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[at-l] WF and Saddleback in Maine



RoksnRoots@aol.com [mailto:RoksnRoots@aol.com] wrote:
[clip]
> to help the opposition in the final result. You have to ask yourself why
> Trailplace was not recognized with a campaign to gather input from Trail
> experienced people while cheap postcards were considered strong
> local opinion?
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Actually, local opinion was considered - from the people who took the time
to attend and present at the public hearings. Most of the "email opinion"
was rejected just as the "send this pre-printed postcard" opinion is
rejected. This is standard fare in any political process. The mass mail-in
campaigns do not carry much weight, as the typical postage paid, "your name
here" postcards take so little effort on the part of the respondent to
participate.

Many individual, personalized emails were read into the record. Many
individual, hand written letters were read into the record. A number of
hand-collected petitions were read into the record. Most of the
automatically generated stuff is patently ignored, as it's too easy to fake
a large constituency by allowing the anonymous submission of letters of
support or Internet petitions from places like Trailplace.

Wingfoot needs to understand the way to have impact in these issues if he
plans to represent the trail community. The banning of people from TP who
refused to play in the Saddleback issue his way, may done significantly more
harm than good. If these people did not take the time to write, their input
was not heard at all. If they wrote only through TP, they were probably not
heard either. The reason PACs work is they have people in Washington who
take the message to the politicians and talk with them in person. Like it or
not, that's the way to make change in DC. If you want to play on the
political scene, you have to learn the rules.

I understand though that WF hates this country now and is looking to go
elsewhere - at least according to one message posted here. I wish him luck
in finding a place where he will have any more influence from behind a
computer than he has here.

My personal visit to Washington was a piggy-back visit on other business I
had in the area. I took the time to get on the schedules of both Senators.
They both saw me, heard my concerns, and responded in person. I suspect that
had significantly more impact than any email campaign.

Did the issue end up as I would have liked it? Not at all.  The property was
owned by someone however, and ultimately they did not have to even allow the
trail to pass over the mountain. Like it or not, people who own property do
have rights in this country.

-Paddler