Hydro advocates attack the messengers | AspenTimes.com

Hydro advocates attack the messengers

Dear Editor:

Auden Schendler and Randy Udall are people who care about the environment. They have dedicated considerable time and energies to protecting it and offering constructive solutions toward clean and renewable energy. We are fortunate to have people like they are. Their history is not, however, justification to blindly believe their every word.

Schendler’s takeaway from the Aspen Chamber Resort Association issue forum is, I believe, flawed. It was a forum, not a debate, to start with. Auden wants to frame the hydro issue to one question of trust. At the forum, he and Udall spun a story that those who oppose the hydro project believe the city of Aspen is in a secret conspiracy to destroy Maroon and Castle creeks. Such a spin is utter nonsense. I know of nobody – pro or con hydro – who thinks the city has not acted as a strong environmental steward. To fabricate a conspiracy and populate it with opponents of this hydro project does a disservice to the intelligence of the Aspen voter.

Schendler wants you to believe that the only reason Matt Rice was on the seat in the forum is because nobody else could be found to oppose the project. This is an assertion that is without foundation. I don’t buy it, and nor should you. Auden also mentions two “flacks” who were in attendance at the forum to save our streams. These people made no comments, and I was unaware of them being there. Nobody introduced them, and nobody made mention of them. So at this point, to bring up two people not in evidence at the forum is misleading. For that matter, anyone who wants to help protect our streams is a friend of mine.

This election is not being bought. Nobody I know will base their decision on how to vote on an anonymous mailing. Everyone I know reads materials, analyzes them and processes the information. No amount of mail will persuade me to vote for Mitt Romney. I do not believe elections can be bought like this.

I welcome a full discussion of the Citizens United ruling. My core belief is that Aspen voters are too intelligent to be bought by a mailer. I do, however, believe that the Aspen Citizen Committee is in violation of election codes and laws and should be forced to comply. I have to leave that in the able hands of our city attorney, Jim True. I honestly am tired of spins on elections. If a side is defeated, it is spun as the election was bought. If that same side wins, it is a citizens’ mandate.

The tactic employed by proponents of this hydro project was to attack the people who oppose it. Auden was the attack man. If the project is completed and the creeks remain healthy, I will be a happy man. If the creeks are damaged, it is too late.

I trust the residents of Aspen to put on their B.S.-filtering glasses and vote their hearts.

Ward Hauenstein


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