Thursday, June 10, 2010

OMG. More flashes of brilliance from the Sentinel. My brain might explode.

Wow, wow, WOW.  More awesomeness from the Sentinel.  If they keep this up, I might have to subscribe to paper delivery again.

Read and enjoy...article from Mike Thomas about Matthew Falconer:

Some highlights:
[Falconer] is anti-rail and anti-taxes, anti-Magic arena and anti-tolls.  He also is, all too often, anti-reality. He is inclined to making up facts. He claims he will do things he won't be able to do.

He opposed the [Magic arena] and the Orlando-Tampa high-speed train. He wants to consolidate some government services to save money.  He says he will get rid of defined pension plans for all county employees...But now comes reality.  The county pension plan is run by the state, not by the county mayor. There is no way the Legislature will mess with retirement perks for police and firefighters.  Orlando will block any attempt to consolidate services.  Falconer's view of the economy is simplistic and ideological.
Falconer compares our 12.1 percent unemployment rate with South Dakota's 4.3 percent unemployment rate, which is ridiculous. South Dakota is a small rural state that was spared the housing collapse.  Florida had 48,384 homes in foreclosure in April. South Dakota had 183.
Falconer says Orange residents pay an average of 31 percent of their income to local government, which is completely absurd.

...Falconer's plan to revive the economy is the same old nonsense
Thomas also points out the complete impossibility/lunacy of Falconer's proposals to repeal the expressway tolls (would be a breach of the county's bond contracts), consolidate services (impossible to do without the City of Orlando's consent, and it's not happening), and to repeal SunRail (would put County at risk legally and destroy negotiating credibility for future projects) and instead create a monorail (ridiculously more expensive).

Awww, poor Matty Falconer, getting no respect on the internets, even with all the time he spent blogging spamming all over the Sentinel message boards this past year.  He even sent out an email this morning linking to the Mike Thomas article, whining about how Thomas was slanting the truth and bringing an unfair attack on him.

Falconer was only able to point out one alleged misrepresentation in the article:
Mike Thomas DELIBERATELY LIED about my plans to end the defined benefit pension plan. I talked with him last week and told him “I will end the plan for all FUTURE employees, a two tiered system that will help protect the pensions of existing employees.” Of course he conveniently left out that fact to scare existing government workers against supporting me. Please blog your thoughts on this ATTACK and email Mike your thoughts...
OK, let's assume Falconer's telling the truth here.  First of all, he doesn't address the big pile of other concerns that Thomas voices about Falconer's proposals.  And second of all, even if he just wants to get rid of pensions for future employees and not the current ones, that doesn't negate Thomas' critique of the idea: the pension plans are run by the state, not controlled by the counties, and there is still no way in H-E-double-hockey-sticks that the Legislature is going to abolish the pensions like Falconer wants.  

Falconer sent out his email at 7:03 a.m. (I know this because he copied me on it).  Much to my amusement, despite his plea for his supporters to blog in support of him, the comments on the Sentinel article are almost unanimously criticizing or making fun of him.  My favorite comment is from someone named "PhilZakszewski:"
...given all the areas that he has no control over as mayor I believe he thinks he is running for king.
Falconer continues his creative grasp of the truth when he then decides to attack me in his emailI'll get to his accusations in an update later today or tomorrow, after I stop laughing.  I have been quite entertained to learn that he's reading my little blog here.  (Hi Matt!  Please click on some of my AdSense ads while you are here!) 

UPDATE: Here's a post on Mike Thomas' blog where he makes a correction to his article.  Thomas should be commended for so making the correction so quickly and prominently.   
 I screwed up in today’s column on Matthew Falconer. I wrote that Matt wants to end defined pension plans for all county employees. His position is that he wants to end these pensions for all FUTURE employees, letting current employees keep them.
...Matt is telling people that I “deliberately lied’’ about his position to turn county workers against him. This is incorrect. I don’t write embarrassing fact errors into stories that I then will have to correct the next day in front of thousands of people.
...As for picking on Matt or targeting him, that also is way off track.  Ask Rich Crotty, Buddy Dyer, Bill Segal, Charlie Crist, Kendrick Meek, Bill Nelson and so on. I have pounced on them much harder than Matt. I have zinged Jeb Bush when I thought he was wrong, and I think he was a very good governor. As any of my regular readers know, today’s column certainly was not one of my bomb throwers.

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