Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A “Towering” Lake Basebegone Update, May 26, 2010

Things have been pretty quiet around Lake Basebegone, especially since last month when Lake Johnbegone began to suggest itself as a new name for the area.  We still have fond memories of that photo taken at Wild Oats where Johnny Protocols and his trusted adviser Barrister Bailey were seen not purchasing anything from an iconic local business while they discussed the former’s failure to follow Maine clean election funding protocols.

We’re still not ready to place any bets that the dynamic, if hapless duo are through with their plans to advance their goals in our midst.  Lucy never ran out of ideas, and inspiration is everywhere.

Now to the news of the moment.  Your correspondent, cursed with irrepressible intellectual curiosity, filed a Freedom of Access request with the MRRA a few weeks back, asking for information related to the Memorandum of Understanding and associated “due diligence” materials, associated with Oxford Aviation.  Side requested as well those documents relating to the subsequent F. Lee Bailey proposal, from which he withdrew in early February with great fanfare, with the most prominent notes blown by The Ostrich’s self-indulgent bugling.

As you might expect, the MRRA responded through their attorneys, essentially putting out the predictable stiff arm, claiming “confidentiality,” especially as it relates to “attorney-client” communications.  It’s abundantly clear that the MRRA has a nearly fool-proof way of protecting anything it deems problematic…simply have your attorneys involved in the paper trail.

Let’s put that aside for the moment; we’re letting our legal department study the ‘protocols’ involved to determine what actions we’ll take next.  For today, however, we can report that the MRRA did provide us with a copy of the letter by which Bailey withdrew his proposal to form a new business entity, in which he hoped to put a new face on the Oxford snafu.

You can read the entire letter at:

It is notable for a variety of reasons.  First, Bailey’s penchant for sweeping hyperbole and flights of fancy, reported on in the past.  To whit:

…which could morph Oxford Aviation’s towering world-wide reputation for skill and quality in aircraft refurbishing into similar results with business jets, for which there is a large and growing market.

Excuse me, Mr. Bailey, would that be the same Oxford Aviation shown in these photos?



Would that be the same Oxford Aviation that lost venture capital support and otherwise flamed out in their plans for Sanford Airport?  Would that be the same Oxford Aviation that flirted with Pease before shifting their interest to Sanford?  Would that be the same Oxford Aviation that seems to have landlord problems wherever it “lands?”

As a friend who had been to a personal improvement seminar many years ago once told me: “I learned that every-time my life was messed up, I was there.”  If you don’t get the point of that instantly, you will shortly.

The letter makes apparent that Oxford would be the underlying operators of the Bailey “business,” providing “marketing, training, and skilled operations assistance.”  I guess that would be the same Oxford whose “skilled operations” are incapable of removing the “Brunswick Jet Division” photo-shopped Hangar 6 image and supporting text from their web-site. 

Not to mention the MRRA’s concerted and diligent effort to see that Oxford stop the willful misrepresentation.  (Or should we say “willful misinformation?”)  I wonder how the town would feel if I was to publish a photo of the Municipal Building photo-shopped to show it as the worldwide HQ of Poppycock Media enterprises?

And to remind you again, the letter mentions the “immense start-up costs of a jet-aircraft refurbishing operation.”  I wonder why we never heard such terms from the MRRA before Bailey got involved, nor how the MRRA planned to raise the funds?

We’ve posted at length in the past about the competitive landscape in this field, and we won’t repost it here.  You know how to find it; we gave examples of established leaders in the field.

A last comment or two on Bailey being scared off by the ruminations of a few skeptical locals. 

First, the nature of the business proposed by Oxford and then Bailey is such that local attitudes, debatable as they are, have very little to do with things.  It is not a retail, walk-in business.  And the MRRA has made it clear to town officials that they have no say in how the base redevelops, or what it includes.

Second, Bailey, nor the MRRA, nor Oxford never did refute any of the reports and background information on Oxford Aviation.  It would seem on the face of things that the reports were accurate; how troubling that can be.

Third, the clients for such a firm would be coming from long distances, and whether the business is located in Brunswick, Sanford, Portsmouth, or Timbuktu would have little relevance to them.  The aircraft to be worked on has to be flown to the work site, and then flown back to where it belongs.

Come to think of it, that means Bailey and friends could take their proposal just about anywhere that has the space and the runways necessary.  As a matter of fact, I hear there’s great potential for such an operation just outside of Portland, in a place called Sanford.

Maybe Johnny P should call F the Lee and fill him in on Sanford, and make all the right connections for him.

There you go…..Poppycock Facilitation, our new subsidiary, has solved the problem!

In closing, we’ll never be the ones to suggest that the MRRA was looking for a clean way to make a break with Oxford and Bailey, hard as that might have been given the stakes involved for a then still viable gubernatorial candidate and Brunswick ‘favorite son.’  Or that solid research and reporting by the Forecaster, and healthy skepticism by town councilors, provided the air cover they needed.

There’s no need for us to suggest such a thing, because the facts themselves do it on their own. 

We only wonder why the Forecaster didn’t put more investigative priority on the MRRA itself; surely the public servants there would have kept the local public more informed if it had.

Which reminds me of the old saw about the possibility of flying monkeys singing the U Maine fight song along with Rudy Vallee and his megaphone.

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