Rangal And Mick Are Firing Shots Without Ammunition.

Florida Today contributors Isadora S Rangel and Bill Mick both have opinion pieces in the newspaper attacking John Tobia for his actions concerning Curt Smith during Brevard County commission meetings.

It’s a good thing that both are opinion pieces because they lack facts and certainly lack any depth of understanding.

Mick writes:

When the Brevard County Commission can’t have a unanimous vote without controversy being stirred, there is a problem. I believe I have identified that problem.

The problem’s name is John Tobia and the biggest part of the problem is he can’t stop himself from campaigning against Curt Smith from the dais.

No, they don’t run against each other, but Tobia has had it out for Smith since Tobia entered the commission with both figurative middle fingers extended to the room in the attitude he has exhibited since the start.

You see, the unanimous vote was for Tourism Development Council funding for lagoon projects. Unanimous means they all voted yes, right? Then why did Tobia have to talk about Curt “flip-flopping” his position? I suppose because it’s out of character for him to recognize the win in a gracious manner.

Brevard deserves better.

Mick has a time line problem. The question about whether Smith had flip flopped on the issue was made by Tobia during the discussion of the issue – not after the vote. Frankly, it’s a valid question. Smith had been against the measure last November and has flip flopped in an election year.

As we wrote last week:

The fact of the matter is that this was a real opportunity for Smith to come off looking great. He could have said “I reconsidered my opinion after discussing it with others.” He could have said “I heard from my constituents who wanted me to support this, and so I am.” He could have said “no one should be locked into a position that can not be challenged or changed as need be.”

Answers such as that would have shown a maturity and a willingness to listen to other points of view and change one’s opinion. Instead, Smith’s response was akin to “mommy, that mean man is picking on me again!”

Mick must have missed that idea. Mick must have missed the part where the question was a legitimate one, and Smith reacted with the middle finger to Tobia and voters. Mick basically blames the question rather than or also blaming the response. That type of “analysis” is typical of Mick whose knowledge and capacity to think critically is about as deep as a drop of water on a hot Florida sidewalk.

Rangal’s opinion piece is no better.

She writes:

But if Tobia is known as an ultra-conservative who won’t budge on his beliefs, he’s also known to be a shrewd politician. He’s pulling out all stops to take ideological control of the County Commission from the moderate wing of the GOP and put it in the hands of the tea party. (sic)

The problem is, of course, is that Smith ran as a member of the Tea Party. We won’t get into how Smith seems to have gone away from that position but Rangal seems happy that Smith has not voted the way he promised while campaigning and yet attacks Tobia for sticking to his ideals.

It is a strange world where being principled is somehow wrong and not maintaining your principles is somehow lauded.

Rangal then writes:

Tobia and Infantini have told me Smith has upset some Republicans for not being as conservative as he said he would be when he ran for office in 2014. They have the right to believe Smith isn’t a good fit anymore.

That said, it’seasy to run as a head-banging conservative or to be the “no” vote on everything — as Tobia was when he served in the Florida House — but governing requires flexibility and not ideological purity.

Actually, it’s not easy to be the lone wolf out there. It’s hard to keep your principles and promises to the voters.

Tobia does things that we may not like, but the voters got exactly what he campaigned on.

Somehow Rangal thinks that lying to voters is better than being principled and maintaining your promises to the voters.

However, if you are going to stray from those principles, or change your position, shouldn’t that change at least deserve an explanation to the voters? (Like the one Smith failed to give?)

Rangal then makes what we think may go down in the history of journalism as one of the dumbest statements known to humankind:

“Cut, cut, cut” sounds good until you’re faced with a catastrophe or failing infrastructure and no money to pay for it.


Cutting spending in certain areas allows the cut funds to be spent on roads and failing infrastructure. Many people in the community think that roads and infrastructure should be the number one issue the Commission addresses. Cutting some funding and proposals would help pay to address that problem.

Rangal lists what she considers to be motions, ordinaces and resolutions made by Tobia and “aimed” at Smith. She starts with:

An ordinance, which the County Commission voted down, to impose term limits for volunteers who are appointed by commissioners to serve on county advisory boards. An Infantini mailer now states Smith “voted against term limits.” While term limits are usually associated with elected officials, the flier does not specify that.

We don’t see how this was “aimed at Smith,” but there are people who believe that if elected officials have term limits, boards should as well. It can be argued that boards have just as much if not more influence on the information and decisions made by elected officials so perhaps term limits for boards may not be a bad thing. There is nothing factually wrong with Infantini’s statement on her mailer.

A useless resolution asking Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to join a lawsuit challenging DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that shielded some people brought to the country illegally as children from deportation. I say “useless” because Bondi is not looking at Brevard for guidance on federal issues, and the County Commission has bigger problems to worry about. Yet had Smith voted against the resolution, attack mailers saying he supports illegal immigration would have been flying into District 4 mailboxes by now.

Rangal has indicated that she supports illegal immigration so her opinion is more than a tad bit biased. Her description that “Bondi is not looking to Brevard for guidance on federal issues,” belies the fact that Bondi works for the state and the people of the state. Resolutions are not binding so Bondi can take the resolution for what it is. Rangal claims that the County Commission has “bigger problems to worry about” is a deflection that the Commission should be addressing problems, not just ones that Rangal thinks are not as big as others.

However, Florida has the 4th largest population of illegal immigrants in the country behind California, New York and Texas. Estimates are that it costs Floridians almost $4 billion for costs incurred by illegal immigrants plus at least another $3.1 billion in remittances that leave the state and go to foreign countries instead of staying in-state. We think that gives Florida and Floridians a seat at the the discussion of immigration table as well as a reason and perhaps a duty to advise Bondi where Brevard County stands on the issue.

A request to divert $9.4 million already approved for tourism projects to Indian River Lagoon restoration. Tobia’s motion failed in April with Smith voting against it. An Infantini campaign flier later attacked Smith for voting to spend taxpayer dollars on “2 stadiums, a boat dock, a light-house museum and a campground.” Last month Smith presented a proposal to use $1 million from the county’s Tourism Development Tax (the hotel bed tax) to clean up the lagoon. That was about one month before the primary — coincidence or not?

This one confused us. Rangal seems to be trying to blame Tobia for Smith’s change of direction on an issue just prior to the primary. We fail to see how Smith’s actions, without explanation, are the result of anything Tobia did.

Tobia called for an investigation of Smith’s reimbursement forms last year, alleging Smith had violations in his travel and credit card usage totaling $337.54, which previously had been approved by the county’s finance department. Some of the expenses he challenged seemed petty (i.e. a $1.08 reimbursement for mileage to attend a dinner), but some sounded legit ($50 for Smith’s wife’s baggage fee for a trip to Colorado Springs).

We are confused on this one as well. Tobia did not just call for an investigation into Smith’s expense reports but Barfield’s as well. It then turned out that Tobia was right – the expenses that were turned in were incorrect. Rangal apparently believes that elected officials should not comply with the laws and regulations on spending and if someone calls them on that, shame on the person who blew the whistle.

What Rangal failed to report upon was Smith’s attack on the free speech of the public and the speech of people on the dais. Smith’s proposed ordinance – which Tobia opposed – would have criminalized legal and protected speech made to the Commissioners. The proposed ordinance went through a revision and was changed from a “civility ordinance” to a “censure ordinance” which was just a pig dressed in different colors. The ordinance was pulled from the agenda for failure to be properly advertised and never was put up for a vote, but we have to wonder why Smith’s ordinance that was aimed directly at Tobia (and caught citizens in the shotgun blast) wasn’t mentioned by Rangal.

It is one thing for Mick and Rangal to like Smith and hate Tobia, and another thing for them to use their positions to distort records. If they want to join the Smith campaign, at least have the courtesy to tell the rest of us.

As Mick said, “Brevard deserves better.”

We deserve better than they hackneyed writings of Mick and Rangal.

One Response to “Rangal And Mick Are Firing Shots Without Ammunition.”

  1. Third Dimension says:

    2008 was the last paid subscription of the Rag that ever came to my door. I’ve boycotted them and their liberal hit pieces for a decade now.
    I quit listening to the Bill Mick show about 5-6 years ago. Why he is very inaccurate, and almost creates spin with the rhetoric he tries to sell into fact. Fact is, he is not as smart as he convinces himself that he is.

    He’s rude, snide, arrogant, and well, #FakeNews as you can get. Why waste a half hour of every hour listening to commercials? Well, his hype puts money into the radio station, and in his pockets. I can remember when there were two breaks at 20 after and 20 till. Lack of listers, they need money, so now there are three breaks.
    Why any loser would waste the time, shows me the ignorance that is still there.

    Without a doubt, the county will be far better served with Trudie Infantini than Curt Smith. John Tobia, a true conservative knows this and is educating people about the difference in truth vs. rhetoric. We thank her for running, and serving our county again, Curt has been caught in too many reversals of campaign promises forgotten and buried.