Monday, November 06, 2023

ANNALS OF DeSANTISTAN: 3-2 GQP Vote Continues Developers' Deforestation Orgy in St. Johns County

Update: these three corporate cat's paws support overdevelopment in St. Johns County.  Unjust stewards of worker and environmental protection -- it's time for them to go! 

Clearcutting will continue unabated here in St. Johns County, thanks to three unjust stewards, double-minded puppets of devious developers.   See Jessica Clark's First Coast News story, here.
Watch video here:

Two of the three developer toadies were appointed by Governor RONALD DION DeSANTIS.  

Slouching toward the 2024 election, what rough beasts voted to defeat proposed tree protection laws?
  • Extremist rebarbative anti-LGBTQ Republican apparatchik ROY ALYRE ALAIMO, JR. (left), a former DeSANTIS Congressional staffer, was appointed County Commissioner by Governor RONALD DION DeSANTIS, who said in a press release ALAIMO's "business" is "ALAIMO STRATEGIES," a new LLC established days before the appointment.  ALAIMO has ignored my questions about his business. Recently ALAIMO said he wants to give developers more "tax incentives."  
  • SARAH ARNOLD (center) was appointed County Commissioner by Governor RONALD DION DeSANTIS; she was elected in a closed 2022 Republican Primary, with giant signs bragging on the DeSANTIS appointment, outspending better candidates like Charles Labanowski.
  • CHRISTIAN WHITEHURST (right) was elected in 2020 and his term expires in 2024.
Clearcutting developers are generous campaign contributors to St. Johns County's controlling Republicans and our former Congressman, RONALD DION DeSANTIS, a flailing presidential candidate who never did anything for our District, 2013-2018, while appearing on faux Fox News forty (40) times.

Owner of one of the fastest-growing real estate firms in the Nation, conflicted Developer-Senator 
TRAVIS JAMES HUTSON with newly elected cat's paw Commissioner, now Commission Chairman 
 CHRI$TIAN WHITEHUR$T and conflicted Republican Executive Committee Chair and DeSANTIS appointee as Clerk of Courts and Comptroller BRANDON J. PATTY, on election night 2020.

Developers' orgy of deforestation will continue, by 3-2 vote by our all-Republican Commissioners.  Three louche developer lapdogs voted against the tree ordinance discussion proposed by new Commissioner Krista Keating Joseph and seconded by Commissioner I. Henry Dean.   Supporting clearcutting developers were the usual suspects, these three uneducated developer cat's paws County Commission Chairman CHRISTIAN WHITEHURST, who has a business replacing watch batteries, and his pal, Vice Chair SARAH ARNOLD (neither one a college graduate), and newly appointed Commissioner ROY ALYRE ALAIMO, JR., who did go to college).  

100 countries have pledged to end deforestation by 2030.  But money-hungry developers still rule St. Johns County, a/k/a "God's Country," which developers are trying to turn into an unreasonable facsimile of Broward County, Florida or Richardson, Texas, the two places where misanthropic MICHAEL DAVID WANCHICK worked before he was County Administrator here, 2007-2019. Both sibilant Stepford Wife SARAH ARNOLD and supercilious homophobe ROY ALYRE ALAIMO, JR. are appointees of Florida Republican Governor RONALD DION DeSANTS, a presidential candidate.  ARNOLD was elected  in 2022.  Their machine's benefactors, large multinational corporate developers, landowners and their keiretsu, got another shot in the arm on Tuesday, after some 40 witnesses, mostly opposed to clear-cutting and tree killing.  Clearcutting regulations were rejected on a tense 3-2 vote in the St. Johns County Commission, after a limp, wimpy staff report, in putative response to Commissioner Krista Keating Joseph's fourteen-point initiative.      Opponents, including Commissioner WHITEHURST, used smear and fear tactics, suggesting that killing trees makes money and creates jobs, while protecting trees would cause economic hardship.  Chairman WHITEHURST, speaking de hors the record, even suggested the law would somehow violate the Bert J. Harris Private Property Protection Act.  Our orotund County Attorney, DAVID MICHAEL MIGUT, stayed silent, allowing the disinformation to be spewed. No economic analysis.  None.   No environmental impact report on the effects of clearcutting and overdevelopment on our wildlife, wetlands and way of life. Faster than a speeding dump truck, what we know and love about St. Johns County is being destroyed by clearcutting and overdevelopment.  Dozens of witnesses at the St. Johns County Commission meeting on October 17, 2023 testified eloquently about the destruction of wildlife and the willful heedless destruction of natural beauty.It was to no avail, as good 'ole boy slogans and shibboleths were spewed.  There was no economist testimony in support that protecting trees would hurt anyone's precious profits.  St. Johns County has a chief economist, but he did not testify: if he did, he'd have to agree that trees are beneficial. 

Rev. Dr.  Martin Luther King, Jr. called St. Johns County "the most lawless" place in America.  He was right in 1964, and he'd be right now.  A former St. Johns County Commission Chairman went to federal prison for bribery. The recently resigned St. Johns County Administrator, an unindicted coconspirator (Clerk E) in a federal bribery case, never had a background check and got the job without an application, and without considering any other candidates.

Since 2000, only Republicans have served on St. Johns County Commission, the result of 1998 gerrymandering, which eliminated two at-large seats and five single-member districts, while substituting five Commissioners from districts, elected County-wide.  Every single vote for overdevelopment was by Republican County Commissioners.

Three unqualified, other-directed St. Johns County Commissioners voted in lockstep.  As if afflicted by lockjaw, they couldn't say anything substantive in response to reform Commissioner Krista Keating Joseph's fourteen points. 

Our planet is being turned into a "piece of filth" by overdevelopment, pollution and human greed, as Pope Francis wrote in his encyclical, Laudato Si. 

Under one-party rule, Commissioners funded by developer-Senator TRAVIS JAMES HUTSON rule the County.

Our one-party rule County Commission has now continued the trend with their gutless 3-2 vote not to pursue tree protection laws in the face of deforestation by developers, led by developer-Senator TRAVIS JAMES HUTSON.   

Here in the county that includes St. Augustine , named for the African bishop and scholar, our putative County leader

Thanks to Commissioners Krista Keating Joseph and I. Henry Dean for their environmental stewardship.  

No thanks at all to developer-Senator TRAVIS HUTSON's three unctuous, nasty unjust stewards, former DeSANTIS Congressional staffer ROY ALYRE ALAIMO, Jr., whom DeSANTIS appointed to a vacant County Commission seat before Christmas in 2022, and the dupery duo of CHRISTIAN WHITEHURST and SARAH ARNOLD, whom DeSANTIS appointed to a vacant Commission seat in December 2021, both Christmas presents for halfwit half-a-billionaire developer-Senator TRAVIS JAMES HUTSON.

Like slavery, strip-mining, child labor, pollution and other substantive evils, deforestation  clearcutting is evil and must be ended.  

Remember when there were good Republicans, like Abraham Lincoln, who worked ceaselessly to abolish slavery?

Krista Keating Joseph and Henry Dean were right, listening to the people about our environmental crisis, almost Churchillian in their courage against the feculent fascist forces of environmental crimes.

Do developer-Senator TRAVIS JAMES HUTSON and other devious developers own and control our County Commissioners, or just  rent them?  You tell me.

At least two of our five Commissioners are listening to us, like British Prime Minister Sir Winston Spencer Churchill.    

We will halt hurtful tree-killing.  

As Pope Francis has said in 2015 and 2023, we face a global environmental crisis.

It is no time for HUTSON's hick hacks to malign our response.  Enough flummery, dupery and nincompoopery. 

My father volunteered for military service, the day after Pearl Harbor, in 1941, at age 28.

Today's deforestation is our generation's Pearl Harbor.,

We know what needs to be done.

Now. As President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, "Do not tell me it can't be done." 

As Churchill said, "We shall never surrender."

Be sure to watch Commissioners Arnold, Alaimo and Whitehurst in their sophistry. Disgraceful and disrespectful.  
They lack self-respect, making hollow arguments they don't believe in, benefitting their benefactors.  
They showed disrespect to Commissioner Joseph, whom we elected to take on overdevelopment.  Both Alaimo and Whitehurst must face the voters in 2024. Let's send them out door in 24.


Anonymous said...

They see housing prices are high and that means that most likely they can get more people who already have money to come here which is the only people they want here. And they'll continue to keep taxes low and create no extra jobs with that tax money to insure class structure stays essentially the same for decades to come. There is plenty of land here already uncleared but they don't want to do anything creative with the place and in general they've not done much planning and just let the county develop in a disorganized fashion. What they are doing now is catering to their cronies and people with money who they think they can keep in the Republican fold for years to come. Anything truly orderly and creative and innovative doesn't serve the conservative Republican agenda. Only much geographic, class, religious, and political division keeps the GOP valid. Expensive ant colonies in SJC keeps the GOP in business in a myriad of ways.

Anonymous said...

Ed you have summed up the situation quite nicely. It is very, very sad to see government not of the people and not for the people in St. Johns County.

Rodney Highsmith said...

If you can get past “Republicans bad, Democrats good”, you might be surprised to find out how many registered republicans AND DeSantis supporters agree with your position. When you constantly couch your arguments in political terms, you lose people who agree with your original premise. It might be intellectually pleasurable, but the facts aren’t on your side. Conservatives are, by their very nature, against development and supportive of environmental responsibility. Your demonization of “Good ole boys” undermines your argument Ed, and reduces it to “us smart transplants VS them dumb rednecks”

Ed Slavin said...

Some of my best friends are Republican. Don't consider myself a "transplant" and I don't consider "good-ole-boy" to be anything but the self-descriptive term used by the other-directed officials who in quo, may be registered Republicans but are in truth and in fact unjust stewards of our environment. Not conservative at all. Longtime City of St. Augustine City Manager WILLIAM.BARRY HARRISS dumped a landfill in a lake and then said he'd done "nothing wrong." Exposing his works and pomps was bipartisan, like everything we've done here since we moved to St. Augustine on November 5, 1999.