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NO losers can't accept valid, rational vote

Losers, get over it.

Ever since public revelation about individuals paid to advocate for an Entergy New Orleans project at City Council meetings, those against it have tried to reverse the decision. That involved building a new natural gas generation plant in the city; opponents wanted that scrapped in favor of increased transmission from outside the city and more emphasis on solar collection by the utility inside city limits.

In February, a Council panel approved of the company’s request. In March, the entire Council ratified that.

But in turns out that Entergy paid a contractor that hired a subcontractor that paid people to show up at the meetings. Investigations by the firm and city show the contractor, which organized an overall strategy to demonstrate public support of the project at meetings, knew that the subcontractor would hire warm bodies to show up, and that Entergy knew of and encouraged a groundswell strategy but didn’t know about appearance and speaking payments to individuals.

The opposition has seized upon this information to sue in a two-front campaign to overturn the decision, made by a previous slate of councilors with five of the seven now in office not having participated in that earlier choice. One has focused on a public relations campaign that the fact that many people present at the meetings masquerading as an unpaid member of the public expressed support somehow makes the decision illegitimate.

In reality, the argument Entergy made, as almost all councilors voiced at the time, was compelling. Depending only on the vagaries of solar and fragile transmission lines left the city vulnerable to losing power, perhaps totally, in times of natural disasters and also threatened other less severe interruptions of power. With a generator that would run only at times of larger demand and in emergencies, it quickly could respond to unfavorable events. Further, it would produce much more cleanly that the previous generation units closed in recent years. Opponents simply can present no credible alternatives to these concerns or facts.

That a significant portion of the audiences at both meetings had received money to advocate, whether speaking, has no bearing on the merits of the argument. If anything, the mishmash of environmental alarmist groups against the decision have seized upon this issue out of wounded pride more than anything else because Entergy beat them at their own game. These groups  typically employ that kind of strategy, as because of their extremist views based upon the myth of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW), they must use big money to try to make public support for policies based upon CAGW appear far greater than it really is.

A related development has criticism levied against new Council member Cindy Nguyen and previous councilor, now Mayor LaToya Cantrell for connections to interests that received money from Entergy. An organization once affiliated with Nguyen, who must decide on information from Entergy’s self-investigation, as well as two campaign staffers for Cantrell, were beneficiaries.

But as Nguyen no longer heads the organization and just because Cantrell listened to former staffers that may have served as lobbyists on behalf of Entergy doesn’t automatically make them bought by the company. And, again, that has no bearing on the merits of the argument.

The other strategic prong by diehard opponents focuses on the legal side. They filed suit, saying the packed meetings largely of supporters, many paid, denied expression of opposition to the point that courts should invalidate the results of both meetings.

Of course, this notion denies the facts that meeting attendance was just one avenue to view what occurred or to give an opinion on the issue to sway councilors. Nor does the challenge prove that the rule denying entrance to opponents – essentially the fire code – discriminates on the basis of viewpoint. And, although Louisiana courts haven’t ruled on this exact issue, likely they would mirror a decision in New Mexico which acknowledged the propriety of government restrictions that allow for reasonable public access for those who wish to attend and listen to the proceedings.

Such a suit ordinarily might serve as the textbook definition of “frivolous” – except that these have exploded in number and virulence since the election of Pres. Donald Trump, as the hard left seeks to relitigate election results and subvert the policies that follow. Utterly incapable of understanding that their arguments lost and continue to lose when considered by a public with access to unbiased information, they only can respond by attempting to pry open settled matters.

Unfortunately, they won’t quit trying to supplant policies from reason with the politics of unreason. For the good of the public, they should.

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