On August 31, we showed that Brevard County Commissioner Chair Bryan Lober was forced to admit to over $133,000 in illegal campaign contributions; essentially buying his seat on the Commission. It did not take long for Lober to respond on social media.
Here is his response that he posted under State Representative Randy Fine’s official page.
It’s interesting what this race-baiting convicted domestically-violent criminal doesn’t mention. He showed up last week, at Tuesday’s Board of County Commissioners meeting, claiming something like $200k having been spent in my election. Less than a week later, that claim was changed to $133k on his fake “news” site in which it is amazing how many ways one can refer to himself in the third person in a clear attempt to add an unwarranted sense of credibility to a story in which the author has personal involvement but fails to disclose it.
Burns made other false allegations at last week’s BoCC meeting. As I suggested to Burns, on the record, if I didn’t believe he was judgment proof, I would sue him for defamation in a heartbeat. Someone might want to ask him why he doesn’t post the actual Order in the FEC case he referenced. Here’s a hint: It doesn’t show I was fined anything for having accepted so much as a penny in “illegal” campaign contributions. It doesn’t even show probable cause was found for so much as a penny in “illegal” campaign contributions.
What this liar doesn’t tell you is that the only thing I have ever been civilly fined for is for having made a scrivener’s error on a single item. I listed the correct contributor name, the correct description of the contribution, the correct date, the correct value of the contribution, etc. There was a drop-down box where I inadvertently selected the wrong contributor type. In short order, before anyone noticed my error (or filed a complaint based on it), I filed an amended report and fixed the mistake. No one stood to gain anything from the error. It could not have even theoretically helped me in any way. Had I not done the right thing and corrected the error, it would never have been noticed. That is why I was fined next to nothing. Had there been 6-digits in “illegal” contributions, I would have faced a far harsher result than a hundred and something dollar fine (inclusive of investigative costs) which likely didn’t even cover the FEC’s investigative costs wasting their time on this issue.
As for Burns’ allegation that $200k or $133k in contributions were “illegal,” here’s the deal. There was never a judgment or Order entered against me on this basis. There was never even probable cause found that there was any violation associated with this unproven allegation.
There is a statute stating that candidates for statewide office may use credit cards in their campaigns. State statute goes on to place restrictions on such credit card use for candidates for statewide office. In this country, one is by and large free to do as one pleases so long as there is not a law expressly forbidding it. There is no statute which says that non-statewide candidates cannot use credit cards. Period. It does not exist.
There are administrative decisions which, in my opinion, incorrectly interpret state statute suggesting that non-statewide candidates may not use credit cards in their campaigns. In my opinion, standard statutory interpretation rules do not support this contention. To my knowledge, no one has ever appealed the administrative body’s position on this issue and no court has ever ruled on the issue.
Why then is there a statute saying statewide candidates can use credit cards? Good question. Because it sets conditions on credit card usage by those candidates. Plain reading of the statute suggests that, absent some other prohibition, non-statewide candidates do not have those same conditions placed upon them. In my opinion, the statute sets out conditions which apply to statewide candidates that do not apply to non-statewide candidates. That is a far cry from authorizing statewide candidates to use credit cards.
Again, in this country, you can do whatever you want to do unless there is a law prohibiting it. You do not need authorization to do what is lawful. That is not the way the law works in a free country.
Also, this was fully resolved many months ago and is not “news.” It is “olds.”
Feel free to share anywhere this liar posts his nonsense.
We know that was a lot, so we will just point out the obvious.
- We posted the FEC order that says exactly what he was fined for.
- There was no probable cause findings because he made a deal to avoid a probable cause hearing as requested by his attorney (you can imagine why).
- In Burns’ complaint, he referenced 2 past administrative decisions by the board that ruled on the same issue. Lober says everyone is wrong except himself. Keep in mind this is after his defense for the violations was ignorance of the statute by his own admissions.
- In his official response from his attorney to the allegations, he states “….he was under the mistaken impression that the use of credit cards by local candidates was permissible” and “While ignorance of the rules is not an excuse, Mr. Lober certainly did not commit a knowing or willful violation….”
So essentially, now that Lober has gotten away with his violations by claiming he was ignorant to the law, now he’s the sole expert. We can understand the embarrassment of the public now knowing the outrageous amount of money spent on his campaign in comparison to his opponent, and that he did so illegally. But the time to make his arguments to defend his actions were while the case was open. Instead he simply said as an attorney “he didn’t understand the law.”
What’s conveniently missing from his response however, is the premise of the complaint that nowhere in Lober’s own financial disclosures, before or after his election, does it show he has over $150,000 available to spend on an election, nor is the over $133,000 in credit card debt or its payment reflected anywhere.
One of two conclusions can be drawn from this. Either Lober is lying in his own financial disclosure statements, or he didn’t acquire or pay the debt; someone else did, which is Burns’ entire point.
His evasiveness and misleading response above by stating there was no probable cause found when he knows there was no probably cause hearing because he made a deal, speaks to his lack of integrity and willingness to abuse the public trust. We trust the public is smarter than that.