Tuesday, September 11, 2007

One man band

You know how I feel about anonymous comments and you know how this paper tries -- sometimes unsuccessfully -- to prevent fictitious names from being published in the letters to the editor section. Then there's the other twist.

Every year around this time (political campaign season) we start getting similarly themed letters via snail mail, all obviously addressed, written and produced by the same person, but all individually signed by different people, with verifiable names, addresses and phone numbers.

OK, you want someone else to do the writing for you, there's no law against it. But if the idea is show the editors that there's some sort of widespread philosophical uprising afoot, the scheme fails. Sure, we'll print a sample of the letters -- as I said, real people have attached their names to them. But we'd give them more credence if a one-person letter-writing campaign wasn't the source.

I mean, if you're going to employ this kind of tactic, at least do a better job hiding the ulterior motive.

In the most recent case, the letters are critical of Kingston aldermen who voted in favor of more money for the Kirkland Hotel project in the wake of a controversy involving the non-employment of unionized construction workers.

Again, the opinions are legit, so are the people. But the organized campaign isn't fooling anyone here.
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