A mean-spirited attack from a clearly angry, mean-spirited man

COMMENTARY

“Stump’s personal attack on Old is so laden with distain for a committed public servant, so disrespectful of Old’s open-mindedness and his efforts at bridge building, and so dismissive of Old’s sterling resume as a retired banker, that it needs no further commentary. Stump’s is the voice of an angry man.”

MARK SCHUMANN

Dan Stump - Chair of Shores-FPL funded political action committee supporting "Shores team" candidates Laura Moss, Lange Sykes and Norman Wells.
Dan Stump – Chair of Shores-FPL funded political action committee supporting “Shores team” candidates Laura Moss, Lange Sykes and Norman Wells.
Vice Mayor Randy Old
Vice Mayor Randy Old

Vero Beach City Council candidate, incumbent and Vice Mayor Randy Old, has received more than $30,000 in campaign contributions from mainlanders and islanders alike, including from John’s Island residents.  Given that Old has been targeted by Shores leaders and by the Shores-FPL funded political action committee, “Operation Flip Switch,” why is the Vice Mayor receiving support even from some Shores residents?

The answer is simple. Old is well-respected throughout the community, and is widely seen as competent, which is a lot more than can be said for Dan Stump, who recently penned a truly mean-spirited attack on Old. (see below)

Stump’s personal attack on Old is so laden with distain for a committed public servant, so disrespectful of Old’s open-mindedness and his efforts at bridge building, and so dismissive of Old’s sterling resume as a retired banker, that it needs no further commentary. Stump’s is the voice of an angry man.

Essentially, Stump argues that rather than heed the advice of a team of five utility consultants, the Vero Beach City Council should have instead following the advice of the Shores’ representative on the Utilities Commission. Stump’s advocacy on behalf of the Shores begs the question. What loyalty does he have have to the people of Vero Beach?  Apparently, none.

Anyone curious to know what Stump, head of Operation Flip Switch, is really made of and where he is coming from need only read the following. Printed below is the full text of an email Stump sent out attacking Old.

Vero Beach City Councilmembers Randy Old, Dick Winger, and Jay Kramer – “The Committee of No” – recently rejected a $30 million cash offer from Florida Power & Light to purchase Vero Beach Electric’s Indian River Shores customers. That offer would have ended an expensive legal battle that may go on for years, and it would have allowed Vero to upgrade our electric system and place millions of dollars into a rate stabilization fund that would reduce our electric rates for years to come.

Why did Old, Winger, and Kramer say no? Because the City’s out-of-town consultants and attorneys told them to. That’s what Councilman and Candidate Randy Old said. Old also declined to sit on the board of the Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) because it was “too complicated” to understand the City’s electric utility business. We need leaders with an understanding of local issues. Warren Buffet says, “If you don’t understand a business, you need to get out of that business.” If Randy Old doesn’t understand the electric business, then why is he on the Vero Beach City Council and why is he running again?

Let’s look a little closer at Vero’s out-of-town consultants who convinced Old to reject FPL’s $30 million cash offer. They’re all tied to the FMPA – that’s the same FMPA that has Vero captured, charging us over 20% higher electric bills than our neighbors with FPL. So, just who are Vero’s consultants? There’s Jerry Warren, an FMPA Board Member; and Bill Harrington who has collaborated with FMPA on projects for years; and let’s not forget attorney Schef Wright who was handpicked by the FMPA to head up Vero’s negotiations to sell Vero Electric to FPL. There’s no getting around it – Vero’s consultants have strong ties to the FMPA, and we’re paying them to give us bad advice. If Randy Old wanted to uphold his fiduciary duty, he would not allow the FMPA dictate his decisions. In addition, he would have been in favor of a full sale, and he wouldn’t have raised our taxes 2 years in a row.

The next logical question is: why would those out-of-town consultants want Vero Beach to reject a $30 million offer and put an end to litigation? Follow the money and it’s an easy answer. The longer this legal mess continues the more fees that flow into the pockets of the City’s consultants and attorneys. Vero Beach’s Utility Commission conducted the only unbiased and independent evaluation, and they voted 5-0 to accept the $30 million from FPL. In fact, Vero’s Utility Commission concluded that the $30 million offer actually exceeded the true value of the system by more than $5 million.

Out-of-town consultants and attorneys have no allegiance to Vero Beach and they’ve played their games for far too long. $30 million will absolutely allow the City to reduce its electric rates. Thumbing our noses at that offer only benefits the consultants, not the residents. Let’s support some real leaders who will protect Vero’s residents rather than our biased consultants and attorneys. For that reason, it’s important to get behind Laura Moss, Lange Sykes, and Norman Wells who are not beholden to the FMPA. Let’s take our City back!

Dan Stump
Chair – Clean Sweep For A Brighter Tomorrow

3 comments

  1. I am so sorry that the negative side has preempted the positives. Mr. Old is just being protective of his ‘flock’ (community of Vero Beach & also those VB serves outside of the city limits). It does not pay to rush into a deal that experts (they do seem to know stuff–which is why they are called experts) say would bring big trouble in near future. We need people who will act as true leaders. Mr. Old has my vote, along with Mrs. Gorry and Mr. Young. Mr. Stump’s agenda doesn’t fit with that of many of us long-time residents.

  2. Daniel Charles Stump, is an attorney from Williamsburg, Michigan, who in about 2001 ran an marginal law practice ( in divorce, bankruptcy, criminal defense, personal injury, asbestos, etc) in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl, and lived in a condo sandwiched between industrial parks. He decided to flee the Ft. Lauderdale congestion and bought a small $279,000 cottage in Vero’s Central Beach back in 2002. Apparently he didn’t actually move up Vero until about 2006 when he first became a resident. But he seems to have immediately found supporters (perhaps legal clients?) by heading the Taxpayers Association, and turning his Central Beach house into a Political Action Committee headquarters. In 2012, Stump ran for Vero City Council, with Glen Herran as his campaign treasurer. In association with Charlie Wilson (who recently filed an election complaint against IRNA and Mark Schumann for not calling a printed version of Inside Vero a ‘political ad’), Mr. Stump heads a newly formed ‘Vero Beach Chamber of Commerce’, charging that the IR Chamber of Commerce located next to the main post office in Old Town, Vero Beach, is not fairly representing the Vero business community’s interests. Stump is also joined at the hip with Glen Herran, who established a “Citizens for a Brighter Future” PAC in 2013, using $100,000 raised largely from FPL, aiming to sell Vero’s Electric Plant and ‘shrink the City’s bloated staff”. Mr. Stump seemed to have solutions to all the problems of his new-found city, ie to destroy it and build anew from the smoldering rubble? The truth is that Stump is a paid political operative, who ran another ‘smear’ campaign out of his 615 Camelia Lane residence last election cycle, to take out Councilwoman Amilia Graves—suddenly mailing fliers that she was, God forbid, a Democrat (when City Council elections are supposed to be non-party affiliated). Those attack fliers were, I believe, mailed from his PAC’s registered agent, Eric Robinson, of Venice/Tampa FL. Regarding the current smear by Stump, and likely supported by the outside of Vero Beach funders of his PAC “Clean Sweep for a Brighter Future” (note the similarity of the name to the 2013 PAC also backed by FPL?), the reader should note that Stump is ‘almost’ an outsider, and the folks funding his campaign to elect Moss, Sykes and Wells, are ALL outsiders. FPL’s game is to spend $40,000 or more to get these three elected, through the opaque lens of Stump’s PAC attack ads and false promises of money jingling in Vero voters pockets. By doing this, FPL stands to get the Shores portion of the Vero Electric business (some 20%) for the distress sale price of $17 million, when the City’s own utility experts, serving as appraisers, value it at $47 million. What a deal for FPL, spend $40,000 and save $17 million on the sales price! Of course, Stump is now falsely claiming that the City’s own utility valuation experts are the ‘outsiders’ and, even worse, are working to block the ‘fair sale’ for $30 million, not because FPL’s offer is too low, but because they just want to keep milking the legal contracts they are earning! If I were Schef Wright, the distinguished attorney who has helped Vero’s leaders for several years, I would be filing a defamation suite against Mr. Stump for this outrageous and unprofessional legal claim. To allege that Mr. Wright is so dishonest and greedy that his only interest is in billing more hours, while disserving the client he was hired to assist, is something dark and despicable. Perhaps this is something Mr. Stump would do? And for Mr. Stump to call consultants the City itself hired the “outsiders”, while he and his FPL and Johns Island PAC supports are the ‘insiders’ — is to turn white into black. But no wonder Vero’s voters are so confused—there is an ugly disinformation campaign being run by Mr. Stump’s group to mislead the voters, who are not use to such disgraceful behavior. The latest outrage is Stump and Charlie Wilson alleging that Mark Schumman’s Inside Vero print edition is not/not a legitimate newspaper but just a campaign flyer! Mark has published InsideVero every day for the past years, with indepth reporting that is far more local (and better researched) than that of the Stuart-based “Press Journal”, with its occasional story on Vero; or the ‘free’ weekly from Indian River Shores “32963”. This is just a corrupt attempt by Wilson to block free speech and the voter’s right to know what is really going on, ie that outsiders from FPL and Johns Island are buying three candidates (Moss, Sykes and Wells) through Stump’s PAC to take over Vero’s City Council from it’s citizens. Vote to reelect Randy Old, who has served 2 yrs with intelligence, distinction and grace. And vote for his allies Tony Young–ex Army officer; and Sharon Gorry, 4th generation Vero family, and ignore all the rest. Then we show a ‘clean sweep’ of Mr. Stump and his FPL and Johns Island cohort into the dust bin of history.

  3. In the world of Stump it is wrong to hire out of town consultants to determine the the value of Vero Electric. However according to Stump it is perfectly OK for out of town Indian River Shores politicians and others to infuse themselves into the Vero election. It’s also OK for FPL to supply thousands of dollars to get a $17,000,000 windfall. The consultants said the value was $47,000,000 not $30,000,000. It’s OK, according to Stump, for out of town Glenn Heran to be involved in the Vero local election. I would suppose it’s OK,according to Stump, for out of town Bob Brunjes, Press Journal, and his FPL wife, Amy to do everything in their power for a bargain priced sale ,and loss of $17,000,000 for the in city residents of VERO

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