County survey blatant politics

June 28th, 2008 by Ken

For some reason or other, I seem to get many survey calls.  I don’t know if its because I still have a land line or if I just get lucky.  I always consider myself lucky when I get a survey phone call, because I enjoy answering surveys.

I particularly like to “lie” to the surveyor.  I almost always lie when I’m polled.  When they talk about the margin of error – – that’s me.

So when I was polled today I was interested.  Until they asked me if my name was Ken Balsley.  I asked how they got the name.  They said “it was computer generated.”  Then they asked my if I still lived at 4434 24th Avenue.   I was hesitant to reply, but I eventually did so.

Then the questions started coming.  All about Thurston County and its need to protect land and open space.  I aways think open space and wild areas are important so I support that.  Then I was asked if I would approve the lifting of the property tax levy lid to do so.  I replied – NO. 

They gave me several alternatives over the next few questions.  What if it were only 15 cents per thousand?  What is it was capped at $3.5 million?  What if a citizen group controlled the money instead of a government agency?

It was then I realized, that this was not a survey.  This was an educational effort under the guise of being a survey.  They wanted to give me information and didn’t really care what my answers were.

I finally asked, how much longer is this going to take.  The surveyor said “it depends on your  answers.”  Then I knew.  As long as I was negative towards a tax increase, they would continue to feed me information hoping eventually to change my mind.

Thurston County should be ashamed of itself.  Using public money to influence an election and doing it under the guise of “taking a survey.”   I think it stoops pretty low and I suspect, it’s probably illegal.

(Addendum:  On July 25, 2008, I received a call from a representative of various local environmental groups explaining that the poll was commissioned by them and not Thurston County.  They hope to show that there is support for raising taxes for the purpose of environmental protection .  The group has shared the information with the county but is not releasing it to the media.)

Posted in Government, Local Politics, The Real News

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