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February 26, 2007

The Duel

Editorial

For several years WFMD Host Blaine Young attempted to get Commissioner John "Lennie" Thompson to join him on his Saturday radio show, Frederick’s Forum. It didn’t happen.

At the same time the former Board of Commissioners president was not above cashing in on the station's popularity. Not invited, but confident in Bob Miller's hospitality, he popped up on the Morning News Express. He was right about Mr. Miller.

Although confused about Mr. Thompson's first phone call, the affable "mayor of Frederick mornings" gave polite attention to what the politician had to say. Bob Miller knew about his colleague's continuing invitations for Mr. Thompson to come on a format that enables all guests time to say what they want to say.

On his Morning News Express, Mr. Miller could hardly get a conversation underway before being cut off by news, weather or traffic – essentials for commuters, the bulk of his popular program's audience. When Mr. Thompson called again, WFMD's morning host remained polite. He always is.

On a recent weekend when Blaine and Karen Young ducked off for a spin in the sun, touching Key West and Mexico, he asked someone to stand in for him, as is his custom; in this case the current Board of County Commissioners’ president. Jan Gardner was happy to oblige. Without telling Mr. Young, Ms. Gardner invited Mr. Thompson to appear with her on Frederick’s Forum. Of course, Mr. Young did not know! In the course of their on-air conversation, Mr. Thompson took potshots at the absent host.

TheTentacle.Com has assembled the correspondence that resulted, beginning with Mr. Young's challenge to Mr. Thompson for a radical prize to the winner of a debate between the two

Email #1 in the series:

Sent 4:32 P.M. Thursday February 22, 2007

From Mr. Young to Mr. Thompson and a host of others

Young challenges Thompson To Debate

I hear (second-hand of course) that Commissioner John L. "Lennie" Thompson is displeased with comments I made on my radio show last Saturday. Let me be perfectly clear about my complaints with Mr. Thompson:

For over 6 years I have invited him time and again to appear on my show and debate issues with me, face to face. He has never even bothered to return one phone call or return an email. And yet, two weeks ago, he sneaks on to my show, through the back door, as a guest of substitute host Commissioner Jan Gardner. And then he spends half the hour criticizing me and my show, knowing full well that I was 1500 miles away in no position to respond to his attacks. In my opinion his performance was without honor, at best. So, once and for all, here is my challenge to Commissioner Thompson: I will debate him, anytime, at any place. We will follow formal rules of debate, and have a impartial panel of Judges. If we can not agree on a panel, we will accept a panel selected by the League of Women Voters.

And, here are the stakes:

Commission Thompson is a lawyer he can write this up in a contract, and I will sign it. So, I put it to Commissioner Thompson directly: now that you have sneaked onto my show, behind my back, and attached my character, are you man enough to accept this challenge of a debate on neutral ground, before an impartial panel of Judges?

Blaine R. Young

Host of Frederick's Forum

930 WFMD

Email #2 in the series:

Sent 4:58 P.M. Thursday February 22, 2007.

From Tom Gorsline to all who received Mr. Young’s Challenge email

Frederick Magazine will gladly donate $500 to a local charity named by the winner of the debate.

Tom Gorsline Publisher, Frederick Magazine.

Email #3 in a Series:

From Mr. Young to Rick Weldon, Chairman of the Frederick County Delegation to the General Assembly.

Sent 7:35 P.M. Thursday February 22, 2007

Rick as the Chairman of the Delegation, Jan(Gardner) as the President of BOCC(Board of County Commissioners) and Dino(Flores) as the Chairman of the FCRCC, (Frederick County Republican Central Committee)I wanted to keep you in the loop in case you have to replace a current Commissioner. But I doubt you will have to worry about it based on past history of the person in question.

I tried to copy the Governor but he does have a public email. So, David as Minority Leader will you pass this along.

Thank you

Blaine Young

Email #4 in a Series:

Sent 10:31 P.M. Thursday February 22, 2007

From Suzan Thompson, wife of County Commissioner John L. “Lennie” Thompson

THOMPSON ACCEPTS YOUNG’S CHALLENGE TO DEBATE

Commissioner Thompson is extremely busy with his legal clients at the moment and in the essence of time has delegated me to respond to this, for lack of a better word, silly juvenile email. Commissioner Thompson did not "sneak onto the show." He was expressly invited to appear by the person delegated to host in Mr. Young's absence, BOCC President (Jan) Gardner. Let me now be perfectly clear about HIS complaints with Mr. Young:

In the past six years Mr. Young has repeatedly and erroneously made comments pertaining to Mr. Thompson. There is no debate on this program, just promulgation of Mr. Young and his cronies' agendas, and the constant attempts to disparage and attack those holding opposite views. Indeed, Mr. Young interrupts the guests trying to get across a point by initiating commercial breaks or taking calls apparently lined up ahead of time from his cohorts. Mr. Young has compared Commissioner Thompson to Hitler and stated that F & M Bank paid for his law school education as two of the many examples. If indeed Mr. Thompson did spend time on the show criticizing Mr. Young I'd say it is turn about and fair play as remedial action or damage control for just ONE of Mr. Young's shows. Even if ten minutes per show were devoted to Commissioner Thompson over the past 5 years and I'm sure that is a conservative estimate, then Mr. Young is still 2090 minutes ahead. If he became this angry over less than 30 minutes then he should begin to comprehend the problem Commissioner Thompson has with him.

Additionally, it would be an embarrassment to appear to be associated in any way with "the good old boys of Frederick,” including the Barber. He makes Mr. Haney of Green Acres sound like a Rhodes Scholar. I note that Mr. Young has included Roy Meachum on the list so I also figure we can look forward to another vituperative spewing of venom from him in the little read "Tentacle." Strange how Mr. Young and Meachum seem to come up with very similar wording and repetitious rants against Comm. Thompson.

Thirdly, I assume Mr. Young receives a salary from the radio station for his comedy show. Due to serving as county commissioner, Comm. Thompson schedules appointments with his legal clients during evenings and on weekends. Would it really make any sense at all to spend time assisting Mr. Young with his income instead of serving legal clients? Never in the 6 years did Mr.Young offer payment for Comm. Thompson's time.

Regarding the "challenge to debate," I had to laugh out loud when Mr. Young voiced his opinion about Commissioner Thompson's performance being "without honor." Who is Blaine Young to decide on an honorable course of action? That might be a good topic for the debate. Honor is a characteristic rather like beauty, in the eye of the beholder. As a matter of fact, I'd like a go with Blaine on this topic! Regarding "an impartial panel of Judges," Debates are not able to be judged objectively unless as written opinions submitted to persons having no personal knowledge of the participants. Also, why would Commissioner Thompson resign from elected office as a wager? He is much more interested in the concerns of the average Frederick County taxpayer than soothing Mr. Young's superego or engaging in a urination contest. If you want to debate "the past history of the person in question," I'll take a crack at that one also. For Mr. Young to determine the stakes is like an ape looking at a string of pearls.

In closing, Commissioner Thompson makes a counter offer – he will debate Blaine Young at any time he does not have prior commitments. He is agreeable to Bob Miller or Frank Mitchell of WFMD serving as host/emcee. This event can be promoted or advertised for public attendance. Any monies taken in will be equally divided between WFMD Christmas Cash for Kids (or any other charity he designates) and the National 4-H Dairy Judging trip to Europe to compete for the USA. Other than honor and past history of the participants, other topics suggested for debate are the ethics ordinance, campaign contributions, corporate welfare, the Office of Economic Development, the New Market regional plan, the budget, gambling, and legalized prostitution.

I await Mr. Young's response.

Suzan E. Thompson

Email #5 in a series:

From Blaine Young to Suzan Thompson:

Sent 5:14 A.M., Friday February 23

Am I negotiating with you? Or Mr. Thompson? We went from playing at the VIP table to playing for fun. Obviously my stakes are to(sic) high and your stakes are to .......well none at all. Suggestion each of us should come to the table with something? Tom Gorsline put up $500.

Email #6 in a series:

From Suzan Thompson to Blaine Young

Sent 12:34 P.M. Friday February 23, 2007

Since he is at Winchester Hall working you are communicating with me. We aren't "playas," VIPS, or high rollers so that wouldn't be an option in any case. I assume you meant to use "too" rather than "to." Participating for worthwhile charities or non-profits means more to us than any "stakes" you could propose. We are losing income just by agreeing to participate so that plus brains are what we are bringing to the table. Good for Mr. Gorsline. Maybe he can feature it in "Frederick Magazine" to bring in more money and attendees.

Suzan Thompson

Email #7 in a series:

From Blaine Young to Suzan Thompson

Sent 3:31 P.M. February 23, 2007

You have my challenge. You have the stakes. I am tired of all the whining. This all started because Mr. Thompson went on the radio focusing on me with his lies. When he should of used it as a opportunity to tell the citizens what he is doing for them. Which is fine but then don't go running to the Gazette and begging them to do another non-story about Frederick's Forum and what I said last week. It's all or nothing. I do not want to argue or debate with you. I know I can not win. Let me go see if my wife can bail me out.

B.R. Young

Email #8 in a series

From Suzan Thompson to Blaine Young

Sent at 606 P.M. Friday February 23, 2007

I knew you would never do it. Whining? Whining? Come on, you proposed a debate...that's what you've said you have wanted for 6 years. What kind of elected official would be so irresponsible as to negate the public trust placed in them with a gesture of resigning their office over a wager? The sad thing is that is exactly how you think – that the official owns the office and can do what they like. Believe it or not the voters own the office and it is a sacred trust for a true public servant. The challenge was for a debate. You're getting what you want, what's the problem. I know you don't want to debate with him. Why do you need a panel of judges? Don't you think the people listening have enough mental acuity to decide for themselves?

You got on the radio (evidently, since I don't waste my energy listening) last Saturday and ranted and raved. Now you don't want to be accountable for what you said. The radio is a perfect medium for you. You blabbed untrue and malicious statements over the airwaves yet become hysterical when one reporter contacts you about what you said? What did you do this time that your wife needs to bail you out? Give me a list of dates when you are available. Actually, this debate is one of the best ideas you've ever had. I'm already planning how Jan and I can dress

Suzan Thompson

Email #9 in a series

From Suzan Thompson to Blaine Young

Sent 8:30 P.M. Friday February 23, 2007

And your point is.......................?????????? You got exactly what you say you've wanted but now you're trying to back out because of .............?????????? Isn't the debate the central issue.....???????? Why are you so fixated on money or position.......???????? I asked for some dates you're available............ where do you want the location for the OK corral? Which issues do you want to debate? My 4-H club wants to be ushers or cheerleaders. The moms want to serve/sell refreshments. Bill wants to be the host.

Suzan Thompson

Email #10 in a series

From Blaine Young to Suzan Thompson

Sent at 11:30 P.M. Friday February 23, 2007

No, I am doing exactly what I said I would in the release I sent out. Your husband is a lawyer and has served the county for 8 plus years as a County Commissioner. Plus I don't know how many years on the Walkersville town council if you are so sure so confident that I was be such an easy defeat you have absolutely nothing to worry about. No need to be scared. You win and I'm off the radio forever. I win will Mr. Thompson goes (sic) to work for a living. Does Mr. Thompson speak for himself? Does he have a voice or a say? I am on 9am - 11am tomorrow. Believe me I know that you two know exactly when the show is on. The studio line is 301-694-WFMD. That's 301-694-9363. Good night Mrs. Thompson and say good night to Mr. Thompson.

Blaine R. Young

Email #11 in a series

From Suzan Thompson to Blaine Young

Sent at 12:11 A.M. Sunday February 25, 2007

No one here listened to your show. Commissioner Thompson was with clients from 0800 until 1100. I was working on a project at home—I never listen. No official would show so little respect to the people who put him into office as to gamble with the office he was elected to. Do you really think that would be honorable? You tried to say that first and foremost you wanted a debate – that was key....you say you won? I wonder why I continue to respond, except I want the people you began copying to see exactly how your mind functions – like a spoiled little brat. Come on, give me some dates. I have people waiting and I've made a template for the tickets. Our 4-H Team is ready to go with this. Please add impact fees to the list of topics I previously sent.

Suzan Thompson

Mr. Thompson does speak for himself and says "you like to dish it out but you sure can't take it."

Email #12 in a series

From Blaine Young to Suzan Thompson

Sent at 2:17 A.M. Sunday, February 25, 2007

You had the studio number. YOU CHICKENED OUT! Like I thought you would! Go get a life and a husband who is not afraid. You could take some lessons from Commissioner Charles Jenkins. He heard his name mentioned and drove up to the studio and confronted Anita Stup and I about Citizens Nursing Home.

Sleep tight; don't let the developer bed bugs bite.

Blaine R. Young

Email #13 in a series

From Suzan Thompson to Blaine Young

Sent at 9:15 A.M. Sunday February 25, 2007

A debate was supposedly what you wanted above all, but you made sure no intelligent person would agree to your "stakes." At least not someone who had some honor instilled in their soul. Good for Charles. I'm sure you'd open the doors wide to admit us at the station during the show. I have a pretty good life in the scheme of things. Want to debate mine vs. yours? Stop trying to weasel out of the debate and give me some dates and times. When are you going away again?

Suzan Thompson

Email # 14 in a series

From Blaine Young to Suzan Thompson

Sent 12:34 P.M. Sunday February 25, 2007

Next weekend 3/3 - 9am. Frank Mitchell can run the board during the show since Mr. Thompson says I am a technology wizard.

The address is 5966 Grove Hill Road Frederick.

Take RT. 40 like your going to the Fredericktown Mall and take a left on to Grove Hill Rd. You will run right into the station.

See you then.

Blaine R. Young



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