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LETTER AT LENGTH

Letter at Length

 Posted: 2:00 AM September 17, 2012

LAV letter contained errors, distortions

In a fact-challenged "Letter at Length," Andrew Kubik rails that an economically potent group of local businesses and wealthy residents supported the League of Ashland Voters, which ceased to exist in 2010 and under state law cannot be revived.

Only one business, a single proprietorship, donated to LAV. None of the businesses listed contributed to LAV, although some owners did as individuals. Error No. 1.

Mr. Kubik falsely implies LAV was supported only by wealthy citizens such as Bill Heimann — who in fact is far from wealthy. He lists Sid DeBoer, who expressly did not contribute in 2010, although his wife did. LAV ran an ad listing its supporters for all to see. Most are of ordinary means and made modest contributions. Errors No. 2-3.

Some were local small business owners, not distant Wall Street fat cats, and they employ many of our residents. Why shouldn't they support candidates they think will create and maintain a healthy business climate? Why shouldn't they oppose those who are anti-business? Why shouldn't you — unless you want to deny local jobs to your fellow citizens? Error No. 4, Distortion No. 1.

The Citizen's United ruling was about corporations, not PACS. It did not say that corporations are people, but that corporations like people have the right to speak on issues that affect them. Error No. 5.

LAV was started in response to two pre-existing PACs. Yes, those other PACs are gone, probably because they were unsuccessful in raising funds or getting their extremist candidates elected. Mr. Kubik never mentions that the law forbids two or more non-candidate citizens from pooling their money to support or oppose candidates without forming a PAC. Error No. 6, Distortion No. 2.

Mr. Kubik says Mr. Navickas was severely constrained in his ability to rebut campaign ads against him, and that "according to post-election reports, these ads had distorted Navickas' record." What post-election reports? He cites none, making it impossible to verify their content or even their existence. Constrained how? Mr. Navickas had ample opportunities to respond factually in campaign ads, forums, interviews, and letters. He never did, because LAV simply listed actual votes with dates as recorded in City Council minutes. His desperate defense of his votes being "taken out of context" effectively admits that the votes were accurately reported. Distortions No. 3-4.

Mr. Kubik claims that LAV spent more than the cap. The cap applies only to candidates and even then is voluntary. LAV divided its resources among several candidates. The amount spent was less than the price of a candy bar per voter — not excessive given the importance of electing good people to the city council. Distortion No. 5.

LAV was not a "Special Interest PAC" as Mr. Kubik says. It was just a group of Ashland employers, employees and retirees, Democrats, independents and Republicans, women and men, gays and straights — you get the idea. It got the facts out, with citations so that anyone could verify what they said. No innuendo, no name-calling, no unsupported claims. Error No. 8, distortions No. 6-7.

David Churchman, former treasurer of LAV

Ashland


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