Fri
Mar 16 2007
08:42 am

Tommy Schumpert and Ben Atchley have formed a PAC to support candidates of integrity who would place “policy before politics” in local government. The News Sentinel quoted Atchley saying: “We’re looking for good, open government candidates.” After a very quick check of Fundrace 2004 Neighbor Search I found the following 2004 campaign contributions of the nonpartisan PAC on Public Trust members:

Tommy Schumpert – no record
Ben Atchley - $1K Bush
Henrietta Grant – no record
Sherri Lee - $1K Bush
David Moon – no record
Sam Furrow - $2K Bush
Suzanne Schriver - $2K RNC, $1K Bush

Integrity? Policy before politics? Open government? If most of the PAC members think Bush is a good example of integrity, policy before politics, or an open government candidate, I can’t wait to see their endorsements for local government candidates. Or maybe I am dreading their endorsements of local candidates.

News Sentinel article

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Mello's picture

State contributions

(link...)

This state level contribution data base shows additional money to candidates.

Greg Mackay's picture

An unnamed person, hiding

An unnamed person, hiding behind a pseudonym, questions the integrity of Tommy Schumpert and Ben Atchley.

Aren’t blogs great?

Bbeanster's picture

Misty watercolor memories......

Stuff like this is what makes me know that I'm now officially an old codger.
Sherry Lee, y'all might remember, was not long ago involved in a ferocious zoning fight over in the Westmoreland area. She had combined and subdivided a couple or three lots and wanted a variance so she could build more houses than were allowed in the neighborhood. Her neighbors (with a few exceptions) came out and did battle against her plan, and it got pretty bitter, with the CCC crowd choosing up sides and digging in. It was almost as much fun as the J. Allen Smith war. She lost and we wrote about it some and called it the "Haves versus the Have Mores." I believe her late husband made his money with that big janitorial service that had the contract to clean the City County building -- they hired lots of elderly black people (that's just a personal observation) and were big opponents of the Living Wage campaign.
Sam Furrow is one of those solid, public-minded guys who has away some money to UT, and does real well for himself, too. He actually seemed a little embarrassed when he was the recipient of that $500,000 grant from the city for the old post office building here awhile back. He particularly need it, didn't ask for it and didn't even show up for the public ceremony (I think it was his BD and he had other stuff to do) when he got it. It was jut a nice surprise, I guess. Couple or five years before that, he was paid around $350K (give or take a few $K -- I'm going by memory here) by the state when they took his Mercedes dealership sign down from the scenic highway interchange out at Parkside Drive. 'Course, he didn't have to worry, since Victor came along a little while later and gave him a permit to put the sign back up on the scenic highway -- that was the deal where the city director came in and signed the sign permit giving him back the billboard on the scenic highway a few days after she had resigned from her job. Did I mention it was on a scenic highway?
Kind of puts me to mind of something Granddaddy Bean used to say: "Everybody likes to feed a fat hog."
I think very highly of Gentleman Ben Atchley. He's a good man. And I'm not saying the others aren't. But maybe it's not wrong to think about what politics is (are? I've always wondered how politics came to be a singular noun).

Rachel's picture

ferocious zoning fight over

ferocious zoning fight over in the Westmoreland area. She had combined and subdivided a couple or three lots and wanted a variance so she could build more houses than were allowed in the neighborhood.

Isn't that still going on? Cause if its the Westmoreland fight I'm thinking about, the developers just got a favorable court ruling.

Bbeanster's picture

I'd lost track of that

I'd lost track of that one.

John King represented the neighborhood, and remarked to me later that he hadn't gotten invited to Lee's birthday party, which (he said) was held on a yacht off the coast of Greece somewhere.
Don't remember who Lee's lawyer was, but she hired the CarMoxes to spin the thing. Good to see my friends making money off this stuff, I reckon.

BlueNeck1's picture

An unnamed person, hiding

"An unnamed person, hiding behind a pseudonym, questions the integrity of Tommy Schumpert and Ben Atchley. Aren’t blogs great?"

Let me clarify the point. I trust Schumpert and Atchley to do the right thing. The problem is that we have virtually single party rule in this community and I don't think it has resulted in better government. The real problem is that the "single party" is losing control of some of its members, the polical agenda and power. Will this PAC really be able to endorse or support progressive candidates that will perhaps take us down a new path that would lead to better government or will they embrace candidates who will take one step back from the ledge we find ourselves on to where we were a few months ago?

Were any of these leaders encouraging term limited office holders to accept the will of the people and step down from office - or at least retire at the appropriate time in the election cycle and let some others run? Aren't all the political leaders at least partly responsible for the mess we are in? Where were they in the last election cycle? It's like they've been working tirelessly to support open government ever since five weeks ago (I stole that from TV) - every since the appointment fiasco by County Commission. The problem we face now did not develop over night.

Saying I am questioning the integrity of Schumpert and Atchley is a diversion from the larger issue.

I hope and pray for the good of all of us that many better candidates run in the next 2-3 election cycles. God knows we need them. If the new PAC helps, more power to them.

Sandra Clark's picture

Whose idea?

I spoke with Tommy Schumpert about this yesterday. He seems very sincere and said "We will be judged" by the results and the candidates supported next year.

Somehow, though, I doubt that Tommy and Ben thought this up. Instead, I'd say somebody from what Cas would have called "The Silk Stocking Crowd" thought it up and will fund it. Tommy and Ben are convenient fronts.

Call me cynical, but I've been here awhile.

What's the solution? I don't know. So I'll be sending a small donation to Tommy's PAC in the hopes that it helps.

Also, I'm challenging other media to halve their ad rates for local candidates. Advertising is what's driving up the cost of local (and all) elections. -- s.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Outstanding idea, Sandra!

Sandra: "Also, I'm challenging other media to halve their ad rates for local candidates. Advertising is what's driving up the cost of local (and all) elections."

THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

Ennui's picture

Was this the reason Mr.

Was this the reason Mr. Schumpert declined a little while to serve on the ethics committee?

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