The United States Army Inspector General is investigating the November 8, 2016 Election Night party held in a St. Augustine armory operated by the Florida National Guard. In a May 13, 2017 e-mail, the U.S. Department of Defense Inspector General stated that "We have referred your concerns to the Department of the Army Inspector General as a matter within their purview for information and any action they deem appropriate." While Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was forbidden use of a West Virginia National Guard Armory for a lecture tour in 2017, based on no-politics rules, the Florida National Guard allowed Republicans to celebrate President Trump's election in our National Guard Armory, based on flummery. Here's what we know, as previously reported:
How Sheamus McNeeley Helped Close Primary, Open Armory to Partisan Political Events
SHEAMUS JOHN McNEELEY, a 28 year old Florida National Guardsman, was the "cutout.' In his own name, this Republican apparatchik -- whose officers refuse to answer questions -- rented our Florida National Guard Mark Lance Amory in his name for the bargain price of $199.68 for Election Night 2016 (plus $150 cleanup fee and $15/hour Armory Representative fee.
Tongue-in-cheek, SHEAMUS McNEELEY wrote in one word as the purpose of the rental, "Rental."
No one questioned SHEAMUS' shameless prevarication, or "terminological inexactitude," in the words of Sir Winston Spencer Churchill.
Guard Records reflect that SHEAMUS was the renter for the "rental" for the purpose of "rental."
But St. Johns County Election Commission records show the Republican Executive Committee reports a different story: REC says it paid $270 for the rental of the National Guard Armory, while some of the party attendees paid $15 per person, with the party running out of food and drink and expenditures exceeded contributions, except: cocktails were sold for $3 (cash bar).
Where's the money? It is not reflected in filings with the Supervisor of Elections? Wonder why?
The elephant in the Mark Lance Armory -- ignored by incept, incurious good-ole-boy Florida National Guard officers was the St. Johns County Republican Executive Committee's Election Night Party.
Violating DoD laws against partisan events in National Guard Armories, did SJCREC conspire with the Guard to violate DoD laws and a Hatch Act violation by using McNEELEY as a frontman?
Did anyone bother to get a liquor license?
No responses from SJC REC, McNEELEY or the Flori-DUH National Guard, whose General Counsel and HR Director did not reveal his rank or duties.
IN 2016, SHEAMUS JOHN McNEELEY ran Youth for Trump in South Florida.
IN 2016, Politico reported SHEAMUS JOHN McNEELEY worked on Hans Tanzler's Republican Congressional campaign in our Fourth Congressional District.
In 2016, Politico reported that SHEAMUS JOHN McNEELEY appeared in Panhandle Republican State Senate candidate Doug Broxson's TV ads (wearing a cap that says "Veteran.)
SHEAMUS JOHN McNEELEY ran and then withdrew from the race in 2015 in the Special Election to nominate the Republican candidate for Florida House of Representatives District 24 (won by carpetbagging Jacksonville lawyer PAUL RENNER, who ran and lost narrowly for a Jacksonville House seat in 2014).
SHEAMUS McNEELEY helped closed the 2016 County Commission District 3 universal primary race between JERRY CAMERON and PAUL WALDRON, with McNEELEY filing to run as a spurious write-in "candidate," without running a campaign or intending to compete. Was he part of since-fired Republican Executive Commitee member ROBERT THORNTON SMITH, f/k/a "GOP BOB" (now sub nom "GENERAL DELIVERY BOB") and a possible civil rights conspiracy aimed at helping violate our right to universal primaries and violating minority voting rights, thereby violating Fifteenth Amendment and Article VI, Section 5 of our Florida Constitution?
SHEAMUS JOHN McNEELEY had two state corporate charters, later dissolved:
ANCIENT CITY SOLUTIONS LLC, 3837 ARROWHEAD DRIVE, SAINT AUGUSTINE, FL 32086. reportedly a campaign consulting firm, which the Florida Secretary of State dissolved administratively for incorporator SHEAMUS JOHN McNELLEY's failure to file report in 2016, with the dissolution taking effect more than five (5) months ago.
WISH UPON A FRIEND, INC, a supposed nonprofit corporation incorporated by AUNDRE MATHEWS, Legalzoom,com on May 25, 2012 and voluntarily dissolved on January 30, 2013, formed with KIMBERLY ANN RAISER and KRISTIN LEIGH SCHNEIDER, at 3837 ARROWHEAD DRIVE, SAINT AUGUSTINE, FL 32086.
FLORIDA NATIONAL GUARD VIOLATED LAW, ALLOWED TRUMP ELECTION NIGHT PARTY
House of unAmerican activities?
St. Johns County, Florida Republicans held their Election Night 2016 party at our Mark Lance Armory on San Marco Blvd., violating federal laws prohibiting political activities in National Guard facilities. I've asked the National Guard for documents, finally receiving one lease agreement; still wiring on more. Coverup?
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) planned a speaking engagement at a West Virginia National Guard Armory in February 2017, only to have it cancelled abruptly. Why? Because it ran afoul of DoD law. Yet here in Governor RICHARD LYNN SCOTT's Flori-DUH, without any concerns being raised by Florida National Guard lawyers, two (2) Republican parties were held in the National Guard Armory.
Perhaps the U.S. Office of Special Counsel and the Inspector General of DoD will initiate federal criminal, civil and administrative investigations of the Florida National Guard for violation of federal laws, including the DoD law and the Hatch Act. Here's the article on the West Virginia National Guard's canceling Senator Sanders' speaking engagement in Welch, W.Va.
So let me get this straight: a respected United States Senator who formerly chaired the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, who did so much for our veterans, gets publicly embarrassed by DoD and the West Virginia National Guard, banned from a National Guard Armory in McDowell County, West Virginia.
But right here in St. Augustine, where the Florida National Guard is headquartered in Our Nation's Oldest City, the Florida National Guard witnessed, permitted and facilitated a November 8, 2016 (Election Night) Republican Party, using a guardsman as the putative rental for "rental," with no question about politicization of our Armory. When I requested records, I was treated disdainfully, told the record keeper for the armory was out of town and other examples of malarkey from MAJOR TERRENCE A, GORMAN, the General Counsel of the Florida National Guard, who identifies himself as "Airborne."
My father enlisted in the Pennsylvania National Guard in the 1930s; he loved riding horses. He later served in the 82nd Airborne Divn., F Co., 505th P.I.R., with three combat jumps in North Africa, Sicily and Normandy. The South Jersey Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Divn. Assn. is named the "CPL Edward A. Slavin Chapter" for my late father, who was awarded three Bronze stars, but modestly told me when I learned of it, "they gave one to everyone who jumped." My father taught me that if you don't stand up to people with power, they walk all over you. My Dad was the "morale non-com" as well as a de facto union steward for his fellow paratroopers: he taught me what an Inspector General can do to protect soldiers' and other peoples' rights. This one's for you, Dad!
Florida National Guard
FNG PAMPHLET 210-4
1. PURPOSE – Establish guidance, policies, procedures and rates for the rental of National Guard armories to individuals or organizations.
2. POLICY – In accordance with a legislative requirement, National Guard armories will not be used or rented free of charge, regardless of the nature of the activity or the status of the organization desiring use of the facility except for official Military functions such as promotions or retirements. However, the Post Commander, in special circumstances and by exception to policy, may authorize the use of his/her facility at a reduced rental fee for long-term rentals, armory grounds/parking lot or at no charge for non-profit organizations whose use or request is clearly in the public interest.
a. Any questionable request should be forwarded to the State Quartermaster for consideration by The Adjutant General.
b. No charge will be assessed for the use of the drill hall or classroom as a voting precinct but a rental contract must be completed and proof of insurance must be provided by the County Supervisor of Elections.
3. GENERAL - Rental of Florida National Guard armories represents a long-standing tradition which reflects the important role of the Guard in the community. In many communities, the National Guard armory offers the only sizeable assembly hall which can be utilized for dances, shows, ceremonies and the like. Post Commanders will make their armories available for rental at a reasonable but profitable rate whenever rental does not interfere with military training or activities.
4. POST RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR RENTALS - Post Rules and Regulations governing rentals will be prepared in accordance with this Annex. Post Commanders will use the rules and regulations in TAB D-1 of this annex as their Post’s Rules and Regulations for Rentals of the armory drill hall, classrooms, tables and chairs, kitchen facilities, and any other space in the armory which might be made available for rent.
5. BASE RENTAL FEE - Post Commanders will develop Base Rental Fees for their Armory Rental Program. The first fee will be a flat rate for the drill hall, kitchen, tables and chairs, etc. The second fee will be a flat rate for use of classrooms only. The Base Rental Fees shall be the maximum rental rate established by the Post Commander and will be reviewed annually, based on the following variables specific to each armory: condition and location of the armory, square footage, comparable rental rates, amenities to include adequate parking, kitchen facilities, air conditioning, tables/chairs and any other unique feature which justifies the Base Rental Fee. Post Commanders will also develop separate charges for such necessary support as Armory Representative and cleanup. Post Commanders are reminded that at no time will charges be levied which are beyond the capability of the community in general to support.
a. Post Commanders shall complete and publish his/her post’s rules and regulations on rentals based on the guidance in ANNEX D TAB D-1. To finalize the rules and regulations for their post, each Post Commander must complete the following.
(1) On page 3, in paragraph m, insert the maximum occupancy as authorized by the Fire Marshall.
(2) On page 3 in paragraph p (1) and page 4 in p (2), insert your Base Rental Fees. Then compute the other rental fees listed below the base rental fees.
b. Post Commanders are required to maintain a scope of work detailing the tasks required to clean the armory after rentals and provide the scope of work to those who perform the armory cleanup after rentals.
7. RENTAL CONTRACTS:
a. Rental of National Guard Armory - Rental of National Guard armories to persons or organizations will be accomplished in an accurate and complete manner, utilizing standard FNG Form 139. These forms can be requested from the State Quartermaster Property & Accountability section.
b. Armory Rental Agreements
(1) Armory Rental Agreement, FNG Form 139 (TAB D-2), is a three-part prenumbered accountable form, which will be utilized for each armory rental action. An entry will be made in every blank space on the form, utilizing "N/A" for those blanks which do not apply. The Renter, or his representative, will manually sign the form, as will the Post Commander, or his/her representative, and two witnesses. An Armory Rental Agreement will be completed when a deposit is received.
(2) The original (white) copy of the contract will be a supporting document for bank deposits associated with that rental and will be filed in the AOA voucher file after deposit of the rental fee is completed. The first duplicate (green) copy, with a copy of the post rules and regulations for rentals attached, will be given to the Renter as his/her copy, and the second (gold) copy will be forwarded to the State Quartermaster Property & Accountability section for audit purposes.
(3) When a deposit is received to secure a rental date, a photocopy of the original (white) copy of the agreement will be filed with the deposit voucher. When the balance of the rental fee is paid, the original (white) copy of the contract will be filed as stated in subparagraph 7.b.(2) above, along with a copy of the General Release, FNG Form 485 (TAB D-3), signed by the renter. The General Release Form will be utilized for every armory rental regardless of cost.
(5) Bookkeepers are required to post all rental transactions to the Rental Contract Register (TAB D-4).
(6) All private rentals that have heightened risk factors such as use of explosives or pyrotechnics must be approved by the State Quartermaster Property & Accountability section before the rental agreement is signed.
(7) The General Release form will be attached to the deposit voucher along with a copy of the rental contract in the AOA voucher file. The General Release Form will be signed by the renter. On a case-by-case basis, the State Quartermaster may require renters to provide special event liability insurance for heightened risk rentals.
(8) Renters will only be assessed fees listed in this Annex.
(9) Only Post Commanders or their full time staff are authorized to execute rental contracts.
(10) No changes to the printed Armory Rental Agreement or the General Release Form are allowed.
8. FORCE PROTECTION:
G2/DOMS FLNG Protection Program provides guidance and policy on Antiterrorism, Physical Security, Operations Security, Continuity of Operations, and Emergency Management. Chapter 16, FLARNG Directive 101-PS contains the relevant information related to FLNG armory rentals and the Protection Program. You will find FLARNG Directive 101-PS at: http://ngflsharepoint/sites/J3/JOC/Shared%20Files/Directive%20101s/FLARNG%20DIR%2010 1-PS%20Physical%20Security%20131007.pdf. Armory Managers must coordinate with the G2/DOMS FLNG Protection Program for protection requirements for armory rentals. The State Antiterrorism Coordinator can be reached at email@example.com.
POST OF _______________________
NOTE: THE PERSON OR ORGANIZATION RENTING THE ARMORY IS HEREIN REFERRED TO AS THE "RENTER."
a. The Renter shall comply with all applicable laws and ordinances of local governments (municipalities and counties), policies of the Post Commander, the Armory Board of the State of Florida, The Adjutant General of Florida, and the State of Florida for the use and occupancy of National Guard armories.
b. The Renter shall and will indemnify and hold harmless, the Post Commander, The Adjutant General of Florida, and the State of Florida, its officers, agents and employees against any and all loss, damage, and/or liability that may be suffered, caused by, arising out of, or in any way connected with the use or occupancy by the Renter of the above premises or any part thereof, or the exercise of the rules or provisions granted herein, in accordance with the signed General Release.
c. The Renter will, at the Renter’s expense, provide adequate security, by employing either responsible off-duty law enforcement personnel or established and bonded security company personnel, to assure safe and orderly conduct of the function for which the armory is rented as provided below:
(1) For rentals where more than 100 persons are expected to be present on post property and/or the event is open to the public, and where alcohol will be consumed, the Renter is required to provide a minimum of two security personnel as described above.
(2) For rentals where more than 100 persons are expected to be present on post property and/or the event is open to the public, and no alcohol will be consumed, the Renter is required to provide a minimum of one security personnel as described above.
(3) Rentals where fewer than 100 persons will be on post property, and where there will be alcohol, the Renter is required to provide a minimum of one security personnel as described above.
(4) Rentals where fewer than 100 persons will be on post property, and where there will be no alcohol, the Post Commander may waive the requirement for security.
(5) Should local ordinances require more security personnel to be present the local ordinance shall be controlling.
d. The Renter agrees to pay promptly all taxes, levies, assessments or other charges required by any governmental agency, including Florida Sales Tax, if due on the rental charge herein. Only Renters with tax numbers ending with the letter C will be tax exempt.
e. The Renter agrees to comply with the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and National Guard Regulation NGR 600-23, dated December 1974, "Nondiscrimination in Federally Assisted Programs," in connection with its use of the above described space and facilities. Admission, participation, seating of participants and spectators and the use of all of the leased facilities during the exhibit, competition, entertainment, or other public events conducted or sponsored by the Renter under this contract shall be without regard to race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Any person who is not a member may be denied admission whenever attendance at the event for which the facilities are leased to the membership of a particular organization or organizations and all members are excluded without regard to race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
f. The Renter shall not allow any alcoholic beverages to be sold or distributed in or upon any part of said premises, except as provided by Florida Statutes 561 and local laws.
(1) Pursuant to Florida Statutes 561.01(9), the armory shall not be rented to any business, organization or person who’s intent is to sell alcoholic beverages, collect
a cover charge/entrance fee and provide attendees free alcoholic beverages or hold an event where attendee’s are able to bring alcoholic beverages into the armory.
(2) Nonprofit civic organization may obtain a permit from Florida’s Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco and rent the armory with the intent of selling alcoholic beverages as provided by Florida Statutes 561.422 (listed below). A copy of the permit must be provided before the date of the rental.
561.422 Nonprofit civic organizations; temporary permits.
Upon the filing of an application and payment of a fee of $25 per permit, the director of the division may issue a permit authorizing a bona fide nonprofit civic organization to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises only, for a period not to exceed 3 days, subject to any state law or municipal or county ordinance regulating the time for selling such beverages. Any such civic organization may be issued only three such permits per calendar year.
Notwithstanding other provisions of the Beverage Law, any civic organization licensed under this section may purchase alcoholic beverages from a distributor or vendor licensed under the Beverage Law.