LOCAL VOICES: Where were facts in column critical of Delphi union vote?

I find it difficult to believe that the Sandusky Register would publish a column written by a managing editor of their newspaper tha
Sandusky Register Staff
May 9, 2010


I find it difficult to believe that the Sandusky Register would publish a column written by a managing editor of their newspaper that contained as many gross inaccuracies, fact-less innuendo and borderline libelous statements as that which was written by Matt Westerhold and published in Sunday’s edition of the Register. While I can forgive Mr. Lombardo’s inaccurate column as the result of ignorance, misinformation and lack of facts, I would think the Register would hold its editors to a higher standard.

Mr. Westerhold states that the balloting of the Delphi elections is scheduled to take place in an “obscure room” where “new workers might not find their way.”

Total nonsense. The nominations, elections and balloting that Mr. Lombardo is complaining about are taking place at the local union hall. These are, after all, elections for local union positions. I don’t find anything inappropriate about conducting elections at the local union hall. If any new members can’t find the “obscure” location of their local union hall, I would suggest they ask someone. It certainly is no secret.

Mr. Westerhold then goes on to practice his brand of irresponsible tabloid journalism by somehow associating our local union elections with how “Old Joe bought votes in Chicago for JFK and George Bush became president.” He even goes so far as to use the words “rigged election.” How could any responsible journalist make any kind of association whatsoever between the upcoming elections at Delphi and someone buying votes in Chicago 50 years ago? No facts whatsoever, just baseless innuendo and guilt by association. That is like saying that since there have been managing editors of newspapers convicted of heinous crimes in other cities in other times, Mr. Westerhold just might be guilty of these same heinous crimes himself. I wonder if Mr. Westerhold would enjoy defending himself everyday against such baseless charges.

He then goes on to write the most idiotic statement I have read in a long time, when he sates, “By-laws, shmy-laws. This is 2007, for God’s sake.” Just what the hell is that supposed to mean? Mr. Lombardo wanted to know whey the elections are conducted according to the constitution and the bylaws of our union. Mr. Westerhold apparently thinks we should just ignore our constitution and by-laws whenever some disgruntled member wants things done his own way. And his statement trivializes both the constitution of our international union and the bylaws of our local union. Our constitution and bylaws might not mean much to Mr. Westerhold, but they are were adopted and voted on by our members and I can assure you that any officer of the union, who chooses to ignore them, will soon find themselves removed from office.

The Lombardo and Westerhold letters have unjustly questioned the integrity of both the past and present leadership of this union. Clyde Sims, Lattie Slusher and Ralph Brumby have served this union and this community honorably and unselfishly for many, many years. It sickens me to think that after all their years of dedicated, selfless, honest and honorable service that their integrity could be challenged by a misguided union member and irresponsible newspaper editor.

I have yet to see one shred of evidence or fact to support any of these baseless allegations. Unfortunately, Mr. Westerhold and the Register apparently do not let minor annoyances, like the lack of facts, get in the way of their character assassination of good, honest, hard-working and dedicated individuals. Much like they don’t think minor things like a constitution or “shmy-laws” should get in the way of doing things however they see fit.

Mr. Westerhold should be fired so he can pursue a job with tabloid newspaper. His lack of ethics and professionalism are an embarrassment to the Sandusky Register are much more suited for a career with the National Enquirer. The fact that the Register allowed such an article to be printed brings into question the integrity of the entire newspaper and every article that it contains.

Knowing that this article was so full of distortions, half-truths, outright lies, idiotic statements and totally irresponsible journalism, I really don’t see how I can read anything else in the Register, without questioning the validity of it. The public deserves more from its newspaper.

Both Mr. Westerhold and the Sandusky Register owe the UAW, Local 913, Mr. Sims, Mr. Slusher and Mr. Brumby, all current and former members of this local union, a public apology and retraction for any and all statements they have made insinuating any improprieties in these, or any other, elections held by this local union.

If you have any facts that I am not aware of then make them known, or apologize and admit you have smeared these people and this organizations with absolutely no facts whatsoever. Put up or shut up.