Saturday, July 25, 2009

Selling Shadow Wood: campaign of misinformation

CFS-LLC President and Chief Executive Officer, Annalisa Cariveau, is engaged in a direct mail campaign titled "Planting the Facts: Seeding the roots into the community for a growing future." She is using a myth/fact format in the mailings in an effort to persuade the local community, particularly those opposed to her development, that she is a benevolent benefactor of the local community doing “something incredible that could really give back to the area."

We began our own myth/fact blog entry to answer Annalisa’s vague, unsupported, and often contradictory statements, but the post was approaching book-length. We will address the most heinous statements in our future posts, but first, we’d like to share comments from P. Michael Saint, Chairman and CEO of The Saint Consulting Group, who counsels clients on how to use “a skillfully crafted and executed land-use campaign [to] generate widespread grassroots support and appropriate levels of targeted political pressure at critical points in order to win [a land use battle].” Their consulting group has “won more than 90 percent of the battles [they’ve] been called upon to fight” for clients such as large-scale housing developments, landfills, quarries, heavy industry, and “anyone who absolutely must win a tough land use battle”. CFS-LLC President and Chief Executive Officer, Annalisa Cariveau has taken a page out of their play-book:

According to P. Michael Saint, “Developers think if they shout ‘jobs’ and ‘taxes’ loud enough it will overcome people that are afraid. There’s a disconnect there. The fear people feel becomes passion, which is easily translated into political action. It’s time to learn new approaches to prevent that chain reaction of opposition. The key is not to address the people in favor of a project — they seldom become active in their support — but to focus on opponents,” he says.

"Grassroots opponents have become more sophisticated, using Internet campaigns and quickly organizing themselves into groups,” Saint says. “The company needs to spend the shoe leather and go out into the neighborhoods. Get out and meet people to prevent them from organizing against you."

Interestingly, The Saint Consulting Group recognizes on their blog the CFRLU effort as an example of organized citizens effectively employing Web based media to inform local residents of the likely negative consequences of a specific proposed development. One can only speculate as to how the Stratosphere Landing Airport, Shadow Wood Landing, and the efforts of the CFRLU to resist this inappropriate development proposal in Bayfield County, Wisconsin, has come to the attention of this multi-national consulting firm. It may be no coincidence that CFS-LLC President and CEO, Annalisa Cariveau has recently initiated a direct mail campaign designed to “sell” her development proposal to the community. Her “Planting the Facts” mailings are long on flowery rhetoric, full of pleasant-sounding “buzzwords”, and deliberately short on specifics. She, apparently, believes that Bayfield County residents lack the sophistication to know the difference. The CFRLU believes she is wrong.

You can learn more about The Saint Consulting Group’s strategies for manipulating public opinion and government officials on their Website/blog, http://tscg.biz/.