June 21, 1999
The Seattle Times
P.O. Box 70
Seattle, WA 98111
Dear Ms Cameron:
Re: Seattle Times editorial -- June 15, 1999 -- Wanted: civic volunteers
I am taking this opportunity to respond to your recent editorial pleading for civic volunteers to serve on Municipal League candidate evaluation panels. On its face, I feel you have contributed an unsolicited and free piece of advertising to the Municipal League.
However, of greater concern is that neither you nor the Municipal League has been forthright with the electorate in describing the true intent of those evaluations. At this late date, the call for volunteers "right off the streets" establishes that a candidate evaluation process, purporting to be both objective and unbiased, continues to exist only in the imagination of your editorial board.
I am enclosing a copy of an article I gave you during my interview with your editorial board during the campaign of 1997 (Exhibit 1). In it, I had broadly categorized the basic characteristics of some individuals and organizations which use the evaluation process to unfairly support their candidates. The results, when reported in the media, in effect summarily and unfairly eliminate any other viable competition against their candidates. Therefore, I cannot understand the reasoning of your editorial board to continue supporting and giving credibility to such efforts.
I have since revised my original article and believe my criticism continues to be valid (Exhibit 2). It is my contention that Seattle's electorate is being misled by evaluations conducted by such as the Municipal League. I am requesting that you present another point of view by printing my article "Seattle's Elective Gatekeepers" as an Op-Ed piece in response to your specific editorial for the Municipal League.
Further, I am concurrently providing candidates of record with a copy of this letter and the "Gatekeeper" article.
Thank you for your attention to this issue of public interest.
Exhibit 1 -- Public Employees for Responsible Government Report 97-1 June 3, 1997
Exhibit 2 -- Seattle's Elective Gatekeepers March 29, 1999
cc: All interested parties.