Politically Homeless

This blog is created as a forum for the increasingly large number of voters in Marion County, Florida who consider themselves to be "Politically Homeless". We are individuals who are frustrated with political parties and discouraged by "politics as usual". Many of us have no registered party affiliation. Others stay registered with a party only to vote in primaries, but no longer identify with the party's current political direction. We encourage you to post your comments.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Big Changes In Marion Politics? (Continued)

To keep our bloggers (young and old) from developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in scrolling through the long thread on “Marion Politics: Are We In For Big Changes?”, we are starting a new (continued) thread on the topic. The subject seems to have attracted quite a bit of interest, with over 190 comments so far. We are making it easier for you to add your comments and continue the discussion.

Please go to the thread below this one if you are interested in reviewing the discussion to date on “Marion Political Changes”; there are many good comments. Just a little over two weeks before E-Day. Let’s fill up this thread by then!

NEW RADIO STATION: There is a new local (web-based) radio station in Ocala. You can tune in while you are surfing the PH Blog. The program covers local news, politics, etc. The announcer’s voice is computerized, so you will need to get used to that.

The station is accessible via internet at:


At 7:35 PM, October 21, 2006, Blogger Blog Master said...

We are not endorsing the new Ocala radio station, just presenting it for you to make your own decision about its usefulness.

At 10:58 PM, October 21, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surprise…Surprise! I've said it before: Not only are you going to find a lot of not usual supporters putting money into the Harris campaign, but you are going to also find many voting for him. This is going to be tough for Fitos to overcome.

At 11:27 PM, October 21, 2006, Blogger "night owl" said...

He will need quite a few not usuals to win. Harris is smart and knows that. Imagine he has made some good deals.

At 11:59 PM, October 21, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question for you bloggers.

I recently drove on a major road and saw successive Payton; Harris; Yes for road tax signs. It was very repetitive. Who (or what issue) does this help and who (or what issue) does it hurt. If everyone votes down the road tax (most bloggers are saying that) does the road tax issue also hurt the Commissioners that are pushing it. Will it be unpopular enough to carry over negatively to Jim or Randy. Do Jim's signs being next to Randy's help or hurt?

At 12:01 AM, October 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The head says Harris the heart says Fitos. I think I'll "go with the heart for a change."

At 8:19 AM, October 22, 2006, Anonymous agk said...

My predictions, not necessarily who I’m voting for in each case:

- Crist for Governor
- Harris and Payton for Commissioners
- Cretul and Baxley for State Representatives
- Crawford for School Board
- Oelrich for State Senate
- YES on the Sales Tax

We are going to continue to have Republican control of our local and state government. May not be so at the national level.

I am voting for James Walker, the only local Democrat who seems to really “have it” about the office he wants. However, the reality is he would be an absentee State Rep. for half of his term. I don’t think most people will want that, even though he is a sentimental favorite as a military man called to serve.

Blogmaster, your blog was out of order for several hours last night.

At 9:16 AM, October 22, 2006, Blogger agent said...

Clearly it will be business as usual locally for some time [at least two years] after the election.

As a "lemming newcomer" arriving in Marion County in 2002, I guess I missed the reasons who illegal immigration is not a major issue here. Of course, I realize that the Republicans are cozy with those special interests that benefit most from the illegal hiring of illegals.This , in my opinion, merits local moral outrage.

Oh, well, bury your head in the sand while millions of your taxpayer money goes to fund services for the illegal immigrant population. Forget law and order as latino gangs including M-13 populate our jail and stalk the burrios.

At 10:33 AM, October 22, 2006, Anonymous don said...


You must have missed State Rep. Larry Cretul's TV ads for his reelection. He sure has this on his radar screen.


At 11:56 AM, October 22, 2006, Blogger Blog Master said...


How about each of you predicting the winners in the November 7 elections (the same candidate match ups and sales tax issue as in our Straw Poll); including the percent of the vote each will receive. Post your predictions before November 5.

If you both pick all the same candidates, the tiebreaker will be the one whose WINNERS are closest to the actual percentage vote.

The winner gets a $20 gift certificate to Bob Evans, compliments of the Politically Homeless Blog.

Are you guys in?

At 12:04 PM, October 22, 2006, Blogger Blog Master said...


Just checked and yes we did have nearly three hours of down time on the Blog last night. They were doing some maintenance to the server and ALL the blogs served were down.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

At 12:16 PM, October 22, 2006, Blogger agent said...

I read SR Larry Cretal's mailing piece.This is the first that I have heard a Florida SR make an issue out of illegal immigration. I have voted absentee for Representative Cretal, please note I am a Democrat.

My comments were directed primarily at the commissioners who seem to see no evil, hear no evil.when it comes to illegal immigration. [I have discounted Commisioner Harris's suggestion to outside TV media awhile back that island detention might be a good idea.] How about prosecuting Marion County employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens ?

How about some moral indignation over tax payer money being thrown out the window ? How about some moral outrage over the employee abuse that illegal aliens are suffering at the hands of some of their employers.

Come on folks, there is more fat to chew than industrial developement, [which is going to go it's own merry way] higher wages [ which are not going to happen ], who PWF's customers are [ which by the way, I don't think is a hot button topic, as I'm sure he doesn't]. Yadi yada.

At 1:22 PM, October 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I checked out the new radio station. Why is it that all the ideas on stuff like this are from Republicans? The political homeless blog (I think)and one other local political blog and the talk radio shows were all started by Republicans. Don't the Democrats ever won't to communicate?

Just a thought.

At 1:57 PM, October 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will the road tax vote help or hurt the incumbents?

At 2:37 PM, October 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No impact on this year's election. If it doesn't pass, pity the group of commissioners left to increase our property taxes to make up for it failing!

At 3:05 PM, October 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

someone asked about payton and harris having their signs together. why not, they are two of a kind. their meeting disagreements are for public consumption. they laugh at us behind the scenes.

At 4:44 PM, October 22, 2006, Anonymous critic from belleview said...

My political theory of the day. If the sales tax passes, we have two new County Commissioners. Reason the group most likely to vote for increasing taxes is the Democrats. Which means they came out in force with the carryover to electing Fitos and Weesner.

How about it Blogmaster? Do I get a gift certificate if my theory is right?

At 4:52 PM, October 22, 2006, Anonymous critic from belleview said...

Hey, I just caught this! You want to read something that may stir up some controversy?

Read the post from PWF in the section below the one here. It is the last post on the section.

At 5:13 PM, October 22, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

Critic . . . what could I have written that would be controversial? Not me!!!!

At 5:31 PM, October 22, 2006, Blogger brian creekbaum said...

Someone asked whether Harris having signs co-located with signs supporting the sales tax for roads would hurt Harris. Perhaps his direct statements on the matter are even more relevant.

Here is an exact quote of Harris speaking publicly this afternoon during the Smart Growth Coalition candidate forum held at library headquarters: “I support the sales tax for roads.”

At 6:17 PM, October 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well finally Harris and the Star Banner are on the same page on something! The paper also endorsed the road tax today.

At 7:05 PM, October 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: 5:31pm comments of brian creekbaum.

Do you think the road tax vote will help or hurt the incumbents?

At 7:56 PM, October 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would appear a majority of the bloggers are against the one cent sales tax for roads. Didn't the county sell the voters on a one cent sales tax a few years ago to build the jail and some other facilities?

How did that tax pass and most/many of us seem to be against this sales tax? I'm curious, what's different this time?

At 7:58 PM, October 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Blogmaster why just have a competition between two blog posters on the election outcome? I think anybody willing to participate and also provide their real name should be included.

At 8:06 PM, October 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

brian creekbaum you said there was a forum for the candidates at the library today. What's your report? How did everyone do?...

At 8:08 PM, October 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All five commissioners voted to put the road tax on the ballot. What will be their reaction if it fails? I doubt they'll blame themselves!

At 10:20 PM, October 22, 2006, Anonymous agk said...

The radio station is an interesting idea. Really has some possibilities.

At 11:31 PM, October 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The blog is much more interesting than listening to a crazy sounding voice on ocalaradio.com.

At 11:46 PM, October 22, 2006, Anonymous bobby d said...

hello blogmaster:

sure ill play. just local races or do you want gov., sent. races and how about judges. how about this, you give us what you want and ill make the picks.
my first prediction. the max linn campaign is going to use the politically homeless blog in a court case to get max linn in the debate for govenor. p.h. is going to make the big scene.

At 12:59 AM, October 23, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason the one cent sales tax passed a few years back is because it was for two years only. The length of time for this one is the reason it won't pass. Also by locking the county into the maximum for such a long period of time, there is no "wiggle" room for any other projects. Kinda like maxxing out your credit cards.

They would have had more success bringing the one cent tax back for two year intervals. Oh well.

At 9:41 AM, October 23, 2006, Blogger agent said...

anonymous-I am a democrat that wants to communicate, however, starting a Democratic blog would be shouting in the wilderness and open season for Republicans.

At 9:53 AM, October 23, 2006, Anonymous Christopher Thurow said...

Let me make a couple of things thing clear for Paul. I will not participate in his childish name calling. Period.

Second I was part of a small group of activists that handed Mr. Harris aruguably the biggest defeat of his tenure as a county commissioner. Clean who's clock?

That was just the beginning too.

At 9:55 AM, October 23, 2006, Anonymous Christopher Thurow said...

Change is hell for those who cling desperately to the staus quo.

At 10:10 AM, October 23, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

Childish name calling???? .... Harris needed a job when he ran 12 years ago??? No name calling on my part. I tried to get you to stick to facts and you wouldn't listen in your schoool board race. So where are you now? Outside looking in.

As for Harris biggest defeat? Wrong again. All you did was look childish for "stealing" the EDC name. Big whopping deal. The people who defeated WalMart were the people with some reputation in the county who organized the protest.

Just stick to facts and you will have no problem from me. --pwf

At 10:17 AM, October 23, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

Agent, you are right to protest the failure of both political parties to unite in Marion County ot protest the illegal immigration problem we have here.

It is correct in God's sight to care for the poor, but this is not a case of caring for the poor. It is a case of protecting our borders and fulfilling our laws.

It is not, however, a problem that county commissioners can solve, or even the Sheriff, unless they have the prosecutors and the courts up to and including the supreme courts ready to fulfill their obligation. We can fill the jails tomorrow with illegals, we can fill them with employers who hire illegals, but unless they are prosecuted, it does no good. The problem also extends to national security, and it sure extends to our pocketbooks.

You're right on the money!

At 10:20 AM, October 23, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

As for road signs placed together: One of the realities of local politics is you have a very few people willing to go out a post road signs in a campaign. So someone picks up a bunch of Harris signs, a bunch of Payton signs and a bunch of road signs, probably because they like the three campaigns, and they spend an afternoon driving and walking (probably two people, a driver and a sign person) all over the county putting up signs. Campaigns are strapped for people to work. The excess is in people who just want to criticize. --pwf

At 10:24 AM, October 23, 2006, Anonymous Christopher Thurow said...

You see Paul this is where you're always putting your foot in your mouth. You confuse facts with your own highly regarded opinions.

My wife and I were part of the original group that organized against Wal Mart. We also incorporated the group with the state. That corporation still exists and my wife is an officer with it.

We want change and are willing to stick our necks out to get it.

At 10:31 AM, October 23, 2006, Anonymous Christopher Thurow said...

I know this is boring and irrelevent for the blog but let me clear up the reason for Pauls anger at me.

I hired Paul to help with the major mailings for my last campaign. This was against the advice of several well known politicians in Marion.

Paul didn't perform and I terminated our relationship. I paid him what was due and we went our seperate ways.

Paul is angry and vindictive. I have tried to avoid this episode here on the blog but I think it's time to air this out.

I apologize and appreciate your patience. Thanks!

At 11:30 AM, October 23, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

A wise old friend who died a dozen years ago taught me a valuable lesson in 1975: Do not to be angry, do not to hold grudges, do not hate, for it only hurts you.

As for our relationship Mr. Thurow, you called me, asked me to meet you with you; I didn't go to you. As for people advising against coming, well, having been involved in more campaigns than anyone else in the area, I stand on my record.

I agreed to do a single mailing, prepared your piece as agreed, and I did your mailing with your approval, on schedule. I told you before the mail entered the post office, I would do no more, to go elsewhere. You paid your bill, and we went our seperate ways. Your race ended as I had predicted. I hold no grudges.

All I suggest is write the facts. You can not defend your charges against Harris, who has to defend himself against a number of actual misteps, but to claim he needed the job when he ran is a joke. That is all I said. --pwf

At 11:43 AM, October 23, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

Some reader just sent me an email:

"Never teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time, and it anoys the pig."


At 12:19 PM, October 23, 2006, Blogger agent said...

PWF -Local governing entities are dealing with illegal immigration problems in ways that are being upheld in the courts. There are a couple examples in Florida one of which is a town decimated by aliens [can't think of the name]. Pressure by the ACLU and other pro illegal immigration groups is huge.A carefully drafted ordinance following proven guidelines used in Pennslyvania is being followed.

According to Congressman Boehner of Cincinnati, Ohio, illegal hiring of aliens is being prosecuted in Cincinnati.The burden of proof has to be "knowingly hired " which of course, is difficult but still doable.

First you get an air tight case, throw the book at the culprits and then people get nervous. Actually it is fairly easy.There are a lot of employers that don't have I-9 forms which are required on demand. Many of those that do, have names that will not stand up to a challenge, the culprit will say, "I did not know" and then immigration will find some obviously sloppy documentation and ask "how could you not know"

In 1999 I personaly saw this done at a turkey processing plant in Harrisonville, Ohio near Cincinnati. They got shut down and had to pay a sizable fine.When anybody with a suit, would come on the premises, you would see the feathers fly as illegals hid. The ower actually funded coyotes with cash, had a Mexican enforcer to keep aliens in line.

I can tell illegals today by body language. So can employers, so can immigration.

A major problem has been lack of federal funding,[ The Bush Administration wants things that way ]There are too few agents, who can only take on easy pickings.

Top priority is the sheriff fingering gang members who can be deported. They may come boucing right back but we need to start somewhere.

At 12:46 PM, October 23, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

Agent . . .
I agree with everything you said. The biggest problem is developing a strategy and the "will" to get it done. Locally, there are religious leaders who oppose battling the illegals. I had a businessman tell me that a major percentage of the construction workers in Marion County are illegals. Another told me that half of the people who apply for work on his construction crews can not produce papers. I am too old to think I will see the real downfall of our country, but I suspect my grandchildren will ask why didn't Granddaddy do something to stop this. I wonder why I don't today.--pwf

At 12:53 PM, October 23, 2006, Anonymous Christopher Thurow said...

The question remains why Randall D "Randy" Harris will not produce his income tax returns for public scrutiny. Check the county clerks records. That will clarify my argument.

At 1:36 PM, October 23, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

I am sure if you can find a law that says a candidate for county commission is required to file income tax returns, all candidates will file. This is simply a diversion started by a supporter of another party's candidates to try and make candidates who refuse to cowtow to their views look bad to those who believe that you have a right to know if he wears boxers or briefs. Frankly until the law says income tax returns, it is none of your business. Financial disclosure has cut down on the number of truly qualified candidates to manage our business of county, city, school or state government. --pwf

At 2:12 PM, October 23, 2006, Anonymous george said...

Do you think if Fitos and Weesner were married, they would be so "voluntary" with their tax forms? I doubt it.

At 4:03 PM, October 23, 2006, Blogger brian creekbaum said...

While married county commissioners, Parnell Townley and Steve Henning routinely released their jointly filed federal income tax returns without a fuss. I have for some time had copies of federal income tax returns for both of them covering several years. I’ve also got them for Charlie Crist, Tom Gallagher, and Jim Davis. I haven’t checked on Rod Smith, but he probably released his too. It’s simply not true that such disclosure is unusual or an unwarranted intrusion on the lives of elected officials. That's why all these elected officials and more have disclosed.

It’s interesting when the folks who lecture on the importance of marriage as an institution want to act like they aren’t married to their wives when it comes to financial disclosure. They demean the institution of marriage and insult the intelligence of voters. When politicians act like they have something to hide, it’s generally because they do.

At 5:21 PM, October 23, 2006, Anonymous Christopher Thurow said...

Brian stated:

"When politicians act like they have something to hide, it’s generally because they do."

This is true and this is the problem I have with so many of the office holders here in Marion.

The public records research I have done on several of these individuals clearly show a disturbing pattern. It appears they are being deceptive on their financial disclosures. Why? Are they embarrased by not having sufficient net worth or is the problem too much net worth?

It is in fact our business and that's the reason the state mandates either the financial affidavit or the 1040's submitted for public scrutiny.

And Paul...your constant attempts to intimidate me with your demeaning and caustic comments are truly pathetic. Stop while you still have your dignity.

At 6:32 PM, October 23, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's get back to beating up your least favorite candidates. I'm now starting to question my own good (great) sense as I've previously supported CT and pwf comments?!

At 7:57 PM, October 23, 2006, Blogger Blog Master said...

Anonymous (7:58 PM, October 22, 2006) said...

“Hey Blogmaster why just have a competition between two blog posters on the election outcome? I think anybody willing to participate and also provide their real name should be included.”

Blog Master says...

OK, we will open up the competition to anyone who provides their real name. Just post you predictions using your name (first and last) and indicate that you want to enter the competition.

Scroll up to my post on 10/22/06 @ 11:56 AM for the “rules”.

At 9:23 PM, October 23, 2006, Anonymous linda said...

I decided to early vote today. My votes went to the Republicans in all except two elections. I’m keeping those two between me and the voting machine.

At 9:55 PM, October 23, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So linda, why did you vote for the two Democratic candidates for County Commission? ... because they are female?

At 11:54 PM, October 23, 2006, Blogger brian creekbaum said...

I was driving home today and caught a few minutes of Harrisphiles John and Barbara Lund on WOCA. They were bashing the road tax big-time and so were their callers. Strangely, or perhaps not, they made no mention, at least while I was listening, of the fact that their idol, Randy Harris, supports this $400 million tax.

Those road builders and developers who have been contributing funds to Harris campaigns for years really know how to make an investment in a politician pay off, don’t they? For anyone who missed it, Harris stated at a candidate forum this past Sunday,” “I support the sales tax for roads.”

Has anyone looked into Citizens for Responsible Road Improvement, the entity mentioned on the pro-road tax signs as having paid for them? I haven’t. Yet.

Someone asked what happened at the Smart Growth Coalition candidate forum. It was sparsely attended (an audience of about 30). They had other candidates, but I only heard the four county commission candidates. I’ve attended eight candidate forums this year. The answers were all thoughtful, but I heard nothing of particular note other than the fact that Randy Harris supports the $400 million sales tax. Oh, and did I mention that RANDY HARRIS SUPPORTS THE $400 MILLION SALES TAX.

At 7:56 AM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

On the last thread, the question was asked if anyone could find ANY issue Randy Harris had initiated and carried to fruition in his 12 years as a commissioner. I listed off the top of my head a number that meet that criteria, including some I opposed.

I forgot one major project, and now can add another very major initiative.

-- Stopping development of the Seldon property at Silver Springs, and the purchase of it by the state with an agreement insisted on by the county that Marion County manage the property. By the way, the Seldon parcel owners were represented in the failed attempts to zone it commerial in the county, then the failed effort to get it annexed and zoned for development in the city -- they were represented by one Harris' supporters, Charlie Forman and Joe Hanratty, who happen to be friend sof mine too, and I too argued against the project.

I have thought of another half dozen or so, but wont go into them, and they wouldn't change the bloggers view or knowledge. --pwf

now the big one ---

--stopping development (by those big nasty developers who contriobute to political campaigns) of the AVATAR Property just south of the old site for another Mt. Trashmore, and the purchase of the property by the state, private environmental groups and Marion County. His interest came during the effort to kill the new landfill because of its potential to harm Silver Springs and our water supply. Other commissioners were equally interested, and this does nothing to reduce the impact of "the bulldog" Guy Marwick on this purpose.

Again, vote as you please. but vote on facts not unfounded tales by the uninformed.

At 8:20 AM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So why do we need Darlene Weesner on the County Commission? We already have at least two environmentalists in Harris and Payton. Thanks to both of them for supporting the Avatar deal.

At 8:37 AM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous james walker said...

Ok, PWF, more cold hard facts. The Avatar deal started out in '04 with a price tag of something like $23 million. Price tag yesterday? $78 million.

Have property values gone up in Marion County? Sure. Have they more than tripled in a little over two years? Not on your life.

Did Avatar and their local agent Kulbir Ghumman realize when negotiations began that property values were about to skyrocket? You gotta believe they did. Did they stonewall for a couple of years until property values began to stablize? You gotta believe they did.

Question for Mr. Creekbaum - Any political contributions to Harris from Avatar or Ghumman or any related companies or individuals? It would be interesting to find out.

Let's not forget that this is really a state deal, and it's you the tax payer stuck with the extra $55 million bill for the property. And, hmmmm.... Mr. Ghumman is a major contributor and supporter of Baxley's campaign.

Don't get me wrong. The deal needed to get done. But Avatar, as our local leadership at the very least just sat on the sideline, held the state hostage in the process.

At 8:41 AM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous james walker said...

Ah, the greening of Mr. Harris.

You can take a barrel of toxic waste and paint it green. You can even paint a big smiley face on it over the skull and crossbones. On the inside though, it's still toxic.

At 10:25 AM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 10:31 AM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

Well, Mr. Walker, I do not know all the inside details. But my recollection is that the state turned the deal down two years ago at about half the amount they paid (or will pay) yesterday, and only the efforts of locals, especially Mr. Marwick and a number of other people who recognized the danger to our water, including, like it or not, Messers. Harris and Payton and the other commissioners, who were able to get enough pressure on the state to force agreement.

I believe the stories I wrote in the Times- Union when the property was owned by a division of General Development Corp. reported the purchase at about $1 mill, perhaps even less. That would have been about $200 an acre, not bad for scrub land back then when none of us recognized the danger of developing environmentally sensitive lands. That was almost never considered except by little old ladies in tennis shoes.

Has property increased in value that much in the last 40 years. Yes. My lot cost $1,250 in 1960. The last vacant lot across the street is now $60,000. I am aware of a lot that cost $17,000 about 30 years ago that is now on the market for $300,000 plus.

I am aware of another lot in Ocala that went from $50,000 last year to $150,000 this year's tax roll.

Look at the increase in the Fairgrounds. The same county commission I praised sold the largest piece of public property in the city limits for about $12,000 an acre UGHHHHHHH!!! a Stupid decision, but back to Avatar.

They apparently are being paid about $15,600 an acre. But here are the important facts: This property was grandfathered in and could have been fully developed with all those houses as it is.

I believe the tripling is probably a little low there. But since I have a well that draws water from the same water that flows into Silver Springs, it is a bragain if it saves my water -- and the water you will be expected to protect if you are elected! --pwf

At 10:34 AM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Walker is right. Randy is no environmentalist, and the Avatar deal was pure politics - plain and simple.

Its no coincidence that TWO WEEKS before Election Day that this deal has surfaced.

Walker cut the BS - that's why I'm voting for him.

At 10:59 AM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous Christopher Thurow said...

Harris realized a few years back that he can never again win without the support of, at the least, the hook-and-bullet conservationists. Notice I did not say environmentalists! Different group.

Randy has become quite the Better Homes and Gardens/city beautiful preppy! Oxford shirts, khakee slacks. Heck all he needs now is a cool Prius to complete the package.

Does anyone with a lick of sense beleive his transistion is authentic? Does Brad Rogers think Randy has transformed into a border line socialite?

This whole thing is a tremendous joke. And those are the facts.

At 11:06 AM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous Christopher Thurow said...

BTW I am sticking with my prior picks in these races. All listed are winners:


At 11:31 AM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

Harris has always been a conservationist -- hell, he grew up on the land. Deal done two weeks before the election,? Asak Nature's Conserv and DEP -- They are the ones who pushed hard to get it done now. Give everyone credit for a good deal for all of us. $78 million to save water is cheap, just ask the people aroiund Tampa Bay and Miami what they are willing to pay for OUR water.

You know, some times you can hunt behind the rock for the conspiracy, and then you come out looking silly. Give it up. You will soon be put in the league with the other "I hate Harris" folks around.-- pwf

At 12:08 PM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous james walker said...

First off, yes, Guy Marwick is a hero on this. The land ought to be named Guy Marwick State Park, though I'm pretty sure he'd object. Second, I applaud the efforts of the County Commission in the deal. I have no beef with them on this particular issue, though I just can't believe that Mr. Harris' motives are as pure as some would like us to believe. And, yes, the deal is worth every penny.

My complaint is with Baxley on this one. He was in a position two years ago to bring the state back to the table. He didn't. This is just a perfect illustration of where his priorities are, and they aren't here. The whole theme of his campaign is "effectiveness." His record doesn't back it up.

And - I don't know about you, but where I come from $55 million is still a lot of money.

At 12:30 PM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

Your complaint with Baxley is justified. Easy for me to say down here, but I hope if I was part of the Tallahassee Bush leadership team, I think I could have gotten my leaders together and said I walked the plank for you, now it is time for you to walk the plank for me. I think I would have organized the Bush team in Marion County and called a general meeting of them outside the Governor's office and said, "Jeb my friend. Now is the time."

On this issue and others involving lands around Silver Springs, Harris has a pretty good record. He doesn't cotton to some of the other people involved, but without his push, we might well be building a dump just north of this property. The Commission had pretty well withstood the environmentalists and the conservationists (many of whom were just interested in making sure the dump wasn't west of I-75 north of US 27 where the engineering data said it shoulfd have gone. The site north of AVATAR was selected the site in Harris district when he stood up and said not only No but Hell No.
He approached Kulbir Ghumman for help, and he resoponded by paying for an extensive study that showed the property did drain toward Silver Springs. Since Harris is not well liked in some of those communities, he will never get the credit, but in this case, it is deserved. --pwf

At 12:32 PM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

And you are right. $55 million is a lot of money. $78 million is even more. I think I could live on the difference. ---pwf

At 1:12 PM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous james walker said...

Thank you pwf for the clarification on Harris and Ghumman.

At 1:44 PM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

You are making a very good candidate, easily the best campaign from any Democrat this year, and best of most anyone running. That race will be most interesting.

And thank you for your service to our country. You and your family are in my prayers. --pwf

At 2:18 PM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul and Christopher Thurow can at least agree on one thing: James Walker.

At 2:32 PM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous Christopher Thurow said...

Paul and I agree on a ton of things but it's a lot more fun to argue issues than to nod in agreement. Right Paul?

At 2:39 PM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey blogmaster, how about a straw poll update?

At 4:02 PM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

It would be interesting to argue issues, but you insist on ignoring them and calling people names.

At 4:05 PM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

By the way, speaking of land prices . . lots in Silver Springs Shores five years ago were in the $3,500-$4,000 range. They topped out at $40,000 and in a couple of cases, even higher. In Rainbow Lakes Estates, I turned down lots at $2,500. They topped out at about $35,000 this year. Which says something about my ability to judge real estate. But no land in Marion County is "worth" what it sells for -- unless I am the one selling and you pay some outrageous price. --pwf

At 4:57 PM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Attended the forum at Fellowship Baptist Church yesterday evening. My take away is that the local Republican candidates are really starting to put up a united front, even among some who don’t particularly like one another. The Democrats looked out of touch and not very inspiring. Fitos really puts you to sleep. Walker has fire in the belly, but no one in his Party is listening to him or helping him. Weesner may not be the dedicated conservationist people think she is, based on one of the questions she got from the floor. Poor Macky Thurman is a disaster. He can’t even state a position accurately and on top of that is a great example of political nepotism in action.

Not a winner in the Democrat bunch. There were not very many people there, so probably little impact for any of the candidates attending.

At 8:10 PM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous linda said...

No, I did not vote for two females. Only one.

At 8:10 PM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lot's of conjecture on the Avatar purchase. Here's the inside skinny.

Property appraised about three+ years ago, not two for low $20's (millions). Avatar wanted high $20's and the State looked everywhere for extra dollars because Jeb would not allow DEP to "shop appraisals." They were looking for $3-4M. Basicly Avatar wanted 20% over appraised value. The Governor and Cabinet are quite firm in not wanting the Florida Forever program to artificially raise property values.

You can bash Baxley for some things but Dennis hadn't carried enough buckets for the Governor to get him to publicly go against his own philosophy. He still hasn't. No one has!

As to comparing this sale and the $17,250 price per acre to other rising property values you're missing the point. There are (almost) 15,000 vested, buildable lots on the 4471 acres. Those are where the value is, not just in the raw land value. The water protection is priceless so quit bitching about the $76M+ price tag. History will judge it a bargain.

At 8:20 PM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a hunch but the Republican repudiation "throw the incumbents out" mentality will carry over to the local races. Also, if you don't really trust the guys currently in power you sure won't vote for another one of their taxes.

Outcome, Payton barely hangs only because of his giant warche$t.

Harris loses, it's not that close and the REC gets their comeuppance.

Road tax gets the tar beat out of it.

Take it to the bank.

At 8:28 PM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Blogmaster two weeks out and one week out would be great times to post your straw poll.

At 9:05 PM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Payton for progress.

Harris for harrassment.

Has a nice ring to it!

At 9:58 PM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous jackie wilson said...

Anonymous at 8:10 - so Jeb's definition of fiscal conservatism is to avoid paying $3 million so you can pay an extra $55 million two years later? Thank God for term limits.

At 10:02 PM, October 24, 2006, Blogger Blog Master said...


Results as of this evening (274 participants):

Charlie Crist 49%
Jim Davis 39%
Max Linn 12%

Jim Payton 51%
Darlene Weesner 49%

Barbara Fitos 50%
Randy Harris 50%

SCHOOL BOARD (Dist. #5):
Ron Crawford 55%
Joyce Romanski 45%

STATE REP. (Dist. #24):
Dennis Baxley 51%
James Walker 49%

STATE REP. (Dist. #22):
Larry Cretul 54%
Macky Thurman 46%

STATE SENATE (Dist. #14):
Ed Jennings 48%
Steve Oelrich 52%

Yes 48%
No 52%

(Many are still “too close to call”!)

At 10:38 PM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous A Hopeful Democrat said...

Just watched the gubenatorial debate. I was shocked at how well Davis performed. Assuming anyone actually watched it, Davis might pick up some votes. I've seen Davis in person at least a half dozen times in the last year, and always thought that Crist would tear him apart. That's why I was so upset when Smith lost the primary. I thought for sure we were handing the governor's mansion back to the Republicans. Tonight, I have a shred of hope Davis might just pull this off.

At 11:25 PM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous james walker said...

Want to know the sorry state of our local Republican Party? Here's an interesting little story.

Tonight there was a forum at Ocala Palms. I was invited months ago by the head of the Ocala Palms Democrats Club. I show up tonight at the gate and was turned away by the gate guard because I wasn't on the list. He tells me the president of their Republican club, who brought him the list of people allowed in, told him this was strictly a Republican event. He even showed me the list of "invited" candidates. Sure enough, just Republicans and judicial candidates. I called my contact who invited me, but of course, she was at the event waiting for me and Macky Thurman to show up.

Ocala Palms isn't in district 24, so for me, it wasn't a huge deal. I was only going out of respect for and to say thank you to the many Democrats who live in Ocala Palms who have supported my candidacy even though they can't vote for me.

Funny and sad at the same time. The once unbeatable Randy Harris machine seems to have a few cracks in the armor.

At 11:39 PM, October 24, 2006, Blogger "night owl" said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:41 PM, October 24, 2006, Blogger "night owl" said...

So let me be sure I understand this. The head of the Ocala Palms Democrats can attend a Republican-only Forum but Democrat candidates can not. Is that correct? If so, seems a bit crazy to me!

At 3:15 AM, October 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:58 pm jackie wilson,
Even Jeb Bush could not predict the rapid run up in developable land values so paying $3M more was not an option, it was well over the appraised value, at that time. Don't underestimate the business savvy of Avatar either.

As to term limits, Amen. Isn't that what we want at the local level?

At 7:52 AM, October 25, 2006, Blogger cecil said...

How much did it cost the taxpayer to send out the glossy brochure advocating the 'road improvement' sales tax?

It seems that it was mentioned that if appoved by the voters...this tax will go into a general fund and will be spent by the commissioners as they choose....no gurantees on which and what....these projected improvements will take time...let's not get all emotional about property taxes vs sales taxes....accountability....not open ended power in the form of discretionary monies for the CC.

At 8:00 AM, October 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

James Walker:

You don't need to be too exercised about not getting in to the Ocala Palms. If you read the paper's account, it was only for judge candidates. They never mentioned any other candidates who might have attended.

At 9:52 AM, October 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You’re wrong Mr. Walker! The Ocala Palms Forum was open to Democrats and many were there. Don’t blame Randy Harris for a lack of communications between Democrats about getting through the gate. Or maybe the OP guard just doesn’t like you and Mr. Macky. I doubt that. Flubbed Dem communications is the more likely answer.

At 10:36 AM, October 25, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

Cecil asks, "How much did it cost the taxpayer to send out the glossy brochure advocating the 'road improvement' sales tax?"

My understanding is they appropriated $50,000 for the total campaign. The "slick card" was a poor job that did a poor job. They should have allocated $150,000 to sell the program, but we usually do things on the cheap.

Cecil wrote: "It seems that it was mentioned that if appoved by the voters...this tax will go into a general fund and will be spent by the commissioners as they choose....no gurantees on which and what....these projected improvements will take time...let's not get all emotional about property taxes vs sales taxes....accountability....not open ended power in the form of discretionary monies for the CC."

The money would go into a special fund and can ONLY be used for roads as outlined in the ordinance. The projects will take time, but they can not design projects they have no money to fund, so which comes first -- the chicken (the plans) or the egg (actual road work).

If the tax goes down (and I suspect it will) no NOT look for real estate taxes to go up in spite of what the Banner writes. I can not envision a commission raising property taxes to fund something voters turn down. They might, however, raise gas taxes now that gas prices have gone down again.

The road tax should stand on its own: if you like the roads, vote against the tax. If yopu think we need to improve thew road network and repair what we have, vote for it.

But if you don't trust the commission, remove them. The two issues should be on their own. The record of the commission based on the sales tax for facilities, might be used to judge them. They have fulfilled those promises we made completely, so far at least. --pwf

At 11:26 AM, October 25, 2006, Anonymous vote "r" said...

Don’t believe all this local newspaper crap about the Governor’s race being close.

Here are the latest results of seven polls conducted in the last five days:

Mason-Dixon, Crist 50-39
Zogby, Crist 50-41
Rasmussen, Crist 46-41
Quinnipiac, Crist 46-44
Cromer, Crist 49-38
AIF, Crist 46-32
Strat. Vis., Crist 51-42



Doesn’t look that close to me. Don’t depend on only one poll.

At 11:59 AM, October 25, 2006, Anonymous james walker said...

No, I'm not wrong. The guard told me and he told Macky Thurman the same thing, that this was a Republican only event. He showed me the invite list. No Dems on it. sweet little old lady who invited me had the audacity to trust her Republican counterpart to be honest about who was on the agenda.

This was a perfect example of how weak your Republican leadership is on the issues. They're running scared.

At 12:32 PM, October 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, So how did Fitos and Weesner get entry to the Ocala Palms?

At 12:40 PM, October 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PWF--- Does an increase in the gasoline tax require voter approval?

At 1:17 PM, October 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Barbara and Darlene sweet talked the guard with their feminine wiles. Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.

At 1:26 PM, October 25, 2006, Anonymous Christopher Thurow said...

I would like to hog the stump for a moment so if you’re not interested in my opinions of the old guard you probably will want to skip this post. This discussion is a tremendous part of the needed changes in this county, so for what it’s worth it’s still on subject.

The reason for my arguments with Paul ( and others like him) can be reduced to one statement: We need to put old school political authoritarianism out to pasture. The tactic has been the tool of choice in smaller rural areas such as pre-2000 Marion County for decades. The concept is simple: People who are in position of perceived power or self appointed authority have the ability to manipulate political facts to their own advantage. These individuals are the self proclaimed know-it-alls. They use intimidation and perpetual put downs in an attempt to keep political challengers at bay.

In Paul’s case he makes numerous claims and statements that he purports to be facts. He also hedges on many of these claims by co notating it with “to my recollection”. This tactic adds a gentle fuzzy haze to his arguments. A rhetorical CYA if you may. Paul never offers documentation for his facts. He expects everyone to accept them based on his authoritarian credentials. Yup Ferguson said it, it must be true.

There is also a problem with anyone who claims that have attended decades of county commission meetings and this entitles them to a wealth of exclusive information . Any individual with even the smallest amount of knowledge of local government will tell you very little substance is discussed at commission meetings. Sometimes but not often. So what validity does going to all of these meeting hold? Not much.

In one instance Paul made numerous claims regarding Randy Harris’s accomplishments in office. Go back and read them. Most of them could be attributed to any number of other people. Does Paul expect us to believe Randy actually pulled these things off on his own? That in itself is an insult. The “facts” are that there is no documentation anywhere to support Paul’s claims and please don’t refer me to the Star Banner.

The practice of Authoritarianism also denies others the opportunity to be correct in their claims. I have proved Paul incorrect a number of times. He never responds to that.

The mindset of this line of gamesmanship is “we’re in charge and taking care of everything, don’t you worry your pretty self for a moment. You listen to us and everything will be all right.”

Thanks but no thanks.

At 1:33 PM, October 25, 2006, Anonymous jackie wilson said...

Amen to that.

Paternalism. Father knows best, now the rest of you just fall in line and be good little citizens.

At 3:23 PM, October 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Follow up to Thurow’s comments. I look at comments from several blogs every day. One of them has a debate going on about the role of government in solving problems. Here is an interesting comment from one blogger responding to another:

[All those problems you cited - child labor, sweat shops, serfdom, etc. - were GOVERNMENT SANCTIONED!

You want the "best and brightest" to govern? these periods of history were notably LESS DEMOCRATIC, that is MORE ARISTOCRATIC with the "little people" being told what to do by their "betters" i.e. the "best and brightest"

Various terms to describe these periods are Absolutism in the case of monarchies or Totalitarianism in the case of communism/facism.

The reality was the same - government did NOT govern least. It governed most - absolutely. And the people were exploited.

More government did not fix these problems. More participation did, and that means government by people who probably wouldn't fit your definition of the "best and brightest."

Government *can* be "working together" as you say, but it can also be exploiting one another. The best society, therefore, is one where INSTITUTIONS of POWER (government, church, etc.) have limited roles to play.

Not every problem deserves a government "solution".]

At 3:56 PM, October 25, 2006, Anonymous jackie wilson said...

Can I hear another Amen!

At 4:04 PM, October 25, 2006, Blogger cecil said...

BobbyD....don't hide in anonymous

" Hey Blogmaster two weeks out and one week out would be great times to post your straw poll."

your posts are too easy to "spot"...


At 6:20 PM, October 25, 2006, Blogger Blog Master said...


Scroll up on this thread and you will see the update on the Straw Poll results.

We'll post them again next week.

At 6:52 PM, October 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just voted in the Straw Poll and also took advantage of early voting today. Notice that Barb Fitos has edged ahead of King Randy in the Straw Poll.

Hopefully, my vote has also kept her in front in the poll that counts.

At 7:13 PM, October 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just when things are looking good for the Democrats, along comes the New Jersey Supreme Court to Fire Up the Republicans on the gay marriage issue. Watch this as a call to arms to get out the Republican vote. And it will likely work. Timing on the decision could not have been worse for the Democrats.

At 7:46 PM, October 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't worry anonymous 7:13pm, the gay issue in NJ is just that in NJ. The Republicans will still lose that Senate seat. I think many of the evangelicals will stay home this year.

Gosh, now to the real issue presented by all the high schoolers and GED's that can't quite remember their civics lessons. Will Marion County secede from the state and be a monarchy or just a socialist society?

At 7:48 PM, October 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So pwf, you're a crony of Randy's, what do you think of his straw poll numbers? Does he have a November surprise or is he toast?

At 8:57 PM, October 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We really need a woman as a County Commissioner so who's it going to be? My vote goes to Barbara. She's certainly competent and it sends a good message. Plus one vote won't dramatically change the Board. Of course the developers will lose Randy, their strongest voice on the Commission. When that happens chaulk one up for the little guy.

At 9:06 PM, October 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But what happens to Stan McClain? Who will spoon feed him all the answers? He'll be so lonely sitting there looking for someone to lead him along. Sigh.

At 9:15 PM, October 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Without question Stan will blossom as a Commissioner. People will be amazed at his grasp of issues. Better yet, the other Commissioners will now be able to speak out on issues without "fear" that Randy will label them as liberals or tax and spenders.

So are we all recognizing that Randy has to go!

Also, a blogger a while ago questioned pwf and his list of everything Randy has done. My question does Randy have one vote or three? I thought with five Commissioners it took three people to agree to do something. What about it pwf?

At 11:29 PM, October 25, 2006, Anonymous river rat said...

Thank you Star Banner for bringing to our attention a possible example of political favoritism in the way Macky Thurman’s traffic accident, resulting in the death of someone, was handled. The Cretul campaign or State Republican Party had never associated the fact that Thurman got off so easily with his mother being a member of Congress or his father a county court judge at the time of the accident. His mother’s rather neutral response to whether she thought there was any judicial favoritism was even more eye opening to me. It makes you wonder if the “average kid” would have been treated so lightly in a similar situation. We all probably know the answer to that: NO!

Young Macky Thurman has had a life of special treatment and someone making decisions for him. I don’t want that to continue as my State Rep. He doesn’t deserve the job and won’t get my vote.

At 7:31 AM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

Anonymous at 12:40 pm asked:

"PWF--- Does an increase in the gasoline tax require voter approval? "

No it does not. It can be passed on a 4/5ths vote of the county commission. After the sales tax was defeated eight years ago, commissioners were cautious about imposing it after voter's spoke so loudly. The then chair asked me, as the then chair of the governmental affairs committee of the chamber, to recommend the gas tax. Instead our committee recommended the "Road Financing Task Force" better known as the committee from Hell because of the conduct of some of the members. We felt things needed to be cleaned up a bit before moving to a new tax.

A number of good things did come out of the committee that were implemented over the enxt two or three years, saving the county several million dollars, but the commission never did vote on the extra five cent gas tax.

One of the most lasting things might be called the reorganization of the park department. The commission, with some very difficult prodding, cut hundreds of thousands of dollars out of the parks budget without diminishing services to the public at all, and set the stage for what will become a true Parks and Recreation Department. I am very proud of the role I played in that long, difficult battle.

If the sales tax gets voted down, and I suspect it will, the commission will find it difficult to so soon vote to impose the extra five cent gas tax. I predict they will find it even more difficult to impose the property tax for roads that some claim will be imposed. The likely result will be the same as eight years ago: we will do little, the shortfall will grow, and the road situation will grow worse. --pwf

At 7:53 AM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

Anonymous at 7:48 pm asked:
"So pwf, you're a crony of Randy's, what do you think of his straw poll numbers? Does he have a November surprise or is he toast?"

Depends on what you mean by the word "crony." I would not consider myself a "crony" of anyone. Do I talk to him? Occasionally, including once this week, once in September, perhaps two or three more times the rest of the year. Maybe a dozen times in the past two years. Since I quit attending commission meetings two years ago, I don't see any of the commissioners much.

What do I think of his poll numbers? Go back about three threads (other topics) and you will see my unraveling of the tale that Harris wins by huge margins.

I have always said this will be a difficult election for him. Why?

He is an incumbent. I recognized a year ago incumbents would have a tough time. He has high negative numbers? He has always had high negatives. He polarizes people. He always has. He knows what he believes in and he doesn't mind saying so. His reported involvement in Parnell Townley's defeat two years ago angered many, me included. Being in office 12 years gives you the opportunity to make many enemies. Your enemies have long memories. Those you did something to help quickly forget: "what have you done for me lately." Tax bills will be out next week. Ouch!

All incumbents from the courthouse to the state house have a tough hand to play this year. We have so many new voters who were not here last election. We have early voting which poses a major communications problem.

Straw poll numbers? They are interesting and challenging to him (he is knows about the straw poll) and to those involve in his campaign which I am not. They give a target to shoot at. And they are about where they were four and eight years ago in independent polling.

November surprise? I dunno. But I do know he is a fighter, and while it will, as I said several weeks ago, be a very close race, it aint over until the song has been sung. Ask Rock Gibboney about how Randy finishes a race.

But then somebody may do something dumb like mail 10,000 postcards against him and run a nasty ad in the newspaper and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as was the case eight years ago.

If all of this makes me a crony, so be it. Doesn't bother me. But that does answer your question.-- pwf

At 8:04 AM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

In response to several posts by someone who had his clock cleaned twice by voters of the entire county, the last time by a lady who spent next to zero in the recent school board primary:

To further your education, it does take three votes to accomplish anything on the commission. If you had ever observed a Marion County commission debate you would know Harris’ ability to focus on an issue. The fact he wins his point far more than he loses is legendary and provoking to those who lose because he never, ever quits.

No, Harris did not do my list things alone; he was able to bring at least two other commissioners on board. I stand by my list and I could extend it quite a few more points of things he has initiated and seen to fruition, which was the question. Does he get all the credit? Of course not. It takes three votes to win and he has only one. I made the list from memory to show how foolish the original post had been.

Again, hate him if you like. That's your call. But deal in facts for a change.

I claim no special knowledge, influence, and certainly no power. But I might ask you a question: When have you been asked for your advice on any issue. You claimed to have lobbied school board members and county commissioners on impact fees, yet none – repeat none -- recall ever talking to you about anything. At least they have known my name and return my calls.

But this is too silly to continue. So proceed to amuse yourself during the work day at the expense of the Bradford County taxpayers. If you were on Marion County's payroll, John Lund would probably have filed a public information request for the time during work hours you are on the blog and broadcast it. Someday, Bradford County may install software to keep track of the time their employees waste on the internet like Marion County installed some time ago. --pwf

At 8:14 AM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never been impressed with Macky Thurman, but the attacks against him are just ridiculous and wrong. It just shows how tenuous a hold the Republicans have on that seat. It's conventional wisdom that if your poll numbers are a little too close for comfort you go negative. This year, the conventional wisdom isn't so wise. I think the ads will turn off a lot of voters who already have an awful lot to be angry about. Cretul needed to run his campaign like he has run his term in the House - quietly and non-controversially. Larry, this is a bad year for politics as usual. You should have stayed above the fray.

At 9:50 AM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous Christopher Thurow said...

Be very careful what you say fellow bloggers and make sure you don't use your real names because somebody may threaten your job!

Come on folks take a hard look at pwf's post! Does any of this have a familiar ring to it for anyone in Marion County?

This is how people haved stayed in power in this small county for decades. Intimidation, humiliation and threats.

We will collectively make the choice to put up with this insanity or continue to accept it.

At 10:20 AM, October 26, 2006, Blogger agent said...

At around 5PM the site was still down for maintainance, which I only found out after I had spent time constructing a blog charging The State Republican Party for smearing Thurman who apparently they incorrectly perceived as a threat.

Also the National Republican party for smearing Harold Ford of Tennesee with an overtly racist ad. National Chairman Ken Mehlman had no problem with the ad. Said he had no control over the content and was powerless to pull the ad.

Fear and Smear

And you think the Democrats will be able field good candidates in Marion County?

What bullhunk !!
How despicable !!

At 10:57 AM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous recdropout said...

Since pwf isn't a member of anything, and only has one vote, where is the intimidation. Seems like he closed your door pretty good. And we voted on your ideas in September primary. You're toast.

At 11:02 AM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous recdropout said...

Thought the Ford ad was funny. But then, I do not patronize Playboy Clubs. Thurman has no record so his personal record is okay by me. Why wasn't he rehired at Dunnellon. Was he offered a contract? Maybe someone can find out. pwf?

At 11:06 AM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous Christopher Thurow said...

recdropout I have one question for you: Why not use your name? Your coments don't carry much weight otherwise.

At 11:14 AM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agent: I agree with you. However, the problem is at the state and national levels both parties have “hijacked” the campaigns of candidates. The parties control the money and they control the advertising. Look at who sponsors the ads. You will most always find the negative ads are paid for by the parties and the more positive and issues oriented ones by the candidates own campaign funds.

I have noticed almost no negative campaigns ads (yet) by any of our local candidate, who must pay for their own campaigns without party support. Of course, the 527s have not gone into operation yet at the local level. That could change things quite a bit!

So what is the solution? Complaining to the National Party Chairmen is not going to get us anywhere.

At 11:41 AM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Candidates saying they have no control is a load of crap. If they don't want a particular message to be shown, it is entirely within their power to have it pulled.

The problem is there are so many consultants in the mix, most of whom are just political hacks, no smarter than any of us here on this blog, who happen to have been on the right side of some previous election so they must be "experts" who know how to win. And the candidates and the parties are dumb enough to go along.

Cretul will regret letting that ad get on the air. People will see right through it. There are plenty of good campaign issues that could be used against Macky. Just getting him on tape trying to stumble through his stump speech would have been enough. Digging up dumb mistakes from his childhood, and, yes, 17 year olds are children, was unnecessary and will make people wonder why Cretul can't just run on his own record.

At 12:38 PM, October 26, 2006, Blogger agent said...

Ken Mehlman, National Republican Chairman saying he had no control over an ad run by the National Republican Party and there was nothing racist in the ad which showed a white playmate type women showing all bare skin and winking suggestively. Nothing racist, of course not.

Former Secretary Of defense William Cohen, Republican, viewed the ad as racist and said The National Republican Party should quit running that type of ad.[comments to CNN]

Remember, the fish rots from the head down.

As far as the local level,smear campaigns were used by Sue Mosely's opponents.

Used to be that this kind of garbage was accomplished by whisper campaigns, now the blogs just aid and abet nastiness, no regulation or over site to monitor and adjudicate slander and election abuses.

Having worked as an advance person For Senator John Glenn's Primary Victory over Howard Metzenbaum , who was backed by the state party, I saw seen some real dirty tricks, envelopes of cash spread around to ward healers by the opponents, beating of an advance person in Toledo [me, "the most professional beating the cops had ever seen"]:I certainly am no virgin nor politically naieve. Yet I am astounded with the ruthlessness of the National Republican Party.

Time yet for more Willie Horton Ads, more swift boating,victory at any price.

At 1:06 PM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the Dems are clean as a whistle when it comes to this nasty campaign stuff? Is that right Agent?

At 2:04 PM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Republicans just have more to lose this year by going negative and turning off voters.

At 2:24 PM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

Sorry Anonymous and Agent and other folks, but this is what McCain-Feingold has brought to the table. Unfortunately, candidates do not have anything to say about ads of the type you describe, if it is a true third party and if they follow the law. The candidate (to be lawful) must NOT have any contact with the third party, and nothing can be done to stop it other than a public statement "I wish they would stop that."

This happened to Larry four years ago when a third party group ran the ad that, while true, was distasteful. Like it or not, he did not know about the ad prior to its running.

Having said that, I would not have liked either ad if I was doing the campaigns. Prior behavior may indicate what can be expected and Mr. Thurman doesn't have such a good record or good job stability. Remember that half of the eligible voters today weren't here eight years ago, and how should we tell the story nof a candidate.

Unfortunatly the televised four or five minutes of the Chamber and school people are seen by perhaps 4 to 5,000 people, so mailers and TV ads are the only way to reach voters along with newspaper ads.

Personally, I like Harold Ford and believe he will be a national figure for some time to come, but he may want to stay out of Playboy Clubs. Everyone to the own opinion, but the ad was not racist. In fact, if that was one of the girls he met, he chooses good.

And someone asked about Dems doing the same thing . . . Remember the tales they puit out five dauys before the election six years ago about a years old DWI charge? Nobody is pure. --pwf

At 2:32 PM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...



Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Charlie Crist has some questions to answer...
Crist Denies Trysts:

A young rising star in the Republican Party has boasted to witnesses of his sexual relationship with Charlie Crist, the frontrunner in the Florida governor's race who has repeatedly denied that he is gay.

The GOP staffer, 21-year-old Jason Wetherington, told friends at separate social functions in August that he had sex with Crist, according to two credible and independent sources who heard Wetherington make the claim first-hand.

Wetherington, who recently worked as a field director for U.S. Senate candidate Katherine Harris and currently works for state representative Ellyn Bodganoff's reelection campaign, also named a man whom he said is Crist's long-term partner, a convicted thief named Bruce Carlton Jordan who also recently worked for Harris in her long-shot Senate bid.

Jordan made headlines recently when the Miami Herald learned that the felon was working as Harris's travel aide. The newspaper noted that Jordan, 42, was reported to be close friends with Charlie Crist, whom he convinced to attend an annual Florida Funeral Directors Association meeting in 2003."
Sorry, Charlie... Looks like you closet door has been busted open.

Anonymous | 10.26.06 - 11:49 am | #

At 2:50 PM, October 26, 2006, Blogger agent said...

Apparently in the rush to claim everybody does it, the fact that I was talking about a DEMOCRATIC primary that was cosidere at the time to be the dirtiest in Ohio history. Please read that again DEMOCRATIC.

Both sides should stop the negative ads, but they won't.

PWF I also talked about Ken Mehlman saying as National Chairman he was powerless to pull the Republican National Commitee Ad.

Nothing referenced so far by bloggers would compair to the slimeing of John Kerry, Max Cleland, or John McCain in NC.

Now the slimeing of Charlie Crist, an excellent candidate, by another Republican. It is like a nightmare, When will it stop?

At 3:19 PM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As we watch the Republicans eat their own it just keeps getting interestinger and interestinger

At 3:32 PM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

Agent, an Orlando talk show host had the Crist story with everything except the name of the young man, on his show about three weeks ago.

Crist has not been one of my favorites since he lied to me about his involvement in a piece of crime legislation about eight or so years ago, but this will tighten that race considerably.
My problem is I don't like Davis either. So what to do? --pwf

At 3:34 PM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

BTW . . . just talked to CL and he was amused that mentored, runs or financed Harris campaigns. He confirmed my recollections as fact. So, you were wrong again. --pwf

At 3:39 PM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As we watch the Republicans eat their own it just keeps getting interestinger and interestinger" -- was that a slip of the tongue or what?

At 4:27 PM, October 26, 2006, Blogger agent said...

More about the Crist Story. I googled and stumbled into this information. The text that anonymous used is taken verbatem from a story written by Bob Norman, published 10/19/2006 by Broward - Palm Beach New Times.

Mr. Norman says his source is a "registered Independant and former Republican who isn't involved in Democratic Party Politics". Note that ABC turned down the story.

He concedes that he doesn't know whether Jason Wetherton is telling the truth. He opines that he believes Wetherton. The story reads like the National Inquirer which I often glance at as I check out.

I don't particularly like Davis but voted for him absentee. I could abide with Crist if he wins. Neither one of them can walk in the shadow of Jeb Bush who I have taken issue with yet give him an over all approval rating.

Personally, I hope this story does not get much traction.

At 4:31 PM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 4:59 PM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I voted for Davis.

However, I would hate to see Crist lose because there are allegations that he's a closeted homosexual.

I personally think we're all better than this.

Should this allegation prove to be true, however, it does raise questions about Crist's integrity and ability to tell the truth.

At 9:17 PM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The story in all likelihood is true. Certainly the sexual orientation. Only wish the story would have gotten traction in the primary.

In this age of political destruction the story will not go away.

At 9:18 PM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Payton for progress.

At 9:48 PM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous don said...

I'll second that!


At 10:25 PM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Previously I predicted wins for Payton, Fitos, and the road tax goes down. More confident than ever now. Fitos will still be close though. Payton wins comfortably, road tax gets killed, too bad.

Baxley and Cretul both win too.

At 10:31 PM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous bobby d said...


max linn said on my show last week that charlie crist is gay. they both are from st. pete and are the same age and supposedly know the same people and max linn said he knows hes gay. if he wasnt dont you think crist would sue him. but what would he sue for defamation of character, well you cant do that because that would imply that being gay was bad. so he is out of luck, whether he is or isnt.

At 10:44 PM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous river rat said...

As someone already said, Thurman’s life history is his record since he has never voted on anything. It seems to me the issue is “favoritism” because of the status of his close family members. If you want to vote for someone who is making it through life on the basis of favoritism and special treatment, fine go to it. I’m not.

At 11:28 PM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bobby D,

Can't wait to see your predictions.

At 11:40 PM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was going to vote for Cretul - until the Thurman ad hit the airwaves. Thought Larry was the last Republican with any honor. The ad was ugly and unnecessary. But for the grace of God - the Thurman situation could be any of us. 17 year olds are not the best drivers, have the best judgment. What parent would not try to help their child? Let's not blame Mackey for his parents being parents. All you parents -- run through your memory banks. Four out of five of mine wrecked a car and three of those four involved another vehicle. Fortunately with no injuries or fatalities, but .....

At 3:10 AM, October 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not any worse then the Republicans are doing to Ed Jennings.

At 8:09 AM, October 27, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

Have you seen the futile attempts by Jennings to smear the Olerich?
A pwerson's record is their record. If Jennings paid his bills with state funds, he outta be thrown out. If the fact that a teacher can't get re-hired when continuing contract time comes up, it is his record. We have too much instant access to information and no time for context to fall into place. --pwf

At 8:13 AM, October 27, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

Back in the good old days in Florida, history shows that the GOP first got its traction because the Dems then in power with a two to one or better registration edge "began "to eat their own" destroying each other in the primary, while the unopposed GOP nominee waited in the wings with a large war chest. Now the parties are very close in registrations with something we didn't have to contend with back then -- independents and other party registrations -- so a bitter fight in a party weakens that nominee even more. --pwf

At 8:31 AM, October 27, 2006, Anonymous nwest blogger said...

star blunder says Romanski said Thurow's endorsement of crawford is a good thing. she said Thurow never had a clue about the real issues. She also said the 9,200 of the 37,000 people who voted for Thurow in September will mostly fall into her camp.

she just got my vote. she's a whale of a lot smarter than we figured.

At 9:01 AM, October 27, 2006, Blogger Blog Master said...

Someone is trying to play with the polling results.


At 9:21 AM, October 27, 2006, Blogger agent said...

Stay tuned !

At 9:26 AM, October 27, 2006, Anonymous Christopher Thurow said...

I have to agree with all of the posts about Cretuls bad ad. It was a large dissapointment for me as well. Larry didn't need to do that. Was that a Cretul piece or some electioneering group?

At 9:32 AM, October 27, 2006, Anonymous Christopher Thurow said...

For the (public) record:

Joe mis-quoted me in this mornings paper. I made no comment about any single intitiative of Ms. Romanski. Joe quoted me in reference to the extended day proposal.

I feel the same as I always have that, that should be a high priority for funding. I must disclose however that I have a special interest in that proposal. I have a son in middle school.

At 9:59 AM, October 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was not Cretul's ad. It was done by the Republican Party of Florida. Doubt he knew about it until he saw it on TV or got one of the mailers. This is a good example of "politics out of control".

At 11:23 AM, October 27, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

Anonymous ... agreed.
Far too much third party advertising. --pwf

At 12:28 PM, October 27, 2006, Anonymous nwest blogger said...

dont think romanski was talking about any single issue. she was talking about your endorsement of crawford. It is an asset to her campaign.

At 3:57 PM, October 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Marion County needs road improvement....there is no doubt.

Yes, Silver Springs is dying and should be resuscitated.

Yes, Marion County is a sprawling land mass of ever increasing need...

No, growth does NOT pay for itself.

It seems that the commissioners want to pander to developers and not take care of Joe Property Owner, OR the renters who work for both.

I read in today's paper, that between the schoolboard and the County we spend a BILLION dollars a year to 'run' this place.

The school BUSES alone account for millions of dollars in costs...

go gators.

At 4:39 PM, October 27, 2006, Blogger lost our way said...

Something the Republican Party needs to start remembering:

"The Republican Party I belong to is founded on 3 main principles - Less Government, Lower Taxes and More Personal Freedom -- certainly it is also the party that is much more socially conservative than the Democratic Party, but it does not exclude people based on their views in those areas - you don't have to be a Christian in my Republican Party. You have to have common sense, respect your fellow man, and search for ways to make us all better while respecting everyone's freedom. You can be a Jew. You can be white. You can be Hispanic. You can be black. You can be a Muslim, a Baptist, a Protestant, an Evangelical, a Mormon, a Catholic and yes, even an atheist in my Republican Party - you just have to want our country and our state to be the best place on earth with an efficient government that asks only what it must from its citizens."

At 7:01 PM, October 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not gonna happen in this county!

At 8:30 PM, October 27, 2006, Anonymous gator 4 life said...

Glad to see we have at least one other Gator fan.

Go Gators!!

At 8:42 PM, October 27, 2006, Anonymous Christopher Thurow said...

lostourway: Very well said!

At 8:52 PM, October 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have several comments on all the negative campaign ads I have seen and heard: if these ads are untrue about candidates, then there must be plenty of lawsuits going on for slander. If true, however, does the public not have a right to know what kind of people they are voting into office? As nasty as some of them are, sometimes the truth can be an eye opener for voters. Personally I care about a persons character. You would think that if these were "3rd party ads" then there should be some kind of disclaimer from the candidate stating they have nothing to do with it. I can't imagine that under the rules and regulations codes that 3rd parties can "speak" for candidates unless the candidate's okay such ads.

At 10:00 PM, October 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm voting for Harris. Like him or not the guy sticks to his core values.

At 11:04 PM, October 27, 2006, Anonymous critic from belleview said...


I saw your TV commercial tonight. It really does a good job of telling us the difference between you and Baxley.

At 9:26 AM, October 28, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

Anyone going to the GOP barbecue at Tedder's ranch today?

At 11:16 AM, October 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don’t count out the Republicans too fast, including Randy Harris. I have a feeling we haven’t yet seen the impact of the Republican turnout machine at work. Political “experts” believe that religious conservatives will not stay home as some (especially the liberal news media) is predicting. The evangelicals are going to go to the polls and take the advice of their church leaders: you have a moral obligation to vote, so just hold your nose and vote. That will likely mean vote Republican because this is the Party that best represents religious issues like abortion and gay marriage.

Polls are nice at a point in time, but opinions often change in the final days before the election. About 25% of voters don’t decide who they will vote for until the week before the election. As many as 8% don’t decide until election day. The candidate who devotes the money and time to near-the-end-of campaign activities is likely to have an edge. This is especially true in a close race.

I’d say don’t count out any of the local Republicans. Past elections have shown what firing up your base can do to the outcome of an election.

I read Harris’ letter in today’s paper. Folks, you have just seen the opening salvo of what is going to be an interesting final week! He is also sitting on a bigger pot of money than his opponent.

At 11:19 AM, October 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S.: Harris has also picked up on a couple of issues to beat on his opponent. The library and attacks on his personal finances by a local person who is a known Randy hater and supporter of his opponent.

At 12:34 PM, October 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a former employee of RPOF, I can assure you that canididates are not consulted on ads they run. More importantly, we all need to see the Macky ad for what it is - an attack on Mommy Thurman to destroy her credibility in the party, and to wipe out Macky so badly that he never pops his head up again. I saw speculation on another blog that Karen is just setting Macky up with some name ID for when the seat opens up again he will be able to run and be known; the Rs want none of that.

Anyone who has seen Macky speak knows he has no chance; to think that Cretul would recklessly endanger his reputation on such a despicable ad is sorely mistaken.

James Walker by contrast is a much more appealing candidate. If you were to see a strong negative ad on him, it would make you wonder a little more, especially with no outside forces playing power games with Baxley's seat.

At 1:25 PM, October 28, 2006, Anonymous jackie wilson said...

Of course, the right also has folks like Bobby D out there urging their people to not bother voting for Crist. I think that will keep some people at home, regardless of the push by the Republicans. The "machine" isn't what it has been in past years. The Republicans have really torn themselves apart this year, especially at the local level. I don't know how many moderate Republicans will vote Democrat across the board this year, but from what I'm hearing, from real people, not the press, it's going to be a lot. A few right wingers stay home, a few moderates vote Democrat, independents swing left, and Democrats come out in higher numbers than usual. As someone told me, this year is the perfect storm blowing against the Republicans.

At 1:48 PM, October 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm praying that Harris uses the Library issue against Fitos. That will seal the deal on him not getting reelected.

At 2:48 PM, October 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. The so-called Republican machine isn't that good. If the local REC, as pwf has mentioned, has roughly 40 precinct captains (of which how many are active) can they really do a good GOTV effort. Not sure.

Also, should Harris lose, is the REC REALLY up for grabs? Couldn't the REC members simply reelect their beloved leader to be chairman, keeping Randy's head above the water for a comeback in 2010?

At 4:41 PM, October 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harris loses and he's out of the Party leadership position and out of being viable as a replacement for Cong. Stearns. Would love to see both!

At 7:06 PM, October 28, 2006, Blogger brian creekbaum said...

I see Commissioner Harris is in the newspaper with a letter that contains his usual election-time distortions and falsehoods. He should be ashamed of his attempt to smear the reputation of his opponent, Barbara Fitos, who is a mother and a grandmother and active in her church.

This is the same sort of thing the Harris people did with Jan Cameron when she was on the library advisory board. Cameron is also a mother and grandmother in addition to being a former two-term school board member and former Republican state committeewoman. It’s also the same sort of thing they did with Parnell Townley, a born-again Christian.

In his letter, Harris falsely claims that Fitos opposed county commission efforts relative to sexually explicit library material and restricted library cards for minors. Fitos didn’t even live in Marion County when this first came up. She has lived in Marion County for about a quarter century, but was living and working in Orlando during the first several years of the Harris library censorship crusade when the library system created policy offering restricted cards for minors as a parental option.

Upon her return to Marion County, Fitos, who had a 20-year record of unpaid volunteer service with our public library system, applied to the county commission for appointment to the library advisory board. The county commission appointed her WITH THE VOTE OF COMMISSIONER HARRIS.

Later, at the urging of the county commission and consistent with its duties to perform an annual review, the library advisory board undertook a full policy review that included a review of the restricted cards. The policy recommendation to the county commission resulting from that review included retention of the restricted cards as an option for parents. The recommendation passed on a 9-1 vote with the support of Fitos.

Shortly thereafter, the county commission abolished the library advisory board and assumed a direct role in library policymaking. Though they had abolished the library advisory board, the county commission used the recommendation from that board as a starting point in its policymaking. During the county commission’s policy discussions, Harris proposed a variant of one of the existing restricted minor cards that became yet another option for parents. Fitos had been removed from the process by the county commission and had nothing to do with discussions about this card.

The claim by Harris that Fitos opposed these restricted cards is simply a lie. The record clearly shows otherwise.

Do parents see this as the big issue that Harris does? Apparently not. At the end of June, the last time I checked, the library had more than 50,000 minor cards outstanding. All of the restricted cards referred to above accounted for only 6 percent of these cards. Despite years of Harris’ hysterical nonsense about library dangers and the enormous publicity these restricted cards got in newspaper articles and promotional signage in the library, apparently most parents still think they can raise their children without all the bureaucracy Harris wants at the library.

In his letter, Harris misleadingly refers to these restricted cards as providing “restricted-access.” These cards only relate to borrowing. They have nothing to do with in-library access. Despite his persistent attempts to mislead people, under library policies approved by Harris, every single item in the print collection of the Marion County Public Library System is physically accessible to anyone who visits the library regardless of their age. In the more than one year since the county commission created it, a policy that would limit physical access to certain material has never been applied by the county commission to any material. In other words, the policy is on the books just for political show and isn’t really a policy.

Harris also falsely implies in his letter that Fitos has filed her federal income tax returns as an alternative to the type of financial disclosure he has made. In fact, both have made the same type of official disclosure. Both have completed the asset, liability, and income sections of the state’s disclosure forms. In addition to this disclosure, Fitos has voluntarily disclosed her 2000-2005 federal income tax returns. Harris has not disclosed his. If he has nothing to hide, he should not have a problem disclosing his returns as his opponent has done and as past commissioners have done.

Let’s see those tax returns, Randy!

At 8:17 PM, October 28, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

Well, I read the Harris letter and found it to be a cortrection of the record as incorrectly applied by a well known Harris basher. HGe correctly stated his positions, answering the letter previously published.

Harris record on the library issue is one I disagree with, but neither do I agree with the Harris bashed who supports the American Library Association policy of everything goes. I am not a book burner, but neither do I see any reason to have every book published in the library, and there is absolutely no reason to have access to the interenet and porn which the ALA apparebnrtly supports. I don't.

We will likely be indunated with more Harris hate mail and postings. I say once again, beat him if you like, but do it with truthful statements, and better not use hate as much as previously or it will buite you again.

The phoney issue about tax returns is the latest in a continuing effort to create an issue where there is none. If the law required tax returns, it would require them. --pwf

At 8:25 PM, October 28, 2006, Blogger brian creekbaum said...

By the way, the Harris letter in the Saturday Banner is not the first instance in which the Harris camp has resorted to dishonesty in attacking Barbara Fitos. In July, the Star-Banner published a letter from Harris supporter and REC member Sandi Trusso in which she alleged Fitos had treated her rudely when Trusso spoke at a library advisory board meeting. Anyone who knows Fitos, who is a bank vice president and 25 year banking professional, knows how ridiculous this charge is on its face.

I have tape recordings of the library advisory board meetings and listened to the portion of the meeting to which Trusso referred in her letter after it was published. The chairman told all members of the public they would have 4 minutes to speak. After Trusso had spoken for 8 minutes, twice the allotted time, Library Advisory Board member Jan Cameron, who had sighed once, asked the chairman how much longer Trusso would be allowed to speak. No one did all that Trusso alleged in her letter and, to the extent that anyone was trying to get her to stop talking, it was Cameron, not Fitos.

The Trusso account of the meeting that appeared in the Star-Banner is false and is yet another example of the Harris camp resorting to dishonesty to get him a fourth term on the county commission. Apparently, they’re concerned that honesty won’t work.

At 9:23 PM, October 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brian Creekbaum wrote: “The claim by Harris that Fitos opposed these restricted cards is simply a lie. The record clearly shows otherwise.”

This is a true statement, but since when does the truth mean anything in local politics.... especially in a Harris campaign.

My bet, you are going to see more negative comments and ads about Fitos. When you are behind in the polls (not just a blog poll, but a more scientific one)---go negative. She better be prepared for a political avalanche.

Fitos needs to get with it in the last week of the campaign or her lead will turn to defeat. I haven’t seen much from her (ads, etc). Is she up to the challenge she is going to get? We'll see.

At 10:46 PM, October 28, 2006, Anonymous otow reader said...

his letter was pretty factual to me. i learned long time ago not to put much faith in stuff from people who hate a candidate like banner and the bl,ogger who has worked for years to defeat him. Makes you wonder why somebody would spend a lifetime trying to defeat a decent christian man, doesn't it.

At 12:20 AM, October 29, 2006, Blogger brian creekbaum said...

I sat in a meeting during the 2004 election with pwf in which he asserted that Harris “isn’t as religious as he makes himself out to be.” This was on the heels of the Harris people doing a number on pwf’s friend Parnell Townley who actually is a decent Christian man. If you want to know why someone would assassinate the character of a decent Christian man, I suggest you ask Harris since he and his gang have experience in this department. People aren’t always what they present themselves to the public as being for purposes of getting elected.

P.S. I sure hope that pwf doesn’t deny facts. It might become necessary to put out in the public the reason we were meeting. I’m sure the bloggers would find it extremely interesting. So would Harris.

At 12:27 AM, October 29, 2006, Blogger brian creekbaum said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12:32 AM, October 29, 2006, Blogger brian creekbaum said...

I’m not going to respond to OJ jury-like declarations, with no supporting analysis, that Harris has signed a convincing letter to the newspaper or to transparent attempts to marginalize me through name calling. I could name a frequent poster to this blog who has consistently made negative comments to me over a period of years about Fitos, but rather than dismiss him as a habitual “Fitos basher” and former Harris ad man posing on the blog as an objective third party, I’ll give him the opportunity to adduce evidence to support his various assertions, some of which I agree with. I just don’t think he’s done that at this point.

I do have a comment on one of the “Al Gore invented the internet” type claims for Harris made on the blog. I’m told that Dyer Michel, who was CEO of Munroe for many years, is perplexed as to why anyone thinks Harris had anything to do with creation of the indigent care system in Marion County. It’s also interesting that an examination of the main Harris mailers for 1998, 2002, and 2006 shows no such claimed accomplishment. In fact, I cannot even find any mention of indigent care in 20 pages of Harris promotional material sent out over these years. Amazing that such an amazing accomplishment wasn’t even mentioned by Harris, isn’t it? It’s buyer beware when reading about the supposed Harris accomplishments on the blog.

I remarked to somebody a couple of months ago that the truth in a political campaign is whatever the candidate with the most money says it is. Of course, this is an overstatement, but it’s truer than it ought to be. I believe if everyone in the county knew everything there is to know about Fitos and Harris, including what many Republicans in the county who have dealt with Harris will tell you under their breath, that Harris would be toast by a considerable margin, but that isn’t the way it works. I wonder how many of the “Fitos had better do something” chorus on the blog have sent her money. Hey, the post office doesn’t deliver for free folks!

At 7:39 AM, October 29, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw the Harris ads in the Blunder today. They are very good. Positive and not bashing Fitos as some had thought he might do. Also, I know several of the people who are endorsing him in the ad. They are all very well respected citizens of our community.

Looks to me like this is the start of putting the nails in the coffin of the Fitos campaign.

At 9:12 AM, October 29, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

I made it a policy somtime ago to not communicate with in any form or respond to some people who post, but I will respond to the statenent about Dyer Michell.

I have not spoken to Mr. Michell, a long time friend and occasional foe depending on the issue, about this issue, but I know that without Randy Harris, that program for indigent care would not have been created, period. It came directly from a Randy Harris move to get indigent care costs off the tax roll and into hospital profits, something that I am not sure I fully agree with, but that is not the point. The program was created s a ressult of the Harris move, Ed Dean was the actual force behind the program, it involved the county, both hospitals and the doctors all working together. CL Dinkins could have blocked its creation, and so could have Harris, both of whom not only approved it but were enthusiastic.

I well remember the last time I had anything to do with this blogger, and the only thing that made me more unhappy than Parnell's defeat was being in that meeting with the blogger. Be assured I will never, ever be in a meeting with that blogger again. I choose not to be associated with him in any form, or respoond to his frustrations or obsessions.

At 9:53 AM, October 29, 2006, Anonymous vote "r" said...

Bobby D can do all the talking he wants to discourage voters about Charlie Crist. However, I’m doing just like one of the other posters to the blog suggests. I’m holding my nose and voting for Crist, Baxley and Harris. The rest of the Republicans running I have no problem with. Guess after voting on November 7, I may have to use a Breathe Right strip to sleep that night.

At 11:10 AM, October 29, 2006, Anonymous jim said...

Interesting that Mr. Creekbaum is against threats, intimidation and retaliation he claims is practiced by the Republicans. Yet he is not against using it when it comes to Randy Harris. Is the term hypocrite?

At 11:23 AM, October 29, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

boils down simply: if you want a 5 cent gas tax, vote for darlene and fitos. taxes are gonna go up, but they will go up more with these two gals. the county has grown in people and govt has grown, but these two ladies are tax and spenders if I ever saw them.

At 12:26 PM, October 29, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 2:14 PM, October 29, 2006, Anonymous femdem said...

Not necessarily so. Gasoline tax is going to be on the agenda if the road tax fails, even if the commission remains all Republicans. My bet, it would be passed by the five Republicans rather than increasing property taxes.

At 3:30 PM, October 29, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

Femdem, I might be willing to bet the gas tax will not be up, at least not for more then a year or so. The first thing the commission will probably do is fire who ever screwed up the discimination of information about the gas sales tax. There is no excuse for such a monumental screwup, especially when the Chamber, Road Builders and others were involved. To hire inexperienced help is mind blowing.

If you were a commissioner and a Republican, would you vote to impose a gas tax when the public had just said no by perhaps 60-40 (and growing daily) percentage? I doubt it. I know I would not. --pwf

At 4:13 PM, October 29, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

By the way, my bet is neither side would increase property taxes. Remember, the bills are in the mail and will be delivered this week. After voters getting a tax bill, going thru the roof, and voting 60-40 or more against a tax, you gonna raise their property taxes even more? Not!
The issue will sit until the Star Banner or Chamber or some group brings it up again. After all it only took four (or was it five) times with the tourist tax going down to defeat before it was passed, and we now have another bureaucracy eating at the trough.--pwf

At 6:38 PM, October 29, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So who is going to get fired if the road tax doesn't pass?

At 7:30 PM, October 29, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Road tax goes down for two reasons. First, a significant group of conservatives who don't want a tax increase. Second, a bigger group who doesn't trust the sitting commission with the money. Fitos and Weesner win and a 1/2 cent sales tax passes in two years. Payton and Harris stick around and nothing happens for four more years.

At 8:10 PM, October 29, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That Ocala Radio internet setup SUCKS!!

At 10:29 PM, October 29, 2006, Anonymous linda said...

To the anonymous blogger above commenting about the Evangelical vote: Please remember that Evangelicals can be Democrats as well as Republicans. Don’t be surprised to see the Churches get out the vote efforts work just as well for Democrats.

At 11:26 PM, October 29, 2006, Blogger mike shore said...

Good point. Too frequently not mentioned.

At 7:54 AM, October 30, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Letter from the Star Banner:

"After watching the televised candidate forum, I have concluded that County Commissioner Randy Harris' opponent is the opposite of him in every way.

He opposes funding industrial parks with taxpayer money. She supports such funding, while ignoring the fact that most taxpayers have no interest in doing so.

He refuses to fund charities with taxpayers' money, preferring that citizens be allowed to make those decisions for themselves. She supports funding charities with taxes, knowing that we reluctantly pay taxes and expect them to be used for only government services.

Commissioner Harris is correct; this County Commission race is a contrast in philosophies. As a taxpayer, his philosophy suits me best.

In her closing remarks, Harris' opponent stated that his philosophy was stuck in 1994, referring to the year he was initially elected. What a compliment. She accurately observed that he is steadfast in protecting taxpayers and doesn't change to accommodate the political winds."

Joseph Mitchell

At 8:04 AM, October 30, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And from it's sister paper, the Gainesville Sun this letter on 10/28:

"Democrats Will Bring Higher Taxes and Less Security"

It is hard to hear any good news with our elite media in charge of the dialogue. You listen to our Democrat friends and one would think the world is coming to an end. In reality things are quite good in the United States of America.

As hard as it is to believe for the Democrats, this economy is absolutely fantastic. The economy of the Clinton years went up with the disguise of false numbers that allowed for a bubble to burst. Thanks to our President's tax cuts this economy is roaring without any visible disguises.

So if you would like to help in bursting the economy, I suggest voting for the Democrats who will not renew your tax cuts and most likely will try to raise them - because it is not fair for someone to make more money than someone else.

The Democrats can say what they wish about the war, but the last time I checked we have not been attacked on our soil since the terrorists decided to wage war on the U.S. We did not ask to be attacked and we are now protecting our citizens. It does not take a brain surgeon to know which party's representatives continuously vote to defund and cut the military. The Clinton administration was destructive enough to our military, let's not let the Democrats continue to destroy it.

So if you would like to pay more taxes and be less safe, vote Democrat. If you would like to continue on with the opportunistic values this country was founded on and continue with the prosperity, vote Republican!

Ronald C. Quinn,

At 9:12 AM, October 30, 2006, Anonymous Christopher Thurow said...

Although the number of people who vote for the Libertarian Party is small, the number of people who are culturally liberal but fiscally conservative is large. Pew Research comes up with 9% of the population as libertarian based on three fiscal questions and three cultural questions. If the Democrats captured this libertarian swing vote by moving in a more consistently libertarian position, they could re-form an electoral majority. A broader interpretation of “libertarian” will give Democrats an even larger advantage.

A Libertarian Democratic Party that was serious about small government and deregulation, now that the Republicans have shown that they are not, could, if credible in their promises, appeal to Wall Street, business, entrepreneurs, and the middle class. At present, Republicans are winning by pandering to the religious right. What if the intellectual leaders of the Democratic Party shifted it in the libertarian direction so that the libertarian-inclined, who have hitherto either voted Republican, libertarian, Reform Party, or not at all, became inspired to support far more libertarian Democrats?

At 9:27 AM, October 30, 2006, Anonymous XChristopher Thurow said...

At the county level all of this jibber jabber about new taxes and the "need" for more money for government (roads) is simply government expansion at a breath taking rate.

Marion county can expect a yearly increase of needed funding of around 5% (less roads). The value of property in the county has increased between 15-30% yearly. Add into the factor a increase in the total number of properties and huge increases to business owners and the picture comes into focus.

Millage rates should be coming down. They are not. This is what I would consider smoke and mirrors conservative government.

So I pose the question to the blog: Where is all of this money going?

At 10:43 AM, October 30, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The letters haven't convinced me to vote for Harris. He's a scum bag and I'm voting for Barbara Fitos.

At 11:06 AM, October 30, 2006, Anonymous Bob said...

Indeed. Barbara has the kind of policy knowledge we so sorely need on the County Commission.

Randy's the kind of partisan hack which has hurt this country so badly these past few years.

At 11:54 AM, October 30, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before you accept some of this anti-Crist garbage you are getting from a local radio station, go visit this website:


At 12:22 PM, October 30, 2006, Anonymous bob said...

To the Other Bob:

Read my endorsement, Randy will prevail!

At 12:24 PM, October 30, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

Speaking of the comments by Anonymous above concerning the war in Iraq:

I grew up during WW II. My uncle was capured on Wake Island, and three other Uncles fought the biggest battles in Europe.

I am very thankful today's press was not "imbedded" with those troups. Why? Simply stated, we would have lost the war.

The loss of a single life is one too many, and my heart bbleeds for parents who have lost a son or daughter. I can only imagine their pain.

There were battles in both Europe and the Pacific where hundreds, yes thousands of our men were lost, sometimes hundreds in a single day. With the efforts of the press today to make an earth shattering story about the loss of 75-80 in a single month, we would be speaking German or Japanese had today's press been covering WW II.

As terrible as those battles were, they did not involve fanatics who packed themselves with bombs and went into civilian areas with the single purpose of killing as many people as they can bcause of religious or sectarian problems.

Do I believe Democrats are patriots? Absolutely. Do I believe they will carry our this tremendous battle against fanatics who hate us? They have not shown they will continue the fight.

Am I happy with the way the GOP has run Congress? No. Do I think there would be less corrpution, or Congress would operate better under Democtats? No; we only have to look at their their 40 year record before the last dozen years as an example.

Many times, I have voted for challangers on the national level just to give the incumbenmt a closer race.

This year, I am forced to vote Republican on the national level in the races where I can vote. There are many issues other than the war that should be considered in this year. None of them are important to me if we lose this war against terrorism or the war to keep illegal immigrants out oif our country. --pwf

At 2:04 PM, October 30, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

It was written, "Millage rates should be coming down. They are not. This is what I would consider smoke and mirrors conservative government."

Millage rates not coming down, eh? Let's see, several years ago they were at about 6.4 mills. Today they are at about 4.7 (without my checking the final budget). I would say that is a pretty substantial drop in millage rates.

My ten year old granddaughter an see that, and she knows nothing about politics. -- pwf

At 2:22 PM, October 30, 2006, Anonymous Christopher Thurow said...

Millage rates are not coming down linearly as a function of the aggregate increases in appraised taxable value or as an increase in the total number taxable properties (units).

I could illustrate this via a simple arithmetic equation and maybe Paul's grand daughter could explain it to him.

At 5:56 PM, October 30, 2006, Anonymous pwf said...

My granddaughter was smart enough to note that with the increases in services demanded by the increase in the number of homes, together with the increase in the number of government servants required to provide those services, the increase in computers, desks, buildings to house them et cetera, she reports that your theory is still wrong: the millage rate has dropped considerably. Your original statement was the rate had not dropped: wrong. Now you want to change the argument, as you do when confronted with even the simplest of facts. -- pwf


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