How often have you read a news article about an unusual, unexplained event that could likely have a significant impact on your home or life, and been left with an explanation essentially saying, “It just happened”? Probably not often, if ever. But this is essentially what we’ve all been getting from all the local news media regarding the cancellation of the long-planned candidacy of Iya Falcone for mayor of Santa Barbara, due to her failure to accumulate the back-breaking total of 100 petition signatures from registered voters. I’ve run many a petition drive in my day, and believe me, a drunken squid in a fishbowl could obtain 100 eligible signatures on one downtown corner in a slow afternoon. For a savvy political operative like Falcone to fail to collect the needed signatures-it just doesn’t happen!

When inexplicable events similar to this take place elsewhere, the news media consider it their duty to dig out a plausible explanation for their readers/viewers/listeners. After all, as Nick Welsh so deftly explained in these pages, with Falcone’s mystery exit, “the electromagnetic polarity of the mayor’s race is drastically changed.” This is important stuff: Lots of money was donated to campaigns, and many political agendas were set or abandoned. The future of the city could change unexpectedly.

I want to know what moves the politics of this election, but I’ll never find out, and neither will you. Whatever happened to the responsibility of the news media to inform their audiences to the fullest extent possible? Whatever happened to investigative journalism? I guess they just “never happened.” – Andy Boehm


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