Here is the tale of the tape just one month from the November general election.
Volusia County Chair Race – Campaign Contributions (as of 9/30/2020):
Jeff “Plan B” Brower: $60,692.31
Dishonest Deb Denys: $180,030.00
For a Volusia County Chair race?
It is called Return on Investment – and a classic example of our pay to play system that no longer serves those who cannot afford a chip in the game. . .
It also buys a lot of glossy mailers, sent to our homes from something called Volusia Citizens for Good Governance, insinuating that Jeff Brower wants to cut funding for law enforcement – which is a bald-faced lie – demonstrably so, since Mr. Brower enjoys the support and endorsement of both the Volusia Deputies Association and Volusia Professional Firefighters Association.
The fact is, Mr. Brower said, if elected, he would seek a 5% budget reduction – excluding funding for public safety.
Oh, did I mention that Volusia Citizens for Good Governance is a Political Action Committee that lists Deb Denys as its Chairperson and Eric Robinson as Treasurer?
Mr. Robinson is a Venice, Florida accountant and political operative who likes to call himself “The Prince of Darkness” for his role as the ‘money man’ behind scores of Florida political campaigns.
As Sarasota Magazine said of Mr. Robinson in a 2017 piece, “Several of those campaigns tarred opponents in mailers with false accusations and hid the names of donors, often land developers and other wealthy businessmen, behind patriotic-sounding, made-up groups such as “Stand for Veterans” and “Working Together for Florida.”
Did I mention that Mr. Robinson is currently being investigated for “potential election criminal misconduct,” in a Sarasota City Commission race?
Because he is. . .
You can read all about it here: https://tinyurl.com/y7jg9975
Look, Ms. Denys may be getting desperate, but her collusion with an out-of-town political hitman concerns me – and it should scare the hell out of her long-suffering constituents.
Earlier this week, I wrote a ditty about the unusually contentious nature of the Volusia County Chair contest between Jeff Brower, a gentleman farmer from DeLeon Springs, and incumbent Councilwoman Deb Denys – the “developers darling” and a perennial politician who has had eight-years to stimulate positive change from the dais – yet, did little more than protect the status quo and position herself for another bite at the apple.
On Tuesday, The Daytona Beach News-Journal’s Casmira Harrison wrote a thoughtful piece examining the stark differences between Brower and Denys, which included a telling interview which exposed just how uninspired and lethargic Dishonest Deb has become – and exemplified her carefully cultivated ability to contort the facts to obscure her abysmal record.
For instance, Ms. Denys has no problem accepting some $19,000 from our High Panjandrum of Political Power, Mortenza “Mori” Hosseini – who sits at the pinnacle of Florida powerbrokers – a prolific real estate developer who is actively carpeting large areas of east Volusia County.
In a revealing July 2020 piece by News-Journal reporter Mark Harper, we got a glimpse of the darker side of the federally backed Payroll Protection Program, something that left many wondering why Ms. Denys would openly accept contributions from a company actively accepting public funds ostensibly to preserve local jobs.
According to Mr. Harper’s excellent report:
“But some businesses associated with other powerful, elite business magnates in Daytona Beach did apply for and receive the loans. These include five businesses affiliated with Mori Hosseini, including ICI Homes Residential Holdings LLC. The businesses borrowed between $3 million and $7.7 million to help protect 354 jobs in real estate, development, golf course and property management.”
In addition, Ms. Harrison’s report indicates Mr. Hosseini’s company received some $20,000 in a federal grant administered by Volusia County for personal protective equipment. . .
Now, I don’t care if Mr. Hosseini – or anyone else – takes advantage of a relief program to ensure continuity of operations and keep hundreds of our neighbors employed if that is the only option available – but when I see some of the very same corporate entities that are being buoyed by PPP loans handing over massive donations to the campaign account of his hand-select candidate for public office – that rubs many in our community wrong.
But not Dishonest Deb.
According to her response during a joint radio appearance on WNDB’s Marc Bernier Show, she dismissed the fluorescent connection between public funds and private contributions, saying:
“One has nothing to do with the other,” said Denys. “We don’t approve it. It doesn’t go through Council; it goes through staff.”
Bullshit. Tell me again who’s minding the store?
The article went on to point out a few of Dishonest Deb’s other illustrious supporters – including our loopy County Chair, Ed Kelley, who over the last four-years has emerged as the befuddled poster boy for piss-poor governance – a discombobulated shill for the same uber-wealthy insiders that shower Ms. Denys campaign with cash as a means of maintaining their lucrative spot at the public trough.
Perhaps most telling was when the candidates were thrown the softball question, “Name a leader — preferably one here in Volusia County, but it can be anyone — whose leadership style you’d hope to emulate should you be the one voters choose as county chair?”
Now, Ms. Denys could have chosen the inspirational leadership traits of anyone – from Indira Gandhi to Shemp Howard – but she was honestly stumped!
Dishonest Deb could not formulate an extemporaneous answer to the equivalent of What’s your favorite color?
I think I know why.
After eight-years on the Volusia County Council, being told what to do, and when to do it, Ms. Denys has lost the capacity to think for herself.
Having been led around with all the grace of an odd-toed ungulate with a ring in its nose by her powerful overseers – clearly, Dishonest Deb has evolved past the point of independent thought – and lost the ability to articulate a cogent and effective leadership strategy – beyond a “patchwork” of how best to facilitate the wants of the Fun Coast Ruling Class.
In my view, it speaks to how the arrogance of power invariably results in civic detachment, a hubristic brain-crust formed during nearly a decade on the dais of power – with absolutely nothing to show for it – beyond the glaring disconnect between her record, and the needs, wants and dreams of long-suffering Volusia County families who deserve better.
Please vote Jeff Brower.