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Saturday, February 13, 2016

The conspiracy to take down Connie Hall by “paid for” media

Unless you have been under a rock you have heard about the text messages sent by Connie hall saying “I vote fire him now” and  “special ed in action” when referring to superintendent Vitti.

Where I agree with most “special ed in action” was in poor taste I believe I can make the case that Connie Hall was set up by the district along with the media and special interests and they are trying to rail road her and that more than her comment is what should outrage us.

First of all WJCT has led the coverage with most of the other media parroting what was written and reported there. WJCT is not known for breaking news, why were the text messages sent to them and not all the news outlets?

Well it may be because WJCT’s education coverage is funded by Gary Chartrand, charter school proponent and huge backer of superintendent Vitti, whose repeated actions have backed Chartrand’s corporate style reforms.  The expansion of charter schools, the marginalization of teachers etc.

Then the media has said over and over they don’t know why the Miami law firm that made the public records requested that exposed the emails  targeted Connie Hal.

From WJCT:

 Robert H. Fernandez, an attorney with Zumpano Castro law firm, requested Hall’s texts and emails, along with those of board members Paula Wright and Becki Couch. A phone message to the firm asking why it targeted the three was not returned by this story’s deadline.

I know why and I have known since the minute the story broke and I am not an education reporter, or you know someone who is paid to know and follow these things.

Back in the fall Connie Hall along with Becki Couch and Paula Wright voted against a new Charter Schools USA project and that outraged them and since they are nothing but bullies, they have threatened to sue me twice for blogs I have written, they sent their lawyers after them to intimidate the school board members.

The following piece by Julie Delagul appeared in Context Florida, the Folio and other media last December.

 First the lobbyist from the Florida Charter School Alliance wanted to meet with a sitting Duval School Board member – privately. But when former Duval School Board Chairwoman Becki Couch suggested they “notice” the meeting and invite her fellow school board members to join them, lobbyist Ralph Arza said no. He asked her again to meet privately and, in an email dated Sept. 15, Couch declined again.
Then came the vote on the application for a new Charter Schools USA operation in Jacksonville. District staff had recommended denying the charter school application twice before, but in advance of the Oct. 20 vote, Superintendent Nikolai Vitti told the board that the organization had assuaged his worries. The application, however, had not changed.
With lobbyist Arza in the audience Oct. 20, the board voted 4-3 to approve the charter school. Couch and two other board members, Connie Hall and Paula Wright, were the three who voted to deny the application.
Next came the public records requests from South Florida lawyer Robert H. Fernandez, aimed at Couch, Hall, and Wright. The first one, dated Nov. 10, wanted the three members’ travel records, including reimbursements, along with salary and benefit information. Travel reimbursements are popular fodder for future ethics complaints: Just ask New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, or former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown.
Fernandez’s second public records request, dated Nov. 16, sought documents regarding the three board members’ communications – with each other and with a laundry list of nine other individuals. Fernandez even asked for cell phone text records.

So when the media says he we have no idea why the law firm requested the texts it is either being disingenuous or it means we have some really crappy media.

Then why were the texts released when they were after all the requests were made months ago? Maybe it was to distract from the release of school grades or maybe because there is momentum building around the city because of the way Vitti treats teachers and the disastrous curriculum he picked, to replace him. It’s my bet the people behind the release wanted to give him cover and garner sympathy for him. They held the texts like a trump card playing it when they felt it would do the most good.

So let me sum up, all this is, is Gary Chartrand’s private media source breaking a story that targeted a foe of us his and an at best willfully ignorant media that is only giving the people of Jacksonville half the story. When the media does the bidding or corporate interests we all lose and that more than what Connie Hall said should outrage us.


  1. Wasn't this all around the same time that Hall was followed home from a school board meeting?

    1. Funny how we never heard anything more about that but we'll never hear the end of textgate.

  2. WJCT knows why those 3 council members were targeted. They just don't want to go on record without the charter school law firm confirming it. Are they really expecting to get an answer?

    I've lost any respect I once had for WJCT. There's just too many conflicts of interest for them to be unbiased.

    Delegal is the only reporter who isn't afraid to do her job. It'll take more than threatened legal action to scare her off.