Miami DEC Chairman attacks everyone in email

I really am at a loss for words in what the local party's chairman decided to do, by sending an email to a host of local officials and activists (such as Katy Sorenson, Yolly Robertson, Paul Barthole, Cindy Lerner, Carrie Meek, Joe Geller, Nadine Smith) all the while including national figures like former DNC ChairmanTerry McAuliffe on an email ranting about the Florida Democratic Party, the UM College Democrats, Democracy For America and local activists. Here's the full text, enjoy the reading below. Enjoy the ranting but also the false claims he throws out there:

Nov. 6, 2009

Dearest Party Leaders,

My name is Chairman Benjamin John “BJ” Chiszar of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party and it is with great sadness that I write to you all to expose what I consider to be the final straw in my dealing with the leadership at FDP headquarters. I have had nothing but problems and frustration in dealing with our “parent” organization and enough is enough is enough. I am not going anywhere and I will continue to lead the Miami-Dade DEC to victory (we have won 23 out 29 local races this year). We are active on the issues that we as Democrats say we believe in (healthcare, equality, assault weapons ban, right to vote, the environment, etc) and we are growing our DEC rapidly (over 150 new applicants- up 62% in my first year). I do not require the FDP for anything! The MD-DEC would be better served if they would simply leave us alone. Let them coddle up to corrupt big donors (like the crook Mr. Rothstein, whom FDP returned $200,000 to) and then continue to waste the money, without supporting DECs, as section 7 and 9 of the FDP Charter demand!

On yesterday, November 5th, I received a rude and threatening phone call from the FDP Director of Party Affairs, Milli Smith who claimed that the DNC had contacted the FDP to complain about me. The way Ms. Smith spoke to me as if she was some supreme authority figure over the MD-DEC was inappropriate and I let her know it. I yelled at her in response to her wording and tone, and told her that she was not to call me and threaten me ever again and if there was a problem with DNC, they should put it in writing for my review and then hung up in her face. Unfortunately for Milli, it turns out that she was lying, got caught and then tried to play the victim as if I was mean to her. The DNC told me that they DID NOT contact FDP to complain about me and Southern US Political Director, my friend Nate Jenkins (from Orlando) even went so far as to say that it was “completely inappropriate for Milli Smith to call me and say there was a complaint”. What had occurred was that I, as the youngest Chair of a large county in the US had placed a call and left a message to speak with our National leader Gov. Tim Kaine on Wednesday. I left my name and number and that was it. I didn’t specify the reason for my call, so Nate Jenkins called FDP to see if my call to DC had something with the Judicial Committee issue from this summer (which I will get late in this letter). My call did not have anything to do with FDP. Ms. Smith also claimed that our DEC Treasurer called to complain about me twice yesterday, which I found out to be a lie as well, according to my Treasurer Paul Barthole. He says called because Milli never sent a certificate for the Haitian-American Democratic Club, which is part of her job. Now where does Ms. Smith get off taking liberty with the facts and saying the DNC and DEC Treasurer “complained” about me? Why do Karen Thurman and Scott Arceneaux, who knew exactly what was going on, because I copied them on ALL the emails, allow this non-sense? Because it deals with BJ in Miami-Dade, that’s why! I highly doubt any of you are subjected to this tyranny!

First of all, allow me to give you some background information that will help you understand my frustration with FDP. The Karen Thurman cronies DID NOT win election at our Organizational Meeting. Knowing that I do not like Karen and her team in Tallahassee (based on 2008 personal experience, when I was an employee of DNC and FDP), my victory was greeted with utter panic and disdain. Karen Thurman, FDP staff and their gadfly do nothing friends in Miami-Dade have tried their darnedest to be divisive and disruptive from day one. I have no doubt that their failures to impact our DEC operation boils their blood. In the spring, the FDP and Karen’s MD-DEC cronies tried to undo my free and fair election of December 3rd, by complaining about past Chair and current State Committeeman Bret Berlin and his conduct before and during the election. After failing to comply with their own bylaws and having to re-schedule the hearing, the FULL Judicial council met and exonerated both Bret Berlin and also Chairman Mitch Caesar (Broward) from any wrongdoing concerning the organizational meetings. They made some recommendations, one of which we had done 2 months before the hearing. Another was to send the ballots from December 3rd which had never been in my possession and the third was to “bring our DEC bylaws into compliance with FDP”. I asked both verbally and in writing at least 10 times for someone to please tell us EXACTLY what is wrong with our bylaws and we will change them. I spoke to Vice Chair Diane Glasser, who told me that was a reasonable request and that FDP should assist. This never happened, yet the FDP wanted to try me later for not following their broad general recommendation. It should be noted that FDP was updating their own bylaws this year and makes zero sense to tell a DEC to fix our bylaws while FDP is fixing their own. These are the folks in charge of this Party!

Another bit of information for background purposes pertain to rude and intimidating calls from FDP staff. The first rude call I received from Milli Smith came on April 1, while I was down at the election department to get confirmation that a candidate was NOT a registered Democrat (Myron Rosner). It just so happens that Ms. Smith was calling about this same candidate. Three of her DEC friends (Thomas Pinder, John Julien, & Carline Paul) had supposedly (according to Milli) called FDP to complain that I was telling them they had support our Democrat, Mayor Ray Marin (who happened to be one of our only Puerto Rican electeds in the entire State) in North Miami Beach. Now I did not invent the loyalty oath or make her friends sign it, they did so on their own, knowing full well what it says and means. Milli Smith ordered me to “let them support whomever they want, because FDP didn’t want them on Haitian-American radio saying bad things about the Party”. So I was told to let them violate the loyalty oath that we all signed by an FDP official. On the same call, Milli claimed that another friend of hers (Elizabeth Judd) had called to say that I was doing “nothing to help DEC member Eddie Lewis in his council bid in Miami Shores”. The only problem is that it is completely false! We (DEC and myself as an individual) had been doing everything you can imagine (door knocking, phone calling, providing walk-lists & call-lists, emails and even did a GOTV mailer) to help him and he is still very appreciative of the DEC’s efforts to this day. So once again, Milli’s friends and Milli Smith take liberty with the facts to suit their own agenda of opposing me. Ms. Judd’s true intentions were later revealed. She wanted the DEC to assist her friend in North Miami in a race featuring 5 Democrats! We offered them all the same assistance as any good DEC would. To add icing on the cake, on the same April 1st call, she claimed that one of the DFA gadflies, Sam Feldman said “BJ won’t give me VAN access”. This is also false; Sam was one of the first DEC members to get VAN access (3/23/09) for his PRECINCT. He demanded the entire city of Miami Beach and of course I said no way! This is a perfect segue to what FDP tried to do to me this summer.

Mr. Feldman and DFA decided to endorse a Republican over the Florida League of Cities President, and Liberal Democrat Michael Blynn in North Miami. They did so knowingly and in fact didn’t even invite the Democrat to their “candidate screening”. Now DFA can do whatever it wants, but Milli’s friend Sam Feldman violated the loyalty oath and took a paid position with the Republican. Hmmm…I would find out later that the Republican’s daughter had been employed by DFA during 2008 and when the Republican made a run-off, Sam had her switch to Democrat to prevent the DEC from assisting the Real Democrat. DCCA Chair Alison Morano was made aware of this, as was Vice Chair Diane Glasser and Milli Smith. This exposure was an embarrassment for DFA and Sam. This incident was the catalyst for these gadflies filing a fraudulent complaint against me with FDP.

The first complaint was about Union bugs and that the DEC used a designer bug, instead of printer bug. The DEC has been using the same guy for 9 years and I never examined with a magnifying glass what the tiny bug said. Not to mention that nowhere in our State or Local bylaws does it say I have to use any Union bug. I will have you all know that the DEC relationship with organized labor has never been stronger as I am known all over South Florida as “Union guy”. The second complaint was from the UM Democrats who were encouraged by Sam (who signed complaint because none of the others were from DEC) saying that I wouldn’t give them VAN access for free. What they forgot to mention is that these rich little snobs refused to assist our Cuban-American Female Democrat, Commissioner Maria Anderson in Coral Gables (she lost the UM precinct) and said they weren’t interested in local politics or joining the DEC. Once again nowhere in our State or Local bylaws does it say that I have to give inactive and unsupportive Non-DEC members from a College Democrats Chapter VAN access. The third complaint was from perennial gadfly and Karen Thurman crony, Barbara Walters claiming a litany of procedural silliness that she couldn’t back up. This was proven at FDP hearing AND DEC hearing which both found no grounds to remove me. I save the best for last, the fourth complaint was from a Club President in Dade who had no idea about the complaint process, made false accusations that he later withdrew and told me “he was put to this by someone from the FDP staff”. Let me say that again, the FDP staff told one of my Club Presidents to make a false complaint against me in the hopes I would resign. If that does not disturb you, then I question your loyalty to truth and justice.

Now let’s review the despicable August 29th Judicial Council hearing in Miami Lakes. This Kangaroo Court set up by Karen Thurman, who appointed a SUBCOMMITTEE with one my enemies Millie Herrera, a gadfly who lost to a complete unknown civil rights activist in the election for State Committeewoman and still cries herself to sleep every night about it. This hearing was in violation of FDP bylaws! First of all, section 5.5.2 says the Judicial Council hears APPEALS, an appeal would indicate that it came before the DEC first. That did not happen and everyone at FDP knew it. Section 5.5.2 also clearly says that the appeals must be a result of a FDP bylaws violation. Not a single one of the four complaints met this criterion, unless you consider Ms. Walters non-sensical complaint bylaw related. You as Party leaders should also be aware that Section 5.5.4 of FDP bylaws says that a complainant has 30 days from date of the incident to file a complaint in writing by certified mail. Not a single one of the complaints was filed within that time frame. This was easily noticed by looking at the date they were filed (all within 3 days of each other and signed by the same people) and the dates of the alleged incidents. FDP knew that they were all filed way after the 30 days time limit passed. This was brought up at the beginning of the hearing and Vice Chair Rhett Bullard, while having the deer in headlights look on his face, let the Kangaroo Court proceed. My attorney also pointed out at the beginning of the hearing that Section 5.5.6 of FDP bylaws clearly states that when a DEC or DEC officer is brought up on charges and Karen Thurman appoints a subcommittee instead of the full Judicial Committee, the Chair (Rhett Bullard) SHALL enlarge the subcommittee to include fellow DEC Chairs from within 100 miles of the county where accused is from. This did not happen and after being informed that the hearing was violating these 3 FDP bylaws pertaining specifically to Judicial Council, Vice Chair Bullard proceeded. After wasting all of our time, there decision was to send it back to DEC officers and let them decide. This was as backwards as you can possibly get. So the FDP appointed my fellow officers to be a grievance committee, which I believe to be inappropriate. It didn’t matter because they found the complaints non-sensical and denied them all!

Again. Let’s return to yesterday, I got a call late in the day from the NEW Executive Director, Scott Arceneaux. This was my first time ever speaking with the gentleman and after simple hello-how are you, I asked him why his staff had lied twice in one day about receiving complaints about me, got caught and he allows such a thing to occur. He then told me not to be mean to his staff, when I reminded him who started this business. Mr. Arceneaux then proceeded to rudely insult me and tell me to shut up. As you can imagine, I let him have it and put him in his place real quick. I will not be spoken to by these scumbags like that! I can only assume that you wouldn’t either!

Today I am calling for resignation and/or removal of Karen Thurman and her senior Staff (especially Scott & Millie). Given that many of you are friends with these people, I expect some blind loyalty to the status quo. This is unacceptable behavior from leaders of the most important State in the Union. I believe there is a direct correlation to this pathetic excuse for leadership and our losing big in 2010! You can prevent that from happening! All you need to do is ask some simple questions. If you do that you will find that everything I have laid out for you is true. I wake up every day with the people of Florida and especially our 4 million+ Democrats on my mind and in my heart. Thank you for your time!

BJ Chiszar


Royalian said...

Chairman BJ's rant sounds like Captain Queeg in the Caine Mutiny! Not even Humphrey Bogart can put on a show like this one...

Anonymous said...

Wow, he sounds like a spoiled child, throwing a tamper tantrum in front of a group of people wanting to see some kind of sympathy response when instead we're all staring and laughing hysterically at what a fool he looks like.

Anonymous said...

This is almost comical. You can't make this stuff up. This gives new meaning to the words "truth is stranger than fiction." Same old BJ...