Opinion

What the Candidates’ College Transcripts Tell Us About Their Plans for Neighborhoods (Hint: Nothing)

What the Candidates’ College Transcripts Tell Us About Their Plans for Neighborhoods (Hint: Nothing)

Photos by Sam Hodgson

Mike Aguirre, David Alvarez, Kevin Faulconer, Nathan Fletcher

Before you make up your mind about the quality of this column, or how well Voice of San Diego performs as a news outlet, consider this: I got an A-minus in Religions of Asia during my junior year at USC. Really puts things into perspective, right?

I dug out my college transcripts Monday after similar documents from Kevin Faulconer and David Alvarez surfaced in the race for mayor.

To the extent that college transcripts predict the future, mine are pretty straightforward: I graduated cum laude from journalism school, and I have a career in journalism. (Then there’s VOSD CEO Scott Lewis, who I asked to join me in sharing his transcripts. He couldn’t produce them right away. You be the judge of what that means for his supposed commitment to transparency.)

Sara Libby on NewsThe college transcripts issue reared its head during the 2012 presidential race, even as scholars warned that past presidents’ academic records were a poor indicator of performance (Franklin Roosevelt wasn’t that outstanding academically; Harry Truman never even went to college; Richard Nixon got excellent grades – see, this is what I have to show for all those history classes).

That’s not to say college experiences don’t deserve a place on a candidate’s resume – Faulconer’s tenure as president of SDSU’s student body, for example, could tell us a lot about his leadership style, just as this college essay Carl DeMaio wrote revealed that he developed some of the rhetoric he used in the 2012 mayoral race while he was a student at Georgetown.

But transcripts alone don’t paint a very telling picture so much as give us something to leer at under the guise of transparency.

The U-T reported Monday that Alvarez and Faulconer, who both attended San Diego State, released their college transcripts in the name of transparency. Mike Aguirre has promised to do the same.

Faulconer got a string of B’s in many of the classes that are most relevant to his job now: The Legislative Process, Democracy and Mass Society and Oral Communication (He aced others like Law and the Political System, and Advanced Surfing, which is arguably tangentially related to his job representing beach communities.)

“You can tell that at an early age, way back in his teens and his 20s, this was an interesting area to him and an area that he excelled in,” Tony Manolatos, Faulconer’s campaign spokesman, told me Monday afternoon.

Alvarez aced Oral Communication, but got a troubling B-minus for a semester of Marching Band, which seriously calls into question his capacity to build a City Council consensus with an inspiring rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In.”

But we’ll never know what Nathan Fletcher’s grades in Geology 201 say about his ability to oversee a massive city bureaucracy, because, as the U-T reports:

But fellow candidate Nathan Fletcher, a 1997 graduate of California Baptist University in Riverside, gets a failing grade in transparency — at least as far as the latest test by U-T Watchdog is concerned. … Fletcher says he will not release his at all.

Both Alvarez and Faulconer patted themselves on the back for their openness – Alvarez said in a statement, “I have nothing to hide. My background speaks to who I am and I’m not afraid to be open about it.”

Faulconer’s campaign went even further, saying Fletcher’s refusal to release his transcripts is part of a larger trend toward secrecy.

“Over the last several weeks Fletcher has refused to release his calendar, his college transcript and the sources of thousands of dollars [sic] worth of campaign contributions when requested by various media outlets, including NBC7 San Diego, 10News and U-T San Diego,” said a press release from the Faulconer campaign.

A candidate’s calendar and who’s donating money have direct tie-ins with how the candidate conducts himself or herself on the campaign trail, and who he or she might feel beholden to once in office.

But how did college transcripts get lumped in with them? I asked Manolatos whether the Faulconer campaign believes college transcripts are a good indicator of how a candidate would perform in office.

“I think voters would probably learn about any of us from taking a look at our transcripts, sure,” he said.

When I pressed about whether voters should be parsing transcripts in order to make a decision about a candidate, Manolatos admitted transcripts don’t mean much:

“In a vacuum, no. But this is part of a pattern that we’ve seen from Nathan. It’s the calendar, it’s the donors. If he was disclosing all of his donors like we are, then would we make a big deal out of transcripts? No. This is not about his transcripts, this is about a lack of transparency.”

This makes it pretty clear the candidates hammering the transcripts issue want to have it both ways. Either transcripts do matter – in which case the ones made public suggest Faulconer, who notched middling grades toward a political science degree, would make a competent but wholly unremarkable politician, and Alvarez, who got pretty good grades toward a psychology degree, would make an above-average therapist.

Or, transcripts don’t matter, and the real issue is transparency – in which case, why not insist Fletcher release his dental records and cable bills?

When you lump school transcripts with campaign donors and calendars, you imply that college grades are just as important for gauging candidates as things that will actually impact their decisions.

Regardless, this whole absurd detour has at least re-affirmed my one rock-solid theory of political campaigns: At some point, every race will repeat an old storyline from “The West Wing.”

This gem of an exchange, between a reporter and the White House press secretary, is from an episode called “The U.S. Poet Laureate” (emphasis mine):

PHIL: Were you aware that several news organizations have been trying to obtain Gov. Ritchie’s transcripts from the University of Florida?

C.J.: You mean since yesterday?

PHIL: Yeah.

C.J.: No, I wasn’t.

PHIL: I guess my question is does the president feel college transcripts are an accurate barometer of a person’s fitness to hold a high public office?

C.J.: I’ve never asked him, but my guess is the president feels that a person’s college transcripts is a reasonable barometer of how a person did in college.

Voice of San Diego is a nonprofit that depends on you, our readers. Please donate to keep the service strong. Click here to find out more about our supporters and how we operate independently.


Sara Libby

Sara Libby

Sara Libby is VOSD’s managing editor. She oversees VOSD’s newsroom and its content. You can reach her at sara.libby@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0526.

  • 115 Posts
  • 0
    Followers

Show comments
Before you comment, read these simple guidelines on what is not allowed.

102 comments
Glenn Younger
Glenn Younger

Generally it's best not to agrue with silly or crazy. In this case responding to a request gives that request credibility. When it comes to personal information where is the line drawn? Good for Nathan for saying 'not important' to the request and focusing on stuff that is. For Kevin the request was a way to say "I'm a local" and for David to say "I'm smart" so they both got something out of it. Now can we get back to who might actually come closest to being able to govern if they get elected? I want to know what their management team would look like. None of them have any meaningfull big organization leadership experiance. They just know how to get elected. Tell me who you will bring on as the experianced managers if elected.

Glenn Younger
Glenn Younger subscribermember

Generally it's best not to agrue with silly or crazy. In this case responding to a request gives that request credibility. When it comes to personal information where is the line drawn? Good for Nathan for saying 'not important' to the request and focusing on stuff that is. For Kevin the request was a way to say "I'm a local" and for David to say "I'm smart" so they both got something out of it. Now can we get back to who might actually come closest to being able to govern if they get elected? I want to know what their management team would look like. None of them have any meaningfull big organization leadership experiance. They just know how to get elected. Tell me who you will bring on as the experianced managers if elected.

Janet Shelton
Janet Shelton

My performance in college mattered a lot when I was looking for work in my 20s. Past that, it was on my resume but no one ever asked about it. And no employer has ever asked for a copy of my transcript. I'm proud of my college performance, but my more recent achievements are what matter now. This is much ado about nothing.

Janet Shelton
Janet Shelton subscriber

My performance in college mattered a lot when I was looking for work in my 20s. Past that, it was on my resume but no one ever asked about it. And no employer has ever asked for a copy of my transcript. I'm proud of my college performance, but my more recent achievements are what matter now. This is much ado about nothing.

rob dekoven
rob dekoven

Kevin's academic performance at SDSU is remarkable, given that he was also President of the 35,000 member Associated Students Inc., a 501(c)(3), which employs 500 employees. Kevin was involved in not just running one of the largest student associations in the nation. He worked with the Legislature, the Governor, and local officials on a variety of issues (e.g., funding for higher education, campus parking, housing, facilities, etc.). Ironically, virtually every media publication endorsed the last SDSU AS President who ran for local office: Dwayne Crenshaw. Leadership does start at SDSU..... Kevin may have earned a B.A. in Political Science, but he also earned a doctorate in public policy.

rob dekoven
rob dekoven subscriber

Kevin's academic performance at SDSU is remarkable, given that he was also President of the 35,000 member Associated Students Inc., a 501(c)(3), which employs 500 employees. Kevin was involved in not just running one of the largest student associations in the nation. He worked with the Legislature, the Governor, and local officials on a variety of issues (e.g., funding for higher education, campus parking, housing, facilities, etc.). Ironically, virtually every media publication endorsed the last SDSU AS President who ran for local office: Dwayne Crenshaw. Leadership does start at SDSU..... Kevin may have earned a B.A. in Political Science, but he also earned a doctorate in public policy.

David Benz
David Benz subscriber

And excellent grounds for not voting for Fletcher

Gayle Falkenthal APR
Gayle Falkenthal APR

College transcripts provide a worthy stepping-off point for a discussion about the individual's circumstances and approach to his or her own education. They are required for many other jobs. Why not this one? However, grades alone need context. I am far more impressed with someone's 3.0 GPA if he or she was also working full-time to pay his or her own way through school, if he or she participated in campus activities (student government, athletics, debate team, campus broadcasting), if English is his or her second language, returned as an older student, family circumstances, and so on. This information, like so much data, tells me a lot and provides me real value as a voter. Mr. Fletcher has every right to withhold his transcripts if he chooses, and we have every right as voters to draw conclusions from this. Let's all keep in mind too that Bill Gates did not attend college. But Ted Bundy did.

Gayle Falkenthal APR
Gayle Falkenthal APR subscriber

College transcripts provide a worthy stepping-off point for a discussion about the individual's circumstances and approach to his or her own education. They are required for many other jobs. Why not this one? However, grades alone need context. I am far more impressed with someone's 3.0 GPA if he or she was also working full-time to pay his or her own way through school, if he or she participated in campus activities (student government, athletics, debate team, campus broadcasting), if English is his or her second language, returned as an older student, family circumstances, and so on. This information, like so much data, tells me a lot and provides me real value as a voter. Mr. Fletcher has every right to withhold his transcripts if he chooses, and we have every right as voters to draw conclusions from this. Let's all keep in mind too that Bill Gates did not attend college. But Ted Bundy did.

Chris Brewster
Chris Brewster

This is an interesting philosophical debate, but it overlooks one key aspect: If Mr. Fletcher had great grades, he'd almost certainly have published them in the blink of an eye. The role of journalists is to probe and publish. The role of the electorate is to decide what's meaningful. In my view, college grades don't mean a lot, but I seriously doubt Mr.Fletcher's campaign made his decision based on a philosophical debate. I think we can reasonably conclude that Mr. Alvarez was an outstanding student; Mr. Faulconer was a pretty good student; and Mr. Fletcher's college record is not one that he thinks would help him get elected.

Chris Brewster
Chris Brewster subscribermember

This is an interesting philosophical debate, but it overlooks one key aspect: If Mr. Fletcher had great grades, he'd almost certainly have published them in the blink of an eye. The role of journalists is to probe and publish. The role of the electorate is to decide what's meaningful. In my view, college grades don't mean a lot, but I seriously doubt Mr.Fletcher's campaign made his decision based on a philosophical debate. I think we can reasonably conclude that Mr. Alvarez was an outstanding student; Mr. Faulconer was a pretty good student; and Mr. Fletcher's college record is not one that he thinks would help him get elected.

Reid Carr
Reid Carr

When we hire people for a job, we ask about grades and what classes in college they were most passionate about. College, as far back as it may be, was your first chance to explore self-directed learning which does speak to some degree of future performance. People tend to perform best in areas where they are most passionate. Clearly it isn't everything and people discover a lot of passions later in life, but it does help tell a story about the person you're considering hiring for an important job. Were they driven? How do they think? They have to add the color to explain the details surfaced. Now, we don't ask for transcripts. We instead take their word for it. However, prior to hire and in the last stages we run a background check which confirms at least the basics of GPA, graduation, etc. I would say, as we get closer to the "hiring decision" of our mayor it does make sense to confirm some things and it isn't that hard to request a transcript from your college (I would think that Cal Baptist University would be honored to support their high-profile alumnus) if that will appease the people who have to make a "hiring" decision. But, if you deliver nothing more than transcripts, you lack the color to tell the story and you don't want to leave it to the UT or anyone else to make up that story by reading those documents. I just don't see the big deal either way. I see how college classes and grades are relevant to the discussion, albeit personal. But, I also don't see why it magnifies into this concern over transparency. If you want a story about his grades, passion and classes, why don't we just ask a couple of questions? Then, confirm.

Reid Carr
Reid Carr subscribermember

When we hire people for a job, we ask about grades and what classes in college they were most passionate about. College, as far back as it may be, was your first chance to explore self-directed learning which does speak to some degree of future performance. People tend to perform best in areas where they are most passionate. Clearly it isn't everything and people discover a lot of passions later in life, but it does help tell a story about the person you're considering hiring for an important job. Were they driven? How do they think? They have to add the color to explain the details surfaced. Now, we don't ask for transcripts. We instead take their word for it. However, prior to hire and in the last stages we run a background check which confirms at least the basics of GPA, graduation, etc. I would say, as we get closer to the "hiring decision" of our mayor it does make sense to confirm some things and it isn't that hard to request a transcript from your college (I would think that Cal Baptist University would be honored to support their high-profile alumnus) if that will appease the people who have to make a "hiring" decision. But, if you deliver nothing more than transcripts, you lack the color to tell the story and you don't want to leave it to the UT or anyone else to make up that story by reading those documents. I just don't see the big deal either way. I see how college classes and grades are relevant to the discussion, albeit personal. But, I also don't see why it magnifies into this concern over transparency. If you want a story about his grades, passion and classes, why don't we just ask a couple of questions? Then, confirm.

Kevin Swanson
Kevin Swanson

I worked all through college, have been on my own since age 18, earned two Bachelor degrees (double major), an MBA, a Certificate in Green Energy Management, and recently completed an Education Technology Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design. My work background is across different disciplines. I was not, and am not, a "C" student in Life. The "Leading Candidates" for Mayor reflect how our political system rewards Politicians, and their skills and ability in using the political system to advance their careers. Have they "walked in their constituent's shoes?" Do they exhibit knowledge and understanding of the challenges facing our City, Region, State, Country, and Planet? Do they have the personal and professional contacts to identify, create, and implement solutions to these challenges? The Definition of Insanity, at least to one person, is "Doing the Same Thing and Expecting Different Results." Are we living in "InSane Diego?" Time will tell...

Kevin Swanson
Kevin Swanson subscribermember

I worked all through college, have been on my own since age 18, earned two Bachelor degrees (double major), an MBA, a Certificate in Green Energy Management, and recently completed an Education Technology Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design. My work background is across different disciplines. I was not, and am not, a "C" student in Life. The "Leading Candidates" for Mayor reflect how our political system rewards Politicians, and their skills and ability in using the political system to advance their careers. Have they "walked in their constituent's shoes?" Do they exhibit knowledge and understanding of the challenges facing our City, Region, State, Country, and Planet? Do they have the personal and professional contacts to identify, create, and implement solutions to these challenges? The Definition of Insanity, at least to one person, is "Doing the Same Thing and Expecting Different Results." Are we living in "InSane Diego?" Time will tell...

David Benz
David Benz subscriber

Of course Falcouner is "beholden to the highest bidder" but at least we know Falcouner's bidders. Fletcher is too afraid to disclose anything.

Randy Dotinga
Randy Dotinga memberauthor

Way to slam two universities in three sentences! It's a snob double-play. While it's fun for a UCSD grad like myself to make fun of SDSU folks (hello, 13th grade!), they gave us Art Linkletter, Gregory Peck, Tony Gwynn, Cleavon Little, Raquel Welch, Sol Price, Don Coryell, Ralph Rubio, Marion Ross...not too shabby.

Tony Manolatos
Tony Manolatos

A good read Sara even if I don't agree with your conclusion. This has always been about transparency, and that's what we said. See link below. You might not think any of this is important but I think most voters do, especially after the lack of transparency we saw from Bob Filner. If Nathan is not going to share his calendar and a list of all of his donors while he's campaigning, what do you think he would keep from us if he gets the job?Kevin Faulconer | Press Releaseshttp://www.kevinfaulconer.com/media/pressreleases/press.htm?PageDataID=27928

Tony Manolatos
Tony Manolatos subscriber

A good read Sara even if I don't agree with your conclusion. This has always been about transparency, and that's what we said. See link below. You might not think any of this is important but I think most voters do, especially after the lack of transparency we saw from Bob Filner. If Nathan is not going to share his calendar and a list of all of his donors while he's campaigning, what do you think he would keep from us if he gets the job?Kevin Faulconer | Press Releaseshttp://www.kevinfaulconer.com/media/pressreleases/press.htm?PageDataID=27928

Manny Chen
Manny Chen

" California Baptist University" is that even real? of course Fletcher doesn't want to release his transcripts. it's not like they would matter anyways. and he's only competing against some SDSU grads... i guess we're not asking a lot of our local pols these days. other than being proficient at collecting campaign contributions.

Ricky Young
Ricky Young

A college transcript is part of the picture of who someone is. What classes they took, how they did at them. It's part of the profile that makes up the politician. It may not say something gravely important about them as leaders, but it tells you a little something about them at a key juncture in their lives. Field work in community settings for Alvarez, plus politics and economics of black urban development. Karate and surfing and ballroom dancing and political leadership for Faulconer. For Fletcher? A blank slate, at this point. Many voters make their decision on character or personality -- how much they like a candidate -- more so than the candidate positions on linkage fees. This is part of that picture. I don't subscribe to, or relish, the one-dimensional journalism of policy wonks. You don't need any better than a B in Democracy and Mass Society (or online newswriting for that matter) to see that.

Ricky Young
Ricky Young subscribermember

A college transcript is part of the picture of who someone is. What classes they took, how they did at them. It's part of the profile that makes up the politician. It may not say something gravely important about them as leaders, but it tells you a little something about them at a key juncture in their lives. Field work in community settings for Alvarez, plus politics and economics of black urban development. Karate and surfing and ballroom dancing and political leadership for Faulconer. For Fletcher? A blank slate, at this point. Many voters make their decision on character or personality -- how much they like a candidate -- more so than the candidate positions on linkage fees. This is part of that picture. I don't subscribe to, or relish, the one-dimensional journalism of policy wonks. You don't need any better than a B in Democracy and Mass Society (or online newswriting for that matter) to see that.

Ricky Young
Ricky Young

A college transcript is part of the picture of who someone is. What classes they took, how they did at them. It's part of the profile that makes up the politician. It may not say something gravely important about them as leaders, but it tells you a little something about them at a key juncture in their lives. Field work in community settings for Alvarez, plus politics and economics of black urban development. Karate and surfing and ballroom dancing and political leadership for Faulconer. For Fletcher? A blank slate, at this point. Many voters make their decision on character or personality -- how much they like a candidate -- more so than the candidate positions on linkage fees. This is part of that picture. I don't subscribe to, or relish, the one-dimensional journalism of policy wonks. You don't need any better than a B in Democracy and Mass Society (or online newswriting for that matter) to see that.

David Cohen
David Cohen

It is about "transparency" only because opinion leaders deem it relevant. If a candidate declined to provide information about frequency of sexual relations with a spouse/partner, would that show a lack of "transparency"? Alas, a substantial segment of the public has become completely batty about what it expects from candidates and elected officials, pandered to by too many of those politicians.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

So if an employer wanted your college transcripts you would say "No, they don't matter"? It's not about whether Fletcher did well or not, it's about transparency. The only reason to make it about anything other than transparency is to excuse Fletcher for the lack of it.

David Cohen
David Cohen subscriber

It is about "transparency" only because opinion leaders deem it relevant. If a candidate declined to provide information about frequency of sexual relations with a spouse/partner, would that show a lack of "transparency"? Alas, a substantial segment of the public has become completely batty about what it expects from candidates and elected officials, pandered to by too many of those politicians.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones subscriber

So if an employer wanted your college transcripts you would say "No, they don't matter"? It's not about whether Fletcher did well or not, it's about transparency. The only reason to make it about anything other than transparency is to excuse Fletcher for the lack of it.

Gayle Falkenthal APR
Gayle Falkenthal APR

Rick, exactly my point. Sometimes a college degree is thoroughly relevant. Sometimes it's not. Like another poster, I have a rather good education but other than checking off the box of "college degree, yes" not a single person has ever asked me about my major, my GPA, or even my school in an employment related setting.

Rick Smith
Rick Smith

Actually, Bill attended Harvard. Dropped out. Both Bill and Ted lived in Seattle. Sometimes facts don't really mean anything.

Gayle Falkenthal APR
Gayle Falkenthal APR subscriber

Rick, exactly my point. Sometimes a college degree is thoroughly relevant. Sometimes it's not. Like another poster, I have a rather good education but other than checking off the box of "college degree, yes" not a single person has ever asked me about my major, my GPA, or even my school in an employment related setting.

Rick Smith
Rick Smith subscriber

Actually, Bill attended Harvard. Dropped out. Both Bill and Ted lived in Seattle. Sometimes facts don't really mean anything.

David Benz
David Benz subscriber

California Baptist is a scam almost as bad as Liberty University.

Liam Dillon
Liam Dillon memberadministrator

Tony- Like I said on Twitter, Kevin has a glass house on this issue. On an actual public records request, of the same kind that Kevin would face as mayor, Kevin a) failed to follow the law on the timeline for response b) did not include a public record even though one existed. Your response to me boiled down to saying that Kevin would do things differently once he's the mayor. http://voiceofsandiego.org/2013/09/26/mayoral-candidates-promise-to-make-emails-texts-public/

Randy Dotinga
Randy Dotinga

Way to slam two universities in three sentences! It's a snob double-play. While it's fun for a UCSD grad like myself to make fun of SDSU folks (hello, 13th grade!), they gave us Art Linkletter, Gregory Peck, Tony Gwynn, Cleavon Little, Raquel Welch, Sol Price, Don Coryell, Ralph Rubio, Marion Ross...not too shabby.

Ricky Young
Ricky Young

Scott, I appreciate your response (both the fact that you responded, and what you said). The gist of Sara's headline is, we should only care about community planning group concerns, not any trifling issues of intelligence or education that might be shown from a person's choices or performance in college. She calls the request for transcripts an absurd detour. Further, the VOSD Facebook page said, "Let's not pretend the mayoral candidates' transcripts actually tell us anything, so much as give us something to leer at under the guise of transparency." I don't consider our efforts to look into candidate's academic background leering, and it sounds like maybe you don't either. It's about learning what we can about these guys, beyond the slick mailers, and sharing it with our readers. For my money, journalists should be focused on that mission, as opposed to tearing down other people's efforts to do that. Which reminds me, my Voice membership just expired, so this sneering attack on our work comes at a bad time!

Scott Lewis
Scott Lewis

This makes me laugh, Ricky. I appreciate the shot at our "journalism of policy wonks." The linkage fee may not matter to you but it is a major issue businesses will face in coming months. You are fortunate not to have to deal with that fee. I, for one, am proud we've covered it so well. But you mistake this piece as an attack on your team's reporting. I think Sara's pointing out that the grades don't tell us that much, contrary to Faulconer's team's pressing. I personally fully support you guys asking the candidates for whatever you want. And holding a candidate accountable for not participating. That's the consequences they face on that decision. Same thing goes for you, however. There's going to be a reaction to a story like the one you write. Not sure you need to lash out at one-dimensional journalism, whatever you imagine that is.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

Sorry David, job applicants do often supply college transcripts, but not sex life recounting, so your point is silly at best. The excuses are contrived, the only reason not to release his transcripts and move on is that something in them would hurt his chances.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

The only reason it became important is that Fletcher decided to ignore transparency. If he was a C student does that mean he would be a bad mayor? No. If he was a C student and is ashamed or afraid to admit it does that raise some concerns about his character? For me, and for a lot of people it does. Plenty of successful politicians have released less than stellar transcripts, plenty of exceptional students have been very poor politicians, but no politician should be so lacking in guts and fearful to say "here is what I did in school, take it or leave it".

Janet Shelton
Janet Shelton

They can ask for it, but even if I decide to supply it, it is still has no relevance to my ability to excel at a job. I'd prefer people challenge Fletcher and other politicians on transparency issues that are relevant. Surely the UT can think of something more important than this to write about.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones subscriber

Sorry David, job applicants do often supply college transcripts, but not sex life recounting, so your point is silly at best. The excuses are contrived, the only reason not to release his transcripts and move on is that something in them would hurt his chances.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones subscriber

The only reason it became important is that Fletcher decided to ignore transparency. If he was a C student does that mean he would be a bad mayor? No. If he was a C student and is ashamed or afraid to admit it does that raise some concerns about his character? For me, and for a lot of people it does. Plenty of successful politicians have released less than stellar transcripts, plenty of exceptional students have been very poor politicians, but no politician should be so lacking in guts and fearful to say "here is what I did in school, take it or leave it".

Janet Shelton
Janet Shelton subscriber

They can ask for it, but even if I decide to supply it, it is still has no relevance to my ability to excel at a job. I'd prefer people challenge Fletcher and other politicians on transparency issues that are relevant. Surely the UT can think of something more important than this to write about.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

Wow, Fletcher (and Alverez) were three days late responding to your fishing expedition Liam, but they did respond. I think they responded to the UT in the 10 day window, didn't they?

Jim Jones
Jim Jones subscriber

Wow, Fletcher (and Alverez) were three days late responding to your fishing expedition Liam, but they did respond. I think they responded to the UT in the 10 day window, didn't they?

David Benz
David Benz

California Baptist is a scam almost as bad as Liberty University.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

Now Lewis is on the radio blaming "republican anger". How silly can he get. A real journalist asks why he won't release them, a real journalist doesn't make excuses for not releasing them, that's the job of a propagandist or someone on Fletchers (or whoever is controlling Fletchers) staff.

Chris Brewster
Chris Brewster

Mr. Young: I agree that Ms. Libby's piece essentially says that your piece is trivial and meaningless. Moreover, she does in in a very dismissive way, comparing it to leering. I think Mr. Lewis is being disingenuous in that regard and rather thin skinned at that. My view is that VOSD took a shot at the value of your piece. You responded with cogent rationale as to why it is useful and legitimate journalism, with which people may agree or disagree. I think Mr. Lewis should have left it at that.

Ricky Young
Ricky Young

PS: I certainly think the linkage fee, and many other things you guys write about, are important. But the headline suggests any exploration of the candidates beyond neighborhood issues is contemptible. I disagree.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

Scott, Libbys article, typical of her work, is leading the conclusion in an childish and insulting manner. Since both you and Libby share the motivation of trivializing anyone who does show an very reasonable interest in why Fletcher is afraid to release his transcripts, you support Libby here, even though her work is suited more for wrapping fish than for a worthwhile news publication. Libby isn't a reporter, she is a left wing mouthpiece who's tactics are to trivialize, insult, and lead conclusions, even when the conclusions are poor logic ones. She is suited for the comments section, but not to be editor. She is neither neutral, or thoughtful, and you are losing whatever cred your other work has garnered by supporting this garbage article. The fact is that Fletcher not being willing to release his transcripts raises red flags in any reasonable persons mind. That grades may not (or may, I have not seen any studies on the subject) relate to leadership is beside the point.

Ricky Young
Ricky Young

PS: I certainly think the linkage fee, and a number of other things you guys write about, are important in this city. But the implication of this post (particularly the headline) is that it's all we should care about. I think voters are more well-rounded than that.