Evidently No One Rents This Year

It wasn’t long ago that the Lakeland Chamber made a serious faux-pas with their choice for a Lakeland Commissioner endorsement.

It’s 2009 and the Chamber is at it again. They just released their endorsements for Lakeland Mayor and City Commissioners. Wait, not the Lakeland Chamber. Business Voice of Greater Lakeland, Inc. (BVGL) made the endorsements. But BVGL advertises they are “The Political Arm of the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce.”

Semantics.

Last week the various candidates met with a BVGL committee and here’s who they endorsed:

Edie Yates- Lakeland City Commission, SE District
Phillip Walker- Lakeland City Commission, NW District
Howard Wiggs- Lakeland City Commission, At Large
Gow Fields- Lakeland City Commission, Mayor

The SW District lacks an endorsement as one candidate, Don Selvage, withdrew from consideration due to his prior involvement as a Business Voice member.

The group was kind enough to post links to the questionnaires turned out by all the candidates. We’ll hot link to the PDFs for your consideration:

MAYORAL CANDIDATES:

Elliott Dorsch
Gow Fields | BVGL Endorsed
James Verplanck

SOUTHEAST DISTRICT
James Goetz
Edie Yates | BVGL Endorsed

SOUTHWEST DISTRICT
Michael Dunn
Don Selvage
*No Endorsement Made

NORTHWEST DISTRICT
Clarence Grier
Phillip Walker | BVGL Endorsed

AT LARGE
Howard Wiggs | BVGL Endorsed

It should come as no surprise that the Chamber, er, BVGL, endorsed those who answered “Conservative” for the following question:

Politically speaking, how would describe your voting tendencies?

Except for Howard Wiggs, who answered “Other” and explained (in part): “Sometimes conservative, sometimes moderate, but, essentially conservative.”

If you take a look at the questionaires, you’ll find the candidates avoided “Liberal” and “Very Liberal” like, well, like most candidates do these days.

It was forward thinking of BGVL to put the questionaires on the net for all to see. It would also be very helpful to identify who made up the “committee” who endorsed those candidates. Though they are not technically part of the government — though they still get their rent subsidized by Lakeland – it would prove the Chamber is working to be an organization dedicated to the spirit of Sunshine.

6 thoughts on “Evidently No One Rents This Year

  1. Didn’t Edie once serve as a vice chair on the board and a family member now currently serve??? Something smells fishy with her…again!!!

  2. Didn’t Edie once serve as a vice chair on the board and a family member now currently serve??? Something smells fishy with her…again!!!

  3. The Chamber is indeed at it again. The Business Voice Candidate Review Board consisted of the following Chamber members : Chuck Aiken,Anu Saxena,Gary Clark,David Shepp,Stacey Heacock,Mike Hickman,Josh Brown,Allen Sale,Maria Mahoney,Joe L.Ruthven,Tim Rice and Clayton Hollis.At the time this candidate review board was conducted the following review board members had already contributed to my opponents campaign :Chuck Aiken $200.00,Gary Clark $100.00,Allen Sale $200.00 and Clayton Hollis $250.00. With these four member’s obviously biased and the fact that my opponent was still listed as a member of the Business Voice Board it would appear that the Chamber needs to clean up it’s act.When I expressed my concerns on this matter with my opponent he stated that he would call the Chamber and refuse the endorsement,which he did do.The troubling matter with that is the fact that he had no issue with such unethical practice until he was confronted with my argument.Maybe one day the Chamber will hold itself to the high standard that I think we all expect of it.

  4. The Chamber is indeed at it again. The Business Voice Candidate Review Board consisted of the following Chamber members : Chuck Aiken,Anu Saxena,Gary Clark,David Shepp,Stacey Heacock,Mike Hickman,Josh Brown,Allen Sale,Maria Mahoney,Joe L.Ruthven,Tim Rice and Clayton Hollis.At the time this candidate review board was conducted the following review board members had already contributed to my opponents campaign :Chuck Aiken $200.00,Gary Clark $100.00,Allen Sale $200.00 and Clayton Hollis $250.00. With these four member’s obviously biased and the fact that my opponent was still listed as a member of the Business Voice Board it would appear that the Chamber needs to clean up it’s act.When I expressed my concerns on this matter with my opponent he stated that he would call the Chamber and refuse the endorsement,which he did do.The troubling matter with that is the fact that he had no issue with such unethical practice until he was confronted with my argument.Maybe one day the Chamber will hold itself to the high standard that I think we all expect of it.

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