Guest editorial: Candidate’s conduct proves he has no business seeking mayor’s office
If you read this paper with any degree of frequency, you’ve likely seen my name at some point. Most Wednesdays my column appears under the “Opinion” section, because, well, that’s where columns appear. They aren’t news — they’re opinions about the news. That’s an important distinction; one most people with a shred of common sense and a marginal understanding of the First Amendment can comprehend. Regardless of whether they agree with that opinion or not, they understand the difference between point of view and matter of fact. They usually also understand that the humans writing columns for a small-town newspaper are long-time locals and not employees of the outlet. We all have (or have retired from) far more lucrative careers.
But these basic concepts are lost on mayoral candidate David Dobkin, who recently refused to accept my personal rebuff of his campaign and instead contacted the publisher of this paper to complain about it. Spoiler alert: It’s not 1950 and women are allowed to have their own political opinions.
It started last month with multiple text messages. I have no idea how anyone from David’s campaign got my number, but I made it clear I wasn’t interested in meeting with him. I’m not willing to offer any of my limited time to hear from a guy who has lived here for roughly the lifespan of a butterfly. The multiple “please meet with David” responses grew annoying quickly and more than once I asked for the texts to stop and to be removed from their list. The messages finally ceased when I said I’d report any further communication as harassment.
Given this exchange, I was pretty surprised to receive an email from David a couple of weeks ago, once again suggesting we meet. Once again, I declined, replying in part, “…your lack of experience, institutional knowledge, and tenure disqualify you at this moment in time. You really need to sit on boards, volunteer for local nonprofits, serve on the Planning Commission, and generally gain the town’s trust prior to expecting to run it.”
Rejection isn’t easy for anyone. But for David Dobkin, it appears to be something he’s unwilling or unable to accept. Instead of respecting my clear and numerous ‘no thanks,’ responses, David decided to contact someone he believed to be my boss and bemoan my bias. Ridiculous, laughable, and inappropriate expectations about my “employment” were conveyed.
When he announced his candidacy for mayor, I knew there were a lot of things Mr. Dobkin didn’t understand, but I assumed they were limited to the inner workings of this town. That is not the case.
David also doesn’t understand that as a private citizen (contacted on her private email and cell phone), I can support whichever candidate I choose. He doesn’t understand that facts about his limited experience and tenure as a resident are not bias, they are facts. He doesn’t understand the difference between a columnist and a journalist. He doesn’t understand I don’t owe him a moment of my time. And he doesn’t understand that when someone tells you “No,” you don’t try to harass, coerce, sabotage, or intimidate them into a “Yes.”
Frankly, anyone who doesn’t understand such basic concepts has no business holding the office of mayor.
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