Mike McIntyre is one of the few reporters at the PD who I actually respect, but his top story above the fold in today’s Metro section is one of the shoddiest pieces of “reporting” I’ve seen in a while. ?McIntyre gives valuable PD real estate to county prosecutor Bill Mason’s political consultant, Bill Burges, so Burges can whine about his firm losing its 25-year contract for the county’s health & human services levy.

Why would commissioners go in a new direction when the firm has been so successful in the past? What could it be? Certainly not that Burges was the political strategist behind Issue 6, the proposal that changed county government and abolished the commissioners’ jobs.

Nah, commissioners say that has nothing to do with it.

“We did these for (levies) 25 years, we did a great job and they obviously have the right to do whatever they want,” said Burges. “But we did Issue 6, and I think that speaks for itself.” The commissioners said Issue 6 had nothing to do with it, nor should anyone read anything into the fact that the guy who ran the competing Issue 5 proposal backed by commissioners, Alan Melamed, got the contract, along with?Jeff Rusnak, who used to work with Burges & Burges.

Mike, first of all, everyone knows why these levies pass, they are no brainers. ?It doesn’t take some Rovian genius to throw some cute kids on a yard sign and pass a levy for mental retardation services. ?In fact, Rusnak, who now has the contract, did all the work for those levies in Burges’ firm for years, anyway. ?There’s no reason Rusnak can’t cut and paste his way into the hearts of voters with cute pictures of kids again, even though he’s not with that tactical magician Burges anymore. ?You could have noted that part.

Another matter of note Mike missed? ?Nowhere in the story does McIntyre report that Burges is also Bill Mason’s consultant. Probably because that would get a bit messy for McIntyre, given that Bill Mason wrote Issue 6, wrote his own seat into Issue 6, the seat that Burges is at this moment being paid by Mason to keep Mason in, and Mason’s county contracting corruption was just on McIntyre’s own paper’s front page above the fold in yesterday’s Sunday paper. ?Sticky, that.

It’s a shame to see such a good reporter let the TOP PRIORITY of Issue 6 CREDIT GRABBING affect his own writing. ?Or is it Metro Editor and Bill Mason crony Chris Quinn sticking his nose in McIntyre’s business? ?I’m getting confused. ?But this line makes me think the story is all Chris Quinn.

Commissioners said there are plenty of Issue 6 backers who will be involved in the campaign, so it’s not about paybacks.

Replied Burges: “Whatever.”

How professional! ?The Issue 6 gloating from the PD used to be irritating, now its entertaining, not least because when Bill Mason’s chickens all come home to roost, there’ll be a lot less of it. ?By then, the PD will have so thoroughly claimed ownership of Mason and Mason’s Issue 6, they’ll be one and the same.

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