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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

William March has scoop on Bill Nelson & Debbie Wasserman-Schultz ally and lobbyist Allison Tant, who wants other Tampa Bay-area Dems to quit so she can qualify to run for Florida Democratic Party Chairmanship; This only proves wisdom of current Chair Rod Smith's recommendations all over again about how party leaderships battles should be done; Miami Herald is completely ignoring this issue -and Annette Taddeo-Goldstein. Tant pis pour elles!

I hadn't expected to find myself writing about internecine Democratic Party leadership battles in Florida for two posts in a row but here we are nonetheless.
Yesterday, I wrote about the battle for the Broward County Democratic Party chairmanship between challenger and part activist Cynthia M. Busch and incumbent and lobbyist Mitch Caesar.
This afternoon, the Tampa Tribune's William March was johnny-on-the-spot with more news about inter-party grudge matches coming to a head in the Sunshine State.

Tampa Tribune
Fresh squeezed Polics blog
Tant ready for a battle for state Dems chair
Posted Dec 5, 2012 by William March
Updated Dec 5, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Prominent Democratic fundraiser Allison Tant of Tallahassee said Wednesday she was recruited by Sen. Bill Nelson and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz to run for the state Democratic Party chairmanship, and that she’s prepared for a battle if necessary in seeking the office.

So, what most accurately describes this situation above?
a.) Changing the rules in mid-stream (mid-game), or,
b.) special rules for special people
Or is it both as I think?

If Allison Tant and her allies have to either induce other Democrats who were already duly-elected by other Democrats to quit -despite her knowing the qualification rules months ago- or even has to engage in a degree of intimidation in order to get a specific result that rewards someone who, coyly-but-unconvincingly says that she never thought about running for the position until last Friday, do you think the bigger problem here might be the party's rules themselves, that DO NOT reward actual hard work by party members and activists on the ground, but DO reward party pooh-bahs with high self-regard?

And really, a state Democratic Party chair who is a longtime lobbyist?

Like Mitch Caesar times 67? (Sixty-seven being the number of counties in the state.)

Is that really the road that the state party wants to travel after so many Obamaphiles have decried the horrors of corporate lobbying and influence peddling to voters for a year straight?
I think not.

And where would the conflict of interest even begin to cover THAT situation?

Given this delicious bit of recon intelligence offered by William March this afternoon, I re-direct your attention again to my post of yesterday regarding Tampa Bay Times reporter/columnist Adam C. Smith's interview with current Florida Democratic party Chair Rod Smith, and how some of the comments seem to me to be an almost a perfect description of the situation in Broward County.

Rod Smith's prescriptions for Fla Democrats

What is the number one recommended change cited by Rod Smith?
Change the way party chairs are elected, opening up eligibility to everyone rather than just to party activists who have been elected local state committeemen or state committeewoman and county chairs. The current system breeds "real subterfuge" where would-be chairs, himself included in 2010, at the last minute strike a deal to get elected to their local party leadership (as Annette Taddeo-Goldstein was elected Miami-Dade chairwoman Monday night).
Where in the Miami Herald have you seen anything about Annette Taddeo-Goldstein did to get her position? 

Here, by their own accounts, is the sum total of her name in-print in the Herald this year:
Nowhere in print in the past four weeks since the election and nowhere online prior to Monday late night.
By the way, since I don't want to miss this opportunity, most people would agree with me that simply printing a press release is NOT journalism

So the Herald had nobody at or outside of the meeting Monday night and wrote absolutely NOTHING about what really happened Monday night?
That's also NOT real journalism.

But of course, being the Herald, they could rationalize it because at least they got to use the word "Latina" in their headline.
Only one of their favorite words!

Thus, even a well-informed Herald reader would NOT have even known that she was angling to be state party chair based on... well, what exactly?
Her failed congressional candidacy in 2008 and her failed Miami-Dade County Commission candidacy in 2010?
The video of her on YouTube that a grand total of 32 people, including me, have seen?

Me, I think that after what has just happened with the election, I DON'T think the rest of the state is going to vote to reward a Hispanic woman from Miami with the title of State Chair, who just qualified to run on Monday night.
Especially a woman who, despite having run for Congress four years ago, is still largely an unknown quantity, and a woman who, per my many criticisms of the state of journalism in South Florida, was NEVER mentioned in the Herald this year regarding her political activities even once.

Not once!
And this is the person who should be in charge of the state party?

A woman whom everyone says is personally very nice but who, to be honest, has actually done MUCH LESS than MANY other Dems running for county chairs throughout the state?
Like Cynthia M. Busch for instance?
How exactly would that square with any semblance or notions of merit?

Also, what exactly did Annette Taddeo earn from The Tuck School at Dartmouth?


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Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and insight onto Florida and local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Aventura.

If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic, paying higher-than-necessary taxes and continually musing about the chronic lack of accountability among not only elected govt. officials, but also of city, county and state employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, eager work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect. But seldom if ever see...

This is particularly true in the Broward County city I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, north of Aventura and south of Hollywood and right on the Atlantic Ocean. Here, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent. Sadly for its beleaguered residents, HB is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with tremendous potential because of its terrific location and well-educated populace, yet its citizens have almost become numb to HB City Hall's frequent outrages and screw-ups, the result of YEARS of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, residents and Small Business owners wake up and see the same old problems that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion, merely kicked -once again- further down the road for others to solve in the future.

I used to ask myself, not always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog of my own that could try to do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable-but-skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time with fresh eyes, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to expect.

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