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Former candidate responds with letter to the editor

January 6, 2000

by Brenda Loew

I recently ran for Newton School Committee as the challenger from Ward 5. I graduated Newton South in 1968 and am a college-educated, award-winning professional, property owner and mother of two adult children.

I do not know Newton newcomer Charles Pluckhahn. I did not meet this individual at any candidates events nor did I receive a phone call from him regarding his concerns over Brian Camenker's flyer. If I had, I would have promptly returned his call.

I ran a clean campaign. Yet Pluckhahn, in his recently published letter to the editor entitled "Advice to challengers (12/23), refers to me as a "whining insurgent obsessed with homosexuality." I am none of those things. Why?

In my opinion, Pluckhahn's name-calling smacks of McCarthyism. His letter is written with reckless disregard for the truth as concerns my politics and my reputation.

Frankly, I am not at all surprised that the TAB printed Pluckhahn's uncivil, political endorsement of the incumbents because it was the TAB's biased editorial position favoring the incumbents over the challengers that started this demonization in the first place.

Plukhahn has not presented an intelligent and reasoned case against the challengers. Instead, he has exposed the unsavory tactics that some in power often resort to in an attempt to control public opinion and the body politic.

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