In response to our recent article "Crypto-Carpetbaggers" about the activity of quasi-partisan political groups in this year's City Commission races, the chairman of one of those groups, Chris Beckering of the Mavericks, had a few things to say:
 He is no longer affiliated with any of his father's ventures and is neither a spokesman or a representative for any of them, the Boardwalk and American Seating Park in particular. His father is Thomas Beckering, one of the Toxic Towers developers who decamped to Florida after completing a sentence for assaulting a waitress at the Boardwalk's watering hole. (I take this to mean that the elder Beckering's business interests do not play a role in which candidate the Mavericks back.)
 The Mavericks have "fairly conservative" "core values" but that doesn't automatically put them in the Republican camp. They will support a candidate they find agreeable without regard to partisan affiliation. In short, the Mavericks are not crypto-Republicans. (That's fine, but do the Mavericks' core values include a policy of open government so that the protection his father's companies are presently getting from the City Attorney's Office -- see the article below -- will not bear the glare of public scrutiny?)
 The Mavericks are, however, mostly carpetbaggers in G.R. politics -- i.e., suburbanites. However, they do have the following interests the City: Some of the Mavericks' boardmembers actually do live in the City and most are taxpayers by virtue of working in the City; many of the boardmembers do charitable works in the City; others are invested in development projects within the City; and all recognize the importance of the Grand Rapids urban core to the rest of the region. (Whether or not there is a distinction to be made between Maverick boardmembers and Maverick members in general is not clear.)
 The Mavericks do not have a "plan" to back Dan Tietema as a candidate in the Third Ward. Beckering states that he thinks Tietema would make a good city commissioner, but he is also impressed with incumbent Jim White's performance in office. (Fair enough, although Beckering was not specific about how White has impressed him.)
We hope that gives you a better understanding of what the Mavericks are about. If Beckering would like to further clarify the record, he is welcome to do so. Also, we will extend the same courtesy to the "crypto-Democrat" group in this year's campaign, the Progressive Women's Alliance of West Michigan.