Wednesday, July 20, 2022


Conflict of interest?  Blurred ethical lines?  You tell me.

  1. Controversial St. Johns County Commissioner JEREMIAH RAY BLOCKER's campaign is being run by Republican PR spokesperson PERET PASS.
  2. Conflict of interest?  PERET PASS is also St. Johns County Sheriff ROBERT HARDWICK's official County-paid mouthpiece.  JEREMIAH RAY BLOCKER votes on Sheriff HARDWICK's budget.
  3. As two St. Johns County Sheriff's Office employees, recipients of federal funds, Sheriff ROBERT HARDWICK and his PR spokesperson, Ms. PERET PASS are covered by the federal Hatch Act in some respects.
  4. PERET PASS also runs and bills St. Johns County Commissioner JEREMIAH RAY BLOCKER's re-election campaign, as evidenced by corporate and election records.
  5. BLOCKER's wife LAUREN was HARDWICK's very first campaign contributor.  She is now a County Court Judge, appointed by Governor RON DeSANTIS on recommendation of Senator TRAVIS HUTSON, after lacking any trial experience as a young lawyer (one and only one civil trial where she was second chair).
  6. BLOCKER is a zealous advocate for his friend, Sheriff HARDWICK, giving him speaking time at the commencement of every single one of our County meetings, and accepting with fawning obeisance and unjustified praise the budget of a Sheriff who resists body-worn cameras and dashboard cameras. 
  7. PERET PASS works for two (2) constitutional officers while serving as a servile unit for their shared ideology, which disdains public participation and now relegates it to the very end of our Commission meetings, ever since "Democrats [allegedly] raised a ruckus" and used non-agenda public comment for the purpose for which it was intended -- surfacing issues and raising concerns, as guaranteed by the First Amendment's petition clause.  
  8. The Supreme Court has written that our constitution "deserves breathing space," but in St. Johns County, the life and breath are being strangled out of our First Amendments by the developer-directed political machine that thinks it runs St. Johns County,  
  9. Our County officials have a statewide reputation for self-serving, selfish decision making that violates constitutional law.  
  10. The Elevent Circuit in Café Erotica v. St. Johns County360 F.3d 1274 (11th Cir. 2004) struck down our County's overbroad zoning regulation of a business owner's large billboard criticizing the County's code enforcement officer, Mr. James Acosta, as a "fat ass Barney Fife," one who allegedly cost our County thousands of dollars in "lost lawsuits" due to selective enforcement.
  11. Our First Amendment deserves "breathing space."  NAACP v. Button, 371 U.S. 415, 433 (1963) New York Times. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1974); Gasparinetti v. Kerr, 568 F.2d 311, 314-17 (3d Cir. 1977)(illegal restrictions on policemen’s First Amendment rights); Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc. v. Hepps, 479 767, 772, 777 (1986)(O’Connor, J.)(newspaper entitled to breathing space in defamation case); Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46, 52, 56 (1988) (Rehnquist, J.) (magazine parody of TV preacher entitled to breathing space); Keefe v. Ganeakos, 418 F.2d 359, 362 (1st Cir. 1969)(Aldrich, C.J.)(chilling effect on First Amendment by illegal suspension of teacher over sharing Atlantic Monthly article on Vietnam War); Parducci v. Rutland, 316 F.Supp. 352, 355, 357 (M.D. Ala 1970)(Johnson, C.J.)(chilling effect in illegal firing of English teacher over Kurt Vonnegut’s Welcome to the Monkey House.
  12. Despite constitutional law establishing that the First Amendment deserves "breathing space," Commissioner BLOCKER and other Tinpot Napoleons continue to show disrespect for dissent, chilling free speech rights.
  13. Supreme Court Justice Robert Houghwot Jackson, later our Nuremberg War Crimes prosecutor, wrote for the Supreme Court in the landmark flag salute case, "If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein." West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943).
  14. Supreme Court Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis wrote that our "government is the potent omnipresent teacher. For good or ill it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy." Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438 (1928)(Brandeis J., dissenting), dissent heeded and case overruled, Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967).
  15. So PERET PASS is simultaneously running Sheriff ROBRT HARDWICK's PR operation while running the re-election campaign of HARDWICK ally, Commissioner JEREMIAH RAY BLOCKER, who votes on BLOCKER's budget.
  17. You tell me.
  18. It's our money.
  19. Florida Statute 112,313 states in pertinent part:  

(6) MISUSE OF PUBLIC POSITION.—No public officer, employee of an agency, or local government attorney shall corruptly use or attempt to use his or her official position or any property or resource which may be within his or her trust, or perform his or her official duties, to secure a special privilege, benefit, or exemption for himself, herself, or others. This section shall not be construed to conflict with s. 104.31.
(a) No public officer or employee of an agency shall have or hold any employment or contractual relationship with any business entity or any agency which is subject to the regulation of, or is doing business with, an agency of which he or she is an officer or employee, excluding those organizations and their officers who, when acting in their official capacity, enter into or negotiate a collective bargaining contract with the state or any municipality, county, or other political subdivision of the state; nor shall an officer or employee of an agency have or hold any employment or contractual relationship that will create a continuing or frequently recurring conflict between his or her private interests and the performance of his or her public duties or that would impede the full and faithful discharge of his or her public duties.

20. The federal Hatch Act applies to local Sheriff's offices.  There's a guide to it on the website of the Florida Sheriff's Association.  Whether federal or state laws have been violated will be determined if the U.S. Office of Special Counsel or Florida Ethics Commission or Florida Elections Commission receive complaints.

21. I've asked Sheriff ROBERT HARDWICK for documents pertaining to his employee, HARDWICK campaign manager PERET PASS,  her blurred ethical lines, her personnel file, e-mail, work product, payroll, moonlighting approvals (if any) and legal reviews of her possible conflict of interest and appearance of impropriety,  No documents have been provided.  I've asked for an interview.  

22. The people's business must no longer be conducted in secret.  "Justice may not be done in a corner, nor in any covert manner."  1676 Fundamental Laws of West New Jersey, Chapter XXIII.

23.  The Washington Post's slogan is, "Democracy dies in darkness."  As James Madison wrote in his August 4, 1822 letter to W.T. Barry, "Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives. A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy or perhaps both."  Conflicts of interest must be scrupulously guarded against. See, e.g., United States v. Mississippi Valley Generating Co., 364 U.S. 520, 548 (1961)("the 'Dixon-Yates' case"), involving U.S. Tennessee Valley Authority and its investor-owned utility rivals and conflicts of interest in a proposed Memphis coal-fired powerplant), citing Matthew 6:24 -- "no [person] can serve two masters," holding that laws and rules preventing conflicts of interest are aimed "not only at dishonor but at conduct that tempts dishonor."   All conflict of interest laws are based upon Matthew 6:24 ("A man cannot serve two masters"), which the unanimous 1961 Supreme Court decision by Chief Justice Earl Warren found to be both a "moral principle" and a "maxim which is especially pertinent if one of the masters happens to be economic self-interest."  Id. 

24. The fact of the matter is that Ms. PERET PASS is apparently an experienced Florida Republican arachnid apparatchik who has worked for Republican politicians, including former Florida Speaker of the House and State Senator John Thrasher; U.S. Representative John Henry Rutherford, et al.   

25. Ms. PASS is a rising star among Young Republicans, having served in state and national Young Republican offices, including Chair of the Florida YRs and Vice Chair of the National YRs.

26. PERET PASS ran ROBERT HARDWICK's 's successful Sheriff's campaign 2019-2020.  Curiously, here is no campaign professional fee or salary payment disclosed for PERET PASS in HARDWICK's SoE reports.  But PERET PASS's Jacksonville-based PASS CONSULTING GROUP LLC  was paid 21% of HARDWICK's campaign spending -- at least $97,012.12 as part of the $460,525.00 campaign as follows, in twelve )12) tranches or payments, 2019-2021 -- see complete list here:

27. PERET PASS seamlessly moved to full-time job as spokesman for St. Johns County Sheriff ROBERT HARDWICK.  Is PERET PASS now  part of a permanent campaign run out of Hardwick's office? 

28. PERET PASS received most of the money that BLOCKER has spent to date in 2022 to run the re-election campaign of HARDWICK's best friend, ST. JOHNS COUNTY COMMISSIONER JEREMIAH RAY BLOCKER, who has an advanced degree from the University of Miami Law School in real estate development, 

29 . PASS's company has received the Lion's Share -- fully $35 802.58 of the $53,659.37. BLOCKER reports spending as of July 1, 2022, out of a total haul of $240,093.00.  
Here are  BLOCKER's Supervisor of Elections entries for her company:

9700 Phillips Highway Ste 104
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Mail, paper ads, and campaign cups
Expenditure Type

9700 Phillips Highway Ste 104
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Mail, Ads, and Data
Expenditure Type

30. It's "All In The Family" for our developer-driven St. Johns County political machine.  Jimmy Breslin wrote in his book on Watergate, How the Good Guys Finally Won, that the subtext of every local zoning ordinance is, "Bring Extra Money," e.g., for lawyers and lobbyists.  Is St. Johns County not unlike the Wild West, with low ethical and performance expectations, with developer witnesses rarely sworn under oath -- a poor excuse for a government with no legislative staff for individual Commissioners, with no ombudsman for county residents, with a supine County Commission that has no local ethics ordinance and which repeatedly refused to adopt a local lobbying disclosure ordinance?  Is St. Johns County a corrupt place, one where developers regularly meet directly with Commissioners in secret but currently legal "ex parte" meetings, which are not videotaped for the public record in zoning quasi-judicial hearings and Comprehensive Plan Amendments?

31. Pro-developer sentiments were emitted by a disgraced louche local lawman at the St. Augustine City Commission meeting on July 10, 2022, by former Sheriff and former SAPD Chief DAVID SHOAR, the author of the Michelle O'Connell homicide coverup, who legally changed his name from HOAR in 1994. (Sheriff DAVID SHOAR endorsed HARDWICK  twice, first for hiring as St. Augustine Beach Police Chief in 2013 and again for election as Sheriff in 2020.) 

32. After wasting most of his three minutes on vapid velleities, nimieties and gooberish pieties, slubberdugullion snollygoster ex-Sheriff DAVID S/HOAR oddly remarked that developers were getting a "bad rap!" Then the tatterdemalion termagant braggart started to say something silly about two of the biggest developers being locals.  But ex-Sheriff SHOAR ran out of time, the timer chimed, and SHOAR said he was unused to three minute time limits.  Then St. Augustine Mayor Tracy Wilson Upchurch said,, "You're done." To borrow a line from William F. Buckley, Jr., this made me want to grant Mayor and former state representative Tracy Upchurch "a plenary indulgence for all of his past sins." 

33. SHOAR once said at a League of women Voters meeting in St. Augustine Beach that developers were "very nice people," refusing to engage about the organized white collar criminal element destroying what we know and love here in St. Johns County, a/k/a "God's Country." This coverup artist, like predecessor Sheriff NEIL PERRY, was the developers' willing accomplice.  He probably needs a federal grand jury subpoena, as do louche lobbyists like THOMAS MARTIN FIORENTINO, JR., who lobbies for PARC GROUP, NOCATEE, St. Johns County, our Sheriff's Department, JEA, JTA, and other conflicting interests.

34. Our state and local governments must no longer wink at Russian investment. They must expose and freeze it, working with the Biden Administration.

35. No more rubber-stamped zoning approvals for massive tree-killing and wetland-killing and wildlife destruction, please.
No more willful. blindness of kleptocratic money-laundering here in St. Augustine, St. Augustine Beach and St. Johns County. 

35. Years ago, outnumbered St. Johns County Commission Chair Ben Rich, Sr. explained the kleptocratic overseas money coming into St. Augustine and St. Johns County.  Our County slept while money-launderers laid waste to our history and nature.  

37. One kakistocratic developer cheerleader, corrupt former St. Augustine Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR. was one of the few officials who ever answered my questions about corporate ownership, saying they were "private companies" and that it was "none of my business."  Other local officials just stare blankly, while tolerating the abuses of foreign-funded developers whom Chair Ben Rich, Sr. called "worse than any carpetbagger."

 38. "Regulatory capture" by large corporations and local developers like DAVID HUTSON, TRAVIS HUTSON, ROGER OSTEEN, LOUIS JOHN ARBIZZANI, DAVID BARTON CORNEAL, JAY McGARVEY, et al. bear responsibility for traffic delays, overcrowded schools, portable classrooms, xxxxx
39. Developers loathe environmental and civil rights laws, In 2016, they euchred St. Johns County Commissioners to voting 5-0 to allow PARC GROUP and NOCATEE to escape legal, contractual and ordinance obligations to provide 40 acres of affordable housing as part of their Planned Unit Development.  The County was paid $800,000 by the devious developers, who now scramble to provide affordable housing they long eschewed.

40. Are developer-directed politicians a stench in the nostrils of our Nation?  You tell me.  To developer puppets, in the words of St. Augustine Mayor Tracy Wilson Upchurch to ex-Sheriff DAVID SHOAR, "You're done." 

Footnote:  Foul, fetid, feculent Developer Puppets are everywhere in disrepute. In our neighboring Flagler County, one of the Commissioners was caught red-handed telling off policemen for catching him speeding, threatening their jobs and saying "I run the county,."  That Commissioner, JOE MULLINS, is a campaign contributor to one of my Republican opponents for the humble office of Anastasia Mosquito Control Commissioner of St. Johns County, where dodgy dark money forces spent $22,000 in 2020 sponsoring TV ads calling me "the biggest liberal in St. Johns County," depicting my head on the head of an insect, with buzzing in the background, asking tv viewers to "Tell Ed Slavin to Buzz Off."  In the words of Vice President Dan Quayle, "I wear their scorn as a badge of honor."

From LinkedIn, PERET PASS's bio:

Peret Pass

Peret Pass

President at Pass Consulting Group, LLC. 

Orange Park, Florida, United States500+ connections


Specialties: Grassroot campaigning, Marketing, Advertising, Direct Mail, Fundraising, Political Consulting, and Public Relations



  • President

    Pass Consulting Group, LLC. 

     - Present10 years 5 months

    Jacksonville, FL 

    Political Consulting Firm

  • Young Republican National Federation, Inc.

    Young Republican National Federation, Inc.

    4 years 1 month

    • Vice Chairman At Large

       - 2 years 1 month

    • Assistant Secretary

       - 2 years 1 month

  • Chairman

    Florida Federation of Young Republicans

     - 3 years 2 months

  • Independent Consultant

    Various Political Campaigns 

     - 6 years 1 month

    Jacksonville, Florida Area

  • Government Relations

    JEJ & Associates, Inc.

     - 3 years 9 months

    Tallahassee, Florida Area

  • Admin Assistant

    The Drummond Press, Inc.

     - less than a year

    During my time at The Drummond Press, I performed various office tasks, organized weekly estimating and management meetings, and assisted the President and executive branch of the company in what was needed.

  • Special Assistant to the Chairman

    The Duval County Republican Party

     - less than a year

    Jacksonville, Florida Area

  • Staffing Assistant

    ATS Services, Inc.

     - 2 years 3 months


  • French

    Limited working proficiency


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