I really like your stories of people coming together to solve gnarly problems, and exposés of environmental abuses. But your uber-liberal ideology is extremely irritating, as in Ray Ring's article, "Citizen democracy staggers onward" (HCN, 10/31/11).
I give Ring credit for quoting a source who even-handedly criticizes big business and big labor unions for corrupting legislators. But he goes off the rails over the Boulder, Colo., ballot measure to create its own electric utility. Ring uncritically regurgitates false statements from Ken Regelson of Citizens for Boulder's Clean Energy Future. He states that the city's goal is to ramp up solar and wind power supplies. It won't. The city has no plans and has budgeted no funds for wind and solar development. He states that the municipalization effort is 100 percent citizen-driven. It's not. The City Council has been pushing and funding the scheme. He states that the opposition is 100 percent Xcel Energy-funded. It's not. Many concerned citizens, including myself, donated money and time to defeat this misguided initiative. He states that the Xcel-backed opposition outspent supporters 10 or 15 to 1. It didn't, unless you ignore the nearly $1 million spent by city staffers and consultants to explore and promote the effort.
Your reporter got carried away with his anti-business, anti-corporate, left-wing rhetoric and forgot to look for the truth. HCN shines when it is open-minded, inclusive and tolerant. Don't forget it.
Ray Ring Responds
Thanks for your letter, Bill. We appreciate your careful read of the story. In this case, I think you're expecting something this brief story -- 800 words about the Western phenomenon of making laws through ballot measures from the early 1900s up to this November's election -- could not provide. It mentioned more than a half-dozen ballot measures; there wasn't room for analyzing their particulars, and that wasn't the story's intention. The person who was quoted most often in the story -- Paul Jacob -- is a libertarian who often supports ballot measures against regulations and taxes.