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A Difficult Situation

What a great break from reality and turmoil our great area has offered the last couple of weeks. Tip of my Little League cap to Mr. Steve Keener and all his troops up on The Hill – what a fantastic Series! Also to all the volunteers that make the Little League World Series so special. Volunteers are truly the lifeblood of a Little League baseball in every community around the world.

The high school footballers kicked it off, Friday Night Lights and Webb Weekly Live available at your fingertips. Even though it seemed to be a late start, school is open, drive safely! Look out for the most diminutive children and the bright yellow buses. Don’t allow haste to make a decision you will regret.

Now to the hot topic everyone has been talking about that I wish I didn’t have to spill a drop of ink on.

Many have reached out to me for my perspective on Mayor Gabriel Campana and all that has been going on in regards to his marriage, PFA and accusations against him. Some have even had a little bite to their message, calling out my lack of comment for lack of journalistic integrity due to my friendship with Mayor Campana. Everyone is entitled to their negative opinion, Facebook is full of them.

What amazes me is how people comment about another man’s life and plight in cold and callous words with complete disregard for another human being and his children. Not to mention the creation of rumor and innuendo, forget truth and the facts, let the gossip burn.

I know many of those fueling the hate book, I mean Facebook, fire. What amazes me is they would never approach someone face-to-face, they stick to Facebook-to-Facebook. And more alarming is I know the skeletons hiding in many of their glass houses. I would comment social media is taking the place of the “back room” meeting but I hear that is going on also at City Hall. Folks, how about finding a little Christian spirit?

I was asked out of respect to Mayor Campana, his wife Sonia and their children to let the issue alone for a couple of weeks, allow the family to deal with a most difficult time in their lives. I also felt out of respect to the citizens of Williamsport and the fact that the world was descending on our great area, there was nothing that could not wait. I would much rather err on the side of allowing the family and facts to have time to work themselves out.

I would never condone any form of domestic abuse by anyone. It does not matter if it’s the mayor, a professional athlete or just an average everyday person. If that line is crossed the person should be held accountable and face their punishment. If a person is found guilty of domestic abuse obviously their political career is over. However, in our Great Nation one should never be found guilty in the court of public opinion and forced from office before the truth is known.

A PFA is an easily obtainable document in today’s world. The burden of proof sometimes gets lost in a gray area of concern for a possible victim and the fear of not issuing a PFA and something else happening if the wrong judgment was made. I completely understand and would always want the alleged victim protected if there was even a little doubt.

We cannot turn a blind eye that a protection from abuse order has also become a weapon of leverage in divorce cases of marriage gone wrong. It has become a tool of negotiation for financial and custody issues. It has become a weapon of revenge for a scorned spouse usually during infidelity. The truth of what actually happened sealed behind the closed doors of a person’s home and in divorce documents. The PFA often vanishing with the settlement.

This scenario infuriates me from the standpoint there are so many living with and in fear of domestic violence. It is a problem that needs to be talked about and addressed. Every woman and man needs to feel safe in their own home. Individuals that lie or stretch the truth are turning a PFA into a piece on the chessboard instead of allowing it to protect the innocent as intended.

No one truly knows what happened within the Campana marriage. It would be inappropriate for me to comment. What I do know is the facts will be found if there are any. Attorneys will negotiate about the PFA and the couple will either reconcile their differences or unfortunately agree to a divorce.

I like Mayor Gabe, consider him a good friend and will pray for him, his wife Sonia and the children.

The answers and guidance needed in today’s world cannot be found on Facebook or social media, they can be found in the Good Book. All of this technology can also be governed by one rule when using it – the Golden Rule.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb

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