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PALM BAY: How Do You Stop Corruption When You Accept Support Of The Corrupt While Seeking To Suppress Rights? (Part 1.)

Randy Foster is running for Seat 3 of the Palm Bay City Council.

After the debacle of corruption that has plagued City Hall, many candidates are running on an “anti-corruption” platform. They are all telling the voters of Palm Bay that they will work to prevent corruption and not allow it in the City.

In 2016, Foster ran for Brevard County Commissioner and lost. However, during the campaign, Foster received an endorsement from Alcee Hastings who is the U.S. Representative for Florida’s 20th congressional district.

It is impossible for a candidate to control who endorses them as individuals or groups. There have been cases at the national level where radical groups have endorsed candidates. Candidates generally say “thanks but no thanks” to that type of endorsement, distancing themselves from the group or individual and what they stand for.

In this case, Foster gladly accepted the endorsement of Hastings saying that he, Foster, “could learn a lot from” Hastings.

Really?

Hastings has a long and sordid past.

In the history of the United States, only 15 Federal Judges have been impeached. Of those 15, 11 were either convicted and removed from office or resigned before the a verdict was reached.

Alcee Hastings is one of the judges who was impeached, convicted and removed from office.

In 1981, a federal grand jury indicted Judge Alcee L. Hastings, appointed to the federal district court in 1979, along with his friend William A. Borders, a Washington, D.C. lawyer. Hastings was charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice for soliciting a $150,000 bribe in return for reducing the sentences of two mob-connected felons convicted in Hastings’ court. A year after Borders was convicted of conspiracy, the result of an FBI sting effort, Hastings’s case came before the criminal court. Despite Borders’ conviction, and the fact that Hastings had indeed reduced the sentences of the two felons, he was acquitted in a criminal court in 1983 and returned to his judicial post.

Subsequently, suspicions arose that Hastings had lied and falsified evidence during the trial in order to obtain an acquittal. A special committee of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals began a new probe into the Hastings case. The resulting three-year investigation ended with the panel concluding that Hastings did indeed commit perjury, tamper with evidence, and conspire to gain financially by accepting bribes. The panel recommended further action to the U.S. Judicial Conference, which, in turn, informed the House of Representatives on March 17, 1987, that Judge Alcee Hastings should be impeached and removed from office.

On August 3, 1988, following an investigation by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, the House of Representatives voted 413 to 3 to adopt H. Res. 499, approving 17 articles of impeachment against Hastings, the greatest number of articles in any impeachment proceeding to date. Charges included conspiracy, bribery, perjury, falsifying documents, thwarting a criminal investigation, and undermining the public confidence “in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.” The Senate received the articles on August 9, 1988.

[….]

Having achieved the necessary majority vote to convict on 8 articles, the Senate’s president pro tempore (Robert C. Byrd) ordered Hastings removed from office.

Hastings was subsequently elected to the House, but has been involved in controversy there as well.

Hastings was accused of sexual misconduct:

In June 2011, one of Hastings’s staff members, Winsome Packer, filed a lawsuit alleging that he had made repeated unwanted sexual advances and threatened her job when she refused him. A congressional ethics panel investigated these claims. Packer was represented by the conservative legal group Judicial Watch. Hastings denied the allegations and called them “ludicrous.” He said, “I will win this lawsuit. That is a certainty. In a race with a lie, the truth always wins. And when the truth comes to light and the personal agendas of my accusers are exposed, I will be vindicated.” In February 2012, it was reported that Hastings would be released from the lawsuit, and it would only continue against the Helsinki Commission which Hastings chaired and Packer represented in Vienna. In December 2017, it was reported that the Treasury Department paid $220,000 to settle the lawsuit. Hastings later complained that he played no role in the settlement negotiations but the way they had been framed implied that he had.

While Hastings denied the allegations, those allegation had enough substance to force the Treasury Department to shell out $220,000 of taxpayer money to settle the claims.

Hastings likes to hire family members and romantic interests:

In 2012, Hastings was ranked #1 out of the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives for paying salaries and fees to family members, according to the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch. A state-by-state report on members of Congress published by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington reported that Hastings paid his girlfriend, Patricia Williams, an attorney who worked as his deputy district director, $622,574 over the four-year period from 2007 to 2010.

All this leads to our question of “what was Foster saying he was hoping to learn from Hastings? Corruption? Bribery? Perjury? Sexual misconduct? Nepotism?”

While some may say “Foster wasn’t aware of Hastings past,” then why say that he hoped to learn from Hastings? Was it just being polite? Or was it a case of telling someone what they wanted to hear? If it was the latter, then is Foster telling the people of Palm Bay what they want to hear?

In short, if you can’t recognize corruption and walk away from it, how does Foster plan to prevent corruption or dig out corruption in the City of Palm Bay?

One thing that Hastings and Foster have in common is a dislike of people’s Second Amendment rights.

In 2018, Foster posted this:

Let’s go over these points, one by one.

Ban assault weapons and large capacity magazines.

By definition, an “assault weapon” is one that has the ability to fire in an automatic mode. That means pulling the trigger and holding the trigger results in more than one bullet being fired. The general public does not have great access to automatic weapons, but instead has access to semi-automatic weapons which is one pull of the trigger, one bullet being fired. To possess an automatic weapon requires an extensive history and background check which normally takes about three years. “Large capacity magazines” have been shown to degrade a person’s ability to defend themselves in their home and defend their property.

It seems clear to us that Foster is pandering to the uninformed masses to ban things that are “scary looking” and to step on the rights of law abiding citizens.

Ban bump stocks.

While this list was written in 2018, bump stocks were banned by the Department of Justice and President Trump in 2019.

Strengthen and require universal background checks for all gun sales.

Background checks on gun sales from a dealer are already required. Private sellers may ask a buyer to complete a background check. While Foster says he wants to require universal background checks, 1) they have not shown any benefit to the public as far as private sales are concerned and 2) not sure how he was planning on accomplishing that as a County Commissioner.

Restrict gun sales to the mentally ill.

It is already illegal to sell a weapon to the mentally ill. In fact, it is Question 21f of the “Firearm Transaction Record,” which is the application for a firearm background check.

Close private-sale loopholes.

We are not sure what Foster means by this. It is already illegal to make a straw purchase and it is illegal for someone to sell a weapon to an individual if the seller suspects or knows that individual is not legally able to own a gun if purchased over the counter through a licensed dealer.

Restrict gun access for known foreign and domestic terrorists.

Terrorism is a felony and it is illegal for a felon to purchase a gun.

Close the “Boyfriend Loophole” and prohibit gun possession for those with felony or misdemeanor domestic violence and stalking convictions, and protection from abuse orders.

The “boyfriend loophole” closure is already in place for convicted felons, and a judge can order a person who is accused of domestic abuse to turn over all weapons. There are 23 states that have closure of the “boyfriend loophole” in place and it has not been shown to be an effective method of controlling gun violence against domestic partners.

Ban the purchase and possession of armor-piercing bullets.

Armor-piercing bullets are illegal for any handgun ammunition. That includes ammunition that may be used in a long rifle but can be fit into a handgun (such as a .223 round commonly used in AR-15’s).

So why are we bringing this up?

Basically our concern is that Foster claims to have a history in law enforcement, but yet does not know basic laws concerning firearms. We view the list of recommendations as a type of “click bait” to get the un-educated and those who don’t like the Second Amendment to try and attack it.

However, Foster, as a member of the Air Force and law enforcement swore an oath to the Constitution – including the Second Amendment. Does his attack on the Second Amendment mean that he no longer believes in that oath? If not, then why does he hold up his service in the military and law enforcement for people to admire?

Does it mean that he has no core beliefs that the people of Palm Bay can count on in that he will say whatever it takes to get elected and then work to implement some agenda that may be contrary to the desires of the people? Even those who voted for him?

Foster’s ability to basically be whatever people want right now is troubling to us. His inability to not see the epitome of corruption when it is standing right in front of him shaking his hand is even more troubling. The fact that he says he wants to learn from the corrupt means he is not serious about the City of Palm Bay, its citizens, or doing anything to address the corruption within the City.

We are not endorsing Foster’s opponent because we don’t make endorsements here. That has been our policy from day one of this blog.

However, our opinion, and one that will stand by, is that if Foster were running unopposed, we would write in “none of the above.”

In tomorrow’s post, we’ll show how Foster’s devotion to the laws of the land aren’t as strong as he portrays.



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  1. […] we said yesterday, Randy Foster is running for Seat 3 of the Palm Bay City […]

  2. […] had mentioned Foster and his anti-Second Amendment / freedom stance stance and his corruption issues in previous posts and there is no need for us to rehash them […]

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