There’s a phrase – may you live in interesting times – that has often been attributed to a Chinese curse. No one seems able to verify that. However, when it comes to politics, whether it’s a curse or not, we certainly do seem to live in very interesting times. From Washington, D.C. to right here in Montgomery County, there is a lot of hate, disgust, passion, apathy and everything in between. This week’s question seems to fit right in.

Dear MAC,
Why do you choose to publish Coffee With The Commish from John Frye (sic)? Do you offer his opponent the same opportunity? Does he, in fact, pay for that space and if so with what money? Would that be a violation of Indiana campaign finance rules? Pardon my French, but it pisses me off to read his B.S. in a paper I pay for.
Can’t you do better?
Fed Up

Dear Fed,
Well, to be fair MAC would like to stay as far away from the anger in this one as possible. So here’s Paper Publisher Tim Timmons to give the answer.

I wrote a column recently and shared something I read that the majority of us do not have friends in the opposite party anymore. I’m not 100 percent sure what that means, but it does feel an awful lot like a lot of us are in “camps.” Maybe there’s nothing wrong with that, but some folks seem to think anyone not in their camp is the enemy. 
Look, our Paper has always made space available to any of our elected officials. We believe there is great value in that – especially in today’s world where fiction festers into fact on social media awfully quickly.
You certainly don’t have to agree or disagree with what John or any other politician writes, but it seems far better to be able to read what they are saying than hear about it second-, third- or fourth-hand.
As to the second part of your question, there is no opponent for that particular commissioner seat. John represents District 1 and I believe the earliest anyone can file to run against him is Jan. 8 (and the deadline is Feb. 10) of next year. If and when he, or any other current office holder, has an opponent, we will make space available for them to share their platform. However, you won’t see candidates in our paper every week. After giving them space to convey their position, it is up to each candidate after that to encourage you to vote for them or not. The space we give elected officials is to share information, not campaign.
As for the last question, we don’t charge anyone who is elected for their guest column space. Again, we see great value for the community to know where those in office are coming from. But when it comes time to campaign, they buy advertising for that.
I hope that answers your questions. I also remain hopeful that somehow we’ll all find a way to back away from the edge of the cliff, so to speak, when it comes to how angry we are at those in office. Our county, and our Republic, has a process that appears to be in danger, at least to me. We often choose to ignore the fact that someone was duly and legally elected. I wish we would get back to respecting and living with those results without so much fury and anger. If we don’t like someone in office, there’s a process for removing them without turning the world upside down – the next election.

MAC wants to thank Tim Timmons for his answer, and especially for not making MAC do it!

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