First, I want to personally thank Lyndsey Teeter for showing up and responding in the comments here at Plunderbund. I called her out in an earlier post and gave her a lot of shit for her Other Paper piece on Governor Strickland. And though I don’t necessarily agree with her, I have to admit that it takes some guts to show up here at PB to defend yourself – especially now that Tim is a regular contributor. 😉

I hope you don’t take our critique personally Lyndsey. But I feel like it’s our job here at Plunderbund to call out a story about Governor Strickland when the facts aren’t exactly straight. And that’s exactly what we are going to do.

I know your intent wasn’t to subvert Governor Strickland’s reputation and all of the good things he has done since taking office. Nor was it to promote John Kasich’s destructive agenda. But when the words you write are so glaringly public, you need to try to keep some perspective on the affect they might have.

As I’ve said before, I understand why you guys ran with the story. Accusing public officials of wrong doing always makes for a good headline. But a good headline needs to lead to a complete and accurate story. And without solid research and thorough interviews that’s nearly impossible.

I know you’re busy. We all are. But a few extra minutes can make all the difference.

For example, it took me all of about 2 minutes on Google to find out that the previous Governor spent nearly three times as much money flying around the state in the same plane as did Governor Strickland.

And did it ever cross your mind to ask Mr. Hicks – or the other unnamed “former official” who I assume fed you the story – if the previous Governor ever flew out of CMH instead of Don Scott?

We now know (thanks to Modern and Scott Pullins) that Taft did fly out of CMH – probably just as much as Governor Strickland, if not more.

I’m sure Brian Hicks and/or your secret source could have told you this – if you’d bothered to ask.

It just comes across as lazy reporting.

I’ll be the first one to admit that I am biased. I wouldn’t necessarily characterize my interest as over-the-top-politics, but it’s fair to say that I care about this race. As every Ohioan should.

Try to understand that this is an election year and it’s a tight race and with the difference between the two candidates being so large it’s important that we get things right.

Governor Strickland is an honest, hard-working public servant who has done a damn good job reducing government spending while managing the impacts of a global recession that has hit Ohio especially hard.

The whole country is suffering. But thanks to Governor Strickland Ohio isn’t doing as badly as a lot of other states. Unfortunately it’s hard for people who don’t regularly follow politics to understand this. But it’s vital that they do.

And when every restaurant, bar and coffee shop in town prominantly displays, for an entire week, the local alternative paper running a picture of our Governor with the caption “Strickland’s Shame” on the front cover, you have to believe this is going to have an impact on the way people perceive Governor Strickland.

I’m not trying to tell you how to do your job, Lyndsey. But you need to know that your words are important. What you write will have an impact. The things you say – whether you realize it or not – will have consequences.

Please try to keep this in mind next time.