By Scott Tibbs, August 22, 2005
The local Left is spinning as hard as they can to defend Don Moore's inexcusable behavior toward Monroe County Libertarian chair Margaret Fette. The Moore/Fette confrontation was the talk of the August 19 Friday Lunch Bunch. Others who attended the meeting saw what Moore did. John Newlin said he was about to walk over and step into the "conversation" because he was concerned for Fette's safety.
To summarize: As the redistricting committee meeting was ending, Moore confronted Fette, put his finger in her face, and insulted and yelled at her. Keep in mind that Moore stands about a foot taller and outweighs Fette by probably 100 pounds. Fette has since spoken with the County Commissioners about having security at the next meeting due to Moore's outburst. That county officials would even have to consider such measures shows how low some on the radical Left will go to silence the opposition.
Despite Don Moore's screeching, his wife Regina (the Bloomington City Clerk) cannot escape being held accountable for his actions. After all, she was there . Shouldn't she have stepped in and restrained her husband when his actions were clearly out of line? If Regina Moore does not publicly repudiate her husband's behavior, she will show that her "Women Elected" group means nothing. If Regina Moore truly believes in encouraging women to participate in politics, she needs to show it. I sincerely hope the voters remember this in 2007.
The silence of the three Democrats elected at-large to the County Council (Sophia Travis, Michael Woods, and Warren Henegar) shows that the "clean campaign" pledge they took last year also means nothing. If they truly believed in their pledge to publicly repudiate supporters who act inappropriately, they would have immediately publicly repudiated Don Moore. Of course, that pledge was an empty gesture from the day it was released.
Don Moore has attempted to justify his inexcusable behavior with the laughable charge that Fette has "slandered" and "shit on" his friends. He bases his groundless arguments on the fact that Fette has said the current districts are "gerrymandered". Of course, the districts are gerrymandered, because they were drawn to give Democrats an electoral advantage. Definitons of gerrymandering:
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary: to divide (a territorial unit) into election districts to give one political party an electoral majority in a large number of districts while concentrating the voting strength of the opposition in as few districts as possible
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary: to divide (an area) into political units to give special advantages to one group (gerrymander a school district)
- Oxford English Dictionary: manipulate the boundaries of (an electoral constituency) so as to favour one party or class.
This controversy raises the question of whether AM 3170 should continue to have Moore as a co-host of the Afternoon Edition on Tuesdays. His venomous and nasty personal attacks on others and attempts to intimidate political opponents into silence have always been unacceptable. His physically intimidating behavior toward Margaret Fette, though, is a new low even for him.
It may be time for AM 1370 to make it clear that Moore's behavior falls way outside the standards of acceptable political discourse. Is this the face that our local news radio station wants attached to its "Afternoon Edition" call in show? There are any number of articulate Democrats and/or Leftists in this community who could fill Moore's spot on Tuesday afternoons and who are not an embarrassment to the radio station; AM 1370 should consider recruiting one of them to replace Moore.
Even if the Democratic Party does not care about civil political discourse, they should be worried about what Don Moore's outburst will do to them in the 2006 elections. Two incidents that influenced the 2002 elections should make Democrats reconsider their support for Moore.
In 2001, Lucille Bertuccio charged up to the bench during a County Council meeting, screaming at Councilors Joni Reagan and Marty Hawk. Bertuccio and other environmental activists threw a temper tantrum and shut down a County Council meeting because they did not like how the Council voted on a bond issue. She was a prime target for Republicans in the 2002 elections, dragging down her party.
In 2002, Left-wing activists opposed to I-69 turned a hearing on the highway into a circus, forcing law enforcement to escort former City Councilor and County Commissioner Kirk White out of the building for his own safety. It was truly appalling to read media reports about the meeting.
Don Moore's outburst could be just as damaging as those two incidents. There is already talk that Moore will be the Lucille Bertuccio of 2006. This could easily be brought up in the 2007 City Clerk race as well, damaging Regina Moore’s chances of being re-elected. Moore is a political time bomb waiting to go off.
Margaret Fette has irritated local Democrats with her criticisms of their policies and her comments on the County Council districts as they were drawn four years ago. They certainly have the right to publicly respond to her comments and try to influence people in the arena of ideas. Fette (or anyone else) does not deserve to be physically intimidated for exercising her First Amendment rights.