Guest Post: Thanks For The Fourth-Grade Name Calling, Fargo Forum
We’d like to comment on a recent thought provoking, delightfully insightful and fact filled editorial by the Fargo Forum. The Forum in keeping with journalistic goals informing the public on important topics it addressed the Measure aimed at abolishing property taxes.
In an effort to enlighten its readers the Fargo Forum expended 482 words, 74 of which were as follows: “strange twists and turns”, “Illogic of proponents’ arguments”, “gone to court to muzzle opponents”, “living in Bizarro world”, “recipe for tax chaos”, “willy-nilly eliminates property taxes”, “you’ve-got-to-be-kidding”, “Measure 2 led by anti-government types”, “these folks who spend a lot of hot air savaging the federal government”, “likely manipulated by disinterested legislators or unelected bureaucrats”, “”their position is as solid as Red River mud”, “as weighty as goose down”, “as clear as grass fire smoke”.
This reminded us of fourth grade boys calling one another names on the playground; each boy attempting to one up the other with senseless name calling. We suspect none of these word or phrases served to inform the reader about anything other than the Editorial writer’s lack of having anything meaningful to say, just like the juvenile boys on the playground.
The editorial repeatedly accused Measure 2proponents of attempting to “muzzle opponents by going to court and not wanting to talk about the Measure. It then attacked the Legislature sarcastically calling it “that repository of deep thought and high wisdom”. Finally, it said citizens seeking to use the tools given to us in our Constitution as being, “anti-government types”.
The law suit was not filed against opponents of Measure 2. We wonder who does the Forums fact checking or research? The opponents can say anything they wish and they do.
The law suit was filed against government agencies and certain elected officials. The same elected officials that had just passed amendments to the state’s Corrupt Practices Act which they are now blatantly violating.
That Act says government entities and officials may make factual statements regarding a ballot measure initiated by citizens. However, they may not take a position either for or against.
Senator Oehlke stated, “They (proponents) can get the money from another source but don’t tell what source”. The Senator has not read the Measure. The Measure clearly states exactly which state funds will be accessed to provide the funding.
The State Association of Counties has been telling citizens that on January 1, 2013 every city and county in ND will go bankrupt and citizens will lose water and sewer service. These and hundreds of other equally false statements are being made by these entities and officials. They are listed in detail in our complaint.
They believe it is ok to not tell the truth and mislead. In fact, they are arguing to the court they have a constitutional right to do so and thus the Corrupt Practices Act infringes on them. Many of those violating the Corrupt Practices Act just voted, during the last session, to make this the law of North Dakota. Now they are complaining.
My father told me, when I was a young boy, those who didn’t have reason, logic or a valid argument on their side resorted to name calling. My father was a very wise man.
Robert Hale is legal counsel for Empower the Taxpayer, the grassroots group that is supporting Measure 2 on the June primary ballot. If passed, Measure 2 would abolish property taxes in North Dakota.Tags: election 2012, fargo forum, measure 2, media bias, North Dakota News, property taxes