Is Apex Clean Energy trying to influence Van Wert, OH commissioner election????

Screen Shot 2018-05-04 at 11.05.24 AM

The facts speak for themselves.  The Moser family and close friend have contributed $3610 to the Vicky Profit campaign for Van Wert, Ohio county commissioner.  This information is public record and listed on the Jon Husted Statement of Contributions Received at the elections office. Connections to Apex Clean Energy represent 84% of the funds raised for Mrs. Profit for county commissioner.  If this doesn’t represent collusion, what does?  Currently, the Van Wert county commissioners have told Apex NO to a PILOT agreement. They have told Apex it will pay full taxes to the Van Wert county residents, not the pocket change of the current PILOT agreement (approximately 16% of full taxation valuation). Apex ‘appears’ to be making a grand effort to change this. If you are dealing with BigWind in your area, its imperative that you stay vigilant and be aware of their tactics…. 

Advertisements

Is BigWind influencing our Ohio elections?

Somebody said that “Bad officials are elected by the good people who do not vote.” Our message here is that the wind industry will try to influence county level races as well as at the state level.   Champaign County observed this a number of years ago.

We are entering the election season and early voting has started.   We hope everyone votes and drags their family and friends with them to the polls.  Most of our readers will have heard by now that the Ohio Speaker of the House has resigned effective May 1st.   Speaker Cliff Rosenberger is under investigation by the FBI for suspected campaign finance violations.  He will be succeeded at least temporarily by Rep. Kirk Shuring of Canton.   Gov. Kasich’s aide, Wayne Struble, has announced he will retire at the end of the week.

With all the hubbub and the elections approaching, we examined the past year’s contributions by the wind industry to Ohio House and Senate members.  From our amateur evaluation, there are clearly three Senators who received the most from wind developers, their lobbyists and the lawyers who represent them:  Senator Bill Beagle of Tipp City, Senator Randy Gardner of Bowling Green and Senator Gayle Manning of North Ridgeville in the Huron and Lorain County areas.  Both Manning and Gardner are members of Senate Leadership.  All three are term limited and cannot run again although Gardner’s term will not end until 2020.

An examination of political donation reports from the Secretary of State’s Office reflects that of the $58,100 raised by Senator Beagle from 4-11-17 to 4-11-18, $16,700 – more than 25% of his funds –  came from wind-related donors and utilities.  AEP was the top donor at $5,000 followed by AWEA at $1,500.   Beagle is term-limited and cannot run again.  On the Republican side, Dr. Stephen Huffman is running unopposed in the primary.  Huffman currently represents District 80 in the Ohio House covering portions of Miami and Darke Counties..   He is related to Senator Matt Huffman, a strong supporter of property line setbacks. The Democrat, Paul Bradley, is also unopposed and will face off in November against Huffman.

Sen. Manning is term-limited and hopes that she is will be succeeded by her son, Nathan, who currently serves in the House of Representatives.  Manning is opposed in the primary by Ryan Sawyer of Norwalk.  It is unknown how Sawyer feels about wind development or property line setbacks but Manning has been disappointing.

Senator Randy Gardner raked in $172,437 over the past twelve months of which $14,550 was energy related.  AWEA contributed $2,500 to Gardner who will serve through 2020.  Bad news!  In the event no setback legislation is passed for the balance of the year, Gardner will likely figure prominently in next year’s attempts to reduce setbacks.

Senator Rob McColley of Napoleon is facing two primary challengers to retain his seat that was vacated by Cliff Hite.  Bob Barker, Jr. and Craig Kupferberg are the Republican primary opponents.  Kupferberg of Findlay, 59, is a former Findlay High School principal (friend of Hite?), and Robert D. Barker Jr., 53,comes from Van Wert.  The winner will compete in November against Democrat Adam Papin, 36, of Bryan, who is unopposed in his party’s primary.  Senator McColley’s district covers all of Henry, Putnam, Williams, Defiance, Paulding, Hancock, Van Wert and Hardin counties; the southeastern corner of Fulton County; and northern sections of Auglaize and Logan counties.  This is a very important race. You can vote right now if you would like. This race will send an important message about wind development in rural NW Ohio.

Rep. Robert Sprague from Findlay is running for State Treasurer.  His House seat is being contested in the Republican primary by Republican Cheryl Buckland, 64, of Findlay, who will face Jon Cross, 39, of Kenton. Buckland is a Republican State Central Committee member. Cross, of Kenton, is president/chief executive officer and economic development director of the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance, Kenton.  Given the open door policy of Hardin County toward wind development, we hope every man, woman and child that draws breath will get out and vote for Buckland even though we don’t know much about her.   The winner will face Democrat Ashley Philipp, of rural McComb, in the November general election.  This primary race will be closely watched by officials in neighboring counties.

In the 85th House District, incumbent Rep. Nino Vitale is facing several challengers.   Rep. Vitale supports property line setbacks and opposes wind energy as a general matter believing the costs do not outweigh the benefits.  The Urbana Daily Citizen recently asked the candidates about their views on industrial wind development.  The responses were as follows:

URBANA – Current Ohio House Rep. Nino Vitale is seeking another term in office and will be challenged by three other candidates for the Republican nomination.

Do you support expanding Ohio’s renewable energy favorability to companies like wind and solar developers, or do you think such projects are an unnecessary threat to property values of nearby uncompensated residents?

“The government continues to pick winners and losers. This needs to stop. While it is true that coal and nuclear companies receive subsidies, the problem is, on a per kilowatt basis, wind and solar are so inefficient, they are extremely expensive and unreliable, especially in Ohio. The free market is the BEST place for industry to innovate and grow. Government intervention and using taxpayer subsidies should be used at a very low level if at all.  “We should not use taxpayer money in private business to any great degree. I also believe in proper setbacks from property lines. I’m a strong supporter of property rights, but when you start to affect how your neighbor can enjoy and use their property, it becomes a public matter and not a private one.”

SIDNEY — Joe Ratermann, 54, of Sidney, has strong ties in his hometown of Sidney.

Do you support expanding Ohio’s renewable energy favorability to companies like wind and solar developers, or do you think such projects are an unnecessary threat to property values of nearby residents?

“Local communities and not the legislative body in Columbus are best able to decide what works best for their communities.  For those whom believe that the federal and state government is too intrusive in their lives, this is an excellent issue to allow the market place to dictate the result – and not the General Assembly in Columbus, Ohio. “That said, I support renewable energy. Renewable energy provides the opportunity to be proactive in preparing for the future. Wind and solar developers are preparing our state for long term economic sustainability as fossil fuel energy resources diminish and become increasingly expensive.”

SIDNEY — Sidney native Justin Griffis, 29, is seeking his first elected office in the political world.

Do you support expanding Ohio’s renewable energy favorability to companies like wind and solar developers, or do you think such projects are an unnecessary threat to property values of nearby residents?

“I am a free-market guy, but I do not support expanding Ohio’s renewable energy favorability to companies. This a pretty big issue right now in Logan and Champaign County. I think energy efficiency is a good thing; however, alternative energy sources, especially wind turbines, have more cons than pros.   “First, each turbine assembly requires dozens of acres of clearance, which alters the rural landscape in which it is located. Second, wind turbines are highly intrusive because they are big structures with rotating blades that generate noise and vibration. The noise and vibration affects the wildlife in the area, often times causing the animals to relocate, and is a nuisance to neighboring property owners.  “Third, wind developers often times try to get neighboring property owners to sign ‘Good Neighbor Agreements.’ If a neighboring property owner signs the agreement, they lose their right to sue the developer over any past, present, and future claims of action that may arise.  They also lose the right to sue for any compensatory or punitive damages. The neighboring property owners are paid a small sum not to interfere with the construction, installation, maintenance, and operation of the wind turbine and also have to sign a non-disclosure agreement. “Fourth, these projects definitely cause property values to decrease for nearby residents. Wind turbines are unsightly, have constant noise and vibration, and have strobe lighting that operates both day and night. “Currently, alternative energy sources are not cost effective. Wind turbines and solar panels do not produce significant amounts of energy and cost lots of money to install, maintain, and operate. Again, I believe that there are more cons than pros associated with these alternative energy sources. Therefore, I do not support expanding Ohio’s renewable energy favorability to companies like wind and solar developers.”

URBANA – Rochiel Foulk is one of four candidates vying for the Republican nomination for the Ohio House of Representatives 85th district. A native of Urbana, Foulk graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree and Capital University Law School with a paralegal certificate.

Do you support expanding Ohio’s renewable energy favorability to companies like wind and solar developers, or do you think such projects are an unnecessary threat to property values of nearby uncompensated residents?

“I am in favor of cheap energy, regardless of the source as long as it doesn’t cause harm to or bother anyone. Further discussion would have to incorporate the interests of the people who have no recourse to rid themselves of the broken remains of massive, structures no longer in use, once the lifespan of the windmills is complete, and the land owners who would be affected. “With, the importance of preserving Ohio’s aesthetic landscapes and the threat of ruining this historically valued asset, it would be important to represent what the voters would want, and not what an outside industry might be proposing for the financial benefit of only a small group. Beyond that, state encouragement of development of solar and other renewable energy sources seems like a good thing.”

In Van Wert, Ohio, home of the Blue Creek wind facility, the Commissioner race is heating up – well maybe on fire would be a better way to say it.   We blogged, yesterday, about this…

 “There is an interesting development in Van Wert, Ohio as a strongly PRO Big Wind candidate is attempting to oust a current county commissioner….The county commissioners ultimately vote on whether or not to give Big Wind the massive PILOT tax abatement. Vicky and her husband are the owners of Profit & Sons Farms in Van Wert County, Ohio.  The Profits farm approximately 3800 acres and have approx 1200 acres leased within the proposed Apex Clean Energy/Long Prairie wind project. Much of the  remaining 2600 acres, owned by other individuals, is  also leased, per the Van Wert County Auditor’s office. Mrs Profit would be in direct violation of Ohio Ethics code if she takes place in any discussion or voting on any wind matter.  The Ohio Ethics Law and related statutes are found in Ohio Revised Code (R.C.) Chapter 102. and Sections 2921.42 and 2921.43.

 Mrs Profit stated in this publication that Commissioners should make Big Wind decisions withOUT going to a public vote…but legislation is being currently being written allowing Ohio residents to have this decision-making power.  Mrs Profit is also directly supported by Sarah Moser, Project Development Manager of Apex Clean Energy.  In Mrs.  Profit’s Declaration of Candidacy, Sarah K Moser was the signed Circulator of the Candidacy petition. There are also election billboards place throughout the county payed for by SRAL LLC,  A Domestic Limited Liability Company owned by Sarah K Moser. Does this show collusion between Big Wind and this candidate?…”

Again, WHO you vote for may be as important as IF you vote at all.  Respect the rights we have been afforded by our history. Inform yourselves and VOTE!

 

 

 

 

Link to article