Updated: Nov 29, 2021
From Joe Alfieri regarding why he wasn’t in the CDA Press voters guide.
The Coeur d'Alene Press published its voting guide in the Sunday, October 17th issue, and advised its readers to let "actual information be your guiding light." But there were notable gaps in the information that the press was touting: for example, I was not included in the guide.
Now that was a puzzle to me, as I spent a good deal of time in September filling out several questionnaires from The League of Women Voters, the Coeur d'Alene Association of Realtors Young Professionals Network, the North Idaho Builders' Political Action Committee, the Watchmen Ministry North Idaho, The Coeur Group, the Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce, and, yes, the Coeur d'Alene Press. Something was clearly amiss, and as I read Sunday's editorial, I noted the statement that the Press did its best to get questionnaires to every candidate, so perhaps the communication failure was on their end. But no, they continued, it's not likely. It's probably that the non-responsive candidates were attempting to hide something. As I don't subscribe to the newspaper, I don't know who else was included in that broad brush, but I took personal offense. But before responding to that charge I searched, first my memory, and later, in my files.
I remembered the email from the Press, as I thought it odd that the questions were identical to those submitted by The League of Women Voters. Then I went through the paper file that I had which contained all the questionnaires that had been mailed to me, and those that I printed from the emails that I received. Sure enough, I found a hard copy of the email from the Press, my answers to their questions, and a check mark on the copy, indicating that it was completed. And so, I'm confident that I responded to the Press. You can view my answers-- not on their website or in their newspaper, but by going to https://www.vote411.org, the League of Women Voter's candidate information for the November 2 election. I also present a hard copy of my answers, for anyone interested: Answers to CDA Press Questions.
As for the implication that I'm hiding something, let's examine that. If I were hiding something, why would I appear at the Press's own candidate forum, to be questioned by the newspaper's publisher, Clint Schroeder? And why would I appear at other forums, at the CDA Chamber of Commerce, the Coeur Group Forum, at Coeur d'Alene Association of Realtors YPN forum? If I was hiding something, it seems as though I did a pretty poor job.
I question the newspaper's motives, and their commitment to fair unbiased journalism. There was a time, when a newspaper, in attempting to complete a story, would make every attempt necessary to contact people that are part of that story. I'm the recommended candidate from the party which has the largest number of registrants in the city, running for the mayor's office. I'm not, frankly, a minor player. But no mention of me, and no picture. Why didn't they make a second attempt to contact me, if they didn't receive my information, as they claim? I'm certainly not hard to reach, my phone number is on my website, as is my email. And I often see their reporters attending many of the same meetings that I attend. Was it more convenient to exclude me, as another attack on my candidacy, like Friday's editorial? They certainly were able to get hold of me in an attempt to sell me advertising space, in the same voter's guide from which I was excluded.
I charge journalistic malpractice, and I ask the newspaper for compensation. I'd like them to print, in an identical form used in their voter's guide, my answers to their questions, in the next Sunday edition of the newspaper.