Clark County Commissioner David Madore did something this week he rarely does: He apologized.
Not to me, but I’ll get to that.
The apology stemmed from something he wrote on his Facebook page, where he curates a blog on which he cheerleads for certain county projects and blasts public officials with whom he disagrees. In the post, Madore, who uses the word “transparency” as if it were a conjunction, wrote that the county’s Chief Civil Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Chris Horne had told him that the prosecuting attorney’s office hadn’t read or vetted, checked or approved the proposed home rule charter, and that it might not be legal under state law.
Problem is that’s not correct. A county attorney sat in on all of the board of freeholder meetings, a simple enough fact to check. The offending post was reworded to clarify that Madore had “misspoke.”
When Vancouver resident Michele Wollert asked Madore about the erroneous Facebook message during the public comments period at this week’s commissioners meeting, he was forced to address it publicly.
“I did misspeak when I said what I did, and I apologize for that. I did talk with Chris Horne. The degree of vetting is really what’s in question. There are other discussions involved. But, bottom line, I misspoke, and I apologize.”
This isn’t the first time that Madore’s words have written checks that the facts couldn’t cash. When he was running for commissioner, he said the size of county government had increased. That wasn’t true, either. The county budget had actually decreased during Boldt’s time in office. At the time, Madore issued the following apology:
“I messed up! I made a statement on a previous flier that turned out to be flat-out wrong. I said Marc Boldt doubled the size of government during his terms in office. Not true. It was an unintentional error. I am responsible and I apologize. I will always tell the truth as best I understand it. If I err, I will make it right, publicly. We serve, not for ourselves, but for our community, our families and our grandkids. We must model leadership, character and integrity, even when we get it wrong.”
But, of course, Madore has made plenty of claims on Facebook that have been questioned as factually iffy since he took office. His way around having to address people’s concerns about the facts is that he doesn’t allow his critics to post comments to his Facebook page. Instead, he bans them and labels them members of a hate group that’s out to get him. The list of banned posters is some 600 names long.
Well, make that 601.
Apparently I belong to that hate group now because I asked a simple question. Keep in mind that Madore told my colleague, Stephanie Rice, that he would only communicate through Facebook after she contacted him by phone for a story about how the county’s budget director disputed claims Madore had made on Facebook.
Do you see a trend emerging?
Knowing how Madore felt, and respecting his wishes, I posted the following question to his Facebook page for a story I was working on. I did this out of goodwill, so the commissioner could respond to some claims being made about him.
In response, he deleted my message and blocked me from commenting again. In essence, he silenced my voice, which was merely asking a question that was already making the rounds in the media.
When I asked Madore Wednesday why he not only didn’t answer the question but then blocked me, he mumbled something about not giving “matches to arsonists.” I told him I thought he owed me an explanation as to why he would ban me for asking a question. His response: He walked away.