Reviewing campaign donations gives an insight in who a politician might be beholden to if they are elected. A few days ago I was looking at donations given to Emily Bonilla who is the District 5 Commissioner and came across these two entries in the snapshot below. This shows a donation of the maximum allowed by law ($1,000) by Chris Dorworth and I assume his wife giving $2,000 to Emily Bonilla’s campaign.
The question is, Why is Mr. Dorworth giving this amount of money to Emily Bonilla? In the past, other politicians have been crucified for taking money from developers especially Mr. Dorworth.
I first heard about Mr. Dorworth in 2018 when he tried to have River Cross passed in Seminole County (read about River Cross here:http://fixmyroadway.com/?p=3591). Then when that failed he tried to get a bill passed (read about HB-883 here: http://fixmyroadway.com/?p=3676) which would have secured River Cross by allowing urban densities within 3 miles of a state university. This bill would have allowed River Cross to be built without the consent of Seminole County. Mr. Dorworth next move was to sue Seminole County in federal court claiming Seminole County is violating the Fair Housing Act. That lawsuit is still on-going. He also came up with the idea of swapping his land with the Econ Wilderness Area that most everyone around this area knows about (read about it here: http://fixmyroadway.com/?p=5459). And now he has SB-410 that was passed and is waiting to be transmitted to the governor for signature (read about SB-410 here: http://fixmyroadway.com/?p=5556). And now along with SB-410, he want the Seminole County BCC to consider removing River Cross from the rural area. He has been after this for a long time.
It is unsettling to know that Emily Bonilla took Mr. Dorworth’s money. There is no refund and the money was given on 1/22/2020 so she decided to accept it. Why would Mr. Dorworth give money to Emily Bonilla. All we can do is guess so here is a theory.
Mr. Dorworth is trying everything in his power to develop the River Cross land that is on the other side of the Econ in the rural area. But what he needs most if he ever gets the go ahead to develop the land is a bridge. Without a bridge, he is landlocked. This the same issue that Sustany ran into when they wanted to develop the Rybolt land. The bridge must be built if River Cross has any chance to ever be developed.
Rybolt has been trying to get a bridge built for a very long time as shown in the first picture. Rybolt envisioned a little city on the other side of the River crossing over the Econ at McCulloch.
Sustany envisioned the same with their bridge and development on the Rybolt land and almost got it passed. The second picture shows a road through their property and a bridge.
Now Dorworth wants to develop River Cross and needs the same bridge over the Econ at McCulloch shown in the last picture. If that bridge gets built, Sustany will surely follow.
But the bridge is on the dividing line between Orange and Seminole Counties and both counties must agree to build the bridge. The person Dorworth must convince to allow the bridge is the Orange County County Commissioners and it starts with Emily Bonilla. Mr. Dorworth must convince Emily Bonilla to support the bridge. What better way to start than to make a campaign contribution.
All this is just an opinion based on observation and only Emily Bonilla knows why she accepted money from Mr. Dorworth but I remember how Commissioner Edwards was pummeled and accused by many of being in the developer’s pocket and some even went as far as to call him corrupt because he took campaign contributions from developers.
Yes, the list of campaign donors do tell a story and certainly show who supports a candidate.