KIUC buyout

Informed citizens as well as government oppose sale When one scans the headline “Government against KE buy” and then the subtitle “Co-op calls opposition a minor setback, says most people favor sale”, the snapshot impression is “government is opposed – people in favor” (GI, 1-A, 7-9-00). Unfortunately this snapshot is very blurry and out-of-focus.

Contrary to the ongoing propaganda assault by KIUC in the mass media the majority of informed citizens, not just the government, are opposed to KIUC buyout of KE for to reasons.

Reason number one is the overpriced cost, and number two KIUC is in no sense of the word a co-op if by co-op you mean the members are in control. Even a casual reading of the by-laws will make it apparent to anyone that the self appointed board of directors have structured the by-laws to maintain absolute control for the foreseeable future. In a true co-op the members are in control. Quite simply; KE costs too much and KIUC is not a co-op. It is a private corporation attempting to force kauaians into becoming shareholders against their will.

The “island-wide professional survey” indicating three out of four Kauaians support the KIUC buyout of KE is yet another propaganda technique by KIUC known as “push polling” with a simple time proven recipe.

1) First you saturate the media with feel-good misinformation.

2) Once you have seeded the population with this superficial feel-good misinformation you conduct a poll asking “Are you in favor of buying the Co-op?”.

3) Since most of the population know nothing about the details and have been carpet-bombed with feel-good misinformation the average response is positive.

Do you believe in the American way of life? Do you believe in freedom? Without knowing the details the overwhelming response will be positive every time. KIUC then spins this positive result of the largely uninformed into “majority support”.

To get a more accurate picture of how people really feel would be to listen to informed opinions. These opinions are from citizens who have educated themselves in detail by reading the documents submitted to the PUC, and were concerned enough to show up a the KIUC public meetings. Many of these informed citizens asked detailed questions at the KIUC public meetings held around the island and got few satisfactory answers from KIUC. By my count nine out of ten speakers oppose the sale. The County, Navy, and Consumer Advocate all agree.

Dick Heitman, KIUC transition team leader, who was supposed to be gone last month, but is still hanging around positively spinning the KIUC propaganda line says the “survey further showed that Kauaians want more information about the sale”.

With Mr. Heitman’s $172,800 annual salary and admitted $80,000 “public relations” budget (much larger in reality) I doubt the public will be getting “more information” but hold your nose for even stronger doses of propaganda as these happy sailors dancing on a sinking ship grab out for the life-raft of public opinion to save themselves. Hopefully they won’t pull to many of us under with them before they drowned in their self-made sea of lunacy and voodoo economics. The headline should have read “Government supports Kauai’s citizens in opposing KIUC buy”.

Ed Coll, Lihu’e

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