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Sunday, Oct 1, 2023



“I would like to submit a rebuttal in response to an article published in the San Diego Business Journal on Oct. 11, titled “Not One of Jerry’s Kids: The Trouble With Telethons.” I realize it is not the goal nor the purpose of the Business Journal to get into the fray of a “words contest,” but the damage created by this letter has severely impacted many citizens in San Diego.

I found it to be completely irresponsible that a reputable organization such as the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers, whose sole mission is to support the disabled community, would intentionally go out and damage the reputation and integrity of an organization that thousands of people depend upon.

This article serves no basis other than to purposefully undermine and ruin the basic foundation of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The publication of this letter by the Business Journal, intentionally reached out the citizens and business community of San Diego and jeopardized all future contributions to the MDA.

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Unlike the CFILC, which receives millions of (taxpayer) dollars from the federal and state governments, the Muscular Dystrophy Association receives all of its resources from the generous contributions of the community. The article even went so for as to suggest that the readers should not contribute to the MDA, but to a government-sponsored program.

The purpose of the telethon is not to create a perception that the disabled are some monstrous and pitiful creatures burdening the community.

Rather, the Jerry Lewis Telethon serves to educate the public and to bring home the severe realities of this disease. We don’t want your pity! We want your understanding, your dedication and most importantly, your support to put an end to this disease.

The CFILC’s mission is to fulfill the needs of the disabled , to solve the symptoms. The mission of the MDA is not to solve the symptoms of muscular dystrophy, but to solve the problem , by finding a cure.

Mr. Tingus has a right to his opinion. But it is completely irresponsible and totally unprofessional that a public policy director would submit such an article. Furthermore, I find it completely a misrepresentation and abuse of taxpayer dollars.

Is it also the CFILC’s public policy to undermine and damage the reputation of other charitable organizations that serve the disabled community? Can we also expect similar letters when the AIDS Foundation displays their comforter in Washington, or when the MS Society conducts its annual walkathon, or during the Easter Seals campaign, or when floodwaters ravage central Iowa and the Red Cross is looking for donations?

I have completely no respect for any group or organization that makes an attempt to bolster its status and reputation at the expense of others. For many of the individuals who have a life-threatening form of muscular dystrophy, the research and clinical studies funded by the MDA is their only hope and salvation.

I would like for you to look into one of those individual’s eyes and tell them you intentionally eliminated any hope for finding a cure for them.

Thank you for your support, Mr. Tingus!

Marty Muniz

San Diego

Editor’s note: Muniz is a client of the MDA and is diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. He is the chairman of the MDA Task Force of San Diego and Imperial Counties, which serves the community by educating the public about individuals with disabilities.

Abusing the Legal System


By once again subjecting our court system to abusive third party lawsuits, Gov. Davis has just given personal injury lawyers more reason to abuse the civil justice system at your personal expense.

The governor recently signed a third party bad faith insurance bill that increases your costs and addresses an issue that applied to less than four in 1,000 complaints to the State Insurance Commissioner’s Office. The new law will reverse a four-year decline in auto insurance rates.

The bill allows an insurance company to be sued twice for the same insurance case because it will not settle a claim quickly enough. Unfortunately, all this does is force an insurance company to settle phony claims because it is less expensive than fighting two lawsuits. For an average two-car family with one adult an one teenage driver, their insurance costs could go up by more than $300 per year.

From the start consumers knew this legislation would impose far more harm than good. The governor, at the personal injury lawyers’ request, signed it anyway. Who do our elected officials represent anyway?

Andy Kotner

San Diego

Kotner is the executive director of the San Diego County Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse.”


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