Letter: Commissioners spending public money to benefit private industry | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Commissioners spending public money to benefit private industry

We really should be outraged at the Garfield County commissioners tossing money to the American Stewards of Liberty to attempt to disprove the science surrounding and protecting the greater sage grouse. What they want, which is a change in the mapping of the bird population nesting habitat, to allow unfettered gas drilling, is what we would expect from these Republicans elected with gas industry money. Many agree with them I’m sure.

“The sage grouse should just move,” could sum up their attitude about the residents in Parachute and other locations where life was made unlivable by drilling dust, pollution, lights and noise. The commissioners should be honest and argue they find money, jobs and tax revenues more important than sage grouse, or their constituents’ well-being. They or their spokesmen should not be hiding behind claims of “bad science”; for them it is bad priorities.

However, the commissioners are taking our money and paying political “nonprofit” organizations that don’t try to curtain their anti-government objectives. It would have been reasonably within the scope of good journalism for John Stroud to have included the mission statement of the American Stewards of Liberty, and to inform us of the 501c{3} tax exempt status behind which ASL hide. Their avowed mission is to fight for private property rights and against any regulation that can minimize profits to be made from those rights. Sounds more economic than scientific to me. And I’m betting Rob Ramey was hired to be able to reason backward from a desired conclusion.

501c{3}s are rife with corrupt purpose and money channeling and there is a provision that a citizens group should avail themselves of. “Consumers may file IRS form 13909 with documentation to complain about inappropriate lobbying activities by a tax exempt organization,” which I think should be done in this case. This is pro-industry lobbying, pure and simple, with county taxpayers’ money.

Barb Coddington

Glenwood Springs

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