This is the most in-depth piece of journalism from the Post regarding Dave Aronberg and his race to become your next State Attorney. It all started because Mike McAuliffe refused to speak with Marty O’Boyle for 15 minutes. You’re not the only one Marty. Many people complained that Mike accepted your money, but when you wanted to speak with him, the door was closed.
The line “We need a new state attorney” was coined by yours truly on this humble blog before it became cool to bash McCauliffe. Around April of 2011. I do not jump to any conclusions about assessing the truth of everything in the article. However, many of the things Dave allegedly did do not seem illegal. If he is not yet a candidate, the rules are different. There is big money behind every successful politician. This race is no different. If you think that this kind of stuff doesn’t go on in virtually every political race in the country, I have some oceanfront property in Arizona I’d like to sell you.
Let’s look at a couple of ‘em:
McAuliffe has the lowest conviction rates in Florida. True statement.
One theme Aronberg thought would resonate: conviction rates. State statistics showed McAuliffe’s office had the lowest rates in Florida. After McAuliffe resigned, those rates would be deemed statistical aberrations by his replacement, Peter Antonacci. Months earlier, however, the issue looked like campaign gold.
Aronberg asked O’Boyle and DeMartini to place an ad in the Jewish Journal. The weekly newspaper targets a crucial Palm Beach County voting bloc — and one that’s personal to both Aronberg and McAuliffe, who are Jewish.
Aronberg provided the ad and emailed DeMartini contact information for a Jewish Journal ad executive. It ran Dec. 14 and cost O’Boyle $3,400. In bold letters, it proclaimed: “Michael McAuliffe is Florida’s Lowest Ranked State Attorney.”
An imposing chart compared Palm Beach County’s conviction rates with top-ranked Pinellas County and the much higher state average. Across the bottom, it said, “We need a new state attorney!”
That last sentence sounds familiar.
Protests paid for by Marty O’Boyle , the plane flying with a sign over the State Attorney’s Office, video ad on facebook, etc.- Dave wasn’t a candidate yet. Big deal. Kinda cheesy that the “protestors” were paid actors, but not illegal. Also, the ads didn’t advocate for a particular candidate or issue.
Donations aren’t donations until you file.
The Post further reported:
Almost a year before, one of Aronberg’s friends, Melissa McKinlay, had filed an ethics complaint against McAuliffe. McKinlay, an aide to Palm Beach County’s legislative delegation, accused McAuliffe of following her out of a meeting and threatening her in the parking lot. “He then told me I had better be careful about who I spent time with,” she wrote. He had seen her talking to Mike Edmondson, a former McAuliffe aide who left after a falling-out.
The Florida Commission on Ethics found no cause for the complaint. But McKinlay told Aronberg about it, and in September he asked her for a copy. She didn’t have one, so Aronberg and O’Boyle picked up the file during their October trip to Tallahassee.
Later that month, McKinlay was called for jury duty. She told Palm Beach County Circuit Judge John Kastrenakes she could not serve. The exchange was captured on video. “I was threatened by the state attorney,” McKinlay said to a stunned Kastrenakes.
In an interview with The Post, McKinlay said she didn’t know she was being videotaped. But she said she told Aronberg about the exchange with Kastrenakes. Edmondson, who was helping Aronberg’s furtive campaign, obtained a copy of the video, court records show.
I have reliable information regarding McKinlay’s allegations that Mike threatened her were in fact true.
McAuliffe is gone – in part because of the attacks. Who knows why he really resigned. The good news is Mike is gone. If Dave had any part in that, I thank him.
Told so by The Post, McAuliffe chuckled. The attacks, he said, didn’t force him out. But the “prospect of an insurgent primary campaign … made me more open to alternatives.” Without the attacks, “I might never have opened the door” to private – sector opportunities at that point, he said.
When asked about what Dave would do about the DUI charge, he said he would pass it along to a line asa. No quid pro quo there. Allegedly, Dave thought Marty was wired.
When clients walk into my office for a conference, I assume they are wired. I have a friend who was a successful criminal lawyer in the 70s and 80s. He successfully helped mob clients. The feds wanted him. They sent in somebody to try and set him up. The putative client asked “I want to know how to run some girls out of the back of my club and get away with it.” The lawyer told him “You shouldn’t do it. That’s illegal. Now get the hell out of my office.” A couple of other lawyers in town were dumb enough to take the bait. They, of course, got disbarred and went to prison.
Mike is gone. Whoever wins the State Attorney’s race will be better than Mike.