Kevin White 7: The saga leading to “The Vote”

The saga leading to “The Vote”

In the upcoming two weeks prior to the main event, some extreme behaviors will be exhibited as the public begins to identify the clear winners and losers between the two camps of contestants.

Fairwinds is on the ropes. And they know it.

This is evident as they shuffle their public relations people around in a last ditch attempt to curry public favor. This new person,
Dennis Bailey, leader of the anti-casino movement, has his work cut out for him. Although he is the “golden boy” of the moment, still flush from the success of his recent victory, this new campaign is not an enviable position to assume.

Only a minor few want Fairwinds. It is apparent to most that it is grossly inappropriate for Harpswell. And there really is nothing that
Mr. Bailey can magically say that's going to make people want to swallow it...no matter HOW much seasoning he puts on it.

The reason for his crushing success in the last issue was simple. The vast majority of Mainers didn’t want it. The underlying reason for his last success will be the opposing cause of his impending failure. The majority of Harpswell voters see through the façade of Fairwinds. They overwhelmingly reject it. They like their town as it is. They know that Fairwinds portends changes undesirable to the majority of the town’s populace.

“Industrial” is not who they want to be.

This is a real problem for certain parties that had heavily banked on Fairwind’s success and perhaps made certain promises regarding the probability of its passage when Conoco Phillips was trolling and assessing area sites.

So now the problem becomes: “How do we reverse public opinion?” The answer: “Vilify the opposition.”

For those of you who are easily ruffled when things get nasty, please steel yourself. The public relations firm, in order to achieve their objective, has to make the opposition appear nastier than Fairwinds, and that is saying something.

Selectman
Weil now has a problem. He portrays the “underdog” (the multi-billion dollar corporation—via the selectboard) as “the victims”—of everyone and everything—Fairplay, Harpswell.info, the Portland Press Herald, The Anchor, HCTV, The Times Record, the fishermen, the broadcast media, and those meddling rapscallions from “away” who should remain quiet and out of the discussion.

Fairwinds supporters have been charged with painting themselves victims of vandals and biased propaganda. It is not so.

They would love everyone to forget that much of the recent information that has been presented is factual and fair.

Because of the undeniably strong evidence that the revenue money is an illusion (Yellow Woods Associates socio-economic report), such a facility is inappropriate for residential neighborhoods (Dr. James Fay, et. al.), lobstering in Middle Bay will be severely damaged (The Lobster Conservancy, et. al.), sprawl follows industrial development (Maine State Office of Planning), it is potentially lethal (Algiers), it is a terrorist target (The U.S. Federal Government) and other related concerns (real estate devaluation etc...) surrounding this venture, extreme tactics have been launched by Fairwinds’ public relations firm to dismiss and discount all of the contrary evidence as biased and unsubstantiated.

It is neither. It is as it is. The "slant" simply comes from what the evidence says.

Dr. Weil’s diatribe last night might have been performing to a public relations media script as some of the strong wording of what he stated was apparently identically culled from another speech given by another Fairwind’s supporter who spoke recently at another event. In the corporate world, this is called “talking points”.

There is a lot of deep emotion surrounding this divisive issue. Believe it or not, it will probably get worse. There is a
LOT on the line for some people. You may hear and see some very disturbing things and bizarre accusations in the upcoming couple of weeks.

Try not to get too upset. Try to anticipate it, expect it and keep it in perspective.

If you are personally the target of such attacks, please don’t take it too personally. However unpleasant, it likely isn’t your fault.

Understand it for what it is and try to forgive.

Fairwinds is desperate....

It will not die quietly…and the propaganda will be smothering.