- The Washington Times - Friday, September 19, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Recently, as I was baby-sitting for grandchildren in Lake Ridge, Va., a mannerly young man came to the door canvassing for a group known as Clean Water Action. He told me the group sponsored an initiative to promote clean water and prevention of contamination by toxic materials, etc., and gave a brief, benign representation of his organization as activists on the part of our water sources. Who the heck would disagree with that? He asked me to sign a petition indicating my support of the group’s efforts and to make a contribution.

It was not until after I had signed and made a small contribution that he handed me a pamphlet detailing his organization’s full agenda. Before I could read it, he asked me for whom I was going to vote to replace Republican Rep. Thomas M. Davis III and then whom I favored for president. When I asked why he wanted to know, he explained that his organization lobbied Congress on water issues and supported Democrats Gerry Connolly, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, to fill Mr. Davis’ seat, and Sen. Barack Obama for president. He made extraordinary claims about what Mr. Obama has done for the environment, citing statistics that would be impossible to achieve in the short time Mr. Obama has been in the Senate and painting Sen. John McCain as the enemy of the environment.

I realized the presentation and solicitation were part of a deceitful ruse. The young man had carefully avoided mentioning Clean Water Action’s opposition to drilling and that it really was collecting as an arm of the Obama campaign. I question whether this is legal, but if it is, it’s still clearly unethical.

The incident shouldn’t pass anyone’s smell test for honest disclosure. Clean Water Action is using questionable methods to solicit money for the Obama campaign - fraudulent or deceitful are the concepts that come to mind.

SUSAN PERCY

Clifton

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