Editorial by Chad Hobbs
Last week, a Letter to the Editor offered the “true” identity of Conrad Doyle, along with some other salacious accusations. According to the author, “Well we finally found out who the anonymous Conrad Doyle is who writes op eds every week…Conrad Doyle aka Chad Hobbs.”
I’m not sure who the “we” are that the writer refers to as the platinum-level group of gumshoes who pulled the curtain back on this Meade County mystery, but I have a few suspicions.
There’s the local radio talk show host, whose cheese continues to be in danger of sliding off the extreme right side of his cracker, who has made this insinuation. Then there’s the Republican Party officer, the one who is a self-proclaimed upper case “C” citizen and thinks that a thesaurus and big words makes him the resident expert on what’s best for Meade County, who continuously tries to smear and slander the credibility of this institution because it doesn’t goose step to his superior intellect. There is also the distinguished state representative from Meade County, who made the same claim the day after this letter was delivered to our office, when she point-blank stated that she didn’t believe me when I said I wasn’t Conrad Doyle.
Well, I have a confession to make. I am…not Conrad Doyle. Sorry to burst some of your bubbles. First of all, anyone who has read some of my editorials over the past year should surely realize at this point, after some of the pointed and/or controversial topics that I have penned, I don’t mince my words, I call it as I see it, and I do not cower from standing behind what I write whether it be in person or in name. So why would I need a pen name? As my dad pointed out, Conrad has stated he is a product of the military and a military family. Though I hold our military and its veterans in the highest regards, I have never served and am the son of a farmer; not a soldier. Conrad has often quoted me and articles I have written since last fall. I would be quite the megalomaniac to quote myself in the third person for Conrad’s articles, and I assure you that is not my character or style. The last point I’ll make to this today is that Conrad has said that he is not related to Brian Chism nor would he know him if he knocked on his door. Well, that rules me out, as well.
You see, about the only thing that was accurate in the Letter to the Editor last week was the fact that Brian Chism is indeed my cousin, but that’s no secret. I have shared that information with any and everyone who wanted to know. My grandfather was the product of two old Flaherty families merging (Hobbs/Hamilton), my grandmother was the product of two old Concordia families merging (Ray/Brown), my other grandfather was a product of a Guston area merging of families (Sturgeon/Watkins) and my other grandmother was the merging of two old Buck Grove/Brandenburg Station/Old Weldon families (Bruner/Harrington). North, south, east and west; there is not a corner of Meade County that some part of my lineage didn’t come from. As a result, if you want to count who is related to me, depending on how far down the line you want to go, my cousins list could amass hundreds if not several thousand Meade Countians really quick. So, this business about it being so “unethical” and “illegal for the newspaper to be involved in this” is absolutely unfounded and complete hogwash. Truth is truth and facts are facts, whether it is a story about a relative or a complete stranger that I pen.
Foreseeing the day this kind of totally unjustified smear campaign would rise questioning my relation to Mr. Chism, however, I recused myself from writing anything related to his primary race with Stacy Crosslin and have continued that in this general election between him and Nancy Tate. As one of the biggest political writers at this paper, my silence, in regards to this race because of my lineage, has hurt Chism more than it has helped him. If we weren’t kin, I would have a long series of articles to argue why he is much better suited to represent this county than Mrs. Tate.
Half a year before Chism ever announced his candidacy, I was writing about my disdain for a couple local leaders’ handling of the farmers in regards to the Nucor deal. I’ve made no secret about that and have written extensively about it. It has always been where my contention with Mrs. Tate began and ended, as far as anything I’ve written about her in this paper. Even the “liar, liar” article I wrote several months ago revolved around disinformation and untruths she chose to publicly state recently about CGB closing last fall and the farmers involved in the lawsuit. It had nothing to do with this election.
She chose to call me and the people I interviewed in the second story I ever wrote for this paper last fall liars and threw a fit over it back when she was cutting checks to the Messenger from the office next door. She chose to come to our office early this year and throw a temper tantrum over some bad press which ended in her cutting all ties with this paper. She chose to refuse to ever answer any of my colleague’s attempts for comments on multiple stories or to answer his campaign preview questions that were sent to both her and Chism with identical questions tailored to be completely fair and equal to both sides. She chose to push the Commonwealth Attorney to file a Grand Jury subpoena for Conrad’s identity over a totally bogus threat claim, thus weaponizing the judicial system. She chose to go on a local radio station recently and lie, claiming the publisher of this paper cut ties with her and her free column on Frankfort news last October or November when it was in fact her that cut ties with us this year, and we had been running her columns up until she quit. And it was her that insinuated in a conversation I recently had with her that she firmly believed my articles were responsible for putting our former judge/executive in the grave prematurely which is one of the most disgusting claims I have ever heard come out of a politician’s mouth.
So, Ginny Delano, I appreciate your Letter to the Editor and your opinion, as I do all of our readers, whether we agree or not. You are correct in the fact that there is some “unethical”; “DC dirty politics at its worst” behavior going on. Unfortunately, it’s the one you are defending who is perpetuating the behavior.
In just over a month, I will cast my ballot, and there will be only one seat that prevents it from being a straight Republican party ticket. Just as my ballot in 2018, it will have nothing to do with blood or who I’m related to. I just don’t buy into local candidates who would rather smear and bully their opposition versus giving me one good reason why they deserve my vote.