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Oregon's ALEC Leader Rep. Whisnant Reluctant to Dialog On His ReasoningOp-Ed by Henry Clay Ruark for Salem-News.com
Gene Won "Legislator of Year" from ALEC But Now Has Secretary Send S-N Outmoded Statement to Eugene WEEKLY When Confronted - Part 3 1/2 of ALEC Series.
(SEASIDE, Ore.) - Long ago in leading story coverage for United Press-Boston, learned first thing demanded on any controversial situation was free, open, honest, comprehensive opportunity for dialog with the reporter, prior to any publication of further detail.
That supports and carries out a major principle of ethical journalism demanding that any participant be assured of first opportunity to respond with facts --and sometimes feelings-- when caught in any controversial situation.
This proved especially true of anything involving law or legislation, subject areas often involved in controversial issues or problems, and by far the most likely to become even further complicated and confused by the very complexities of language, as each party to the process makes sure to make of it an ongoing debate --with winners and losers-- rather than open, honest dialog leading to learning shared by all --and thus well reported via professional coverage.
Unfortunately not everyone so involved in controversy --and most often-NOT the very person who needs most to speak out-- take advantage of this honest, open --and surely democratic-- opportunity to do so. Which brings to mind that old English Parliament "rule of debate" often bruited about in high school English-classes:
First rule of debate: Anyone who must explain the next morning has a problem.
We stand ready to begin dialog with Rep. Whisnant, Winner of the Legislator of the Year Award from the ALEC organization, and can promise him open, honest and democratic dialog here.
We put our own reputation for that kind, level and quality of dialog right on the line when we offer him full and continuing opportunity to present his thinking and reasons why he has chosen to be so closely linked with what ALEC was doing --perhaps missing the ultimate result and unavoidable consequences of its impacts on literally many thousand of state-level laws in development for every state legislature --since 1973!
But instead of welcoming our professionally-motivated open dialog right out here in public, he chose Step One in evasion and denial, and had his secretary to do the dirty work, sending us only an outmoded statement supplied some time ago to the Eugene WEEKLY, along with access to his own article published in "Inside ALEC".
Aside from such contemptuous response, the two items were already available to us, and indeed the statement he sent to the Eugene WEEKLY was somewhat helpful in directing our full attention to much that it did NOT state.
Since ALEC has become a wildly-and-widely reported national controversial issue, we at Salem-News have undertaken to bring that broad variety and depth of new information to our readers by constant surveillance of every source we can discover and then cover.
You will find listed in our separate sidebar story the major links now operating on this large agenda item for major national information sources --so recognized by the current Hillman Award just conferred on the group responsible.
The sidebar link-story confers on every S-N reader a remarkable opportunity to learn precisely how this organization managed to make its malignant and otherwise-magnificent impacts on thousands of models intended to shape and facilitate production of actual laws and other legislation in all fifty states.
Use of these links will make available to every reader every particular and precise component of those very same models...with a single-click.
Other clicks will bring up list-b-state of the legislators involved at ALEC's three-a-year sessions, and will also make clear the unavoidable (and now impossible-to-hide) very strong impact on them deriving from that "seat at the table" for dialog and debate, for which they paid that "king's ransom" --complete with veto power over the resulting product.
We will return soon to further exploration of ALEC power and protocol, with examples of its malignant impacts on extremely important legislation in several states, along with the exquisite --some would write excruciating-- consequences now, some unforeseen and others right on schedule under this longtime plan and performance.
At 21, Henry Clay Ruark was Aroostook Editor for the Bangor, Maine DAILY NEWS, covering the upper 1/4 of the state. In the ‘40s, he was Staff Correspondent, then New England Wires Editor at United Press-Boston; later Editor for the Burlington, Vermont 3-daily group owned by Wm. Loeb, later notorious at Manchester, New Hampshire UNION LEADER for attacks on Democratic Presidential candidates.
Hank returned to Oregon to complete M. Ed. degree at OSU, went on to Indiana University for Ed.D. (abd) and special other course-work; was selected as first Information Director for NAVA in Washington, D.C.; helped write sections of NDEA, first Act to supply math, science, foreign language consultants to state depts. of education; joined Oregon Dept. of Education, where he served as NDEA administrator/Learning Media Consultant for ten years.
He joined Dr. Amo DeBernardis at PCC, helping establish, extend programs, facilities, Oregon/national public relations; moved to Chicago as Editor/Publisher of oldest educational-AV journal, reformed as AV GUIDE Magazine; then established and operated Learning Media Associates as general communications consultant group. Due to wife’s illness, he returned to Oregon in 1981, semi-retired, and has continued writing intermittently ever since, joining S-N in 2004. His Op Eds now total over 650 written since then.
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