FDP Vice-Chair Alison Morano’s email supporting Tant plagued with misinformation.

In a letter sent out to members of the Florida Democratic Party State Committee on Thursday, FDP Vice-Chair Alison Morano courted support for Allison Tant, claiming false information in her email.

In her letter, Morano states that she was “disturbed that Allison’s opponent has gone from a discussion of each candidate’s qualifications and vision for the FDP, to a negative campaign.” In an attachment, Morano specifically mentions the piece that I wrote regarding Mrs. Tant and her lobbying connections to DBT Online, attributing my article as an attack by Mr. Clendenin.

This article that I wrote was done by me and had no influence whatsoever from Mr. Clendenin. In fact, I personally have only met Mr. Clendenin once and have only talked to him on the telephone three times, with two of those times being about directions to a pancake house. Also, I have only received five total emails from Mr. Clendenin, with two of those being press releases regarding endorsements by his campaign. Therefore, this article regarding Mrs. Tant’s connections came 100% from me and had no association with anyone else.

What is interesting is that Alison Morano has to stoop to such levels to try to get her point across and make misleading statements regarding Mr. Clendenin. But the fact is that Alan and I have only spoken on the phone three times and met in person once. As much as Morano wants this to not be the truth, it is. Sorry Alison.

Earlier today, on our Twitter account, someone named Meghan Meehan-Draper asked “who pays you?”, implying that somehow we are doing these stories for pay. First of all, I have never received one dime for The Political Hurricane. We have never had anyone purchase any advertising or anything. The ads that we posted in the past were totally free of charge. As of now, Mr. Clendenin, Ross Hancock and Mark Danish are the only ones that have had any advertisements on our site, and that was for free. And a look at Hancock and Danish’s finance reports will show that not one single dime of their money was paid to either myself or any company I am associated with.

But what is amazing is that both Morano and Meehan-Draper think that I am doing this because I am “being paid” or some “attack dog for Tant’s opponent”. People inside the “political bubble” all think that people pick sides because they seek power or they, as Meehan-Draper stated, “get paid”. That is how “bubble politics” works.

On the contrary, there are some of us that just want to see the party change and win legislative elections and will do what we can to reach that goal. We aren’t looking for “money” or anything like that. We are looking for the right candidate that will move the Democratic Party forward. For some reason, this seems absolutely incomprehensible for people like Meehan-Draper and Morano to understand. There are some of us doing it for the greater cause, which is my goal with The Political Hurricane.

Anyway, back to Morano’s letter in support of Tant. In her letter, she adds an attachment telling people why they should support Allison Tant. First, she talks about Mrs. Tant’s connection to DBT Online, stating that she never lobbied for them, but instead lobbied for their parent company ChoicePoint. This is absolutely incorrect.

Figure 1 - Tant as a lobbyist for DBT On-Line in 1999.
Figure 1 – Tant as a lobbyist for DBT On-Line in 1999.

According to a press release by ChoicePoint, Database Technology On-Line, Inc. was purchased by ChoicePoint and the two companies merged together on February 14th of 2000. But in both 1999 and 2000, Mrs. Tant was a lobbyist for DBT On-Line. Figure 1 is the official list of registered lobbyists from the State of Florida for 1999. Figure 2 is the official list of registered lobbyists from the State of Florida in 2000. This alone show that Mrs. Tant worked with Database Technology before it was acquired by ChoicePoint, not after like Morano and Tant claim. Already, we see that

Figure 2 - Mrs. Tant as a lobbyist for DBT On-Line in 2000.
Figure 2 – Mrs. Tant as a lobbyist for DBT On-Line in 2000.

claiming Mrs. Tant was not a lobbyist for DBT Online is not only misleading, but flat out wrong.

The second thing that Morano says is that Mrs. Tant is a “Dedicated activist, fundraiser – supported by DWS and Nelson”. As far as being a good fundraiser, that she is. As far as being a dedicated activist, I think her association with DBT Online, as well as a $250 contribution to right-wing Republican poster-child Apryl Marie Fogel paints a different story. If Mrs. Tant was a member of a DEC back in 2007, this contribution to Ms. Fogel would have been a blatant violation of DEC rules and she would have been removed from the DEC. Therefore, I don’t know if “dedicated” is a word that I would use.

Third, Morano says that “desperate, negative attacks have hurt our party in the past”. There are a few things that need to be said about this. First, the party has been run by the Maddox-Thurman-Smith-Tant group for ten years now. Therefore, if anyone is the power-grabbing side, it would be the side that Morano supports. Second, Morano doesn’t mention what any of the “attacks that have hurt the party in the past” are. I would like a little more insight into this one, as this line seems more of a fabrication to glorify a point instead of being something of actual substance. Third, she says that we need to focus on moving our party forward. That is exactly what we need to do! The FDP gained only two seats in the House (Zimmerman and Clelland) the we wouldn’t have. Otherwise, we won what we were expected to win. That doesn’t even take into account Democratic-leaning seats that were uncontested. Therefore, the status quo that Morano supports is filled with misinformation and is fundamentally flawed.

What I find interesting about this “negative attacks hurting our party” line is that it seems to be the same tactic that the NRA and the other gun lobbyists are using in the wake of the Newtown Massacre. Instead of dealing with the issue at hand, which is guns, they are trying to divert the debate to mental health and other contributors to mass killings so that guns aren’t discussed. Morano seems to be painting a misleading picture of Mrs. Tant so that the real debate is taken off of her and instead put on things that are fabricated to make Mrs. Tant look good.

While Morano spends her time trying to defend Mrs. Tant, there is one thing that is missing….why should we support Mrs. Tant. Morano doesn’t tell us whatsoever what Mrs. Tant’s plan is to rebuild the Florida Democratic Party. Yet, Morano says in her email that she is “worried” that Mr. Clendenin isn’t talking about the “vision of the FDP”. Alright, I will call her out on this one. Here is Alan Clendenin’s plan (link). Here is Allison Tant’s plan (link). Of course, that last link is a joke because we don’t have any real link for any plan of Mrs. Tant’s.

During the presidential campaign, Democrats blasted Mitt Romney for not having a real plan on how he was going to get the country back on track. Mrs. Tant’s plan for the party his very “Romneyesque”! Actually, I take that back…Romney’s plan had more substance.

When picking the next chair of the Florida Democratic Party, I am dedicated to make sure that we pick the best person out of those that are currently running for the position. This campaign that we are waging on this website is centered around truth, fact checking, and making sure that we debate things correctly. Today, we contacted the Secretary of State’s office to see if they have any visitor records for either their office or the Division of Elections office for the years 1999 and 2000 in accordance to the Sunshine Law to research this matter further. Therefore, if we print something, we want to make sure that it is correct.

It is a shame that Alison Morano has to go down a path of misinformation in order to get her point across. I sure hope this isn’t what a Tant-operated Florida Democratic Party will look like.

Addition Links:

Registered Lobbyists for 1999 (from Florida Legislature website)

Registered Lobbyists for 2000 (from Florida Legislature website)

Morano’s Attachment about Mrs. Tant called “The Truth”.

12 thoughts on “FDP Vice-Chair Alison Morano’s email supporting Tant plagued with misinformation.”

  1. Let me address this. Unlike Mr. Trotter, I regularly speak to Mr. Clendenin and was largely responsible for our sites endorsement of him for FDP Chair. While Mr. Trotter agrees with Mr. Clendenin’s goals and is impressed with his plan and does support him he is not as invested in this effort as I myself and the countless activists across the state backing this candidacy. His research was his research and I much like everyone else was caught off guard when he made these revelations. Mr. Clendenin I believe was also surprised. It was effective, independent research and he needs to be applauded for that.

    Our website is a progressive site and we support a vigorous two party system and debate on the issues of the day our state. My issue with Ms. Tant is more about her supporters and the approach they have long taken than with her personally. Please understand though I have not worked in politics for over six years and have a career today in a specialized industry far flung from these battles, I am still a passionate advocate whose experiences with the FDP and DECs as a former consultant and party staffer give me pause about the direction of our party. I have the freedom to not be worried about political repercussions for my words because unlike 6 or 10 years ago I make a living independent of Democratic Party politics.

    Alan Clendenin has tried to open a dialogue about the party’s failures and look for ways to empower activists and grassroots leaders to change things. He has offered a thoughtful vision to move our party forward and to stop a decade plus long losing streak that has put us in a position where we have worse record in state races than any other Democratic Party east of the Mississippi since the year 2000 ( we have lost 13 of 14 Governor/Cabinet races in that period). We are a party that holds only 35% of legislative seats despite favorable demographics.

    Mr. Clendenin’s efforts at dialogue have been rewarded with constant effort to mis-characterize his abilities to lead the party, a nonstop effort by some insiders and elected officials to recruit an opponent for him and bullying of his supporters. My big question what that is so important is at stake that all of these powerful people (powerful in terms of FDP politics) would so badly want to stop Mr Clendenin?

    Perhaps it is because his plan will bring accountability to a party whose record in any other line of work or industry or even any other state party in a purple turning blue state would be met with either a house cleaning or at the very least a major rethink of strategy.

    I urge everyone to think about the reasons for the opposition to Mr. Clendenin and to read his plan and think about it over this Holiday Season. Happy Holiday to all my fellow progressives!

  2. And, like Kartik, I have not been heavily involved in Democratic politics in Florida for a number of years. I was involved in Orange County in the early and mid-1990s, as well as other organizations. But in 2000, I had other employment priorities, as I currently do today (which has nothing to do with politics whatsoever, but instead music production). Also, I have only worked on three campaigns over the last 14 years, and I left every one of them because the candidates went from lazy to crazy. Therefore, I am not employed in the political industry, unlike most, or all, of Mrs. Tant’s supporters.

    I can tell you right now that the direction the party was going in 2003 turned me off from Florida politics. I actually moved to Salt Lake City to attend the University of Utah and didn’t even care to be near Florida. In Utah, I had become highly involved with politics, even becoming the State Committeeman for the Young Democrats of Utah (which was more active than any time I was with the FYD). But my involvement with Florida politics was zero. In fact, my interest in Florida politics was so non-existent that I had actually lost contact with Kartik and didn’t reunite with him until 2002, while I was in Utah.

    Of course, when I was in Utah (as well as currently being in Illinois), I kept an eye on Florida politics. But I never became actively involved with Florida politics. The whole reason that I didn’t involve myself was the lack of any effort whatsoever by the FDP to actually try to win elections. Time after time, they failed and never took anything seriously. Also, during this time, a number of people that I knew where involved in the past also left, even Kartik eventually. While he still helped candidates locally, I totally removed myself from the system.

    On the other hand, I loved the Utah Democratic Party. I saw a group of people actually trying. They were recruiting good candidates, making good arguments, and organizing a well-oiled machine, even though they knew that there was only about a 20% chance that they would win. The Utah Democrats had a heart that I hadn’t seen before. I guess this explains why Utah Dems were able to field candidates in 84% of their State House seats while Florida Dems only fielded 62%.

    I want to return to Florida politics, which is the reason I made this blog. I said back in 2010 that Karen Thurman should resign and that Rod Smith would be ineffective as the FDP Chair. And again, I see the party going down the same path that it did in the past. I want something I can be proud of. I was proud of the Utah Democrats. I have never been proud of the Florida Dems.

    And as far as Mr. Clendenin, he has been the only person not just in this election, but in YEARS that actually has a plan to help the FDP become productive. I had mentioned that I would have supported Scott Randolph if he had entered the race, but I am not entirely sure now. While I like Scott as a person and a member of the Florida House, he lacked a plan much like Tant did. And if he never presented a plan, I would have more than likely switched to Alan.

    As President Obama said in his 2008 DNC Convention speech, “this has never been about me. It is about you.” That is how I look at the FDP Chair’s race. It has never been about me, but about returning our party back to the people.

  3. forgive my ignorance, but who gets to vote for the chair and when are they elected? For some reason i’m having trouble finding these details.

  4. No one has mentioned that Alison Moreno is staff. I was appalled that she would insert herself into this election. If a county administrator actively supported one county commissioner over another, he/she would have been fired on the spot. There is something seriously wrong with the system if this type of behavior is tolerated.

  5. Is she staff? Being the Vice-Chair is an elected position, not staff. Don’t worry, we will be having more about the “staff” actually supporting candidates tomorrow.

  6. Great reporting!

    Now lets get to the bottom of the
    following actions taken by Florida Secretary
    of State Sandra Mortham in 1998 and Katherine Harris in 1999.

    The Florida Central Voter File was created
    In 1998 by the Florida legislature. It was an
    Internal list of eligible voters used by the Florida Department of State Division of Elections to monitor the official voter lists
    Maintained by the 67 county governments
    In the state from 1998 to January 1, 2006.

    In 1998, Florida was the only state in the
    United States that paid a private company
    to purge the voter file of ineligible voters.
    A private company was allowed to make
    the administrative decisions of who was not eligible to vote.

    The first firm hired by the State of Florida
    Division of Elections in late 1998 was
    Professional Services, Inc. The contract
    paid Professional Services, Inc. $5,700.

    The state of Florida placed a request for
    proposals in 1999, awarding a contract
    To DBT Online, despite the fact that its
    bid was the highest. The state of Florida
    paid DBT Online $2,317,800 for the first
    year with total fees paid reaching $4 million.

    The state of Florida Department of Elections
    terminated Professional Services Inc.’ contract in 1999.

    Why did the state of Florida award a no-bid
    contract to DBT Online, 406 times greater
    than the contract to Professional Services, Inc.? What amounts were the lower bids that
    did not receive the contract?

  7. Lewis in Lauderdale

    I have the greatest respect for you KK, you know I do but this is a dogfight. Stop saying you have no issue with Tant personally. We are counting on you with all your bragging around town that you don’t work in politics anymore so you don’t have to pull punches like you use to. Finish her off! So much evidence about the linkages with Republicans and the agenda of the insiders to keep Republicans in power in the state. Unmask the agenda. You and Trotter have the bully pulpit. You’ve earned this right. Now use it to finish them off and help us regain our party!

  8. thank you! i’ll look at this when i get a chance. I’m learning a lot from your work, please keep it up 🙂

  9. Dave Trotter, Please email me. My email is in your database. I had a memorable interlude with Alison Tant recently and have it on tape. Also some other very important information as well regarding election tampering. Thanks, John Russell