Nothing Against Joe

I am responding to the Barney Blakeney article (“Local Motivation,” Oct. 31) where remarks were attributed to me. I wish to say in the most gracious, gentlemanly manner possible, Mr. Blakeney has exercised journalistic liberties to suit his views.

My conversation with Mr. Blakeney was initiated by me calling him regarding a previous article he had written critical of the city and its recreational policy. In that article, he criticizes the lack of any activities other than baseball, football, and other sports-only programs. I called to let him know of a program the city initially made available to the Rose Kids and then expanded to all the playgrounds in the city system.

Unfortunately, he did not express any interest in this information and wanted to talk about the upcoming elections.

He made a statement to me that he and a female made the observation that Joe Riley was not campaigning as he has in the past. My only remark was I am sure Joe Riley has taken a poll and the information learned from the poll has dictated how he should campaign.

I never said anything that closely resembles the quotes attributed to me.

I have had many opportunities to express my opinions over the years, and I know without question I have never publicly called anyone arrogant. In addition, the word blasphemous is not my vocabulary.

My days of speaking to Blakeney are over, but I think the City Paper may get many more letters from others, much like this one.

Jimmy Bailey


Barney Blakeney responds to Jimmy Bailey;

My conversation with Mr. Bailey was one of many we’ve had over the years. Never has he accused me of misquoting him, and I’m surprised he feels so strongly about the incident.

I sincerely regret Mr. Bailey feels our relationship can’t continue, but I stand by my report of the conversation.