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Baitball Blogger

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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Seminole County, Florida
Member since: Sun Mar 18, 2012, 10:16 PM
Number of posts: 18,572

About Me

I am interested in homeowner issues in Central Florida. What I have observed living in a Republican county is that a lot of what Republicans claim to support, is not how they live. For more information, see my website at www.keystoneworksite.com

Journal Archives

Are "breakfast meetings" unique to good ole boy communities?

The Orlando Sentinel recognized them in an article that was published many years ago regarding a private organization where many of the community leaders and elected officials were known to come together; and it was suspected that they were talking about topics which probably should remain in a public forum.

The concern over "breakfast meetings" can not be overstated where this practice is still part of the culture. Without public airings of the decision-making process the people who attend the private meetings may be relying on false information to reach agreement between people who generally are on opposing sides of an issue. They may also be nefarious people who agree to scratch someone's back, if they get the same treatment in return.

Once agreement is reached, the rest becomes American Kabuki. By the time the topic turns up in a HOA meeting there may be enough people on board to shout down the residents who weren't privy to the meetings. And one should never pooh-pooh the importance that HOA meetings have in the local decision-making process. If people are properly silenced at the HOA level, there will be no one who will show up at a city meeting to dispute the facts that the city staff presents to elected officials. That's how corrupt decisions fly through the system.

And all of it begins with a breakfast meeting where people come together to decide your community's fate before you even have a chance to get your kids ready for school.

I don't really know what you can do in a small community to stop them. So it becomes a pastime to watch how a third of the community drains out of the development before six on the second Tuesday of each month. Though the day and times will vary.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Tue Sep 23, 2014, 12:28 PM (28 replies)

I'm not going to repeat here right-wing memes.

I'm just going to say that the negative attack ads are going to escalate in the coming days and minorities are going to hear more about positions that did not favor them when he was a Republican Governor. To offset that, he needs to come up with something more tangible than the fact that he hugged Obama. Afterall, what does a picture mean in politics these days when Obama just posed with the Bushies? People, especially minorities, are going to need more outreach. They need to feel like they are as relevant to the Democratic process as Rotary Club members or Chamber of Commerce types are to a right-wing leaning community.

Only, unlike the way Republicans do it, Democrats have to court that vote legally. So, establish a solid platform by coming up with something that breaks through the bullshit. In other words, wow, wouldn't it be wonderful if he were to come out and say what no one ever does? Why not acknowledge the racist good ole boy networks that exist in the State that interfere with the quality of life for minorities; and commit to cleaning up the obstacles that prevent investigations that would get rid of those who rely on "business as usual"?

The opportunities are endless in this backwater State. For example, why not promise to use his Governor position to apply as much pressure as possible on the Florida Bar Association to change their archaic, ineffective format? If they are still requiring a citizen to file a complaint before starting an investigation, this is a bottleneck that needs to be removed because these gang of lawyers know very well where the problems are and should truly self-police by going after the lawyers they know are corrupting the system. It's unfathomable that they still leave it to the least powerful citizen, who knows very little of the law, to venture into this territory when it's loaded with political land mines. It's not an area that minorities will even attempt, though they are often victims of corrupt shenanigans that involve corrupt attorneys. So, Crist can improve the situation by either applying pressure on the Florida Bar to remove this ineffective requirement, especially when we all know that they are aware of where the problems lay.

And if not the Florida Bar, then certainly the State Attorney Offices need to be brought into the 21st Century. Why not start specialized teams that will focus on issues of discrimination and racism? That alone could win him the Governor's office, though the ramifications would have the power elite in Florida shaking in their boots.

Or if he wants to start on a small scale, then he can begin by FORCING the State Attorney's Offices to take public records violations seriously. This agency could have stopped fraud and conspiracies occurring in local government if they had backed common citizens who had problems acquiring records from their city governments.

There are so many things that Crist can do to bring out the minority vote that I really do not feel sorry for him if he thinks he is having trouble motivating them. He needs to think outside the box.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Tue Sep 2, 2014, 11:29 AM (0 replies)

Zoning is the most obvious method to create inequalities in local communities.

For example, by ignoring State law and rejecting sound growth management, it's possible for local governments to create "white islands" in suburbia. It's not that difficult to do when a city government takes a sovereign rule approach. All they have to do is eliminate multi-family housing and replace the zoning with high valued single family homes. That's just the first step.

The second step involves the segregation of power. That's where the true problems of inequality grow exponentially. It starts when local government develops social relationships with community leaders for the purpose of expediting government programs. You can't do that without the stench of cronyism creeping into the process. Cronyism will undermine equality efforts, every time.

Thirdway is particularly susceptible to cronyism because it's all about developing social relationships with members of a different political strife. Let's just take a closer look at what is happening in communities where Republican policies, like small government, are part of the way of life.

In these communities, there is already a structure in place which is undermining the constitutional rights of many. That is something about small government that few people talk about. They use a process that undercuts Fourteenth Amendment requirements. When Thirdway Democrats concede to Republicans, this what they are participating in. Which is why we need to take a closer look at how small government operates.

What these local governments are doing to curry support for their government programs (which usually involves a program that was hatched in the Economic Development Department) is send emissaries (like a city manager) to private organizations to develop social networks with people they know can cause the city trouble. That's it in a nutshell. The city tries to co-opt the community activists and squeaky wheels. These people will get the kid glove treatment as the city milks these private conversations to determine what is most important to these people. "It might be something you wouldn't even think about." They do this to look for inducements they can use to win these people over.

In Republican areas, we are not talking about private citizens who are altruistic people. We are talking about ruthless business people who believe that there should be something in it for them, regardless of the private organization they belong to. The most obvious shell organization in a local community, from my observation, is the Rotary Club. For all the good things that are produced from that organization, it isn't uncommon to find members who are less than selfless in their private communities. In fact, in my city, in the decade when the city was actively seeking support from members of this organization, there was a strong a correlation between government contracts or job offers with their members. And in the city minutes and tapes it was apparent that Rotary Club members were given details of the city's plans a whole two years before details were made available in a public meeting.

Why should this be problematic? For two reasons. First, because in these organizations you will find members of the community that belong to both parties. And second, the special relationships can and do interfere with the proper execution of the due diligence process. It's criminal, but based on their social relationships, a local government will set aside its constitutional due diligence requirements and accept facts directly from word of mouth. It has happened and it has led to fraud, which has undermined the integrity of an entire community.

When the ruse is discovered, things will only get worse. It is an incredible thing to observe how their social bonds only become stronger once the fraud is exposed. What else can they do but cover each other's back? They were involved in fraud so they resort to the four D's. Deny, Delay, Denigrate and finally, Dummy-up.

That is why Thirdway is so damaging to our communities. Because governments are relying on word of mouth in their fact-finding missions, instead of using sound legal practices. Eventually something will go wrong and suddenly they become a formidable circle of friends and associates which rely on "Systemic Corruption for the sake of self-preservation." ( I didn't come up with that term, but wish I had.) But the point is, that there is no political solution because it involves members from both parties. Voting one party over the other isn't going to make a difference when you have political titans who have discovered that public programs can be pushed forward with the use of graft as inducements. You just have to pick the "right" people.

Inequality is just a by-product of the system. Because many of the private organizations that the local governments are reaching out to are not diverse, it is obvious who is benefiting from these outreach programs. Not to say that I'm looking forward to the day when they do become less homogeneous.

The entire corrupt network needs to be challenged by special prosecutors who will ferret out violations of due process of law that undermines the rights of individuals who are not part of these social networks.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Thu Aug 28, 2014, 07:47 PM (2 replies)

This is why Central Floridians are trapped in a political vortex.

The attorney who is the topic of this article is a right-wing rainmaker. He has a history of developing strong connections with Republican governors--and also has a pattern of forming strong alliances with Democratic politicos who have their own admirable connections. Currently, he works in John Morgan's law firm.

John Morgan is a huge supporter of left-wing causes, though his wife is a registered Republican. President Obama always stops in at the Morgan household when he drops into Central Florida. One of the causes Morgan is currently involved with involves medical marijuana. He recently had a major falling out with Debbie Wasserman Schultz, because Schultz did not support Morgan's medical marijuana bill. But not because she's not in favor of medical marijuana. Instead, she supports a bill that would favor federal regulation.

Now, read this article to at least the fourth paragraph and get a whiff of the convoluted political legal reasoning that is a constant in Central Florida. It takes strong resolve to find a way to remove the baby from the bathwater. Most people stop trying, which is why we are caught in a perpetual political vortex. I would describe our government structure as a plutocratic Thirdway system, which has existed long before the term even became fashionable.

The article below provides clues to how it works.

- - - - -
Kruppenbacher not part of pot company seeking growing license

Republican fundraiser Frank Kruppenbacher and lobbyist Bill Rubin are not part of a new Orlando company seeking a cannabis-growing license, contrary to what some nurserymen say they are being told.

Area nurserymen and Cerise Naylor, executive director of the Florida Medical Cannabis Association, said Tuesday that they have heard from officials of Medical Cannabis Cultivations LLC, telling them they have hired Kruppenbacher, an Orlando attorney with close ties to Gov. Rick Scott, and Rubin, a top South Florida lobbyist.

Naylor and at least two area nurserymen said the company was dropping those two names to persuade them and investors to sign partnerships, Naylor said. But both Kruppenbacher and Rubin denied any involvement in the company, and the company's manager, Ryan Scotson of Orlando, confirmed that Tuesday.

Kruppenbacher and Rubin each said that they had offered Scotson only free advice, not participation.


Posted by Baitball Blogger | Wed Jul 2, 2014, 09:11 AM (6 replies)
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