News and Tribune


January 26, 2013

DODD: Let’s open the lines of communication


What most political observers and insiders are telling me is that going to the media before talking to each other will not lead to good governance. While I am all for complete disclosure — which is always available during the open forum meetings — letting the other side know on the evening news will never make many of the parties look good before the facts are known.

News tips keep the news business going. Nobody likes to be wrong and I am not saying that there is deliberate distortion. Hey, it’s a dog-eat-dog world, especially in the television news market. 

A scoop is continually harder to come by in the electronic and social media age. Nobody can put out a newspaper or a newscast faster than a blog or a computer e-mail. It’s a real problem today. And faceless, nameless “sources” are rarely held to any level of accountability. 

It’s kind of the cops and robbers scenario. The robbers don’t tend to follow any rules.

One thing I know is a common theme among Jeffersonvillans. The constant “gotcha,” non-open communication and personal issues is not going to help anyone who pays taxes and expects their elected officials to act like grown-ups. 

Nobody I have talked to for the last several months thinks that is what is happening right now in Jeffersonville.

Let’s face the facts. It’s no longer a Democrat’s paradise in City Hall. There is going to have to be some compromise and at the very least more communication to address the issues. And most of all, when the media is alerted to a possible wrongdoing before the parties involved, no good will come of it. Leaks from the inside are not constructive to conducting good-faith business.

There is always the possibility for someone from one party trying to make the other party look bad for the next election. Part of that is the natural result of politics. But, in the end, someone needs to occasionally act in the best interest of the taxpayers.

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