlemann: ...Speaking with Warren Guerin just a couple weeks ago, of the School Board in Sterling, he said at some schools in Sterling, 64% English is not the language spoken in the home. Four thousand students are in English as a Second Language as part of their curriculum. Four thousand: almost 10% of our students. Am I going to sit up here and say that all those people are illegal immigrants? Certainly not. But could 100 of them be illegal immigrants that shouldn't be in this county? One hundred of them would be $1.4 million taxpayers' savings. There's what we spend to house the inmates. There's no vision, either at the Board of Supervisors level or the Sheriff's level, to resolve these kinds of problems. And that's what I bring, is a new perspective on dealing with things like this. You cut out the criminal element, you deter some of these illegal immigrants from coming here, guess what: You don't have to provide school for them and you save $1.4 million just with 100.

Follow up by questioner Ben Weber: You talked about 4,000 students, you talked to Warren Guerin, you made the assumption, it seemed to me, and please correct me if I'm wrong, that perhaps this large percentage of people that speak a different language - that's part of the reason why we're having this criminal element. I think that's somewhat of a stretch, and please correct me if I'm wrong.

Ahlemann: I'm sorry you perceived that, but I think the point is there's 4,000 - almost 10% of our students - that speak a language that is not English as the first language, that we're educating. And Warren Guerin basically stated at that meeting I was at ...

Weber interrupts: What did that have to do with the jail issue?

Ahlemann: I think it has a lot to do with it ...

Weber interrupts: If I speak Farsi, from Iran, then I'm a potential problem?

Ahlemann: I'm not saying that. There is a correlation between the two. If you're going to look at solving the problems as isolated, and not connecting some of these things together, then we're doing law enforcement the same way we did 30 years ago and we need to look at things in a new light and a new way of dealing with things.

Mr. Ahlemann makes the logical case that increased ICE participation could result in the departure of illegal aliens from this area, and if they were students, or parents of students, in our public schools the county would save $14,000 a year for every one that left and there would be less people in the jail. This is a simple, obvious point that most citizens of Loudoun would immediately comprehend but is, nevertheless, opaque to Ben Weber. And again, Mr. Weber, not Mr. Ahlemann, is the one who brings up a specific culture.

But as to the "4,000": It might have been a little helpful if the reporter had taken into consideration the fact that Mr. Ahlemann was referring to an event covered and quoted - in the Loudoun Times-Mirror:

"In the school system, we do not verify immigration status," Geurin said. His comments elicited a round of applause from the several hundred people in attendance.

He also urged the parents of the school system's immigrant students to take English as a Second Language, or ESL, classes. Of immigrant students, he said about 4,000 in Loudoun took these classes last school year.

That Mr. Ahlemann "later tried to clarify" the numbers is barely true, in the sense he stated clearly in a later exchange that he pulled the "100" figure out of the air to make a point about the potential cost savings. But the printed article leads one to believe he "tried to clarify" about the 4,000 students, when that figure came from a public official on the school board and was quoted in the same newspaper.

The bottom line is the Loudoun Times-Mirror grossly distorted the facts to paint Mr. Ahlemann as a fool and a bigot, when in fact he was completely forthright about the numbers he was quoting and he was the only candidate not to discuss any ethnic group. Why not call out Steve Simpson for the "everyone who's in Sterling that's Hispanic" quote? Who ever said that, besides Steve Simpson?

If the Loudoun Times-Mirror was worth the plastic baggie it's delivered in, THAT'S the statement the reporter would have called into question.

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prince said:

Great Greg, so he doesn't offend "Hispanics", he broadend his case to include ALL non-English speaking immigrants. He attributes it to a change in Demographics. Great, does anyone want to tell me how our demographics have changed and what that then implies about what he was saying?
Despite what he was "trying" to say, what he actually said comes across dreadfully. Most Loudouner's may immediatley understand what he was trying to say, and a good deal of them will be offended. Do you guys not know how many LEGAL immigrants there are in this county. Do you know how offended they are when they are lumped into a group where there is any insinuation of "illegality". Not good. Even worse the way to try to explain this Joe.
Thanks for giving me all the details I missed Joe. It is worse than I even heard.

Linda B said:

Prince, Is your comment in reference to this post? Because I just reread it and I have no idea where you're coming from. Greg is clearly talking about ***illegal*** immigrants. He says the word ***illegal*** over and over. And he specifically makes the distinction that not all immigrants are illegal.

Linda B said:

To print a letter with the headline "Shame on Mr. Budzinski" and then not print Mr. Budzinski's rebuttal is not just bias, it borders on unethical, IMO.

Stark evidence that the immigration issue will not get a fair hearing in the LTM.

prince said:

"Clearly, we've seen a move and change - I've seen it firsthand from working on the streets of Sterling Park since 1997 in how the demographics have changed. I know that many of the people who I arrested initially who had no identification, couldn't speak any English, I'm just gonna guess that they might have been here illegally because at the time we chose not to participate in ICE."

The only time he clarifies illegal is when he ventures a "guess". He is just going to venture a "guess" that they are illegal because they can't speak English and have no identification at teh time that he arrested them?

And why does he say "trying to say crime has gone down"? Has crime not gone down? Does he have evidence that the Sheriff's Dept is doctoring statistics?

Linda B said:

Prince, your selective reading and comprehension skills are to be commended.

prince said:

Maybe the reason that he didn't print Joes rebuttle is that it went on and on and on and on and on and on...They have space limitations.
In addition, he sounded a little conspiracy theory-ist. He should be thankful that they did not print it. It would have further discredited Help Save Loudoun amoung Loudouners.

prince said:

I jsut checked, more than 1,300 words. You think they are going to print a Letter to the Editor that is almost double the size of even the op eds?

ANd now Linda is using this as proof the LTM is not going to cover this issue fairly.

prince said:

Linda, no one compares to Joe as far as selective reading and comprehension. I love his piece when he tries to link La Voz of Loudoun to La Voz of Atzlan. Do you know how many groups start with La? It means "the".

And when he "takes Laura Valle to task". Joe writes :
“two of the articles linked Ms. Valle with Mukit Hossain, executive director of the Virginia Muslim Political Action committee”
Does appearing in the same article with someone link them? And does Joe not know that Hossain thinks Ms. Valle is a chicken and writes her off because she is a Republican? I guess not.

I also thought this one of Joe’s is a gem:

“Ms Valle wrote that Help Save Loudoun
…will preface their outrageous statements by saying that this is a ‘nation of immigrants’ or that my ‘grandmother came from Italy’, etc. they say these things to counter the accusations that they are bigoted, discriminatory, or anti-immigrants. “ He cuts it of there.

I love the way that Joes implies that Ms. Valle wrote this about Help Save Loudoun’s member when what she actually wrote:

“Many of the folks who support this action, and some of those that are members of groups such as Help Save Loudoun, will emphatically state that they are not anti-immigrant. They will preface their outrageous statements by saying that this “is a nation of immigrants” or that “my Grandmother came from Italy”, etc. They say these things to counter the accusations that they are bigoted, discriminatory, or anti-immigrant. Believe me, I am all for keeping the issue straight. I truly believe that there is a dire need for healthy debate and action on the issue of illegal immigration (comprehensive immigration reform). You will not catch me holding a sign demanding rights for the undocumented. I also do not believe that just because a person feels strongly against illegal immigration that they are racist and anti immigrant.”

Linda B said:

Prince, He specifically wrote a much-abridged 300-word version for the print edition (at the editor's instruction).

suburbanite said:

Joe, the Times Mirror is a historic venture by a historic and wealthy Loudoun family. When the county was tiny, it was probably just fine, because it was little more than a society paper that served as an accessory on foyer tables in historic homes, and innocuous local news for everyone else.

It retained privileges as the county's paper of record well past its usefulness in that regard, because as the county grew its paid circulation and audience did not.

The publisher who ran it for years (now his son has the honor) cut his teeth writing copy for intelligence agencies, and to my mind that explains its penchant for fortuitous errors and interesting misdirected emphasis.

Before the last election, it was so far down in the circulation department that it switched to free distribution. Now whatever they want to print is put on every doorstep weekly, and as the venerable institution that it is, the disinformation probably packs a real wallop with all the new residents.

Which could be what is intended.

They've had some good reporters over the years, and some good editors. However, the philosophy of the ruling family seems to pretty much prevail.

Count yourselves lucky: I remember a closely followed issue back under the last board where, right on the front page, they attributed a quote made by a spokesperson for one side of the issue to the spokesperson leading the other.

That correction was made online as well.

prince said:

In that case maybe they didn't print it because they felt that Loudoun is not interested in a back and forth between Weintraub and Budzinsky. There are other issues and other letters.

Just a guess.

Linda B said:

I have a degree in journalism (big deal, I know, but I did take JN ethics classes) and if you run a headline with someone's name and the word "shame" in it, they are entitled to a rebuttal. They saw fit to run David's letter, did they not?

suburbanite said:

Could be, prince. They have a long track record of really interesting mistakes, though.

"Prince Ken Reid,"

You sure do have an interest in this Sheriff's race, for someone who knows so little about the substance of the campaign. Your blizzard of obfuscation is telling.

The crime rate data was county wide - Greg Ahlemann did an excellent job explaining that, because Sterling's population has likely not increased and has possible decreased, the same rate of crime for the county could equal a decrease in one section while an increase in another. Mike George noted that certain crimes, such as assault and battery and auto theft, have increased.

The point that several people have been making about Steve Simpson's blithe response to the problems in Sterling is not because Sterling is the center of the Universe, but that Simpson is out of touch with his constituents.

But thank you for your interest, and your impressive zeal regarding the Sheriff's race. Since you have dedicated so much time to the task, I will be certain to gather all of your comments at this blog and make them available to the members of our group.

prince said:

Actually Joe- I have the crime rate data for Sterling Park, which has also decreased.

You should pass that along then, KR. A fellow from Loudoun Force stood up at the debate and spent almost 10 minutes explaining among other things how that data, broken out, was not available. He determined this by spending what he termed over a week" working with the Sheriff's Office. None of the candidates corrected him. Listen to the "Audience questions" portion.

So seeing that data would be quite enlightening for a number of people, I am sure.

prince said:

attached are Part 1 Crime Statistics for the Sterling Park area. The area sectors where the crime stats were pulled from include the boundaries of Route 7, the Fairfax County line, and Route 28. If you have further questions feel free to contact me.

Kraig Troxell
Public Information Officer
Loudoun County Sheriff's Office

2000 2004
Agg. Assault 63 32
Auto Theft 89 81
Burglary 85 82
Homicide 0 0
Larceny 1184 937
Rape 16 12
Robbery 12 23

2005 2006

34 30
66 62
66 52
1 2
777 691
13 7
18 21

David said:

Joe, I'm surprised that the LTM didn't run your shorter rebuttal. My understanding was that they were going to, and for the record I think they should have. Even if it was inaccurate :)

That said, I have a question about this statement:

"Mr. Ahlemann makes the logical case that increased ICE participation could result in the departure of illegal aliens from this area, and if they were students, or parents of students, in our public schools the county would save $14,000 a year for every one that left..."

I get the gist of this claim. But then you add:

"...and there would be less people in the jail."

Am I understanding you to say that if the families with members who are here illegally move out of Loudoun, there will be fewer criminals? That sounds awfully close to saying that illegal immigrants are disproportionately responsible for crime, which is just not the case.

Is that what you were intending to convey?

Jack said:

David, we have already established that illegal immigrants are a disproportionately large presence in our jails and prisons. That was in the paper a few weeks ago, and we linked to it here:

arwillow said:

Question for prince:

Are you suggesting that we take at face value statistics on crime coming from the Sheriff's Office administration? That simply won't work with this administration because it was this same administration that in 2003 faced an internal audit which revealed that in an independent management study, conducted during Simpson’s administration, cited that the “Sheriff’s Office does not ‘conform with best practices in law enforcement’ in compiling, tracking, organizing and supervising criminal case files..."

Against that stellar report in 2003 on the ability to track crime and criminal offenses and organize data internally, I'm thinking that statistics coming out in an election year should be suspect.

Chew on that one for a bit, prince.

arwillow said:

Oh, and don't take my word for it. Just do your own fact-checking a little further with that independent study conducted in 2003 on the Sheriff's Office. You'll be sure to find considerably more insight on their fledgling abilities, under Simpson, to track and organize information and properly follow criminal complaints. I just think if you're going to use statistics, you've got to consider where those stats are originating from - that my friend is part of the problem with your statistics and your argument on decreasing crime rates.

David, no no, I am not saying illegal aliens are more likely to commit any other crimes beyond their immgration law infractions.

The data announced by the state recently did note a substantial number of illegal aliens in our correctional system.

The whole point - and I think this is the essential issue that keeps getting talked around or over - is that if they left or were not here in the first place the taxpayers would not be absorbing the expense. Roll back the welcome mat by eliminating the corrupt hiring practices and the larger share of the problem will go away and this discussion will be unnecessary.

Ken, thanks for the data, I truly wonder why the guy the other night could not come up with this!

So if these numbers are real, what the hell is up with the shopping center at night and the fact that residents here seem to have an increased sense the Sheriff's Office largely winks at many crimes committed by illegals. (Maybe that is why the drop in the crime rate?) I am asking this honestly. And I bet there are plenty of other areas just to the west of Sterling where this type of concern has surfaced.

But regarding your friend Simpson, I will reiterate that my criticism of him was for bringing up the presumably decreasing "crime rate" when the question at the previous debate had been "what would you say to a resident of Sterling who feel less safe?" It is on a recording here somewhere. It is representative of Simpson's entire attitude toward his constituents - he basically does not care what they think, and I think that sort of attitude can filter down in the department.

BlackOut said:


Could you provide a link to the source of the study? I am interested in taking you up on your offer to read the rest.

Thank you.

arwillow said:

I'll try and get my hands on the actual report (friends in places that know other friends in places, etc), but in the meantime, there is some reporting of the findings of this management study online. I think it was covered by the Washington Post and Loudoun Times Mirror back in 2003 so I'm sure that they have it archived online.

arwillow said:

BlackOut -

Here is one of the links. More are out there, but this will get you started.

prince said:

I have no idea if those stats are off, that is why I asked if there was an accusation that the data is being doctored. I followed that link (provided by arwillow) and it did not provide any indication that statistics made public were found to be wrong, so until I get proof that that is true I will take them to be the stats.
It's interesting that many Sterling Park residents feel that the Sheriff's office is just giving a wink and a nod to crimes being committed by illegals, though if they were actually committed wouldn't they be included in the numbers? Do you mean that they give a wink to crimes that are being committed by not arresting and charging, and if so, how would you know they are being comitted by illegals?
At the same time, many Hispanics feel as though they are being harrassed by police in Sterling Park. Perceptions, perceptions, perceptions.

Your perception might change if you get involved in an accident with a driver with no operators license, Ken. Have a drunk driving incident in front of your house where the accused cannot speak English, have no ID, and are not arrested. Have a 3-bedroom house across the street with 8 adults and 3 children, a piece of commercial equipment parked on the street in front and running an illegal daycare during the day, and neither sheriff nor zoning will do anything about it (and tell the inhabitants which neighbors complained, to boot). It could happen anywhere in the county.

How does anyone know they are illegal? Good question. Technically, only the cops who came to the scene would have a good idea (although the residents standing 20 feet away got a pretty good overview).

I guess you could ask how come last year when a neighbor two houses down had a rented commercial vehicle in front of his house for a week he was ticketed. How if you are I got picked up for DUI we would certainly be treated to a visit to Leesburg. How if you or I got in an accident and were NOL and without insurance we would probably not be told to just leave.

Incidentally, you seem to be fixated on ethnicity. There are people of numerous ethnicities living on our street, some of whom appear to be of some type of Latino descent. Most of these that I've witnessed appear to be just like everyone else in obeying the rules, and I assume if they broke them they would be treated the same as you or I by the authorities.

It's when the authorities are reluctant to take action on items that a regular citizen would be punished for that people speculate it's because the officials just don't want to, or don't know how to, deal with them. There is no great mystery in this, and I don't see why it would be hard to comprehend people working for a government agency taking this approach. Do you?

As a deputy told my neighbor during the DUI incident "We have better things to do with our time" - presumably than deal with the extra paperwork or whatever this case would have entailed.

This is all real stuff that happens, Ken, the above either witnessed by me or people I know. So who are the "Hispanics" you know who are claiming to be harassed in Sterling? Can you share any specific stories?

BlackOut said:


I'll give you an example of Hispanic harassment.

For the past ten years folks on my street and myself have been hiring a master craftsman from El Salvador. He is unbelievable, has pride in his work that is hard to find these days. He has been in this country for 27 years and is one of the most hard working individuals I've come across. Outstanding church going family man with a daughter attending Christopher Newport University majoring in business administration. He speaks broken English which can be hard to understand, but he has made English his first choice to communicate. He works his ass off and is the type of person I am proud to call a friend.

About three months ago, he was driving down Sterling Blvd in his two year old work truck, it's a large panel type truck that looks like an oversized van.

He was pulled over by a Loudoun County Sheriff for an apparent traffic violation. The cop harrassed the shit out of this guy. Asked him if he was drunk; reply was no; cop said come on now all you mexicans are drinking by this time of day. Told him to get out of his van and immediately assumed he was here illegally, told him he was going to get him kicked out of this country if he didn't tell the truth, and again asked if he had been drinking; again he told him no; cop then said, well you must be carrying something you stole in this van and I want a look; he told him again he had not been drinking, there was nothing but his tools and supplies in the van and told the cop you could take a look; cop ransacked through the van; found nothing; cop then got pissed when he didn't find anything and then wrote him up a reckless driving ticket for crossing a white line.

This scared the crap out of my friend. He lives in fear this will happen again and my not be as "peaceful" next time. The point of the story; behind the harassment is that the cop easily assumed he was in the country illegally or was doing something illegal. His unjustified harassment was directed at a Hispanic for the simple reason, he looked like one.

My friend has been a naturalized citizen for over twenty-five years. This hard working fellow American lives in fear because of the current atmosphere.

It happens Joe. I know this doesn't support your local cause but that doesn't make it right.

Any solutions we end up with have to take into account folks like this fellow American.

G.Stone said:

To David, Purple Rain and Blackout :

Get out of the weeds.
The LTM piece was one of the following:

1. A hit piece using the Ahlemann campaign as the whipping boy in order to flog their pro- illegal migration beliefs.

- or-

2. An incredibly sloppy and un professional piece of journalism.

3. A rare opportunity for a newspaper to champion their pro-illegal migration position while at the same time doing whatever they can to take out a Republican candidate for local office. The problem is they sent a nit wit to do the job and said nit wit botched the hit so bad they were discovered in a matter of hours.These guys make Dan Rather and Mrs. Mapps look like stealthy pros. The reporter who covered this event one Jana Renn was so inept that by her own admission said she should not have been covering the event. I would agree. I suggest Ms. Renn find another line of work. She clearly is not very good at both being a reporter or disguising her employers motives.She produced what she thought her boss wanted. However, she did it in such a manner as too pull back the curtain on LTM's incredible bias and expose herself as talentless lackie.

I am putting my money on #3.

These people are absolutly incredible. They have zero shame and the common sense of half a load of gravel.

Linda B said:

BlackOut, sorry to hear that story about your associate. I think that is an example of a "bad apple" within the department. The few deputies I know are good folks and would not behave that way ... and certainly are not trained to do so.

I think this has to do more with the deputy's ignorance than with the "local cause." I don't think instituting ICE training and the other measures being proposed would result in an increase in such harassment any more than I think a policy of a "safe haven" would have prevented that incident from happening. It is a matter of an individually acting irresponsibly and against his training.

Did your friend file a complaint with the sheriff's office? I have no idea what good that would or would not do, but it seems in order.

BlackOut said:

Linda B,

We agree, I support ICE training and I also don't think the training would increase or decrease harassments.

I do think the "general" climate about immigration is causing an enormous amount of fear amongst the immigrate population (not illegal) Most of them don't know what's going on, and certainly strong rhetoric coming from the anti-immigrate factions is not helping.

I tried to get my friend to file a complaint, he was to frightened to. As much as I tried to calm his concerns he was to afraid that his family would be somehow put at risk if he spoke out. BTW, I asked him if he thought this was an isolated incident, and he quickly said no, he knows of others that have been harassed. I did, with the assistance of Gary Clemens find him a good law to handle the reckless driving charge. BTW, this was his first traffic ticket ever! I took it upon myself to highlight the incident amongst ranking officials of the Sheriff's department. Nothing ever came of it.

The reason I tell the story is to make people stop and think. Not every immigrant is here illegally. And not every illegal action is caused by an immigrant.

We need to fight illegal immigration with rational thought out actions, not actions that hurt good people, and especially children. Unfortunately, I don't see a lot of that happening.

G Stone said:

Black out:

Paranoia is no reason for inaction against illegals.
If you are a legal immigrant you have nothing to worry about. However, if you are illegal, yes be looking over your shoulder. We are in the process of rolling up the welcome mat. For this, I for one make no excuses.

If your Legal friend is so insecure that mere rhetoric has him hiding in the basement, then he has bigger issues than our collective efforts against illegals.

I for one, refuse to play this little game of they are all immigrants can't we get just get along.
The introduction and reintroduction of sad little stories about immigrants who are afraid of their own shadows because I and others simply want to enforce the law is frankly tiresome.

The sad stories of illegals intertwined with those of legimate immigrants will be ignored.

Emotional blackmail no longer works.

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