Stay away from the fumes.

The One Winter Park folks have gotten great millage out of a gas can full of accusations that their political opponents are being influenced by owners of commercial property. David Strong is the darling of those who claim anyone running for office against him must be under the influence of commercial property owners because that candidate accepts campaign contributions from people who own commercial property in Winter Park.

Did you know that many contributors to David Strong’s campaign own commercial property in Winter Park? Did you know that David Strong is a Winter Park commercial property owner? It is interesting to note that both Margie Bridges and Beth Dillaha have the same base of financial supporters as David Strong, including these same property owners.

Look up these names: Strong, Colado, Murrah, Frazee, and Rosenfelt on sunbiz.org, ocpafl.org, and on the Winter Park campaign finance reports. You will find they all own significant commercial real estate in Winter Park and they all sent in campaign checks to David Strong, Margie Bridges, and Beth Dillaha. Similarly, you will find the names of several other Winter Park commercial property owners on the campaign finance reports of their opponents, names such as Battaglia, Bellows, and Holler.

Hmmmm. How could it be that one candidate is under the influence of commercial property owners but their opponent is not, even though both candidates accept campaign contributions from commercial property owners? Could we have an hypocrisy and ethics problem here?

I find this all interesting because I ran for City Commission last year and raised over $40,000 without ever being approached to vote a certain way or give anyone preferential treatment. I stated my views and invited all those who supported those views to help me in any way they could. This is exactly what really happens folks, for all candidates. Oh, and I did not accept any money from any companies. Yet, the day before the election a letter was delivered city-wide from someone named Lee Maynard denouncing the campaign contributions I had received from some people who own commercial property in Winter Park and implying I was somehow influenced by these contributions. Is it a surprise to you that Mr. Maynard is a Director of One Winter Park?

Well, I am afraid the gas can full of hypocrisy and slander is empty. Please don’t allow yourself to smell the remaining fumes.


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