Tribune columnist Tom Fulks is taking a break from writing his column for the next few months. His reason: He’s working for local political campaigns and he wanted “to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest” in writing his columns. Tom, you’re just a bit late.
Perusing Supervisor Bruce Gibson’s campaign-finance statement Form 460 from July 1 to December 31, 2017, reveals that Fulks was paid as a campaign organizer for the last six months.
Yet during that timeframe and two months into this year, Fulks’ columns have steadily demonized the majority of the Board of Supervisors. He hasn’t been “avoiding a conflict of interest,” he’s been the poster child of a blatant conflict of interest.
What does it say about The Tribune in continuing to sustain Fulks’ fulminations despite clear evidence that he’s been paid by Gibson to publicly malign the candidates that Fulks opposes?
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Question: Isn’t this a violation of journalistic ethics? What about the equal time provision? Shouldn’t the campaigns of those Fulks opposes be allowed to publish their Viewpoints as often as The Tribune and Fulks have published his?
To paraphrase Shakespeare: “Something’s rotten in San Luis Obispo County.”
T. Keith Gurnee, San Luis Obispo