NEWS RELEASE: Dirty Campaign Emails
Madeira Beach, our small beach town once know for being “two miles long and a smile wide” has recently and repeatedly been in the news and had made international headlines as the laughing stock for ethics violations, interoffice affairs, face licking and other scandalous and embarrassing political scandals for the past few years.
The Florida Governor’s office reportedly threatened to intervene saying that if the commission couldn’t pull it together the State would take over the operations of the small town.
The newest scandal?
The organizers of Madeira Beach United, the group backing the current Commissioner Douthirt and new candidate Pryor in their current campaign for city commission seats, has launched a fraudulent smear email campaign which was reportedly sent out to over 4000 people. The request for the private email addresses was made by Bill Gay, a long time friend of the candidates and legal foe of the city. The email request was facilitated by and given to Gay by current PR Director Curt Preisser.
False slanderous email statements were sent to the recently obtained email list from the city to both residents and non resident alike slandering the good name and efforts of the two experienced front runner candidates, Doug Andrews and Steve Kochick.
The emails were anonymously sent from a masked email account “firstname.lastname@example.org” to the email list of people who never subscribed to any campaign to receive such political propaganda. The email campaign potentially failed to follow the Federal marketing laws for multiple reasons including using an an anonymous email account, and not providing a valid postal address. The sender(s) did not have implied or express permission to send such communications. The emails were sent within just moments of an official city email sent by Curt Preisser using the same “Constant Contact” email program used by the City. The multiple email campaigns were possible paid campaigns raising questions of potential illegal campaign contributions that could possible disqualify candidates Douthirt and Pryor from the election.
Recipients of the unwanted email newsletter blast were both residents and non residents including some parents of little league players who are visibly upset.
“Our email addresses were unknowingly shared and used for a smear campaign. We signed our kids up for a recreation activity and now our private information was given out by the City and now being used for political interest by by backers of the Douthirt and Pryor campaign, that’s just dirty and is not right,” said one of the email recipients who desired to remain anonymous.
Campaign front runners Doug Andrews and Steve Kochick are understandably shocked by the news of this unwarranted email attack and possible collusion by many.
Doug Andrews and Steve Kochick promised the city and their voters an open and positive campaign and promised to help unify Madeira Beach. They urge all voters to leave the past vendettas and personal grudges from past administrations behind.
After the news was received of the attack, Doug Andrew and Steve Kochick will stand by their promise even after the very personal false email attacks were sent to thousands of unsuspecting recipients.
Instead of attacking back, Doug and Steve will remain committed to moving the City forward and will not waste their time on responding to the negativity and dirty propaganda. They vow to take the high road.
Doug Andrews and Steve Kochick will be all around the City on Saturday and Sunday being available to all residents to show how positivity, unity and civility belong back in our town. You will see them passing out symbols of unity, positivity and devotion to Madeira Beach. Stop and say “Hi” when you see them around. You will be happy to too the high road too.
Election Day is Tuesday, March 12th, 2019. Go vote at City Hall, open from 7am to 7pm.