PB: Guest Post – A view from the trenches
If you’ve never worked a precinct in a hot election, you ought to add the task to your bucket list. Mr. JB Harris spent a day at the polls – perhaps several – and his report merits a guest post on SDM:
On Saturday November 3rd, I went to the Coral Reef Library polling site to assist with the recall effort by handing out literature and speaking with voters, who had waited in line for more than 4 hours to vote, about why we needed to recall Stanczyk and Lindsay and why we needed to vote out Pariser.
Someone must have let the lunatics out of the asylum, because the place was crawling with them. Case in point: the Recall committee was forced to peg its hard won placard to the ground with a wooden frame, rebar and wire after Joan Lindsay’s husband had punched and kicked it to the ground earlier in the week, resulting in Dave Zisman filing a police report against him.
I say hard won because this is the same sign the court had allowed us to use at the mayor’s self-agrandizing soiree at Village Hall, after I filed suit against the Village for First Amendment violations.
But Mr. Zisman’s call to the police was only the beginning. Councilmember Patrick Fiore was forced to call the police against Joan Lindsay’s husband, as well, for his harassing threats against Fiore and John DuBois.
And while I was standing in earshot, Mr. Councilmember [Jerry Templer, spouse of Councilwoman Joan Lindsay] was looking at me and telling a voter I was “one of the bad guys”, and that “the courts were wrong.” Meaning his wife and her cronies are above the law. Obviously, Mr. Councilmember has something of an anger management problem and a bad set of dentures to boot.
The real icing on the cake, however, came when a cuckoo-bird named Delores wearing a Schaffer t-shirt began flapping her wings at me. I was standing quietly next to the Recall sign speaking with voters about our efforts, when she came up and started yelling at the voter and me that our sign is offensive and should be removed and that everything we were saying about the three amigos wasting millions of tax payer dollars on frivolous lawsuits and a $1 million hot dog stand that sells no hot dogs was a big lie.
While I was there, a campaign worker for Mr. DuBois, who was a former member of the Human Rights Commission in New Jersey, came up and tried to calmly speak to the voter, but he too was assaulted by Delores. As she became more unglued, she began pushing papers in my face. I then called to police, who had to come and restrain her and once again had to speak with Stanczyk and Lindsay about controlling their minions.
What an embarrassment the Palmetto Bay mafia has become to our fine village. Unlike the real Cosa Nostra, who carries out their business quietly and efficiently, this bunch of loons makes us look like a third-world banana republic, with their strong arm tactics aimed at harassing voters and opposition candidates, and suppressing free speech.
Viewed from 40,000 feet, village politics has become a cautionary tale about what happens when those who cannot govern secede from the county and take matters into their own hands. Drunk on their own power (and perhaps other things), they have created an autocracy that legislates through litigation and passes ordinance after ordinance for their own ends.
Hopefully, the voters will make the right choice and vote these despots out of office.