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Is odd Tweet by FDP trying to justify Allison Tant?

So, in the last few minutes on Twitter, the Florida Democratic Party has put out a tweet which has shown the “accomplishments of Allison Tant”. And if you are wondering if that is a little odd….yes, it is odd. Rarely, if ever, do non-parliamentary political parties boost their leader’s accomplishments, especially if they are so insignificant as the facts which are shown in the FDP’s latest tweet. Here is the picture they added to the tweet:

BREvyhFCEAAZfRZIn this tweet, they talk about extremely insignificant things regarding the Florida Democratic Party. They talk about tweets, Facebook likes, the JJ dinner and so on. Honestly, these thing don’t add up to much, considering candidate recruitment and overall fundraising has been dismal for the party.

But who is this tweet intended to target?

Usually, political parties use their Facebook and Twitter accounts to either promote their candidates or policies, or to question the candidates and policies of the opposition. Why do they do that? Well, usually to get the voters to support of oppose a political party. These social media accounts are usually used to win elections.
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Is Florida Democratic Party preventing Rep. Rouson from doing his job?

Is Christian Ulvert trying to be "Kingmaker" for Florida Democrats?

Is Christian Ulvert trying to be “Kingmaker” for Florida Democrats?

Before I get into the meat and bones of this article, I am going to do something that people in politics never do. I will admit that I was wrong. A few months ago, I questioned whether Darryl Rouson was the right future leader for the House Democratic Caucus. When I made that argument, I had legitimate reasons to come to this conclusion. Being a former Republican, as well as having some questionable comments in the past, I worried that Rouson might try to convince House Democrats to lean more toward the AIF, Florida Chamber and other right-wing-friendly organizations. But after this legislative session, I must say that I was wrong. Rep. Rouson was a reliable Democrat, and had a better voting record than some who I assumed would have a flawless record.

With that being said, let’s move over to the job that Rep. Rouson has been given, which is leading House Democrats to victory in the 2014 election. So far, there hasn’t been any real movement on this front. No serious Democrats have been recruited for key seats, and the Republicans have already recruited formidable candidates against Carl Zimmerman, Mike Clelland and Mark Danish. Even with this being the case, is Rep. Rouson’s hands tied in the matter?
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Poor leadership at FDP shows with poor decision making.

Sen. Rich's JJ snub show not only favoritism, but incompetency.

Sen. Rich’s JJ snub show not only favoritism, but incompetency.

Back in 2007, when I worked for John Edwards in Reno, I attended the J-J Dinner which was held the day after the presidential debate between the major candidates. At that dinner, all of the Democratic candidate for president were able to speak at the event. Yes, I met the eventual president Barack Obama. I also met the future vice-president Joe Biden. I also met some of the other candidates, including former Alaska governor Mike Gravel. Basically, the entire Democratic field, even candidates who were not invited to attend the debate on the previous evening, were allowed to speak at the Nevada Democratic Party’s J-J Dinner.

In Florida, it seems we have a different case. The only serious candidate to announce that they are running for any constitutional office position, former Senator Nan Rich, had been told by the Florida Democratic Party that she would not be given a speaking spot at the upcoming J-J Dinner. Mind you, Senator Rich isn’t just someone who threw her name into the mix, with it eventually being removed once the filing deadline rolls around. She is a recent Senate minority leader and has already raised more than what most people expected this far into her campaign. So, Senator Rich’s exclusion from the upcoming J-J Dinner is baffling.
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Has Allison Tant’s campaign manager for FDP Chair “fudged” her educational credentials?

beth

During the 2010 U.S. Senate race in Delaware, people questioned the education credentials of Christine O’Donnell. In her Linkedin page, O’Donnell claimed that she attended the University of Oxford. Upon further review, it was found out that O’Donnell did not attend Oxford, and instead attended a class by something called the Phoenix Institute, which rented space at Oxford.

Little did we know that in Florida we have a similar case. That would be the case of Beth Matuga. Matuga worked, according to her LinkedIn page, as Allison Tant’s campaign manager for the Florida Democratic Party chair’s race against Alan Clendenin.

Going back to LinkedIn, Matuga states that she received her education at Yale University. There is only one problem…she didn’t.
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Money and the FDP Chair Race, Part III: Project New Florida – The Link

tantThere is an organization that is involved with politics that many have really ever heard of called Project New Florida. Some of you might have heard about organizations called Project New America and Project New West, which say they help progressive candidates. But when looking at what they have done at the national level, one must wonder if they are really helping. If someone was to do a Google search on “Project New Florida”, they would generally only find polling results. Even on their national website they have to “clarify” that they are not a polling firm, stating “We’re not a traditional polling firm, though we do employ them as part of our methodology.” When there needs to be clarification, that isn’t a good sign.

Project New Florida is run by former Florida House member Loranne Ausley. We have been made aware from a number of different sources in Tallahassee that Ms. Ausley is actively campaigning for Allison Tant for Florida Democratic Party chair. Yet we are unaware of any endorsements or public statements by Ms. Ausley in which she claims support for Tant.

Still, Ms. Ausley wasn’t one of the founders of this organization. She didn’t join Project New Florida until May of 2011. In fact, the organization wasn’t even originally called Project New Florida. Instead, it was called “The Florida Watch”.

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Trotter’s Commentary: Scott Arceneaux should resign as FDP Executive Director.

Scott Arceneaux working as Tant's campaign manager in Leon County.

Scott Arceneaux, Tant’s campaign manager, at a Leon County DEC meeting.

Over the past few years, I have been quite critical of the Florida Democratic Party. Most of this criticism has come from the horrible performance of the FDP in recruiting quality candidates when it comes to our legislative seats. Also, the fact that we continue to only win our minimum amount of seat continues to be something that should be of concern to many Democrats around the state. During the term of Scott Arceneaux as Executive Direct of the party, no real movement has been made to make the Democratic Party better.

Over the past couple of days, I have been informed by a number of highly reliable sources that Scott Arceneaux is working as Allison Tant’s campaign manager in her race for the Florida Democratic Party Chair position. Because of this, Scott Arceneaux should resign immediately as the Executive Director of the FDP.

Why should he resign you might ask? Well there are a number of reasons. First, not only is Mr. Arceneaux taking sides in a race where FDP staffers should be neutral, other people that are highly involved with the failures of the party, such at the consultant for House Victory in 2012 Christian Ulvert, are actively campaigning for Tant. This is something that we discovered just days after Mrs. Tant’s announcement that she was running as FDP Chair. Therefore, if you are one of those people who feel that things need to be “shaken up”, Mrs. Tant seems to be heavily supported by the current staff of the FDP. What does that mean? Yep, business as usual.
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Tant “Flip Flops” on DBT involvement while giving money to Sec. Mortham.

Tant gave to Sandra Mortham after DBT signs deal with the Secretary's office. (Courtesy: Florida Legislative Research Center & Museum at the Historic Capitol)

Tant gave to Sandra Mortham after DBT signs deal with the Secretary’s office. (Courtesy: Florida Legislative Research Center & Museum at the Historic Capitol)

According the the Miami Herald’s Marc Caputo, Martha Barnett, former work partner of Florida Democratic Party Chair candidate Allison Tant, stated that Tant never was involved in lobbying for the voting purge system that was put in place by Database Technologies Online, Inc. According to Mr. Caputo, “ChoicePoint bought a company they were already representing, Barnett said, and Tant’s involvement with the company concerned identity-theft issues.”

What Ms. Barnett doesn’t realized that she is now saying that Mrs. Tant actually did lobby for DBT Online. If you read her statement, Barnett says that ChoicePoint purchased “a company they were already representing”. Looking into the companies that Mrs. Tant worked for, only DBT Online was purchased by ChoicePoint. Therefore, Barnett states clearly and directly that Mrs. Tant was a lobbyist for DBT Online before the purchase of the company by ChoicePoint.
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FDP Vice-Chair Alison Morano’s email supporting Tant plagued with misinformation.

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.
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Exclusive: Allison Tant was lobbyist for firm that purged African-Americans from voter rolls before, during and after 2000 recount.

Allison Tant registered as a lobbyist for DBT Online, Inc. in 1999.

Allison Tant registered as a lobbyist for DBT Online, Inc. in 1999.

Allison Tant, current candidate for Florida Democratic Party Chair, was one of only three lobbyist for a company called DBT Online in 1999 and 2000. DBT Online was hired by Katherine Harris and was responsible for purging the voter rolls in the 2000 election, in which Al Gore narrowly lost to George W. Bush. Many feel that Vice-President Gore lost the election because over 57,000 African-Americans were purged from the voter list due to DBT Online.

After DBT Online was purchased by a company called ChoicePoint, Inc., Tant continued to be a lobbyist for the company in Tallahassee until September 5th, 2001, apparently leaving earlier in January of 2001. By this time, it had already been public for months that both DBT Online and ChoicePoint were involved with the voter purge in Florida. Still, Tant remained a lobbyist for ChoicePoint even though the company had been outed as a Republican purge machine.

Another interesting fact is that a fellow lobbyist who has strong connections to Tant, James R. Daughton, Jr, a Republican who is currently on the Advisory Board of the Florida Chamber of Commerce Political Institute and chairs the Florida Chamber’s Free Enterprise PAC, withdrew from ChoicePoint as a lobbyist two weeks before Tant left as a lobbyist. Therefore, the so-called “Democrat” actually stayed on as a lobbyist to a Republican voting purge firm longer than the actual Republican.

Tant as a ChoicePoint lobbyist in 2001.

Tant as a ChoicePoint lobbyist in 2001.

Because of the time period that we are looking at, it is absolutely unmistakable that Allison Tant deliberately stayed on as a lobbyist for ChoicePoint even after it was publicly known, and debated, that they were highly instrumental in giving Florida’s 25 electoral votes to George W. Bush.
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Annette Taddeo drops out of FDP Chair race, endorses Allison Tant.

Yesterday afternoon, Miami-Dade State Committeewoman Annette Taddeo dropped out of the race for Florida Democratic Party Chair, leaving it a two-way race between Tallahassee insider and lobbyist Allison Tant and grassroots supporter Alan Clendenin.

In hindsight, it is not really a surprise that Mrs. Taddeo supported Mrs. Tant in the end. Taddeo did not have any plan whatsoever to help rebuild the Florida Democratic Party, mostly relying on her few television appearances and her speaking ability. Our last three chairs can claim the same skills, but not many others. Mrs. Taddeo was not a strong candidate from the start and seemed to only want to use the Florida Democratic Party Chair position for her own stepping stone to a political career.

Still, those that supported Mrs. Taddeo did so with good intentions. Many that I have spoken to said that if Taddeo was elected, she would help the Hispanic community grow within the FDP. As someone that has had big concerns about the lack of Hispanics in the Florida Democratic Party, I strongly agree. I just don’t see Mrs. Tant, or anyone from north of Ocala, being able to include Hispanics into the Florida Democratic Party at the rate in which they represent the current Democratic demographic.

Much like Mrs. Taddeo, Allison Tant has presented no plan on how to fix the Florida Democratic Party. Instead, it seems that her campaign strategy is based purely on blind faith and that we should just “trust her”. Those that run for the position of Florida Democratic Party Chair with no plan whatsoever should be closely watched. In addition, we should ask the question “why is Mrs. Tant running for the FDP chair?” If she doesn’t have a plan, does she really have the interest of the party in mind? Again, one must ask if there is really another motive for Mrs. Tant’s candidacy. Because, as of right now, helping rebuild the Florida Democratic Party does not seem to be one of them.
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