August 9, 2013

Opposing wind turbine groups form PACs

By Peggy Aulisio, Editor | August 08, 2013 |

FAIRHAVEN – Opposing wind turbine groups plan to be active in town politics, including upcoming town elections.

Windwise has formed a political action committee (PAC) called Fairhaven Cares to promote candidates in town elections, according to organizer Kenneth Pottel.

Friends of Fairhaven Wind has formed a PAC called Friends of Fairhaven, according to founder Daniel Freitas.

A PAC can pool campaign contributions from members and use them to promote candidates, ballot initiatives or legislation.

Mr. Pottel said the “slogan,” Fairhaven Cares stemmed from one the issues involving the wind turbines, that it is important for public officials to care about the concerns of residents and listen to them.

He said the slogan Fairhaven Cares will be used in support of Board of Health candidate John Wethington. Mr. Wethington has won the support of Windwise.

Of forming the PAC, Mr. Pottel called it a “better way of promoting good politics that’s lacking in our community.”

Mr. Freitas said his group’s PAC “was formed for political issues only, not candidates.”

He said, “Our members have the right to support any candidate they want.”

Mr. Freitas added, however, “I, as an individual, will be supporting Peter DeTerra for Board of Health. I believe he is the best candidate for the issue at hand.”

The results of the close Board of Health election last April 1 were thrown out by a Superior Court judge, thus requiring a new election, which will be held on Sept. 9.

The opposing wind turbine groups are also likely to be active in next April’s town election. Board of Health incumbent Jeannine Lopes and Selectman Charles Murphy are both up for reelection. Mr. Murphy has already announced that he will be running to keep his seat.

Mr. Pottel said Windwise will be focusing its efforts on educating people about the impacts of the wind turbines on town residents. He said he and Windwise member Louise Barteau have been going door-to-door and have found several people who have problems with the turbines who haven’t complained publicly before.

Windwise is doing a video based on these interviews. As of last Wednesday, a’promo’ version posted online already had 1,000 hits, Mr. Pottel said.

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