Friday, July 28, 2006

No Excuses

On his own "Alachua Project" blog, Charlie Grapski says:
"Ignorance of the law is no excuse. . ."

Charlie, we agree. That is why you should correct your first report, file your second one, and open your campaign bank account for inspection and reconciliation to your reports.

If fair and honest elections are as important to you as you say, I am sure you will have no qualms about complying.


Posted by SJ

23 Comments:

At Sat Jul 29, 09:43:00 AM, Blogger J.D. Knee said...

It's nice having a rebuttal to HezbollALA in our community. Keep up the good work.

 
At Sat Jul 29, 12:36:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

I read Mr. Grapski’s post(sic) on freealachua and found many things wrong, exaggerated, twisted and flat out lies. Given Mr. Grapski’s continued misrepresentation of conversations he has and twists in his mind, I felt it necessary to point them out.

Mr. Grapski says;

After the precinct results were reported the Canvassing Board (Jean Calderwood, Clovis Watson, and a citizen member) took an unexplained hour break - with Calderwood and Watson leaving the Chambers, spending that hour in the back offices where the absentee ballots were being held.

Truth- The hour was not unexplained. If Mr. Grapski has ever attended local elections he would know that after polls close it takes time to gather information, ballots from all polls and organize the Canvassing Board materials. The Canvassing Board Meeting was advertised as a public meeting starting at 8:00PM and agendas were available in the back of the room. Mr. Irby did not have a clue as to the procedures and continually kept coming up to the Mayor sitting on the dais asking her when the Board would start. She and the City Attorney directed him to the published agenda several times. That brings up Mr. Grapski’s claim that the Mayor was in the back room during that hour. FALSE- The Mayor NEVER went to the back. She approached and sat on the dais from 7:30 until the meeting was over. The citizen member of the Canvassing Board was sitting in the audience along with about 50 citizens until the meeting was called to order.

Mr. Grapski quotes the City’s rebuttal to his lawsuit:

did not substantially affect the outcome or deny voters their rights.

This is correct. At most there might be a question about one vote. This would not change the results of the election. The Courts have said that they don’t expect a perfect election, just a fair one. The end result of this lawsuit brought by Mr. Grapski will prove that there was no fraud and the results will stand.

Mr. Grapski, who claims to be an expert in Election Law, shows the world just how ignorant he is. He says:

Most significant of the improprieties was the way City officials, who actively supported James Lewis' campaign, ignored the law and solicited voters to cast absentee ballots on the day before and of the election.

Here is the Statute taken from his own web site:

(2) All marked absent electors' ballots to be counted must be received by the supervisor by 7 p.m. the day of the election. All ballots received thereafter shall be marked with the time and date of receipt and filed in the supervisor's office.
The City officials SHOULD be encouraging citizens to vote. We often complain that too few people avail themselves of their right to vote.

Mr. Grapski certainly doesn’t know the history of election results in small town Alachua.

The election was similarly close going into election day and it was eventually decided with the absentee ballot count.

There are many close elections that were determined by absentee ballots. In fact James Lewis’ first election was decided by two votes 40 years ago. Mr. Grapski is silent on the fact that in the election in which Diana Rothseiden, an ALA member, beat Gib Coerper, Coerper led on the poll votes but lost on the absentee votes. Why isn’t he crying fraud in that case? Mayor Calderwood beat Bonnie Burgess by 12 votes on the absentee ballots, Commission Hill won by 10 votes on absentee ballots in the next election. Why isn’t Mr. Grapski investigating these elections. He insinuates that there is a pattern of fraud;

Indeed the evidence of a pattern of fraud appears to have been preserved in the City of Alachua over the past decade (perhaps the past several decades).,

but doesn’t present any evidence or even any complaint from anyone. This is just another of his many “conspiracy” stories that are baseless of facts. He wants to point to an election that occurred ten years ago under completely different circumstances as a pattern of fraud. Incidentally the ruling was that case was that there WAS NO FRUAD. Even then he can’t keep his facts straight. He claims:



(ironically the investigation revealed 18 votes that were cast illegally)

The facts are that there were 19 votes in question but determined that only 5 should have been excluded.

Mr. Grapski says:

What will the Courts do this time - with Florida notorious for its inappropriate conducting of elections? What will Bill Cervone, Rod Smith's successor, do - will he prosecute those public officials or will the State again turn a blind eye to the corruption of our electoral process?

Interesting question that we will never know since Mr. Grapski filed in civil court instead of filing a complaint with the District Attorney.

In referring to that ten year old case Mr. Grapski shows that he doesn’t even know the facts that he presents when he says:

although there is evidence that the City of Alachua has received and maintains the evidence from this file - they have not turned over the Investigative Report to date (and the evidence shows they received it.).

Fact (as presented on Mr. Grapski’s own web site)- The City did ask for the evidence but the Clerk wrote on the Judge’s Order that the City was told that they needed to have the judge file an amended order specifying which evidence was to be returned. There was no amended order in the record so no evidence was given to the City.

Finally, Mr. Grapski says:

The difference, however, is that in this case there is ample evidence of malfeasance of duty by the City's officials - intentional wrongdoing aimed at determining the outcome in favor of Lewis - not just negligence.

Mr. Grapski wants you to believe him, however these are just “allegations”. Just as in the last court case ten years ago there were 10 allegations of which only one had any merit and no fraud was found.

I’m sure that Mr. Grapski will write a 500 word response claiming that I am wrong. Let the reader use some common sense and decide for themselves if you believe someone who makes wild accusations and can’t keep his facts straight even when the truth is published on his own web site.

Dr. Hugh Calderwood,
Diplomat ACVA

 
At Sun Jul 30, 08:21:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Stafford,

You can continue trying (Rove-style) to create issues out of non-issues. But other than to your friend Hugh and those like him - you really go no where.

Perhaps you could start by saying what, exactly, is 1) "unfair" and 2) "unethical" about a late filing.

Mr. Calderwood,

Actually I know what the official "explanation" for the hour delay was - what I said was that the actual basis for the action remains "unexplained."

You see - just because George Bush says X - does not make X so. The same goes for your wife - she may want to play "Executive" dictator like Bush - but neither one has the power to make a fact merely by making a claim.

The flaw in your logic is there on its face - as the TIME that you refer to - is TIME that actually would be EQUALLY applicable to the announcement of the polling location information - and in no way SPECIFICALLY is entailed with regard to the absentee ballots - which have been gathered prior to that meeting and which are all collected in a single location.

If the meeting was scheduled for 8pm - what exactly is the basis for the fact that the canvassing board met BEFORE that time - revealing the precinct outcomes - but BEFORE you claim the meeting was supposed to start? Why did that announcement not take all of the time you refer to?

What was needed to be done in the hour between 7 and 8 - at which time the absentee ballots were to be counted?

As for Irby not knowing the procedures - candidates often don't know them - the real issue is - why did your wife not know what the law required - when she was CHAIRING the meeting?

Given that - why is your wife completely ignorant of the laws of conducting the City's regular meetings themselves?

Before you go criticizing an honest citizen who you dislike for their lack of knowledge - how about criticizing the public officials for not knowing what they are PAID to know.

In actuality, Mr. Calderwood, the City's conduct of the election has done far more than call into question ONE vote.

By that one vote - you seem to be referring to the one voter who arrived at City Hall to pay her utility bill, was met on the steps (within a few feet of where she cast her ballot - i.e. the polling location) by CLovis Watson (the day before the election), was greeted by Clovis who asked her if she would like to vote, told her that she could vote right then and there, and then told her WHO to vote for (remember - Clovis served with your Wife on the Canvassing board) ... that voter then received a blank ballot from Alan Henderson who watched her cast her vote and placed it in the envelope - and then Watson told her she voted for the "wrong Lewis" - and then Henderson tore up her original ballot - gave her a new one - and watched her cast that one too.

Do you mean THAT one vote?

In reality - there are several hundred votes which were legally deficient and could not be verified so as to ensure that the will of the voters was actually achieved.

I expect FAIR elections - and I expect them to be done according to the law - perfection is not the issue. In this case - the election was NOT FAIR (but then again - your wife was one of those in charge of the election process, or part of it, so I guess that really calls into question her public performance) - but was fundamentally corrupted from the start.

Mr. Calderwood might want to reconsider before questioning my knowledge of the history of the City of Alachua and its elections.

Furthermore Mr. Calderwood, like Stafford, love to throw out red-herrings.

The fact that the election outcome was different after the absentee ballots than before - is not the issue. Thus citing a case where that is a fact - does not make one a hypocrite because one is not challenging that election (besides the fact that it is irrelevant as it is not the issue at hand).

The significance of the outcome being altered after the absentee ballots - is that the absentee ballot process was conducted IN DEFIANCE of the laws - and in such a way as to provide the opportunity for FRAUD - and that FRAUD did indeed occur - as is quite clearly made evident with that ONE VOTE you constantly refer to.

By the way - what is really interesting is how Clovis Watson knew the name of that ONE VOTER - since we have never openly given her name out to the public.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that - if Clovis was made aware of our factual allegations - without the name of the individual - but was able to identify the individual and connect them with the factual allegations - then Clovis RECOGNIZED the allegations (which means that they happened as alleged) and thus has ADMITTED the wrongdoing.

Indeed he has - and he has openly stated to me, and others, that he admitted that what we outlined in that ONE voter's case DID happen. The only difference is - that he claims that HE personally did not tear up the ballot - "that was someone else" - and that he would not do that, as it is clearly illegal, and he "might have to fire someone he hired" - again - as a result of that having taken place.

This, by the way, Clovis said in front of Stafford Jones and Charles Goston.

 
At Sun Jul 30, 08:24:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

although there is evidence that the City of Alachua has received and maintains the evidence from this file - they have not turned over the Investigative Report to date (and the evidence shows they received it.).

Fact (as presented on Mr. Grapski’s own web site)- The City did ask for the evidence but the Clerk wrote on the Judge’s Order that the City was told that they needed to have the judge file an amended order specifying which evidence was to be returned. There was no amended order in the record so no evidence was given to the City.

CORRECTION OF MISSTATEMENTS OF FACT by Mr. Calderwood.

FACT: The City DID receive the evidence - as is EVIDENCED by the receipt and notes in the CASE FILE held by the CLERK OF THE COURT.

The documents that are publicly available on the Alachua Project site clearly indicate when and where and WHAT documents were received by the city and by whom.

By the way - when you review those documents - you will notice the name of "FRANCINE" written on the documents as indicating WHO received the documents.

You know "Francine", Hugh, she is the WIFE of the POLICE CHIEF.

 
At Sun Jul 30, 08:26:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Mr. Grapski wants you to believe him, however these are just “allegations”. Just as in the last court case ten years ago there were 10 allegations of which only one had any merit and no fraud was found.

CORRECTION OF MISSTATEMENTS OF FACT by Mr. Calderwood:

Mr. Calderwood, have you read the 18 page investigation into that election?

If so - please share it with us. If not - on what basis do you make this claim of "only one" claim being found true.

That is not what the judge said at all.

The Judge was quite critical of the City's handling of the election. He just did not order a new one. The facts were significantly different in that case from this one - particularly with regard to the ALLEGATIONS (and evidence) of outright fraud by city officials.

A large number of the complaints made were confirmed in the investigation - so you once again are speaking without a knowledge of the facts.

 
At Sun Jul 30, 08:32:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

As for your memory of the facts of that evening Mr. Calderwood - you are again incorrect.

Your wife did not remain on the dias the entire time - as there was a long period of time between 7 and 8 when NO ONE was on the dias.

As for the citizen member - during that time - she was actually not in the audience as you refer to.

She was OUTSIDE smoking a cigarette if I recall - because I was INTRODUCED to her at that time. I didn't realize at the time that she was on the canvassing board.

Indeed at one point when I was inside and inquiring as to the delay - and all of the activities going on in the back room - your wife was not in the Chambers.

But those on the Lewis support side of the chambers (mostly city employees) overheard someone tell me that "they were counting absentee ballots" at that time.

It was at that point that I stated that someone needed to contact Lewis Irby - and he needed to ensure that a representative of his campaign was in the back with the ballots and those who might have access to them (and might be counting them).

Whether they were being counted or not is not the issue. But the fact of the matter is that there were numerous city officials and employees in the back room - where the ballots had been held - with no reasonable explanation and with no observers from the Irby campaign.

Shortly after that - a commotion arose in the back - and out came Traci Cain - who proceeded to speak with you (Hugh) and James Lewis in the parking lot of City Hall - where YOU were standing that entire time (as you were NOT in the Chambers to SEE who was on the dias from 7 or 7:30 until 8).

 
At Sun Jul 30, 08:44:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

As Mr. Calderwood likes to try and match wits with me (fine - its about as amusing to me as doing a low-level crossword puzzle - it requires very little mental output, but passes the time) - I have to again correct his attempts to "authoritatively" (sounding) state things AS IF they were facts - and have those who don't know any better believe him:

Mr. Calderwood has clearly gone and read the documents I have placed online (some of them).

He, like Stafford (I have seen this kind of thing from Stafford for years), then tries to find something that they read in there - that they can SPIN into a counter-story.

So Hugh claims that there is a handwritten note on the order to release evidence - and it refers to a Francine (that's Jernigan - the Chief of Police's wife) - and her need to get clarification as to WHAT evidence has been received.

Hugh claims that since there "is no amended order" (how does he know this? Just because I didn't show him a link to it?) - then it is a FACT that the City did not receive the documents.

Unfortunately for Hugh - he is not as clever or as thorough as he leads himself to believe.

http://freealachua.org/file.php/7/Archive/1995/Election/3.20.97.ReceiptEvidence.pdf

The above link is to a document which states that on March 20th, 1997, Charles Morris RECEIVED the evidence from this case.

Thus - Mr. Calderwood - CASE CLOSED on your attempts to try and spin your way into sounding credible in attempted refutations of my statements.

 
At Sun Jul 30, 08:57:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Mr. Grapski says:

what I said was that the actual basis for the action remains "unexplained."

You see - just because George Bush says X - does not make X so.


I'll be happy to explain it to you in simple terms that even you can understand. The Canvassing Meeting was publically scheduled for 8 PM to allow the three precincts to close, count their votes, gather all the paper work and voting machines and return to City Hall. Is that "explaination" enough for you?

Thank you for pointing out that just because George Bush says X- doesn't make X so. The same can certainly be said for your bloviating.

I will repeat that when the Courts are finished they will find NO FRAUD and the election will stand. WILL YOU KEEP YOUR WORD AND PUBLICALLY APOLOGISE?

 
At Sun Jul 30, 08:59:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

The question is, how did Clovis Watson know the name of the one voter. Simple, she complained to him about your harassment of her.

 
At Sun Jul 30, 09:05:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Mr. Grapski says:

If the meeting was scheduled for 8pm - what exactly is the basis for the fact that the canvassing board met BEFORE that time

How did the Canvassing Board meet if one third of the Board is outside with you smoking? And She came inside long before 8 PM as she was sick and tired of listening to you and Canney and the rest of your crowd complaining.
I said the Mayor went to the dais at 7:30. That is a fact, (back to your saying X doesn't make it so) and she never went in the back. Your discovery will find that out UNDER OATH.
I got in the meeting room about 7:45 and there were about 50 people in there at the time including the citizen on the Board.

 
At Sun Jul 30, 09:09:00 PM, Blogger Stafford Jones said...

Charlie said:
Indeed he has - and he has openly stated to me, and others, that he admitted that what we outlined in that ONE voter's case DID happen. The only difference is - that he claims that HE personally did not tear up the ballot - "that was someone else" - and that he would not do that, as it is clearly illegal, and he "might have to fire someone he hired" - again - as a result of that having taken place.

This, by the way, Clovis said in front of Stafford Jones and Charles Goston.


Charlie, you are lying. Clovis said no such thing. What he said is that if a mistake was made, it certainly wasn't intentional, and that he would rather the Supervisor run the elections, anyway.

You should know better than to try to use me to corroborate your lies.

 
At Sun Jul 30, 09:13:00 PM, Blogger Stafford Jones said...

Charlie, my issue with your candidate report is not a red herring. Your last report was due to be filed on July 10th. You have not filed that report and you have not filed a waiver.

I have discussed the issues that I raised with your financial reports with the Division of Elections. You are in violation of state law.

Is your own hypocrisy really lost on you?

 
At Sun Jul 30, 09:18:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

I just went back and read the newspaper article you posted and I was wrong. None of the ten allegations were found to be worthy of fraud.

 
At Sun Jul 30, 09:24:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Mr. Grapski, please explain why you have said that the Canvessing Board Meeting started at 8:15 PM in one story and now you are saying that it met between 7 and 8? why can't you get your stories straight?

 
At Sun Jul 30, 09:24:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Stafford,

When you learn the facts - get back to me.

My first report was filed - and I am not bound to alter it because you do not like what it contains.

My second report was filed as well.

You keep on bringing up a red-herring and trying to turn it into something it is not.

You don't know the facts here - clearly. But you HOPE (and don't really seem to care one way or the other) to find an issue out of which to CREATE something which you hope will distract from my claims of real improprieties by your friends and allies. Sorry - but this is a weak position to begin with - so when you grasp at straws - you shouldn't wonder why I find your feigned outrage a minor distraction.

 
At Sun Jul 30, 09:26:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Hugh,

YOu don't know the facts of the 1995 election - clearly.

Once again - the judge concluded that there were numerous improprieties, the City did indeed violate the law - through ignorance and negligence (and this has clearly not bothered the City today - as it is AS ignorant if not more today than it was then), and it did provide a stern warning that future reoccurances of such behavior would likely lead to fraud.

 
At Sun Jul 30, 09:29:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

The Court found that there was NO FRAUD and the election STOOD. The same as it will find in your case, all your bloviating aside.

 
At Sun Jul 30, 09:32:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Stafford,

No sir, either you are lying or you were not paying attention.

Clovis said EXACTLY that - right in front of you.

Clovis stated - IN FRONT OF YOU - that the City was "merely following what was done for the past 50 years" - do you deny that?

Clovis stated - IN FRONT OF YOU - that the City did err in a number of ways in the conduct of the election - do you deny that?

Clovis stated - IN FRONT OF YOU - that he, and other city officials, did NOT KNOW what the law actually required them to do - and only knew that 50-year practice - do you deny that?

And Clovis - mentioning the actual name of the individual to me - then stated what he claimed happened that day.

He ADMITTED that he knew the event (by mentioning the woman's name).

He ADMITTED that he met her on the steps of City Hall and talked about the election with her.

He ADMITTED that he told her that she should vote for James Lewis.

And he stated that in doing all of that - he was "only trying to be helpful." He stated that he did not realize any of that was legally problematic. And he stated they were merely doing what they had done for 50 years.

He then stated that he did not tear up the ballot. He also stated that he was not aware that it was torn up at that time - that it was done by someone else - and that he only learned about it later.

He stated all of these things IN FRONT OF YOU.

Now - you may not have been listening or you may not have understood what he was discussing - but he DID indeed state these things in front of you outside of City Hall in the parking lot.

Yes - Clovis did also state that the City should not be running its elections, the Supervisor of Elections should - and this was based upon his previously stating that 1) they merely followed the last 50 years in what they did; and 2) he and the others in ALachua City Hall were not knowledgable about the laws required to be followed in conducting an election.

Thus he would much prefer to have the Supervisor of Elections conduct future elections. So, I believe, would most citizens of Alachua.

 
At Sun Jul 30, 09:34:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

The Court in 1995 found WRONGDOING Mr. Calderwood. But that is different from FRAUD.

The investigation revealed that the City failed to properly conduct the election, that absentee ballot procedures were not followed, that ballots were cast and counted that should not have been, that persons voted more than once, and other problems.

The election was not overturned - you are correct - and I never said it was.

This election, however, is quite similar to that one - but not identical.

In this case, unlike that case, FRAUD is being alleged. And very serious fraud. And there is ample evidence of serious fraud.

 
At Sun Jul 30, 09:35:00 PM, Blogger Stafford Jones said...

If your second report was filed, can you explain why the Division of Elections has no record of it?

Even if it was filed, but they had not released the detail, the reports would still reflect that. The Division of Elections shows no report for you.

I can assure you that I do know what I am talking about. Just as you have your registered political organizations, I have a political organization, registered with the state. I have been filing reports for years. I know the process. I filed my waiver by July 10th, as required by state law.

State law requires that you file, electronically. When you sign in to the system and file, your report shows up within about a minute.

You may be fooling other people into thinking that you filed your report, but I know more about the system than you, so you don't fool me.

 
At Sun Jul 30, 09:41:00 PM, Blogger Stafford Jones said...

Yes, Charlie, Clovis stated that elections were being conducted as defined in the charter. He stated that they executed elections in the manner that was handed down to him, then he stated that he would rather the city not run them and that he was going to look at the prospect of having the SoE run them.

The other stuff that you claim he admitted, he didn't admit. I would encourage you to subpoena or deposition both Charles Goston and myself. I have not spoken to him since that conversation in front of city hall, but I am 100% confident that Mr. Goston will agree that you aren't being accurate.

 
At Sun Jul 30, 09:53:00 PM, Blogger Stafford Jones said...

One more thing, Charlie. He did know who the woman was. Bud was right. She complained to the city that you and your group were harrassing her.

 
At Mon Jul 31, 12:52:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Mr. Grapski says:

In this case, unlike that case, FRAUD is being alleged. And very serious fraud. And there is ample evidence of serious fraud.

The Court in 1995 found WRONGDOING Mr. Calderwood. But that is different from FRAUD.

This is the point of this discussion. Will the Court find that the Staff didn't "shuffle" the ballots. Probably. Other then that I am willing to bet that there will not be any FRAUD and the election will stand. As I have said, the Court isn't looking for a perfect election and any minor deviations will not over turn the election. And certainly no one will be going to jail or even fined as you have publically said would happen.

You failed to answer my question, will you publically apologise as you said you would, publically? Are you an honorable man?

 

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