An open letter to Rutland Alderman Paul Clifford:
In the spirit of Sen. Moynihan's statement “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts” — you now owe a debt to the people of the state of Vermont to issue a clear retraction of the misinformation which you reportedly disseminated.
As a public official, you ought to be aware your conduct is held to a higher standard or at least, it should be that we restore that expectation with respect to all our elected officials.
But there is something even more disturbing. You were quoted as stating, “The truth is still yet to be known,” and then later, “Quite frankly, I don’t care what you think.” Those two statements taken together would, I believe, tell anyone who heard them, that the writer knowingly regards the truth as subservient to his opinion.
This is indeed a dangerous statement.
It is now up to you to do the right thing and set the record straight.
I await your response.
Robert A. Oeser