The case of Mayor Jim West is yet another example of the shameless hypocrisy and abuse of public trust that has typified the Republican Party since the Nixon/neocon revolution. It is yet another story of yet another cynical corporatist who builds his career on hate-based initiatives, eventually despoiling his own nest after ruining the lives and careers of his victims. West's actions and response to his censure are grossly immoral and offend all sense of common decency. He says that he will not step down, but forgets that it is the people of Spokane who will decide this matter.
Those who howled from the rooftops for Clinton's impeachment may defend West by decrying the "liberal media" for outing their boy. It's embarrassing to see otherwise decent people twist themselves into ideological knots defending the GOP's indefensible assaults on our nation, and now Our Little Town. Spokanites need to stand up and give our public servants a reminder that they hold office to serve our community's interests -- it is not the other way around!
George W. Monacelli
West Is No Clinton
Before you begin making comparisons between (former) President Bill Clinton and Mayor West ("Why West Should Go," 5/12/05), do consider this; the United States of America did know that William Jefferson Clinton was a womanizer thanks to Gennifer Flowers. Regardless, he got the majority of the vote in a three-way race. Second, you people at The Inlander should do some reading of Monica Lewinsky's tell-all book. From what I heard and the editorials that I had certainly read since, Ms. Lewinsky wasn't a sexually harassed young woman. She wasn't lured. She wasn't given gifts and promises if she would only enter into a sexual relationship with the President. They gave each other gifts. And they both recognized their relationship to be adultery. Other presidents were not called on to resign for having mistresses or having engaged in any other moral failing. Why should President Clinton have done so?
Mayor Jim West is Spokane's problem and one that I would prefer not to have to offer much comment on. But I would be prepared to argue this: Unlike Bill Clinton, who among Spokane's voters even knew much about Mayor West's private life? Which is why the "outing" of a potential pedophile for a mayor would be quite a shock. That's right, pedophile. And where West may well have used a computer to engage in "dates" with these young men and offer jobs along with the sexual relationships, that does go way beyond what President Clinton had ever done. Nor can it ever be proven that it was ever done. If what Mayor West has been accused of doing does prove accurate, he has violated the ethics that go with his position. Bill Clinton violated his marriage oath.
Bottom line, Mayor West will have to make his own decisions about whether he stays or goes.
Joan E. Harman
Dalton Gardens, Idaho
What "Liberal Media?"
There's a recurring theme among conservative right-wing commentary that the news media is liberal. It's time to dispel this myth; the tide has turned and conservatives have more than their share of politically biased reporting.
First, have you looked at the major TV news networks lately? Rupert Murdoch owns Fox News, newspapers and radio that spew out conservative bias. They are anything but fair and balanced. Fox is practically the propaganda arm of the Republican Party. The Bush Administration actually sends copy for them to read, verbatim. NBC is owned by GE, a staunchly conservative corporation. You may remember Ronald Regan was a GE spokesman for many years.
Talk radio is 95 percent controlled by right-wing hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, G. Gordon Liddy, Ann Coulter and other anger management dropouts.
We now have Bush paying a conservative talk show host $240,000 to promote his No Child Left Behind agenda. The Spokesman-Review newspaper is often accused of being too liberal when it actually supported President Bush for re-election. Clearly, conservative corporate America has a firm grip on the American media. We are being told what they want us to hear.