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Monday, May 23, 2005

St Cloud Times prints factless letter

--posted by Tony Garcia on 5/23/2005

Here is an interesting story about a letter to the editor from the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce that attacks Sen Kleis for voting for tax hikes. The catch: Sen Kleis voted against the hikes AND another article in the same printed edition had an article pointing out how Sen Kleis is trying to keep costs down.

The text of the letter can be found reproduced at Marty's blog. It was signed by David Olson.

Dan "Ox" Ochsner called David Olson who said he did not send the letter.

So who did?

Marty sent an e-mail to David Olson asking for clarification. Marty did receive a response where Olson takes full responsibility for the mistaken letter. (Kudos to him for (a) admitting the mistake, (b) not trying to explain it away, (c) accepting responsibility since his signature was on the letter, even though the mistake was not his. Eric Hoplin, slime-bag extrodinaire, should take notes.)

Olson's response to Marty:
Marty, thanks for the note. We made an honest mistake. I drafted the lettersand we worked off of the voting record of the Senate. No letter with mysignature on it ever leaves this office without me seeing it. How Senator Kleisended up on the list is beyond me but I take full responsibility for the mix-up. We had a least two opportunities to catch this mistake and we did not which isobviously unfortunate. In my defense I can tell you that this is the first timein my fifteen years at the Chamber that something like this happened. I can assure you it will not happen again

This is the letter I am sending to the Times -

TO THE EDITOR: Our sincere apologies to Sen. Dave Kleis (R-St. Cloud) for our letter which misstated his vote on the Senate tax bill ("Kleis' vote on taxes sends clear message," St. Cloud Times, May 22). He did not vote for the tax increase, and we know better. The mistake was ours, regardless how it happened. Kleis has been a longtime proponent of protecting the interests of the business community and has been a staunch advocate of holding down taxes. We know he'd never support the bill passed by the Senate on May 6 which would raise taxes by$1.2 billion over the next two years. We regret our error.

David C. Olson, President
Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

One final note: The St Cloud Times follows very closely the voting actions of the legislators from St Cloud as well as the surrounding areas. They were incredibly irresponsible for printing such a letter when it is very well known in St Cloud that Sen Kleis would be the last person in the St Cloud delegation to vote for a tax hike.

I guarantee if the letter were ripping a DFL member erroneously the St Cloud Times editors would have made a note at the beginning of the letter disclaiming the false information of the letter.

The St Cloud Times is earning their Newsweek/CBS/Rather/NYT award for Crappy Editor. Somehow I doubt that they will even mention the fact that they also erred in running the letter.

In the TV Guide Model: Cheers to David Olson for stepping up to the plate when something under his control went wrong. Jeers to the St Cloud Times editors for running the letter without doing any verifications of facts. Jeers to Eric Hoplin/Paul Gourley for not stepping up to the plate with regards to the fundraising swindling of the elderly the way Olson did for the erroneous letter which bore David's signature.


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