When Councilmember Mike Zinkin backed his car into a truck owned by Zachary Tarbet, The Explorer deemed this non-story worthy of 37 paragraphs, beginning on the front page of the Nov. 13 edition, despite the fact that Tarbet’s truck was not damaged.

However, when the National League of Cities and Towns selected Mike Zinkin as a 2014 Leadership Fellow, one of only 40 Leadership Fellows in the entire nation, The Explorer not only didn’t deem this as front-page news, they couldn’t even manage to muster a five-paragraph mention on perhaps page 8 of the following week’s edition despite receiving a press release more than a week in advance.

It seems highly suspicious that the paper would choose to print one “story” and not the other.

It’s also interesting that the incident, “consequently took on the designation of a hit and run” when Zinkin, whose car was damaged, gave his business card to Zachary’s brother, Jeremy Tarbet, who is an instructor of an automotive class, and asked him if he would repair the damage.  Tarbet agreed and repaired the bumper on Zinkin’s car the following day.  How did that interaction take place if it was a “hit and run?”

Running this non-story on the front page is an example of journalistic subterfuge.  It certainly lends itself well to the ongoing smear campaign and recall against Councilmember Zinkin.  Apparently, some people fear that Zinkin’s citizen-centric voting record could make him a prime challenger against the heavily pro-developer incumbent in next year’s mayoral election.  After all, Mayor Hiremath won the 2010 election by a mere 30 votes against Zinkin, while Zinkin won his council seat in a landslide just two years later.

It’s a typical political maneuver…when you can’t disparage your opponent’s voting record, vilify his character instead.  Shame on The Explorer for jumping on the character assassination bandwagon.

Diane Peters, Oro Valley

(1) comment


Diane, perhaps you need to study up on the law. Arizona Revised Statute 28-664 governs accidents with unattended vehicles. Even if there is zero damage, you are required to either locate the owner or driver of the struck vehicle, or leave a note on the vehicle with your name and address. Whether or not Tarbet's vehicle was damaged is irrelevant -- Zinkin did not speak directly with the owner of the vehicle or leave a note on the vehicle at the time of the collision. He is technically guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor.

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