Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Personal Attacks Are Ridiculous


This letter by Steve Helms was printed in this morning's SN-L:
Personal attacks are ridiculous
There they go again (Aug. 13 Blog from defeated Democratic candidate Jim Lee). Jim talks about my last few letters to the News-leader as having a common theme, well, the common theme that liberals have in their rebuttals are ignore the issue and attack the person.

Sara Lampe wrote in a letter to this paper that we have recently cut spending on education. That was clearly wrong, spending is up. I challenged her to set the record straight, she has not. She works to pass laws that would further burden our teachers and schools with additional regulations and requirements. I disagree with her on more state control over our local schools.

Lampe stated at a Springfield Chamber of Commerce meeting that we cannot trust our local school boards in Missouri to do what is right for their students. These are issues. What does my defeat in the '06 election have to do with these?

You ask, "How can we take anything Helms says about education seriously?" Because I have not been in the education field you seek to dismiss my ideas, how arrogant. Why are you and Lampe afraid to discuss the issues in a fair and open format? Are you concerned that if the people of Missouri really know that you stand for oppressive regulation and taxation they would reject you?

I am a private citizen who has raised issues to my state representative in a public format and this is the best response that you can muster? Maybe next time you will spend the ink you get in the newspaper on the issues, not these ridiculous person slights that you have attempted.
Steve Helms Springfield


Steve: You just don't get it.

We agree with you, personal attacks ARE ridiculous. That is why we will never comment about your wife, your children or your personal life unless it has a news peg.

Anything you print in public or send to my house is open to comment, fact checking, and yes, even riducule.

When we question your facts or make light of your statements, it is not a personal attack, inquiring minds want to know where you get your information.

For instance, you state that Lampe and Lee stands for "oppressive regulation and taxation " -- Where does that come from? What does that mean? Where is the documentation?

Is it a personal attack to write that Steve Helms "refuses to pay his debts" and "refuses to support our public schools." Where does that come from? What does that mean? Where is the documentation? Or perhaps it is better to say Steve Helms declared bankruptcy or Steve Helms accepted campaign donations from a leading proponent of educational vouchers. Which is more inflammatory? Which is more "baiting"? But aren't both true?

For documentation on Helm's not paying his bills, read this post.

For documentation on Helm's lack of support for public schools, read this post.

When you make a statement about what another person says or thinks, it helps to have the who, what, where, when (documentation) to back up such statements you make.

Without documentation it is just hyperbole and saber-rattling.

1 comment:

Jason said...

Can I offer a different perspective?

You used the fact he filed for bankruptcy as a negative when he ran on a fiscal responsibility platform. Why did you take that view instead of thinking that perhaps the fact he went through that struggle gave him a perspective on the need for financial accountability?

I can see where Mr. Helms would say that it was a personal attack if you brought out that information and said that made him unworthy to be considered for office in and of itself. You even said that you felt there was no shame in filing for it and that circumstances beyond someone's control can force the issue.

This can be more than a black and white issue. I have no problem providing the info and saying that this happened to him. I don't even have a problem asking him about it. However, if it's brought up over and over and over then you start crossing into personal attack territory.

Does that make any sense?