Monday, March 15, 2010

Waukesha Cherry Picks Poll Data About Diversion Support

Cherry picking poll data to make your case look better is nothing new - - I own up to it and I want to also note it when a unit of government goes down that narrow road.

In this case, it's the Waukesha Water Utility, which sent out through its public relations people last Friday a news release about its Lake Michigan water diversion and return flow plans.

In the release - - linked here - - Waukesha says a recent poll showed that 68% of respondents supported the diversion plan as long as it returned the water to the lake.

True enough - - but don't forget that return flow is required under the Great Lake Compact, so it's a settled issue; Waukesha has a plan to return the diversion as treated wastewater by discharging it into Wauwatosa's Underwood Creek - - a matter that will be settled ultimately by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources after independent study.

But here's the silent spin, by omission, which also undermines Waukesha's repeated claims that their drive towards a diversion will be "role model" transparent:

56% of respondents also said in the same poll that "Milwaukee should not sell Lake Michigan water to Waukesha unless Waukesha agrees to limit development and future water demands."

That information did not make the news release.

You can read the full poll results here.


Anonymous said...

Sooooooo, you're posting that the the press releae actually told the truth and honestly reflected the data?

James Rowen said...

The press release was incomplete.

Anonymous said...

you mean just like this post?

James Rowen said...

You need to read more carefully. There is a link to that very post towards the top at the word "it."

missingsathergate said...

The "for-profit" public relations consultants, under contract to deliver Lake Michigan water to Waukesha, want you to believe that there is "widespread support" for Waukesha to "purchase Lake Michigan water". The numbers posted on the People Speak Poll website, indicate that only 25.2% of those polled "strongly agreed" with the Lake Michigan Diversion. 43.1% of those polled "somewhat agreed" with the diversion. I would say that 43.1 % are concerned about that plan. Why can't there be a people vote, rather than a people speak poll on this issue. For goodness sakes, School Districts almost have to go to a referendum to purchase a box of pencils.