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We Knew This Was Coming.

Yesterday we had a post dealing with Palm Bay, Councilman Holton and a water bill and its implications. As we stated in the article, we had received much of the information from many sources, but the complete set of documentation was supplied by Thomas Gaume, who is running for the Council seat held by the subject of our post. Calvin “Tres” Holton.

We recognize that there could be a perceived bias in our post. We recognize that there could be seen some sort of collusion or “cahootin'” with the Gaume campaign.

If that were the case, you’d think we’d be smarter than that. If we were colluding with the Gaume campaign, we could have simply hidden the fact of what we received from Gaume. No one would have been the wiser except for two important groups of people: Gaume and us. We felt it was important to disclose the link on the documentation. We told Gaume that we wanted to make how we got the final pieces known to the world and he not only agreed, he insisted on it. We generally have a policy of not posting stories that may lead back to the source without the sources approval. In this case, not only did we get (one of) the source’s approval, he wanted the connection to be known for reasons he states in a comment below in the post.

Still, we believed there would be blow back and there was.

In a Palm Bay Facebook group, this was posted:

Our response to that is long but we wanted to post it here so all could see it. (We are eliminated the name of the original poster as we don’t think it is relevant:)

With all due respect, it would have been nice if you had taken the time to look at the site and see that we write about “Who We Are.”

You can find out the origins of the name of the site. You could even have contacted us through a supplied link and asked us directly but instead chose this path.

So be it.

For the record, we are a group of people. The site was the “brainchild” (or lack of a brain some would say) of a person who was writing for another blog back in the halcyon days of blogging when the blog to which they were contributing decided to close. The person was encouraged to open a new blog and thus “Raised on Hoecakes” was born.

There are people who have joined our merry band and people who have left because of other commitments and events in their lives. We have had a staff that was as high as 13 people and a low of 3 people. We are somewhere in the middle of that range now.

We choose to remain as anonymous as we can (except for one person who accidentally let it out into the wild that he works on the site) for the simple reason that we have seen our people and others on other blogs prosecuted and persecuted for what they have written. We have been called “mentally deranged” from those sitting on a governmental dais. We have been called “terrorists” (yes, TERRORISTS) for espousing political ideas that are contrary to others. (Go ahead and think about that for a second. Think about the idea that our writings which never espouse or call for violence were equated with people who kill, maim, and harm innocent men, women and children.)

We are also strong believers in the First Amendment when it comes to political speech. As anonymous political speech was a cornerstone of the founding of this country, we choose to stand by that and act accordingly.

We are also people who have contracts with and work for the governments upon which we opine. We make sure that our comments are protected and outside of the scope of our professional relationships with governments as is allowed under any interpretation of applicable case law. We know that if some municipalities knew the names of our people, they would seek to terminate their employment. We don’t think it is right or fair that people have to toe the political line in order to work.

Finally, we wish to return to the idea of “anonymous political speech.” We hope that you know that the Federalist Papers are a collection of debates written anonymously by some of the founding fathers which appeared in newspapers and served as platform for the debate on the founding of the country, the Articles of Confederation as well as the Constitution. The writers back then know what we know and cling to on the blog – who we are is not as important as what we say. Our names are not as important as our ideas. It is too easy for people to dismiss something because of who wrote it rather than taking the correct path and looking at what was written and then deciding whether it was correct or not.

In short sir, the names of the people who contribute to the blog have no bearing on what is said and what is written or seen there.

Hope that answers your first question and we will now address your second in another post.

Second post:

Your second question asks what is our “professional or personnel relationship with Thomas Gaume.”

For the record, no one on our staff has any professional relationship with Gaume. We have never had a contract or business deal with him.

As for the personnel relationship, Mr. Gaume gets the same treatment as anyone who contacts us or leaves a comment. We literally assign a staff member to a contact so the communication is consistent, but if there is a bias,we try to eliminate that at our end right off the bat as the first thing we ask the staff is “anybody know this person?”

As Mr. Gaume is running for office, we should make it clear that no one on the staff has donated to his campaign (or any local campaign for that matter.)

In short, sir, we wouldn’t know Gaume if we saw him in a local store and he would not know us.

Does that answer your questions?

We understand that there are those who are going to attack us and others rather than address the ideas and information that is presented. Those attacks are the epitome of “ad hominem” attacks.

People would be surprised at the number of emails we get and people we meet in public saying they don’t want to comment on a blog for fear of some sort of retaliation from others, including those in the government. Is that really what we want in society? A place where the “marketplace of ideas” is restricted by name calling, brute force, ad hominem attacks and persecution?

If people have questions about us, feel free to ask. Ask us here because we don’t look everywhere to see what is being said about us. We generally respond and try to be polite in doing it.

We’ll leave you with the thought that encapsulizes our thinking when it comes to discussion in forums like this and others:

“Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”

Socrates




6 Responses to “We Knew This Was Coming.”

  1. Thomas Gaume says:

    I appreciate you pointing out that I insisted on being named as the source. While I totally understand the reasoning for you and others reasons for remaining anonymous, I have my own set of values.

    If I choose to publicly make a statement or accusation I put my name to it. I think my actions in recent months have shown that I’ll stand up and look someone in the eye and be just as forthright face to face as I would be given any other situation.

    I would not have supplied the documentation and explanation of how I acquired all of the documentation without the agreement that I was named, not to take the credit, but to take the responsibility of distributing documentation that I was in any way responsible for seeking out and collecting.

  2. Hometown says:

    I will be watching to see where this goes next, wouldn’t be the first time a politician gets called out for doing something wrong (and probably illegal) and then nothing happens. At a minimum the commissision should launch an investigation and report its findings to the residents to ensure the public trust is maintained.

    PS – Loved the Socrates quote in the original article.

  3. Third Dimension says:

    I can say that I do not know who ROH is. They may know me, maybe not. I do know Tom Gaume, known him for over ten years.
    I as many others have seen these comments on a FB wall, A. Afterwit was straightforward and honest, a lot to be desired from the person posing the question.
    Many of us suspect they are the councilmen on the dais with fake accounts. We all took note, with PB City Council in session, not one of those accounts were active.

    So as we do our best to bring back integrity, honesty, diligence to the people that we need to earn the trust back from.
    What we do need to question, is what the discussion is all about. The lack of integrity of those stinking up the place with controversy and agenda driven dishonesty is what needs to be in the Sunshine.
    There is no better a disinfectant than the Sunshine.

    I still believe the City Manager is the issue in PB that needs some, a whole lot of Sunshine.

  4. Wake the Heck Up says:

    People don’t realize all the different names Holton has on Facebook and people trolling and different groups talking nasty hateful things. So take time to look in the mirror do you want to support a guy who continues to lie to the people he represents along with taking advantage of things just because he a Councilmen OR Someone who tells the truth who doesn’t use his name to get stuff for free someone who fought for our Freedom whom is a true Veteran. People need to attend more of the Council Meetings just to see how nasty Holton is.

  5. Kathy Milton says:

    I have never seen such hate and meanness as Gaume and his followers post. They tell half storis but not the part that actually tells the truth. They twist everything they post. How they can sleep at night I don’t know unless they just don’t care. I could tell you the truth on everything they tell only what they want to make Holton look bad. Holton does not post bad things about them. I’m disappointed you have not checked what you post as “truth”. But then bad journalism sells more. Check your conscious before you post because I know in my heart you really do know right and wrong. May God Bless.

    • AAfterwit says:

      Kathy Milton,

      Thank you for your comment.

      You make many critical mistakes in your reply.

      First, we are not “supporters of Gaume” so while we realize that you would like that to mean something, ultimately it is mudslinging that has no value and misses the mark as far as it applies to us.

      Secondly, if we have misrepresented anything, tell us what is wrong and we will check into it and if we are wrong, we will retract or correct it. That’s all you have to do. Instead saying “I could tell you the truth on everything,” and then not doing that doesn’t accomplish anything, does it?

      Third, Holton has attacked us and our spokesperson from the bully pulpit of the Council meetings. He as also attacked others in posts. We wonder where you are getting your information that he has not attacked anyone because that’s simply and demonstrably not true.

      Fourth, you write:

      I’m disappointed you have not checked what you post as “truth”.

      Actually, we did check what we wrote. Many times. The accusation that we had not “checked what [we] post” is just not factual. Once again, you are free to contact us / comment on what you believe we have incorrect. We welcome it. Just saying we are wrong and not supplying evidence or even your point of view does no one any good.

      But then bad journalism sells more.

      This is an odd statement as sites and publications that are bad journalistically don’t get readers and / or go out of business. As we aren’t selling anything here (no ads, no sponsored content, etc) we have no idea what you are trying to say when you talk about this site and “sells more.” Your attack on this front seems woefully uninformed and misdirected.

      We should also point out that we have been around awhile. This is not our first rodeo. If you look at the list of post to the right, you’ll see that we “opened the doors” to Raised on Hoecakes in 2011. Our writings and posts far precede the “feud” that exists between Holton and Gaume and their respective supporters.

      Check your conscious before you post because I know in my heart you really do know right and wrong.

      Oh good grief. I’s sorry, but this is nothing but pontification which adds nothing to the conversation.

      May God Bless.

      He already has.

      Thanks again for the comment.

      A. Afterwit.

      PS – you some managed to post the same comment twice in the same thread and not in response to different people. We removed the duplicate post.

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