On Dec. 2, I provided testimony to the Payette County Planning and Zoning Commission regarding the application by Alternate Energy Holdings Inc. to develop a nuclear reactor. As many of you know, I have been with AEHI since March 2007 doing public relations, news media consulting, social media and community organizing. Thanks to the efforts of Alexander and Associates and others involved in AEHI, written and verbal testimony was 2-to-1 in favor of the nuclear plant last week.
Below is the transcript of my comments to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
“Good evening everybody. How do you do? Thanks for giving me this opportunity. My name is Martin Johncox, 4948 Kootenai Street in Boise. You may recall, right about this time a year ago, I was sitting in front of you telling you about my experiences doing community organizing for AEHI here, talking to people and their concerns. I can tell you I’ve been doing that again for the past few weeks and the economic conditions out there are just as bad.
“Something I would like to talk to you about this time that’s happened in the past year. There’s a practice called shorting stocks and there are a number of investors that are doing this with our stock. Basically involves betting that the price of a company’s stock will go down and these people are actively trying to drive our stock price down. Now, our stock price is not really your concern but I think you need to keep that in mind as you look at some of the testimony you’ve received. In particular, I’ve had some interactions with a fellow named Joe Lucid and I think that is not his real name. I believe he has submitted testimony to you. I suggest you consider whether or not he is using his real name and how that might affect things.
“I’ve been with this company almost four years. That’s longer than anyone in the room except the CEO. I’ve been in Elmore County, Owyhee County, Payette County. I’ve talked to thousands of people. Probably walked at least a hundred miles. Been to more meetings than I can count. Dealt with the news media, done a gazillion other things. The CEO has put a lot of his own fortune into this company trying to get it going. I got to tell you, if people say that we’re trying to pull some sort of a ruse or that we’re trying to scam people I really think there ought to be a way to do it that’s easier and faster and costs less money and is a lot less stressful, if you’re going to do this kind of thing. I think our persistence over the past four years has shown that we mean what we say.
“There’s a saying by a fellow called Confucius, the man who says something cannot be done should not block the path of the man trying to do it. And that’s kind of what I see here this evening in some of these people. If we don’t get the water, we won’t build it. If we don’t get the power lines, we won’t build it. If we don’t get the financing, we won’t build it. If we don’t get 1,001 other things that we need to do this, then we won’t build it. And these people are hoping and praying that we fail on as many of those things as possible. We are here to ask you for a fair chance and a fair shot at this and we’ll have to fight our battles as they come.
“But, I think, that’s the only thing that I want to leave you with, that we’re just looking for a fair shot and a fair chance at this and that’s all I have to say.”
Question from a planning and zoning commissioner: “I’ve got a question for you. In the testimony tonight, people were upset that you won’t name the vendor of the reactor generator. It seems pretty obvious to me, if you said we’re going to buy a General Electric generator and it was all planned for, they’d know they got the only ones and the price would be real high on it. Is my thinking correct or why don’t you say who the vendor is for it?”
Me: “Well, that’s something you probably have to ask the CEO. There are a number of different reactor designs out there and this is an area of technology that is evolving and changing. I do have a feeling, however, that if we did announce the reactor type, our opponents would say “Oh, they’re being way too premature about this. Look, they’ve already picked out the reactor type and they think they’re going to stroll into Payette County and plop one of these down. And they haven’t done enough groundwork in order to pick their reactor type.” Well, we’re trying to do that groundwork right now. It’s kind of a — my feeling is that we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t. We’re going to get criticized either way. Just up to you to evaluate us on what you see, and hear and know.”
I’m told Payette County has rejected Joe Lucid’s testimony because he’s not using his real name. That is very gratifying, as Lucid is a particularly toxic individual who has persistently spread lies about AEHI, even harassing individual investors whose emails he harvested from public testimony. Lucid wants people to view him as a crusader, but it is clear to me his only motive is to enrich himself through stock shorting, a controversial practice to profit from a falling stock price. Worst of all, Lucid doesn’t use his real name on message boards or blogs, instead relying on his pseudonym or promising he will “soon submit a bio.” Apparently on or about Nov. 26, Yahoo! banned Lucid’s original profile of joe.lucid, so he has reconstituted as email@example.com (this one). It wouldn’t surprise me if he had more.
False names are fine if you’re lurking on the Internet. In the public policy arena, however, providing testimony under a false name isn’t just cowardly. It’s also perjury.