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Longtime Alexandria columnist Dennis Dalman says he was run out of town by Republicans

After three decades of writing fiery left-of-center columns for the Alexandria Echo Press, Dennis Dalman was unceremoniously fired in late July. He was on the receiving end of an email from management telling him his services were no longer needed for the paper of record in Mary Franson's hometown. He wasn't given an opportunity to write a farewell column.

SEE ALSO: MNGOP Rep. Mary Franson, through tears, says: "Democrats are just destroying this state"

Echo Press officials deny it, but as he explains in an email to KFGO radio host Mike McFeely, Dalman believes he was ultimately run out of town by Republicans.

"'Management' caved in to the pressure from the troglodytes," Dalman wrote in his email. "I've been getting lots and lots of e-mails from fans just now discovering WHY my column hasn't been in since July 26... It's good to know that while the ultra-right-wing goons are popping champagne corks, many readers are NOT celebrating."

Regarding his sometimes right-wing-bashing language, Dalman says he stands by it, because "name-calling is the stock-in-trade of addle-brained right-wingers and I reserve the right to 'name-call' them back on their vicious lies and distortions, especially those aimed at Obama (those pathetic "birthers," for example)... To my credit, I never called anybody a 'slut,' as their ultra-right-wing radio god Limbaugh did."

As you'd expect, Echo Press management looks at things differently and ran this explanation of Dalman's departure in print:

Dennis Dalman's column will no longer appear in the Echo Press. He's long been a regular contributor to the Opinion page and we thank him for all the effort he's put into his many columns over the years. His leaving will create a big hole to fill but newspapers are continually moving and changing their products and we're no exception. We wish Denny well. He is a gifted writer and we're sure he'll be missed by many of our readers

But that didn't satisfy McFeely, and he wrote an email to Echo Press publisher Jody Hanson straight up asking her if there was anything to the notion Dalman was forced out by pressure from the political right.

"It is correct that we are no longer running columns written by Dennis. It is however, incorrect that the reason for no longer running Dennis' columns are your statements above," Hanson wrote. "Mike, as you know, media markets are ever changing. In radio as well as in newspaper. Change is hard for people to accept and understand. We all continue to move forward and strive to meet the needs and wants of our listeners and readers. We are here to serve our communities."

But McFeely still isn't convinced, and buttressed his case with this update to his report about Dalman's dismissal:

One of Dalman's harshest critics in Alexandria is the former local Chamber of Commerce head Mac Bryant... Here is a letter from Mr. Bryant that appeared in today's Echo Press, which I am reproducing on my blog for no other reason than to show the group of people to whom Jody Hanson and Echo Press management apparently caved:
Disappointed that school succumbed to political correctness

To the editor:

I am disappointed to see our local MNSCU college, ATCC, succumb to political correctness and open a safe zone for homosexual and transgendered students. Are other groups receiving similar opportunities?

God's word in Romans 1:26-27 informs us that homosexuality is a sin. I don't believe that He wants to encourage it, but rather minister to those caught in its grip.

If ATCC is going to choose to single out homosexual students for special attention, I believe it would be better to help them find freedom in Christ and understand God's love and healing, perhaps through the local Allies youth group.

Mac Bryant
Alexandria, MN

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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