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Letter to the Editor: PCA Candidate Forum Canceled

Piedmont Civic Association cancels Nov. 29 forum, cites rumors that caused candidates to drop out

The Piedmont Civic Association (PCA) Candidate Forum on Nov. 29 was to be an informational event to give candidates an opportunity to introduce themselves to Piedmont voters and allow voters to hear their positions on issues and pose questions. The forum was canceled because of false rumors that caused candidates to drop out.

Rumor: League of Women Voters objected to the forum. Fact: The League responded positively to the idea of a PCA forum. Although the president declined to co-sponsor the PCA event because of a planned LWV forum in January, an email to PCA confirmed the League had no objection to other candidate forums.

Rumor: PCA forum moderator, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Andrew Cheng, had endorsed a Piedmont candidate. Fact: Judge Cheng had not and could not endorse any candidate because of his position as a judicial officer. PCA chose Judge Cheng as moderator because of his qualifications, objectivity and neutrality as a Judge. 

Rumor: The Forum would not be neutral. Fact: The City granted PCA use of the Council chambers and agreed to have KCOM broadcast the forum because it would be completely neutral, open to all candidates, free of any editorializing or endorsement of any candidate.  PCA does not endorse candidates. The forum’s format was provided to all candidates and is posted on the website: www.piedmontcivic.org.

Rumor: Only 1 candidate planned to participate. Fact: 3 candidates responded enthusiastically to the Forum invitation. One questioned participating in both PCA and League’s forums. Three did not respond immediately. Suddenly, the tide turned.

PCA regrets the lost opportunity for voters to hear from candidates early in the election process. They now must wait until January, after absentee voting has begun and endorsements made.

Piedmont Civic Association www.piedmontcivic.org

Susan Kahn November 30, 2011 at 11:38 AM
Re your #3, just because the Piedmont Post doesn't sponsor candidates, that does not indicate or prove that it is not biased; the Post is extremely biased towards this project and towards PRFO. Their bias IS an issue - a very big one. The Post does not present all points of view. It is not a NEWSpaper; it is an OpinionPaper. Also in #3, you say, "PCA sponsors forums so bias or partisanship is an issue." There is no linkage or logic between sponsoring forums on the one hand, and bias or partisanship on the other. That statement is completely nonsensical.
Conna McCarthy November 30, 2011 at 04:55 PM
Ms Kahn, ~The PCA sponsored a forum and 6 candidates declined to participate. PCA will never know if there is " linkage or logic between sponsoring forums on the one hand, and bias or partisanship on the other" if they don't ask the candidates why they chose not to participate. ~ PCA published rumors and then blamed City administrators for circulating rumors. PCA has taken no responsibility for the failure of their forum. I am truly baffled why no one from PCA at any time, from scheduling the forum date, to scuttle butting mistaken endorser listings, ever called a candidate. From an organizing perspective many mistakes were made that are easily corrected going forward. I am suggesting that PCA stops blaming others, considers their own foibles and makes improvements. (on another note, a 3:38 AM posting on PATCH cannot be good for your well-being or disposition, get some rest...there are greater problems to solve than this)
Susan Kahn November 30, 2011 at 09:11 PM
Ms McCarthy: First you say, "PCA sponsors forums so bias or partisanship is an issue." You purport in that sentence that there is a linkage. I point out that there is no logic in your statement. I will be more clear: the word "so" in your statement is a conjunction, with the meaning "therefore" or "consequently." There is no therefore THERE. Yet you reply, "PCA will never know if there is 'linkage or logic between sponsoring forums on the one hand, and bias or partisanship on the other' if they don't ask the candidates why they chose not to participate." You have truly muddied the waters here by adding, "PCA will never know if there is linkage ...," because that idea was never even contained in the words I was commenting on; you have changed the subject. And even further, you go on to say what the PCA should do, in order to determine whether the bias or partisanship that You claim is in existence, is in fact there. You are commenting on something going on in your head, not on something I wrote. Please check your logic circuits. (on another note, I it appears that you know what people you don't know should be doing, and when, as well. And what is important and what is not. My well-being and disposition are just fine; thank you very much. How kind of you to express concern.)
Conna McCarthy November 30, 2011 at 09:57 PM
the crowd fell silent... the curtains closed... THE END
Susan Kahn December 01, 2011 at 06:08 AM
As I said, commenting on something going on in your head. But, at least no more suggestions, directions, or "musts." Good. That's better for your disposition and well-being.

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