November 20, 2013
Dear Ms. Emmert,
Yesterday evening, I arrived at the AFL-CIO meeting (which was originally open to the public) in which William Rankin, candidate for Florida State CFO, was to speak. I was there with two other members of our local community. It was at this meeting where in front of witnesses, William Rankin, and you, while pointing at me, made allegations that I was some sort of political operative, and questioned my personal and/or professional affiliation with Jeff Atwater. There is absolutely no affiliation or connection between myself and Atwater. I’m a voter and a resident of Palm Beach County. I’m a Registered Republican that hasn’t voted consistently Republican since I started voting. But regardless, I was under the impression that your association was non-partisan, or at the very least, bi-partisan and not exclusionary based on political affiliation.
This email is to assure you that not only do I NOT work for Atwater (I’m sure you could tell when you asked me if I worked for “Jeff” and I didn’t know initially to whom you were referring) but all of my research and reporting on Rankin has been ON BEHALF AND AT THE REQUEST of constituents within your local Democratic Party Committee and Board leadership in Palm Beach and Broward Counties, as well as local attorneys which are also local and registered Democrats. Vinnie was there. Most of your members know him. I’ve been doing research for his group and independently.
Though I can sympathize with your position and how awkward it must have been for you last night, and understand your organization’s need to find strong leadership in a position that directly affects not just insurance policies, but also pension matters, I can assure you that the purpose for us being there was not to heckle – it was to clarify – major inconsistencies in William Rankin’s background that are causing waves. We just want answers.
I’m no activist, I’m a researcher and writer who owns a social media company and works in the legal field. I’m a (recent) US Navy veteran, a Palm Beach County native, and my family owns an industrial company right there in Riviera Beach and has been doing business there for over 30 years.
The questions of the Democratic leadership here in Palm Beach and Broward Counties deserve answers, which is all that we’ve requested, given the impact his potential election to this position will have on all of us as homeowners, insurance holders, and pension recipients. There have been no threats, no disruption, but also no valid explanation for ANY of Rankin’s background touting himself as a multi-millionaire online, and no valid response to questions regarding basic issues such as his resume.
I highly recommend that you, and your colleagues, take the time to research Rankin. I’m still waiting on our open invitations for him to respond to the many requests for clarification, and as we get those issues cleared, I will also report on that. My article was less directed at Mr. Rankin, than on the overall vetting process of the parties – PLURAL – that have a tendency to blindly support candidates. We trust in our leadership, no matter the party, and hope that we are being asked to support the absolute most qualified candidates that will do the best work in that role.
Ma’am, I have no agenda. I’m a Florida girl who grew up playing with welding machines. But I’ll be darned if I will be refused to research someone asking me for my money, my time, and my vote.
I have included, in this email, the questions (as an example) that we have requested to be answered by this individual. By all means, if you feel these questions are out of line for a man that will be managing over 2,000 employees within 14 divisions, and an estimated $80B appropriated budget, $70B in cash, all of our insurance and pension policies and fire policies, please let me know. I think these questions, however, are appropriate and typical of any individual running for this type of executive position, as I’ve spent over a decade vetting candidates for CFO roles for both publicly held and privately owned firms.
Feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns or explanations regarding last night.