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It Occurs to Me

Public Information Vs. Obstructionist Publication
By Michelle Anderson
Nov 20, 2004 - 3:20:00 PM

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I have been trying to remember the last time that I saw a newspaper -– any newspaper –- publish the names of those who signed a petition.


I must say that, despite the fact that I read at least 6 newspapers a day most days, I cannot remember a single time that I have seen such a thing.


The fact has not escaped most people that the Community Press, formerly touted by its publisher as “neutral” has done just that.


Perhaps I’m wrong, but it most certainly appears to me that the Community Press is standing in the way of the democratic process.


Is it not enough that people are made to go to the municipal building to sign the petitions? Or that they are only able to do so during business hours? Or that they are told they must read the petition while other people conducting normal town business wait behind them to pay their taxes, renew registrations, or ask about town business?


Now we have people who will not go to sign the petitions because the Community Press has taken to printing the names of all who have signed weekly.


While that information is indeed public information, it is certainly curious that such information would be published in the paper. Would the Press publish the names of people whose homes were taken as tax-acquired property? Hmm...There's an idea!


Rather than allow people to exercise their First Amendment right to petition the government for redress, the Press has chosen to use this passive-aggressive method of intimidation.


Good work, gals. Khrushchev would have been proud of you!


Michelle Anderson

Millinocket, ME


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