Some type of organization that is backing the Gateway Pacific Terminal project appears to be trying to recruit grassroots supporters by telephone.
Two local notables–Tim Douglas, former mayor, and Lisa McShane–contacted me today to express their concerns about the effort. They reported getting a phone call that started out sounding like an opinion poll on SSA Marine’s project, which would ship coal and other cargoes from a new pier proposed at the site near the end of Gulf Road, south of the BP Cherry Point refinery.
As they tell it, the purpose of the poll seemed to be to sound out the recipient on his or her willingness to lobby elected officials and attend rallies in support of Gateway Pacific. They both report that the effort seems to be targeting local Democrats, although they acknowledged they had no way of knowing if other people were also being targeted.
McShane said everyone on the Democratic Party’s list-serv seemed to have gotten the call.
Douglas is backing Dan Pike’s reelection bid in the mayor’s race, while McShane has endorsed Kelli Linville.
“It seems like it was from project supporters,” McShane said in an email. “It was stated as a poll but wasn’t. It seems to be an organizing tool. It strikes me as unethical to tell someone they’re answering a poll but then use that information collected for organizing.”
I emailed SSA spokesman Gary Smith for a comment.
“I’m afraid I don’t have any information I can share on this,” he replied in an email.