Tsongas tstrikes back

Letters to the Boston editor, August 3, 2007
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  August 1, 2007

There are fewer than five weeks before the primary election for the fifth congressional district race to succeed Congressman Marty Meehan, and the Niki Tsongas campaign is feeling tremendous momentum going into the final 40 days. In light of your recent article on the race, I thought I would let your readers have a more complete picture of our campaign than the article provided.

Support for Niki’s candidacy has not stopped growing since the day she decided to run for Congress. People are choosing to support her campaign after they learn about her passionate commitment to end the war in Iraq, to provide guaranteed access to affordable health care to every American, and to take tough action now on global warming. They are choosing to support her campaign because she has dedicated the past three decades of her life to public service as a committed community leader, and because she knows this district and the issues facing people living here. As a Dean at Middlesex Community College, Niki understands the importance of providing quality education in order to grow our economy. She has personal experience in helping her family manage a health-care crisis and she knows how critical it is to provide health-care coverage to the 47 million Americans who are uninsured.

It is for these reasons and more that Niki has won the support of Ellen Murphy Meehan, Scott Harshbarger, EMILY’s List, the Communications Workers of America Local 1365, and so many others. With the wealth of varied experience she brings, it is little wonder that Barney Frank endorsed her and described Niki as “superbly qualified,” or that Congressman Henry Waxman, who has spearheaded the investigation in the House of Representatives of Dick Cheney’s misclassification of government documents, is backing Niki’s candidacy.

The campaign has the funds and enthusiastic grassroots field operation to reach as many voters as possible before the primary on September 4. And our internal research, conducted by the nationally recognized pollster Tom Kiley, shows Niki leading her closest opponent in the race, 36 percent to 13 percent.

While the campaign is buzzing with energy and excitement, Niki understands that she is going to have to earn every vote she receives and we are focused on executing our campaign plan to make sure as many voters as possible meet Niki and hear about her accomplishments and her priorities. We think that this is the recipe for success and invite those who would like to learn more to visit our Web site, NikiTsongas.com.

Roger Lau
Campaign Manager
Niki Tsongas For Congress

Still accepting donations
Adam Reilly’s July 20 “Don’t Quote Me” column, did an excellent job of capturing the momentum and accomplishments at WBUR, particularly the station’s commitment to local news. His piece, however, did a disservice to NPR through Bruce Gellerman’s groundless speculation that our decision to broadcast on satellite radio will undermine the need for local affiliates.

NPR currently produces and/or distributes more than 160 hours weekly of programming for broadcast radio — including the addition of five new series in the past three years. The NPR Now and NPR Talk channels on Sirius satellite offer programming from across the public-radio community, with all content having previously aired on broadcast radio, and including many shows produced by local stations, introducing these to new listeners. The two satellite channels and NPR podcasts — also produced from existing content — serve as promotional tools to reach potential audiences and make them aware of local public radio on-air and online.

At a time when media consolidation is shrinking listeners’ choices for factual, thoughtful programming, local public radio has filled the void, with ratings at an all-time high. NPR is committed to the member stations, including WBUR, and our role in their public service mission. While Gellerman might be expressing his vision of NPR’s future, it certainly isn’t ours.

Andi Sporkin
Vice-President For Communications

Related: Putting the public back in public radio, Portland scene report: November 28, 2008, Why ‘fairness’ fails, More more >
  Topics: Letters , Politics, Health and Fitness, National Public Radio Inc.,  More more >
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