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Political advertising ‘despicable?’ No, it’s just the facts
Commissioners wrong in demanding PAC quit citing county advisory council in ad
By TOM MALLAMS guest writer Herald and News October 17, 2010
We are responding to the recent outbursts from our county commissioners concerning the Klamath Conservative Voters PAC ad in which we included the Klamath County Natural Resource Advisory Council as being against dam removal, and some of the candidates’ positions on dam removal and the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement.
We have been ordered, by the commissioners, to “cease using the Klamath County Natural Resource Advisory Council in your political advertising.”
County commissioners call our actions “despicable” and say we owe the citizens an apology.
We feel no need to apologize for stating the plain and simple facts. Their accusations are without merit.
We are dedicated to educating the citizens and promoting conservative positions and candidates. The commissioners’ actions border on an attempt to limit a citizen’s right of free speech.
On Feb. 12, 2009, the Natural Resource Advisory Council voted to not support the KBRA as written.
The commissioners choose to ignore the advice of their own advisory council. Our ad did not say the advisory council endorsed Ballot 18-80. This would be impossible, as Ballot 18-80 did not exist when the vote was taken.
This organization was listed as opposing dam removal, nothing more.
Commissioners seem to ignore other advice on these issues as well when Dan Bunch, their county legal counsel at the time, advised them that, “If you do not support dam removal, this (speaking of the KBRA) is the wrong agreement to sign.”
Bunch also stated that the “KBRA is a dam removal agreement..”, also stating “The agreement does not appear to guarantee water ...”
So the commissioners ignore their advisory council, their own legal counsel and, we believe, the citizens of Klamath County.
The citizens have continually requested the commissioners to put dam removal and KBRA to a plain vote of the people.
The citizens wanted a simple yes or no ballot question on dam removal and the KBRA, and instead we got a deceptive ballot that requires the voter to vote yes to say no to dam removal.
This sure seems as clear as mud, except for the deceptive tactics they are using. It is also noteworthy to remember the commissioners had to be forced into putting any measure on the ballot in the general election.
There are federal lawmakers in Washington, D.C., who will not support either agreement without Basin-wide support. Ballot 18-80 is our opportunity to express the views of the citizens in Klamath County, even with a poorly written measure.
As for the candidates’ positions on dam removal and the KBRA, we looked extensively at their voting record and their statements in public venues and conversations to evaluate their positions.
Our county government needs to stand up for its citizens and our way of life.
These “agreements” promote the continual downsizing of agriculture in the Klamath Basin, not the creation of jobs as they claim. As far as promoting local control over our natural resources, this is totally false.
You need only look at the unelected coordinating council, which is the so-called governing body, to see there is no local control. Years of having a “seat at the table” has gotten us nothing to return, except some hoped for benefits while giving into all their demands!
Remember, vote yes on 18-80, to do your part in saving the dams. We look forward in our continued efforts to educate and inform the citizens of the life-changing events we are dealing with.
Page Updated: Friday October 22, 2010 01:29 AM Pacific
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