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A shameful smear of Jeff Ellington

By Scott Tibbs, June 18, 2017

I am deeply disappointed yet totally unsurprised that the Herald-Times chose to publish a shamefully dishonest smear of Jeff Ellington. A letter to the editor asked two so-called "questions" that were obviously designed to make the reader think that Ellington has a conflict of interest regarding legislation he proposed limiting the authority of local government to regulate logging. The clear message of the letter is that Ellington is using his position of power in the state legislature to enrich himself.

This is nothing but lies. The two so-called "questions" are as follows:

Does Ellington have any business relationship with the owners of this property where the logging is proposed? Does Ellington do any logging in the Lake Monroe watershed?

Predictably, there were immediately some lame hyperpartsan justifications for these shameful smears. After all, is it really bad to ask questions about what our elected officials are doing? But these are not "questions" and everyone knows it. These so-called "questions" are lies and smears.

It is like asking someone: "When did you stop beating your wife?"

It has been established in the Herald-Times that Ellington's business interests do not include logging. Therefore, there is no need to ask any so-called "questions" about a conflict of interest that exists only in the fantasies of Ellington's political enemies. There is not a single shred of evidence backing up these smears.

State legislators fill out financial disclosure forms. This is required under Indiana law for people running for elective office that pays more than a certain amount. (I know this because I filled out these forms when I ran for city council.) If Ellington had a business relationship with loggers, that would be in the forms. Therefore, there is no need to ask any so-called "questions" about it. It is already public record.

These smears on Ellington do not deserve to be published. They violate the Herald-Times' own published guidelines. Shame on the H-T for publishing these smears. They need to publish a retraction, along with an apology to Jeff Ellington for allowing this dishonest, false attack to be published.