There is an uproar about partisanship in the Winter Park mayoral election.
The facts point to Mackinnon being less than forthright.
Here is the time line and documents I have found:
- January 5, 2015: The Orange County Democratic Party explicitly endorses Mackinnon. (Here is a copy should they remove the link.)
- January 23, 2015: The Orange County Republican Party makes a point of Mackinnon’s contributions to the 2012 Obama campaign in an email and then follows up with a post card.
- January 26: Mackinnon implies her opponent “a candidate” is the one being partisan and illegally so. Mackinnon says, “Did you know Florida law prohibits candidates in nonpartisan elections — such as our upcoming Winter Park election — from campaigning based on party affiliation?”
- January 26: Orlando Sentinel reporter Beth Kassab asks Mackinnon about the donations and Mackinnon says she doesn’t remember making them. Kassab reports; ““Mackinnon, a retired circuit court judge, doesn’t remember cutting checks for Obama in 2012 totaling $2,000.” (Here is a copy in case you don’t subscribe.) Kassab also reports; “Leary…says he would prefer non-partisan local elections.”
- January 28: Leary says in an email; “Neither a recent email nor postcard informing voters of my opponent’s $2000.00 contribution to President Obama’s reelection were from or done with the permission of my campaign.”
- January 29: I have two independent reports that Mackinnon is telling her supporters that her husband “wrote the checks.”
- In her February 17th message, Mackinnon says she consistently instructed the Orange County Democratic Committee not to help her when they continued to do so. As of Mackinnon’s February 17th letter the Orange County Democratic Committee web site listed numerous Mackinnon events (check right hand column under “Events”) and continues even now to include their Mackinnon endorsement. While event listings have been removed they were in place for over a month while Mackinnon was asserting that Leary was illegally associating with Orange County Republican party efforts in support of his campaign.
- February 24: Anne Mooney chimes in to support Mackinnon’s efforts to make the “partisan” issue part of the campaign narrative.
Go here: http://www.fec.gov/finance/disclosure/norindsea.shtml, put in “Mackinnon” then “Cynthia” and click “Get Listing.”
A few questions:
- How did the Orange County Democratic Party know to endorse Mackinnon?
- Does Mackinnon’s acceptance of the Democratic Party endorsement constitute illegal campaigning based on party affiliation she implies Leary engaged in?
- Mackinnon knew she had been endorsed by the Orange County Democratic Party before the Orange County Republican Party sent out their missives. So, how can she honestly imply her opponent is the one being partisan?
- How does Mackinnon tell an Orlando Sentinel reporter one story (I don’t remember) and tell her supporters another (my husband did it)?
Makes me wonder how Mackinnon defines the words in her tag line. Who is really the public servant and who is really the politician?
I will publish bank sourced copies of the cancelled checks in question to help Mackinnon straighten out the story if she will provide them. If her husband’s signature is on the checks and not hers then perhaps this is all somewhat more understandable.
That Mackinnon clearly has tried to run away from the facts and deflect is very troubling.
On the subject of partisanship in our local elections I agree with Kassab, “The old saying that a pothole isn’t partisan is a bunch of bunk.” Get over it.
Regards, Pete Weldon