This is follow-up to the latest op-ed written by State Rep Warren Kampf (R-157). In the article, Kampf is calling for an end to uncivil discourse. Kampf uses a couple of examples in his editorial of uncivil speech, including Dariel Jamieson’s recent letters to the editors. Although Kampf does not name Jamieson directly, if you have been following the local news, his reference is clear. Ms. Jamieson has written two letters to the editor which appeared in the Main Line Suburban criticizing Kampf for not voting to support the recently passed transportation funding bill.
It's not Jamieson's right to voice her opinion on Kampf's voting record on the transportation bill that is the issue. In the initial letter to the editor, Jamieson made public accusation that Kampf took the Grover Norquist no-tax pledge when he did not. Jamieson then compounded the already difficult situation by writing a second letter to the editor about Kampf and the transportation bill without retracting nor taking responsibility for the inaccurate accusations contained in her first letter. Civil discourse means to engage in conversation intended to enhance understanding – personal attacks and lies are wrong and diminish the value of the argument.
In his latest op-ed, Kampf does not say Jamieson’s actions were politically motivated. However, when you write an editorial attacking a Republican State Representative and sign the letter as chair of the local Democratic Committee (as Jamieson did), it is not a stretch to come to that conclusion. For those keeping score – Dariel Jamieson has now written two editorials attacking Warren Kampf in the last couple of weeks. (Click here to read Kampf's response to Jamieson's initial letter) Here’s hoping that Jamieson does not feel compelled to write a third op-ed on the same topic!
Beyond the uncivil discourse created by Jamieson’s letters, I am troubled that her actions as the political party chair place Murph Wysocki and Mark Freed, the newly elected Democratic Tredyffrin Township supervisors, in an awkward position less than a month before they take office. Wysocki and Freed will join the five sitting Republican supervisors on the Board and this ‘war of words’ from Jamieson going on in the background cannot be helpful to them.
When you accept the role of president or chair of an organization, and act publically in that capacity, you need to ensure that your voice is representative of the majority of those that you are elected to serve – are Jamieson’s letters to the editor representative of TTDEMS members opinions? I hope not.
In closing, I echo Kampf’s words, ” … every citizen and every elected official – would be better served saying what we must in a way that achieves civil discourse …”