Editorial: No name, no credibility
| Posted: Friday, Oct 04, 2013 04:30 pm
Another round in an ugly election row erupted this week, this time over a political forum organized and sponsored by the St. Albert Think Tank, a group familiar to Gazette readers. The group has been running large political ads questioning the decisions of the past council and current incumbents.
The Think Tank is bringing to light important issues that should be debated by the candidates, however, the Think Tank’s refusal to make the identity of its leadership known to the public has gained more attention than the issues it raises.
The Think Tank’s anonymity is now the number one issue of its candidates’ forum scheduled for Oct. 16. A handful of candidates, including mayoral candidate Nolan Crouse, are refusing to attend the forum because they say they won’t participate in an event being run by an anonymous group.
Just how anonymous is it?
The St. Albert Taxpayers Association (SATA) champions the same issues as the Think Tank. The Election Action Committee (EAC) was established by the past president of SATA to support candidates sharing its views. It is placing advertisements for mayoral candidate Shelley Biermanski. It endorses several candidates including two incumbents. Click on the “About” tab on the EAE’s website and it’s plain to see the EAC is not a fan of Crouse.
The Think Tank is obviously related to both the EAC and SATA. Those even loosely aware of St. Albert’s political landscape know some members of SATA and by extension the EAC and the Think Tank. The candidates in this election, especially the incumbents who have operated in this political landscape for the last three years, know full well who is behind the Think Tank. They’ve crossed swords many times. To suggest otherwise is disingenuous.
It’s certainly not the Gazette’s role to provide cover for any of the parties engaged in this fight and this newspaper doesn’t intend to. The issues brought forward by the Think Tank deserve debate during this election, but voters deserve to know who stands behind these organizations. It’s time for them to step forward. Their credibility depends on it.