In an earlier post I wrote about a video on the Common Sense Saratoga website. The video was originally captioned “Someone sent us this video.” The video purports to be of office furniture thrown away by the city and sitting in the rain outside the Rec Center. The video has a running banner that contains easily documented false statements:
- The Commissioner of Finance zeroed out the Rec Department budget (She didn’t.)
- The pile of discarded items shown in the video was furniture bought by the city (It wasn’t furniture, and the furniture the city did lease for the temporary offices at the Rec Center was returned to the vendor. The items shown in the video were in fact the partitions used to set up the temporary work areas and had been sold at auction to the high bidder who was scheduled to pick them up.)
Ron Kim and Julie Cuneo are the co-chairs of Common Sense Saratoga and the following is an open letter to them:
Dear Ron and Julie:
This is a follow-up to my email to you both regarding the video that falsely purports to show furniture discarded by the city. In my email I documented how the video contained demonstrably false allegations, and I asked you to take it down.
Your website continually displays banners calling for transparency and accountability. In this age of bots and fake websites, the spirit of that clarion call is welcome.
What I do not understand is how your site can so blatantly violate those principles by displaying that video.
I had taken the liberty of posting comments on your website Common Sense Saratoga exposing the falsehoods in the video. I went up on your site tonight and discovered that my comments are gone. I also found that the text about “somebody sending you the video” was gone.
While I do not support your charter I am sympathetic to your commitment to improve our city. I believe that the value of your proposed ward system is the kind of idea that people of good faith can disagree about.
What I cannot understand is how you can undermine the credibility of your entire proposal by highlighting a video that is so clearly false. I would also have thought that both of you would be embarrassed by such a nakedly dishonest set of claims.
I find it even more troubling that you appear to assume that if you remove my comments from your website that you will be able to take advantage of an innocent public unaware of the truth.
Paraphrasing the late Ronald Reagen, “Mr. Kim and Ms. Cuneo, take down your video.”