Thursday, June 12, 2008

Alachua's C.A.P.'s: Myth & Make Believe?

Stafford Jones, Executive Director of the Alachua County Republican Executive Community insists that members of the ALA, the chief opposition movement in Alachua are nothing more than loons and discounts any notion of a neighborhood watch that operates by shadowing the APD - Alachua Police Department.

Still, piecing together comments by the opposition, between the Grapski documentary, ocmments to the High Springs Herald, and at public functions, it seems that someone or something, be it CAP's, cops, or 'snitch squads' may be using police elements keep a lid on an organization that once controlled the City Government that today they fear has turned grossly against them.

I continue to investigate.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Alachua's Alleged CAP's

I've been hearing about a small group of concerned citizens in the City of Alachua, Fl for nearly a year. Even when I lived in Florida, I attended several Alachua City Commission meetings and spoke with several top leaders of that City's government, prominent citizens, and even the largely marginalized opposition.

Alachua is the town made famous by political scientist and theorist Charles Grapski and his struggle to oust a city regime he believes to be corrupt. But aside from his legal battles, Grapski has risen to the top of the city's most powerful opposition movement, the Alachua Leadership Alliance, an organization that once boasted of two hawkish Commissioners and control of the City Government. Although largely a point of contention today, embattled City Manager and Grapski nemesis, Clovis Watson, could not have secured his key post without the backing of the now [arguably] defunct ALA.

I was always amused by just how many rumors were born in the small town just ten miles north of Gainesville and just how quickly they spread all over Florida. In fact, Governor Jeb Bush appointed the current Mayor, Madam Jean Calderwood to her post some years ago, and today she enjoys her post for the third time (two of which were won by electoral means).

But one rumor that's always kind of stuck with me is the one pertaining to ALA houses being staked out, their vehicles being tailed, their phones bugged, and their mail & trash being dissected. One alleged member of the Alachua CAP's is Hal Brady, a man key members of the ALA claim drives through their communities reporting suspicious activities to APD. This rumor was received in early 2007, this was the first of many.

Through 2007 and as recent as June 9th 2008, CAP-related emails have been sent into my inbox, claiming the group now boasts of moonlighting-APD officers and thanks to a "expanded budget" are now using rental cars to further throw off the ALA.

Hugh "Bud" Calderwood, a prominent Alachua political activist and husband of Mayor Jean Calderwood told that: "the Canney's live on a busy street that hundreds of people drive by daily," and categorically denied allegations that ALA Homes were being watched.

But rumors abound and in a city with as much development as Alachua, some believe that local business and the City Government would turn a blind eye to an a group like C.A.P., so long as it remained as it arguably has, quiet and largely invisible. Still, activists like Grapski, Canney, McCoy, Rothseiden, et. al. are marked for their political and denying at least that, would be highly unfair - of anyone in the game at this point.

Others claim that the C.A.P.'s will become more visible with the departure of the city's police chief. It was believed that Jernigan was one city official not on board with the idea of tolerating any kind of autonomous neighborhood watch program. As you see with this video the Guardian Angels, such groups have always been greeted by skepticism and even contempt by local police departments. Given the fact that Grapski forced a tense showdown between APD and the Alachua County Sheriffs Office, led by Democrat & Grapski-pal Sadie Darnell ( a showdown that forced both chiefs to later dialogue ), Jernigan was probably in no way, shape, or form willing to relinquish further control of Alachua's security to anyone but his men and women in blue.

The last CAP-related email contained details of a "completed Rob Luna dossier" allegedly
"to be handed over at the Maude's Cafe", a coffee shop in downtown Gainesville. Question, who would they hand this alleged set of documents to, in Gainesville?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Charles Grapski's Shocking eMail!

Alachua activist & former UF Professor Charles Grapski is fending off criminal charges and waging legal battles of his own against the City of Alachua,FL, on myriad of issues. Grapski, a self-proclaimed member of the Alachua County Republican Party, recently submitted this letter to fellow Alachua activist, albeit a political rival, Hugh "Bud" Calderwood. Grapski was asked to confirm whether said email was in fact his work, but both requests were met with silence.

Sent: 5/17/2008 2:06:20 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: Sorry you couldn't make it to Tallahassee

I can't wait to see the 'spin' you and your 'little buddy' Boukari try and make of this '“ but you did not fair very well before the Elections Commission today. Nor, exactly, did your co-conspirator Harold Wise and thereby on two counts your little venture coordinated with Stafford Jones is headed down for a big whopping defeat. And perhaps more. I believe that on the basis of what I have in evidence from the result of the investigation of the Election Commission into your charges that I have a few charges to bring against you '“ either to the Election's Commission or perhaps straight to a more 'tougher' court of law (after all one of the charges under Chapter 106 resulting from your filing a charge against me '“ is not merely an FEC issue but is one in which you may face criminal liability ('too bad, so sad' I think is a little phrase you recently used).

But I was truly disappointed by the failure to see your smarmy face as your allegations were torn apart and your evidence shown to be a sham. You, and your little ventriloquist dummy of a wife whereby you vicariously 'act' as if you were a political official, or in your view a (amateur at best '“ but with the same standards of scruples and ethics (an utter absence thereof)) 'the Karl Rove' of Alachua (or as you would think of yourself and your compatriots '“ the 'political geniuses' that you clearly are not).

Please come to the next one. I'd love to see your face when they dismiss ALL of your charges. Today they took the first step. The 'investigative staff' of the Commission, which is somewhat independent of the Commission itself (the actual authorities), deems themselves as if they are your advocates. Not exactly their actual role '“ but they are as misinformed about law and politics (and their jobs) as are your wife and her common-bed-fellows in Alachua (not to mention the completely clueless Mr. Watson).

While the chair correctly concluded, by law, that 3 of the 4 counts that the Commission staff recommended to find probable cause (out of nine '“ from which they 'extended' your original four) needed to be dismissed for lack of probable cause (2 and 3 as not being in the scope of your actual complaint '“ and therefore legally prohibited from being considered) and the fourth (your attempt to make an issue of the Canney check) was, by law, not a violation.

Unfortunately one other Commissioner added back 2 and 3 '“ although this ignored the Chair's ruling (and he, by the way, is an actual judge '“ and it appears a pretty competent and knowledgeable one '“ unlike your shill Roundtree) that these are not within the legal authority of the Commission to hear because they were not in your complaint but made up by the Commission to 'try' and add charges (and to try and strengthen your pathetically weak complaint '“ which, by the way, was a sworn statement containing lies (otherwise known as 'perjury' in the legal world – so WATCH OUT Mr. C '“ you are setting yourself up for a BIG FALL '¦ and don't even recognize that you are your own worst enemy '“ and that you respond to my actions PERFECTLY within the 'strategic' world-view that I am operating under (I have no problem telling you what I am doing openly and up front '“ you are naive and stupid to actually 'get it' anyway) in such a way that it is what YOU do, not what I do directly (I guess your actions are indirect consequences thereof though), is what is going to bring down YOU and all of your corrupt little buddies and the nice little scam/farce that you have set up in Alachua.

So they had to agree with me that of the four complaints you filed – numbers 1, 2, and 3 were not legally sufficient within the jurisdiction of the elections commission – and so they went 'bye bye'. And thus we were left with number 4. And that contained two actual issues '“ although you did not seem to understand that and wrote them as one (a really weakly worded filing '“ you should have asked your buddy Marian to write it for you '“ although she is no legal “mind†of note '“ she does have the ability to 'write' legal motions that, at least on the surface (if one does not actually know the law), APPEAR to be properly formulated. And thus the second part of number 4 of your complaint '“ about Canney's check '“ well it too went 'bye bye'.

This left the first part of that (what you referred to as the G1 and G2 reports '“ of course no such statutorily enacted report goes by such references '“ but I conceded to the Commission that I would recognize that as the 'spirit' of what is contained in that statute and would grant that, for 'probable cause' purposes (which has nothing to do with the actual evidence – although I got a good bit of that in there too) '“ it could be moved on to the next, evidentiary, step.

But one of the Commissioners wanted 'actual proof' that your wife and her compatriots declared themselves the victors and disqualified all the challengers '“ even though they had some evidence. I was, legally, precluded from providing that in yesterday's hearing. But I did inform their staff what they should have gotten. And although they did not thoroughly investigate '“ and thus did not obtain that '“ the investigator had to admit, indeed, that this is what the evidence she had in her investigation showed.

So I simply have to prove (not exactly hard) at the next hearing that the City disqualified me (not to mention all the other challengers) and declared your little Misses elected without challenge (you chicken '“ couldn't face that possibility of her being resoundingly defeated a SECOND TIME could you) '“ and those three will also be thrown out, not really on an evidentiary hearing, but on the lack of probable cause. If we got beyond that to the evidentiary hearing '“ it was clear that you would also lose (and lose in an embarrassing way).

Unfortunately I was kind of hoping that I would not have prevailed so strongly in your case '“ but would have the staff try and move this on '“ and send it to the Office of Administrative Hearings to be heard in FULL TRIAL before an Administrative Law Judge. I SOOOOOO wanted to depose you and put you and your little wife on the stand. And in this case '“ I have chosen to represent myself '“ and believe me, Prof. Little goes 'lightly' (although very 'wisely' and 'sufficiently') on witnesses '“ I would have reveled in the ability to tear you a new (or a few new) rectum. Oh how I relished that chance. And to put Henderson and Watson on the stand too – now that would have been fun.

Technically it's still a possibility. I could fail to provide the evidence at the next hearing of the disqualifications and the cancellation of the election (an act that no 'reasonable' person could look at and not wonder '“ just what in the world were those idiots thinking! And they are public officials!!) And then we could go to the Administrative Court. Heck '“ I could just file a motion right now to do just that. And put you in the cross-hairs of my examination. You may think little of me and that I know not what I am doing (but that is really you trying to use wishful thinking to prop up the ***** you have created as a world view).

I do get this opportunity with Mr. Wise. And well, while I really don't need to put him on to testify, I think I will at least depose him and have him testify as to what he was up to and how he got into this case. Oh that should be a doosy. But the real issues going there are not so much about the charges that he brought (one of which was dismissed) the other was allowed to go past the 'probable cause' stage (although I made one error today '“ that had a I caught on to in time '“ would have, according to the chair's statements, pretty much ended that farcical charge (and you guys make claims to 'frivolous' lawsuits) '“ but unfortunately I did not. I will rectify the record in writing on that point '“ which I think, whether the Commission will then reconsider it on that basis, or whether that issue goes to the Administrive Law Judge '“ will be sufficient to end the process (but it is about the wrongdoing of your little misguided allies doing the 'investigation' (thinking they are supposed to investigate as if they were your advocates '“ and try and win at any cost (like Mr. Cervone and Mr. Fleck '“ who are equally ignorant of their actual proper role in their positions of public service for the judicial branch of government)).

But as a result, it looks like Mr. Wise just may be in for more trouble than he expected when Stafford conned him into being his shill in this, as the result of this is going to likely lead to a decision awarding costs '“ and those costs just may be (as the judge acting as chair himself pointed out) quite hefty. I think when I dismiss your claims '“ I can make an argument for costs against you too. Probably will. What they heck '“ I love the idea of you funding my next legal venture into exposing the corruption of which you are a central player '“ I should. But you should be happy that at that level you will have more of a chance of getting away with much of that '“ particularly since I have not really incurred too much expense '“ whereas going to the Administrative Hearings court '“ now then, in your case, we would be talking about probably $40,000-$50,000 that I could have the Court award me for your 'frivolous' (not just that '“ but legally INSUFFICIENT '“ as well as factually 'incorrect' (my polite way of saying your deliberate lies and deceptions contained therein) foray down this path. And Oh how I reveled in that opportunity. No matter '“ you will soon be receiving notification of you and your wife being charged with some major serious civil offenses and I think that the outcome of that will be punishment enough for your little escapades and deals.

I just figured I'd drop you a line '“ before you got notice of what happened '“ and without trying to understand it fully (only trying to find a way to spin it through the Boukari Bunch '“ who have no journalistic training (formal or informal) and thus wouldn't know how to 'analyze' the crap you shovel to them and they so willingly put in print (another practice that just may be leading to their own demise legally '“ with some very defamatory statements that they have been notified of printing '¦ you see, unlike in the days of Diana and Tamara, with their anonymous and not-so anonymous propaganda attacks on behalf of the City's controlling 'cabal'(your little group of 'friends'), I do not stand still for these and do take action under the law. And do it well. As does Prof. Little who you are so eager to verbally discredit (only showing those who may even 'like' or 'associate' with you how ignorant and naive you are '“ as Prof. Little's reputation with REPUBATABLE lawyers is quite high. Yes, I know Fleck and Cervone don't like him (but then again '“ they don't like that he won't play their game, which they confuse as 'the law,' and actually approaches law from an informed and well-read UNDERSTANDING of the ACTUAL point and purpose of law and its proceedings and rules) and I know Robert Rush hates him (I'm sure that goes double for his munchkin sized sister (you decide whether I refer to her physical attributes or whether this is a reference to her brain) '“ but that is because Rush likes the 'image' he works so hard to foster as a 'lawyer for the people' and a 'good one' at that. Good, perhaps, in the case victories (usually against criminals in public service '“ ironically the fact that he is the attorney representing the crimes of those officials in Alachua which has rendered his 'reputation' in legal circles the OPPOSITE of that image he had worked so hard to foster) '“ and going up against Little only frustrates him (he can't just play his little 'lawyering' games but has to try and get to the same level of LEGAL knowledge as that of Prof. Little) because it shows just how LITTLE of the law Mr. Rush actually knows and understand.

But thanks for the opportunity to expose the 2007 election fraud. Again '“ it would have been much better had I not been so successful yesterday with the Commission. A full administrative law hearing would have entailed a hearing on the FACTS of that incredibly illegal and unethical farce of a process '“ and thus would have been placing the City on the stand effectively as a defendant '“ to defend those indefensible actions. And oh how that video would make good you tube viewing. By the way '“ you'll be able to watch yesterday's hearings there as soon as I post that online '“ as I was able to get the Commission to allow my videotaping of the proceedings. But now there is a RECORD being created '“ in Tallahassee (not in a puppet like Roundtree's court room) '“ of what YOU, your WIFE, and the others did to try and ensure her victory UNOPPOSED. Heck '“ perhaps I may just consider a nice federal lawsuit '“ denying a person an opportunity to run for office (particularly when your wife was the direct beneficiary) '“ now that is not looked upon kindly by the federal courts '“ even under your fuhrer (the german word for leader) Mr. Bush's judiciary '“ and then again '“ by the time that gets to court '“ well, no matter what, there will be a new president. And I suspect the Justice Department of the United States government will be re-strengthened.

Get ready Mr. Calderwood. The battles have really only just begun. And you, by your own arrogant and naive actions, have only provided me the basis upon which to directly tie YOU into this war as a full-fledged defendant whose culpability and liability can very easily be proved. Just remember, in the end, and as you ponder whether you really wanted all of this hassle '“ it was you, and you alone, who put your foot into this '“ and as it will very likely turns out '“ will have thereby inserted it deep into your throat (and perhaps far enough to come out the end for which you really believed you were putting it up in my case).

If you have read this far (probably not) just think about this: you are, in effect, a CHILD (in mind at least) '“ particularly when it comes to the political (not only your view '“ the 'game' of winning; but also, and more importantly, in my view '“ the philosophical) and when it comes to the legal spheres. Keep thinking I am all those things you believe '“ and say. It is only reinforcing your willingness to step right into the traps that I so 'openly' (and without trying to disguise or camouflage) walk right into.

You should have stuck to Veterinary Medicince '“ or at least the anesthesiology aspect (as I have heard you were not too good at the actual 'full doctor' part '“ and boy have I heard some stories from former 'patients' (well, their owners) of how incompetent and rude they found you to be. I never met a Veterinarian who would be described in the manner your former clients have spoken of you '“ and I have known and worked with all kinds of Vets '“ from some of the best to the more average (the only one I can consider being below average '“ well, he was the OWNER of the hospital, but suffered a stroke and really wasn't with all of his faculties. So he was limited to coming in on Thursday '“ and the policy was to schedule no visits on Thursday '“ although, and that was embarrassing those few times, some people INSISTED on having the 'doctor' look at their pet THAT DAY. So he would immediately get his finger cot and put it you know where (for any and every animal '“ even one coming in for ear mites! He had a reason – that was his stroke. But did you too have this pattern, perhaps, this 'fetish'?) Also was embarrassing would be when we would try and get any shots to be given in the back, on those days, rather than in the exam room '“ so that they could be performed by us Techs rather than the Old Doc. I remember one demanding woman who insisted on having the Doctor administer it in her presence. Luckily I and another tech saw the stream of medicine as it squirted out the other side of the dog's skin '“ for the Old Doc had put it through one end and OUT the other '“ and sort of had it squirt into our underarms. Only to convince the woman to let us get the dog in the back for some 'cleaning up' and 'perfume' (she liked that) and were able to actually re-administer the medication.

From the stories I have heard '“ your practice was about on a part of competence as those Thursday's were. And there are many ANGRY people out their that accuse you of actually having 'killed' their pets through your incompetence. Maybe that's why you feel so at home with the Watson's (and yes '“ you viciously attacked him and his appointment despite your historical revision to try and make sense of the love-fest you have for the man now), the Calderwoods (oops '“ your one of them), the Coerpers and Burgesses. Not to mention that genius of Repubican strategy '“ Stafford Jones. You know, a prominent Republic Executive Committee member (and friend of mine '“ hmm. Now how could that be. Maybe, again, that is how I get the info of what you guys are doing '“ because you are doing it with several people who LIKE and ADMIRE me and CONFIDE in me about what you are up to), I think he may have been the one who gave ME the REC phone and membership list '“ well, he mentioned that Stafford was up for election, and '“ as I am a Registered Republican '“ he asked if I (yes '“ if I) would consider challenging Stafford for the chair. Now that was a promising suggestion in so many ways. But I doubt I would do it '“ I'd hate the job. But you never know. Maybe if a few others on that Committee who I know (and although they don't tell you '“ am friends with) '“ and a few others with influence in that sphere '“ encouraged the idea '“ I would do it. But then again '“ at the local level '“ do I really want to see a competently run REC? Perhaps it is better to have Stafford. As much as he is far better than Travis Horne '“ as a person '“ amazingly enough he did a worse job directing the Committee. Now that was a shock to many. Even me.

But then again you seem to have given him delusions of grandeur by somehow convincing him to attach his wagon to that of Clovis '“ the idea of having some 'Great Black Hope' that would get all the Alachua County African American vote to switch Republican. That's a hoot. What were the results of the poll Stafford commission to see if Clovis could beat (as he thought he had the 'best chance' of doing so) Sadie in the next election. Way to go. I just wish he hadn't done the poll and gone on to run Clovis. Now that would have been entertaining. And revealing.

Oh well '“ just a friendly note since I don't see your grimaced face much these days '“ after all I am a 'terrorist' who is likely to have a Columbine style reaction and must not be allowed at City Hall '“ or at the Police Station '“ for that matter '“ because you truly fear your lives. Yet your irrational fear '“ coming from someone whose only weapons have been my voice or my pen (and behind that my knowledge and understanding) '“ suggests that it is perhaps you and your compatriots who ought to get some psychological counseling.

Any way '“ good day. So Hi to the wife for me. Hope she is well. After all I know how taxing it is on her little brain to have to be Mayor again '“ all that hard work. Oh well '“ no need to learn the laws or read the actual bases for proposals (or dig a little to find out) '“ when you just have someone pulling Watson's strings directing her and the other four bobble-heads which way to bobble '“ horizontally or vertically.

Thanks for the entertainment. I haven't had more fun 'playments' since the days of the actual sandbox. You provide me an opportunity to at least challenge you in the sandbox you have created as if it were a 'government.' But I have matured beyond the 'rules of the sandbox' and know those 'adult' concepts. You stick to repeating what you hear others tell you is the truth '“ even though they are just your sandbox buddies.

G'night my friend. Its good to have a sparring partner to help prepare me, one day, to go into the bigger battles in the bigger rings. After all '“ sparring partners let you react to their reactions '“ but hardly even inflict any significant blows (let alone wounds). Keep existing in dreamland - your self-designed world-view that makes it all OK '“ it makes my job a heck of a lot easier. Not as intellectually challenging (in the sense of a 'real' legal battle '“ testing two reasonably good but competing arguments or theories) but at least still a chance at intellectual sparring for practice. And you have encouraged me to sharpen my 'informal logical' skills to more quickly identify the fallacies which abound in your public statements (or those you make anonymously). That's another utility I have found with you and your comrades as sparring partners.

Good not, and good luck '“ as Walter Winchell and now Keith Olberman say. I know you listen to (and follow as a guru) Mr. O'Reilly. But I think you will find quite a parallel in the 'sparring' Olberman does with Bush and O'Really as I engage in with you pack of political misfits.
"Charlie is an ill person in need of medical attention. He may have a multiple personality disorder. For instance, he has insisted, numerous times, that he is a registered Republican, but no voter file has ever shown him, as such.

The current voter file has him as a Democrat registered at Michael Canney’s address, and there is no prominent person on the REC asking him to run for chair or communicating with him. I do believe that some dimension of his personality believes these things are true, though."

Stafford Jones
Alachua County REC

Grapski, who some speculate dares not engage Stafford Jones in debate, could not be reached for comment in two separate emailings. I, for one, hope Charlie will respond to this shocking letter - anywhere.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Meyer Apology & Halloween!


Let's start off with this bogus apology. Andrew Meyer was no doubt watching out for his future by apologizing for an arrest that had many across the country and around the world in shock! Some screamed 'excessive force', others believed Meyer was dealt with properly and applauded Machen's shock troops silencing an otherwise obnoxious event-goer. I myself, who normally support law enforcement, felt the officers jumped the proverbial gun and acted highly suspect. My video response to the tasering shot to #22 on for two days and has received over 120,000 views.

But if it were solely about the incident and the apology, I suppose I would be less weary. However, there was plenty that went on in the meantime. For starters, the student body, under the watchful guidance of Progress Party officials, organized a rally to call for awareness on the matter. The student body president at UF, Ryan Moseley, was blatantly used by the System as an instrument with which to quell student anger -- most blatantly. Moseley met protesters almost at the steps of UPD...a student shield held firmly by University brass. How lovely. We should also thank Student Government's Kim Cruts and the rest of the Propaganda Gang that package a highly glossy, finely tuned SG package to the vastly oblivious student body.

A rubber stamp committee formed at the 11th hour by Machen and timed immediately after elections in which Machen's pet, Ryan Moseley's Gator Party all but swept, was formed and almost anyone with half a sense of campus politics knew the outcome before the gavel hit kicking off the body's round of investigations. In typical UF style, President Machen had full veto powers and could reject any finding the committee reached by majority, at WILL. With student members picked by Moseley, faculty fearful of losing their jobs (e.g. Charles Grapski, the last known faculty member to stand up to Machen), and a student body largely fearful of UPD reprisals...the committee was doomed from conception. apology from Meyer is hardly newsworthy or thought-provoking. Still, we're talking about it, so the System must be happy. We must continue to voice opposition to the abuse of police powers, the re-evaluation of the taser as part of campus police arsenals, AND the mismanagement of ACCENT -- one of the best-funded student-led campus organizations at the University of Florida.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Republican Leader Blames Grapski, Canney

In a telephone conversation early Saturday morning, Stafford Jones, Executive Director of the Alachua County Republican Committee alleged that Charles Grapski (alleged leader of the Alachua Leadership Alliance) and Michael Canney had hacked into his Party's website and released case-sensitive information about its members. This information included private residential addresses and exposes members of the Republican Party to potential danger, according to Executive Director Jones.

Grapski, a self-proclaimed registered Republican, has made numerous threats according to Jones, of storming into Party meetings and attempting to piece together a fictitious relationship between Jones & Alachua City Manager Clovis Watson. Meanwhile, Republican brass claim they have IP#'s that they can pin to Grapski & Canney and that lawsuit and/or criminal charges on this case may be imminent, as early as Monday morning.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Inside Christian Duque's Head

Southern Sounding @ Times

Listening to Chip Morris everyday, dating southern girls, & listening to country here and there, sometimes this Hispanic-American transplant from Miami that loves rural Alachua county towns -- sounds country (lol).

If you didn't hear the video, let me reiterate for the upteenth time, this post is about the election (not '06). I was able to most of the election stuff off my chest, but there's still a bit more. I'm really interested in hearing from Charlie, Mr. Jones, Mr. Calderwood, Mr. Canney, Mr. Dupont, Ms. McCoy, Ms. Kenyon, & others on the following point:

  • With the precedent set by the ACSO at the Rec Center, could we see more interventions like this in the future? Sources from ACSO tell me that even if the "Rec Center" wasn't in unincorporated county area, they could effectively go anywhere in the county incorporated or unincorporated and take charge. When Grapski is arrested at the City Commission (an instance of inappropriate police force by Mayor Calderwood), Charlie tells Michael [Canney] to call the Sheriff's office."
  • If somehow Charlie could file papers (e.g. a restraining order), or something outlandish against the city and could somehow warrant the presence of a member of the ACSO at a City Commission meeting, then effectively protecting him from unlawful detainment by APD under orders of the Commission, then what means of recourse would the COA/APD have? -- Yes it's crackpot, but can ya blame me? I mean precedent has now been set at the Rec. Center and APD stood down.
    Grapski/AC =1, COA/APD = 0.

  • (2006 Election) Clovis Watson has said the City will govern in the Sunshine. My question is, what files have been requested by Charlie that have not been rendered. File names please.

  • I would like to someone to explain what the ALA is. I welcome explanations from both sides. Please don't refer me to a website though, I'd like to read introspective explanations, opinons, etc.

  • Excellent Letter from Eileen McCoy. I would like to learn more about Tamara Robbins time on the commission, is there anywhere I can obtain videos or minutes? I'm very intrigued by her and would like to learn more. I have her phone number in my files somwhere and will probably call her tomorrow at some point.

  • Charlie called and left a message, I also saw his posts on Ala-Chua. I'm grateful that he'll speak with me, I was tied up today, posting and then running out to run errands and hit the gym, but I'll definitely try and call one of these days.

  • Again congrats to Mayor Calderwood (a nice lady) & Commissioner Burgess (a reserved, but professional leader). Congrats to Charlie for securing 20%+ and solidifying himself as a candidate by widening the parameters of his crusade to start including key issues to the citizens of Alachua. His arrest truly made my stomach turn, but my feelings on that have been well-documented. Also want to send HUGE congrats and praise to Michael Perkins: bravo to you for coming clean about your past, bravo to you for running for office, bravo to you for finding the Lord, caring about your community, and standing for probably the hardest race of all, not the Establishment-candidate, not the radical-candidate, but the middle-of-the-road, political new-comer looking to do good. Very proud of you Mr. Perkins.

Also, I plan on keeping an open mind on the Alachua County Today and hope to hear from Mr. Boukari real soon. Anytime I stick my foot in my mouth, realize I don't call myself "The OUtsider" for nothin. As many of you will come to find out, I tend to wear my feelings on my sleeve and I tend to think with my heart a little too often, meaning that I get very passionate about my beliefs.

While I know there folks that can easily manipulate others politically, I know that in the 60's many political organizations manipulated entire audiences through such modes of defiance as passive resistance, human-chains, and sit-ins. When I see charlie being hauled off and I hear the officer that tells him not to kick, part of me wants to go through the police academy and get hired, just so I can open up a can of whoop-ass on that officer. Then on the other hand, I try to rationalize the situation and think to myself what must have been going through that officer's mind at the time. Then I think, Charlie passively resisted on word of his attorney and on the documentary him and Mr. Miller are laughing at it, similar to the court exchange with Robert Rush, then I wonder if perhaps any of this was scripted, then I feel confused, feel like a moron, and try to think about something else just so I won't think I'm feeble-minded.

Talk about being honest. I'm no rocket-scientist folks, that I'll readily admit. I offer you an inside look into what's on my mind. I'm a peace-loving, vegetarian giant, but I do tend to think with my heart and that's not always the best hat to wear.

Take Care.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Charlie Grapski: Alachua Activist

TR: Congratutions on the charges having been dropped. Although the papers hinted at the possiblity that the state might re-file charges against you, do you think this woud be a likely course of action for them?

CG: The original prosecution itself was highly problematic. The statute (934.03) is very clear. This is not a statute which prohibits recording of people's conversation - it outlaws the "interception" of SOME communications (but not all). Interception does not require recording, the mere HEARING of such a conversation can be as unlawful under this statute as the recording.

The Constitution (both U.S. and Florida) are also clear in this case. This is an issue of the right to privacy (protected under the U.S.Constitution and the 4th Amendment). In order to violate this law, you have to have an expectation to privacy that is violated, and that expectation has to be reasonable. In this case Watson never had a reasonable expectation of privacy. But it is far worse. He did not even have a subjective expectation (he did not himself believe he was NOT being recorded) of privacy. Indeed you can listen to the audio of our conversation for which he arrested me on the Defense Committee site( and you can read a transcript there as well.

What you will see there should shock any member of the public - not
just because Clovis arrested me over this; but because the State Attorney had this audio recording in their possession from the first day and KNEW that there was no violation of the law - yet they prosecuted me for the past six months until I forced their hand with my right to a speedy trial.

To determine whether a violation of this law occurred there is a two-pronged test of the right to privacy (see Katz v. U.S. in the U.S. Supreme Court). 1) Did the individual have a subjective expectation of privacy? (Did he believe he/she was in a situation in which they had taken sufficient and responsible steps to be in a situation in which they could believe that their communication was private)? Clovis Watson met with me in his office with his door open and another member of the public there. There is sworn testimony from other City officials that they overheard portions of our conversation. The recorder was in plain sight the entire time. And indeed before Watson even arrived the issue of the recording was well known in City Hall as the Deputy Clerk, Alan Henderson,was told he was being recorded. So clearly this is not a case of a subjective expectation of privacy.

2) Was that expectation reasonable? To determine this it has to be an OBJECTIVE expectation of privacy - in other words - one that is publicly recognized. Clearly this is not a case where the public recognizes a right to privacy. And there is ample case law in Florida to state that in a business office, unlike one's home, one would not have an expectation of privacy in such a situation. Thus, if I went into a business, and SECRETLY recorded a conversation, meaning without the knowledge of the person whose office it was (although it was a conversation with myself and not my hiding a recording device and capturing that person's communications with others), I would not be in violation of this law. So how could Watson (and Cervone) claim he had a right to privacy in a public office that a private businessman would not have?

In this case it gets worse. In Florida, the Constitution (Article I, Section 24) establishes the right of the public to observe and participate in all aspects of their government. This is where the Sunshine Laws come from. And there are three key statutory aspects that make up the statutory enactments of the Sunshine Law: 1. The Ethics Law (Chapter 112); 2. The Public Records Law (Chapter 119); and 3. The Open Meetings Law (Chapter 286). The sum of the Constitutional language and that of these statutes makes it clear that the public, in Florida, is not ready to recognize any right to privacy of a public official WHEN acting AS a public official doing the public's business. That individual is acting, then, as a public servant and in the sole interests of the public. Thus it is clear that Watson had no expectation of privacy that was violated in this case.

Yet it was prosecuted by the State Attorney. Why should be the question that is being asked by the public.

And the answers that are possible are very troubling. I will only elaborate on one, the one that the State Attorney publicly put forward in Court. Geoffrey Fleck, the prosecutor for the State Attorney's office, stated in response to an argument that Joe Little began discussing one of my three motions to dismiss with, that Clovis Watson, a public official, has a GREATER expectation of privacy than a private citizen.

Think about that.

Little argued the obverse case: What if I, the private citizen, went into Watson's office and spoke with him and he secretly (without my knowledge or consent) recorded me? And what if in that conversation I admitted to a crime?

How would the Court and the State Attorney view my pleading that my right, as a private citizen, to privacy was violated by the secret recording and thus that the recorded evidence was inadmissable in court?

We know, because there is case law on this one too, and they would say that I, as a private citizen, had no expectation of privacy in that situation.

Yet the obverse, according to the State Attorney, is not true. In the State Attorney's mind the public, the people, have FEWER rights than officials, public servants.

That is the definition of an authoritarian, not democratic, system of government.

Further making this prosecution problematic is the legal theory that the State Attorney is using as the basis of his approach to law enforcement. According to the State Attorney, if there is no case law PERMITTING a private individual to do something, the assumption is that it is legally PROHIBITED.

That turns American jurisprudence on its head. And it is the definition of an authoritarian legal system, not a democratic one. In America, you are innocent until proven guilty, under the law. But not according to the State Attorney. The assumption is guilt. And it matters not whether the legislature has enacted a statute positively prohibiting an act - if the Court's have not recognized a positive right to perform the act - the State Attorney is assuming it is unlawful.

This is an incredible abuse of power by the State.

So, with that background, let me get to the question - which was about ADDITIONAL felony wiretapping charges.

This gets even more interesting. After Clovis Watson arrested me (May 1st) the State Attorney knew how BAD a case they were handed. Rather than dropping the case, as they should have, they instead tried to force me into a position of weakness in order to get me to make a deal (and they offered me several deals).

To do this they went to two other City of Alachua officials and SOLICITED their filing additional sworn complaints against me.

They then threatened me with these felony charges, in addition to the original, and expected me to cave in to their deals.

The ironic thing is that these two potential cases are even WEAKER than the one with Watson. But the State Attorney, again, is ignoring the actual statute and instead working with what certain public officials DESIRE to be the law (a law that insulates them from public scrutiny and the ability to be held to account for their actions as public servants).

One case was that of Alan Henderson. Henderson, the Deputy Clerk, started this whole fiasco off on April 28th when he, as the City's public records custodian, refused to comply with Florida's public records law in providing me documents relevant to my investigation into fraud and misconduct in the conduct of the absentee ballot portion of the April 11th City election.

After I was released from jail I went back to City Hall to complete the inspection of those records which I was in the process of when Watson arrested me.

Unexpectedly, after an hour of my work, Henderson walked up to me and asked if I was recording him. He knew I was because I publicly stated that I would record ALL of my transactions with the City. Furthermore he watched me place the recording device (a second one - my other one is still in the possession of the State Attorney) on the table when I began my work and watched me dictate notes into it during that hour.

But the State Attorney had arranged for him to try and "set up" a criminal charge under their distorted theory of the law. He walked up to me, asked if I was recording him, and I responded saying yes, that he knew I was recording him, that he had been notified of that, and he could see I was, and that I had a right to record him as a public official and as I was in a public building.

He then demanded that I turn the recorder off. The State's theory being that he has an absolute right to NOT be recorded without his consent. And thus that right entails his right to demand a recorder be turned off in his presence. It does not.

I stated to him I would not turn off the recorder. He stated at that time that he did not want to be recorded. I then stated to him that I had not asked him to speak with me and he was free to remain silent. But that if he wished to speak he would do so knowing my recorder was on.

And then he chose to speak. And the reason he wanted the recorder turned off became apparent. He was terminating my right to inspect those records again before it was completed. He had no legal authority to make such an arbitrary decision. But he did - and I got it on record.

So the State is threatening me with a felony charge for this one.

The second one is even weaker than that. In that case, on the recording made with Watson on the 28th of April, in the background you can hear the business of City Hall going on. And at one point, Watson's assistant Tara Henderson is overheard talking with Eileen McCoy (who was with me at the time) about her weight. Its one sentence.

She spoke loudly enough to be heard in another office, and thus by anyone at City Hall, and thus was picked up on my recording. She clearly had no expectation that this communication would be private (again this is the basis of this law - it is not a law against recording, but against the invasion of privacy through the "interception" of a communication that you would not be privy to without the use of some extra device to hear the communication (i.e. bionic ears)).

But this is what the State Attorney thinks is their best case. Its actually their weakest of all. But Geoffrey Fleck stated to me, in the presence of Bill Cervone, the week before the trial that they intended on prosecuting me for that charge if I did not agree to a deal that kept this from going to trial. He stated, at that time, and I quote: Don't view our [the State Attorney] offering you a deferred prosecution [for the Clovis case] as a sign of weakness. You don't want me [Fleck] to try you on a charge of recording a fat woman discuss her weight problems without her knowledge when I fill the jury full of fat women.

To that I responded, and again I quote, that: If you bring that charge you will be a laughing stock.

So here is where we are currently.

Immediately after the judge dismiss the case, in less than ten minutes, upon one of my three motions to dismiss - I spoke with Spencer Mann of the State Attorney's office.

Spencer Mann has been a problematic actor from the start in this saga. He is from Alachua and is a political actor more than a law enforcement actor. His official role in the State Attorney's office is that he is their PR guy. But he is technically listed as an "investigator" for his pay grade - but he is not an attorney.

Mann, who personally had possession of my recorder since May 4th (also problematic), stated that I could retrieve my property immediately from his office now that the case was dismissed.

Before I got there, however, while I was being interviewed by the Gainesville Sun, I received a phone call from Mann. He stated that the State Attorney's office was going to deny the return of my property and he stated that they were considering pursuing the other charges.

Since then I have made numerous written inquiries and demands for the return of the evidence. Mann stated that he could not do that as they were considering further prosecution. I asked him to put that in writing. He refused. He stated that the person who was requiring the recorder be withheld and was looking into further prosecution was Geoffrey Fleck and that he was not going to be available until Monday (this past Monday). He said he would inquire with him at that time.

On Monday I contacted him and he said he would get back to me. It took three days for me to get a response - at which time he stated that it was Bill Cervone who was ordering the withholding of the recorder and maintaining the posture of pursuing further criminal charges.

I have in writing an email from Cervone stating that they are still viewing one of the cases referred to above (I belive the Tara Henderson case) as active and thus were withholding that evidence for that case.

I then made a demand for the return of that evidence as well as an extensive public records request of his office.

Currently I will be meeting with Cervone this coming Monday to review the records I requested and to discuss the return of my recorder. His email to me evaded the actual issue of further prosecution, other than to say we would "discuss that matter," on Monday.

I am currently actively pursuing the State Attorney to either "put up or shut up." I will not allow them to drag this out multiple months as they did the prior case.

If they want to charge me I am ready and willing for them to book me into jail and file the charges formally. I will defend myself against these charges again, prevail, and in the process expose further the very serious problems we have not only in Alachua and Alachua County - but the entire Eighth Judicial Circuit (that is six counties - within which Cervone is the highest law enforcement official).

Thus I am currently taking whatever steps I can to force their hand one way or the other on this. If they want a trial - I am ready to give them one. But if they were smart they would drop it. And if they were honest actors, in their public capacity, they would drop it. The ball is in their court. But I am ready to play, with the confidence of victory, if they choose to continue the game.

TR: Now that the charges against you have been dropped are you still 'outlawed' from the City of Alachua? And more importantly do you remain banned from the City of Alachua Commission? Have you considered going there to let them know of the good news? LOL

CG: The "outlaw" status (I was banned from anywhere in the City limits and prohibited from contact with any City official) was directly connected to the Watson charge. It was imposed on me as a condition of my release without bond - after the City and State Attorney attempted to have me re-arrested and re-jailed several times.

The very concept again is absurd in a democratic country and an extreme violation of my rights (and those of others).

However, the moment the case was dismissed, so were the restrictions.

Thus I immediately went for lunch on Main Street in Alachua just after the case was dismissed.

And I was at the first City Commission meeting thereafter - and I addressed the Commission about further wrongdoings in the City of Alachua that night.

The work in Alachua has just begun. And it has implications well beyond this one small North Florida town.

We need to prove to Americans, once again, that they are citizens - not subjects. And therefore we have to prove to them that you CAN fight City Hall.

TR: What reactions do you have to the loss of Ed Jennings? Does this loss highlight the successes of what has been called 'Operation Red' or was this an isolated race?

CG: Operation Red, or the attempt to turn Alachua County into a Republican stronghold by strategically taking over the small towns in the County around Gainesville with the money of big box corporations and land developers along with a strategy of recruiting "leaders" within the African American community (i.e. Clovis Watson) to bring the African American vote to the Republicans and away from the Democrats is a very real undertaking. And a very problematic one from many perspectives.

And it did have some impact on the Jennings race, but I think a very minor impact in the end. There was a concerted effort to take a few "prominent" African-Americans and use them to try and convince the majority of African-American voters to vote Republican. I don't think it had much success if any.

There are other factors that were more significant in that race, I believe. First of all you have to remember that this was a State Senate race. And that means it involved far more than just Alachua County voters. Jennings was not well known outside of his House district (the seat that I was originally seeking). And he is not strongly supported by the more progressive Democrats - although they did vote for him in the end in this race. Oelrich, on the other hand, had wider name recognition as Sheriff.

But I think the major factor was money. And here is where the Republican Party and things like "Operation Red" come in. The State Republican party poured money into that race. They were determined to win that seat for the Republicans (although Rod Smith was hardly a staunch opponent to the Republicans, in terms of policy rather than party, as the Democrat in that seat. Don't forget Rod identified himself with the "New Democrats" and the "Moderate Democrats" (two phrases meant to suggest, without saying,"Conservative Democrats").

And Oelrich bombarded the public with TV ads on every channel ever fifteen minutes and not just one high color glossy mailing a day but often two or three a day (and even a poster sized mailout, I kid you not).

I think this money, and thus the advertising, was the biggest factor in that election.

And it was an extremely negative race. And while Jennings came back in the end with a few negative retorts, the primary negativity (and it was often viscious although distortive in the facts) came from Oelrich.

Indeed this is one reason I think many of the progressive Democrats eventually voted for Jennings rather than leaving that race unmarked (which I know was the original plan of many).

But it just was not enough. Remember also that although that seat was held by a Democrat, Rod Smith, unlike District 23 in the House (which is over 60% Democrat), that Senate district contains a large portion of rural areas.

It was never an easy race for Jennings. But in the end I think it was money that won it for Oelrich. And it was money that was poured in by the State Republican machine to win that seat.

TR: You have commented in regards to offers made by the State to your legal defense team; now that the charges filed by the State have been dropped, do you expect to receive or has legal defense team already made or received contact from Clovis Watson's and/or City of Alachua legal counsel. in regards to your law suit(s) involving the disputed [fradulent] election?

CG: I was personally approached by the State Attorney numerous times over the last six months to make deals instead of being prosecuted. I turned them all down.

The first one was basically if I agree not to prosecute Watson in civil court for his false arrest and detention that the State would drop all of the charges against me including that one. I turned it down.

The last one, the week before the trial, excluded that provision (although Geoffrey Fleck tried to persuade me that the only person I could sue civilly was Watson when he realized that I saw the City as a potential defendant as well) of not prosecuting Watson (or anyone).

It was a deferred prosecution. And it was without supervision and without any fees or community service that normally come with this. I turned it down too.

Why would I make a deal when I did nothing wrong? I gave them the opportunity to save face by dropping the charges. They refused.

Since the case was dismissed I have not been approached by attorneys for either the City or Watson. I did not expect to be.

However, as of last week, I filed a notice of intent to sue - which was required since one of the defendants that I am suing is a municipality (the State gives itself extra protections and rights than it gives private individuals) - and thus began the offensive phase of this case.

The intent to sue named the following as defendants: the City of Alachua, Clovis Watson (personally), Jean Calderwood, Mayor (personally), Alan Henderson, Deputy Clerk (personally), and Tara Henderson, Assistant to Watson (personally). It also stated that other City officials may be added as defendants during the discovery phase (and I suspect that this will be likely).

That is where we are at now. There also has to be some consideration of legal action against the State Attorney's office for malicious prosecution. But that is a matter for another day. With limited resources I have to take one step at a time.

TR: What would you like to say my readers, your supporters at this time?

CG: Good question. This case, along with numerous other events at the local, state, and national level of politics, should send a warning signal to all Americans that something has gone very wrong in our legal and political system.

The law and political power are being used by those in offices of public trust - not for the public interest, but for the interest of those in office and a few who help them maintain that office.

We have a right, in America, to be treated like citizens rather than subjects. And we have an obligation, as citizens, to hold public agencies and officials to account.

In Florida we have some of the strongest tools, at the State level, to make this a reality. The Sunshine Laws of this state - including the three named above (the Ethics Law, the Public Records Law, and the Open Meetings Law) - are potentially effective tools if we choose to use them.

However, our general ignorance of these laws and our passive acceptance of authority have tended to erode them in practice. And now they are under attack - not only from the judiciary, but even from the legislature.

The time has come for us to bring the people back into American politics. And the best place to start is locally. It is where you have the most power. It is where you can be the most effective. And the tools do exist for this to happen here in Florida.

Furthermore, corruption does not begin in Washington D.C.. It is rooted in local politics. It is where it is learned. It is its foundation.

But it is also where you, the individual citizen, can effectively challenge it.

Think about it this way: If we cannot clean up and restore democracy to a small town like Alachua; what chance do we have for the nation? But - if we can fix Alachua (or any small town) then we have proven that we do have the power as individual citizens, that we can fight City Hall and win, and that we can restore democracy to America - even if we have to start off one city at a time.

Look at it this way as well - there is no better classroom to learn how to deal with our national problems than the local political arena.

And remember this: in a democracy - the highest office is that of a citizen.

You should never accept being treated as anything less - particularly by public officials (public servants).

You can fight City Hall. And one person can make a difference.

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