Alan Clendenin, First Vice Chair of the Florida Democratic Party, returned my call yesterday, Monday, November 25, 2013, at 10:41AM, and I missed it. I called him back four minutes later, and we had a chat over the issues brought to recent light by the DEC leadership endorsing the highly unqualified William Rankin for Florida CFO.
For just a second, I was excited at the chance to gain some clarity from a so-called insider who had allegedly insisted that William Rankin was vetted to multiple Democratic Party leaders in South Florida. That second quickly passed. Clendenin was unclear about Rankin’s background, was completely non-committal, and just spewed excuses as to the reasons why there’s confusion in his Party.
Here are the quick details of our 10-minute conversation:
When asked if he could clarify whether or not the Florida Democratic Party actually vetted Rankin, and if they even had a vetting process, Clendenin vaguely answered, “I don’t deal with Tallahassee… I live in Tampa… I ran for a position up there and lost, but people are under the impression that the FL Democratic Party is a large organization… we just don’t have the resources to vet these candidates… some friends called me and said they looked into Rankin’s background, but the word vet has never been used… we rely on people like you and the rest of the media… they just don’t do that.”
But wait, Alan. Several of the leaders in the Palm Beach and Broward Democratic Committees are under the impression that they do exactly that. They’ve said as much in our meetings. Oops.
Clendenin cut the call short because he was going into the Apple Store for some training, but was clear: the people that checked over Rankin’s background did not vet him, they looked at his bio and said, “Good enough.” They need Democrats in the running and will take whatever they can get.
Clendenin directed me to talk to Allison Tant, but she hasn’t responded to our attempts to reach her for comment. When I told him this, he alluded to issues he would’ve liked to correct himself in headquarters had he been elected. Yeah, Alan, you’re a real problem-solver.
More rhetoric by yet another Democratic Party cheerleading politician asking us to entrust him with our hopes, and votes, for the sake of their Party name was pretty much all I got in return from Alan Clendenin, and I’ll never get those ten minutes of my life back. Meh.
When we discussed William Rankin I said that the misconception by the public is that when the Party endorses a candidate, and asks for our money and votes, that the voters naturally assume that Party has at least vetted that candidate prior to giving their endorsement. Clendenin’s best answer was to cite the Party’s lack of resources and point out a few phone calls from his buddies that said Rankin’s an okay guy. The truth is, they admittedly didn’t vet William Rankin, barely checked into his background, and have lied to their own regional Party Committees, causing disillusionment and distrust within their own ranks. Isn’t it easier to tell the truth?
Naively, and just for a split-second after I hung up the phone, I thought to myself, Clendenin’s a nice, honest guy. Notsomuch. It wasn’t until late last night that I was notified that Clendenin was sending emails calling me a right-wing fundamentalist of sorts. If I hadn’t seen it myself I would’ve been a skeptic. Wow, Alan. Really?
Evidently, Clendenin started sending emails about me claiming that I was, and I quote, “A Tea Party Republican.” Those words, by the way, were never mentioned in our call. I suppose that’s the only defense the FL DEC can use as they run around endorsing and gathering funds for a man that can’t even manage his own campaign check book. Good job, Dems!
If the Florida Democrats are defending the endorsement of Rankin running for CFO, I can only surmise that each and every one of Clendenin’s group are equally as unqualified for their jobs, since they admittedly don’t know how to screen the backgrounds of their candidates. I can provide a solution to that, since I own recruitment company, specializing in executive finance and IT. Let me know if you guys need help….
William David Rankin, who has written personal checks out of a non-authorized account for his campaign marketing materials (rumor has it that there is an FEC complaint filed), bloated his military experience (he was a Staff Sergeant, not a policy maker whose DD-214 is “classified,” as he has claimed), and blatantly stated that he has spies in the Atwater camp (huh?), is the only candidate the Florida Democratic Party has, and by golly, they’re sticking with him!
At least, they are sticking with Rankin for now, because they have to. According to their by-laws, rules that place the Party over the People, the Florida Democratic Party must endorse, as a party, un-opposed runners even if they’ve lied and aren’t qualified.
What a shame that these are your leaders, Florida Democrats.
Not one credible answer. Not one credible candidate. Just a bunch of children running your party that lie, evade, and participate in the proverbial backstabbing of anyone that questions them. For a party that claims inclusion of all people, it’s a snap of reality and a gross display of misuse of position. They should all be fired for fraudulent misrepresentation to the public.
I’ve given Alan the chance to come clean about his emails inferring that I’m some kind of fundamentalist, though I doubt he will. Like the rest of his Party officials, it’s a dodge-and-weave game they seem to play all the way to the top. If I was remotely disenchanted with a major party before… this display by the Florida Democratic Party has certainly sealed the deal. Yuck.
As I wrote last week, Democratic Party candidates should come with a disclaimer of “Buyer Beware.”
As of today, Alan hasn’t responded, and I don’t suspect that he will, though I told him that I look forward to vetting him, too.