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Columns

Stephen Bittel Played, Now People Are Being Paid!

April 6, 2017 - 12:30pm

Bret Berlin is being paid for having paved the way for Stephen Bittel to become the Florida Democratic Party chair in the form of a 2nd vice chair position, as well as a position on the FDP Rules Committee.

Now, before you start laughing, just as I did when it was announced at the DCCA meeting last weekend in St. Petersburg, a lot of people aren't happy about it.

As you may recall, Berlin "suspended the rules" to assist Bittel to become eligible to run for FDP chair, KNOWING once the deed was done, he would get "payback" later.

Stephen Bittel said he was going to be different. He said he was going to do things differently.

He lied.  

This is the same pay-to-play politics that people are sick of.

Bittel has made the rounds asking people to give him a chance.

This is what you do with your chance? There is more on Berlin at the end of this column.

Moving on.

Judy Mount, 1st vice chair of the Florida Democratic Party, made it clear at the DCCA meeting that she had no input in the choices made, and she does not approve. She stood up before the entire body and made that public declaration.

Stephanie Grutman and Ashley Walker were given chair at-large appointments.

Let's be clear on Ashley Walker. The word was put out long ago that ANY campaign she is associated with WILL lose as far as the black community is concerned.

Yes, Ashley, the people you run to for your absentee ballot projects WILL take your money, but look what happened to Jim Waldman, for example.

He came in third behind Gwynne Clarke-Reed!

Since Walker seems to think she is the Negro whisperer after working on Barack Obama's campaign (is that the last one she actually won?), we are going to show her better than we can tell her that she is NOT.

Bittel appointing Walker to an at-large position just shows how tone deaf he is to what's actually going on with Democrats.

In fact, I recall Ashley Walker sending out a press release regarding all the doors her group was knocking on, all the people her group was "touching", after I made appearances on national television saying it wasn't happening in communities of color. (It wasn't.)

Some 209,000 black voters who voted in 2012 stayed home in 2016.

With people like Ashley Walker involved, that will be the case again.

Stephanie Grutman became about as hated during the FDP chair's race as Stephen Bittel, and now, I'm pretty certain she is MORE hated.

So what does Bittel do? He appoints her to an at-large position.

Perhaps Bittel thought most Democrats weren't going to be aware that the former Debbie Wasserman Schultz stooge-turned-lobbyist was appointed, but I don't see how with me and others around!

Early this morning Sarah Coutu, chair of the Santa Rosa DEC, entered a Facebook post that sums up how a lot of people felt at that DCCA meeting:

"Attention, Florida Democrats! 

"I personally request every single registered Democrat contact the Florida Democratic Party (FDP) by April 8, and demand that Bret Berlin NOT be appointed to the FDP Rules Committee. 

"Please send an email to the FDP chair at stephen@fladems.com. You might say, "Do not appoint Bret Berlin to the Rules Committee because he abuses the rules."

On Sunday, the FDP announced committee members for the many committees of the inner workings of our state party. While the FDP chair can make these appointments without our input, the state committee voted to allow us to provide suggestions for 7 days. 

One of the appointments is Bret Berlin to the Rules Committee. Bret Berlin is responsible for circumventing the rules at the Miami-Dade's Reorganization Meeting on 12/06/2016. He said the words "I am suspending the rules" and appointed over 130 precinct committee people around midnight, including Stephen Bittel, as well as his lawyer and several of his employees. On 12/10/16, Bret Berlin stepped out of the state-committeeman position he was elected to on 12/06/2016 -- in order to make room for Mr. Bittel 
to run for state committeeman, a seat that would qualify him for the state chair position. This was caught on video and has been advertised in the Miami Herald, along with the lawsuit and formal complaints that have been put forth against what happened by Miami-Dade DEC members, so there is documentation to prove everything I have stated. 

No one who abuses the rules should be appointed to the RULES Committee just four months later. Our state chair also appointed Bret Berlin as one of the FDP state vice chairs. 

On a similar note, Stephanie Grutman has been appointed as a chair at-large member, meaning she will always hold her voting power no matter where she lives in the state. Grutman works for the lobbying firm Ballard Partners, the top donor to Donald Trump's campaign. Grutman began her career nearly 20 years ago as a senior aide to then State Representative now Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Stephanie Grutman has zero business being appointed to anything in the FDP.

It is clear that these appointments aren't going over well at all.

Leslie Wimes, a Sunshine State News columnist, is founder and president of Women on the Move and the Democratic African American Women Caucus, www.daawc.com. Follow Leslie on Twitter: @womenonthemove1.


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Comments

Well Bruce Jacobs just refiled the case back in the District Court with Dr. Mae Christian's grievance. These people violated their own FDP, DNC Charter and Bylaws while Boylan, Mark Harran the rules and Judiciary response in the case of Berline, Juan Cuba and Bitel that the rules and guidelines are not a fact but of best practices though the Bylaws are filed with he election Department under the Florida State Statue. Robert Rules states you can not change the agenda once it was approved as Bret suspended the rules after everyone had left. The rules and guide lines were submitted by the FDP as the official rules. The quorum was 139 people were sworn in and in the first round for chair there was 189 votes before the suspension of the rules. To be an Executive Committee Man, or Woman you had to submitt an application meeting the deadline to be on the August 30, ballot in the Presidential year. Be un'-opposed or face a public election and be listed as an official elected, un-opposed Committee Person for the precint that you officially filed for and won. The Election's Department list your name as the elected Precinct Committee Person and sends you a cover letter notifying you that you won your Executive Committee seat and send you a Certificate of certification. These people constitute the legal membership of the DEC and are the only voting members and had to have signed a loyalty oath at the time your application was submitted in order to participate, vote or run as a candidate in the election. So Bret, Bitel, Dwight saga should not have happened and is illegal as hell and violates the Bylaws. Juan Cuba was being paid by the party by Bitel so he was in a conflict of interest by those rushed failed notices that were not 10 day or 14 day notices as required and rushed the suspended rules election. Allowing non legitimate persons to vote that were not elected by the public ballot and had not won August 30, in a Presidential year. Some had loyalty oaths, some did not. Who were these people and whee did they come from? Including Bitel. Bitel walked in and was put on the ballot against Dwight and did not meet any of the requirements. During the election I asked Juan and the Credentials chair what was the quorum and I was told by both that the quorum will come from the count and no one was sworn in that night and many had not signed the required Loyalty oath even God only knows when Bitel signed his mandated Loyalty Oath. Now the DEC after all the violations can not get a quorum for the meetings and every appointment, fund raiser is not legitiment because nothing is legal because Juan and the DEC can not get a quorum because those people came to vote only and did not return. Juan has continued to try to run a Miami Dade DEC without a quorum which means nothing is legal while Bitel Chairs the FDP with Bret Berline as one of the new Vice Chairs and all of his appointments so it is about who you know and the party structure has no substance of people that want to do the right thing. So you tell me what kind of party are we and do we need change? Our own leadership cheated to get in the position to lead us and violated the majority of the rules. Whoever that was told the Black folk to go back tp the Hood needs to apologize and stop the bullshit. I marched with Dr. King and SCLC for my Voter's Rights and as an elected Executive Committee Woman I have a legitimate right to speak out for the people who voted for me to represent them. This is not a game! Dr. Mae Christian

What do you expect from Dems? They do not accept any authority unless they are in power. And when they are, they fight amongst themselves.

Perhaps the First Congress and FIrst President and first Supreme Court were completely HONEST; but who can be sure? I would "BET YOUR LIFE" that after that time, deals were made, favors were traded, and by 2017, the K Street gang of SUPER PAID FOR "friends of Politicians" has turned our country into a Pay-For set of "Corporate Politicians" continue to make each other SUPER-RICH. I'm conservative and hope that Trump will be able to REALLY empty the swamp.

Enough about Leslie. Let's look at Ms. Coutu's calling for Mr. Berlin to be removed for allegedly violating a rule. That's a whole lot of 'pot calling the kettle black.' If Berlin should step down then Coutu should also step down since she was the head of Santa Rosa and Escambia County for Jill Stein campaigns. Can anyone say "Loyalty Oath"? (apparently not Ms Coutu).

My loyalty oath was signed and notarized December 1, 2016 on the first day I was legitimately a precinct committeewoman. You will not find a single source that proves that I supported a non democrat against a democrat which violated the loyalty oath because it never happened. It looks to me like you need to learn the difference between rumor and fact. And, it's Mrs. Coutu, get it straight.

I think she doth protest too much. You should be careful who you challenge.

My loyalty oath was signed and notarized December 1, 2016 on the first day I was legitimately a precinct committeewoman. You will not find a single source that proves that I supported a non democrat against a democrat which violated the loyalty oath because it never happened. It looks to me like you need to learn the difference between rumor and fact. And, it's Mrs. Coutu, get it straight.

So you think loyalty is determine by whether or when you signed a piece of paper? You are NOT a true Democrat. You proved that by supporting another party's candidate. You are unfit to hold any position in the Democratic Party..Whether or not you signed a piece of paper, your stupidity helped elect Trump!! How do you feel about that, MRS. Coutu? Proud of yourself?

Some dems just don't deserve being supported. Some repubs are not worthy of being supported either. That's why those loyalty oaths are immoral and stupid. They are an unamerican. They force people to be blind elephants and blind donkeys, to follow the rules and blindly obey any commands period Not me. I am a real Progressive period I think for myself.

You are right - some Democratic candidates don't deserve support. But you don't understand the concept of the loyalty oath. First of all, you don't have to sign one just to be a registered Democrat. The loyalty oath is executed by Democrats given access to Democratic Party resources -data, funds, etc. Of course, they should be loyal to the Democratic Party. An analogy would be if you are an inventor who hires employees and requires them to sign a nondisclosure statement, in hopes they will not disclose your designs to competitors. But the bottom line is if you don't want to sign the Loyalty Oath, don't take a position in a Democratic organization that requires one.

Florida DNC is going to hell. Bittel buys his position. Crist gets Morgan to pay for his congress seat. Morgan will try to guy the governorship next. DWS sold her sole to Soros long abo. Democrats are reaching new lows - anything for raw power. Bittel is nothing more than a rich whore just like ambulance chaser Morgan and perennial anti semite Deb Schultz.

That is a whole lot of slanderous statements if you don't have proof for the slanderous statements you made about several people there. I really want to see the proof that DWS is anti-Semitic, seeing as how her highly Semitic district just reelected her (well probably not the Semitic Arabs). You do understand what that word means, right?

Sanjay Patel posted a similar open letter to Stephen Bittel. Someone who was kicked out of his DEC was appointed to a position! 2018 is going down the drain fast for us!

Wow, the BernieBots can't keep they whining straight. First they claim that Berlin "stepped down" to make his position open for Bittel to take so Bittel would be qualified to run for FDP chair (at least Bittel didn't fake moving to another county like two of the BernieBot candidates, lying to Supervisors of Elections in the process). Now BernieBot Patel is saying Berlin was "kicked" out of the DEC. Make up your mind, SJay! What happened here, is that Berlin, who used to be on the BernieBots side, got on their bad side when he opened the door for Bittel to be chair, which as we all know rightfully belonged to former Senator Dwight Bullard (who racked up a lot campaign fines he refused to pay) because Dwight is a BernieBot. That makes a lot sense, since Sanders was never a Democrat (no he wasn't - google it), which means Bullard voted for a non-Democrat over the Democratic candidate. So sure he would be perfect as chair of the Democratic Party.

Me. Patel never said that Berlin was kicked out, that comment was about someone who supported a Republican against a Democrat and was legally removed as a precinct committeeman from the Brevard DEC. Quit getting involved in things you know nothing about! You are name calling the Patel's who knocked on every door their bodies could stand walking to and phone banked as many voters as they had the ability to call during the entire general election and earned as many votes as they were physically capable of for Hillary Clinton. Would you have done the same had there been a different DEMOCRATIC nominee, clearly not from your above statements. The State Chair position is not a question Ms. Brown, but your ability to tell the difference between fact and fiction sure is. And the very idea that you refer to Alan Clendenin as a BernieBot is laughable and shows your naivety.

Ann or ME, whomever, you seem to be reading into my comments things that are not there............Who in the world are you to think you can tell someone else they should not be posting a comment after an article? Seriously? Ever heard of the 1st Amendment??? I was responding to a poorly worded comment. BFD. Since you know all the details, you must be a friend of the Patels. Good for you..........Read my post again - I did not name-call Patel. He said something I disagreed with and I had just as much right to comment on it as you have to comment on my comment. (I'm getting dizzy following these DimDems) I did NOT say the state chair position was in question, lady. Get a grip! Or glasses.......... BTW, the name is not Brown. You think I'd put my name on this blog so zealots like you could harassment?

all this whining about appointments just because no black folks got appointed. No one, black or white community gives a sh*& about what you say, and they certainly won't tailor their vote cause your foolishness. Obama is not a negro, he is in fact bi-racial. If this was some of your peeps, you'd be singin' the praises of their appointments and talkin about all the votes the black community is bringin' to the FDP. Take your wannabe self back to the hood with that weave.

My man Brother Barrack is legit. You whiteys can smoke what you want but Barack was the best thing that ever happened to Amerika. We are gonna take this place back again and will do it by force if we have to. This fraud judge and fraud orange pumpkin president mean nothing to us. We will do what we have to and you will fear us in the process. It is necessary in a revolution and this is just the start and you need to pay attention. We have Mr. Perez and our Brother Ellison running things now. They are planning the next stage. Be careful because we no longer obey illegitimate rulers and their orders. They have no hold on us - none. We will do what is necessary. Watch.

you can't even control your own hood byatch... prolly take 2 to the chest before the week is out...

Bravo, Bro!

And yet you responded to her. Stop making yourself look foolish. Not only do you care what she says, you obviously don't miss a word, just like the rest of us. What you and your type can't stand is that you don't scare Leslie. The appointments were ridiculous and complaints have come in from ALL Democrats, black and white. Go back to your cave and dwell there.

It's hard not to respond to Leslie. She makes such a large bulls-eye with her idiotic, nonsensical rants.

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