The Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce’s leadership has denied involvement with a local business-aligned media site that has emerged ahead of the 2022 election cycle.
4TLH, which is run by local influential private and public sector figures with Chamber connections, is angling itself as pro-private sector and opposed to the “left wing extremists” in Leon County. Chamber President Sue Dick sent an email to Chamber members Tuesday afternoon denying Chamber involvement with 4TLH in response to a Florida Politics story about the website last week.
During their annual conference last year, Chamber leadership said they would “cultivate candidates” and “support our allies with resources to drive our community” forward after they publicly sparred with Tallahassee City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow after he boycotted the conference, according to reporting by the Tallahassee Democrat. Matlow said in a statement to Florida Politics that he believes the Chamber had a role in forming 4TLH.
However, Dick told Chamber members in her email that the Chamber does not have a relationship with 4TLH, and its news and announcements will be delivered through its eNews updates.
“4TLH is not a Chamber organization, was not formed by the Chamber nor is the Chamber providing it any financial support. The 4TLH organization did not come before Chamber leadership or the Chamber board with a presentation or request. All of these statements are also true of the other owned media organizations that operate in this space,” Dick wrote.
Former Leon County Commissioner and one of 4TLH’s founders Bryan Desloge also told Florida Politics that the Chamber has no relationship with or role in forming 4TLH.
Most of 4TLH’s leadership and early social media followers are connected to the Chamber. Desloge was chair of the Chamber from 2005 to 2006. Lee Hinkle, the other founder of the site, was appointed to Chamber committees as recently as 2018.
George Grimsley, the owner of Grimsley and Company CPAs, is listed as 4TLH’s treasurer in business filings. Andrew Gay, an accountant with the firm, is on the Chamber’s Board of Directors.
Ajax Building Company and Edward Murray, president and director of NAI Talcor, were both two of the nine early followers of 4TLH’s Twitter account on April 29. Talcor and Ajax are both members of the Chamber with executives in Chamber leadership roles.
Florida Politics reached out to Dick’s office to request an interview about her statement and whether anyone in Chamber leadership knew about 4TLH before it was announced publicly. This story will be updated if she responds.