SANTA ROSA INSIDER – Liberal PNJ Continues Attacks on Conservative Leadership

Posted on February 23, 2024 by EDITORIAL BOARD

Bear with me to unpack this…

Yesterday’s Santa Rosa County Board of Commissioners meeting had inspiring presentations, celebrating the 100th Anniversary of United Way of West Florida and creating awareness of FoodRaising Friends. But instead of covering either of those worthy causes, Pensacola News Journal’s takeaway from the meeting was taking issue over a 48-second video District 3 Commissioner James Calkins played, praising county staff for resolving a flooding problem in his district.

PNJ Reporter Tom McLaughin’s headine in today’s issue was “Santa Rosa Commissioner James Calkins angers fellow board members with ‘campaign stunt’.”

It apparently doesn’t matter to PNJ that Calkins hasn’t event prefiled for re-election and has discussed potentially seeking a different office. It also doesn’t seem to matter to PNJ that during the meeting none of Calkins’ fellow commissioners expressed any “anger” over the quick video.

We’ve posted a link below to the video so you can decide for yourself why the liberal media outlet from across the bay is trying to create an issue out of it. 

But I have a theory.

It’s my personal opinion that PNJ hates Conservatives, especially CHRISTIAN Conservatives, and Calkins is arguably the most Conservative Christian serving in public office at the county level.

Before PNJ let go of its Editorial Cartoonist, Trump, Gaetz, DeSantis and Andrade were frequent targets. Now Calkins has become one of PNJ’s targets. We think he’s in good company!

After yesterday’s meeting, PNJ’s McLaughlin’s reportedly tried to call one commissioner who took a bathroom break during the video. Sources in the county office tell me that call was ignored. You see, three of the commissioners are saavy enough to realize that PNJ’s McLaughlin works with the left, stirring up contempt for the right.

But District 2 Commissioner Kerry Smith, whom Calkins criticized for appointing a Democrat to a county advisory position, worked with McLaughlin on the attack piece. But that’s no surprise, considering Smith’s current wife, Lori, contributed $1,000 to a candidate seeking Calkins’ District 3 seat.

Why would Smith or any other commissioner have “anger” over a 48-second video thanking county staff for resolving a flooding issue? 

Maybe Smith is jealous over the progress Calkins has made, working with Santa Rosa County Community Outreach Liaison Kyle Holley to bring high-speed Internet to District 3 and other projects.

Or maybe the real issue here is Smith’s anger? Last Friday he caused concern in the County Administrative Complex when he hit the wall during a heated discussion with a fellow commissioner. This isn’t the first time there have been discussions about his anger. Tsk, tsk.

Perhaps Smith should follow Calkins’ lead and treat the role of being a commissioner like a full-time job so that he could attract some positive attention instead of getting ink from PNJ for hitting a fellow board member.

However, during the February 19 meeting, Smith referred to being a commissioner as a “part-time job.” Well, that “part-time job” pays $87,359 per year. Let that sink in for a minute. But don’t expect to read about that in any of McLaughlin’s reporting for PNJ because he’s over there focusing on Smith getting “offended” by those doing the heavy lifting, fixing flooding problems in their own district…