To the Editor,
Recently, The Coalition for Rural Property Rights (CRPR), after pressure from opponents and supporters alike, announced who their "Board of Directors" are, namely: Janna Swanson, Cynthia Berkland, Terry Amato, Dennis Meyer, and Jay Clasing, from Palo Alto County. Many residents now wonder if they are a business or non-profit organization, since they actively solicit donations through their Facebook site and have a "business" address in Ruthven at PO Box 242.
Visitors to their Facebook site have found that opposing viewpoints, to include supportive comments from other respondents in-turn, are summarily censored from their site and blocked from future input. However, in today's climate of "churnalism", groups like the CRPR use emotionally charged messages, hoping that people who see their propaganda will take it as fact. If you value objectivity and believe that cooler heads prevail on issues of the day, then you likely understand that censorship is the first step in the wrong direction.
In America, when a group or person, in this case, the CRPR, claims exclusive rights to a singular message, fair minded people have an obligation to call them out. "What's good for the goose," as they say. As you know, County Supervisors are elected officials who represent all residents of their counties, not just special interest groups like the CRPR. County Supervisors work to publish various ordinances to address logical development constraints from agriculture to energy, carefully considering the pros and cons as they go. This doesn't sit well with the CRPR. While the CRPR claims they are not anti-wind, their signs, speech, actions and printed messages say otherwise, cloned from faceless, nameless sites on the internet with a similar agenda. Until recently they, too, were ghosts, creating unrest and asking for donations
While the CRPR claims they are being "forced" to accept wind development, they only need look at hog confinements all over the countryside as a reflection of their own actions. Many wonder if they asked permission from those who lived nearby. Of course they didn't. They built them in accordance with County Supervisor-approved ordinances and their neighbors have either had to endure them, or, as Ronald Reagan put it, "Vote with their feet." This group of residents now appear to be trying to influence what happens on other property owners' lands through their anti-wind campaign. If this sounds acceptable to you, you have every right to support them. If it sounds a bit too heavy handed, then you have every right to oppose their neighbor vs neighbor tactics. Speak out, just as they do. We live in the world's best example of Democracy, and our voices matter.
Some would say it's not worth the time to challenge such an organization. As a person who grew up in the cradle of liberty and whose family served to defend it, I believe that when we fail to confront those who seek to control our thoughts and actions, we are one step closer to tyranny. I believe it's important to remind the CRPR that we are borrowing this earth from future generations who see the world through a different lens than their parents and grandparents do.
Many farmers are now practicing sustainable techniques to reduce water pollution, reduce pesticide and fertilizer use, and many have begun harvesting the wind. That's responsible and shows that the world is changing for the better.
(signed) Dan Lutat
Emmet County, IA