Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Undressing of a President

by Theodore H. Feldman

Now we see it. Now that we have lured Walter Sullivan into the open, away from( some) of his ridiculous rhetorical flourishes that add nothing, save cover, to his discourse, additionally providing cover for those who employ him and screw the Local, we see it. He answered my suggestions as to what he could do as President to make us feel that he is not a tool, not a fool, and not an asshole.

He has provided substantive proof that he is all three, and has done it so amateurishly that my brief hiatus of treating him as an adult, as someone who could be treated with respect is now over. I never doubted the result for a moment, but I gave him a chance . But he exceeded my expectations. He blew it with crawling colors.

He responded to my suggestions thusly:

1. To come clean about Snowden's involvement in the "Positively Chestnut Hill" Slate - Walter said it "must have cost little, one ad in the Local and some nice and useless buttons-if Richard paid for them, it must amounted to nothing."

I can't find out what the buttons cost - Jackie, Snowdens assistant, won't tell me, but there were four ads in the Local, two half pagers at $520.00 apiece and two at $117.00 apiece. That's $1274.oo. I'm gonna throw in the $50.00-a-pop CHCA memberships he bought for nothing, his people are too scared to talk.

Walter, couldn't you even look at the Local and count the ads ? Or did you bother to do anything at all to respond accurately?

All communication for the slate came out of Snowden's Bowman Property's office, by paid employees, except when Greg "The Shill" Welsh ladled his bullshit to a recumbent Local reporter, saving any Snowden mention for the Inky. Richard, give Greg a big wet one. The Local knew the connection, it took calls and e-mails from Bowman about the Slate, but wrote nothing. Pete, meet Greg.

2.Regarding conflicts of interest: The new conflict of interest Policy, to be signed by all board members states that if a member has received direct or indirect remuneration, or gifts or favors in excess of $150.00, then that constitutes a conflict of interest. Would $1274.00 be more or less than $150.00?

It further names any member having any compensatory arrangement with any organization with which the organization (CHCA) is conducting a negotiation or arrangement as having a conflict of interest.

Walter, in an astonishing display of legal and evidentiary ignorance, states that only Richard must recuse himself. Is Walter additionally ignorant to the fact that one Positively candidate is Richard's tenant, that her husband was elected too (the Howes), that Wendy Kern, fellow supplicant does architectural work for Richard? I wonder if she helped to design his "Ghetto Store" signs - or was that Jane Piatrowski?

Even if they deny the ad buy, you can't miss these other serfs to the Snowden feifdom.
Walter, you idiot, you're blowing the easy ones.

None of Snowden's electoral vassals can discuss or vote on the variances that he got them elected to pass, according to this policy. Ironic, ain't it? But if Walter doesn't know any of this, how the hell is he gonna get Irony?

3. & 4. Walter claiming ignorance and "denying the premise" about threats to the Local is even dumber. From the illiterate Joe Pie, to the thuggish yet cowardly Remus, to the small timer Howe, the Local's bullying by those from outside the profession to those outside the city has been reported on and known to everyone not in a coma for years.

If Walter had only copped a plea that all this interference was actually "help" and that the Local employees, or me, or all the people who have written to the Local about the exact same thing were mistaken, or wrong , or stirred up by the axis of evil (Feldman-Foster-Recko), then I would have had to recount all of the incidents - again, as I have in print in the Local, without contradiction from the board. But Walter just denies "the premise."

Does the name Jim Sturdivant ring a bell? At a board meeting Walter gave Jim this advice - too late, as he had already quit - about telling those who were telling him how to do his job to" get the hell out of his office." I was there Walter - I heard you say it. Why would you give someone this advice and then "deny the premise?"

Walter, did they tell you that this non existant pressure has already wound up being handled by lawyers once, and that another complaint is coming?

Maybe that's why lawyers other than yourself are getting these jobs.

5. About my demand for a forensic accounting. Walter responds by asking, "what exactly do I mean" by that phrase. Walter, are the only cards in your deck marked "ignorant?"

There isn't a board member of your vintage that does not know of the two-year teeth pulling extravaganza of the SOC, then its' remnants, trying to get the board and its' trustees to follow its' own rules and finally reveal how it's been using its money like Michael Jackson used Webster.
It was written about in the Local, and discussed at about a dozen meetings. When the board pled poverty, we got a 100% donor. They still refused. Come on Walter, don't you remember? You were there. Didn't you read the Oversight Committee report? The PA State Attorney General has.

Which brings me to:

6. Since we now know that Walter has not read the Oversight Committees report, for it covered the reasons for a forensic audit that Walter now wants me to tell him about, Walter states that "no such concerns will arise" during his administration, and if they did, he would appoint such a committee "in a heartbeat."

This is the capper, my friends. The Dirigible Mooring Mast on that Empire State of Ignorant Responses to my impassioned pleas for honest governance.

I must admit here that I expected Walter to use his usual smokescreen to cloud the issues and nickel and dime me into some reasonable expectation of his future leadership.

But, although it may surprise some people to read this, for they know my low expectations of you already, this is a new low.

Walter, Oversight Committees, any committee observing and reporting conduct of board members cannot be unilaterally created by an individual whose position and conduct may well be the subject of the committees ' investigation. It doesn't work that way, Walter. IT DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY WALTER.

Such a committee is "independent." If it is only created if you see a need, then it is "dependent" on your opinion of it. Do you see the difference in the two words?

Must I speak to you as I would a child? Either you really are as ignorant as these answers make you seem, or you have been told to deny everything so childishly that the only research I needed to expose you was a single, anonymous call about ad prices to the Local. Either way, you are unqualified to captain the Good Ship Lollipop, let alone be charged with task of covering up for an organization so corrupt that people all over the City, the Region, and thanks to..... me, all over the Country simuntaneously laugh and shudder as I report on its workings.

So farewell Walter, I can't even pretend to take you seriously any more. You're just not worthy. This is why all those who have really run things for so long keep their mouths shut. And why the new order will follow suit. If they spoke and gave their "reasons" for their actions, they would be as exposed as you were. Remember Dina's "feminine intuition"? Absurd on so many levels, all the way down to chromosomal.

As I said about you originally, you're there to draw the fire, an easy target. But they know the truth about your abilities and your role in their little theatrical troupe. You're Falstaff. Someone to laugh at. But the battles are elsewhere, and you're not a part of them. I won't ask you any more questions. This is why W didn't hold press conferences. God, but these allusions are obvious.

Ed ( Fish in a barrel )Feldman

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8 Comments:

Blogger Denys said...

This is hilarious. I've read the last two pieces Walter has written in the Local, they make me want to kill myself. So pompous. So full of himself. It's absurd. The man is a a total fucking tool. You can't help but just laugh at him.

Wed Jun 24, 03:43:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who becomes president if Walter kicks the bucket after reading this?

Serious question - I'm not making jest of impending death. In fact, I wonder if Ed will feel victorious or guilty.

Wed Jun 24, 09:26:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Audacity O. Hope said...

Denys... Walter wields his words in a heavy handed way, clothed in what appears to be a velvet glove... but the glove is really polyester and it reveals lint in the harsh glare of sunlight.

Sorry, I just read the article.

It's not that communication is a bad thing, but it feels like a vague warning or glimpse of what's to come in the Local, for which, btw, I don't blame Pete.

What's next? Is Sullivan going to throw those gloves down and challenge Feldman to a duel?

Wed Jun 24, 10:29:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Hopeful said...

Regarding No. 3&4, I would point out that "small timer" Howe (if you're talking about Mr., not Mrs.) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist who went on to become a publisher and then head of a company that provides news via cell phone. So don't write off him or even his wife (the Snowden tenant) as people who would further strangle the Local. Who on the board could argue with him on journalistic best practices?

Wed Jun 24, 11:32:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Ed Feldman said...

To quote Art Howe (to Tom Fleming -Late member of the Snowden Appeasement Committee) "I know fifty editors who could do a better job then Pete"- Right you are Art-And which one of them would work for a pissant group of meddling power freaks and Snowden ass lickers? Art may be respected at some cocktail parties, but anyone who licks a petulant Coal Baron(who indulges in collective punishment)for renting to his wife-or for any other reason is small time-for a man.
Ed (I got awards too-who gives a shit?) Feldman

Thu Jun 25, 10:32:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Hopeful said...

Of course Howe knows plenty of people who would make good editors -- that's a given. But as you rightly point out, it's almost impossible for the Local to attract that kind of talent, given the board's reputation for interference (not to mention the lousy pay and shrinking benefits). The word in the journalism community has been out there for a long time -- beware of even thinking about working for the Local. Digging ditches all day in the Sahara would be less painful. But I still think Howe deserves a chance. At the very least, we can hope that he'll shut up the board members who THINK they know how to run a community newspaper. Or is that too much to expect even from me, the (cautiously) Hopeful one?

Thu Jun 25, 03:46:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous A.O.HOPE said...

Well... Hopeful, it would be interesting to see who could out-pontificate the other, Walter or Howe. Both are extremely full of themselves.

As for Hochberger, never met the man but I'm suspicious of editors/reporters who switch to classifed ad sales. Speaks of failure, but I'll reserve judgment for as you say, no one wants to work at the Local. A 19 y/o I know, when told about the graphic design position, knew the reputation and stayed far away.

Thu Jun 25, 09:00:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Hopeful said...

19 years old and already wise to the ways of Chestnut Hill! What a shame. I hope (there's that word again) the new board thinks hard about that kid, and the repercussions of further meddling with the Local. In the last several weeks, the paper has looked more and more like a Chamber of Commerce publication. This isn't a criticism of Pete -- he has mouths to feed, and newspaper jobs are impossible to find. But these days, every time I read the paper, I see the unseen hands that are pulling his strings. Feels more and more like we're living in a banana republic.

Fri Jun 26, 01:42:00 PM EDT  

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