Thursday, March 15, 2018

Question: Because Mr. Drew Martin refused to drop out of race for mayor, did that decision damage Sarah Malega?

FYI. Just in case you may have missed this.
     The blog post below is from yesterday with additional information following the municipal elections here in the little City of Lake Worth.
     For example, has an endorsement in The Palm Beach Post become the ‘kiss of death’ in close elections for popular women candidates in Central Palm Beach County?
     And did you know. . . Mr. Drew Martin originally filed to run against Commissioner Andy Amoroso? But Martin changed his mind and skipped furiously on back to City Hall on the last day to qualify, and then filed papers to run against Mayor Pam Triolo instead.
     Why? Did he think Mayor Triolo, insultingly referred to as ‘The Queen’, was the weaker of the two electeds? Learn more about that at the end of this blog post..
     Anyhow, without further ado. . .

District 1 Commissioner Scott Maxwell: 54.28%.

Challenger Sarah Malega: 45.72%.

and. . .

Mayor Pam Triolo: 73.06%.

Challenger Drew Martin: 26.94%.

The results above are from Election Day in the City of Lake Worth, Tuesday, March 13th, 2018.

The race between Commissioner Maxwell and Sarah Malega was predicted to be a very close one and also predicted to be a race Maxwell could have very well lost. Both the Maxwell and Malega campaigns understood this and both campaigns were working very hard in the final two weeks to gather and garner support.

But Maxwell won with a comfortable lead and will now serve another term on the Lake Worth City Commission but this time for a three-year term following a referendum that passed in March 2017.

So. Why did Maxwell win so handily?

Was it because of Drew Martin?

It’s quite possible, or even likely, that a significant percentage of voters believed that Martin and Malega were running on a “slate” just like former commissioners Ryan Maier and Chris McVoy, PhD, did in March 2015 in those election victories:
A slate is a group of candidates that run in multi-seat or multi-position elections on a common platform.

A winning ‘slate’ in March 2015.

Click on image to enlarge:
But this slate was ‘wiped clean’ two years later when then-Commissioner Maier opted not to run for re-election and McVoy, PhD (aka, the “gadfly”) was booted off the City Commission dais by now-District 2 Commissioner Omari Hardy.

Remember. Mayor Pam Triolo and Commissioner Maxwell were running on a ‘slate’ and it’s likely that some voters just assumed Martin and Malega were a slate of candidates as well. And if people did believe that — going from the stunning result in the City’s mayoral race — there would have been about a 1 in 4 chance (≈ 20% odds; a very bad day at the craps table) that anyone would have voted for Malega believing that she or her campaign would ever support such a terrible candidate like Drew Martin.

Put another way, you would have had a much better chance of getting a Letter to the Editor published in The Palm Beach Post or if you were someone named Dawn Pardo. Why?

Because if you went to the polls on March 13th, 2018, and were worried about what Mr. Drew Martin said in an interview that you and your neighbors would, “[J]ust automatically put the same person in power over and over again”, without being able to make your own educated and informed decisions, well, that could be a bit offsetting to most women and most men as well.

Now let’s pause momentarily and consider this.

In Central Palm Beach County (CPBC) has the Post endorsement for women candidates on the ballot become the ‘kiss of death’ in close elections?

The election results from March 2017:
Sarah Malega received the Post endorsement this year and lost. Last year Maryann Polizzi received the Post endorsement and also lost in a close election to now-Commissioner Herman C. Robinson.

Now back on topic:

Below is the entire quote from Drew Martin, just another in a long line of sarcastic political stunts to try and get attention and pick up a few more votes. But this latest stunt went way too far.

And along the way, acting out this latest stunt he split the local CPBC community of environmentalists right down the middle and Martin embarrassed the Sierra Club and other organizations as well.

Here is a political door-hanger
from March 2017:
Could Mayor Pam Triolo have been beaten in the March 2018 elections? Unlikely but possible. But Drew Martin wasn’t the one to try and topple Triolo. It was former-Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD, who had much better odds.

It may take many years for the environmental community to recover from what Drew Martin did. And it never had to happen in the first place. Martin had plenty of time to drop out of the race at the very beginning. He refused. 

Later in Mr. Martin’s ‘campaign’ for mayor we learned, apparently, that he thinks you’re all just a bunch of feudal peasants or serfs, “the great unwashed” that can’t be trusted to make their own decisions. That you’re just told what to do and then you go and do it.

So one could conclude that Drew Martin thinks he only lost to now-County Commissioner Dave Kerner because the public wasn’t smart or educated enough? Well, actually, Kerner didn’t have to talk much about Mr. Martin at all. Martin did much of the talking himself and the public listened.

And then the public marched to the polls in 2016. . .
Former State House Rep. Dave Kerner was elected anyway by a very wide margin, despite Martin’s political stunt, to become District 3 County Commissioner Dave Kerner.

Once again, there was a lot of disappointment within the environmental community that Mr. Martin even ran for mayor in the first place for two reasons. First, no one really understood why he chose to run for mayor since Mayor Pam Triolo has such a great record on environmental issues.

And secondly, everyone was expecting a spirited race for mayor of Lake Worth between Mayor Triolo and former Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD. So one can understand why there is so much disappointment.

If you recall, when journalist and writer Dierdra Funcheon penned her well-received article about the “Best Environmentalists in South Florida” back in 2016 she cited then-Commissioner McVoy but never even mentioned Drew Martin. Not one single time. The outspoken Anarchist Mr. Panagiotis Evangellos Nasios Tsolkas was also cited as one of the “Best Environmentalists” as well. Both Messrs. McVoy and Tsolkas were residents of the City of Lake Worth at the time and so was Drew Martin. But Martin never made the list.

Dave Kerner could have been unopposed in his effort to become County Commissioner Kerner. But instead, Drew Martin forced Kerner into a race that Martin knew he could never win unless something earth-shattering happened; it was an election and anything can happen. So money had to be raised and money spent to send out mailers and to have printers print more door hangers, handouts, and political yard signs. Not exactly what one would expect from an ‘activist’ who claims to care so much for the environment.

District 3 Commissioner Andy Amoroso was unopposed this year and automatically re-elected to another term on the City Commission, this time for three years. Mayor Pam Triolo could have been unopposed and re-elected as well were in not for this twisted reasoning by an ‘environmental activist’:

“If I didn’t run, there would have been no challenge to the current mayor. She would’ve just been annointed [sic], like some ruler in one of these countries where you don’t have an election, you just automatically put the same person in power over and over again. You end up with people who’ve been in power 70 years.”
Quote by Drew Martin from interview on WJNO radio’s “Election Spotlight: Lake Worth Mayoral Race”, Feb. 2018.

Mayor Pam Triolo was never ‘anointed’ to anything. She fought and fought hard for every election she ever won. The first one was in 2011, then another in 2013, and another in 2016.

So in this City of Lake Worth when the voters had their one chance to speak their mind, maybe many of them remembered what Drew Martin thinks about all the voters in this City.

Martin thinks you’re just a bunch of lemmings who have no clue what to do and that Mayor Pam Triolo was just ‘anointed’ and she didn’t have to work for it.

Pretty insulting isn’t it?

In conclusion: It’s very possible, even likely, a percentage of voters thought Sarah Malega was on a ‘slate’ with Mr. Martin. So besides Mayor Triolo having to pay the price for Martin’s stunt — forced to campaign in a race that never needed to happen in the first place (fundraisers and mailers and yard signs and all those knocks on doors) — maybe Sarah Malega paid a very high price for Martin’s political stunt as well.

Commissioner Andy Amoroso was unopposed this year. What would have happened if Mayor Triolo was unopposed as well? That would have changed the entire dynamics of the Maxwell/Malega race.

What would have happened? Who would have won and who would have lost? Would the turnout have been higher or lower and what issues would have dominated the discussion? Would more focus on Malega have helped her gain more support and raised more campaign money or would Maxwell have benefited more?

We’ll never know now. Thanks to Drew Martin.

However, we do know this. Little did Mr. Martin know that his fateful decision to skip, whistle and hop back to Lake Worth City Hall on December 11th, 2017the final day of the Qualifying Period — to file his papers and run against Mayor Pam Triolo would end up a terrible call and damage the image of so many well-intentioned and hard-working environmentalists we’ve relied on for so many years to help guide us along the way.

For example. . .
A YouTube video from four years ago: