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Fact Checking Ed Moritz

Original post made by Heyward Robinson, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park, on Sep 20, 2012

[This letter to the editor was originally submitted to the Daily Post on September 12. They have yet to publish it, presumably because it exceeds the 250 word limit on letters, even though its shorter than Mr. Moritz's original letter from September 5.]

Editor

A recent letter from Ed Moritz purports to provide "facts" about Menlo Park Councilmember Kelly Fergusson, even suggesting that Ms. Fergusson's punch was spiked. Given the large number of falsehoods in his letter, Mr. Moritz appears to be the one who's imbibing "strange ingredients". Consider:

* a FALSE claim that 35-40% of Ms. Fergusson's 2008 election contributions were from unions. Most came from individuals; less than 10% were from unions.
* a FABRICATED claim that Ms. Fergusson supported an employee salary increase that was outside of "normal" labor negotiations. The city strictly follows national and state laws in conducting labor negotiations and there have been no increases outside of "normal" negotiations.
* a FALSE claim that Ms. Fergusson opposed placing the pension reform measure on the ballot. In May of 2010, the Council unanimously voted to put Measure L on the ballot. * a FALSE claim that Ms. Fergusson traveled to Washington to seek funding for HSR. Ms. Fergusson's trip, in her role as a member of the Council sub-committee on HSR, was to reinforce the City's lobbying efforts against the proposed four track, elevated design. As an elected official himself, Mr. Moritz should appreciate the added impact when elected officials are directly involved in lobbying.
* a MISLEADING claim that Ms. Fergusson had a conflict of interest between her job at Siemens work for the City. Ms. Fergusson received an FPPC opinion that there is no conflict.

It took me less than an hour to verify these facts. Mr. Moritz's letter thus receives five Pinocchios and a Pants On Fire rating. Let's hope his fact checking improves in future letters.

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