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To: The Editorial Board of the Tampa Bay Times

gbrink@tampabay.com

Dear Mr. Graham Brink,

I must say that I was surprised to see your paper’s endorsement of Eliseo Santana for Sheriff of Pinellas
County in today’s paper. This is especially surprising since your publication had exposed Santana’s
support of Scientology by himself and his campaign manager, Van Farber, and Santana’s troubling
twenty year history of financial mismanagement. None of which your editorial mentioned in your
endorsement of Santana. Clearly you had this information and chose to ignore it.

Your paper stated “Santana’s first run for office was an unsuccessful 2016 bid for Pinellas County School
Board. His past financial issues include a 2012 foreclosure, a 2013 bankruptcy and a final judgement
against him in January for $4,000 of unpaid credit card debt. Santana said he’s struggled just like
“millions of people affected by the financial collapse.”
https://www.tampabay.com/news/clearwater/2020/02/20/once-unspoken-scientology-at-forefront-of-
clearwater-city-councils-seat-2-race/

Your editorial also failed to mention that Santana only obtained 14% of the vote, while I obtained over
101,000 votes in my 2016 run for election, more Pinellas County votes than Santana has received in
every election he has ever run for, combined. That is with me running as an NPA candidate and setting a
state NPA vote record after campaigning for less than three months and spending less than $1,900.

Santana has had major financial mismanagement issues for over 20 years, including car repossessions in
1996, foreclosures in 1999 and 2010, and failure to pay lawsuits in 2012, and a failure to pay his credit
$4,000 card bill to Capital One in 2020. But you knew this.
What these records also show is that Santana “defaulted” on some of these actions because he never
bothered to show up for court, despite him being personally served the court papers and notices. There
is even clear evidence that he handwrote some on his responses like a prison inmate that does not have
access to a computer or a printer. Who does that other than someone that does not handle important
matters such as a civil lawsuit in a proper and responsible manner? But you think he should be Sheriff?

In the above document, he handwrites it even though he has days to respond. He then lies to the court
that he needs time to “find legal representation”, but he never hires a lawyer. Then, stops responding to
the civil suit at all until he fails to show up at all to a critical hearing and a default judgement is entered
against him on January 8, 2020, just as he was announcing he would run for Clearwater City Council.
The people of Clearwater soundly rejected him with a little more than 3,000 votes total, and only 14% of
the voters. Based on that, you feel he should run the Sheriff’s office?

Your editorial also states;


“Santana touts his six years of experience in the Army and Florida National Guard in the 1970s and early
1980s, though that won’t have prepared him to run an office with roughly 3,000 employees and a $300
million budget.”

You openly admit that his experience will not “prepare him to run an office with 3,000 employees and a
$300 million budget”, yet not a single word about his own mismanaged finances. How telling.

Your editorial stated;

“There’s a clear distinction between the two Democratic candidates in the primary for Pinellas County
Sheriff: One has worked at the Sheriff’s Office, and the other has not. While an outsider’s view can be
helpful, the role of sheriff requires an innate understanding of the organization. That’s largely why
the Tampa Bay Times editorial board is recommending Eliseo Santana for Pinellas Sheriff in the Aug. 18
Democratic primary.”

You basically state that since Eliseo Santana was literally a “maintenance supervisor”, that he is capable
of being Sheriff. That’s like saying a man is capable of being our President because he was the janitor at
the Whitehouse for thirty years. You claim he has an “innate understanding of the organization”, yet he
has not put forth a single actual platform position, a policy position or even a clear statement of
anything he will actually do as Sheriff. On the other hand, I have an expansive platform on my Website,
McLynsforsheriff.com that details exactly what I will do, how I will do it and why I will do it.

You were correct in one aspect, that Santana may be suited to roll out the body camera program based
on his camera experience. That is why I offered him that job when I am elected Sheriff.

My platform addresses 911 restructuring so that calls will be rerouted to a proper medical professional
for drug calls, a mental health professional when dealing with mental health issues, and those with
resources to help the houseless rather than arresting these people. Handcuffs do not cure these issues. I
have outlined how I will pay for these services and stimulate the Pinellas economy by ending all
Cannabis enforcement. Santana has no idea how he will fund or defund anything. You don’t mention
that I plan on cutting 25% from the Sheriff’s budget, starting with my own paycheck. Not a single
mention of ANY of the timely, concise and well-conceived platform positions I have, while Gualtieri and
Santana literally have none.

I have a concise and clear “Use of Force” policy on my platform, Santana has nothing. I have polices on
how I will build tiny home villages for the houseless and set up a Community Police Accountability Board
with real teeth to make real change. Gualtieri just gave a press conference on how he will shift the
overview back and forth between the same corrupt police agencies. Santana has nothing.
Every single issue demanded by the protesters across America is answered and a platform position is in
place to address that. Gualtieri and Santana have nothing.

All you say about me today is the same bullshit you said in 2016, almost verbatim.

“James McLynas, 61, is running for Sheriff a second time, prompted by a disagreement with the way the
Sheriff’s Office handled an issue he had with his then-wife years earlier. He alleged that a sheriff’s
deputy interfered in a criminal investigation or court cases for his then-wife.” Not a word about my
positions, my platform, and my support base.

What I find is the most pathetic about your paper’s editorial supporting Santana is that it is nothing
more than a thinly veiled campaign ad for Gualtieri. Gualtieri is terrified that I will beat him in
November, and so are you. Both Gualtieri and you know that Santana is like a three-legged horse in this
race and has zero chance to win against Gualtieri. But that is the whole point, right? Throw support at
the weakest candidate to try and knock the candidate out that can actually beat Gualtieri. If you can lie
to the public and prevent them from being able to vote for me in November, Gualtieri will easily be able
to beat Santana in November.

So, let me guess, you already have your “editorial” endorsing Gualtieri and throwing Santana under the
buss with the information above, set to publish on August 19, 2020. While most people find politics
dirty, they really don’t expect their local “news” source to be the creator of most of the bullshit being
thrown.

James McLynas
Candidate for Sheriff of Pinellas County