[Vision2020] Citizen Ament versus Councilman Ament

Joan Opyr joanopyr at moscow.com
Wed Apr 26 15:04:16 PDT 2006

Dear Visionaries:

Greg Dickison has filed a public records request asking for, among 
other things, recordings of Liberal Island, a radio talk show that 
Aaron Ament hosted before he was elected to public office.  The key 
word here is "before."  When Aaron announced his candidacy, he left 
KRFP and stopped doing his radio show.  Why?  Conflict of interest.  
It's bad form to run for office with a megaphone in your hand.  Also, 
the KRFP board (and the FCC) have rules about these sorts of things; 
Aaron has cheerfully and correctly followed these rules.

About Gary Crabtree's questions regarding whether or not Aaron's 
statements on Liberal Island should oblige him to recuse himself from 
the New St. Andrews zoning vote:  they're good questions, but the 
answer is no.  Unless Greg Dickison, Doug Farris, or Gary can point to 
something/anything Aaron has said or done to disqualify himself in this 
matter since he ceased to be a private citizen and became an elected 
official, then there are no grounds for recusal.

I'll give you an example: for more than a decade, Jesse Helms was a 
commentator on WRAL-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina.  You complain about 
Aaron having referred (on his radio show) to NSA as an education free 
zone?  Jesse Helms spouted off about miscegenation, the joys of 
segregation, his hatred for gays, lesbians, non-Christians, and 
Democrats, you name it.  When he decided to run for the U. S. Senate, 
he stepped down from his job at WRAL and became Candidate Helms rather 
than Talk Show Helms.  Not once during his four terms in the U. S. 
Senate did he recuse himself from a vote on civil rights, on employment 
nondiscrimination, on religious issues, gay and lesbian issues, AIDS 
funding, or anything else about which he'd spoken as a TV commentator.

What grounds do Greg, Doug Farris, et al, have for demanding Aaron 
recuse himself in the NSA matter?  The personal opinions he expressed 
as a private citizen?  Not good enough.  You might also, while you're 
at it, ask Bob Stout to step aside on matters relating to Moscow's 
police union -- he is strongly in favor of the police union and, in 
fact, campaigned on this issue.  Let's also Jon Weber to step aside on 
matters related to appliance sales as he co-owns the Sears store.  John 
Dickinson could step aside if anything comes up having to do with the 
Kenworthy, as he's the founder of Sirius Idaho Theatre, and Linda Pall 
should never, ever speak on legal matters, as she's a practicing 
attorney.  As for Mayor Chaney, well, God help us if anything to do 
with nursing should come before the City Council because she's a real 
live RN.  I'll bet she has strong opinions on the subject of decubitus 

Finally, about recordings of Liberal Island -- until last fall, when 
KRFP began podcasting over the Internet, the station did not (as far as 
I know) record any of its programs.  Not mine; not Aaron's; not even 
Emily Poor's wonderful Americana show.  If any recordings exist, it's 
because friends recorded the show off the radio.  I have copies of my 
show because Tom Hansen very generously records it each and every week 
and makes it available on the web for download.  This means that my 
grandmother in Raleigh can listen to me tell scandalous stories about 
the family and do impersonations of her views in her accent.  (I love 
my grandmother to pieces, but she's often unintentionally hilarious.)

I am specifically named in Greg's public records request.  He seems to 
be under the impression that there's a broad conspiracy against NSA 
involving Aaron and a bunch of unrelated folk -- I only know about half 
of the people Greg has named in his PR request -- a conspiracy that 
might have been preserved for time and eternity via recordings of 
Liberal Island and Aaron's City of Moscow email account.  As fishing 
trips go, this one wouldn't pull up a tiddler.  It's goofy thinking, 
and it's paranoid -- it also reveals more about the inner workings of 
Christ Church than any critique I've ever offered.  But, to show that I 
don't do conspiracies, that I have nothing to be ashamed of and 
certainly nothing to hide, I'll make Greg an unconditional offer -- I 
have two personal recordings of Liberal Island.  One is Aaron's 
interview with Bill London, dated April 5th, 2005.  The other is 
Aaron's interview with me.  I went on Liberal Island in December of 
2004 to talk about Moscow's 49% Rally, a protest that took place on 
George W. Bush's second inauguration day.  (If you want to know more 
about the 49% Rally, either visit my website and go to the links page, 
or Google your way through Dale Courtney's blog.  He was at the rally, 
typing notes and taking pictures.)  I will send Greg copies of both of 
these shows, and he can do with them what he will.

If he'd like a complete set of The Auntie Establishment and Brother 
Carl Show, I'd be happy to send him that as well.  Free of charge.  We 
play some damned good music on the show, I must say, and anyone with an 
ear for melodious voices should be delighted to have the dulcet tones 
of Brother Carl playing over his or her stereo.  Carl is Moscow's 
answer to Barry White.

Joan Opyr/Auntie Establishment

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