Consider the source

Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2003

Ketchikan assemblyman Dick Coose bitterly attacked me personally in his "My Turn" column on Jan. 13. I dared to have a public opinion on the Roadless Rule on the Tongass, and of the irresponsibility of Ketchikan's leaders in throwing the taxpayers' money down a rat hole. That obviously struck a raw nerve.

Coose has good reasons for being touchy about that subject: He was a major player in wasting those millions. In "roll call after roll call" he voted to give the taxpayer's money to a private corporation which quickly went bankrupt and leaving Ketchikan's citizens holding the bag. Coose has a long history of using the taxpayers' money. He suckled the public teat with the Forest Service for many years until he retired.

He gained his "professional" forestry experience in "multi-use forest management" when that meant clear cuts and stumps to a forester with the Forest Service. It's hard for an old dog to change and some are so determined to be right - in the face of overwhelming evidence otherwise - that nothing else matters. That is a dangerous and expensive form of denial when it happens with a public official.

Coose has continued at the public trough for years as an assemblyman. He fought off a term-limit ordinance to keep his seat. Dick's so intent on his dogma that he justifies most anything. In one breath he says "community input is important" and in the next he says "It's immaterial whether they turn in a thousand or a million comments, the Forest Service has no mandate to manage by popular vote." (referring to citizens comments on the Roadless Rule, Empire, Sept. 6, 2001). A body just doesn't know what to think!

Dick was part of the misleadingly named C.A.R.E. He was/is involved with the "Alliance for America," another group who believes in environmental conspiracies, the black helicopter brigades and keeping Native Americans in their places.

I am honored to be attacked by such a person.

Erik Lie-Nielsen


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