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Charging “Political Assassination,” Pollinger Seeks Court to Reveal Shaffer’s Backers

| July 9, 2012

Pollingergate's main actors: from left, Anne-Marie Shaffer, John Pollinger and Ray Stevens. (© FlaglerLive)

Pollingergate’s main actors: from left, Anne-Marie Shaffer, John Pollinger and Ray Stevens. (© FlaglerLive)

Saying she comes to court with “unclean hands,” John Pollinger wants Ann-Marie Shaffer to reveal who’s backing her financially in her lawsuit seeking to bar Pollinger from running as a Republican candidate in the Aug. 14 primary for Flagler County Sheriff.

In a strongly worded motion filed Friday, Pollinger wants Flagler County Circuit Court Judge Dennis Craig to “compel” Shaffer, a self-described, stay-at-home mom who lives in a $90,000-home on Freeland Lane, to answer questions her attorney barred her from answering during a deposition. Pollinger, through his attorney, is asking whether the Republican Club of Flagler County or the Ronald Reagan Republican Assembly of Flagler County–in which Shaffer is an officer–are helping to fund the lawsuit. Pollinger is also asking whether “anybody else” is helping her to pay the bills.

Jake Kaney, a high-priced attorney from Ormond Beach, is representing Shaffer. Kaney said he would seek a protective order to keep that information from being revealed.

“By bringing the instant lawsuit,” Pollinger’s latest motion states, “Shaffer is attempting to mask her political assassination of Pollinger as a mere qualifying challenge. In doing so, she is using this court as the stage upon which she publicly decries what she perceives to be the ‘party [im]purity’ of Pollinger. Her true motivations are revealed, in part, by her blog site wherein she espouses that Pollinger is a ‘felon,’ a ‘fraud,’ a ‘RINO’ (‘Republican in Name Only’), who does not ‘abide by the law’ (among other aspersions. By using this court as a platform upon which to disseminate right-wing political propaganda against Pollinger, she comes to the court with unclean hands.”

In a two-hour deposition on June 13, Shaffer said she was suing Pollinger fro several reasons, among them that she was fighting for “party purity.” She defined party purity as “True Republicans in Republican primaries, in Republican races.” Pollinger was a registered Democrat for four over four decades in new Jersey before changing his registration to Republican soon after he retired to Palm Coast in 2008. When asked if Ronald Reagan (who had himself been a Democrat for decades before switching to Republican) had been running for sheriff in Flagler County “in a similar situation” as Pollinger’s, Shaffer said she “would feel it would be a duty” to block Reagan from running, if she “had the capacity to do so.”

Shaffer’s role, while financially inscrutable so far, has brought a degree of embarrassment to local Republicans, many of whom have distanced themselves from her–either out of allegiance to Pollinger, or out of fear that she would be tarnishing the party’s image by associating it with extremism.

Shaffer has twice worked for the campaign of Ray Stevens, another Republican in the race for Flagler County Sheriff who first ran for the position in 2008–as an avowed independent who repeatedly made the point back then that he did not believe that the sheriff’s race should be politicized. Stevens has since backtracked, saying that even then, his party registration was Republican, even though he was running as an independent. Shaffer was Stevens’s campaign manager until shortly before she filed the lawsuit against Pollinger. Stevens had said he was not involved in the lawsuit. But in a June 13 deposition, Kimberle Weeks, the Flagler County Supervisor of Elections, said it was Stevens who first called her to “vent” about Pollinger’s past as a Democrat.

“In seeking information regarding the sources of Shaffer’s funding,” Pollinger’s Friday motion reads, “Pollinger seeks to discover admissible evidence that will prove Shaffer’s actual intentions are to smear the reputation of Pollinger in order to benefit Ray Stevens’ campaign. The information requested should reveal the names of those she hopes to directly benefit by virtue of this lawsuit. Outside of the courtroom, Shaffer has already made clear she is a devoted supporter of Ray Stevens who has taken to the internet and the press to smear Pollinger’s name and reputation, meanwhile coming before the court disguised as a concerned citizen with nothing more than a desire to preserve the integrity of the electoral process. The information sought is ‘reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.'”

The motion cites for support the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure regarding the discovery process during a lawsuit.

Pollinger and Shaffer are heading back to court on Tuesday as the original case resumes. Both sides have sought summary judgments in their favor. Shaffer is holding that Pollinger should not appear on the primary ballot because his New Jersey registration as a Democrat was not annulled until January, and that Florida law requires partisan candidates for office to swear an oath that once they run under the banner of one party, they’ve not been a member of a different party for at least 365 days previous. Pollinger is contending that Shaffer never showed the “legal insufficiency” of Pollinger’s defense–that he’s been duly registered as a Republican for the past three years in Florida, and that his New Jersey registration was null in all ways but on paper, since it had been the responsibility of Florida’s and New Jersey’s respective elections offices to clean their voter rolls (as Florida is doing at the moment).

Proceedings resume at the Flagler County Courthouse in court room 301, at 1:30 p.m. The proceedings are, of course, open to the public, and tend to draw quite a crowd.

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11 Responses for “Charging “Political Assassination,” Pollinger Seeks Court to Reveal Shaffer’s Backers”

  1. Linda H. says:

    Venting about Mr. Pollinger’s past does not make you a source for a lawsuit. I have done and heard plenty of venting on this case myself. The only person I am embarrassed for is Mr. Pollinger.

    He should have run as an NPA. Expecting Republicans to back you when it is they who discovered you were still a registered Democrat in New Jersey since 1970 is a bit foolhardy. So is deliberately trying to skirt the law.

  2. question says:

    You lost me at “Ronald Reagan Republican Assembly of Flagler County”…really?

    Mr. Pollinger…run, save yourself…The RRRAoFC isn’t even as far right as we grow them down here.

  3. Donna Heiss says:

    Ahhh, “party purity”! I have personally heard this phrase come out of the mouths of members of The Ronald Reagan Club.

    In my opinion, this club, group, gang or whatever you want to call them should walk through the car wash a few times so they may “cleanse” themselves from their radical beliefs. Another word I directly heard from one of the members. The word came in a sentence, (“Maybe you will be cleansed in four years”). Cleansed from what? For wanting equality for all citizens regardless of party affiliation, race, religious belief, social status, etc. Shaffer has gone over the top, but certainly not without backing. Mr. Stevens ran 4 years ago as an NPA. They must have run him through the carwash several times to be “cleansed” and become a “purist”. What ever laced drink they are drinking, keep it away from me. I am for the people.ALL OF THEM. Again, I will mention, in my own opinion.

    Lets use another quote from their own literature. Under “Our Beliefs”: “That the powers of our Government derive from the “Consent of the Governed” and all political power flows from the citizens upward.” What citizens? This club shut out, took away, denied the voting rights of 40,000 people. Oh that”s right, they are talking about themselves only and the candidates they endorsed. (which have to be members to get the endorsement from them) Who can honestly say they would want to be a part of this?The RRR are the ones who want complete and total control.

    Watch out Flagler County, a storms a brewing.

  4. Robert Lewis says:

    The one who should be ashamed is Ann Marie and Ray Stevens.
    Never once during this campaign has anyone in the Stevens party said what qualifies him to be Sheriff. He has brought no ideas and no concepts to change the face of the Sheriffs department.

    Instead, Ms Shafer was nominated as the political pawn. The extent of this case and the recent voter suppression is a disgrace upon the system our founding fathers established. The Stevens campaign has surrounded themselves with dirty politics from the start. From the vicious whisper campaigns to this law suit exemplifies the desperate measures taken. If Ray is so desperate and unethical now, how are we to trust he will do the right thing when given a badge to protect us?

    What has changed now from 4 years ago that has made Ray Stevens electable?
    The answer is nothing. Ray Stevens retired as a Detective- Lieutenant from a small agency in northern Westchester County, NY. He has never had to command authority , never served as a department administrator, never had to create a department budget or make any serious decisions that affects his subordinates.

    A Ray Stevens administration would be a disaster to the Flagler County Sheriffs Office. No matter how many groups Ray can help create (FOP, RRAF) solely for his own endorsement, the people of Flagler County are not ignorant to the blatant truth. No matter how many times Linda H and company has got on the blogs here calling candidates all sorts of name to justify their extremist views will not deter voters.

    The reality is there has been a lot of smoke and mirros to divert people from the truth. The truth will prevail and those associated with this character assignation will destroy all of their credibility.

    Shame on Ann Marke Shafer! Shame on Ray Stevens ! Shame on the Ronald Reagan Assembly!

    • Biker says:

      Ray Stevens is not qualified to run the sheriffs office. Period! We need real command experience. Stevens does not have it. He is not a serious consideration for sheriff.

  5. Bob Hamby says:

    As President of the Flagler County Ronald Reagan Republican Assembly I can save Mr. Pollinger some money in his effort to find out if our organization is providing funding for the lawsuit. We have nothing to do with the lawsuit and have provided NO funding. We do support the law instituted by Democrat Governor Lawton Chiles that assures that only Republicans or Democrats run in their respective primaries.

  6. Flaglerbeachfriend says:

    I did not know John Pollinger before this January. I have lived in Flagler Beach my entire life and I want everyone to know that John Pollinger is a true gentleman! I have few times in my life met a man that is so entirely caring and willing go the extra mile to help anyone in need. Even when he is confronted daily with the dirty stabs that Stevens, Manfre, and Fleming have sent his way….he responds with unwavering poise and determination. He has a clear message…..Thanks for staying POSITIVE John! I know we just met but you impressed me and you have my entire families vote!

  7. Dudley Doright says:

    Am I back in Chicago?

  8. Joe A. says:

    Cleanse you in 4 years?????? Purify the Party?????

    Are we dealing with Republicans or are we dealing with Nazis? Talk like this was once used by the evil dictator Adolf Hitler before he persecuted 6 million Jews in the Holocaust. He called it “Ethnic Cleansing”, are these folks “Political Cleansing”?

    Their sense of freedom is as pale as their skin. They should be ashamed of themselves. Every single one of them. Next thing you know, they will start black balling you out of a party because of your Religion, Gender or Race.

    History has a tendency to repeat itself. For those that do not learn from history, are certainly doomed to repeat it. It seems this group is bound to cause more harm then good. It is a shame that these folks are actually being considered for public office.

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