Pull veil of secrecy from pro-RFR group | PostIndependent.com

Pull veil of secrecy from pro-RFR group

The campaign for and against annexation of Red Feather Ridge is heating up as the June 24 election date approaches, but it’s time to bring some light to the debate as well.

The pro-annexation group, Neighbors for Responsible Planning, should come out of the shadows to reveal themselves and their funding sources.

The group is placing full-page advertisements twice a week in the Post Independent, and has sent out two mass mailings of professionally designed campaign material.

This kind of campaigning does not come cheap. Yet all we know about this group is that Carole Brown of Glenwood Springs, a business owner and respected Republican Party official, is the group’s treasurer and registered agent.

Brown has declined to name other members of the group, although she has said it numbers 100. Guy Harrell, the developer sent to Glenwood Springs by MidFirst Bank of Oklahoma City to promote a palatable version of the troubled project, has said members are unwilling to step forward because of “verbal abuse” by annexation opponents.

Since when has this community been unable to hold a civil debate on a divisive issue? We debated, argued and found compromise on Glenwood Meadows, which will have far more impact than Red Feather Ridge, and no one had to conceal their identity then.

The veil of secrecy shrouding this group also conceals its credibility. It is very important for city voters to know who these “Neighbors” are, and it’s high time they identified themselves. If they don’t step forward, voters will question who is really behind the campaign.

The Neighbors should also reveal the source and quantity of funds for its high-priced campaign – information that the opponent, Community Voices for Responsible Growth, has readily provided.

Pro and con campaign groups are not required to file campaign contribution and spending reports until June 3. But if Neighbors for Responsible Planning waits that long, voters may not trust its message.

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