September 18, 2011

Wes Studi shills for Pebble

Save Our Salmon claims Pebble supporters campaigned illegally at Nondalton School

By Jonathan GrassRepresentatives of the Save Our Salmon (SOS) initiative filed a complaint with the Department of Education & Early Development on Wednesday, saying opponents of the measure were illegally promoting a “no” vote on the ballot initiative at Nondalton School.

SOS attorney Tim McKeever sent a letter to the Department on Wednesday saying it believed three initiative opponents were on Nondalton grounds the previous day pushing a partisan objective illegally.

The letter states Lake and Peninsula Borough Mayor Glen Alsworth, Former Calista Corp. chief executive Matthew Nicolai and Native actor Wes Studi were distributing anti-SOS materials during school hours. None of these three could be reached for comment by press time.

It states this violates multiple laws against using school resources during school hours for political activity. The letter cites Alaska Statute 14.03.090 as stating, “Partisan, sectarian, or denominational doctrines may not be advocated in a public school during the hours the school is in session. A teacher or school board violating this section may not receive public money.”
Actor's disappointing role: Pebble shill

By Shannyn MooreAs much time as we spend watching movies, it's easy to believe that actors take jobs because they identify with some part of a film. The wool was ripped from my eyes this week. I've watched actor Wes Studi in films for years--"Geronimo," "Dances with Wolves" and "Avatar," to name a few. He's beautiful--a classic, stoic American Indian; a noble face absent of fear and seemingly full of ancient knowledge.

He's only acting, and I shouldn't be disappointed. I got my movie ticket's worth. But that's why we buy tickets in the first place: We want to believe even though we know, intellectually, it's all pretend.

Mr. Studi has a new role. He's been hired by the Pebble Partnership to tour villages in the Bristol Bay region and pose as one of their own to sell them enough toxicity to ruin their way of life.
APOC Dismisses SOS Initiative ComplaintThe Alaska Public Offices Commission has dismissed a complaint over a ballot initiative aimed at the Pebble Mine project.

Alaskans for Bristol Bay alleged that opponents of the Save our Salmon ballot initiative were distributing flyers at a school. The complainant accused Lake and Peninsula Borough Mayor Glen Alsworth, Matthew Nicolai and Native actor Wes Studi of distributing political flyers to students.

The school principal and superintendent state that this never happened and APOC quickly dismissed the complaint. Lake and Peninsula Superintendent Ty Mase says it appears the flyers were posted on a public bulletin board by students without approval.
Comment:  I guess Studi's name was on some flyers. But how do you go from that to his handing them out on campus? Did anyone see him or take his picture? It's hard to make a mistake about a famous actor in your midst; either he's there or he isn't.

Studi apparently wasn't handing out flyers. He's never evinced interest in Alaska issues or personal activism before, so that's believable. But the claim that he's working for Pebble still stands.

One could argue that working for economic development is pro-Native because Natives need jobs. But traditionally, Natives value the land and the environment over mercenary considerations. If you have to be paid to take a company's position, your motives are automatically suspect.

For more on the subject, see Native Woman Shills for Pebble.


Anonymous said...

Isn't salmon like, one of Alaska's greatest exports?

dmarks said...

The idea of using school resources and government resources to promote politics is pretty common. In Michigan, it has been the situation for a while now where the state government forcibly withholds money from most teacher's pay checks to go to pay for political efforts.

Anonymous said...

Well, one could even say textbooks are this. They're written for Texas. In history, this can cause a problem. (Texas textbooks even say Indians hunted the buffalo to extinction.) It shouldn't for science, but between creationism (under more fake names than the guy who sends me emails from Nigeria), industries having issues with the biological sciences (and of course climate science), and the like, yeah. (I'd mention left-wing examples, but Texas dominates primary and secondary textbooks.)