Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Thursday, November 03, 2005

PARDon Me?

The desperation at PARD Headquarters continues. I’m glad we are getting under their skin so much. Their public pronouncements are getting shriller, more laughable, and more wildly inaccurate all the time.

Take for example Peggy Flaherty’s letter to the editor in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News today that only 94 people signed a full-page ad in favor of Wal-Mart that appeared back on August 23 in the Daily News versus the almost 10,000 that have pledged never to shop or work at Wal-Mart on PARD’s petition. Therefore, we should all vote for PARD’s puppet candidates Judy Krueger and Gary Johnson.

Let’s get a few things straight.

Conveniently Ignored Fact #1: PARD’s “mighty” petition, by their own admission, contains thousands and thousands of signatures from outside of Pullman. How is that relevant? First, PARD claimed it was a “consumer survey”, now it is being used as a reason to vote for Judy Krueger and Gary Johnson? Give me a break.

Conveniently Ignored Fact #2: PARD’s petition, by its nature, is scientifically invalid, has never been submitted for independent verification, has been contaminated by people outside Pullman and so therefore proves absolutely nothing.

Conveniently Ignored Fact #3: In the joint Pullman-Moscow area with some 30,000 mostly liberal-leaning college students and thousands more liberal faculty members, it’s not a triumph to get 10,000 signatures in a YEAR on an anti-Wal-Mart petition, but an embarrassment.

Conveniently Ignored Fact #4: Those 94 people, for the most part, are the very downtown business owners that PARD says are threatened by Wal-Mart. PARD could only muster 19 businesses on their bogus "19 Pullman Merchants" petition, and many of those have since disavowed their signature.

Conveniently Ignored Fact #5: The pro-Wal-Mart ad was never designed as a “petition.” Only a very small number of select supporters were contacted over a period of a few weeks. The goal was to show that key community leaders, such as the Pullman Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, were in favor of the project. If we had been “petitioning” just at the Moscow Wal-Mart alone since last October, as PARD has been doing elsewhere, we would have considerably more signatures. If we had thrown the net open to anyone and everyone as PARD has done, I am confident we would have even thousands more.

Conveniently Ignored Fact #6: In a mail survey that Wal-Mart conducted earlier this year, they received over 4,000 positive responses from full-time Pullman residents. Those positive responses far outweighed negative responses. The positive responses were even stronger from local businesses.

Conveniently Ignored Fact #7: That ad in the Daily News was paid for at great expense out of the pockets of those same citizens. How easy is it to add your name to a petition? I’ll take the opinion of 94 HIGHLY MOTIVATED Pullman citizens over a vast number of anonymous outsiders who may not even have been aware of what they were signing.. An additional 55 citizens sent in pro-Wal-Mart comments that did not sign the ad, bringing the total to nearly 150 full-time residents of Pullman that publicly supported Wal-Mart, TWICE as many as PARD. Remember, 10,000 petition signatures or not, only 75 anti-Wal-Mart SEPA comments were sent in. See the disconnect there? Another embarrassment for PARD. If 10,000 people don’t shop or work there, then Wal-Mart is sure to fail. PARD has done its job, so stop the appeals and let nature take its course. Could it be they don’t trust all those petition signers to keep their word? Why doesn't PARD put its money where its mouth is and run a full-page ad with all those petiton signatures? Let's see it.

Conveniently Ignored Fact #8: FOR THE LAST TIME, WE’RE NOT VOTING ON WAL-MART!!!!! WE DON’T VOTE ON ANY NEW DEVELOPMENT IN WASHINGTON, only with our wallets!!! Why can’t they get that through their heads?? It’s a not a case of majority rule, and in any case, what majority? No scientific survey has ever been conducted about Wal-Mart in Pullman. By opening up the petition to the whole Pullman-Moscow area and people from as far as away as Seattle and Spokane, you have to consequently raise the total number of residents the PARD petition is compared with. 10,000 out of nearly 50,000 people in Pullman-Moscow is hardly a majority. It’s not a majority of 30,000 WSU and U of I students. And it’s not even a majority of full-time Pullman residents after you remove students and outsiders from the petition. It’s a just a big number that sounds good, means nothing, and is used in all sorts of inappropriate ways. Even T.V. “Rerun” Reed himself admitted in an op-ed over the summer that PARD didn’t know if the majority of people in Pullman were against Wal-Mart of not. Of course PARD got thousands of petition signatures in Moscow. Moscow doesn’t want us to grow. It’ll cost their businesses. Do we base our election choices on what Moscow wants? According to PARD, we do I guess.

1 comment:

April E. Coggins said...

I wonder how anyone (except PARD) can know the actual number of signatures. Has anyone seen the petition? PARD's mythical 10,000 signee petition reminds me of the also mythical Million Man March.

And of course, those of us who refused to sign are not included in any number anywhere. For a group that embraces "Make every vote count" they only want to count votes that support their agenda.