CP Apologizes to Alderwoman Finlayson: Your Mercedes is Blue, Not Black! ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

CP Apologizes to Alderwoman Finlayson: Your Mercedes is Blue, Not Black!

Alderwoman Yells "Foer" on Golf Course, and Tries to Beat My Putts. Who is more "green" and what is the fair-way to play? Methinks she has sliced into the sand trap on this one.

A few days back, CP posted about Annapolis Alderwoman Sheila Finlayson's upcoming, Monday afternoon, high-falutin',celebrity golf tournament in Upper Marlboro. Despite giving her this free promotion, CP somehow managed to raise the lawmaker's ire. Please, Sheila, it's not personal. CP digs and goes after (as well as thanks and acknowledges) elected officials of all stripes and affiliations and has made it a habit of calling attention to what CP considers to be excessive, unnecessary or inappropriate fund-raising--and if you look back, you'll see I have done this for many other elected officials--of both parties. So, don't take it personally. See the original post below by clicking "older posts" and going all the way back to September 5th! Read it, and then come right back here to see her reply.

Now--what was so bad about what I wrote? CP was simply reporting from the Alderwoman's own online invitation. Herewith is the Alderwoman's response in bold , followed by CP's comments:

It appears that accuracy of information eludes you. You received an email of the brochure and "assumed" far more than I am willing to take the time to correct. Do your homework or at least read closely what you receive. Did you miss my tournament last year? Obviously, because I had one! The golf course in Upper Marlboro is family owned! Many Annapolitans played last year! Fund raisers are held all the time! Were you invited to Ross' last month? Mercedes is blue!
Just do your homework!!!!
(She did not even have the decency to write "Dear Paul" or "Sincerely, Sheila". Harumph!)

Dear Sheila:

In your recent comment to CP, I am upset that you called me a liar! You say that "accuracy of information eludes" me. Please explain what you mean. What was inaccurate? What has eluded me? First of all, I never received an email of any brochure. I simply found the announcement online. I made no assumptions except to report the facts of the invitation. If you took the time to write a comment, and tell me to do my homework (all my work is homework thank you...) why won't you take the time to correct these alleged inaccuracies? If something has "eluded" me, why don't you educate me--and thus my readers? After all, you are a professional educator.

You asked if I missed your tournament last year. The answer is yes. So what. I have no interest in golf...especially in Marlboro...especially on a Monday afternoon..and at the "donation" prices you ask...NBA or NFL players or not. So what's the big deal if I missed it last year? Your honor, motion to strike as irrelevant. You then answer your own question by saying "Obviously, because I had one." Again, it is irrelevant and I did not say you never had one, so what was inaccurate? I did say it was billed as being annual, so that means year after year--right? Besides, as a journalist, I generally (did not say "never") don't go to such events. Next case your honor.

I am glad the golf course is family-owned. I never mentioned anything about who owned it, so again, it is irrelevant. Perhaps it is your family or you have a family member working there for all I know. As far as whether Annapolitans played there or did not play there, I never said anything about that. Your honor, motion to strike as inadmissible and irrelevant--but again I ask--what did I write that was inaccurate?

You write "Fundraisers are held all the time". Yes this is true. So are drive-by shootings...especially in your ward. So what. I never said otherwise. In fact, as mentioned above and in the original post, this is something CP has covered before--and will continue to cover, so we are in agreement. Again--which facts have eluded me?

I was aware of Ross's fundraiser last month, and chose not to attend because I do try to remain impartial and maintain journalistic integrity and I do not endorse or support local candidates although I do vote in elections. But again--of what relevance is this? Where was I inaccurate? Which "facts" eluded me? Unlike your high-stakes Finlayson Celebrity Tournament fundraiser in PG County, his was held in Eastport and cost $50--which is still too much for CP. And if you were not so careless about "elusive" facts, you would have recalled that I wrote about his fundraiser back in the summer and questioned his intentions and need for fundraising as well. Is he an announced candidate for something--are you??? See Shelia--I am not picking on you or anyone. I am treating all politicians equally--for better or worse. You may refresh your memory here: annapoliscapitalpunishment.blogspot.com/2008/07/party-for-ross-arnett.html

Your experience as a teacher shines through. You admonish me twice to do my homework. Well teacher, I did do it. Yet instead of grading me fairly, you accuse me of lying--and in the same breath come right out and say you don't want to correct my homework--just criticize it! Take thee to thy supervisor's office for a conference now!

However, I did make one error. I said your Mercedes is black. You say it is blue. My apologies to all for saying Sheila's Mercedes is blue when it is really black.

Your Mercedes is BLUE!!!! I was wrong.

What kind of car you drive is only relevant considering the circumstances in that you claim--in the fundraising invitation no less, that you "have some great ideas to share about 'greening' our city and focusing more on moving people as opposed to cars." By "greening" do you mean as in a golf course! Okay, well instead of whining about me getting the color of your luxury vehicle wrong, tell me your great ideas and I'll give you a forum right here to share them with the community--without them having to drive in their cars--if they own them--to play golf on a Monday in Marlboro. I've been a strong advocate of improving non-automobile transportation options in our city for a decade, but somehow the "fact" of your involvement in this issue must have "eluded" me. Hence the Mercedes issue.....be it black or blue.

So, now that I have issued my very public retort to your very public letter in which you accuse me of lying and tell me to do my homework, what do you say now? Do facts elude me? Was I inaccurate? Do I still need to do my homework? And really, there are but three questions truly needing a reply:

Are you running for mayor? If not, why are you trying to raise so much money? Are you, or are you not allowed to solicit a donation in excess of $1000 as commenter Scott Bowling has claimed? (Oh and while I am going on, why does a Mercedes driving, golf course owner need to raise so much money to represent one of the most economically challenged areas of the city???)


Paul Foer aka "CP"

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Anonymous said...

Seeing as though there isn't a single comment on any of your blogs on this page, allow me. You are off the reservation. You are a bit radical for even Blue Maryland. It's nice to know that Palin hit a liberal nerve in this country. We aren't going to allow Owe'Bama to do to the US what Owe'Malley has done to Maryland.

Paul Foer said...

Dear Anonymous who is afraid to identify himself in public. As my nieces would say "whatever"!

Regular Schmoe said...

She only says " Do your homework" because she used to be a teacher at Bates back when it was in a cockroach-infested building.

Paul Foer said...

Dear Schmoe I am getting to really enjoy your comments, but I do so wish you would identify yourself. Anyhow....I can tell you from personal experience that Bates has come a long way. She tells me to do my homework but she won't correct all of my alleged errors. Her accusations and inability to back anything up is a big disappointment. I thought I was giving her free publicity??? Perhaps she'll return the favor and advertise with me..if and when she decides if she is campaigning or just collecting money.

John said...

Just a few points of reference----all private tournaments are always held on Mondays. These are typically the days that courses are closed to members and the public--sort of like a hair salon.

When she said "family owned" I thought she meant "not county owned" (which is an entirely different debacle--right Janet?). I did not assume she meant HER family.

Paul Foer said...

John Thanks. I am familiar with the Monday thing at golf courses, but it is just one of the many things about this event that not only excludes but says to Sheila's constituents DON'T COME...To some politicians, public ownership of something means "family" owned....

Paul Foer said...

To the partly identified blog commenter known only as "Brent"....you sent me a maudlin piece extolling the wondrous Alderwoman Sheila Finlayson. If you want your gushing piece published here, you will have to identify yourself--with verification. The issue, by the way, is not about whether she is nice and accomplished and successful--or not. The issue is about her fund raising activities as a public official and her intentions as a public official. So, when I am satisfied that you are for real and that she did not put you up to the task, I will publish your letter. Simply writing "Brent" will not do.

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