Serial political candidate and local rabble-rouser Tom Benigno plans to make a pitch to city officials to bring his formerly long-running community television program back to Channel 26.
City spokesman Matt Robinson on Friday said Benigno’s show was canceled when he was a political candidate because of election laws.
“Since then, he hasn’t brought any other ideas for shows back to Channel 26, so if he wants to put shows back on and gives us the tapes for it, fine, we can put them back on,” Robinson said.
Benigno on Friday said he would take up Robinson on his offer. He said his television program covered a broad range of issues.
“Sometimes we were talking about political races,” Benigno said. “Sometimes we were talking about the levees breaking. A couple of years ago, I talked about the USS Iowa coming to Stockton. I talked about just about everything.”
The former mayoral, gubernatorial and congressional candidate on Thursday evening pleaded with Tracy parks commissioner David Hardesty to help get his program back on the air.
“Please just help get the show back on track, (and) I will have you on as a guest,” Benigno wrote in the comments section below an article on the Tracy Press Web site. “I had (been) doing that show for over eight years, or 529 shows. Now I just want to do it to BSB (bring sanity back).”
The parks department oversees the city’s education and government access channel, but Hardesty did not offer to help Benigno.
“Discuss it with the city manager,” Hardesty wrote in a reply. “If you have a gripe with the city, take it up with the people who can do something about it.”
Benigno and Hardesty have exchanged countless online barbs in the comments sections below stories on the Tracy Press Web site this year.
More of the nearly 6,000 comments posted to the Web site this year were written by Benigno and Hardesty than anyone else, according to Web site administrator Amanda Matthews.
Benigno on Thursday was responding to a comment by Hardesty that described his shelved television program as “actually very entertaining” and “a political stumping platform for free advertisements.”
To reach reporter John Upton, call 830-4274 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.