Local candidates differ on PAC money
by Anna Oakes
The creator of the Citizens for Change political action committee said last week that the PAC would likely make financial contributions to the campaigns of four candidates in the Nov. 5 Boone election -- but not every candidate would accept those dollars.
As previously reported by Watauga Democrat, Jeff Templeton filed documents Oct. 9 to revive the Citizens for Change PAC, which spent $42,772 in printing and advertising during the 2007 Boone municipal election. Templeton cited continued opposition to the town of Boone's regulations, including its steep slope and viewshed ordinances and the recently enacted multi-family housing standards.
Templeton said Citizens for Change would likely make financial contributions to the campaigns of council candidates James Milner, Mark Templeton and Matthew Long and mayoral candidate John Mena, but that "there will be no official endorsements per se." Mark Templeton is Jeff Templeton's brother.
Watauga Democrat emailed the four candidates last week to ask if their campaigns would accept Citizens for Change dollars if offered.
Mena responded that he would not accept money from the PAC.
"I didn't get into this race to be influenced by any political group on either side," he said in an email. "I feel that the average residents of our town are being misled by these groups. They would prefer to divide us then unite us. Both the left and right have valid points and concerns. I feel that with the right leadership we can come to amicable solutions."
As of Friday, Milner said he had not been contacted by Citizens for Change or any of its representatives.
"I would accept a contribution from any citizen or group that felt that I could make a positive impact on our town by using my leadership and expertise by serving on town council," Milner said.
Templeton and Long did not respond to repeated emails asking whether they would accept Citizens for Change contributions.