Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The King and I

The following is posted on the Moscow-Pullman Daily News web site under the comments on last week's story on the corridor growth debate at UI:
April 17, 2007, 7:06 am Mark Solomon says:

Could it be that you are Tom Forbes? The same Tom Forbes who was to have been my debate opponent instead of Mr. Harkins but backed out of his commitment, no reason given, much to the surprise of the Economics Club leaders? Anonymous blogging is fine, but has little sway. Talk to you again someday when you have a name.
Nope, it's not me. Obviously, I don't do "anonymous blogging," as anyone who reads the Daily News on a regular basis could tell you. My name has been dragged through the mud on more occasions than I care to remember by local liberals, both in Pullman and in Moscow.

However, the King is right about one thing: I was supposed to be his forum opponent instead of Jeff Harkins.

I received the following e-mail from Jason Hoetger, the President of the UI Economics Club while I was in Mexico back on March 22:
Hi Tom,

The Econ Club is extremely excited about our planned land-use forum, especially since both you and Mark Solomon are such dynamic personalities and would certainly create a lot of energy with the audience. Though I really hate to rush you, the date is approaching, and in order to get the proper publicity, we need to know ASAP: are you available for next Wednesday, March 28? If you are, we will start the publicity campaign tonight. If not, we can reschedule both you and Mark for the following week. Either way, could you get back to me by this evening at the latest? I would very much appreciate it!

Thanks very much!
Jason Hoetger
President, UI Economics Club
If you remember, I participated in a UI Economics Club Wal-Mart forum last year (dragging myself out of bed while I had pneumonia in fact). I spoke along with Steve Peterson and Jeff Harkins. Our foil, however, was Professor Deirdre Sommerlad-Rogers, who despite being a UI professor like Steve and Jeff, is a PULLMAN resident and member of PARD.

Mr. Solomon is a resident of Latah County who is actively opposing the Hawkins project in the corridor. This is not a water issue and not a "sprawl" issue, but a sovereignty issue. Moscow and Latah County residents who do not pay taxes in Whitman County and do not vote in Whitman County have no right to determine what happens in Whitman County. Period.

Mark Solomon desperately craves credibility, and I was not about to give it to him by debating with him. It was lose-lose situation for Whitman County and a win-win situation for Solomon.

So, I begged off, citing schedule difficulties. Contrary to what the King claims, I never made any commitment and never backed out of anything. Jason is a nice guy, and I had no desire to stick a college kid in the middle of the political wrangling between Whitman County and Moscow.

This is way more than I had planned to say about this situation. I did not want to give the King any more publicity than he has already gotten. But now that he has dragged my name into it publicly and made untrue accusations, I need to set the record straight. This is not the first time he has called me out either. Last Monday, I received the following e-mail from Solomon:
Hey Tom,

Sorry you couldn't join me on the UI Econ Club panel where we could have discussed reality of development on the Palouse. It would have been interesting to see how the arguments stand up when discussion occurs instead of blogging rhetoric. Still waiting for you to post something on water supplies that is based on a fact...

Yes, the great "water activist" can childishly taunt me all he wants, but until he descends from Moscow Mountain to Whitman County, I'm not prepared to debate the time of day with him.


Paul E. Zimmerman, M.A. said...

The King: "Could it be that you are Tom Forbes?"

What a timely example, paired up with recent goings on in nearer parts, of just how afraid of us all these people are. It's strangely gratifying, even though it comes from these particular quarters. :)

Unrelated: Tom, I sent you an email last night, but I'm not sure I have the current blog email addy. Could you mail me a quick note so I can record the proper address?

Scotty said...

I also noticed that Mark has also taken every chance on the Dnews.com website to try to drag Tom through the mud some more... Now that I know what is going on, I am going to ignore him.


Tom Forbes said...

Just remember the old saying Scotty:

"Never argue with a fool, they will lower you to their level and then beat you with experience."

Paul E. Zimmerman, M.A. said...

Tom: "Never argue with a fool, they will lower you to their level and then beat you with experience."

Does that still count when the situation is such that doing so just gives the fools more and more rope by which they gladly hang themselves, as per very recent examples? :)

April E. Coggins said...

It sounds like the invitation was actually a Command Performance.

Adam J. Niehenke said...

The PARD and anti growth people crack me up. They complain for one, about college hill like it’s a step child of Pullman. They can't stand all the partying and litter that goes on. I love their solution to these problems i.e. raising the fines for offenses. Guess they never knew alcohol follows an inelastic demand behavior. To fix these problems there needs to be more options for students, but that would require growth. Hmmm....wonder if they realize they are cause their own bickering and problems. Like a dog playing fetch with himself.