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October 12, 2009

Naming Names

A lot of people in and around Desert Hot Springs seem to have formed their impression of journalism by reading Hollywood tabloids where the person who is the object of discussion is left unnamed, possibly to avoid a lawsuit, or maybe just to make a dull story seem more exciting. When you can name names, name them. It makes things so much easier to follow.

There are two articles in the current Desert Local News that cause me to raise this issue. First, this one entitled "Matas Speaks Out" on page 15 where an encounter with "this unnamed individual" is mentioned. Later the individual is referred to as "the writer." Well, if the reader didn't already know the unnamed individual was Dean Gray, then this unclear reference to "the writer" would really leave them confused. So we all (or almost all) know they're talking about Dean Gray and the "Desert Valley Star," so why not just say so?

Then on the righthand side of page 23 is the article entitled "Councilman Matas Responds to Rival's Accusations." Here we have Scott Matas and someone who is referred to only as "the challenger." What the hell is up with that? It's a political campaign, so why doesn't Desert Local News simply state that the challenger in question is Robert Bentley and his long, long, long-winded complaint can be read on his website. By not naming him, the Desert Local News does a disservice to candidates Martin, Scheurer and Pye who are the other "challengers." In a political campaign it is perfectly proper to name the names of those candidates who are being quoted.

Filed under Desert Hot Springs | permalink | October 12, 2009 at 02:00 PM


The Desert Valley Star accurately reported Robert Bentleys allegations. We have in our possession documents (state government liens) certified by the court clerk as recently accurate and valid - verifying these allegations that Matas did not pay back taxes.

Matas on a television news report both admitted not paying his taxes when due (Bentleys allegation) and also said they were now paid up AND that he was making payments. What exactly does Matas want us to believe?

These were sales taxes and employee withholding taxes. Although the amount was small, under $6,000, these taxes were never collected by Matas to do with whatever he wanted. Payment to the state is not negotiable. It is a crime to not pay employee withholding taxes and to not pay sales taxes from the Matas bar business.

Matas conveniently pins the blame for failing to pay these taxes on his business partners. His wife was his business partner. Exactly why should we all ignore the troubles Matas has for not taking responsibility for the business he operated?

Importantly - Should Matas enjoy special privileges because he is a city councilman?

Matas offered no evidence of any lien release from the court to validate his claim. If the taxes are really paid off then Matas should show us the proof - the lien release - and stop blaming others.

Posted by: Dean Gray at Oct 18, 2009 3:46:09 PM

Ron I agree with you that Desert Local News needs to print the name of the challenger in question. DLN has Matas looking like the victim in this which he is not.

Posted by: Mike at Oct 13, 2009 6:38:18 PM

I would like to know what Scott means by "Financially responsible payback for these bonds." I'm guessing it's the citizens of DHS who will be stuck with the bill. I still don't see how anyone in his right mind can still say that over spending for that property refered often as the "Jewish Center" is good for DHS. There's been much talk of what will be done with it but so far no real follow through. I prefer that he (Scott) man up about his involvement with the purchase. The million plus dollars wasted on this purchase will never be realized. I don't support Bentley but at least he did present facts. I thank you Ron for pointing us to Bentley's website illustrating specifically an factually what he is trying to say.

Posted by: Todd at Oct 12, 2009 3:59:39 PM

Ron, I read that DLN article and agree with you.

Also Scott and Parks differ on what Deans reports and basically calls him a liar, making thing up, etc.

Dean should publish the court documents, state public tax records, planning commission minutes, LAFCO minutes and city council records and let the public read the truth for themselves. Then the public can decide for themselves who is telling the truth.

Posted by: Gabriel King at Oct 12, 2009 2:28:37 PM

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