Thursday, August 2, 2007

Indecision, or more corruption?

(submitted to Hays Daily News by J.P. Michaud, Aug.2, 2007)

Personal communications with county comissioners by various people have all returned the same result: they have made up their minds on the wind farm issue, but they aren’t telling anyone - yet. It all smacks of deeper corruption of local politics. Why leave their constituents hanging and perpetuate the acrimony between opposing sides for no good reason? It plays into the hands of our would-be industrialists who are scrambling daily to salavage their corrupt business deal with unscrupulous tactics. Like continuing to ghost-write letters from supposed supporters. Like trying to buy off opponents one by one to invalidate their protest petition and whittle away at the opposition. Like trying to publicly pressure the one commissioner who has been forthright enough to state his reservations about the development.

I was greatly heartened to learn of the grass-roots opposition to Iberdrola’s aggressive and despotic wind energy development in Oaxaca, Mexico. The people of Hays and Ellis County could learn a lot about how to resist corporate exploitation from these impoverished, uneducated, and yet couragous and well-informed indigenous peoples. They seem to have better awareness of their impending environmental doom than many of our more educated and more affluent local residents who blindly accept all the false promises of wind energy developers at face value. I encourage everyone to download and watch the 13 min video “Windmills of Capitalism” available here:

Despite their tardiness in this matter, our county commissioners want to politicize their decision to the fullest extent possible when they do render it, as though they want the same attention the zoning board got when they rendered their biased and tainted recommendation. Why else would they try to get people to pack the Schenk building simply to hear them vote aye or nay? The only draw for the zoning board meetings was the opportunity for public input, which the commission has clearly rejected at this point. They want the spotlight for themselves – but only once they have all their theatrics properly orchestrated.

The county commission seems to be postponing the inevitable – but they can’t postpone the next election that will surely punish those commissioners who choose to support this project. There are only two possible explanations for this unconscionable delay: corruption or cowardice. Are they waiting for public attention to wane, or are they negociating more graft from the wind farm developers?

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