Palm Beach Democrats Scandal Back in the News

Since we’ve been so focused on the FDP Chair’s Race the past few months when Palm Beach County comes up, the name John Ramos instantly springs to mind. But the new Palm Beach County State-committeeman has nothing to do with this scandal, which fell squarely during the tenure of Chairman Mark Alan Siegel, Ramos opponent in December for State Committeeman. Ramos vote for Allison Tant, against the wishes of 97% of his DEC has been much talked about (Alan Clendenin was recommended by the DEC in a 97%-3% vote at the January general meeting) and is dominating the local chatter. But it is the disgraceful and possibly criminal scandal of 2012 involving former DEC officer Shahid Freeman that has hit the papers yet again today. Today’s PB Post article is important reading for those of you who did not follow this scandal as it developed last Spring.

The Freeman scandal began to undermine Siegel’s credibility within his DEC, and he was finally ousted after some unfortunate comments at the DNC in Charlotte. I happen to think Siegel may have been set up by clever Republican operatives for his DNC comments and I actually have some sympathy for him on this. I however, do not have any sympathy for him on the Freeman matter, and it was on that issue that John Ramos, now the subject of controversy over his defiant FDP Chair vote stood tall and won support. Ramos after all was a natural spokesperson on an issue like this. Siegel’s instinct was to go into a defensive posture when the Freeman scandal broke and this reaction culminated in a DEC that was torn apart at the seams.

The scandal undermined the credibility of the DEC at a critical time in the 2012 election cycle. With the State Attorney’s office now involved, thankfully Freeman has been distanced from the current DEC leadership and this scandal should have little impact on organizing for the 2014 cycle. As we have discussed previously on this website, Palm Beach County is proving to be more difficult terrain for Democrats than it was in the 1990s and 2000s. While most urban counties in the state are growing more and more Democratic, Palm Beach seems to be backsliding. The local DEC has over the past decade organized a model precinct development program under the leadership of State Committeewoman Bunny Steinman, but other issues remain with the local party.

Factionalism has always been a hallmark of the county DEC and when issues such as Freeman’s scandal appear, it is quickly exploited not only by Republicans but by other Democrats in the area. Some of these Democrats have made deals with local Republicans in the past and have even supported Republicans at the statewide level. It will be important moving forward that the Palm Beach DEC be ultra-careful to not give these nominal Democrats an opportunity to exploit anything resembling the Freeman scandal.

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15 thoughts on “Palm Beach Democrats Scandal Back in the News

  1. You are wrong! The DEC still has Freedman in leadership positions. They should remove the entire board including Mrs. Rizzo.

  2. This one was on Siegel plain and simple. Even after the news broke he wanted to keep Freeman in a VISIBLE leadership position.

    Still Ramos defiance of our wishes in the chair’s race is unforgivable and is cause for removal. We will not accept his explanation whatever it is.

  3. This is bs. Siegal is still involved with Shahid Freedman VISIBLE. Tell Rizzo to remove the growths attached to her side Mark and Shahid. Recall the entire board with Ramos!

  4. I have a question: Is it true that John Ramos votes for Allison Tant were NOT counted be cause he failed to fill out his ballot correctly?

  5. The scandal is not any of this Freeman nonsense which is simply a diversion from the big story, that of Ramos betrayal of his own county and the interests of his region.

    Word on the street now is that Ramos has been paid to vote for Tant. Money, real money. Another rumor circulating is that he will be given a position as the top south Florida Democrat. Essentially the regional leader for the party. Since he and Mitch Caeser both supported Tant they have inside access. The forces of reform that supported Clendenin and made up 90% of the tri-county membership is being screwed. Our party is one big fat fraud. One big fat LOSING fraud.

  6. The intent was clearly there from Ramos. Who knows what votes were counted or not. Seriously we have seen about 4 different vote totals reported. Debbie Wasserman Schultz called the vote a landslide before they adjusted the total. They seem to have released the WRONG vote total on purpose so news reports would report a bigger margin than actually happened.

    The Florida Democratic Party are a bunch of HYPOCRITES! HYPOCRITES! They pontificate endlessly about electoral reform yet cannot properly count votes in an election where only a few hundred people cast ballots, cannot properly sign or notarize proxies, failed to allow verification or observation of the process and failed to follow the existing rules of the party.

    Ramos himself is a liar and could be proven in the near future to have profited personally off selling his vote. I do not think this going away anytime soon despite calls from people like Kartik to “move on” and focus on the Republicans.

  7. The scandal is Ramos unwillingness to listen to his members the same ones who elected him just a month earlier. This Freeman thing is old news and was dealt with long ago. Why you feel the need to wind this thing back up is questionable.

    What is this about Democrats backing Republicans? Strong allegations and unless you have some proof you should not make them.

  8. Ramos has a lot to answer for. He is the one who divided the DEC for his own personal gain in the Freeman matter. Now he again put himself first above the the local party and the hard working activists by supporting Tant. HE NEEDS TO GO AND WILL GO.

    WE WILL BE PROTESTING THE FEB 6 DEC MEETING.

    twitter hashtag #RAMOSOUT

  9. #Ramosout…you are a dumbass. He is the one that brought the attention to the Freedman case when Mark and Terrie ignored it. Get off the crack and realize that Ramos making a deal is different from illegal activity. Get rid of the DEC board all together.

  10. No one is protesting Ramos. He made a deal…I am sure like 3/4 of PBC. I am sure the party is probably paying him as Sachs has this crazy fuck Freedman on her payroll. Maybe you all should be checking that. Democrats give convicted felons jobs. No background check here huh? Fucking morons. Who cares about Crist but he is scum too. You should be concern that your campaign donations in PBC is going towards more felons…that work for your elected officials.

  11. Let’s stay focused folks! Ignore the hate mongering Republicans who are trying to stoke the flames of anger. The current problem for our PBC party is not Mr. Freeman, that is, in fact very old news and no longer relevant. What is relevant is Mr. Ramos’ actions which are a climax to a long list of bad decisions he has made. The time is now to fix this! To those of you how don’t want to “air our dirty laundry” It’s already out there people! Right now is the time to do it while we are not yet actively involved in any campaigning. Let the problem get solved now so that all will be settled and calm when we have to work together in support of our candidates. It is time for an example to be made. Too many past actions have been swept under the rug. There must be consequences for people’s actions. Mr. Ramos holds a high profile position in our party and his bad choices make us all look bad!

  12. Totally agree with Grassroots Democrat. We need to stay focused and remove people like Ramos from our DEC’s. Let’s stop supporting those who obviously care about themselves and are not willing to respect the will of the people. Ramos was elected to represent the vote of the PB DEC which was overwhelmingly for Clendenin. Instead, he backed Tant for no other purpose but to enhance “HIS” position with the FDP. Ramos is not a leader. He’s just another political opportunist. Let’s stay focused and clean up the Democratic Party!

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