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Mailbag -- Ron Vanderford

January 17, 2001

Regarding the comments of front-page columnist Will Rogers ("Funding

of columnist good for city") in the Dec. 27 issue of the Leader, for many

years he has ridiculed a Glendale appointee to the Airport Authority for

making outlandish statements in the expectation that all should believe

them simply because he, himself, had uttered them.

The columnist has now fallen into the same rut of expecting all to

believe regardless of how factually inaccurate his proclamations might


be. One example from his column: "The ROAR initiative is deeply flawed

and makes demands that violate the U.S. Constitution."

The columnist does not mention what the supposed deep flaws might be.

It is my belief that he is just blowing smoke in this regard. Regarding

the constitutionality of ROAR, if the columnist had ever read the U.S.

Constitution, he would know that it makes no mention of initiatives.

Initiatives are a creation of, and are regulated by, those individual

states that allow the initiative process. The columnist would do well to

read the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, in which it is simply

stated: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the

Constitution are reserved to the states or to the people."

Based on the fact that Measure F in Orange County was overturned in

court, the columnist implies that the ROAR initiative will meet a similar

fate. At best, he tells half the story.

The two primary reasons why Measure F was overturned are that it deals

with more than one issue -- airports, prisons and dumps -- and because it

directly contradicts an earlier measure passed by Orange County voters.

The ROAR initiative will face neither of these legal hurdles.

The omissions and inaccuracies perpetuated in his column are, in my

opinion, deliberately grossly misleading. Sadly, this type of writing has

become the columnist's signature in recent years.

It has not always been so.

During earlier years, the columnist built himself a tremendous bank

account of credibility. He now seems intent on squandering his

credibility account by his oft-demonstrated willingness to allow his

biases to override anything that even closely resembles fact in his




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