It Is Guilt by Alluded to Association Not 'Name-Calling'

RECEIVED Wed., March 22, 2006

Dear Editor,
    Your coverage of the Open Government Online and SOS city charter amendments accuses SOS Alliance of calling Daryl Slusher “the new Karl Rove” [“How to Read a Charter Amendment,” News, March 17]. Rather than engaging in name-calling, SOS Alliance merely called attention to the fact that many of Daryl's current attacks on the charter-amendment initiatives (distributed widely by the anti-amendments PAC) are identical to the baseless attacks made by Karl Rove's PAC in 1992 against the SOS Ordinance initiative:
    Daryl's criticism of the charter amendments: Many of the problems ... could be corrected in a traditional public/deliberative process that features public discussion [and] debate. ... Instead ... voters must vote up or down on the wording devised by a very small group of people in a private process ... please read the entire text of these amendments before voting.
    Rove PAC's criticism of SOS Ordinance: Perhaps if the “SOS” Proposal had been subject to public hearings, like other laws, it would make more sense. But the authors have handed us a take-it or leave-it law that was drafted behind closed doors without legal or scientific review. Better read the fine print before you vote.
    Daryl in 2006: taxpayers would have to fund implementation of the ordinance [sic], an estimated $36 million for the Open Government amendment alone.
    Rove PAC in 1992: [SOS Ordinance] is a costly mistake [; a] Study shows that AISD will be hit hard with a reduction of $724 million in the tax base.
    Daryl in 2006: The amendments are sloppily and carelessly written [resulting in] numerous unintended consequences and lawsuits over interpretation of the amendments.
    Rove PAC in 1992: The many flaws in this ordinance will result in an explosion of lawsuits.
    For more detailed discussion of the charter amendments see
Brad Rockwell
SOS Alliance
   [News Editor Michael King responds: In other words, rather than respond to Daryl Slusher's arguments directly on their merits, SOS prefers to juxtapose them to comments made by a PAC "that worked with" Karl Rove in 1992; then Brad Rockwell uses the Chronicle's “Postmarks” column to repeat the process. But that wouldn't be name-calling, because SOS doesn't engage in name-calling, and as Richard Nixon said in 1971, "That would be wrong."]
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