Let the Record Show…

NOTE: EAI can confirm that Tom Licata was not serving on the board of directors for the Ethan Allen Institute at any point during his campaign for Vermont state senate, nor does he now. 

by Tom Licata

“VTDigger a finalist for the 17th annual Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism,” read this March 10, 2017 Vermont Digger headline. It goes on to describe this award, in part, as follows: “the Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism honors journalists and news organizations that demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to ethical conduct… When he created the award, Payne envisioned a program that would reward journalists acting with integrity and character.…”

“Extraordinary” is a high bar, defined as “exceptional to a very marked extent.” “Integrity and character” are defined as “the quality of being honest” and “the moral qualities distinctive to an individual.” Let me put to trial both Vermont Digger and Anne Galloway against these standards – – – using their own words.

The following is an unedited and complete correspondence between Anne Galloway and me. It references my 2016 State Senate campaign and an article published by Vermont Digger (House Minority Leader calls for break up of Chittenden County Senate district, Oct. 18, 2016), which contained factually erroneous information on my background and my request to have it corrected:

“On Tue, Oct 18, 2016 at 12:38 PM, Tom Licata wrote:

Hi Diane, Below is a passage from Morgan True’s article, posted today. Please issue a correction, as I am not “a member of the conservative Ethan Allen Institute’s board.” Of all my writings and my submission to your candidates’ questionnaire, my “recent op-ed” of over six months ago is all this crack-reporter could come up with? Banal derision and lazy reporting? The obvious message of my campaign are the irreconcilable differences between Progressivism and Constitutionalism. Did he even read my response to your questionnaire? Has he not heard or heard of my radio ads, having been aired for some two months now or read the local papers to view political ads? Probably not and it wouldn’t have mattered. Your organization isn’t a serious reporting outlet, but a mouthpiece for the Progressive movement, allowing just enough “legit” reporting as not to be obvious. Issue the correction. Thank you, Tom

“An independent has also joined the senate contest. Burlington resident Tom Licata, a member of the conservative Ethan Allen Institute’s board, has been critical of Republicans, urging them to “grow a pair” in a recent op-ed. Licata is running ads on CCTA buses, but his campaign finance filings could not be located on the Secretary of State’s website. Licata is listed on the site as a candidate for the November ballot.”

[Note: This first correspondence of mine was to Diane Zeigler. Diane was the Vermont Digger employee who first contacted all Vermont Legislative candidates, including me, requesting us to fill out their informational form, which I did. Diane never responded to me but Anne Galloway did.]

On Oct 18, 2016, at 12:45 PM, Anne Galloway wrote:

Thanks, Tom, for writing. 

We will not be issuing a correction. 

Anne

On Oct 18, 2016, at 3:16 PM, Tom Licata wrote:

Knowingly publishing incorrect, false and deceptive information on a political candidate is the very definition of propaganda:https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/propaganda Is this legal? As it certainly isn’t ethical. Thank you, though, for putting it in writing. Diane, please take my candidate information – that I provided to you – off your site. I want nothing to do with your organization or publication. Thank you, Tom

On Oct 18, 2016, at 3:18 PM, Anne Galloway wrote:

You haven’t pointed out an error 

As per usual you’ve gone off on a rant

On Oct 18, 2016, at 3:49 PM, Tom Licata wrote:

Anne, I’m trying to be patient. What part of “Please issue a correction, as I am not “a member of the conservative Ethan Allen Institute’s board,”” is ambiguous to you? I don’t know how else to communicate to you that I am not a member of the EAI’s board. And one man’s “rant” is another’s display of ignorance. If you issue a correction, stating that what was published earlier was incorrect and that in fact I am not a member of the EAI’s board, then you’re free to keep my candidate information up on your site. If not, any good-faith we had left in the tank is gone and I ask that you remove my candidate information from your publication. Thank you, Tom

On Tue, Oct 18, 2016 at 5:05 PM, Tom Licata wrote:

I’ve changed my mind. The snarky way Morgan introduces my candidacy; the censoring of my series on Progressivism: the way you just cut off all communications with me when I tried to get a coherent explanation as to why you wouldn’t publish the remaining in the series; and then your remark of my “usual…rant”; has brought me to the conclusion of “No Mas.” I don’t want anything to do with your publication. Please remove my candidate information from your site. You-all think that you are so ‘smart,’ on “the right side of History,” as your dear leader would say, and folks like me just “rant.” What’s worse than not knowing what you do not know is not having the intellectual curiosity of discovery. If one thinks that truth will eventually prevail – as I do – and that what can’t work, won’t, then I’ll be just fine, as Progressivism will collapse. But it’s the pain and suffering, on its way to collapse, that I will regret in failing to avoid.

From: “Anne Galloway” To: “Tom Licata” Cc: “Diane Zeigler” “Morgan True” Sent: Tuesday, October 18, 2016 5:15:51 PMSubject: Re: Correction

Sorry. It’s public information. No can do. 

On Oct 18, 2016, at 5:49 PM, Tom Licata wrote:

You disgust me.

On October 18, 2016 at 5:53 PM Anne Galloway wrote:

That’s too bad 

I kind of like you”

This was our entire correspondence. A correction was never issued. If Anne Galloway and Vermont Digger can hold a lie over a relatively small matter such as this, she and they have displayed the kind of “integrity and character” as to decide what will be held as truth or lie. Solzhenitsyn said, “Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.”

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