Wednesday, December 31, 2008
TheRadikal.com endorses Sen. Benjamin Dictor for the upcoming Orange & Blue Party Convention. The independent movement is on the brink, more students are voting than ever before, and for the first time in a long time, the Independents are in a position to topple the FBK/Greek establishment all on their own merits.
Sen. Dictor, including loyal lieutenants like Sen. Dave Schneider & activist Justin Wooten, have the ability to bring in entirely new civic, social, and political organizations to further replenish the movement's exhausted reserves.
The Orange & Blue Party is also an organization largely in need of new management. With the election of Donte Hargrove and the holding of a real party primary this upcoming spring, many are optimistic. The party under Sen. Sam Miorelli pushed the card unlike any party in the movement. Miorelli set the stage for the major spring battles of 2009 & 2010. 'The Machine' & Greek-dominated rule at UF will be phased out for good.
Under Dictor, I see the traditional subservience of SG to the elements of Machen's bureaucratic apparatus fading away. I see sit-downs, I see rallies, I see, I feel, REVOLUTION!
II. Senate Watch
Another major effort marking this day has been the planning efforts of a major observation of the UF Student Senate. Any attempt at using the UF Student Body to further Zionist political objectives will be met with decisive grassroots action. An open letter to prominent UF activists & top-level alumni was sent out moments ago.
Please pray for Gaza, even if you don't believe in God, please at least hope. See you in 2009.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
12:20 Miorelli says voting members include former party officers in bylaws, and again at 14:20
16:10 Bennett asks why Progress Party members can vote. Debate ensues about who can vote 'current party officers and senators vs. officers, senators, and previous party members'
17:20 Laugh track.
21:00 Vote on weather or not to end debate on voting members. Trimbolli abstains from vote. 9-8 Fails
Debate on whether or not to have elections.
22:00 Yanuk asks where is the smear campaign.
22:30 Bennett mentions information from a member of the cabal.
24:00 Neiderriter steps forward to comment on the cabal and the smear campaign.
24:50 Gillespy comments on time for debate.
25:50 Hargrove: "The bylaws will do you no good if there is no party."
27:33 Dictor gives the reasons for having elections.
30:27 Schneider: "a great deception on the part of this leadership"
31:00 Gillespy "I joined this party because I trusted that it wasn't the Gator party"
33:18 Dictor on Chutzpah
34:43 Gersten on group therapy.
35:55 Yanuk: "There's something to be said for people having done the job for years"
37:00 Vote on adding elections: Passes unanimously 18-0
37:50 Public comment
38:35 Eric Conrad on joining the movement, wanting to help out, but now questioning the structure of the system
40:30 Yevkin __ on arrogance and unity
40:58 ?? ?? on excitement and disappointment, "schisms should exist"
43:53 Gersten on staying unaffiliated, and future of the movement with people who's voices aren't heard now
46:18 Hargrove on the differences between the Gator Party and O&B, being an open party, and voting member standards changing
49:00 Tannenbaum on the contrast between the majority opinion versus the leadership's opinion and the voting process
50:10 Adriana on helping O&B and respect for one another
52:00 Bylaws: Members at Large, Robert's Rules, Party Council positions
1:07:30 Article 3 - Party Committee Chair discussion: Passes
1:20:15 Article 4 - Recognizing Progress Party Seniority
1:21:20 Miorelli: "Seniority trumps everything" and again at 1:21:40
1:22:30 Dictor on meritocracy vs patronage
1:31:25 Bendix on merit of Neiderreiter and Trimbolli, "...we're going to question that they don't have a right to any of this? How much money have Josh and Joe Trimbolli put into this party? And we're going to say they have no merit?"
1:32:45 Hargrove on what we were told at IHOP, "Now you're gonna tell me that two hard workers get a vote, but the rest of the hard workers don't? You gotta be out of your fucking mind!"
1:35:00 Ossip reads the names of the cabal provided by Neidereitter
1:36:00 Neiderreiter responds.
1:37:30 Miorelli: "recognizes seniority"
1:38:30 Gray on short sightedness
1:39:50 Tannenbaum on a mechanism for inclusion
Gersten on money and shifting direction
1:41:45 Article 4 fails (McShera and Benedix abstain) 5-12
1:43:30 Election of Officers
1:45:50 Neiderreiter gives his speech.
1:49:00 Hargrove gives his speech.
1:54:15 Neiderrieter: "I will continue to have meetings, cause I have to tell you what happened to me in the Pants Party. I would always be asking what the hell's going on with this party. I would be screaming at Sam over AIM, 'What was going on? I have no idea what's going on.' And I think one of the things the Orange and Blue Party has done well in the campaigns is have a lot of meetings and tell everyone what's going on." and 1:58:20 "I don't want people to feel left out, I've been there before"
2:06:20 Huey offers to give anyone the exec thread contents
2:12:30 Dictor on Hargrove and The Cabal Text Messages between him and Braco, The Leadership: "It is not the party's choice who runs under the O&B"
Braco responds: populous vs qualifications
Neidereitter responds, "The Leadership does not just refer to the cabal."
2:23:20 Miorelli on qualifications of the candidates and requirements of the office
2:27:00 Gillespy on the principles and values of the party
2:29:10 Gray on behavioral problems of the candidates
2:33:00 Ossip asks to continue the meeting, and is met with resistance
2:35:15 Student Body President nominations
2:35:30 Gillespy nominates McShera
2:35:45 Bennett nominates Dictor
2:37:10 Hargove wins 10-7
2:37:34 Dictor accepts nomination
Meeting is adjourned
Friday, December 26, 2008
TheRadiKaL: Please tell us about yourself. When did you arrive at UF, what year are you, what major, and what organizations you initially got involved with at UF.
Senator Benjamin Dictor:
Political Science Major
European Union Studies Minor
I came to UF as a transfer student in the spring of 2007. The first group I got involved with was the Industrial Workers of the World through the Civic Media Center. Through the IWW I was introduced to many of the organizers of other organizations and we began to organize the University of Florida Progressive Caucus. It was more or less an umbrella organization for many of the progressive organizations, on and off campus. It is a shame that the Caucus has, as of late, been inactive with the transition of many of the leaders of the organizations and my involvement in the Senate. I am in the process of jumpstarting the Caucus again under new, less senior leadership that will ensure its continued existence.
I am also serving my second term as the Vice President of the Political Science Honor Society.
TheRaDiKaL: How did you come to learn of Student Government. Share with us your journey from beginning to present. What obstacles did you meet along the way?
Senator Benjamin Dictor: I voted in the Fall 2007 election for the Progress Party having never met anyone from the organization throughout the entire month of campaigning. They were essentially invisible to the average student; huddled behind their tables in Turlington and the Reitz. After I voted, I finally met Ben Cavataro and a number of other Progress Party people behind their table on the colonnade. I inquired as to their ground strategy and organizing efforts only to find that the organization was so small, the network so limited and the strategy so defeatist that their ground game was essentially developing a mythos in contrast to the Greek party and assuming the average student cared.
I started meeting with Sam, Ben, Mark, Tommy and a few other members of the Old Guard at Maudes on a weekly basis and brought various members of progressive organizations to the meetings to help me evaluate the situation and get them involved. The purpose of these meetings was, at the time, discussing Online Voting as it had not yet been struck down by the Court. Joe Richard and I brought along Charlie Gapskie to one particular meeting where he stressed the importance of classical political organizing.
What these meetings accomplished for the independent party
movement was making a much needed connection with the progressive community and making us feel like we had a stake in the outcome of the student government elections. While some members of the then Progress Party surely wanted to be that connection for these organizations, others appear now in hindsight to have seen the progressive community solely as a means to an end.
This period of time gave me the opportunity to reach out to these organizations for slating and volunteers in the Spring. This was an incredibly important aspect of the Orange and Blue party's success. Although only a few of us ran in winning seats, almost our entire ground game was comprised of members of progressive organizations. Where the Greeks use unwilling and unmotivated pledge classes to hand out fliers, we brought a dedicated and experienced group of activists to the independent party, the majority of whom were not even slated but simply wanted to see the mission succeed. We would not have won a single seat without their dedication and tireless work. I would not be in the Senate if it was not for their hard work and I will never forget that. If it wasn't for their boots on the ground, it would have been bodies behind the table just as it was for the Progress Party.
The last day of campaigning brought a sight that I imagine many independent parties have never seen; the orange shirts far outnumbered the blue Gator Party Shirts in Turlington by the end of the day. We were beyond a political party at this point. Simply put, we had inspired and organized a movement. I'll never forget Tommy Jardon's amazement at the number of people we were able to organize; he was truly astonished. To this day, however, Will Foster and others criticize my conceptualization of what we do as a 'movement' and ridicule the notion of mass politics that has been key to our success.
theRadikal: Talk to us about that historic Fall 2008 campaign when an independent party, sans of any official Greek or Multi-Cultural support, split District D, split the on-campus vote, and nearly took District C. Indie Students and Alums will celebrate this monumental campaign for years to come.
Senator Benjamin Dictor: Fall 2008 was in many ways simply a continuation of the strategy used in Spring 2008. On the first week we were able to campaign, I invited everyone out to the Lakeside residence hall for on-the-job-training in how to phone-bank and campaign. 20 or so volunteers and candidates came out. I sat down with Gary Benedix, our Lakeside candidate, and his roommates and explained that if they simply spent time outside the laundry facilities and common areas collecting names and emails of supporters, the election could be won handedly. In spite of the criticism I received for from the old guard for spending time and energy at Lakeside (presumed by them to be a lost cause) Gary did win and by some of the widest margins of the election.
I never wavered on my certainty that we would win Lakeside and other residence halls if we simply stopped relying solely on the Alligator to print stories in our favor and became our own best advocates on the ground. This is how I became acquainted with Dave Schneider (the only person who slated from Rawlings) who immediately impressed me with his conviction and dedication to winning. Everyone in our party told him from the day he slated forward that Rawlings was a lost cause and that he had no chance whatsoever of winning. Dave refused to give in to the cynicism and defeatism that had become a hallmark of the independent party, staying up until 3am with me spray painting campaign signs on the back porch of the CMC. Dave, ever the organizer himself, put together a fantastic team of volunteers in his residence hall and put up one hell of a fight. Needless to say, against all odds, Dave was successful and has been a fantastic addition to the Senate.
Off campus, our District A and B candidates were as dedicated as those who actually had a chance to win. While A and B encompass frat and sorority row, and are therefore near impossible, many progressive activists along with others went door-to-door and simply refused to give in. Our C and D candidates did the same and the results of the election show the effectiveness of boots on the ground as opposed to the classic strategy of bodies behind the table. Alden Gillespy, Donte Hargrove and so many others were relentless in their campaigning.
El--RadiKal: Once elected, what was your take on concessions that included a 'civil first meeting' to ensure the confirmation of senior senator Ben Cavatero (Hume)? Were you fearful of future 'concessions?'
Senator Benjamin Dictor: Cavataro is an absolutely essential part of the Orange and Blue Party. That being said, the last line of the Billy Bragg version of the Internationale is "Though they offer us concessions, change will not come from above."
TheRADIKAL: Describe to us the overall mutual cooperation and overall Party' coordination of Orange & Blue senators in chambers. What would you say was the term's high and low points, & why?
Senator Benjamin Dictor: There is very little coordination.
High Points: 1. Getting over three and a half hours of public debate from progressive organizations to speak out against the elimination of minority party rights. 2. Getting enough votes to kill Gator Party legislation that would have eliminated the minority protections in the Senate. 3. Sitting down with many Gator Party senators who vote their consciences in spite of increasing hostility from their own party for doing so.
Low Points: Finding out precisely how coercive the Gator Party is towards its own senators as a result.
The RADIKAL: Breakdown the current roster of the UF Student Senate Allocations Committee. Please name each member of the committee you serve on, sharing with us their individual strenghts, and also giving us an objective assessment of the committee's work for the Fall session 2008.
Senator Benjamin Dictor:
The RadiKaL: What is your take on having a non-student Senate secretary in chambers? This question does not refer to Glenda's day-time functions (which are very needed), but only to the her role within the student body.
Senator Benjamin Dictor: Sometimes I can't believe she stays there until midnight, haha. Because the current political situation on campus leaves us with student officials who are entirely unreliable and inept at their jobs (Greek patronage) I don???t mind having a non-student fulfill the role of secretary in the Student Senate. Her role in the chambers is needed and she provides some historical knowledge of the institution having been there for so long. Perhaps, under different political circumstances, a student could fulfill the role.
The RaDiKaL: Please tell us about SDS.
Senator Benjamin Dictor: Students for a Democratic Society is an organization of incredibly thoughtful and passionate individuals who attempt, more than most organizations I've observed, to practice what they preach. SDS is often misrepresented in the press and even more often invoked to over generalize about the progressive left in Gainesville. I have been vocally supportive of many of their projects over the course of the past two years and have absolutely no qualms about publicly voicing this. So long as SDS stands against mandatory hand scanners, for Socially Responsible Investing, against the war in Iraq, and for democratic principle, I will stand with SDS.
The RadiKaL: Though it's been often dismissed as rhetoric, to what degree would you say "the Left" assisted O&B in the historic Fall campaign?
Senator Benjamin Dictor: Absolutely essential. The progressive community was the cornerstone of the O&B victory in the Spring and laid the foundation for its success in the Fall. This is not to say it is the only reason we won, but the Orange and Blue Party simply cannot win without the support of Gainesville's progressive community.
The RaDiKaL: As of December I've begun classifying members of O&B into two groups, factions if you will. The classifications have worked very well for me and every single member falls almost perfectly into either class. What do the terms "Official" and "Progressive" mean to you?
Senator Benjamin Dictor:
Official: Old guard. The corrosive and defeatist mythos of the old "indie party" mentality.
Progressive: The strategy and mentality adopted since the Spring of 2008 elections. The only way Orange and Blue will continue to win.
The RaDiKaL: As leader of what I've dubbed "the Progs" and as a viable candidate for the O&B nomination in Spring 2009, what message would you like to send to those members of your party supporting Mark McShera?
Senator Benjamin Dictor: I'm not sure I am the leader of 'the progs.' I like Mark a lot and always have. He has the institutional knowledge and money needed by the party, but I am not certain that this alone makes a good candidate.
TheRadiKal: If you won the O&B nomination, would be some early objectives you'd like to declare in a Dictor presidency for the University of Florida?
Senator Benjamin Dictor:
1. Online voting
2. End Jacksonian patronage in all aspects of student government. This includes within the independent party movement itself. (Don???t be fooled, Sam even tried to write it into the bylaws with Article IV.)
3. Reform the budget process to end the economic stranglehold it allows over student organizations. Boss Tweed used potatoes, Gator Party uses Accent co-sponsorships among other things.
4. Begin plotting the Hebrew socialist revolution against the fascist national Golgotha (Thanks Ginsberg!)
THE RADIKAL: Name association, no word limit:
Dave Schneider: Dedicated, leader, organizer
"Grasshopper:" Respected, intelligent, worldly, patient (very proud to call my friend)
Stacey Gray: Optimistic, calm, committed
Sam Miorelli: Relentless
Joe Trimboli: Ideology
Skeet Surrency: ----My Pick for Student Body President!!!!!!----
Ben Cavatero: Statesman
Matt Goldberger: Only talked to this guy once. Read about him in the papers quite a bit though. Typical Gator Party kinda guy, you know? All variations on a theme???
Frank Bracco: Selfless
Joshua Simmons: Dynamic, Republican Alinsky, principled above all else
Jordan Loh: Ronald Regan (interpret as you wish, haha.)
Beau Frail: Sustainability
Jonathan Ossip: Brilliant.
Joe Bennett: Considerate, intelligent, leader
Thomas Jardon: Always a very nice guy to me.
Liz Stinson: Veteran.
Mark McShera: Knowledgeable, seasoned
For days Hamas has been firing low-grade rockets at Israel, that have caused no deaths or injuries and surprisingly no major property damage. Faced with one of the worst crisis of his administration, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak met with his cabinet and top defense advisers.
Barak needed to assemble squadrons comprised of supersonic fighter jets, with cutting edge technology and a full payload of the most horrifying ordinance possible. Against these squadrons awaited the Gaza Strip, a 120sq. mile territory bordered by one neighbor that's walled-in its second class citizens to ensure a thorough killing ground and by another neighbor that fills its face with U.S./EU aid and pleads ignorance & indifference to the plight of the oppressed and to the memory of Gamal Abdel Nasser.
Barak grows pensive. Gaza has no organized army, no air force, no air defenses, and thanks to the Israeli-bankrolled Fatah bureaucrats working against Hamas - the territory could hardly be said to even have infrastructure to speak of.
Israeli pilots fly in, attack! Barak hopes that none of these fighters will come within range of Gaza's infamous Elementary Guard - a well trained militia of elite 9 & 10yr old rock throwers. Gaza is in flames, Hamas fires rockets. The numbers are in 200+ dead palestinians and 1 dead Israeli.
Barak is noticeably angry, he's slipping. In Sharon's day it would have been 2,000 dead palestinians for every one Israeli. Barak must now speak to the press, so he fights back the tears and promises to do better next time. He knows that if the people are patiet with him, that he too can deliver a performance like that of Ariel Sharon at Sabra and Shatila.
God Bless Israel, where every man is free to be himself (Offer may exclude men named Jesus & most Palestinians. The term freedom is for entertainment purposes only. Other terms apply, please obtain our 384pg. manual of exceptions and clarifications at your local walled-in, fenced around, barb-wired refugee camp for people illegally displaced for forty years).
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Ok. After listening to the audio this is what I have to say.
#1. The term "Radikal" is mentioned heavily - thank you.
#2. Who's the Brit senator? Like what he had to say.
#3. Eric Conrad - sounds like a whiner.
#4. Gillespy - not much better than Conrad; awesome photo though.
#5. Dictor - uses profanity far too much for an SBP candidate.
#6. Hargrove - sounds like a more assertive, funnier Phil Harden.
#7. "Adriana" - whiner. novice w/ no patience. Stay home next time.
#8. Someone asks if he can clap for JN, SM says clap - all clap.
#9. Hargrove concludes, no one claps.
#10: Can anyone say "Simon Says?"
#11: SM fumbles O&B/Pres results for Shotgun S>SBP nomination.
#12: The Officials openly berate BD, "decide!" "yes or no!"
#13: Party Pres. results announced. DH upsets JN
#14: The Officials no longer yelling; SM hasty adjournment.
#15: The Geico celebrity didn't even ask a question, how lame.
#16: Nice to see Frank on party business, even b4 elected MAL.
#17: Frank said he'd walk away if unexp. candidates chosen.
#18: If Ben said walk - 3rd Party Threat. Why not Frank?
#19: Double Standard?
#20: We talked about Party Pres. for almost two hours.
#21: You have ten seconds to decide if you want to run for SBP
#22: "Oh come on, Dictor!" Yea Dictor, decide, I mean the whaling.
#23: You'd think these Officials were trying to get out of Darfur
#24: On the last Red Cross helicopter.
#25: C'mon Dictor, decide!
#27: Do It!
#29: Oh Donte won. Bummer. Meeting Adjourned.
Article IV - what GDI Playbook did they ever get this from? Seniority doesn't even speak to this issue, as we're not dealing with the elder members of O&B but members from older parties all together. People are being rewarded with power in a party going into 2009 for work they did in 2007? What if these folks went on to grad school? Will they have voting rights until 2012?
One young lady, undeniably an Official, stated in her own words, that what is needed is "INSTITUTIONAL KNOWLEDGE". Now I don't know about you, but that speaks 100%, nail-on-the-head Radikal definition of "The Officials" - the institutional body of the Orange & Blue Party. [Takes a Bow, then Waves]
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
As of late my contact has been limited to one of Dictor's most trusted lieutenants and a member of his inner circle, Justin Wooten. Through facebook and phone conversations, Wooten (who's allowed himself to be named) insists that Dictor will prevail against The Officials, most notably by winning SDS and delivering even greater numbers of the Gainesville Left than in Fall 2008. Wooten insists that Dictor will not only surpass McShera, but will be very capable of defeating Jordan Jonnson, even with an active McShera> faction still in the mix.
For this miracle play to work out, Dictor must drain 'the Left' of every conceivable vote, networking in the student ghetto would have to be pulled off without a hitch. More than vote tallies, the real question rests with discipline. Prog lieutenants eagerly offer their loyalty to "The Challenger", but will they be able to bring in numerous new columns into an SG campaign, maintain critical discipline, hold off McShera, and then defeat Jordan Johnson & Gator?
Seems to be a tall order, but just how powerful is the Gainesville Left? We really don't know. And how much of Fall 2008 is directly because of the Progs? We don't know, but they seem to think it was THEIR ace in the hole.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Remember dear SG'ers, there should be a notable difference between SG Men & SG Women. If you're skinny & weak & have any aspirations of moving up the elected or appointed ladder...you may want to consider looking healthy & strong. My new site will show you how to build a body like Josh's (featured above) - or - anabolic, brute strength like yours truly.
I'll be car-shopping today, but if I promised you a phone call yesterday, I'll do my best to call today. Additionally, I'll be looking for an upgrade camera (as I'm doing most shots with my Flip). Last, but not least, I'm hoping to receive the Ben Dictor Q&A within the coming days and to have it up within 24hrs from then.
All the Best,
The One & Only RadiKaL.
Friday, December 19, 2008
the Progs are embarking upon a revolution. The concept of incorporating Gainesville's omnipotent 'Left' has perturbed many an independent strategist over the past few years. But it seems that Dictor, largely through the tireless efforts of his loyal cadres, has bridged the gap between the CMC Crowd and the Reitz Union.
In the capital city of one of Florida's two blue counties, Dictor stands, alongside his most trusted lieutenants, contemplating whether or not to succumb to the candidacy of a rival who bests him only by way of seniority. Faced with growing rhetoric and dubious-at-best predictions of his support, he holds out yet another day before lowering his flag and imploring his comrades to bow down, follow McShera, and content themselves with being insignificant vassals of a faction who carries on business with without their presence.
In only a few short days, many have opened their eyes (yours truly included), to a candidate that stands to offer for than his predecessors. What if there's more that unites us besides whether or not we identify with Florida Blue Key or Greek Values? What if there is also a social conscience at play? What if there could be a successful attempt at building a campus-wide clas-conscience? Would Mark Mcshera lead such a movement? Unlikely.
Mark McShera comes from a rich line of Independent leaders, traced from his staunchest supporter (Sam Miorelli), back to Thomas Jardon, then Bruce Haupt, skipping Adam Roberts - who betrayed the movement by enlisting Jared Hernandez & Brandon Siler after being turned down by John Boyles, to Christian Duque & Peter Gruskin, skipping Andre Samuel, to James Argento & Frances Harrell, then to Kenneth Kerns & Nick Capezza). It is for this reason that McShera enjoyes at least initial preference from GDI Students & Alums almost right off the bat. It's for this reason, McShera and his supporters are dubbed The Officials.
But at what point does seniority yield to moral authority? And should the seniority of party elites play any type of role in the direction of a party that is in direct contention for the administration of a institution invested in by over 50,000 students and which is sworn to act in that student body's best interests?
Below you will find a September 2008 email written by Mark McShera to TheRadikal.com, pay close attention the portions in bold:
"While you're right that this is a novel idea and it would probably do a good job of throwing the system off balance in the short term, there's one problem with the plan. I have no interest in running for Student Body Vice President. In discussing the various positions within SG with friends there is a general consensus that Student Body Vice President is a "7th circle of hell" job. I hope to be able to run for re-election this Spring for CLAS, serve out a second Senate term ending in March 2010 and then graduate in May 2010. To quote General William Sherman, "If drafted, I will not run; if nominated, I will not accept; if elected, I will not serve."
McShera sets out on a path all his own; willing to concede that his candidacy for Veep could hurt the enemy, but resolute in outlining his own interests and carrying out work that seems only to serve that end - first. He also defiantly barks that even if given the nomination (to this seemingly lower end post nt), he will not accept or serve.
Interestingly, it's this post that's being considered at the highest levels, as some kind of a consolidation prize should the Progs by some miracle submit unconditionally to The Officials.
Dictor & his lieutenants promise to bring the Left, they promise to bring those now aptly referred to as the Obama Kids. Where the officials stammer that the Progs lack seniority - Dictor posits change and when The Officials raise questions as to continuity...Dictor should merely reply with, "Schneider."
Who wants surprises? UF's veteran independents know that revolutions will undoubtedly stir up emotions within the rank-in-file, but they grow worrisome that delicate, hard-fought relationships with moderates in both Greek & Multi-Cultural blocs could potentially be strained. Many of McShera's core supporters can still remember the days when Pants pulled a lone victory in Alan Passman and saw it stripped before their very eyes. Today, these same independents grow confident in their measures, taking solace in a similar situation involving Hume Senator Ben Cavatero and a quite different outcome.
Times have improved and they will continue to improve, so long as a certain modicum of civility and continuity (largely upheld through seniority) remains in place. Although McShera's desire to run for president has been largely ambiguous to date, the need for his candidacy far outweighs even his own personal interests. The Party must move forward, stronger by the term, and one step closer to a majority in senate, a moderate at Exec., and a more balanced Student Bench with a loyalty only to sound jurisprudence.
Monday, December 15, 2008
People ask me why TheRadikal is taking such a precarious direction as of late. Some would argue that my sole stake is hits, others speculate that my intentions are to bring about chaos, and some...just say 'move on Duque, you're old, you're no longer at UF. I guess the real reason I've embraced this new direction is to create dialogue. You can't have dialogue on the Wiggio b/c your email address gives you away. You can't have dialogue at meetings where the minority's rights are clearly trampled over. You can't have dialogue when people to trash the old guard that put it all on the line for countless terms leading up to today and are now on the receiving end of a lot of bullshit drama.
I am of the opinion that all the shit-talk on the comments section is healthy. I believe my blog is providing an outlet for a lot of the bad blood to be disseminated (given that The Officials have as of yet not given any indication that a primary will be held in Spring). I for one don't believe I'm sowing the seeds of chaos; I believe I'm sowing the seeds for real dialogue.
Orange & Blue must unite, but under fair terms. Placing a Prog for SBT is mistake. SBT is a separate ticket and could be used to draw a bigger name from the Multi-Cultural or GREEK community. Surely there must at least one Greek in Budget or Allocations that would jump at the idea of running with a party that came within 60 votes of taking District Fuckin C in a Fall election. This Greek would be the biggest tool of 2009 if he/she couldn't at least swing his/her house at that. I'm fascinated with drawing up exec. tickets - who isn't?
[Option 1] My favorite ticket as of yet is this:
my [Option 2] second favorite ticket is:
[Option 3] My third favorite ticket as of yet is:
[Option 4] My fourth favorite ticket is:
[Option 5] My fifth & final choice as of yet:
Option 1 - speaks to the very real majority enjoyed by The Officials, putting a hardline Prog like Schneider close on the same ticket and allowing for The Left to influence cabinet. The ticket would be very strong b/c the SBT is a strong precursor-role for any SG'er wanting to run for Student Body President. The ideal candidate would be a Gator Party Senator from the Senate Budget or Allocations Committee.
Option 2 - this is a viable All-GDi ticket that would include The Progs and mobilize women voters to the polls. This ticket would also cater directly to SDS and would serve to show a real respect for the organization by way of The Officials.
Option 3 - would be an upset. McShera was willing to run as SBT for Miorelli, but today seems poised to hold the presidential nomination. This would be a solid ticket, but highly unlikely. I, for one, think Joe Trimboli has some Chris Chase qualities and should be considered as a Vice Presidential candidate.
Option 4 This would be an ideal compromise, but I prefer Schneider over Grasshopper, an (alleged) unwillingness to run can only signal poor performance if elected.
Option 5: - My longshot choice, showcases another good choice for Vice President. The Indies need to show respect to the women in the movement. Gray would be a choice candidate to counter The Progs' Steiger choice at the negotiations' table.
As the year draws closer to an end Gray seems to emerge as a stronger contender, according to big names within The Officials faction.
Even if I'm wayyyyyy off (as I'm unsure of graduation dates for some of these prospective candidates), I'd love to get some feedback on the tickets I've made. I've broken them down into options to make debate easier.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Frank Bracco is read stating (yesterday at 10:17p) that he was one of the ones 'protesting the meeting, but yet in the same message upholds the validity of the MAL-elections because 'everyone that was in the room voted.' How does that amount to protesting a meeting?
Duque's take: Frank, you've been able to side-hop for most of your SG career and - without ever being thought of as a turncoat. This is truly an art at this point. But I can't allow you to get away doubletalk on my blog. I'm going to call you on it buddy.
Dylan Billiodeaux cites a similar weasel issue as another top level Official - party meetings fall outside of the Sunshine Laws and thus there SUBSTANTIAL notice was given. That's totally MPC lingo right there....does anyone on this blog or the civilized world know what the fuck the word SUBSTANTIALLY actually means?
Duque's Take: this is definitely very interesting, considering your facebook message to me last night. Are you really concerned with party unity, b/c this reads like you're just out to serve the interests of The Officials with particular emphasis on making everything look, well pardon the pun, official.
Duque Speaks: Apparently Stacey Gray thinks a Party president that cancels a meeting and changes his mind 20 minutes later and does not object (for whatever the reason) to a huge faction being present for a very partisan vote - as totalling 'a fantastic job.' Fantastic? Not just good? Not great? But, fantastic?
I'm glad the meeting was videotaped, so was the footage at the Nazi death camps. Since when are VIDEO & BLOGS substitutes for Public Notice & Party Cooperation?
Duque Speaks: Gary Benedix congratulated Donte Hargrove for 'showing great leadership and decisiveness during his first 3 days as Orange & Blue President.' Great leadership?
Duque Speaks: Cavatero states there was 70% quorum of voting members and everything was done by unanimous consent. Does that make it ok Sen. Cavatero? Correct me if I'm wrong, but O&B has even less than The Progs 30% of voting members in the UF Senate. Would you be ok with the Gator Party saying...'well we have 80% of voting members, we don't need to hear the minority.' In fact isn't that EXACTLY what happened, isn't that what O&B filibustered for five hours to stop?
Why fight that kind of despotism in chambers, only to apply it to the minority within your own party? Could you please address this issue Senator?
Duque's Favorite Quote: "There is a huge difference between 100% and 59% majority." Excellent statement by the not-so-polite Stephen Fitzmaurice.
Duque Speaks: (from a Wiggio cite) Donte Hargrove claims that "if we democratize everything, we won't get anything done."
Where the fuck did you people find this guy? And then he asks people to 'trust his judgment.' Trust these nuts! You're a fuckin puppet, you can't even make a decision and have it last longer than 20minutes. You're about as much 'a president' as Ahmad Karzai....it seems like neither one of you can even wipe your own ass without getting permission from the forces that keepyou in power.
Duque Stunned: Why is Armando Ramon Grundy Gomes in an O&B Party meeting? He's not even a UF student yet and there he is talking about TheRadikal, pledging to give money to prospective candidates, and saying that everyone is a good person. Let's make to sure get Armando on record here....he states that the GATOR PARTY STAND FOR NOTHING. We don't want to see you on the other side. Thanks for name-dropping my blog dear friend...
& just so you know...I have access to everything, always have. Anything I REALLY want to know, I know.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Big kudos to Orange Blue Senate Leader Ben Cavatero for raising concerns that newly elected Orange & Blue Party President Donte Hargrove was unable to. Donte was elected by The Progs and he couldn't say anything? Is he just going to be a puppet this upcoming term? He told me on facebook to message him if I had any questions....ok.....here's my question dude: (1) Where are your fuckin balls and (2) Where is your fuckin sense of honor? (3) Why didn't you adjourn the meeting?
I always told Miorelli to fight hard against Dictor to come back to his old ways and lead the party against all the odds, but I won't support or look the other way to tyranny. And is Frank Bracco in Orange & Blue or not? Seriously, this kid gets System Jobs and Party Brass and he bounces from side to the other....PICK A SIDE AND STICK TO IT.
No Schneider, no Grasshopper, no Dictor, no Progs, no resistance, no problem...Donte will continue the meeting. Kudos to Kyle Huey for declining his nomination. Kudos to Alan Yanuck for his efforts, albeit too little, too late.
Mark McShera finally seems to be starting to act like a prospective candidate for Student Body President. I think that in the absence of Sam Miorelli, McShera has been thrust into the spotlight as both the frontrunner and a peacemaker. (Btw, the photo here on the right is one of the latest additions on facebook, but I love this photo; this photo should be used in promotions for the party, it just seems to express everything I think of when I think of Orange & Blue and I'm not there, so just think how cool it is! I've not made such a comment in 3.5yrs of blogging).
Today's meeting will either put an end to The Prog's claim to the nomination or it will leave the Party on hiatus for Spring. The Officials stood back and allowed Hargrove to take charge, but will they allow The Progs to literally take control of the party? Will McShera finally step up and give his hardline supporters a reason to fight? Will McShera the frontrunner, finally, engage Dictor - the challenger?
We'll see. Will the Sam Miorelli we all know return to former form? Will Dictor remain composed, yet focused? Will The Ape try to adjourn the meeting early when things start favoring McShera? Will Dave Schneider make converts out of the nay-sayers? Will Tommy Jardon present? Will The Progs block Trimboli for Member-At-Large? Will Liz Stinson be there? And what will Kyle Huey say? Will there be a primary? Who does SDS really support? Are the Obama Kids more for Mark?. What will Gary Benedix have to say?!? Will Cain Norris be there? Will Cavatero shock the world? What will happen at today's meeting?
Insiders insist there will be little doubt who will run for O&B.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Hargrove Defeats Niederriter
Donte Hargrove, an alleged Dictor-loyalist, in a party that some believe is almost 2/3's in the bag for Mark McShera, defeats 'The Officials''s candidate!
It would seem logical for 'The Progs' to receive the party's leadership on paper as part of some exit package, but Dictor remains in position to challenge McShera for the Orange & Blue nomination for student body president.
Insiders from both sides have McShera at a comfortable lead, with Gator observers pleased. The FBK/Greek side seems uneasy about facing a united O&B Party given big losses in Fall and the ever looming possibility of Greek houses revolting.
'The Progs', under Dictor, have a stronger hand at the moment. Numerically speaking, Dictor cannot defeat McShera, but if Hargrove suspended the rules and declared Dictor the party's candidate next term, The Officials would find themselves scrambling for a new party name, spreading word throughout campus, and spending countless hours and money on damage control.
Conceptually speaking, as the frontrunner, McShera's voice should reign supreme (& McShera has recognized Donte Hargrove). However, until January 2009, The Officials will control the party through Sam Miorelli.
Miorelli could potentially suspend the rules and call for new elections. Rumor has it McShera opposes the idea of Josh Simmons being re-admitted to Exec., there would be a huge deadlock if the Party's SBP candidate forbade the re-admission of an Exec. Committee applicant, largely favored by the Party President. Miorelli just might make this potential showdown never happen...
Josh Simmons is also in an interesting position. A week ago he wanted back into O&B Exec. and today, some would say he's the power behind the O&B President-elect.
What an interesting time Spring may be. Simmons & Miorelli, both graduating next term, will be actively wrestling to get Hargrove in their corner -- who wins? Is it that obvious? How did The Officials lose the party presidency? I don't get it, but if one thing's for sure, Ben Dictor remains a viable underdog in contention for the party nomination.
I unfortunately had to step out for a goodly portion of the business part of the meeting, but since you seem to have gotten the gist of what actually happened already, I'll talk repercussions with you.
As far as this farcical assertion that I am somehow in control of Donte, it's patently ridiculous. I'd never even been properly introduced to the guy until yesterday. He's not beholden to anyone - he was duly elected in the first free and fair officer election a minority party has ever held. Although I'm sure he's more likely to consider my opinion than Sam Miorelli would, that's not saying much - it's become incredibly clear to everyone, I think, that Sam Miorelli listens to no one except the voices inside his head.
With regard to the party's nomination, that matter wasn't considered, although the McShera faction tried to force his nomination through in the meeting's garbage time (after, in fact, Miorelli had gavelled the meeting adjourned) but that attempt was abandoned after Donte was announced as the new party president and the shock thereof. I'm not sure if Ben will seek the nomination again - you'd have to ask him about that. I think that he feels the election of Donte is a step in the right direction, though, towards restoring the principles he feels the party originally stood for.
As to my climbing back into the mystical realm of the "exec," frankly I couldn't care less whether McShera wants me or not. In fact, the mentality that there is some powerful group of "exec" members is the sort of thing I'm trying to change by supporting Ben Dictor. One way or another, I'm going to be in the room offering my perspective, and hopefully someone will decide that it's worth taking into consideration.
There's supposed to be another meeting tomorrow to elect the remainder of the party's officials and potentially the SBP nominee (although not necessarily), and we'll know more after that.
"I think it's reprehensible how people that I helped get elected now see fit to openly trash me and the other people who donated huge amounts of money and time to get them elected for their own personal political gain."
Sen. Sam Miorelli
Orange & Blue Party President
Thursday, December 11, 2008
By this stage in the game we're no longer dealing with just two guys, so let me explain how I'm organizing my thoughts. In my head, division pre-election is not only healthy but needed. We have the larger faction, supporting Mark McShera and loyal largely to Sam Miorelli. Because this larger faction has more of the seasoned veterans, I call them the Official Party, or simply 'The Officials.'
On the other hand, I have Ben Dictor's group. Being that there is a great deal of SDS, Obama, CMC, and leftists, I have this group listed as The Progressives. I am by no means suggesting that O&B will split, but until there is a fair, all-inclusive primary, I don't think it's plausible to sweep the differences between the 'The Officials' and 'The Progressives' under the rug and join hands and sing kumbaya just yet.
Conservative estimates: 70/30% split, favoring The Officials
Liberal estimates: 60/40% split, favoring The Officials
There will always be a non-establishment candidate/party, but that's not the independent movement. The Orange & Blue Party has direct lineage to Action, Pants, Progress, Impact, Access, and Stuent Alliance to Voice. This is a movement that grown from single party victories to boasting of a Student Body President, to breaking Fall Records (Impact '05, O&B '08).
I'm not sure what went on yesterday, but I'll have collected my thoughts by tonight.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
For the record, I counseled Ben Dictor on calling for a moratorium on campaigning and if he should decide to run, I think it would only benefit the party to have a real primary. As of this moment, this blog leans for Mark McShera, but has become very friendly to Dictor in the course of just under 24hrs.
As I told Dictor on the phone, Miorelli was trained by the best. If any UF Senator put $500 in his pocket for campaign expenses and were to travel over to UNF, UWF, FGCU, or FAU and want to win SBP they'd annihilate anyone, Greek or not, local or not.
That having been said SG at UF is at such a competitive level, that good faith needs to be a key ingredient in the process. I wish we had had a 'Thursday Meeting' to have saved Access splitting in four Spring 2005.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
This blog has contributed, perhaps, to Dictor's decision to withdraw and if that's the case -- no apologies. I want Dictor in this race, but I want Dictor to develop thicker skin. I also want Mark to gradually ditch this go-between persona and begin rally for the party nomination. Having Mark go to the org's is not the way to go, he's putting the cart before the horse. You go to the org.'s when you're campaigning for President. When you campaign for the primaries, you need to get out there and win RANK-IN-FILE hearts and minds.
Mark has the loyalists - but will these loyalists dwindle once Sam walks? What are relations like between McShera & Jardon? Both candidates have support, but both are equally indecisive. One candidate is believed by some, one of some right here, to be something of a conduit for Sam Miorelli - a sort of placeholder. I know Mark is more than that, but up until, I'm not convinced. Ben Dictor was forbidden from contacting me, allegedly by Sam Miorelli, but now that we've spoken, my only major bone to pick with him, is why he's not forcing a primary.
In all honesty I'd like to see Dictor in that running. I'd like to see people fight (though not maliciously) for the Independent nomination. I want that nomination to be valuable, I want it to be taken seriously, I want people from Gator to see how real democracy works. I want this primary to inspire change across the boards. I want to see Hargrove run. I want to see Cavatero test the waters for Spring '10, I want to see people nominate random people.
If you believe this sound comes from this band,
then you prolly think O&B doesn't need a real primary.
I just got off the phone with Ben Dictor (call lasted 1hr, 18minutes). I like him, I really do. He may just have won over the Duque with a salespitch, but I've collapsed this post and deleted the "3 Candidates" entry. I also encouraged Dictor to remain in the race, although I remain behind the Miorelli-faction which will likely give the nomination to Mark McShera.
Some months ago I extended an olive branch to Pedro Morales, I think the time may be appropriate to do the same with Josh Simmons.
I'm also glad Gary Benedix is out looking for B-Cell, lemme know how that goes.
Friday, December 05, 2008
The Orange & Blue Party of Spring & Fall 2008 would have been unstoppable had it been given one more term...the numbers don't lie. I truly and honestly believe that a Dictor ticket now, after his lack of good faith (announcing hours before a key party dialogue sit-down with Mark McShera), would set a very dangerous precedent in Independent politics.
Before the break...actually as of right now...Sam Miorelli as Orange & Blue Party President should announce the O&B Nominee for Student Body President, Mark McShera. Setting Dictor as a rogue early on will cure any misgivings about his support within Orange & Blue. If factions are going to break off....now is the time for that to happen. The break should be all about damage control and a revamping strategies.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
"While you are entitled to think and publish what you wish....Mark and I have been talking and we are progressing as a party." -- Ben Dictor
Months ago I accused Mark McShera of being a turncoat...I rescinded. Should I have? (p.s. McShera also banned me from his facebook, lol, oops there goes another to add with Cain, Will, and the other assclowns) Why is O&B negotiating with anyone backed by Josh Simmons? It's I just don't get it, I don't get these kids. It's like you can piss on them and the next weekend they want to break bread with you.
I have never been one to cave to threats...if Josh Simmons believes he can create a movement over night, well then let him have a go at it. I too have worked with ego-driven candidates, I know the run-down. If my SG exp. counts for anything, I'm going to take my gut instinct that Simmons has had his eye on Dictor for quite some time and picked him for a variety of reasons favorable to his return to SG, all the way to the bank.
Everyone wants to be an Andre Samuels, a Pedro Allende, a JCB, but none of these prima donnas see anything beyond the almighty power. They all want to build a hodgepodge of a front, pledging loyalty and committing themselves to hard work, only to balk at the first whiff of the Spring elections...so as to make demands and threaten to 'bring it all down.'
The prima donnas lack the finess of a diplomat, their need for instant gratification disallows any sort of subtlety, and at the first bump in the road - as history has proven, their entire outlook becomes marred; the idea of an upward battle weakens their looting nature; these are not your hardworking, passionate campaign work horses, these are not your disillusioned majority demanding change...these are the people that promise you armies for SOLVE and deliver ghosts...
MIORELLI must stand firm...facebook groups don't win elections. Facebook groups don't define movements. I don't need to tell Sam or the real Orange & Blue Party what defines either the former or the latter, I don't think anyone needs to.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Posted On: Draft Ben Dictor for Student Body President
"Go Ben Dictor! I mean you have to be on the money when one of the biggest Judases of the Independent movment creates a facebook group for you. And you have to be a real people's candidate when you allegedly threaten to rip the most successful independent party at UF in the last fifteen years, into several pieces, just b/c you won't get your way.
I too have many, many, many, many ties to the fringes and revolutionary elements and I know what being a revolutionary is all about. It's about being selfless and about fighting for the Common Good.
Sam Miorelli has paid his dues, ran countless times for office, he's successfully led the Minority party to unprecedented heights and he deserves the nomination for president.
This election will be just like 2005. If I didn't know you from a hole in the wall, I'd give you the benefit of the doubt, but the fact that JOSH SIMMONS supports you and made you this ridiculous page only speaks to what I believe is your true purpose here." -- Christian Duque
Sam Miorelli and the real Orange & Blue Party must withstand this nonsense. Josh Simmons is a turncoat, one of the worst of all. He abandoned the independents at their most critical hour and now returns, as the independent movement resurrected itself thanks to the hardwork and sacrifice of Bruce Haupt & Pants, Action, and Orange & Blue. Simmons is an agent of the Machine...there can be no revolution led in part by a traitor! Simmons needs to get the fuck out; the Moseley train has choo-choo'ed away; now left w/o a friendly Greek master, Simmons should desist from scouring campus for indies that still respect him.
Ahhh....and looky looky....Ken Kerns, Nick Capezza, the GDI Godfathers joining this kid's page? HELLO?! Is Kerns' cat on the computer again? This guy is supported by JOSHUA SIMMONS -- 'WHY ARE YOU SUPPORTING HIM?'
I can't go on. Miorelli is the party president; he needs to re-register the party as is his rightful duty as Party Leader, he needs to run for president, and O&B need to gain more seats in the chambers. With this new twist, the Machine will all but surely defeat the Miorelli ticket, but Sam will have a senate seat to return home to and will hopefully help the Party gain more senate seats -- like HE always has done so before. But the most important point is this....DICTOR does NOT get the O&B Nomination. DOES NOT
DICTOR DOES NOT GET THE O&B NOMINATION!
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
"Gator submitted bills which would have gotten rid of our right to have a special meeting by petition of 20 senators, raised the number to open the floor to alternative nominations instead of R&A’s recommendations from 1/5 to 2/5, allowed Judiciary to kill bills in committee just by tabling it twice (no no vote required) where today all they can do is recommend poorly on the bill but it has to come out of committee, and created a new rule which would have allowed the Senate to expel anyone in the room by a 2/3 vote for being “deemed disruptive” and then send them to SJA and call the cops to arrest the person (regardless of whether they were a Senator or sunshine statutes or anything). Gator withdrew the expulsion one and the meeting was long with people speaking against the other bills and allocation requests etc. We got to vote on the special meeting rule change and with the help of a few Gator moderates got the 1/3 to stop the change to the rules. (Needless to say, the renegade Gator folks who voted with us were up until 3am getting calls from Gator Party Leader Fager (ATO) threatening them, their cultural orgs, their houses, and their chances at a tap for such rebellion).
Additionally The Orange & Blue Party proposed a bill that would have defunded any building or operation that required as a condition of entry that students submit to biometric scanning of any type. Basically it would have forced RecSports to continue allowing UF students an alternative way to enter the gyms other than the hand scanners or they would’ve lost the 40% of their budget SG pays for. Gator voted against this thing with about 10 of their people joining us (largely the same group who voted with us on the rule changes)." --- Sam Miorelli
2008 was huge for the GDI's and 2009 will surely mark the next step for the Independent movement at UF. The Minority Party under Sam Miorelli is going up against a giant, which can raise an army of hundreds of campaign staffers in a 24hr period, whose budget may at times seem endless, and whose connections stem back well over seven decades. In an atmosphere where multicultural organizations seem their weakest and thus most subserviently aligned to the Majority, the Orange & Blue Party seems poised to stand the test, against all the odds and all the hype and go into this fight swinging in each round as if it were the first - and not just for the week of the elections, but for the whole year!
Monday, December 01, 2008
Please. No emails. I will not divulge anything until I can report with some kind of certainty. Once again, no emails or phone calls on the matter. Be advised this is a developing story and while not confirmed, it's by no means mere speculation.