Chesterton Tribune

Fact Check: Campaign flier misuses Tribune news stories

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In a political flier mailed this week by the Committee to Elect (John) Evans Commissioner, the committee refers to Evans’ primary election opponent Jim Biggs as “A Tax and Spend Liberal Porter County Can’t Afford.”

The flier bullets four accusations and sources, two of them from articles appearing in the Chesterton Tribune.

• The flier says “He (Biggs) even thought about creating a NEW ‘Public Safety Tax’ in the middle of a recession.” The claim footnotes an article appearing in the April 2, 2012, edition of the Chesterton Tribune.

Biggs has never made a motion to create a new public safety tax during a public meeting. The article was written a day before the April 3 County Council meeting. Biggs held a phone conversation with the a Tribune reporter in which he never proposed adding a tax, but said he wanted to take a part of county economic development income tax (CEDIT) that goes to fund the Enhanced 911 system and rename it as a public safety tax to use the money for what it’s intended to do.

Here is how the paragraph appeared in the article:

“County Councilman Jim Biggs, R-1st, told the Tribune he plans to bring up discussion regarding the future of Enhanced 911. While a plan by fellow council member Jeremy Rivas, D-2nd, proposes to use CEDIT money to help the counties and municipalities to fund the center, Biggs said he wishes to rescind the portion of the CEDIT moneys to fund E-911 and establish a Public Safety Tax in its place [to] be used correctly for their designated purposes.”

• Another claim on the flier says: “Now he (Biggs) wants taxpayers to ‘Double Pay’ for E911 Services.” It footnotes an article that was in the April 5, 2012, edition of the Chesterton Tribune.

Biggs never on record has said he wants to double a tax on E-911. In that article, Biggs was explaining that Chesterton and Porter maintain their own dispatching and charge residents a separate fee from the county surcharge which is assessed to all telephone devices. He says that all municipalities should participate in discussions with county officials to form a countywide plan for E-911 operations and how they would be funded.

The sentences regarding Biggs’ views on E-911 in that article are as follows:

“As a few council members are leaning toward using CEDIT money to keep the center afloat, Jeremy Rivas, D-2nd, and Jim Biggs, R-1st, believe the municipalities of Valparaiso and Portage, which have consolidated with the county system, and Chesterton and Porter which maintain their own dispatching, should assist county officials in developing a plan.

Biggs said that although the chances are slim for cash-strapped cities and towns to pitch in, all parties need to advise the county of their situation in order for the council to know where it stands.”

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EDITOR’S NOTE: The Chesterton Tribune is not endorsing candidates in the party primary elections. The above clarification is printed because Tribune articles were cited for campaign purposes in an attack ad and should not be construed as support for either candidate.

 

 

Posted 5/2/2012