" the law does not require a public agency to answer general questions. "
It is truly amazing that the contortions and convolutions of corrupted
government are such that this sentence, appeared in the following
response (see below from yourselves to me) to a member of the public
seeking answers about the office of Supervisor of Elections.
Specifically, what happened during the election of Nov. 2, 2010?
You apparently care not a wit for your own county policy on ethics
which prohibits you from with-holding information from the public.
Because here you openly admit that this is precisely what you are
As someone who has been petitioning your county government for answers
since July concerning the events of the general election, I want to
tell you something about myself. (We should get to know each other at
this point) I am a former newspaper reporter of some experience. I am
a former school teacher as well. I also served as a member of the
United States Peace Corps in Honduras from 1988 to 1990. And I know a
sham government when I see one.
I am well versed in dealing with lying children, lying public
officials, and lying government agencies.
Honduras was perhaps most corrupt, as far as bending the truth. Lying,
bribery, payoffs and the like were the order of business. The charming
aspect, one could say, was the pretense of the official lie, on the
surface, as bribery and so on was afoot, beneath.
In Hillsborough County I have discovered a new dimension, that sadly,
exceeds even Honduras, the second poorest republic in the hemisphere
after Haiti. Hillsborough exceeds it, in my mind, in aspects related
to official corruption. Because distinguishing itself ahead of
Honduras, in Hillsborough County, there is no more charming pretense
to that corruption. The bandage of the charming lie has been ripped
off revealing naked recalcitrance, intransigence, obstinate, hardened
refusal to do that which is legal, ethical, and straightforward.
"We follow no rules here," your response says to me. "We exist as a
government for our own purposes, our own nation, our own state feeding
on and off the public; certainly not for the purpose of serving the
public. No. The public may petition us when we obviously are in the
wrong, but we reserve the right to continue to do wrong, and offer no
explanation. We are nakedly wrong, proudly, brazenly corrupt in
Hillsborough; and knowing you are but one citizen, we dare you to stop
We might call this attitude refreshingly open(?) the way the Mafia is,
perhaps, and find smallish comfort there, were it not so dangerous
left unchecked. It is an interesting stance the entirety of your
government seemingly has chosen to adopt. One I will remark upon
liberally, with great relish and flourish, as I send out this
information to anyone who will listen.
It certainly will make good copy, good reading, good conversational
fodder for the entirety of the American public, as the Republican
National Convention approaches, and the election as well.
I have no compunction now NOT to pursue any and all legal means to
turn your county from its unabashed ways.
I should note for the record, I did NOT ask your offices, "general
questions". I asked very specific questions. I asked how one machine -
specifically the defective one - was chosen over all others. I asked
why memory cards were not tested before they were sent out to places
of early voting.I also asked for the audit logs of the OSX 499 machine
and again, I am receiving a non response despite our open records laws
in Florida. I asked several other pertinent questions. But of course,
you are all well aware of this.
Email, on the phone, in person on county television; I have explored
all forms of communication, modern and ancient. Hillsborough County
government has explored its deafness, its opacity to sound and reason,
its blunt ignorance, both willful and lazy, its virtuosity in slow
witted, dishonest intellectual cowardice; its elation at its own
thuggish stupidity, with regard to my petitions. It's sneeringly
cynical purposefully inept responses. All of these has county
government enjoyed. It toys with citizens requests the way a cat might
with a newly caught insect. And perhaps there's a response in that.
Every action taken by the SOE with regard to my requests paints a
picture of an agency in the wrong, behaving in a way resembling
corruption, illegality and official misconduct. Every non action on
the part of the county commission bespeaks self interest, lack of
ethics, and tacit cover up. Back to your ethics statement, which you
obviously despise, you (commissioners specifically) are not given the
choice of inaction when presented with facts of official misconduct.
Your inaction, then, becomes official misconduct itself. This is in
your county's ethics statement.
The continued non answers demonstrate that, far from being the result
of mysterious Machiavellian accidents, the events of Nov. 2, 2010 were
more than likely carried out deliberately. Election rigging, cover up,
thereafter. Official recalcitrance and refusal to look into the
matter. I, thankfully, am not a law enforcement officer. I leave that
to others, or to posterity.
But I am a writer. I take a picture of what I see. In my head I
assemble the parts and then I paint. In your poor county's case, the
result is not complimentary to any of you, I fear.
It's not that all of the above "smells fishy". No. We are far beyond
that. This is the choking, stinking hold of a fishing trawler washed
up on a beach with its cargo dead three weeks and the crew, run-off.
I am not responsible for you county government behaving in every way
resembling an organized crime syndicate. It is not my fault
Hillsborough chooses to show itself in this light. I have every right
and duty as a citizen to take a picture of it, and show this to the
state, the country, the world if they will listen.
If not, best of luck to you in all your future political endeavors be
they codified by law or tacitly accepted with a wink from your
co-conspirators and a snore from the sleeping public. May a forgiving
god, such as may exist, find you without great fault. May posterity
tread lightly upon your memory, finding thoughtful pause before
rendering harsher judgment than I have here.
Sincerely, I remain at your service for any an all of these issues, in
any venue you'd like to address them in, or otherwise vouch for your
county government's flagging honor,
David A. Kearns
author Rick Scott:Enemy of the State