California Approves “The Lie”! Better Communication Options Exist.

March 13, 2010 at 4:03 pm Leave a comment

I heard her say it. On Public Radio. “Just tell a lie,” she said. “Lie.” If this is the best communication tool the government can offer, the outlook for California is worse than I thought.

She's all for Life, Liberty and the right to Lie

It was California’s esteemed Secretary of State Debra Bowen talking about Ballot Signature season. She advised citizens confronted with signature gatherers to “just tell them a little white lie, like ‘I don’t live in this county’, or ‘I already signed that.'”

My local NPR affiliate – Southern California’s KPCC – was discussing the process of garnering signatures for ballot initiatives. California residents are confronted with these signature requests as they walk into a Target store or Albertson’s grocery store. Some of these people can be relentless in their pursuit of your coveted John Hancock.

It’s certainly appropriate for KPCC to discuss this issue with the Secretary of State’s office. What’s not appropriate is the response given by the leader of that state’s election process – Secretary of State Debra Bowen. Perhaps she had a very negative experience or two with ballot signature takers.

So if that’s the best advice she can give, I wonder what she tells her employees during the day. What’s the culture in Sacramento that would have Bowen say this to a reporter? What are her bosses advising Bowen? Arnie, what’s going on?

How about telling citizens they have the right to simply deny their signature to anyone asking. How about telling citizens they have the right to disagree peacefully with anyone inciting heated political discourse. How about telling the truth.

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Entry filed under: Communications, journalism.

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