Friday, January 11, 2013

Alan Clendenin Fined by the FEC

We've blogged before on how Alan Clendenin is in the pocket of Big Sugar: the number one killer of the Florida Everglades and an enemy of environmental causes across our state. Clendenin's Big Sugar backers have also been linked to a series of anti-hispanic and anti-semitic attacks which are disgusting to us TRUE Progressives.

Why Clendenin's group, the Committee for A Better Tampa, would take money from Big Sugar since they were behind these disgusting racial attacks is beyond us. But now it turns out that Clendenin couldn't even manage to file his campaign finance reports on time and was fined by the FEC. You can see the FEC fine letter Clendenin received from the state online here.

Now in fairness, Clendenin didn't miss the FEC's deadline by very much and didn't have to pay too high of a fine, but still. One of the most important jobs of the Chair will be to make sure that the Party follows the rules of the FEC. Otherwise there's nothing to stop the Florida Democratic Party from going to through it's own Jim Greer-esque type scandal, which the Republicans are dealing with.

The fact that Clendenin couldn't even manage to handle the finances and reporting of his small political committee certainly raises questions about whether he is even capable enough to handle the complex finances of a large institution like the party.

Or for that matter, who would give any money to the party if Clendenin was in charge.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Should TRUE Progressives Take Political Advice from the Political Hurricane?

We all know the type. They're the ones who show up once in awhile to our local Democratic Club meetings and tell us what we're all doing wrong. But when it comes to making phone calls to undecided voters or knocking on doors, they are nowhere to be found.  

As TRUE progressives who been working at the grassroots level for Democrats, we know that dealing with these people is usually just a waste of time: they are never going to do any of the hard work to elect TRUE Progressive Democrats. 

Which brings us to the Political Hurricane Blog. The authors of the blog, Kartik Krishnayer and Dave Trotter, have spent a lot of time tearing down Democrats and throwing mud in the FDP Chair Race. It's seems Alan Clendenin is behind this garbage, or at at least he hasn't spoken up against it. 

Dave Trotter and Kartik Krishnayer have also been giving plenty of political advice. So let's take a look at whether these two really know what they are talking about. Here's how they describe themselves IN THEIR OWN WORDS from the comments section of their blog. 

"Though I have not worked in politics for over six years and have a career today in a specialized industry far flung from these battles." Kartik Krishnayer.
 "And, like Kartik, I have not been heavily involved in Democratic politics in Florida for a number of years." Dave Trotter. 
"But in 2000, I had other employment priorities, as I currently do today (which has nothing to do with politics whatsoever, but instead music production."  Dave Trotter. 
"CD 18: Does Allen West Have A Point." Kartik Krishnaiyer. 
These two love making noise and talking about themselves, but when it comes to doing actual work or trying to make Florida a better place, to quote Dave Trotter, they "have not been heavily involved in Democratic politics in Florida for a number of years."

As TRUE Progressives, we should be evaluating the candidates for FDP Chair based on their commitment to progressive ideas and policies. That's why Alan Clendenin's history of taking thousands from Big Sugar (the number one enemy of our state's environment and a destroyer of the everglades which has also been linked to anti-hispanic and anti-semitic campaigns) is so disgusting. 

Even the bloggers over at the Political Hurricane know how dirty Clendenin's Big Sugar backers are. Or at least they should. Back in July Kartik Krishnaiyer wrote  a post called "Florida Democrats Addiction to Sugar Money." Here's what he said. 
"No industry has done more damage to the fragile Everglades system than big sugar. Runoff from sugar has caused many of the problems the Everglades now faces." 
"When the influence of one industry trumps the greater good as it has for years, Democrats have to think twice about whether this money is worth taking." 
"It is disappointing to see so many progressives not understand the importance of protecting the Everglades and restoring Florida’s ecosystem to something bordering on sustainable- something it is not right now." 
After writing stuff like that, you'd think that the Political Hurricane would be all over Clendenin once it was revealed that he's taken thousand from Big Sugar. In their words, "no industry has done more damage to the fragile Everglades system than big sugar."

But no, Dave Trotter and Kartik Krishnaiyer keep defending their man and attacking other Democrats, because they don't really care about the fight for TRUE Progressive ideas, they just want to sling mud and make a lot of noise. 

So should we TRUE Progressive Democrats take political advice from these two? Not a chance. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Clendenin's Disturbing Connection to Anti-Hispanic and Anti-Semitic Attacks

Earlier today we wrote about Alan Clendenin's close ties with a political committee funded by Big Sugar -- "Floridians for Effective Leadership, Inc." Now we've learned there's even more to this story.

This same group was responsible for funding ANOTHER sketchy committee responsible for anti-Hispanic robocalls and anti-Semitic attacks.

The Big Sugar funded group "Floridians for Effective Leadership, Inc." -- which gave $10,000 to Clendenin -- also gave thousands of dollars to a committee called "Common Sense Now." This group was apparently behind a series of racial attacks which we've come to expect from the Republicans, but are disgusting to us TRUE Progressives.

According to a complaint filed against "Common Sense Now,"  the group used robocalls which were:
"particularly offensive, designed to appeal to and incite prejudice toward Hispanics."
 The complaint also says that the group was linked to anti-semitic attacks:
"The particular attack piece contained similar ethnic undertones and was directed against Dan Gelber, then Candidate for Attorney General of Florida, labeling him as “Toxic to Jewish Education.”
In Clendenin's plan for the Florida Democratic Party, he says "we should never take our Democratic base for granted. We must recognize the influence and importance the Black and Hispanic community play in the success of our party." 

Hmmm....wonder if this is serious enough to get the Hispanic caucus to reconsider their endorsement of Clendenin. It goes back to the real question, why was Clendenin taking so much money from sketchy Big Sugar? It certainly should make any TRUE progressive more than a little concerned. 

Troubling Revelations About Alan Clendenin and Big Sugar

UPDATE: Make sure you also read this new post -- Clendenin's Big Sugar backers have also been responsible for funding horrible anti-hispanic and anti-semitic attacks against Democrats! Shocking and disgusting. Original post below.

The Florida Democratic Party needs a true progressive at the helm of our Party. And while there are many issues that are important to the Florida Progressive Community, we at Progressive Dems United pay particularly close attention to environmental issues that affect the quality of life for every Floridian -- and we're especially concerned about protecting and preserving the Everglades -- one of the true treasures of our beautiful Florida.

That's why we were very troubled to learn that one of the candidates for Chair of the Florida Democratic Party has a history of disturbingly close ties to the number one killer of the Florida Everglades and an enemy of environmental causes across our state: Big Sugar.

In 2010, Alan Clendenin's political committee, the "Committee for a Better Tampa," accepted $10,000 from a political committee controlled by Big Sugar, "Floridians for Effective Leadership, Inc." 

In the same year that "Floridians for Effective Leadership, inc." funneled this corporate money to Alan Clendenin's PAC, they received $25,000 from Big Sugar. 

Big Sugar is the number one threat to Florida's environment, and poses a particular danger to the Florida Everglades. The Orlando Sentinel reported that the sugar industry is responsible for:
"fouling Florida waters with phosphorous-laden fertilizers." 
Larry Graham, chairman of the Coalition for Sugar Reform, told Congress that: 
"The 400,000 acres of sugar production at the top of the Everglades has disrupted normal water flow, causing problems all of the way to Florida Bay." 
The World Widlife Fund has come to a similar conclusion, stating: 
"Large areas of the Everglades wetland habitat have been reclaimed for the expansion of agriculture. Nearly 200,000ha is under cane cultivation, resulting in dramatic declines in biodiversity. In addition to habitat loss, ecosystem impacts include major redistribution of water flows and subsidence due to shrinkage, compaction and accelerated microbial decomposition of drained soils."
Clendenin's association with Big Sugar is disgusting. How can a candidate for Democratic Party Chair who claims to represent the grassroots of the party work so closely with one of the greatest enemy's to environment and the values that TRUE progressive Democrats believe in? We didn't see anything in his  18 page plan about the environment either, which is also troubling in light of this discovery. 

 Seems like Clendenin is going to have some 'splainin to do. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Progressive Dems United Florida Democratic Party State Chair Survey

Progressive Democrats Unite!

Across Florida -- from Tampa to Miami to Tallahassee, a coalition of Progressive Democrats are uniting behind one true candidate for Florida Democratic Party State Chair who shares our commitment to progressive causes and values.

We wanted to find out where the two candidates stand on the issues that are important to progressive Democrats, so we are asking both Alan Clendenin and Allison Tant to take our short survey below. We'll let you know if and when they respond!

1.  Why do you think it's important the Florida Democratic Party elect a true progressive to be state party chair?

2. Do you support protecting a women's right to choice and access to preventative health care? Please circle one.

  • Yes.
  • No.

3. Do you support a ban on assault weapons? Please circle one.

  • Yes
  • No.

4. Do you support marriage equality and full rights for LGBTQ members in the workplace?  Please circle one.

  • Yes.
  • No.

5.  Under your watch, would the party support federal Democratic candidates and elected officials who vote for cuts to Medicare or Social Security?

  • Yes.
  • No.

6. Under your watch, would the party support state Democratic candidates and elected officials who attempt to reduce the ability of unions to represent workers in Florida?

  • Yes. 
  • No. 

7. Florida Progressive Democrats believe that standing up for the environment and protecting Florida's wetlands is an important issue, but often environmental issues are ignored. How will Florida Democrats recommit to focusing on environmental and clean energy issues under your watch?

8. Would you support Charlie Crist to be the Democratic nominee for Governor? Please circle one.

  • Yes.
  • No.

9. What strengths and assets would you bring to the job of Florida Democratic Party Chair, and why should Florida Progressives support you over your opponent?