Island Issues

“Apologist” Duo Driving Media Outlet’s Reputation Off A Cliff; City’s “Capo” Ross Says Residents Are Golden Egg-Laying Geese

“Apologist” Duo Driving Media Outlet’s Reputation Off A Cliff; City’s “Capo” Ross Says Residents Are Golden Egg-Laying Geese

The online Fernandina Observer distaff duo of “Editor” Susan Steger and “Reporter” Suanne Thamm should be a cinch to snag the coveted Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) 2020 Golden Anvil, the highest achievement award that can be presented to public relations practitioners.

Throughout 2020 and earlier, these two PR flacks masquerading under the guise of journalists, have generated a massive, unprecedented flow of glowing editorial reports and gushing opinion pieces lauding the City of Fernandina Beach’s elected officials and employees at all levels while ignoring or squelching all negative rejoinders.

These two progressive publicity hacks have taken the liberal media’s shading of government incompetence to new heights by acting as Fernandina’s unofficial PR agency under the guise of a local online “news” outlet named the “Observer,” which more accurately should be labelled  the “Apologist” to reflect its true function.

“Hey Dale, I’ll send the opinion piece to the Observer, it’ll print anything from us.” 

The Observer’s two local sycophants — Ms. Steger and Ms. Thamm — unashamedly portray Fernandina Beach City Manager Dale “The Big Spender” Martin and his mouthpiece and enforcer, Commissioner Chip “Capo” Ross, as austere, kind-hearted, civic minded visionaries struggling mightily against a mean-spirited local community of miserable misers, ignorant deadbeats, and greedy entrepreneurs hell-bent on polluting the local environment, clear-cutting the tree canopy, and obliterating the city’s Norman Rockwell way of life.

Commentaries that should nail the Golden Anvil Award nomination for the two gals were a pair of 2020 year-end editorial pieces and coverups that would have been cheered by Joseph Goebbels and Baghdad Bob.

The Steger-Thamm December 21 joint interview of City Manager Martin was peppered with more adoring adjectives and adverbs than MSNBC spews during its doting interviews with a dozing Joe Biden.

PRSA jurists can cite the following drool-drenched paragraph from their slavering December 21 editorial accolade as the nomination clincher: “But despite the best efforts of Martin, City officials and local media, many people still do not seem to understand how government works. When we asked Martin what his biggest frustration is as City Manager, he replied after some thought, ‘The unfamiliarity of some citizens as to how local government operates.’ He expressed regret that Facebook and other social media appear to dominate ‘the news,’ leaving the government and responsible local media in the position of trying to overcome erroneous rumors with facts.” 

This co-authored Steger-Thamm PR Hall of Fame piece that blames all city troubles from the marina and golf course fiascos to crumbling infrastructure and financial mismanagement on the over-taxed citizens of Fernandina can be read in its mind-numbing entirety by clicking here: https://fernandinaobserver.com/city-news/a-conversation-with-fernandina-beach-city-manager-dale-martin/

In another year-end word jumble, the city’s poodle media pair published a lengthy rebuttal by “Capo” Ross to what he says was a list of issues sent to him by “a local resident” detailing why City Manager Dale Martin should be fired. True to form the Steger-Thamm Apologist didn’t publish a single word of the critical piece that prompted Ross’s frenzied response or even mention its author.

The unnamed, accurate, well-researched compilation of detailed justifications outlining why City Manager Martin should be sacked was compiled, written, and submitted to local media and all City Commissioners by Jack Knocke, a founder of the local watchdog group Common Sense. Mr. Knocke is also a college professor and successful business owner. The Apologist’s two city hall hacks conveniently didn’t mention any of that. Click here to read Mr. Knocke’s eye-opening piece: https://commonsensefb.org/docsfactsreferencesresources.html that ran in the Wednesday, January 6 News Leader. Readers can follow or get involved with Common Sense by going to the following:  (https://www.facebook.com/commonsenseFB ) and (https://twitter.com/BeachCommon).

Unlike the PR pair’s favorite area activist groups – The Atlanta Tree Conservatory (ATC) and Conserve Amelia Now (CAN) – which includes numerous non-resident, fist-shaking, garbage can lid-banging, slogan-shouting tree groupies, Common Sense’s ranks consist of concerned city residents of all economic levels and backgrounds including, publishing, law, engineering, journalism, medicine, education, government service, business owners, hospitality workers and more.

Observer credibility.

The Apologist’s Steger-Thamm team’s record of ignoring opinion pieces submitted by critics such as Common Sense and publishing only the city’s uncontested responses encourages readers to put as much trust in their reporting as they do in gas station sushi. The two city hall darlings mirror a couple of fictional characters – not the hard-nosed reporters Brenda Starr and Lois Lane – but Thelma and Louise as they drive the Observer’s credibility off a cliff.

If the pair’s Mother-of-all-puff-pieces Martin interview isn’t enough to seal the prestigious PR prize, the Apologist duo can point to a series of articles it ran recently authored by the city’s Building & Permit Director Stephen Beckman that were so blatantly self-serving they would be an embarrassment to an employee newsletter. The fact that Beckman’s department is projecting a $2 million deficit in 2021 and its fees are seven to eight times higher than those of the county were apparently considered inconsequential and never mentioned.

On the marina fiasco front the Apologist pair and their Martin-Ross clients are conspiring to prepare the community for a defensive PR campaign when FEMA eventually gives the city a thumbs down over the marina’s $15 million rebuilding price tag, due to the city’s mismanagement, incompetence, and Martin’s mysterious lost paper work.

Another Common Sense founder and local resident, Frank Quigley, an acknowledged national media authority, isn’t buying the city’s or the Steger-Thamm propaganda pablum. A veteran media expert, Mr. Quigley knows his stuff. He spent 40 years in legitimate media including Congressional Quarterly, Thomson-Reuters, and The Economist Group, in addition to heading up a national publishing firm that produced a chain of city and state government trade magazines. He called the Apologist flacks out with the following comment in their January 3 post.

Ms. Steger it seems that you have, in this nice photo,  https://fernandinaobserver.com/general/amelia-island-revealed-244-copy/ inadvertently shown the underlying flaw in the Fernandina Beach FEMA application for financial support to “repair and/or replace” the damaged Fernandina Harbor Marina. This photo shows the marina prior to damage sustained during Hurricane Matthew. This is the configuration that FEMA would have been obliged to repair. Instead, the city chose a reconfiguration – as you state and as Commissioner Ross stated in an opinion piece in The Fernandina Observer, last week. He stated, “the storm-ravaged Marina has been replaced with a new dock layout and the mud removed.”  Previously Ms. Suanne Thamm featured the marina on your blog (https://fernandinaobserver.com/city-news/how-do-you-solve-a-problem-named-marina/) which shows your readers a photo the new configuration – it is very nice but Public Assistance for disaster relief is to return damaged/destroyed property to as-was condition. So, these photos are “facts”, and the “missing document” is a red herring. (Can anyone explain the nature of this missing document, who authored it, and how – in the age of digital communication – any document could be “lost”?). The Stafford Act does not offer to “build back better”. The multi-million-dollar FB marina upgrade should have been decided by a bond referendum, especially in light of the long list of delayed capital projects that total many millions of dollars. To suggest that this whole episode isn’t a giant fiasco is to sweep under the rug the information the public deserves to know.” 

Mr. Quigley’s original unedited comment to the Observer contained Ms. Steger’s original photo and commentary, which referred to the reconfigured docks. After Mr. Quigley’s original was posted Ms. Steger hurriedly edited and reposted it to eliminate any reference to the date of the photo or any reconfigured dock layout, an action Mr. Quigley accurately says “…. is shameless and media malpractice.”

When confronted with this by Mr. Quigley, Ms. Steger again refused to publish his comment saying his points were “erroneous.” She forwarded him the Observer’s April 2019 out-of-date Thamm article citing it as her source and insinuated that he was a “complainer”. Undeterred he followed up with a complete set of even more comprehensive data points and pointed out that the marina’s southern attenuator would not, in its new configuration, qualify for the grant asking her to reply and let him know the specifics of how he erred. She responded saying she was too busy, and that Mr. Quigley should check with the city manager.

Ms. Steger puts an entirely new blush on transparency, incompetency, and buck passing. Factual and objective reporting are alien concepts to this retired banker and former City Commissioner who practices journalism with the finesse of a sumo wrestler attempting synchronized swimming.

Like most other readers, Frank Quigley now recognizes that the Observer (aka Apologist) is simply a promotional arm of the city masquerading as a media outlet and Steger and Thamm just moo and follow “Big Spender” Martin and “Capo” Ross into the cow chute.

Under new editor, Scott Bryon, the local print News-Leader also published Ross’s defensive testimonial to the “Big Spender”, but to the paper’s credit it ran Mr. Knocke’s Common Sense opinion piece word-for-word albeit a few days later. The News Leader can leave city hall’s boot licking to its chief city propagandist, Ron “Get Off My Lawn You Little Bastards” Sapp, an admitted no-growth liberal who promotes any trendy nonsense the woke crowd trots out. As wrong-headed as he is at least he publicly acknowledges his loopy left-wing biases and rational readers know to ignore his mindless blather.

The Common Sense organization exposed Steger’s and Thamm’s brazen biases effectively destroying any pretense the “Observer”  had of being a balanced, objective, fair media outlet leaving its reputation a blazing wreck.

I suggest that if PRSA decides to honor the “Apologist” Steger-Thamm duo at an awards ceremony it should introduce them with the following musical tribute, while adding apologies to Julie Andrews and “The Sound of Music”:

The “Apologist” Anthem       

“Some of our favorite things….”

                               

Articles and opinions that read all the same                                               

Publishing fluff that doesn’t cause any pain
Printing puff pieces without any strings
These are a few of our favorite things

Fat mushy missives filled with air kisses
Ensuring that harsh hisses are all far misses
So Martin and Ross never fear any stings
These are a few of our favorite things

Boring fluff stuff without grinding axes
Only puff pieces and not Fernandina’s high taxes
City officials with angel white wings
These are a few of our favorite things

When the critics strike
When the truth stings
When we’re feeling sad
We simply remember our favorite things
And then we don’t feel so bad

***

Things I Wish I’d Said: “When one door closes and another door opens, you are probably in prison.” – anonymous

***

“Nice Little Town You Got Here, Too Bad If Something Happened To It” Department:  When Fernandina Beach city officials are offered an opportunity to implement fiscal restraint and relinquish any control that would ease the financial burden of its tax payers they instinctively display the compassion of the Castellammarese clan.

According to media reports Commissioner Len Kreger was recently approached by Florida Public Utility (FPU) inquiring about the possibility of FPU purchasing the city’s water and sewer system.

When Commissioner Kreger reported this contact to the City Commission, the City’s self-appointed capodecina, Commissioner Chip “Capo” Ross, impulsively recoiled declaring: “City leaders reject the idea of selling the sewer system”, adding that selling the system would be like “killing the goose that laid the golden egg”.

The “geese” “Capo” Ross was referring to are Fernandina Beach residents and the “eggs” are their water and sewer bills and impact fee payments, a cleverly conceived shakedown scheme that’s gone on since 2003.

Here’s how it works

Water and sewer services are a natural monopoly and there are no practical market alternatives to a single central system. For that reason, a single utility provider operates the service subject to public oversight and regulation. That regulation is necessary to ensure that consumers (Fernandina’s geese) are charged fair rates for services and the operator recovers only reasonable operating expenses, plus a fair market rate of return on the capital invested in the plant.

In Florida, that utility regulatory responsibility is overseen and enforced by the Florida Public Service Commission, which also regulates electric rates and service.

“Make sure you collect the eggs before cooking those geese.”

However, when a municipality buys a utility it is no longer subject to PSC regulation. The city is supposed to do that. This is why the City Hall mob wanted to buy the system and why “Capo” Ross wants to hang on to their Golden Goose. Think of it this way: Would the mob sell off a lucrative racket, particularly when nobody’s policing it?

To “Capo” Ross’s way of thinking the water and sewer bills the local Castellammarese set are just another way to fill city hall coffers. Why would they want a pesky state agency exercising oversight and interfering with the city’s lucrative extortionist rate setting and enforcement scheme?

Some 17 years ago, when Fernandina’s water service was privately owned and regulated, Florida’s PSC denied a rate increase saying the company had over invested in the plant and the investors should eat the added cost rather than pass it on to the city’s customers (“Capo” Ross’s geese).

The city then stepped in to buy the system at an excessive cost the PSC had denied. Think about that! The City imposed the cost increases on residents that the PSC had denied! The City’s capos then imposed illegal impact fees to pay off the debt it incurred by overpaying for the facility. The resident golden geese got goosed and the city raked in the cash. But he City didn’t stop there.

“You gotta pay to play.”

Once the city mob took over they tied access to public water and sewer and impact fees to city-issued certificates of occupancy. Property owners failing to pay impact fees can’t use their property. This is a shakedown scheme organized crime would envy.

And it got even worse for area tax payers. The city required that county properties that adjoined the city and needed access to the public water and sewer service would have to agree to be annexed into the city and pay higher city taxes.

The city’s water and sewer service is simply a vehicle for shaking down citizens without worrying about interference or oversight. That’s why “Capo” Ross sees the system as the goose that lays golden eggs.

But the worst may be yet to come as the city’s resident geese may be required to lay larger golden eggs to pay for the deeper damage of neglected infrastructure repairs of the past several years.

According to a 2019 study by American Society of Civil Engineers and published by the US Water Alliance, the US needs to invest between $110 billion and $130 billion a year until 2040 to replace aging and deteriorating water infrastructure and to improve water quality. As an example, the study found that in the US there is a water main break on average every two minutes. The underinvestment is piling up says the organization. And it may soon be hitting home.

Maybe FPU knows something we don’t and sees an opportunity here to replace the plant. FPU is a subsidiary of Dover, Delaware-based Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (NYSE: CPK) and has some deep pockets with a $1.8 billion market capitalization. It can afford a long-term investment that individual Fernandina tax payers can’t.

Because the Fernandina Beach city hall crime syndicate sacrificed the water and sewer system’s future for immediate income, replacement money isn’t there. That’s where regulated capitalists like FPU can play a “white knight” role. FPU might have insight into the deeper damage that’s taken place due to the neglect of the past few years and be willing to invest for future returns.

The city track’s record with the golf course, marina, crumbling infrastructure, the building and permitting department, etc. are prime examples that it can’t get anything right.

To ensure reasonable rates, quality service, professional management, and a secure water and sewer system future, the citizens that “Capo” Ross refers to as the city’s “Golden geese” should demand the system be turned over to private hands and be subject to the regulation and oversight of the PSC.

There are a number of companies that procure and successfully operate municipal water systems. FPU is just one of them. It and others should be invited to bid and put Fernandina’s water and sewer service back in private hands subject to the Florida Public Service Commission’s regulation and oversight.

People like Ross obviously hold local residents in utter contempt. If he possessed the least bit of personal insight, he would have concluded that the local “geese” dumb enough to vote for him deserve to have their pockets picked. Hopefully in the next election he’ll have an opponent other than a naïve radical Black Lives Matter activist who will provide voters a suitable alternative.

Just like geese “honk” when they fly to maintain the integrity of the flock’s formation, the “Golden Geese” citizens of Fernandina Beach should display a united front to privatize the city’s water and sewer system by “honking” every time they drive past Ash Street’s city hall.

***

DC Chaos Hits Home: The handful of loons that stormed the Capital building Wednesday had an impact on Amelia Island other than a unified revulsion of their mindless actions.

The Republican Nation Committee’s (RNC) meeting of its 180 leadership members that is currently taking place at the Ritz Carlton here was supposed to feature an appearance by President Trump. Due to the DC chaos that didn’t happen. Even plans to have the president send a video message were ditched. He made a phone call instead.

Those RNC leaders at the meeting at the Ritz are watching a Republican party that is in a state of confusion. The discussions going on there must be focusing on the scramble for leadership as many will try to position themselves as 2024 presidential material.

As west coast pundit and columnist Burt Prelutsky points out there was one good thing to come out of the mess made by the mob that went berserk in DC: “After months of left-wing rioting in cities across America where the participants suffered no pushback and no negative consequences, we finally discover that cops still know how to protect property, at least when politicians are endangered,” he observes.

Too bad there were no politicians around when America’s businesses in Minneapolis, Kenosha, Portland, New York, Seattle, Atlanta, Chicago and New Orleans, were being looted and torched by BLM and Antifa hordes of what we were told were peaceful black protesters.

It did make for a change, though, to hear the troublemakers in D.C. referred to as marauders, by the media, words we never heard applied to the thugs in BLM and Antifa when they were burning and looting buildings. They were called “peaceful protestors” by biased on-the-scene TV commentators even as buildings burned in the background.

I was invited to join a caravan of local islanders who attended the DC protests but declined. I was regretting my decision until I saw the chaos on TV Wednesday afternoon. Unfortunately, the handful of clueless rioters overshadowed the hundreds of thousands of American patriots who showed up to protest a fraudulent election rightfully and peacefully.

The handful of morons that stormed the Capital didn’t do American patriots or Republicans any favors, just the opposite. Expect the new majority of Democrats to respond with draconian laws further restricting our rights and using Covid and the DC chaos as their excuses. The double standard and hypocrisy they display are astounding. Does anyone recall Biden or any other Democrat calling for restraint during the Antifa and BLM rioting and looting last year that resulted in some 30 violent deaths across America? VP elect Harris even offered bail money to those arrested. What about the Bret Kavanaugh Senate hearings where Democrat supporters stormed the Senate chambers, blocking hallways and elevators and screaming at US Senators until the Capital police dragged them away? What about the mob that penetrated the Supreme Court grounds and attempted to break down its doors. Did Biden, Schumer, Pelosi, Harris or their media propagandists condemn them? What about the 2016 inauguration day DC riots, boycotts, firebombs, burning cars and “#Not My President” campaign? Why isn’t any of that mentioned? A few months back when the mob was pulling down statues, trashing our cities and our culture, the flying monkeys on the Marxist TV networks were all parroting Martin Luther King’s “A riot is the language of the unheard.”

The DC lawlessness has put a question mark on Donald Trump’s future role. His initial response to the chaos could have been stronger and now everyone is piling on. The Democrats don’t want to just defeat President Trump, they think they have him on the ropes and want to utterly destroy him. But he’s surprised us before and he might do so again.

I’ve seen reports that the Capital Hill mob was infiltrated by Antifa and BLM thugs. A known Antifa thug from Utah was next to the woman that was shot and has been arrested. But don’t look to the Democrat’s media lackeys to do any serious investigative reporting on that.

The next four years are going to be bad, unbelievably bad, particularly since the Democrats now control both the Senate and the House. I’m sure Georgia residents are extremely excited about being represented by the preferred candidates of California political donors. The country can soon expect some dreadful economic and foreign policy decisions. An aging and obviously incapable Biden is clearly an empty suit. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are vicious, vindictive, nasty, power hungry people. The idea that Donald Trump received 10 million more votes in 2020 than he did in 2016 and still lost to Biden, is ludicrous. It is unclear who is really going to be in control of the White House decision making. If you thought the Obama administration was bad you ain’t seen nothing yet.

I’d love to hear what the RNC folks down the road at the Ritz are saying today about all this.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

23 Comments

William Shaffer - 08. Jan, 2021 - Reply

A whole lot of common sense this time, sir.

My gamble is that most Americans share your ability to discern the difference between chicken salad and what my father urged me not to step in when back on the farm.

Nora Bruce - 08. Jan, 2021 - Reply

Regarding mr. Booth’s comment: Did he actually see and identify every person at the rally? Not likely. He has no clue who was there. As far as blame goes, every person is responsible for himself or herself. Those were adults. They knew it was wrong to break into the capitol. Did anyone hear Trump say, “riot, break windows, invade the building.” Don’t give me the whiny excuse that they were “influenced.” They are responsible and only they are responsible for their crimes and should be punished! The old adage applies, “if someone sticks their head in the fire, are you”. We make excuse for everyone today. There IS no excuse for bad behavior.
,

John Goshco - 08. Jan, 2021 - Reply

Your comments on the Utilities Department are correct, but you left out another important “golden egg”, the county customers.

When the city took control of the water department from Florida Public Utilities, they also inherited many customers in the county. Florida regulations permit the city to charge non-city customers a different rate, and indeed they do. Water rates for county customers are 25% higher than city customers. This is not added to your bill as an obvious surcharge, but is quietly include as if it were the normal rate for everyone. So yes – we in the county are also helping to feed the goose.

Patrick Keogh - 08. Jan, 2021 - Reply

John:

True and great point. Plus, if county customers make changes they get to pay city impact fees. Then when the city scammers annex the county customers into the city they drop the 25% surcharge but then they get slugged with the higher city taxes and all their other exorbitant fees. The County should intervene to stop city annexations and abuse of their citizens.

John Goshco - 08. Jan, 2021 - Reply

Does the county actually have the power to stop “voluntary” annexations or does that power rest with the state? It’d be nice if the annexations were truly voluntary and not a quid pro quo.

Another thought. When developers make these promises to the city, they reduce their construction costs (fewer septic tanks, etc.) and then pass on the increased taxes to the unaware buyers of their homes and commercial properties.

Vince Cavallo - 09. Jan, 2021 - Reply

Its my understanding the City will NOT let any new hookups unless the developer agrees to annex to the city. Those who were the customers of FPU before the City decided to buy the utility were foisted to accept the 25% surcharge as if they were asking to join the system when in fact they were already on the system. The county told the city by resolution to not do that but of course the city thumbed their nose and said sue us which the county decided not to do.

Interesting point is FPU, a private company, was able to operate the utility and pay taxes while returning a PUC approved ROI to its stockholders. The city looks at the utility as a golden goose; the city residents pay a hidden “tax” and those hapless county people on the utility rolls pay that “tax” and an additional surcharge. IMO, the surcharge in the lingo of a crime family is the “vig”.

Whenever anyone from the city administration whines about the county residents on the island not paying their share of city expenses for the provision of services, I consider my surcharge for our utility service my payment for the services. For the record, I don’t use golf course, airport, or marina. I do use the beach walkovers on occasion so I think I am paying my share.

Gary W - 08. Jan, 2021 - Reply

One question, Dave. What color is the sky in your world?

Robert S. Warner, Jr. - 08. Jan, 2021 - Reply

Probably this, Dave… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXM6h9elyTY&feature=share&ab_channel=RoyBenjamin

Charles Booth - 08. Jan, 2021 - Reply

You are truly clueless. A handful??? Antifa??? All the people I saw were true Trump cult members. And now that the cult of Donald Trump has killed a police officer, everyone in that building at the time can be charged with accessory to murder, and those who instigated the riots including the president himself can also be indicted for accessory to murder.

CoCoNUT haiRRy - 08. Jan, 2021 - Reply

People say “no evidence of fraud” so when asked to recount & verify voter signatures in the contested states, these appeals were all denied by the corrupt state election “officials”. One would think that the best way to shut down the Trumpsters’ fraud claims is to allow recounts of LEGAL ballots, proving vote integrity … but that wasn’t allowed to happen – wonder why ?

Around 75 million inquiring minds want to know.

Richard Norman Kurpiers - 08. Jan, 2021 - Reply

Ummm, recounts did happen. Each state sets rules for recounts and then it becomes state law. All laws were followed and recounts happened where condition met the threshold. As for voter signature matching, this too already happened as votes were processed. The signatures on the mail-in ballot envelopes are matched to signatures on file for each voter prior to opening the ballot. Once the envelope is opened and separated from the ballot, the envelope is discarded in order to protect the identity of the voter. The ballot itself contains no signature, again to protect the identity of the voter. There is no way to match an envelope to a ballot once the ballot is tallied. This is by design in order to protect the integrity of the election by removing any ability to commit voter intimidation. So when people like you and the president demand signature matching post election, you fail to understand our election laws as well as to how our democracy functions.

John Goshco - 08. Jan, 2021 - Reply

And “recounting” dead people, felons and non-residents a second or third time validates the results? Audits produce a slightly better indication of whether the results are valid. Refusing to audit lends the appearance of hiding something. But you know that.

Auditing the signed envelopes to see if the signatures ACTUALLY match voter records on file is a separate process from either recounting or auditing the votes. Not all jurisdictions did this and some changed the rules (apparently without authorization) just before the election. Same goes for validating postmarks and validating residency. Occasional discrepancies (while not acceptable) may not affect the election results but, if widespread discrepancies turn up, then further investigation is warranted and should be dealt with as state and federal laws require.

My opinion is that most local officials don’t have the courage to open the Pandora’s box that a full and fair audit might find. A quick recount and quick certification is the easy route for them, but it leaves a lot of questions unanswered for the more analytical (and less emotional) of us. I can handle the truth, but I have greater difficulty with uncertainty.

Richard Norman Kurpiers - 09. Jan, 2021 - Reply

60 state and federal judges (many of them appointed by Trump), including the Supreme Count, all found no reason to pursue claims of voter fraud. Local and state bureau of investigations, along with the FBI, found no significant evidence of fraud. Same with election officials, state attorney offices, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and the US Justice Department. But it’s just all one big conspiracy to remove Donald Trump from office, isn’t it?

Vince Cavallo - 09. Jan, 2021 -

Something to consider, latest Rassmuessen poll, taken after the “riot” which was a protest IMO, shows Trump’s approval rating went UP. Interesting given the across the board slandering and libel from the media, blogs, and some politicians. Ho Chi Minh’s look a like Dorsey would be proud of his tactics in removing Trump from Twitter. Should be interesting when he gets to respond to his board given the drubbing the stock will take over this. Losing 35% of your customer base is quite cavalier. Lastly, Trump does not appoint state judges. The federal judges as I understand it decided to not look into the election citing either standing or no relevance to a violation within federal jurisdiction given voting in our Republic is left to the states.

Peg Dickinson - 08. Jan, 2021 - Reply

Dave, I have always said I didn’t like Trump, though I don’t consider myself a Democrat. However, what happened in Washington a few days ago falls on Trump for encouraging the rioters. I watched in disbelief when they destroyed the Capital. My great grandmother worked for Teddy Roosevelt and probably walked those same halls. The history of all of America is in that building and they disrespected it and the USA and he encouraged it. When BLM went to Wash. they had police stationed every few feet protecting monuments and the Capital but when Trump stirs up his supporters there is no one in sight. Respect, that is my problem with this issue.

Beth Anderson - 08. Jan, 2021 - Reply

It’s worth mentioning that many of the transfers to keep the golf course afloat have come from the water department. The number is about 4 million so far. Susan Stegar, while serving as Commissioner and Mayor told me personally the reason the golf course needed a change was because the golf pro made more money than the city manager at the time. WOW! The pro worked on commission… so he only received a portion of what the city was making . ( a pretty good problem to have)

Jeff McDowell - 08. Jan, 2021 - Reply

Hey Dave, way to keep the local politicians’ “Feet to the Fire”. However, you must be exhausted from pulling all your punches. Nice work. If you need an assist barricading yourself in your house, give me a call. I’ll bring beer, hammer and nails…and chicken livers from Island Bar-B-Que.

Mary Maguire - 08. Jan, 2021 - Reply

Why not mention the 60 or so lawsuits on “fraud” elections tossed out by many Trump appointed judges – and the Supreme Court? Seems important.

John Goshco - 08. Jan, 2021 - Reply

Denying to hold a hearing of the evidence is not quite the same as “tossed out”.

Robert S. Warner, Jr. - 09. Jan, 2021 - Reply

The Court’s ruling in these cases is that there was no evidence to support a threshold complaint. That’s what “tossed out” means.

bobby carter - 08. Jan, 2021 - Reply

Why did Capitol Police open the barricades? Why did Police usher the crowd to come to the building itself? There wasn’t a riot at the barricades.
Why were the actual intruders also the same persons active in Antifa and BLM riots? It looks like this was another setup of some kind. None of it makes sense.
It looks like the crowd was allowed to cause trouble for the sake of making the cause look bad.

Dean Abrassart - 08. Jan, 2021 - Reply

Hi Bobby, I had the same impression. An investigation of the chain of command that allowed these extremists into the capital needs to take place. We need to know how this ever happened and those that made the decisions allowing this to happen need to be held to count. This is like allowing someone to set up their own email server in a day and age when systems are in place to NOT let that happen. Let’s really make this dramatic and make sure the biggest idiot finds his way to Pelosi’s office and get some great photos! There is no organization (public or private), let alone the US government, in the world that would allow this to happen.

John Goshco - 08. Jan, 2021 - Reply

I haven’t come to a conclusion one way or another, but… five years of Trump rallies and no violence? (Ok – 1 anti-Trump idiot at each rally)
Several years of peaceful Tea Party rallies before that.

What changed this time? Inquiring minds want to know.