consultants are sandburs

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Polymet backlash.

Ham-handed drum beating ads during the televising of the high school hockey tournament television coverage, ads touting the firm's wanting to institute sulfide mining in Minnesota's north. Tevlin, via this Strib item:

Mike Zipko, a spokesman for PolyMet, said the issue was “much ado about nothing.” He correctly pointed out that the teachers union, a highly political entity and “the biggest lobbyist in the state,” has sponsored the tournament for years.

“This wouldn’t be an issue if the Sierra Club had sponsored it,” said Zipko.

Frankly, I think it would. The fact that the high school hockey tournament can be politicized shows how hot the topic is.

Joe Johnston, marketing director for KSTC45, the station that aired the tournament, said he knew of only a couple of complaints about the advertising but that most feedback was positive. He said PolyMet was one of several sponsors, and the station doesn’t refuse advertising from any company.

“We sell advertising, that’s what we do, just like the Star Tribune,” said Johnston.

Aaron Klemz, communications director for Friends of Boundary Waters Wilderness, was struck by the company’s presence at this time.

“It’s not a new thing, but this year they were aggressively visible,” said Klemz. “PolyMet, as a company, has never operated a mine. And Minnesota is in the middle of a contentious discussion about what they propose to do. [...]"

Again, the entire report is online here.

In a closing quote in Tevlin's report, from Klemz of Friends of the BWCA, this:

“PolyMet is a Canadian company. Their largest investor is a Swiss commodities trading firm [Glencore], with a poor environmental and human rights record, and who has an agreement to sell copper concentrate to China. The choice to wrap PolyMet in a Minnesota tradition is a PR move to conceal those facts.”

Glencore and Marc Rich [per Bill Clinton lame-duck pardon fame] are inextricably interconnected; Rich appearing to be less than a model citizen, before his demise.

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