Thursday, December 28, 2017

On Lake Point: the latest on Maggy Hurchalla against George Lindemann Jr. in Martin County ... by gimleteye

NOTE: Lake Point is a rock mine / development project by Miami investor and art collector George Lindemann Jr. Miami native Maggy Hurchalla, former county commissioner in Martin County, has been a tireless, fearless fighter for Martin County over the decades, working and writing at the granular level of county codes to prevent low density suburban sprawl from overwhelming Martin as it has from Miami, through Broward to Palm Beach and north of Martin, to St. Lucie. The Lake Point fight is a nightmare. Spend some time on the website Maggy created, especially the section: Politics and Money.

HURCHLLA: "In January, 2013 Lake Point filed a SLAPP suit against me for criticizing their rockpit project in western Martin County. I said it would not save the Everglades, the Loxahatchee River or our estuary. I said that loudly and publicly. 
Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing.  It’s worth fighting for.   Read WHY FIGHT?
  1. With everything we have discovered, my case is stronger than ever.
  1.  The SFWMD and the County have settled with Lake Point giving away millions of taxpayers' money.  see  SETTLEMENT
  1.  The settlement agreements entered into by the District and the County trample on the rights of taxpayers and residents.
  1.  The settlement agreements creates concern about Florida Water Law and public ownership of our water resources.
  1.  Martin County’s right to control growth and development is at stake. 
  1.  Big Sugar appears to be weighing in to support Lake Point. see  POLITICS AND MONEY
Or click the Donations link in the sidebar to use PayPal. No donation is too small. 
The original case was styled Lake Point vs SFWMD, Martin County, and Maggy Hurchalla. After fighting back for almost five years, the District and the County have settled.
I am now the last one standing for the right of citizens to express their opinion about a questionable project. 
The trial is set for Feb 5, 2017. The information that comes out when we go to trial and witnesses are under oath is going to shock a lot of people.
Citizens who cared are what have made Martin County different and better. I’m not quitting until we make it clear that SLAPPing citizens is not a successful strategy in Martin County. If I did get intimidated and give up, I’d have to lose faith in democracy and justice. I want to say that "I fought the fight, finished the race and kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7).
Thank you for having my back,
Maggy Reno Hurchalla
Donation checks can be sent to:

Maggy’s SLAPP-Back Fund,  PO Box 891,  Stuart, Fl.  34995 


After Lake Point purchased phase I of the Lake Point project, its principles and related entities became the largest single contributors in Martin County history. Large multiple campaign contributions are not illegal. Their recipients always insist that big donations do not influence their decisions. When questioned by pushy reporters about why someone is giving them so much money, they say “They support me because we think alike.”

It seems reasonable to conclude that Lake Point supported candidates that think like Lake Point and Lake Point believes it can depend on them.

A losing candidate supported by Lake Point in 2012 told the Stuart News:
"I was with them for an hour and they said, 'Hey, we've been following you. We like what you're saying. We want to help you," Tucker said. "And he handed me an envelope full of checks written by all the different companies."

Tucker said he received an envelope containing $500 checks from 10 companies based at 4500 Biscayne Blvd. during a meeting with representatives of Lindemann in May.
see below Stuart News 

In the 2012 election all of Lake Point candidates lost except Doug Smith.

In 2014 Lake Point entities got more generous and more secretive. The two environmental commissioners, Sarah Heard and Ed Fielding, were up for election that year.

Lake Point candidates ran against both of them. Barbara Clowdus ran against Sarah Heard. Clowdus intermittently publishes a give-away pseudo-newspaper that runs large ads paid for by Big Sugar and Lake Point. Both editorials and articles strongly reflect the viewpoints of Lake Point and of Sugar. 

Stacy Hetherington ran against Ed Fielding. Hetherington was a PR person for Lake Point.
Hetherington’s campaign received over $10,000 in contributions directly from Lake Point LLCs and related entities. Clowdus claimed she had no ties to Lake Point.

Enter John MacAuliffe. He is Ed Ciampi’s neighbor. He was Ed Ciampi’s campaign manager in 2016. He is very proud of his political skills.

MacAuliffe created and chaired a PAC called Citizens for Tax Fairness. Its sole purpose seemed to be to try to destroy Sarah Heard. Heard is generally considered the best and brightest and most hard working Martin County Commissioner. Fielding is a close second.
MacAuliffe invented imaginary PACs to contribute to his PAC. Almost $200,000 traceable to Lake Point entities came into the PAC. Much of it went through state PACs and consultants. 

The State Election Commission found MacAuliffe guilty of a long list of violations of state election law. All of them were designed to keep the public from knowing who was trying to buy the election. 

See below the Election Commission’s findings. 
Unfortunately lying and cheating in Florida elections does not usually carry criminal penalties. The Election Commission fined MacAuliffe $4500. We still don’t know where all the money really came from.

In the 2016 elections the huge Lake Point contributions were missing or hidden. Instead, Big Sugar jumped into Martin County politics in a big way.

Martin County has suffered more than most from Big Sugar’s influence on Florida’s water management. We never thought Sugar could buy Martin County. People care too much about their waterways and they know too much about what Sugar has to do with the Lake Okeechobee discharges and the toxic algae blooms that are killing our river.

That’s what we thought before the 2016 election.

Meanwhile US Sugar moved into Martin County. They joined the Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Council. 

Both those groups are now insisting that Everglades Restoration does not require a reservoir south of the Lake Okeechobee. 

In 2016 a tangled web of PACs outdid Lake Point’s previous contributions. The loophole in election laws allows “independent” PACs to spend large amounts on campaigns without saying where it comes from on the ads and postcards.

Big PACs that received money from other big PACs gave money to small PACs to hurt environmental candidates and help pro-sugar, pro-Lake Point, and pro-development candidates.

The Chamber of Commerce PAC received money from the Florida Jobs PAC which received money from Sugar.

Citizens for Integrity in Martin County Politics received money from Leadership for Florida’s Future which received money from Florida Jobs PAC which received money from Sugar.

The Committee to Elect Real Conservatives received money from Florida Jobs PAC which received money from Sugar.

The Committee to Protect Florida received money from Florida Jobs PAC which received money from Sugar.

The outside PAC money was used for highly negative ads and postcards against Thurlow, Melzer, and Scott and for positive ads for Smith, Ciampi and Jenkins.

This time they won.

There are now three Martin County Commissioners that Sugar seems to believe “think like we do.”

In December of 2017 representatives of the Economic Council asked the commission to tell the Governor to remove Sarah Heard and Ed Fielding from office because of allegations from Lake Point about emails sent to their private email addresses.

The interesting awful irony is that Governor Scott’s office has illegally deleted emails on private servers and has deleted text messages that are public records. The business groups tied to Sugar have not suggested that he be removed.

If Heard and Fielding are removed because of Lake Point, Gov. Scott would appoint their replacements.

If that happens, Sugar, Lake Point and Developers own Martin County and have five Commissioners they helped get elected who “think like them.”


Geniusofdespair said...

This stinks so bad it is waffling from my computer screen. Maggy wish you all the best, you deserve it. George, you should be ashamed.

Anonymous said...

If my memory serves me correctly, Bush 41 was a defender of the Glades and Florida Bay. He fished many times in Islamorada with George Hertel. Jeb purported to be an advocate for the Glades and Florida Bay. Sugar money proved to be too tempting.

Recently, the Florida Keys Guides Association endorsed Carlos Curbelo. I cringed when I saw that. Curbelo is an "anyway the wind blows" kind of guy. The FKGA was duped.

George Barley was buddies with Jeb! and 41. Barley was also a defender of the Bay. Unfortunately, Barley died. I think he could have been a powerful force.

Sugar barons are the ones who call all the shots.