Columns

Since You Brought It Up, St. Peter ...

By: Nancy Smith | Posted: July 26, 2014 3:55 AM
I Beg to Differ

Any publicity is good publicity in this business, that's always been my theory. So I thank Peter Schorsch, St. Peter himself, for the attention he quickly gave Sunshine State News after my news story on Annette Taddeo and the IRS appeared Friday on our Home page.

And, I did say news story. In spite of Peter's effort to portray it as the writer's rantings ("The headline blares like a guttural scream ..."), I defy him or anyone else to find one Nancy Smith opinion in it, including the headline.

The IRS is investigating a real complaint from a real person close to Charlie Crist's real Democratic lieutenant governor select. Just because I kept the complainant's name out of the story doesn't mean the complaint was anonymous. I have a copy of it, I talked with the individual who filed it.

I don't usually rise to the bait of this kind of commentary. But Peter has opened a door, bless his heart, and I don't want to miss the opportunity to say a few things on the very subjects he mentions.

I'll start with Annette Taddeo.

In his catchy-titled blog, "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Sunshine State News" (loved the hot photo illustration with it, by the way), it's as if Peter is saying, how dare you go poking around Annette Taddeo?  I hope I'm misreading that, because I'm over here wondering why, with the exception of Leslie Wimes, it seems virtually no other reporters -- mainstream or otherwise -- are poking around themselves. Is Taddeo out of bounds?

He says, "Smith, who ought to know better, is attempting to paint Taddeo as the next Jim Greer."

Why should I know better?

What magic powers do I possess to know what went on in Chairwoman Taddeo's shop? I look, I find 537 Consulting LLC, a company created by her executive director (wink, wink) at virtually the same time she gives that company management of virtually all the fundraising money the Miami-Dade Democratic Executive Committee has. No explanation needed, you think? She gets a free pass?

The question shouldn't be why does Sunshine State News care, but why doesn't the Miami Herald, the Tampa Bay Times and the Orlando Sentinel? Why doesn't the Sun-Sentinel care? Surely they know the  Broward Democratic Executive Committee doesn't conduct its business that way.

Taddeo wants to be lieutenant governor. True, most lieutenant governors haven't been much more than window dressers. But if Charlie Crist, a man with chronic wanderlust, wins, Taddeo is one career change, one heartbeat, away from the governor's chair. And the people of Florida know nothing about her.

Do we really want to take the party leadership's word for it that Taddeo was skillful with people and an efficient, problem-solving chairwoman? That she is an accomplished, highly regarded, fiscally prudent business woman? The party gave us Annette Taddeo. Do we trust that the party did a better job of "vetting" Taddeo than it did, say, Allie Braswell? A better job than the scribes in the venerable Florida press can do? 

Why, for example, does Taddeo's last disclosure statement say she spent tens of thousands of dollars on office remodeling at her translation business, yet the 800-or-so-square-foot office shows no signs of modernization? Where did the money go? Call it a "wackadoo fixation" if you like, Peter, but I thought all news organizations covering the election would be tailing her by now like a Dashiell Hammett gumshoe.

You won't hear any apology from me. 

And there's Charlie Crist.

St. Peter suggests Sunshine State News has marching orders to thump Charlie Crist every chance it gets. "SSN supposedly keeps the doors open by balancing its otherwise respectable coverage with a healthy dose of Crist-bashing," he writes.

Nope. Not even a little bit true. The dedication to devouring Charlie like a shark on chum is all me. Nancy Smith. Charlie Crist-bashing doesn't keep our doors open, it keeps me happy. It is nobody's priority but mine. But please remember, when I write about Charlie, I write as a columnist. Columns are opinions and marked on the page as such. 

The first time I saw Charlie in person, he was Education Commissioner Charlie. I listened as he lied to Florida teachers during an address at a school in Fort Pierce; then he lied to me outside in the hall. I've written about the experience. Ever since all I've heard from him are empty platitudes.

I bashed him royally as a Republican, I bashed him through his desperate attempt to save his Senate bid as a "no labels" independent, and now as a born-again Democrat -- same thing again. Every New Year's since 2001 I've resolved to change my ways and write at least one nice thing about him during the year. And I keep looking for something nice to say, honestly I do. But I haven't managed it yet.

My point is, nobody ever had to suggest, ask or order me to write the things I do about Charlie Crist. I was doing it long before Sunshine State News was a glint in its daddy's eye. Regardless what party flag Charlie flies today, this is an empty man consumed only with ambition who should be retired from public service.

The truth is, Peter knows how I feel about Charlie, I've told him before. And though I don't know if Charlie's campaign is one of Peter's clients, or if Peter and the Democratic Party are doing business together, I know Peter and the candidate are friends. I get that. And it helps me understand where his Friday blog is coming from.

Finally, there's Leslie Wimes.

A remarkable woman. A Democrat, a free-thinker, a person of enormous integrity. Leslie is one of the good things to come out of this election season for me -- and it's not because, as Democrats try to paint her, she "sounds so Republican about Charlie Crist."

Leslie Wimes is a rare gem. She has more integrity in her little finger than the whole sour brigade of Allison Tant soldiers at Democratic HQ. Leslie refuses to rewrite Charlie Crist history. She does not believe he has the best interests of the African-American community at heart. And for that crime, she's Public Enemy No. 1 among party leadership, ridiculed for her commitment to Democratic principles rather than Crist and for her support of Charlie's opponent in the August primary, former Sen. Nan Rich.  

I was disappointed to see Peter has joined the party's attempt to demonize her. He tweets mercilessly to her and about her. And in his Friday blog he called some of the columns Sunshine State News carries "the incoherent rantings of batsh*t crazy 'writers' like Leslie Weems." I hope misspelling her name was an honest mistake and not a show of disrespect. She doesn't deserve that.

What's his problem with Leslie and her Women on the Move website?

I would have thought Peter would admire Leslie Wimes as much as I do. I've heard him talk about the importance of bringing up his own daughter to be a strong, unafraid, principled woman. That's certainly how I see Leslie -- strong, courageous, wanting to make a difference for her party and her community.

Better and far more correct to accuse me of ranting. I would be guilty as charged. But I don't see "rants" in Leslie's columns. Her writing is fresh, passionate, honest, uncompromising. I happen to think Florida is a better place for Leslie Wimes.

I hope Peter will take a closer look.

I do want to make one thing clear before I end: I've long been a member of the Peter Schorsch fan club. And his blog doesn't change that.

I admire Peter because he makes the Energizer Bunny look like a sea slug, he drives mainstream media almost as crazy as we do, and he "gets" Sunshine State News -- accepts that we've staked out our own territory among Florida political coverage. And on this occasion I'm actually grateful he slammed us -- well, me more than us. It gave me this opportunity to fire back on the Taddeo shots, explain Charlie-bashing and show my support for Leslie Wimes.

Reach Nancy Smith at nsmith@sunshinestatenews.com or at 228-282-2423. 


Comments (18)

Sue
3:59PM JUL 28TH 2014
Nancy, thank you for staying on this and not being intimidated by a that former criminal bully mr. Shorsch. Nobody in the real press takes him seriously. He is a paid blogger - someone who gets stories spoonfed to him by certain PR firms in Tallahassee who then turn around and place ads with his blog. He also has lobbying firms who pay him to push their stories. He has no credibility to people in the know because everyone knows he is for sale.

Nancy, keep doing what you all are doing at SSN. Its refreshing to see good quality journalism, as opposed to either a paper with liberal ideologically blindness, or a paid blogger paid to push news that benefits his wallet.
Frank
8:34PM JUL 28TH 2014
Yes, Yes . . . . Marc Caputo & the Miami Herald, too, correct (and you had plenty of time to see that below) . . . . besides, as Nancy Smith points out . . . . what she's doing is not journalism . . . . apparently, from her own words, it now appears to others as being personal, a vendetta . . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
Frank
12:13PM JUL 28TH 2014
Yes, yes, SSN never engages in the politics of the "Big Lie" . . . . they're always 100% accurate, as we've all seen time after time after time . . . . especially about those they disagree with . . . . or have a personal vendetta against (remember their previous cub reporter and the Florida Supreme Court Justices) . . . .

Yes, yes, maybe SSN should just sue the Miami Herald for indicating that:

"For starters, the complaint about employee classification for tax purposes is without merit, experts say. And the story’s headline is false. There is no IRS 'investigation,' federal law-enforcement sources confirmed to the Miami Herald. Also, the story drips with hyperbole, misleading innuendo and, in one case, a statement that Walters said is 'totally inaccurate.' "

Think that will happen (and succeed) . . . . highly unlikely . . . . which just leads me to label this personal demonization form of journalism once again as being simply . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
The UnFrank
4:14PM JUL 28TH 2014
Hey Frank, you seen Leslie Wiles blog today? Treasury Department says Caputo's story is a bunch of garbage. Hmmmm. I heard the Dems gave Caputo a list of sources to call. They give him STORY DIRECTIONS, for crying out loud, so I think I'll wait until this is over to see who the pathetic one is.
Frank
9:24PM JUL 28TH 2014
Yes, yes, SSN must be right . . . and all other mainstream journalism wrong. . . . just like SSN was about the Florida Supreme Court Justices, climate change, scientists, abortions are genocide, Allen West, no voter suppression in Florida, no unconstitutional Rick Scott actions . . . . . and everything else in their journalistic fantasy LaLaLand . . . . just as accurate as that Leslie "Wiles" blog comment of yours . . . .

Pathetic . . . . .
The UnFrank
12:06AM JUL 29TH 2014
Liar liar pants on fire. Sunshine News never wrote a word on climate change, scientists, abortions are genocide & it doesn't look like they liked West very much. I just spent a lot of time looking it up in their archives to check you out & found you are so full of it Frank.
Frank
5:52PM JUL 29TH 2014
Childish . . . . and incorrect (as anyone who actually searched must know from seeing the claims SSN did carry) . . . . . . unless you're admitting to be SSN and therefore stalking your readers . . . . . oh, but then you clearly are stalking at least one reader, aren't you . . . .

As to that "Sunshine News never wrote a word on climate change", etc. . . . . . well, I guess even one example proves you a liar, correct . . . . try a Nancy Smith article from May 6, 2014 discussing climate change entitled "Environmentalists' One-Dimensional Strategy of 'No' " . . . . so, you've just gone and demonstrated out of your own hand that (once again) you're both inaccurate and a habitual liar . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
Michael
7:26PM JUL 27TH 2014
The Miami Herald says Nancy Smith made her stuff up and fills in the details.
Nancy Smith did make stuff up.
There is no IRS investigation.
There is a disgruntled Dade County Democrat.
The Artist Formerly Known as Bill
11:26PM JUL 27TH 2014
Herald didn't say she made stuff up Mike. Can't copy the link on the story here but readers should find it & read for themselves.....hey Nancy these Big Medias aren't going to investigate Annette Taddeo anymore than they did Alex Sink when you told them she signed all the checks for the Tallahassee taj mahal. The have to belittle you for the challenge. Stay strong lady hero.
Michael
8:34AM JUL 28TH 2014
No IRS invetigation=Nancy Smith made stuff up.
There was a complaint by a disgruntled Dade County Democrat.
It had no merit.
Nancy Smith is fiercely partisan about supporting real cooks, the Florida Republican Party, Governor Scott, and the Republican leadership of the Florida legislature.
Which reminds me Nancy Smith, how much help did Senator Negron and the legislature end up providing for the Everglades, Lake Okeechobee and the Indian River Lagoon?
Oh. None at all. Would upset their financial backers.
The UnFrank
12:09AM JUL 29TH 2014
There was an investigation. Every complaint turned into the IRS is investigated. I worked with the agency from 1992-98.
Frank
6:08PM JUL 29TH 2014
Yes, yes . . . . . EVERYONE here believes you're an ex-IRS agent . . . . instant credentials truthiness personified . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
Karen Sweeney
1:37PM JUL 26TH 2014
Thank you Nancy for calling out "St. Peter"! Why he continues to support Charlie is any bodies guess! Maybe he is profiting from it!
Frank
12:21PM JUL 26TH 2014
Gee . . . . seems like a few nerves got torched off . . . . oh well, at least now we know . . . . it's a personal vendetta for SSN . . . . all the demonization, even to the point of bringing Crist's wife into it . . .

Pathetic . . . .
C Breeze
10:18AM JUL 26TH 2014
Nancy, you are my favorite JOURNALIST (all caps by intent). Here's hoping "Morgan & Morgan" depletes their 'mad money' money fund,..and then some, backing all these losers ...including Peter Schorsch, who must be receiving 'advertising stipends' as well from the M&M 'vaults'... [EVERYBODY benefits from Democrat campaigns...Just ask the White House. RIGHT BARAK ?]
Leslie Wimes
7:45AM JUL 26TH 2014
Thank you so much for that, Nancy. I really appreciate your support. I want to point out, though, I do have support in the Democratic Party as well. Of course not from the likes of Allison Tant, Scott Arceneaux, Annette Taddeo, Charlie Crist, and anyone hoping to get some sort of reward for towing that fantasy party line that Crist is the Democratic version of Jesus Christ, but from the PEOPLE who aren't willing to sell their soul to a man who would throw them under the bus just as soon as he would look at them, if it means getting a higher position and more camera time. For those people, I simply smile because I was not built to break! I might bend every now again, but trust and believe, Leslie Wimes is a STRONG woman who fears nothing and no one BUT God!
Ana Gomez-Mallada
6:34AM JUL 26TH 2014
“She [Leslie Wimes] does not believe he has the best interests of the African-American community at heart. And for that crime, she's Public Enemy No. 1 among party leadership, ridiculed for her commitment to Democratic principles rather than Crist” Just like it started with Jim Greer: First, take over the party machine so it works for only Charlie, not the party…
RepublicanConscience
5:44AM JUL 26TH 2014
Thank you, Nancy.

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