Steve Allender started blogging in July 2011, when he was Rapid City’s police chief. He wrote straightforward, often pointed responses to issues like the October 2013 blizzard response and, after his retirement from the force, marijuana, Ferguson, police “militarization”, and Rapid City’s December 2014 police shooting.
Then, when Allender launched his campaign for Rapid City mayor this spring, he appears to have deleted his prior blog content. I wasn’t following Allender’s Chiefsview blog closely enough to notice, but a couple of commenters on his campaign Facebook page (where he appears to engage his commenters quite regularly, in his own voice, not through a spokesperson) said the blog had changed and that pre-campaign material had disappeared.
Allender himself responded to one of those delete-complainants, saying last Wednesday, “I am not ashamed of my previous blog – I still have all of the posts. I hope you actually read those posts, because if you did you would know what I really said about the issues.”
I checked over the weekend and this morning, and Allender’s Chiefsview archive appears to be intact and publicly accessible.
I’ve stood for election for local public office thrice. I served in public office for six years as a trustee in the Lake Herman Sanitary District. I’ve thought about the political implications of leaving all of my blog content online where opponents can find plenty of material to provoke controversy and scare off casually attentive voters. But I’ve never hit that delete button. I’m willing to stand by every word I’ve said. As I look at the complete contents of Steve Allender’s blog, I am compelled to express my respect for him for doing the same.
I am curious about one thing: I see that Allender has added a little campaign finance tag—”Paid for by Allender for Mayor 2015″—to the top of Chiefsview. I check the WHOIS record and find the domain was last updated on October 30, 2014. Did the Allender campaign committee even exist at that point to pay for the blog?