Saturday, September 03, 2016

Phyllis Abbatiello on Comm'r Johns' Attack on Her Husband (SAR)

McCarthyism and guilt by association by local developers' arrogant arachnid apparatchik army?

Guest Column: John's attacks on my husban[d] were reprehensible
Posted: September 4, 2016 - 12:06am

Fruit Cove

Most of you have seen and heard the recent sleazy mailers, robo-calls and network television ads from political action committees (PACs) on behalf of Commissioner Jimmy Johns. These ads have personally and viciously attacked my husband, Al Abbatiello — vile attacks the likes of which have never been seen before in St. Johns County politics.

These attacks were mailed, phoned and broadcast over the entire metropolitan Jacksonville area, seen by hundreds of thousands of people. They now connect Al’s good name and long history of working for the people of St. Johns County in a negative way, when the complete opposite is true.

His good name is forever tarnished in the eyes of many. Shame on you, Mr. Johns, and the reprehensible people working on your behalf.

Al ran a very clean race without personally attacking anyone. Johns’ handlers and the PACs working on his behalf, however, denigrated my husband for their and Jimmy Johns’ political gain.

Why would they do this to my husband? Simply because they wanted to win an election they thought they were losing. It was rumored Al was ahead in a number of precincts when the horrific personal attacks were launched. Also, blame the Republican political establishment and party leadership/administration who want nothing more than to keep residential development purring in St. Johns County.

The ads were unwarranted, personal, sleazy attacks on a very reputable man who has done nothing more than work to preserve the character of St. Johns County — its history, character and its scenic and historic places from being overrun by residential development.

They labeled Al as a liberal, which is contrary to the fact he’s been a lifelong registered conservative Republican. Being endorsed by the Sierra Club doesn’t make him a liberal or extremist environmentalist; it makes him a citizen of St. Johns County concerned about the environment, its history and character.

The development industry defended by Jimmy Johns is concerned only about maximizing development profits at the expense of our county and its citizens.

Al has never argued against economic development. His guest editorials published in The Record have taken the County Commission to task for relentlessly approving residential development and not being more proactive in seeking out the “corporate type” business we want for St. Johns County.

Al is accused of supporting the largest tax increase in St. Johns County history, but his only statement on the subject was the County Commission voted to deny citizens of St. Johns County the opportunity to vote up or down on the proposed 1-cent sales tax recommended by the county administrator.

Mr. Johns cast the deciding vote, denying voters the right to vote on a referendum that could have provided needed revenue to repair the economic damage created by the continuing growth of residential development. Mr. Johns has yet to vote against a proposed residential development.

Last, Mr. Johns and his PAC attack tied Al to a former commissioner who was, in fact, convicted of bribery. Yes, Al was Mr. Manuel’s campaign manager and did work for him briefly.

But the records will show Al was neither contacted by, nor interviewed by any local, state or federal entity at any time or implicated in any way, during the lengthy investigation or trial of Mr. Manuel.

The mailing pieces and television ads attacking Al state “You can tell a lot about someone by the company they keep.” Where does that put Mr. Johns, considering the company he keeps?

Al Abbatiello has been my wonderful husband for 61 years and a father and role model for our three grown children and grandchildren — he deserves better than what Jimmy Johns’ campaign did to him.

1 comment:

Warren Celli said...

This seems to be an ever growing lament in the exclusionary "Green Wall Of Silence" crowd. Boo hoo, they did not play fair.

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

If you can't stand playing in a corrupt game, get out of the corrupt game.

If you can't see that Vanilla Greed for Profit has been replaced by Pernicious Greed for Destruction then you are destined to be destroyed.

Failure to recognize the controlling dynamic in the systemic corruption, and yes, the part you play in validating and legitimizing it with your attention, regardless of how noble you personally believe those intentions are, is your real problem.

You have had your clocks cleaned by a greater evil.

Redemption begins with accepting reality.