This is sooo funny. Local leftie gadfly, Richard Salzman, is exposed as the writer of some letters to the editor he sent to local papers using names other than his own. Kudos to the North Coast Journal for the report that brought this to public light. Good to see someone who accuses everyone else of unscrupulous dealings being exposed doing some not so above the board stuff himself.
That said, I don't really think he did all that much wrong except for signing someone else's name to a document. He's written letters under his own name before, so it's not like he's afraid to stand by his opinion. I feel a lot less toward the other writer mentioned in the Eureka Reporter story that wrote letters and always used someone else's name because he "didn't want people to know I wrote it...". Now that's cowardly.
So why did Salzman do it? I can only think of two reasons: He wanted to submit more letters in the time period the particular paper allowed, or, he wanted to give the impression that his viewpoint was more widespread than it appeared with a letter from just him alone. Only he knows for sure. Those two reasons probably don't justify such actions, but I can understand them. I've thought of similar strategies myself, except mine involved collaborating with other people. For instance, I thought of writing a letter to the editor myself and then having some local LPers write in and say how much they agreed with my letter. I suppose that's a little more honest but maybe still in the wrong spirit. The main reason I never got those projects off the ground is I couldn't find anyone to write the support letters. A lot of people are afraid to have their opinions linked to their names or even have their opinion exposed to the public at all.
I wrote a letter to the Times Standard a few years ago. Got a number of compliments on it. One of my past customers wrote me an e-mail complementing me on the letter and concluded by asking "...but why did you sign your own name to it?". How pathetic, I thought. My answer to him: "Because I wrote it.".