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Thrasher Should Repudiate 527 Mailings or Risk Punishment at the Polls

Beaches dermatologist Charles Perniciaro is running an uphill battle against a sitting State Senator who also happens to be the Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida.

John Thrasher was elected to the State Senate in 2009 to fill the remainder of the late Senator Jim King's final term.  He's now seeking a full term, and what seemed like a snoozer of a GOP primary has become quite the fight.  That's mostly because Perniciaro is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money to wage a professional campaign.  He's on television and has organized a real grassroots effort.

But what voters are most likely to know about Perniciaro is that he's a former Democrat who only recently switched parties.  That's because so-called 527 groups, which supposedly act independently of the campaigns, have been mailing out blistering attack pieces against the challenger.

In this recent piece (pictured below - click to expand), it's implied that Perniciaro is essentially anti-American and has indirectly supported terrorism.

On the front it shows what looks like an ashamed solider covering his face or possibly wiping a tear away, while on the reverse includes an assortment of "facts" about Democrats and the war of terror.

Trying to tie all of this back to the unassuming dermatologist is more than a reach, it's very plainly misleading.  It's not fair to Perniciaro, the voters or the Thrasher campaign, who supposedly have nothing directly to do with this group's activities.

While we've stated that we believe Senator Thrasher is the strongest candidate in this race, endorsing him in our August print edition, there should be no place in his campaign for this type of smear.  John Thrasher is better than this.

The Thrasher campaign should specifically repudiate these over-the-top negative attacks from the Responsible Leadership Committee.

We admit that Perniciaro has a party registration problem.  He was a registered Democrat for many years, abruptly switching parties right before he got into the Senate race.  And it's a perfectly valid point to raise in a Republican primary.

What blunts the impact of it, somewhat, is that Perniciaro also has a history of donating exclusively to Republican campaigns and causes.  Meanwhile, Senator Thrasher has actually given some donations to select Democrats, including a $500 check to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink in early 2009.

Of course, Thrasher later gave $500 to Bill McCollum.

Last year when Senator Thrasher won this seat in a hotly contested special election he was the target of  personal attacks from an army of 527 groups funded by the trial lawyers.  And while Thrasher was taking a pounding from those groups last year, his campaign was very vocal about it.

“John Thrasher is not about the politics of tearing people down; he is about building the community up," said Thrasher spokeswoman Sarah Bascom during the special election campaign last year. "Shame on them for these sensationalized ads.”

If Thrasher really rejects this kind of politics, then the campaign needs to quickly speak up and make it very clear that they do not support or endorse these kind of scorched earth political mailers.

Many insiders suspect that all the negative slime targeted at Thrasher in 2009 may have actually helped him out, by raising his profile with voters and casting him in the role of underdog against a well-funded army of slick political insiders.

“I think people began seeing through the attacks and I think it was a real rebuke to the kind of campaigning that was used against me,” said Thrasher following his victory in 2009.

Will history repeat itself?

71 Responses »

  1. Perniciaro will lose not because of anything that some shadowy third party does but because he has failed to run a decent campaign.

    His television advertising is frankly stupid and borders on the offensive. I’m still trying to figure out whether it is supposed to be funny or something else. Regardless, when the only thing a voter remembers is how bad the ad is, it is hard for them to recall who the ad was promoting or what that candidate’s issues are.

    His mail is equally bad, has no real message and is being delivered far out of the district. My home is in Arlington and for a while I thought that I was supposed to vote in this race after receiving all of Perniciaro’s mail.

    He seems like a nice man that has been talked into running by someone thay needs to pay their bills. This campaign has been a disastrous mess and I would be surprised if this guy earns more than 40% of the vote. After he loses, he should sue his consultant for malpractice.

    • The purpose of the advertisement was to try and turn a negative (weak name recognition and a difficult to pronounce name) into a strength. I think it accomplished its goal. Replacing Senator John Thrasher with Dr. Perniciaro would be a huge victory for the people!

      • The doctor's ads have been simply awful. My wife who is a long time volunteer for numerous charitable and political groups saw the first one and could only say, "That poor man needs to get his money back."

        What a shame that we will be stuck with Thrasher again.

      • Mr. Tea,

        Political TV ads are not aimed at people like you, your wife or me. I am sure we would prefer a serious no frills advertisment based on 100% substance. The problem is - you do not win elections by doing that. I do not care about the marketing as much as I care about the character of the candidate. Dr. P is solid.

      • John,
        I and many others - maybe more than you would initially think - would prefer to see no-frills advertisements based on facts as well. Anyone and everyone makes political ads with Candidate A walking through the daisies with their spouse and children, saluting a soldier and doing some miscellaneous community work, with a narrative consisting entirely of vague, positive concepts that appeal to 85% of Americans. With some cameras and a bootleg copy of FinalCut, practically anyone can make such a nonsense ad.

        How many times have you seen a facts-based ad which, while possibly boring, also conveys a feel of knowledgeable authority? Who's generally considered to be more credible and respectable...CNN or C-SPAN? CNN might get more eyeballs, but if C-SPAN were to put an ad on cable TV, people would assume it's the gospel truth.

        No one pays attention to classic political TV ads any more...most people's eyes glaze over like a box of donuts. Advertisements that distinguish themselves by being informative would probably get some notable attention.

  2. Will history repeat itself? Let's hope so. Thrasher is not about "building the community up." Just ask public school administrators, teachers, and parents all across the state. Thrasher is only in this business for himself. Thrasher's campaign is more than happy that these attack ads have gone out. They certainly aren't putting a stop to them, are they?

    As far as the democrat thing goes with Perniciaro, the truth is this: he registered democrat as a young man in Louisiana, as did his father and grandfather, at a time when the democratic party was the more conservative in that state. However as time went on, he supported republican candidates at the polls and with his financial contributions. (These records can be verified with the state.) In fact, he's even hosted fundraisers for republican candidates. His stance on issues is 100% republican. He doesn't agree with Obama's policies or what the federal government is doing in terms of bloated debt and health care takeover. So why didn't he change his registration sooner? As most of us, he was busy living his life, working as a respected doctor and raising his family. As he never had plans to run for office, it wasn't an issue for him. So don't let the democrat HOT AIR from Thrasher get to you. He is a conservative republican all the way.
    Check out his website at http://www.charlesperniciaro.com for more info.

    Now, take a look at Thrasher. Multiple ethics violations. Career lobbyist. Moved into the district strictly to run for office there. What has he done for District 8 since he's been in office? Pushed a wildly unpopular bill down everyone's throat, without any input from anyone other than Jeb Bush and the Chamber of Commerce. And now look at the nasty campaign he's running. Is this really the man you want representing you?

    Vote for Charles Perniciaro on Aug 24!

    • Nice try max but not really an explanation. When Perniciaro moved to Florida, his voter's registration from LA did not follow him. Just like he had to get a new drivers liscense and turn on the electricity, he also had to register to vote in the state and county that he had moved to. He chose to register Democrat when most conservative Democrats were changing their party due to Ronald Reagan.

      Furthermore, since Perniciaro has lived here both the Duval and St. Johns' county Republican Executive Committees, as well as numerous affiliated Republican clubs have run "switch campaigns" that have been heavily advertised.

      So the excuse that he was simply "living his life" while Kerry, Clinton, Gore and Obama were running for office is simply preposterous. "Living his life" sounds more like he just did not care enough to change his registration. Had he wanted to be a Republican, he had many, many chances to become one before April of this year.

      • PV forgets one thing in his weak argument about Candidate Registration.

        Due to Florida's election laws if you can only vote for one party during the primaries. In many Florida Cities and Rural areas there are only Democrats running in the City, County and other Local positions.

        Secondly, due to the disgusting amount of corruption in the Republican Party many of the Old School Republicans no longer associate themselves OR donate their money to the party.

        The Republican Party of Florida is so corrupt a Sitting Governor in Good Standing had to leave his own party. Thats history book bad, people are writing about that now.

        People not afraid to sign their own name to their comments.

        Regards,
        Todd W. Byars

        For another dose of reality, check out: http://www.MyFriendCharlie.com :)

      • Actions speak MUCH louder than the label on your party registeration.

      • This state senate district is one of the most Republican in the state and has been for over 20 years. Before it was represented by Jim King the seat was held by Bill Bankhead, also a Republcan. The majority of the local and county elected officials within the senate district are also Republicans and also have been for many years. Therefore, the argument that he wanted to vote in local elections is hard to swallow as the one that he was "living his life."

  3. Perniciaro is backed by the whackjob RLC group. These people think that 9/11 was an inside job and attack Republicans on a regular basis. I would never vote for anyone those loons support. They are the reason Quiggle lost last time.

    • Oh really, we think 9/11 was an inside job? What piece of campaign literature did you get that from. At which meeting did we discuss that as part of our literature? Don't worry, I dont expect you to answer, but I do invite you to come to an RLC meeting and say that to me. I will be there next month.

      Calling us "whack jobs" sounds like you are coming from a very uninformed or very biased place, I hope when you come to a meeting and talk with me or any of the other folks who make up the RLC you will be able to change your mind and refrain from blanket slander and mistruths.

      We also have a different mission than the REC, our mission is to keep the party honest, on-track and focused on principles not "who's turn it is". If that means we get on Republicans (and it is not often enough to characterize as "all the time") then so be it. If you continue to give bad public officials a pass, you end up with a government that does not represent you.

    • Nice smear job Kendra. I am the Chairman of the RLC Group in the area.

      Here is who we are:

      We are a coalition of constitutional conservatives and liberty-minded Republicans working within the Republican Party to promote individual liberty, free enterprise less government and state and national sovereignty. We advocate for strict adherence to the United States Constitution in accordance with the original intentions of its framers.

      One thing that differentiates us from most conventional Republican Clubs – is that we are not afraid to hold our elected officials accountable and to point the finger at our own party in an effort to keep those who represent us, principle-oriented and value-driven. Essentially we are a Caucus that believes in principle before party – always.

      Our philosopy is very similiar to that of the Founding Fathers and guess what? A lot of people at that time called them loons and whackjobs.

    • The kiss of death

      • Yeah, a regular bunch of nutballs, demanding accountability and such within the RPOF instead of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

  4. Love the commentary by people afraid to use their own names.

    Try this.

    Google: Thrasher Ethics

    To see over a decade of dirt on John Thrasher. Thousands of stories in thousands of different papers, blogs and other news sources. Stories in all the major newswires.

    Stories in just about every Newspaper in the Nation...

    If you do not trust Google, try ANY Search Engine.

    Welcome to the real world.

    Regards,
    Todd W. Byars

    • Hi Todd. I respect the fact that you stood up for our values and filed a complaint against Thrasher last April. Please visit Dr. Perniciaro's website. He was sick and tired of hearing people complain and couldn't risk Thrasher running unopposed. It is people like the two of you who really make a difference in our country.

  5. Kendra. I guess if you consider people who stand up in defense of our Constitution "Wacky or Loony" then obviously you must be in support of tyranny. The Constitution protects us from Federal Government overstepping its boundaries. Unlike you and your apparent love for the establishment, the RLC stands up to call out so called Republicans who act like socialists. We call them out. Does that make us popular amongst the establishment? Of course not. But I would rather be able to tell my kids that I stood up against Tyranny, and did not join hands with it.

    Our support, as individuals and the RLC, is based on PRINCIPAL, obviously an issue you don't quite understand. We ONLY back PRINCIPLED REPUBLICANS, a concept that the establishment does not like. Take your rants, delusional accusations and name calling elsewhere. YOU are part of the problem causing the disintegration of our once conservative Republican party.

  6. Again we, the REAL republicans of the RLC are forced to defend ourselves in public against traitorous scum who hide under assumed names and make false claims about decent people.

    We have observed and questioned Dr. Perniciaro at length and find him to be an honest, thoughtful and concerned citizen who has made the decision to serve his country and his state. He is a true conservative, who adheres to the principles of liberty, the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights. He intends to work to restore the type of representative government that the people deserve, and dismantle government, repeal intrusive laws, cut taxes and programs so that our state economy can thrive and our citizens can enjoy both the benefits and yes, challenges that liberty provides.

  7. Reward good behavior and strong candidates with your votes when you see it.

    They go negative because we reward it with our vote.

  8. The reason Quiggle lost last time was because Thrasher and special interest lobbies threw $6 million into the campaign to run a smear job like no other. It worked. The voters were fooled.

  9. Charles Perniciaro is the man for this job, hands down, bar none. He is principled with intregrity and holds the deep character that the Founding Fathers would be proud to endorse. For those of you who do not support him, do not know him, nor have you even met him, I urge you to. We need to look at actions and a persons character when deciding to cast our precious vote. This election is the most important one in our lifetime and the time for "mud slinging, politics as usual" mentality set aside. Do your homework! Do not take the words of anyone's political campaign flyers or pamplets as truth, be it good or bad. Having said that, when you place the "actions" and the "character" side by side to Perniciaro and Thrasher, the obvious answer is abundantly true. Perniciaro WINS. We need to get back on track, not only in Florida but in America and voting in true Americans that have only the agenda of Americans at heart, regardless of their party affiliation. What is wrong in America today is NOT a PARTY issue, it is a greed and power grab issue and it runs deep on both sides of the isle. It's time to STAND UP and be accountable to ourselves, our family members, friends and to our flag and Founding Fathers. We put them in there, it's way past time to take them OUT! Vote Perniciaro on Tuesday the 24th, we need him now, more than ever!

    • i could not have said it better. Dr. Perniciaro wants to bring the decision back to the people and get us back to the principles of America. Politics were meant to have term limits and not to be a career! We need fresh ideas such as those put forth by Dr. P. Send the career politicians back to the private sector.

    • Integrity, character, etc, etc - awesome. Then clearly we can elect the Pope, right?

      The voters need to know something of more substance about Perniciaro. Do you know what SUBSTANCE is in this context? It means something other than nonsense. Please, stop insulting our intelligence and give us something that is meaningful rather than a nebulous cloud of vague ideas!

      • Charles Perniciaro is a Mayo Clinic trained MD, Dermatologist, and is currently Director of Dermatopathology at Bernhardt Labratories. His professional career has been centered around life or death decisions, budgeting, health care issues, and education. He had a distinguished research and teaching career at Mayo, then decided to go into private practice. He received the Practitioner of the Year award from the Florida Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery (FSDDS) at its 2009 Annual Meeting. Dr. Perniciaro was selected in recognition for his "long-standing commitment to the highest quality of patient care and dedicated leadership in this pursuit." An expert in Dermatopathology, Dr. Perniciaro has led Bernhardt Laboratories’ division in Dermatopathology since 2001. Formerly a consultant for the Mayo Clinic, he has served on the faculties of the University of Florida; Shands Jacksonville Medical Center; The Mayo Medical School in Rochester, MN; Louisiana State University School of Medicine; and Tulane University School of Medicine. Dr. Perniciaro has authored over 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Would you like another long list of what "he has to offer"? If this doesn't speak volumes to the brilliant buisiness man that he is, than I don't know what does. He has lived in the district for the past 20 years. Please take the opportunity to visit his website and learn about some of his issues. He was a registered democrate, but please remember that when he registered as a democate, the democrates were conservative. Dr. Perniciaro has a long history of successful businesses as well as 2 private practices. I believe this to be a strong attribute to why he is qualified to be senator. Budgeting is a huge responsibility for a senator, and Dr. Perniciaro is a successful business man, as well as, a morally sound doctor. He's lived in the district for 20 yrs, he knows the issues the district faces, and his wife is a teacher in district 8 who holds a master's degree in education. I believe these all to be qualifying attributes. Also, please take a look at his long list of conservative contributions listed on his website. D. Gianoulis is a highly respected woman, who I believe, cares for the individuals in Distric 8, but I do not think she has the business experience needed to make the best decisions for District 8. I am extremely proud of Dr. Perniciaro for standing up for district 8. He was sick and tired of watching the dishonest, and unethical politicians in Tallahassee help themselves and hurt us. HE'S TAKING A STAND!!! HE IS ONE OF US FOR ALL OF US!!! Way to go PERNICIARO!!

        Dr. Perniciaro has a long history of successful businesses as well as 2 private practices. I believe this to be a strong attribute to why he is qualified to be senator. Budgeting is a huge responsibility for a senator, and Dr. Perniciaro is a successful business man, as well as, a morally sound doctor. He's lived in the district for 20 yrs, he knows the issues the district faces, and his wife is a teacher in district 8 who holds a master's degree in education. I believe these all to be qualifying attributes. He's running because we need change, Thrasher was running unopposed, and this is a Republican district. He willingly accepts donations, but refuses to accept donations from 527, or PAC Orgs. He's rather spend his own money to support his cause opposed to taking dirty, mud slinging money from those kind of groups. That's not what true politics is all about!

        He has a strong business background which is needed for budgeting, and president/ founder/ member of many professional organizations, whether medical or not, exemplifies his ability to organize, represent, and implement policies, and guidelines throughout our state. This to me seems to be the foundation and making of an excellent senator.

        Here are a few other qualifications as well..... it pays to do research. Organizations: Member, American Medical Association Fellow, American College of Physicians Fellow. Royal Society of Medicine Florida Medical Association, 1990-present Medical Association of Georgia Duval County Medical Society Southern Medical Association American Academy of Dermatology Former Board of Directors ,American Society of Dermatopathology Board of Directors,, Zola Cooper Clinical and Dermatopathologic Seminar International Society of Dermatopathology American Society for Mohs Surgery Noah Worcester Dermatological Society Former President, Florida Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery Georgia Society of Dermatologists Former President, Jacksonville Dermatology Society Founder, Baton Rouge Dermatological Society Director, Southwest Louisiana Skin Cancer Foundation Caucuses/Non-Legislative Committees: Medical Advisory Board, National Association for Pseudoxanthoma Elasticum, 1997-2006 Ad Hoc Task Force on Sunscreens, American Academy of Dermatology, 1998 Advisory Board Representative, American Academy of Dermatology, 1995-2001, 2006-2007 Environment Council, American Academy of Dermatology, 1994-1996 Task Force on Dermatologic Oncology, American Academy of Dermatology, 1990-1993 Committee on Skin and the Environment, American Academy of Dermatology, 1993 Chairman, Subcommittee on Medical Waste Management, American Academy of Dermatology, 1991-1992 Member, Committee on Preventive Dermatology, American Academy of Dermatology, 1988-1990

  10. I find it interesting that Mr. Thrasher has said that he does not support or endorse 527's or PAC Orgs, yet he, along with those types of organizations threw 6 million towards his efforts to win using a dirty, mud slinging tactic to win. It is sad and unneccessary!!! We the people need to research for ourselves and make solid sound decisions about who we vote for. Just because you read it in print, DOES NOT make it true. Yes it is illegal to slander someone in print with untrue statements, but PLEASE remember that these groups twist their words to legally seem truthful, but they are completely false. ITS A COWARDS WAY OF CAMPAIGNING!! Its very sad that individuals read these mailers and believe them. Please do your research. Research ethics, education, professional achievments, issues, and morals of both individuals. You will blatenly see that Dr. Perniciaro superceeds Thrasher in all of areas!!! We need a change, we need to get that lobbyists Thrasher out, and Perniciaro in, he is one of us for all of us. He cares about the District, not just pleasing his buddies in Tallahassee. Perniciaro doesn't have any buddies in Tallahassee, it is my understanding that he is an MD who is sick and tired of watching our tax dollars being wasted on lobbiest decisions. Lobbyists should not be able to become legislators. There is a definite conflict of interest!

  11. Once this article came out about the 527 mailers and the complaint that was filed by the Perniciaro campaign in Tallahassee, I decided to do some research and found that John Thrasher was a lobbyist for the Southern Strategy Group until Feb of 2009, right before he decided to run for office. A major client of the Souther Strategy Group is Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, the same Blue Cross and Blue Shield that donated 35,000 for attack mailers against Dr. Perniciaro. Coincidence???? I think not. Blue Cross and Blue Shield also donated to the Responsible Leadership Committee. The Responsible Leadership Committee is another 527 group that has sent out multiple dirty, mud slinging mailers against Perniciaro which contain false, untrue, and unamerican claims. The complaint was filed because these groups are legally bound to report all donations over $5,000 within 24 hours of receiving the funds. They said they received the funds on June 11th, and used almost $12,000 on attack mailers against Dr. Perniciaro between June 30th and July 26th. The group failed to register and report until July 26th. This is one month after the 24 hour deadline. The Responsible Leadership Committee and the Thrasher campaign have both used the services of Tallahassee-based Coates Law Firm and Gainesville-based Data Targeting Inc., a political communications, consulting, and polling firm. Another coincidence, I think not. Thrasher is a proven lobbyist. In my opinion lobbyist's should not be aloud to be our legislator's. This is another conflict of interest. We need new blood in Tallahassee, the good ole' boys have been there far to long, whether they are/ were lobbyist, or legislators. Please consider wisely and support your district with a stand up citizen of this district, Dr. Perniciaro. Here are the references that I used for my research: http://olcrpublic.leg.state.fl.us/by_report.cfm?rpt_id=11309&CFID=2052899&CFTOKEN=80864420 and http://jacksonville.com/news/florida/2010-08-19/story/perniciaro-filing-election-complaint-against-political-organization

    • Tina,
      Can you articulate exactly why it would be a bad idea for a lobbyist to be a legislator?

      Thanks!

      • I would say lobbist are Americans too. They are lobbist because they have a particular interest: which is very Ameerican in my mind.

        This business of demonizing fellow Americans for representing their interest is a ploy to divert attention from the very issue, by creating a straw man to hate.

      • Lobbyists are American too, but when one profession becomes a conflict of interest with another profession, it should be illegal. A legislator's reponsiblity is to the people and businesses of their district, not special interest groups or inside deals for economic gains or votes. Lobbyists who play one side of the fence, shouldn't be allowed to play the other. It is clearly a conflict of interest which isn't allowed in most arenas other than politics. It is really interesting to me to that many values and issues that aren't tolerated or allowed in our everyday lives, seem to be tolerated or allowed in politics. Why is this? We live by it, but we don't vote by it. I think there should be a golden rule in politics as well. Just my opinion.

      • The legislator's reponsibility also lies with the entire state, not just the district. :) I was thinking and typing too fast. (caught myself when I re-read what I wrote) :)

      • When Americans have similar interests, they should be able (and do) form a coalition to represent their concerns to government leaders. This is appropriate, and entirely ethical.

        Something about the First Amendment. . .

  12. Thrasher needs to go!

  13. How can the head of the Ethics committee in Tallahassee have ethics violations??? Why would I want someone with ethics violations representing me? Why is it ok for politicians to have criminal records or ethics violations, yet an average everyday citizen who has a record has difficulty getting a job? So we won’t hire a criminal, or someone with weak ethics, but we will elect them to represent us and make important decisions for us. Hummmm sounds a little backwards to me!! Dr. Perniciaro has had ZERO violations in his personal and professional life. Thrasher has had MULTIPLE red marks and violations. Please research his involvement as Speaker of the House in 1998 and the illegal investigation of state workers and their voter registration. In 1998 the Speaker of the House had political operatives secretly and illegally looking at the voter registration of agencies that had high numbers of democratic voters, which was education, and eliminating the Florida Board of Regents, which was responsible for overseeing the Florida University system. Guess who the Speaker of the House was in 1998 and 1999, you guessed it John Thrasher. They filled the positions with Republican insiders, then the Republican party began to systematically disenfranchise Democratic voters by racial profiling, incorrect felon matches, and unclear voter ballots which swayed the vote in their favor. The racial profiling and incorrect felon matches affected 57,000 democratic voters who were ineligible to vote across the state. John Thrasher was the brain behind this whole operation, he started it by illegally targeting Democrats. These are not the type of Republican values that I want to be affiliated with. Where is the honesty and integrity in all of this? Please read the article, the facts are printed in black and white. http://www.hermes-press.com/criminal_vote.htm We need to get rid of the illegal insiders and represent our party with pride and dignity. Dr. Perniciaro has pride and dignity and will bring honor back to the Republican party if elected.

  14. Does anybody else find this interesting??? Signature on a secret deal...

    April 1, 2010 -- Greer files a lawsuit against the state party and Thrasher as party chairman, claiming they reneged on a secret severance package that would have paid Greer about one-year’s salary, nearly $124,000. The lawsuit also claims that Cannon and Haridopolos allegedly offered to pay Greer $200,000 in "hush money," to remain quiet about the severance agreement. Thrasher, Cannon and Haridopolos’ signatures appear on the secret deal, although not all on the same page, indicating their active involvement in the negotiations.

    IF you look at the timeline regarding this issue, you will see that allegations started flying in Jul/ Aug of 2009. Greer resigned on Dec 18th, 2009. April 1, 2010 Thrasher, Cannon, and Haridopolos signed a secret deal paying Greer a severance, and hush money, with all three signatures on the deal. Now if Greer is truly guilty, and Thrasher, Cannon, and Haridopolos are innocent, then why would they create a secret deal to spend more of the party's money, and why would HUSH money be an issue? OPEN YOUR EYES PEOPLE and read the facts. Please vote Thrasher out, he is no good. Look who he was trying to protect, and who was going to have to pay for it.

    • I find it intereating that a Democrat switches partys' when his own party is in a slump the year he wants to get elected. Sounds an awful lot like Arlen Spector.

      The good doctor should work with the Republican Party for a few election cycles to show he's serious about being a Republican and not a wolf in sheeps clothing. I think that's fair.

      • I have never bought the "pay your dues" argument.

        But that is just me.
        Picture this, if you will, Jim.

        I am a successful professional who is not really involved in politics. I have been registered in the party of my upbringing for most of my life, but like most older, Southern Democrats, I have been voting Republican for years. I have grown tired of my local senator. My friends and colleagues all urge me to run, I know that my small government message will likely not be well received in the Democratic primary, particularly because, unlike most more rural local Democratic Organizations, my areas party is more aligned with the national party (mostly due to the influx of Yankees to the area over the last 40 years). So I switch my parties to make sure that I am able to attract the most voters to my banner.

      • Thank you Randy. I don't buy the pay your dues argument either. There are no dues in party affilitation, and stereotyping is an easy way to bully others into not standing up and doing whats right. Only the strong and brave support their claims just like DR. P.

  15. Just rec'd more absolutely ridiculous attack mailers. What is wrong with these people. Has Blue Cross and Blue Shield lost their minds!? We are all sick of these lies and sick of being treated like we are stupid. The 527 and Blue Cross are wasting our time and are money and are insulting our intelligence. They are wicked and shameful. Dr. Perniciaro is pro-life! Call him and ask him yourself. With the dup truck loads of dirt on Thrasher, Perniciaro has run a clean and honorable campaign because he is an honest man with integity. Thrasher is obviously scared of the voters and desperate to remain in "power." If you reelect him, you will get more of the same. I'm waiting for Thrasher to get his indictment in RPOF scandal with Greer!

  16. In research I found that Mr. Thrasher has had another complaint filed against him regarding lobbying and personal gain:

    Ethics Complaint filed today about noon.
    RE: Senator John Thrasher (District 8 – Duval )
    Todd W. Byars
    6555 Tom Roberts One
    Tallahassee, FL 32305
    April 20, 2010

    Philip Claypool
    Executive Director and General Counsel
    State of Florida Commission on Ethics
    P.O. Drawer 15709
    Tallahassee, Florida 32317-5709

    RE: Senator John Thrasher (District 8 – Duval )

    Dear Mr. Claypool:

    This letter, and the attached complaint Form 50, do serve as a filed complaint against Senator John Thrasher, representing Senate District 8. Based on newspaper, television and Internet news being reported, it appears Senator Thrasher has, on numerous occasions violated the public trust, particularly Florida Statues as listed below.

    Accordingly, the Florida Commission on Ethics has jurisdiction over these matters and Senator Thrasher pursuant to Florida Statutes, Section 112.322. The investigation of John Thrasher may also include State and Federal agencies separate from this filing.

    The following discussion and attached documents will demonstrate a violation of Florida Statutes, Section 112.311(1), which provides that “public office may not be used for private gain”.

    News Agencies and on-line resources indicate a conflict of interest and financial gain by Senator John Thrasher who was until recently, a paid Lobby for Testing Companies and Charter School groups. The referring stories are attached with links or other information to the source. Due to a request for brevity in the instructions for Complaint Form 50, only 2 Items are attached.

    Discussion of each item and its relevance to this complaint:

    Item 1: Article from Florida Times Union – ‘Testing Companies paid Thrasher’s former lobbying firm.’ John Thrasher was a paid lobby for the firms until very recently. As such he is paid to promote these causes.. This is a conflict of interest when he proposes legislation that benefits his testing companies and charter schools statewide. Senator Thrasher is being paid as a Senator and a Lobby. This is a violation of the Statutes listed above and possibly others.

    Item 2: Article from St. Augustine Record – ‘Thrasher denies lobbying for testing firms.’ Similar to Item 1 this article discusses the payments made to Thrasher’s Lobby Firm. Again Senator Thrasher is in violation of Florida Statutes against ‘private gain.’

    Attached to this complaint are copies of documents, referenced above.

    This complaint requests a complete review of Senator John Thrasher and his promotion of legislation that promotes Testing, Charter Schools, For Profit Schools, or any legislation relating to Education in the State of Florida.

    Further, I consider this document to be part of my civic duties and the exercise of my First Amendment right to Free Speech as guaranteed under the Constitution of The United States.

    Please contact me in writing with any official requests for additional information. Thank you for your time.

    Sincerely,

    Todd W. Byars

    • Well there it is folks, the opening volley of the Gianoulous for Senate campaign.

      Perniciaro was never a real candidate, merely a Trojan Horse for the trial lawyers to begin their ususal smear job against someone who has fought them for 20 years. The theory was laid out early, let's find a willing dupe and have him beat Thrasher up. Then Deb! can come in on a white horse, supported by millions in trial lawyer money (sound familiar Mr. Quiggle?) and not have to get down in the mud because Perniciario and his team will have already laid out the main points.

      Perniciaro's consultent (Varian) and Deb!'s (Daigle) meet and speak on a regular basis to coordinate strategy and can often be seen congratulating each other on Facebook. Since both of their clients will ultimatly lose they will be the only winners after enriching themselves with all that trial lawyer money.

      Do not be fooled, this is not about their repective candidates, but about two guys who have never been part of anything larger than a school board race trying to make names for themselves.

      • Oh boy, here come the excuses. It couldnt be that they meet because they are friends who are in the same business?

        John Thrasher has been trotting the same old boogeyman out for two elections. You guys really need to get a better tune, it sounded like the sad and desperate bleatings of a campaign that could not run on the merits of their candidate in 2009, it sounds the same today.

      • Trial lawyers is just an excuse for individuals like you. Please show me where that statement merits any credidation towards Dr. Perniciaro? In a public press confrence, he denounced any contributions from PAC orgs and 527's. He refuses to be behind any type of smear campaign, to be perfectly honest with you, a smear campaign has been preformed against him, but you don't see him stooping to that level and firing back with childish false acusations that twist words and issues. If two candidates don't agree, then they should debate the issue. Campaign their differences on a honest level. They are supposed to be role models. Dr. Perniciaro has been a role model, and if not elected he can walk away with his head held high knowing he was honest, truthful, and honorable throughout his whole campaign.

    • Any convictions? Or are these all just accusations?

      • Do your research. He's been fined twice for two seperate violations. So yes, if a complaint is followed by a investigation, and the investigation is followed by a violation, and the violation is followed by a fine, then I would call that two convictions. You are extremely lacking on your education for both cadidates.

      • I shouldn't have said you were lacking, that was poor judgement on my behalf. I'm sorry. The above complaint did not end in a violation, but there have been two others. I've heard excuses that the others happened yrs ago, but in my eyes they still happened. Teachers, police officers, day care workers, doctors, etc... do not have the excuse of "past time" when they are found to guilty of a violation. Would you choose a doctor with a malpractice conviction, over a doctor with a flawless record? Or a teacher with poor results, over a teacher with an impeccable record of test scores? I don't understand why politicians get to slip through the cracks??? Where is our countries integrity? Don't we can enough about our leaders and how they represent us globally than to allow questionable individuals in office?

  17. I curious how it it that a Democrat who changes partys' when it's a bad year for Democrats, complains for being labelled as a Democrat.

    I'm further astonished that said (former) Democrat believes himself to be an example of conservatism when he remained a member of his party until it hurts him in his personal endeavors.

    Above these issues, I'm concerned that Dr. Perniciaro has the support of an organization who's leadership has been removed from their positions with the Republican Party, (and required a police escort to leave a quorumed meeting where they were not welcome. Only to have one member of the group bang on a window of the meeting and make a spectacle of herself), supporting this "newly converted" Democrats' run for one of the most important districts in the state. Frankly, I smell a rat.

    I have no patients for more Democrat games such as this. This is the North Florida equivalant to the Central Florida situation where Democrat Alan Grayson is financing "split the vote" type candidates within the Republican Party. Through another pair of Republicans who were removed from their positions for similar nafarious activities.

    If Dr. Perniciaro wants to be a Republican, let him work within the party for several election cycles to prove he isn't a wolf in sheeps clothing. When we know we can trust him, we will consider voting for him; but not now.

    • Hi JDavis. I'd like to clarify the Demorat issue for you. Dr. Perniciaro registered as a Democrat when the south's Democrat's were conservative. That time in history is called the Solid South. It wasn't until 1980 when the Regan Revolution came about that southern conservatives began to vote republican. Charles Perniciaro has always voted and contributed to conservatives. He never planned on running for office, which is why changing his registration was never an issue. If you view the link provided you will see all of his contributions in the state of Florida for the last 15 yrs. http://www.charlesperniciaro.com/images/FL-State-Contribtions.gif All of those contributions were to Republicans and committees that support tort reform. No Democrats. He's also hosted fund raisers in his home for Republican candidates. Below is a link about the Solid South. http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/08292008/profile3.html The information provided is from an independent site with no party affiliation (NPA). Please research the information provided. Dr. Perniciaro has lived and voted Republican for a long, long time.

      • Are you saying that he moved here more than 30 years ago, prior to Reagan being elected?

      • Tina,
        Hi. I'm willing to accept that explanation, but I'm also dubious of the last minute switch. The doctor is welsome to the party of course, but I'd rather see him participate and support a few Republicans before I vote for him as one. The timing is too suspicious, his new-found support doesn't have a reputation for being honest and supportive of the Republican Party, and there's no way to prove his dedication to the Republican platform. I'd rather see him lose this time, come work with the GOP, and develop a track record.

        Rest assured that I'm not singling this man out, My opinion is principle based, not personal.

      • That's honest enough. I personally think that hosting events and supporting campaigns is crediable, there are many republicans who have been registered for years, but have not contributed one cent, time, or energy to the party and its extremly hard for me to think that that type of individual would get more merit than one that has physically and financially supported the party. He never planned to run, but is sick and tired of Thrasher trying to push though bills that only hurt the citizens. That is why he decided to run, and in order to do so he had to formally register, but his contributions, voting record, and host of events speaks for its self. I can reassure you that he is, and has been a republican through and through. He couldn't sit back and watch what was happening with disgust and not do anything about it. I admire him for that! And as brilliant as he is, don't you think that he would have switch a long time ago if he planned on running? His actions speak that of a Republican and to me, that is all that counts. The rest of the credentials are there, leadership, educator, successful businessman, negotiator, public speaker, public involvement, and passion! He has been successful in every other aspect of his life, why should anyone doubt his abilities now, he HAS poven himself. Shouldn't you want the best man for the job who has a flawless track record. You're letting a piece of paper with a checked box stand in the way of your sound judgement. He has everything else, as well as his proven involvement with the REP party to substantiate him. I ask you to please look beyond the superficial claims, and research the real Dr. Perniciaro, his stance on issues, and what he has to offer the state of Florida.

      • Reagan was elected in 80 and gained office in 81. I believe he moved her a couple of years prior. The Reagan era was the term for Dems becoming Reps. But it wasn't until 1984 that the conservative switch was offical in the eyes of Washington. So my answer is Yes, he moved here def before 1984 and has contributed $10,000 dollars to REP since, and $0 dollars to DEM. The evidence is on the FL election website. I hope this answers your question. Please tell me about yourself and your involvement in the REP party other than the R next to your name. I'd love to discuss it :)

      • Tina per his web site he "moved into the district in 1990." At that point he was required to change the address on his voters registration to his new home address. He had to contact the Supervisor of Elections Office in order to do so and by your explanation Tina 1990 was when conservative Southern Democrats were becoming Republicans (by the way Earle and Merle Black, both PhD's and considered experts on Southern voter behavior have written that the migration to the Republican party occured between 1980 and 1986, not in 1990 and the data supports their reserach and not your explanation), thus the good Dr. had the opportunity but not the desire to become a Republican in 1990.

        Again, Perniciaro became a Republican in April of this year just before he filed to run for office. His explanation of that party switch has been difficult to believe, his campaign has been awful and tomorrow he will be forgotten as he fails to get 40% of the vote.

      • Bob, there are still tons of Southern Democrats who are still Democrats even though they have not voted or given to a Dem in a long time. It is what it is. But of course one of the most visible methods of every day candidate support is financial contributions, by that standard Dr. P has been a much better Republican than Mr. Thrasher.

        Coincidentally, Dr. P changed his registration with plenty of time to qualify, it took Thrasher a pretty long time until he got around to following the law and moving into the District before the special election. I will take a regular guy with good ideas before I take a carpettbagging politician who resorts to the kind of trash that is in these mailers.

  18. If Dr. Perniciaro is willing to work with the Republican Party for several election cycles to earn the trust and respect of Republican voters, then he's welcome to do so.

    It's not reasonable for a person to change partys' and expect to be elected by their new party within months of that party switch: unless of course, ones' name is Arlen Specter.

    • In my research I found that Thrasher, the RPOF Chairman, contributed $500 for this years general election to Democrat Alex Sink (2009), $500 to Democrate Alfred Lawson (2006), and $500 to Democrat Stacy Ritter (2005). If he was a true republican he would not be giving over a pennie to the democrats for their campaigns. He is suppose to be our party chairman, but he is stabbimg us in the back. He obviously does not stand by our party. Does he not realize that after every primary election there is a general election? Giving 500 dollars to Alex Sink's Campaign before he gave a pennie to any republican makes me question his motives, especially being a 20 year lobbyist.

  19. "While we've stated that we believe Senator Thrasher is the strongest candidate in this race, endorsing him in our August print edition, there should be no place in his campaign for this type of smear. John Thrasher is better than this."

    The JAX Observer had it wrong and still has it wrong. Thrasher is NOT better than this. He knows exactly what he is doing. Thrasher does not represent the kind of "strength" Florida deserves.

    IF he had issues to debate, he would have gone down that road. Instead, he goes personal, a clear sign of desperation. Is it possible that Party connections and money will in annoint him or will the Republican voters in Senate District 8 do what they have to do when casting their ballot. Enough already!

  20. The fact that Thrasher supporters are more concerned about Perniciaro's Party Label than what he actually stands for speaks volumes...

    • Volume One

      Why did the Good Dr. wait over 20 years to become a Republican?

      Volume Two

      Why would the Good Dr. put over $300 K of his own money into a campaign that he knew he could not win?

      Volume Three

      Why do the Good Dr.'s consultent and the Democrat candidate's consultent meet on a regular basis to discuss strategy and tactics?

      Volume Four

      Will we ever see the Good Dr. again at a Republican function after tomorrow?

      • Volume One:
        Explained several times, see above posts.

        Volume Two:
        He is putting his money where his mouth is, like he has for the last 20 years and to better effect than Mr. Thrasher. As to the "can not win", why not? Is it somehow forbidden to challenge the sacred person of John Thrasher? Guess we must all sit around and accept the bidding of the feudal lords...gimmie a break, out of all the ridiculous things you have said, this is tops. Of course, if Dr. P were such a insignificant bother, why is Thrasher...I mean Thrashers allies, pouring so much money into these idiotic and completely misleading mailers.

        Volume Three:
        Since you seem hung up on this, do you have recordings to prove that they discussed strategy? I can tell you that based on the information I have gathered, only one such meeting has taken place since they both signed on with their respective clients. Of course, the fact that they are old friends and professionals could not have anything to do with it. No, that would be impossible.

        This is just more shadowy conspiracy theories from the ever more paranoid ranks of the frightened elite. Last time it was boogeyman trial lawyers, now it is fifth column Democrats coordinating attack strategies for what? What would be the reasoning behind such a harebrained conspiracy?

        As I said before, you have not a thread of proof, why? because there is none.

        Volume Four:
        After the treatment he has received from GOB's, I would not be surprised if he does what alot of people have been doing lately, come to the RLC where we are working to make sure the party nominates legislators who will uphold the U.S. and Florida Constitution and do the right thing for Florida not themselves.

      • Just curious, how did the RLC backed candidates do this evening?

      • We had one win out of 3, Yost.

  21. This race will now go down as one of the biggest jokes in Northeast Florida political history. Really much ado about nothing with the result never in doubt.

    I feel sorry for Perniciaro as he was taken for a ride by all of those who told him that he had a realistic chance to win. Hopefully this one awful experience will not keep him from being a part of the process in the future.

    • Those of us who supported him and encouraged him are not going to be the reason he is discouraged. The people in the "establishment" who treated him like trash and sent out these disgusting mailers are the reason that he may not want to participate in the future. I hope that is incorrect and I hope it only encourages more people to come in an challenge the establishment.

  22. I find it hilarious that everyone sans Jim Davis is hiding behind screen names because they don't have the conviction to put their real names to their words.

    A guy stood up for his principles to go against someone who was supposed to be unbeatable. He knew the odds the whole time. I believe in the end he actually did better than he thought he would.

    Endorsing a candidate isn't always about picking the guy who's the sure winner so you can put another "trophy" on the wall. It's about going with your principles. The current climate in Florida isn't very well based on principles. See the RPOF's meddling in the governor primary, the issues with Crist, Greer, the deals behind closed doors... It's a mess, and it'll take 2-3 election cycles to get it swinging in the right direction. I believe Rick Scott's win will be a huge step in that direction, mainly because it smacked the RPOF right in the jaw.

    So yes, for now, picking very principled candidates rather than just going with "sure winners" will probably see you lose more than you win. And that is just how things are.

    Let's examine who the RLCNEF endorsed in the big races in the area:

    Mike Yost, CD3
    Charles Perniciaro, SS8
    Luis Melendez, SH16

    None of these three men have ever run a campaign before. I'll go in reverse order.

    Luis opted to run, not even to knock off McBurney, but just as a reminder that no one's job is 100% safe, a sort of "remember that people will keep you on your toes" deal. I don't think I ever heard anything negative from Luis against McBurney, and most RLCers were okay with McBurney winning if he did. Luis was a guy who just wanted to shake things up a little, for the "little people." And from what I can see, that was a mission accomplished.

    Charlie was a dermatologist who stepped in to run against the sitting RPOF chairman who is also a lobbyist with access to a lot of money and who's proven to not be concerned with running the most ethical campaign. All expectations for his campaign were that he would pull just enough of a chunk to make Thrasher notice; and he did. I was pulling for Charlie and working my butt off for his campaign, but even when I was asked about his chances, I answered honestly that with the man he was running against, it wasn't likely. We all knew that going in. Again, it's not always about the winning.

    Mike popped up out of nowhere, was ridiculed by most in the DCREC, but worked hard and had the most time of any of them to put something together. He worked the ground, hard. Filed to run with petitions. Petitions! That's not easy. He had to go against Chris Nwasike, who most liked as a guy to run against Corrine Brown for the silliest reasons, and, even worse, Dean Black. Dean had a great stage presence, knew the right things to do to get attention, and had the obvious backing of party people. This was the one race where it was expected that the candidate had a shot at winning, though most of us figured it'd be a lot closer than it was. And what happened? The one guy we thought could win *did* win.

    The RLC isn't about maneuvering itself to look good, or picking winners regardless of whether they fit principles or not. It's about picking candidates who match a specific set of principles and supporting them, even if they might not win on election day.

    As to the "9/11 Truther" comment, I'm hardcore RLC and I've made my opinions on "Truthers" quite well known, and never had an issue with it because there are very few "Truthers" in the RLC (probably fewer than in the general REC and such).

    -Erik