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sherilocks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:42 AM
Original message
Details Of Controversial Mayor's Race To Be Released
POSTED: 12:17 pm EST January 7, 2005
UPDATED: 4:11 pm EST January 7, 2005

The behind the scenes details of Orlando's controversial mayor's race will be released after Local 6 petitioned a judge Friday to open transcripts of a closed hearing.

A current criminal investigation is looking into claims that Mayor Buddy Dyer allegedly paid-off campaign worker Ezzie Thomas to collect absentee ballots that helped the mayor win a close election.
The litigation that Mosley is referring to is the pending criminal case under investigation by the state attorney's office.

<snip>

Thomas has received immunity from prosecution in that case for his testimony against the mayor and other campaign workers, Local 6 News has learned.

If it is determined there was illegal activity in that race, it will result in a new election in Orlando and could land someone in jail.

<snip>


http://www.local6.com/news/4061628/detail.html?treets=o...

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Demit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:21 AM
Response to Original message
1. Interesting that that story doesn't mention the mayor's party affiliation
I guess it's because it's a local tv station and they assume their viewers would already know that. I still find it curious, though.
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Spinzonner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Generally, such races are Non-Partisan

though the condidates may have party membership or affiliation
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Earth_First Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:28 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Buddy Dyer (D)
you didn't think they'd lynch a (R) do you?
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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Apparently, Buddy Dyer has managed
to alienate most of the members of his own party in the Orlando area. He seems to be a Repug in Dem clothing.

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Orangepeel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #4
11. According to whom?
I'm a member of his party in the Orlando area and I disagree strongly with both of those statements.
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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Funny Ezzie Thomas worked for Glenda Hood & Mel Martinez
Ezzie Thomas is the fellow at the center of this story who specializes in getting out the absentee vote.

http://216.239.63.104/search?q=cache:wjVqj2R6z8gJ:www.o...


Here's one article that goes into some on Dyers negatives

Is Buddy running low on buddies?

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/orl-locmaxwell19121...

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Orangepeel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. Ezzie Thomas worked for everyone
that doesn't make Dyer a republican.

And Scott Maxwell's job is to be a gossip monger. If you look, you'll find plenty of Orlando Sentinel and Orlando Weekly articles pointing out Daisy Lynum's negatives.

Buddy Dyer is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, and he does have at least one really sleazy person working for him (although I wouldn't say it was Ezzie Thomas), but he's been a decent mayor and a good Democrat.

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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #14
18. Dyer is not the problem
even though he sounds like a bit of a jerk.

It's the people who target the black community and the absentee balloting. In Orange County it seems Ezzie Thomas was perfect for the job because he is willing to work for either party. However, BushCo really doesn't like people who aren't totally loyal to the cause, so they will use the ones that they can buy, chew them up and spit them out as an example.

Up here in Alachua County they did the same thing but they used a loyal Repug operative to do the deed. Of course, no one is investigating him because he's a good Repug. Nope, instead he just got a high level job in the State Dept.

OK, so here's how it works. They hire people like Ezzie and this fellow in Alachua Co. They focus on get elderly, low income black people to vote absentee. They go into their homes and help them register to vote. Then they come back and help them fill out their ballots and deliver the ballots for them to the BOE.

Why are they so interested in this particular group. First of all, this group traditionally votes DEM. But more important most of these people are illiterate. They have no clue who they voted for when they sign their ballot for the nice man/woman who was so kind to come over and help them out. You can be sure, that whomever Ezzie is working for this year is who these people are voting for. This is how it is done.




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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #11
25. So am I
but I agree with the statement
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sherilocks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
5. My favorite line in the story was
<snip>

If it is determined there was illegal activity in that race, it will result in a new election in Orlando and could land someone in jail.

<snip>

Only a Democrat would face a new election if there was "illegal activity." Repugs are immune from such scrutiny in Florida.
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pnorman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:53 AM
Response to Original message
6. I made a Google-search of Mayor Dyer
and got this back:

Politics and Sleaze Envelope Orlando
As the presidential campaign approaches its showdown, the Republicans in the state run by George Bush's brother are up to their tricks again.
Andrew Gumbel reports from the heart of Florida


In Orlando, the Florida home of Disneyworld and a vital political battleground, the campaign for the November presidential election is getting sly, nasty and very, very personal. Normally, at this stage of the proceedings, Ezzie Thomas, a well-known character on the predominantly African-American west side of town, would be out chatting to the people, registering them to vote before the 4 October deadline and helping them with absentee ballots if they do not think they will have time to make it to the polls on election day. But the 73-year-old Mr Thomas, an affable ladies' man, is staying out of public view for fear of exacerbating what is already a highly controversial - and highly political - criminal investigation of his election-related activities.

A similarly low profile is being taken by Steve Clelland, the head of the local firefighters' union. Last week, he did not even dare attend a local appearance by John Kerry, the candidate he is supporting for President, in case it added to the legal troubles facing his own organization. The firefighters are also subject to a criminal investigation, the chief allegation - for which no evidence has been produced - being that they colluded with City Hall to set up an illegal slush fund for political campaigning.

What makes the troubles facing the two men particularly sinister is that they are declared Kerry supporters, with the power to bring in hundreds if not thousands of votes for the Democratic Party. The investigations are being conducted by the state police, known as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), which reports directly to Governor Jeb Bush, brother of President George Bush.

The Republicans, naturally, deny the investigations are politically motivated. But even they acknowledge that a chill has spread through Orlando's overwhelmingly Democratic black voting community after a flurry of unannounced visits by armed state police to at least 52 homes whose mostly elderly residents had signed up for an absentee ballot with Mr Thomas's help.

The Republicans have been hard put to explain what exactly the two men have done wrong. The media has aired official allegations ranging from vote fraud to campaign finance irregularities to racketeering, but no charges have been brought, despite exhaustive investigations. A grand jury examining allegations concerning the firefighters' union concluded that no laws had been broken, which has not deterred the FDLE from pursuing the case.

It is impossible to understand what is going on without considering the broader political picture. Orlando is slap-bang in the middle of the so-called "I-4 corridor", the line of Florida cities running along Interstate Highway 4 from Daytona Beach on the Atlantic coast to Tampa Bay on the Gulf of Mexico. The I-4 corridor is regarded as the hinge on which the outcome of the presidential election in Florida will swing, and Orlando - with surrounding Orange County - is considered the corridor's bellwether city.
>
>
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0927-01.htm

It looks more of the hypocritical "Justice Is Blind --- In One Eye", from the Usual Suspects.

pnorman
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sherilocks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Thanks for picking that story up
When I read that the court record was sealed and that the CBS affiliate had to sue to open it, I suspected something sinister from the repugs. But this confirms my suspicions.
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pnorman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. You're welcome.
Sometimes when I Google-search in depth, I find stuff that I'd rather not see ... ie: the "other side is in the right". But I can live with that, since "their" overall track record is so poor. And it's VITALLY important not to get sandbagged by such things.

pnorman
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loudsue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #8
23. I wish DU would open a FORUM to teach "RESEARCH".....101
Some DUers are SOOOOO good at it! When I do a google search, I hardly ever find the hidden, juicy stuff. Usually, I'll find some unnecessary factoid that means absolutely nothing!

Cummon DU researchers.....teach us how!! The more the merrier!

:kick: :kick: :kick:
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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:37 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. The FDLE is investigating election fraud?
Sounds more like Jeb's posse is on a witch hunt. Since when did investigating election issues come under the domain of the FDLE? Or is it just another way the Jeb abuses his power?

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Orangepeel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
10. this case against Dyer is completely ridiculous
Ezzie Thomas is a paid campaign consultant (who always had a reputation for honesty) who was hired by many campaigns in Central Florida.

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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. Open your eyes
Ezzie Thomas is one of the bad guys.

If they can prove he did this in Orlando, then we can also get Mel Martinez and Glenda Hood for the same violations.

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Orangepeel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. I don't believe he is one of the bad guys
and, no you can't "get" Martinez and Hood for anything. What are you going to charge them with, hiring someone who was later indicted?



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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. Nice as he may seem, Ezzie Thomas
delivers the absentee ballots from his community to the whoever is the highest bidder. It doesn't matter what party they are with. He did this for Glenda when she ran for Mayor and he did it for Mel Martinez.

He also got in trouble for doing the same thing for the Orlando Firefighters Union. That time Jeb seized on this as an excuse to send armed State Police investigators visiting numerous black voters who had taken advantage of Mr. Thomas' offer to deliver their ballots. Funny, Ezzie got off that time too.

I think Ezzie and his Repug pals set Buddy Dyer up. Notice that Ezzie has managed to get himself immunity for himself in return for his testimony against Dyer. How do you feel about Ezzie now?


"The litigation that Mosley is referring to is the pending criminal case under investigation by the state attorney's office. Thomas has received immunity from prosecution in that case for his testimony against the mayor and other campaign workers, Local 6 News has learned."
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Orangepeel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. why would they set Dyer up ...
if Dyer was a republican in democratic clothing? Dyer either didn't do anything wrong except hire who was supposed to be the best person for the job, or he was set up. Either way, that's not his fault.

And yes, Ezzie worked for the highest bidder. But, based on what I have heard about him in Democratic circles, he always did a good job of it.

When the investigation first started (curiously, right after Dyer publicly endorsed Kerry), I was talking to a couple of African-American Democratic activists who completely waived it off as nothing because Thomas had such a reputation for being a stickler for honesty. Now, of course these people could have been wrong, lying, snowed by Thomas, or whatever. But, I gave him the benefit of the doubt then and I'm not going to change my mind now because jeb and the republican party latched on to Mulvaney's sore loser rantings.
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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #17
19. Most of the Dems that I know
who volunteer on the local level are good, honest people. They can also be surprisingly naive and trusting of nice people.

Ezzie is described has a 'ladies' man. Most 'ladies' men that I've met are pretty good con artists too. That is why so many Dem's, think he's so 'honest'. Didn't anyone question where he was coming from when he went to work for Glenda Hood's mayoral campaign and Mel Martinez when he ran for Orange Co. Chair? Why would a lifelong loyal DEM, get hired to deliver the vote for the Repugs? So that they could GOVT from people who are going to vote against them? Or because this guy was good at helping people fill out their ballots for whomever he is working for that week?



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Orangepeel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. first, both of those races are nonpartisan
Neither Glenda nor Mel were identified on the ballot as republicans and both ran as "moderates" (they both got really conservative later, of course).

Second, when I walk door to door for candidates, I suggest how people should vote. I wear a t-shirt and/or sticker for my candidate, have literature and discuss why I think my candidate is best. Don't you? Isn't that the point? From the conversation, you know which people to push to vote absentee, through phone calls and offers to pick the ballot up.

Of course, I would never fill out an absentee ballot that wasn't my own, I'm sure you wouldn't, and, so far, I'm still giving the benefit of the doubt to Thomas, "ladies' man" or not.
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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. I don't know whether of not Thomas filed ballots out for people
Edited on Sat Jan-08-05 11:54 AM by DoYouEverWonder
but I do know that the member of the Micanopy Commission, who just got appointed to the State Dept, did do that here. And I do know from the article, that Ezzie is now testifying against Dyer in order to save his own ass. What a nice guy?

The more I read about Ezzie the more my radar goes off, that this is the same thing that happened in Alachua Co. As a matter of fact, it happened all over the State of FL.

That is how the Repugs padded the absentee ballot voting and why Bush did so well in the Absentee voting but not in the Early Voting.


BTW: If someone is illiterate, then how can they read your stickers and t-shirt? That is why the Repugs focused on this part of the black population.
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Orangepeel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. well, it might turn out that Thomas did do wrong
but, I am going to continue to reserve judgment for now. As we all know, just because someone is being investigated by republicans doesn't mean they are actually guilty.

And, BTW, very few people of any ethnicity are so illiterate that they can't match a name like "Dyer" or "Hood" from a campaign flyer to a ballot.
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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. I use to work
at Jackson Memorial. I did home visits into Overtown and Liberty City. Most of the older people in these communities are illiterate and easy to take advantage off.

Besides I don't like anyone who is willing to turn state's evidence to save their own ass. That is what Ezzie did. He admitted his guilt in a plea bargain.

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Orangepeel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. possibly, but that's not evident yet
maybe he admitted guilt in a plea bargain. that's what the records that the TV station is suing to release will or will not show.
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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. OK, I give up
I suppose you think Bush won fair and square?

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