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

Donna Melzer

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:

WHY –  Why did Hobe Grove simply delay their approvals to shortly after the election of three Commissioners? Hobe Grove is the proposed western sprawl towns; remember that Harmony withdrew their application.

WHY –  Why did a Tallahassee Electioneering group that can avoid the contribution limits – named “Committee to Protect Florida” – recently run ads in theStuart News for Patrick Hayes and ran a telephone “push-poll” that was slantedto urge votes for county commission candidates Doug Smith, Brandon Tucker andPatrick Hayes?   Why did the Committee received contributions of  —

$30,000 from Becker Groves, original owners and now managers with Hobe Grove;

$500 from Jack Carmody, lawyer for Hobe Grove;

$500 from Clifford and Sharon Burg (Mr. Burg is the retired partner of Otto DiVosta, developer of Harmony).

$500 Get Unified Now PAC, Inc., whose officers and most contributors are affiliated with Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart, Mr. Carmody’s law firm (Hobe Grove attorney).   $1000 from Sun Corn Inc(Big Sugar family Fanjuls)  – Big Sugar own thousands of agricultural acres in western Martin County.

WHY – Why did seven people in Georgia contribute $3,500 to each Smith, Hayes and Tucker. Two, John and Patti Driver,  Alpharetta retirees with records of arrests on gambling charges? Other Georgians who gave to the three, who often vote together to ease the way for developers, include  “a helicopter charter service operator, an auto leasing and and restaurant entrepreneur and an employee leasing company operator who relinquished his Florida license after a string of complaints and fines levied by Florida’s Department of business and Professional Regulation.”

WHY – Why did 11 limited liability companies with the same address at 4500 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL all associated with convicted horse killer George Lindemann Jr., give thousands ($500 maximum for most) to Smith, Hayes and Tucker?   Commissioners Hayes and Smith and candidate Mr. Tucker received, respectively, 4 checks, 10 checks and 9 hecks for $500 each. Clerk candidate Ciampi has received 10 checks for $500 each.*

WHY – 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.*

*Their opponents — Anne Scott, John Haddox, Henry Copeland, Tom Fullman and Carolyn Timman — received the majority of their campaign contributions from local donors.

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