Wind truth commentary is anything but
By Joe Weber
Paul Reese's commentary in the April 28 edition about the use of coercive marketing tactics supporting Goodhue Wind is a deceitful attempt to discredit Goodhue Wind that comes at our expense and that of Rochester Post-Bulletin readers. Let the record be set straight.
First, YES, Weber Johnson Public Affairs does represent most of the clients that Mr. Reese lists. But, NO, we do not and have not ever represented the Goodhue Wind Project as Mr. Reese wants readers to believe. Secondly, NO, we do not and have not ever represented GE. But YES we would like to. Thirdly, YES, we ran a very effective campaign for a Texas-based multinational developer. But NO, it had nothing whatsoever to do with Goodhue Wind as Mr. Reese desperately wants readers to believe (it was a housing development in St. Paul).
Mr. Reese suggests that we selectively introduce facts to persuade people to support our clients' positions. Really? We introduce facts that are relevant to our clients' position. And there is generally a firm opposed to our clients' positions that introduce their facts supporting their position. That, Mr. Reese, is called democracy. It is the reason that you are free to selectively introduce your string of unrelated, uninformed facts in an attempt to motivate your community to oppose Goodhue Wind – a tactic Weber Johnson Public Affairs would never employ.
Mr. Reese, we understand that you were merely suggesting that this is what a firm like ours might do if it worked on a project like Goodhue Wind. But you're wrong about that, too.
Weber Johnson works with clients to develop a campaign unique to our clients' objectives. Our goal is to build a coalition of diverse or even disconnected constituencies of grasstops and grassroots leaders to help educate and persuade local, state and national policymakers. We mobilize grassroots support behind our clients' efforts to make their case to policymakers.
Mr. Reese, your commentary is an obvious attempt to spread rumors that discredit the Goodhue Wind Project. Why you chose us to make your point is baffling because we have nothing to do with it.
Joe Weber is a partner at Weber Johnson Public Affairs based in St. Paul.