If you want to know the difference between Carol Whitmore and Terri Wonder in the Manatee County Commission race, follow the money. In the past year:
More than half the money Carol Whitmore raised came from business and development interests, through companies or individuals. Most of that came from the county's largest developers, landholders with property in line for development, real estate investors and road builders -- literally the people who would pave us over.
More than 90 percent of Terri Wonder's contributors were ordinary people who just want their county back. She got no money from big developers, not surprising since they have little tolerance for people who question their ideas.
In 2012, big developers ran off the most notable independent thinker on the commission, Joe McClash, and replaced him with a Benderson Development employee, Betsy Benac.
Now they are scared to death of Terri Wonder because she too knows the difference between economic development and developer boondoggles, and she means it when she says a good economy depends on a clean environment. She led the opposition to Long Bar Pointe, a development that would have devastated the last intact natural ecosystem on Sarasota Bay.
Carol Whitmore may not think special interests can count on her, but clearly special interests think they can.
If you want Manatee County run in the public interest, not for special interests, vote for Terri Wonder.
See the money for yourself. Go to www.votemanatee.com. Click on Candidate Information, then Search Financial Records and do the math. Contributions reported from Oct. 1, 2013-Oct. 14, 2014.