School Candidates Deserve More Scrutiny



Last week the Indy ran a story about School Board candidate Peggy Wolff that was more glowing and effusive than what her public relations consultants and media advisers have written for her campaign webpage. No one can begrudge Wolff for getting good press, right?

But it raises a question:  Between now and the election, should Indy readers expect to see a 100 percent positive front page article about school board candidates Howard Hills and Jan Vickers to balance your coverage of the school board race?

Conversely, can Indy readers expect investigative journalism and equal scrutiny of any past or present questions, opposition or criticism of Wolff and Vickers?  After all, the Indy ran an in-depth April 29 article on Hills in which – for the first time in the history of the Indy – a new candidate for a local office had to defend his record on long passed political issues.

The Indy was forced to report that Hills had been fully exonerated in a 14-year-old legal case that was fully resolved in his favor. Why is a legal case that vindicated the public integrity and personal honor of Hills treated as big news, but Jan Vickers 1987 recall from the board by voters somehow is not newsworthy?

Will those who oppose or raise questions about the candidacies of  Wolff and Vickers also be featured in Indy articles about those two candidates?

For example, will the Indy report the actual number of years Vickers served on our school board before and after her recall by voters?  Do readers have a right to know why she was voted off the board and what she said about voters who supported her recall?

Why did the Indy quote school board member Ketta Brown who supports Wolff, but declined a request to interview school board member Dee Perry or Mayor Steve Dicterow, both supporting Hills?

Fortunately, Indy readers who want to know the actual policy positions and qualifications of Howard Hills can go to his website at

David Flores, Laguna Beach


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