If there’s one thing about local politics that ought to be beyond debate it is that Eric Fresen (FL House District 114) is a an example of most of what is wrong with the state of the polity.
He’s in the pocket of Big Gambling, and has tirelessly worked to legalize big casinos despite the fact that other communities that have invited them in don’t get good jobs and do get much more organized and even petty crime. Even if you manage to make a destination location, the hard-core gamblers don’t as a rule leave the facility to spread their money around.
He’s basically a walking ethical swamp:
The $1,500 penalty was assessed in 2003 because Fresen did not file a financial disclosure while serving as legislative aide the year before.
Commissioners said it was “horrific” that Fresen had not paid the fine, and called the case among the worst they had ever seen. One commissioner likened the circumstances to a bank robbery.
“Can we do a public censure?” asked Commissioner Linda Robison. “I find this appalling and I think his constituents need to know he never paid a fine that was assessed.”
But today the Miami Herald (truckling to the establishment since long before I moved here), endorsed every incumbent legislator. Including Fresen. Maybe because Herald ex-publisher David Lawrence, Jr. has some sort of crush on him?
And this in the year when Fresen has what may be his best challenger ever, Daisy Baez. I’ve met her and I was impressed. Unfortunately, Ross Hancock is running as an independent after dropping out of the Democratic primary when Baez demonstrated financial muscle and support. I supported Hancock when he ran against Fresen last time (and he did well because a lot of folks really hate Fresen) but this is just splitting the vote.
Vote Baez if you live in the 114th District.
This really one isn’t about party (I don’t think Baez is a liberal, she’s ex-military and a corporate executive) — it’s about basic ethics and decency.