Monday, July 9, 2012

Police Union Votes No Confidence in Asmar

How much is enough? Apparently it is not just me that has concerns. The Mayor must take action.

FOP Asmar-Letter

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Disappointment with Rick Outzen

Rick Outzen was a friend.  Rick Outzen encouraged me to run for Council.  Rick Outzen encouraged me to continue my fight for Pensacola Promise.  Rick Outzen has written articles about me and my motivations to make Pensacola better for my kids. Over the years, Rick has done some wonderful investigative articles and held politicians accountable for their actions.  He has been asked for advice by countless politicians and most times his advice is worth consideration.

But Rick Outzen has crossed the line in his involvement in the business of the City through his relationship with John Asmar.  He has used his paper and blog as both a political spin machine for the mayor's office and an enforcement tool against anyone who disagrees with the Mayor's office.  He has used his paper to hide the actions of those he favors by insinuating opponents have alterior motives.

In the last week I have highlighted all of the ethical violations he has committed that are evidenced in his emails with Chief of Staff John Asmar and text to Councilman Johnson.  Outzen was recently nominated for an award by the Society of Professional Journalists for an article he wrote.  That same Society has the following Code of Ethics regarding independence in reporting.

Act Independently

Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public's right to know.
Journalists should:
—Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
— Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
— Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.
— Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
— Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.
— Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.
— Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; avoid bidding for news.

After looking at the emails, it is beyond question that Rick has violated most of the above journalistic standards.

Rick, acknowledge your mistakes, back away from such intimate involvement in City business and return to as it states above to being vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.

As of today your actions and the hate and noise you create in your paper and on your blog have done nothing but hurt this city.