When Do You Have Enough?

According to Forbes most recent list of billionaires, which came out in March of 2019, the richest person in the entire world is my Pacific Northwest neighbor, Jeff Bezos. Yeah, that guy. The CEO of Amazon.

At the time, his net worth was $131 billion dollars. Granted, he’s in the midst of a divorce, and I’m sure that won’t be pretty, but even so, with that kind of money he could retire today and live quite comfortably for at least 100 lifetimes.

And yet, that guy just threw 1.5 million dollars at the elections for Seattle City Council, in the hopes of flipping the progressive majority. Why? Because the city and its council thinks that maybe Amazon should pony up its fair share of taxes for once.

Well, Bezos’ scheme backfired. Only 2 of the 7 candidates he supported actually won, and one of those was an incumbent. The people have spoken.

But a million dollars for Bezos is like a penny to you or me. He isn’t going to give up or go away. Because, apparently, one can never have too much money.

I find this supremely pathetic. That man could most likely solve the homeless crisis in Seattle with the interest he earns on his personal savings account in one month. But has he done that? No. He’s too busy trying to avoid taxes that he can well afford. He drives past people in tents every single solitary day, and he’d much rather focus on the amount of taxes he can avoid. Let them eat cake.

How much money does it take before you can feel free of petty BS and actually turn your attention to paying it forward? What does it take for someone to feel compassion for the very people who have generated all that money for you? Apparently, it’s more than $131 billion dollars.

There’s something wrong with a system that supports such greed and corruption. Henny Penny, the sky is falling. And rest assured it’s not going to land on Bezos.

Jeff Bezos

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Dirty Tricks

On the day I wrote this, I was driving to work, and as I exited the interstate I observed a white guy in a dark grey Infiniti who had pulled off the side of the road and was pulling up the yard sign of a controversial woman who is running for election to Seattle city council. When he saw me on the exit ramp, he pulled away.

As I followed him down the street, I saw him circle back to get another one. I gave him a dirty look, and later reported it to the Facebook page for the campaign. I wish I’d gotten his license plate number, as this is illegal as well as immoral. Are dirty dealings how you got your Infiniti, man? Shame on you.

I’m not a resident of Seattle, so I won’t be voting for or against this councilwoman. I have no skin in the game, so to speak. It’s just that these types of political dirty tricks make me really angry.

If the only way your candidate can win an election is through lies, criminality, or dirty tricks, then you may want to rethink your support of that person. Clearly under those circumstances, the only motivation is greed and power for that individual, and that won’t do a thing for you in the end.

I know I’m being idealistic, but I’d like to vote for people who bring integrity and dedication to the public to the table. I’d like to vote for the person I feel has the most moral fiber. It would be nice to believe that there were candidates that ran a clean race and had nothing to be held accountable for.

Just me wishing for unicorns again.

political sign

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Hanscom Voter Syndrome. A Disease Worth Avoiding.

Election day has come and gone here in King County, Washington State. We had less than a 26 percent turnout. That astounds me. The state of Washington makes it so easy to vote that it seems like pure heaven to this Florida girl.

In Florida, you had to wait for hours in the hot sun, sometimes only to be turned away. And you had to do your own homework to figure out who to vote for. Here, you vote by mail, and at least a week before the election you get a nice thick magazine that gives you information about every single candidate and issue so you can make an informed choice. If you don’t want to pay for the stamp to mail your ballot, there are free election drop boxes in many convenient locations. I’m surprised they don’t send a personal courier to your home, such is the ease of voting around here. And yet people still don’t vote. Stunning. Shameful.

But then there are some people who vote who clearly don’t take it seriously, either. It seems that some will vote for any clown who tumbles out of the political clown car, regardless of his fitness for duty. (Yeah, yeah, we learned this when Trump got elected, but silly me, I thought that would be all the lesson we would need. Apparently not.)

Case in point: Here’s the personal statement of Russell L. Hanscom, who ran for City of Kent Council Position No. 6. This isn’t a joke. It actually came from our voter’s magazine.

23316714_10211144848960179_3864127066952815026_n

So, here’s a guy who’s coming right out and saying he isn’t sure he wants the job, and that if he gets it, odds are good that he won’t be effective. One wonders why he bothered to run at all. He actually said in a television interview that he was just being honest, and yet he expected it to be a tight race.

Personally, I couldn’t vote for or against him, as I don’t reside in the City of Kent. I would have LOVED voting against him, though. It seems like a no-brainer to me. The only thing that would have made me more certain was if someone had gotten him on tape bragging that he liked to grab pussies. (No. I’m not saying he did that. That was our president.) But apparently even that wouldn’t slow the voting public down.

Fortunately, the race wasn’t close at all. He got less than 28 percent of the vote, while his opponent, Brenda Fincher, got the rest. Yay!

But here’s what freaks me out: He got 3,616 votes. Seriously. 3,616 people read his statement, and apparently thought that commitment and effective representation were not qualities that they find to be particularly important in their city council, so they voted for Russell. Or maybe they didn’t bother reading his statement at all. Maybe they just didn’t want to vote for his opponent, an African American woman. That thought is equally scary to me, especially after reading her personal statement and getting the sense that she actually gives a damn about her city, and has worked quite hard for it.

Was Russell’s statement honest? Yeah. He definitely told it like it is. But he’s telling you that he’s going to be indifferent and a waste of human flesh, people! You think that’s funny? You think that’s admirable? Why?

Trump disease is still alive and well in this country. I will now think of it as HVS: Hanscom Voter Syndrome. And it makes me weep for those of us who have to live with the results. This time we got off easy. (If you think having one’s time wasted in any election is easy.)

At a bare minimum, Hanscom’s statement is insulting to those of us who take the process seriously. Please explain why we are setting the bar so low. I just don’t get it.

Congratulations, Brenda Fincher! Score one for the good guys! For a change.

___________

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Karma’s a B****

Back in the 80’s I must have been the only Floridian who didn’t realize that Waldo, Florida was a speed trap. I got a ticket. This little town is in the middle of nowhere, and after going through miles and miles of, well, nowhere, you suddenly enter their town and the speed limit quickly drops down in increments of 10 mph no less than 4 times within blocks. And the cops just sit there like vultures and pounce on every unsuspecting tourist who makes the mistake of driving down that stretch of highway.

It’s been like that for decades, but they’ve gotten away with it because they mostly preyed on tourists who were passing through on their way home from Disney World and found it easier to just pay the fines and go back to their part of the country, chalking it up as yet another vacation expense. Even the AAA website warned people of this area. It wasn’t right. It wasn’t fair. It was just the way it was.

So imagine my joy when I read today that the city council of Waldo has voted to disband its police force for these unethical practices! Apparently the fact that the town’s seven police officers wrote 12,000 speeding tickets last year became something that people could no longer overlook. Think about it. That’s 1714 tickets per cop per year. If they work 5 days a week and get two weeks off for vacation a year, that’s nearly 7 speeding tickets per cop per day in a town with a population of just over 1,000 people. What a crock!

Time to clean house. Sometimes justice prevails. Now, who do I see about getting my money back?

SpeedTrap_Waldo

[Image credit: aaa.com]

Andy Johnson is Back on the Radio. Heaven Help Us.

Yes, it’s that time again. My quarterly rant about Andy Johnson, the man who stole thousands of dollars from me and refuses to pay it back, despite my winning court judgment and my lien on his house.

If you want to get the full, ugly story of what this man did to me, check out my blog entry, Andy Johnson, SHAME on you!!! Or you can get the abbreviated version of the whole sordid mess here. But if you don’t care about this man enough to be bothered, and on most days I’m right there with you, suffice it to say that this guy, who tries to style himself as a pillar of the Jacksonville community, is in actuality a thief. As a matter of fact, I’ve recently caught him in some more lies. You can read about that here.

And now he is back on the local airwaves, attempting to perpetuate his own myth. I couldn’t be more disgusted. Here’s the irony. The reason he took my money in the first place was in a desperate attempt to remain on the air a little while longer, and in that he failed. Our airwaves have been blessedly devoid of his blathering for quite some time. But now he’s baaaaaack!

Another irony: in theory his politics and mine are quite similar. I’d love to be his cheerleader. I’d love to support him. But unfortunately I know the content of his moral fiber, and it’s flimsy at best.

What Andy doesn’t seem to realize is that he’s somewhat of a Jacksonville joke. A political has-been who sometimes manages to pay for a few hours on an obscure am radio station to blather on, no one really takes him particularly seriously.

The five views a day I get on my Andy Johnson rants are probably a larger, more loyal group than his listeners. If you listen to his show for any length of time you’ll realize that he spends the bulk of his time begging for callers.

Here’s a cool idea. On weekdays, from 2-6 pm eastern standard time here in the US, listen to his inane show at http://1600thebeach.com, then call 904-861-1026, get past his screener by saying you want to ask about some political foolishness or other, and when you talk to the man himself, ask him if he respects the courts and feels he’s a law abiding citizen. When he says yes, ask him why, when it’s a matter of public record that he has to pay Barbara the thousands of dollars he took from her, he hasn’t bothered to do so.

It would be so much easier and less embarrassing for him if he would just do the right thing and pay me, but yeah, eventually I’ll sell my judgment to a professional who will get the money from him and pay me 50 cents on the dollar if I’m lucky. Either way he will pay on that judgment eventually. But in the meantime, I’m rather enjoying spreading the truth about this man and hearing from others whom he’s bilked. And if it prevents even one more person from being taken in, it’s worth it. Let’s keep those lines of communications open!

New Andy Johnson Pic(This is Andy Johnson. Ironically, we’ve never met face to face. But knowing what I know about the man, even his photo makes me shudder.)

Andy Johnson, SHAME on you!!!

(Note: Welcome to the most viewed post on my blog! For a shorter version of this blog entry, see “Andy Johnson is a Swindler“, or simply scroll down and read the highlighted sentences here. Also, to see what this shyster is currently up to, check out another post I’ve written here, and to see some very amusing lies I’ve caught him in recently, go here.)

There’s no tactful way to say this. Andrew Johnson, Sr., former member of the Florida House of Representatives, long time progressive radio talk show host in Jacksonville, Florida took $3,500.00 from me under false pretenses and refuses to pay it back. This man, whose slogan is “Down to Business Andy Johnson! Never neutral. But always fair” has ripped me off. If you care at all about justice, please spread the word in any way you can. Share this blog on your Facebook page. Copy it to your own blog. Do whatever you can do, because while I have a lien on his 2,100 square foot house, Florida law says that as long as he lives in it, I cannot collect, and meanwhile, I’m about 3 months away from being homeless. Is that fair?

andy_johnson This is Andy Johnson.

All of this is a matter of public record, and I’ll be happy to provide anyone with the case number if they ask, and I’ve also got a stack of evidence about an inch thick that I’d share with anyone who can help me, but here’s what happened: In June, 2009 I owned a house. The roof developed a leak and I was in a panic. I was barely making the mortgage, let alone any major added expense, and I’d put enough patches on that old house to know this was going to be major. That roof was rotting away. My boyfriend at the time, John, worked at a local radio station, WJSJ. He contacted his boss, Andy Johnson, in hopes that a “trade out” could be done. This means that a company gives you a substantial discount for their services in exchange for free radio advertising. As Mr. Johnson has a rather high profile in the community, and at the time I was told he was still a lawyer, and John trusted him and liked working for him, I thought there might be a chance that Mr. Johnson would do this kind thing for a long time loyal employee. And in fact, Mr. Johnson told John to contact Riggins Roofing. He believed a trade out could be done with them.

A few weeks later, an employee from Riggins Roofing came to the house to give us a quote so we could determine the extent of the subsequent discount. The quote came in at $5,900.00. Now it was up to Andy Johnson to enter into negotiations with them. In the meantime, Riggins Roofing had someone come over to put a temporary patch to stop the leak, which led me to believe that a deal was in progress.

After almost two months of Mr. Johnson’s procrastination, on August 21st he finally told John that he had arrived at a deal. They would do our roof for $3,500.00 plus radio advertising. Even that was more money than I had, but it needed to be done. Looking at the ever-expanding water stain on my bedroom ceiling, I had no choice. On August 23rd, John met with Andy Johnson and gave him a check that I wrote from my home equity loan, and he gave us something in writing outlining the deal.

And then nothing happened. Johnson came up with a million excuses, including but not limited to “Riggins is really busy at the moment. They’ll get to it, though.” “They haven’t returned my calls,” and “I have been really busy, John. I haven’t had a chance to talk to them. I’ll have something for you tomorrow.” Many, many tomorrows went by. I got increasingly nervous. By September, I started to suspect I’d never see my money again. But John loved working with this man, so I kept giving him one more chance.

It started to have a negative impact on our relationship and our life. Now I was facing the loss of $3,500.00, plus the prospect of paying someone $5,900.00 to repair the roof. I started losing sleep and having nightmares. Then I broke my foot and never got it treated because I knew the cost would be astronomical. Our overseas vacation got cancelled, and Christmas was downgraded to no tree and two lottery tickets as gifts.

In November, 2009, John found out that Andy Johnson was on the verge of losing the radio station. That’s when I really started to panic. On November 16th, I wrote a letter to Johnson as a good faith effort to try to resolve this issue. John gave it to him, but he refused to sign it. He said he was too busy at the moment, but that John could come get it the next day. The next day, of course, Andy Johnson wasn’t there.

On December 3rd I spoke to Dan Underhill of Riggins Roofing. He expressed shock and dismay that his company was drawn into this, and stated he never agreed to the deal, and in fact, when he sent someone to put a temporary patch on the roof, he did it as a favor to Andy Johnson, and as far as he was concerned, this was the last of his involvement in the matter. He kindly provided me with an affidavit.

This meant that when Mr. Johnson took my money in August he knew full well that he had no roof deal. (Frankly I think this constitutes fraud, but when I spoke with someone at the State Attorney’s office, they said they had much bigger fish to fry, unfortunately. And when I spoke to the Florida Bar, they said that no one by that name was an attorney at the present time.) At this point Andy Johnson stopped returning our calls. I tried calling him at home and spoke to his wife, Mary Johnson, who was totally unaware of this situation. When I told her about it, much to my chagrin I burst into tears. She said, “I’m not impressed with your tears, little girl. You need to be more professional.” I need to be more professional? Me? What about your husband who took my money, lady?

Andy immediately called for a meeting with John, and we got yet another deal with him, which I dictated over the phone and he signed. I’m embarrassed to say I was pretty hysterical at this point. I found out something very interesting during that conversation. Mr. Johnson seemed to be operating under the impression that he’d “have use of” my money for “a time” before the roof was done. This was news to me, and I would have never entered into the deal if I had known that. I also wouldn’t have entered into the deal if I had known that Andy Johnson had not been paying John since March, 2009, something John had neglected to tell me until I filed the lawsuit.

Mr. Johnson’s final deadline to resolve things with me was January 23rd, 2010, and as predicted, nothing happened. He continued to beg for extensions. I finally took him to court, and won the judgment. Andy Johnson, thinking mistakenly that people still cared about him or his reputation, failed to show up as he thought reporters would be waiting at the courthouse, according to John. I’ve had a lien on his house since April, 2010.

Through all of this, John continued to “work” for him, and did so for years afterward. Needless to say, our 16 year relationship ended in June, 2010. He still occasionally makes snide comments on his Facebook page that gives the impression that he was the martyr in the relationship. But how could I live with a man who was too spineless to stand up to his boss, who had done so much damage to me? If my boss had done that to someone I claimed to love, I’d have dragged him around the office by his, well, you know, until he coughed up the money, and then I would have quit. But hey, that’s how I roll. With integrity.

I’ve since sold the house and tried to move on with my life, and I’m in a much better relationship now, with someone who has my back, but I’m even worse off now financially than ever before, and am on the verge of sleeping in my car while Andy Johnson has a decent roof over his head.

I know. I was a fool. And the more research I do on Andy Johnson, the more I realize it. From an Article written by Rich Tucker, staff writer of the Florida Times-Union on July 30, 2000 comes the following quotes about Andy:

“Johnson succeeded in winning a state House seat on schedule and was even re-elected in 1980. But his political career was to end far before he imagined. Johnson would lose four more elections before accepting that reality.

Today, many of the city’s most influential people view Johnson as a rather insignificant, albeit noisy, source of aggravation — a political has-been who had much potential but who no longer is capable of being anything for the city except a disruption.”

“He’s Rush Limbaugh for the Democrats. He is a nut, as far as I’m concerned,” said former state Sen. Arnett Girardeau, who ran against Johnson in 1976, 1982 and 1992. “In his own mind, he thinks he’s a liberal. In my own mind, he’s a liberal with a misguided cause.”

“Johnson’s in-your-face style annoyed some of his colleagues. By his second term, even Johnson admits he was out of favor with many of the senior legislators.

Don Davis, who defeated Johnson in a run for City Council in 1986, said he counts himself lucky that Johnson does not hold an elected office for the city or state.”

“I can tell you one thing,” Davis said. “Had he been successful in getting elected to the Jacksonville City Council, I feel like he would have been the most disruptive factor to hit local government in the history of the state of Florida.”

“Johnson said he sponsored more legislation than nearly any other representative during his time in office, but those who served with Johnson described his behavior as hyperactive and largely unproductive.”

“It seemed like he was always running for something rather than trying to find some issues,” said Tommy Hazouri, a former state representative and Jacksonville mayor. “He was a great debater. The problem is no one ever listened to him.”

“Each of the last three times I was in a campaign it became so stressful that my wife seriously brought up the idea, ‘You know, I don’t think I want to be married to you anymore,’ ” Johnson said. (This coming from the woman who was unimpressed by my tears.)

“And while Johnson remembers each of his defeats with regret, his wife said she often just felt relieved.

Without much remorse, Mary Johnson concedes her husband’s chances of being elected again to any civic office are slim. “He’s so outspoken, and he’s made so many people mad. I think he’s realistic in the respect that he’s got a lot of enemies now.”

“For a political animal like Johnson, that reality is painful.”

“I wish I could have been more effective on all public issues that have concerned me, and I wish I could have done that in such a way that I didn’t make a bunch of people angry,” he said. “People think I enjoy making them angry. That’s just not true. I’m not like that.”

Oh, you aren’t, Andy? Are you a good guy? THEN GIVE ME MY FREAKIN’ MONEY!!!!!

The irony is that I’m probably as progressive as Andy Johnson ever was. I would LOVE to sing his praises. I really would. I’d love to be able to say nice things about him. But his actions prevent me from doing so. In my opinion, he’s an embarrassment to liberal politics, and a moral blight to humanity. His progressive talk show, which always struggled for advertising dollars, was taken off the air in January, 2011. He seems to have fallen off the public radar since then. I’m sure that devastates him, but not nearly as much as he has devastated me.

With court costs, attorney’s fees and interests on the lein, Andrew Johnson, Sr., former member of the Florida House of Representatives, now owes me approximately $4,600.00.

Please spread the word. I’ll keep reposting this blog entry every few months until I have my money.