Do Candidates REALLY get a FAIR
at being Elected?
STReport Confidential Editorial
by Ralph F. Mariano
One has to wonder after
watching the Polls, taking polls, seeing all the warm bodies out
there waving signs, asking questions and then.... when election
time comes many candidates are bound to get hit with the
"RUDE AWAKENING". Truly, more decides these
elections than what meets the eye? You BET! And I
might add in most cases it is not pretty.
What possibly can the rude
awakening mean? Oh, it means a number of things all very much part
of our daily lives and yet we tend to ignore them and simply
mutter to ourselves "that's the way it is".
Who really decides the
outcome of the elections?
VOTERS are SHORTCHANGED!
Wonder why the Voter Turnout was so sad? Did you,
by any chance, see all the GET OUT, REGISTER AND VOTE TV
and Billboard ADS the County Supervisor of Elections had
THERE WERE NONE!
It appears the
"powers that be" want a poor turn-out. Why would
this be? Easy, if you basically know who (demographically
speaking) is going to vote then you know where to place the
emphasis to ensure a win. In other areas, the number of
candidates running was a JOKE. It only reflected the
EGOMANIA on the part of most of the candidates who lacked the
knowledge, backing and savvy to manage and run sensible
campaigns. District 8 had so many candidates the vote there
was hopelessly split among a few conscientious voters. The
only thing, (recognition factor), managed to carry the two run-off
candidates. Where was the Democratic Party? Every one
of the candidates were Democrats! It was a HERD of
candidates. The District itself will suffer because of this
debacle. The last thing the Council needs is old-line
political HACKS who haven't a clue as to how to intelligently
bring this City and County into the next Century.
Important an Election,
Nobody seemed to care!
This is perhaps the most
important City Council Election in decades yet The Supervisor of
Elections simply carried on as if it were a normal election.
Even the results offered for download on their website holds file
dates PRIOR to the elections. This is a fine example of this
office's expertise. One comment, in particular, that
irked this reporter was when I was told by one candidate that it
was thought the Democratic Party's main goal was to see a
new City Council get elected that could work well with the mayor.
DEAD WRONG! THE CITY NEEDS A GOVERNING BODY THAT WORKS WELL
WITH THE PEOPLE!
The product of a City
Council working with the Mayor's Office is very much in evidence
all over the City at this time. Believe me, we need a City
Council that'll work with the people not other power brokers,
inside dealers and awful good old boy politicians. We do not
need another Council of Chaos.
Its no wonder Voter
Turnout was so poor. Unfortunately,
is/was Candidate PARTY Backing?
Just for starters, have any of you any idea of what it
costs just to qualify? The bux that are paid to the City and
how much of this is really kept by the city as opposed to the
portion of the fee paid to the party which the candidate belongs
to is outrageous! The city gets a mere pittance compared to
what the political party of the candidate gets. This falls just
short of paying homage (juice, vigorish [vig]) just to be
able to run. This has to be legal "arm
twisting." Especially when the candidates can expect
little or nothing in return from their party in the way of ads,
endorsements or even voter registration campaigns. The candidates
can be expected to "fork over the dough" for voter
lists. To that I say; Big Deal!
Spenders LOST BIG!
What took place in these elections is most surprising
in as much as those candidates who spent hundreds of thousands of
dollars in attempting to win the election actually LOST! One
candidate spent enough money to purchase a new home for
cash! $129,000.00 He really wanted that "Title and
Office" BAD.... Why? Others spent anywhere from $20,000.00
and up. What does this mean to future candidates? Well, as I see
it... it means the future candidates had better have some real
merit for the Office they seek as the the Voters are not ready to
swallow the "good old boy BS any longer" They have
to know what they are talking about and must be in a position to
deliver. The voters... those who DID vote and were informed
about the candidates and didn't simply "dumb-up" and
vote along party lines or go by the nonsense fed to them via the
TV and newspaper ads voted wisely.
Watch out my friends.... the system that's in place in this
county (DUVAL) begs for "behind the scenes"
manipulation. Did you know that
no-one can identify which
ballots are absentee write-ins and which are normal ballots?
That's right my
friends.... the absentee ballots can be used to DECIDE an
election. Its time the Election ....especially in District 8
was closely examined for all the right things. Like total
number of registered voters.. total number of SIGNED registered
voter sheets from the precincts in District 8 and then we may SEE
who in heaven's name were the absentee voters who seemingly SWUNG
this election for Gwen Yates. Face the truth people... Yates
did NOT really campaign.... James Breaker appears to have gotten
just enough votes to force a a sacrificial runoff with him being
the sacrifice. The person who SHOULD be in the run-off against
Yates is E. Omega Allen. Something smells awful bad in the
District 8 Election. Why was district 8 passed over so many
times during election night when results were coming in like crazy
for all the other districts in the city? (Perhaps to give
enough time for the ballot box stuffers to do their thing?)
This is one election
in the City that REEKS! We, as an intelligent voter base,
should call for an investigation. Split Votes, Strange
Delays in tabulations.., Late Outcomes, and supposedly impossible
to track absentee ballots? Baloney!! Why do I feel as
if WE have just been placed in a mushroom patch? This
election must be thoroughly investigated. If they can RIG an
election in Miami, they definitely can do it here too! Who
is they??? The Powers that BE! Those who are
thumbing their noses up at all of us on a daily basis.
Folks, they caught the criminals who rigged the elections in Miami
and we can do the very same thing here. The time is at hand.
Good Ole Boys are DEAD!
The usual system of
endorsements CHOKED!... BIG TIME in this election. We saw
old political "hacks" come forward endorsing a
particular candidate left and right. The Guy lost and lost
big. My opinion is, these "endorsements" killed
this guy's chances dead.
People in this city are sick
and tired of the OLD LINE POLITICS and POWER STRUCTURE.
Watch and see, you'll soon see the behind the scenes power and
money brokers fall out of favor because of their actions in
playing "Big Daddy Warbucks". Two
players in this city/county come to mind and I really expect to
see BOTH of them take a back seat and quietly remove themselves
from the frontline of politics.
People are becoming aware of
their names and the manner in which they swagger about slaying
their critics and opponents with well placed bux. The worst is the
show of wealth and power when they want a particular appointment
made at the State Level. All this "behind the
scenes" garbage is about to hit the light of day. Cracker Barrels and their politics are
Year will REVEAL a GREAT DEAL.
Once the new Council is in place, the two major
political parties will begin (at least they are expected to) the
push for the National Elections. Of course, the
"housecleaning" at the city level should begin in
earnest this fall.
The behind the scenes
"string pullers" with the deep pockets had best be out
of the picture or, at least, out of the way when the
"stuff" hits the fan. Its time Duval County entered the
Twenty Second Century whether or not the downtown Power Club likes
it or not. The old line politicians and influencers have got
to go. They and their pork barrel politics are killing this
They are very busy running
the City like its a private club there for their pleasure at the
gross expense of the taxpayers. Many of these problems will
see the light of day in the coming year as will those who have a
great deal to hide and still are on the County Payroll..
Keep an eye on the School Board.
Voters and Taxpayers
County-Wide get a Fair shake?
Not really. When you
consider the members of the City Council are voted upon by only
those people in their respective districts, yet when the City
Council votes upon critical matters that affect the entire City it
affects all the taxpayers.
The time has come for the
entire City to be able to vote for each and every candidate
running for a seat on the City Council. Regardless of
District Boundaries. Keep the district boundaries as a means
of identifying areas that need extra attention from those on the
Council who are responsible to each district.
As it stands now,
taxpayers/voters living 40 miles south of the northern most
sections of the city are directly affected by the voting behavior
of a council person from that northern most district but those
taxpayers/voters in the southern areas of the city have NO say-so
in who is elected in the northern areas or anywhere else within
the city/county limits. This is wrong! We ALL live in
The simple solution would be
to have a City Council member head up and appoint members to a
committee. A committee for each Council Seat. (Sanitation,
Transportation, Ports, Aviation, Streets & Highways, Fire,
Police, Recreation & Parks, Public Awareness,
etc.. All Candidates for the Council Committees are
voted upon by every registered voter in the County. This a
basic and workable solution to the problem of
"compartmentalized voting." That voting scheme is
Speaking of GARBAGE...
because of the present structure of the City Council and directly
because of some of the BIMBO's we have had on the Council, (who
could've cared less... they used their council seat for a stepping
stone to national aspirations) we are stuck with once a week
garbage pickup. So, those fish guts and trimmings along with
thrown out leftovers get a full week to foment, brew and breed all
sorts of new bacterium and micro-organisms. Have you ever been
behind a garbage truck going down the street slowly? Sure
you have! Everyone has! Notice that wonderfully
aromatic soupy slop that always drips out of the bottom of these
trucks all over the street? Yup! It is NO WONDER we
have all sorts of strangely virulent " super colds" and
then we see an increased susceptibility to killers like
Meningitis. The once a week debacle in garbage pick-up NEVER
would've gotten through the City Council had there been a City
Wide Election Process. Also, did you know this recently past
City Council saddled the City with a (20yr) TWENTY YEAR contract
with the Cable Company? The City will live to see the day
they'll deeply regret that DUMB move and spend a few million to
get out of it..
We ALL should vote for each
and every candidate who can affect our daily lives and
livelihoods. What we have now is unfair, inequitable and a
throwback to the Dark Ages. Such a system plays right into
the hands of the power brokers and good old boys. Not
to mention it offers the Organized Criminal Element
compartmentalized politics where it is easier to "buy" a
council-person. Speaking plainly, I want the opportunity to
either vote in or out the council member or candidate that can
cast a vote and directly affect how I and my family lives.
At this time, this is impossible.
It kills me to know a
certain newly elected Council Member is referred to by many
taxpayers/voters and fellow Council Members, who know this person,
as "No brighter than a Box of
Rocks". This clown DOES speak for me on the
Council and I had no vote for this dud! SHUDDER! It is
no wonder governments large and small throughout our land are in
trouble. Its time for real change to take place.
Agree? Disagree? Let us hear from you!