Sun takes an unfair stance toward Commissioner Wheat


Published: Sunday, January 19, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 19, 2003 at 12:04 a.m.

So The Gainesville Sun stomped on Penny Wheat again. What else is new?

Wheat objected to forcing new taxes on the public because the commission overlooked other sources of income. I'll bet she knew that The Sun would try to knock her down for challenging new taxes, but she did it anyhow.

Predictably, Sun management retaliated, this time with harsh personal attacks on Wheat.

Yes, she opposed new taxes explaining that growth was not contributing its fair share. She told commissioners they should adopt growth impact fees on new development before considering any new sales or gas taxes.

"Bad girl," said the publishing company. They slammed Wheat into an editorial wall, telling their readers she was "acting" or something. As usual, they left out the part that would have confirmed the sensibility of her position.

Executives at The Sun like to punish Wheat every time she stands up for the public, and that is The Sun's first amendment right. But it has become commonplace for The Sun to delete important information in order to make their twisted attacks seem true. In this case, The Sun hid the content in Wheat's presentation that would have easily explained to the public why the tax proposals were poorly thought out.

Sun executives continue to harass the few elected officials and candidates who do not knuckle under to The Sun's well-known, pro-tax, pro-growth stand.

Bashing our few courageous elected officials every time they take a stand for the public interest makes people wonder about The Sun's agenda. Doing so by telling half-truths confirms the existence of an even deeper problem at the publishing company.

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