Principle and Discernment in Benevolence
As difficult as it is, we need to get serious here for a minute.
I have willfully put forth my time and resources to bear the mantle of serving you, the people of Morgan and Limestone, as your legislative representative for the Alabama House of Representatives.
I take this charge seriously, and as such, understand that the role will require me to bare more of myself, my convictions, and my constitution, and validate those to you, the voter, by my actions.
My political adversaries will likewise attempt to disparage and denigrate by similar mechanism, and as I alluded in my previous blog, have chosen to engage what is known politically as a "whisper campaign" against me...a subtle, suggestive approach to criticize a campaign without coming right out and openly attacking, but by simply spreading rumor or gossip to affect perception. These are often hard to detect, and to date, I am aware of two. One was a malicious homemade flyer with no identifiable source, gleaning pictures from social media taken primarily at our semi-annual concert events at Fredricks Outdoor, where I absolutely let my hair down with the people within the community who come out for nothing but a great time, with a snide statement suggesting we need "sober leadership". To that end, I make no apology, and will continue what has now become tradition without concern for this particular type of attack.
The second attack I take more seriously. It has been brought to my attention by enough distinct and separate sources that a directed effort to suggest a lack of philanthropy or concern for fellow man pervades my being, and whereas I generally find talking about such things to be in bad form, I have no choice but to at least offer some perspective to refute this attack.
There are three sources of my philanthropy. My personal resources, my corporate resources, and a trust fund founded from the remaining assets of a local church destroyed by fire some years ago.
My personal resources and associated philanthropy are simply that — personal — and are not something we are going to discuss here, as neither the attack against me, or details of that benevolence are public knowledge, and should remain that way.
My corporate resources and associated philanthropy are the primary target of this attack, perhaps originating from a lack of understanding of my structure, or in a broader context, the nature of a free market economy. As any small business owner will tell you, there is a constant barrage of individuals, organizations, and clubs that routinely target us for "charity", or "advertising". Often, the charities are groups with excessive internal gains, or are outright fraudulent and designed to pique a desire to assist a public service, but are actually parasitic in nature, to the local sports venues, menus, pamphlets, printed t-shirts for various and sundry causes offering "advertising" with no concept of what advertising return on investment is, or any understanding of advertising Co-op guidelines and the associated limitations to prudent and effective advertising expenditure.
It is in this vein that fuel for a targeted campaign against my philanthropy manifests. If you expect me to compromise the health of my business by allowing unmitigated, irresponsible expenditure, whether it be a 50 cent chocolate bar that costs $5, or an ad on some 5K t-shirt for some cause dear to you, and I told you no...you need to accept that your approach may have been misguided, and my response was in good form for both the efficiency of a corporate entity, and for the consumers who rely on the prowess of a business to provide quality products and services at competitive prices. Perhaps, you need to re-evaluate your approach...
Now, in the realm of trust fund resource management, the methodology is a bit different. First, it is, by design, intended to offer up assistance to 501(c)(3)s and 501(c)(4)s that are relevant to the community, and value added. We have done some great work in this regard, from the SNAP Playground in Hartselle (providing special needs children a place to play), to the Child Advocacy Center in Decatur (assisting sexually abused children), to the Military Warrior's Support Foundation (providing fiscal education and free homes to wounded veterans), the HCC Trust Fund holds its responsibility to seek out and support effective 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations in high regard.
Which leads us to the real meat and potatoes. I am seeking the opportunity to serve in the legislative body that is responsible for managing the resources of YOU, the voter, and taxpayer. It is incumbent on you to choose your representative wisely, to assure that your monies are allocated with discernment, efficiency, and accountability.
To that end, know this. I will exercise the same judgement and discernment as a legislator handling your money, as I currently do as a business owner managing my own. State resources are limited, and are the property of the people. The legislators you elect are charged with managing those resources, and I submit that I am by far the most qualified in the HD4 race to do just that.
Please consider this, and vote for Tom Fredricks on February 27!