Note From the Editor: Of Fans, Foes, and the Free Press

This Editorial Note is published as a companion piece to the article written by Golf Club Board of Governors President Todd Neal, in order to share the Post’s perspective on some of the points he makes.

Well, the Rancho Santa Fe Post relaunch definitely went off with quite the bang. The positive feedback has been rolling in and we are downright delighted to have the platform back up and running. Our debut edition has fired up open debate exploring critical issues about which our community cares.

RSFA Director Lorraine Kent’s article, “What is Osuna Ranch’s Value? Priceless,” certainly caught the eye and raised a brow or two. It elicited favorable attention and, at times, the ire of some members — specifically Golf Club President Todd Neal.

Not satisfied

Mr. Neal contacted Ms. Kent about a plurality of questions posed in her article he highlighted as being false. In turn, Ms. Kent contacted the Post and asked it to remove this section of her article. We immediately removed not only the requested content, but the entire paragraph that questioned the reasons behind a prospective sell-off of Osuna Ranch.

However, Mr. Neal was not satisfied, and his demands continued as he communicated using his law firm’s email (“This is an email from Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savage LLP, at Law…”), which indicated he spoke on the issue in his capacity as partner in the firm. The tone of the engagement, along with pressure tactics, accusations, and actions taken against Ms. Kent and the RSF Post, seemed intended to silence dissent. Because of Todd Neal’s use of his law firm as an intimidation tactic to suppress opposition to his will, it seemed appropriate and necessary for me to invoke legal counsel on my end as well. I requested Mr. Neal to direct all future communication with me regarding this matter to a longtime family friend and attorney.

Free and civil discourse

As I’ve stated before, the RSF Post will not be pressured to cancel protected speech — “one man’s truth is another man’s lie.” If you have a gripe with what’s been written, submit an article or chime in on the now-fixed Post Forum (apologies there was a glitch at launch). Moreover, readers should be advised that the Editorial Board will not discuss the editing process nor decisions made between the Editorial Board and author. Henceforth, all authors must acknowledge and give written consent to the proposed final version of their article before it is published, or it will not be published.

The blessing of the First Amendment safeguards peoples’ right to ask questions and express a Vegas-buffet-level array of opinion. Unfortunately, that doesn’t protect any of us from the antacid-popping heartburn of blowback. I am sure this will be the first of countless RSF Post articles that will have both fans and detractors. But that’s the beauty and virtue of an authentically free press, which is accompanied — one would hope — with civil discourse.