San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

May 29th, 2009
Letter to the Editor: Don't let special interest groups control PEC

To the editor,

We are in the final days of the election for the Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) board of directors. After many years of election by proxy with only one candidate of choice, we are able to select from ten candidates for two of the seats. Eight of us entered what we believed was a democratic election process where we would win or lose based upon our merit and campaign efforts. However, we independent candidates have been cast aside by three Special Interest Groups (SIGs) who have their own agenda and their own common candidates. Behind the scenes, the members of these SIGs are all interconnected.

Last year, these same SIGs selected their own candidates and two of them are now voting members on the board. One of them was for a one year term and is being endorsed again this year as an unopposed candidate. PEC4U, Clean Water Action, and Public Citizen have decided that they, and only they, know what is best for our co-op. They have endorsed two more of their chosen candidates, and have launched a massive neighborhood and phone canvassing campaign to get them elected. If their endorsed, hand-picked candidates are elected, these SIGs-not the PEC members-will now control the board and our co-op. Remember, SIG means “special interest” which translates to narrow interest. One of their endorsed candidates is a close friend and associate of an already seated director. So PEC will merely move from one “good ole boy” group to another. This is not good for PEC. Our members deserve to have equal, non-partisan representation.

As you make your voting choices, please consider the independent candidates who do not have hidden agendas or ties to current board members or special interest groups. These SIGs only comprise about 3% of the PEC membership. However, they are a voting 3% determined to control our co-op. If you believe in true democracy, VOTE for an independent candidate. All the independent board candidates believe in openness and transparency, clean energy, and sound fiscal management. Mail-in ballots and online voting is open until June 12. If you have lost your ballot or need assistance with voting, call 1-866-720-4357.

Thank You,

Independent PEC Board Candidates

District 1: Sandy Jenkins, Bill Wilcox

District 6: Linda Kaye Rogers, Robbie Boone, Daryl Losaw, Dave Bethancourt, Teresa Rourke

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0 thoughts on “Letter to the Editor: Don't let special interest groups control PEC

  1. I wholeheartedly support the independent candidates. I have seen first-hand pec4u’s tactics of spreading misinformation and manipulation. We must not let the pec4u candidates take over our board and institute their plan to rule the roost much like Bennie and Bud did. The employees of PEC despise pec4u and fear their takeover of the coop would mean mass layoffs and a continued demise in employee morale. The special interest groups only listen to themselves are not in tune with what the mass membership needs and wants from the PEC.

  2. I am writing on behalf of Clean Water Action to rebut an inaccurate letter published here last week that was submitted by some of the candidates to the Board of the Pedernales Electric Cooperative who failed to receive our endorsement. The letter asserts that Clean Water Action has joined with Public Citizen and PEC4U to support a slate of candidates in a way that undermines a fair and open election. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Public Citizen does not endorse candidates in any election. Though both Clean Water Action and PEC4U have endorsed Cristi Clement, Larry Landaker and Patrick Cox in the three board elections, each group followed its own separate process and reached its conclusions independently.

    The letter describes Clean Water Action and the other two organizations as “special interest groups.” It will come as a surprise to our 38,710 Texas members, including more than 6,000 who live in the PEC service area and have no choice but to purchase their electricity from PEC, that open government, clean water and clean energy are “special interests.” All three are at the heart of our mission, and clean energy and clean water are vital to the health and the economic security of all Americans.

    Clean Water Action based its endorsements in part on responses to a detailed questionnaire focusing on energy issues that we sent to all of the candidates. Four of the candidates who signed this letter did not even bother to respond. We respect anyone who wishes to serve on the PEC board but do not believe that it serves the interest of the membership to launch misleading tirades against public interest groups, particularly when these attacks comes from candidates who have refused to respond to a questionnaire on energy policy.

    The time has come for the PEC to leave the days of dirty energy and dirty government behind and embrace a clean energy future that promises to create local jobs, foster energy independence, keep utility bills in check, and reduce pollution. We believe that Cristi Clement, Larry Landaker and Dr. Cox are the best qualified candidates to continue the reforms begun by the new PEC management and by the new board members that we helped elect in 2008.

    Respectfully,

    David Foster
    Texas Program Director
    Clean Water Action

  3. I would agree with Larry on this. We do not need PEC directors who have any other agenda but doing what is best for the members. we do not need anyone who owes favors to outside organizations committed to shutting down coal plants because they think they are dirty and produce CO2. Thanks newstreamz, now I know how to vote for a canidate that will better serve my interests.

  4. Clean Water Action insults free and independent thinkers when it implies no contention between itself and PEC4U in determining the “best” candidates for a corporate board.

    As far as the best qualified candidates: all an independent thinking person has to do is study the qualifications of the candidates. Several of the independent candidates are far more qualified to be corporate directors then the select special interest candidates.

    The politics at the PEC are becoming humorously outrageous for a corporation thanks to the special interest groups and their select directors and will only become more so if more “select” candidates are elected. Group/think will take place and only one brain will be working and that will be for the special interest agenda.

    Joe Summy
    PEC Member, Johnson City
    Online Column: “Papa Joe…Tell Me If Its So”!

  5. Mr. Foster: You admitted to me in an email that you pretty much did not write your group’s pec4u candidate endorsement when I pointed out factual errors in it to you. You claim to support clean energy, yet apparently you don’t support clean and honest human behavior. For the record, ALL the PEC board candidates support clean energy. The difference between the independents and the special interest group candidates is that the independents represent the rate payers rather than their friends who could help get them elected.

    And for the record, Mr. Foster, there’s a lot of things we don’t get to choose: our cable, water, parents, neighbors, paying taxes, etc. It’s a fact of life. And it certainly doesn’t give one an excuse to mislead the public.

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