Open Letter to John Winfield

June 23, 2011

Dear Mr. Winfield,

I enjoyed meeting you on Main Street in Gold Hill the other day. I admired the way you hurried out to introduce yourself to the local folks who hate what you're doing to our communities and our lives. I felt lucky to watch as you reached out with such evident insincerity to the women picketing across the street. "Oh, you seem like such wonderful people, what are your names?"

It was impressive, and it only got better when Corrado came across the street to join in, and then some more CRA members came down the street and joined in too. The humility you guys project! The clear desire to be agreeable. The overwhelming sadness when disagreement persists!

I'd have left it at that, the pleasant memory of watching virtuosi at work, but then you made it personal.

You chose to bring my great-grandfather into the conversation. And you had the temerity to say that you and Harry Gorham were alike in some ways.

I was impressed that you had done your homework, but I'm not sure you actually read his book. Other than being members of the same species, it is hard to imagine two more different men than you and Harry Gorham.

Harry Gorham was a highly respected mining man.

Harry Gorham never needed to be out in the street trying to ingratiate himself with strangers.

Harry Gorham was beloved by the people he knew well and worked closely with. No-one would have even dreamed of saying the things about him that Howard Jaffe said about you.

Harry Gorham was a straight talker.

Harry Gorham was never in business with a stock fraudster felon like Jeffrey Jolcover.

Harry Gorham never structured a deal to enrich himself at the expense of credulous investors.

Harry Gorham never had a facelift.

John, you are not like Harry Gorham.


David Toll
Gold Hill