With some of its board members insisting that they did not want to ‘burn any bridges’ or ‘make any enemies’, the political action committee of the St. Pete Chamber has decided to endorse ALL BUT ONE CANDIDATE running in the city’s 2011 municipal elections.
That’s right, the St. Pete Chamber PAC is endorsing Steve Kornell AND Bill Protz. It’s endorsing Charlie Gerdes AND Bob Kersteen. It’s endorsing Bill Dudley AND Brett Hatley. It’s endorsing Gershom Faulkner and Wengay Newton.
The only candidate it is not endorsing, evidently, is District 1 candidate Josh Shulman, which is even more surprising considering he’s as in line with the Chamber’s issues as any candidate running.
But the real surprise is the Chamber PAC’s endorsement of Wengay Newton. I mean, why does the Chamber PAC even endorse if it is going to endorse a candidate who has been at odds with the Chamber as much as Newton has been/is? Just earlier this month, Newton was an outspoken opponent of the Chamber’s positions on the issues before the Charter Review Commission. Yet, Newton now gets the Chamber PAC’s nod of approval (and a much-needed $500 check).
The argument, reportedly, for endorsing Newton is that he’s ‘accessible’, that he has an open door and that ‘he’s everywhere.” Well, what the heck difference does it make how accessible and open Newton is if he’s not with the Chamber on its issues?
And can we please stop justifying an elected official’s existence with the argument that “he’s everywhere” — if you are a retired wrestling coach or otherwise unemployed, being everywhere is easy to accomplish.
Just like not burning bridges or not making enemies is easy to accomplish.