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Polk school board challengers hire federal criminal, affiliated with book-banners, as campaign consultant
Two CCDF candidates are using donor money on a campaign manager sentenced to 33 months in federal prison for defrauding veterans and people with special needs. How will they spend your tax money?
Polk County School Board Candidate Terry Clark has confirmed that the James Dunn hired by Clark and fellow School Board Candidate Jill Sessions as their campaign consultant is the same James Dunn sentenced to 33 months in federal prison in 2009 for fraud.
Dunn was convicted in 2008 of defrauding the government’s vocational rehab fund, which is designed to help veterans and people with disabilities.
“He did commit a crime in 2008.”
I’ll post Terry’s full statement on Dunn below. But here’s the crucial part:
He did commit a crime in 2008 and also paid the price … So, my final judgement is as God gives second chances to those that pay the price and turn from their evil ways, I’m not going to judge him by his past but by his present. We do have checks and balances in place so I’m confident I can put my full trust in him.
Dunn pleaded guilty in 2008 to submitting fraudulent claims to the state government of Texas, which administered the federal program. This is from the federal government’s press release:
He was indicted in May 2007 accused of submitting fraudulent claims against the government by fraudulently by claiming he was providing employment training and coaching to clients with disabilities when the clients were not receiving such training. Dunn allegedly obtained federal vocational rehabilitation funds in excess of $300,000, through DARS between 2002-2004.
The CCDF’s ringer, or something
Dunn seems to have organized a sparsely-attended recent “meet and greet” for the preferred slate of bonkers candidates of the so-called County Citizens Defending Freedom — the book-banning, anus/bladder, sex-obsession folks who have been screaming and disrupting School Board meetings for more than a year.
All the candidates except Justin Sharpless attended. (Justin has told me, point blank, that he is not part of any “slate.” The CCDF seems to have drafted him against his will. But you should ask him yourself.)
Dunn’s Facebook feed was full of pictures and posts about this meet and greet. For example:
I commented on one of the posts with a question to James Dunn asking him if he was the same James Dunn convicted of fraud. Dunn did not answer me; and shortly afterward, I found myself blocked from accessing his Facebook feed.
Terry Clark subsequently confirmed Dunn’s identity for me.
Jill Sessions has spent 43 percent of her campaign donations on James Dunn. LOL, Cassidy family.
Candidate Jill Sessions, who is running against outstanding incumbent Lisa Miller, who I fully support, spent $7,500 on Dunn recently. That’s 43 percent of her entire $17,500 contribution “war chest.”
Far be it from me to tell bonkers candidates how to run a campaign, but … spending 43 percent of your contributions on a the nebulous consulting services of a dude convicted of fraud?
For comparison, I went 2-1 in campaigns — with a very narrow loss against the cross-partisan entirety of the Polk County power structure — without spending a dime on consultant or a clerk. Ever. Consultants are scams, even when they’re not criminals convicted of fraud.
I wonder if Sessions told Winter Haven’s prominent Cassidy family about Dunn’s background. They seem to be her most important donors. Here are a couple examples. I have no idea how many LLCs they can throw around; there’s probably more.
LOL, Cassidys. Ya’ll got took.
So why did Dunn only charge Terry Clark $750?
But this gets even weirder when one looks at what Terry Clark is paying Dunn to help him challenge long-time incumbent Kay Fields. Why does Dunn cost Sessions $7,500 and Clark $750?
That seems strangely, precisely exponential. I’d be pretty grumpy if I was Jill Sessions.
“So I don’t see where Dr. Dunn can be faulted”
And here’s the thing about Dunn. He seems to have gotten back on the grift train a bit in 2016, as reported by the Orange Leader, a newspaper in Texas.
As information about Dunn began to circulate, I forwarded this article to Terry Clark, who I know a little, and suggested he make a statement of some kind about it. Here’s that full statement.
Thank you Billy for researching this. I have been following up today on everything that’s out there and this is where I’m at right now. He did commit a crime in 2008 and also paid the price. Then looking at the multi-purpose center, the board of the non-profit agency authorized the purchase of the facility but pulled funding because of a lack of community support and environmental issues cited by inspectors of the building which lead them to demolish the building. So I don’t see where Dr. Dunn can be faulted.
So, my final judgement is as God gives second chances to those that pay the price and turn from their evil ways, I’m not going to judge him by his past but by his present. We do have checks and balances in place so I’m confident I can put my full trust in him.
I always appreciate your council and judgement. Whether we agree on something or disagree, I appreciate you sharing with me.
Criminal Coddlers Defending Fraud (CCDF)
Terry’s statement is not the statement I would have issued if I discovered my campaign manager has a reasonably recent, fairly massive, criminal fraud conviction. And it certainly opens Terry to questions about how careful he plans to be in protecting the taxpayers from the many potential frauds and criminality that circle the massive money surrounding education.
But it is a statement, on the record, accounting for his guy. Kudos to Terry for that.
Every other CCDF candidate should make a similar statement. As should Steve Maxwell and Hannah Book Bannah and the rest of CCDF itself. CCDF supposedly stands for County Citizens Defending Freedom.
After all, Dunn is their guy:
Also, attention law enforcement
Somebody is illegally circulating campaign texts, with no identifying origin, that lie about a candidate in a way that is likely criminal.
I’m not going to dignify the content of the illegal campaign texts. They are as true as saying a candidate grew up on Mars.
All that should matter in addressing these texts is identifying and prosecuting the sender.
If I was law enforcement, faced with a complaint of criminality emerging from these texts, I would be interested to learn that a dude from Texas convicted of defrauding veterans and people with special needs has recently swooped into town to run campaigns for the CCDF’s slate of candidates.
I believe I might start my interviews there.