Open Letter to Roger Coover, Publisher of the Stockton Record. 

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Opinion

February 27, 2017

Roger Coover,
Since the Record like quotes:
Mark Twain once said, “Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel”. That makes sense, but there are also the old adages of “Never pick a fight with someone who has nothing to lose” and “You shouldn’t throw stones if you live in a glass house“.

We’ve never met before, although I’ve been featured in the paper you publish several times over the years. The same paper that now takes two back to back op-eds to explain how “irrelevant” I am. But I could care less what they think and their mediocre adjectives don’t hurt me. Instead I’m writing to bring to your attention some matters I think you should be interested in. I am not going to address the impotent insults levied my way by a bunch of fuddy duddies who run your paper.

Record editors Mike Klocke and Donald Blount

The greater concern is accuracy in its presentation of the facts or lack thereof. You see, regardless of what the out of touch old men who run your paper think about me personally, they should refrain from making news up. Rather than present the facts, as evidenced by actual video footage and transcripts, past practice, and protocol, they would rather target myself and others as scapegoats.
Instead of investigating the true root causes or even reporting what actually happened they have chosen to erroneously present myself as some mastermind hell bent on an “insatiable” political vendetta to cause a riot that never occurred and when I was not even in attendance with Black Lives Matters activists, but to speak on a sanctuary city resolution your reporter Roger Phillips also falsely reported on.

Counter proposal I drafted to present to city council

The truth is I had the right to speak at a public meeting for which I turned in a “request to speak” card for. I was not “kicked out” of city hall. In fact only one person was asked to leave, yet over 20 were kicked out by police despite no warning or order to disperse being given and regardless of whether they were chanting (during a break) or not. I was eventually called to speak immediately once the meeting reconvened. It should have been my second chance to speak during the meeting, not first.

The truth is the mayor consciously chose to create a conflict with the audience once he denied me the right to speak during public comments. Then he stood in the back laughing about it while women and elderly disabled people were physically pushed out and hit with batons.

Mayor Tubbs laughs as residents are forced out by riot police.

This gas lighting by your employees has in turn brought threats my way. Threats I hold you personally accountable for. This is the result of a false narrative they have crafted because of their personal feelings not presentation of the facts or truth. And they’re being allowed to do so using your paper as the vehicle which to deliver that narrative to thousands as a means of reinforcing their personal feelings without any regard for the fallout or damage done.

Fathers & Families employee who works with Stockton police as part of a $600,000 grant to “improve police community relations” issuing threats.
The former head of the Weston Ranch Association issuing a death threat.

We expect your reporters and editors to simply do their jobs and report what really happened the last two Stockton city council meetings even if that truth is inconvenient for their endorsed elected officials.
This is important not only for the interest of real news, but because the public deserves to know what is really happening with their elected officials and if the situation is to be alleviated, as well as what the real underlying motivation is for the families and their activist allies attending these meetings. These meetings have even caught the attention from the likes of CNN. While local affiliates like KCRA 3 and ABC10 news dedicated an unheard of nearly 7 minute segment to the factors precluding these events, including glaring inconsistencies in the Stockton police department’s official story and lack of body camera footage, The Record instead doubles down on protecting the image of their endorsed mayor and blaming scapegoats such as the mother of a 16 year old slain by police 7 years ago, whose trial against the city just barely began. Even the district attorney has publicly apologized for the system “torturing” her.

Is this who the Record editors refer to as “clowns” in their “clown show”?

Children, family and friends of Colby Friday.
Autopsy photos of 16 year old James Rivera’s body published at the request of his mother Dionne Smith-Downs

This of course wouldn’t be the first time their bias regarding local politicians, especially Michael Tubbs, has been obvious to the community. The Record didn’t even report when Tubbs was convicted of his DUI even though Sacramento news sources did. Nor have they reported that it’s been expunged with fines zeroed out last June during the election. There’s been a clear pattern of Michael Fitzgerald, the Record’s opinion columnist who writes stories like he’s reporting news while Roger Phillips the city hall reporter writes like he’s an opinion columnists (you can’t even tell which is which anymore), continuously writing articles praising mayor Tubbs while attacking political rivals.

Michael Tubbs fanboys Roger Phillips and Michael Fitzgerald

What you should also know is that Fitzgerald has done so while failing to disclose the fact that his step daughter Jasmine Leek was a paid consultant on Tubbs’ election campaign.

Jasmine Leek attending Tubbs campaign event

Now if you think it’s only me noticing this it’ll be to your detriment. You already know your paper is having issues which is why there’s a community advisory board you attend. And since your editors are such fans of numbers, I’m sure you also know the Record has plummeted in value since 2003 when it was sold for $144 million to 2013 when it was acquired for much less and their management company had to declare chapter 11 bankruptcy a month later. If you’re doing your homework then you’ll also know your circulation is declining and the Record’s online presence lacks not only behind industry averages, but even lacks behind the Modesto Bee. If we know this then surely you must. 


What you should also know is that if I am half the “mastermind” the Record pegs me as, what do you think I’m going to do next? Be quiet? No. I would expect an apology, but no one my generation and younger reads your paper anyways. Plus I take pride in the disdain of the likes of your guys, (guys I didn’t even get into about how out of touch they are with the “minority majority” community of Stockton; culturally and socially. Your subscribers are literally thinning out more every year).

Ethnic demographics of Stockton.

No. I’m not going to waste time on guppies. I’ll instead go after the big fish. The Crown Jewels. Of which there are fewer every year. Both of us know exactly what I’m referring to. And your “reporters” can be the ones to come out and report it. We’ll see how accurate they are then. How many more advertisers can you afford to lose? You decide.

Yours truly,

Motecuzoma

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