'Chronicle' Used to Do Objective Endorsements

RECEIVED Fri., May 12, 2006

Dear Chronicle:
    What’s happened to you lately? Used to be, when you opposed an issue on the ballot, you stated your opinion and your reasons, often with a little humor, and left it at that. Now in your opposition to Props 1 and 2 you have abandoned all pretense of journalistic objectivity – not merely in your editorials and endorsements, but in the “news” as well – to launch venomous attacks on every aspect of these attempts to save Barton Springs and our city processes. Your hysterical rantings seem to include everything but the kitchen sink, yet somehow overlook relevant facts. You’ve forgotten the connections between the criminal and polluting corporation Freeport-McMoRan and its local subsidiary Stratus, working with AMD to pave the watershed; you barely mention these things while they sprinkle the town with cash so nobody notices what they are really doing. Is mass bribery no longer worth reporting on? The vast majority of the proposition opposition’s funding comes from companies that benefit financially from development over the aquifer and are shrieking with rage at the prospect of their profit playground going off limits. Will Wynn trumpets his environmental accomplishments in his campaign letter and Web site, falsely claiming that he will protect the aquifer and Barton Springs, while remaining deafeningly silent on his failure to lead – or even act at all – against AMD’s ruinous plans, the main reason he failed to get the Sierra Club endorsement. You write about the sudden need (?) for a new downtown library but overlook the urgent need to act now to save Barton Springs. You’ve spent weeks distracting from the real issue. Voters, we can wait forever for the perfect solution, or we can act now to save the soul of our city, the best swimming pool in North America. Vote for Props 1 and 2.
Karin Ascot
Political Chair of Austin Sierra Club.
Member of the board of directors of SOS Alliance
   [Editor responds: "Used to be, when you opposed an issue on the ballot, you stated your opinion and your reasons, often with a little humor, and left it at that." Excuse me, when was that? Are you talking about the tens of thousands of words we wrote in favor of the SOS ordinance and protecting the environment over the years? Perhaps because you agreed with those you didn't notice that they were opinionated. But you are rewriting history here.]
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