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Protect cries intimidation on ACR boosters
October 2, 2012 - Jessica Collier
Protect put up a post on their website today accusing ACR boosters of trying to intimidate them.
Their post is called "New Campaign of Intimidation against PROTECT and Sierra Club Launched by ACR Boosters."
The piece talks about Mark Moeller’s recent guest commentary in the Enterprise.
“Mr. Moeller moves through the piece from direct attacks on different people involved with PROTECT to naming different PROTECT volunteer Board members and asking readers to confront them. This is a noted change in tactics for ACR boosters.”
Moeller originally included several phone numbers in his piece, but we asked him to remove those. Several of them are easily found through a Google search, and the Enterprise didn’t feel that publishing phone numbers in a letter inciting anger like that would be in keeping with the journalistic ethic of minimizing harm. And the Enterprise generally makes it a practice to not publish phone numbers without consent.
That being said, I guess I don’t see this as a ton different from the tactics ACR boosters have been using all along. I had thought that publishing photos last winter (was it last winter? or before that?) of the houses of people who were against the APA’s approval was pretty clearly an intimidation tactic. And similarly the bright yellow signs at various points around town that say, “Shame on Protect and the Sierra Club,” in big, bold, black letters, and the things people have been saying on Facebook and elsewhere about Phyllis Thompson, the Harrisons and anyone else involved in the lawsuit.
Interestingly, one of the arguments Protect makes on its website for the lawsuit is that “lawsuits are how great issues (and even routine issues) are decided in the U.S. From civil rights lawsuits like Brown vs. the Board of Education, to lawsuits that give us all our “Miranda” rights, to Rowe vs. Wade or Bush vs. Gore, to many state level lawsuits that pushed the agenda on gay marriage (which will likely end up in the Supreme Court), to the recent Supreme Court cases on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) or on Citizens United (which allowed billions of dollars given anonymously to new SUPER PACs to be spent on elections), lawsuits have shaped and continue to shape American life.
"Lawsuits have also shaped life in the Adirondack Park, from those that challenged and lost to abolish the APA, to those around floatplane use, local government roads, ATVs, the rights of farmers, or about APA jurisdiction in shoreline areas classified as Moderate Intensity, among other issues.”
They also argue that their case has merit, and they ask ACR supporters to try to put themselves in the shoes of environmentalists. Would they be upset if the APA instead turned down the project and they suspected ex parte communication and other improper procedural issues that Protect is accusing?
That’s an interesting turn of logic, but I think that ACR boosters would say that you can’t really compare the two. Most of their argument lies on the fact that they feel they have a more personal stake in the decision than environmentalists do, so the two sides are not on the same plain.
It’s certainly true that ACR boosters have not put a lot of time into publicly arguing the merits of the lawsuit and rather tend to redirect the conversation into general ire against the people bringing it. The way I first heard about the post was through Facebook posting from ACR booster groups, in which they simply say there are no merits.
From the Protect the Adirondacks from Protect the Adirondacks and Ski Big Tupper Facebook pages:
"Wow! PROTECT feels 'intimidated'! They are now whining that Mark Moeller ‘never once engages the merits of the lawsuit.’ Hmm, could it be that there are no merits to their lawsuit?
"Oh, by the way - their 'Contact Us' page is still not working."
Is the Contact Us page not working for other people? Because it works fine for me. I got one of their phone numbers off of it last week.
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