The Day After Election Day – When Tough Issues Surface

I’m not a cynic, really.  I’m a realist.

Twenty-five years in journalism has taught me many things and one is that “planned” bad news (the non-fire variety) always breaks on Friday and in the hours immediately following election day.  Embattled officials tend to decide they “want to spend more time with their families” on Friday afternoons because news of their resignations will be in the lowly circulated Saturday newspaper.

Bad or controversial news often surfaces right after election day because elected officials have an entire year to fix the problem or hope voters forget the bad news by the time they’re up for re-election.

The latest example came today, November 5, 2009, 36 hours after the polls closed on Tuesday.  A retired OSU business professor all but recommended taxpayers help the Columbus Blue Jackets with their financial woes.  The Blue Jackets are losing $12 million a year because of a bad lease deal at Nationwide Arena and the franchise is looking for some kind of public – private arrangement, with emphasis on the word public.

The timing of this was not a coincidence.  The story was in the paper (which owns part of the Blue Jackets) this morning.  Mayor Michael Coleman’s office released his statement at 8:39am; The Franklin County Commission released its statement at 8:49am.

Let the debate begin, and note the key people who will make the decision on Blue Jacket’s assistance won’t have to face the voters again for at least 364 days.

Now is this a cynical view or reality?

- Mike Thompson

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