Phone call was a disgusting, sham survey
On Aug. 28, a lady telephoned me identifying herself as working for a California opinion research company. She said that she wanted to ask me questions about the city of Irvine. As a professor who has evaluated survey research articles for academic journals, I agreed to participate in the lengthy survey.
Her survey was the most disgusting, sham survey I have ever known.
The lady started by asking me whether I would be voting for Bill Simon or Gray Davis for governor.
Then, she asked me to rate how favorably or unfavorably I regard Larry Agran. That was an easy question to answer because anyone who voted in the 1992 presidential election remembers the media coverage of Larry Agran as a Democrat running for president against Bill Clinton.
Democrats rewarded Larry Agran with 331 votes in the New Hampshire primary election.
Then, the lady used the procedure of providing me with one "fact" at a time about Larry Agran's accomplishments. After each new "fact" she asked me to rate Larry Agran again.
She repeated this process for others involved in city council politics, except for three candidates: Mike House, Christina Shea, and Chuck DeVore. For these three candidates, the lady provided new "facts" about "irresponsible" actions, or other negative descriptions, and asked me to rate each candidate again.
It became obvious that someone has funded an effort to use legitimate scientific survey research methods as a cover for spreading rumors and for designing future negative mailings to voters in Irvine.
As a relative newcomer to Irvine, I appreciate the educational experience provided by a lady who did not give her name or the name of the person or organization funding this sham survey. I urge this lady to submit to the Irvine World News for publication the complete text of the survey and to disclose who authored and funded this lengthy survey.
In response to this disgusting, sham survey, I shall be voting for and contributing money to Mike House, Christina Shea, and Chuck DeVore for Irvine City Council.

Paul Sheldon Foote

Published:  Irvine World News, September 12, 2002