Getting the story right

The following letter appeared in the Westerly Sun and is shared with us here by the author George C. Tremblay. Mr. Tremblay is a member of the Charlestown Town Council and was reelected in the November 4 election. The story in the Sun that this letter responds to was so full of errors that the newspaper appears to have removed most links to it. We are grateful for the corrections that were made, but we believe others still remain.

George C. Tremblay
George Tremblay

I write to correct a series of egregious errors in reporting on page 1, top of the fold, in your 6 November 2014 issue on the local elections, “Dems left to ponder ousting of 3 incumbent legislators”.

First, there is absolutely no evidence that CCA is influenced by the national GOP in drafting its platform.  Indeed, there exists no arm of the GOP in Charlestown to address the local issues we address in our platform.  The connection made by your reporter is entirely imaginary. Despite the repeated claims by the local featherless rooster who crows otherwise, we are not a political party in the traditional sense. To wit:

We do not know the party affiliation of members of the CCA leadership. We do know from other public activities of our members that one CCA-sponsored member of the current Town Council is also a member of the Moderate party, and a CCA-sponsored member of the newly elected Town Council has previously been elected to office as a member of the Democratic party.  To satisfy curiosity, I can add that I have not been a member of any political party in memory, apart from temporary enrollment for a half hour or so to vote in a primary (I don’t recall what I did in the 60’s, but who can?).

Your reporter claims that Republican Elaine Morgan, who ran against Sen. Cool Rumsey, was endorsed by the CCA.  That’s simply not true.  In fact, I don’t know that any of the CCA leadership has ever spoken to Senator-elect Morgan.  A few CCA organizers did meet with Blake Filippi early in his campaign, but the CCA leadership made a conscious decision not to endorse him.  The CCA simply did not know enough about Filippi to pass judgment on his candidacy.  Some saw fit to encourage Filippi as they learned more about him, and we were all impressed with his work ethic throughout the campaign.  So, toward the end of a very long day at the polls, we invited him to join us in watching the returns.  It was an impromptu invitation at the polls to a candidate we anticipated would be a wounded warrior.  As it turned out, he stole the show.

My point in submitting this letter is to remedy an inexcusable departure from accurate reporting, wherein so many mistakes with a malicious slant appear in a single article.  One has to wonder about the source of the reporter’s information. I expect the editor, whom I respect for his efforts to provide balanced coverage of the campaigns, to own up to these inaccuracies.

George Tremblay