Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2007 | I want to make a few brief comments about the way my attempt to raise funds for Supervisor Pam Slater-Price’s re-election campaign was characterized in your recent article.

Some who read Rob Davis‘ article might get the impression that I was somehow coerced, cajoled or even shamed by Ann Campbell into helping raise funds for Slater-Price — under the threat that, if I didn’t, it might put further County funding for Malashock Dance at risk. Nothing could be further from the truth!!!

I have known Ann for 15 years and have worked on five projects with San Diego Opera. We are colleagues on the friendliest of terms and there was certainly no arm twisting in our conversation about Pam’s re-election. She was merely the one who gave me a call to action in the form of a very proper recommendation of how I might help strengthen the campaign position of a true champion of the arts in San Diego.

Ann is as passionate about the arts as I am and, given the relatively few elected officials who share that particular passion, it makes Pam Slater-Price and standout roll model for the impact politicians can have on the cultural health of a community. Ann did not have to sell me on what I already knew. Our conversation (in which she was expressly clear that she was calling as an individual citizen and not as a San Diego Opera representative) was to inform me of Pam’s campaign status; explain campaign donation rules; and to ask me to think about a personal goal I might challenge myself with to aid that campaign effort.

Ann knows her stuff and clearly knows to play fair in the political funding arena. I take some blame for speaking offhandedly (and inaccurately) about my conversation with her. She did not make a point of bringing up our past support from the County. And she certainly did not portray a relationship between campaign funds and subsequent County grants.

Ultimately, why wouldn’t I want to help someone who has helped me (and so many other artists) serve this community? Enlightened self-interest is not a new concept. But if you think my willingness to support the Slater-Price campaign was because of a veiled threat by Campbell, Jean Freelove or Slater-Price herself, you don’t know me; you don’t know Ann and you certainly don’t know Pam Slater-Price. We are all trying to enhance the community we call home.

Thanks for hearing me out.

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