Gilbert Chamber of Commerce’s Partisan Screed.

Is Kathy Tilque a partisan hack or the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce president? A reader sent me the June 2011 Gilbert Chamber newsletter. Before she congratulated the new Council members Eddie Cook, Ben Cooper, Victor Petersen, and Jordan Ray, Kathy Tilque, Chamber president, indulges in a classless, partisan diatribe.

The irony of the Gilbert Chamber is that its actions support bigger government, while its words support business.

Ms. Tilque insinuates that some of the truly pro-business candidates (the ones the Chamber did NOT endorse) might have been behind all of those anonymous anti-incumbent signs.

States the huffy Ms. Tilque: “I’ve never in my 20 years in Gilbert experienced such anonymously deceptive campaigning…..In the past, candidates have proudly displayed their name as the mastermind behind such tactics. It is truly disappointing that society has provided affirmation for this type of anonymous bad behavior simply through their silence.

“So, who is responsible for the use of all those ‘witty and clever’ hand-written signs? They obviously don’t take enough pride in their beliefs to sign their name or take credit for such antics. Is this the new, socially acceptable way to grow a community through hate and half-truths? I sure hope not. I received several calls from businesses and residents visiting Gilbert who were embarrassed for our community when they saw these signs. Wow, that’s a great way to entice new businesses to town.”

Ahem…

Here are the facts, Ms. T:

Eddie Cook, Victor Petersen, and Jordan Ray played NO role in the anti-incumbent campaigns. In fact, they behaved like crawdads running from a pot of boiling water in their efforts to AVOID having anything to do with the anti-incumbent campaigns.

There was no “mastermind.” What you witnessed, probably for the first time in your life, was the grassroots speaking out through their anonymous signs. Remember all those ordinary residents and business owners who spoke out against the tax increases beginning in mid-2009 all the way through the defeat of Prop 406? The everyday folks taking 30-50% salary losses that the incumbent Council Members ignored? Those are the people who deserve your venom, Kathy!

So, the "dim-witted" bumble into Gilbert and see those homemade and other anonymous signs and are “embarrassed” for Gilbert? I suppose that witnessing freedom of speech can be upsetting when you’re not used to it. Did you encourage them to keep on moving until they got to Mesa or better yet, Phoenix, where the residents allow their Council to pass tax increases and raise City worker salaries without so much as a peep?

Deceptive? Hate? Half-Truths? Illegal?

Here’s a quiz (answers provided for those educated in the American public school system):

Did Abbott, Crozier, and Presmyk vote to bring in the Unions? YES
Did Abbott, Crozier, and Presmyk repeatedly try to raise taxes? YES
Did Abbott, Crozier, and Presmyk approve the Zinke Land deal? YES
Is the Zinke Land deal currently being investigated by the Attorney General’s Office? YES

Is Bobbi Smith, the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce’s president of Gilbert Leadership, “likely facing misdemeanor charges for committing damage to political signs”? YES

Political anonymity is an American tradition that began during Colonial times. It is not the “new, socially acceptable way.” THE FEDERALIST PAPERS is the primary source of interpretation of the Constitution of the United States of America. Those essays were first published in newspapers under the pseudonym Publius. The “witty and clever” gentlemen who wrote anonymously, who “obviously didn’t take enough pride in their beliefs to sign their name or take credit for such antics” were Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay.

Our anonymous, politically involved citizens are in fine company, I’d say.

By the way, the real Champion of Small Business in Gilbert is the Gilbert Small Business Alliance whose members correctly identified the Council winners: Eddie Cook, Ben Cooper, Victor Petersen, and Jordan Ray. The GSBA members, in their infinite understanding of self-preservation, also recommended a NO vote on Prop 406.

In contrast, the Champion of Bigger Government, the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce, voted for higher taxes when they endorsed Prop 406. They also endorsed candidates who wasted millions in taxpayer dollars on the Zinke deal. They endorsed candidates who brought in the Unions.

Wow, Gilbert Chamber! That's a great way to entice new businesses to Town.