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Hear Coby's response to the LJS article from Jack & John in the Morning.
While it would be natural to rush to the aid of a co-worker, I choose to let Coby defend whatever he feels needs to be defended and he did that on our program and will on his as he sees fit. Rather, I would like to ask two fundamental questions in regards to this story:
1) How much money is too much for one to make before they lose their right to lobby government over what they spend?
2) Why is the state chairman of the Nebraska Democratic Party asked to react to the story?
We all like to whine about special interest groups and their influence over our elected officials. The NRA, AARP, unions, Move On.org, you know the names. In Lincoln, LIBA probably gets more attention than others. And like many of the nationally known lobbying groups, LIBA is allowed by law to be politically active. They exist to be a collective voice for their members. They are funded by their members. Their leaders are paid by the membership. If the membership is unhappy with the leadership they can choose how much to pay and whether or not to employ their services.
That's why this article makes little sense to me. It is not an apples-to-apples argument being made. We all pay our city officials and city employees. Only LIBA members pay Coby Mach. Many of those members probably cleared more than Coby last year. Our tax dollars are not involved.
To extrapolate out Hicks' implied point, Coby's voice on city affairs - specifically on how many people to employ and how much to pay them - should be muted because he makes too much. So where should that line be drawn? Should I be silenced on whether or not to cut a $15-dollar-an-hour city parks department worker because I cleared more than he did last year? Does the small business owner who made $125k last year be allowed to criticize a mayor who makes $90,000?
By the way, if Coby (or somebody else) volunteered their time to LIBA to lobby in front of the city council, would it make any difference in your mind? The message of smaller government, controlled spending, reduced city services and the money and power of the membership behind that message would still be the same.
From where I stand if you pay local taxes you have the right to question where that local tax money is spent and I don't care how much you make.
Then, at the end of the story, Hicks gets the obligatory reaction quote. But not from the mayor whom LIBA has, at times, questioned. Not from a city council member who may have been influenced or infuriated by something Coby said. And not from a city employee whose job may have been on the line by a proposed cut LIBA wanted to have passed. But from the state chair of the Democratic Party?!?!
It was this decision by Hicks that makes this article look like a blatant smear piece. You can point out what the man makes. You can point out perceived inconsistencies in the subject's argument. But who the Hell cares what some party hack thinks about a story that doesn't involve him? Did I miss something? Did we elect Vic Covalt to the county board? Is Vic Covalt making city budget decisions? As far as I'm concerned, I don't care what any party hack has to say about anything. Forcing a quote (an ignorant one at that) from Covalt just smacks of gotcha-journalism.
Hey! I got a great story about a guy who makes $106,000 a year and is advocating for city budget cuts and how hypocritical it is and now I'm gonna pull out my exclamation point to drive the whole thing home......and here he is.....VIC COVALT! BOOM!
Finally, the timing of this story is rather interesting considering the budget times we are in. Local governments are dealing with shortfalls and hard decisions are about to be made. What is the motivation behind doing such a story? It's another interesting question worth asking. I have my theories, but I'll let you discuss among yourselves.
Stay tuned, folks. I have a feeling Coby isn't going to let this one do without a fight.
The Coby Mach-Nancy Hicks Article: Good Journalism or Hatchet Job?
Please Enter Your Comments Below
One big difference Non-profit verses Public Servants. I am required to pay property taxes, I can chose to give or not to LIBA. If I were a LIBA member, and didn't think Coby Mach was worth it I'd communicate that to LIBA. As far as county, city and state cuts they're necessary because:
1) It's the right thing to do.
2) Perpetual Tax increases are unsustainable
3) Tax cuts, and budget limitations encourage thrift and efficiency.
This article by LJS is not comparing apples to apples!
Mach deserved the hit
Fact of the matter is that it is hypocritical for someone making $100k a year to make it a life's mission to limit the pay and workplace rights of working class people in both private and public sectors. Yes, LIBA lobbies local and state leaders for an array of policies that contradict the interests of working people. That's their right and I honor that. But if you don't think it's hypocritical for someone making that kind of dough to complain about the pay of people making 1/3 of what he makes, that's just plain wrong. Mach has himself stated numerous times that private business does not give raises during hard times. Well, apparently LIBA does, so isn't that a hypocritical statement? As for Mach claiming that he's "worked hard" to earn this money, does he work 3 times as hard as the average Lincolnite? But no more about his extravagant paycheck, how about his claim that LIBA cut two jobs to save money during the recession - um, lots of mid- to lower-level employees lost their jobs during the recession. Why does Mach think that supports him in any way? Finally, yes, the piece wasn't very newsworthy, but I will have you know it's good to know how much these fat cats working against the interest of average people are being paid. Vic Colvalt was probably asked about this because no local politician would dare criticize Mach or LIBA - they run this town and they run KLIN. Covalt's already on the target list for both entities.
Why don't you print all the comments klin is bias
I would cancel my subscriptoin to the LJS if another paper would provide local news and ads...think of an Omaha World Herald Capital City edition...
LJS is well known for being biased in it's reporting.
Shoddy journalism, erroneous information, slanted, and then asking for NE Democratic Party Leader comment.
No wonder their subscription base continues to dwindle.
Poor Poor Coby
Jack you really disappoint me, both as a broadcaster and law school graduate. Where is your journalistic integrity? Do you even have a law school diploma? I regard it as skeptical as Coby does Obama's birth certificate. If you really went to law school you would know that x=y for the purposes of z. That means if Coby Mach puts himself out in the public eye, testifies (in the rap sense), and then calls his organization non-partisan when the only democrat they have ever endorsed is Beutler and someone calls him out that you all cry together. Cry yourselves to sleep tonight on your 100 grand.
To Poor Poor Coby....Jack did not write this. I did. And we have never proclaimed LIBA or Coby as anything resembling non-partisan. In fact, Coby has made no bones about the fact he is a "proud conservative." And Coby has not voiced an opinion on the Obama birth certificate, so nice job trying to use a tea party arguing point to paint Coby as a whack-job.
To Mach Deserved The Hit....While Coby is with LIBA and certainly represents LIBA's viewpoints, LIBA does not run KLIN. We have Coby on because he is a good broadcaster who gets people to listen. But listen to our show sometime, you'll find that conservatives get gonged as much, if not more, than liberals.
J. C. James
John Bishop is right about Mr. Mach. And, don't you just love people (above,) who write nasty things and do not use their names as a cover and show just how big a coward they really are? How do you people sleep at night? Maybe you don't.
I personally wouldn't call it a hatchet job or good journalism. I just don't think much of someone who tells other how to "be" when he isn't even following it himself. In my mind it has little to do with taxpayer-funded, or public vs. private, so the money to me isn't the issue. I respect someone who wouldn't dare ask someone else to do something without, at least, believing he'd do it himself. No respect for Coby, IMOH.
Wow, I don't see where Coby is telling anyone how to "be," whatever that is supposed to mean. When our city is having major budget crises, it certainly isn't wrong for its citizens--even highly paid ones--to express their opinions about where budget cuts can be made. And I don't see how expressing one's honest opinions about how to make the city's budget work is hypocritical. If city personnel don't feel they are being paid enough, they will look for jobs elsewhere--it's a free market and a free country. If Coby was saying that these workers had to take pay cuts and had to stay in those jobs and had to be happy about it, then that might be telling them how to "be" and it would be hypocritical, but that certainly isn't the case here.
I have no problem with the article as I think Coby could make any amount of money and he still has the right to comment on anything he wishes as long as the taxpayer is not paying his salary.
I enjoyed the article. I think she was trying to get a promotion to the Daily Nebraskan? Way to go! Now Ms. Hicks, let's see your article on how the Loch Ness Monster influenced the 2000 presidential election and swayed Floridians to vote replublican. Go for it!