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Here’s The Scoop “How The Sausage Was Made” part 3

“HOW THE SAUSAGE WAS MADE”…..and BEYOND…

A CAMPAIGN HELD HOSTAGE

Early on in the campaign for Commissioners and Mayor of LBTS…we were informed by the BTSTimes Editor MacMillan and wife that they would not be interested in being included in any campaign committee… just as they were not members of the CIC… at that time….in order to maintain their “independence”…

Of course it was merely to continue the “perception” of independence …due to the couple’s long time involvement and the expectation to be more than involved… to be in control of everything…whether it was the campaign… the choice of candidates…the candidates themselves or the CIC organization…….

The MacMillans were regular members of the “pizza night” group … the group itself originated in the BTSTimes office… when ….it was decided …along with this writer that ….since the Old Guard had “poker night”…we should do the same…

It was Eva MacMillan who insisted we tell all it was just “pizza night”…… a night for friends to get together and socialize…as not to raise any antennae ….or have anyone not included…. feel excluded…..or ask too many questions….

We had quite a few meetings…in the offices of the BTSTimes…structuring a way to move forth going up against the Mayor and the Old Guard……before…during…and after pizza night became routine….

Stuart Dodd and this writer along with the few Stu asked to participate in his campaign committee…thought we should honor the MacMillan’s decision…stupidly thinking they meant what they said…. quite the opposite……..was true….

They wanted to be “ground zero” running the campaign from their BTSTimes office…deciding what the candidates would say…how they would look…what they would call themselves…who would run for what position… getting rid of one candidate for another of their choosing…….who they could and could not speak to in the press……what their political positions should and should not be……..who would be chair of the CIC during the campaign…… whether the paper would continue to carry CIC ads……candidate’s ads and opinion pieces….or endorse the candidates at all….unless the CIC site was shut down……

This desire to control….. the CIC and the newly elected commissioners….continues to this day…

The CIC Website….

The CIC website was brought to the table at a pizza night…

The decision to initiate a CIC website..was due to the lack of the BTSTimes going out …..with the pending August vacation period….. multiple occasions the paper was not delivered throughout the town………and BTSTimes “News Flashes”……experiencing extended months of no news alerts going out on the internet……..while watching the opposition …the OG candidates benefit on both fronts……from the Futures….

Cristie and Marc Furth worked day and night to get the official site up….working with this writer…and others…to have a forum to offer the candidates a way to get their CIC platforms out to the public….to compete….

At the launching……hours before the site would be open to the public… a final look was offered for comments …..additions…or deletions…. at yet another pizza night…resulting in the only negative comments coming from Maureen McIntee and Eva MacMillan…the inclusion of the OG commissioners and the Mayor with their contact information being on a CIC site….

That was it….

The site proved an asset…with the numbers growing daily…..enjoying quite a following….. producing only joyous …positive feedback…from CIC members and others….

New additions were added….some were ideas that came from this writer…and had previously been offered up the the Editor and wife…when this writer voluntarily wrote…proofed and helped out at their paper…

No longer writing for the BTSTimes…I turned my attention to the CIC site….as was my right…as a private citizen…that never signed any contract for the Times… writing only as a volunteer….

The “green-eyed” “competitor paper” monster …was rearing its ugly head at the BTSTimes paper…and suddenly the CIC site….was in MacMillan’s eyes…..”a news site”…. “competition” ……and needed to be terminated at all costs….

Thus an e-mail…( the first of many)….came from the MacMillans….remove the BTSTimes name…get rid of the “scoops”…and cut the site down to nothing….purely a historical site of the CIC…and CIC mundane updates…such as meeting times….or else…..

There would be NO ads would be in the BTSTimes paper….NO candidates would be in the BTSTimes paper….NO endorsements would come from the BTSTimes paper!….

Eva MacMillan…even went so far as to hold the new CIC slogan…. hostage….

At a pizza night we all came with ideas for a new slogan….we chose Eva’s…although it was “tweaked” a little from other members…. “Working toward progress while respecting tradition”….

We were told …if we did not shut down the site…we could not use “Eva’s slogan”…for the CIC….including a new banner with the new CIC slogan printed on it….NICE!

Marc and Cristie Furth…along with this writer… Dodd and Clottey….and a few others…already on the outs with McIntees and MacMillans…previous post….stood our ground….for a relatively short time….becoming increasingly shaky…. due to continued “warnings’ of the “consequences”….from a former Mayor and his wife/ a technical advising adjunct-CIC board member/McIntee and others who feared without the BTSTimes…the CIC would lose….

We ( the campaign committee) seriously thought we could win without the paper…if push came to shove….looking at mobilizing volunteers to get the information out door to door….believing in “freedom of the speech”….for a while…

The decision came down….from Cristie Furth….”HOLD YOUR NOSE!”… the CIC site was essentially killed………..the MacMillans….. had won…..

The CIC site down…the Furths went back to writing and contributing to the BTS Times….a look online to this day…shows the same “dormant site”….that went down the drain…due to the MacMillan’s control….SAD!..

Note….www.lbtscic.com

shows just how much everything has changed….

The Candidates…

Stuart Dodd was set to run for commission from the south end of town….MacMillan tried to pressure Dodd to take the mayoral spot….to no avail……..even after the name of L. Peanuts Wick was introduced…as more than an independent candidate…being pushed to be the CIC endorsed candidate by McIntee……previous post…

MacMillan was never “sold” on Birute Clottey…he thought she would never stand up to win against Clark…and undermined her repeatedly…

MacMillan would call for meetings at the BTSTimes…and not invite Birute…although it was known …she was to be the candidate from the north….who was fully involved in the campaign committee…just waiting for the right time to announce…

He was looking elsewhere…he felt she would “weigh the other candidates down”….

After two such meetings with her exclusion…Stuart Dodd informed MacMillan…he would not attend another one without Dr Clottey being included……..

Right before Stuart was to officially announce at a CIC meeting…MacMillan went even further in an attempt to control the CIC candidates….by finding a replacement for Clottey….

Depending on who you talk to…an agent for MacMillan’s real estate company was now going to run from the north end…..he was either enlisted to run by both MacMillan and McIntee or MacMillan alone early on…. and did not have any desire….at that time…changing his mind…or implored once again..due to MacMillan’s not wanting Dr. Clottey to be the CIC candidate…

What proceeded after this was quite a mess…with MacMillan wanting Clottey to step aside….asking Dodd to do the “deed”….Dodd refused…..

The fallout….frightening for a while…. we…the campaign committee…thought due to MacMillan’s…actions…both CIC candidates would walk….leaving us with no one…..for no one else…despite the massive efforts of the M & Ms on quite a few occasions…were willing to run…..

Thankfully….. Stuart went ahead and announced….with the newly “on board” MacMillan candidate in the crowd at the meeting that night……. Birute came also…her head held high….now willing to be “pushed aside” in such a manner……..

This CIC member chosen by MacMillan…ultimately had a short-lived pre-candidacy…after he made the decision to go to a meeting put on by the “competitor” Future’s editors…with a new organization….”Unite Our Town”….his attendance lead to a “fall-out” afterwards……. from those not allowed into the event…….. he chose to walk away….

This writer called the gentleman……to offer that he had already answered the required CIC questionnaire….and if he was having any second thoughts…he should come to the CIC meeting for a possible CIC endorsement… Birute Clottey was informed of the call…and the reason behind it….as the CIC vice chair…it was my “duty” to make such a democratic offer…she fully understood….

Dr. Clottey…went forward…and despite repeated “attempts” to rewrite history….knew the part the MacMillans had played….in trying to “thwart” her candidacy….

Not done with her yet….MacMillan on numerous occasions….in this writer’s opinion…. “crossed the line” …in his mission to control……..

MacMillan wanted Dr Clottey to call herself “Betty” …to “Americanize” her name….

MacMillan wanted her to be “a grandmother”…play down her academic achievements…not refer to her as “Dr.”…

Stuart Dodd faced much the same….even having to “fight off” MacMillan who wanted him to step aside as chair of the CIC…while running….no matter what “revised history” after the” probable cause” found in June 2008…by the Florida Ethics Committee….for McIntee….the motive for the directive to step down from MacMillan and McIntee…at the time….was to take full control…in yet another attempt…of both the CIC and the campaign…”divide and conquer”….Dodd and his campaign committee…who continued to differ from the M & Ms….

The candidates were told early on…by MacMillan….NO answering the questions from other local papers….or face the consequences of…….NO more coverage in the BTSTimes….previous post…

The candidates were called…e-mailed…or “dressed down” repeatedly in person…over what they were doing….who they were listening to…and what their political positions were ….if they disagreed with MacMillans’…on the Palm Club….. fire assessments….fire protection….and more…….

The MacMillans exclaimed that it was Eva MacMillan who “won” the election for these candidates….by changing the minds of voters at Assumption Church on election day…despite the election number stats showing otherwise…and of course the new commissioners “owed” their success to the BTSTimes…all else was discounted from their point of view….

Election night…was more of the same….previously posted….

After the election….still….the attempts to control…continued…previously posted….

Stuart Dodd …. called “traitor by” the BTSTimes Editor/CIC Citizen of the Year….culminating in the 7/25 /08 BTSTimes paper….”Scorched Earth” edition…. walked away….

His fate….may just be as the MacMillans had promised…..

No more will he be in the BTSTimes….

No more can he be held….. hostage…..

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