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March 5, 2007

The Duel - Part II

Editorial

EDITOR'S NOTE: On Monday February 26, 2007, The Tentacle published a number of email that were exchanged between Blaine R. Young, host of WFMD's "Frederick's Forum," and Suzan Thompson, wife of County Commissioner John L. "Lennie" Thompson, concerning a proposed debate between Mr. Young and Mr. Thompson. Since the deadline for that edition of The Tentacle there were several more emails

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 Blaine Young to Suzan Thompson

Sent at 7:05 P.M. Friday February 23, 2007

 

You have my terms and countered with nothing. I already give to any charities so I am not neglecting them. This not an academic exercise for me. I live in the real world and work in the private sector where we earn our keep. I’m not wasting my time if there is nothing on the line. I have only heard from you not Mr. Thompson I guess I should have expected nothing else.

 

Either accept my terms or rejected them I am done wasting my time with these back and forth emails.

 

Blaine R. Young

 

 

 

 

Email #10 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 #11 in a series

From Blaine Young to Suzan Thompson

Sent at 11:30 P.M. Friday September 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 #12 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 #13 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 #14 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 # 15 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

 

 

 

 

Email # 16 in a series

From Suzan Thompson to Blaine Young

Sent 10:14 P.M. Sunday February 25, 2007

 

Thank you Commissioner Hagen for weighing in. I was beginning to think I was in Bizarro World. Mr. Young, I have no idea what the following email means. Is that when you're leaving town again? Who is hosting? I have close to 50 people interested in attending a debate with the same format as the candidate nights. I'm sure there would be many more when it is advertised. The topic is given to one of you and you have 3 minutes. The other then gets 1 minute for rebuttal. Then it flips to the other having first crack at the topic etc. etc. The topics will be drawn from the fishbowl by Bill, or whoever is the emcee. A brief intermission to sell drinks and snacks to benefit the charities. The library would be a good venue. I'll contact the individual who schedules rooms as soon as you give me some dates to work with.

 

Suzan Thompson

 

 

Email #17 in a series

From Blaine Young to Suzan Thompson

Sent (9:59 P.M. Sunday February 25, 2007

 

Here we go with games. The email was clear as day. First of all no one is going to pay to come see us debate and you might make $100 bucks from selling drinks and snacks. Let's see 50 to 100 people at the library verses thousands that tune in Saturday between 9am and 11am. I agreed to your new terms of putting up nothing. I gave you a date and a time. And these are your words... He is agreeable to Bob Miller or Frank Mitchell of WFMD serving as host/emcee.

 

Now back to putting up nothing. I have been informed that you need help and are trying to raise money for the 4-H so your daughter can go on the Europe trip. I respect that and I support 4-H. I gave them $1,000 during the fair last year as part of the steer sale and I already give a $1,000 a year to Christmas Cash for Kids and helped raise over $10,000 from the FGOB network. So, if this is about money hell I'll give you $500 to help support your cause. Do you all want to put up $500 to Christmas Cash for Kids? If you all cannot I completely understand. If Mr. Thompson shows up Saturday do I make that check out to you all or 4-H?

 

I see the format that you laid out which is fine. I don't care what format you use or topics.

 

Again here is my email

 

Good night

 

Blaine R. Young

 

 

 

 

Email #18 in a Series

From Suzan Thompson to Blaine R. Young

Sent 5:01 P.M. February 26, 2007

 

Current understandings:

-there will be a debate

-the format is agreed upon

-a tentative list of topics is established

 

Issues remaining:

 

-date-I looked at moving appointments around for March 3rd but not possible. Saturdays and Sundays are filled with appointments. Most attorneys would confirm that for whatever reason midwinter is the season for wills and divorces. Tax season seems to bring the need for businesses to consider incorporating etc. I need to be given more options, plus see "venue".

 

-venue-A debate should be on neutral territory. Neither Winchester Hall or your radio show seems appropriate. Also, a live radio show interrupted by commercials needing to be aired is not workable for a debate. I again propose the library and will contact the scheduler once I have some dates to compare for mutual availability. We agree that it could be taped and commercials spliced in for radio airing as long as it is done under the control of Mr. Mitchell. You could have another weekend off and air it in place of the show.

 

-emcee-Either Mr. Mitchell or Mr. Miller would be perfectly acceptable as host. However, I believe you should give consideration to Bill Ashton since he is one of the rare people who feels that both of you are his friends. He has demonstrated his ability to clearly think through issues and is not afraid to go against the flow when he feels a poor decision has been made. If Mr. Mitchell is overseeing the technology for recording this would also weigh in the favor of Mr. Ashton serving as host.

 

-charitable considerations-I thought this would be the "lemonade from lemons" aspect.  I offered you a choice of charities. Yes, our daughter is one of 4 Frederick Countians who made history by being the first national winners in Dairy Judging that all hailed from the same county, and goes to Europe to compete internationally. Regardless of this fact, 4-H would always be my choice having a long history of supporting it even before I knew I'd have children. For the record (1.) the entire amount needed for the trip and goodwill ambassador tour is well over $40,000 and we are almost there, and (2.) we encourage the team to EARN the money, as you may know they are offering to present a program to area clubs, working at food concessions, stuffing envelopes for businesses and any other jobs we can line up for them. The publicity generated by this debate has the potential to bring in significant funds. If Mr. Gorsline is willing to put forth $500 perhaps the Gazette would like to join in as well as the FNP--hey, maybe even the Tentacle! In addition, a total of 50 interested people paying $5.00 each generates $250.00. Add some food sales and it is not so insignificant. You stated that "thousands tune in Saturday between 9am and 11am". Surely some of them would make the effort to see the debate up close and personal....

 

-Finally-this debate is a big opportunity able to generate publicity for your show. You could promote the event and make the statement that there are other ways to express differences in opinions on issues. Listening to constant harranging and verbal assaults on the radio without equal time to respond does not create good will. At some point in our life we will all have to look back over our acts and perhaps answer to Someone--will it be with pride or shame?

 

Suzan Thompson

 

 

 

 

Email #19 in a series

From Blaine R. Young to Suzan Thompson

Sent 11:47 A.M. Wednesday February 28, 2007

 

This is my last correspondence on this issue. You are not interested in my original terms. I have made concessions and even offered to donate to your charity of choice. So, I will treat your husband like every other public official in Frederick County. He is welcome to come on my show and speak his piece I have an opening this Saturday from 9am to 10am.

 

Please respond with a one word answer yes or no.

 

If no please still send me the information on 4-H because I am in a position to help and beleave in the cause.

 

For all those copied on this email. Some of you are have let me know that we are both being childish. With me it stops with this email.

 

Blaine R. Young

 

 

Email #20 in a series

From Suzan Thompson to Blaine R. Young

Sent 1:47 P.M. Wednesday February 28, 2007

 

The offer stands as proposed. Your original offer to barter an elected office is probably illegal, if not immoral. I believe I initiated the proposal to turn this into a charitable event, as evidenced in these exchanges. Would you appear on a show when week after week you are attacked with untrue and unfair observations by someone who appears to greatly enjoy doing so? Lennie is far from perfect and I certainly don't always agree or take up for him--in fact, I'm probably his worst critic when I believe him to be wrong. However, I can be his strongest advocate when I feel he is wronged. I tried very hard to be objective and create an environment for a true debate, with both parties on neutral ground. Evidently you put forth your offer from some reason other than a sincere desire to debate.

 

Suzan E. Thompson

 

Donations: Checks made out to "Maryland 4-H Foundation/Int'l Judging Trip"mail to: Dr. J. Lee Majeskie 212 Overture Way Centreville MD 21617

 



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