County commission candidate Jason Schneider has given his employer, Accelerate UP, a 30-day notice of job termination. He claimed that his employers gave him an ultimatum on either keeping his job or pulling out of the race.

Schneider posted this announcement on his Facebook page:

“On the afternoon of July 11, 2014, I delivered my 30-day notice to terminate my employment contract with Accelerate UP.

Upon announcing my candidacy for Marquette County Commission, it was made clear to me by Accelerate UP’s board of directors that our agreement was no longer in the mutual interests of both parties. At a board meeting following the announcement of my candidacy I was given an ultimatum to continue my contract or continue in my campaign for county commission.

I applaud the efforts of the Lundin Foundation and Eagle Mine to find a grass roots approach to economic development by funding projects like this. In taking the position as an independent contractor with a non profit organization, I had hoped that there would be a clear separation between Accelerate UP and Lundin. However, at that same board board meeting I was told that “since the money comes from [Lundin] they have the right to say what they want” and “the guy with the gold makes the rules”. Due to the treatment that I received and the close connection between Lundin and Accelerate UP, our relationship has become untenable.

It is not easy to walk away from a well paying contract, but it is necessary in order to maintain my own integrity regarding my work and my candidacy. Over the past 15 months as an Enterprise Facilitator for Marquette County I have worked with 148 clients and have been involved with 7 business-openings accounting for 23 new jobs and $639,000 of investment in our county. As someone that cares deeply about my relationship with local entrepreneurs and the direction of Marquette County, I will continue to make myself available to any anyone that would like assistance with their business. I will also continue my campaign for Marquette County Commission.”

Phone calls to Schneider and Accelerate UP have not been answered at this time.

According to its own website, Accelerate UP is a program that will help the area establish and create businesses in the area not dependent on mines. Accelerate UP is funded by the Lundin Foundation. Eagle Mine is a part of the Lundin Mining group.

Schneider’s campaign so far has been littered with extra issues so far. A racist and antisemitic blogger with Michigan ties that actively calls for the assassination of all Jews targeted Schneider earlier this election cycle, claiming Schneider was Jewish. There are also rumors that a secret alliance of Marquette city residents are trying to take over the county commission seats in districts 1, 3 and 6. These rumors have been heard in Big Bay and Marquette Township, the latter of which is in Schneider’s district.

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