Below is a portion of what Patrick had to say. I am responding here because Mr. Simcock cc'd the MVN and Coburn's site, declaring his letter to be an open one. I've also edited for brevity.
When you announced your candidacy on your blog and promoted Alcorn, Crawford and Watts, I began reading it to learn what you were about. Though I thought you made some good points, I couldn't believe how angry and off topic many of the comments were and that you encouraged them! Honestly, during the last few months, I told people to read it as a way to promote the candidates I was voting for - Moran, Mosca, and Walsh. That's how absurd it became! I think your blog is one of the reasons you and your slate lost. The personal attacks went so far that everyone HAD to defend themselves. A couple of stones can be tossed one way or another, but when someone is under a constant barrage, they will defend themselves. You cornered some good dogs, and now you seem confused as to why you were bitten.
The election is over. The new council will be together for two years. I hope everyone, including the media, starts to focus on the positive things that can be done to make Sierra Madre an even better place. But this has to be a two-way street. I'm not saying there won't be controversy, but let's keep the personal attacks to a minimum.
John, if you love Sierra Madre like I do, please put down the hatchet. Don't give up on what you believe in, just stop the personal attacks. Civility is what was preached in this campaign, and I'm extending my hand to start it ... Either way, don't continue down the path that will further divide the town that I have and probably always will call my home.
Here is my reply:
I am saddened that you feel that I have engaged in personal attacks on my blog. I have used this venue to discuss what I feel are important issues not only here in Sierra Madre, but throughout the State of California. Certainly you can recognize that there are serious problems that require some airing out. And yes, the viewpoints of public figures are fair game, and even if they don't always enjoy having their records criticized, it is important that such perspectives be made available. Perhaps you could provide some examples of things I've said that fit your uncharitable description? It is the mark of a serious person that when they make claims such as the ones you have here, they back it up with proof.
I am also troubled that you do not seem at all concerned by much of what has been said in the Sierra Madre Weekly or The Mountain Views News. The nasty and dishonest attacks on our current Mayor, MaryAnn MacGillivray (look for a piece on my blog that exposes some of the egregious claims being made in these papers shortly), have truly been over the top. I would be curious to hear your take on that matter. You know, because of that two-way street thing you mentioned.
One of the reasons my blog has achieved the level of readership is has is because it is truly the only venue in town that provides in-depth information of concern for both the preservationist slow growth perspective and the need for small California cities to maintain their independence from Sacramento control. These are things that receive no serious coverage in any of our local newspapers, including the sadly compromised Pasadena Star News. Please remember, I received over 1,000 votes in last Tuesday's election, so it isn't like there is no audience for this stuff. There are also over 12,000 comments on this site, an unprecedented number for a blog that discusses the affairs of so small a city.
Try and remember that this is a Democracy, Pat. And in a Democracy all points of view can be freely expressed. Even mine. Does it get rough on The Tattler comments board at times? It sure does. It also gets rough on a lot of other sites as well, including those run by The Washington Post and Pasadena Star News. Both of whom have written editorials lamenting that fact. It is the nature of the beast.
Let me leave you with a suggestion that I always offer to those who have written me expressing the kinds of sentiments you have here. If you don't like what is being written on the Sierra Madre Tattler, you are certainly free not to read it. Or better yet, start a news site of your own. I'd be curious to read what you have to offer. I personally find it to be a most enjoyable pastime, controversy and all.