UPDATE - 03-11-02
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.
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.
is the Official letter from The Florida Bar
advising David M. Gooding of
Click on the letters to see
is the official Notice of No Probable Cause
sent to David M. Gooding by
Florida Supreme Court's
Fourth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee
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that created the situation has been changed and is no longer active.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
anyone interested in taking a look.
LOSES BID FOR DUVAL COUNTY JUDGE APPOINTMENT
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,
• 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,
• 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
• MOSES MEIDE JR. — Private practitioner. Twenty-seven years of
private practice as a general practitioner. Two years in the State
• 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
An Ominous Pall over Gooding's campaign for Circuit Court Judge.
UPDATE - 01/30/02
Judicial Ethics Advisory
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
firstname.lastname@example.org 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
BUT... Gooding stubbornly continues to use
www.JudgeGooding.com on his
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
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
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.
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.
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:
Florida Supreme Court Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee
Judicial Qualifications Commission
Judicial Nominating Committee (Duval County)
of the Governor
of the Secretary of State
Elections Supervisors of the Counties Involved in the Fourth Judicial
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
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.
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.
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.
website address is both misleading and inappropriate.
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
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
GOODING'S "ANYTHING GOES" DRAWS
OFFICIAL FLORIDA BAR INVESTIGATION
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.
IT APPEARS GOODING'S BACK
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
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
IT STILL WORKS!! A simple web
programming error or, a nifty "slight of hand" name game? I think
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".
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
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.
must stop using the
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.
can only be after having seen Gooding's stated tactics of...
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
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
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,
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
“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
“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
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”
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
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
Additionally, further investigation reveals
there has been no changes requested of the Internet Registration
Organization relative to a name change of the website.
for the report)
STReport Editor's Note:
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
name, both on the Internet and in printed material
are inferring an incumbency and are grossly misleading.
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
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.
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.
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
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?