Category: Uncategorized

Kathleen Peters, Red Tide & Dirty Campaigning

She’s really showing her true colors.

On 10/25/18 an associate of Kathleen Peters came forward, in front of other witnesses, and told me about how Kathleen was not only aware of the negative hit pieces that the Tampa Bay Times was planning to write about me but she understood TBT’s malicious intent in writing them.

Before the first hit pice was done about me she told this person, with a smile, that he should wait to see what the TBT prints because it would not only damage my campaign but my career and “I would never be able to work in Pinellas County again.”  This is what Kathleen Peters said about me as I was getting back on my feet after a two-year battle with stage-three breast cancer.

Yes, I decided to undertake this run for office immediately after a cancer battle because I am not sure whether God or my health will permit me the opportunity to do so in the future.  Cancer has taught me to not take time for granted.

Not only does Kathleen Peters’ statement speak volumes about her character, it also helps to establish a case for malice, which is necessary for a public figure to win a libel suit.  Thank you for revealing your true self, Kathleen.

She has since paid for a Google Ad Words campaign against me called TheRealAmyKedron, which features these untrue attack pieces.

During the primary for her race I invited Kathleen Peters out for lunch as a gesture of good will.  During it we promised each other that we would not run negative campaigns and we would stick only to the issues.  I have kept my promise.

But when a candidate fights dirty they are really hiding from the issues voters care about and our community has been grappling with a Red Tide that has been supercharged by environmental deregulation with disastrous consequences.

This is me fielding questions about Red Tide and environmental policy for Pinellas County at the Tidal Town Hall.  Kathleen was supposed to be here.

After the primary others stepped forward to tell me how Kathleen used other malicious lies about me to cancel all of her public forums/debates with me including ones where we would have the opportunity to discuss the impact of Red Tide on our environment and economy. Those following my campaign know I have gone to great lengths to address the Red Tide crisis by hosting town halls, drafting policy recommendations and circulating petitions.

Reports are now surfacing about fishermen who are dying as a result of the economic damage this pollution-fueled Red Tide has caused.  Pollution that was deregulated during Kathleen’s time in office.  Kathleen continued to fundraise during this disaster.  I found this out by mistake when TBT’s Mark Puente interviewed me and tried to use her fundraising record to suggest that I could not compete with her:

Puente asked, “Peters raised $41,000 in the last reporting period. You raised $300. How will you overcome a well-funded opponent? 

I answered, “Candidates should be leaders first, not piggy-banks. As soon as Red Tide / Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) impacted my district, I stopped fundraising to help. I held a town hall meeting, interviewed those impacted and worked with experts to draft policies to address the short and long-term impact of toxic algae on public health and the local economy.”  

My comment above and indeed most of this interview never saw the light of day.  I assumed as such and posted my full interview on my blog to safeguard myself.   After doing so, Kathleen announced on television that she was suspending her campaign to address Hurricane Michael relief, and only then did the Tampa Bay Times finally publish their interview with me announcing how Kathleen had suspended her campaign to help with Hurricane recovery.  This is “objective” Tampa Bay political journalism.

In an open letter, I called on Kathleen Peters to donate the funds she raised during the crisis to Red Tide and Hurricane Michael relief.  She never replied and instead continued sending out fundraising appeals for her campaign.  Here’s her 10/25/18 fundraising appeal.

Yesterday Kathleen Peters posted an old ad of her paddle-boarding in Pinellas waters discussing how she would protect them.  In 2016 she voted for a measure to force fracking on areas like Pinellas County.   Pinellas had passed an ordinance banning fracking because it could potentially ruin Florida’s water and economy.  Kathleen could not shoot this same ad today because our County still has some of the most toxic Red Tide in the state.  Small businesses, workers and our marine life are still struggling.

And it’s time to turn the tide.

***

____________________________________________________

UPDATE:

Since publishing this piece other people have come forward about the unprofessional, untrue and simply tasteless things Kathleen Peters has said about me.  They said they would be happy to speak on record about it.  Personally I feel Kathleen should apologize for crossing a serious ethical line and possibly reconsider public service.  This simply is not the way leaders should conduct themselves.

Read about the origins of the unethical coverage of Amy’s campaign by the Tampa Bay Times here.

 

Come Together, Right Now!

People often ask, “So why did you decide to run?”  This is my answer:
Almost two years ago I was getting over my first round of chemo treatments and doing my best to get healthy again. I was driving home from a rural farm stand when I noticed a large pickup truck aggressively tailgating me. I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw a woman driving the truck, waving at me “with one finger”. Immediately I thought “What did I do wrong?” Then I saw the confederate flag license plate and realized it wasn’t what I did but likely who she thought she saw. I had tan skin, almost no hair, I wore big clunky glasses and drove a Prius. It was also where we both were: Bradenton, an area notorious for its hate groups.
 
I was also four days after the Presidential election. Right then I realized that the election had emboldened a sector of our country that expresses itself through hate, violence and intimidation.
 
It was then that I realized it was necessary for anyone with the capacity to lead to step forward. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do but I knew I needed to take leadership.
 
I remember worrying about my friend’s daughters. She was in the process of getting her US citizenship but it wasn’t official yet and her youngest daughter spent days after the election crying that she would lose her mother. “What if something happens to her or them?” I thought. We started discussing my taking custody of the girls if anything happened. I remember thinking “Amy maybe you’re over-reacting. People are saying, “Give him a chance,” that the president only campaigned on these things, he wouldn’t actually do them.” Today there are thousands of children separated from their parents in US camps. I still cannot believe I am typing this.
 
Last week there were bomb scares. Earlier today a friend posted about swastikas scrawled outside his house of worship here in town. Tonight I attended a vigil to commemorate a synagogue massacre.
 
When people asked me what my campaign slogan would be I thought about why I was running for office and the urgency of our moment in history.
 
“Come Together, Right Now” is my slogan.
 
Around the time The Beatles wrote “Come Together” they had been introduced to transcendental meditation by Ramana Maharishi. Someone once asked him “How are we to treat others?” His response was “There are no others.”  We are one.  I truly believe this.
 
I was taught by some of the best historians in the country and they taught me how quickly things can change. This is not a scare tactic. This is our reality.
 
We need to put our differences aside and embrace one another. Love, faith and peace are needed most at moments when they are the least likely to be found. When powerful people can distract us and divide us they disempower us.
 
Our nation was founded on the motto of E pluribus unum “Out of many, one.” The original 13 colonies realized that they were stronger together and because of that today we have a nation.  Unity created the county we love.
 
It is still time for anyone who has the capacity for leadership to lead. We all have this capacity. In the coming days we need voters to do all they can to elect leaders who believe in and will uphold the sense of unity in diversity that makes these United States truly great.
Let’s be stronger together.
Come Together Right Now!
With love,
Amy

Peters and Kedron compete for a seat on Board of County Commissioners

Nov. 6 ballot includes run-off elections for three School Board seats

  • Updated

It’s been a lot of years since voters in District 6 had to choose a County commissioner with no incumbent on the ballot.

John Morroni, who died May 20 while still in office, served District 6 since 2000. On Nov. 6, residents who live in Feather Sound, Pinellas Park, Seminole, northeast St. Petersburg and the Gulf beaches from Redington Shores south will get a choice between Republican Kathleen Peters and Democrat Amy Kedron to take Morroni’s seat on the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners.

Read the full article here!

People are Talking About Amy!

What People Have to Say about Amy:

“I’ve never voted Dem, not that I wouldnt, but never have, until Amy Kedron. Shes the only candidate here that gives a crap about our environment. Its FL people, not just your bread and tourist butter, but your surroundings!!!!”

-Sandi M.

 

“YOU are getting my vote because you are SO INVOLVED. The entire government needs more people like you, who get in there and DO things and don’t worry about fundraising and catering to lobbyists. <3″

-Danielle R.

 

“We greeted each other at “Hands along the Water”, I see tons of events you are attending and initiating. YOU are in the ” trenches”, listening to people and fighting for better. Anyone can sit at a desk, sign motions they have no knowledge of. You Maam, are wearing out shoes….and I thank you.”

-Deb P.

 

“Amy, Your meeting tonight was a living exercise in the power of democracy. I am awed by your dedication to PUBLIC SERVICE and your understanding of the creativity and impact that community members bring to addressing the issues they face. You provide a beacon of leadership and a commitment to rise above partisanship that can heal divisions. You are the future we deserve. Thank you for having the courage to undertake this arduous path to political office.”

-Susan M.

 

“I see your hard work posted on FB daily and I’m so jealous that you’re running in Florida instead of Buffalo. The work you did for local businesses in Buffalo, before the local movement had taken off, made a HUGE difference. Your constituents would be so lucky to have you as a representative, because Buffalo benefited just from having you as a active resident ❤️

-Jenna P.

 

“Dear Amy,  What a pleasure it was to hear you speak yesterday at St. Petersburg College…May your efforts inspire others to vote.  You are knowledgeable, intelligent and a true professional.  Your vision for the future is realistic and needs to be implemented.” —

-David L.

 

“I highly recommend Amy Kedron.  She genuinely cares about our environment and is firmly committed to being a green economy leader who will get things done! Come together right now! #VoteWater”

-Barbara E.

 

“Thank you for an informative evening. It was nice to have a candidate encourage an open and respectful dialogue on real local issues.”

-Amanda S.

 

Amy Kedron all the way! She is the real deal! We need her now more than ever.”

-Sara D.

 

“If you are running for a public office in FL, and the ENVIRONMENT and WATER are not your priority, dont waste taxpayers time. Thx Amy Kedron for being the only candidate whose actions speak louder than words!”

-Sandi M.

 

“Real solutions for Pinellas based on Pinellas peoples priorities- vote Amy Kedron!!”

-Susan S.

 

“Amy Kedron you are an amazing spirit of energy that can turn this (and other things) around! You understand the law, human rights, and fairness for people at all levels! The environment and doing what’s right for the greater good are your passions and I want your message to be heard loud and clear!” #amysupporter
-Barb M.

________________________________________________________________________

“This is the kind of leadership Florida needs.
Pinellas, vote Amy Kedron for County Commissioner.
We need a proven leader who knows how to create jobs, grow the economy, *and* save the environment while doing it.

Kathleen Peters is a Republican sellout. She votes for the toxic deregulation that caused our red tide and environmental catastrophe.  She was so bad, her own District didn’t even want her to represent them anymore.  Now she’s trying to sell snake oil to Pinellas — and we don’t need snake oil when we’re still cleaning up from an oil spill.

@AmyKedron is a *real* leader, who understands how to get things done in government, industry, and the community.

She built a massive economic development organization that created LOCAL jobs, fueled the growth of a *green* economy, and during Hurricane Irma she *stayed* to help her community prepare and organize for a natural disaster and emergency response that the state never prepared for or responded to.

And she did all of this *while fighting cancer*.

Kathleen Peters took money from lobbyists, to pass bills that destroyed our environment, endangered school kids for the sake of the NRA, and deprived healthcare from millions of Floridians.

Florida is the Sunshine State.
It’s time to say goodbye to political hurricanes like Kathleen Peters, and vote for real public leaders like Amy Kedron.

We deserve a breath of fresh air — literally and metaphorically.  Do Pinellas a favor, and vote for Amy Kedron for County Commissioner.  We have *everything* to gain.”

-Jhanavi P.

_______________________________________________________________________

 

 

“I want my friends in district #6 to vote for the best County Commissioner candidate Amy Kedron.”  -Eliseo S.

Meet Amy! A Q & A by the League of Women Voters

EXPERIENCE:

Former CEO, college professor and published law scholar specializing in community development, small business expansion and the green economy. I helped start a policy think tank with Cornell ILR that improves healthcare, housing, economic, social and environmental policies.

EDUCATION:

SUNY Buffalo School of Law, JD SUNY Buffalo PhD Columbia University MA Columbia University MA SUNY Buffalo BA

CURRENT OCCUPATION:

Professor/Consultant

 

Click here to read the Q & A!

 

Ask Amy! You ask, she answers.

Send questions to amy@amykedron.com, subject line “Ask Amy” or through Facebook.

Nancy R. asks: “How can I trust the candidate to keep the best interests of the people always in the forefront & not focus on personal gain?”

Nancy I think your question is one of the most important.

It’s funny how the likely success of a candidate is often judged by how much money they raise.  I am far outspent by my opponent but that also means I’m not bought.

Also I’m proud to say I have been asked to compromise my stance on home rule and small business investment to get large endorsements and contributions and I didn’t.  This link, which goes to an article about fracking explains why home rule is so important.  It allows our local elected officials to make important decisions like protecting our water quality from pro-fracking measures that the state has attempted to pass.

With so much focus on our public figures it is easy for them to forget that very little of what they are responsible for doing is actually about them, it’s about you.  But how do we keep our leaders honest?  I’m a big believer in following the money.  Candidates must disclose where their donations are coming from.  It’s on the Supervisor of Elections website.  If you look at it you can see who is invested in the candidate and what is likely to sway their vote away from the best interests of the people.

Unfortunately there is too much money in politics but it doesn’t need to be this way.  Candidates are expected to spend 90% of their time campaigning just raising money.  But for what?  To talk to the people.  I’ve decided it is better for me to spend time just talking to the people like we are doing right now.

 

Democrat Amy Kedron announces run for Pinellas County Commission

Democrat Amy Kedron has officially announced her candidacy for the District 6 seat on the Pinellas County Commission. Incumbent John Morroni announced last year he would not seek reelection.

To read more click here.

Open Letter to Kathleen Peters on Common Sense Leadership During an Environmental Crisis

Dear Kathleen,

We need to stop campaigning and talk about environmental leadership.

Today I was contacted by a campaign supporter and was told that you have announced on television that you have suspended your campaign to address Hurricane Michael relief.  While my supporter knows that I have been addressing Florida’s environmental challenges for some time she encouraged me to do it more publicly to compete with you.  There is a better way.

While I applaud you for focusing on this tragedy I would like to encourage you to grow, and extend yourself further.

Real leaders quietly lead during challenging times. They don’t turn tragedy into photo-ops.

Five weeks ago Red Tide hit Pinellas hard.  Leaders said it was the worst they have ever seen.  In Pinellas the air and water has been toxic.  Schools stopped letting children play outside because the air was so bad; fish are dying by the “hundreds of tons;” small businesses are struggling as tourists stay home; and workers along our coast are losing money and are struggling to afford rent. I know one mother who sent her daughter away from the coast while the Hurricane Michael passed by because she was afraid of how the wind-driven toxic air would damage the health of her special needs child.

Kathleen we have had an environmental tragedy on our hands for five weeks.  Where have you been?

At the first sign of Red Tide I stopped fundraising to listen to my community’s needs.  I spent time interviewing workers on the front lines of the cleanup effort, shop owners who only made $15 in sales all day and local fishermen who could no longer fish because their headaches were too bad from the toxicity.  But I didn’t turn it into a photo-op.

Pinellas residents from across the political spectrum participated in a Town Hall meeting to plan solutions to Red Tide on October 1st.

Our community is getting the short end of the stick on Red Tide recovery.

Do you know that the disaster loans small businesses are being given is at an 18 percent rate?  That means someone is getting rich at their expense.  Do you know that Pinellas lifted the fertilizer ban as Red Tide reached our shores?  That means we are pouring gasoline on a burning fire because fertilizers feed harmful algal blooms.  Do you know that south of us, of all the people tested for the presence of harmful cyanobacteria toxins in their nasal passageways 100% tested positive?  Do you realize that the EPA says these toxins can cause nerve and liver damage?  Do you realize that the state currently has no uniform way to quantitatively test air quality and properly inform the public?  Do you realize our community has had a crisis on its hands for five weeks?

After the Red Tide tragedy happened, I reached out to national legal and policy experts regarding the health of our water.  I organized a town hall meeting to bring constituents from across the political spectrum together and come up with a detailed plan of action and then I drafted a policy proposal to make it happen.  Also, as a recent cancer survivor, I did this as the toxic air in my own beachfront neighborhood brought back painful nerve damage that I sustained during chemotherapy.

What did you do?

You hid.

You canceled multiple public speaking engagements with me to discuss the impact of Red Tide and other issues.

Even as I publicly called you out for this you continued to hide.

One of those speaking engagements was with a chamber of commerce that represents businesses hit by Red Tide.  Why would you not face your constituents during such a critical time?  Could it be because you are ashamed of your record on beach privatization, fracking and taking money from big polluters?  Were you afraid I would bring this up?

Instead you made up a lie.  When you cancelled one of our debates you sent copies of the Tampa Bay Times’ hit pieces about me to the debate organizer and you told him that you are a mental health professional (you aren’t).  You told him that in your professional opinion you don’t think I’m stable and that you are afraid to be in the same room as me–all 100 pounds of me.  (If you were a mental health professional you would know that making such claims is a legal and ethical violation).  While you hid, you paid for the internet ad, “TheRealAmyKedron” so that you could spread more misinformation about me.  Earlier in the campaign you promised me you would stick to the issues and not engage in negative campaigning.  I’m still sticking to the issues.

But worst of all, you kept campaigning.  You sent e-mail appeals to raise more money for yourself during this tragedy.  Last week someone hosted a fancy fundraiser for you at $1000 per ticket while your community struggled.  It is still struggling.  But during this time you raised tens of thousands of dollars.

It wasn’t until Tampa Bay Times reporter, Mark Puente, tried to call me out for being outspent last week that I quietly announced that I had suspended my campaign fundraising and many appearances to focus on helping my community instead.  I didn’t politicize tragedy.  This is “Sensible Leadership,” Kathleen.

Kathleen Peters I call on you to give the money you raised during the five weeks of the Red Tide crisis back to your donors and tell them to donate it to Hurricane Michael and Red Tide relief instead.  Or perhaps donate the funds you have left over at the end of your race.  You have far out-raised me so you have nothing to worry about.  It is not right to hide behind one tragedy to avoid dealing with another tragedy that your state voting record helped create.

Also Kathleen, I call on you to do something about Red Tide.

Apologize for your past record on not protecting our shores and vow to do better.  Vow to stop taking dirty fossil fuel money directly or through your PACs as you have. Pledge to the public that you will adopt, implement and enforce my Red Tide Plan if you are elected to office. Tell your donors to help set up a fund to implement the Red Tide Plan and assist families, businesses workers and the environment long-term.

Let’s suspend both of our campaigns and spend the rest of campaign season addressing the tragedy in our community together.  My campaign slogan is #ComeTogetherRightNow and I would be happy to put politics aside and work with you on bi-partisan leadership to leave a positive legacy in our community.

This is “Sensible Leadership,” Kathleen. I hope you agree.

Sincerely,

Dr. Amy Kedron