Scott Tibbs
Printed in the Bloomington Herald-Times
August 13, 2003

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Developer right to sue I-69 protesters

To the editor:

The Herald-Times editorial of July 27 was an exercise in inanity. Attempting to place a banner on someone else's property without the owner's permission is hardly "free speech".

The right to free speech is vital, especially speech in dissent against government policy. I-69 opponents should not be restrained in the content of their speech. They have every right to oppose the Interstate through legal protests, lobbying, and editorializing. They do not have a right to co-opt another person's property for their own use. Furthermore, even though Colette Eno and Liam Mulholland are "experienced rock climbers", they pulled a dangerous stunt. Fifteen story cranes are not toys to be climbed upon.

Mercury Development Group has every right to sue for damages from Eno and Mulholland. The H-T reports that there were 60 workers making overtime between $38 and $54 and hour. Even if all the workers were earning the lowest rate, Mercury would lose $2,280 from the delay. The actual figure is, of course, higher.

The editorial writer should also check his facts more carefully. The H-T reported just three days earlier that the banner was not unfurled, but kicked off the edge by the crane operator. Such journalistic laziness does not reflect well on the H-T.

Finally, with regard to your July 18 editorial, if Mitch Daniels was "playing politics" by saying he would reconsider the route Governor O'Bannon chose for I-69, he would not have done it before the Friday Lunch Bunch, which is full of I-69 supporters.