Tell the Kochs to butt out

To the editor,

I’d laugh at the irony if not for the disturbing national trend that is visiting our special corner of the west. The Koch Brothers – of Koch Industries fracking wealth and fame – through their front group, Americans for Prosperity, have arrived in La Plata County to tell us poor yokels that we need to recall our twice-elected, Fort Lewis graduate, 35- year-resident, extensively community involved County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt. Their reason? Well, Gwen just doesn’t understand or represent the agricultural, ranching and energy-development sectors of our community. As a life-long westerner from a heritage of farmers, ranchers and miners, her family tree may beg to differ. We, the residents of La Plata County, elected Gwen to represent our interests, not the agenda of an outside corporation with annual revenues of $100+ billion a year.

When I participated in community meetings after the Gold King Mine spill, I don’t recall seeing Charles or David Koch – but Gwen was there. Gwen was active in the Hermosa Creek Watershed working groups I attended, but no Kochs. Animas River Trail, Lake Nighthorse, Oil and Gas Accountability – there was Gwen without a Koch in sight!

Don’t believe the spin of these outside titans trying to undermine our community. Gwen Lachelt represents the best interests of La Plata County, not Koch Industries. Let’s send a clear and strong signal to the Brothers Koch: We are perfectly capable of handling our own affairs here in La Plata County, thank you very much!

– Andy Corra, Durango