Setting the Record Straight with Dunning

There are many who probably care little about this issue, I acknowledge and understand it.  Frankly I would have simply ignored it but at some point when a person is challenging your integrity, you ought to at least clarify the issues from your perspective.  For those who read the Davis Enterprise, I wish to thank Davis Enterprise Editor Debbie Davis for being willing to print a shortened version of this in today’s Davis Enterprise.  She certainly was under no obligation to do so.  So for that I am grateful.  For those not interested in this issue, don’t worry, we have some major breaking stories you won’t get anywhere else coming out in the next two weeks, so stay tuned.

In the past week I have been reminded of reading the most recent book from Markos Moulitsas, better known to the world as KOS, the founder of the popular liberal blog, The Daily Kos.  In it he described with some detail the efforts of Keith Olbermann, the MSNBC Commentator when he began his show, The Countdown, after bouncing around between networks and indeed between genres.  He found his niche this time however as a wry commentator utilizing his humor along with his intellect to attack the forces on the right.

 

One of his early tactics was to go after the egotistical and self-righteous commentator, Bill O’Reilly, whose show, The O’Reilly Factor was a heavyweight.  On a daily basis, Olbermann would attack O’Reilly with the ferocity of a gnat attacking a large herd animal, without much effect.  But one day, Olbermann landed a punch and O’Reilly made the mistake of responding.  At that point, Olbermann immediately became a player with a growing audience.  It was a huge tactical mistake on the part of O’Reilly to acknowledge his lesser known competition, but he made that mistake nonetheless.

These days I feel the glee that Olbermann must have had in that very first moment when the behemoth took time to swat this gnat from his brow and resume his merry ways.  I have long been a critic of Bob Dunning, having been an early and unwitting victim to his sometimes cruel humor … having watch the destructiveness that his column and ink supply could wield on unsuspecting victims … having watched the ease with which he could misconstrue and twist comments and innocent errors into a grand conspriracy of lies and corruption … and finally having watched the fear under which angels tread in his presence.

The irony of it all, is that I had no real intent to irritate Bob Dunning this month.  In the spring, early April to be precise, the Vanguard was looking to promote itself and we created a brochure with quotes from various elected officials, citizen activists and community leaders.  I solicited and received a great quote from Jim Provenza and put it on the front of a brochure that contained a total of 10 individual quotes from people that Jim would happily claim as peers.  He and his wife loved it.  Several months later, I came up with the idea of taking the front cover off that brochure, and turning it into a mailable postcard. Despite the fact that it was the same already approved quote, 20/20 hindsight says that I probably should have checked back in with Jim, but there was absolutely no malice in my failure to do so.

Mr. Dunning has been very clear that he perceived the postcard as a specific attack on the Davis Enterprise.  The opening of the brochure was: “As Local Newspaper Coverage Wanes, More People are Turning to the The People’s Vanguard of Davis.”  It was not meant as a shot against the Enterprise but rather commentary on the nationwide newspaper industry.  But be that as it may, it was also a true observation about the Enterprise, which has (if my information is correct) laid off perhaps one-fifth of their employees, seen a loss in revenue, and even ceased production of a physical Monday paper.  Regardless, what I thought was an innocuous header, inflamed the Wary Eye.

The unfortunate complication in all of this was the involvement of Supervisor Jim Provenza.  He did himself no favors when he told Dunning:

“I regret that I trusted the Vanguard to use my name and quotation in a responsible manner.”

Dunning ran the story under the header: “Provenza: I did not authorize mailer.”  And concluded: “Jim has always been a straight shooter whose concern for the ‘common good’ guides his efforts as an elected official – I continue to respect his opinions and his efforts – case closed.”

The events of the past week have an ironic element because Dunning never bothered to check with me to understand any to-that-point unspoken additional elements of the story.  The irony exists because when I first got started writing the blog back in July 2006, I presumed to know his opinion on a particular issue, got it wrong, and he very correctly let me have it.  He wrote: “No wonder you print things The Enterprise doesn’t. The Enterprise actually does research and prints facts…  You could have called me.”

So here we are with the tables turned.  This time it is the Enterprise’s Columnist Bob Dunning that did not do his research and as a result did not print facts.  If Dunning had called me, he would have quickly found out that I had an April 2009 email record of the exchange between Supervisor Provenza and me.  That exchange showed that I asked Mr. Provenza for a quote for a Vanguard brochure and he had sent me the quote without any qualifications or stipulations as had the other nine individuals quoted.

Setting the Provenza matter aside for a moment, as the week has progressed Mr. Dunning has expanded his attack to denigrate my reporting about the features of the Wildhorse Ranch project. He has very specifically accused me of taking payoff money from the Wildhorse Ranch developer.   I have been very upfront about the fact that in September of 2007, I accepted a paid ad from Senses Magazine which ran for six months.  The owner of Senses Magazine is indeed the spouse of the Wildhorse Ranch developer. It is an enormous stretch to tie any support for WHR to that advertising money which went directly to the Vanguard.

But that point aside, for all of his research skills, it is amazing that he did not come up with a search from a Vanguard article in January of 2008 when the project first came before council –only four months after the advertising purchase.   At the time the Vanguard was very critical of the project.  The difference between the project then and now is of course night and day in terms of density, in terms of scope, and in terms of sustainability.  The Socratic question I posed to my readers challenged them to educate themselves on just how far the project had evolved since being rejected by Council.

What has changed between then and now is not another purchase of a Vanguard ad for Senses Magazine or a donation from the WHR developers, but rather a vast and dramatic improvement of the project which has seen the size trimmed from 259 to 191 units, the project shifted to the east to mitigate impact on the neighbors, the accomplishment of 90% GHG emission reduction with 100% solar photovoltaics, the accomplishment of 100% accessibility in the affordable units, the elimination of fourth stories and nesting of the third stories between two story townhomes to reduce the impacts on sightlines, etc.

But instead of looking at these facts, Mr. Dunning is drawing on comments taken out of context to suggest a more sinister force at work.

As he writes:

“But he insisted that his blog ‘has not endorsed the (Wildhorse Ranch) project,’ which is interesting, not to mention entertaining, since the blogger in question did write, ‘When will we see another opportunity like this, one that causes little impact to the community, does not convert productive farm land, and delivers so much toward meaningful progress toward reducing the impacts of climate change?”

Sorry but as Dunning would be the first to point out, notice the little punctuation mark at the end of the paragraph — that is a question mark, which means that (as I noted above) my closing line was in fact not a statement but a question, meant to spark discussion and debate (which it did in the form of 166 comments) rather than convey an opinion.  Lets be clear, am I more positive about this project than I was 19 months ago — that answer is a very emphatic yes.  But at this point the Vanguard does not endorse it, rather only discusses and analyzes and reports.  I might add, much in the same way that Dunning does not endorse.

I have more problems with his next line:

He goes on to note that taking developer money is no different than the “‘Davis Enterprise and other publications accepting advertising from businesses such as Tandem Properties, Covell Village Partners and the Yes on Measure X Campaign in advance of The Enterprise’s endorsement of the Covell Village project …’

Yes, yes, but this would be the same blogger who told his readers in one post about another project: ‘the nice thing about not accepting money from the developers is that there is no question in anyone’s mind about the promotion of one property over another.’ … indeed … too bad he didn’t follow his own advice.”

This is completely taken out of context and also misses my point entirely.  Dunning fails to differentiate between a newspaper or blog taking advertising money and a candidate accepting campaign contributions.  The quote that was used was in reference to city council candidates taking money from developers.  A city councilmember has voting authority over a project.  A newspaper or a blog can only express an opinion.

Is Mr. Dunning suggesting that the Davis Enterprise, which took $35,680.53 in advertising from the 2005 Smart Planning – Yes on Measure X – Yes on Covell Village campaign and then turned around and endorsed the Covell Village project in November of 2005, should not accept advertising dollars from developers?  The second he makes that claim, I’ll follow suit.  In the meantime, can you think of any reason why the Vanguard should not continue to accept paid advertisements from anyone stepping up to purchase ad space?  I will assume the answer to that question is a no for both the Vanguard and the Enterprise.

Hey we know the Enterprise is facing challenging times . . . we all are.  Perhaps Mr. Dunning showed what his intent really was when he tipped his hand as he wrote:

“Summer is supposed to be a slow time for local politics, but a check of the mailbox shows that this town is as opinionated as ever.”

Perhaps this is all an effort to increase the entertainment value of the Enterprise during the slow time.  If that is the case I’ll continue in my role as Mr. Dunning’s scapegoat.  He doesn’t even have to acknowledge that that is what he sees me as.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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119 thoughts on “Setting the Record Straight with Dunning”

  1. olbermann stinks

    The Countdown, after bouncing around between networks and indeed between genres. He found his niche this time however as a wry commentator utilizing his humor along with his intellect to attack the forces on the right.

    One of his early tactics was to go after the egotistical and self-righteous commentator, Bill O’Reilly

    olbermann can get pretty self-righteous himself, also he’s pretty obnoxious in his criticism of o’reilly.

    He found his niche this time however as a wry commentator utilizing his humor along with his intellect to attack the forces on the right.

    olbrmann’s so called intellect is debateable.

  2. Correction its the Wary One.

    Bob Dunning schooled you David , you should treat people the way you want to be treated ,didn’t your mom Sue ever teach you that ?

    Your petty article shows your true colors , they are me me me me , blend together and you get me .

    Bob Dunning is even above Clark Kent and Lois Lane !

  3. progressive observer

    Keith Olbermann is right on!

    Daily on MSNBC Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz correct the record by refuting right-wing distortions, lies and ommissions which are the hallmark of right-wing talk radio and the Fox (Faux) news network. They are a beacons of light shinning their beams on the corruption and hypocrisy of the rightwing conservative political movement and their corporate and religious right handlers.

    Olberman, Maddow and Schultz expose everyday the lunacy, hate, bigotry and racism of these appalling people.

  4. progressive observer

    DPD, thanks for taking the time to correct the record with Bob Dunning. Dunning is well known to have over the years manipulated and distorted facts to suit his agenda. Omission and the use of half-truths are two of his frequently used tools.

  5. Debbie Davis Throws local blog a Bone

    Yes David , your right , Bob Dunning schooled you , I’ll let you put your op-ed in my newspaper , even more people will read how unprofessional you are .

  6. typhoid mary

    Olberman, Maddow, Joe, O’Reilly, Beck and Dobbs they are all the same spewing hate and one sided arguments, attacking each other, yelling over each other. Is this the future of debate, the absence of dialogue. Is this what you aspire to become?

    Turn off the TV and open a book.

  7. Vanguardian

    Great article David! I was pleased to see that you took Dunning on and schooled him. Dunning has been a thorn in our community for some time. I get a kick out of reading his articles, but when he attacks people without any facts he has crossed the line. Especially when he critiques people on doing the very same thing.

    Olberman and Maddow are a refreshing change to the right wing takeover of many media outlets. And, locally the Vanguard is a refreshing addition to the reporting of local news that we don’t read elsewhere.

    Keep up the good work! We enjoy reading the Vanguard daily.

  8. progressive observer

    Disagree with Typhoid Mary:

    The members of cable news who you group together are not all the same. O’Reilly and Beck are outright distorters of the truth. Lou Dobbs has his low moments too, such as his obsession with Barack Obama’s birthplace. It is a reality that many people watch TV and get their news from it. Therefore, folks need to be on guard against bad reporting or authorship whether it is found on TV, in a newspaper or in a book. Some of the most outrageous and untruthful things publshed are found in books. Ann Coulter’s attacks on liberals as well as Jerome Corsi’s “swift boating” of John Kerry and his attempt to defame Barack Obama in 2008 come to mind.

  9. Greg Kuperberg

    Bill O’Reilly and Keith Olbermann are for public policy what Hulk Hogan ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hulk_Hogan[/url]) and Ric Flair ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ric_Flair[/url]) are for physical fitness.

    This may be something for both David and Bob Dunning to consider.

    Rachel Maddow is different. She is a lot better — but it’s as if she’s trying to make TV punditry better than is really possible.

  10. Beware of Drive By Snipers

    I stopped reading Dunning years ago. His commentary can be spiteful and viscious. He is a very mean spirited colunmnist, using drive by sniping tactics, or what I call “hit and run sniping”. Dunning slings mud, and hopes it will somehow stick once in a while, all for his own personal gain (or for the gain of the Davis Enterprise – which is the same thing, since Dunning works for the Davis Enterprise).

    But Dunning is also a hypocrite. One case in point was his complete flip flop on the issue of the Varsity Theater. He was an outspoken critic of the city spending scarce redevelopment dollars to refurbish a private owner’s theater (the reconstruction ran into cost overruns bc of the discovery of asbestos), until he received an invitation from proponent Dave Rosenberg to the grand opening of the selfsame theater. Suddenly Dunning fell all over himself in praise of the Varsity Theater. That did it for me, when I discovered Dunning could be bought. He no longer had any credibility as far as I was concerned. I have since heard this about face by Dunning may have also been bc Rosenberg agreed to help Dunning with a legal matter, in exchange for Dunning’s support of the Varsity Theater.

    What is unfortunate in all this is how Dunning manipulated Provenza and DPD for his own Machiavellian (sp?) purposes. Provenza gave DPD permission to use the quote w/o any qualifications. Dunning then stirred up trouble by insinuating DPD used the quote w/o Provenza’s permission, whether it was true or not (drive by sniping). Provenza, worried about his political image, talked to Dunning, assuring Dunning the quote was not given with the intention of slamming the Davis Enterprise. Dunning turns around and insinuates that he now has confirmation from the horse’s mouth (Provenza) that DPD did not have permission to use the quote. What Dunning has done is create a pile of horse manure out of nothing at all, for his own financial gain. In consequence, Dunning has attempted to sully the reputations of DPD, Provenza, and has only succeeded in soiling himself.

    Interestingly, Dunning considered DPD’s innocuous comment about the general decline of the print media as a slam against the Davis Enterprise. But the truth of the matter is the Davis Enterprise has been having difficulties financially. Part of the reason, IMHO, is the rise of DPD’s blog, internet news, and the Davis Enterprise’s pentient for not doing good investigative reporting but rather pushing an establishment agenda for its advertising contributors.

    To put it in a nutshell, I’ve always told my children to be wary of people that accuse you of something, because it is very likely what they are guilty of themselves. I would say Dunning’s articles about David are more a mirror reflection of Dunning and the Davis Enterprise’s own internal policies and tactics.

  11. Rich Rifkin

    [quote]One case in point was his complete flip flop on the issue of the Varsity Theater.[/quote]For the record, it is Theatre, not Theater. Apparently, back in 1921, when the original Varsity Theatre was built — a block east of where the current Varsity was constructed in 1949, a local yokel named Ben Nations decided that [i]Theatre[/i] had more cachet than Theater. So the building has had that pretentious faux-British spelling ever since. [quote] He was an outspoken critic of the city spending scarce redevelopment dollars to refurbish a private owner’s theater (the reconstruction ran into cost overruns bc of the discovery of asbestos), until he received an invitation from proponent Dave Rosenberg to the grand opening of the selfsame theater.[/quote] I guess the refurbishment you are referring to is the one in 1990, when Signature Theatres still owned the building. (I was not living in Davis at the time.) However, not very long after it was remade into a performing arts theater, the City Council bought the Varsity and it has been publicly owned ever since. [quote]Suddenly Dunning fell all over himself in praise of the Varsity Theater. That did it for me, when I discovered Dunning could be bought. He no longer had any credibility as far as I was concerned.[/quote] Are you sure the change in his views did not have to do with the theater being acquired by the City of Davis? (I’m not saying it was — I was not around at that time.) I think before you (cowardly hiding behind a fake name) publicly accuse Mr. Dunning of acting unethically, you should at least ask Bob if he changed his mind on the topic and why his mind was changed. Your mindlessly speculating that he did so because of personal benefits afforded him is far more unethical than anything you have accused him of. [quote]What is unfortunate in all this is how Dunning manipulated Provenza and DPD for his own Machiavellian (sp?) purposes. Provenza gave DPD permission to use the quote w/o any qualifications. Dunning then stirred up trouble by insinuating DPD used the quote w/o Provenza’s permission, whether it was true or not (drive by sniping). Provenza, worried about his political image, talked to Dunning, assuring Dunning the quote was not given with the intention of slamming the Davis Enterprise. Dunning turns around and insinuates that he now has confirmation from the horse’s mouth (Provenza) that DPD did not have permission to use the quote. What Dunning has done is create a pile of horse manure out of nothing at all, for his own financial gain. In consequence, Dunning has attempted to sully the reputations of DPD, Provenza, and has only succeeded in soiling himself. [/quote]This is a very strange recounting of events. After all, you ignore the role of Jim Provenza. Your speculations presume Provenza is a puppet. If you believe David Greenwald’s account of this affair, then you would have to hold Jim Provenza fully accountable for everything he told Dunning, which David suggests is misleading, if not entirely false.

  12. Dear David I have not yet supported WHR yet Greenwald

    “It is an enormous stretch to tie any support for WHR to that advertising money which went directly to the Vanguard.”

    Is it less of a “stretch” to say you support WHR due to you and your wife’s ties to Bill Ritter???

  13. earoberts

    “For the record, it is Theatre, not Theater.”

    And I quote, “Posts whose primary purpose is to correct spelling…[is] subject to deletion”. Does anyone really care that it is pretentiously spelled “Theatre”?

  14. Dear David I have not yet supported WHR yet Greenwald

    What has changed between then and now is not another purchase of a Vanguard ad for Senses Magazine or a donation from the WHR developers, but rather a vast and dramatic improvement of the project which has seen the size trimmed from 259 to 191 units, the project shifted to the east to mitigate impact on the neighbors, the accomplishment of 90% GHG emission reduction with 100% solar photovoltaics, the accomplishment of 100% accessibility in the affordable units, the elimination of fourth stories and nesting of the third stories between two story townhomes to reduce the impacts on sightlines, etc.

    Yet more pro-Parlin propoganda by the Vanguard; are you on the developer’s payroll yet for Yes on P; forget the Senses rag, you must all well put a Vanguard ad on the Parlin website!

  15. earoberts

    “I think before you (cowardly hiding behind a fake name) publicly accuse Mr. Dunning of acting unethically, you should at least ask Bob if he changed his mind on the topic and why his mind was changed. Your mindlessly speculating that he did so because of personal benefits afforded him is far more unethical than anything you have accused him of.”

    1) Dunning was an outspoke critic of the expenditures of public funds on the Varsity Theater.
    2) Then Dunning was invited to the grand opening of the Varsity Theatre by Dave Rosenberg, who also did some legal work for Dunning.
    3) Dunning suddenly made a complete about face, and became very supportive of the Varsity Theatre.

    I am certainly free to infer Dunning’s favorable commentary on the Varsity Theatre was the result of being “bought off” by Rosenberg with the offer of legal services and an invitation to the Varsity grand opening.

    Whether I post anonymously or not is irrelevant to the inference. There are many good reasons to post anonymously (see archives for Vanguard article on the subject.) By the way, Dunning uses pseudonyms when claiming emails come from Dave, or Jane, or Dick, rather than using their real full names, if they were even real emails that is.

    Now you wouldn’t be defending Dunnning because you too write for the Davis Enterprise, now would you?

  16. Observer

    I am totally amazed at what strikes fire and petty rage on the blog! I admit that the editor’s claim of non-support of WHR is a Saran wrap fig leaf, so why not just come out and say, “I think this is a great development, and I support it?” Calling each other names based on who is whose friend is beneath the dignity of this most well educated town. It seems by the amount of rage that all the readers of this rag have a dog in the fight. Does everyone have some developer intersst? Personally I regularly read Dunning and this blog, and often find both petty at times, but either interesting or infuriating at other times. Chill out, folks.

  17. Christine

    David, It was with great pleasure that I read your Op-Ed in the Davis Emptyprise this morning. You did not come across as defensive or snarky, but measured, dignified and informative. I DID want to know the facts, and I was unsettled by Bob’s claim that Jim Provenza felt you had misused his name and I was relieved to get the ‘other side’ of the story.

    So thank you, you are really providing the community with a great service and Bob is unwittingly (or maybe not) increasing your profile in the community.

  18. olbermann stinks

    Daily on MSNBC Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz correct the record by refuting right-wing distortions, lies and ommissions which are the hallmark of right-wing talk radio and the Fox (Faux) news network. They are a beacons of light shinning their beams on the corruption and hypocrisy of the rightwing conservative political movement and their corporate and religious right handlers.

    and what about the left wing lies, ommissions, and distortions?

    Olberman, Maddow and Schultz expose everyday the lunacy, hate, bigotry and racism of these appalling people

    couldn’t be any worse than the lunacy, hate, bigotry, and racism of Obama and company.

  19. Missed the point

    Why are you arguing about Olbermann, the analogy here was that Dunning is helping a lesser known by attacking him rather than ignoring him, just as O’Reilly made a similar mistake with Olbermann. This wasn’t an article about Olbermann, it was about Dunning.

  20. Olbermann nonfan

    It was David that chose to frame this argument around his admiration of Olbermann.

    By doing so, he exposes his great blindness.
    He has great trouble seeing vitriol when it comes from the left.

    Generally David you seem to try to be fair, so perhaps you should rethink this position.

    Otherwise you undermine whatever argument follows, as you clearly did here, witness the comments.

  21. David M. Greenwald

    “It was David that chose to frame this argument around his admiration of Olbermann. “

    As someone else suggested I was framing it around a considerably narrower position that Dunning has actually given this blog great publicity in the last two weeks by attacking it much as O’Reilly made the mistake of attacking Olbermann. If I was being admiring it was in Olbermann’s ability to build an audience by being a gnat in the ointment for O’Reilly.

  22. Go Bob Dunning!!!

    “Dunning has actually given this blog great publicity in the last two weeks by attacking it”

    Has you attacked the blog or, rather, your biased and unabashed, and quite possibly paid for, alliance with Parlin???

  23. Provenza is fodder for Dunning

    Jim Watson,

    Jim Provenza may be a good “politician” on some issues, but he does have a reputation for not having much of a backbone at times which is why his actions led him down the path of getting caught up in one of Bob Dunning’s games. If he had more of a backbone and stopped trying to be all things to all people then he would not be in this position.

    Just like some other “politicians” in Davis and Yolo County who have traveled down this road he will learn not to allow himself to be fodder for Bob Dunning.

  24. Huh?

    “Has you attacked the blog or, rather, your biased and unabashed, and quite possibly paid for, alliance with Parlin???”

    Is that supposed to be English? I have no idea what you are saying? Hasn’t DPD already discredited the notion that the blog has been paid for by Parlin?

  25. typhoid mary

    Funny how one of the most important points of Dunning’s hit on David has been overlooked so let me spell it out for you.

    There are 4 branches of government and they are supposed to be independent of each other. Most people are familiar with the executive, legislative and judicial branches. The fourth branch also known as the fourth estate is the press. Dunning understands this. I remember Lamar the first time he ran asking Dunning to have coffee with him. Dunning’s response right before my eyes was something to the effect of “I don’t do that.” His point about Provenza was how can you be endorsed by an elected official, especially in a fund raising solicitation, and then objectively report on that person.

    Say what you will about the Enterprise taking political ad money and making endorsements for those same campaigns but don’t ever confuse Dunning of doing the same. Dunning does understand Joe Pulitzer’s admonition “Newspapers should have no friends.” He has us all in his sights as a good newspaper man should.

  26. Go Bob Dunning!!!

    David:

    Can you please disclose member of the Vanguard’s Editorial Board and their

    a.) financial or political affiliations with either Bill Ritter or someone else on the payroll of Parlin Development

    and I would ask the same of Dunning and the Enterprise, and my guess is that the Vanguard will have quite a bit more editorial board members who meet those criteria

  27. Youre no Keith Olberman!

    To paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen’s famous quip to Dan Quayle:

    “I’ve met Keith Olberman; I watch Keith Olberman; David you’re NO Keith Olberman!” (not even close)

  28. indeed

    Yes, the ‘Vanguard’ which you commonly refer to in a collective sense, apparently has an editorial board, or does it? Or is it just one disgruntled guy with a computer? Who knows? For all the transparency and openness you call for with the Enterprise and City Council, there is no transparency on this blog. The Enterprise lists the publisher, staff, and everyone involved and how to contact them. Why no such information on this ‘Vanguard’?

  29. Brian K

    Here’s a great quote from Bob Dunning’s Enterprise column of Aug. 11 which has yet till now to be quoted in this on-going WHR tempest-in-a-teapot:

    “This guy missed his calling … if that’s not an endorsement, he deserves a regular slot on Comedy Central.”

    Intriguing advice. Except then “This [blogger] guy” would have to come up with his own material. I’m noticing a pattern: Bob Dunning hardly ever mentions the blog, and when he rarely does he refers to DPD as “This guy” or “the blogger.” Whereas, DPD cuts and pastes Dunning’s words at great length into his letter to the Davis Enterprise and blog entries, even putting Dunning’s name in one of the blog’s headlines.
    Why doesn’t DPD come up with his own material, rather than borrowing others’?

  30. The Vanguard

    Hey Brian: Read the last week in articles and tell me which ones are not “his own material”:

    * Commentary: Is This Really Justice
    * Davis Like Other Local Jurisdictions Faces a Ticking Bomb in Pension Costs
    * Accident Exemplifies Need For New Calming Measures
    * Executive Pay Increase for UC Executives Stirs More Controversy
    * Crowd Protests Sentence of Ajay Dev Sentenced to 378 Years Last Week
    * UC Davis’ West Village Seeks To Break Ground
    * Egghead: UC Students Pay More to Get Less
    * Model Shows Fifth Street Redesign Improves Traffic Flow Through Corridor

    Other than the Egghead article written by someone else, they are all his own material, are they not?

  31. Dunning the retread

    Hey, Brian K. The idea of Bob Dunning being someone who “comes up with his own material” had me seriously laughing out loud. These days, most of Dunning’s columns follow a standard formula: quote extensively from an e-mail from a reader, add about 10 words with zero semantic content, repeat as needed until reaching required word count. Oh, and then there’s the annual “replace Dunning” contest where he convinces other people to write entire columns for him, preceded by several weeks worth of begging and promotion of said contest. That is one cushy job.

  32. Matt Williams

    Annie, from another thread

    [quote] To David Greenwald from Matt Williams

    (1) What exactly is “The Vanguard” anyway?

    (2) Is the Vanguard organized as a not-for profit or a for-profit enterprise?

    (3) Does the Vanguard have a Board?

    (4) If it does, could you please disclose the names of the individuals on the Board?

    (5) What is the purpose of the Board?

    (6) Does the Board meet to discuss issues and/or positions?

    (7) Has the Vanguard ever received any donations and/or advertising revenue from Parlin Development (including Parlin Wildhorse)?

    (8) Has the Vanguard ever received any donations and/or advertising revenue from Talbott Solar?

    (9) Has the Vanguard ever received any donations and/or advertising revenue from Radiant Homes?

    (10) Has the Vanguard ever received any donations and/or advertising revenue from individuals or organizations acting on behalf of the parties in questions (7), (8) and (9)?

    (11) Could you please disclose if Bill Ritter or Mike Harrington have ever been affiliated with the Vanguard?

    (12) To the best of your knowledge is any debate being “manufactured” by the same poster posting under different pseudonyms?

    (13) If so, is the intent of this activity to manipulate the debate?

    (14) Is there anyone affiliated with the Vanguard that is “manufacturing” debate?

    (15) Is the core of the debate just a manufactured (and therefore misleading) dialog between a small group of people (including your Board member(s))?

    (16) Beyond the Board question above, who is involved in the Vanguard? And why?

    (17) Does the Vanguard have a political agenda? If so, what is it?

    (18) Does the Vanuguard have any conflicts-of-interest with respect to any topics it covers? [/quote]

  33. Matt Williams

    Here are the responses David posted. Hopefully, that answers most people’s questions. Also hopefully, Davis will post a list somewhat like this one as a FAQs in his masthead.

    [quote] David M. Greenwald

    07/09/09 – 05:44 AM

    1. The Vanguard is an independent news source in Davis that I founded in 2006.

    2. The Vanguard has filed for non-profit status. I will also note that to this date, all proceeds from the Vanguard have gone back to the Vanguard. I have not derived a single cent of profit from the Vanguard to date.

    3. The Vanguard has a board of directors. They are not involved at all in terms of the day-to-day operations of this site, they have no control whatsoever over content. The views expressed by the Vanguard are those expressed by the author of the given piece and do not necessarily reflect those of The People’s Vanguard of Davis, inc or its board of directors.

    4. The board currently consists of Don Shor, Pat Lenzi, Pam Nieberg, Bob Schelen, Ram Sah, Don Gibson, and Ayla Kapahi who is our treasurer.

    5. The basic purpose of the board is to provide for the legal requirements as a not for profit organization. I should point out that until the paperwork is approved, the board is unofficial.

    6. The board does not discuss issues or positions.

    7. The Vanguard received money from the wife of Masud Monfared who owns Parlin Development in 2007 who purchased an ad for Senses Magazine.

    8. The Vanguard has not received donations or advertising from Talbott Solar.

    9. The Vanguard has not received donations or advertising from Radiant Homes.

    10. The Vanguard received money from the wife of Masud Monfared who owns Parlin Development in 2007 who purchased an ad for Senses Magazine.

    I would add there is nothing that precludes the Vanguard from accepting advertising money from any entity that wishes to purchase an ad now or in the future.

    11. Bill Ritter is not officially affiliated with the Vanguard but does provide me with occasional advise as do a number of other people who are not affiliated with the Vanguard, yourself included. The same goes with Mike Harrington.

    12. I don’t know what it means to manufacture debate. There are people on both sides of the issue posting anonymously. Given the number of people who turned out for the meeting last night, I would guess that it is a fairly small number on both sides.

    13. I don’t know what it means to manipulate the debate. My only real concern is that people stick to the issues and do not bring in other private citizens or make potentially libelous attacks that could present the Vanguard with liability.

    14. Not to my knowledge and certainly not at the behest of the Vanguard.

    15. I think as I said above, the debate is between a small number of people. I don’t know the identities of most of them. I also try to respect the privacy of those who choose to post anonymously. It has always been my intent to provide this as a place for people to come and debate without fear of outside retribution. That is why I have guarded steadfastly in the face of criticism the right for people to post anonymously. There are times when people abuse this right.

    16. 90 to 95 percent of the work done by the Vanguard is done by myself. However, recently we have recruited some interns that will be introduced to the public at some point at the appropriate time. Most of the rest of the involvement is done unofficially through either guest submissions or comments on the Vanguard.

    17. The Vanguard’s political agenda is to promote public discourse, be an information source, and to represent the “progressive” views of Davis as well as serve as a political forum.

    18. Not to my knowledge. [/quote]

  34. Brian K

    Dunning The Retread Writes:
    “Hey, Brian K. The idea of Bob Dunning being someone who “comes up with his own material” had me seriously laughing out loud. These days, most of Dunning’s columns follow a standard formula: quote extensively from an e-mail from a reader, add about 10 words with zero semantic content, repeat as needed until reaching required word count. Oh, and then there’s the annual “replace Dunning” contest where he convinces other people to write entire columns for him, preceded by several weeks worth of begging and promotion of said contest. That is one cushy job.”
    —————–
    But, to repeat my question, why then does DPD cut and paste lengthy selections from Dunning’s column instead of writing his own material? Does he feel he needs the credibility and publicity value of Dunning’s words added to his blog to get people to read it? And then that question of course begs the question: Why doesn’t Dunning much mention at all this blog or its blogger? Who is more secure about their profile in the community?

  35. The Vanguard

    There are exactly three cuts and pastes in this entire article from Dunning, the longest is two sentences. One of the quotes is actually a quote of Dunning quoting Provenza. Less than 200 of a 1900 word article. Are you sure this is the argument you want to make?

  36. rick entrikin

    David: Really enjoyed your Sunday “Special” to The Enterprise regarding Dunning’s comments. What few of the previous commentors addressed was that Dunning attacked your “journalistic integrity.”

    I don’t always agree with your take on issues, but am convinced that you research issues, check facts with various sources and write what you believe to be the truth, without distortions or omissions. IMHO, those are key components of journalistic integrity, and no “opinion columnist” could honestly attack you for breaching any of those standards.

    So I believe it was important to defend the integrity of The Vanguard, and you did an admirable job. (And was pleased to see just how fair Debbie Davis has become in printing both sides of various issues.)

    But now, isn’t it time to put aside the p—ing contests, ignore jabs @ The Vanguard and re-focus on the real issues? For example, in the 43 previous comments, I don’t recall a single debate about the specific features of the “Ranch” project, any comments about the Measure J renewal or any effort to identify “progressive” candidates to run for council in 2010 (Issues that I consider important.)

    Rick E.

  37. anon

    I’ve disliked Bob Dunning from the day I started subscribing to the Enterprise and canceled my subscription years ago because I didn’t want to support his salary. I don’t know why the editor doesn’t realize how offensive he is.

  38. Brian K

    (The People’s) Vanguard (of Davis) writes:

    “There are exactly three cuts and pastes [sic] in this entire article from Dunning, the longest is two sentences. One of the quotes is actually a quote of Dunning quoting Provenza. Less than 200 of a 1900 word article. Are you sure this is the argument you want to make?”

    Ah, but, (TP)V(oD), I wasn’t arguing, simply asking questions. Perhaps because there are no answers to the questions I wrote, I see only word counts posted in response?
    Brian K

  39. Citizen Q

    I took it as people disputing the premise of your question. I read you as begging the question: why does he cut n’ paste and not use his own material? Does he? I don’t see the evidence that he does other than when he is directly responding to something else in the media and not when he is reporting.

  40. Matt Williams

    [quote]Brian K said . . .

    But, to repeat my question, why then does DPD cut and paste lengthy selections from Dunning’s column instead of writing his own material?

    Does he feel he needs the credibility and publicity value of Dunning’s words added to his blog to get people to read it?

    And then that question of course begs the question: Why doesn’t Dunning much mention at all this blog or its blogger?

    Who is more secure about their profile in the community?[/quote]
    Brian, let me take a stab at your questions:

    David inserts short germane quotes to help the reader understand the context of his commentary. So the answer to your specific question is, “He doesn’t.”

    Credibility and publicity? No. Context? Yes.

    You will have to ask Dunning the answer to your third question. Only his hairdresser knows for sure.

    The answer to your final question is, “like most people life ebbs and flows. Thee are probably days where Dunning is, and also days where David is.” What is more interesting is “Why do you care?”

  41. Matt Williams

    Brian, let me ask you a question or two.

    Anonymous raised an interesting question, “Which is bigger, Dunning’s regular paycheck or the payment Senses Magazine made for their ad?”

    You posted the inital word count idea when you said, “Whereas, DPD cuts and pastes Dunning’s words at great length into his letter to the Davis Enterprise and blog entries . . .” So I ask you, what is it about the mathematical equation 1900 – 200 = 1700 that you don’t understand?”

  42. Follow the money

    David Greenwald wrote[quote]Mr. Dunning has expanded his attack to denigrate my reporting about the features of the Wildhorse Ranch project. He has very specifically accused me of taking payoff money from the Wildhorse Ranch developer. I have been very upfront about the fact that in September of 2007, I accepted a paid ad from Senses Magazine which ran for six months. The owner of Senses Magazine is indeed the spouse of the Wildhorse Ranch developer. It is an enormous stretch to tie any support for WHR to that advertising money which went directly to the Vanguard.[/quote]This is little more than a non-denial denial.

    David acknowledges the widely known advertising purchase and deflects attention from the basic question. Is David Greenwald or the Vanguard getting any money from the Parlin Development or any of their affiliates?

    If you read carefully the “answers” posted above you will notice the same tactic. He acknowledges the ad buy and states that the Vanguard has not received donations or advertising money from Talbott Solar or Radiant Homes … but never states that he or the Vanguard have not received other money from Parlin Development, and then dodges the affiliates question.

    The Vanguard is obviously providing substantial political support for the Wildhorse Ranch project – as a cheerleader, as a conduit of information from the developers, and as a vehicle to help neutralize political opposition. All this flies in the face of David’s repeated (and absurd but technically correct) claim that the Vanguard has not endorsed the project. This kind of Clintonesque language, calls into question the candor of everything he writes on this topic.

    I’m not saying that David is, in his characterization of Dunning’s accusation is “taking payoff money from the Wildhorse Ranch developer.” My position is that there is a very concerning set of questions that need to be addressed in clear English if David and the Vanguard are to be taken seriously as a journalistic alternative to the Davis Enterprise on land use issues.

    (1) Other than the previously acknowledged advertising purchase, has David Greenwald or the Vanguard received money or any other type of financial or in-kind consideration from (a) Parlin Development, (b) any of their consultants, affiliates, partners, etc, or (c) any individuals, or their family members, associated with the afore mentioned entities? This question would specifically include Ritter & Associates.

    (2) Is there any expectation of future quid pro quos if the project is approved? This speaks to the question of potential of deferred “compensation.”

    (3) Is the Vanguard currently a non-profit? If not, is it structured as an LLC or sole proprietorship? Do donations and revenue go into a bank account owned by the Vanguard or David Greenwald? This question concerns the current status of the organization and not David’s future plans.

    (4) On what date was Ritter & Associates or its principal hired by Parlin Development? This speaks to the question of things that have changed since the Vanguard’s opposition to the project.

    I agree with Bob Dunning’s first column. Follow the money.

    I would also add, keep your eye on the ball. This bickering back and forth over who is the most slimy “journalist” in town, who does the most cutting and pasting, etc is just a distraction.

    The extent to which private interests co-opt the journalistic integrity of the fourth estate is a very important topic, and deserves to be seriously discussed with respect to the new progressive media outlet in Davis.

  43. English

    “What has changed between then and now is not another purchase of a Vanguard ad for Senses Magazine or a donation from the WHR developers”

    I don’t get it, how is that not crystal clear? You seem to be wishing for a conspiracy.

  44. Follow the money

    Conspiracy implies a secret agreement between two or more people to carry out an unlawful act. I’ve heard no one make that sort of allegation.

    A more appropriate term might be astroturfing. From Wikipedia:[quote]Astroturfing is a word in English describing formal political, advertising, or public relations campaigns seeking to create the impression of being spontaneous “grassroots” behavior, hence the reference to the artificial grass, AstroTurf.

    The goal of such a campaign is to disguise the efforts of a political or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to some political entity—a politician, political group, product, service or event. Astroturfers attempt to orchestrate the actions of apparently diverse and geographically distributed individuals, by both overt (“outreach”, “awareness”, etc.) and covert (disinformation) means. Astroturfing may be undertaken by an individual pushing a personal agenda or highly organized professional groups with financial backing from large corporations, non-profits, or activist organizations. Very often the efforts are conducted by political consultants who also specialize in opposition research.[/quote][quote]Astroturfing is a form of propaganda whose techniques usually consist of a few people attempting to give the impression that mass numbers of enthusiasts advocate some specific cause.[/quote]Like R&A posting under multiple pseudonyms within a single thread to support David’s framing of a WHR issue, while also confronting and/or belittling individuals with an opposing point of view (e.g. with language like “you seem to be wishing for a conspiracy”).

  45. English

    By conspiracy, I meant an elaborate arrangement that presupposes some sort of ill-doing that is not readily available from present information.

    “Like R&A posting under multiple pseudonyms within a single thread to support David’s framing of a WHR issue, while also confronting and/or belittling individuals with an opposing point of view (e.g. with language like “you seem to be wishing for a conspiracy”).”

    As opposed to the many people posting under psuedonyms within the single thread alleging elaborate conspiracies and disparaging Mr. Greenwald and people associated with him? You are clearly failing to understand the simple Occam’s razor lesson which is the simplest explaination is generally the best one. There is a group of people who read this blog who supports the project and another group that opposed it, and they posted under psuedonyms in part to disguise their identity and in part to artificially inflate the perception of their numbers.

  46. Matt Williams

    [quote]English said . . .

    As opposed to the many people posting under psuedonyms within the single thread alleging elaborate conspiracies and disparaging Mr. Greenwald and people associated with him? You are clearly failing to understand the simple Occam’s razor lesson which is the simplest explaination is generally the best one. There is a group of people who read this blog who supports the project and another group that opposed it, and they posted under psuedonyms in part to disguise their identity and in part to artificially inflate the perception of their numbers.
    [/quote]
    English are you saying that this is sort of like the irresistable force meeting the immovable object?

    Sounds about right. Sort of goose and gander stuff.

  47. English

    Well in a way. Basically I’m suggesting there is not much going on here other than infighting between factions of the progressive coalition in Davis.

  48. Follow the money

    English: And you, with all due respect, are clearly failing to understand how astroturfing works – or acknowledge the obvious red flags.

    These questions cannot be dismissed with a sweeping generalization or by changing the subject to a tangential point.

    BTW No one is suggesting that all anonymous proponents of the WHR project are R&A. Given R&A’s resume, past behavior, and financial incentives, I would dispute your Occam’s razor conclusion that this conduct is not occurring.

  49. English

    I understand very well how astroturfing works, in fact I do it for a living in Sacramento. I am questioning whether you are really witnessing it here or just either imagining things or stretching your point for political reasons. Also I think you are more describing shilling rather than astroturfing on this blog, if what you believe is happening actually is happening. However, the bottom line is that you have zero evidence to support your position, it is all conjecture on your part.

  50. English

    This is why I used the term conspiracy theory. It’s like Mel Gibson’s character aid, a good conspiracy is one that you can never, if you can, someone screwed up. On the other hand, if you can’t prove it, you can’t disapprove it either. So it becomes a charge that can neither be proved nor disapproved.

  51. Follow the money

    Now that we are completely diverted off point, and some doubt has been established as to whether or not I’m imagining things (good job English), let me bring the discussion back to the questions I initially posed:

    (1) Other than the previously acknowledged advertising purchase, has David Greenwald or the Vanguard received money or any other type of financial or in-kind consideration from (a) Parlin Development, (b) any of their consultants, affiliates, partners, etc, or (c) any individuals, or their family members, associated with the afore mentioned entities? This question would specifically include Ritter & Associates.

    (2) Is there any expectation of future quid pro quos if the project is approved? This speaks to the question of potential of deferred “compensation.”

    (3) Is the Vanguard currently a non-profit? If not, is it structured as an LLC or sole proprietorship? Do donations and revenue go into a bank account owned by the Vanguard or David Greenwald? This question concerns the current status of the organization and not David’s future plans.

    (4) On what date was Ritter & Associates or its principal hired by Parlin Development? This speaks to the question of things that have changed since the Vanguard’s opposition to the project.

    How about some direct answers?

  52. Nothing to see here - Go watch TV

    [quote]not much going on here other than infighting between factions of the progressive coalition in Davis[/quote]… with a professional “astroturfer” from Sacramento and a developer-paid former “progressive activist” thrown in for good measure.

    It’s all a charade.

    Go watch TV and wait for the push polls.

    The glossy promotional propoganda will be in the mail soon.

  53. To: Matt Williams

    Are you on the Vanguard Editorial Board (as some one has already posted)?

    Are you on Parlin’s payroll for Yes on P?

    Please disclose, as it seems you try to portray yourself as an “independent” but clearly have political/economic reasons to support Parlin.

    Also, isn’t it true as a El Macero resident, you can’t vote in the election, say why do you seem obsessed with this issue….I mean no one else spends as much time as you blogging on it????

  54. Hint: Try placing an advertisement

    Place an ad and see what happens.

    Who do you think you will be making a check out to?

    What name shows up on your paypal account or credit card statement?

  55. Matt Williams

    Follow the Money, you should know by now that David does not answer questions like yours from anonymous/pseudonymous posters. So why do you ask? If you really do want answers, log on with a real name and ask away.

    Now with that said, to put to bed speculation in any direction, I asked David your four questions, since he knows my name isn’t John Jacob Jingle Heimer Schmidt, he passed on these answers.

    1. David has answered the first part of your question in the past. In case you are having a neuron skip I will repeat that answer here. With the exception of the 6-month advertisement in the Vanguard for Senses Magazine paid for by Masud Monfared’s wife, no money from Parlin Development, any of Parlin’s consultants, Parlin’s affiliates, Parlin’s partners, or any individuals, or their family members, associated with Parlin, its consultants, affiliates, or parteners has been paid to either David or the Vanguard. David has received not a penny, farthing, shekel, yen or yuan from Ritter and Associates. The Vanguard did receive $25 for a two week ad promotion in June from the Anthony Woods campaign, which has also used Ritter and Associates as a contractor.

    2. No. None have been contemplated, none have been entertained and none will be contemplated or entertained in the future.

    3. The Vanguard is currently a non-profit. The Vanguard has its own bank account. David has never received a single dime from the Vanguard personally.

    4. I don’t know. You should call up Ritter yourself and ask him. My opposition to the project was transformed by the realities and implications of a single number . . . 90%.

  56. Brian K

    Follow The Money Writes:
    “The extent to which private interests co-opt the journalistic integrity of the fourth estate is a very important topic, and deserves to be seriously discussed with respect to the new progressive media outlet in Davis.”

    What’s needed in Davis is a truly investigative journalist to look into the Wildhorse Ranch–People’s Vanguard of Davis connection. An investigative journalist with no axe to grind or payoffs to take. A journalist with integrity who researches, interviews, confirms sources’ information from other independent sources, and publishes true stories without fear or favor.
    Muckrakers were, of course, the original Progressives.
    Wait, look, I think I just saw a pig flying over the muck fields in the Yolo Bypass.

  57. Matt Williams

    [quote]To: Matt Williams said . . .

    Are you on the Vanguard Editorial Board (as some one has already posted)?

    Are you on Parlin’s payroll for Yes on P?

    Please disclose, as it seems you try to portray yourself as an “independent” but clearly have political/economic reasons to support Parlin.

    Also, isn’t it true as a El Macero resident, you can’t vote in the election, say why do you seem obsessed with this issue….I mean no one else spends as much time as you blogging on it????[/quote]
    Actually I’m a figment of your imagination. Allen Ludden will be saying “Will the real Matt Williams please stand up.” any moment now.

    Seriously, I am not now and never have been on the Vanguard Editorial Board. I have submitted articles on land use to the Vanguard in the past and David has been kind enough to publish them. If you are interested here is a link to one of them [url]http://davisvanguard.blogspot.com/2008/01/general-plan-housing-element-steering.html[/url]

    No. On a fully unpaid basis, I [u]have been[/u] twisting Parlin’s arm whenever I can, trying to get them to reduce the price and reduce the size of the townhomes in WHR so that a substantial proportion of the townhomes will be listed at prices that can be afforded by members of the Davis workforce. I have stated publicly numerous times, and I restate it here, I neither support nor oppose this project. It has the potential to set a standard for GHG reduction that if attained should become the de jure requirement for every new housing unit in Davis. That excites me, but it isn’t enough to get me to out and out support the project. More important to me is the over 10 year abandonment of the Davis workforce in the 3,500 new housing units that have been built. If Davis is to have a sustainable local economy we have to stop treating our workforce as step children. If WHR does not make decisions that cause Davis workforce families to step up and buy WHR units, then I will indeed oppose WHR.

    You act as if it is a surprise to the Vanguard readers that I live in El Macero, and that I can not vote in any City of Davis election. In response to a Bob Dunning e-mail this morning I sent him the following bio, which may help you understand my provenance a bit better. “I came to Davis in 1998 with my wife when she entered one of the UCD Masters programs. I’ve been the President of the El Macero Homeowners Association, and recently led the successful communications with FEMA that resulted in the correction of a FEMA mapping and elevation error that placed over 100 Davis and El Macero homes in the 100-year flood plain. I’ve become involved in Davis land use planning issues because when it comes to such planning El Macero is a modern day Boston Tea Party, with Davis claiming the right to plan the lands around El Macero without giving El Macero residents any voice in that planning. As a result I attended all but 2 of the Housing Element Steering Committee meetings and workshops, as well as virtually all the Yolo County General Plan Update meetings since December 2006.”

    If you have any additional questions please feel free to ask them.

  58. Matt Williams

    [quote]Hint: Try placing an advertisement said . . .

    Place an ad and see what happens.

    Who do you think you will be making a check out to?

    What name shows up on your paypal account or credit card statement? [/quote]
    It is funny that you say that. Funny 1) because you are showing your complete ignorance, and funny 2) because I recently chose (after the Vanguard did some particularly good land use reporting) to make a $50.00 donation to the Vanguard. When the PayPal item showed up on my credit card statement, the name on the charge meant so little to me that I called my bank to get more information. They couldn’t give me any information that could clarify who the charge was from other than PayPal, and I told them to cancel the charge. It wasn’t until at least six months later that while showering (it is true we do our best thinking in the shower) that I realized that the PayPal item was my donation to the Vanguard. So much for your theory of a recognizable name . . .

    Now if I had made out a check, you are right, I would have recognized the named payee . . .

  59. Steering Committee Attendee

    I can say that Matt was very helpful at the Housing Element Streering Committee meetings, and he was at nearly all of them.

    One thing to consider: Over the past 20 years, Davis has taken a huge slug of large, expensive homes that were bought by a disproportionment number of Republicans. So when you talk of workforce housing, you are also talking about majority Democratic housing.

    Many of us opponents to the Covell Village 3 Project (Nov 05) felt that the project would have brought well over 1,500 new voting Republicans to Davis, due to the high prices of the homes.

    Build smaller, less expensive homes, and you are far more likely to get traditional Democrats living there.

    I just wanted to point out the highly relevant political undertow that is going on. And like the effect of new development on existing home prices, it is an elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. Instead, call it “workforce” housing.

  60. Maggie S.

    I just read my Sunday Enterprise. Unbelievable to me that the Enterprise would print such an embarrassingly whiny diatribe. Since this blog began, it seems the main goal has been to discredit Bob Dunning. I have read entries on this site that are close to hateful and, many,untrue. If anyone did any research, the comments, I’m sure would be deemed slanderous. And yet I rarely read anything in Dunning’s column whining about this blog. As I post this, I am looking at the “fine print” below that reads “Any posts that use profanity or engage in name-calling or other potentially slanderous attacks will be subject to deletion.” I’m shocked to see what hasn’t been deleted on this site. I know many people who have had misinformation–completely untrue and hurtful–posted on this site. No one checks on any facts. I guess Mr. Greenwald was talking about slander against HIM; if you want to slander anyone else, though, go for it! Especially if it serves Greenwald.

  61. English

    I’m not following you Maggie. You speak in generalities, what specifically about the article did you find mean spirited or hurtful? Where did you see him factually wrong? Why are you first reading the Sunday paper at 10:30 pm on a Monday night? Inquiring minds want to know – I want to know!

  62. Adam Smith

    You guys are missing the point.

    Nothing that Dunning wrote is incorrect or out of line. It is appropriately researched and written. David is simply milking this for all that it is worth. He needs readers and posters (like me) to improve his situation, in all respects.

    Note that David accuses Bob of not properly researching his opinion piece. According to the records, Dunning called Provenza and asked did he approve of the brochure. Provenza said “I regret that I trusted the Vanguard to use my name and quotation in a responsible manner.” That clearly means that he did not approve of its use in the manner that David chose to use it, even if David believes that “If Dunning had called me, he would have quickly found out that I had an April 2009 email record of the exchange between Supervisor Provenza and me. That exchange showed that I asked Mr. Provenza for a quote for a Vanguard brochure and he had sent me the quote without any qualifications or stipulations as had the other nine individuals quoted.” The better thing would been for David to have shown the brochure to those who provided quotes and asked for their approval after seeing how they were used. This is not a Dunning issue, it is a Vanguard issue.

    All you progressives can keep posting under whatever pseudonyms you want. The simple answer is that it appears that David used the Provenza quote in a manner that Provenza does not appreciate or agree with, and Bob Dunning has simply pointed that out for our consideration. Everything else…is hype and hyperbole.

  63. Maggie S.

    Thanks, Adam Smith. I’ll buy you a beer sometime. I believe that most of the “real” people posting on this site feel that way. As for English (and the other 3 im-posters working under false names), the reason I’m reading my Sunday newspaper tonight is because I’ve been with a sick child for the past two days. Some of us actually have real lives to lead. Apparently you think that makes me a loser. Thanks for asking the hard questions.

  64. Adam Smith

    Perhaps English, and you can certainly infer that if you so desire. The facts appear to be that Provenza provided a quote and David used in a way that Provenza has (somewhat) publicly taken issue with. Until David produces some other evidence from Provenza, I think the appropriate conclusion is that David used the quote in a way that Provenza takes issue with. And further, David hopes that he can turn Dunning’s interest into a better times for his struggling little “enterprise”.

  65. Ryan Kelly

    If you read Dunning’s column carefully, he doesn’t ever refer to the brochure with 9 or so quotes from various people. He only talks about a mailer with only Provenza’s quote on it that was created and mailed out apparently for fund raising purposes. David Greenwald describes how he created the postcard from the front page of the brochure and admits that he did not get Provenza’s approval to use the quote in this fashion, but he meant no malice. I think that this is true. I don’t think David meant to cause harm. Dunning states that Provenza said that he did not authorize the use of his name or the quotation in the fund-raising mailer. This is also true, because David himself agrees with this in his Op-Ed above and in The Enterprise that he did not get Provenza’s approval for the postcard before creating it and mailing it out.

    David does not have a background in marketing or he would know that each person quoted or pictured in a marketing piece should receive a copy and sign their approval before publication. This is different from journalism where quotes can be used more freely and the reporter does not need approval from the person making the statement. (Though there’s the “on-the-record” vs “off-the-record” thing, but that may be just in the movies.) So maybe this is just a huge error – no conspiracy, just a mistake. Pretty big one, but still just a mistake.

  66. Davis Taxpayer

    “I’ve become involved in Davis land use planning issues because when it comes to such planning El Macero is a modern day Boston Tea Party, with Davis claiming the right to plan the lands around El Macero without giving El Macero residents any voice in that planning.”– Matt Williams

    What an apt metaphor. If I recall, El Macero refused to by annexed by Davis because El Macero residents didn’t want to pay Davis taxes.

    The El Macero battle cry: “Representation without Taxation!!”

  67. French

    Or perhaps David was trying to leverage Provenza’s good name to take on his main competitor, and didn’t bother to ask permission?

    We mustn’t forget Occam’s trusty razor.

  68. Matt Williams

    [quote]
    Davis Taxpayer said . . .

    What an apt metaphor. If I recall, El Macero refused to by annexed by Davis because El Macero residents didn’t want to pay Davis taxes.

    The El Macero battle cry: “Representation without Taxation!!”[/quote]
    Your facts are correct, although it was probably the Mace brothers who made the decision and the people who were purchasing the lots from them went along quite willingly. I’m not sure there ever has been a true vote.

    Your battle cry however should read much the same as the Boston Tea Party’s, “No taxation and no representation” The El Macerans of that era chose to forsake [u]both[/u], instead sending their tax dollars to the County in exchange for representation in the milieu of “Unincorporated Yolo County.”

    However, the word “Mace” eventaully came back to bite El Macero. After Frank Ramos’ wheeling and dealing with both the County and the City over Mace Ranch, the City of Davis made the choice to pay Yolo County millions of dollars each year for the right to oversee land use planning around the City, including the land around El Macero, in a document known as the Pass-through Agreement. I’m relatively sure that neither the City nor the County checked in with the residents of El Macero before signing that agreement.

    I personally strongly support both the spirit and the realities of the Pass-through Agreement, but that agreement does create an interesting situation where people all around the periphery of Davis have no direct voting power over how the land adjacent to them is planned. The only way they have a voice (but no vote) is to do as I have done, attend Davis meetings, contribute time and effort to the process, and speak up when the issue warrants speaking up. If you want to take me to task for volunteering my time to efforts like the Housing Element Steering Committee, the Senior Housing Committee, the FEMA flood map revision process, and the recent TANC debacle, to name a few, then be my guest.

  69. Matt Williams

    [quote]French said . . .

    Or perhaps David was trying to leverage Provenza’s good name to take on his main competitor, and didn’t bother to ask permission?

    We mustn’t forget Occam’s trusty razor.[/quote]
    You make a very good point French. David was indeed looking to leverage not only Jim Provenza’s good name, but also the good names of nine other people as well. That is exactly why he reached out to all ten of them individually and asked for a testimonial quotation for the fold-over brochure (which can be seen by going to [url]http://daviswiki.org/The_People’s_Vanguard_of_Davis[/url]). Those nine other people were Helen Thomson, Sheila Allen, Susan Lovenburg, Don Shor, Ken Wagstaff, Dick Livingston, John Lofland, Sue Greenwald and Lamar Heystek. Each of them gave David the specific quote that he used. Once the brochure was printed, David sent a copy to all 10 as part of a broad mailing that was 1) intended to raise awareness of the Vanguard that 2) did not have any fund raising solicitation material with it.

    Months later, David used the brochure a second time in a very targeted mailing to known Vanguard supporters. That mailing contained three pieces, 1) the brochure, 2) a letter from David thanking the person for their past support, and 3) a return envelope for use in case they wanted to once again make a donation. Asking someone who has given money in the past to give again isn’t exactly trailblazing marketing.

    Months after the second mailing, David got the idea of another “awareness” mailing like the first. This third awareness mailing (with no companion letter and no return envelope) was the postcard with the same provided quote. However, where there was strength in numbers in the fold-over brochure, there was only one quote on the postcard. The page format was unchanged. The quote was exactly the same. The difference was that the other nine quotes weren’t there. As Marshall McLuhan said, “the medium is the message.” Jim’s concerns were, and are, understandable.

    Why bother to recite these events? Simple. The statements made in some comments that the postcard was used in fund raising are not correct. The postcard was never used in any fund raising capacity.

  70. typhoid mary

    But it was used at one point as a fundraiser. Anyway my previous comment hasn’t been answered as to Dunnings most pointed criticism that the fourth estate should not be so cozy with the other three.

  71. Matt Williams

    Mary, since the First Estate is the Clergy, the Second Estate is the “Noblemen” and the Third Estate are the “Commoners,” why shouldn’t the Press be cozy with any of those three?

  72. French

    Why would a self-described Sacramento based professional “astroturfer” be trying so hard to knock down posts that are adverse to the Vanguard/Parlin/R&A axis-of-weasels with pithy little one liners – jumping on at 6:30 in the morning to start again. Inquiring minds want to know – I want to know!

  73. English

    LOL. Neither I nor my employer has any involvement in this project. We only do statewide issues. We don’t do polling. Most polling is done by a specific pollster.

  74. English

    I see the need to call people you disagree with weasels. If you’re asking what I was doing up so early – gotta go to work! There are many astros to turf! (I know that was bad, but thought we needed a bit of levity).

  75. Keith Olberman Rocks

    Interesting how you liken Keith Olberman to a nat..now I think I see where you are coming from. You are not a liberal. You are a hard lined conservative. Thanks for setting the record straight and telling me not to file a complaint with the department of fair employment and housing against “affordable” housing. BTW, my friend just got evicted from “low income” housing because she couldn’t afford the high rent..so now I want to know how much these affordable housing units are at the new WHR

  76. Brian K

    EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT1
    Dunning Rebuts “Chap who Signed his opinion as the ‘Executive Director’ of a local blog.”
    Some really readable quotes therefrom:
    “I printed [Provenza’s] very words in my column (“I regret that I trusted the Vanguard to use my name and quotation in a responsible manner.”] which prompted the Executive Director of the Blog, in his 1,333-word Enterprise op-ed, to threaten that Provenza “did himself no favors” by telling me (Bob Dunning) the truth of how his qote enede up in the blog’s mailer. I guess you don’t contradict the Executive Director without consequences.”
    Doing yourself a favor a threat, Bob? Kind of a stretch from doing yourself a favor to “threaten,” but great writing anyway, keep it up, I’m on the edge of my seat now (instead of slowly sliding off into a nap while reading the Executive Director’s strained prosodic efforts).
    “The Executive Director,” Dunning goes on, “went on to claim–concerning the Provenze quote–that I ‘did not print facts,’ suggesting–incredibly–that I would somehow fabricate a quote out of thin air adn attribute it to a sitting county supervisor.”
    Yeah, that is pretty over the top when I read it in black and white instead of amongst mushy language in the 1,333-word Enterprise Op-Ed piece penned by the Blogger In Chief.
    Bob in the end has his with the naive guy a little too literally, but all in fun, eh, Mr. Executive Director?: “I’ll tell you right now I don’t intend to contact the Executive Director before printing the final score of an Aggie football game or telling people where to find the best pan-fried oysters on the Oregon coast or doing a cost comparison between Nugget and Costco.
    Hopefully, there’s a learnable lesson here for the Blogger In Chief: Don’t Take Yourself So Seriously.
    Check out the whole Dunning column in today’s (Aug. 19) column in the Enterprise: “Provenza separates fact from fiction.”

  77. earoberts

    But Brian K, you left out the most poignant of Dunning’s snipes – “For those keeping score, shortly after the Executive Director’s op-ed appeared in The Enterprise, Provenza sent me a second, unsolicited e-mail concerning his previous statement to me over how his words had been misused in the glossy mailer. It said simply “For the record, I stand by my previous statement regarding the Vanguard.” Apparently, he wasn’t intimidated by the Executive Director’s blustery claim that he “did himself no favors” by telling the truth.”

    So my question to Dunning is, was Provenza standing by his previous statement regarding the Vanguard,
    1) that it “has become an important investigative and opinion journal…in the community”?
    2) or Dunning’s self-serving version of an alleged email from Provenza that “I regret that I trusted the Vanguard to use my name and quotation in a responsible manner.”?

    Dunning’s potshot really missed the mark with his inexpert grammar! LOL

  78. Brian K

    LOL, I hope you didn’t get a hernia straining your grammar interpretation. And wasted effort, for you left out the most poignant part of the entire Provenza quote: “I did not authorize the use of my name or the quotation in the fund-raising mailer…I learned of it for the first time when I received a copy in the mail. I regret that I trusted the Vanguard to use my name and quotation in a responsible manner.”
    So, to lay the blame for imprecise attribution to Bob Dunning, is really you conveniently leaving out part of Provenza’s quote isn’t it? C’mon, it’s okay, ‘fessin’ is as good for you as a high fiber diet.
    But I’m glad you got a laugh out of Dunning’s newest column! The guy sure can write, can’t he? Kind of gets me right here, I wrote with one hand, the other over my heart, especially the part where he has a nice dialogue with the blue jays in his back yard (If only Greenwald could be as friendly and easy-going, taking the time to talk to birds, then maybe he wouldn’t get stressed out and make mistakes like that unfortunate mailer attacking the Enterprise):

    “So there I was,” Dunning begins, “sitting on my East Davis porch and minding my own business on a beautiful Sunday morning, munching a Fluffy Donut maple bar, sipping hot black coffee and flipping through the morning edition of The Davis Enterprise. Life doesn’t get a whole lot better than this, I thought.

    Suddenly, however, I was confronted with the Page A-10, above-the-fold headline “Columnist should check his facts,” and I wondered out loud to the blue jay on the lawn about who exactly this columnist might be. Turns out it was me.

  79. earoberts

    Brian, don’t ignore my point. According to Dunning’s latest diatribe, was Provenza standing by his previous statement regarding the Vanguard,
    1) that it “has become an important investigative and opinion journal…in the community”?
    2) or Dunning’s self-serving version of an alleged email from Provenza that “I regret that I trusted the Vanguard to use my name and quotation in a responsible manner…”?

    You can’t tell from Dunning’s inarticulate column! Perhaps Dunning should go back to English 101? Also, I would like to point out we have no official statement from Provenza, only what Dunning says Provenza said. I wouldn’t trust Dunning’s version of events, considering Dunning is making money off of taking potshots at anyone and everyone.

  80. The real problem

    Is that Dunning rests his entire conclusion on Provenza’s statement which means it hinges solely on what Provenza says happens rather than what Greenwald said happened and Greenwald claims he has emails verifying his version of events, did Provenza provide Dunning with this evidence or Dunning simply taking Provenza’s word?

  81. Brian K

    Dear “The Real Problem,”
    If we can’t take Provenza’s word for what he said, then political discourse has taken many, many devolutionary steps backward into the Stone Age and all we’re doing is writing down grunts at each other.
    Let’s hear what Greenwald says. Did he really not mean to slam local newspapers by writing that “With Local Newspaper Coverage Waning…” And did he not mean to imply we are now thus supposed to increasingly rely on and trust the Blogger In Chief’s version of reality? I’d really like to see him finesse that one. If he did, my opinion of his writing would vastly increase.
    After Provenzagate, I have my doubts about trusting him exclusively with much more than him letting me know it’s a sunny day, after I look out my real window.

  82. Botulism Betsy

    Typhoid Mary says:

    [quote]Dunning does understand Joe Pulitzer’s admonition “Newspapers should have no friends.” He has us all in his sights as a good newspaper man should.[/quote]

    Have you ever seen Dunning take pot shots at Don Saylor? No. Not even during the “Davis Smoke Shop Fiasco”, when Saylor threatened to pass an ordinance aimed at closing down the smoke shop at 2nd and G street.

    This was the type of issue that Dunning is typically all over. Had it been any other council member, he would have gone on for two weeks about it.

    But no. Not a peep. Don’t say that Dunning is impartial.

  83. earoberts

    “After Provenzagate, I have my doubts about trusting him exclusively with much more than him letting me know it’s a sunny day, after I look out my real window.”

    After Dunninggate, I have my doubts about trusting him [Dunning] exclusively with much more than him letting me know it’s a sunny day, after I look out my real window.

    And we still haven’t heard from Provenza, just what Dunning says Provenza said, and even that’s not clear! LOL

  84. Brian K

    LOL, Reading your reply, I realize how original and unique an individual you must be. Your creativity is precious for its subtlety. But, am wondering, are we not seeing any reply from Provenza on this site (why his reply quoted in Dunning’s column isn’t good enough for you is an interesting question) because Greenwald has so quickly dropped this article and its attendant comments off his virtual front page? Notice how suddenly the “Most Read” Article section now only contains an article from June 26?

  85. David M. Greenwald

    Brian:

    “Notice how suddenly the “Most Read” Article section now only contains an article from June 26?”

    I’m not sure what you are talking about, this article is currently the 7th most read article. We have the most read on a timer that only includes visits from the past 30 days.

  86. Matt Williams

    Brian, I don’t know if there is anything that will satisfy you, but since my sister works for Comcast I had her violate about 87 federal laws to access the following historical interchange. Enjoy.

    Subject: Vanguard Brochure
    From: “David M. Greenwald”
    Date: Tue, 07 Apr 2009 08:14:19 -0700
    To: Jim Provenza

    Jim,

    Just following up to see if I could get a quote from you for the Vanguard Brochure.

    Thanks,

    David

    ________________________________________________________

    From: Jim Provenza
    Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2009 20:07:29 -0700 (PDT)
    To: David Greenwald

    Sorry this took so long—I was called over to the Capitol right after I talked to you.

    “The Davis Vanguard has become an important investigative and opinion journal. Its’ in-depth analysis of issues affecting the City of Davis and the Davis schools have enabled the public to gain a greater understanding of their government and the city and county in which it operates. Hats off to David Greenwald for turning an interesting political blog into an important journalistic voice in the community!”

    Jim Provenza
    jimprovenza@yahoo.com
    (916) 813-5123
    (530) 554-7331

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