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Councilwoman Washington shuts down City Pulse over an endorsement that has not happened


WEDNESDAY, Oct. 11 — Lansing City Councilwoman Jody Washington is blackballing City Pulse over a political endorsement that hasn’t occurred.

In a lengthy text message, Washington told publisher Berl Schwartz today she would no longer talk to City Pulse because it endorsed Tina Houghton, who is seeking a third term representing the 2nd Ward on the Council.

One problem: City Pulse has yet to endorse either candidate in the 2nd Ward race.

“City Pulse has held off endorsing because of concerns about both candidates,” Schwartz said. “We decided to do further research.”

Houghton’s opponent is Jeremy Garza.

Schwartz said Washington called him last week asking that the paper not endorse if it could not endorse Garza. She threatened at the time to boycott City Pulse if it endorsed Houghton.

This morning, Washington told City Pulse reporter Todd Heywood in a phone call that she would no longer speak to City Pulse because it endorsed Houghton. Heywood referred her to Schwartz.

Schwartz received the following text message from Washington:

“This will be my last communication. I will not take any more calls.

Presumably referring to Houghton, Washington continued:

“The blatant disregard for the extra work she causes us by not doing anything is disturbing. The south side of Lansing has crumbled and she thinks we are headed in the right direction. She touts we came through the recession. The entire country came through. She’s financially irresponsible, can’t make an independent decision, was a horrible president, used the city attorney, etc. Again, you reported most of this. You have heard from many ppl that she had find [sic] nothing. But, because she likes pot, you will endorse her. There is much more to being on Council than liking pot. I know you like the ad money.”

“I’m angry that you show blatant disregard for the city, the council members, and the south side constituents just because she likes pot. This is not a progressive endorsement. Done [sic] if us are damn near killing ourselves trying to get jobs for our ppl, make sure incentives make sense, actually read the budget and submit recommendations, try to get needle exchanges, write ordinances an d resolutions and more she does nothing. With that, I need to free up more if my time to do the work for others. I will not have time to chat with City Pulse.”

When Schwartz texted her that the paper has not yet endorsed, she replied, “Okay, my apologies.”

“Sometimes I can be an ass.”

But then she said "yes” to whether she would no longer communicate with City Pulse if it endorsed Houghton, adding, “Only because we have an opportunity to turn this city around.”

In a text a few minutes later, Washington said, “One last word. I do love your paper and I do respect you.”


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