Friday, September 30, 2016

FIVE PHONY WRITE-IN CANDIDATES WITHDRAW: Four Candidates Elected, Disenfranchising 80,000 Non-Republican Voters

Having disenfranchised 80,000 St. Johns County voters, all five (5) phony write-in candidates have now withdrawn.A civil, criminal and administrative investigation is now urgently required. I have written the Attorney General of the United States and Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division:

-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Slavin
To: loretta.lynch ; vanita.gupta
Sent: Fri, Sep 30, 2016 9:40 am
Subject: Re: URGENT: Northeast Florida Voting Rights Violations -- Suppression of Minority Vote by Closing Four Universal Primaries on August 30, 2016

Dear General Lynch and General Gupta;
1. All five (5) putative general election write-in candidates -- recruited by St. Johns County Republican Party apparatchiks, including  ROBERT THORNTON SMITH -- have now withdrawn, mutatis mutandis.  

2. These five candidates did not campaign and filed to "run" for the sole purpose of closing four (4) universal primaries in violation of the Fifteenth Amendment, the Voting Rights Act, and Article VI, Section 5(b) of our Florida Constitution.

3. Some 80,000 Democratic and no party affiliation voters in St. Johns County, Florida were disenfranchised and were prevented from voting for Sheriff, Clerk of Courts and two of three County Commission seats on what was supposed to be a "universal primary" ballot.
4. Please advise me of the status of your inquiry and kindly commence a civil, criminal and administrative investigation.
Thank you.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin
-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Slavin <>
To: loretta.lynch <>; vanita.gupta <>
Sent: Thu, Jul 14, 2016 12:04 pm
Subject: Re: URGENT: Northeast Florida Voting Rights Violations -- Suppression of Minority Vote by Closing Universal Primaries on August 30, 2016
Dear General Lynch and General Gupta:
Please respond today.  Time is of the essence -- our rights are being violated.The primary election in quo is on August 30th.
Thank you.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin
-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Slavin <>
To: loretta.lynch <>; vanita.gupta <>
Sent: Tue, Jul 5, 2016 8:34 am
Subject: Re: URGENT: Northeast Florida Voting Rights Violations -- Suppression of Minority Vote by Closing Universal Primaries on August 30, 2016
Dear General Lynch and General Gupta:

On Sunday, July 3, 2016, The St. Augustine Record newspaper published my 600 word column on this case:

Guest column: Closed primaries are unconstitutional
Posted: July 2, 2016 - 11:13pm  |  Updated: July 3, 2016 - 12:02am
St. Augustine Record

Four important universal primaries, including sheriff, have been closed in St. Johns County. This is unconstitutional.  

In 1998, Florida voters adopted by 64.1 percent vote (2,239,607 votes) Amendment 11, enacting Article VI, section 5(b) of our Florida Constitution:  “If all candidates for an office have the same party affiliation and the winner will have no opposition in the general election, all qualified electors, regardless of party affiliation, may vote in the primary elections for that office.”

This voter-enacted amendment to our state Constitution was misinterpreted by controversial former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, her successors and our state courts to allow “write-in” shills to be considered “opposition.”  This violates the Fifteenth Amendment and the Voting Rights Act, diluting minority voting strength and disenfranchising voters here.  

“Opposition” does not mean theoretical. Yet a former corrections employee of Sheriff David Shoar has filed to run as a “write-in” against him, helping to close his universal primary with former deputy Debra Maynard. One of Jacksonville State Attorney Angela Corey’s own supporters filed to run as a “write-in” against her.

This “write-in” scam is not exactly what our Founding Fathers expected when they signed our Declaration of Independence 240 years ago, pledging “our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor” in our American Revolutionary War to advance democracy and defeat oligarchy.

Universal primaries are closed by “write-ins” who withdraw after the primary, or who receive few “write-in” votes on a blank line on a general election ballot. That is not “opposition” to a major party candidate.  

Both Florida Democratic and Republican parties use fictive flimflam “write-in” flummery and dupery to keep their respective primaries closed to “universal primaries” as voters intended. Republicans use “write-ins” to preserve one-party rule in North Florida. Democrats use “write-ins” to preserve one-party rule in South Florida. The parties violate everyone’s constitutional rights, empowered by Tallahassee power lawyers and party leaders.

Florida Constitution Article VI, section 5(b) must no longer be misinterpreted to provide that a “write-in” candidate — represented by a blank line on the general election ballot, not paying fees, not campaigning and not having any interest in running or any chance of winning — is “opposition” and thus enough to disenfranchise people from voting in what would otherwise be universal primaries.

This misinterpretation will disenfranchise some 77,000 St. Johns County residents, closing four Aug. 30 universal primaries for St. Johns County sheriff, clerk of courts and county commissioners to Democrats and Independents and most African-Americans (mostly Democrats).

This misinterpretation will result in Aug. 30 universal primary for Duval County (Jacksonville) State’s Attorney being closed to minorities, mostly Democrats, disenfranchising some 400,000 people (a lawsuit is pending).

St. Johns and Duval counties are historically segregated counties where racism and KKK persist, with substantial influence in the Republican Party.

In 1964, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called this “the most lawless” place in America. Is that still true?  

Un-American, unethical, unprincipled, louche local Republican leaders are hick hacks, laughing at you, destroying democracy and recruiting “write-in” shills to close your universal primaries.  

Enough corruption.

On June 24, I asked the U.S. Justice Department to investigate unconstitutional closing of universal primaries provided for in the voter-enacted 1998 amendment to Florida’s Constitution through both parties’ abuse of the legal fiction of “write-in” shills, who are not bona fide “opposition.”  Closing universal primaries using “write-in” shills is unconstitutional, violating both Florida and U.S. constitutions.

Expect democracy. Unkluck the Aug. 30 universal primaries — please speak to the misguided souls who closed them or kindly consider temporarily changing your political party registration to “Republican” to vote for sheriff, court clerk and county commissioners. 

Let freedom ring.

By the way, General Lynch and General Gupta, NONE of the five putative "candidates" has responded to inquiries from journalists. 

Here's how to contact five faux "NO COMMENT" write-in candidates:
Circuit Court Clerk 
Filed 6/23 1:28 PM

Filed 6/23 10:27

Filed 6/23 10:50 AM

County Commission District 3
Filed 6/21 1:13 PM

County Commission District 5
(No e-mail address listed)
Filed 6/24 11:54 AM

Please ask the FBI to investigate.

Investigation of my June 24, 2016 complaint -- re: five Duval and St. Johns County, Florida universal primaries being closed -- is urgently required.

Voting rights of some one half million people must be vindicated.  

Thank you.

With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin

-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Slavin <>
To: vanita.gupta <>
Sent: Fri, Jun 24, 2016 2:51 pm
Subject: URGENT: Northeast Florida Voting Rights Violations -- Suppression of Minority Vote by Closing Universal Primaries on August 30, 2016

Dear Assistant Attorney General Gupta:

A. Thank you again for promptly referring my March 22, 2016 civil rights complaint against Governor RICHARD LYNN SCOTT'S invidiously discriminatory veto of $200,000 in matching grant funds for West Augustine sewers to the office of the United States Attorney for the MIddle District of Florida (which promptly called and wrote me on the morning of March 31, 2016).  I was interviewed by an EPA lawyer and investigator on June 23, 2016 (yesterday).

B. I write today about another critical civil rights issue, one affecting more than one million residents of St. Johns and Duval Counties in Northeast Florida, traditional KKK strongholds.  

1.  In 1998, Florida voters adopted by 64.1% vote (2,239,607 votes) Amendment 11, enacting Article VI, section 5(b) of our Florida Constitution, stating that:
SECTION 5.Primary, general, and special elections.

(a) A general election shall be held in each county on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of each even-numbered year to choose a successor to each elective state and county officer whose term will expire before the next general election and, except as provided herein, to fill each vacancy in elective office for the unexpired portion of the term. A general election may be suspended or delayed due to a state of emergency or impending emergency pursuant to general law. Special elections and referenda shall be held as provided by law.

(b) If all candidates for an office have the same party affiliation and the winner will have no opposition in the general election, all qualified electors, regardless of party affiliation, may vote in the primary elections for that office.

History.Am. S.J.R. 162, 1992; adopted 1992; Am. proposed by Constitution Revision Commission, Revision No. 11, 1998, filed with the Secretary of State May 5, 1998; adopted 1998.

2. Florida Constitution Article VI, section 5(b) has been interpreted by our controversial former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, her successors and our state courts in a manner inconsistent with the Fifteenth Amendment and the Voting Rights Act.  "Opposition" does not mean theoretical: a "spoiler," an unknown, impecunious shill, an obscure apolitical person who may receive a few write-in votes on a blank line on a general election ballot is not "opposition" to a major party candidate.  The argument by the Democratic and Republican parties to use fictive flimflam "write-in" flummery and dupery to keep their respective primaries closed to "universal primaries" as voters intended is, at best facetious -- so much argle-bargle -- to preserve one-party rule in North Florida and to preserve one-party rule in South Florida.  This violates minorities' constitutional rights, at the behest of a few misguided Tallahassee power lawyers and political party leaders.

3. Florida Constitution Article VI, section 5(b) has been interpreted to provide that a shill write-in candidate -- represented by a blank line on the general election ballot, not paying fees, not campaigning, and not having any interest in running or any chance of winning -- is "opposition" and thus enough to disenfranchise people from voting in what would otherwise be universal primaries.

4. This interpretation will result in August 30, 2016 universal primaries for St. Johns County Sheriff and County Commissioner being closed to minorities, mostly Democrats.
5. This interpretation will result in August 30, 2016 universal primary for Duval County (Jacksonville) State's Attorney being closed to minorities, mostly Democrats.
6. St. Johns and Duval Counties are historically segregated counties where racism and the KKK persist, with substantial influence in the Republican Party.
7. St. Augustine, Florida is where the first African-Americans lived, free and slave. This is where the Underground Railroad first ran, starting in 1671, with the Spanish freeing British slaves, leading to the British burning down our town.  This is where the first American community founded by freed slaves was founded after the Civil War (Little Africa, now known as Lincolnville, 1866).  
8. St. Augustine is where segregationist city and county law enforcement officers arrested Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1964, the only place where Dr. King was arrested in Florida and the very last place he was arrested before the 1964 Civil Rights Act was enacted. History teaches that President Lyndon Baines Johnson was able to break a formidable Senate filisbuster as a result of the KKK and law enforcement racist violence on our streets, seen on national and international news, with 180 accredited reporters here covering the events of June, 1964.
9. On June 11, 1964, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called this "the most lawless" place in America., writing Rabbi Israel Dressner about the segregationist bullies who ran this place, to include Sheriff LAWRENCE O. DAVIS, a KKK member who deputized KKK members and incarcerated Dr. King and other civil rights activists.  On June 18, 1964, Rabbi Dressner and sixteen colleagues (15 other rabbis and an administrator) were arrested for praying, the largest mass arrest of rabbis in American history.
10. The current corrupt St. Johns County Sheriff, DAVID BERNERD SHOAR, f/k/a "HOAR, who is under FBI investigation, is the head of the local political machine.  Sheriff DAVID SHOAR actually published a paen to Sheriff LAWRENCE O. DAViS on his website, inter alia falsely stating that Sheriff DAVIS was "exonerated" of corruption charges (he was removed by the Florida State Senate by vote of 44-2) and falsely stating that Sheriff DAVIS "held the town together" when in fact the KKK and law enforcement officers who were KKK members rioted, requiring relief from United States District Court Judge Bryan Simpson.  Sheriff SHOAR's website even said that Dr. King was arrested by "federal agents," but that error was temporarily corrected after I wrote him on August 28, 1964, the anniversary of Dr. King's "I have a dream" speech.
11. There were 41 African-American owned businesses in Linoclnville in 1964. None survive. Two (2) of three (3) false statements remain on SHOAR's website, a white-sheeted badge of institutional racism:

One major development that his tenure as Sheriff saw was the civil rights movement, a challenging time for our nation, state and county. In 1963, the Reverend Martin Luther King and his associates came to St. Augustine, the oldest city in the nation. St. Augustine became the site of many demonstrations. During one of these, Dr. King was arrested by deputies and booked into the St. Johns County Jail. Shortly afterwards, Dr. King and others were released from jail.

The climate was stressful in those years, but with Sheriff Davis' leadership the community held together. This nation moved forward after the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Sheriff Davis was well respected in the community. Many citizens tell stories of his kindness; taking bags of groceries to those who were in need, or helping others get jobs. 

Sheriff Davis had been a city police officer for approximately three years prior to taking the Office of Sheriff. He had a deep, abiding commitment to the youth of our county. 

Also, he was one of the founders of the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch, which grew from a small camp on the banks of the Suwannee River to a working ranch system, serving thousands of Florida's children every year.

In 1970, then Governor Claude Kirk removed Sheriff Davis from office based on allegations made by several individuals. Subsequently, in a trial, Sheriff Davis was found innocent. 

Later, at hearings in Tallahassee in front of the Senate, Sheriff Davis was exonerated. By this time, Governor Kirk had appointed Dudley Garrett, to take Sheriff Davis' place.

In the 1972 election, "L.O." Davis tried to regain the office, but lost to Sheriff Garrett. 
12. African-American Florida Memorial University was run out of St. Augustine by the KKK by 1968 because it was a center of desegregation activism.

13. Meanwhile, the then-racist St. Augustine City government here annexed land, resulting in intentional diminution of African-American voting strength in St. Augustine from 25% to 12.5%, 1964-2005, in probable violation of the Fifteenth Amendment.
14. When I first publicly objected to this pattern of 15th Amendment violating annexations at a St. Augustine City Commission meeting on April 9, 2005, then-City Manager WILLIAM B. HARRISS threatened me with "arrest" for "disorderly conduct."  This was the first time I had ever attended or spoken at a City Commission meeting.  I later presented an affidavit from Ms. Sue Neely, who heard his threats -- the members of the City Commission did nothing about it.  HARRISS left office in 2010, going to work for Sheriff SHOAR. 
15. Intentionally diminishing minority voting strength and disenfranchising African-Americans who had elected Commissioner Moses "Coach" Floyd, our St. Johns County Commission redistricted itself in 1998, eliminating single member districts, changing from seven elected from districts to five elected by all voters but required to live in districts.  Tellingly, the County Commission redistricted itself in this manner -- in probable violation of the Fifteenth Amendment --- without a consultant, without a decennial census and outside the ordinary course of business.  Again, it did so for the purpose of eliminating single member districts, which had resulted in election of an African-American.
16. After the very unexpected election of an African-American to County Commission in 2008, Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR and his henchmen campaigned against him. SHOAR succeeded in defeating County Commission J. Kenneth Bryan, an African-American Justice Department retiree, who was our County Commission Chairman, using developer funding and TV advertisements on Fox News in running a 24 year old ingenue, defeating Commissioner Bryan in 2012.  
17. Sheriff SHOAR and his henchmen also campaigned against Benjamin Rich, Sr., a retired federal agent, whom they defeated in 2008
18. Sheriff SHOAR and his allies campaigned against both of these ethical, honorable retired federal employees, in 2008 and 2012, at least in part as retaliation for their First Amendment rights and their support of Fifteenth Amendment rights
19. The result is that African-Americans here still live in fear, in a a milieu where voting is discouraged and disempowered, including closing of universal primaries guaranteed by Florida and U.S. Constitutions.
20. Please investigate the closing of:
Athe August 30, 2016 Duval County State's Attorney universal primary, 
B. St. Johns County Sheriff's universal primary, District 3 County Commission universal primary and Clerk of Courts primary by shill-write-ins in violation of the 14th and 15th Amendments, the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, 18 U.S.C. 241 and 243, 42 U.S.C. 1983 and 1985, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI).
21. Please investigate Florida closed-primary electoral machinations and the developer-driven political machine headed by St. Johns County Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR.  For more on SHOAR and his record of violating citizens' constitutional rights, please  consult the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision in the Gennusa v. Canova case: , and the 14,000 word New York Times investigation and the PBS Frontline and NBC Dateline investigations at: "Two Gunshots on a Summer Night," by Walt Bogdanich and Glenn Silber  PBS Frontline documentary, "A Death in St. Augustine" NBC News Dateline documentary, "Two Shots Fired"22. Please empower the DoJ Community Relations Service (CRS) to help.23. Let every vote count.  
24. The qualification deadline for the universal primary was Noon today, June 24, 2016
25. The St. Johns County Supervisor of Elections currently plans to send the ballots to the printer on Tuesday, June 27, 2016. 
Thank you for all that you do.  And thank you in advance for helping solve this statewide violation of civil and constitutional rights.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin
Box 3084
St. Augustine, Florida 32085-3084

Thursday, September 29, 2016

For St. Johns County Republican Party Leaders Supporting Trump:

Joe Browder, R.I.P. -- Helped protect Everglades, Biscayne Bay (NYT)

Joe Browder successfully lobbied to extend National Park Service protection to Biscayne Bay.Creditvia Louise Dunlap 
Joe Browder, a television reporter turned environmentalist who was instrumental in preserving Florida’s Everglades, vast areas nearby and Biscayne Bay, died on Sept. 18 at his home in Fairhaven, Md. He was 78.
His wife, Louise Cecil Dunlap, a fellow environmentalist, said the cause was liver cancer. She and her husband were partners in Dunlap & Browder, a Washington consulting firm.
An early conservation effort of Mr. Browder’s began in 1969, when as a Florida environmentalist he put together an eclectic coalition that proved successful in preventing the construction of a jetport in the Big Cypress Swamp, an ecological system of marshes, bogs and hammocks just north and west of Everglades National Park. The jetport would have been the world’s largest.
The group included Marjory Stoneman Douglas, the crusading grande dame of Everglades conservation; Native American tribes; hunters; newly formed environmental groups, and ultimately the administration of President Richard M. Nixon.
“Suddenly, Joe Browder himself got rid of the jetport,” Ms. Douglas, who died in 1998, said in an interview with Florida International University in 1983.
Taking its case to Congress, the coalition not only blocked the jetport plan, it also persuaded the federal government to protect thousands more acres, including in the adjacent Everglades, and it generated support for legislation that required environmental-impact studies to be done before the federal government subsidized major public works projects.
Today, Big Cypress National Preserve, established in 1974, encompasses more than 700,000 acres. The National Park Service later declared him Citizen Father of the Big Cypress Preserve, where he worked to protect the rights of local tribes.
Mr. Browder also successfully lobbied to extend Park Service protection to Biscayne Bay. In 1968, he looked on as President Lyndon B. Johnson signed legislation establishing what became Biscayne National Park, comprising almost 173,000 acres of water and coral reef keys.
“It’s cliché to call someone an unsung hero, but that was Joe Browder,” Jack E. Davis, a history professor at the University of Florida in Gainesville, said in an email. “People typically recognize Marjory Stoneman Douglas as the founding spirit of Everglades protection, but it was Joe who, back in the 1960s, cajoled her into taking up the cause, one in which he was already deeply involved.”
Besides his lobbying and coalition-building, Mr. Browder influenced environmental and energy policy as a special assistant at the Interior Department during the administration of President Jimmy Carter. He was also the conservation director of Friends of the Earth and the treasurer of the League of Conservation Voters.
If Mr. Browder’s embrace of nature made him an effective evangelist, his implacability could also alienate some allies and cast some potentially worthy compromises — like the sugar industry’s belated agreement to clean up the Everglades — as sellouts to corporate greed.
“Joe hasn’t always gotten the credit he deserved for the remarkable work he did,” said Michael Grunwald, the author of “The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise” (2006), “but the Earth is in better shape because he was on it.”
Joe Bartles Browder was born on April 10, 1938, in Amarillo, Tex., the son of Edward Browder, an aviator, and the former Betty Bartles, who ran a small business. He was descended on his mother’s side from a Delaware Indian chief.
He was raised in Havana, Mexico and California before moving to Miami, where his family was housed with Army Air Forces officers during World War II. It was there he developed his fascination with the South Florida swamps. He won a scholarship to study ornithology at Cornell University but dropped out because of insufficient funds.
Mr. Browder became a television reporter and producer for the NBC affiliate in Miami in the 1960s. But even then, he was a leader of the National Audubon Society in Florida. He left broadcasting in 1968 to devote himself to environmentalism and was the founding coordinator of the Everglades Coalition.
When he and Nathaniel Reed, a former assistant Interior secretary, teamed to oppose the proposed jetport, near the border between Miami-Dade and Collier Counties, Miami-Dade’s mayor branded them “white militants.”
But they successfully lobbied the aviation industry and persuaded the Nixon administration to withdraw federal funding for the jetport after demonstrating that it would endanger wetlands and the dwindling alligator population.
“Joe was a conservation hero who proved that one person can change the world,” David Houghton, the president of the National Wildlife Refuge Association, said in a statement. “Big Cypress National Preserve, Everglades National Park and Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area are testament to his profound passion and dedication.”
Besides Ms. Dunlap, Mr. Browder is survived by two sons from a former marriage, Ronald and Monte; and four grandchildren.
Mr. Browder met Ms. Dunlap at a Senate hearing on the jetport and persuaded her to join Friends of the Earth. She had been studying landscape architecture and was working for the National Parks Conservation Association. (She went on to help found and become the president of the Environmental Policy Institute and the Environmental Policy Center in Washington.)
“Look at it this way, Louise,” she recalled Mr. Browder telling her. “Would you rather have some influence over deciding where the airport will be located, or would you rather decide where to plant the trees and grass around the parking lots?”