I sometimes attend local events or meetings along with members of the local media. Most of these folks are pretty personable and likeable. Some are even fun. But after reading some local press accounts of a meeting or event I attended in person, I sometimes wonder if these peeps were in the same zip code as I was. Dan Hammock’s July 30 recap of Monday’s County Commission meeting is a case in point.
Here’s the link to Hammock’s story: Commissioners Again Shoot Down Attempt to Open Union Negotiations To The Public as it appeared in the electronic version of The Daily World.
I was especially interested in this paragraph:
“The Freedom Foundation, a non-profit “think tank” that supports transparency in union/government negotiations, supported Cormier’s resolution and argued against the notion that opening union negotiations to the public would not stand up to legal challenges and to those who called the resolution a union-busting tool. He said his organization performed a statewide poll and said the results were overwhelmingly in favor of the resolution, to the tune of 90 percent.”
There are at least three errors or distortions in this one paragraph:
First, saying “his organization” performed a statewide poll is misleading. It’s also inaccurate. In truth, the Freedom Foundation commissioned a non-partisan, “independent public opinion poll in October 2017” on the topic. Also, how come Hammock didn’t identify the speaker as Mr. Matt Hayward, Outreach Director for the Freedom Foundation?
It took me about three mouse clicks to find this info. I’m pretty sure your average middle schooler could do likewise.
Additionally, I spent about three minutes reaching out to Mr. Hayward post-meeting. He kindly supplied additional info. on the poll via email later. He even forwarded a copy of the actual Elway Poll. All I had to do was ask. Hello?
Second, Hayward didn’t say poll results were “overwhelmingly in favor of the resolution,” but in favor of increased transparency per negotiations between government agencies and labor unions. See the diff? For more, see: Washingtonians Overwhelmingly Want Transparency.
Third, Hayward didn’t say poll results were “90 percent” in favor of increased transparency, as erroneously reported by Hammock. The figure Hayward actually cited was about “70 percent.” This was obvious to anyone in the meeting who was paying attention.
Here’s a link to the video: July 30 Commissioner’s Meeting. Mr. Hayward’s comments start at about 20:10 and go to about 22:40.
What’re the odds of a retraction/correction? Yeah. That’s what I think, too.
P.S.: This just in from the Grays Harbor Democrats:
Speaking of the county commissioners, you probably heard that a Republican commissioner placed a motion forward to negotiate publicly with county employees. This was his third attempt. With a room packed with labor, it died a third time for lack of a second. Labor was heard!
Too bad your average taxpayer and non-unionistas weren’t. But they were probably at work.