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This blog comes from a long-time, active Chamber member. I approve this message:
“There’s a political lesson for all of us in the needless maelstrom that has engulfed the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce: You get fleas or worse when you lie down with dogs and dog killers, and you can destroy your credibility in a flash of bad judgment and sloppy PR.
“The chamber has inexplicably invited convicted felon, dog abuser and pro football player Michael Vick to speak to an event honoring ‘champions.’ The chamber’s defense is that his story is about human failure and redemption … and the chamber apparently believes that going to prison for hurting and killing dogs is a life lesson for young people.
“Vick has retired from hooking up dogs to car batteries and returned to the comfortable life of multi-millionaire football player and after-dinner entertainer, so the chamber is counting on him to sell some tickets.
“But business leaders whose names adorn the chamber’s membership list count on the organization to advance their political agenda and to be taken seriously. Their tolerance – and silence – around this misguided speaking invitation is contributing to the erosion of the organization’s political credibility and effectiveness.”
Posted in: General, Raleigh
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# dap916
Friday, February 07, 2014 1:04 PM
Who doesn't dislike Michael Vick? I mean, he was like the very worst person of all time when you talk about how people treat animals, y'know? So, no way he "learned his lesson" by being sent to prison. I mean, incarceration is about punishment and not rehabilitation. That's what democrats believe, right? Of course democrats do. Look at Gary Pearce's post here. Michael Vick went to prison for his abuse of dogs and then got out and went back to being accepted back into the NFL and remade his life and there have been no other incidents by him abusing animals....but Gary obviously feels that because he's been chosen to speak at an event where capitalists belong, it just isn't right.

Kind of makes you wonder how Mr. Pearce here would feel if the very accepting, forgiving, inclusive democrats would have asked Vick to speak at a Moral Monday event or maybe a rally for Clay Aiken, huh?

What a crock. Gary....did you really think I'd pass this by? C'mon. You're so disingenuous. Give us a break.
# Jen
Friday, February 07, 2014 4:17 PM
Kudos to Gary for speaking out! More commerce members and their sponsors of this event need to speak out! This is giving Raleigh Chamber of commerce and it's members a very bad reputation and good for him for voicing his disgust in it. This is an evening of champions, Michael Vick is not worthy of speaking at such an event. They asked Vick because of his connection to French|West|Vaughn. Money exchanged hands and Vick tries to come out looking like a hero for "taking less than he normally does" for this event, give me a break! Wake up folks, Michael Vick is a free agent in search of a new team looking to polish his image at the expense of an event that is supposed to be focusing on our local athletes! For shame! This may be a political forum, but this is not about politics. It's about a man that used to kill and torture his dogs because they didn't "perform" well enough. And that man was convicted and did time. Now he is being asked to speak at an evening of champions? Why? Oh yeah, for money! That is what this about period and it is a disgrace to the city of Raleigh and to these local athletes that this is supposed to be about. He needs to stick to repaying his debt to those animals by volunteering his time and money to the SPCA and Humane Society, not getting to paid to talk about how great he is now!
# kvegasgrl
Friday, February 07, 2014 7:19 PM
Michael Vick is no hero, and no motivational force, unless maybe he could speak to death row inmates. Certainly not a champion, not a person to hold up as an example of excellence. Heck, he's only a middle of the road football player. So, for the real champions, the honorees for the event, I feel sorry for them having to share the stage by the most disliked athlete in the NFL. (Forbes). The main reason Vick is speaking? Most likely because his Raleigh based PR firm, paid well to remediate his image, is connected with the COC. He and his family are notorious for their crimes, and not only that, you NEVER get a pass when you harm the innocent, and he is on film killing innocent animals who would not be violent enough to suit him. Truly exhibits the behaviors of a sociopath.
# Choo
Sunday, February 09, 2014 11:22 AM
I don't think the Chamber of Commerce is any great example of capitalism. It is more a croney capitalist organization. Michael Vick probably fits there just fine. Vick should meet their standards just fine. As for fleas, I think the infestation was already there.

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