Tag Archive for Heath Carroll

They’re baaaccckkk. With vengeance.

Previously I predicted that Western/American Tradition Partnership would insert itself into Longmont’s election as it did in 2009.  I can unequivocally report that they’re back.

Is the public actually as blind, deaf and dumb as organizations like American Tradition Partnership think?  I guess we’ll soon find out.  ATP began its visible campaign with a telephone poll, part standard, and part push (when it came to issues of the environment).

It’s likely that ATP’s $10,000 will grow substantially.  After all, you can’t get a telephone poll, a candidate survey, at least three mailers, and big newspaper ads for only $10,000.  Conservatives, Republicans (and radicals) charge and pay for everything. They don’t count on the talent and hard work of volunteers.

Longmont voters can find the questions asked of the candidates in the article title “ATP siege on Longmont”.

100% WRONG for Longmont

The celebrated 100% score that Bryan Baum, Heath Carroll and Bonnie Finley received should send voters heading for the nearest electoral exit.  That is, unless the community wants to buy in to an organization that considers environmental concerns “gangrene.”  They spell it somewhat differently, but that’s their message.  ATP’s reputation under the “Western” name required some Clorox Cleaner.  No amount of bleach, however, will remove the stains that this organization leaves wherever it shows up.

ATP also claims that regulation causes premature death.  No kidding.  There’s more lunacy like that on their website.

Their absolutism on property rights puts them in the camp of No Regulations, reminiscent of Bonnie Finley’s entire campaign and the regular rants of a few Times-Call bloggers over the city’s Land Use (Title 15) Code.

Longmont has a choice.  It can move forward.  Or it can continue the retreat of 2009.  The world has changed since 1950, 1970, 1990, 2000.  Longmont can face that, or it can be left behind.

Fracking — coming to a location near you

Plans are being prepared by city staff and others to allow drilling for gas and oil on Longmont properties.  The mineral rights involved are substantially owned by others with Longmont owning only surface land, although the city itself does own some mineral rights.

TOP Operating, a drilling firm, has already held a neighborhood meeting in conjunction with the city for those in the vicinity of Union Reservoir, Sandstone Ranch and the Sherwood property at County Road 20-1/2.  The company’s representative, Dale Bruns (of the LifeBridge/West Union development infamy) also appeared at the October Water Board meeting and Bruns and the owners of TOP Operating appeared at the Board of Environmental Affairs October meeting.

Cougar Land Services, a seismic survey firm that has requested a permit to conduct surveys on Longmont property, is expected to appear before the two boards in November.  The purpose of the seismic surveys is to locate additional oil and gas under Longmont properties.

The TOP Operating plan is to access 80 to 100 wells through five drilling pads located on the Bogott and Adrian water and open space properties west of Union Reservoir that are owned by Longmont, at Sandstone Ranch, on the Sherwood open space property and one additional site.  These plans include directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

Drilling preparations could begin in as little as two to three months.

Frack You Longmont

Frack near Longmont? It's no fairy tale.

Mineral rights issues are complex. Those of you who have seen “Gasland” and/or “Split Estates” will understand that there can be surface land rights and mineral rights for the same piece of property.  Most landowners only own surface rights.  Federal and Colorado law actually permits owners of mineral rights to locate on surface-owned lands of others to drill for the oil and gas (mineral rights) that they own.  In most cases, property owners have acquiesced and leased to them — in some cases for revenue, in some cases for some control over location and/or the number of drills.  If these companies so choose, the can erect a vertical drill for every well.  Outrageous, but true!

While there can be many wells of oil and gas near each other, today’s technology allows for drilling directionally or horizontally to access several of these wells through single drilling sites.  Fracking now makes many of these sources economical for the oil and gas industry.  Fracking uses a combination of water, sand and a chemical cocktail to break apart shale rock and release trapped oil and gas.  Fracking is a serious threat to water supplies regardless of industry propaganda to the contrary.  There are also other environmental hazards with fracking.

About three weeks ago, Longmont voters received a telephone poll conducted by American Tradition Partnership (ATP), formerly known as Western Tradition Partnership (WTP).  Among their many questions was, and I paraphrase, “Would you be OK with oil and gas drilling on Longmont’s open space?”

American Tradition Partnership is rabidly anti-environmental.  They are funded by the oil, gas and coal industries.  Even more significant, the organization is amongst the nation’s best liars who have never had a relationship with shame, and likely never will.

ATP/WTP fully funded Longmont Leadership Committee in the 2009 Longmont election that conducted the ugliest political campaign in Longmont’s recent memories. That election ushered in a majority on city council that espouses a radical ideology. In this year’s election, American Tradition Partnership has openly endorsed Bryan Baum and Health Carroll and opposed Sarah Levison and Sean McCoy in Longmont’s upcoming election.

Mayor Baum raised the issue of Longmont’s mineral rights at the 2010 council retreat.  The subject was not openly resurrected after that time and most of us who are concerned about potential drilling wrongly assumed that the subject was going nowhere.  It is my belief that American Tradition Partnership has acted with the mayor and his block on council since the 2009 election, if not before.  The dots connect.  In essence ATP/WTP is receiving payback for the support provided to elect Baum, Santos, Witt and Sammoury.

This latest turn of events is appalling and our options are limited.  We are losing control of our city and our environment.  Let your voice be heard in whatever forum you have available or feel comfortable in using.

ATP siege on Longmont

Cover Letter of ATP Candidate Survey

(ATP logo and organization name at top of page)

October 3, 2011

{Redacted}
{Redacted}
Longmont, CO 80501

Dear {Redacted}:

How encouraging it is that, across the nation, citizens are becoming involved in the issues affecting their communities like never before. No matter the political party or persuasion, I’m sure you’ll agree that everyone benefits with increased awareness of the effects of government policies.

Longmont is no different. American Tradition Partnership’s membership has grown by leaps and bounds since 2009. In fact, we are proud to say that for 2011, all of ATP’s issue education program is supported by local contributions! [ATP reported contributions of $665,725 on its IRS 990 Form in 2008, the latest available. Longmont’s radicals are committed, but not to the tune of six digits.]

We have enclosed your American Tradition Partnership (ATP) Candidate Issue Survey for the 2011 Municipal Election, as part of our nationwide program.

This survey features a brief series of questions regarding property, development, tax, and environmental issues. We do not assume that it addresses every aspect of the matters at hand; it will, though, provide citizens in your district – and the public – with important information regarding local issues.

ATP contributes to the social welfare by educating the public on candidates’ positions, and through grassroots lobbying. Our mission, to promote economically sustainable land, water, and environmental policy is characterized by our motto, “Rediscovering America’s Treasures.” [From the ATP website: “Dozens of radical eco-organizations … have set their sights on robbing Americans of the right to exist, achieve and produce.” With an assertion like this, who’s the “radical.”]

Surveys must be returned postmarked on/before October 10th.

Should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at donald.f@americantradition.org, or you can reach me locally at 720-443-2870.

Thank you, and good luck!

Regards,

Donald E. Ferguson
Executive Director

American Tradition Partnership is recognized as an IRS Section 501(c)4 Non-Profit Organization, and does not support or oppose any candidate for public office.

[Here are the mailers that have been sent by ATP thus far.

And the report filed with Longmont’s City Clerk clearly indicates that their Independent Expenditure/Electioneering Communications activity was both to “support” and “oppose” candidates.]


Text of ATP Candidate Survey      [Emphasis added by FRL]

(ATP logo and organization name at top of page)

2011 Issue Survey for
{Redacted}, Candidate for Longmont City Council {Redacted}

    1. Will you oppose any effort to enter Longmont into a “revenue sharing” agreement with Boulder County, which would transfer control of Longmont development decisions and Longmont taxpayers’ money to Boulder? [ ] Yes [ ] No
    2. Would you support the City of Longmont spending taxpayer money for energy efficiency or so-called “green” projects, even if the project will never achieve the promised cost savings, or a measurable financial “break-even” point? [ ] Yes [ ] No
    3. Will you oppose any attempt to increase taxes, taxpayer-funded subsidies or by any means raise consumer costs of energy for the advancement of so-called “alternative” energy sources? [ ] Yes [ ] No
    4. In 2010, Mayor Brian Baum and a majority on City Council blocked an attempt to give away $150,000 of Longmont utility customers’ funds to help provide $4,500 “stimulus” checks to a handful of residents. The funds were to be used to buy solar panels for private homes whose owners could afford the additional $25,000 cost. Councilmembers Sarah Levison, Sean McCoy and Brian Hansen supported the program. Do you support the Mayor’s and Council majority’s decision to oppose such publicly funded “bailout” money for “green” projects? [ ] Yes [ ] No
    5. Proposition 103 raises income and sales taxes for the claimed purpose of increasing funding for schools. Do you support or oppose Proposition 103? [ ] Oppose [ ] Support
    6. Twin Peaks Mall has become a front-burner issue in Longmont, and the loss of tax revenue from shoppers traveling to other communities is burdening the city. Do you support tax incentives and other proactive measures being offered by the city to induce developer Harvest Junction to redevelop the Twin Peaks Mall, so long as the measure is revenue-neutral or revenue-positive in in its early stages? [ ] Yes [ ] No
    7. Do you support anti-growth policies or maintaining high regulations and fees for homebuilding in Longmont, similar to policies in Boulder? [ ] Support [ ] Oppose
    8. The Audubon Society allows natural resource exploration in its wildlife refuges if such development is done in a safe and clean manner, in part because it means large amounts of revenue for the wildlife charity. Will you support resource exploration in any and all eligible areas if all aesthetic, safety and environmental standards were met, and if it benefit the city’s revenues? [ ] Yes [ ] No  [The national office of the Audubon Society had denied this assertion.]
  1. A detailed EPA report (available on our website) ties burdensome regulation to premature death due to destruction of economic opportunity – particularly for poor and middle-class communities. Do you agree that radical environmentalism and excessive regulation poses a threat to Americans’ health, rights, property and prosperity? [ ] Yes [ ] No  [More preposterous assertions of this kind can be found on ATP’s website.]
  2. One Longmont City Council member has advocated a homebuilding moratorium. Do you believe this type of policy would be detrimental to the city of Longmont? [ ] Yes [ ] No
  3. *Do you support or oppose the expansion of Longmont Municipal Airport? [ ] Support [ ] Oppose

– CANDIDATE AUTHORIZATION –

My signature affirms the answers given in this survey accurately represent my position on these issues as a candidate in the city of Longmont.

Signed:

{Redacted}

Date:

Thank you for your participation. You may fax your survey to us at 202-204-6051 (or scan and email to info@americantradition.org); however, for results to be official, a signed hard copy must be returned as well. Please return completed, signed survey POSTMARKED BY OCTOBER 8, 2011 to:

American Tradition Partnership
Attn: Candidate Survey Program
P.O. Box 88
Denver, CO 80201