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Watch Out, I’m an Arab! How I Changed My Name and Pledged a Take-Over of Flagler County.

| September 3, 2014

Laurence Sterne, godfather of the author's  name.

Laurence Sterne, godfather of the author’s name.

In the last few weeks we’ve all had to endure a great deal of lunacy from what can only be described as the nut-job election. It’s not over yet, even for some of those who did not survive the primary.

Two recent losers—I mean the word in the literal context of Aug. 26’s election, mostly—have been circulating emails to their mercenary friends and a few county commissioners, alerting them to the fact that a dozen years ago, I changed my name!  The two Sherlocks—I do not, in this case, mean the word literally—concluded that I must be an Arab terrorist who should be watched like an enemy combatant and disallowed unescorted access to the Government Services Building.

pierre tristam flaglerlive editor's blogThe two Defenders of the Republic I’m referring to are Dennis McDonald and Mark Richter, erstwhile Ronald Reagan Republican Assembly candidates for the Flagler County Commission and latter-day Dr. Sleuths: what Thing One does Thing Two thinks and vice versa. Their sponsoring overlord meanwhile remains as senile as its namesake. You can test the misfiring synapses by the quality of candidates it gave us (two redeeming exceptions aside).

So here’s what Richter in a McDonald echo sent George Hanns, chairman of the county commission, last Saturday. I reproduce the email here exactly as it was sent, with apologies to my adopted language: “Mr Chairman, I also find it unacceptable that this man Pierre (Pierre Fauad Haddad) is allowed to roam freely throughout our County Services Building. I have seen him behind the podium and in the back rooms of the Chamber. In this Heightened alert state that our Country is facing from Hamas and ISIS we cannot tolerate such behavior, No other Citizen is allowed to be roaming around the building and behind the podium , why is this man allowed this access . Please see attached Name Change report attached. Please Sir for the security of the people that work in the GSE building, Please have this stopped. Mark Richter.”


Heightened alert state is right, but I’m afraid we have a few wires crossed: these two don’t know their ISIS from irony.

I shouldn’t have to explain myself, let alone because of something these two remaindered windbags are doing. But beside badgering commissioners with this claptrap, McDonald and sidekick Kimberle Weeks, the supervisor of elections–another master-abuser of government time–managed to occupy 15 minutes of a canvassing board’s time with this idiocy Tuesday. Against legal advice, which she’s never taken more seriously than cauliflower, Weeks actually insisted on including in canvassing board records a McDonald email to Hanns about my name change, veiled in McDonald’s outrage that I don’t mouth the words to the pledge as he does, which must also prove that my allegiance is to the Forces of Darkness. And this is what Judge Melissa Moore-Stens, who chairs the canvassing board, had to extend her court recess 15 minutes for. Then again, Weeks also thinks that caulking sidewalks is canvassing board Priority Number One. I’m not making this up. It has to be heard to be believed. Have a listen below. I can imagine that in comparison my name change business is an affair of state.


Canvassing Board Caulk Talk

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Allah help us. McDonald certainly knows how to waste a government’s time and money. He has plenty of both, a dangerous combination for someone who doesn’t have a hobby. He does it at almost every county or city meeting, however baseless his claims. His hide is still red from the spanking Palm Coast gave him for wasting its time and money through a frivolous lawsuit, which McDonald must now pay for. But fanatics don’t learn. They keep scrounging. And what McDonald found this time beneath the bottom of the barrel is my name change and how it must surely threaten the national security of these United States.

I’m embarrassed that something so irrelevant takes up any commissioner’s time, like when nut cases start badgering commissioners about Agenda 21 or how FPL’s Smart Meters are about to trigger the end times. But for years now people who couldn’t deal with my opinion columns on their own admittedly insufferable terms have pulled the name-change card as if it were a Rosetta stone of my more sinister self. Maybe it is, but in a much duller way than the birthers theorize. So much as writing about myself feels like inflicting a vitrectomy on readers, I should probably set the record straight about my double (actually, triple) life and those tiresome terrorist sympathies.

From Steve Robinson


I have to hope after reading Pierre’s piece that people of good will in this county—Republicans, Democrats, left, right, center—will raise their voices on this page and express outrage that two losing candidates for the county commission have dipped their poison pens into the fetid pool of McCarthyism to attack the man who runs this website.

steve-robinson1As the co-author of the news article that enumerated Mark Richter’s misrepresentations and fabrications, I can say with great certainty that Mr. Richter was given ample opportunity to explain or refute them with facts of his own. The smear campaign he and McDonald appear to be waging is the sad refuge of someone with no facts at his disposal.

The commission candidates from the conservative wing of Flagler’s Republican Party lost their bid to replace two incumbents. It was a close race, but voters apparently decided that the challengers were not to their liking. Those who cast their votes presumably assessed the views of the two candidates, as well as their credentials, and found them wanting. So be it. That’s what elections are all about.

That these two candidates have responded to their loss by implying that Pierre Tristam represents some sort of terrorist threat would be laughable were it not so dangerous. Flagler is a small county in a big country and I am reminded of the line from Casablanca that “the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.” The problem with Richter’s and McDonald’s smear campaign is that they have learned this behavior from those who practice it at the national level—the politics of personal vilification that embraces false labels at the expense of facts: Obama is not reacting cautiously to the turmoil in the Middle East, he is a secret Muslim traitor. We’ve all heard it.

We live in dangerous times. Fanatics have taken control of a large chunk of Syria and Iraq; Vladimir Putin is rhetorically brandishing his country’s nukes; at home we have an economy that seems to work only for the wealthy, and we need only look at our benighted Central American neighbors for a taste of what that leads to.

Addressing these issues in a sane, civilized manner is our only option—and it requires courage, a scarce commodity in the political discourse of our nation and our county. Those whose only recourse to criticism or scrutiny—or to defeat--is to stoke people’s fears and prejudices do nothing but reveal their own weakness and their own desperation. And I am confident that the good people of Flagler County will agree.

--Steve Robinson

I was born Pierre Fouad Haddad—the first name a testament to our colonization in Lebanon by the French, and something of a snobbish marker by Christian families such as mine to differentiate ourselves from our Muslim neighbors, who had more traditional Arab names: the sectarian part of the Lebanese civil war had its roots in our birth certificates, as did my eventual disdain for all things sectarian, “under god” pledges included.

The middle name was my dear father’s. In Lebanon, all sons take their father’s name for a middle name. Fouad is Arabic for heart. It’s also one of the sad ironies of this story. It was my father’s heart that gave out and killed him when he was just 46. I was not yet 12. For a year’s schooling in England I kept his middle name because in English public schools having one or more middle initial seemed to be one of the easier affectations with which to pretend to fit in. By the time my mother remarried and my second father all but adopted us, it seemed cruel to him to keep flashing the memorial of his predecessor in my name, and over time Fouad faded from public view even as his memory would grow and shade my life more amply than a great oak.

I’m surprised McRichter didn’t unearth the other last name I adopted for a while—Branon, my second father’s family name that would also become my mother’s third. But it wouldn’t have served their purposes: too obviously Irish, too Catholic, too white. They wanted the camel jockey stuff, the raghead stuff, they wanted their haji. That’s gook’s Arab equivalent for those of you translating bigotry from Vietnam to Iraq. To Bunnell.

Haddad would fit.

It didn’t fit me. I never liked the name—not because of its Arab sound, though I’m ashamed to say that that did play a role for a while, but because of its commonness. Haddad is the most common name in Lebanon. Just as Smith is the most common name in America. No secret why: Haddad is Arabic for Smith. My byline was starting to appear here and there and it just didn’t look right, plus I was about to take the oath of U.S. citizenship. I didn’t fancy a lifetime with a name I didn’t like anymore than I fancied a lifetime with a religion or a nationality or a language I didn’t particularly care for. I had changed all these others. I decided to change my name too.  To quote the late Howard Cosell (born Howard Cohen), “I believe everybody got a right to be called by whatever name he chooses.”

The problem was: change it to what? It’s a difficult choice, a bit like choosing a life mate. I needed love at first sight, a lightning strike. That summer of ’86, I got one. I had just bought Lawrence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, the great eighteenth century novel about a character who can’t tell a story without a maze of tangents. The book was sitting on my desk. I stared at it. It stared back. We got a room.

The book of genesis. (© FlaglerLive)

The book of genesis. (© FlaglerLive)

I’ve yet to read the book, but the name became mine, minus an r, for authenticity’s sake. Before getting married I petitioned a court to give the name change its blessing so my wife and the daughter I was about to adopt would have my name, and I could be my own founding father with a name unlike any in the phonebook. As Yakov Smirnoff would say, what a country. Of course, he never met Thing One and Thing Two.

I suspect that the two had their little public record for a while but didn’t know what to do with it until they saw me at a recent Flagler County Commission meeting standing but, my god, not actually reciting the Pledge with everyone else. Naturally, their assumptions were confirmed: I was not only a terrorist but a godless one too (don’t say that to my ISIS brethren, they’ll have me beheaded before sundown). It’s true, I’ve never recited the pledge in a government setting for all sorts of reasons, not least of them its under god adulteration in 1954, when Eisenhower’s pastor thought there was “something missing” in the thing. Since Francis Bellamy penned the pledge’s perfectly balanced and rhythmic 22 words in 1892, it had grown by a third, becoming clunkier and less personal by the word. I can respect a certain amount of public patriotism, but don’t ask me to participate in bad poetry or sectarian pledges.

Anyway, with that firecracker in hand McDonald wrote of his outrage to the commission chairman, hoping to bait Hanns, a veteran: “Americans pledge Our Flag!” he yelled in his email, while slipping in a suggestive mention of my name change. Joe McCarthy would have been proud. Then in a vintage piece of rude writing on Aug. 30 he falsely accused Hanns of sharing that tidbit with me. It hadn’t been Hanns, it had been his partner Richter who’d disseminated the stuff so compulsively that it eventually got to me. (Another irony neither of these two could possibly appreciate.) I confronted McDonald about his little backdoor obscenities when I saw him at a recent canvassing board meeting, but I was too polite. Where’s Frank Meeker when you need him?

This is where the story’s wackiness becomes simply stupid, a reflection of the debased political tenor we’re living through, where the pledge itself is insulted even as it’s recited. I hope we’re not that kind of county. Last week the mayor of Winter Haven actually had a cop throw out a man who refused to stand for prayer and pledge, just as the guy mouthing the invocation thanked god for “allowing us to live in a country where we’re free to believe, think, and pray.”

That’s assuming you know the meaning of freedom. It’s assuming you can think. It’s assuming you have a prayer.

Three strikes, in McRichter’s case. But they’ve yet to realize that they’re out.

Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here.

Talk about sinister: my 'Catholic Family Booklet," a sort of birth, baptism and death certificate all in one, that our church stated 'must be conserved by the head of the family,' and that conveniently included space for our death date. Below it, my old Lebanese identity card, with the unfortunate inclusion of the bearer's religion. It was a requirement to carry the card at all times, and it was based on that detail that militias from both sides--Muslim and Christian--would decide whose throats to cut and whose to spare at innumerable checkpoints during the civil war, an experience that left many of us feeling nowhere near under god, then or since. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Talk about sinister: my ‘Catholic Family Booklet,’ a sort of birth, baptism and death certificate all in one, that our church stated ‘must be conserved by the head of the family,’ and that conveniently included space for our death date. Its inside flap also included the awful motto, ‘God, Family, Country,’ that was also that of the Phalangists, the proto-fascist Christian militia that nevertheless may have saved our lives during the civil war, after helping to precipitate it, and has since moderated into Lebanon’s version of the GOP. Below it, my old Lebanese identity card, with the unfortunate inclusion of the bearer’s religion. It was a requirement to carry the card at all times, and it was based on that detail that militias from both sides–Muslim and Christian–would decide whose throats to cut and whose to spare at innumerable checkpoints during the civil war, an experience that left many of us feeling nowhere near under god, then or since. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

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158 Responses for “Watch Out, I’m an Arab! How I Changed My Name and Pledged a Take-Over of Flagler County.”

  1. NortonSmitty says:

    Wow. What is there to say? I owe an apology to all those I argued with who called the Republican right wingers Nazi Bastards. You were correct, my bad.

  2. Flatsflyer says:

    Can you imagine if either of these two jerks had been elected? It’s past time for these two “Kochsuckers” to crawl under a rock and stop these silly games. I’m proud that I was able to help ensure these idiots did not get elected, now I hope that all news media will stop giving them even a second of exposure because they do nothing to improve any situation but simply want to tear things apart.

  3. Jon Hardison says:

    Alls I can say is that I love you Mr. Smith.
    In the immortal words of the great Pat Benatar, “We are one. Heartache to Heartache we stand.”
    We actually share air with these people? Thank God idiot isn’t terribly contagious.

  4. Jan Reeger says:

    WOW ! It is the Flagler County voting citizens that frighten me.

    The SOE was elected because she stood on a street corner with yellow and black signs.
    Many of the remaining signs were planted without owner permission.

    Praise Allah that McDonald and Richter did not get elected !!

  5. Elizabeth Robinson says:

    Wow, Pierre. Truly frightening to see the kind of moronic, McCarthy-era maneuvers coming out of our local political scene. All this over a name change and being witnessed not moving your lips during the pledge? Hopefully, the vast majority of people aware of this smear campaign will see it for what it is.

  6. Seminole Pride says:

    People are so afraid something or somebody is going to come and take over this little ole’ county. Keep up the reporting Pierre, its better then most the stuff I have read on line. But if you were named John Smith, it would be easier for this Floridian to remember. Laughing my you know what off.

  7. Vox says:

    Well done! Very nice!

  8. Lin says:

    Had to laugh at the origin of the name you picked, Pierre
    You are a self fulfilling prophecy using related and not exactly related facts to prove your points

    I can empathize with your feelings of suffering the slings and arrows from those ignorant enough to lump you in with a group where you don’t belong, a group they fear.

    We were offered such poor choices in this election. How to replace those who have given away out resources to poor decisions and replace them with who?

    I was hoping this story was really about your slant on the awful violence taking place in our world right now. I do think you are a hell of a reporter, wouldn’t think of trying to stop your freedom of speech — although if you were in the room with me I would probably have a really loud discussion LOL since I don’t agree with you on much

    Here’ a cliche for you on this report. “Consider the source”

  9. buylocal says:

    What is scary is how many votes McDonald and Richter got in this last election. Not enough to win thank God but more than their immediate family members.

  10. Sandra Reynolds says:

    This confirms my reasoning for distancing myself from local politics and especially, some of the right wing racist and bigoted num nuts out there. Thank goodness we have a choice with whom we wish to associate. So sorry Pierre Fouad, that you have to witness this ugliness in this town.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      Sandy, all politics are local. By caving to your revulsion you are ducking this basic civic responsibility and diminishing the importance of local politics. And you are allowing these fascist idiots to get their foot in the door. Don’t believe how this is important?
      Sara Palin got her start running for the local Town Council in Wasilla, Alaska to prevent the local hospital from advising on birth control and the library from stocking smut like Harry Potter, A Clockwork Orange, Death of a Salesman, Huckleberry Finn, The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare and so many others.
      But if you value freedom and knowledge and agree we all should be able to judge for ourselves what is real, it is your civic duty to hold your nose and fight the bastards as best we can.
      So next time you see Mr. McDonald or Mr. Richter spouting their right-wing racist and fascist bullshit, I implore you to do your civic duty, walk right up, look them in the eye and kick them as hard as you can right in their nutsack. It is your patriotic duty. And you will have the undying admiration of your fellow citizens, as well as my promise to make your bail from my own pocket, as well as all of our undying love and admiration.
      With Citizenship comes Responsibility.

      • mlopez says:

        Well put Smitty! When I asked friends if they voted in the primary, most said no. Yet they are the ones that continue to complain and say “if incumbent than their out” in November. Not saying I always agree with that….but… if you don’t vote EVERY time than shut up! Don’t you people see how many elected officials were elected by primary turn out?

        “Far right” or “far left”, extremism will never prevail! You need to find some middle ground and make the most informed decision.

    • Samantha Claire says:

      These goofs do not represent the Republican Party. They and their gang of narcissistic political malcontents hijacked a past president’s name and stapled, unauthorized, the Republican Party name to an outfit presently better placed in another part of the world.

      Having lost their primary elections, they now move on working to further disgrace the party and to undermine the winners whom they are sworn to support. Some guys.

      None of the three Reagan Republican run-off candidates for Palm Coast City Council and School Board, Anna Marie Shaffer, Steven Nobile and Janet McDonald have disavowed their leadership roles and close affiliations with this group. Candidates: Your silence is deafening.

      Mr. Tristam, Thanks for your excellent article. Keep up your good work and illegitimi non carborundum. I know, a tired phrase, but apropos.

      SC

      • Steven Nobile says:

        Excuse me but I have, and not here only but to those responsible as well.

        • Samantha Claire says:

          Mr. Nobile, You are the only Reagan endorsed candidate so far to come forward with your position – a good and proper one. You are a really decent person. My compliments to you and my apology for not giving you enough time before taking a shot. You now have one more step to take to gain the confidence of Palm Coast voters: You need to disown the Reagans by rejecting any further support or having any more involvement with them. In doing so, you will set a path to the largest win in Palm Coast history. Otherwise, you could lose your election. SC

  11. Ralph Belcher says:

    I shudder to think I even had two such individuals to consider voting for to represent ME in an elective office.

    They asked me to vote for them, to support them, even though in view of what they’ve presented to our public officials and anyone who would listen – they feel they’re above all common decency to be able to at least respect somebody – a fellow resident. Not just a slip of the tounge here. It’s a long trail of ugly missteps.

    A resident they would of been charged to represent. It speaks countless volumes on who they really are. Volumes. And I would not like them to ever represent me even as dog catcher. Or even a paperboy.

    Pierre, take heart, don’t let the clowns get to you. I’m proud to call you a fellow citizen of our community.

  12. Roy says:

    As an American, I am embarrassed.

  13. Ralph Belcher says:

    Oh, in the interest of self disclosure since Dennis McDonald is outing everyone in our community for his apparent benefit, I do have relatives who actually “crossed the border”, coming out of Spring Hill, Nova Scotia, Canada. They actually took up the name “Smith” and raised thier family and made a basic living. They were ordinary folks whom their neighbors respected in their new chosen community. That was three generations ago, but they did break the law. Maybe our candidates would like to weigh in on that, too since they’re on a roll. I can’t say my relatives came over on the Mayflower, but I’m no less a citizen of this nation.

  14. Emile says:

    As Steve Robinson says, “We live in dangerous times.” I admire Mr. Tristam’s ability to lighten the atmosphere while still skewering those who would spread malicious stories about his heritage and name.

    But this episode leaves me more frightened than amused.

  15. Long Time Palm Coast Citizen says:

    Never ever in my 23 years of living in Palm Coast have I observed such ignorant uneducated behavior. Thank God these 2 bigots didn’t get elected. I wish they would take the S.O. E. with them and move to Pettyland.

  16. NortonSmitty says:

    This guy is so far out of line hating you because your last name is Arabic. If he was a real American, he would hate you because your first name is French like the rest of us!

  17. Devrie says:

    Wow! This news cracked me up in a sad sort of way.

  18. Jasr says:

    Pierre, you actively chose to be a US citizen, a decision so courageous that the native-born can only envy you. You should pity those small-minded numbskulls who question your loyalty, they will never understand what the US Constitution stands for. Your name appears in FInnegan’s Wake: “Sir Tristram, violer d’amores, fr’over the short sea”, albeit with ‘r’ and your origin is over several seas.

  19. AMOS says:

    KEEP WRITING PIERRE !!! THAT’s JUST PITTIFULL!! We Don’t Even Wanna Get Started on Those TWO “FOOLS” !!!!!

  20. NortonSmitty says:

    I wonder where these fascist poltroons got the idea?
    http://michellemalkin.com/2014/09/03/deport-the-tsarnaev-sisters/

  21. Pogo says:

    I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: ‘O Lord make my enemies ridiculous.’ And God granted it.

    Voltaire

    Seems God usually listens when one uses their pen name. ;)

    Good company then and now:

    http://aattp.org/

  22. Groot says:

    My grandfather was born in 1891 in Lithuania and came here at age 5. He later changed his name to an “American” name because no one would hire because of his name. I have been pondering a change back to Drogalis. I like it, it’s unique and I’m proud of it but he changed it. It’s American to change our names or not. So Richer and McDonald, German and Scottish names, spent all that time, effort and hate over someone’s last name? Oy!

  23. Freedy says:

    As a right wing Republican I do not condone the behavior of these two extremists. There are extremists in every political party, race, and religion and to me they are all nuts!

    • NortonSmitty says:

      Freedy buddy, If you find yourself hanging your ass out defending your team often, maybe you are on the wrong team.

      • Outsider says:

        The same could be said for your team, Smitty. It was after all, Alex Sink, a Democrat that recently stated we needed to grant amnesty to illegals so we would have someone to clean our toilets and mow our grass.

        • NortonSmitty says:

          Frankly, I hate Democrats only slightly less than Republicans. A few years ago I stood across the street from a polling place with a sign that said “Vote Democrat. It’s better to support the Spineless than the Evil”.
          To paraphrase Groucho, I would never belong to a political party that would have me as a member. A pox on both their houses, there is barely a dimes worth of difference between them.

          And that is probably the first honest thing Alex Sink has said in years.

  24. John F. Pollinger says:

    In 2011 I decided to run for sheriff in Flagler County in the hopes of making some positive changes in the county I called home. Little did I know (although I was warned) how vitriolic it would all become. I was an early target of the RR people with a campaign conducted of whispers, inuendos, outright lies. It was followed by an unsucessful lawsuit to keep me off the ballot in the name of “party purity”, the term used by Ann-Marie Shaffer, current candidate for Palm Coast City Council. I still believe it was manufactured and funded by a group that used Shaffer as the named party while remaining in the shadows, cloked in a secrecy that remains today. It’s not hard to connect the dots of all of the players that seek to gain some sort of platform or power for whaterver nefarious unattainable goals some might have.

    I thought at the time the use of the term “party purity” used by Shaffer was frighting in itself, beckoning back to the era of WWII. This latest attempt on Pierre falls decidely lower. Pierre it also saddens me that you chose to defend against an obcene attempt by others to besmerch your character. Yet I understand it had to be done to expose those who dwell in the shadows of Flagler County politics.

    Hate, fear mongering, bigotry, and racist intolerance tend to survive and gain acceptance when others choose to remain silent.

    The sadest part of this entire story will be the majority of Flagler County and Palm Coast voters who will not read this story or even bother casting an educated ballot.

    • Heidi Shipley says:

      Mr. Pollinger I love the word “vitriolic” to describe any situation dealing with a group of people that call for party purity. In this case it is bigotry feeding on fear which is usually where most bigotry originates.

      As far as an educated ballot, it is up to our residents not to take a “list” on their way to vote. We are better than that. There are great people on that list, but I will make my own choices based on each individual running for office. I would like to have the opportunity to meet with you and hope to earn your vote. I am running for city council district 2 .

  25. Linda Lowen says:

    Every generation scapegoats a group of people, labeling them as “Other,” and this type of idiocy is promulgated by hate-mongers who rally around a “cause,” either real or contrived, because they know inciting fear is the fastest way to get others to leapfrog over logic and act from the undeveloped (i.e. stupid) “reptilian brain.”

    This whole name change issue is an example of a contrived, unsupportable cause. There’s no story here. Move along folks.

    Attempting to mark you, Pierre, as an “Other” is an example of what happens when lazy, ignorant, spiteful, dim-witted losers lack the ability to function from anything other than the reptilian brain.

    In generations past, my people were “Other” — I am Japanese American and was born into a Jewish family to boot. Because my Japanese mother married my American father, I never had to deal with the prejudice I might have experienced had my father been Japanese, marrying an American woman, and giving her his name. Would I be who I am today had I been Linda Hasegawa, Tanaka, Nakayama, or some other foreign, unpronounceable “Other” named person? Hard to say. But I was spared all that, although some ignorant folks, hearing my name said aloud, would write it Lo En as if they thought an Asian person couldn’t have a good German name.

    All this to say that there will always be fools who scatter the seeds of suspicion because that’s all they can do. They can’t plant, they can’t till, they can’t grow anything of value. All they can do is tear down. Laugh in their faces enough and maybe they’ll learn something, but I doubt it.

    You’re an asset to the Palm Coast region, and so is Flagler Live. If I could clone you and bring you up to my neck of the woods, you’d better believe I’d do it in half a heartbeat. Even if you named yourself Roshmondo Hakeeschtoppan. (Inside family joke there — the name of the son I never had.) I’m glad to see the outpouring of support here, and am disgusted that this even came up.

    BTW, cute passport photo. You could have been on the cover of Tiger Beat…and given the Monkees’ Davy Jones a run for his money…

  26. Flagler Citizen says:

    It is so scary that McDonald and Richter received the votes they did! They tried their best to make the other candidates look bad, and it turned on them. The truth came out, and for the best.
    Poor little men didn’t get what they thought they deserved.

    Pierre, you are good at your job, wither we agree or disagree, you do what has to be done and you do it honestly! Thank you.

    McDonald and Richter, you two need to move somewhere else. We don’t want you here. And if some people do, take them with you.

  27. Nancy N. says:

    I’d like to thank Pierre, Steve, and the commenters here for reminding me with their outrage that I’m not the only sane person in this county. Because idiots like McDonald and Richter – and the people who support them and treat their hate-mongering with dignity (like Ms Weeks) – seriously make me wonder lately.

    “Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet?” Pierre, you’d be awesome by any name…but I enjoyed hearing the story behind how you got your name.

  28. Kendall says:

    Earlier today I had to drive from Atlanta to Birmingham Alabama. About 130 miles west on Interstate 20. When I got close to Birmingham I came upon a billboard that said “Anti-racist is a code word for anti white” in big bold letters. I read it, said to my self “oh HELL no!” and then thanked my lucky stars I don’t live in a place like Alabama.

    Looks like we have a couple of guys (notice I didn’t say men) that want to make it into Alabama. Perhaps they need to find a new home.

    I need to stop now before I lose my civility.

  29. John Smallberries says:

    Well, we now know that the Ronald Reagan Republicans are basically just a club for that racist birther grandpa or grandma that no one likes. You know, the one that sends out daily inspirational emails about the covert mooslim in the white house that is really a kenyan and works for ISIL and wants to grab everyone’s guns, usually followed up by a nigger joke and some quote by Paul Harvey.

  30. rst says:

    I’ll vouch for you anyday Pierre. BTW, you were a great looking as a kid, what happened? :0)

  31. Dlf says:

    You may not agree with these guys but we still live in America,free speech,free press. For good or bad,for truth or lies. I do not approve of this type of action but don’t tell me they do not have the right to express their unfounded feelings.The press does it all the time,

    • Jon Hardison says:

      Who said they didn’t have the right to be idiots? Of course they have the right to let these sentiments roll out of their wrong ends. And those that don’t appreciate it have the right to shine a big old light on them, point, and scream, “YOU’RE A DUMB ASS!”, which is also covered by the first. LOL!

      I don’t think anyone is surprised these people exist. Just that they’d like to “represent” us. Do they think they’ll be among friends once elected? Even worse, will they be among friends? The first is fine until someone is using it to put words in my mouth. Then we have a problem.

  32. This is why every vote counts. When they start slinging mud and can not keep it clean. None of them will get my vote. Keep up the good reporting Preirre.

  33. Richard Hamilton says:

    Dear Pierre.
    Until now I had felt some sympathy towards Mark Richter over the previous “swiftboat” style attacks on him for his youthful indiscretions, and ignorantly boastful nature. I therefore owe him grateful thanks for revealing his character and intellect in his own sad words, for which he can blame no one but himself.
    I hope he spends the next couple of years reflecting on how he can better serve the people of Flagler County at the next election, should he choose to run again.
    For starters he might like to follow your example. You have consistently shared with your readers over the years stories of your past, your parents, your childhood and your experiences. Nothing that I know has ever been hidden or glossed over, though many critics have never bothered to read your stories, jumping to conclusions based on Fox-facts rather than the truth.
    I do not always agree with you, Pierre, but I would rather have you standing behind or beside me at a meeting than some of these people.

  34. ella says:

    Your acid tongue never fails to amuse me. ;)

  35. Concerned says:

    Well, Dif, I’ll tell you those guys don’t get to spread mcCarthyesque untruths, whether verbally or in writing – the law would call that slander or libel, respectively. Where’s the proof Pierre is a terrorist? Innuendo is not fact. It is intentional directed harm. We’re not discussing ‘the press’, we’re discussing two would-be elected officials of our very own who are hopeless bigots and, in this day and age, pose a personal danger to Pierre. Get a clue! If I were Pierre I’d get a Notice to Cease Harassment Order served on the two scoundrels!

    • Dlf says:

      We still have the right to speak our feelings. If they are untrue we face court action. I see the humor in everyone calling these guys all sorts of names while following in their foot prints. May be these guys have a case for a law suite,even if they are what of you tag then as . Good old freedom of speech some of you want it but only on your term s,that’s not the way it works,sorry.

  36. confidential says:

    Why they both do that..? Totally non sense.

  37. Alan says:

    Thank God these two were rejected by voters!

    “haec duo sunt sicca Idiotae” is a Latin phrase that perhaps is descriptive
    of their common intelligence. Keep up the good work Pierre in keeping this
    community informed and I doubt that Ronald Reagan would be amused how
    his good name is being used in vain by such as these wannabe politicians.

  38. your Fan says:

    Pierre, I don’t know if you can read or understand your Lebanese citizen id, I do, your family record number or similar to our SS# shows your Christian family one of oldest numbers #3 in the mountain of Lebanon or if you will Jesus mountain this record started prior to the independence of Lebanon from the French that is over 94 years ago . I was proud of my family number 281 in Beirut, Beirut has way larger record. And my Mother Family # 6 in Beirut too. during the ottoman empire occupation the saying was: congrats to the person whom has a goat space to sleep (the goat needs very small space) in mountain of Lebanon because it was or still untouchable by any invader. That’s where you come from.

  39. THE VOICE OF REASON says:

    Reminds me of the scene in the movie “Billy Jack” where the kids at the Indian School are performing a skit where one person doesn’t stand for the National Anthem. After urging him to stand, they finally pretend to kick him to death before completing the anthem with all the pride a zealot could muster.

  40. snapperhead says:

    Keep in mind in November two of the Reaganites are still on the ballot….birds of a feather……..

  41. Donna De Poalo says:

    no words.

  42. tulip says:

    I would think that all the fans and friends of Mr Pollinger would unite together and NOT VOTE for Schaeffer because of her underhanded, sneaky ways of doing things and managing to get funded from someone to be able to file lawsuits and make life miserable for a candidate for no good reason. I would also vote out McDonald’s wife, cause she’s as bad as her husband Dennis in her politically unethical beliefs. Heck she was even a write -in candidate for sheriff in the 2012 election. What a joke. Hopefully all the voters who liked Mr Pollinger will remember these things in November.

    I was surprised Schaeffer did so well, but I now realize that there were more than 2 candidates which spread the votes out more . Now there is only 2 in the school board race and 2 in the PC City Council race, that should make the decision easier for voters to make. Remember too that more people will be voting in the Generals and the Reagan Regime can’t keep anyone from voting in a race as they did in the Primaries in 2012 , 2014, and will continue to do so in the future.

  43. JJ Graham says:

    This is about as absurd as it gets! Hey I think we need to check into McDonald’s background . I suspect that there might be a connection to him and a fast food franchise that is conspiring to clog our arteries!!! Food terrorism exists folks!

  44. Sherry Epley says:

    To all those who rose up and supported Pierre. . . ditto! ditto! ditto! Many of the comments were directly on point and beautifully written! You have all given me a glimmer of hope for the evolution of society in the USA today.

    To those conservatives who love to pontificate in this comment area, your silence is deafening and telling. To all the voters out there. . . spread the word, get out the vote, and decide accordingly on election day. YOU CAN fight bigotry and racism in our country!

    To Pierre and family. . . sending a huge hug! Just “consider the lunacy of the source”.

    We are all counting on you, dear friend, to continue to raise the consciousness of our populace and shine the spot light on what is terribly wrong in our county and country . . . while working hard to show us the way to a future culture united in diversity, ethics, integrity and true justice for all.

  45. Retired FF says:

    It is very obvious that the people that attacked your heritage are nothing more than a couple of fools that have no business in public office.

    I do have an issue with you Mr. Tristam. When you took your oath to become an American citizen did you not pledge allegiance to our flag? In our pledge it says One Nation Under God. You as a citizen of our great country should be proud to stand up and say that whenever called upon to do so.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      I’m not Pierre, but I would like to point out an error in your argument. When you take any pledge written to our country, from a Buck Private to the President, from your Postman to the head of the CIA, as well as the Oath of Citizenship, it says nothing about defending God, Country or Capitalism. All make you swear to defend one thing. What our founding forefathers understood then and what we all are failing to understand today. You swear to defend the most important thing, without which our country is worth no more than any other Kingdom, Dictatorship or Banana Republic, and that is our Constitution. That’s it. Here it is if you don’t believe me:

      ” I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”

      And the enlistment oath:
      “I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.” (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

      And the Presidential, the most concise of all:

      “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

      No extraneous bullshit about flags, Gods or politics. But these arbitrary distractions are what are separating us, spoon fed to us daily by the Corporate owned media to divide us as if they were the important things. And distract us from the facts that the NSA is listening to our every phone call, our boys are being sent off to War for the oil companies, international banksters and for the benefit of foreign countries, and our Police are armed with machine guns and treat us all like we are Palestinians. Every day they chip away at our rights in ways big and small. From illegal wars to the right to not swear to a God you aren’t sure of. And we pretend we don’t notice, don’t rock the boat.

      But you are mostly offended by someone exercising their constitutionally protected right to sit down? Yea, that’s the main problem all right.

      • Jon Hardison says:

        Preach’m schooler man! I was born here and I don’t do it. Know why? It’s not because I don’t love my country. I love ‘Merica so much… It’s because my Flag no longer represents her people. We (you Retired FF, and I and everyone else) have allowed her to become a symbol of great power and unbelievable stupidity, great strength and and unyielding corruption, incredible wealth and unfathomable poverty.

        We have gone from a nation that pulls up our most needy to one that feeds on its week, so I don’t stand or the pledge, not in protest but in acknowledgement of our failure to protect and preserve all that she once represented. We have no right to pledge. It’s a lie we tell our selves to make us feel better at night and I don’t want to feel better. I want to be American and do all I can to make this right.

        But those are my reasons. Pierre has his, and frankly none of them are any of your business.

      • Jim R. says:

        Here is the new pledge
        I pledge allegiance to the Empire and to wall street for which it works
        one nation under the pentagon with war and poverty for all.

  46. Pierre Tristam says:

    I’m heartened  and encouraged by these responses from left right and center. I shouldn’t be surprised. We sometimes make too much of this particular lunatic fringe because it’s the loudest and opportunistically the most attention grabbing, forgetting that it’s not necessarily what drives or makes this community (or the larger one we’re a part of). Unless of course we let it. The primary tells us we’re not there yet, though it was disturbingly close. I also don’t want to lump all lunatic fringes in the same circle of hell. As the great Gerald Johnson reminds us in his book of the same name, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Paine, Horace Greeley—they were all considered loons at one time or another. The phrase was actually Roosevelt’s (“… the men who form the lunatic fringe in all reform movements,” he wrote in his autobiography). And that fringe has always been one of the pistons behind this country’s capacity to change, often for the better, but also sometimes for the worse. Since 1980 the balance hasn’t been for the better, and the lunacy has been more negative than positive, though as Linda Lowen points out these habits of hatred for the “other” are deeply engrained in American history. In that sense, the Richter-McDonald affair is party-purity tradition, as John Pollinger found out.

    So while I’m heartened by the clear voices of outrage, I’m also disturbed, but maybe not surprised, by a very obvious silence, too. I am not hearing a single voice from the Flagler County Republican Party condemning what their two candidates have done—I don’t mean to me, but to the political climate and tenor we all depend on for a decently functional community, whatever our stripes.

    Why am I not hearing Dave Sullivan, chairman of the Republican Executive Committee, speak out? I don’t mean in a private email to me that nobody will see, but here, openly, where he’s not shied from speaking up on ideals he believes in. I’m not hearing him denounce Republican behavior he does not believe in. What about you, Gail Wadsworth? What about Bob Hamby, John Ruffalo, Charlie Ericksen, Jon Netts? What about Nate McLaughlin and Frank Meeker, who were subjected to similar tactics by the same two candidates (and Nate isn’t beyond it: Richter wrote a letter to the county’s human resource department on Sunday, making more scurrilous and defamatory accusations against him while claiming, ridiculously, to speak for “our females in Flagler County”). What about Steven Nobile, who may be a member of the Reagan group (and may well be its redeeming hope, if Nobile’s intelligence can survive the group’s toxicity) but who told me in his Election Day interview that “most of the people I surround myself with are not party-line people. I don’t belong to a party. I belong to the United States of America, and we want those things brought forward.” Well?

    Here’s what Frank Meeker wrote in these very pages two years ago, in his manifesto for civility: “If anybody out there agrees with me, especially if you are a leader in the business, religious or political community, take the time to write a short note to the editors of local newspapers, chat rooms and blogs to let them know you too plan to stand up, and be a leader with courage. Is there anybody else with me on this?” Good question, Frank.

    “The problem with Richter’s and McDonald’s smear campaign is that they have learned this behavior from those who practice it at the national level,” Steve Robinson noted in the sidebar above. But they’re plying that behavior locally because a tacit tolerance for intolerance right here from our own leaders is allowing them to. It is never enough to privately take a stand about some of these things that go to the heart of how we define ourselves as a community. I don’t mean policy issues and strategy. You can keep those close to the vest all you like. That’s part of the game. But hedging on hate isn’t. And when local leading Republicans do that, it’s a form of complicity that, because it’s the silence of ostensible leaders, speaks louder and more tellingly than the obscenities of the loons.

    The loons have lost. You leaders are still leaders. And what you’re telling us with your silence is that you’re comfortable sitting this one out. Mickey Mantle had a good description for that when he marked the difference between a team and a gang. Tell us it ain’t so.

    • Dlf says:

      Maybe the republican party does not see this has such a big deal. Maybe in fact it is just what it is a small town issue. Would anyone really made such a big deal out of this if was not against you? I don’t think so,and it to shall pass.

      • NortonSmitty says:

        If it is against one, it is against all. The only difference may be that if it happened to any of us, including you and yours Dlf, we would not hear a peep about it. That does not make it any less serious or any less wrong. So why don’t you join the rest of our community in our righteous anger and rise against this before it gets worse. And draw the line here on this blatant violation of one persons rights at the hands of bullying nincompoops who seek political power over us all. You know, before it happens to you.

        • Dlf says:

          Was Pierre wandering around the offices,if so why. He is not an elected official . I don’t know if he was or was not,if so why? Digging up materials for his web site,or just lost?

          • NortonSmitty says:

            Digging up materials for his web site is pretty much his job. It’s called Journalism. It used to be a common upstanding profession. Even taught in Universities. You could look it up. Dn’t feel bad not recognizing it, you don’t see the real thing around much anymore. But if you want to know what it used to look like, turn off the TV, go to the top of this article and read it slowly, so you think about it. That stuff you furrow your brow over, those are facts, and they are put in an order that is called…

            HA-Ha, just joshin’! Gotta go! Just enough time to hit the Dollar General for a 12 pack before the Honey Boo-Boo marathon. That’s why I steal cable, The Lernin’ Channel. Keeps me sharp!

    • John F. Pollinger says:

      Pierre,

      You wonder why you are not hearing from the supposed leaders or members of the Republican Party in Flagler County? In my opinion, it is the fear of being next on their target list. I was an active member as well as one of the directors of the Flagler County Republican Club when the issue (non-issue) of my supposed “duel voter registration” first came about. After a special meeting, i.e. inquisition was conducted as to my loyalty to the Republican Party and accusation that I was supporting a Democrat in a non-partisan local election, one person, Frank Meeker, stood up for me. We all see what price he has paid as the next target of the purge. I later received a phone call asking me to step down as a director so as not to cause an issue and hurt club president Gail Wadsworth’s chances of re-election and did as I was asked. Wadsworth’s leadership as president? She subsequently resigned anyway and joined the Ronald Reagan Assembly. Hearing from her Pierre? Not a chance.

      After the primary, Ray Stevens resigned as a member of the Republican Executive Committee and openly supported a Democrat. He HAD to step down since he would have been violating the loyalty oath he took as a member of the Republican Executive Committee. After the general election, he was promptly reinstated as a “loyal” member of the REC. No hard feelings from the REC about supporting a candidate from another party, right Mr. Sullivan? Your response to Pierre was more fluff, lacked leadership and carefully crafted and designed to offend no one, especially the RR group.

      Why haven’t you heard from the others? Connect the dots again. Some are in cahoots and others are in fear of being the next one on their hit list. I’ll let others research and read to form their own conclusions.

      I leave you with this quote in the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. Although the quotes and poems attributed vary, this is but one:

      First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
      Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
      Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
      Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

      Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

      • Lin says:

        John Pollinger
        I left the tea party (couple of years ago) after seeing what the executive committee was planning
        If all the reasonable people leave the Republican party and clubs
        Who is left? Who will the candidates be? If I want to run, who will support me? I’m still a Republican but socially liberal. How many Independent elected officials are there? Mostly they don’t get elected at all

        A real shame what happened to you too
        Already spoke my piece about what the RRR did

      • NortonSmitty says:

        OK, the only Political Parties I ever were taught that actually made you pledge a “Loyalty Oath” were the Communist Party, the National Socialist Party (Nazi’s) and South American Banana Republics.

        These oaths to a political party were always an anathema to us Americans. The thought that you would swear an oath to your Party, regardless of whether or not it was in the best interest of your country, seems to be repulsive to the core for any patriotic citizen who puts his country first.

        Why does it not surprise me that the Republican Party in the United States of Amreica makes you pledge an oath to the party uber all? But it explains the urge to vomit I get in the voting booth just looking at that Republican lever.

        And old Martin would understand that today in America, every meter maid has an M-16 and Barney Fife has two or three Armored Personnel Carriers to choose from. Because this time, they want to be able to come for us all at once.

    • Carol Mikola says:

      Pierre, this is excellent reporting; thank you. I’m sorry that it took so long for our community to wake up and see the McDonalds and Richters of this world. There is no place for bigotry and hatred in our community. We are better than that. As a member of the Flagler County Republican Executive Committee, I stand with you.

      I don’t know if your readers are aware of this but Ronald Reagan group is not chartered by or affiliated with the Republican Party of Florida.

      You ask where Bob Hamby and Steve Nobile are and why they have not spoken out. I assure you, they are all huddled together trying to figure out what spin they can put on this horrific story. You said that Steve Nobile might be the redeeming hope of this group; There is no hope for this group or for Steve Nobile’s candidacy. He is one of them and has been completely taken in by Dennis McDonald who is their intellectual leader. I have seen this first hand.

    • Steven Nobile says:

      C’mon Pierre, you gotta give a little more time to change things.
      When I say “surround myself with” I mean the people I trust who I listen too and not simply by proximity.

  47. NortonSmitty says:

    Pierre, Mr. Word Smith Haddad Saint Tristen Habbibi, let me set you straight, Inshalla. This is where we who do not have the regressive fascist gene consistently make our mistake year after year. We expect these people to have a sense of shame. They don’t. There is no possible way to embarrass them. Hell, you could fart in their car and the bastards wouldn’t even roll down the window. The extra chromosome that makes them Good Germans must be on the flip side the one that grants the rest of us the Gift of Shame. The Empathy gene. They don’t even understand it, and when they see it in action in us normal Humans the bastards laugh it off as a weakness. And yet we continue to consider it one of mankinds greatest strengths. The Jury is still out on this one. But I’m going with Robert Louis Stevenson:

    Pulvis et Umbra (Dust and Shadows) (Caps mine)

    Poor soul, here for so little, cast among so many hardships, filled with
    desires so incommensurate and so inconsistent. Savagely surrounded,
    savagely descended, irremediably condemned to prey upon his fellow
    lives: who should have blamed him had he been of a piece with his
    destiny and a being merely barbarous?
    And we look and behold him instead a being filled with imperfect virtues:
    infinitely childish, often admirably valiant, often touchingly kind; sitting down,
    amidst his momentary life, to debate of right and wrong and the attributes of the deity;
    rising up to do battle for an egg or die for an idea; singling
    out his friends and his mate with cordial affection; bringing forth in
    pain, rearing with long-suffering solicitude, his young. To touch the
    heart of his mystery, we find in him one thought, strange to the
    point of lunacy: the thought of duty. The thought of something
    owing to himself, to his neighbour, to his God: AN IDEAL OF DECENCY,
    TO WHICH HE WOULD RISE IF IT WERE POSSIBLE; A LIMIT OF SHAME,
    BELOW WHICH, IF IT BE POSSIBLE, HE SHALL NOT STOOP.
    Man is indeed marked for failure in his efforts to do right.
    But where even the best consistently miscarry, how
    tenfold more remarkable that we all should continue to strive; and surely
    we should find it both touching and inspiriting, that in a field from
    which success is banished, our race should not cease to labour. *

    *-Republicans not included

  48. KMedley says:

    As long as level-headed Republicans, who realize this group DOES NOT embody any principles of civility, stay silent and remain on the sidelines while this group creeps through like an invasive vine, their actions and retributions will grow, not only in numbers; but the degree of depravity will increase exponentially. Resignations from the core group, who are members of the chartered Republican clubs and the Republican Executive Committee, need to be called for from all members who condemn these actions. McDonald and Richter signed their names; but, the silence of the group is acquiescence and support for these vile actions.

  49. John Walsh says:

    Pierre, I am proud to have you as a friend, a fellow publisher and an American.

    • JJ Graham says:

      Well said John. Pierre thanks for keeping the lights on and the bogarts at bay. God, Allah, Buddah, and all available deities have mercy on us all if people who have this sentiment end up in a leadership role.

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      That’s the sort of flack jacket I can live with. Thank you John, and the feeling is mutual.

  50. Vincent says:

    I see it all the time – the “no true Scotsman” fallacy.
    “They don’t represent the Republican Party.”
    I get that.
    That’s fine.
    So why doesn’t the Republican Party kick them out on their behinds or in any way turn their backs on this despicable cadre? It’s not enough that they aren’t the voice of the party, when the party welcomes them so warmly.

  51. NortonSmitty says:

    Yea, if it wasn’t for that damn French name he’d be OK.

  52. Biker says:

    I am republican, but several years ago I was told that I needed be purged because I didn’t represent the purity of the republican party. This came from a bunch of extremist right wingers. A group that puts forth phoneys for offices in Flagler County, a group that likes to play cloak and dagger politics by filing ridiculous lawsuits against any candidate the think are a threat. The Anne Marie (aka Angela) Schaefer & Ray Stevens ridiciculous lawsuit against John Bollinger. Or the current Flagler Watch dog lawsuit against the county. Enough is enough. Not one single RRR candidate should be considered for any office in this county. Just take a look at their inflated statements of qualifications to hold office. They are as dishonest as the day is long. Do you really want these people making decisions on your behalf. I am ashamed that they even dare to identify themselves as Republican. I think it is disgusting that they dare to use Ronald Reagan’s name in their title. They need to just go away.

  53. Concerned says:

    “Level headed republicans”

    Where? When? I must be missing something. Last time I checked republicans were all about taking away the rights of women, gerrymandering districts to disenfranchise voters, gutting everything to do with the New Deal, gutting everything to do with the Clean Air Act, and he EPA, etc., promoting gun nuts, which includes arming the police to the teeth against our citizenry, privatizing prisons, water and schools and on and on. The list seems endless and none of it is level headed or for the good of The People – unless, of course, they ‘re rich…

  54. David Sullivan says:

    Pierre, since you have called me out by name, and by the way I also always use
    my actual name when commenting, I will respond. Of course mean unfounded
    personal attacks on anyone are wrong and should not be tolerated. Individuals
    In the public eye such as yourself, political candidates, elected officials and I’m
    afraid volunteers like myself have to be ready and strong enough to handle these
    situations the best they can. However, painting everyone who is not always willing
    to respond as in agreement with everything this or that group supports is simply
    not fair. Politics has been referred to as a “blood sport” and here in Flagler I can
    assure that it is. As Chairman of the Flagler County Republican Executive
    Committee I will continue to support the basic policies of the Republican Party.
    At times this task becomes very tedious and our goals made more difficult to
    attain. This dialogue proves that our cherished right to “free speech” is alive
    and well.

    • Concerned says:

      One has to ask, why wouldn’t the Chair of the Republican Executive Committee always be willing to respond in such a situation, and why would one holding such a position not understand that not responding would be interpreted as tacit agreement? Isn’t that what tacit agreement is?

      That’s another thing the republicans are all about – obfuscating fact.

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      David, we’re not talking about being in agreement or not with “everything this or that group supports.” This isn’t a debate about Obamacare or immigration or Syria or whatever else floats current debaters’ boats. This isn’t even a political or social issue or a question of fairness. It’s about bigoted and McCarthyist tactics that should be out of bounds regardless. When we saw each other outside Bob Evans a few days ago and I brought up the McRichter matter you were remarkably dismissive. You’re deflecting the issue again here by conflating the problem with political blood sport in general, which misses the point. But thanks for trying.

      • Dlf says:

        What do you want this guy to do fall on a sword for his actions. Freedom of speech right or wrong it is a freedom. It seems to me that you and your gang only want freedom of speech if it agrees with you and your agenda. You say it is not political but you assign the Republican icon on these guys in your first article , I rest my case,and this too will pass.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      “However, painting everyone who is not always willing to respond as in agreement with everything this or that group supports is simply not fair.”

      Oh. I thought it was your job to represent and speak up regarding people who run for office under the Republican banner. If not, just what is your job?

  55. Steve Wolfe says:

    Ok, I am busy composing, but I have dinner and a movie with a really cute girl. I will be your Huckleberry shortly.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      Three statements. Don’t believe a one.

      • Steve Wolfe says:

        So painful that I haven’t earned your trust yet, Norton. I am here for the sport, have been from the start. While waiting for my wife, the cutest girl I ever met, to get ready for our date, I got busy saving notes. And I am about to put it all together. We saw Expendables 3.

        Do I know you? You sound just like a cynical, loveable guy in the Corvette Club.

        • NortonSmitty says:

          OK, that’s it! The Corvette thing hurt. A true story: My very first love was a 6′ tall thin Blond haired Green eyed schoolteacher named Jesse. She was a 21 year old virgin when we met, and I was the first guy she dated that did not have a Corvette. I chalk her virginity at that late age up to the fact that I was the first guy she dated who did not drive a Corvette.

          She did not last to see 22 with her purity intact and to this day I still hate those plastic rattletraps.
          Oops! I swear it just dawned on me that you are probably a club member. Sorry.

          • Steve Wolfe says:

            Saaaayyyy…you’re not one of them Mustang guys, are ya? My brother had a 67 and a 91. He was that way with women, too. You guys are probably both unable to fit in a Corvette. Not enough head room.

            • NortonSmitty says:

              Mopar Man all the way. And a Corvette always had to have room for the big head of the owner. So your brother likes women too?

              • Steve Wolfe says:

                Big brother did 30 in the Navy, last 10 as Master Chief. Married 3 times, working on the 4th. Just went through quadruple bypass so he can get back up to speed. He owns a Dodge Ram now. Jazz trumpeter. We got to work together in a quartet and a Motown band for my last 5 years up north.

                I think MOPAR is cool. My old boss was into them too. You might bring it to Woody’s on Wednesday evenings. Bet I will be able to pick you out. First drink is on me.

  56. Will says:

    Beware the short memories of voters.

    Many of us are concerned today about the offensive actions of McDonald and Richter. We need to keep this outrage alive until the election in November. Voters worried about their mortgage payment or rent, or their kids, or the weather, need to be reminded of what these fools and their group mean to civility and government in Flagler County, including Palm Coast and the School Board.

    It’s not quite “Remember the Maine”, but please hold that thought for just two months !

  57. Happening now says:

    Flagler County has always had “deep pockets” with Tallahassee. Follow the money, and Pierre, we appreciate you and know you will….. Stay tuned for the next chapter.

  58. David Sullivan says:

    Pierre, I did not miss the point,my comments stand. As far as Bob Evans
    goes, I did not think it appropriate to discuss a serious issue in front of
    your wife and children in front of the restaurant. Many of the comments in
    regard to your article were doing exactly what I said, painting us all with the
    brush.

    • Genie says:

      Mr. Sullivan, thank you for your comments and for standing by them. They are shared by many of us. A lot of “painting with the same brush” goes on at this site. Many would call it tar and feathering. Too many days where I read the articles and the comments and say “what’s the use”.

      I didn’t move here for all this hate. If you don’t go along with the big deals by our local politicians, people here want you to believe there is something wrong with you, not them. And many times that includes all the local media. It is not too terribly difficult to see what’s going on.

      I’m sorry, but this is not a normal community and people should not be attacked for attempting to point that out.

      I don’t agree with what went on here, but I also don’t agree with the response. Life is short, people. How sad if your last moments are of hate.

    • Dlf says:

      What do you want this guy to do fall on a sword for his actions. Freedom of speech right or wrong it is a freedom. It seems to me that you and your gang only want freedom of speech if it agrees with you and your agenda. You say it is not political but you assign the Republican icon on these guys in your first article , I rest my case,and this too will pass.

  59. carol bennett says:

    This county sucks!! Time to move!!!!

  60. Frank J. Meeker says:

    No rational person I know of supports what went on here. Doesn’t matter what party, what color, what faith, this wasn’t right. But just because I quietly read this stuff in my chair late at night, a chair seaming stronger than your chair of late (that’s a joke Pierre!) doesn’t mean I agree with what’s been said. Obviously, as you’ve already quoted my past feelings on these matters, I don’t. Instead, I wonder how 3035 citizens in another Flagler County closed primary, found them worthy of a vote at all, or that the vote was even close! Kind of makes the mind wander around a bit on conspiracy theories doesn’t it. Hopefully, for the general election, the voters will look at who has dedicated the time to know Flagler County, who has put in the effort to expand the value they can bring to the commission, who understands our needs because they’ve been there with us, and who has the connections, knowledge and experience to get our issues recognized and fixed keeping Flagler County the gem that it is in Northeast Florida.

    That said, based on your story and the comments from the readers, I didn’t think you needed my help with a comment. After all, I’ve been the poster child for these guys to go after for two years now, and in this election, they’ve added McLaughlin to that select and prestigious list. I’m sure they will mount another attack in a month or two after all, it is election time. So in the immortal words of John McClane (Die Hard, 1988) “welcome to the party pal!”

    Frank J. Meeker, C.E.P.
    Flagler County Commission, District 2

  61. Sandra Reynolds says:

    Norton, I’m just catching up on the postings. Thank you for your advice. I have distanced myself from politics and politicians but will continue to do my duty by staying abreast of local happenings and voting in every election, as well as being an activist. IMO, I think this story needs to be spread beyond Flagler County.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      Sandra, paying attention to who you give power over to locally is more important than most realize today.
      Because of several reasons, not the least being militarized police, Gerrymandering, asset forfeiture and many others. This was expanded on today in the New Republic better than I ever could. It’s worth a read.
      http://www.newrepublic.com/article/119249/fergusons-lesson-local-government-poses-real-threat-liberty

      • NortonSmitty says:

        I should have added that one of the reasons of abusive local power is the unprecedented expansion of a single Party controlling all aspects of local power, which we luckally don’t have in this county, but don’t have too far to look to see it’s results. The other reason, to quote from the article is: “The rise of one-party government has been accompanied by the evisceration of the local press and the near-extinction of metro-desk muckrakers (14,000 newsroom jobs have vanished in the last six years), crippling the other force most likely to call attention to official misdeeds.”

        By the response in defense of Flagler Live shown here, it is heartening to see we all, left, right and center, appreciate the rarity of what Pierre has given us. And are willing to jump to it’s defense. Bravo to all.

        But we must remain vigilant,and be sure to support FL both with our words and wallets ere we lose this lifeline to reality in this land of Rove/Atwood dirty tricks and political bullshit. Because I am sure this will not be the last attack. Hitler and the Nazis didn’t quit even when they were jailed, and something tells me that this little public shaming won’t stop these fascist bastards either.

        P.S. OK, Home Depot for the tar, but just where do you go to buy feathers these days?

  62. Steve Wolfe says:

    If you’re looking for apologies or excuses, none here. I can only speak for myself. No subterfuge.

    I have been interested in politics most of my adult life, and finally decided to get involved at the grass roots level once we arrived here in retirement a little over a year ago. I made my conservative views known as well as my desire to communicate ideas, having the impression that the Republican Party has been deficient in that vital task, in addition to dropping the conservative torch some time ago to their detriment. I accepted a few invitations and was soon asked to sit on the board of the RRRA. I was flattered to be asked and thought I could contribute somehow, even though very new to the local scene.

    Having occassionally read Flagler Live for about two years prior to moving here, I had a curiosity about Pierre. Once I chose to participate in adovcacy of conservative views on FL, Pierre was kind enough to accept an invitation to meet. Pierre knows that I respect him as a man and a reporter. I offered to help him and his family during his recent health challenge. I am a monthly donator and have posted my challenge to others to do likewise. I appreciate the forum he provides us at great expense to his limited time. At one time I indluged the fantasy of helping with his workload, sending in my observations from the scene of a bicycle accident on Pine Lakes Parkway earlier this year.

    I have read all the responses to this article, so I know I am wading into bloody waters here. I hope to be welcome to continue to post here because I regard it a valuable tool for discussion and ideas. The revelation of Pierre’s name change means nothing to me. He’s still Pierre, still does what he does, and I will still have coffee with him. Even his reaction to this issue is consistent. That others felt it important to reveal it reflects only their views, and they can answer for it. But they didn’t consult me so I won’t address it further. I’m not staying for the rest of the party.

    My Packers are about to kick off the NFL season in Seattle so, have a nice evening, all.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      The water is not that red here for those who do the right thing. And it is obvious nobody can hope to defend these idiots and maintain any claim to credibility, whether political or social. But since you chose the RRR to represent your conservative and personal views to the public, met and planned your electoral strategy and joined them in fundraising and otherwise cast you lot with these poltroons, I don’t see how you can start this dance my Huckleberry by stating “I can only speak for myself.” I’m sorry, that’s not good enough.

      I mean these are your Conservative brothers and associates who sent a signed message to the head of the local powers right out saying that be Pierre may be an Arab Terrorist and must be scrutinized and investigated whenever he shows up at our Government Offices. This is beyond dispute. In the absolutely mind boggling pretzel logic that it would irreparably harm him, these Mayberry Machiavelllis knew in their pea sized brains that him and this blog were solely responsible for their electoral defeat. And came up with this vindictive Public relations blitzkrieg that both Carl Rove and Joe Stalin would be envious of. And are this moment sucking down Natural Lights by the case, astounded that somehow the Liberal Media blew it up in their faces.

      So Steve, you seem to think your gift is this smiley-faced Reganite passive/aggressive form of debating those of us who disagree with your conservative views. And while this may have served you well in the past, this ain’t gonna’ cut it in this case here. I mean they insinuated that our friend who you yourself claim to admire and support is affiliated with ISIS and AlQuida! Forget about what that might do to his work, these wingnut clowns might have even sent this message to the FBI, which could really devastate someones life today!

      So Mr. Wolfe, if you hope to have any future in this town politically, socially or whatever, you have to call these no good nutless bullying curs out for the dogs they are, regardless of the benefit you think they may offer to your political future. If you don’t put on your big boy pants and man up on this issue, your political career is dead. Well, not really. Your lack of balls would make you a perfect Democrat

      Oh, and sorry about those Packers.

      • Steve Wolfe says:

        I don’t see how you or any of your fellow haters can continue to lecture anyone about political or social credibility. The leftist party constantly lectures others about civility, hatred, and the many socially desireable traits delivered by its Ministers of Public Enlightenment and Propoganda. This comment section has become its own bubble of bombast, completely violating how the left identifies itself, led by you with the most entries by a single contributor. No, I won’t goose-step with you.

        Do we need to react to the “terrorist” suggestion? Sure. Must the outcome be as you say? Nope. We will decide among ourselves how to react to this event. But it likely will not be the victory you and the other pious stone-throwers are counting on. It isn’t for me or any one else to tell others how they should or shouldn’t react. I trust they have their own minds and don’t need instruction from this echo chamber either, no matter the emotional temperature. I will express my feelings about it with the rest of the RRRA when we meet. If the outcome doesn’t satisfy me, I will decide for myself what additional steps I may take.

        I think the terrorist suggestion is sophomoric, yet sophomoric bovine excrement flies all over in politics, and marketers make great bank from it. But you have to give the FBI a little more credit than to suggest they haven’t heard that one before. If there is an investigation of Pierre, they have already discovered that I have met with him and accepted a coffee from him (read: gift), communicated with him on the interweb (conspirator), done business with him (financer), gave moral support (aid and comfort) and offered free assistance during his illness (offer of material support). If interviewed I would urge they dismiss the terrorist suggestion as politics. I trust they have better things to do than wade into a pissing match.

        “So Mr. Wolfe, if you hope to have any future in this town politically, socially or whatever, you have to call these no good nutless bullying curs out for the dogs they are, regardless of the benefit you think they may offer to your political future.” Are you planning to run me out of town if I don’t do as you perscribe? (Wouldn’t be near the spectacle without the feathers.) Pierre is a big boy, too. He doesn’t need my defense, even though I have been the advocate for Flagler Live in the RRRA. He doesn’t require yours, either.

        My “smiley-faced approach” is an attempt to elevate discussions from a middle school classroom to adult conversation. The real “lack of balls” occurs when hiding behind a computer to hurl insults. But the worst one I’ve ever heard was the idea of becoming a Democrat. I don’t even own a white flag.

        The Pack will be back.

  63. Jeremy Bartlett says:

    Mr. Tristam,
    Being rather conservative myself, you and I would not likely get far past discussing the weather before disagreeing on something. Nevertheless, I would like to say that the actions of these men are incredibly inappropriate, and that their cowardly attempts at your personal defamation should not be forgotten by future voters. I would also like to say to the commentators on your article; that personal insults directed at the men who committed this incivility, do not help in resolving matters. If we are to disagree ideologically with someone, should we not do so under the banner of reason and level headed debate? The alternative being a scream-off to see who can find the most dirt on the opposition; all too commonly typified by those we have foolishly allowed to politically represent us.

  64. Colleen Conklin says:

    I have no words! I’m struggling to even comprehend that this actually happened to you. Thanks for sharing such a personal side of yourself with your readers but it’s disappointing as to why you felt the need. Disgraceful.

  65. w.ryan says:

    Outstanding! This thread is reckin my ribcage. Not to mention your fantastic narration of events! I would expect no less from the aforementioned! Smitty I’ll send you the doctor bill.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      Broken ribs are best treated with duct tape. Ain’t payin’ no Doctor, where is your ObamaCare anyhow? Have duct tape in several colors though. Be glad to tear you off a few yards.

  66. Richlin Ryan says:

    Once again Pierre your writing is outstanding. Evolution didn’t occur to all. Bigots will be bigots. Thank you for shining the light on this issue and educating the voters. I agree with Sandra Reynolds this story need national attention.

  67. Anonymous says:

    Its discusting that one would call themselves an American and not pledge the American flag. It speaks volumes! Most people are proud of their family name, and even more so if a father or grand father they were named after has passed. Why did you not change your name before you did? Shady, shady, shady….in this day and time we can’t be too cautios of wolves in sheep clothing.

    • Nancy N. says:

      You really expect anyone here to place ANY weight in your hateful musings when you hide behind an anonymous ID to sully the name and reputation of someone?

      If you believe so much in the truth of what you say, sign your name to it.

      Or aren’t you proud of YOUR family name? Shady, shady, shady…it speaks volumes.

      So glad I didn’t vote for you. We can’t be too cautious of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

  68. PJ says:

    Very sad but beging a bigot and a racist is alive and well in the County.

    One guy is living here for just two years and the other thinks he has benn living here before the American Indians.

    Remember, unless you are an American Indian you come from being a part of the immigration system!!!!

    Peirre,
    Please the next time I see you out with your wonderful family having dinner somewhere in FLAGER COUNTY to please sit our our table!…..PJ

  69. confidential says:

    I differ in one thing;
    I do always and I will always will pledge allegiance to our Flag by hand in my heart and in a very emotional way first of all because to me the Star and Stripes means “home sweet home” (not by birth but by choice) the land of the brave that (reasons agreed or not) gave their lives for our homeland and to preserve our Democratic Republic and our right to vote. Also represents to me the land of the free, because in spite of some cases of misinterpretation of our laws or the wrong manner on which justice is ruled in some of our courts…we still have overwhelming justice for all!

  70. Steven Nobile says:

    I have been asleep this week and just noticed this article. First and foremost I am applaud at this action. I do not always agree with Pierre but I always feel that what he prints is truth and well investigated. I have spoken with Pierre several times during the primary election and found him to be fair and very well informed. To make this accusation is ludicrous, I don’t even now what to say to Pierre that I feel would make a difference except we are behind you and with you.

    I would also call out those responsible for this crazy accusation to write an apology to Pierre and his family immediately and stop the hacking. I would also call upon the republican party to disassociate itself with these people and openly denounce and reject their actions.

    Pierre, I’m Sorry!

    • w.ryan says:

      Steven Nobile…We need change! I’m glad to see that you’ve stepped up and stated what needs to be said about those two – plus. It’s time for a change! I’ll cast my vote again in your favor knowing that this change is going to come!

  71. Steven Nobile says:

    WOW, now that I have read all the comments it seems that some of you who are applaud at the attack on Pierre have no problem doing the same to me. I’m sorry if I don’t sit around reading all the articles written here on your timeline, but I have good work to do in this community. I responded before reading all the articles’ comments and I have also called out the individuals involved along with the various clubs in this area.

    I bet if some of you attacking me would show your names it would be evident that you are just using this disgusting act to make some points against me.

    If you have not spoken to me or read my writings here on the FlaglerLive Interview, please refrain from assuming you know me or who I am.

    Pierre I apologize for using this article to defend myself but I getting a little tired of the adolescent political air in Palm Coast. It’s like being in High School Musical.

  72. Mary (Baumann) Bowman says:

    According to one poster who posted twice he/she thought changing your name is “shady”, Well I guess many of our grandparents and ancestors were shady too. For any who paid attention in school, they would know that the immigration personnel Anglicized or misspelled many names. Or in my great grand father’s situation, he had to change the spelling of his name to find work.

    Changing one’s name is not disrespectful to one’s heritage, but maybe necessary for inclusion into one’s field of work. Anyhow, it is none of yours or any of our business. But candidates running for public office spewing fear, lies and innuendos is OUR business.

  73. Diane J Cline says:

    I realized today that I also changed my name…when I got married. My maiden name was Jordan…scary scary. Am I a terrorist too?

    • Nancy N. says:

      My maiden name was German…my married name is Irish. I suppose I changed it to get away from my Communist/Nazi roots in the eyes of these zealots?

      All the better to hide my atheism, I guess. Because if the tea party spies figured out who I am and started following me around they might catch wind of all my subversive activities. Like recycling. Like donating to the local food bank. Like wearing Crocs to the grocery store. And worst of all…driving an economical car.

      Catch me if you can!

  74. Diane J Cline says:

    Oh crap…I’m also an atheist…does that mean I’m a communist too?

  75. Steve Wolfe says:

    I’ve been drawn to Pierre’s style for a reason. It isn’t like a newspaper where things are dry and at times utterly insufferable. It is passion and zeal. It’s a classroom. The exceptions are the on-the-scene news reports, where he at least keeps it mercifully short and informative. But when he investigates something, like our local government or the political scene, he calls it like he sees it, and he goes deep. He does more digging in 10 minutes than I can do in a day. At times confirming a belief I held, he can at other times stand me on my head, and he makes me think, not just absorb. But I enjoy the gymnastics. It is refreshing, but he is so busy and works so many hours to produce reports that I actually worry about him. That’s driven. You gotta hand it to him. The guy’s got no quit in him. I just hope that one day he will be able to retire and we can enjoy some chess matches in the shade.

    Oh, this was about his name, wasn’t it? I forgot already. I imagine Pierre won’t forget, but he will move on. There’s lots more nuts to shake out of the tree out there.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      Steve buddy, I sense that there is a sincere disappointment in your heart that the tree that promised nothing but low-hanging fruit a few months ago is now seen for what it is, a tree full of nuts.

      And I was pretty hard on you in my last post. And I even felt bad about bruising my Huckleberry . You should see what I do to people I know I don’t like. Oh yea, you probably have seen that here. But you said you were in it for the sport, just like me. So we know rule #1: Wear a cup.

      And the first drink’s on me. Top shelf if you shake that tree.

      For no reason at all, just what I’m listening to now:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40FjQH3Xw0M

      She said she’d stick around ’til the bandages came off…

      All the things you can’t remember
      Tell the things you can’t forget…

      Enjoy

  76. Liana G says:

    Hi Pierre, it shameful that this had to happen to you – someone who sticks his neck out to keep people informed of all the grimy and ugly political shenanigans going on under our noses just so we can be informed citizens. Sadly, politics is no longer a gentleman’s sport in the west, to the dismay of Aristotle. This is what happens when the ill-bred and mediocre are allowed to aspire to political governance.

    Hey, you always reminded me of Kafka…and look, you too went through your own metamorphosis.

    Take care and all the beast to you and your family.

    Interestingly, I just finished reading an article on the Guardian about two Muslim females in my neighborhood (not far from my house) being chased and threatened with beheadings for being “terrorists” because they’re “Muslims.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/05/arab-american-activists-chased-threatened-beheading-brooklyn

    Arab-American activists chased and threatened with beheading in Brooklyn. Police allegedly took more than 45 minutes to respond. • Man charged after NYPD deploys hate crime investigators.

  77. When I read this insulting slam of Pierre I couldn’t believe what I read,much less try to respond. It disgusts me that this type of vitriol exists in Palm Coast, but we are seeing this lack of civility everywhere in our country these days. To combat this we need to explore ways to become more civil, tolerant, educated, and humane. Fear-mongers rile up the masses using fear tactics and falsehoods, and the response to that is dialogue based on facts. I hope that Pierre keeps on writing, and I also hope the electorate remembers who is spreading this vitriolic garbage when they go to vote in Nov.

  78. Rita Mae says:

    First let me say that having the editor of an on-line publication accused of subterfuge and terroristic tendencies because he changed his name is really reaching. These two men are very bitter about the outcome of the primary and instead of taking the mature, responsible, Republican way by supporting the winning candidates, they chose to attack. They are already working against the two incumbents, which is a direct violation of their ‘loyalty oath’ they signed when they joined the REC. You are wondering why people are not using their names when they comment. It’s because they are probably ‘good standing’ Republican members, not Regan members of the REC and know that the Reagans, who have infiltrated the committee and unfortunately have a majority of the votes, will throw them off. They have already decided that Carol Mikola, who is not afraid to sign her own name, needs to go because of her comments re: Steve Nobile, which is a serious violation, but they have rarely abided by their own party commitments. It’s OK for them because they have the majority. Do you see a double standard here?
    I’m going to make a plea here to all Republicans, even the Regan Republicans, who come to the REC meetings with Reagan hats on, to think long and hard about what this group is doing to our good Republican name in the name of CONTROL!!

  79. Concerned says:

    “Loyalty oath”

    Thomas Paine, James Madison et al are shivering in their graves. How did We come to this? We are evidently in some very serious doodoo. I had no idea the republicans had fallen so far. Now I’m really frightened. Does anyone know if the Dems do this too?

  80. Brad says:

    This distasteful attitude of the Ronalds is not surprising. Similar types of statements were made by McDonald in meeting of his group during the 2012 election. Emails (not coming from McDonald either, but the other leaders) circulated to members echoing the name change and directing their members to refrain from visiting this site, because . . . yes, this is even difficult to type without falling over laughing . . . every time you click an article on here Pierre gets paid. Pierre, I know a couple of in the internet world that would LOVE to know that coding/plugin secret sauce!

    What bothers me about hearing about this crap once again is:

    1. These are racist comments made by McDonald and Richter

    2. We still have Ronald Reagan Assembly candidates – Nobile and Schaffer. Nobile, you have “reached out to them”? Both you and Schaffer ought to be denouncing that group, Richter, and McDonald! Anything less, says you condone such horrendous and disgusting attitudes and behavior. We DON’t need that kind on our City Council.

    3. Our Elections Supervisor, Kimberle Weeks, also condones and promotes this racist behavior to the point of insisting that it be placed in our public records?! This is who we allow to continue to run our elections?! Would she like to add to her swath of signage . . . “No Arabs can park here.” Are Arabs allowed to vote in our County Ms. Weeks?

    I, for one, am thankful for the work you do Pierre. I don’t always agree but you provide us with information and perspectives local news rarely gets. People say we should be concerned about gangs in Flagler County, we need to be as equally concerned with such vile creatures that are the Ronald Reaganers. If you are so unhappy McDonald and Richter . . . move. We’d all be happy to chip and and help you get those places sold, pack, you up, and send you on your way along with your other Reagan filth.

    • Steven Nobile says:

      Brad
      I am not going to let a few bad apples, bad being an understatement, cause me to walk away from an organization that does very good work for the Republican party. I think I will stay and try to get the organizations working together. Besides I belong to the other Republican clubs and they all have their share of bad apples.

      It’s time for the Republican parties in Flagler to call out the bad apples, eradicate them, and move on with the good work of introducing SOLID, VETTED, candidates for Flagler County and Palm Coast offices and then get together and back the winners as one.

      To be honest, I really don’t appreciate calling all the members of the RRRA names. I’m am one, and I know several people in the organization who are very, very good people and Palm Coasters. I would suggest you stick to the problem children so as not to alienate the good people, What your doing is like calling all Muslim or Arabic people terrorists. It’s just not right…

      • Samantha Claire says:

        Mr. Nobile,

        Thank you for expressing your intention to continue your involvement with Reagans. Your justification for sticking with and your defense of them is way off base. Trying to have it both ways is politically calculated dishonesty. I incorrectly believed you to be more courageous and sensible than this. My big mistake.

        I do agree their general membership, although dramatically declining, contains many well intentioned balanced conservatives who are regularly sold out and poorly served by their leaders.

        It is their leadership stupid! You cannot change anything about their corrupted core. Standing for the organization is standing with their failed bigoted litigation-happy candidates whom you say you don’t like? Maybe they will help you campaign? Have them carry around your signs? Give you their endorsements?

        There is little hope for you. I and many others are disappointed with your unambiguous choice to leave the rest of us behind who were beginning to like and wanted to believe you. .

        SC

  81. Brad says:

    Let me also add that we also have Janet McDonald (Denis McDonald’s wife and fellow Reagner) running for our school board. Is that the kind of person we want on our school board?

  82. John Smallberries says:

    To all of the RRR posters that are decrying the wide brush that you’re being painted with: if you decide to attend klan rallies, don’t act surprised when you’re called a klansman.

    • Steven Nobile says:

      YOU ARE WRONG. If I attend a meeting and some klansman show up, it’s people like you who then call the the club the KKK. Stop spreading your hate…

      • Brad says:

        No, Steven Nobile, you are wrong. What people are actually telling you if you would listen is that what we expect from someone wanting to serve on our City Council is to have the courage to actually stand up to those who are wrong. That that person put self aside and do what is right even when it is not easy.

        You spew out a lot of criticism of our present City Council and even have gone as far as calling them “fools” yet when it comes to you own political group and it’s members you are displaying that their blatant wrong-doing you will not stand up against. You are showing us that you will compromise values and what is right for political gain. And that is as horrible as the messages sent by these two.

        The right thing to do, and what people are telling you they expect, is a candidate that would denounce that group and any group that does not throw any member that spews such hateful filth to the curb. That group remains silence about the issue and you stay in their house. It is obvious therefore where your loyalty lies and what we can expect.

  83. Steve says:

    This obituary should be required reading for everyone–but especially those who defend the actions of McDonald and Richter:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/07/us/lillian-gobitas-klose-90-dies-stood-against-mandatory-pledge.html?ref=todayspaper

  84. Jack Howell says:

    Pierre,

    I am proud to be your friend. I spent 25 years of my life in the service of my country to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. I shed blood on foreign shores to protect your rights. I support the right of free speech but not when we yell “fire” in a packed theater. America is a “melting pot” as I was taught in my youth. Each ethnic group arriving in our country had to endure bigotry. They got through it as did you my fellow American. While Mr. McDonald and Mr. Richter have stated some hateful things about you, it is their right to do so under the rights of freedom of speech. That said, it looks like their comments may have violated the law by there slanderous nature. That is shameful and an abuse of the First Amendment.

    Keep up your excellent journalism. You got your act together!

  85. Toni Baker says:

    Oh my goodness….after leaving the campaign and the city of Palm Coast, Flagler County, I still can’t stop my mind from remembering the back stabbing, low life politics of the RRR’s. I had an opportunity to meet all of them and I will tell you, from a crazy cat lady, an asshole who tries to intimidate and can’t take any critisicim, lurch and his wife, who I believe is behind any thought process the man might have, and quiet but deadly, I wonder how in God’s green earth they can even call themselves republicans! Pierre, you were fair to me on my one and only run for office, I truly was for the kiddos and the county. Alas, it was not to be because people are lazy and misinformed.

    The one bright spot is I got to spend a lot of time with my twins and learn I never want to be in politics! However, Phoebe thinks it’s so much fun! (Thank you Frank Meeker for creating a monster!) If you vote in McDonald for School Board you will and I mean you WILL get what you voted for (or not voted against). Again, she is the brains in that family, or should I say trouble maker. I won’t be able to vote in November, since we came back to Ohio with tears in our eyes. Please vote Frank Meeker, Nate McLaughlin, Fischer. Personal note to the only reasonable, likable and concerned RRR, Michael McElroy…..RUN RUN fast and far away from those crazies!

    We will miss you all! Yes, even you Pierre, my embedded terrorist Achmed! hehehehe!

    • Lin says:

      Right on Toni Baker from this sorta Republican
      I hope M McElroy does press on — I liked him too
      Sorry I didn’t get to know you better

  86. Anonymous says:

    Soldier on Pierre. Don’t let this low you down one bit. Their behaviour is proof positive of the type of individuals they are. I hope this ends their political careers here. Yes, unfortunately these people are all for freedom of speech…when they are doing the speaking. It is just another example of hate speech.

    Edith Campins

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