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Letter The New York Times Refused to Print Responding to “A Chaotic Kenya Vote and a Secret U.S. Exit Poll”

February 3, 2009

Washington DC – In response to “A Chaotic Kenya Vote and a Secret U.S. Exit Poll” that appeared in The News York Times, IRI submitted a Letter to the Editor.  The Times refused to print the letter as submitted and edited out factual, substantive content.  Below we have provided both letters so you, the reader, can see for yourself.

Letter The New York Times refused to run. Letter as The New York Times edited it.

To the Editor:

“A Chaotic Kenya Vote and a Secret U.S. Exit Poll” (front page, Jan. 31) charges that in December 2007, the International Republican Institute suppressed a Kenyan presidential and parliamentary elections exit poll at the behest of the United States government. We strongly disagree with that charge.

The article quotes liberally from emails by former IRI employee Ken Flottman to buttress the charge. Not mentioned are other Flottman emails in which he agrees with our decision not to release the poll because we believed the data was flawed.

In 2007, The Times reported the results of our polling showing great dissatisfaction in Pakistan with President Pervez Musharraf. If I.R.I. had no motive to suppress polls so critical of America’s then “closest ally” against terrorism, what was the motive in Kenya? The simple truth is that in Kenya, I.R.I. was unwilling to release a poll with flawed data --¬ despite the fact that doing so might have helped the losing candidate, Raila Odinga, a 20-year friend of I.R.I.

I.R.I. has requested that the State Department’s inspector general, who reports solely to Congress, investigate this matter. He will have access to a far greater range of information than you cite. I hope you will give the inspector general’s report the same coverage as you have given to this charge.

To the Editor:

“A Chaotic Kenya Vote and a Secret U.S. Exit Poll” (front page, Jan. 31) charges that in December 2007, the International Republican Institute suppressed a Kenyan presidential and parliamentary elections exit poll at the behest of the United States government. We strongly disagree with that charge.

In 2007, The Times reported the results of our polling showing great dissatisfaction in Pakistan with President Pervez Musharraf. If I.R.I. had no motive to suppress polls so critical of America’s then “closest ally” against terrorism, what was the motive in Kenya? The simple truth is that in Kenya, I.R.I. was unwilling to release a poll with flawed data --¬ despite the fact that doing so might have helped the losing candidate, Raila Odinga, a 20-year friend of I.R.I.

I.R.I. has requested that the State Department’s inspector general, who reports solely to Congress, investigate this matter. He will have access to a far greater range of information than you cite. I hope you will give the inspector general’s report the same coverage as you have given to this charge.

Lorne W. Craner
President
International Republican Institute
Lorne W. Craner
President
International Republican Institute
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