always thought that presidential elections were supposed to create new lows for politics, but a recent candidate “hate” Web site has taken North Bend politics to a new level. Rather than identifying a candidate with the new low, the new low comes from an anonymous supporter of Terril Perrine, Karen Tavenner, Mark Sollitto and Ed Carlson. Their opponents are identified by many names, not necessarily ones you want to tell Mom about.
Our community has always been strong with opinion. The pages of the Valley Record have carried expanded opinion sections to accommodate your desire to be heard. But a Web site that allows anonymous, slanderous, libelous musings by someone that doesn’t have the guts to face the music should make all our stomachs turn. This cowardly demonstration of an attempt to disrupt the election has no place in Snoqualmie Valley. I can only hope the perpetrator is from outside the Valley, but it’s likely one of our own. In fact, it’s likely a supporter of the above. I hope those candidates recognize the damage that this kind of Web site and its “ghost” writer have done to the elections in general.
The perpetrator of this Web site gives voters little credit if he or she thinks they’ll fall prey to unsubstantiated and anonymous claims. This kind of attempt will only make voters shy away from the few who are not bashed by these anonymous words.
This is a time to reflect on our values and the values of those who are seeking election. Obviously the creator of this site has little or no values, or for that matter, little or no value to our community. The true test of values will come when the person behind the Web site puts his or her name next to their claims.
Shame on those residents who have posted anonymous innuendoes and hate-filled suggestions on the site. It’s OK to disagree with a proposed development or the stance of candidates, but to do it anonymously is cowardly at best.
Freedom of speech is a wonderful right given to all in this country, but with that freedom comes responsibility. Healthy debate that pushes a community forward does not come from anonymous, unsubstantiated claims, and for that reason you will not see the address of the “ghost’s” Web site published here.
The smart voters of Snoqualmie Valley are not taken in by this type of slanderous act. I urge each of the candidates running for election to denounce this anonymous Web site and admit they don’t believe in ghosts. And for the persons that provide content and manage the Web site, step forward and tell the community your story. Do you live in the Valley? Are you associated with one of the candidates? Are you ready to take the heat that comes with sticking your neck out so far? (The answer to this question as of this writing is no.)
It’s unfortunate that the first contested election the city of North Bend has had in many years is overshadowed by hate. The community is on the verge of making new strides, with new leadership in shaping the future of North Bend. In a time when community cohesiveness and healthy discussion is needed most, this anonymous “ghost” has attempted to divide North Bend with a libelous sword.
Eventually the identity of the persons running the Web site will be known, and when it does the Valley Record will run a story.
If you have a question regarding one of the candidates or their stance on an issue, ask them directly. Those involved in the North Bend election have made themselves available via phone or e-mail. Rather than take the word of an anonymous Web site, talk to those involved.
It is time for the “ghost” to come out from behind the anonymous cloak he or she is hiding behind and put their name and claims to the test.