Chamber of Commerce Denies Camera Access!!

The following says it all.  I’m extremely disappointed and let down.

 —–Original Message—–
From: Mike Chandler
Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2008 9:43 AM
To: Stacey Pistole
Subject: Candidates Forum

Stacey,

I operate a website dedicated to broadcasting issues and news about the local Simi Valley election.  I make use of online articles and online video to get the word out about who’s running and why.  I am also a Chamber member.

I have already registered for two participants for the Candidates forum on the 15th.  Could I get the Chamber’s permission to bring my video camera to record the forum?  I would give both the Chamber and Acorn full credit in the final production.  Further, I’d like your permission to conduct on camera interviews with members of the audience both before and after the event.

I have a very small footprint and can assure you that I’d go relatively unnoticed.  Please do let me know if this is acceptable.  It’s critical for my project.

Best regards,

Mike Chandler
RM Web Effects, LLC
http://www.rmwebeffects.com/

 Her reply:

——Original Message——
From: Stacey Pistole
To: Mike Chandler
Sent: Oct 8, 2008 10:11 AM
Subject: RE: Candidates Forum

Hi Mike
I just talked to Leigh Nixon our CEO.  We are already contracted with iBreakthrough – Kevin Green.  He will be video taping and it will be used to stream on Chamber website.  I am not sure if you can use any of his footage for your project.  You can contact him at (805) 520-3378.

Thanks,
Stacey
Stacey Pistole
Programs Manager
Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce
www.simivalleychamber.org
spistole@simichamber.org
Main 805-526-3900
Direct 805-520-8223
Fax 805-526-6234

To which I replied…

—–Original Message—–
From: Mike Chandler
Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2008 1:35 PM
To: Stacey Pistole
Subject: Re: Candidates Forum

Hi Stacey,

No, I can’t really use any of his footage.  I’m not asking you to contract with me.  I just want to video tape the presentation.

Regards,

Mike Chandler

And received the final answer below…

Mike
The Chamber is only allowing one camera in the room.  I am sorry. 

Thanks,
Stacey
Stacey Pistole
Programs Manager
Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce
www.simivalleychamber.org
spistole@simichamber.org
Main 805-526-3900
Direct 805-520-8223
Fax 805-526-6234

With all due respect, this really stinks to high heaven in my opinion.

Out of Reach Candidate Forum

If you’re as fascinated with local issues as I am, you definitely want an opportunity to hear what the local candidates have to say before the November 4th election.  If you’re NOT a member of the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce, then DON’T COUNT ON getting that opportunity.  What follows is from the member e-newsletter:

The Candidates Forum will be held at the Lost Canyons Golf Club at 11:30 a.m.; admission is $20 for Chamber members and $50 for non-members. At this writing, thirteen candidates have accepted the invitation to participate in the Forum and they are:  Audra Strickland, Carole Lutness, Cameron Smyth, Debbie Sandland, Brad Jashinsky, Ray Cruz, Rob Collins, Paul Miller, Bruce Witkin, Barbra Williamson, Steve Sojka, Daniel Jenkins, and Richard Carter.  John Loesing, managing editor of the Simi Valley Acorn will serve as moderator for the event; and voters may submit questions for the candidates in advance to the Acorn at simi@theacorn.com.

Pay careful attention to times and entry fees… No doubt, this is NOT a forum meant for the average, working class Simi Valley voter.  If any non-Chamber members plan to take the afternoon off of work and pay $50 to attend a moderated forum, I’d very much like to hear about it.