PB: Are Stanczyk and Clifford Violating the Charter?
Do As I Say, Not As I Do Edition
In 2012, with much fanfare and ado, Mayor Stanczyk and her cronies on the Palmetto Bay Charter Review Commission foisted the following charter amendment upon us:
8. REQUIRING CANDIDATES TO RUN INDEPENDENTLY [Section 2.3(D)].
The Charter Revision Commission suggests an amendment to the Charter to require each person running for elected office to run independently of any other Village candidate.
Voters, many of whom were whipped into a frenzy by none other than Mme. Mayor, adopted the provision despite warnings from SDM that such a provision violates “our constitutionally protected right of freedom of association.”
Flash forward to August 14, 2014 and we find that Mayor Shelley Stanczyk and candidate Henry Clifford appear to be working together on their campaigns. See these entries in Mrs. Stanczyk’s most recent campaign report:
July 16, 2014: Henry Clifford is reimbursed $64.20 by the Stanczyk for “office supplies.”
July 17, 2014: Henry Clifford (retired) makes a $12 in-kind contribution for “food.”
Let’s just put aside for a moment the question of what kind of “food” costs $12, why is a candidate for Seat 3 making in-kind contributions and being reimbursed for office supplies by the Stanczyk campaign? Hmmm…..
So, SDM’s inquiring mind took a closer look at Stanczyk’s and Clifford’s campaign contributions, we found the following:
On July 17, 2014 – the same day Clifford made an in-kind contribution of food to Stanczyk – both Stanczyk and Clifford received contributions from these usual suspects: Beverly Gerald, Albert Lavoie, Frances Blake and Diane Jarvinen. (Two days later, Clifford reported a check from a person with the address 14140 SW 72 Ave, which address matches a July 17 contribution made by “Pam Gorman,” another usual suspect.)
SDM Helpful Note: Beverly Gerald – former Palmetto Bay candidate – served as Chairperson of the Charter Revision Commission. Mrs. Stanczyk’s contributions note that Ms. Gerald donated both money and “party supplies.” Way to set a good example!
SDM Codebreaker: On July 17, 2014, Mayor Stanczyk and Henry Clifford seem to have held what amounted to a joint fundraiser (probably with shared “party supplies”), which is why the two candidates have all these common contributors on the same or nearly the same day.
Anyone who moves around the village will also note that the campaigns share a color scheme for their signs, which often appear together on various properties around town. Hmmm…
SDM Says: While we think the charter amendment is facially unconstitutional, those who participated in what looks to be a joint campaign activity should be investigated on whether they are running independently. If not, they should be held accountable for violating the charter. SDM can recommend some good lawyers who can defend you Mme. Mayor and Mr. Clifford. :)