Curt Ankerberg, We Ask You: What Is An Ass-Clown?
Medford City Council Candidates: The Good, Bad and Email Ugly
Over the past couple weeks, we reached out to candidates for offices in Medford. With three seats open, and a changing political center and demographic in that city, there is a wide field for the positions, and a great possibility than the tenor and concerns of Medford City Council will change in November.
We asked the candidates some basic questions about why they are running.
Their responses have been telling—but certainly the most bizarre were from Curt Ankerberg, who is running for Medford City Council and has run previously unsuccessful campaigns for local offices. He responded that he would not take part in the questions, but then went on what can best be described as a troll-in-a-cyber-tornado email fury. Because we asked about previous campaigns, Ankerberg told us we were running a “smear campaign.” He went on to call us (or, really, me specifically) an “ass-clown.”
We sent the following questions to candidate Ankerberg:
* This isn’t your first campaign. What have you learned from previous campaigns?
* You have run for school board before. Why city council now?
* What is your “calling card” issue for this campaign?
* Can you pay a compliment to your challenger?
* What do you see as the biggest challenge(s) for the City of Medford in the upcoming four years?
* If you were a character on the Simpsons (or chose a favorite TV show), who would that be?
* Favorite locally produced drink?
Ankerberg’s response: “Your questions are comical, and not worthy of a legitimate journalist. I’m going to pass on them. You must not live in Medford, because you are ignorant of the issues. This is not a sitcom. This is real life. I’m going to attach my candidate statement, and you might learn something from reviewing it.
Have a good day.
Curt Ankerberg CPA”
Ankerberg attached a one-page “platform” which consisted of a number of bulleted points about alleged corruption within the Chamber of Commerce. The lead paragraph from his candidate statement reads: “The Chamber of Commerce has undue influence over our city, and its executive members continually loot the Medford treasury for tens of millions of dollars in order to pay for their privately-owned projects. Incumbent Dick Gordon has been the ringleader of a corrupt, bloated, and inept Medford city government that serves the 1% at the Chamber.”
Ankerberg then sent a follow-up: “You have no credibility. Who gives a shit about a Simpsons character. Grow-up, Pal. Who gives a shit about someone’s favorite drink? You obviously don’t know what the real issues are. The fact that you focused on prior elections tells me that you are looking to smear someone. Who cares about a past political race? Do you even understand the political landscape in Medford? The teachers union owns the school district, and ONLY 17% of eligible voters have voted in the past 4 school distinct elections. You can’t win when people don’t vote, and the only ones who do vote are the teachers union members.”
He continued, “When an outsider like me runs for the city council, I’m not only running against my opponent, I’m also running against the Mail Tribune and the Chamber of Commerce, who owns the city council.
And added, “I’d suggest that you educate yourself, before you make an ass of yourself again. The Simpsons? REALLY? Are you in high school. I’d suggest that you run for office, Phil, so that we can see your pretty face, and your non-existent platform.”
(Editor’s Note: I did run for Mayor of Portland in 2004. Out of 26 candidates and outspent by $1 million by the two lead candidates, I finished in third. We produced a 100-plus page platform, of which several initiatives became city policy.)
A few hours after his first round of emails, Ankerberg sent another follow-up: “You’re not the media. You’re a clown, and you can print that I think that you’re a clown. Be sure to tell your readers that you think that the Simpsons and types of beverages are important in an election.”
And then, 12 minutes, he sent another email: “You look like a real assclown to me. You should write an article in your rag about what an assclown you are.”
Later that same evening, nearly four hours later, he sent another email asking if I had been disbarred (I was an attorney for the State of California from 1997 – 99, before moving to Oregon; and, for the record, was not disbarred) and suggested that I “stick to (my) day job at Taco Bell.”
He also asked, “Does anyone with intelligence in Medford read your trash rag?”
Ankerberg is running against incumbent Dick Gordon. During his tenure in office, Gordon has failed to respond to repeated requests to interviews from the Messenger.
Fortunately, Medford residents have better choices for other city council positions, but unfortunately have these two to choose from for Ward One.