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UPDATE - 03-11-02

GOODING FIXES WEBSITE URL
FLORIDA BAR CLOSES MATTER
SUPREME COURT FINDS NO PROBABLE CAUSE

STReport has received the following two letters from the Florida Bar relative to the Gooding matter.  The letters find that David M. Gooding did not intend to mislead voters Thus, there was no probable cause to pursue the matter further. 

That's good enough for us.  Perhaps this episode will bring to the attention of "the powers that be" that changes must be made to the current sets of rules and laws to fully encompass the Internet and the manner in which the Internet is utilized in as much as political campaigns are presented and conducted.

The "Anything Goes" Law of The Internet statements made by others on behalf of Candidate Gooding were truly the catalyst in this entire matter.  Hopefully, positive lessons were learned by all.

This is the Official letter from The Florida Bar
advising David M. Gooding of their decision.

Click on the letters to see FULL Size

This is the official Notice of No Probable Cause
sent to David M. Gooding by the
Florida Supreme Court's
Fourth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee "A".

In any case, the original Website Address that created the situation has been changed and is no longer active.

We too, congratulate David M. Gooding for having re-acted quickly and positively in this matter.

The new Website Address is www.goodingforjudge.com for anyone interested in taking a look.

 
UPDATE - 02/08/02

GOODING LOSES BID FOR DUVAL COUNTY JUDGE APPOINTMENT

STReport has learned that David M. Gooding failed to "come out of committee" in his bid for appointment to a County Court Judgeship appointment by the Governor.

The List of those applying for appointment to County Court Judge in Duval County

A. WELLINGTON BARLOW — Private practitioner. Sixteen years as a lawyer. Began as a public defender before going solo in 1987 concentrating on personal injury and criminal defense cases.
KEVIN A. BLAZS — Private practitioner. Has served as a reserve JAG officer, assistant state attorney and private practitioner representing both plaintiffs and defendants in civil and criminal cases. Currently handles personal injury defense, workman’s compensation and mediations.
LANE T. BURNETT — Private practitioner. Twenty-eight years private practice; personal injury, domestic, family, criminal, administrative and mediations.
STEVEN P. COMBS — General master in Clay County.
DANIEL J. D’ALESIO JR. — Attorney for the Department of Community Services for the City. Twenty-six years as a Naval JAG officer. Retired in 1998 as a captain. Six years as a military trial judge overseeing 850 felony and misdemeanor cases. Handled cases including murder, drugs, larceny, robbery and military offenses.
RAY DAVID JR. — Private practitioner. Has worked as a public defender and independent trial lawyer. Has covered everything from “murders to shrimp net violations.”
TAD DELEGAL III — Private practitioner. General counsel for the Fraternal Order of Police and proprietor of Delegal Law Offices, P.A.
DAVID GOODING — Private practitioner. Spent time as a prosecutor. Has also worked on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants for personal injury cases. Other areas include contracts, construction, employment, juvenile dependency and family law. Has served as a mediator in various capacities. He is currently a partner at Kent, Crawford and Gooding, P.A.
RUSSELL HEALEY — Private practitioner. Twenty years legal experience both as assistant state attorney and private practitioner in criminal prosecution and defense cases. Has dealt in legal matters including juvenile dependency, juvenile delinquency, family law and general civil cases.
MONICA HENTSCHEL — Assistant State Attorney. Ten years as a prosecutor in areas including homicide, environmental crimes, white collar crime, misdemeanors and sex crimes.
DONALD MAIRS — Private Practitioner. Thirteen years of legal experience from assistant public defender to private trial lawyer. Has handled primarily criminal cases including murder, DUI, white collar crimes and “anything people get arrested for we’re interested in doing.”
MOSES MEIDE JR. — Private practitioner. Twenty-seven years of private practice as a general practitioner. Two years in the State Attorney’s Office.
T. FRANCIS SHOEMAKER — Assistant public defender. Started as an assistant state attorney in 1990, then switched to the public defender’s office in 1993.
FRANK TASSONE — Private practitioner since 1983. Joined Tassone and Eler in 1989.
LEATRICE WALTON WILLIAMS — General master/child support hearing officer. Worked as a private practitioner and as a member of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid handling matters including government contracts, family law, real property, probate, consumer, guardianship, employment and education.

At a time when the State of Florida is busy trying to "clean-up its act" as far as the Electoral process is concerned, one finds David M. Gooding still defying common sense and decency, not to mention the law, in his campaign practices.  His campaign web address of www.JudgeGooding.com is still active and working just fine.  One can only wonder if perhaps, this outrage "caught up" with Gooding and killed his chances of coming out of committee.  In any case, the Nominating Committee of Duval County did not approve his application to be recommended to the Governor for appointment to a County Court Judgeship.

Unqualified to be a County Judge??
An Ominous Pall over Gooding's campaign for Circuit Court Judge.
 

UPDATE - 01/30/02

Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee
Precedent Setting Ruling Found!

Below, STReport presents a precedent setting decision by the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee relative to the misuse of a website address.

Editorial by R. F. Mariano Editor, STReport International Online Magazine (01/30/02)

It has been STReport's contention from the date of our first article 01/09/02 that David M. Gooding has violated the rules of conduct and ethics by using the website address of www.judgegooding.com . This man has never been a Judge. Yet, he continues to tout himself as such by arrogantly using the website address both directly and indirectly to date. STReport fervently calls upon the various regulatory agencies involved in ensuring the Voters are Protected from such outrageous misleading actions by Gooding, a candidate campaigning for Judge in the Fourth Judicial Circuit, Group 13 in the State of Florida, immediately take action.

In the course of the past two weeks, we have observed David M. Gooding use the website address www.judgegooding.com on his website, printed on his hand-out campaign literature and for his email info@judgegooding.com yet we see no real effort on his part to "make things right".  Last Friday, 01/25/02, we observed a "name change" of his website to www.goodingforjudge.comBUT... Gooding stubbornly continues to use www.JudgeGooding.com on his campaign literature.

Gooding still uses the www.judgegooding.com via a web address "redirect" that links to www.goodingforjudge.com thus keeping the original offensive website address, www.judgegooding.com alive and working.  In essence, one can easily consider such an action as a subtle "disclaimer".

Gooding has stated; "I'm not out here to be a test case".  In our opinion, he's screaming out loud to be just that

The manner in which Gooding has conducted this debacle of a "shell game" over his misleading website name is an outrage.  Its an insult to all other candidates who've made every effort to comply with the Laws of the State of Florida concerning campaigns and elections.  Gooding continues to skirt the law and play "head games" trying in every way possible thus far to mislead the voters of the State of Florida. His advisors have obviously swayed him into thinking what he is doing is ok after all, they say "ANYTHING GOES..."

Obviously, Gooding buys into this contention as his website and campaign literature is CLEARLY still taking advantage of the www.JudgeGooding.com misleading and inappropriate website address. STReport has presented a literal avalanche of quotes from Florida Law, Statutes and opinions regarding the arrogant, aggressive use of his misleading website address.  As of today, 01/30/02 the website address: www.JudgeGooding.com is still working just fine.

In STReport's opinion, since Gooding, his advisors and webmasters see fit to continue to "test" the law with this political chicanery, we have no hesitation to request and advise that those agencies responsible for protecting the voters of Florida demand his website be shutdown completely until such time as all traces of the offensive website address www.JudgeGooding.com ceases to direct voters to Gooding's website and exist on his campaign literature. 

This candidate's arrogant behavior must come to an abrupt stop. There comes a time when those in a position to protect the voters, the integrity of the Florida Electoral Process and the dignity of every political candidate both present and future, must step up and take action. This is such a time. Additionally, we ask that candidates, attorneys and others feeling they have followed the rules, (why should this candidate Gooding "get away with it" making a mockery of the process), complain to these offices and agencies:

  • The Florida Supreme Court Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee

  • The Judicial Qualifications Commission

  • The Judicial Nominating Committee (Duval County)

  • The Florida Bar

  • The Jacksonville Bar

  • The Office of the Governor

  • The Office of the Secretary of State

  • The Elections Supervisors of the Counties Involved in the Fourth Judicial Circuit

Please read the opinion set forth by the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee presented below. (You may click on the title and view the actual site from which this information was obtained.)

FLORIDA SUPREME COURT

JUDICIAL ETHICS ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Opinion Number: 00-21 (Election)1
Date of Issue: August 14, 2000

ISSUES

WHETHER A JUDICIAL CANDIDATE WHO IS NOT A JUDGE SHOULD USE A WEBSITE WITH AN ADDRESS IDENTIFYING HIMSELF AS A JUDGE IF THE WEBSITE CONTAINS A DISCLAIMER THAT HE IS NOT A JUDGE.

ANSWER: No.

FACTS

The inquiring candidate is running for county court against an incumbent judge. First, the candidate seeks to use a website address of www.judgex.com ('x' denotes the judicial candidate's first name). The website contains a disclaimer that the candidate is not a judge.

DISCUSSION

First, Canon7A(3)(d)(iii) states, "A candidate for judicial office shall not knowingly misrepresent the identity, qualifications, present position or other fact concerning the candidate or an opponent." The website address used clearly refers to the candidate as judge. The disclaimer that the candidate is not a judge, contained on the website, does not alter this misrepresentation. The public can undoubtedly be misled to believe that the candidate identified by the website address is a judge. Therefore, the website address is both misleading and inappropriate.

REFERENCES

Florida Code of Judicial Conduct: Canon 3B(9), Canon 7 and Canon 7A(3)(d)(iii).

The Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee is expressly charged with rendering advisory opinions interpreting the application of the Code of Judicial Conduct to specific circumstances confronting or affecting a judge or judicial candidate. Its opinions are advisory to the inquiring party, to the Judicial Qualifications Commission and to the judiciary at large. Conduct that is consistent with an advisory opinion issued by the Committee may be evidence of good faith on the part of the judge, but the Judicial Qualifications Commission is not bound by the interpretive opinions by the Committee. Petition of the Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges, 698 So.2d 834 (Fla. 1997). However, in reviewing the recommendations of the Judicial Qualification Commission for discipline, the Florida Supreme Court will consider conduct in accordance with a Committee opinion as evidence of good faith. Id.
 

For further information, contact Judge Charles J. Kahn, Jr., Chairman, Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee, 301 Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1850

Participating Members:
Judge Charles J. Kahn, Jr.
Judge Lisa D. Kahn
Judge Phyllis D. Kotey
Judge Scott J. Silverman

Copies furnished to:
Justice Peggy Quince
All Committee Members
All Members of the J.Q.C.
Office of the State Courts Administrator (Name of inquiring judge deleted from this copy)

1The Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee has appointed an Election Practices Subcommittee. The purpose of this subcommittee is to give immediate responses to campaign questions in instances where the normal Committee procedure would not provide a response in time to be useful to the inquiring candidate or judge. Opinions designated with the "(Election)" notation are opinions of the Election Practices Subcommittee of the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee, and have the same authority as an opinion of the whole Committee.

 

01/29/02

GOODING'S "ANYTHING GOES" DRAWS
OFFICIAL FLORIDA BAR INVESTIGATION

STReport has learned The Florida Bar, based in Tallahassee, the State Capitol, is now in the process of a full investigation of the Gooding's campaign and in particular, the use of the www.judgegooding.com (which indicates incumbency) both on the Internet and in his paid political advertisements in printed form.  Ultimately, in such investigations the final decision, if the matter is not resolved, goes to the Supreme Court.  Obviously, as a result of this investigation... the allegations of election campaign improprieties now have a high degree of credibility.  Even though Gooding has changed the website and domain name to www.goodingforjudge.com the old name of www.judgegooding.com is still working and is printed on his paid political hand out material.

 
01/28/02

IT APPEARS GOODING'S BACK TO
 "ANYTHING GOES!"
WE'RE PLAYING "THE NAME GAME!"

We saw the name change in the registry, we saw the new domain name work... but when we TESTED the OLD DOMAIN NAME... incredibly, it too.. STILL WORKS!!  More of..."Anything Goes"?

Editorial by R. F. Mariano Editor, STReport International Online Magazine

And I thought Gooding would finally play by the rules.  I guess I was wrong thinking Gooding would do the right thing.  Oh sure, the domain name and the website name were changed, to www.goodingforjudge.com but if one tries the OLD name of www.judgegooding.com incredibly, IT STILL WORKS!! A simple web programming error or, a nifty "slight of hand" name game? I think the latter.

I guess we are now down to the "slight of hand" shell game of "what you see ain't necessarily what you get" the names have been changed but the game is still, unfortunately, the same.


David M. Gooding
"I'm Not Out Here
To Be a Test Case".

Candidate Gooding.. to faithfully abide by the rules and do what's right you should immediately drop the www.judgegooding.com completely.  Not simply register a new domain name www.goodingforjudge.com in the registry and then forward link the old name to the new name so that all pages (links) of your website still work and that the hard copy (printed) campaign literature carrying the www.judgegooding.com does not have to be changed!  Are you continuing to hand out the election campaign promotional fold-over cards with the old name on them? Who's kidding who here?  Frankly, I think you are kidding yourself.

How in the world.. do you expect people to trust and vote for you when you cannot seem to abide by, if not the rules, then at least professional ethics. Lord help those in front of you if you EVER become a Judge.

The Bottom Line

Gooding must stop using the www.judgegooding.com altogether. If this does not occur, then it becomes easily believed that Gooding fully intends to continue using the printed campaign literature having the old domain name of www.judgegooding.com printed on them. As such, those reading the campaign literature will be deceived into thinking Gooding is an incumbent judge seeking re-election. This is very wrong.  The Florida voters deserve much better.  The voters deserve the TRUTH not misleading statements in candidate approved campaign literature.

My assumption can only be after having seen Gooding's stated tactics of... "ANYTHING GOES..."  that he fully intends to abide by the rules as minimally as possible. I'm inclined to believe this is all done with aforethought and definitive purpose.  The campaign literature must be changed as it too, carries the www.judgegooding.com domain and website name that Gooding is deliberately using indirectly!  When do the games stop?

Clearly David Gooding must begin to do the right thing... completely, not superficially, to "make it look right".  Gooding said "I'm not out there to be a test case"  but.. thus far, by his actions, it sure looks like that's exactly what he wants.

Tell the truth - offer the truth in concept, principle and spirit.

 

01/23/02 - From the Jacksonville Daily Record...

Campaign ads: a White Hawk specialty

 


Politicians aren’t the only ones preparing for the upcoming elections. Lou DiGiusto and Charlie Barth, the owners of White Hawk Pictures, are already heavily involved in several local campaigns
 ©photo by Sean McManus

by Sean McManus
Staff Writer

Election season is approaching and Charlie Barth and Lou DiGiusto are already working to extinguish what will be the first of many political brushfires before voters go to the polls in November.

In this case, their client David Gooding, who is running for circuit court judge, has been getting heat for his website,
www.judgegooding.com. One of his opponents thinks the site is a little presumptuous because he isn’t a judge. Barth and DiGiusto think Gooding’s opponent should brush up on the anything goes law of the Internet.

Barth and DiGiusto run White Hawk Pictures, a one-stop production studio which creates many of the local campaign commercials.

“The problem with politics,” said Barth, White Hawk’s CEO and founder, “is that it’s so political.”

White Hawk is an “integrated communications” company, meaning it handles everything from marketing and public relations to production and consulting.

“How entrenched we get depends on the candidate and whether he or she is hands-on or not,” said DiGiusto, the company’s director of marketing. And of course it also depends on budget.

Usually the candidate’s research staff will do the preliminary polling to get a picture of where the candidate stands among the competition and what issues are most important to the voters.

That’s when White Hawk becomes involved.

First, the candidate is asked to state his or her purpose. Then a “kitchen cabinet” team is assembled with all the key players so that everyone is on the same page. After analyzing the candidate’s purpose, the polling numbers, the political climate in the district, the candidate’s history and the level of competition, White Hawk devises a media plan.

“They’ve got a choice of media,” said Barth. “We can do cable. Or we can knock on doors.”

“It’s an evolving process,” said DiGiusto. “The most important part is that the candidate’s purpose is authentic and that they stay on message.”

The door knocking strategy worked quite well for State Rep. Dick Kravitz.

“We made about 6,000 VHS tapes — about 10 minutes long — and went door-to-door in his district handing them out to registered voters. It’s very cost effective and it works,” said Barth.

Kravitz won his state house seat in a landslide.

White Hawk likes the VCR method because the pass-along rate is high; people give it to their friends.

Hand-delivered videotapes also have a big advantage over other techniques: they don’t fall under regulatory scrutiny. In Kravitz’s case, the tape method was also integrated with cable spots.

“That doesn’t mean we apply the same template to every situation,” said DiGiusto. “We figure out what works best for each individual candidate.”

Barth and DiGiusto said the local electorate mirrors that of major markets around the country: it’s smart and knows the issues. That’s why White Hawk tells its clients to be authentic, stay on message and take the high road.

“We steer our clients away from smear campaigns all the time,” said DiGiusto. “It’s a difficult argument when their opponent is throwing mud, but it has never let us down.”

White Hawk Pictures has been around 15 years and Barth worked on former Gov. Lawton Chiles’ campaign for the U.S. Senate, the “Walkin’ Lawton” campaign.

DiGiusto started at William Cook Advertising and met Barth when both were working on local campaigns. DiGiusto has been with the company for about a year. His resume includes serving as a consultant to Gov. Bob Graham and spending time in New York and Los Angeles studying the most current techniques in campaign film production.

Barth was the first chair of former mayor Jake Godbold’s film commission, which has been responsible for bringing several major movie productions to the area.

In addition to politicians, White Hawk clients include Blue Cross Blue Shield, Xomed, Nova Southeastern University and the State Comptroller’s Office. They also do work for political action committees, like ones seeking tort reform, and the Associated Industries of Florida, which wants to keep health care affordable.

White Hawk has also done campaign spots for former U.S. Rep. Tillie Fowler, Judge Tyrie Boyer, Judge Lance Day, General Master Kathy Sands and City Council member Warren Alvarez. Currently, they are working on a documentary on homeless children for the Better Home Funds, a nonprofit group out of Boston.

Barth recently opened an office, Coming Attractions, in Orlando and another in Tallahassee. And White Hawk has the local franchise on a leading edge technology called Vivex, which is a fiber optic system that feeds a digital video signal to a satellite for transmission to a TV network.

 

UPDATE: 01/25/02 - 4pm - Apparently, as of this date, a name change for the David M. Gooding Website www.judgegooding.com is in the process of becoming www.goodingforjudge.com  - Common Sense Prevails.....

 

UPDATE: 01/25/02 - STReport has learned THE FLORIDA BAR has received a FORMAL COMPLAINT regarding Gooding's Website and literature carrying the the "judgegooding.com" name.  The investigation proceeds....

Additionally, further investigation reveals there has been no changes requested of the Internet Registration Organization relative to a name change of the website. (click here for the report)

01/23/02

STReport Editor's Note:  ANYTHING GOES??

Florida's "Behind the Scenes" Political Chicanery Needs to Clean Up its Act!

Editorial by R. F. Mariano Editor, STReport International Online Magazine (01/24/02)

In our original article, (dated: - 01/09/02), we focused upon the use of the judgegooding.com Domain Name and the www.judgegooding.com website name, both on the Internet and in printed material  are inferring an incumbency and are grossly misleading.

Update: 01/24/02 - Printed, Fold/Over Campaign Promo Card


Card - Front


Card - Back (please note the www.judgegooding.com) This candidate has never been a Judge.


Card - Inside

We see a common fallacy in the comments by Barth & DiGuisto of White Hawk... they obviously do not know the Internet very well.. to advise a client to believe in "anything goes" on the Internet is like saying, disregard all law, do what you wish!!  That is simply incredible! What a concept!! Advice such as this is not only TOTALLY IRRESPONSIBLE ...it is completely unacceptable!!

Opponents should brush up??  Perhaps those clamoring for a "brush-up" should try doing so in the area of ethics and decency....

Then... their CEO goes on to say "the trouble with politics is.. ..its so political..."  Who's being "political" now?  They are!  Trying to foist THEIR conception of correctness on the net is far more politically manipulative and plain wrong than any honest attempt at offering civility and TRUTH on the Internet.  Politics my foot!! Campaign Chicanery appears to be the name of the game!

One can only wonder how they would react if a website appeared using the name of: "JUDGEGOOFING.COM"!! (anything goes!)  I can hear the screaming and gnashing of teeth already.  The bottom line is: Tell the truth - offer the truth in concept, principle and spirit. To continue to offer a website name that infers incumbency is the epitome of misleading the voter, offering half truths and flat out fraud. Is this possibly... The real gist of NE Florida Politics?

Now, the article above, which appeared in the Jacksonville Daily Record, owned by Bailey Publishing & Communications, seems to lend "credibility" to the apparent irresponsible actions of BOTH Gooding and his "well informed about the Internet" advisors.  On top of which, the "story" appeared more as a "promo ad" for White Hawk with the goofy Gooding comments cleverly added...  more slanted politics??

Ah yes... the politics go on and on and on... A simple name change by Gooding to remove the hinting that this "candidate" is a Judge would've ended it all weeks ago.  But NO... apparently, stubbornness and thickheaded thinking have escalated the entire situation.  Could it be... its really "voter be damned" politics as usual?  We called it that weeks ago. 

Where is the Florida Bar?, The Judicial Ethics Committee?, and the Elections Supervisors of the counties involved?  The Laws are written for all to obey but they remain only words on paper until someone takes action.  

Could all this be politics at its best?  Is it so difficult to be truthful? A quiet, simple change by Gooding could've averted all this "posturing and hot air". It appears that by allowing this nonsense name "judgegooding.com" to continue, Gooding put his chances for election or appointment to a Judgeship in the dumper!

David Gooding, how can you expect people to trust you as a Judge on the bench when you cannot offer truth in your ads and website!  So far, its a NO VOTE for Gooding.  (an informal poll was conducted by this magazine asking; "If a candidate misleads voters on their website and political ads, would you trust that candidate on the bench?  Would you vote for that candidate?" - - Overwhelmingly, the reply was NO!)

To be honest and make a fair observation, most fringe players in politics... campaign advisors, promoters, publicists etc., do a good job.  But when carpetbaggers and feather merchants come along and kick over the garbage cans trying to make a name for a candidate all they seem to do is raise the stink level and force the elections of Judges more and more toward appointment only by the Governor.  Thus, REMOVING the Voice of the People farther and farther from Government.  One day these "wrecksperts" will realize, that in their chase for the almighty buck, they will have destroyed the very principles upon which this Country was founded. A government for, of and by the People.

By the way; As a point of information; David M. Gooding is also applying for an appointment to be a Judge in the Duval County Courts.  Hmmm.. must wanna be a Judge real bad ... bad enough to do most anything?

 

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