Illegal Aliens, Non-Citizens Caught Voting In Florida In Vast Numbers

There is growing concern that the 2014 mid-term elections will be impacted by votes from illegal aliens. Could control of the U.S.Senate in 2014 be decided by illegal votes cast by non-citizens? That is the question posed by political scientists Jesse Richman and David Earnest, whose answer is in a forthcoming article in the journal Electoral Studies: “Most non-citizens do not register, let alone vote. But enough do that their participation can change the outcome of close races.” And, the researchers note, 80% of non-citizen votes go to Democrats.

Efforts to keep only properly registered and legal voters on the rolls have become an issue once again in the 2014 mid-term elections. 

In October 2012 True The Vote found duel voter registration in Florida, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island. In August 2013 we reported on cases of alleged voter fraud in Florida and Maryland. In April 2014 Gregg Prentice reported on  finding 3,000 Florida voter registrations that list a UPS Store as a residence.

In March 2014 Top Right News posted the below video of an NBC News Channel 2-Fort Meyers investigative report of illegal aliens voting in Florida:

Breitbart’s Joel B. Pollak reports:

The estimated percentage of non-citizens voting is small, especially in midterms: “Our best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010,” Richman and Earnest wrote in the Washington Post. Yet that small percentage “was large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections.”

The Democrat Party, in partnership with the Florida League of Women’s Voters, the U.S. Department of Justice and ACLU, have made it their mission to thwart efforts by the sunshine states’ sixty-seven Supervisors of Elections from updating their voter rolls to eliminate those who are ineligible to vote.

Voter fraud is a cancer that appears every election cycle. For every illegal vote cast, a legal vote is negated. It is a felony in the sunshine state to register and vote illegally. The problem is most prosecutors do not pursue these cases.

When you can get away with murder you are likely to do it again.

Emailgate: United Teachers of Dade properly uses email system. Why not Sarasota?

We have written about the Sarasota Classified/Teachers Association (SC/TA) using the Sarasota County School District email system for political purposes. We have pointed out that this practice violates district policy and is prohibited by Florida Statutes. This practice is considered a First Degree Misdemeanor.

We are now reporting that this practice is being used by a teachers unions in another school district. What is different? The email is from the United Teachers of Dade (UTD) private email system and was sent to the private email of the receiver. There is no provision in the UTD contract for use of the Miami-Dade School District email system.

We have suggested that the Sarasota County School Board consider taking the SC/TA off of its system. UTD is doing it right by having their own email system.

Page 186 of the UTD contract states:

Section 23. Electronic Mail Hook-up for UTD

In pursuit of the M-DCPS/UTD goal of professionalization of teaching/education and increasing collaboration, as well as consensus management, the parties have agreed that electronic mail equipment and privileges will be provided to UTD. This equipment is on loan to UTD for an indefinite period of time. UTD will assume all phone line costs associated with its use.

Trevor Colestock, a librarian in the Miami-Dade School District, received the following unsolicited email from the UTD:

From: “Fedrick Ingram” <FedrickIngram@utd.org>
To: twcolestock@comcast.net
Sent: Sunday, October 26, 2014 2:39:19 PM
Subject: UTD Recommends Charlie Crist for Governor

Dear TREVOR, (220610)

Public education in Florida needs new leadership. We need a Governor that will improve funding for public education, not cut $1.3 Billion. We need a Governor that supports public schools, rather than a Governor that diverts all possible public resources into the hands of for-profit “education reformers.” We also need a Governor that will reevaluate the state’s testing scheme. I could go on, but you are already aware of the problems we face.

I am writing today to encourage you to Vote and Vote Early. This election is all about turnout. If we stay home, we will be part of the problem. You can get information about absentee or early voting at: http://www.utd.org/information/upcoming-election-election. Once you have voted, remain a GOTV advocate. We need you to encourage friends and family to “Get Out The Vote” as well.

I have included some links below to the Herald endorsement of Charlie Crist, the Sun-Sentinel endorsement of Charlie Crist and a couple youtube videos of Mike Fasano’s endorsement of Charlie Crist. I included Mike Fasano because he is a longtime Republican lawmaker that is not only very supportive of Charlie Crist for Governor, but blasts the false allegations and attacks that have been used in this election cycle. Make no mistake, the tone of the current Governor’s campaign is designed specifically to reduce voter turnout and further radicalize/polarize politics in Florida.

Take a Stand, Vote!

In Unity,

Fedrick Ingram

Note that the email is sent from the UTD.org email server to Mr. Colestock’s private email system. While the email was unsolicited, it does not appear to violate Florida State Statutes.

Perhaps Sarasota’s elected school board members should take note of this and use this as an example. Even the “perception” of using publicly funded resources for political purposes violates district policy and raises the issue of violating state the laws and fairness. If one person can use the district email system to endorse one candidate why not allow others use it to endorse the opposing candidate?

The Sarasota County School Board has opened a Pandora’s box. Perhaps it is time to close the lid before more damage is done?

Dad, the Dems, the Prospector and His Old Friend

My 86 year old preacher dad told me a great story. Surprisingly, it was a new parable rather than one dad forgot that he told me numerous times before.

Dad said a prospector worked his land digging for gold. Every Saturday, the prospector would take his gold/gold dust to town and cash it in. One Saturday, he bumped into an old high school friend who had fallen upon hard financial times. The prospector graciously invited his friend to bring a shovel and dig for gold on his land. Generously, the prospector told his friend that he could keep all the gold he uncovered.

Come Monday morning, the prospector’s friend was a no show. The friend did not show up the entire week. Cashing in his gold on Saturday, the prospector saw and approached his friend, “What happened? I looked for you all week.” The friend replied, “Do you know how much a shovel costs these days?”

Dad burst into laughter at the trifling attitude of the prospector’s old friend. I laughed with dad while seizing the opportunity to tell my lifelong Democrat father that the same trifling attitude is promoted by the Democrats disguised as compassion and is embraced by millions.

The prospector’s behavior is Republican, offering his impoverished friend (the poor), not a handout, but a golden opportunity. He offered his friend the dignity, self-respect and joy of earning his own living with endless possibilities. Remember, the old friend was told he could keep all the gold he uncovered.

The old friend’s behavior is that of an Obama, Democrat, Hollywood and MSM (mainstream media) indoctrinated entitlement junkie. How dare his rich prospector friend expect him to acquire a shovel. The prospector is obviously white, out-of-touch, racist, sexist and homophobic. This prospector seems like the kind of jerk who thinks it reasonable to expect all Americans to show an ID to participate in the American privilege of voting.

Upon further investigation, the filthy rich SOB prospector is probably Republican, Conservative and Christian. No wonder the insensitive selfish hate-filled jerk prospector expected his old high school friend to get a shovel without government assistance and show up for work.

Folks, the Democratic Party would place the prospector’s old friend who lacked the initiative to acquire a shovel on a level just below sainthood, considering him to be the victim/hero in the story. This is the way Democrats view minorities and the poor; expecting very little, refusing to hold them accountable for any of their socioeconomic woes.

As a mater of fact, the less initiative and self-reliance the better. Democrats simply keep the barely-enough-to-get-by handouts coming, gin up class envy and hatred for the prospector; and promise to punish him. Their sheep who are in sync with their master’s voice continue to vote Democrat.

If you dare suggest that people stop defrauding the government with false food stamp and disability claims; that blacks stop dropping out of school, shooting each other in epidemic numbers and stop having babies out of wedlock, the Democrats will vilify you. Their response is “Easy for you to say” you racist insensitive jerk.

The Democratic Party advocates lowering the bar culturally, morally and in every area of American life. The Left/Democrats deem any suggestion of holding people to a standard as mean-spirited, racist, judgmental and dare I say, Christian.

Back to the prospector — the Left would argue that because the dirt road to the town where the prospector cashed in his gold was etched by wagon-wheels, horses and the foot steps of many, the mayor should confiscate the prospector’s gold and share it with everyone.

Remember when Obama scolded small business owners for taking pride in building their businesses? Obama said, “You didn’t build that.” Obama claimed that government built roads providing infrastructure for business to operate, thus making it only fair that he redistribute wealth. Deadbeats like the prospector’s old friend stood up and cheered, “Obama!..Obama!”

Clearly, the prospector, the Republican, is the good guy in my dad’s story. He showed real compassion for his old high school friend by offering him a “hand up” rather than a “handout”.

By addicting as many Americans as possible to government assistance, Democrats increase their political power. Their tried and true tactic is to brand the prospector as the devil, kick him in the teeth and encourage their ill-informed duped base to do the same. Insidiously evil.

For this reason, I am a black conservative/Republican.

FL, GA Education Ethics Differ on Sexual Harassment?

Based on primary source documents and information from the Education Practices Commission of the State of Florida and the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, the penalty for a specific sexual harassment case seems to vary greatly with a wide range of extremes between the two states.

Former Miami-Dade County Public Schools assistant principal at Miami Central Senior High School and current principal/director with Clayton County (GA) County Public Schools Melvin K. Blocker received two vastly different outcomes stemming from a case of alleged sexual harassment from the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 school years.

According to the Florida EPC’s Final Order:

During the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 school years, Respondent served as a principal of a public school in the state of Georgia. During this time, Respondent sexually harassed a teacher. Respondent’s conduct included, but was not limited to, stating that the teacher “was the kind of girl [he] and [his] friends would have run a train on in college,” or words to that effect.

Respondent retaliated against the teacher for seeking conciliation of her grievances. Respondent stated, “teachers who went to [Georgia Association of Educators] about issues no longer work at [Respondent’s] school,” or words to that effect.

As a result of this conduct, Case PSC 09-7-11 was opened, and the Georgia Professional Standards Commission found probable cause against Respondent.

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission and Respondent entered into an agreement with respect to Case PSC 09-7-11. On or about June 30,2010, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission issued a Consent Order suspending Respondent’s educator’s certificate for five days, from June 8, 2009 through June 12, 2009.”

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission did indeed suspend his certificate for five days, which seems to many like a slap on the wrist.

To Florida’s credit, the Education Practices Commission permanently revoked his Florida Educator’s Certificate on October 15, 2014.

Why the stark difference?

According to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, Mr. Blocker may indeed be in trouble given the teacher certification rules, which state:

The Clearance certificate is issued at the request of a the employing Georgia local unit of administration (LUA) to educators who satisfactorily complete fingerprint and background check requirements and do not have a certificate that is currently revoked or suspended in Georgia or any other state. All educators employed by a Georgia LUA must hold a Clearance certificate. There are no academic requirements necessary to qualify for this certificate. All holders of this certificate are subject to the Georgia Code of Ethics for Educators.”

Strangely enough, the Florida EPC Final Order states copies were furnished to other related Florida Department of Education entities but not to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission- unless a separate communiqué was sent and not mentioned.

It will be interesting to see what course of action the Georgia Professional Standards Commission decides to take.

A reasonable person may conclude that they would not want a female relative or significant other in Mr. Blocker’s employ or purview.

Though these incidents have occurred 5-7 years ago, has Mr. Blocker truly learned the error of his ways or have other incidents occurred and were covered up and/or repressed afterwards?

Time, and a thorough investigation, will tell.

Emailgate: Did Sarasota School Board Member Shirley Brown violate Florida Law and her oath of office?

Elected officials make policy and have a responsibility to obey the policy they make. Every Florida elected official takes an oath of office to “[S]upport, protect, and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States and of the State of Florida” and to “well and faithfully perform the duties on which I am now about to enter.”

What if it is discovered that an elected official violates the policy they make? What if an elected official unfaithfully performs their duties?

Sarasota County School Board member Shirley Brown sent a series of emails to Ken Marsh and the Ken Marsh campaign for school board using the district email system. These emails include:

  • Inviting Austin Jambor, a financial adviser at Morgan Stanley, to a Ken Marsh “reception” she is hosting “on Oct 1 in Prestancia.”
  • Touting campaign endorsements by local firefighters of Ken Marsh, Jane Goodwin and herself on the eve of the August 26th Florida primary elections.
  • Notifying the Ken Marsh campaign of a homosexual marriage event hosted by Equality Florida. Brown suggests that Ken Marsh and others from his campaign attend the event.

Florida Statutes 104.31 – Political activities of state, county, and municipal officers and employees, states:

(1) No officer or employee of the state, or of any county or municipality thereof, except as hereinafter exempted from provisions hereof, shall:

(a) Use his or her official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with an election or a nomination of office or coercing or influencing another person’s vote or affecting the result thereof.

[ … ]

(3) Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

[Emphasis added]

The Sarasota County Schools Information Technology Guidelines and Procedures, page 28, under the heading “Appropriate Use of E-mail” states the following:

Sarasota County Schools guidelines prohibit certain types of e-mailThese include mail that may be perceived as harassment, political campaigning, or commercial solicitation. Chain mail is also prohibited. Violators will be subject to loss of computer access privileges, as well as additional disciplinary action as determined by the Sarasota County Schools disciplinary procedures. Certain types of e-mail, including but not limited to harassing e-mail, may also subject the sender to civil or criminal penalties. [Emphasis added]

It is important for elected officials to avoid even the “perception” of using public resources for “political campaigning”, particularly if that elected official implemented the policy forbidding it. It is important for elected officials at every level to abide by Florida state statues so as not to “coerce” or “influence” another person’s vote or to interfere with an election. It is important for elected officials to “faithfully perform their duties.” If not, then our Constitutional Republican form of government is in peril.

If elected officials give even a “perception” of violating policy, state statues or their oath of office, then what signal does that send to those who work for them?

John Adams, American lawyer, politician and second President of the United States, in his 7th “Novanglus” letter, published in the Boston Gazette in 1774, wrote that we are “A government of laws, and not of men.” Some elected officials have forgotten this maxim.

What will happen to Ms. Brown now? Will she publicly apologize for her actions? Will she resign from office? Will this be investigated by the proper authorities?

We will continue to report on this ongoing scandal truthfully and without fear of retribution.

REFERENCES:

Brown invitation to reception for Ken Marsh

Brown touting campaign endorsements

Brown notifying the Ken Marsh campaign of a homosexual marriage event hosted by Equality Florida.

Who is behind Florida’s Amendment 1? Collectivist Democrats one and all?

I just got home from work. But oh joy, in my mail box is a flyer from the Florida Conservation Alliance Institute (FCAI) indirectly asking me to vote YES for Amendment 1.

I always dig and peruse so I called the FCAI offices to find out who is funding this ballot initiative. Apparently FCAI is a non-profit 501(c). The goal is to acquire more of Florida’s land and put it in the hands of the state and out of the hands of we the Floridians. This of course will jack up property taxes surrounding the new “wildlife corridors”. I still do not understand how you make wildlife stay within a corridor?

They want to take 33% of net revenues from excise taxes on real estate documents for the next 20 years and use the money to buy up Florida land. This is projected to be about $10 billion. Aren’t there better uses for $10 billion like for education, fighting Ebola, infrastructure? Can you believe this?

FCAI is working to make this a Constitutional Amendment that will be nearly impossible to amend, if passed. Of course Charlie Crist, the man who took $40,000 in donations from strip club owners, knows a thing or two about grabbing, land that is.

My inquiry revealed those who are behind the FCAI. All are Collectivist Democrats, one of which actually lived and worked in the former Soviet Union.

clay henderson

Clay Henderson

The Amendment 1 team is headed up by Clay Henderson who is an environmental lawyer. He has extensive experience in land acquisition (a.k.a. grabbing) and he has negotiated the grabbing of over 300,000 acres of Florida land, which is now part of national and state parks and preserves. Land that is no longer on the property tax roles.

Henderson did serve two terms on the Volusia County Council and is now a lobbyist. He helped launch Preservation 2000 and Florida Forever, the nation’s premier conservation land grabbing programs. He is an adjunct professor in environmental studies at Stetson University and Rollins College.

Henderson is basically a Collectivist who wants to collect Florida land in the name of turtles and manatees.

susan glickman

Susan Glickman

Another leader of FCAI Susan Glickman. She is a consultant to the Natural Resources Defense Council, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and the Clean Energy Group. Most recently, she served as the U.S. Southern Region Director for The Climate Group, an international non-governmental organization working to accelerate a low carbon economy.

She is a “stop breathing everyone” because your CO2 is warming up the planet kind of gal. She may have tried to register polar bears to vote? Another Obama shrink wrapped Collectivist.

She has worked on numerous campaigns for Congress and the state legislature, including two statewide ballot initiatives. Glickman has also trained candidates and grassroots political organizations in 45 states and in the former Soviet Union. A native of Tampa, she resides on Florida’s Gulf Coast in the town of Belleair Beach.

jay lundy

Jay Lundy

Next up is Jay Lundy. Lundy manages the public affairs for The Miami Foundation, a community foundation that connects philanthropists with community programs, projects and causes. Lundy is responsible for the Foundation’s policy, leadership and civic engagement initiatives. He arranges non-CO2 emitting parties. No lighted birthday candles are allowed in Lundy’s house, as burning candles will disrupt the CO2 balance of power in his solar powered living room. But what about the people who attend exhailing CO2? You see all of his guest are carbon based creatures.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Lundy worked as a Regional Finance Director for Kendrick Meek’s U.S. Senate campaign. Kendrick Meek is a left wing liberal Democrat tax and spend Collectivist. Lundy is also a strategic consultant for the Indian River County Democrats. Imagine that! Oh Lord I would never have guessed .

cody metcalf

Cody Metcalf

Finally, the last piece of the puzzle is Cody Metcalf.

Cody Metcalf is an independent factory rep for a LED lighting manufacturers. His company, WinderLumen LED, began selling LED technology in 2008. FOLLOW THE MONEY!

In the summer of 2010, Metcalf traveled to Washington, D.C. as a member of the Clean Energy Works Florida delegation to represent small business in a fight for energy reform. I bet he got to D.C. on his ten speed bike illuminated with red, white and blue LED lights.

His plan? Shut down oil drilling, shut down all the oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico and hire 50,000 hamsters to run a treadmill to power his LED lights.

As a Board member for Florida Conservation Alliance, Cody is leading the Collectivist “sustainability revolution” by working with elected “Democrat”, wink wink nudge nudge, officials to make Florida a leader on environmental initiatives in the Southeast. This is a man leading a Collectivist environmental revolution to grab Florida land and destroy free market capitalism in the sunshine state. Real Estate Agents must be soiling their britches by now.

Well there you have it boys and girls. The line up of Democrat – Progressive – Collectivists trying to grab Florida real estate under the guise of conservation. The Agenda 21 crowd are on point trying to hoodwink Floridians into this George Soros endorsed United Nations’ sanctioned land grab.

If you want to contact Clay, Susan, Jay and Cody about Amendment 1 their office phone number is: 407-405-4571 or you may mail your “Don’t Tread On Me” postcards to: Florida Conservation Alliance Institute, 200 S. Orange Ave. Ste. 2600, Orlando, FL 32801

Emailgate claims its first casualty but is there more to it?

We began writing about some employees of the Sarasota County School District using the internal taxpayer funded email system for political purposes on October 6th. Due to our coverage Gary Leatherman has now become the first casualty of “Emailgate.”

There appears to be a misunderstanding by some district employees about what publicly funded time, equipment and services can and cannot be used for.

There is confusion about what a public employee can and cannot do when engaged in even the “perception” of wrongdoing.

There is a “culture of corruption” in the Sarasota County School System but it did not begin with “Emailgate”.

This culture of corruption has been long in the making and caused, at least in part, by elected school board members, district staff and some employees pushing the envelope to the point that abuse of the taxpayer funded email system is now endemic. Violating not only district policy but Florida state statutes has become common place. Some historical perspective is in order.

BACKGROUND:

In doing background research for articles on the possible misuse and abuse of the Sarasota County School district email system we found the following:

1.  In an August 18, 2010 Sarasota Herald-Tribune column titled “Teachers union using school e-mail to campaign” Kim Hackett wrote:

School officials say the e-mail blasts have not been an issue until now. And union president Pat Gardner said that because all her members are school district employees, the district’s e-mail system is the easiest way to reach them.

“I can use the e-mail to do my political stuff,” said Gardner, who heads the Classified Teachers Association. “As long as it is in my newsletter.”

2.  We obtained two emails sent by SC/TA President Gardner dated September 11, 2014 Subject: List of Contributors to Bridget Ziegler and September 30, 2014 Subject:  Information for Restricted Class. This prompted our first article published on October 6, 2014. Neither of these two emails appear to be “newsletters.” The full text of these two emails may be read by clicking here.

3.  Further research discovered that the Sarasota County Schools Information Technology Guidelines and Procedures, page 28, under the heading “Appropriate Use of E-mail” states the following:

Sarasota County Schools guidelines prohibit certain types of e-mail. These include mail that may be perceived as harassment, political campaigning, or commercial solicitation. Chain mail is also prohibited. Violators will be subject to loss of computer access privileges, as well as additional disciplinary action as determined by the Sarasota County Schools disciplinary procedures. Certain types of e-mail, including but not limited to harassing e-mail, may also subject the sender to civil or criminal penalties.

4.  In response to our media request concerning the SC/TA use of the district email system for political campaigning Scott Ferguson, Communications Specialist Sarasota County Schools, replied:

[Y]ou are correct that our procedures state that the district email system is not to be used for, among other things, political campaigning.

5.  Our research found Florida Statutes 104.31 – Political activities of state, county, and municipal officers and employees, which states:

(1) No officer or employee of the state, or of any county or municipality thereof, except as hereinafter exempted from provisions hereof, shall: (a) Use his or her official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with an election or a nomination of office or coercing or influencing another person’s vote or affecting the result thereof. [ … ] (3) Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

6.  Prompted by our initial article Superintendent White on October 6, 2014 sent an email reminder to all school board employees stating:

As our community is in the midst of a number of political campaigns, I want to remind all employees about the School Board’s Information Technology Guidelines and Procedures which prohibit, among other things, using the School Board’s email system for any communication that may be perceived as political campaigning. While I encourage all our employees to be civically engaged in the electoral process, this engagement should not occur on work hours, nor should the School Board’s email system be used for this purpose.

7.  A third email was sent by SC/TA President Gardner dated October 8, 2014 Subject: Newlsletter [sic.] – Info for Restricted Class. The full text of this email may be read by clicking here. This email was sent after Sarasota School Superintendent Lori White reminded all district employees (see item 6 above) that it is “prohibited” to use “the School Board’s email system for any communication that may be perceived as political campaigning.” This email was in direct contravention of Superintendent White and district policy.

As a result of our research and four articles, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune on October 17, 2014 picked up our story-line publishing an article titled “School spokesman worked on campaign while on duty.” In the article Lee Williams reports:

The communications director and chief spokesman for the Sarasota County Schools was disciplined this month for working on a political campaign while on duty, and for using the school’s email system for political purposes.

[ … ]

In his email accompanying the fundraising letter, Leatherman castigates Ziegler’s politics, saying the election was important because “having anyone elected from the Tea Party will force the Board to waste time in political wrangling and responding to frivolous criticism, rather than addressing the serious management issues involved in running a $750 million a year enterprise.” Leatherman declined to discuss the statement.

[ … ]

Superintendent Lori White issued Leatherman a “Letter of Instruction” Oct. 3, which acknowledged that he responded to a political campaign email during the work day. [ … ] T. Wayne Bailey, a political science professor at Stetson University for more than 50 years, echoed [School Board member] Ziegler that Leatherman should have been aware of state law. “I would think that a senior official would be very aware of what the rules for the School Board’s computer usage would be,” Bailey said. “This is a clear conflict of interest.”

The misuse of district assets for politicking by some district employees and even school board members has become common practice.  The School Board is doing nothing to stop it. The Superintendent has been accused of not taking a strong enough stand against this abuse of taxpayer dollars in the Gary Leatherman case. A school board member has called for Letterman’s dismissal. This same school board member has called for an “investigation” to determine just how deep and wide spread these abuses are.

Taking the politics out of the district email system can be done by the “loss of computer access privileges” as stated in district policy. 

WHAT’S NEXT?

The SC/TA classified and teachers contracts are being negotiated as we write this column. Perhaps it is time to rethink the SC/TA’s use of the district email system to communicate with its members? Perhaps it is time, in this digital world, to let the SC/TA run its own email system and do what it wishes with it?

What about those who, like Leatherman, have exhibited as Professor Bailey states “a clear conflict of interest?”

Will there be others who are punished under Florida Statutes 104.31? We will continue to cover this story as events unfold.

EDITORS NOTE: Below are the direct links to the four articles we have previously published on this issue:

Emailgate: Two Sarasota County School Board members violate Florida Law – will they be removed from office?

Sarasota School District Scandal: Board members, former superintendent, staff, teachers, union implicated in improper use of email system for political purposes

President of Sarasota Teachers Union calls Superintendent White’s bluff — sends out another ‘political email’

Sarasota School Board Candidate Ken Marsh gets a little help from his union friends

U.S. humanitarian aid going to the Islamic State

Does Obama not know this? Or does he just not care? Certainly the latter would be in line with his foreign policy, which has been consistent since the day he took office.

“U.S. Humanitarian Aid Going to ISIS,” by Jamie Dettmer, The Daily Beast, October 19, 2014:

GAZIANTEP, Turkey — While U.S. warplanes strike at the militants of the so-called Islamic State in both Syria and Iraq, truckloads of U.S. and Western aid has been flowing into territory controlled by the jihadists, assisting them to build their terror-inspiring “Caliphate.”

The aid—mainly food and medical equipment—is meant for Syrians displaced from their hometowns, and for hungry civilians. It is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, European donors, and the United Nations. Whether it continues is now the subject of anguished debate among officials in Washington and European. The fear is that stopping aid would hurt innocent civilians and would be used for propaganda purposes by the militants, who would likely blame the West for added hardship.

The Bible says if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him something to drink—doing so will “heap burning coals” of shame on his head. But there is no evidence that the militants of the Islamic State, widely known as ISIS or ISIL, feel any sense of disgrace or indignity (and certainly not gratitude) receiving charity from their foes.

Quite the reverse, the aid convoys have to pay off ISIS emirs (leaders) for the convoys to enter the eastern Syrian extremist strongholds of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor, providing yet another income stream for ISIS militants, who are funding themselves from oil smuggling, extortion and the sale of whatever they can loot, including rare antiquities from museums and archaeological sites.

“The convoys have to be approved by ISIS and you have to pay them: the bribes are disguised and itemized as transportation costs,” says an aid coordinator who spoke to The Daily Beast on the condition he not be identified in this article. The kickbacks are either paid by foreign or local non-governmental organizations tasked with distributing the aid, or by the Turkish or Syrian transportation companies contracted to deliver it.

And there are fears the aid itself isn’t carefully monitored enough, with some sold off on the black market or used by ISIS to win hearts and minds by feeding its fighters and its subjects. At a minimum the aid means ISIS doesn’t have to divert cash from its war budget to help feed the local population or the displaced persons, allowing it to focus its resources exclusively on fighters and war making, say critics of the aid….

EDITORS NOTE: The below CNN report on  the Islamic State (IS) shows excerpts from an IS propaganda video. If you look closely at the IS video you will see printed on the tents “U.S”. Video courtesy of CNN.

Time to abolish the IRS? An interview with Craig Bergman, Producer of ‘UnFair: Exposing the IRS’

Fair-Tax-largeEvery American is continually impacted by the Internal Revenue Service and usually becomes very frustrated feeling that there is no recourse. Until now! Today’s show features Craig Bergman the Producer of UnfairtheMovie.com, an expose about the IRS and the need to abolish the IRS and replace it with a tax system called the FAIR TAX.

Bergman has produced a 90 minute informative and entertaining documentary that provides evidence of the IRS abuses against many Americans and features many well-know leaders like Senator Ted Cruz, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Congressmen Trey Gowdy and Louis Gohmert.

One of the very important aspects of this documentary is that it offers a solution to the current failed tax system – the FairTax.

Please listen to our interview with Craig Bergman:

Climate Change Insanity

I went out for a walk today and enjoyed seeing how the autumn leaves are changing color because autumn, simply stated, is one of the four seasons that affects the Earth. It is part of the change that occurs as it has for billions of years.

The notion that humans have anything to do with autumn or the other seasons or that we should be spending billions of dollars to have any effect on the climate of the Earth is utterly insane.

On October 10, The Hill reported that “The U.S. might make a substantial contribution in November to an international fund that helps poor nations fight climate change, according to Peruvian Foreign Minister Gonzalo Gutierrez.” Does anyone actually believe that any amount of money will change the climate? And yet, there is a United Nations Green Climate Fund. The UN is the locus of the climate change, formerly global warming hoax.

“So far, countries have put $2.3 billion into the fund” described as “a crucial negotiating piece for developed nations trying to woo poorer ones to the table for a global climate accord.” Can you imagine how that money could be put to better use to fight the real problems of poorer nations?

“The fund was officially launched in 2013, after industrialized nations first pitched it in 2009 during the Copenhagen meeting, setting a target of $100 billion by 2020 for developing nations.” The U.S. has yet to have contributed, but the U.S. is $18 trillion in debt and can ill afford to throw millions at this absurd scam.

Climate Change LiesUnfortunately, the U.S. is being led by a President who has said that climate change is the greatest challenge facing the Earth. Our Secretary of State repeats this absurdity. There is surely an agenda behind this that I have yet to have determined except to think that this President has done everything in his power to destroy the nation’s economy and the claim is part of that agenda.

The climate change lies Obama keeps repeating are more than just obscene, they pose a threat to national security as he directs our military to address climate change. In a sane world, he would be removed from office.

As a recent October 1st Wall Street Journal noted, “President Obama prophesied at the United Nations last week that climate change is the ‘one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other,’ and perhaps this vision of Apocalypse explains why he thinks he can disregard the law to regulate carbon.”

Obama has been using the Environmental Protection Agency as his primary means of foisting the global warming/climate change hoax on the nation via a deluge of regulations to control “greenhouse gas emissions.” Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the bogyman the EPA and environmentalists have been telling us is driving up the Earth temperature. Only the Earth has been in a cooling cycle for eighteen years and, at the same time, the CO2 level in the atmosphere has increased! Without any effect on the temperature!

As the Wall Street Journal opinion noted “The EPA wants to reorganize U.S. electric power generation and drive coal and eventually natural gas out of the energy mix under a rarely used backwater of the Clean Air Act called section 111(d), whose mandates apply state by state.”

Now, however, thanks to an Ohio-based coal company, Murray Energy, along with a dozen states, the EPA is being sued as they seek a writ of mandamus, “a type of injunction the courts only grant when the government has taken an extraordinary action beyond its statutory authority.”

The courts are beginning to reject the EPA’s expansive claims of authority under the Clean Air Act. “The courts seem increasingly alarmed by abuses of executive power.” That is the only line of defense between this outlaw federal agency and the rest of us. The EPA has succeeded thus far in driving coal-fired energy plants out of business, reducing the amount of electricity they have produced affordably and efficiently for the last century and ours.

If the EPA is permitted to continue the U.S. might as well just turn off the lights because we are being systematically deprived of sufficient energy. That is the Obama agenda for America.

© Alan Caruba, October 2014

RELATED ARTICLE: Hey, Defense Department: Focus on ISIS, Not Climate Change

Obama’s Nightmare Presidency

To many people, especially Blacks, Obama’s election as president in 2008 was a dream come true.  According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, “dreams are successions of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that occur involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep.”  Dreams tend to last longer as the night progresses.

Sigmund Freud, the Austrian neurologist who became known as the founding father of psychoanalysis, wrote extensively about dream theories and their interpretations in the early 1900s.  He described dreams as the “manifestations of our deepest desires and anxieties.”

To our parents and grandparents, having a Black president was a dream long before it was a reality.  Who could ever imagine after surviving slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights Movement, that America would ever be ready to elect a Black president?  During our sleep was the only realm in which we thought this would ever be possible. And certainly not twice.

Then along came little known Barack Hussein Obama.  He became the empty vessel in which  America could funnel all of its dreams into.  As Freud said about dreams, Obama became the “manifestation of our deepest desires and anxieties.”

America wanted to prove that ideology trumped race; that vision trumped party affiliation; and that competence trumped cynicism.  In 2008, Obama received 96 percent of the Black vote, 67 percent of the Hispanic vote, 62 percent of the Asian vote, and 43 percent of the White vote.  He was able to put together a broad based coalition to win the White House. America was beginning to prove that it could truly live out the true meaning of its creed that “all men are created equal.”

Unfortunately, this dream has turned into a nightmare.

According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), “a nightmare is an unpleasant dream that can cause a strong emotional response from the mind, typically fear or horror, but also despair, anxiety, and great sadness.  The dream may contain situations of danger, discomfort, psychological or physical terror.  Sufferers often awaken in a state of distress and may be unable to return to sleep for a prolonged period.”

In 2008, Obama claimed he had a dream of uniting America; fixing the economy; creating additional jobs; having America become respected globally again.

Under Obama, America has become the laughingstock of the world.  Syria crossed Obama’s self-imposed “red line,” and Obama gave Syria’s president, Hafez al-Assad a terse lecture as he continued to kill his own citizens with chemical gas.  Obama continues to allow Latin leaders to berate him on U.S. soil because of American’s insistence that we enforce our immigration laws like they do in their own countries.  Russian and Israeli leaders show public disdain for Obama, with no consequence.

Obama and his administration never seem to know about anything that is going on in the very government they control. They claimed to have known nothing about the non-functioning HealthCare.gov website; they knew nothing about Benghazi; they knew nothing about all the problems within the Veterans Administration (VA); they knew nothing about the mess in the Secret Service; they knew nothing about the scandals permeating the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and they knew nothing about ISIS and all their gruesome beheadings until they read about it in the media.

Blacks went from “Hope and Change” to we hope Obama changes. Obama has turned the dreams of Blacks into a nightmare. If nothing else, at least we know they are no longer sleeping.  Now that Blacks have awakened out of their slumber, as the APA stated, they are greeted with “despair, anxiety, and great sadness.”

Obama sold Blacks folks a bill of goods. Blacks have been euphorically defending Obama at every turn.  Yet, Black unemployment is still double digits (11.6 percent).  Black students are dropping out of Black universities at alarming rates as a result of the policies of Obama.  Government contracting has all but dried up for Black businesses. He told Blacks in 2011 to “get out of bed, put on their marching shoes, and stop complaining.” And we said, “yessa massa.”

Homosexuals threaten to withhold their support and money from Obama unless he became their “water boy.”  He says, “yessem, boss.”  They are only 2 percent of the population, but Obama has bent over backwards to accommodate their demands.

Illegals have “demanded” U.S. citizenship from Obama, free education, and free healthcare; Obama signs executive orders to accommodate their demands, even though they can’t legally vote for him.

Yet, he tells Blacks that he can’t target any programs for them because he doesn’t want Whites to think he is being partial to Blacks.

Despite Blacks finally awakening from their slumber, they are now forced to deal with the resulting effects of the nightmare created by Obama. It’s time to judge Obama on his actions; no longer on his rhetoric. Everyone should want our president to be successful, but after six years in the White House, what is the evidence of positive changes with Obama?

By almost every measurable indices, Blacks are worse off today than when Obama became president. We started off with a dream that turned into a fantasy that is ending in a nightmare.

Emailgate: Two Sarasota County School Board members violate Florida Law – will they be removed from office?

We have run a series of columns about union employees violating policy by using the Sarasota County School District official email system to promote political candidates for public office and harassing district employees while on the clock.

Our initial reports just scratched the surface of the corruption within the Sarasota County School District.

Shirley Brown WEB

Shirley Brown, Sarasota County School Board member.

We wrote that this would be a challenge to the leadership of Superintendent Lori White. Today we report that this “culture of corruption” has ensnared at least two sitting School Board members – Shirley Brown (D) and Caroline Zucker (R) and the District Communications Director Gary Leatherman, who reports directly to Superintendent White.

Florida Statutes 104.31Political activities of state, county, and municipal officers and employees, states:

(1) No officer or employee of the state, or of any county or municipality thereof, except as hereinafter exempted from provisions hereof, shall:

(a) Use his or her official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with an election or a nomination of office or coercing or influencing another person’s vote or affecting the result thereof.

[ … ]

(3) Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

[Emphasis added]

In a string of emails we find both Shirley Brown and Caroline Zucker violating not only Florida Statues (FS) 104.31, but also FS 106.113.  We also find School Board member Brown, Director Leatherman and the Ken Marsh campaign violating FS 106.15, which states:

A candidate may not, in the furtherance of his or her candidacy for nomination or election to public office in any election, use the services of any state, county, municipal, or district officer or employee during working hours.

KenMarsh-150x150

Ken Marsh, former district bureaucrat and candidate for School Board.

In this string of emails we find Shirley Brown and the Ken Marsh campaign coordinating campaign donations. We also find the District Director of Communications and Community Relations Gary Leatherman giving advice to and editing a Ken Marsh for School Board campaign flyer. All of these actions violate district policy and state statues as the use of the district proprietary email system and the exchanges occur during working hours.

ann hankinson

Ann Hankinson, teacher Pine View.

Items forwarded to staff, other school board members, the Ken Marsh campaign, Gary Leatherman and Superintendent White include:

  • School Board member Caroline Zucker is asked by Aaron Watkins, from Carab Enterprises, for advise on who to vote for in the school Board primary election. Watkins asks Zucker who she voted for in the School Board primary. Zucker replies, “I voted for Jane Goodwin, Shirley Brown and Ken Marsh.” (NOTE: Read more about Zucker here.)
  • An email from Ann Hankinson, a AP calculus and statistics teacher at Pine View school, sends a draft invitation to a Ken Marsh for School Board event to be held on October 1, 2014 to Gary Leatherman for review and editing. Leatherman states he reviewed the invitation and made minor corrections. Leatherman goes on to reply to Hankinson, “Hi, I’m just checking to see if my email replies are being received.” Hankinson then uses the district email system to send the invitation out to her “Dear Math Colleagues.”
  • Information about the Lee County, FL School Board reversing its decision to opt-out of mandated Common Core testing sent to the Ken Marsh campaign.
  • Ken Marsh sending an election night invitation to Pat Gardner, President of the Sarasota Teachers/Classified Association (SC/TA). (NOTE: We have covered SC/TA use of the district email system here.)
  • Gary Leatherman in direct contact with Ken March and his campaign with a summery of  “the various ways and media we employ to help parents and other interested community members watch school board meetings.”
  • SC/TA President Pat Gardner in direct contact with the Ken Marsh campaign discussing strategies on how to attack his primary opponents “innovative ideas about public access to school board meetings.”
  • A political fundraising letter sent to Shirley Brown, Gary Leatherman and others from Gabriel Hament seeking donations for the Ken Marsh campaign. Leatherman replies, “Thanks, I contributed $100 last night.”
  • Shirley Brown responds to an email from Austin Jambor, a financial adviser at Morgan Stanley, stating, “…I am hosting a reception for Ken Marsh Oct. 1 in Prestancia. Hope you can join us!”
  • Kenner Brooke from North Port High School sends out a Sarasota County Democratic Party flyer.
  • Notice of a homosexual marriage event hosted by Equality Florida forwarded by Brown to the Ken Marsh campaign. Brown suggests that Marsh attend the event.

We will be publishing more about this “culture of corruption” within the Sarasota County School District. Stay tuned.

BACKGROUND

The following are some examples of the illegal use of the Sarasota County School District resources for political purposes:

September 9, 2014

Gary Leatherman, the Director of Communications and Community Relations for the Sarasota County School District uses the Sarasota County School District Email System to confirm a commitment to submit a political donation to the Ken Marsh Campaign, as well as to assist in the drafting and editing of a fundraising letter for the Ken Marsh Campaign. Email sent during school hours. (Page 294-302)

September 9, 2014

Gary Leatherman, the Director of Communications and Community Relations for the Sarasota County School District uses the Sarasota County School District Email System, during business hours, to work directly with the Ken Marsh for School Board Campaign to draft and edit a fundraising letter and suggest attacks on School Board Member Bridget Ziegler. His official title & government position appears in the email.
(Page 105-108)

September 10, 2014

Gary Leatherman, the Director of Communications and Community Relations for the Sarasota County School District uses the Sarasota County School District Email System to communicate directly with School Board Candidate Ken Marsh, Ann Hankinson (who appears to be a Ken Marsh campaign volunteer & school district employee) & Gabriel Hament (who we believe is acting as Ken Marsh’s campaign manager & has hosted a fundraising for Ken Marsh). Sent during school hours. (Page 131-133)

September 10, 2014

Gary Leatherman, the Director of Communications and Community Relations for the Sarasota County School District uses the Sarasota County School District Email System, during business hours, to work directly with the Ken Marsh Campaign to draft and edit a fundraising letter and suggest attacks on School Board Member Bridget Ziegler.In the email, he states “Good Job”. His official title & government position appears in the email. (Page 136)

September 21, 2014

Gary Leatherman, the Director of Communications and Community Relations for the Sarasota County School District uses the Sarasota County School District Email System to directly receive a campaign update from the Ken Marsh Campaign. Continues to show pattern of coordination between Gary Leatherman, in his official capacity, working with the Ken Marsh Campaign. (Page 172-173).

Additional abuses (there are numerous other examples).

August 13, 2014

Lisa Saul uses the Sarasota County School District Email System to forward endorsements and attacks on the Tea Party and various candidates. Sent during school hours. (Document 1 Page 76-78)

September 11, 2014

Shari Dembinski (looks to be Union Rep) uses the Sarasota County School District Email System to forward an attack on Bridget Ziegler and a list of contributors to Bridget Ziegler’s campaign. Recipients are encouraging to share with non-union members. (We suspect this is what caused an organized effort to threaten the boycott of businesses supporting the Bridget Ziegler for School Board campaign. Numerous businesses reported receiving countless calls threatening a boycott of their establishment if they did not stop donating and/or displaying a Bridget Ziegler campaign sign. (Document 1 Page 81-82)

September 12, 2014

Shannon Wynne, a School District Employee, uses the Sarasota County School District Email System to falsely attack Bridget Ziegler and one of her contributors. Sent during school hours. (Document 1 Page 98-99)

September 12, 2014

Joette Riggs, a school district employee, uses the Sarasota County School District Email System to attack Bridget Ziegler and a contributor to the Bridget Ziegler Campaign. Sent during school hours. (Document 1 Page 112-114)

And why not? The politics and illegal misuse of taxpayer funded public resources starts at the top.

August 27, 2014

Wilma Hamilton, former Superintendent of the Sarasota County District, uses the Sarasota County School District Email System to book a hotel room for Ken Marsh & his wife Tanice Knopp. Why is she booking them a room? Was this disclosed on his campaign finance report? (Page 47-49)

August 21, 2014

Sarasota County School Board Member Shirley Brown uses the Sarasota County School District Email System in her official capacity as a School Board Member to endorse three Sarasota County School Board Candidates. (Page 56-57)

August 23, 2014

Sarasota County School Board Member Shirley Brown uses the Sarasota County School District Email System in her official capacity as a School Board Member to notify Marie Baia, a School District Employee, about political endorsements received by Ken Marsh, School Board Member Jane Goodwin and herself. (Page 248-249)

August 21, 2014

Sarasota County School Board Member Caroline Zucker uses the Sarasota County School District Email System, in her official capacity as a School Board Member, to endorse political candidate for office.

October 3, 2014

SB Member Caroline Zucker sharing who she voted for in the SB race Goodwin-Brown-Marsh when asked for recommendations (Page 297 – Document 3)

To read the full list of emails click herehere and here.

PUBLISHERS NOTE: I, Dr. Rich Swier, regret having used the term “illegal” in this and any other article to describe actions by Ms. Pat Gardner and the SC/TA.

Sarasota School District Scandal: Board members, former superintendent, staff, teachers, union implicated in improper use of email system for political purposes

As a result of information uncovered by Citizens for Sarasota Schools, multiple emails demonstrate the politicization of the Sarasota County School Board, the Administration, and the school district down to lower level employees. Numerous Sarasota County School District employees and administrators ignore the law and have used public property for political purposes to fund raise, recruit volunteers, campaign and promote the candidacy of one of their own bureaucrats, Ken Marsh, during school hours.

The Sarasota County Schools Information Technology Guidelines and Procedures, page 28, under the heading “Appropriate Use of E-mail” states the following:

Sarasota County Schools guidelines prohibit certain types of e-mailThese include mail that may be perceived as harassment, political campaigning, or commercial solicitation. Chain mail is also prohibited. Violators will be subject to loss of computer access privileges, as well as additional disciplinary action as determined by the Sarasota County Schools disciplinary procedures. Certain types of e-mail, including but not limited to harassing e-mail, may also subject the sender to civil or criminal penalties. [Emphasis added]

Copies of emails obtained by Citizens for Sarasota Schools show Sarasota County School Board members Shirley Brown and Caroline Zucker violated school board policy on use of the email system. Also implicated is former district superintendent Wilma Hamilton. District Director Gary Letterman was implicated in violating the policy by drafting and editing a fundraising letter for the Ken Marsh campaign. Multiple employees of the school system, some union representatives, have repeatedly violated school board policy.

The following are some examples of the improper use of the Sarasota County School District resources for political purposes:

September 9, 2014

Gary Leatherman, the Director of Communications and Community Relations for the Sarasota County School District uses the Sarasota County School District Email System to confirm a commitment to submit a political donation to the Ken Marsh Campaign, as well as to assist in the drafting and editing of a fundraising letter for the Ken Marsh Campaign. Email sent during school hours. (Page 294-302)

September 9, 2014

Gary Leatherman, the Director of Communications and Community Relations for the Sarasota County School District uses the Sarasota County School District Email System, during business hours, to work directly with the Ken Marsh for School Board Campaign to draft and edit a fundraising letter and suggest attacks on School Board Member Bridget Ziegler. His official title & government position appears in the email.
(Page 105-108)

September 10, 2014

Gary Leatherman, the Director of Communications and Community Relations for the Sarasota County School District uses the Sarasota County School District Email System to communicate directly with School Board Candidate Ken Marsh, Ann Hankinson (who appears to be a Ken Marsh campaign volunteer & school district employee) & Gabriel Hament (who we believe is acting as Ken Marsh’s campaign manager & has hosted a fundraising for Ken Marsh). Sent during school hours. (Page 131-133)

September 10, 2014

Gary Leatherman, the Director of Communications and Community Relations for the Sarasota County School District uses the Sarasota County School District Email System, during business hours, to work directly with the Ken Marsh Campaign to draft and edit a fundraising letter and suggest attacks on School Board Member Bridget Ziegler. In the email, he states “Good Job”. His official title & government position appears in the email. (Page 136)

September 21, 2014

Gary Leatherman, the Director of Communications and Community Relations for the Sarasota County School District uses the Sarasota County School District Email System to directly receive a campaign update from the Ken Marsh Campaign. Continues to show pattern of coordination between Gary Leatherman, in his official capacity, working with the Ken Marsh Campaign. (Page 172-173).

Additional abuses (there are numerous other examples).

August 13, 2014

Lisa Saul uses the Sarasota County School District Email System to forward endorsements and attacks on the Tea Party and various candidates. Sent during school hours. (Document 1 Page 76-78)

September 11, 2014

Shari Dembinski (looks to be Union Rep) uses the Sarasota County School District Email System to forward an attack on Bridget Ziegler and a list of contributors to Bridget Ziegler’s campaign. Recipients are encouraging to share with non-union members. (We suspect this is what caused an organized effort to threaten the boycott of businesses supporting the Bridget Ziegler for School Board campaign. Numerous businesses reported receiving countless calls threatening a boycott of their establishment if they did not stop donating and/or displaying a Bridget Ziegler campaign sign. (Document 1 Page 81-82)

September 12, 2014

Shannon Wynne, a School District Employee, uses the Sarasota County School District Email System to falsely attack Bridget Ziegler and one of her contributors. Sent during school hours. (Document 1 Page 98-99)

September 12, 2014

Joette Riggs, a school district employee, uses the Sarasota County School District Email System to attack Bridget Ziegler and a contributor to the Bridget Ziegler Campaign. Sent during school hours. (Document 1 Page 112-114)

And why not? The politics and illegal misuse of taxpayer funded public resources starts at the top.

August 27, 2014

Wilma Hamilton, former Superintendent of the Sarasota County District, uses the Sarasota County School District Email System to book a hotel room for Ken Marsh & his wife Tanice Knopp. Why is she booking them a room? Was this disclosed on his campaign finance report? (Page 47-49)

August 21, 2014

Sarasota County School Board Member Shirley Brown uses the Sarasota County School District Email System in her official capacity as a School Board Member to endorse three Sarasota County School Board Candidates. (Page 56-57)

August 23, 2014

Sarasota County School Board Member Shirley Brown uses the Sarasota County School District Email System in her official capacity as a School Board Member to notify Marie Baia, a School District Employee, about political endorsements received by Ken Marsh, School Board Member Jane Goodwin and herself. (Page 248-249)

August 21, 2014

Sarasota County School Board Member Caroline Zucker uses the Sarasota County School District Email System, in her official capacity as a School Board Member, to endorse political candidate for office.

October 3, 2014

SB Member Caroline Zucker sharing who she voted for in the SB race Goodwin-Brown-Marsh when asked for recommendations (Page 297 – Document 3)

The Sarasota School System has far too long gone unexamined and been poorly managed. This has created a culture where the School Administration and School Board believe it is unaccountable.

For example, the Board regularly takes workshop meetings off video recording, decamps to another building, settles into a much smaller conference room, and in this “shade” conducts public meetings.

The Sarasota School Board does not post and stream complete workshops and Board Meetings — which is regularly done by other government bodies. And yet, they self-congratulate themselves even when close to 22% of students fail to graduate. This is only 3% better than the rest of Florida.

Perhaps it is time they stop politicking and start educating.

EDITORS NOTE: To read the full list of emails click here, here and here.

PUBLISHERS NOTE: I, Dr. Rich Swier, regret having used the term “illegal” in this and any other article to describe actions by Ms. Pat Gardner and the SC/TA.

Charlie Crist Concedes Election Finance Violations, Forced To Refund Donations

During the first of three gubernatorial debates between Florida Governor Rick Scott and Democrat gubernatorial nominee Charlie Crist, viewers were treated to a sort of political ‘Lucha Libre’ where both heavyweight contenders took their turn landing political jabs and body blows at one another.

One of the jabs Crist threw at Scott was that of the Florida Governor whisking around the state on his private jet.

This is true.

Rick Scott flies around on his own private jet doing state business, and even has the nerve to pay for the fuel from his own pocket, instead of billing taxpayers.

The nerve of him!

Crist’s hypocrisy here is rich.

When Crist was governor of Florida, the former Republican-turned-Independent-turned-Democrat use to fly around in private jets that were billed to the taxpayers, and or the Republican Party of Florida.

Now Charlie ‘Hypo-crist’ and his gubernatorial campaign have been called out and busted by Republicans for committing campaign finance violations.

Republicans filed a complaint against Team Crist for “repeated” finance violations. After the complaint was filed, Crist & Co. refunded thousands of dollars to donors who exceeded the legal limit of $3,000.

Here is a partial list of those “super donors” to Crist’s campaign:

donors

Click on the image for a larger view.

In addition, the GOP contends that Crist and his political committee have spent well over $64,000 on private airfare, that according them,  appeared on their finance reports, but only after the complaint was filed.

Honest mistake by the Crist campaign?

Probably not.

Political hypo-Crist-y?

You betcha!

EDITORS NOTE: The column originally appeared on The Shark Tank. Follow The Shark Tank on Facebook and Twitter.

A Supreme Court, Not Supreme Wisdom

I am not a lawyer, but I have read the Constitution and I cannot find any indication that the Founding Fathers intended the guarantee of “equal protection of the laws” in the 14th Amendment to include same-sex marriage.

The idea would have been regarded as an abomination to the men who created the Constitution. To many who regard the institution of marriage a sacred bond between a man and a woman, the decisions of lower courts that have facilitated same-sex marriage are deeply offensive

When the Supreme Court decided not to decide upon appeals from seven states regarding lower court rulings that their bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, they essentially endorsed same-sex marriage. It is now legal in 25 states, paving the way for a total of 30 states that recognize it, but only by popular vote in three of them; the rest had it imposed through the courts.

The same can be said of the Supreme Court’s decision in 1973 that permitted abortion as a legal right. Here again, the 14th Amendment was cited. As one source noted, “The Court summarily announced that the ‘Fourteen Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action” includes “a right to personal privacy, or a guarantee of certain areas or zones of privacy and that “this right of privacy…is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.”

As this is being written, there have been more than 57,245,810 fetuses aborted since 1973 and, this year, there have been 840,045. Thus, decisions that the Supreme Court makes can literally result in life or death.

One of the most dramatic decisions of an earlier Supreme Court was the 1857 Dred Scott case that ruled that African Americans, whether slave or free, could not be American citizens and thus had no standing to sue in federal court, nor that the federal government had any power to regulate slavery in the territories acquired after the creation of the nation. The Civil War would follow in 1861 and last until 1865, resulting in more than 600,000 casualties, but finally ending slavery in America. Even some of the Founding Fathers had predicted that conflict.

When the Supreme Court has wandered into the area of social policy and culture, it has made decisions that were contrary to the majority of the population. The decision about slavery was about property—the slave–but many regarded slavery as an institution that must be ended.

The Supreme Court, of course, is not one long list of bad decisions. It has done much good and one man is credited with setting it on its course as a co-equal brand of the federal government. That man was John Marshall. I doubt that his name and deeds are even taught in the schools of America.

Cover - John MarshallAs a brilliant and very entertaining biography by Harlow Giles Unger, “John Marshall: The Chief Justice Who Save the Nation”, reveals, “Marshall’s pronouncements would ensure the integrity and eminence of the Constitution and the federal government and catapult him into the pantheon of American Founding Fathers as the father of the American federal justice system.”

“He would become the longest serving Chief Justice in U.S. history, signing 1,180 decisions and writing 549 of them, or nearly half, himself.” America was fortunate to have a legal scholar, utterly devoted to the Constitution, in its early, formative years. “Case by case he defined, asserted, and when necessary, invented the authority he and the Court needed to render justice, stabilize the federal government, and preserve the Union and the Constitution.”

Chief among Marshall’s achievements was to assert that the Supreme Court had the right and duty to declare federal and state laws to be either constitutional or unconstitutional. With that it became the third equal but separate branch of government.

Marshall had fought in the American Revolution and had had a distinguished career as a lawyer. As Unger says, “Clouds of doom shrouded the nation in 1800. George Washington was dead. For the first time in their twenty-five year struggle to govern themselves, Americans faced a future without the father of their country to lead them. And they lost their way.”

“Absent their commander-in-chief, the men who helped him lead the nation to independence went mad. Chaos engulfed the land as surviving Founding Fathers—Adams, Burr, Hamilton, Jefferson, Monroe, and others—turned on each other as they clawed at Washington’s fallen mantle.” Jefferson as the third President wanted to rule as a virtual tyrant, but Adams’ appointment of Marshall put a brake those ambitions.

The United States is passing thought a period of governance in which the Congress is so locked in partisanship and so divided that it is barely able to function in the national interest. The current President is losing the popularity he enjoyed when first elected and, now into his second term, he is losing the support and confidence of a majority of Americans. Barack Obama has repeatedly expressed his displeasure with a Constitution that places limits on his power as President.

As Unger notes “Nothing in the Constitution gives a President power to issue proclamations or executive orders with the force of law. Only Congress can legislate, yet presidents have issued more than 13,500 proclamations and executive orders since the founding of the Republic, while the Congress has enacted only about 20,000 laws.”

The Constitution remains supreme above the office of President and, in great measure, we can thank the work of Chief Justice John Marshall.

© Alan Caruba, 2014