Commentary: They're Only Hurting Themselves -- and You

For the record, Menifee 24/7 is not owned or operated by the Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce. We ...

For the record, Menifee 24/7 is not owned or operated by the Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce. We are not run or influenced by city officials.

Oh yeah, and the Walt Disney Company is not the parent company of Menifee 24/7. Just thought I'd throw that one in there in case it comes up next.

Pretty silly, isn't it, having to publish denials of such ridiculous rumors? Unfortunately, that's the tone being set by some in our community who apparently don't want Menifee residents to be informed voters heading into the November city elections.

If you'll recall from our news story of Aug. 26, one of the only two candidates running for the position of mayor has declined interview requests from Menifee 24/7. We have reported the platform statement of incumbent Scott Mann and have interviewed every candidate for city council positions except one -- mayoral candidate Paul Wiggins.

Now even though I'm the editor of Menifee 24/7, I don't take this personally. After nearly 40 years in the newspaper business, I don't get offended when someone refuses to be interviewed. I do, however, take offense to the fact that for whatever reason, readers of the only news outlet covering Menifee on a daily basis are denied information about someone who wants to represent them in city matters.

I'm also not thrilled with Paul Wiggins supporters who are telling others around town that Menifee 24/7 is negative, biased and controlled by, of all things, the Chamber of Commerce. Fortunately, most of our readers are smart enough not to fall for that tactic. You know that the reporting of facts is described as "biased" only when someone decides they don't like the facts being presented.

Don't get me wrong. I'm sure Paul Wiggins is a nice guy -- but I may never know. And apparently, neither will most of you. We have learned that a promotional event for the Wiggins campaign was held this week. Did most of you know about it? Did you have the chance to attend and ask questions? Nope.

Could it be that Wiggins is being manipulated by others who are afraid of how Wiggins would be portrayed on our website? If so, that's a real shame. Yes, we publish political ads for Scott Mann -- which he paid for and which are clearly labeled as paid advertisements. Menifee 24/7 offers all candidates the same advertising opportunities, but we endorse no candidates. We want you, the voters, to make up your own minds.

So I ask you -- who is being hurt the most by Wiggins' absence in local media? Not me. I'd be happy just to cover high school football, write about parades and take photos of club events.

No, unfortunately the candidate and his supporters are the ones being hurt -- as well as you, who will cast your vote in November.

If you want to know where Paul Wiggins stands on city issues, I'm afraid you're on your own. I'd love to help, and I'm curious myself. But someone's playing games here, and it's a real shame.