Press Release: TWO LAKELAND CITY ELECTION CANDIDATES GET "F" RATING FROM SOUTHERN HERITAG
TWO LAKELAND CITY ELECTION CANDIDATES GET "F" RATING FROM SOUTHERN HERITAGE GROUP
Lakeland - Save Southern Heritage - FL ("SSH FL") releases today its "City of Lakeland Voter Guide". Two candidates out of the four races, Jorge Fonseca and Jim Malless, received a "F" rating. Both Fonseca and Malless are opposed to preserving Lakeland's historic War Memorial in place in Munn Park and both face pro-veterans memorial preservation candidates. In the Commissioner At Large #1 seat, Jim Mallees, the incumbent Commissioner, made headlines staking out his removal stance and received an "F" rating from SSH. Opponent Candidate Ricky Shirah, received an "A+". Shirah is in favor of keeping the Munn Park War Memorial because he agrees with former Democrat Governor Lawton Chiles that "its just history". Stephanie Madden, also a candidate in the At Large Position, received a "B" rating. The Dist. C race will fill an open seat with the retirement of Don Selvege. Jorge Fonseca, a candidate for County Commission SW - Dist. C, expressed his position in a SSH FL Candidate Survey but did not state how many tax dollars he was willing to spend to remove the memorial. Opposing Fonseca, Michael Dunn, a veteran, received an A+ rating. He is in favor of keeping the historic War memorial because "all Florida veterans deserve respect", and he's tired of his family members who served in the Confederacy "being blamed for everything that's wrong in America". "Dunn is right on" said SSH FL spokesman David McCallister. "How we treat yesterday's veterans signals to today's youth how today's soldiers will be treated tomorrow." "Selvege's push to 'open the conversation' on possible removal of the War Memorial is disrespectful and disgraceful. Imagine having a public meeting to discuss whether or not to keep the Vietnam War Veterans Memorial," said David McCallister, SSH FL spokesman. "We've seen this phrase used all around the nation and its just a dog whistle to Black Lives Matter and Anti-Fa's hate-filled protesters filled to come into town to threaten and bully the town into 'taking it down' like they did in Bradenton and Tampa" he added. "Commissioner Selvege is putting the cart before the horse. If he wants the monument moved, he should bring forth a proposal for Commission action. The Munn Park Memorial was dedicated in 1910 and funded in part by a donation from the City of Lakeland and the Dedication address was given by then Florida Attorney General Park Trammel, the son of the City's first Mayor (John W. Trammell), who would later become Florida Governor. "The potential removal of the Munn Park memorial will drastically change the character of the park, that is beloved and fondly remembered by many generations of Lakelanders and rip a key piece of the town's history" said McCallister. "Lakeland's historic down town was added to the National Register 20 years ago this year. Now instead of Celebrating the anniversary, we're talking about bringing in the cranes and bulldozers" McCallister added. "Our polling shows that Statewide 77% of Floridians are opposed to the removal of war memorials, even ones to Confederate Veterans, and over 90% of Republicans are opposed," said McCallister. "Based on this polling, candidates would be well advised to stand for embracing history and their beautiful statues, like the one in Lakeland" McCallister said. "Other communities have not caved into the demands to use a public meeting to discredit and dishonor veterans. Brooksville didn't, Pensacola didin't. Lakeland can just say 'no'. We say cancel the meeting and decide not to decide" McCallister concluded. SSH FL developed the Voter Guide as part of its Voter Education activities for this election. Similar activities were conducted in the recent Florida House Dist. 58 Special Election, where pro-Southern Heritage Candidate Lawrence McClure overtook Yvonne Fry in the Republican Primary in adjacent Hillsborough County.
SAVE SOUTHERN HERITAGE Inc. is a 501 c(4) public welfare corporation that educates & advocates on behalf of Southern Heritage & History. It was started in 2015 in response to the knee-jerk Anti-Southern institutionalized bullying and “Erase-ism” levied against the people of South Carolina by Governor Nikki Haley, after she broke all previous agreements about how South Carolina’s historical veterans and their symbols should be treated and respected. SSH FL does not condone racism and as such we do not support any group or person that does. We respect the rights and privileges of all as bestowed on them by their creator and expect those in our association to respect and treat others as they themselves would wish to be treated. The Florida branch was activated in mid-January 2016, in response to three initiatives in the Florida Legislature that are part of a hate campaign led by Anti-American extremists, who refuse to respect the various cultures that make up the fabric of Florida’s society. Since that time, it has grown in membership and has been active in Heritage battles throughout Florida including the “We'll Remember in November Campaign” that resulted in #heritagehater candidates to lose elections in Florida. More info: www.sshfl.org.