Blogging SoCal City Halls- For Truth and Not

Jonathan Abrams in the LA Times looks at local bloggers in Southern Cal– and the local officials who resent them.

…Muckraking bloggers say they have stepped in to fill the government watchdog vacuum. Some are anonymous, others are scurrilous and, on occasion, possibly libelous. And to local politicians, most are a royal pain in the tuchis. Bloggers in the San Gabriel Valley have raised the alarm about a possible budget crisis in Sierra Madre; ones in the Inland Empire have written about the high costs of trimming city trees in Claremont and allegations that killers are getting away with murder in Pomona.

“We realize in today’s electronic environment, it’s a fact of life,” said Grand Terrace City Manager Thomas Schwab. “The thing that’s the most disturbing is they can put things on the blog that have no basis in fact, and you really can’t refute it.”… The Foothill Cities Blog, which covers several cities in the San Gabriel Valley…drew the ire of administrators in May after posting that its city manager was forced to step down — which city officials said was untrue.

“It took me back to high school days when you gossip with girlfriends,” said Pomona Mayor Norma Torres, adding that she may start her own blog to communicate directly with constituents. “Some of the information reads like a gossip column.”

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