He should go peacefully, or he should prepare himself for the wolves in the Miller and Stewart campaign to tear him to pieces.
By Jacob Engels
If I had to sum up why Maurice “Mo” Pearson should immediately abandon his lagging campaign for the Florida House, District 47 seat, I could do so in two words: STUPID. CONSULTANTS.
Smart consultants tell you to tell the truth, own who you are and don’t be swayed easily. The keystone cop operation running his campaign did the exact opposite; lie, divert and pretend you aren’t who you really are. Because of that, Mo Pearson’s campaign is DOA.
The East Orlando Post has been fairly kind to Mo. We pointed out his persecution by Orlando police officers. We’ve given him every chance to get his name out there, and to make his vision for Florida clear. Mo has been an abysmal failure at that, and if he cares about his party at all, he would be wise to hang up his campaigning shoes and go back to work and his family. If not, things are going to get ugly.
The Florida Chamber of Commerce, on Thursday — advised its members that the race was down to two people: newly registered Republican Mike Miller and incumbent Democrat Linda Stewart. Their recommendation is based on polling, but mine is not.
While the polling is likely accurate, the actions of Pearson on Friday (June 6th) offered a glimpse in to his psyche, his character & his thought process, and what came out wasn’t good.
Here’s what happened:
His opponent, Mike Miller called on Pearson to return the contributions from the OOCEA scandal and its indicted board members. According to Peter Schorsch of Saint Petersblog, Pearson had received $7800 from indicted board members and vendors of the OOCEA. You have to figure this is as standard a political move as one can make.
One of the first paragraphs in the Schorsch story is the most interesting one: Pearson is the president of a firm who lists the OOCEA as a client. He applied for the very same seat that Marco Pena received on the OOCEA. Then, later in the story, we find he hired Pena to run his campaign.
Let me repeat that for you… a vendor for the OOCEA…thought about becoming a board member of the OOCEA… but then changed his mind and started sending money to a board member of the OOCEA. Furthermore, he brags that HE FIRED THE FIRM… at the same time Pena resigned.
At the very least, it is time for Pearson to come very clean with the business he is president of: 3E Consultants.
Who does 3E consultants do business with? Their website claims they just got a bid from the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. They are vendors to OOCEA and FDOT. Exactly what taxpayer dollars are going to 3E, and how would we know if, say, there was a huge spike in those dollars?
How will Mo make sure similar improprieties and the “culture of corruption” prevalent at the OOCEA don’t’ happen with his firm and state contracts if he’s elected to the house? Why hasn’t Mo addressed this yet? How much do they get paid as vendors? How much work do they have with state government?
Did Pena ever disclose the business relationship between he and Pearson? If he didn’t, does that call in to question the business 3E has at the OOCEA? If not…..why not?
It is pretty obvious Pearson is trying to cover his tracks like Richard Nixon did after Watergate, but Pearson is more Elmer Fudd than he is Richard Nixon. Within four hours of this, it seemed clear he was going to try to lie his way out of it.
First, his spokesmen, Brian Hughes, claimed that he had returned misdemeanor indicted former State Representative Chris Dorworth’s $500 check on Thursday. Dorworth quickly responded on twitter that the claim was a lie, and that he had a call log to prove that Pearson had called to return his check after Schorsch had published the article discussing Miller’s call to return the check.
The spokesman then clarified that he had cut the check the day before, but had not bothered to call Dorworth. I checked the report and found that Dorworth WAS THE VERY FIRST CONTRIBUTOR TO PEARSON’S CAMPAIGN. So Pearson treats the first guy to belly up with cold, hard cash with all the loyalty and decency of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg because Dorworth was indicted with a misdemeanor charge. What happened to INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY….and what about standing by the first person to support your campaign? Dorworth donated to Pearson’s campaign BEFORE Pearson’s wife stroked a check.
From the Florida Division of Elections website, confirming Dorworth as Pearson’s first donor.
The same Mo Pearson who, as a vendor for the OOCEA board, and a former applicant to the OOCEA board, who sent $11,150 to the company owned by the OOCEA board member who just plead guilty, is so indignant about things that he returns the first campaign check he received but doesn’t bother to explain why until his spokesman is about to issue a statement? Got it.
On this, Pearson is either a liar, a really disloyal jerk, or both. It is a shame he has no chance to win the primary or the general, because with characteristics like that he would do great up there.
Then there is the subject of Pearson’s SECOND COVERUP LIE.
Quoting Schorsch’s article: “Responding to Miller’s claim that Pearson continues to retain Pena and his firm Swift Vose Pena, Pearson’s camp says it fired that firm in March and produced a letter of termination as proof.” This is a lie. Know how I know that? Because according to the Florida Division of Elections campaign finance report Mo Pearson filed, he paid Swift Vose Pena $1,000 on April 18, 2014 and said the money was for “April Consulting Fee.”
Screen grab of the Pearson campaigns financial activity from the Florida Division of Elections website.
Oh, Mo. What are you doing, pal? Pena gets appointed in July 2013, and the Pearson campaign writes him the first consulting check less than 2 months later.
Pena resigned the OOCEA board on May 16, 2014 before pleading guilty to Sunshine Law violations on Tuesday, June 2nd. The report that would show whether Pena was paid by Pearson in May won’t be released until June 10th, but really — what’s the point in paying Pena if he resigned from the board?
I happen to think that Wade Vose and Jonathan Swift (of Swift Vose Pena) are two of the smartest, most accomplished consultants in the game, so this is most certainly not directed at them. I absolutely believe they aren’t working with Pearson any more because if they were, I don’t think there’s any chance that he would be putting on this show of ineptitude and dishonesty.
For all I know, Pena is a great consultant, too. I just know that Pearson is a damn hypocrite if he tries to act like he’s somehow above the fray when in reality, he is a vendor to the OOCEA, tried to be a board member of the OOCEA and was putting money in the board member’s pocket with his campaign funds, a process which happened each and every month until Pena stopped being a board member.
He started paying Pena two months after he got appointed to the OOCEA and STOPPED paying him the very month he resigned. What an amazing coincidence!
Did Pearson realize that the money he could send to 3E as an OOCEA board member was a mere pittance compared to the money he might direct to them if, as a powerful legislator (think approps chair, tranpsortation approps chair or even speaker) he was able to intimidate the state to give him more? Why limit your corrupt ambition to a local board when you can influence a whole state, Mo?
Mo Pearson needs to go away. Realize something… I was able to ferret all the information I wrote here by reading the Schorsch post and checking his campaign finance page. What in the heck would a trained opposition researcher, or even a private investigator, find on this guy and his business dealings? I’m sure the Miller Campaign and the FDP are chomping at the bit to tell us.
He should go peacefully, or he should prepare himself for the wolves in the Miller and Stewart campaign to tear him to pieces. Lord knows his lack of integrity and some truly inept new consultants gave them the ammo.
Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org