Providing Unique Commentary and Insight into Politics, History and Society since 2005

Monday, June 27, 2005

(Fill in the blank) gate: The papers including Monday updates

The dean of Florida political writers, Lucy Morgan weighs in:

Sun Sentinel Editorial:,0,3245081.story?coll=sfla-news-editorial

Lakeland Ledger Editorial:

Buddy Nevins:,0,5359219.column?coll=sfla-news-col

Online Journal:

New Monday-

Miami Herald

St Pete Times


Joe said...

When it rains it pours!!!!!!!

The end is coming for the gadfly former one term mayor of Tallahassee who claimed he would be the state's savior!

Anonymous said...

Are you really a Democrat to be posting all these articles in plain view of the world that make our party look bad. Remember, nothing has been proven yet. We are dealing with allegations of a political nature. This smells like the political impeachment of Bill Clinton by the GOP all over again.

Todd said...

Bill Clinton was one of the best presidents we have ever had because he cared about people. He made some dumb mistakes, but he always tried to do what was right. Scott Maddox on the other hand has only cared about himself. He is a nasty politician who has stabbed more Democrats in the back to get where he is than you can shake a stick at.

The day that Maddox withdraws from the governor's race, and that day is coming very soon, will be a great day for the Florida Democratic Party.

Anonymous said...

The loner Maddox inists on obstructing and dragging this scandal out the less and less chance the Democrats have of winning any major elections in 2006. Maddox continues to be amazingly selfish and doesn't care whom he takes down with him. His campaign supporters slash and burn tactics of the last few days as demonstrated on this and other political blog sites has been reprehensible. He needs to drop out now if he is to have any chance for recovery in the future.

Jill said...

Maddox can continue to spin this story but when the audit comes out and Thurman releases the details of what happened it isn't going to be pretty. She isn't taking the fall for his misdeeds.

Lou said...

I was just told that more articles hitting Maddox are on the way and rumuor has it more may be discovered about his handling of finance while FDP Chair.

Anonymous said...

Can't you people give up already? This story was way overblown this week. It's over and Maddox will be fine. As a matter of fact he is going to be our nominee for Governor.

arealdemocrat said...

Maddox is responsible for our party getting out of debt, winning many more races than before including the mayor of Orlando and Tampa as well as having a full time staff with technology at our fingertips. Maddox modernized a party which had a byzantine setup and no morale whatsoever.

What does Maddox get for his selfless efforts towards helping the Democrats throughout the state? Bitterness and envy from all of you armchair state chairs. Thanks so much for trying to discredit the most promising statewide Democrat we have had in a generation. All of you have done more damage to our party than Zell Miller and his ilk did.

Anonymous said...

Lou, what are you hearing? What rumors? Do you know other problems that are heading Maddox's way?

Maddoxforpresident said...

Anything that Scott Maddox has done pails in comparison to the outright corruption of Jeb Bush's years as Governor. The GOP has raped this state and the hard working taxpayers who need State Government to be more responsive. One person can do something about it, and yet all of you who like business as usual and go along to get along democrats like Rod Smith (who votes with the Republicans in the Senate more often than any other Democrat in the body) crucify Scott. Jim Davis is someone who has voted time and time again to ship countless jobs overseas to the gulags of India and China, yet you guys embrace him as well. Think about it. Our party has one bright hope on the horizon and you try and frame him for something that was a staffers error, and something he already took blame for openly and honestly.

Joe said...

I just saw all these new posts and have one thing to say to all of you.


TF said...

Maddox didn't do much to help win the Orlando race. Don't forget that Mayor Buddy Dyer was Maddox's opponent in the 2002 AG race. Maddox intended to use the AG position as a stepping stone to the Governor's race in 2006. When Buddy beat him, he had to settle for the FDP chair position. Maddox never forgave Buddy for the 2002 loss, and as a result Buddy had to run almost without the FDP's help. Get your facts right.

It's also important to remember that when Jeb Bush launched a witch hunt against Buddy, our FDP chairman was missing in action. Where was he? One of our own was being victimized by the GOP, and Maddox sided with the Republicans by staying silent.

Also, Maddox jumped into the West Palm Beach race in 2003 and opposed an incumbent Democratic mayor. He supported Lois Frankel who is a pro-development, anti-environment DINO (Democrat In Name Only).

Anonymous said...

Hey maddoxforpresident

You should be ashamed of yourself! Didn't you learn anything from Dick Durbin last week. Don't start throwing around terms like "gulag" when you obviously don't know what they mean.

Do you even know what you are talking about? The gulag was a system of political prisons run by the Soviet regime for 70 years. (To get a good idea of what the gulag was, check out the Stalin years.)

The gulag was responsible for the deaths of 2 to 3 million innocent people. How can you say that any candidate, whether Democratic or Republican, is responsible for anything close to that? Your comments are dispicable!

jefferyhavert said...

I admit I am somewhat nieve to the history of the party being newbie myself. One thing I do know is that few political figures have inspired young people the way Scott Maddox does. He is an outside the box thinker who shoots straight and my personal opinion is that the political insiders are scared to death of his candor and are trying to finish his career with these baseless alegations.

Just my two cents.

Tim L said...

I am getting more and more perplexed about this whole thing. As I have continued to point over the past few days, Scott Maddox has been a deceitful, dishonest person since we were in law school together. I don’t know much about blogs and the type of people who post here, and perhaps that’s why I am at a loss to explain all of these defenses of someone who has at best shown he is incapable of managing a staff of his own choosing and at worst has broken countless election and financial laws. I am an old friend of Kartik’s and he had asked me several weeks ago to check out this blog thing he was doing. I checked it out and though some things were interesting because I know Kartik has some strong opinions and expresses them well much of the time, but never felt the need to register my information and to post responses until this week’s events took place and I saw so many people defending the indefensible.

I am a loyal Democrat and unlike Scott Maddox a real Democrat. I am someone with strong convictions, unlike Maddox who blows with the wind and the audience he is speaking to. I have stated in the last few days I would become an Independent if Maddox is allowed to survive this scandal because to me, the Democratic Party has no moral compass if Maddox continues to lead masses of party regulars. At one time I was very politically active in Leon County but dropped out essentially because of Scott Maddox and Jon Ausman. It comes as no surprise to me that both individuals are right in the middle of this scandal right now.

In the next few days I will when I have time share with you many of Maddox’s legacies here in Tallahassee. I am sure it will be an eye opener for those of you who continue to defend him.

Tim L said...

The other thing I meant to say in my last post is that it is amazing that people actualy see Maddox as some sort of ideological hero and leader. I have known him longer than anyone else posting on this blog I would venture to say, and the guy has no values, no ideas of his own and no concern about ideological beliefs. He has placed himself on the left in recent years (After being one of the leaders of the state's DLC, a moderate to conservative group) in order to solidify a base of votes in a cynical manner down in South Florida for his run for Governor or US Senate. He is not a liberal, nor a moderate nor a conservative. He is a Maddoxite and that is very very dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Tim L,

I clicked on your profile and saw you are the same age as Maddox and obviously as you state, went to school with him. I look forward to your discussion of his past on this blogsite. I have heard so many rumors in connection with the guy but really never from anyone who knew him well.

Anonymous said...

Those of you are saying that Scott will get out of the race obviously don't know his character. Scott will not quit the race and he will not think twice on taking the Party down with him. If you knew him, you would know that he doesn't care about the Democrats - only himself.

jonathan said...

Dick Durbin's gulag comments had Fox News going nuts last week. But this week here in Florida, Maddox supporters can lob bombs at every newspaper in the state, the Governor, every Democratic elected official and democratic activist who are questioning Maddox, and then turn around and claim those people who have questioned Maddox is to blame.

I've met Maddox a few times and have never cared much for him. Honestly, though it seems like a total cult of personality exists around him. So many young people who are involved in politics like myself seem genuinely in love with Maddox which is a scary thing.

Robert Kennedy inspired a generation of young leaders and activists. He was a selfless, caring human being. Today in Florida the activists with similar values to RFK's are falling into Maddox's lap. Instead of growing their horizons it seems these young activists are having their minds twisted and have bought into every conspiracy theory under the sun. These otherwise good liberals have indoctrinated in a cult of personality which will be tough to snap them out of.

When Maddox is properly buried in the next week or two, we must work to deprogram and rehabilitate those who were mesmerized by his "charm," for they still can be the bedrock of a liberal revival in this state.

Anonymous said...

How much longer can Maddox possibly survive? I'm also curious to hear what Lou is talking about.

Anonymous said...

For Lou and others, I just went to Sayfie Review and no articles are running today on the party in any of the statewide papers. Maybe the Maddox fans were right after all, that this was simply a three or four day story that would die.

The only Editoiral today was in the Tallahassee Democrat which essentialy said Maddox had little to do with the mistake and he is a bright young candidate that will recover.

Jeff said...

This whole story has been much to do about nothing. First off let me state that while I sent out an email that was interpreted as threatening by some, what I was merely trying to say is that those who failed to withhold judgment until all the facts were in risked a tremendous loss in credibility and any good will they may have had with leadership in the Florida Democratic Party. Those who jumped to conclusions included several prominent Democratic donors and many activists around the state. It is unfortunate that these individuals failed to put the welfare of the party over their own personal interests or in some cases personal vendettas against Mayor Maddox.

This story is now officially dead in the state’s papers. Word has leaked to journalists across the state that the missing money was found and that it was merely an error in reporting. The IRS mistake was simply a computer glitch either on the IRS end or on the FDP’s end. Debbie Bruton-Griffin, the FDP comptroller sent the taxes owed to the IRS via electronic transmission but a glitch occurred. This has now been resolved as well.

Obviously in hindsight a simple explanation existed for all of the allegations made by Jon Ausman and the media. However as has been the case with journalists the last several years, sources are not double and triple checked nor is any threshold for facts met by reporters. They are all trying to scoop one another. Also, these blog sites are becoming more and more dangerous as stories are twisted and skewed on the web. More and more people will hopefully, following this sorry episode where a perfectly good man who stood up and took responsibility for something he had little if anything to do with will be deliberate and seek the facts before they run off and slander a good man’s name and damage the Democratic Party along with it.

Lou said...

I'm not at liberty to say, but let me just state that more is coming and Maddox would be wise to get out now before the fire consumes him and his close allies.

Kartik, you should probably do something about these anonymous pro Maddox posts. It is amzing how many pro Maddox people are going by "anonymous" in order to avoid a loss in stature when the ship sinks which is coming soon.

Jill said...

This is totally absurd. Jeff, this is not much to do about nothing as you claim. This is a serious situation, the IRS placing a lien on a major political party. It is not something which should be trivialized or met with threats. Let's get to the bottom of this. It would be much easier if Maddox had not conducted a campaign of obstruction and smokescreens both when the IRS was seeking the party's fund and now that the stroy has broken. If he really want the story to die he'll come clean and maybe some us will forgive someone for making a mistake and then being honset about it. Maddox has not done either yet.

Tim L said...


It is perfectly acceptable for Scott Maddox to engage in the covert war of personal destruction against all his enemeies but anyone who questions him is not being responsible? Do you even have a clue why Maddox has so many enemies? It is because of his low moral charecter and constant desire toclimb over people to get ahead. I am not rushing to judgement. I have had almost 15 years of exposure to Maddox to make my judgement.

Anonymous said...

It's over. MOVE ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JK said...

Maddox looks poised to spin his way out of this one. Sadly, the party is stuck with him, likely he will be stronger than ever.

Anonymous said...

Maddox will self destruct again soon if he in fact has escaped on this one. He is too arrogant to not make a mistake again.

TMD said...

Look fellows, the IRS lien is more serious than Maddox being cleared on the $900,000. The two are not conencted and it is a FACT that the IRS has taken a lien on the FDP for non payment of taxes while Maddox was chair. That's an indisputable fact. It is highly unlikely that Maddox is cleared of his involvement in this matter. You can crow about the $900,000 but this IRS issue is not dead and will not die anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

You are obviously being slective in your articles to hurt Maddoxthe most. You choose what was essentialy a hit piece in the rag from St Pete, yet you didn't put up the excellent Palm Beach Post article which gives both sidesvery well.

Anonymous said...

The Times story clearly states that more questions exist than simple minded Maddox answers. This thing is far from over.

browardem06 said...

The last few months each of the Democratic candidates have made mistakes:

Rod Smith co-sponsored a bill pushed by the NRA to make using "deadly force" when under a percieved threat legal in florida

Jim Davis voted for bailout of the credit card industry and against consumers with his vote for the Tom DeLay backed Bankrupcy reform bill

Scott Maddox candidly admitted that a staffer had made an honest mistake by making a minor bookeeping error.

Who made the biggest mistakes, Democrats? It's obvious it wasn't Maddox.

Anonymous said...

This is a great quote:

''The Republicans don't have to do anything. Jon Ausman has done it for them, and it's not going to make it easy to raise money for Scott or any other Democrat if this keeps up,'' said Lieberman, who held a Sunday fundraiser for Maddox, who has met with donors from West Palm Beach to Coconut Grove this month.

It is Jon Ausman who is responsible for this! He is trying to get even with Maddox for when Maddox rightly prevented Jeff Ryan a handpicked candidate of Ausman's to be state chair. this whole media story is a case of sour grapes.

Democratman said...

It appears like this story is about to be dead. The audit will clear Maddox of the missing $900,000 and he had already been stand up and stated he made a mistake with the IRS. Soon, the papers will shift focus and Maddox will be portrayed to most Democrats as he should be as a victim or witch hunt by the Bush Republicans and conservative leaning Democrats.

Tim L said...

It is Jon Ausman who is responsible for this! He is trying to get even with Maddox for when Maddox rightly prevented Jeff Ryan a handpicked candidate of Ausman's to be state chair. this whole media story is a case of sour grapes.

Maddox exploited Ausman's knowledge of the rules and control of the Leon DEc for his own purposes to become state chair. When Jeff Ryan he did an about face (typical of Maddox) and denied him the opportunity to run.

Tim L said...

Maddox xlaimed he left the party debt free when he left the chairmanship. If that is the case why is it that the party has sent out signals that it cannot pay salaries this month? Also, I have heard rumours the the party owes several vendors money from the last election cycle.

These are all allegations, but given Maddox's propensity to stretch the truth they are believeable allegations.

Anonymous said...

The audit is going to clear Maddox and then what are you naysayers going to claim? That Thurman is covering for Maddox? C'mon! Stop bringing down the party for your own personal satisfaction.

Anonymous said...

From Flpoliticswatch

A small group of influential Democrats began an
informal search committee on Saturday to find a new
candidate for Governor in the face of increasing
controversy for the state party. Members present at
the meeting included major financial backers of both
Scott Maddox and Jim Davis.

The committee unanimously agreed Maddox's chances of
winning are all but dead due to the recent financial
problems at the state party and his ineffectiveness in
responding. In addition, others said they were
embarrassed by Jim Davis's weak performance at the
Jefferson-Jackson dinner and did not feel he had what
it takes to beat a Republican. Rod Smith drew the
least criticism but many felt he does not have the
prestige or gravitas to be elected Governor.

Prominent names included on the preliminary list of
individuals to recruit included Betty Castor, Manny
Diaz, Terry McAuliffe, and Sandy D'Alemberte. The
committee plans to visit each of these individuals
before the July 4th holiday and measure any interest
they might have in jumping in the race. As one person
present said, "it is still so early, and there is a
great opportunity for an honest, respectable person to
join the race and rejuvinate the Democrats chances."

Jill said...

the effort of the Maddox people to move on from the scandal could have been better placed, perhaps in trying to help rebuild the party's damaged image. It seems like top donors are worried enough to pull the plug on Maddox despite his damage control.

Anonymous said...

The committee unanimously agreed Maddox's chances of
winning are all but dead due to the recent financial
problems at the state party and his ineffectiveness in
responding. In addition, others said they were
embarrassed by Jim Davis's weak performance at the
Jefferson-Jackson dinner and did not feel he had what
it takes to beat a Republican. Rod Smith drew the
least criticism but many felt he does not have the
prestige or gravitas to be elected Governor.

Great, more smoke filled rooms from the same types of people that gave us Bill McBride, John Kerry and Betty Castor. Does Jim Davis' so called "weak" performance at the J-J really mean anything. Clearly Davis is proven vote getter in a tough region of the state for Democrats which also happens to be the center of one of the nation's largest media markets.

Hey, I'm a Maddox supporter and feel this whole scandal has been overblown. This is all the proof we need. This so called scandal is being used by party elites that specialize in losing elections by nominating boring, unelectable figures who stand for nothing as an excuse to get an establishment, good ole boy netowrk candidate in the race. I hope my guy wins: He's a frsh young face with new ideas who'll take on the establishments of both parties and tell it like it is. If he doesn't win, I'd like to see Davis because from what I can tell he is a sincere Democrat who isn't tied to the people who have destroyed our party. True, he is boring but he isn't as bad as names like Betty Castor and Terry McAulife for god's sake!

Joe said...

I can't imagine that Manny Diaz having flipped his registration to run for Mayor Miami could flip back to run for Governor.

Betty Castor? No way. I'm supporting Jim Davis and feel he's easily the best choice in this race. Rod Smith is a good backup candidate. We don't need any more interference from so called party elders.

Browarddem06 said...

Maddox is still the favorite to win this race. Polling does not show how many grassroots activists are on the ground working our tail off for him.

These so called leaders in the party better wtach it. They are in the process of turning off everyone in the party.

Jeff said...

All of this talk is totally uncalled for. Nothing has been proven against Maddox. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? The good ole boy network is once again trying to dictate who the party's nominee is. We have a young exciting figure in our party and instead the powers that be want another retread who talks like a Republican. And you wonder why the Democrats keep losing? Keep the faith Maddox supporters, we will prevail in the end.

Anonymous said...

WAKE UP!!! This story and related issues is not over, if you think they are take your head out of your ___.

Not only does continue to hurt our party and all 3 candidates, it hurts our credibility as Democrats in Florida. Just imagine the Republican ads that will focus on this mess, whether it is Maddox, Davis, or Smith.

Hopefully, once this is sorted out, we can come together as a party, adopt updated, new themes that may actually appeal to our party members and undecideds, and actually elect a Democrat state-wide.

Anonymous said...

Whe is the audit results going to be public?

Anonymous said...


Palm Beach Post Editorial

Monday, June 27, 2005

After seeing their books from when Scott Maddox was party chairman, Florida Democrats have to wonder why they should make him their candidate for governor.

A forensic accounting firm is trying to figure out why the party failed to pay nearly $200,000 in Social Security and payroll taxes during 2003. The IRS was so annoyed that it put a lien on the party's assets. Accountants also will try to determine whether more than $900,000 is actually missing from party bank accounts, or whether it's just sloppy bookkeeping.

The former chairman blames the IRS problem on mistakes made by an unnamed employee who believed the taxes had been paid. Mr. Maddox, who was Tallahassee's mayor and is one of three Democrats seeking the nomination, says the party isn't missing $900,000; there's a misunderstanding about how money was reported to elections officials. But ex-U.S. Rep. Karen Thurman, who replaced Mr. Maddox last month, says "internal controls" in the office were "absolutely, unequivocally the worst."

What about this suggests a public servant who is prepared to run the state?

The Palm Beach Post Editorial Board

Anonymous said...

You people need to stop piling on. We know Maddox made a mistake and he quickly and honestly confronted it and we've all moved on. Stop harping on the past.

Anonymous said...

Florida Democratic Party Bookkeeper Takes Blame for Tax Problems
By Brendan Farrington
Associated Press Writer

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A bookkeeper for the Florida Democratic Party acknowledged Tuesday she made mistakes that led to the non-payment of Social Security and payroll taxes and never informed her boss, gubernatorial candidate and former party Chairman Scott Maddox.
In a letter to Maddox, Debbie Griffin-Bruton said the pressure from her job along with caring for a husband with Alzheimer's disease made it difficult for her to perform her duties, leading to the tax problem and the late filing of finance reports for Leon County Democrats.

"Due to my embarrassment over my mistakes I was reticent to let anyone know of my failures," she wrote. "I regret that at no time did I inform you of my mistakes."

The Internal Revenue Service slapped a lien on the party last week for about $200,000 owed in taxes from 2003. The lien was on the $98,000 the party had in its bank account.

Maddox issued a press release after receiving Griffin-Bruton's letter.

"I have accepted responsibility for the errors of my staff. Now, knowing more of the story of Debbie's actions and misrepresentations, I must accept responsibility for having placed my faith in a person who clearly did not live up to my high expectations," Maddox said.

Griffin-Bruton worked for the city of Tallahassee during the 10 years Maddox served as mayor. He hired her as the party's comptroller after being elected chairman in 2003. Maddox resigned as party chair last month to run for governor.

Griffin-Bruton is resigning from her position on Thursday.

The party's financial problems have already given Republicans a chance to criticize Maddox, who is hoping to replace Republican Gov. Jeb Bush.

"Real leadership says 'You know, it is my fault. It happened on my watch,'" said Republican Party of Florida Executive Director Andy Palmer. "But to keep casting about for a scapegoat doesn't demonstrate real leadership."

Also seeking the Democratic nomination are U.S. Rep. Jim Davis and state Sen. Rod Smith. Republicans running include Attorney General Charlie Crist and state Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher. Bush can't seek re-election because of term limits.

AP-ES-06-28-05 1611EDT

Anonymous said...

Good, finally this matter has been put to rest. Now we can move on and the Maddox Campaign can get back on track!

Anonymous said...

How dare the Republicans accuse Maddox and us Democrats of not being real leaders. They claim that we do not show real leadership. where is there leadership for the country? Why won't the President admit he had miscalculated the depth of resistance in Iraq instead of continuing to give the lame excuses he has given He asked them to "bring it on," and we have lost close to 2,000 good Americans dying for a no reason thanks to the inability of the Bush Republicans to take responsibility for their actions.

browarddem06 said...

It is a shame Griffin-Bruton was so dihonest and let the Chairman and the party down. Thankfully this letter clears up the confusion about this so called scandal and people like the webmaster here that are calling this maddoxgate can begin to win down all the hubub about scandal.


Anonymous said...

I think everyone needs to know the real truth about Jeff Tinsley - the Jeff who has posted on this blog.

Jeff is an active supporter of the Maddox campaign. On the day that Maddox announced his candidacy for governor, Jeff sent out a vicious attack email, blasting Congressman Jim Davis and Senator Rod Smith, Maddox's two opponents in the primary. While Jeff's original email had merit and did raise legitimate concerns about Davis and Smith, it is somewhat hypocritical for Maddox supporters to complain about their candidate getting hit hard with mud when it was the Maddox campaign that lashed out first at its opponents.

Last night, Jeff sent out another email to Maddox supporters asking them to bombard the blogosphere and post comments to make it appear as if the majority of Democrats support Maddox's run for governor and reject the latest scandals. The tactic that Jeff has endorsed is commonly known as "freeping" and is used by right-wing activists to rig online polls and discussion boards.

Below is the email sent out last night by Jeff Tinsley, a Scott Maddox operative:

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2005 5:14 PM
Subject: Blogs: getting our message out.

I am organizing, independent of the Maddox campaign, an effort to correct the record about skewed anti-Maddox propaganda appearing on blog sites throughout the state. The two sites I have been monitoring are, a website run by James Haywood a notorious hater of Scott Maddox. Also being monitored is, which is website run by Kartik Krishnaiyer a paid political operative supporting one of Mayor Maddox's primary opponents. Kartik Krishnaiyer, has also been directing reporters from the St Pete Times to his blog site in order to help feed the Times continued hatchet job on Scott Maddox. I would like to get as many friendly posts on these blogsites as possible to let everybody know where we stand. Also, any information on other blog sites would be helpful. I understand Derek Newton another Democratic operative hostile to Scott Maddox has his own blogsite as well. It is important that we monitor any of his postings as well, though I have failed to find his blog. Also please post on Josh Hicks excellent website, Josh is one of the finest young leaders our party has and it is important to support his efforts as much as we possibly can.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Jeff Tinsley

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I am the host of the Major League Soccer Talk and EPL Talk Podcasts and am frequent guest on other (world) football shows. I am also the publisher of various other websites including this one. I work in public/government relations in addition to my soccer work and have a keen interest in history, politics, aviation, travel,and the world around us.