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New pro-business political action committee enters city commission race, fueled by $5,000 donation

March 19, 2013

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  • For years, the world of Lawrence City Commission campaigning has run on $50, $100 or sometimes even $500 donations from supporters.

    A $5,000 donation hasn’t been the norm. But it is reality in the 2013 Lawrence City Commission race.

    A new pro-business political action committee — Lawrence United — entered the campaign scene over the weekend with a mass mailing supporting candidates Rob Chestnut, Jeremy Farmer and Terry Riordan.

    Campaign finance records show the group received its support from a host of Lawrence business interests, led by a $5,000 donation from longtime Lawrence business Penny’s Concrete.

    “I was asked to contribute to the group, and I did because I feel like it really is about the importance of promoting the need for jobs,” said Bill Penny, an owner of Penny’s Concrete. “I’m absolutely not ashamed to help people have jobs. It makes people feel good about themselves and feel productive in their society.”

    Lawrence attorney Casey Meek serves as the chair and treasurer of the new group. He said the organization plans to create a board of directors in the near future that will keep the PAC active for future local elections. He said the group will work to register new voters, attract “young and enthusiastic” candidates for local office and work to promote a better business environment in Lawrence.

    “We’re trying to make Lawrence as attractive as possible to outside businesses and make it as easy as possible for local businesses to stay up and running,” Meek said.

    Political action committees aren’t entirely new in local Lawrence political races. In the 1990s, a group called Progressive Lawrence actively campaigned for candidates that it thought would give neighborhoods more of a voice in the City Hall process. And candidates frequently receive donations from political organizations related to various building trades unions, police and firefighter organizations, and other such groups.

    But the entry of Lawrence United into the City Commission race did have several political observers talking this week, in part because of how much money the group raised in a short period of time. From Feb. 11 to Feb. 13, the group raised $7,500. To put that in perspective, that was more money than four of the six candidates in the field raised during the entire primary election fundraising period that ran from Jan. 1 to Feb. 14.

    State law limits individuals or businesses from giving more than $500 to any one candidate during any one election season. There are no limits on how much individuals or businesses can contribute to a political action committee, said Donna Williams, office manager for the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission.

    Political action committees can spend as much as they want on their own advertising that advocates for particular candidates, as long as they don’t coordinate that advertising with the candidates, Williams said.

    A mailer that went out last weekend by Lawrence United urged voters to support Chestnut, Farmer and Riordan in the upcoming April 2 City Commission elections. The mailer didn’t delve into any specific issues but rather its main message was it supports “candidates who support creating a sustainable, vibrant and growing economy.”

    Riordan, though, said it was Doug Gaumer, president of the Lawrence operations of Intrust Bank and the chair of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, who approached him on behalf of the PAC. He said Gaumer told him the PAC was separate from the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce.

    “He said its goal is to create sustainable jobs for people in Lawrence, and I said that is one of my goals too,” said Riordan, a Lawrence physician who finished third in last month’s primary election.

    Riordan said the group gave his campaign a $100 donation. He said he was unaware the group was going to do the mass mailing, but he said he appreciated it. He said he thinks the role of PACs in local elections may grow in the future.

    “I don’t have any problems with the PACs as long as they are supportive and open about what their support is about,” Riordan said. “I hope they don’t become as important as they are at the state and Congressional level, because I do think they have too much influence there.”

    An expenditure report filed with the Douglas County Clerk’s office shows both Gaumer and his wife, Kathy, a Lawrence physician, each donated $150 to the PAC, and a consulting firm that appears to be based out of their home donated another $200.

    In total, the group attracted donations from seven donors during its three-day period. They included $1,000 from Lawrence-based Paul Werner Architects. Werner has been a lead architect for the proposed Rock Chalk Park sports village, that includes a proposed $25 million city recreation center. Other contributors included: $500 from Lawrence-based O’Malley Beverage Company; and $500 from OSS Solutions Inc., a Lawrence-based consulting firm.

    Meek said the group has continued to raise additional money and plans to do more advertising before the April 2 election.

    Candidates who didn’t receive an endorsement said they thought Lawrence United’s entrance into the race would add a new element to the campaign.

    “As a candidate, it doesn’t worry me too much,” said Leslie Soden, the sixth-place finisher in the primary. “The trouble I’ve been having is voters have been asking me who are the chamber candidates, who are the liberal candidates. This actually helps because now I have an answer. I can say these are the candidates who have been endorsed by a pro-development group.”

    Comments

    Katara 1 year, 5 months ago

    FTA: “As a candidate, it doesn’t worry me too much,” said Leslie Soden, the sixth-place finisher in the primary. “The trouble I’ve been having is voters have been asking me who are the chamber candidates, who are the liberal candidates. This actually helps because now I have an answer. I can say these are the candidates who have been endorsed by a pro-development group.”

    This thinking is why politics is the way it is now. Too many people, including Leslie, are more concerned about slapping an easy label on others rather than take the time to find out what each candidate want to accomplish.

    I want people to be informed and have the ability to make informed decisions in our elections. Sound bites and labels don't do that.

    3

    just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 5 months ago

    What's considerably more disturbing is the (bidness as usual) expectation by the usual suspects that throwing enough money into this election will get the quid pro quos that they want.

    Will we hear anything about these expenditures from the candidates from whom these quid pro quos are expected? Or will we just hear more hollow platitudes about "bringing all sides together?"

    4

    ignati5 1 year, 5 months ago

    But the point of her statement is quite the opposite, that Jeremy has labelled himself as a Chamber candidate, without her ever mentioning it before. "Easy label," indeed! Are we not to hold candidates accountable for the political company they keep?

    5

    Katara 1 year, 5 months ago

    Jeremy Farmer has not labeled himself as a Chamber candidate. He has not chosen to campaign as a Chamber candidate. I think his interests are very much along the lines of the Chamber but that has to do with the research that I did, not because someone said so on an internet forum. I also think he presents a false face to Lawrence based on my research. This is why I am not voting for him.

    Labeling someone is not holding a candidate accountable for anything. It is just something to slap on someone because one is too lazy to find out any further information. Sound bites and labels do absolutely nothing to help provide information about a candidate.

    Her statement indicates that she wants to label candidates and give that label to other voters who are seeking information about them. It is lazy thinking and I prefer a candidate who doesn't seek the easy and non-thinking way.

    1

    lunatic 1 year, 5 months ago

    Interesting. Leslie lives in a project recently put together by - GASP - a developer?

    1

    Katara 1 year, 5 months ago

    Yeah, I don't care. Your response means nothing. If you live in a neighborhood, no matter how old it is, a developer put it together.

    -1 for you.

    3

    just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 5 months ago

    The only thing new about this is how brazen this group is in essentially admitting that they are out to buy city commission candidates because it'll be good for their bottom line.

    10

    jhawkinsf 1 year, 5 months ago

    The voters of Lawrence, or the lack thereof, will get the government they deserve.

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    just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 5 months ago

    And next you'll tell them to just lie back and enjoy it.

    2

    jhawkinsf 1 year, 5 months ago

    I'm not telling anyone to do anything. I would encourage people to take the time to vote, but I don't think they will. I would very much like to be wrong. I would very much like to see a large majority of eligible voters go to their polling place and voice their opinions. I would have confidence that if a large number of people voted that they would truly be representative of the people's wishes.

    I'll go out on a limb here and predict that more than 80% of eligible voters won't take the time to vote. This despite some very important issues in the balance. The remaining less than 20% who do vote will interpret the election results in whatever way pleases them. But the sad fact is that the overwhelming majority couldn't give a flip about a city commission election nor do they care about the issues. The rest of us, the very vocal minority, opine in this forum, acting as if we represent the people. We don't. The overwhelming majority of people are silent and if we really felt the need to represent them, we'd be silent as well. And that is as sad as it is true.

    0

    jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

    Those of us who take the time and energy to inform ourselves and vote are acting responsibly and participating in the political process in an appropriate manner.

    Suggesting that we "deserve" something because of the large numbers of people who don't do that seems off to me.

    3

    just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 5 months ago

    I agree 100%. We can lament that voter turnout is so low, but to state that it means that we all "deserve" the cronyism among city commissioners that serves narrow special interests is just wrong.

    2

    jhawkinsf 1 year, 5 months ago

    Those of us who inform ourselves and vote are an even smaller minority than those of us who just vote. Given that only 16% voted in the last city commission election and given that only 8.6% voted in the recent primary, I'd say that the numbers who voted AND were informed are staggeringly small.

    That said, I do believe people should reap the rewards of their decisions, both good and bad. We "deserve" that.

    0

    jhawkinsf 1 year, 5 months ago

    Are you suggesting that we should be insulated from our bad decision making? That we should reap the rewards of our good decisions, yet should we make bad decisions, then someone should come in and save us from the natural consequences of our action, or lack of action? Talk about a nanny state.

    If by collective punishment you're suggesting we get a government that is representative of only a small minority, then yes, that's exactly what we deserve IF it is only a small minority that votes. To suggest that the government should represent the much larger majority is absurd, because the government has no way of knowing what that position is, given the fact that they aren't voicing an opinion, one way or the other.

    My point is that if one group, very small and very loud, out-shouts another equally small, yet not quite as loud group, doesn't mean either group represents the majority. You, Bozo, have stated repeatedly that the majority of Lawrencians are in favor of this or opposed to that. Just because you fill a room with like minded individuals does not mean those outside the room are like minded. The overwhelming majority will speak on election day and their silence will be deafening.

    1

    jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

    Since it's not my fault that many don't vote, I don't "deserve" the outcome of very low turnout elections.

    I don't believe in the kind of collective guilt you seem to advocate - I'm responsible for my decisions, and others are responsible for theirs as well.

    4

    jhawkinsf 1 year, 5 months ago

    Conservatives in the U.S. "deserve" Obama. Liberals in Kansas "deserve" Brownback. And if pro-development commissions are elected, then the anti-development types in Lawrence will "deserve" them. And visa versa.

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    jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

    Absurd.

    Why on earth would conservatives, who voted against Obama, "deserve" him? Etc.

    They didn't want him to be elected, and would have preferred the other guy.

    0

    jhawkinsf 1 year, 5 months ago

    We all deserve the government we have because we're all in this together, like it or not. It's like taxes, no one wants to pay them. But we all deserve to pay them because that's the price we all need to pay to live in this country, this state or this city.

    0

    jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

    That makes no sense.

    The approximately 1/2 of the country that votes for the losing side in elections doesn't deserve to have lost, they've just lost. And the outcome isn't to their liking.

    Those who voted for the winning side deserve what they get as a result, and can't blame anybody else for what happens, but those who didn't have a legitimate claim that their preferences and philosophy aren't being represented.

    We all "have" to pay taxes, I'm not at all sure that's the same thing as "deserving" to pay them, or that there's any justice involved in them. And, those who would prefer lower taxes and fewer services aren't represented if they lose the elections.

    I'm not at all sure why you like to communalize responsibility and guilt - seems to me as though that just muddies the waters.

    0

    jhawkinsf 1 year, 5 months ago

    I don't know why you equate the word "deserve" with a negative outcome. If I make good choices in life, I deserve a positive outcome. Which gets me back to my original point, if 80%+ of the electorate chooses not to speak, we should not at all be surprised if our elected officials don't hear.

    0

    jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

    Ok.

    But those who vote for losing candidates don't get the candidate of their choice, so how do they "deserve" the results of the election?

    0

    jhawkinsf 1 year, 5 months ago

    Because the system is set up such that the tyranny of the majority does not violate the rights of the minority. They may "suffer" policies they do not agree with, but all their fundamental rights are protected.

    0

    jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

    That's a very different thing from saying they "deserve" the results of elections, in my view.

    And, I wouldn't put the word suffer in quotes.

    0

    jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

    The problem is that we reap the rewards, not only of our own decisions and choices, but of others as well.

    It's like folks who don't care about the environment - they're ruining it for others as well as themselves.

    2

    Patricia Davis 1 year, 5 months ago

    No to Farmer, Chestnut and Riordan. Unless you like what the last commission did to us.

    10

    kuguardgrl13 1 year, 5 months ago

    Well this certainly influences in whole I'll be voting for. Now if we could get similar articles on the school board election...

    4

    Carol Bowen 1 year, 5 months ago

    Why would it be OK for Progressive Lawrence to support candidates and not OK for Lawrence United to support candidates? There should be more groups supporting candidates. The only improvement I could see would be a group that supports viable candidates regardless of their positions.

    1

    just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 5 months ago

    "Why would it be OK for Progressive Lawrence to support candidates and not OK for Lawrence United to support candidates? T"

    It's certainly "OK" for either group, but that doesn't make the agendas or the motivations of the two groups in any way similar.

    7

    Carol Bowen 1 year, 5 months ago

    Yes, our local politics have been polarized for a long time.

    0

    Bob Forer 1 year, 5 months ago

    “I was asked to contribute to the group, and I did because I feel like it really is about the importance of promoting the need for jobs,” said Bill Penny, an owner of Penny’s Concrete.

    What a lot of unadulterated nonsense. Yeah, Mr. Penny reached deep into his pocket because he is a good, decent and generous citizen and wants more jobs for the folks.

    Yeah, right. He owns a concrete company and stands to make a pile of cash on new development.

    Why can't these guys just be honest about their motivation. It is so transparent, and the lies are so bad as to be insulting.

    13

    Katara 1 year, 5 months ago

    Yes, but he does have a point. When development occurs, generally there are new jobs. Granted most of them are temporary but for many something is better than nothing. Also, that pay, however temporary, is spent and circulated back into the local economy.

    0

    lunatic 1 year, 5 months ago

    what is wrong with making money? What is wrong with employing people? Psyco, do you live in a house? A developer built that. Do you shop locally? Developers built that. Wake up!

    0

    Bob Forer 1 year, 5 months ago

    Well then, he should be honest and say that, rather than feeding us a load of baloney. Capice?

    1

    Alceste 1 year, 5 months ago

    "....that's why they call it The American Dream......".....YOU have to be asleep to believe it.....".

    "The game is rigged. The game is fixed. It's a club and YOU'RE NOT IN IT!" "You have owners":

    (video clip below is for adult viewing. Parents: Supervise your children!)

    5

    Alceste 1 year, 5 months ago

    Here is a letter Alceste was given that was quietly written by a member of this PAC:

    The Honorable Secretary of Agriculture Washington, D.C.

    Dear Sir:

    I have been evacuated from the New Orleans area, because the floods destroyed my 50-year-old mobile home and my beat-up car. I thought I might go into business to supplement my welfare check. I ended up here in Lawrence, Kansas.

    My friend over at Wells, Iowa, received a check for $1,000 from you fellows for NOT raising hogs. Right now, I am getting extra help from the government and the Red Cross while I am displaced but, when that stops, I want to go into the "not-raising-hogs" business.

    What I want to know is this. In your opinion, what is the best kind of farm not to raise hogs on, and what is the best breed of hogs not to raise?

    I want to be certain that I approach this endeavor in keeping with all governmental policies. I would prefer not to raise razorbacks, but if that is not a good breed not to raise, then I will just as gladly not raise Yorkshires or another specified breed.

    As I see it, the hardest part of this program will be that of keeping an accurate inventory of how many hogs I have not raised.

    My friend out in Iowa is very happy about the future of the business. He has been raising hogs for more than twenty years. He says the best he ever made on them was $422 back in 1968, until this year, when he got your check for $1000 for not raising 50 hogs.

    If I get $1000 for not raising 50 hogs, will I get $2000 for not raising 100 hogs? I plan to operate on a small scale at first, holding myself down to about 4000 hogs not raised, which will mean about $80,000 the first year.

    Another thing, these hogs I will not raise will not eat 100,000 bushels of corn. I understand that you also pay farmers for NOT raising corn and wheat. Will I qualify for payments for not raising wheat and corn not to feed the 4000 hogs I am not going to raise?

    In addition, I am considering the "not-milking-cows" business. Please, send me any information you have on that, too.

    In view of these circumstances, you understand that I will be totally unemployed, and I plan to file for unemployment and food stamps.

    Be assured your party will have my vote in the coming election.

    Patriotically Yours, Ima Taker P.S. Please, notify me when you are giving out more free cheese. I like that stuff.

    1

    UneasyRider 1 year, 5 months ago

    This PAC makes my voting choices easier. I'll simply be sure to "NOT" vote for any of their 3 bought and paid for stooges.

    9

    Katara 1 year, 5 months ago

    That is incredibly ignorant of you. I expected better since much of your complaints on this forum are about Republicans mindlessly doing stuff. You are simply doing the same and that is incredibly lazy of you.

    0

    ignati5 1 year, 5 months ago

    Some of us are wondering whether this PAC includes Jeremy to promote or kill his candidacy. It would be a Machiavellian dirty trick by the Chamber, but who would put it past them? He claims privately not to have been consulted about his inclusion beforehand and that he is not beholden to the Chamber - we eagerly await a public statement to that effect, and soon. Without it, he loses significant support from "Progressive" voters, most of which is probably gone by now anyway, And if he is naive enough to believe in his campaign that the Chamber is just interested in the common good through a coalition, imagine how they will manipulate him if he is elected. The man's heart is in the right place, and he will one day make a fine elected official, but probably not this time around.

    1

    Bob Forer 1 year, 5 months ago

    Why in the world do you think Jeremy is a "patsy?" Take a quick look at his list of endorsers and financial contributors. Replete with chamber of commerce types and developers. Jeremy may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but he ain't stupid. he knew exactly what he was doing when he accepted money and endorsements from the power elite. Just because he is a "nice guy" and heads a food bank, it doesn't necessarily follow that he holds progressive positions. To think otherwise is exceedingly naive.

    7

    Catalano 1 year, 5 months ago

    Why put Jeremy on the hot seat? Put Lawrence United on the spot instead and have them explain why a) they apparently gave Riordan a heads-up, but no mention of providing the same courtesy to Chestnut or Farmer, and b) what criteria they think these three candidates have in common that Amyx, Criqui and Soden don't share...I thought all six candidates were pretty much on board for creating/promoting a "sustainable, vibrant and growing economy.”

    1

    Bob Forer 1 year, 5 months ago

    Face the truth, Catalano., your boy Jeremy is a pimp for the power elite. . Playtime is over. time to pull your head out of the sand and face a little reality.

    4

    Catalano 1 year, 5 months ago

    Jeremy is not "my boy" and all I did was ask a genuine question. Not of you, BTW.

    0

    Katara 1 year, 5 months ago

    Where does it say that Farmer or Chestnut didn't know they were being supported by this PAC?

    0

    lunatic 1 year, 5 months ago

    why such hate for the chamber? do you people not work for a living? do you not own businesses? How do you make any money? How do you live? I just don't get it. how has the chamber ever damaged you? Serious question, looking for a serious answer, not more posing.

    0

    just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 5 months ago

    "You may think the Liberal no growth Pac"

    There was never such a thing-- which makes your comment completely without merit.

    5

    just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 5 months ago

    Who never had a "no growth" agenda. That group was opposed to mindless sprawl that benefits only the business interests who promote it (and have largely controlled the city commission for decades,) and wanted instead public policies that benefit everyone.

    "Growth" promotion as a primary driver of policy is just plain idiotic, because there are just as many costs to growth as there are benefits, but the adherents to cancerous growthism never want to acknowledge those costs.

    0

    Katara 1 year, 5 months ago

    LarryNative says," I also like Terry personally but would not consider him to be pro business but very civic minded. Terry will be no friend to the contractors/building community."

    Yeah, I don't think he will either.

    If the man has no problem telling anti-vaxxers to take a hike from his practice (thus turning away potential business), I seriously doubt he just going to rollover for the developers.

    1

    Richard Heckler 1 year, 5 months ago

    In essence Lawrence United intends to drown the community in reckless spent campaign dollars. This is a grand display of disdain for the fiscal conservative/ fiscally responsible spending philosophy.

    And will inundate the Lawrence voters with word bites and sound bites that may or may not be true again backed by the largest spending ever in the history of city commission campaigns.

    If any of the three were not contacted prior to the mailing and do not want to be included an UNTRUTH has thus been committed.... in the first mailing. An ethics violation for openers speaks volumes.

    Lawrence needs new thinking NOT more of the same say that's been in place for the past 25 years. Where are those great paying jobs and new economic growth? Nowhere to be seen.

    Lawrence,Kansas... home to a never ending tax dollar money hole and stinky water. The more Lawrence expands the larger the tax dollar money hole. Why?

    The community has never stopped expanding long enough to catch up with the ever expanding cost of paying for the helter skelter growth decisions. In other words Lawrence has never been in a position where new growth is paying for itself.

    Unfriendly to business and homeowners.

    There are plenty of taxpayer assets such as streets,sidewalks,water lines,sewer lines that need rehab which could create plenty of employment for two years at least. New infrastructure only adds miles and miles and miles of NEW tax dollar responsibility with no means of paying for it.

    2

    btsflk 1 year, 5 months ago

    Had already decided I wouldn't vote for those three. Just more of the status quo. This just confirms it.

    Would sure like to see that pattern broken, but don't see that happening.

    5

    Paul Wilson 1 year, 5 months ago

    Bottom line is that cities/states that are run by liberals are failing. From Detroit Michigan, Chicago, Philadelphia, Charlotte, LA...on and on and on. The smaller the cities get...the worse it gets. You can cry all you want about the details and what you don't like about conservatives. The bottom line is in the data. Through the tough economy the last few years...liberal cities are failing. Detroit is on the verge of being taken over by the state of MI. The most miserable cities in America are liberal. Pro business/conservative leadership promotes job creation and ultimately leads to communities that are not failing. Very little research will show you that the data does not lie. You may hate 'em...but an open mind will show you the truth. The numbers don't lie.

    1

    jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

    Wow.

    I see no numbers in your post.

    If provided, I'd be extremely surprised if they supported your view - my best guess is that both liberal and conservative cities can be in trouble, or doing well. NYC is pretty liberal, and last time I looked was doing quite well.

    On a national level, there's an interesting chart I've seen a few times - it shows that the national economy does best with both a D president and a D congress, worst with both R, and in between with 1 of each.

    8

    ignati5 1 year, 5 months ago

    How about NYC? Bloomberg gets plaudits from both sides locally, yet I didn't see him getting invited to C-PAC!

    0

    jonas_opines 1 year, 5 months ago

    @jafs: Well, the giveaway is right there in the post:

    "Very little research will show you that the data does not lie."

    Note that he doesn't say what the data shows when you conduct extensive research. Just what is says when you conduct very little of it.

    5

    Paul Wilson 1 year, 5 months ago

    You guys can keep telling yourselves that. Look into it a bit. You'll see.

    0

    Katara 1 year, 5 months ago

    It is funny that folks will make the wildest assertions and then refuse to back them.

    It is your responsibility to provide evidence that backs your assertion that liberal cities are failing.

    But I'll let you in on a well-known secret.

    Red States rely on government money more than blue states.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/11/states-federal-taxes-spending-charts-maps
    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/09/02/red-states-are-the-real-welfare-states/
    http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-08-18/politics/30039546_1_blue-states-federal-taxes-red-states

    1

    jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

    You made the claim - can't you support it?

    I've already provided one rather large counter example - NYC.

    1

    4chewnut 1 year, 5 months ago

    Why doesn't Farmer step up and address this issue? And why not also explain his theological training in the Assembly of Gods? That's some pretty conservative stuff. Would fit with this PAC.

    5

    Alpenglow 1 year, 5 months ago

    Stunning and sad how everyone wants to throw this newly formed group under the bus for their sole intention of promoting candidates who want to CREATE JOBS in this community. Why is this group so threatening? No wonder its so difficult to find high paying jobs in Lawrence. All the naysayers here are why Lawrence has such a rotten reputation in our region. Where can I send a donation to this group?????

    3

    jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

    If you can't figure that out, there's a problem with your reading and researching skills.

    Nobody's "throwing them under the bus" - nobody's even suggested that they shouldn't act in this manner. They're just saying that the information about who's supporting candidates is useful for voters, and that they will vote based on such information.

    What's wrong with that?

    5

    lunatic 1 year, 5 months ago

    I believe it. I know Bill and he is one of the most honest and giving people ever. To make the assertions you make here are unfair, wrong, and repugnant. You really should apologize for for your slander. And apologize to Jeremy as well. What some of you are saying is shameful.

    0

    Bob Forer 1 year, 5 months ago

    Yes, it is very shameful to remind folks that Mr. Farmer doesn't even have a position on most of the issues. Shame on me for pointing that out.

    0

    Richard Heckler 1 year, 5 months ago

    All candidates want to create jobs. The Chamber choices have been saying this for 30 years. Chamber choices cannot get the job done. We live the documented evidence.

    30 years of tax dollars have been given out and taxpayers are still waiting..... Corporate welfare is NOT paying back.

    6

    deltaman 1 year, 5 months ago

    Chamber of Commerce much like Government does not create job growth; however, Government is in position to make communities more attractive for job growth. The results of the Chamber of Commerce that you point to is largely due to the so called 'progressives" that have served on the City Commission for the past decade. The Chamber is the marketing arm. The City Commission is the decision/policy arm. As for 30 years, the 80's and 90's were pretty good to Lawrence in terms of job and income growth. The 2000's were dismal. The no growth platform for which you advocate has done quite well for the past decade, so why are you so angry?

    2

    Paul Wilson 1 year, 5 months ago

    But public welfare will be the death of a community.

    1

    Katara 1 year, 5 months ago

    So why are so many red states taking so much of it?

    0

    gatekeeper 1 year, 5 months ago

    All this B.S. about the liberals trying to stop growth makes me laugh. This isn't about liberals trying to stop all growth and development. It's about everyone electing a city commission that creates smart growth. Growth that really creates jobs and brings businesses to Lawrence. What we have now are a bunch of self-serving *sshats that give their developer buddies pretty much anything they want. How many jobs have been created by the "development" that happened in Lawrence in the last decade? Compton's buildings downtown aren't creating jobs. What has Fritzel done to create good, long-term jobs in Lawrence? They've gotten lots of tax breaks and the people of Lawrence have gotten nothing but higher taxes. I want a commission that wants to bring industry to this town, not more apartments and an overpriced rec center that most in Lawrence will never even get a chance to use.

    Follow the money folks, follow the money.

    7

    gatekeeper 1 year, 5 months ago

    Columbia and Manhattan gets lots of people coming there to shop because there aren't any big cities around them. We have KC only 30 minutes away. Why would anyone come here to shop when everything anyone wants is in KC? Where the outlet mall was off I-70 is actually thriving, but because regular companies, not stores have taken it over. It proves that if you give the right incentives, you can get companies to locate here. The commission needs to focus on bringing businesses (not shopping) to Lawrence if they want to create jobs. Look at how KC, MO and KC, KS and cities in JoCo have been fighting over getting businesses to move to their cities. They offer tax breaks to businesses that will bring jobs. In Lawrence, we give tax breaks to developers that build apts we don't need and now this rec center, which won't create good paying, long lasting jobs. We need industry in this town. It's why most residents have to drive to Topeka or JoCo (like me) for work. Guess where I end up doing a lot of my shopping (paying sales tax in other counties) because it's easier to shop in KC before heading home that running across town in Lawrence.

    2

    UneasyRider 1 year, 5 months ago

    This PAC is nothing more than the C of C lying BS as usual. Any candidate they support is nothing more than a bought and paid for chamber flunky. Don't vote for anyone they endorse.

    1

    UneasyRider 1 year, 5 months ago

    Have said from the beginning that Jeremy Farmer was a bought and paid for flunky. This endorsement simply proves that fact.

    4

    deltaman 1 year, 5 months ago

    Not that I really care, but why do you care given your recent rants that you are retiring from your Government job and moving out of the State. But to attack Jeremy Farmer, as many progressives have on the Board, is simply incredible. The young man has counseled troubled youth, worked wonders with Just Foods, and seems to be doing an effective job of attracting liberals and conservatives in supporting him. Why wouldn't you want a candidate with that skill set? Maybe he can bring both side together to find an acceptsble middle ground on issues, rather than it having to be either your position or conservatives position? Why are you and other libs that blog so angry at those who think different than you?

    1

    just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 5 months ago

    "Why are you and other libs that blog so angry at those who think different than you?"

    Who are you talking to? And why are you so angry that you need to use the term "libs" to refer to them?

    2

    deltaman 1 year, 5 months ago

    You, Grandma, Merrill, uneasy rider, sycophant, Kansas lib, etc...I'm not angry and use the libs as a grouping. I don't find the term offensive. Sorry if it offends you.

    1

    just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 5 months ago

    If you're so adamant to end partisanship, I suggest that you begin with yourself.

    1

    jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

    Would you find it offensive if you were called a "con", as in conservative?

    1

    jhawkinsf 1 year, 5 months ago

    If "lib" is for liberal, what shall we use for libertarian? And how shall we avoid confusion?

    0

    Katara 1 year, 5 months ago

    If Jeremy Farmer is such an upstanding man, why has he embellished his credentials?

    His degrees are not in Clinical Counseling. They are in Clinical Pastoral Counseling. They are not even remotely the same thing but he still hasn't corrected that.

    Why does he claim extensive experience with non-profit administration when his time listed is less than 7 years, none of the positions he has held are included in his credentials and he lists only 2 other food banks in that short amount of time?

    Why does he list bought and paid for "certifications" by bogus companies as part of his credentials? Those things are the equivalent of getting a degree from a diploma mill.

    On top of that, why would you want to support a candidate who is uncertain as to whether or not he supports signs at businesses in a special taxing district? How difficult of a decision is that to make? You either are for or against on that one. There is no acceptable middle ground on that issue.

    If a candidate cannot make a simply decision on a simple matter such as that, complex issues that require actual brain power will completely flummox her/him.

    3

    Bob Forer 1 year, 5 months ago

    Deltaman, the kid doesn't have a position on anything. He's undecided on most issues. We don't need a nice guy. We need leadership.

    4

    deltaman 1 year, 5 months ago

    I agree that he could add more substance to his responses, as could most of the candidates. The other qualifications to be weighed besides ability to respond to questions is education, work experience, empathy, listening skills, ability and willingness to negotiate, etc...I hope we all take time to evaluate the candidates to determine who is best suited to lead our community and not base it solely on partisanship.

    1

    just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 5 months ago

    "I hope we all take time to evaluate the candidates to determine who is best suited to lead our community and not base it solely on partisanship."

    But I'd bet you'll vote against whoever you think the "libs" are for.

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    Bob Forer 1 year, 5 months ago

    "I agree that he could add more substance to his responses, as could most of the candidates."

    WTF are you talking about? At least most of the other candidates have clear positions on the issues. Mr. Farmer is "undecided" on most of them.

    0

    Richard Heckler 1 year, 5 months ago

    Who does the best job of directing local economic growth?

    http://lawrencesmartgrowth.blogspot.com/2012/09/who-does-best-job-of-directing-local.html

    Zillions of tax dollars have been given out and taxpayers are still waiting..... Corporate welfare is NOT paying back.

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    Richard Heckler 1 year, 5 months ago

    Lawrence does NOT need big spending political action committees providing unlimited amounts of cash to further corrupt local politics thank you.

    1

    Carol Bowen 1 year, 5 months ago

    Polarization ruins our sense of community. Our commissioners should represent and support all the components that make a viable community where we work, live, go to school, and play. Vote for the candidates or combination of candidates you think will do this.

    I agree with Catalano. What are the issues?

    "Why put Jeremy on the hot seat? Put Lawrence United on the spot instead and have them explain why a) they apparently gave Riordan a heads-up, but no mention of providing the same courtesy to Chestnut or Farmer, and b) what criteria they think these three candidates have in common that Amyx, Criqui and Soden don't share...I thought all six candidates were pretty much on board for creating/promoting a "sustainable, vibrant and growing economy.”"

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    btsflk 1 year, 5 months ago

    Farmer has not "worked wonders" with Just Food. That opinion probably depends on wheteher you are looking at it from the outside, or as a client.

    1

    irvan moore 1 year, 5 months ago

    nice job on the editorial in the paper today (Thursday) ljw

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    Meatwad 1 year, 5 months ago

    Polarization is not helping Lawrence. Some of the PACs candidates might be people who do want what's best for Lawrence and not only what the developers want (sometimes they coincide, sometimes they don't). But now those 3 candidates are labeled and so some people are going to avoid voting for them just because they think they are going to be all about helping the big developers. It's kind of a shame, but the label makes me wonder if they can be trusted.

    1

    Richard Heckler 1 year, 5 months ago

    This new PAC allows a means by which to circumvent previous campaign spending regulations. And can put out rhetoric true or not for the candidates with or without their approval. This is very stinky politics.

    Why would any candidate participate? Not a good decision.

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