We got some strong reaction to our front page Tuesday, understandably so. In big lettering surrounding a picture of Medford City Council candidate Curt Ankerberg, we ran excerpts of his vile, public attacks against members of our community. Some of the words were so bad we used dashes, but their meaning was clear.
I received angry phone calls from readers who did not want to see that filth on the front page. One noted those quotes would’ve been better “on a roll of toilet paper.” Another said just by printing those words, we were telling children that it’s probably OK to use them. “I am disgusted with you,” a woman said.
Why would we do such a thing?
The last time Ankerberg ran for City Council, he lost by only 307 votes.
This guy could win, folks. You need to know what comes out of Ankerberg’s mouth and computer. Language says a lot about a man. And the excerpts we used weren’t even the worst ones we’ve seen over the years.
The emails he’s sent to Mail Tribune staffers were so egregious they prompted a visit to his house from the sheriff’s office, which sent him into another rage in which he threatened to file harassment charges against us should we ever try to contact him again.
He took to Facebook Tuesday night, attacking Mail Tribune staffers again and prompting our owner to ban him from our page.
To elect a man like Ankerberg to city government, a school board or a state office would be disastrous. He no doubt would take his vitriol with him, demeaning not only fellow councilors and city staff but citizens who come forward with requests or complaints. He’s already told Sunny Spicer of Kid Time, whom he called a “slovenly pig,” that if he got elected, “you’d be looking for a new office space for your business.”
Good people at the city would leave for other jobs so they wouldn’t have to work with him.
Yet he’s run so many times, there’s the very real possibility that uninformed voters might choose him just because his name sounds familiar. And as a Medford certified public accountant, he sounds credible in the Voters Pamphlet. He doesn’t mention, of course, that he was found by a U.S. Tax Court judge to have committed fraud on his own filings.
We want voters to decide for themselves whom to elect as their representatives, but we also want them to have all the facts they need to make informed decisions. We had to expose Ankerberg for who he is, in the boldest way possible.
Reach Mail Tribune Editor Cathy Noah at email@example.com.