Tag Archives: pacs

#5 PAC “Committee to Protect Florida,” Inside the Alligator Pit, SLR/IRL


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JTL vs the Political Machine,  A Retrospective, Part #5

When I saw my mother yesterday, she said, “Jacqui, I think you need to stop writing about those PACs…I get it now…” One of my Grassroots Team members implied that I may ruin my reputation for running a clean campaign, and compromise my chances to run again,  with all the harsh comments coming in on my recent posts….My husband looked at me wide-eyed over a glass of wine: “I thought you tried to keep your campaign out of the blog…?” Joe Catrambone, CEO of the Stuart Chamber, who I like very much, sent out a group email saying: “Jacqui isn’t accepting defeat very well! Speaks volumes doesn’t it!!!”

For those of you who are uncomfortable, or think I am a sore loser, please don’t fret.  Today will be my final day investigating those who spent time and money to affect my loss for Martin County Commission District 1.

I do apologize to the Stuart Chamber as they really don’t belong in the category of reptiles as they chose not to send out a negative post card against me, just for Doug Smith; I was simply trying to make the point that the influence of Tallahassee affects home.

Early on, in my own head, I knew that whether  I lost or won, I would be reporting on the outcome dynamics of the campaign in my blog. Writing on this issue is all part of my river journey. I know what I am doing, and it will be shared. These insights in time will help us get closer to saving our dying river…

Mom, “don’t worry,” I will stop taunting the alligators very soon! 🙂 But first we must try to see the truth behind the scenes.

Here we go:


Our last PAC to add to the previous three days of postings: Write in Candidate Chase Lurgio;  Martin County Firefighters Union’s “Citizens for Public Safety;” C-Pac; and “Committee to Elect Real Conservatives;” (all ridiculous names) and today’s”Committee to Protect Florida.”

So when we look at the third negative post card that came out against the JTL campaign, we see on the bottom it reads: “Paid electioneering Communication for by Committee to Protect Florida, PO Box  102005 Tallahassee, FL 32302.” It is yet another ad full of lies, but I do appreciate that they used two of my favorite pictures of myself, my younger looking real estate head shot from 2007 and the hysterical “piranha photo” Ed took of me in Peru along the Amazon River.


So let’s quickly do what we have learned and look up this PAC on the Florida Division of Elections website by COMMITTEE: http://dos.elections.myflorida.com/committees/

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This PAC’s chairperson is Mr Roger “Rockie” Pennington. Mr Pennington is a very well-known in Tallahassee politics.  I first heard about Mr Pennington, when I was told in the last campaign cycle that he ran  Doug Smith’s campaigns. At the time I wondered why Doug would use someone from Tallahassee….

Rockie Pennington owns Southern Campaign Resources, and according to his website “has been a fixture in Republican politics for nearly four decades.” You can read more here: http://www.southerncampaigns.com

Let’s look up who contributed to his PAC:  ironically the Florida Chamber of Commerce at over $100,000 dollars, Florida Jobs Pac, $50,000. These are the same PACs that gave money to C-PAC and Committee to Elect Real Conservatives from yesterday with sprinkles of the sugar industry.

But what is even weirder is when you look up “Nature Coast Conservatives” that gave the lion’s share of the donations, $100,000s of dollars. This PAC is run by Roger Pennington’s partner in Southern Campaign Resources, Mr Mark Zubaly who is listed along with Rocky Pennington on the bio page of Southern Campaign Resources.

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As the bio states “(Mark) is a partner in two Tallahassee-based companies that count at least one-fourth of the Florida Legislature among their clients: Southern Campaign Resources, a political consulting and lobbying firm, and Summit Communications, a media production firm. He also serves as the campaign consultant to a number of Florida’s city, county and judicial elected officials.”


And yes…Mark Zubaly was also Rockie Pennington’s PACs treasurer…




Of course as you dig deeper the money keeps going and going and going….

So The Doug Smith Campaign had its own campaign manager with his own PAC with his own partner funding the PAC from his own PAC that uses many of the same questionable donors that were linked to, C-PAC, and the # 2 post card of Josh Cooper who ran opposition research for the Governor. On top of this there was the Firefighters Union PAC, Citizens for Public Safety, sending out positive post cards for Doug Smith, sending out negative post cards against JTL all the while building signs, placing signs, making negative phone calls against JTL, pulling up opposition JTL signs, and waving….

I’d say we did pretty well considering our opponents! What an alligator pit!

I feel like we’re in a Carl Hiaasen book! We don’t even need to go to Miami!

In conclusion, The Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch Grassroots Campaign lost to this Political Machine by 2.9% or 677 votes…raised considerably more money and had considerably more diverse support. Supported a clean river and land purchase south of lake…in any case, did not support the status quo…

Wow! What a race!

It was exciting!

And now that we know who we’re in the pit with, maybe next time we’ll get them on their backs and Protect Florida For Real.


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To the PAC “To Elect Real Conservatives:” Lies are Baaaaad! SLR/IRL

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JTL vs. the Political Machine continued…

Today is part four in a series examining the loss of the “JTL Campaign for Martin County Commissioner,” a campaign that focused on the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon. The goal of this series is to learn, understand, and educate the public at large as to the “local” political process.

The past two blogs reviewed the Write in Candidate, Chase Lurgio; the Firefighters Union and their PAC, Citizens for Public Safety,  and C-PAC, the PAC for the Stuart Chamber. Today we will look at a Tallahassee based Political Action Committee, (PAC), that calls itself “Committee to Elect Real Conservatives.” This PAC put out a negative ad and a negative video to promote my loss and the win of sixteen year incumbant, Doug Smith.



Committee to Elect Real Conservatives:

Because it is a Tallahassee registered PAC, we must go to the Florida Department of State, Division of Elections. You may recall we also went here yesterday when following what entities gave money to the Stuart Chamber’s C-PAC. As we learned yesterday after clicking on this link, one goes to COMMITTEES to type in the name to find the wanted:

What is bizarre is that when you pull up this PAC its largest contributor at $25,000 on 8/2/16 is FLORIDA JOBS. The same PAC that gave $25,000 to C-PAC. So when one follows the paper trail and looks up Florida Jobs it leads to the same thing as yesterday… Among many, but most recognizable to me, again, Duda and Sons Inc., Florida Crystals, FPL, and United States Sugar Corporation. I must note there are others as you can see yourself, like Pubix Supermarkets and Disney.



So who is this PAC?

It is easy to find out if you know where to go. It can be found right there on the Florida Division of Election’s website. Just type in by name. “Committee to Elect Real Conservatives.”

Now things start to get kind of weird.

The Chairperson is Josh Cooper. So who is he? Well oddly enough the only information I found about Josh Cooper is that he owns a company named Strategic Information Consultants, a of division of Next Generation Strategies. This company is most well-known for doing opposition research for Governor Rick Scott when the governor was first elected.

Wow! How could this be? Why would such high rolling people be interested enough in Martin County to start a PAC just a month before the election and spend thousands of dollars to influence the outcome? Who got them to do it?


This article from 2011 by the Tampa Bay Times mentions Josh Cooper and gives insight:


So now for the negative ad that arrived on August 10th, less than a month after the PAC filed with the Division of Elections on 7/16/16 and less than a week after Florida Jobs donated $25,000. There is a video too. I laugh every time I see it.

So in closing, here is something to think about…

The only way we will ever have clean water in Florida, and a healthy St Lucie River Indian River Lagoon is when the powers that be stop tying to heard us like sheep with their lies. Even little lambs know that lies are “baaaaaad!” 🙂


Baaaa negative ad video:(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32uNBYN1AQo)