This post continues to document information relevant to the “partisanship” issue Mackinnon has attempted to exploit to tar Leary.
Anne Mooney runs Winter Park Voice. Winter Park Voice is organized as a for-profit entity to avoid revealing it’s donors. I have no problem with this on its face. What is problematic is that Mooney continues to posture Winter Park Voice as a politically agnostic journalistic operation when it is not.
In her February 24, 2015 message Mooney says.
In the mayoral race, Cynthia Mackinnon confirmed that at her January 7, 2015, kickoff party, volunteers from the Orange County Democratic Party offered to help her campaign. Mackinnon declined their offer, pointing out that local Winter Park elections are nonpartisan. Online advertising was removed from the Democrats’ website, and no volunteers from the Democratic Party organization have worked on Mackinnon’s campaign.
Mackinnon did not “confirm” anything, nor has Mooney. Mackinnon told us weeks after January 7th that she had asked the Orange County Democratic Party (OCDP) not to help her campaign. Mooney’s language does not confirm Mackinnon’s claimed conversation occurred, or the date she first claimed she had the conversation, or who she had the conversation with. The only information here is Mooney accepting Mackinnon’s version of the story without evidence.
Mooney’s statement that “on-line advertising was removed from the Democrat’s website” leaves the false impression that this was done on January 7. I took a screen shot of the OCDP web site proving that as of February 17 the OCDP was advertising events in support of Mackinnon. While these listings are no longer present Mackinnon was receiving direct partisan campaign support of OCDP from at least January 5 to at least February 17, during the heart of the campaign.
Leary himself may not have consulted with OCREC, but records show his campaign has paid out more than $11,000 to Orlando-based Millennium Consulting, run by John Dowless, which also does work for OCREC and for Republican candidates for local, state and national office.
To the best of my knowledge John Dowless is a professional campaign manager/consultant. The selection of a campaign manager is a matter of free choice and they tend to work for anyone willing to pay them regardless of party affiliation. Mooney does not disclose information on this subject about Mackinnon’s campaign. As of February 6 Mackinnon had paid $6,000 to Mercury Public Affairs LLC, 437 Madison Ave. 9th Floor, New York, NY. I do not know who Mackinnon works with from Mercury but their Florida staff includes Ashley Walker, 2012 State Director for Obama for America in Florida. What would the reaction be if I engaged in guilt by association regarding Mackinnon’s campaign consultants?
Any communication between a candidate and a political party would put a candidate in the position of “consultation” and would be unadvisable even if that “consultation” was to ask not to help, as even that request may be made with the intent of making an issue of an opposition partisan political party supporting a candidate of their choice.
The facts make clear that OCDP overtly supported Mackinnon at least from their January 5 endorsement until February 17 with their endorsement continuing to appear on their web site even now. Making an issue of whether or not Leary or Mackinnon did, did not, or should have communicated with OCRP or OCDP is irrelevant. Both OCRP and OCDP have overtly supported the candidate of their choice as is their right, regardless of the language of the Winter Park Charter.
In her tortured post of February 24 Mooney reveals herself as a Mackinnon supporter hiding behind a thin veneer of journalistic pretense.
See clearly. Vote wisely.
Regards, Pete Weldon