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From the Publisher: When did public safety become a partisan issue?

LYNNWOOD, Wash., October 28, 2023—This morning our inbox was inundated with emails and my cellphone with 14 voicemails and 23 texts from readers frustrated at what they consider partisan propaganda perpetuated by a competing mainstream local newspaper in Snohomish County regarding the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office race.

We at the Lynnwood Times follow objective journalism and not the advocacy journalism you read so much in mainstream news outlets. This is why mainstream is failing. Because of the internet, people can read a myriad of perspectives and see through the propaganda.

Mainstream news outlets should tread carefully on making safety a partisan issue. In Washington state, one party has controlled Snohomish County and the state executive government for decades, incrementally passing laws that hinder policing, legalizing drugs, and empowering offenders.

The “chickens are coming home to roost,” to quote the infamous phase from Rev. Jeremiah Wright, also known as President Barack Obama’s pastor.

The polls show overwhelmingly, 67% of American’s reject the Defund the Police rhetoric and the failed policies that we are now experiencing. So, I say again, tread carefully on making safety a partisan issue.

Here is a theory…The governing party (and those elected to represent and promote that governing party) are putting ideology before public safety.

The “welcoming city” and “sanctuary city” policies passed in 2017 and 2018 directing local and state law enforcement to NOT cooperate with Federal immigration enforcement, often by rejecting “detainer” requests emboldened drug cartels to establish organized crime operations in cities. Then sheriffs and District Attorneys adopted catch-and-release policies. Then we had sheriff’s and governors across the United States, including Washington state, release criminal offenders because of COVID in 2020. During that same year in 2020, elected officials refused to call out the violence and destruction of rioting throughout Washington state and allowed armed vigilantes to take over a portion of Downtown Seattle for weeks emboldening criminal behavior.

Elected officials of the governing party allowed, and in some cases, promoted Defund the Police rhetoric.

Between 2021 to 2023, lawmakers passed bills reducing sentencing and consequences for adult crimes and gang members who are minors; and let’s not forget hindering pursuit laws. District Attorneys throughout Washington state, including Snohomish County, refused to enforce drug offenses. Also, because of the Defund the Police rhetoric that turned into legislation or policy, School Resource Officers were taken out of public-school systems throughout Washington state and also law enforcement personnel left the profession in droves in which we are now facing a policing shortage including right here in Snohomish County. The law enforcement officers that remain are overworked and demoralized.

So, I ask Snohomish County residents, who are to blame for the fentanyl epidemic, gangs in schools most likely organized and run by drug cartel proxies, the surge in violent crime and youth shootings, and the fear of “public unsafety” which is our new reality?

If news outlets want to make public safety a partisan issue, then where is the assessment of the contribution to “public unsafety” by the governing party and the link of these elected officials and surrogates to that governing party.  Advocacy journalism fails both the people and the profession.

Snohomish County residents have two choices for the direction of public safety—a Sheriff candidate backed by the governing party or a Sheriff that is not.

Commentary by the Lynnwood Times Publisher, Mario Lotmore.


8 thoughts on “From the Publisher: When did public safety become a partisan issue?

  • It is really quite simple. If you support the “defund the police” movement and want more violent crime in your community, and tie the hands of law enforcement to do their jobs, vote for Johnson. She got all her funding from the same donors that have turned Seattle and Everett into the filthy war zones they are. Sheriff Fortney has been endorsed by every single law enforcement guild and union in Snohomish County, so it’s clear he deserves to be reelected. And it’s a lie that his opponent has been endorsed by any Republican.

  • Thank you for your comprehensive and thorough explanation of the “defund the Police” issue. The Wa. State legislature’s Blake decision has certainly wreaked havoc on law enforcement. It’s a wonder anyone would want to be a Police Officer and risk losing their life on a daily basis. I commend Sheriff Fortney for the positive changes and programs he’s implimented within the Snohomish County Correctional Facility. I also know a young person who went through Mr. Fortney’s “Lead the Way” program and felt postively transformed. It is time to set aside partisan politics and vote to keep Adam Fortney as Snohomish County’s Sheriff.

  • Every living former Snohomish County sheriff, Republican or Democrat or independent, has endorsed Susanna Johnson for Sheriff. Adam Fortney has been a failure as Sheriff and needs to go.

    • This is true, Fortney is too extreme for both parties and isn’t serving Snohomish county only his own agenda. Vote him out.

  • The Lynnwood Times, run by ill-informed Publisher Mario Lotmore, has officially crossed a line into propaganda. And I don’t know if it’s just due to Mr. Lotmore’s ignorance, or if he’s just another hypocritical Republican. His first slide into hypocrisy is when he writes about receiving concern from readers about “partisan propaganda perpetuated by a competing mainstream local newspaper in Snohomish County regarding the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office race.” We all know when they point, it’s about the opposite. His first show of complete ignorance is when he writes: “Because of the internet, people can read a myriad of perspectives and see through the propaganda.” Is that why the U.W. created the Center for an Informed Public? A webinar from the Metropolitan New York Library Council explored why misinformation and disinformation spread online. Drawing from academic research across a wide variety of disciplines — from social psychology to journalism to information science —Center for an Informed Public postdoctoral fellows Rachel E. Moran and Madeline Jalbert explore what makes misinformation so compelling, how social media platforms undermine our ability to spot falsehoods, and why we are all vulnerable to believing and sharing misinformation. They end with a discussion of what we can do to improve the quality of information sharing and help restore trust in authoritative information sources. But I’m sure Mr. Lotmore knows more than they do! PUBLIC SAFETY IS A HUGE PARTISAN ISSUE WHEN ONE PARTY DENIES A PANDEMIC! Many died because they believed misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines online. But hey, someone spewing propaganda probably doesn’t understand that. Then Mr. Lotmore starts ranting about the “ruling party” in Washington (Democrats). NO ONE has defunded the police, Mr. Lotmore. The issue is about using science to better respond to the 90% of 911 calls that need a social worker more than a gun!!! PREVENTION (gun regulation, social services and substance abuse treatment) is much more cost effective than militarized police departments! Isn’t it interesting that Seattle’s and Washington’s progressive politics (Democrats) are seen as a benefit to people who move here? We’ve seen how the GOP runs government. Washington state and Seattle, while dealing with all the ills of the day, are doing very, very well on almost every metric. So no, we don’t need or want you, the GOP or MAGA Sheriff Adam Fortney. As a “newspaper” publisher, you should feel ashamed of yourself. But then, GOP/MAGAs have no shame.

    • Right on all points. His articles are filled with propaganda, misinformation and mistakes. He is in the wrong business, he should be stumping for the Maga crowd out in the open in someone’s campaign office, not publishing a so called newspaper.

  • Can you cite specific references from the “other” Lynnwood Today website? I’d really like to see some examples. I cannot stand the mainstream media‘s perverse, brainwashing tactics that have hurt our country. If truly a journalist, one should be in search of the truth and publishing as found. So much of the so-called news that they put out cannot be credible and one can see that their views are just plain wrong. It is all due in part to support the far left democratic agenda; any vote we can get at no matter what the cost. I can go on about corrupt education from grade school through universities, which are biased beyond belief. Our own Washington state government is horribly backwards and while people go along with it. Is beyond my comprehension. I’d say king county would be the blame for the majority of our problems as everyone in public office there is undoubtedly corrupt. Their sanctuary policies along with Olympia has degraded our own Lynnwood area. I read the Lynnwood police blotter and it’s quite evident. Thanks for your time.

  • I am appalled at the smear campaigns against Fortney and negative signs against him. It is clear he is the person for sheriff in snohomish county


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