Friday, April 28, 2006

Publicity Good and Bad 

There is a grim satisfaction among conservatives about liberals who call for alternative energy sources then oppose them near their dwellings. A scent of hypocrisy hangs in the air. The leader of "NIMBY" (Not in My Backyard) liberals these days appears to be Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts. Kennedy has opposed the erection of a wind generation farm off the coast of Cape Cod where he lives. He apparently had killed the first plan, but it appears to be revived.

The problem is that publicity about the whole affair is making Kennedy look bad and the fact that Kennedy engaged in secret negotiations to end the wind farm has blown up in his face.

Many backroom deals are cut in politics at all levels, which is why politicians don't want publicity for them. On the other hand, there are plenty of deals politicians do want known to prove to constituents they are bringing home "the bacon" to their districts. Politicians are shrewd publicists, and it is not common that they are exposed.

Kennedy is now in an embarrassing position. It will be interesting to see how he gets out of it. His claim that it will hurt tourism on the Cape appears to be the first step in a new spin.

While transparency is difficult, it is easier than trying to extricate oneself from publicity like this. And, lest anyone think that I am taking a political position, conservatives have had the same embarrassment happen to them. In fact, this year Republicans in Congress have looked foolish more than once. It is better to be upfront than sneaky no matter which side you are on.


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