Must-read: ‘Only in Florida: Battle over water, free speech pits billionaire vs. activist’

From The Tampa Bay Times: “This is a story about free speech, government secrecy and a fight over tens of millions in taxpayer funds. The players include a billionaire who once had a hit man kill his horse, two politicians charged with breaking the Sunshine Law and former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno’s sister … Click here to read more

Florida Politics: Maggy Hurchalla’s free speech right just cost her millions

“The slappee is a 77-year-old grandmother, a prominent Florida environmentalist, a sister of the late Janet Reno. Now, after expressing her rights of free speech in opposing a land development, Maggy Hurchalla is on the hook for $4,391,708 in a court-ordered judgment. The slapper is the scion of a family of multibillionaires, a developer who reshaped a proposed polo community into a dusty rock pit, a fellow with a penchant for litigation and also a criminal record … Click here to read more

Palm Beach Post: How a government agency is trying to stop residents demanding records

From The Palm Beach Post: “…The legal drama is likely escalated by the rancorous history between the water management district, Martin County, Hurchalla and Lake Point, which is co-owned by the deep-pocketed George Lindemann Jr., an heir to a cellphone and cable TV fortune. Lindemann, a former Wellington resident and one-time Olympic equestrian hopeful, remains dogged by a 1996 prison sentence of 33 months for hiring a hit man to electrocute his show horse … Click here to read more

Martin County’s drama for our times: The George Lindemann Jr. lawsuit against Maggy Hurchalla

From Eye on Miami: “We’ve written at length about Maggy Hurchalla as one of Florida’s heroes. Today Hurchalla finds herself finally with her day in court as defendant at the point of a long running lawsuit by Miami developer George Lindemann Jr. This saga has all the elements of a morality play for our times. A woman tilting at the windmills … Click here to read more

Controversial key player in Lake Point project donated heavily to Martin candidates

The son of George Lindemann Sr., reported by Fortune magazine to have a net worth of $2.2 billion, George Lindemann Jr. gained national prominence in the early 1990s as an equestrian with Olympic aspirations. He made headlines when he received a 33-month prison sentence in January 1996 after his conviction in federal court in Chicago for fraudulent insurance claims on a show horse he ordered killed. In Martin County, Lindemann Jr. is known for the controversial Lake Point project in southwestern Martin, and his campaign contributions to five pro-business candidates for countywide office since 2008, reports TCPalm. … Click here to read more

The important questions for pro-developer Martin County candidates in August 14 Primary election

Civic activist and attorney Donna Melzer asks the important questions concerning campaign contributions to pro-developer Martin County candidates on the August 14 Primary election ballot. For example: “Why did out-of-state and out-of-county contributors make up more than 55 percent of Mr. Hayes’ campaign chest, 40 percent of Mr. Smith’s, 70 percent of Mr. Tucker’s and 49 percent of Mr. Ciampi’s.” … Click here to read more

Shocking campaign finance reports: felons, out-of-county / out-of-state donors, questionable expenditures, and a Segway(?)

The most recent campaign finance reports for Martin County candidates have been culled by local attorney Virginia Sherlock, and many shocking contributions and expenditures have been found. Some of the outrageous items include contributions from eleven limited liability companies located at 4500 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, all associated with George Lindemann, Jr., who went to federal prison for electrocuting his show horse Charisma to collect insurance money; those donors contributing heavily to the Martin County campaigns of Ed Ciampi, Doug Smith, Brandon Tucker and Patrick Hayes. … Click here to read more