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October 12th, 2011 WW Editorial Staff | Letters to the Editor
 

Inbox: The State of Jefferson

     
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The correct response Jefferson [“Hotseat: Jefferson Smith,” Oct. 5, 2011] could have made for the question about his ADHD meds: Question: “Is it working?” Answer: “Better than your filter for asking patently offensive and frankly inappropriate questions about an intellectual disability millions of Americans...struggle with.”.... For a periodical that prides itself on being so damn forward, this line of questioning is a significant step back. ... If he had used his wheelchair as an explanation for why he didn’t attend an event on time—that wouldn’t make it appropriate for WW to probe deeply about his disability, whether the wheelchair is functioning. The tacit statement in this line of questioning is people with intellectual disabilities might not be trusted to lead, might not be as good, maybe Jefferson isn’t capable. WW, you’ve completely missed the boat.—“B”


Claiming that intellectual disabilities are irrelevant in regards to holding public office is like saying vision disabilities are irrelevant for airline pilots.... WW’s question was neither “patently offensive” OR inappropriate, and Mr. Smith himself has made it an issue; almost, it seems, a matter of pride or swagger.—“Sally”


WW really put the kid gloves on. I especially liked the leading questions...so all he had to do was say “yeah” and he looked like some kind of hero. As for one commenter’s comparison of ADHD with being in a wheelchair...let me point this out. He managed to make it out of Harvard yet he couldn’t send a letter to the bar with his check on time? ADHD has become an excuse for everything. Don’t compare a person who has no use of their legs being late...to someone who could graduate from Harvard yet forgot to send a payment in. He has a history of this. Is the standard of leadership so poor around here that you people would gush over the example he sets? Please.—“Chris”


Smith clearly has some gifts... The question is whether they are the right gifts for the job of mayor of a large-ish city with a payroll of thousands. Smith seems to do best when he can use his considerable wit and charisma to charm and motivate people. While...inspirational leadership is needed in a mayor, a large portion of the job also involves the mundane, un-sexy work of running an organization that rivals many medium-sized corporations. It’s not clear Smith’s leadership of the Bus Project has prepared him, particularly given the thousands of dollars in fines it racked up under his tenure. While Smith’s ADHD should certainly be off-limits, it is fair to question if, in light of his erratic and questionable personal behavior (missing court dates, driving with a suspended license, not voting), he has the maturity, patience, and persistence needed to be mayor.—“Davey_Blun”


CORRECTION

A recent cover story (“The Crucifixion of Geoff Thompson,” WW, Sept. 28, 2011) misstated the name of the View Point Inn. The story also inaccurately characterized a legal settlement between Friends of the Columbia Gorge and the inn’s owners. That settlement restricted outdoor functions at the inn and off-site parking but did not address restoration or fire insurance. Friends of the Columbia Gorge did not sue over the land use permit for the Inn; the settlement agreement was reached during the appeal period for the permit. WW regrets the errors.


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