Case in Point


This blog site will feature essays, columns and musings that deal with the intersection of Christianity and journalism and the American Songbook.

Richard G. Christensen vs. Daniel J. Evans (letter: Ellensburg Daily Record)

Ellensburg Daily Record
September 1, 1964

Dear Editor
I do not object to you endorsement of any candidate of your choice, this is your privilege, but what I do find inconsistent with good journalism is your failure to publish you own thoughts. If the publisher and editor of the newspaper do their own editorials concerning political candidates then they should at least have the good judgment to check someone else’s work.

I refer to the Enumclaw Courier-Herald editorial reprinted in your newspaper August 28, l964.
It fails to mention that Richard G. Christensen graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from Morningside College, Iowa in l953 and married Margaret Ann Engstrand a grade school teacher in Sioux City, Iowa. He was ordained as a Lutheran Minister after three years of seminary work at Midland College in Fremont, Nebraska. After seven years of formal education in the understanding of people, human nature, and how to get the best out of the individual he was assigned to the Shoreline area north of Seattle to start a new parish.
The borrowed editorial, also fails to mention that Richard Christensen was not only past president of the Sno-King Kiwanis Club, but the founding president of that organization. In l960, he received the outstanding Kiwanis Leadership Award. Curing this time Rev. Christensen organized a new congregation and within three years had congregation of 500 members and a new paid-for church.

As far as business experience is concerned any successful businessman will agree that the ability to found a church and clear its debts in three years takes exceptional organizational and managerial know-how. Calling Richard Christensen inexperienced in the business field is like calling a farmer inexperienced.

Richard Christensen also so-authored a bill to set up a state commission to promote adult education in government and history as appositive means of combating communism.

If a life-long membership is the criteria for a good office holder then many of our best public servants would not be in office.

C. E. Johns, author of the “Spotlight on Olympia” wrote April 24 in the Tacoma News Tribune, “The worst charge we have against this former Lutheran Minister is that he lacks a background of broad administrative experience. If that is all that can be charged, it would not worry this reporter. The man could pick good administrators. No governor can administer single-handedly an operation as large as the billion dollar annual business of the commonwealth. The mark of a top executive is the ability to choose able and adequate helpers.”

Our present governor had 18 years of legislative experience and I can not see where his experience had benefited Washington State to any measurable degree.

Please consider these facts when you publish the whole truths about Richard G. Christensen. The layout of the editorial coupled with the extravagant use of words on the left side of the editorial tends to dramatize the validity of an invalid editorial.


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