The GUARDIAN first posted a version of this story 5 years ago and thanks to our complaints about no free tickets, the Chamber of Commerce makes access available for free to those wishing to get up erly and hear Dave Bieter talk on June 2.
We probably won’t hear about the public outcry AGAINST a trolley and the money spent to promote it. Don’t look for Hizzoner to detail the secret $150,000 settlement his attorneys made with the guy Tasered by a copper. Doubt they will talk about the continued refusal to open the Depot to the public during summer tourist season or the lack of directional signs for visitors. Not likely he will detail his failed attempt to attract AMTRAK either. Hope the food is worth the price of admission.
For years Boise’s mayor has been the featured act for a breakfast show that grosses as much as $45,000 with proceeds to the Chamber of Commerce coffers….$45-55 a plate and 1,000 guests. It costs $55 if you don’t belong to the Chamber. Ada Commishes curtailed the practice several years ago and ceased donating about $70,000 in citizen funds to the lobbying organization.
It is not the event or access for the public that we question. It is a bunch of business people “buying” access to government officials and the government official acting as the “headliner” with the proceeds going to a very limited special interest group–-the Chamber of Commerce.
Team Dave never gives a STATE OF speech before the City Council, or the Vista Neighborhood Association. It’s always for business rather than needy causes.
This unholy alliance between local government and the Chamber of Commerce is taken for granted.
We would venture there are more members of the Idaho Education Association or the NRA than the Chamber of Commerce, but do you think they could get exclusive rights to charge $45 a plate for a STATE OF THE CITY speech? Hasn’t happened in the past five years the GUARDIAN has reported on it.
THE GUARDIAN would like to see future “STATE OF THE” events donate their profits to groups like the IDAHO FOOD BANK, HOMELESS SHELTERS, or even a DETOX treatment center.
Not many citizen-taxpayers are able to attend a $45 breakfast meeting–-they have to go to work if they have a job. Their boss might be able to pull it off, deduct the $45 as a business expense, and provide the Chamber with even more cash to influence government leaders. We are experiencing government by the “elite class” and it is contrary to good government and democracy.
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