Saturday, November 8, 2008

Unedited Confession by a Cara Jennings Supporter

It was me. I did it and I acted alone. Cara knew nothing about it. In fact, if she had known she would have asked me not to, but I did.

I took a copy of Mary's DUI judgement and cross referenced it to confirm it was the same Mary Lindsey. It was. Although this information had made the behind the scenes rounds, time was running out to bring it to the fore. The reasons I did this are many. Every interaction I have ever had with Mary has been unpleasant. Her attempted control of me, brow beatings, being called stupid, dismissed, challenged, made to feel "less than" were simmering inside me.

This particular DUI was issued in 1997. Some say that is too long ago. But, Cara's Radical Cheerleading, used as a campaign weapon by Mary, happened in 1996 according to Google.
In filling out job applications recently I see the question, "have you ever plead guilty, no contest or been convicted of a crime? There is no time limit. On the Scarlett Pimpernel web site the question was asked, "should a person reveal an arrest in their past if running for office? The answers were all yes.(9 yes, 0 no).

I still wouldn't have done it if Mary hadn't acted so self-righteous with every action she took and word she spoke. Her writings are rants against everybody else. The thought of her sitting on the dais made me shudder.

I never represented to Mr. Jordan that I was acting on Cara's behalf. He assumed that, although I can understand why. I should have stated to him that I was acting alone. I can't let Cara take this unrelenting heat for something she and her campaign knew nothing about.

Do with me what you will.

Signed, Donna Ross

More Jewels about Jennings

A couple conversations from last night's stop at the local watering hole. Of course we were talking about elections and city politics.

One of the people I chatted with talked about his trip to the polls this week to cast his vote. While there, he saw Mayor Jeff Clemens and he wanted to talk to him since he hasn't seen him at all since his election. It turns out that he couldn't get to speak with him since he was talking to Commissioner Jennings for a span of about 20 minutes. I am sure they were just exchanging recipes, talking about the price of gas or how surprising the Dolphins are this year.

Another person told me that he was all set to vote for Commissioner Cara Jennings. In fact, he was pleased that Commissioner Jennings showed up at his door during the campaign and they talked. He was in the construction trade and has had multiple run-ins and problems with our building department. He told Cara that he can't reach the City Manager and that he has tried on many occasions. Commissioner Jennings said no problem - just e-mail her and she will set up the appointment. He e-mailed her TWO times and got no response. The result: He chose not to vote for anyone in that race.

Join the long line of residents with unanswered e-mails.

And Commissioner Cara Jennings can add another jewel to her crown - she is now "Door-Knocking Coordinator" for her adopted commission candidate. See below from the Emotional Endurance Institute (Suzanne Mulvehill):

Lake Worth's Jennings is no paragon of virtue

Click for link to PB Post letter to the editor from 11/7. Below is an excerpt:
The nice little girlie image that Commissioner Jennings would like us to believe seems to be far from the truth. The Post should report all the facts about its endorsed candidates, including the ones that your readers may find distasteful.
The Palm Beach Post's mistaken and distorted view of Commissioner Jennings - along with Golden and the "new" one too.

Palm Beach won't pay nearly 63% sewage rate hike from Lake Worth

Ay caramba!
From the article:
Palm Beach Town Engineer James Bowser said the town has tried to get Lake Worth to fully explain its operational costs but "they've been very, very poor at communicating with us."

Bowser said Lake Worth's operational expenses are unrealistic and "don't give us much confidence."

For example, he said, Lake Worth reported administrative charges of $639,498 for a system that has the equivalent of 3.4 employees.

By contrast, he said West Palm Beach charges members of its East Central Regional Water Reclamation Facility $467,505 for a system with 38 employees.

"We want a better review of the budget and more of a say in how the money is spent," Bowser said.

Talks also have been complicated by a high turnover rate among Lake Worth city officials, Bowser, Elwell and Mattey said.

Friday, November 7, 2008

IT'S OFFICIAL - Commissioner Cara Jennings Will Wipe Lake Worth off the Map!

Click title for link to swearing in ceremony which took place this afternoon at City Hall. The audio begins at the 15 second mark.

She recalls 1840 and the Second Seminole War, General Worth, genocide, slavery, wants to return Lake Worth to the name of "Jewel." She wants police accountability especially with sheriff, thorough public control of beach, "collectively owned city assets", etc.

She used the word "collectively" a couple of times - as it applies to ownership.

Jeff Clemens congratulated Commissioner Cara Jennings and said that she ran a "great" campaign - where have you been Jeff? Commissioner Golden thanked her for all she's done for the city and says that she will keep them honest - ehem.

Folks, I didn't make this stuff up - please listen to the audio. Do you want three Cara-controlled seats on the dais? She now has what she and her radical supporters consider a mandate and they have possibility to control THREE seats on the Commission. Tell your neighbors, share the audio and see if this is the same Cara Jennings they thought they voted for. Do not let Cara's clone and Dave Vespo's opponent get into office.

I have created a tab for all my posts about Cara Jennings and related matters. You can find it on the upper right hand side of the page.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Interesting graphic...

Welcome New Visitors!

Based upon tracking data for the blog, there has been a 50% increase over the past month in the number of new visitors to the site. And while there are still many direct accesses to the site (through "favorites" or "bookmarks"), over 60% of the traffic has come from search engines. That means people are picking up on some of the keywords used here. I am also sure that it was due to the renewed interest in local politics given the onset of the general election we had in November and the larger audience that represents.

I am waiting to get precinct results from last Tuesday and will be sharing factoids from that data in the near future. I am also finishing up an open letter to Commissioner Jennings which I'll be posting shortly.

If you have any questions regarding how to use the blog's features or content of the site, you may contact me through the Grand Central button on the right hand side of the page - or e-mail me at Of course, you are always welcome to post comments - just click on the comments tab at the bottom of each entry. I just did a test and the comment feature is once again working - for some reason it wasn't yesterday.

Thanks for visiting.

Palm Beach County Human Rights Council - President's Message

The elections are finally over and America has renewed sense of our democracy. The Council wishes the best for our nation's new leaders in these challenging times.

In Palm Beach County and across America, GLBT voters voted in record numbers. Together with our allies throughout the County, Rand 2008we helped elect (or re-elect) public officials who clearly understand the challenges facing our community. For a complete list of PBCHRC-endorsed candidates elected in 2008, click here.
Much of the Council's ability to screen, interview and endorse candidates rests on the shoulders of Rae Franks, who has served as the Council's Secretary since the early-1990s. The entire Board of Directors is grateful to the time and energy Rae has spent over the past seven months - and over many, many years - contacting candidates, scheduling interviews, and asking the questions that help us make difficult endorsement choices.

Unfortunately, Amendment 2, the so-called "Florida Marriage Protection Amendment" was approved by slightly more than 62% of Florida's voters and will now become part of Florida's Constitution. Statewide, less than 38% of Floridians voted to keep this discriminatory provision out of the constitution. In contrast, thanks to your help, more than 48% of Palm Beach County's voters rejected Amendment 2.. (In raw numbers, that represents more than a half million people). Only two of Florida's sixty-seven counties (Alachua and Monroe) showed stronger opposition to this mean-spirited and misguided amendment.
At the Council's request, in October, both the West Palm Beach City Commission and the Lake Worth City Commissions unanimously passed resolutions opposing Amendment 2. And while Commissioner Jeff Koons offered to introduce a similar resolution before the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners, his efforts were thwarted by Commissioners Mary McCarty, Addie Greene, and Bob Kanjian.

Special thanks go out to West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel, County Commissioner Jeff Koons, Tax Collector Anne Gannon, West Palm Beach City Commissioners Jeri Muoio and Bill Moss, Lake Worth Mayor Jeff Clemens, Lake Worth City Commissioner Dave Vespo for playing key roles in the Vote "No" on 2 Campaign. Additional thanks go out to Congressmen Alcee Hastings, Ron Klein and Robert Wexler; State Senators Dave Aronberg and Ted Deutch; and State Representative Kelly Skidmore, who also lent their support to the campaign.

In Lake Worth there will be a run-off election on November 18 for the District 4 City Commission seat. While PBCHRC-endorsed Dave Vespo received more votes than his two opponents, he did not receive 50% of the vote. Dave is one of our strongest supporters on the Lake Worth City Commission. In October, Dave sponsored the resolution by which the Lake Worth City Commission went on record opposing Amendment 2. Last year, Dave was outspoken in his support of the commission's successful effort to add gender identity and expression into the Lake Worth Human Rights Ordinance. In addition, Dave has always been a strong supporter of COMPASS and PrideFest. Please go to the polls on November 18 and vote to re-elect Dave Vespo.

At the beginning of 2008, the Council pledged to bring public schools in Palm Beach county up to speed on our issues. In the past few months, we have made progress on our educational initiatives.

By the time the School year began in late-summer, the School Board of Palm Beach County announced that it would extend health insurance coverage to the children of employees' domestic partners. And at yesterday's meeting, the School Board adopted a GLBT-inclusive policy prohibiting the bullying and harassment of students. The Council lobbied extensively to ensure that "sexual orientation" as well as "gender expression and/or identity" were specifically included. Special thanks go out to the ACLU of Florida and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) for their assistance in our efforts.

In early-September, after more than a year of delays engineered by Palm Beach Community College Trustees Carolyn Williams and Kenneth Kirby, a majority of the members of the college's Board of Trustees voted to offer employees the opportunity to purchase health insurance for their domestic partners. As always, Williams and Kirby both voted against domestic partner benefits. Thanks to the persistence and understanding of Trustees William Berger, Wendy Sartory Link and David Talley, starting in January, college employees will be able to purchase health insurance for their domestic partners, and their domestic partners children.

Still no word from Florida Atlantic University President Frank Brogan...... However, the Council's work on domestic partnership issues continues elsewhere.

At the request of a Seacoast Utility Authority employee, the Council has been working for almost a year with Seacoast's Director of Administrative Services Andrea Holmes on domestic partner benefits. We are very optimistic that Seacoast will soon offer the full range of domestic partner benefits to its employees. Seacoast is a quasi-governmental entity that provides services to Palm Beach Gardens, North Palm Beach, Lake Park, Juno Beach and some of the unincorporated areas in northern Palm Beach County.

In mid-September, the Council also began to work on domestic partner benefit issues with the City of Boynton Beach. We will keep you posted of any progress there.

One final note on domestic partner benefits, at the request of the Council and the fire fighters' union, the Village of Tequesta now includes domestic partners as members of Village employees' immediate families. As a result, employees with domestic partners may now take bereavement leave in the same manner as employees who are married.

Now to the state level. Thanks to very educated and motivated voters (and to term limits) there are a lot of new faces in the Florida Legislature. The Council wishes much success to several longtime allies who have been elected this past year, including Senator-Elect Chris Smith, and Representatives-Elect Joe Abruzzo, Mark Pafford and Kevin Rader. The Council trusts that each of these legislators will champion the cause of GLBT equality statewide.

And on that topic, for the third year in a row, Representative Kelly Skidmore will introduce legislation to amend The Florida Civil Rights Act and Florida's Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination against our community. This year's bill will ask the legislature to add "sexual orientation", "gender identity or expression" and "pregnancy" as additional protected classes.

A companion bill will be filed either by Senator Ted Deutch (D-Boca Raton) or by newly elected Senator Chris Smith (D-Fort Lauderdale). The Council is optimistic that Senator Jeff Atwater (R-North Palm Beach) will continue his commitment to move this bill forward. In 2008, he was the only Republican co-sponsor of the bill. His efforts made it possible for the bill to be heard in the Commerce Committee, where four Republicans and three Democrats voted in favor of the bill. When Senator Atwater begins his term as President of the Florida Senate in 2009, he will be the key to any progress made on the bill.

The ACLU of Florida has made the GLBT civil rights bill a priority for the 2009 session, and the Council trusts that other organizations such as Equality Florida and NOW will do the same. Working together should help move the bills forward. However, whether Representative Skidmore's bill gets a hearing in the House of Representatives will be up to incoming Speaker Ray Sansom (R-Destin). In the interim, we trust Representative Skidmore will continue to convince her colleagues to express their support for the bill by signing on as co-sponsors. Perhaps in 2009, she will break the record - her record - of 31 House sponsors!

Finally, it is our hope that Governor Charlie Crist will take another look at Florida's diverse population - and the election results - and come out in favor of the GLBT civil rights bills.

In the interim, Governor Crist could take the lead on GLBT equality by issuing an Executive Order prohibiting discrimination in state employment based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability and marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and familial status, and by extending domestic partner benefits to all state employees. The Council will continue to urge him to do so, and as always, we will keep you posted.

Best wishes for the Holidays!

Judge Rand Hoch (retired)

Candidates in Lake Worth prepare for runoff

Click title for PB Post article.

Run-Off Election - 11/18

The Commission race for District #4 did not have one candidate come out with a 50% or greater majority. So that means that a "run-off" election will be held on November 18 between sitting Commissioner Dave Vespo and challenger Suzanne Mulvehill.

You do not need to have voted in the general election to vote for this one and the election is citywide - not just District #4 votes. If you have contributed money to one of their campaigns before the general election, you are allowed to do so again - with a new limit of up to $500 per entity. That means if you gave $250 to the Dave Vespo campaign prior to November 4th, you can actually make a new donation up to $500.

Please tell you friends and neighbors about the importance of this election to the City of Lake Worth - especially since it will determine the balance of power on the City Commission.

Vote for Dave Vespo on November 18th!

Paid Political Advertisement by Wes Blackman independently of Dave Vespo.

Special City Commission Meeting - Tomorrow to set ballot for Run-Off Election 11/18

You can also hear Cara Jennings gloat about her mandate as she is sworn into office.

Voter paradox: Breaking barriers, creating new ones

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Regarding Passage of Amendment 2...

Wes, I tried posting this to your blog, but can't seem to get it to accept it. (Readers: Something is wrong with Blogger today. If you would like to comment, e-mail me at and I will make a post for you.)

After witnessing Obama's acceptance speech and having some faith rekindled that we are indeed a country of people who continue to work towards the ideals of equality for all, the passing of amendment 2 reminds us that fear, intolerance and ignorance are still deeply rooted in our society.

It serves us well to remember that F.E.A.R. stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. Simply put it is not a moral compass that guided those who voted for 2, rather fear.

Regardless of faith, political affiliation or upbringing, affording the same rights, benefits and privileges to all is a core principle in a democracy. To feel otherwise is, in my opinion, allowing fear to override this principle is what happened.

We were given new hope to believe in our country, our leaders and ourselves last night. However we were also given proof that there is still a long way to go. Accepting one loss should never signal defeat
Tom McGow
North L St.

From another reader:

I am hopeful that the US Supreme Court will eventually find this type of discrimination in violation of the US Constitution. I am not hopeful....I KNOW this will happen.....just need some better people on the bench (think HILLARY). Until then, I shall be hiding in my crawl space.

My take on its passage:

I am surprised. Especially so since Florida went for Obama and that means that many of same people supporting the change represented with his election did not extend that support for non-traditional relationships. It means to me that social progress and equality can take an agonizingly long time to achieve and is many times done in fits and starts.

But we are on the path. The limitations on achievement and freedom in this country that many people feel have been lifted today are still in place for certain groups. Eventually, we will come to a time when all human adult relationships are worthy of celebration, support and due the same benefits and rights as all others. That will be the day that the stigma associated with who you love, who you sleep with, will disappear. It will be a day when we are free to be ourselves without the glare of society's prejudicial eye. That can only help increase the self-esteem of people in non-traditional relationships.

It is unfortunate too that a whole group of people may find previous benefits jeopardized and legal issues arise - making life more complicated for them - due to the narrow view of what an adult, human, intimate relationship should be. Indeed, fear can be a powerful emotion.

Incumbents Jennings, Vespo ahead in Lake Worth

"Jennings, 32, a full-time city commissioner elected to her first term in 2006, said a majority victory would demonstrate that Lake Worth voters prefer a grass-roots candidate not supported by special interests.

Watching the returns with supporters at the Little Owl bar, Jennings said voters seem to agree with her support for immigrant services in the city and her opposition to leasing the beachfront casino to the Greater Bay Group." - PB Post article.

Lake Worth Election Results - Lease Questions

Lake Worth Question 1 (Vote For 1)
14 of 14 Precincts Reporting
Lake Worth Question 2 (Vote For 1)
14 of 14 Precincts Reporting

Floridians approve ban on gay marriage

Vote No on 2

Dear Wes,

We wish the news were better.

The results are in and, although the race is very close, it appears certain that Amendment 2 has passed.

While 62.2% of Floridians voted to add this language to the constitution, there is a silver lining to this fight.

There has never been stronger support for Domestic Partnership and Civil Unions than today in Florida. Every single poll has shown a broad and growing majority of Floridians believe in providing vital protections to unmarried couples.

We have built a strong coalition like never before. Our allies not only said NO to Amendment 2, they rallied and canvassed and phone banked and stood shoulder to shoulder in the field with us.

Thank you for your incredible commitment to the Fairness For All Families' Vote No On 2 Campaign. We may have lost this battle, but our state is moving toward fairness.

The extremists behind amendment 2 insisted over-and-over that it would have no effect on protections for unmarried couples. We'll hold them to their word and fight tooth-and-nail to ensure not one single person loses their health care or other vital protections because of this discriminatory amendment.

Over the past three years, the Fairness for All Families / Vote No On 2 Campaign has forged a powerful coalition of over 260 organizations representing millions of Floridians. And the most important part of our coalition is you. Especially now, we're going to need your continued participation in the struggle for justice and equality in Florida.

We are deeply disappointed tonight, but we will never give up. We'll keep fighting until every family in our state has the same benefits and protections. Thank you for standing with us.


Nadine Smith
Executive Director, Equality Florida
Co-Chair, Fairness for All Families' Vote No On 2 Campaign

"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." - Martin Luther King Jr.

Lake Worth Commission Race Results

Commissioner Dist No. 2 - LAKE WORTH(1) (Vote For 1)
14 of 14 Precincts Reporting
Cara Jennings
John ''JJ'' Jordan
Mary Lindsey
Commissioner Dist No. 4 - LAKE WORTH(1) (Vote For 1)
14 of 14 Precincts Reporting
Suzanne Mulvehill
Rene A. Varela
Dave Vespo

Monday, November 3, 2008

Builder points to principle, profit

Nice article on the EcoCentre here in Lake Worth. Click here for mini-movie.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Florida Green Party Candidates Were GOP Moles, Suit Claims

World of Friends: Bridges for Obama

A little nostalgia from the LAST election cycle...

Since people are again referring to "peas in the pod", I thought I'd drag out this piece from my campaign: