Up to the minute Amber Alert Information

Friday, August 15, 2008

Lack of Documentation

Rep. Jeremy Kalin (D-17B) wrote his most recent editorial, taking an earlier letter writer to task. In it he appealed to an editorial by the Pioneer Press, attempting to refute that writer. However, he did not provide any documentation so his readers could examine that Pioneer Press piece.

He talked about ". . . $1.6 billion in property taxes spent last year on state highway projects." He has mentioned this figure several times, but has never offered documentation. He failed to point his constituents to the source for this assertion so we can study it for ourselves.

He wrote, "Without the new funding in the Transportation Bill, North Branch would have been forced to ask city residents to pay the $4.5 million (earlier he said $4.2 million) funding gap from property taxes. . ." Again, Kalin failed to give his source for this claim. Certainly the taxpayers of North Branch would benefit by looking at the numbers for themselves.

Kalin defended himself, claiming, "But to say that a bill was drafted to take advantage of the tragedy is mere mud-throwing not supported by facts." He didn’t offer any facts to disprove this just as he claimed the letter writer ". . . relied on personal attacks and absurd exaggerations of fact" without offering any proof of his charge. His mere pronouncement is apparently sufficient in his mind.

In previous pieces he has written about $15 million coming to Chisago County for roads and bridges, but never provides his source for his postulate. He claims to have secured property tax relief, but never gives the numbers or the documentation for those numbers.

Some time ago he claimed, "According to MnDOT's own projections, Minnesota is $2.4 billion behind every year in keeping up our current system." We looked at that here. He threw it out there without directing us to any source. If Mn/DOT truly made those projections, then he should be able to link to documents on their web site.

Some time ago, he declared, "HF2800 [the recently passed transportation bill] will allow MnDOT to repair or replace all of the 13 bridges in worse structural condition than the I35W Bridge." We looked at that statement here and asked for documentation. He did not identify those 13 bridges nor provide his sources.

Examples could be multiplied, but this is sufficient to show he doesn’t think his readers need anything more than his word.

Kalin wants us to work with the ". . . real facts. . ." But he has little or no interest in giving the sources of those "facts." As a representative of Chisago County downtown, he needs to tell us the facts and provide the Internet links and documentation to support his claims. While many readers are unconcerned about evidence and are willing to accept his claims without proof, many of us are not. My high school teachers would have given him a failing grade on a report that did not provide documentation. I hereby give him an F for his failure to document his assertions in his communications with us.

No comments: