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Florida Democratic Party Desperate To Maintain Seminole County House Seats

bob cortes, scott plakon, karen castor dentel, mike clelland, florida democratic party, florida democrats, seminole county post, seminole county news, news seminole county, jacob engels,

Democratic State Representatives Mike Clelland & Karen Castor Dentel sit idly by while the Florida Democratic Party sends inherently false mailers to voters savaging their opponents.


By Jacob Engels


During this time of year, people can be sure of two-things - seeing girls running around with Pumpkin Spice Lattes and receiving a piece of political mail almost daily in their mailboxes. In recent weeks, the Florida Democratic Party has deluged the mailboxes of voters residing in two Seminole County area legislative contests - the Scott Plakon vs. Mike Clelland & Bob Cortes vs. Karen Castor Dentel races. The problem with the mail pieces? They are COMPLETE BS. You see, the Democratic Party won these two seats in the historically conservative Seminole County in 2012 on Obama's coattails, and it seems they intend on doing anything they can to retain them in 2014 - even if it means lying to voters. Let's examine some of the themes in the campaign literature sent by FDP attacking Scott Plakon & Bob Cortes.


Scott Plakon Hearts Insurance Companies --


In this mail piece, the Florida Democratic Party makes it seem like their is some Machiavellian scheme between Scott Plakon & "Big Insurance" to hike rates. This could not be further from the truth.


Analysis -- For starters, Less than 5% of Plakon’s campaign funds are from the insurance industry and the overwhelming majority of those are from local agents that assist our neighbors. The truth is Scott voted to put in place an emergency rate review process for citizens insurance, a government subsidized entity, to protect taxpayers. Without the ability for rates to be adjusted taxpayers in Seminole County would be subsidizing millionaires beachfront vacation homes.


Seminole County Post declares this mailer FALSE.


Scott Plakon Forced Longwood Elementary School To Close --


Here, the state Democratic party attempts to blame Scott Plakon for single handily closing Longwood Elementary School along with accusing him of giving control of local schools to Tallahassee power brokers. Yet again, the Florida Democratic Party is caught peddling feeble minded propaganda - not facts.


Analysis -- Florida had to deal with the aftermath of a global economic meltdown. Instead of drastically increasing taxes Florida made the tough decision to cut education for 1 year. The funding was completely restored and then some in the following two years. States that raised taxes to attempt so solve the problem have not made a strong recovery and are still dealing with huge budget challenges. Discussions about closing Longwood elementary had been going on for months before the legislature voted on that year’s budget.


Seminole County Post declares this mailer FALSE.


Scott Plakon Wastes Taxpayer Dollars --


First of all, anyone who is REMOTELY familiar with Scott Plakon know that the last thing he is - is liberal with money. The guys a TIGHTWAD when it comes to buckaroos, whether it was the state's, his campaign's, or his personal finances. No joke, I've even heard that Plakon's frugality pissed off a few of the more liberal free-spending Republican House members.


Analysis -- Scott Plakon voted for tax incentives that attracted high paying jobs like the ones at Verizon to Seminole county. The $20 million dollars Clelland mentions in the mailer was tucked into the budget just before session ended by Clelland's law partner Charlie Crist. During Scotts 4 years in the legislature Scott voted on nearly $300 billion dollars in appropriations. The $20 million dollars that Clelland is focusing on represents six ten thousands of one percent of the total amount that Scott voted on while he was in the legislature.


Seminole County Post declares this mailer FALSE.


Bob Cortes Raised Taxes by $2.2 Billion --


Is the Florida Democratic Party smoking their own stock? In this mailer, they attack Bob Cortes for raising taxes by $2.2 billion - a number attached to the state budget. The problem - Cortes has never taken a vote in the state house because he has never been a member. His 2014 campaign is his first for state house, meaning the Democrats ad is insanely.....INSANE.


Analysis -- During the time referenced in this mailer, Cortes was in his second year as a commissioner for the City of Longwood and had NO say whatsoever on the state budget. Does anything else really need to be said about this?


Seminole County Post declares this mailer FALSE.


Special Interests LOVE Bob Cortes --


Like the false ad attacking Scott Plakon for being the errand boy for the insurance industry, this mailer is blindingly hypocritical. The state Democratic party attacks Cortes, accusing him of being bought by special interests and lobbyists. However, when examining the facts - it's obvious that it's Karen Castor Dentel who is bending knee to lobbyists & special interests.


Analysis -- Cortes's opponent has been receiving A LOT MORE in contributions from lobbyists & special intersts than Cortes, in particular several large donations from unions & para-mutuel groups. Florida Teamsters, Seminole Tribe of Florida, AFL-CIO, several politically connected law firms, lobbyist Kelly Cohen and over 15 other unions have ponied up BIG MONEY for Dentel - averaging between $250 to $1,000 increments - with many of them donating several times. Cortes on the other hand, has gotten most of his financial support from the State Republican party, GOP House campaign committee, and the towing industry. The Orlando Magic has given money to both candidates. At the end of the day however, Castor Dentel's contributions from special interests/lobbyists are nearly 10 TIMES larger than any contributions Cortes has collected from any groups considered special intersts or lobbyists.


Seminole County Post declares this mailer FALSE.


Bob Cortes is Rotten for Central Florida Schools --


This ad is worst than the last, and suffers an even more extreme removal from the realm of truth. This mailer, basis it's entire thesis on the votes of people who support Bob Cortes - meaning it has no connection to Cortes' actual beliefs on these particular issues. The most ridiculous part of this ad is the fact that Bob Cortes' opponent Karen Castor Dentel actually voted AGAINST MORE funding for education in her first term.


Analysis -- "When you can't attack a candidates record - you must attack them for the sins of their allies. Doesn't matter if he thinks differently, this is about retaining seats." new motto of the Florida Democratic Party? Again, with this mailer we must visit the fact that the Florida Democratic Party & Karen Castor Dentel are attacking Bob for votes that his supporters have made, NOT votes that Mr. Cortes has actually cast. To top it off, Karen Castor Dentel is the one who voted against the state budget that included more funding for education. Even crazier, is the fact that Dentel goes around the district bragging about fighting for more funding at UCF & Seminole State College, but ultimately that money was included in the budget that she voted against! It seems Miss Dentel is becoming well-versed in the Tallahassee double-speak she often decries.


Seminole County Post declares this mailer FALSE.


This week, we will examine several other Seminole County political contests to determine the truthfullness of campaign literature from candidates and third-party groups supporting them. Stay tuned...



Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at [email protected]