Monday, April 05, 2010

Colón refuses to release poll script.

Candidate for Lt Governor
Colón, through his
campaign staff, has refused
to release the text of the poll
which Senator Ortiz y Pino
has called a "push poll".

"Push Polling" is widely
regarded as unethical,
as it is deceitful and
manipulative, wikilink.

If Colón is campaigning unethically, it will come back to bite him when he stands before an electorate who are about as sick as they can be of ethically challenged politicians and public servants.

The debate over whether the poll was a "push poll" began with a report on the New Mexico Independent, later followed by a report on Democracy for New Mexico.

Within the backside on both posts, Colón was asked to simply surrender the script of the poll, thereby answering the question about whose character should be called into question; his for conducting a push poll, or Ortiz y Pino's for making the false allegation that he was.

I also emailed both candidates, asking for the script.

Senator Ortiz y Pino's staff reported that they had only anecdotal reports of the content of the poll, and no incontrovertible text.

I just got off the phone with one of Colón's staffers;
I missed his name.

He refused to surrender a copy of the poll. He kept denying
that there was any script of a "push poll" to surrender,
since they had not done a "push poll". In my experience people
who try to keep re-framing the question, do so to avoid having
to answer it as asked.

After several such denials, I told him to stop calling it a "push poll", and to call it just "the" poll, and surrender the text. He refused. He claimed the truth is internal to the campaign and would not be shared.

I told him that I would write that there is only one reason to hide the truth, and that is to escape the consequences attached to the truth. He said I would be writing something that wasn't true.

I disagree.

I believe that Colón is hiding the text because it was a push poll and, push polling is unethical. Rather than admit to an ethical lapse, and step up to the consequences, he will hide the truth.

If Colón('s staff) could prove that Ortiz y Pino was making false accusations, it would be to their advantage. So why not do it, except that the poll script will substantiate Ortiz y Pino's complaint that Colón is behaving unethically?

If my surmise is wrong, then there must be a good and ethical reason to hide the text. Saying that the text is an internal secret, after reading it to several hundred people, just doesn't hold water.

It is rather like hiding public records under the excuse that they pertain to "personnel matters", whether they do or do not.

Brian Colón, if he is elected Lt Governor, is apparently willing to hide the truth from stakeholders under the flimsiest of excuses.

There is a difference between "not lying" and "telling the truth".
While Colón is "not lying", neither is he, telling the truth.

Do we really need more of that in the Roundhouse?

photo Mark Bralley


Anonymous said...

I take issue with your framing of the conversation, in particular a section that I can't imagine is true. You write: "He claimed the truth is internal to the campaign and would not be shared."

Noting your frustration with this staffer's apparent re-framing of the question at hand, you proceed to frame the conversation in such a way that the staffer is hiding some truth that must be discovered and further, that the staffer explained outright that the 'truth' is 'internal' and not for external scrutiny?

That just can't be right.

Moreover, poll scripts are always held privately by campaigns, regardless of their nature. In the case of a perfectly ethical poll, its release could indicate to the opposition that certain issues are being raised and queried in order that they might be talked about more effectively (or even raised for the first time!). No serious campaign would release language that would benefit an opponent when an election hangs in the balance.

But those are just normal practices. It is still beyond me that you would frame a staffers words such as you did when I am sure you've twisted that truth!

ched macquigg said...

I use quotation marks when I quote people. The lack of quotation marks gives me the license to report my sense of the conversation.

Because something has always been done, does not justify continuing to do it. Witness the end of human slavery in this country.

I cannot begin to imagine why anyone would think it would be alright to manipulate the political discourse in order to win an election. I suppose you defended Bill Richardson when he refused to participate in debates during the last gubernatorial elections.

It is a perversion of democracy that accepts manipulating elections as a legitimate exercise in the process.

It is precisely this thinking that your buddies offered up an ethics commission that would turn off during campaign season; so they could run a push poll or two if they wanted.

Nor, of course, does a "legal" right to do something, make it morally or ethically right to do that thing.

You interest in creating a gotcha moment in a debate is only secondarily important to telling the truth to voters.

There is no "kind of" telling the truth. You either commit to answering any and every legitimate question candidly, forthrightly and honestly, or you don't.

Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and, nothing but the truth? is a yes or no question.

Any answer except yes means, no.

I have written almost 4,000 posts and have not resorted to twisting the truth in any of them. When you are fighting to expose the truth, it simply isn't necessary to twist the truth to make that point.

The staffer said the poll will be kept secret; I wrote (the truth about) the poll will be kept secret.

I'll stand by what I wrote.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Ched on this.
Taking technicalities and small details to task in order to sink the whole essence of an issue is the true twisting of the truth, a traditional American way to stop all real discourse in the name of "absolute details".
"Gotcha moments" are rarely fundamental to the real issue at hand, and I suppose given thought and effort, anything any of us could say, could be turned into a "gotcha" moment.
That was an interesting, and fundamental, point of discourse Ched.
Thanks for stating that.