Boise’s Chamber of Commerce continues to benefit from Team Dave’s annual fund raiser “State of the City” breakfast event. Cost to attend the speech where Mayor Dave Bieter lists his accomplishments range from $35 to $55 per head. Past attendance has been about 1,000 mostly business people.
We estimate the Chamber grosses about $40,000 from the Mayor’s speech that could just as easily be presented at a council meeting or on-line.
While free tickets have been made available following previous GUARDIAN criticism, we still think it is inappropriate for a government leader to work on behalf of a special interest lobbying group to raise funds in what we call a “Live Aid Concert.” The Daily Paper lists the admission fees in a brief Sunday note, but the press release the GUARDIAN received mentioned only the “free seats.”
If there is a group needing benefit funds, how about rotating this dog and pony show among the Idaho Food Bank, Muscular Dystrophy (to get firemen off the streets), and various homeless shelters or groups helping the needy. You can bet he wouldn’t do his speech for other special interest lobbying groups like the Sierra Club, National Rifle Association or Ducks Unlimited.
To their credit, the Ada Commishes have seen the light. They dropped an annual $70,000 payoff to the Chamber from their current budget and also will NOT do a pay to play “State of The County” speech. Instead, the Commishes will give their message at assorted “Town Hall” meetings around the county. We would like to see Boise do the same thing and not make the speech a “fund raising event.”
After many years of fleeing Boise to meet with Treasure Valley Chamber of Commerce members and speakers at Sun Valley, Team Dave questioned the practice this year publicly for the first time. The GUARDIAN has been critical of isolating the majority of citizens from a PLANNING event by pricing them out of the market place at $300 admission and holding it in Sun Valley. We feel the same about a breakfast meet that most working folks
can’t attend, nor feel comfortable attending at $45 a plate.
The show starts at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Boise Centre on The Grove.
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