Votes for sale?
Editor of the Reformer:
Last Tuesday night a foreign corporation promised me a minimum of $23,240, as long as voters approve their turbine project in November. This was done publicly and in writing at an open meeting held at our local elementary school. I was not the only one offered this opportunity; every registered voter in Windham can get their share of the annual $350,000 Project Partnership Program, provided the referendum goes Iberdrola's way. As a prominently displayed sign stated, with the key information in bold print, "Each year the fund will be dispersed evenly among the number of participants in the program, making the yearly payment a minimum of $1,162 per registered voter based upon the current number of registered voters." If the turbine project is approved on November 8 and subsequently receives a 20 year Certificate of Public Good by the PSB, I'm in the money to the tune of $23,240 –— even more if some people opt out of the program, leaving fewer people to divvy up the spoils of victory.
The dictionary definition of a bribe is "money or favor given or promised in order to influence the judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust." The Project Partnership Program offers "direct annual payments" in a blatant effort to influence voters who, in a democracy, are in a position of trust when they go to the polls. This certainly seems to fit the definition of a bribe.
All we need now is to have a group of rich patrons, or a foundation which opposes the turbines promise annual cash payments to people in Windham if the referendum goes their way in November. Then we can auction off our votes to the highest bidder and really make a killing.
Bill Dunkel, Windham, Oct. 6