Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Logical Fallacies, or oh what a wicked web we weave

"Political commentary serves very legitimate purposes. By exposing the behind the scenes maneuvers of political operatives, it helps citizens and potential candidates to question motives and agendas."

(Quote from John Servais)

Sounds good, doesn' it? But the former publisher of the now defunct Whatcom Independent published an article full of inaccurate information.

Like Mr. Servais, I have my sources of political information. Unlike Mr. Servais, I take the time to research the information I am given to make sure it is accurate.

You see, logical fallacies are common errors in reasoning that undermine the logic of an argument. Fallacies can be illegitimate arguments or irrelevant points and are usually easy to identify because they lack sufficient evidence to support their claim.

In his post titled, "Candidates, Campaigns and Confabs" Mr. Servais, a professional journalist with over 31 years experience, claims Lisa McShane, a stealth political operative, managed Seth Fleetwood, Laurie Caskey-Schreiber and Carl Weimer's past campaigns.

We could call this an example of a hasty generalization (a conclusion based on insufficient or biased evidence). In other words, in his haste to defend Mr. Kirsch's character and reputation, Mr. Servais appears to be rushing to a conclusion before he has all of the relevant facts.

So I paid a visit to the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) filings and here's what the candidates reported in the way of campaign staff.

Seth Fleetwood (2001) County Council Campaign

David Auer, Treasurer
Greg Winters, Committee Chair
Gabrielle Merrick, Finance Chair

Seth Fleetwood (2005) County Council Campaign

John Edholm, Treasurer
Greg Winters, Committee Chair

Seth Fleetwood (2007) Mayor Campaign

John Edholm, Treasurer
Jesse Solomon, Campaign Manager

Laurie Caskey-Schreiber (2001) County Council Campaign

Colleen Sutliff, Treasurer
April Markiewicz,Campaign Committee

Laurie Caskey-Schreiber (2005) County Council Campaign
Ken Mann, Treasurer
April Markiewicz, Campaign Manager

Carl Weimer (2005) County Council Campaign

Greg Winter, Treasurer
No other campaign members

Readers can verify the accuracy of the above information by visiting the PDC site

Don't forget the hypen with Caskey-Schreiber's last name.

In closing, relax Mr. Servais. Your relentless personal attacks against local citizens is opening up the field for new candidates, conservative and liberal alike!

(I'm sure all of our community's "stealth political operatives" are rubbing their hands together in anticipation of your next rant).

Maybe that should be the focus of Latte Republic's next survey - who are Whatcom County's stealth political operatives?


No comments:

Post a Comment