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FLORIDA ELECTIONS COMMISSION

107 W. Gaines Street,


Collins Building, Suite 224
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1050
(850) 922-4539
www.fee.state.fl.us; fec@myfloridalegal.com

April 24, 2019

Lawrence E. Honig
481 Rio Court
Marco Island, FL 34145-2713

RE: Case No.: FEC 18-492; Respondent: Lawrence E. Honig


Dear Mr. Honig:
On March 27, 2019, the Florida Elections Commission notified Regina L. Dayton that
the complaint she filed on December 20, 2018 was legally insufficient. On April 8,
2019, Ms. Dayton responded by email stating she would not be pursuing this matte.r
further. A copy of her email is enclosed for your information. Since the Commission
did not receive any additional information that corrected the stated grounds of
insufficiency, this case is closed. ·
Please let me know if you have any questions.

Sincerely,
<run 'f/accan,
Executive Director
Florida Elections Commission

TV/med
Enclosure: Email dated April 8, 2019

Faa0I6 (7/09)
...
.r

RE:Case No.: FEC 18-492; Respondent: Lawrence E. Honig


leahlord@netzero.net to: fee 04/08/2019 02:07 PM

From: "leahlord@netzero.net" <leahlord@netzero.net>


To: fec@myfloridalegal.com

Mr. Vaccaro,

Am respectfuliy submitting the comments below in response to your letter of


March 27,2019 determining the above complaint to be legally insuffici ent .

Clearly·www.marcopolitics . com .was a political website. I acknowledged in my


complaint the right of freeaom of speech; however, I do not agree, that the
content was simply free political speech. It seemed apparent that false and
malicious statements were made with the purposeful .intent to influence the
citizens of Marco Island to vote for the candidates endorsed by this website.

Domains by Proxy acknowledged that Mr. Honig was the owner of this website
hence I would contest this is not hearsay; thi s information should be
considered trustworthy to provide material fact. It would seem obvious that
the screenshots did exist just as it is more than ironic that - the website is
no longer active; these public records are statements in writing that should
be allowed to offer credibility as another form of information other than
personal knowledge. Let me suggest that the cause of justice would have been
advanced i f the definition of personal knowledge not been so restricted.

Jennifer J. Edwards, our Supervisor of Elections, concurred with Valerie A.


Simon that this was a political website. Know there f ore I am disappointed
that the concerns noted in my complaint that there was no registration, no
statement of filing, no reporting requirements, no disclaimers, no expenses or
expenditures calcul ated were· not seemingly addressed by the FEC .

My sincerest hope i s that an individual(s) more directly impacted will submit


a complaint simil_a r to mine for at this point it would appear foolish for me
to pursue this further. Please realize I anticipated an investigation that
wouid have enable the witnesses I listed to offer their testimon~.

The courtesy of i ncluding this e-mail in your official file _would be very much
appreciated.

Regina L. Dayton

Drink 1 Cup Before Bed, Watch Your Body Fat Melt Like Crazy
Cel ebrity Local
http://thirdpartyoffers . netzero.net/TGL324l/5cab8db27dae5db26abest02duc

FLORIDA ELECTIONS COMMISSION
107 W. Gaines Street
Collins Building, Suite 224
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1050
Telephone: (850) 922-4539
www.fee.state.fl.es; fec@myflorio!a!egal.com

March 27, 2019

Regina L. Dayton
280 South Collier Boulevard
Unit 1505
- Marco Island, FL 34145-4840

RE: Case No.: FEC 18-492; Respondent: Lawrence E. Honig

Dear Ms. Dayton:


The Florida Elections Commission has received your complaint alleging violations of Florida's
election laws.
Complainant essentially alleged that Respondenfs website, www.marcopolitics.com, violated
one or more sections of the Florida Election Code.
Complainant appears to take exception to political speech contained on www.marcopolitics.com.
Complainant's concern appears to stem from an article posted on October 26, 2018 on the
Coastal Breeze News, an online publication. The article was titled, "UPDATED: Honig
Revealed as Owner of Political Website." The article claimed that Respondent owned the
website at issue, which contained attacks on fellow City Council members and candidates for
City Council while supporting other candidates. The article on Coastal Breeze News contained
various screenshots purportedly lifted from www.marcopolitics.com. The purported screenshots
show that WWW;marcopolitics.com allegedly reprinted an article from the Coastal Breeze News
titled, "Council Continue~ to Wrestle With Manager Search," and allegedly. redlined the article
with commentary and included the heading, "FAKE NEWS EXPOSED."
The redlined editorial contained political analysis, fact checking, opinion, and name-calling;
however, it appears that the editorial amounts to no more than free political speech. Further, the
complaint appears to be based upon hearsay. Complainant's sole evidence is a news article from
an online source that contains purported screen shots from the website at issue. The articles
referenced in the screenshots do not appear to be on the website. Section 106.25(2), Florida
Statutes, provides that a sworn complaint IlJ.USt be based upon personal information or
information other than hearsay. Complainant has presented no personal information or
information other than hearsay to support her complaint.
For these reasons, I find the·complaint to be Legally Insufficient.
If you have additional information to correct the stated ground(s) of insufficiency, please submit
it within 14 days of the date of this letter. If we do not receive additional information that
corrects the stated grounds of insufficiency, this case will be closed. For your convenience,
enclosed is a form for your use in submitting additional information. If you submit an additional
. statement containing facts. you must sign the statement and have your signature notarized. In
addition, any additional facts you submit to the Commission must be based on either personal
information or information other than hearsay.
Until this case is closed, section I 06.25(7), Florida Statutes, provides that the Respondent may
not disclose this letter, the complaint, or any document related to this case, unless he or she
waives confidentiality in writing. To waive confidentiality, the Respondent must mail or fax a
written waiver of confidentiality to Donna Ann Malphurs -at the address or fax number listed
above.
If you have any questions concerrnng the complaint, please contact us at
fec@myfloridalegal.com.

y,
. ----...,
<

1ttn
Tim Vaccaro ,I
Executive Director

TV/med .
Enclosure: Additional Information Form
cc: Lawrence E. Honig, Respondent w/out Enclosure
•FLORIDA ELECTIONS COMMISSION
107 West Gaines Street, s·u ite 224,
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050

ADDITIONAL COMPLAINT INFORMATION

. Case Number: FEC 18-492

Pursuant to Rule 2B-1.0025, Florida Administrative Code, if you have additional information to correct
the gr?und(s) of legal insufficiency stated in the attached letter, please explain in a concise narrative statement
Attach ~e statement and any relevant documentation to this form:

STATE OF FLORIDA
COUNTY,OF _ __ _ _ _ _ __

I swear or affirm that the information in the attached statement is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.

Original Signature of Person Bringing Complaint

Sworn to and subscribed before me this _ _ _ _ day of _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _, 20_ _

Signature of Officer Authorized to Administer


Oaths or Notary Public

(Print, Type, or Stamp Commissioned Name of


Notary Public)
Personally Known_ _ _Or Produced Identification._ __

Type of Identification Produced_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __

Any person who files a complaint while knowing that the a/legations are false or without merit commits a
misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided In Sections 775. 082 and 775.083, Florida Statutes.

FEC Form 2 (5/17)


Rules 2B-1.0025 & 2B-1.009, F.A.C.
FEC 18-492 Response from Lawrence E. Honig
Larry Honig to: fee 01/09/2019 09:13 AM
1 attachment
m \..
I l '.
Le.!
FEC 18-492 Response from Lawrence E. Honig.pelf

Hel lo Ms. Ri ley,

Attached is my response to FEC 18-492. Please call-me if for some reason it


_does not come through.

Thanks , and kind regards ,

Lawrence E . Honig
Marco Island, Florida
(239) 588- 0080
Re: Case no. FEC 18-492 - Respondent: Lawrence E. Honig

Overall Response: This complaint revolves around a website: marcopolitics.com, which is still
active. The site was developed to provide information about Marco Island, Florida City Council
issues, members, and City Council candidates in the Nov. 6, 2018 election. The website consists
' entirely of public information, principally video clips from Marco Island City Council meetings
posted on the City's website, and links to articles published in local newspapers (print and online).

No candidate participated in developing content for the website. I am the only person providing
content. There was no coordination of any kind with any candidate or campaign. No money was
solicited. No money was received. In-kind contributions were neither solicited nor received. The
sole expenditure was for website hosting, for which I paid. The website does not permit dialogue,
for example, there is no "blog" for idea exchange. It is strictly one-way communication. Visitors
can only read commentary, watch accompanying video clips, or click links to read articles.

My participation was as a private citizen. I did not identify myself by name, and I did not publicize
that I am a member o'f City Council. I did not advertise the website. At the time of the alleged
violations, I was a City Council member nearing the end of the second year of my final four-year
term. (I am term-limited by our City Charter to two terms, or eight years, ending Nov. 3, 2020.).

I believe the website content is protected speech under the U.S. Constitution. No Florida Statutes
were violated.

RESPONSES TO SPECIFIC ALLEGATIONS IN THE COMPLAINT

1. The complaint alleges a violation of Section 104.271, F.S.

Response: This Statute involves "False or malicious charges against, or false statements about,
opposing candidates." Both of the two Sections begin with the words, "Any candidate who ... "
(a) I was not a candidate. Therefore, I do not believe this Section applies to me.
(b) I did not represent a candidate, and I did not coordinate with any candidate.
(c) I did not knowingly make malicious or false charges or statements. The site does not
contain any false information. It was not,my intent to cause harm or ill will to anyone.

2. The complaint alleges a violation of Section 104.061. F.S.

Response: The Statute specifies (1) "whoever by bribery, menace, threat, or other corruption
whatsoever ... "and (2) "No person shall directly or indirectly give or promise anything of value to
another ... "
(a) There was never any bribery, menace,.threat, or other corruption, nor did the
complainant offer evidence that there was.
(b) Ther,e was no solicitation of ar:iy kind, and nothing of value was offered or received.
3. The complaint alleges a violation of Section 104.091, F.S.

Response: The Statute addresses "Aiding, abetting, advising, or conspiring in violation of the code."
(a) I did not aid, abet, advise, or conspire to violate any Section of the code, nor has any
evidence been provided that I did so.
(b) I did not give aid to anyone with the intent of avoiding or escaping detection.

4. The complaint alleges a violation of Section 104.31, F.S.

Response: The complainant specifically cited 104.31 (1) (a), "No officer or employee of the state,
or any county or municipality thereof ... shall use his or her official authority or influence for the
purpose of interfering with an election or a nomination of office or coercing or influencing another
person's ~ote or affecting the result thereof."
(a) I did not publicize my name, and I did not publicize my office (City Council member). My ·
desire was to remain anonymous. At no time did I assert my authority.
(b) There was no interference or coercion.
(c) At no point did the website say, "Vote for" or "Vo~e against" any candidate.

5. The complaint.alleges a violation of Section 106.03. F.S.

Response: The Statute addresses "Registration of political committees and electioneering


communications organizations."
. (a) The website and its co11tent providers do not comprise an "electioneering
communications organization." Florida Statute 106.011 (9) says, " 'Electioneering
communications organization' means any group, other than a political party, affiliated
party committee, or political committee, whose election-related activities are limited to
making expenditures for electioneering communications or accepting contributions for
the purpose of making electioneering·com~unications and whose activities would not
otherwise require the group to register as a political party or political committee under
this chapter."
(b) Neither the website nor its content provider made expenditures, other than for w·ebsite
hosting, accepted contributions, nor made electioneering communications.
(c) No_funds were received from any source. No in-kind contributions were received.

6. The complaint alleges a violation of Section 106.071. F.S.

Response: Complainant alleges failure to comply with "independent expenditures; electioneering


committees; reports; disclaimers."
(a) There were no expenditures as defined in Section 106.011 (10) (a), F.S., which states
that " 'Expenditure' means a purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, transfer of
funds." None of these occurred, except for website hosting.
(b) Registration is not required by an individual "providing information." Section 106.03,
F.S. enumerates requirements for registration, none of which applies in this.case.
7. The complaint alleges a violation of Section 106.1439. F.S.

Response: Complainant alleges failure to comply with the requirement that "Any electioneering
communication, other than a telephone call, shall prominently state: Paid electioneering
communication paid for by _ _ ."
(a) There was no electioneering communication.
(b) There were no expenditures, except for web hosting, as indicated above.

8. The complaint alleges a violation of Section 106.19. F.S.

Response: The Statute involves "Violations by candidates, persons connected _


w ith campaigns, and
political committees."
(a) I was not a candidate, and I was not connected with any campaign or committee.
(b) There were no contributions.

9. The complaint alleges [complainant's words] "2018 FLORIDA STATUTES POSSIBLE VIOLATIONS,"
all of which are addressed above, except for complainant's references to three Statutes, in which
complainant did not indicate the nature of the alleged violation(s) of those Statutes. Below are
those Statute citations by t _
h e complainant, and my responses.

Responses: The three Statutes referenced in the complaint are:


(a) Section 104.39, F.S. - "Witnesses as to violations."
• 1. Statute pertains to "Any person who violates any provision of this code."
2. I have not knowingly violated any provision of the code.
(b) Section 104.41, F.S. - "Violations not otherwise provided for."
1. I never acted in a manner that would suggest I intended to violate any
provision of the code, including those not provided for.
2. This allegation appears to be included to request finding a misdemeanor.
(c) Section 104.43, F.S. - "Grand juries, special investigation."
1. This Section addresses the urgency of making a "special investigation ...
during a campaign preceding any election day."
2. The election day, Nov. 6, 2018, occurred prior to the complaint filing.

* * * * * * * * * *

My responses above are complete to the extent that I understand the allegations. The
complainant included material that I consider incidental to the complaint, but I will provide
clarification or additional information regarding any item.

Respectfully submitted,

Lawrence E. Honig Jan. 9, 2019


(
~UNITEDST.
l£i;j/j POST/JL SERVICE.. •
Date Produced: 12/31/2018

Florida Elections Commission:

The following is the delivery information for Certified Mail™/RRE item number 9214 8969 0099 9790
1625 2988 31 . Our records indicate that this item was delivered on 12/27/2018 at 09:01 a.m. in MARCO
.ISLAND, Fl 34146. The scann1ed..im.ii1A'~Jbii,J;li~M2'Ulfolm.il&&Q~~~~~low. .

Signature of Recipient :

Address of Recipient :

Thank you for selecting the Postal Service for your mailing needs. If you require additional assistance,
·please contact your local post office or Postal Service representative.·

Sincerely,
United States Postal Service

The customer reference number shown below is not validated or endorsed by the United States Postal
Service. It is solely for customer use.

Customer Reference Number: 18-492 1st 14 day ltr-Lawrenc ·


FLORIDA ELECTIONS COMMISSION
107 W. Gaines Street,
Suite 224 Collins Building
Tallahassee, Florida '32399-1050
Telephone: (850) 922-4539
www.fec.state.fl.us; fec<@myfloridalegal.com

December 21, 2018

CERTIFIED MAIL 9214 8969 0099 9790 1625 2988 31

Lawrence E. Honig
481 Rio Court
Marco Island, FL 34145-2713

RE: Case No.: FEC 18-492; Respondent: Lawrence E. Honig

Dear Mr.. Honig:


On December 20, 2018, the Florida Elections Commission received the enclosed complaint
alleging that you violated Florida's election laws. Section I 06.25(2), Florida Statutes, states:
The respondent shall have 14 days after receipt of the complaint to
file an initial response, and the executive director may not
determine the legal sufficiency' of the eomplaint during that time
period.
If you choose to file a response to the complaint, please send it to my attention at the address
listed above. To ensure that we receive your response in a timely manner, you may also want to
send it via e-mail to my attention at fec@,myfloridalegal.com. You will be notified by letter
whether the complaint is determined to be legally sufficient.
Please note that all documents related to this matter will be mailed to the above address
unless you notify us of a.new address.
Pursuant to section 106.25, Florida Statutes, complaints, Commission investigations,
investigative reports, and other documents relating to an alleged violation of Chapter 104 orl 06,
Florida Statutes, are confidential until the Commission finds probabie cause or no probable
cau;e. The confidentiality provision does not apply to the person filing the complaint. However,
it does apply to you, the Respondent, unless you waive confidentiality in writing.

14-day letter w Complaint (07/14)


Lawrence E. Honig
December 21, 2018
Page2
FEC 18-492

The confidentiality provision does not preclude you from seeking legal counsel. However, if you .
retain counsel, your attorney must file a notice of appearance with the Commission before any
member of the Commission staff can discuss this case with him or her.
For additional information, please refer to the "Frequently Asked Questions" section of the
Commission's website (www.fec.state.fl.us) or contact us via email at fec(@,myfloridalegal.com.

Sincerely,
&wi~~
Deputy Agency Clerk

/med
Enclosure: Complaint w/attachments

14-day letter w Complaint (07/ 14)


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481 Rio Court <D
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Marr;o Island, FL 34145-2713 "8
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See Reverse for Instructions
~ FLO.RIDA ELECTIONS COMMISSION • .
107,Alf"Gaines Street, Suite 224, Tallahassee, Ft: 99-1050 ::·o
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COMPLAINT
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. . - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ~ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - n~i
The Commission's records and proceedings in a case are confidential until the Commission rules on C".:t rn
•Ar~
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1. PERSON BRINGING COMPLAINT: .. c-.:..,


i'",')
:;;:•
t:ri t i5
t•,.") •
Name: Regina L. Dayton
p,.::i
Work Phone: ( N/A )_ _ __
:!fl
Address:280 South Collier Boulevard Unit 1505 Home Phone: ( 239 ) 389-0371

City: Marco Is land County: Collier State:.F lorida Zip Code:34145-4840

2. PERSON AGAINST WHOM COMPLAINT IS BROUGHT:

If you intend to name more than one individual or entity, please file multiple complaints. A person
can be an individual, political committee, political party, electioneering communi_cation
organization, club, corporation, partnership, company, association, or other type of organization.

Name of individual or entity: _La_wr-'-e_n_c_


e_E_._H_e_n_i..:..g_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __

Address: 481 Rio Court Phone:( 239)588-0080

City: Marco Is land County: Collier State:Florida Zip Code:34145-2713

If individual is a candidate, list the office or position sought: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __

Have you filed this complaint with the State Attorney's Office? (check one) D Yes C!J No
Are you alleging a violation of Section 104.271(2), F.S.? (check one) [iJ Yes D No
Are you alleging a violation of Section 104.2715, F.S.? (check one) D Yes[!] No
3. ALLEGED VIOLATION(S):

Please attach a concise narrative statement in which you list the provisions of the Florida Election
Code that you believe the person named above may have violated. The Commission _has jurisdiction
only to investigate provisions of Chapter 104 and Chapter 106, Florida Statutes. Please include the
following items as part of your attached statement:

• The facts and actions that you believe support the violations you allege;
• The names/telephone numbers of persons whom you believe may be witnesses to the facts;
• A copy or picture of any political advertisement(s) you mention in your statement;
• A copy of each document you mention in your statement;
• An explanation of why you believe information you reference from websites is relevant; and
• Any other evidence supporting your allegations.

SEE REVERSE SIDE OF DOCUMENT FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Any person who files a complaint while knowing that the allegations are fal~e or without merit commits a
misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in Sections 775. 082 and 775.083, Florida Statutes.

FEC Form 1 (5/17)


Rules 2B-1.0025 & 2B-1.009, F.A.C.
~ FLOR IDA ELECTIONS COMMISSION ~
107 ~Gaines Street, Suite 224, Tallahassee, F~9-1050
4. OATH:

STATE OF FLORIDA
COUNTY OF (.: o//.'t r

I swear or affirm that the above information is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.

Sworn to and subscribed before me this /-a,...fl, day of


{)ea y,A be.r , 20 I~

7
Signature of Officer Authorized to Administer Oaths or Notary Public

,.--;_'ii,_v,ii.:_.... JUD TOTH


[f~°\;\ Notary Publk - State of Flortda
\\W.1.r Commission II GG 26SJ.46
\ .,.o.-f\;../ My Comm. Expires Oct 16, 2022
... Bonded through National Notary Assn.

(Print, Type, or Stamp Commissioned Name of Notary Public)


Personally Known. _ _ _ Or Produced Identification X
Type of Identification Produced rlcn~I"'- L)r.'vcrs J,....~ f'ISL

5. IMPROPERLY COMPLETED COMPLAINT FORMS MAY BE RETURNED:

• You MUST submit this completed complaint form in order to file a complaint.

• You MUST complete All FOUR of the above sections of this form. DO NOT leave any blanks.
• You MUST submit the ORIGINAL complaint_form. Copied/faxed/emailed forms are returned.
• Each complaint can only be filed against ONE PERSON or ENTITY. If you wish to file against
multiple parties, you MUST submit a complaint form for each party you wish to file against.
• DO NOT submit multiple complaint forms with one set of attachments applying to multiple
complaints. You MUST attach copies of attachments to each complaint to which they apply.

• MAKE SURE the alleged violation(s) of Chapters 104 or 106 occurred within the last 2 years.

• MAKE SURE your complaint is sworn and there is no defect to the notarization in Section 4.

FEC Form 1 (5/17) .


Rules 28-1.0025 & 28-1.009, F.A.C.
2018 FLORIDA STATUTES POSSIBLE VIOLATIONS

104.061 Corruptly influencing voting.-

Whoever by bribery, menace, threat, or corruption whatsoever, either directly or indirectly,


attempts to influence, deceive, or deter·any elector in voting.

104.091 Aiding, abetting, advising, or conspiring in violations of the code.-

(2) Any person w~o agrees, conspires, combines, or confederates, with another person to
commit a violation of this code shall be punishable as if he or she has committed this violation.

104.271 False or malicious charges against, or false statements about, opposing candidates;
penalty.- ·

(2) Any candidate who, in a primary election or other election, with actual malice makes or
causes to be made any statement about an opposing cand_idat e which is false is guilty of a
violation of this code. ,

104.31 Political activities of state, county, and municipal officers and employees.-

(1) No officer or employee of the state, or any county or municipality thereof...shall

(a) Use his or her official authority or influence for t he purpose of interfering with an election or
a nomination of office or coercing or influencing another person's vote or affecting the result
thereof.

104.39 Witnesses as to violations.-

104.41 Violations not otherwise provided for.-

104.43 Grand juries; special investigation.-


106.03 Registration of political committees and electioneering communications organizations.-

(c) In a municipal election, an electioneering communications organization shall file a


statement of organization with the officer before whom municipal candidates qualify.

106.0703 Electronic communications organizations; reporting requirements; certification and


filing; penalties.-

106.071 Independent expenditures; electioneering committees; reports; disclaimers.-

(2) Paid political advertisement paid for by___ independently of any_ __

106.143 Political advertisements circulated prior to election; requirements.-

106.11 Expenses of and expenditures by candidates and political committees.-

106.1439 Electioneering communications; disclaimers.-

(1) Any electioneering communication, other than a telephone call, shall prominently state:
Paid electioneering communication paid for by_ __

106.19 Violations by cand idates, persons connected with campaigns, and political committees.-

I am a private citizen not educated in election law. I have attempted to study Chapters 104 &
106 to the best of my ability in an attempt to list above possible violations related to a political
website know as MarcoPolitics.com .. I had a personal phone conference with Valerie A. Simon
during which we discussed the e-mail I have supplied that noted our Supervisor of Elections had
verified illegal activity; her paper also had its content and image used without permission yet
that is a civil issue for her to address. I'm making you aware of these efforts, for I have never
filed a complaint with any agency that I considered frivolous out of respect for the potential
negative personal and professional impact for those involved as well as for the process of
redress. It is my intent to rely on the experience and ~nowledge of your staff to confirm and/or
deny these concerns. Please note I have focused on the statutory requirements; however, I
like so many Marco Islanders are ethically and morally repulsed at the lack of civility and

1R{J)
decency this site conveys. Surely a democracy must protect the right of free expression, but
officials like yourselves must also protect private citizens willing to serve from abuse and hence
uphold the public trust as they have rights too. The task we all must be committed to is
maintaining the respect of the people for their government, and in this case the actions of a
sitting Councilor and former Chair who owned this website and wrote for it as well as others
associated with this website did not.

In relation to Chapter 104 menace and corruption was utilized by the individuals associated with
this website to influence the outcome of the election. Let me assure you that I realize Councilor
Honig is not currently a candidate, but he clearly was responsible for aiding, abetting, and
advising others in violation of election codes therefore he is accountable for any violations your
office concurs with. My belief is that as a public official his ethics training would have prohibited
any participation is such activities. My witness list includes the two candidates, Mr. Richards
and Dr. Swiacki, who were most maligned for clearly they can speak much more accurately and
forcefully on the false and malicious charges made against t~em; please know I have
encouraged them to submit complaints related to Florida Statute 106.25. This website also
displayed photos and statements of individuals without their approval that were very
demeaning; I've included a newspaper article that highlights some.

In relation to Chapter 106 it seems as if the requirements for electioneering communications


organizations and political committees were not followed as there was no registration or
statement of organization filed, reporting requirements were not submitted, disclaimers were
not displayed, and expenses and expenditures were not provided. Know that I will defe·r to your
expertise in these matters for the mandated rules are obviously complex and with this being an
anonymous website it is very difficult to have information available. Perhaps the authority your
agency possesses will enable the persons who are operating this website to be identified and
their records reviewed. The citizens of Marco Island are not served positively by a website that
manipulates the content for its own advantage and purpose. The thought that this website
could continue to be used in upcoming elections without adhering to statutes is beyond
problematic. The e-mail included from Mr. Issler indicates others were working to further the
goals of the website Councilor Honig owned.

Please know I am willing to discuss this matter personally with anyone who will be tasked with
this investigation. Please realize as well that many in our community will welcome your
participation. The goal is to protect the rule of law and encourage civility and decency in
political discourse not to punish particular individuals.
WITNESSES

Edgar S. Issler 908 South Joy Circle Marco Island, Florida 34145-2728 561-901-3756

James F. Richards 1884 Nassau Court Marco Island, Florida 34145-4209 770-366-0652

Valerie A. Simon 191 Clyburn Street Marco Island, Florida 34145-4682 239-777-5942

Gerald R. Swiacki 667 Thru~h Court Marco Island, Florida. 34145-1931239-207-9115

Regina L. Dayton
WASETZERO

http://webmail~ero.netlwebmail/new/8?block=l&msgList=OO...

Message Center Print Message Close

From ''Timothy J. Dayton" <capttimd76@gmail.com>


To "Regina L. Dayton" <leahlord@netzero.net>
Subject Fwd: Fw: Re: DECIDED
Date Thu, Dec 13, 2018 09:47 AM

From: Val Simon <val@coastalbreezenews.com>


To: "Regina L. Dayton" <leahlord@netzero.net>
Subject: Re: DECIDED
Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2018 18:53:10·-osoo

--------- Forwarded message ----------


From:A Val Simon <val@coastalbreezenews.com>
To:A "Regina L. Dayton" <leahlord@netzero.net>
Cc:A
Bcc:A
Date:A Wed, 5 Dec 201818:53:10 -0500
Subject:A Re: DECIDED
I found a brief complaint form at Domains by Proxy and filled it out.A They replied in a day or so and asked me to fill out the form again.A which l
did.A They immediately told me I would have to take my concerns up with the registered owner and said me who it was.A A

My complaints were:A

1.) it was a political website.A period.A It supported three candidates.A It did not say "Paid for By...." a disclaimer which Jennifer Edwards said
they ARE required to include by law.A A At NO time did they include that disclaimer.A
2.)A The website used an image of the cover of Coastal Breeze News (of course in a libelous, slanderous way).A They used it as a link to a story
which also was taken from our newspaper.A They did NOT have permission to reprint any part of the story and they certainly didn't have
permission to use the cover of our newspaper.A This was a CLEAR copyright violation and I threatened legal action.A A

I truly hope someone takes the ball here and runs with it.A A

I was incorrect in saying that Jennifer Edwards said the sites are illegal.A A She said they're legal BUT they are required to have that
disclaimer.A A I publicly said Jennifer Edwards said it was illegal which wasn't an accurate statement.A A I was so caught up in the whole thing
and on deadline and totally thrown for a loop to GET the owner's name.A I could have done a better job quoting Jennifer.A A

Hope this helps....A A If you prefer phone that is fine.A tomorrow would be better.A

ValA
A

Valerie Simon,
Publisher
Coastal Breeze News
1857 San Marco Road #C 216
Marco Island, Florida 34145

239/393-4991 phone
239/393-4992 fax
239/777-5942 cell

coastalbreezenews.com

I of 1 12/13/2018, 9:48 AM

http://webmailb." 'o.net/webmail/new/8?block=l &msgList=OOO...

~ETZERO
Message Center Print Message Close

From EOM - Info <info@eyeonmarco.com>


To "Regina L. Dayton" <leahlord@netzero.net>
Sub j ect Marco Politics
Date
-----------------------------------
Mon, Dec 03, 2018 08:52 PM

Ms ReginaA Thanks for thinking of me and keeping me in your prayers.

I have enclosed the Link for the completed Marco Politics website which was covered by
Coastalbreeze.

https://www.coastalbreezenews.com/articles/honig-revealed-as-owner-of-political-website/

Let me know if there is more you need.A Take care, best to you and Mr. Tim.A Bill

Virus-free. www.avg.com

I of I 12/14/2018, 11:54 AM
UPDATED: Honig Revealed as Owner of P o " Website I Coasta... eezenews.com/articles/honig-revealed-as-own ...

C astal BR EEl Enews


UPDATED: Honig Revealed as Owner of
Political Website
October 26, 2018

By Steve "Stet" Stefanides

For months now, Marco Island citizens have been inundated with vicious and negative email
attacks upon two of the city council candidates.

In addition to email attacks on these two candidates, an anonymous political website was
created. As a means of identification, the website stated, "We are a group of Marco Island citizen
watchdogs committed to anonymity, because we have seen vocal citizens on all sides of issues
get crushed and retaliated against by government officials, code enforcement, the political elite
and the establishment (MICA, the Chamber and the Realtors)."

Because the site republished copyrighted materials without permission, Coastal Breeze News
logged an official complaint with Domain by Proxy, the website host.

When Domain by Proxy provided Coastal Breeze News with name of the website's owner they
learned that it was Larry Honig, a sitting Marco Island City Councilor.

Also confirming this discovery, documents on the website, when downloaded and document
elements reviewed, stated that the document's author was Larry Honig.

Honig's Marco Politics website contained attacks


on his fellow Councilors Howard Reed (referred to
as "a liar and a fraud"), Joe Batte (called an "Angry,
fake cop"), and Bob Brown, mainly in relation to
their independent opinions on council matters that
differed from Honig's. Attacks on private citizens,
such as Ray Seward who spoke before the council,

Councilor Larry Honig. File Photo


were also present on the website. Seward was
referred to as a "crusty, nasty 'citizen'." The website
criticized Dr. Kathleen Reynolds, a well-respected
resident who questioned the validity and purpose of a complaint against candidate Swiacki, filed
1 of 5 conveniently before the election. CJRlD 12/ 13/2018, 9:18 AM
u PDtcRfl~~ffllCb't~~
and employees also appeare.
'N- ~~ttl ~~e--News" 1~Hi81"'e't:l~sfMW ~"f'Sl'f&~iy,1,t~~rf@!~aled-as-own...
minently on Honig's website. r
Hiding behind the anonymous website, Honig has also attacked Police Chief Al Schettino and the
Marco Island Police Department.

Most recently, Honig's website was used to support three candidates for city council, to attack
fellow city councilors, and to malign city employees.

Direct attacks on candidates Dr. Jerry Swiacki and Jim Richards were made in a clear effort to
elect the other three candidates that are supported by the clandestine Honig website.

Political websites may not be anonymous, according to Collier County Supervisor of Elections.
Potential violations of Florida Election Commission codes appear numerous, including failure to
provide disclosures.

Marco Island residents have consistently called for a return to a more civil discourse from its
elected officials, so the news of Honig's involvement and ownership of the website is a
disappointment to many.

The Marco Politics website was taken down, presumably once Honig discovered that his identity
as the owner had been revealed. Several screen shots of the website are included for our readers
to view.

UPDATED

Contrary to denials, Marco Island City Councilor Larry Honig appears to be responsible for some
of the content of the anonymous website Marco Politics, which was taken down after allegations
of copyright infringement were made by Coastal Breeze News. Larry Honig's name was revealed
as the website's owner by Domains by Proxy. The anonymous political website contained insults
of other sitting councilors and private citizens.

According to a report, Honig does not deny owning the domain name, but has denied contributing
to the insulting, and often vicious, content. However, documents appearing on the website
indicate the author of said documents are Larry Honig.

Coastal Breeze News is sharing the actual document downloaded from the website as well as
screens hots of the website, for transparency of the author.

Check back to coastalbreezenews.com for updates to this story.

FAKE NEWS EXPOSED


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UPDATED: 'H'tiiii'li''ltev~mecr~t;Wn~'orP'oliru- ~:••c 0 U\/;Q1?J(~il'fR\Y,lw~a~ ;ezenews.com/articles/honig-revealed-as-own...
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S of S 12/13/2018, 9: 18 AM
Ed. lsilijij (eissler@feditc.com)To:you (Bee) Details
Candidate Info for Cit Counci.. 'docx 16 KB · -

Dear Marco Island Voters: Please see the enclosed information (attachment) regarding our
upcoming Election. THIS IS NOT SPAM. The information is intended to assist you in
evaluating the candidates for the upcoming Election

Thank you

Ed Issler

The information contained in this e-mail and any accompanying documents may contain information that is confidential or otherwise
protected from dlsdosure. If you are not the intended recipient of this message, please immediately alert the sender by reply e-mail and then
delete this message. Any dissemination. distribution or other use of the contents of this message by anyone other than the Intended recipient
is strictly prohibited. FEDITC or Alliantcorps has taken every reasonable precaution to minimize the risk, but is not liable for any damage you
may sustain as a result of any virus in this e-mail. You should carry out your own virus checks before opening the e-mail or attachment.

From Ed Issler

Dear Friends, Neighbors and Fellow Marco Island Voters: Well it is that time again. We have the right,
honor, privilege and responsibility to elect 3 (three) candidates to act on our behalf on the Marco Island
City Council. As I have done for the past few elections, J would like to provide you with background,
resources and information about the candidates running for City Council. As always, I want to emphasize
that each and every one of you should do your own research. It is my hope that 1 can provide websites
and information that will make it easier for you to do the research and to make your decisions.

As Absentee Ballots are being sent out shortly, before many of the Cand idate' s Forums, I felt that this e-
mai l was both timely and necessary. And since we have 5 (five) candidates running for 3 (three) Council
seats, my presentation will focus on the positives of each and then the negatives, if any. We need to be
certain about these individuals. We cannot be fooled, we need to be decisive, and we need to listen to
reason and not Political "Folly". You will understand my points as you read further.

The first candidate is Erik Brechnitz. Hopefully you have al I received his emai I of introduction and have
had a chance to look into his background. 1f not, prior to moving to Marco ls land, Erik served 4 years as
a Mayor of a medium sized Midwest City (Decatur, IL). Prior to that, he served on that City's Council
for IO years. For the last 2 (two) years, Erik has served as the Chairman of the Marco Is land Planning
Board. Erik is the most experienced candidate and the most well-spoken candidate we have had running
for Council in the last 20 years. I encourage you to go to the City's website and replay videos of Planning
Board meetings. You can fast fo1ward and choose any meetings just to get a flavor of his demeanor and
style of leadership. You can also go on line and research his tenure as Mayor and/or Decatur, IL. City
Council member. And if you have ti me and the desire, you can read about Erik and his stance on issues
by going to the website, below:

http://erikformarco.com/erik-brech11itz-experienced-leader/

Next up is candidate Victor Rios, the only incumbent running for Council in this e lection. Hopefully, all
of you are familiar with Victor and the job he has done for you as a City Counci l member. As a citizen
who follows the voting and statements by Council members VERY closely, I can tell you that there is not
a member on Council that has stood for lower taxes and to keep spending low, improved water quality,
density reduction and a better Marco island than Victor Rios. Please do NOT accept my word for it, do
your own research. Go the the City of Marco island website and watch videos of City Council
meetings. You can first look at the Agenda for a meeting and find a topic that you want to listen to what
Victor has to say about it. l might suggest the City Budget, Storm Water Ordinance, or Density Transfer
as subjects of interest. Victor is honest as the day is long. Please do the research and look into Victor as
a candidate of choice.

Then we have candidate Sam Young. Sam has served on the Marco Island Waterways Advisory
Committee for a couple of years. He has exhibited a sincere concern for the quality of the water in and
around Marco .Island. He was an active pa1ticipant in the development of the Marco Island Storm Water
Ordinance and has repeatedly expressed his concern for Marco Island taxpayers and the need to keep the
Mileage Rate at a low level.

I know that Sam is honest and a sincere candidate for City Council. I encourage you to watch meetings of
the Waterways Advisory Committee on the City website and evaluate Sam's comments and input. Please
do as much research as necessary to make up your mind about voting for Sam Young for City Council.

Next is candidate Jim Richards. Before the last Parks and Recreation Committee meeting I had never met
nor knew anything about Jim Richards. And today, the on ly thing I know about Jim is what you can hear
in the video, below. This website offers videos of al I the candidates and is a very good site to assist you
in learning about the candidates.

https://www. marcopol itics .com/ meet-the-candidates

. As you can observe, Jim Richards has a viewpoint of Marco Island that is out of touch with what the
majority of residents and voters want. A 6-7 million dollar parking garage that would serve the
businesses and off Island beach goers?? He, like Jerry Swiacki (next), is very pro-business and pro-
Chamber. The only other aspect to his candidacy that is relevant to this discussion is that he did his Meet
and Greets with Jerry Swiacki and seems to be connected at the hip to Jerry Swiacki on issues that affect
the taxpayers. Tax and Spend and pro-business (see below). Again, please do the research and make up
your own minds.

The last of the 5 (five) candidates is Jerry Swiacki. Mr. Swiacki ran for C ity Council in the last (2016)
election and received the second fewes~ votes. The reason, at that time, for his poor showing was that he
suppo1ted construction of a large hotel adjacent to, and patt of, Veteran' s Park. But that was not why he
lost. He lost because he subsequently changed that position when he d iscovered that is was
TREMENDOUSLY unpopular and ran ads and stated in Public that he never supported the Hotel (in
other words lied about it). Now Jerry Swiacki has accused me of " creating and editing all of the videos"

available to you all on the City website. I have also been accused of creating the marcopolitics.com
website.

The one thing you should all know is that r have been involved in Marco Politics for over 18 years an~
have always been honest ! ! I have offered Jerry Swiacki to take a Polygraph test, that I would pay for
where he would answer questions about his suppo11 for the Hotel and I would answer questions about the
creation and editing of videos and creation of the website. No word from his camp as of yet.

But facts are facts. Jerry Swiacki was Chairman of the PAC that sponsored the COPCN Initiative
(Ambulance). lf you did not see it when it was ongoing, perhaps you can see it now, in retrospect. This
was an effort by the Marco Chamber to increase business revenue and property values (by being able to
say to potential buyers "This is our City and we have our own Ambulance"). This combined with an
effort by our Fire Chief to increase his staff and build his "empire". Thank goodness Marco Island voters
were able to see through this and voted NOT to get rid of our great Ambulance service that we have now
!!!

The important thing for all voters to know is tlJat Jerry Swiacki has demonstrated that he is a tax and
spend type of candidate. He has lied on numerous occasions. You can look at City C,ouncil meeting
videos and see him, during Public Comments, state that he is NOT going to run for City Counci l again
(after his first defeat). And yet here he is running for Council a second time. His main support comes
from people that are members of the Chamber and people that support big business. He talks about
restoring "trust" in our City Counci I, but it is his supporters that are creating roadblocks and issues for the
very Council that he wants to be a part of. Please, do NOT take my word for it. Watch as many Council
meetings that it takes to convince you of the truth. You will see. And speaking of trust, Jerry Swiacki is
really Dr. Jerry Swiacki. And if you do the research you can really identify some real true trust issues as
they apply to Dr. Swiacki.

Also, keep up with the most recent developments regarding Jerry Swiacki and a ll the candidates at the
marcopolitics.corn website

https ://www.marcopolitics.com/ rneet-the-cand idates

You know, all we ask is for members of our City Council to be honest and to represent. our interests in the
best way possible. 1 once again implore each and eve1y one of you to do as much research and watch as
many videos on the candidates as possible. As we all know, words and talk are cheap when it comes to
Politics. What people say and do on camera cannot be taken back and reflects how ;i person really feels
about issues.

I have done my research and have concluded that Erik Brechnitz, Victor Rios and Sam Young are the
best 3 (three) candidates to represent the citizens of Marco Island for the issues important to our future.

Good Luck on your research and MOST IMPORTANTLY, please be sure and vote. And vote for 3
candidates, please

Thank you for this opportunity

Ed Issler

From: <marcoissues@aol.com>
Date: September 20, 2018 at 1:04:00 PM EDT
Subject: Candidates, Promises, Spending Positions and Veterans Community Park

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LEFT-HAND .
SIDE OF .
FILE
FLORIDA ELECTIONS COMMISSION
REVIEW OF COMPLAINT FOR LEGAL SUFFICIENCY

- - PRELIMINARY INFORMATION - -

Date Received: 12/20/18 Reviewer: Cole Case #: FEC 18-492 ~ ORIGINAL


0 AMENDED

Complainant: Regina L. Dayton J Respondent: Lawrence E. Honig

Complainant: Complainant is a resident of Marco Island, FL.

Respondent: Respondent is a member of the Marco Island City Council. He is in the middle ofhis second
and final term of office.

Backgr01and:

~ VIOLATIONS - -

Violations in comp,aint; §§104.061, 104.091, 104.271(2), 104.31(1)(a), 104.39, 104.41, 104.43,


106.03(c), 106.0703, 106.071(2), 106.143, 106.11, 106.i439(1), 106.19

Reviewer's violations: §§104.31(1)(a), 106.03(1)(a), 106.03(1)(b)l., 106.071(2), 106.143(l)(a),


106.1439(1), 106.19(l)(c)

Violations for CMS: §§104.3l(l)(a), 106.03(1)(a), 106.03(1)(b)1., 106.071(2), 106.143(1)(a),


106.1439(1), 106.19(1)(c)

~ COMPLAINT ISSUES.....-

1. Respondent's website, www.marcopolitics.com, violated one or more sections of the Election Code.

- - REVIEW OF COMPLAINT ISSUES--

1. Complainant essentially alleged that Respondent's. website, www.marcopolitics.com, violated one or more
sections of the Election Code. She listed several sections of the Code but noted, "I am a private citizen not
educated in election law;" she stated that she listed, "possible violations related to a political website known
as MarcoPolitics.com."

Complainant appears to take exception to political speech contained on www.marcopolitics.com.


Complainant's concern appears to stem from an article posted on 10/26/18 on the Coastal Breeze News, an
online publication. The article was titled, "UPDATED: Honig Revealed as Owner of Political Website."
The article claimed that Respondent owned the website at issue, which contained attacks on fellow City
Council members and candidates for City Council while supporting other candidates. The article on Coastal
Breeze News contained various screenshots purportedly lifted from www.marcopolitics.com. The purported
screenshots show that www.marcopolitics.com allegedly reprinted an article from.the Coastal Breeze News
titled, "Council Continues to Wrestle With Manager Search;" the article is redlined with commentary and
includes the heading, "FAKE NEWS EXPOSED." The Coastal Breeze News article reported on the City
Council's handling of the hiring process for the city manager. The redlined editorial contained political
analysis, fact checking, opinion, and name-calling; however, in my opinion, it did not include anything that
would amount to more than free political speech. The redlining was impossible to differentiate from the
article text on Complainant's copy, but I printed a color copy in which the redlining is distinguishable.

I
Coml00 (3/09)

Below the screen shot of the redlined article, there was a screenshot purportedly from "Domains by Proxy"
identifying Respondent as the registrant of the website, and what appeared to be screenshots of headlines
and the beginnings of other articles on www.marcopolitics.com. A few of the additional articles contained
text that attacked City Councilor Howard Reed, noted that Mr. Reed supported 2018 candidates Jim
Richards and Jerry Swiacki, and cast Mr. Richards and Mr. Swiacki in a negative light.

Complainant provided an undated email from Ed Issler commenting on City Council candidates and
providing a link to www.marcopolitics.com/meet-the-candidates, which is no longer active. Mr. Issler is
not the listed respondent. Complainant provided an email from Val Simon dated 12/05/18; Ms. Simon
appears to be a publisher of the Coastal Breeze News. In the email, she accused the website (presumably
www.marcopolitics.com) ofreprinting a Coastal Breeze News article without permission and asserted it is
a political website and needs a disclaimer. Complainant provided an email from info@eyeonmarco.com to
Complainant dated 12/03/18 containing a link to the Coastal Breeze News article discussed above.

This complaint is based on hearsay within hearsay. Complainant's sole evidence is a news article from an
online source that contains purported screen shots from the website at issue. I have checked the website at
issue, and the articles referenced in the screenshots do not appear to be on the site. Complainant has
presented no personal information or information other than·hearsay to support her complaint.

In response to the complaint, Respondent denied all allegations, breaking down his response to address
each of the statutes listed by Complainant in her complaint but providing little substantive detail other than
denials. Respondent acknowledged that he is solely responsible for the website at issue and is the only one
who provides its content. He did not outright admit that the article provided by Complainant was ever on
his website. Respondent asserted that there was no coordination with any candidate or campaign, and the
sole expense related to it was for website hosting. Respondent argued that the website is protected speech.

Complainant listed several sections of Chapters 104 and 106, F.S., at the beginning of her complaint
without specifically stating how any of them applied to her allegations. Respondent denied violating any
of them. However, this complaint is not based on personal information or information other than hearsay,
so it c·a nnot be the basis for a charge under any of the sections of law listed by Complainant. Nevertheless,
under reviewer's violations, I have listed some statutes that appear to represent the gist of Complainant's
allegations for tracking purposes only.

Legally Insufficient

---REVIEWER'S RECOMMENDATION A.NJ.> COMM:ENTS ~


I recommend the complaint is Legally Insufficient for the reasons set forth above.

~ W ~ COMPLAINT SWOiffi? ~
Complainant sworn to by the complaint on 12/12/ 18. The complaint was filed with the FEC on 12/20/18. The
notary is Jud Toth, the commission number is GG 268346, and commission expires on 1()/16/22 .
..
~ADDRESSES AND AsSIGNMENT~

Respond1,mt's Address: Compl•inant's Address:


Lawren~ E. Honig Regina L. Dayton

Assigned Investigator: I TDD


'

2
Com I00 (3/09)
:Qeviewer's Nc,tes: Respondent has not bad any other complaints filed against him with the FEC.

3
Com I00 (3/09)
UPDATED: Honig Reveal<" ·· Owner of Political Website I Coastal .-- '":Ze News Page 1 of 8

~------,...•.- , ~ - ......

Coastal BR EEl Enews


UPDATED: Honig Revealed as Owner
of Political Website
October 26, 2018

By Steve "Stef" Stefanides ·

For months now, Marco Island citizens have been inundated with vicious and
negative email attacks upon two of the city council candidates.

In addition to email attacks on these two candidates, an anonymous political


website was created. As a means of identification, the website stated, '.'We are a
group of Marco Island citizen watchdogs committed to anonymity, because we
have seen vocal citizens on all sides of issues get crushed and-retaliated against
by government officials, code enforcement, the political elite and the
establishment {MICA, the Chamber and the Realtors)."

Because the site republished copyrighted materials without permission, Coastal


Breeze News logged an official complaint with Domain by Proxy, the website
host.

When Domain by Proxy provided Coastal Breeze News with name of the
website's owner they learned that it was Larry Honig, a sitting Marco Island City
_ Councilor.

Also confirming this discovery, documents on the website, when downloaded


arid document elements reviewed, stated that the document's author was Larry

r--------- ----·- ----------


Honig.

Honig's Marco Politics website


contained attacks on his fellow
1
Councilors Howard Reed (referred
to as "a liar and a fraud"), Joe

https://www.coastalbreezenews.com/articles/honig-revealed-as-owner-of-political-website/ 3/8/2019
UPDATED: Honig Reveale~ wner of Political Website I Coastal W° News Page 2 of 8

Batte (called an "Angry, fake cop"),


and Bob Brown. mainly in relation
to their independent opinions on
council matters that differed from
Honig's. Attacks on private
citizens, such as Ray Seward who
spoke before the council, were
Councilor Larry Honig. File Photo also present on the website.
Seward was referred to as a
"crusty, nasty 'citizen'." The
website criticized Or. Kathleen Reynolds, a well-respected resident who
questioned the validity and purpose of a complaint against candidate Swiacki,
filed conveniently before the election.

Criticism of Coastal Breeze News (called "Fake News" and "Coastal Bullsh"'t
Snooze"), its owner and employees also appeared prominently on Honig's
website.

Hiding behind the anonymous website, Honig has also attacked Police Chief Al
Schettino and the Marco Island Police Department.

Most recently, Honig's website was used to support three candidates for city
council, to attack fellow city councilors, and to malign city employees.

Direct attacks on candidates Or. Jerry Swiacki and Jim Richards were made in a
clear effort to elect the other three candidates that are supported by the
clandestine Honig website.

Political websites may not be anonymous, according to Collier County Supervisor


of Elections. Potential violations of Florida Election Commission codes appear
numerous, including failure to provide disclosures.

Marco Island residents have consistently called for a return to a more civil
discourse from its elected officials, so the news of Honig's involvement and
ownership of the website is a disappointment to many.

The Marco Politics website was taken down, presumably once Honig discovered
that his identity as the owner had been revealed. Several screen shots of the
website are included for our readers to view.

https://www.coastalbreezenews.com/articles/honig-revealed-as-owner-of-political-website/ 3/8/2019
UPDATED: Honig Reveale.wner of Political Website I Coastal .ze News Page 3 of 8

UPDATED

Contrary to denials, Marco Island City Councilor Larry Honig appears to be


responsible for some of the content of the anonymous website Marco Politics,
which was taken down after allegations of copyright infringement were made by
Coastal Breeze News. Larry Honig's name was revealed as the website's owner
by Domains by Proxy. The anonymous political website contained insults of other
sitting councilors and private citizens.

According to a report, Honig does not deny owning the domain name, but has
denied contributing to the insulting, and often vicious, content. However,
documents appearing on the website indicate the author of said documents are
Larry Honig.

Coastal Breeze News is sharing the actual document downloaded from the
website as well as screenshots of the website, for transparency of the author.

Check back to coastalbreezenews.com for updates to this story.

FAKE NEWS EXPOSED


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https://www.coastalbreezenews.com/articles/honig-revealed-as-owner-of-political-website/ 3/8/2019
UPDATED: Honig Reveale- wner of Political Website / Coastal. ,.. News Page 4 of8

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https://www.coastaJbreezenews.com/articles/honig-revealed-as-owner-of-political-website/ 3/8/2019
UPDATED: Honig Reveal. wner of Political Website I Coastal. ze News Page 5 of 8

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UPDATED: Honig Reveale- wner of Political Website I Coastal. ze News Page 6 of 8

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https://www.coastalbreezenews.com/articles/honig-revealed-as-owner-of-political-website/ 3/8/2019
UPDATED: Honig Reveal- -wner of Political Website I Coastal. News Page 8 of 8

https://www.coastalbreezenews.com/articles/honig-revealed-as-owner-of-political-website/ 3/8/2019
Council Continues to Wrest. th Manager Search I CoastaJ Breeze. s Page 1 of 5

----.......,___
Coastal BR EEZ E news
Council Continues to Wrestle With
Manager Search
October 72, 20 78

By Steve "Stef" Stefanides

Since February of
2017, the City of
Marco Island has
been without a
permanent city
manager to replace
former manager
Roger Hernstadt.
Hernstadt had come
Josh Gruber, former city manager candidate from South Carolina. I Photos by
to the city with Steve Stefanldes
extensive municipal
experience on the
east coast of Florida, having served in various roles within Miami Dade County
and the City of Miami. Prior to coming to Marco Island, Hernstadt had served four
years as the City Manager of Marathon, Florida. The City Council burned through
two prominent city manager consulting firms and hundreds of applicants while
completing that recruitment with city staff.

The election of 2016 brought forward a slate of four candidates, led by


incumbent City Councilor Larry Honig who was running for a second and final
four-year term. He joined with newcomers Charlette Roman, Howard Reed and
Jared Grifoni. They ran as a block and campaigned for change.

At the first meeting in February of 201 7 Hernstadt tended his resignation with a
provision that he would stay on until J uly of 2017 to help facilitate the transition.

https://www.coastalbreezenews.com/articles/council-continues-to-wrestle-with-manager-se... 3/1 1/2019


Council Continues to Wrest - t h Manager Search I Coastal Breeze. s Page 2 of 5

The council chose to accept his resignation immediately, which triggered a


substantial payout to Hernstadt as provided for in his contract.

Many were shocked at the council's actions, which brought forward a loud outcry
from the community in protest.

Council moved forward and hired the Mercer Group to search for a new city
manager. Those efforts resulted in what many think was an embarrassing first
try. That brought forward what had some citizens believing was a pre-arranged
deal to hire a young man from Beaufort County, South Carolina who had been
serving as the Assistant County Manager.

One scene involved an uncomfortable incident when Vice-Chairman Grifoni


stepped down from the dais, strode to the podium and proceeded to attack the
credibility of several candidates who were vying for finalist positions. Council
Chair Honig also exhibited a considerable angst towards one candidate that
caused many to question his motives and worried it may have exposed the city to
liability for some of his comments.

The entire ordeal ended in an embarrassment for the council as they could only
muster three votes out of the required five to hire. Only Honig, Grifoni and Rios
voted to hire the now tainted final candidate left standing. Subsequently, the
South Carolinian was also passed over as County Manager in his home county.

This also resulted in an embarrassing exchange between Chairman Honig and


the Mercer representative after the failed vote; that exchange saw Mercer
walking away from the process due to that incident. It required an intervention by
several people to have Mercer agree to come back to the table and re-engage in
the search process.

https://www.coastalbreezenews.com/articles/council-continues-to-wrestle-with-manager-se... 3/11/2019
Council Continues to Wrest-th M~ager Search I Coastal Breeze. s Page 3 of 5

WO Higginbotham of the Mercer Group.


Niblock Debacle

Mercer brought back another group of finalists in the fall of 2017 and council
focused on hiring Dr. Lee Niblock from Alachua County, Florida. Niblock had been
terminated from his position in Alachua only 45 days previously.

Niblock's tenure would only last three months because council terminated him
for cause due to violations of ICMA ethical standards as well as unresolved
charges being brought against him for first-degree misdemeanor battery for
unwanted advances against Marco Island Academy's principal.

Following Niblock's termination, council then flirted with the idea of conducting
their own search, but could not reach a consensus. Ongoing concerns arose out
of that incident regarding councilors' involvement and what some saw as an
attempt to mediate a resolve to the issue which would have resulted in Niblock
maintaining his position.

As a result, a subsequent vote of "No Confidence• was passed concerning the


actions of Chairman Jared Grifoni, the first such vote ever undertaken since
. creation of the city.

Polanco Continues in His Role as Interim


\

For 19 months now, the city's finance director, Gil Polanco, has served in the role
of interim manager. This is not his first time in that position, having served after
the planned resignation of then-City Manager Jim Riviere prior to the hiring of
Hernstadt.

Polanco has agreed to stay in that position until council can find a suitable
candidate, but has not desired to take the position on a permanent basis.

Latest Attempts Fall To Resolve Open Position .

Late this summer Councilor Charlette Roman suggested that the city engage with
the Florida Ci~ and County Management Association {FCCMA) to utilize the
services of their Senior Managers' Program to help assist in finding an interim
manager, one in transition that could take the role and help guide them to finding
a permanent manager, while handling the role of manager for the next six to 12
months and allow for a cooling off period.

https://www.coastalbreezenews.com/articles/council-continues-to-wrestle-with-manager-se... 3/11/2019
Council Continues to Wrest.th Manager Search I Coastal Breeze. s Page 4 of 5

Ken Parl<er, who represented that group, provided the council with guidanc·e to do
just that, but in his words they proc~e~ed with a "hybrid" style of process, which
ended up bringing forth potential candidates for both the permanent and interim
positions.

For the last several months Councilor Howard Reed has attempted to convince
his colleagues on council that they should be looking to concentrate their efforts
on hiring a permanent replacement to fill the vacant position of Marco Island City
Manager after the November election .

. Some would question whether it was a wise choice, given the fact that a new
election was looming on the horizon and three seats would be filled for the
seven-person board. The present council had ·struggled for almost 19 months.

Two weeks ago council met with Maria Menendez from Coral Gables and James
Hock of Michigan, both of which have extensive municipal management
experience. Council would interview the last candidate of the three finalists on
October 4, after a day of private one-on-one conversations with David Harden.

Reed consistently voiced his displeasure with the process early on, especially
with the method which would involve an open ended private negotiation
regarding contract details held between only the chairman and the successful
candidate, if one was to be chosen.

Details have begun to emerge regarding the closed-door negotiations with Dr . .


Lee Niblock. It appeared Niblock strong-armed Chairman Jared Grifoni and got a
better deal from council than had been originally agreed upon after those
negotiations went into a closed-door meeting with Chairman Grifoni and city
attorney Alan Gabriel. At a previous council meeting, Reed displayed a chart
showing the difference between what was originally voted upon and what was
finally agreed to in those private negotiations.

After failing to reach the requisite super majority vote of five to hire a manager
based upon the requirements of the City Charter, both councilors Honig and
Grifoni questioned Reed's motives for his vote on the issue. Councilors Honig
and Roman have been critical of Polanco in the past and their desires to find a
replacement, whether temporary or permanent, have been well known.

Councilor Joe Batte came to Reed's defense at least twice when Chairman
Grifoni repeatedly asked Reed to justify his vote. "Mr. Chairman I've sat here for

https://www.coastalbreezenews.com/articles/council-continues-to-wrestle-with-manager-se... 3/11/2019
Council Continues to Wr~st.th Manage~ Search I Coastal Breeze.s . . Page 5 of 5

two years and never once questioned your motives or reasons for your votes.
You are badgering Councilor Reed." ·.

"I believe we have failed for numerous reasons to not accomplish the goal of
hiring a manager of excellence," said Reed, and he would later list off a litany of
reasons he felt they as a group had failed.

Since that meeting, an orchestrated social media and email campaign has been
launched against Reed, in addition to Councilors Joe Batte and Bob Brown.
Brown was absent from the meeting due to a medical matter. Neither he nor
Batte will be returning to council in November.

"We are less than a month from seating a council which will comprise three new
members. I think they have a right to be part of this process. To saddle them with ·
another failed choice to lead the city would be wrong. They have a right to have a
clean slate and move forward to find the right candidate for the job, without
interference from us. They are the group that will be working with the individual
for the next several years," said Batte in an interview.

It is unclear whether Reed will stand strong or relent from his position when
council meets again on October 15 in chambers at 5:30 PM.

https://www.coastalbreezenews.com/articles/council-continues-to-wrestle-with-manager-se... 3/11/2019
• •
Marco Politics · Page 1 of 1

MARCO POLITICS
Marco Concerned Citizens News & Clips Old But Fun! . About Us

WhoWelre
Marco Concerned Citizens are part of the community
acting to Improve municipal government. We will use
video clips from public government meetings, and we
will fact-check municipal polltlclans and employees
who act deceptively. We choose to remain anonymous,
because we have seen our fellow citizens who try to
speak out against government targeted by the police
department, the code enforcement department, the
parks department, and the growth management Alexen der Hamllton, writing anonymou.sry es 1)ubllus• tn Federldl.st Peper 1.
department. fnslsted that keeping one' s Identity conce11ted can force readers to focvs on the
queltty of the argument. He also questfoned ~trther socleUes ore fealty cepeble or
not of establlsNng good government from ,eflectloo and choice, or whether they ere
fwever destined to depend for ttietr polldc:el constitutions on accfdent and force:

Click here to send us news or comments: marcopolitics@gmail.com

© 2018 by Marco Concerned Citizens

https://www.marcopolitics.com/copy-of-news-clips-2 3/11/2019
Marco Politics

• Page 2 of 5

© 2018 by Marco Concerned Citizens

https://~.marcopolitics.com/ 3/11/2019

Marco Politics Page 3 of 5

MARCO POllTICS
Marco Concerned Citizens I News & Clips Old But Fun! About Us

https://www.marcopolitics.com/ 3/11/2019
Marco Politics


$65,000 and coununu tor con sex
• Page 4 of 5

Marco Island Police Chief Al Schettlno refuses to Investigate what his "honest cops" allege, such
Cop sex, no problem

as sex on duty. Now we have one more example of Chief Schettlno's "boys" engaging In sex on
duty, and racking up tens of thousands of dollars In City money for attorneys' fees.

Howard Reed's paranoia


Howard Reed accuses unnamed City Councilors of engaging In
back-channel communications (Illegal under Florida's sunshine
laws) and demanding that the City Manager fire certain City
employees. There Is of course no basis for this allegatlon. Watch
Jared Grlfonl call him out.

lers meet the new cnv councilonl


New Chairman Erill Brechnlb on Ille "lone" 01 env Council
Erik Brechnltz held his thoughts for most of the meeting, but he
said that "about halfway through" things turned south. This Is
true leadership (and guts), plus he did It In a nice way. Maybe It
wllltake.

NewlV elected Sam Young -enthusiastic to malle an impact ...


Sam Young wasted no time leaping to fulfill a campaign pledge
to hire a new City Manager.

https://www.marcopolitics.com/ 3/11/2019

Marco Politics Page 5 of 5

... and unceremonlouslV trashed bv·Howard Reed


Sam Young made the mistake of asking questions
about a new toy the Director of Public Works
requested. Howard Reed wasted no time trying to shut
him down, as always putting City staff's egos above
accountablllty for Marco Island taxpayers.

https://www.marcopolitics.com/ 3/11/2019
• •
Marco Politics Page 1 of 1

MARCO POllTICS
Marco Concerned Citizens News & Clips Old But fun! About Us

Truth and 1mearnv compromised


Watch this cllp to see Howard Reed argue that the tax rate
should be higher than Council told the state It would be. Watch
cltlzen-.actlvlst Keith Flaugh call him out for lack of Integrity.

Marco cops refuse to Investigate themselVes


: Emplo.,.. Survey Cop Cover-Up

>
Larry Honie , ummarl""• what offlcera ore Bully Police Chief call, Honig a liar for °Follow..,p, minu, cop por1•
aoylng about convpllon In o public 1urvey accurately reporting the Police aurvey

10% of the Marco Island Police


Department has resigned or Is under CLICK on these buttons to
read •Marco Eagle• anlcles
Investigation for having participated
In sex crimes against citizens.

Stall wams cnv Hall in Iha parll


No one seems to want Veterans Community Park to remain a
park! Former City Manager Roger Hernstadt first tried to fool
Sen. Kathleen Passldomo Into helping pay for a fake Veteran's
•room• In a city building In the park. When that falled, he tried to
cram down a secret developer plan for a hotel In the park.

Watch as the current Director of Community Affairs says he


wants City Hall In the park, with a g rand office for himself.
Looking on Is Samantha Malloy, Manager of Parks, Recreation &
Culture, who has citizens arrested for helping to remove weeds
from around Mackle Lake.

® 2018 by Marco Concerned Citizens

https://www.marcopolitics.com/copy-of-news-clips 3/11/2019
• •
Error Page 1 of 1

------

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PAGE NOT FOUND


We looked everywhere for this page.
Are you sure··the website URL is correct?
Get in touch with the site owner.

( Go RAr.k HomA)

https://www.marcopo1itics.com/meet-the-candidates 3/11/2019
2018 City Council Candidat-ty of Marco Island

City Manager Search


• Page 1 of 3

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Search

EXECUTIVE

2018 City Council Candidates

Victor Rios

Erik Brechnitz

Sam Young

Jerry Swiacki

Jim Richards

https://www.cityofmarcoisland.com/executive/page/2018-city-council-candidates 3/ 11/2019
Election 2018 Florida: Brechnitz, Y , Rios win Marco council seats Page 1 of3

Marco voters send two newcomers, incumbent to City


Council
Lance Sbeartr, Cornspondaat Published 10·17 pm ET Nov 6, 2018 Upd•ted 4: 15 a.m. ET No>'. 7, 2018

Marco Island voters elected two newcomers and re-elected one Incumbent to the Marco Island City Council.

Newcomers Eric Brechnltz, chairman of the city's planning board and former mayor in Illinois, joins Sam Young.
Incumbent Victor Rios, who appointed Young to the city's Waterways Advisory Committee, won re-election.

Brechnitz won the non-partisan contest by a wide margin, taking 5,864 votes, or 25 percent of the total. Young
polled second, with 5,108 votes, or 22 percent. Rios took third, with 4,414 votes, or 19 percent. Each voter was
(Photo: Lance
Sllearer/CorrespondenQ able to make three selections The top three vot.e-getters won office.

The race for third was tight, with just 1 percent separating third, fourth and fifth place in the polling. Brechnitz,
Young and Rios all named finding a city manager as their first priority, with safeguarding the island's water quality a close second.

•1 said If I win, I'm going to demand a recount: quipped Brechnltz

Election results: Florida and Collier winners in the Nov. 6 midterm election C/story/news/politics/elections/2018/11 /06telection-day-2018-ftorida-results-
naples-colller-midterm/18943430021)

Live election database:Collier County and Florida results fhttos:lfdata.naplesnews.corntelectlon-results{)

Said Young, when asked about his priorities: "All the things I promised -waterways, city manager, fiscal responsibility, open and accountable
government."

Rios said his emphasis was "to finish what I started." noting that as an incumbent, ·au the arguments - I gel blamed."
8 free articles left. Only $9.99 per month.
A number of Brechnitz succorters bounced from his watch cartv at Hldeawav Beach Club lo Rios' ael toaether at Stonewalls Tavern. lncludlno Youna.
https://www.naplesnews.com/story/news/politics/elections/2018/11/06/election-2018-florida-brechnitz-y... 3/11/2019

Election 2018 Florida: Brechnitz, Y. , Rios win Marco council seats Page 2 of3
wno appeareo at oom venues.

The two remaining and unsuccessful candidates, Or. Jerry Sw,ackl and Jim Richards, ran their campaigns in tandem to some degree, and were
considered a "slate• by many, with their yard signs typically appeanng side by side on the island's streets.
AOVERl IHMtNT

Swlacki, a retired surgeon, served as chairman of the city's Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and the Our Cities, Our Ambulance committee
that campaigned unsuccessfully for independent ambulance service for Marco Island.

"The voters of Marco Island have spoken, and chosen the council they want I hope It does a good job for them,· said Swiacki after the results were
posted

More: Collier voters tum out In 'historic' numbers for 2018 midterm elections Ostory/newstoolitlcs/electlons/2018/11/06/election-2018•florida-comer-voter-
tumout•skyrockets/18612930021)

More: Election Dav 201 a:Precincts see steady stream of voters: follow our coverage of the midterm election In Collier County
Ostory/news/oolitics/elections/2018/11106/election-day-2018-llve-coverage-florlda-mldterm-elec:tion-collier-county/1 8964790021)

Richards said, "Of course, I wish I would have won I think I could have been a big help. Hopefully the city made the right choices."

He Is a political newcomer, but known for philanthropic and volunteer activities on the island for groups including the American Cancer Society and the
Marco Island Center for the Arts He served as an executive In the health care financial sector.

Marco's City Council has been d ivided and ridiculed for their long-running Inability to hire and keep a permanent city manager, and this was at the top of
many of the candidates' lists of the first issue they would move to tackle if elected.

Incumbent Councilor Joe Batte is term-limited, and councilors Larry Honig, Chariett.e Roman, Howard Reed and Chairman Jared Grifonl are not up for re-
election. Councilor Bob Brown was up for re-election, but chose not to run again.

Election season proved rancorous on Marco Island, with charges of campaign finance violations leveled against Swiacki and Richards, and a website that
had been leveling harsh anonymous criticisms against council members and others revealed to be owned by Honig, although he denied authorship of the
critical screeds.

Along with hiring and keeping a city manager, a poll conducted by the Florida Citizens· Alliance among Marco Island residents found islanders' top
concerns were water quality, growth and density, and keeping Veterans Community Park open.

Read or Share this story: https://www.napiesnews.com/story/news/politics/elections/2018/11 /06/election-2018-florida-brechnitz-young-rios-win-marco-


council-seats/1862054002/

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City Council I City of Marco.


d Page 4 of 6

in Greek, minored in music and graduated with


honors. I was accepted at Grace Theological
Seminary where I earned a Master of Divinity
degree and a Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling degree. My education
prepared me to effectively navigate the personal and professional relationships
that would define the rest of my life. However, my aptitude in science and
engineering would direct the course of my career.

Read more

Councilor Jared Grifoni


Term: November 2016 - November 2020

Email : jgrifoni@marcocitycouncil.com

Jared moved to Marco Island in 2007 and is a full-


time resident and homeowner. He lives with his
wife, Elsa, and their three children, Calvin, Tosca
and Lorenzo. They love living in Marco Island and
enjoy gardening, boating, going to the beach,
attending art and music shows and other community events on the island.

Read more

Councilor Larry Honig


Term: November 2012 - November 2020

Email : lhonig@marcocitycouncil.com

Larry Honig has extensive experience in


streamlining operations and delivering superior
returns for businesses in high-growth, turnaround,
and start-up environments and has led operations
for some of the biggest names in the retail
industry. Hallmarks of his business career include service as Chairman, CEO,
CIO, and other senior executive positions in which Larry focused on -

Read more

Councilor Sam Young

https://www.cityofmarcoisland.com/citycouncil 3/11/2019
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&J~ue(~
C~ecklist folentifying Technical Deficien,tin Complaints
Rule 28-1.0025
**If any of the following information is incorrect or missing upon receipt of a new complaint,
_ DO NOT open a case in CMS. Instead, process in accordance with Rule 28-1.0025. **
1
G1l Complaint is filed on Form 1 . .

ra" All information required by Form 1 is provided


lil' Only one Respondent is named

~ Complainant's name is included (not "Anonymous")

cl" All exhibits and attachments referenced in the complaint are attached
rJ~ If multiple complaints are submitted, separate copies of exhibits and attachments are attached .
for EACH complaint

li1 Complaint includes an original signature


I Notary is proper:

~ Includes the venue stating the location of the notarization in the format, "State of
Florida, County of ."

ii Includes an oath or an acknowledgment, evidenced by the words "sworn" or


"acknowledged."

~ States that the signer personally appeared before the notary public at the time of the
notarization.

ii Includes the exact date of the notarial act.


8 Includes the name of the person whose signature is being notarized.
10' Specifies the specific type of identification the notary public is relying upon in
identifying the signer, either based on personal knowledge or satisfa~ory evidence (e.g.,
drivers license).

' Includes the notary's official signature.


~ Includes the notary's name, typed, printed, or stamped below the signature.
~ Includes the notary's official seal affixed below or to either side of the notary's
signature.

J Alleging violation of Section 104.271(2), Florida Statutes


ii Box was·checked, b~t no allegation of this statut~ was made CoM.pla...iV\.ttt\.-t i V\.O+- R.-(.spov0.Mt;
'i>

Jq. Alleging violation of Section 104.2715, Florida Statutes tippol'\.U'\.-t - E:x-P ~t- o,..ppLico..bLe.

~ Box was.checked, but no allegation of this statute was made

Last revised on: 5/9/18 M-D


Initials Date