In a letter sent out to members of the Florida Democratic Party State Committee on Thursday, FDP Vice-Chair Alison Morano courted support for Allison Tant, claiming false information in her email.
In her letter, Morano states that she was “disturbed that Allison’s opponent has gone from a discussion of each candidate’s qualifications and vision for the FDP, to a negative campaign.” In an attachment, Morano specifically mentions the piece that I wrote regarding Mrs. Tant and her lobbying connections to DBT Online, attributing my article as an attack by Mr. Clendenin.
This article that I wrote was done by me and had no influence whatsoever from Mr. Clendenin. In fact, I personally have only met Mr. Clendenin once and have only talked to him on the telephone three times, with two of those times being about directions to a pancake house. Also, I have only received five total emails from Mr. Clendenin, with two of those being press releases regarding endorsements by his campaign. Therefore, this article regarding Mrs. Tant’s connections came 100% from me and had no association with anyone else.
What is interesting is that Alison Morano has to stoop to such levels to try to get her point across and make misleading statements regarding Mr. Clendenin. But the fact is that Alan and I have only spoken on the phone three times and met in person once. As much as Morano wants this to not be the truth, it is. Sorry Alison.
Earlier today, on our Twitter account, someone named Meghan Meehan-Draper asked “who pays you?”, implying that somehow we are doing these stories for pay. First of all, I have never received one dime for The Political Hurricane. We have never had anyone purchase any advertising or anything. The ads that we posted in the past were totally free of charge. As of now, Mr. Clendenin, Ross Hancock and Mark Danish are the only ones that have had any advertisements on our site, and that was for free. And a look at Hancock and Danish’s finance reports will show that not one single dime of their money was paid to either myself or any company I am associated with.
But what is amazing is that both Morano and Meehan-Draper think that I am doing this because I am “being paid” or some “attack dog for Tant’s opponent”. People inside the “political bubble” all think that people pick sides because they seek power or they, as Meehan-Draper stated, “get paid”. That is how “bubble politics” works.
On the contrary, there are some of us that just want to see the party change and win legislative elections and will do what we can to reach that goal. We aren’t looking for “money” or anything like that. We are looking for the right candidate that will move the Democratic Party forward. For some reason, this seems absolutely incomprehensible for people like Meehan-Draper and Morano to understand. There are some of us doing it for the greater cause, which is my goal with The Political Hurricane.
Anyway, back to Morano’s letter in support of Tant. In her letter, she adds an attachment telling people why they should support Allison Tant. First, she talks about Mrs. Tant’s connection to DBT Online, stating that she never lobbied for them, but instead lobbied for their parent company ChoicePoint. This is absolutely incorrect.
According to a press release by ChoicePoint, Database Technology On-Line, Inc. was purchased by ChoicePoint and the two companies merged together on February 14th of 2000. But in both 1999 and 2000, Mrs. Tant was a lobbyist for DBT On-Line. Figure 1 is the official list of registered lobbyists from the State of Florida for 1999. Figure 2 is the official list of registered lobbyists from the State of Florida in 2000. This alone show that Mrs. Tant worked with Database Technology before it was acquired by ChoicePoint, not after like Morano and Tant claim. Already, we see that
claiming Mrs. Tant was not a lobbyist for DBT Online is not only misleading, but flat out wrong.
The second thing that Morano says is that Mrs. Tant is a “Dedicated activist, fundraiser – supported by DWS and Nelson”. As far as being a good fundraiser, that she is. As far as being a dedicated activist, I think her association with DBT Online, as well as a $250 contribution to right-wing Republican poster-child Apryl Marie Fogel paints a different story. If Mrs. Tant was a member of a DEC back in 2007, this contribution to Ms. Fogel would have been a blatant violation of DEC rules and she would have been removed from the DEC. Therefore, I don’t know if “dedicated” is a word that I would use.
Third, Morano says that “desperate, negative attacks have hurt our party in the past”. There are a few things that need to be said about this. First, the party has been run by the Maddox-Thurman-Smith-Tant group for ten years now. Therefore, if anyone is the power-grabbing side, it would be the side that Morano supports. Second, Morano doesn’t mention what any of the “attacks that have hurt the party in the past” are. I would like a little more insight into this one, as this line seems more of a fabrication to glorify a point instead of being something of actual substance. Third, she says that we need to focus on moving our party forward. That is exactly what we need to do! The FDP gained only two seats in the House (Zimmerman and Clelland) the we wouldn’t have. Otherwise, we won what we were expected to win. That doesn’t even take into account Democratic-leaning seats that were uncontested. Therefore, the status quo that Morano supports is filled with misinformation and is fundamentally flawed.
What I find interesting about this “negative attacks hurting our party” line is that it seems to be the same tactic that the NRA and the other gun lobbyists are using in the wake of the Newtown Massacre. Instead of dealing with the issue at hand, which is guns, they are trying to divert the debate to mental health and other contributors to mass killings so that guns aren’t discussed. Morano seems to be painting a misleading picture of Mrs. Tant so that the real debate is taken off of her and instead put on things that are fabricated to make Mrs. Tant look good.
While Morano spends her time trying to defend Mrs. Tant, there is one thing that is missing….why should we support Mrs. Tant. Morano doesn’t tell us whatsoever what Mrs. Tant’s plan is to rebuild the Florida Democratic Party. Yet, Morano says in her email that she is “worried” that Mr. Clendenin isn’t talking about the “vision of the FDP”. Alright, I will call her out on this one. Here is Alan Clendenin’s plan (link). Here is Allison Tant’s plan (link). Of course, that last link is a joke because we don’t have any real link for any plan of Mrs. Tant’s.
During the presidential campaign, Democrats blasted Mitt Romney for not having a real plan on how he was going to get the country back on track. Mrs. Tant’s plan for the party his very “Romneyesque”! Actually, I take that back…Romney’s plan had more substance.
When picking the next chair of the Florida Democratic Party, I am dedicated to make sure that we pick the best person out of those that are currently running for the position. This campaign that we are waging on this website is centered around truth, fact checking, and making sure that we debate things correctly. Today, we contacted the Secretary of State’s office to see if they have any visitor records for either their office or the Division of Elections office for the years 1999 and 2000 in accordance to the Sunshine Law to research this matter further. Therefore, if we print something, we want to make sure that it is correct.
It is a shame that Alison Morano has to go down a path of misinformation in order to get her point across. I sure hope this isn’t what a Tant-operated Florida Democratic Party will look like.