City commission race 2007
City commission race
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Teamwork isn't just the buzz phrase of basketball fans following March Madness. It's also becoming a phrase in City Commission campaigning.
The campaigns of Commissioners Boog Highberger and David Schauner and candidate Carey Maynard-Moody will have a joint event Sunday to organize volunteers to get out the vote.
But the trio of candidates said there's nothing nefarious about their campaign cooperation.
All three candidates said it was not a sign of the re-emergence of the Progressive Lawrence Campaign - a political action committee that presented a platform of smart growth, and successfully raised money in the 2003 and 2005 city elections. Instead, the candidates said the joining of forces was about efficiently using volunteer time.
"This was driven by the volunteers themselves," Maynard-Moody said. "They all have three votes, and they all feel very strongly about working for each of the candidates they support. They want to work efficiently, and this is a way to do that."
Schauner said concerns that this was the beginning of a group of candidates wanting to form a voting bloc were unwarranted. Instead, he said it was more about trying to run a campaign on a limited budget.
"We don't have the deep pockets to buy a lot of television advertising," Schauner said.
Highberger also said it was no different than the Mike Dever and Rob Chestnut campaigns using the same volunteers to deliver pamphlets to potential voters.
Dever and Chestnut said they had volunteers deliver pamphlets for both of them on a couple of occasions. Dever said he and Chestnut also had been at joint fundraising events on a few occasions because he and Chestnut have a few common friends who wanted to be hosts of an event.
Dever and Chestnut said they weren't creating a voting bloc either.
"I can tell you that there would be no group governing going on," Dever said. "Rob and I are two different people, but I think we do share the vision that Lawrence needs a change in direction. But I'm sure we would govern differently."
Dever and Chestnut also said they did not participate in a fundraising event that had drawn some criticism on local Internet chat boards.
In February, a local builder played host to a fundraising event for Chestnut and Dever and called it the "Emergency Party." The invitation read, in part: "There will be beer and soft drinks to cry in. We can't change everything, but we can change the faces of the Lawrence City Commission."
Chestnut and Dever said Friday they did not attend that event, and weren't consulted about it.
The Highberger, Maynard-Moody and Schauner event is at 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt.