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'Turkey' Award Is Returned to Sender

January 09, 1988

Since you spelled my name correctly in awarding me one of your "Thanksgiving Turkey Awards" ("To Some, Thanks a Lot; to Others, Thanks for Nothing," Nov. 26, by Randy Lewis), I really shouldn't complain, but I must.

I'm sorry it has taken me so long to respond, but being a good newspaperman (former writer and publisher), it took me a while to check the facts upon which you based your award.

I'm reluctant to tell you but I cannot, in good conscience, accept the honor you have bestowed upon me. I can't because I am honestly not deserving.

You honored me for "wanting to prohibit the use of public facilities for political fund raising." In addition, you said I "apparently forgot that the Nederlander organization, which operates the Pacific Amphitheatre, also donated the amphitheater in 1986 for a political rally and fund-raiser, attended by Ronald Reagan . . . "

It, the rally, was not a fund-raiser. I checked with each of the participating groups. I also personally attended and I'm sorry to report (both for you and the Republican Party) that no money was charged or collected at, before or after the rally. It was in no way part of any fund-raiser.

While you may not agree with my political philosophy, you must appreciate that I'm consistent. I don't think anyone should be allowed to use a public facility for political fund raising; not Cowboys, Indians or the Republican Party.

Knowing that all of the writers on the Los Angeles Times are extremely objective in their political reporting and very careful to meet the highest in journalistic standards, I'm sure you will want to correct your error and take back your Turkey.

I would suggest you award it to someone else. On further reflection, however, perhaps you should just keep it.

GILBERT W. FERGUSON

Assemblyman, 70th District

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