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Oh Noes! An “Electronic Petition” Against Bryan Lober!

A Facebook group called “Brevard Ethics” has started an online petition on change.org concerning Brevard County Commissioner Byran Lober.

The petition was brought to our attention because it mentions us. (More on that in a moment.)

First, let’s get the basics out of the way….

Online petitions are not worth the paper they are printed on. This petition is no exception to that rule.

Online petitions are easy to set up, don’t cost anything and don’t take any real time or effort. There is also the fact that the petitions may be signed by people who are outside of the physical location of the people the petition wants to address. By that we mean it is very easy on social media to get friends to sign a petition that deals with Brevard County even though they don’t live within the County itself. We don’t know about you, but we don’t care what someone in Nome, Alaska has to say about a local politician by the name of Bryan Lober.

The other issue is that it is possible to “sign” the same petition multiple times.

Change.org acknowledges that problem:

Don’t impersonate others – Change.org is designed to share the stories of real people, supporting real issues. You need to use your email address to start or sign a petition and we don’t allow multiple accounts. Don’t sign petitions for other people, use anyone else’s email address, or impersonate people, including public figures or organizations.

We have multiple email accounts as do many people. Some we use for work, some for professional correspondence, some for members of professional organizations, some for retail transactions, some for use on electronic bulletin boards, some for social media accounts, some for e-commerce, some for bill paying, some for correspondence with family / friends, etc.

The fact of the matter is that one person can sign an electronic petition multiple times.

If you want to make a petition that carries weight, do the work. Stand out in the sun and the rain collecting signatures from real people. Show up to a Commission meeting with a stack of papers and lay them at on the dais saying “deal with this, elected officials.”

The goal of the electronic petition is to get 1000 “signatures” (which are, of course not signatures but we said that.)

As of our writing of this post on early Sunday afternoon, the petition has gotten almost 700 of the stated goal of 1000 “signatures.”

According to the Brevard County Supervisor of Elections, as of January 2, 2019 there are 426,757 active voters in Brevard County.

We don’t mean to disparage the people behind this “petition,” but 1000 “signatures” is a mere 0.23 percent of the voters. The petition is not exactly representative of the people in Brevard.

That being said, secondly, it is our opinion that Lober does not have the temperament to be an elected official.

As we wrote back in February:

So now Lober adds his name to the Commissioners who don’t want people to be critical of them – who don’t want people to say things with which they disagree.

There is almost a belief that appears to be citizens should have to “kiss the ring” when talking to or about Commissioners.

However, Lober went beyond just trying to shut down protected speech, he decided that as a Commissioner, it was his duty to insult a citizen.

For that, Lober should apologize and should be censured by the Commission. If Lober can’t stand the heat, he should resign.

It’s that simple.

If Commissioners and elected officials want people to start talking about them and “treating” treating them better, they have to take the lead and treat citizens better.

Lober responded by coming after us.

Our response, unprinted at the time was and remains:

If Lober wants to do things that make him look more like an idiot and confirm his lack of suitability for being an elected official, who are we to stop him? He just gives us more to write about.

However, the petition makes some claims that need to be examined:

Retaliated against the employment interests of a private citizen for exercising her right to free speech, which local talk show host Bill Mick called a “threat [that] should never be uttered from the mouth of an elected official“;

The Florida Today link tells the story:

A Mims woman named Claudia Thomas called Lober a “f’g hypocrite… acting like he actually gives a s**t” on Facebook. She had an issue with him posing for a picture at a Habitat for Humanity groundbreaking project. Her posts have been deleted, but screenshots show at some point she posted the picture, circled his face and wrote “hypocrite” on it.

Lober responded: “Does your employer whose name you post on your Facebook page know you denigrate public officials while displaying their name? I’ll make sure they do now.”

After Democrats chimed in and accused him of threatening Thomas, Lober then marked Lockheed Martin’s Facebook account in his post to notify the company. Thomas retired from Lockheed and now works for it as a contractor, she told me.

Former Brevard Democratic Party official Eli Logan wrote Lober was “disgusting” and his threats against Thomas were “just bully narcissistic behavior. ”

He responded: “Better a bully than a moron who thinks she knows anything about the practice of law … I’ll keep holding rodents like you accountable! Think of me as the hand of karma coming to wipe clean the filth that you represent.”

There were several other posts, but you get the picture: Things got nasty. There are no innocent parties in this case and the fact that Democrats were as willing to engage in the nastiness shows no party holds the higher moral ground here.

If you want to hold people accountable for their lack of civility, you first have to be civil yourself.

We do believe that public officials may have a higher standard of conduct, especially when in the public light, but not meeting that standard is a lack of leadership, and not a criminal violation or a violation of someone’s rights.

Second point from the petition:

Made crude so-called “jokes” about using a “snow plow” to harm to those exercising their First Amendment right to protest, remarks the Anti-Defamation League of Florida called “irresponsible” and suggested “could be taken to greenlight violence”;

Lober has said that he meant his response to be satirical and while we are willing to take him at his word, the satire wasn’t funny.

The ADL, for their part, has a problem as well. Their tweet read:

Commissioner Lober’s racially charged Facebook comments are both deplorable and irresponsible. Coming from a public official, they could be taken to greenlight violence. He must immediately retract and apologize for them. https://t.co/LbEevCs7D1
— ADL Florida (@ADL_Florida) June 19, 2019

The ADL has, over the years, lost their way in many aspects. While we can see where someone might take Lober’s comments to be “deplorable and irresponsible,” we aren’t buying that they were “racially charged.”

In our opinion, Lober and the ADL should be apologizing for they said. Once again, while we believe that the comments from both parties show a lack of leadership, the comments are not illegal.

Third point from the petition:

Decided to form an attorney-client relationship with a former local government official facing felony charges of organized corruption (to include RICO, racketeering, extortion, and drugs), and who is married to the Chair of the Brevard County Commission, despite the apparent conflict of interest and “the appearance of impropriety” described by conservative blog Raised on Hoecakes;

(We get mentioned in this petition? Interesting. It happens again later on.)

We still maintain that there was and is an appearance of impropriety in Lober’s legal appearance on behalf of David Isnardi, wife of fellow Commissioner Kristine Isnardi.

Lober was once the president of the Brevard County Bar Association. The Brevard County Bar Association is a voluntary organization which at the time had a membership of 700 lawyers. Under his leadership, it is our understanding that membership dropped to roughly 300 lawyers and there were constant fights between Lober and other leaders within the Association.

Even armed with a list of 300 members, (much less the 700 the membership has now climbed back to) one would have thought that Lober could help the Isnardis find a lawyer for the bond hearings, but chose not to. It is strange to us that in a county with so many lawyers, Lober thought that he and only he was qualified to handle the bond hearing.

Lober has also stated that Brevard County County Attorney Eden Bentley told him that there was no conflict of interest. While other lawyers have disagreed with that position, our sources have said that while Bentley did say there was no violation, she did say he should avoid the appearance of impropriety and not take the case. Lober never mentioned that fact, making it seem like Bentley supported his work for the Isnardis completely when she did not.

Fourth point from the petition:

Made shockingly cruel, dehumanizing, personal insults on an online public forum directed at an individual who expressed dissent at recent County Commission meetings – earning local, state, and national embarrassment for Brevard by suggesting a local woman get an abortion instead of having children because her “litter” would be “a scourge on humanity”;

This point is the (in)famous “Patel tweet” directed at Brevard County Democratic Party chair Stacey Patel who has been a vocal critic of Lober.

This is what happens when so called political “leaders” go after each other. It is not the first time this has happened in US politics, and won’t be the last. (In fact, the name “Raised on Hoecakes” comes from an insult John Adams hurled at Thomas Jefferson during the presidential election of 1800.)

The fact is that while screaming about “civility” and the “lack of civility” in politics and public discussions, people go low. In this case, Patel made comments and Lober responded with a post that was very low and in our opinion, unbecoming of a adult, much less an elected official. Still, our disdain of the post does not take away the fact that Lober (and Patel) have the right to go low in their comments and attacks. We wish they wouldn’t as both want to talk about “civility,” but we cannot stop them – or anyone – from taking the route of “don’t do as I do, do as I say.”

Fifth point:

Blocked constituents and local residents who dissented with him on Facebook, silencing critics in public forums, which federal courts have found to be unconstitutional; and

The idea that federal courts (plural) have found the blocking of constituents to be a violation of the Constitution is not exactly true. (Even the citation given by the petition doesn’t agree with the statement.) The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears cases from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina and from federal administrative agencies is the only Federal Court that has ruled that public officials cannot block people from their Facebook accounts. (See Davison v Randall) It is important to note the the Fourth Circuit does not cover the State of Florida and is not binding to Florida. Lower courts have come to the same conclusion in several states, but as far as we are aware the Fourth is the only Federal Court saying the blocking is unConstitutional.

That being said, the issue with blocking of people on social media accounts is one of the purpose and type of the account itself. If the account is set to be one for an official government account, the general consensus is that people cannot be blocked because the account is a public forum, where the public discusses ideas and officials make announcements. Blocking people from those accounts is viewpoint discrimination which is unConstitutional.

However, an elected official may block whomever they want on their private account.

We have seen Lober now making statements that he will not discuss public issues on his account and is asking that others do the same. In other words, he is looking to make the account “private” rather than a public forum.

That’s a good and smart move on his part. If we didn’t know better, we’d almost say that Lober had seen the issue, seen that he was wrong (or at the very least not right) in blocking people from his Facebook account and was looking to correct that wrong. We don’t think Lober is the type to ever admit he was wrong or that legal opinions on the matter had changed and his past actions were wrong given what we believe now. To pull a mea culpa is not Lober.

Still, when Lober was blocking people, the law was unclear and it is not right to hold him accountable or say he was acting in an unConstitutional manner when the law was in dispute. It is also wrong to say “federal courts” said it was wrong and try to apply what another Court said to Florida. At the very least, we are glad to see that he is correcting the past and looking to move forward.

Sixth point:

Falsely accused and threatened to sue a County resident after she made a public records request regarding his phone records.

The citation used on this point is us. Again.

We didn’t understand Lober’s actions back when he made comments about someone and threatened to sue when we wrote about it in February, and we don’t understand it now.

Lober seems to have a fundamental issue with the First Amendment where opinions are generally protected, and opinions on elected officials are almost always protected (unless the statement was made with malice.) As a lawyer, Lober should be aware of the Florida anti-SLAPP statute (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) outlawing the very lawsuits he was threatening people with.

768.295 Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) prohibited.—

(1) It is the intent of the Legislature to protect the right in Florida to exercise the rights of free speech in connection with public issues, and the rights to peacefully assemble, instruct representatives, and petition for redress of grievances before the various governmental entities of this state as protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and s. 5, Art. I of the State Constitution. It is the public policy of this state that a person or governmental entity not engage in SLAPP suits because such actions are inconsistent with the right of persons to exercise such constitutional rights of free speech in connection with public issues. Therefore, the Legislature finds and declares that prohibiting such lawsuits as herein described will preserve this fundamental state policy, preserve the constitutional rights of persons in Florida, and assure the continuation of representative government in this state.

It’s almost as if Lober thinks the bully pulpit means he can threaten people with lawsuits in order to shut them up. It may be an effective tactic because most people don’t know it is illegal for him to file such a suit. It almost seems that he is relying on the ignorance of people.

That’s a problem to us.

The petition continues:

While some call for resignation or removal by the Governor of Florida, others ask that our County Commission censure Commissioner Lober and immediately remove him from the position of Vice Chair.

For the purpose of this petition, we the undersigned simply and clearly want measures that condemn and cease government violations of our freedom of speech, effectively and immediately.

On February 18, 2019, we wrote Commissioner Bryan Lober should A) apologize B) be censured C) resign. Pick two.

We don’t think the governor can remove him from office as the law requires that a person be convicted of a crime, malfeasance or misfeasance before they can be removed. As none of that has happened, Lober cannot be removed by the governor.

We would like for Lober to apologize on many levels. Adults examine their conduct all the time and admit mistakes. None of us is perfect, but Lober’s continued insistence that he is right and the world is wrong is troubling. As a friend used to say, “when it is you against the world, bet on the world.”

We’d like strong statements from the other four County Commissioners. Smith has said he thinks Lober’s comments were wrong, but isn’t sure what to do about. Pritchett and Tobia gave generalized statements about civility between Commissioners and citizens. Pritchett’s comment is somewhat interesting:

Pritchett said she is concerned in general about the tensions between commissioners and members of the public.

That kind of statement is indicative of the divide where it appears that Pritchett doesn’t see the Commissioners a members of the “public.”

According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, public is defined as:

a : of, relating to, or affecting all the people or the whole area of a nation or state public law
b : of or relating to a government
c : of, relating to, or being in the service of the community or nation

“Doesn’t “all of the people” include members of the Commission? Aren’t they in the area?”

We realize that we are being a bit picky in what is most likely an in-artful and and inarticulate statement, but we need to have elected officials realize that they are not sitting on thrones. They are not exalted figures. Stop saying that there are two groups of people – Commissioners and “the public.” We are all in this together.

The one Commissioner who has not commented is Isnardi, thus raising the specter of “appearance of impropriety” again. Isnardi has never had a problem with speaking out about “incivility,” but yet when that incivility comes from the person who represented her husband, she had nothing to say.

We’d also like to see the Brevard Republican Executive Committee (BREC) come out with a strong statement on this issue and condemn Lober’s comments and actions.

We know it will hurt for a while as it will be “attacking one of their own,” but we think a statement will be seen as taking the lead and being honest. The longer this mess drags out, the more it will cost BREC and candidates they support.

After all of our verbosity on this, we want to comment on the last part of the petition:

Attend the next Brevard County Commission meeting, 5pm on [Tuesday] July 9th at the Brevard County Government Center, Building C, at 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way in Viera.

Brevard County residents may offer a three-minute public comment.

BINGO!

(If you can’t go, send emails. Put your thoughts on record.)

Go and be heard. Be polite. Be professional. Keep your comments focused and don’t wander. Don’t ask questions because the Commission doesn’t have to answer them. Don’t address Lober. All comments have to be addressed to the Chair, which is (sadly) Isnardi.

Practice your comments to make sure they fit within the three minute time frame.

Don’t curse or use foul language. That only turns the Commissioners’ ears off (and to some extent, the ears of the audience.)

We don’t believe an electronic petition will matter at all to the Commission. What will matter is butts in the seats and voices at the mic.

If Commissioners don’t listen, the ballot box awaits.



7 Responses to “Oh Noes! An “Electronic Petition” Against Bryan Lober!”

  1. Bob Chadwick says:

    I note that Florida Today is touting a workshop to emphasize shkills in communication political issues in a civilized manner.

    https://www.floridatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/07/03/civility-brevard-workshop-teach-talking-politics-people-you-disagree/1632491001/

    Perhaps Mr. Lober would profit from attending something like this…

    Wouldn’t it be great……

  2. Rule of Law says:

    You write “If you want to hold people accountable for their lack of civility, you first have to be civil yourself…We do believe that public officials may have a higher standard of conduct, especially when in the public light, but not meeting that standard is a lack of leadership, and not a criminal violation or a violation of someone’s rights.”

    Though obviously preferred, the free speech of citizens needn’t be civil to warrant a civil response from elected officials – but in this case, we’re not only talking about civility. Commissioner Lober’s counterattack was not only insults but tagging Lockheed Martin where the private citizen works as a contractor, and apparently subsequently talking by phone about the issue with their Government Affairs Director.

    Doesn’t this rise beyond a case of incivility to retaliatory conduct by a government official for an act of free speech?

    11th Circuit case of Bennett v. Hendrix 423 F.3d 1247 found that “A plaintiff suffers adverse action if the defendant’s allegedly retaliatory conduct would likely deter `a person of ordinary firmness’ from the exercise of First Amendment rights.” The case also states, “plainly, private citizens cannot suffer adverse employment actions at the hands of public officials who are not their employers.”

    His tagging of Lockheed was preceded by the comment: “Does your employer whose name you post on your Facebook page know you denigrate public officials while displaying their name? I’ll make sure they do know.”

    To me, this seems like a 1A violation, not only incivility. Thoughts?

    • AAfterwit says:

      Rule of Law,

      First, thank you for your comment.

      Secondly, we always politely ask that people use real emails addresses in case there is an issue their post. We would then be able to contact you and address any issues. Because of your post, the way it was written, and the timeliness of the issue given the County Commission meetting tonight, we would have written you and let you know that we responded to your post.

      We don’t require real email addresses, but it helps us and you out in the long run.

      We think there is a fundamental difference between the issue with the citizen, Lockheed, and Lober and Bennett v. Hendrix which was an appeal and the second time the case had visited the 11th Circuit. Previously, the Bennett case on retaliation had not gotten any traction within the Court and the offered the defendants summary judgement under qualified immunity. The plaintiffs appealed again and that is when the opinion you cited was issued.

      In the Bennett case the, defendants directed the use of government authority to harass and retaliate against the plaintiffs. It was the sheriff who was using the power of his office to harass and retaliate against the plaintiffs as well as directing others beneath him (Deputy Sheriffs) to do the same.

      Retaliation claims generally speaking are made with the abuse of power to retaliate against a legal action. For example, a company cannot retaliate against employees looking to unionize or legally complained about conditions at a company.

      It seems somewhat clear to us that a claim of retaliation must have a direct “connect the dots” when it comes to the retaliation. There has to be a direct line between the two parties.

      With Lober, he called Lockheed and Lockheed told him not only was the person not working there, but to go pound sand. Lober did not cause (and arguably could not cause) Lockheed to retaliate or take adverse actions against the individual.

      (Interestingly enough, a few years ago in Satellite Beach a person made a public records request from their work computer at lunch. Someone in Satellite Beach noticed the email address and the company’s policies on using company computers for non-company work. Satellite Beach called the employer and the person was fired. We would have preferred the company told Satellite Beach to take a long walk off a short pier, but that did not happen. The point is that that company did not have to do what they did and Satellite Beach could not compel the company to do anything. The same is true with Lober and Lockheed. Lober can’t tell Lockheed to do anything with their employee.)

      Does that mean that Lober was right to make such a threat, much less carry it out?

      No. Not at all.

      We hope that nothing we have written has given anyone cause to believe that we feel that way.

      There is an old saying that “what is moral may not be legal and what is legal may not be moral.”

      We think that is true in the case with the citizen and Lober.

      The Florida Today article quotes the woman’s Facebook post (since deleted) as reading:

      [Lober is a] “f’g hypocrite… acting like he actually gives a s**t”

      We would argue that such language is allowed by law but it may not be the moral thing to do. In short, if you cannot express yourself in a manner that does not include profanities, we think that may be moral deficiency, but it is not illegal.

      We see it as Lober has the legal right to express himself under the First Amendment. That doesn’t mean he has the moral right to do so as he did in this case. We think his attempt to intimidate a person for disagreeing with him illustrates what we wrote in the article – that he doesn’t have the temperament to sit as an elected official.

      It is our opinion that Lober’s actions were morally wrong, but not illegal.

      It is going to be an interesting meeting tonight.

      We are somewhat interested in Lober’s response, but also the response of the other Commissioners. It will be interesting to see whether they hold their own at least morally accountable for what they demand from people in the audience at meetings. We are also hoping that the people who speak from the podium can be better than Lober in speech and in conduct. If Lober and the other Commissioners will not lead and set an example, the people can.

      Thanks again for writing and a we thank you for a civil and well thought out post.

      A. Afterwit.

      • Rule of Law says:

        Real email now provided. Thanks for your thoughtful response.

        Do you believe a person “of ordinary firmness” would be deterred from expressing dissent online if an elected official threatened their employment interests? Lober wrote: “Does your employer, whose name you post on your Facebook page, know you denigrate public officials while displaying their name? I’ll make sure they know.”

        Clearly, County Commissioners do have power and influence with local businesses that private citizens do not; this is why Government Affairs Directors exist.

        I’ve heard this individual was originally told to take the post down or lose her job. While the company apparently later changed their mind, is losing one’s livelihood a risk a local citizen “of ordinary firmness” would take?

        And while I agree the commenter was perhaps uncivil, profanity in protest is protected.

        Out of curiosity: What did you think of Lober and the Commission’s response?

        • AAfterwit says:

          Rule of Law,

          Thank you for the response.

          As we said, we ask for “real” emails in case there are issues with the post. For example, sometimes people will put too many links in their post and the software views the post as spam, so it gets dumped into the spam folder until we see it and get it out. We always write and tell the person what happened, why it happened and how we took care of the situation. We don’t sell or distribute email addresses to anyone. We don’t spam users from the site. We don’t care about real names either.

          The funny thing about our “policy” (which is not a hard rule,) is that it does reflect a trend that may be germane to your question on a person of “ordinary firmness.” People generally don’t want to supply real emails because they fear or don’t want any type of reprisals. We think that it is sad that people have to feel that way – that they will be persecuted, shunned, harassed or whatever for commenting on a blog.

          You may have noticed that the name “A. Afterwit” is not a real name of anyone here. It does not apply to on person but the group of people who write or contribute to this forum use it to protect their anonymity partly because of what you are talking about being in fear of government reprisals. Some of our motley crew actually works in government. Some have contracts with governments or governmental agencies. We try to protect them from reprisals with the nom-de-plume of A. Afterwit.

          The odd thing is that one of the charges that is always made against us is that we post anonymously, or that “we don’t have the guts to put our real names out there.” In some cases, those people – the people who want to condemn us for using a pseudonym – are the ones screaming about Lober’s threat to Lockheed. Being able to post anonymously would have thwarted any action by Lober against the person because he couldn’t know who they were, and then he posted how we don’t have the guts to put our name on posts, presumably so he can go after our jobs and livelihoods. That’s a lack of critical thinking to us.

          We would hope that the employers of anyone engaged in politics would tell someone like Lober to pound sand. We may not like the way the poster framed her comment, but disparaging an elected official is a time honored American tradition and Lober is childish not to know that and respect that is part of the job he sought.

          We don’t know how long you have been reading this blog, but we were attacked by someone who advocated people complaining to Facebook to have us banned.

          It’s a catch-22 if you think about it. People don’t want to be attacked or in the case of Lober, have people who write anonymously to be able to use pseudonyms, and then those same people attack the people who don’t (or can’t) use a pseudonym, by contacting employers or whatever.

          We are trying desperately to make the point in this that Lober’s comments are legally allowable. We can’t find anything anywhere that says he legally cannot contact an employer. That being said, his actions shouldn’t be given a pass on the morals or such an action.

          You wrote:

          And while I agree the commenter was perhaps uncivil, profanity in protest is protected.

          We would argue that profanity is protected in most instances, not just in “protest.” (The only instance that we can think of off hand where it is not protected is in a courtroom and in a private place where there is no governmental control. ie You don’t have to allow someone cursing in your home, a business, or even on a blog.)

          We don’t know if you are aware of this, but take a few minutes to read what has been called “The F*** Brief,” written by lawyer and speech advocate extraordinaire Marc Randazza. Randazza lost that case but as we remember he was part of the lawyers who won the Matel v. Tam case on trademark and foul language. Arguably the above brief was before its time. When it comes to government restrictions on speech, we agree with Randazza. Even though we would not use the language, that doesn’t make it illegal and not protected against government suppression and censorship.

          However, we are trying to make the distinction between speech that is protected and speech that is uncivil. We found the person’s comments to be uncivil and morally off the path. We found Lober’s speech to be legal, but off the civil and moral path as well.

          In another forum, we were discussing this issue and a commenter made a point that we have said previously and agree with:

          We don’t want anyone to be forced to be silenced on almost any issue. We believe that the more people open their mouths, the more you can see who they truly are. We don’t think that many people would have voted for Lober if they knew he would have the temperament he has displayed since being plopped onto the dais. It would have been nice to have know that before the elections. So our belief is not that idiots should be silenced, but rather allowed to display for all to see their idiocy. Let ’em talk. What’s the old saying that goes something like “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt?” (The origin of the saying is unknown and in dispute.)

          The more people like Lober speak, the more they dig a deeper hole.

          As for Lober and the Commission’s response, we got what we expected.

          1) Lober was being Lober. His comment during the meeting “this is all a waste of time,” demonstrates his attitude. It is almost that he doesn’t care about the voices of people in his district or in Brevard County. It also supports the point we are trying to make: let him speak. The more he does, the more he admits and demonstrates that he does not have the ability or desire to self examine and grow as a human being; the more he proves people’s point that he is unsuitable for the seat.

          2) The Commission doesn’t know what to do, if anything. It seemed very strange to us that while knowing this issue was going to come up for the last month, no one had any clue or answers. We’re not even sure they understand the issues and the questions being raised.

          3) Isnardi’s interruption of people at the podium was contrary to Robert’s Rules of Order and at best tiresome. We grow weary of those who demand that people follow “the rules,” but don’t follow them themselves.

          4) The comments of Commissioners getting uncivil emails somehow bothered us and we aren’t sure why. If anything, the emails should have illustrated the frustration and anger from people that have to deal with Lober. It should have been a unifying moment of “we all get vicious emails and Facebook comments.” Instead, it seemed to us to be a “we’re victims – just the five of us are victims” moment. To us, that was an opportunity lost.

          5) Isnardi also said she was never asked to comment on Lober other than by the Florida Today. We here certainly have said she needed to address the situation.

          In short, our belief is that Smith showed some intestinal fortitude, but doesn’t know or isn’t sure where to go. Pritchett and Tobia are milquetoast. Isnardi seems intent on proving the “appearance of impropriety” charge is more than an “appearance.” Finally, Lober is ordering every shovel from Lowes, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Harbor Freight, and True Value as he is wearing them out fast as he keeps digging a deeper hole.

          Sorry we were so long, but thanks again for your comment.

          A. Afterwit.

  3. Scott Hannon, Esq. says:

    While I get your point that such petitions aren’t worth a lot in the grand scheme of things, they do play a part in demonstrating the level of angst on any given issue. Mr. Lober plays his game of spewing hate and vitriol at his own peril. Apparently, he has learned from our nation’s chief executive – and apparently one of his role models – that creating a crisis and stirring up things in a reality television-type embroglio is some sort of leadership style. Those who endorsed him in his initial bid for office may have second thoughts on endorsing him in the future (hint, hint: Buford Pusser/Wayne Ivey) and the electorate may have a long enough memory to remember when Brevard County made national news for its backward-assed county commissioner and his comments on social media. Is it any wonder why Florida’s 3rd poorest county is in that place with such a Neandorthal holding office? A petition may be a way of showing this county isn’t all full of such small-mindedness, and it should be clarion call to Mr. Lober that, as blindly conservative as this county may be, he’s on notice that his seat is in jeopardy if he can’t find a civil way to show some small modicum of leadership, even with that 1st Amendment right of his, he’ll be watching commission meetings from the gallery.

    • AAfterwit says:

      Scott Hannon, Esq.,

      Than you for your comment.

      We don’t think that an online petition measures the level of “angst” on any given issue. They are nothing more than popularity contests, for lack of a better term that can bring about no meaningful change.

      There is a difference between Lober and Trump. Much of the scorn that is being heaped upon Lober is self inflicted. Much of the scorn Trump receives is not initiated by him, but because of attacks on him by the left and the media.

      Lober also said that he will “respond in kind” to attacks, and in his attack on us, he did much more than “in kind.”

      As for your statement that Brevard is “Florida’s 3rd poorest county,” we aren’t sure what matrix you are using for that statement. According to the Palm Bay Post (using data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis,) Brevard County is the 19th richest county per capita in Florida amongst Florida’s 67 counties, well within the top half.

      We agree that Lober’s seat is in jeopardy unless he changes his ways. His comments last night at the Commission meeting doesn’t seem like there is much chance of that which is a shame.

      We believe that Lober is essentially free to say what he wants, but voters have the right to say “we don’t like what you say and don’t want you representing us.”

      Thanks again.

      A. Afterwit.

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