Facts are not attacks: With one week left, let’s set the record about HD 81 straight — Michael Weinstein, here’s your chance to do so

Michael Weinstein
Michael Weinstein has failed to challenge the substance of articles written about him.

Sen. Kevin Rader wrote a fair, thoughtful rebuke of Michael Weinstein’s candidacy for HD 81, published here. So did Palm Beach County Tax Collector Anne Gannon. So has this publication, among others.

Each of these columns raised a number of important questions that Weinstein should have answered.

Instead, Weinstein’s outrage is focused on claiming two things: that he has been “attacked” with “lies” and, more laughably, that the photo we used at the top of one article was edited to make him look “sinister.” He is parading these complaints on social media to win sympathy points from voters.

But he knows better. Or should.

As an attorney, he should know that being presented with facts is not an attack. Being called out for lying is not an attack.

Perhaps this is why Weinstein has failed to challenge the substance of articles written, and instead, focuses on the unfairness of having the background of one’s photo blurred out. This is a distraction tactic, clear and simple.

With one week left before Florida’s primary elections, we want to set the record straight. Weinstein should want the same.

To get there, we’ll keep it real simple here.

First, this column features an unedited picture of Weinstein. He should find no objection to this.

Second, here are the substantive questions that he — as a candidate for public office — should be able to answer. We’ll put it in list form in the event that he’d like to offer a substantive point-by-point rebuke (or apologies, as many believe are warranted):

—Why do you say that your primary opponent, Kelly Skidmore, went negative first — when it is irrefutable that you sent the first mailer attacking her — and used lies and exaggerations to do so?

—Why do you say that Skidmore ran for office “seven” times when you know full well this is a flagrant exaggeration that double counts primary and general elections?

—Why do you attack Skidmore as a “career politician” when she’s only held office for four years — and yet you praise male members of your family for holding office far longer?

—Why do you claim Skidmore never passed a bill, when anyone with basic political literacy should know this is untrue?

—Why do you claim that Skidmore doesn’t (or can’t) “understand” the issues of HD 81 despite living in the area for 36 years and representing it in Tallahassee for 14?

—Why did you represent your self-loan campaign contributions as “grassroots” and then fail to correct this terminology when called out about it?

—Why do you believe YOUR career choices and personal relationships deserve special immunity from scrutiny when every candidate’s career and associations are factors that voters can, and should, consider?

—Who are the “political insiders” who you say are torpedoing your campaign, when in fact, this is the type of scrutiny any candidate should expect?

Weinstein, there has been no “insider” attempt to “torpedo” your campaign. The items listed above were your doing, and given that you have yet to justify or explain any of them, they remain questions that we as journalists, and the public as voters, should not be attacked for wanting to understand.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of FloridaPolitics.com, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


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