When the ties to the Food Bank were severed by the Town of White Springs, we the Griffins assisted the New Hope Pantry by helping secure a trailer for which we paid $900 that Marshall retained, to haul food, secure the necessary insurance and had made monetary donations so that food could be purchased for those in need. These contributions were made prior to Joe E. Griffin electing to run for council.the same year which Rhett Bullard elected to run for council.. Reverend Marshall along with Homer also made monetary contributions. Since I had volunteered at Interfaith Ocala, I realize the importance of treating those in need as clients. So since this was the first food giveaway after a long time, I baked 300 cookies, put on coffee and offered tea to those that wait in line.
Everyone is given a number and when the gates were open, the clients immediately went to the tables to pick out their produce and food. How in the world can someone say this was a political meeting? But that is exactly what Rhett said it was and he had Walter McKenzie write a memo to Shirley Heath stating it was a campaign.
The notifications given to everyone relating to the food giveaway did not mention a campaign nor did Joe solicit votes. The majority of the people who attend these giveaways are usually impoverished and many of them do not vote because of past records. Since Rhett knew of the giveaway (We left flyers at Town Hall) , he could have also shown up as well as Tonja Brown who was given a flyer. Better yet, since there are no grants to purchase the food, perhaps Rhett, Tonja and Walter McKenzie should have also forked out $100 a month so that we can be assured those in need are assisted. The cookies I baked which were given away to those in line were not considered a valuable gift but rather a little treat to make everyone feel welcome to our home.
Everyone in town knows Joe was running for council and if they elected to talk to him, it was of their own choice. Some of the individuals have performed work for us. In fact all he did was greet people and advise them they could have coffee and cookies while they waited. As for me I wore My Griffin for Council Tee-Shirt.
Because of the bad publicity by the Town regarding Joe, one of the African American women was concerned to use the wagon I left for them to transport food to their cars. She was afraid Joe wouldn’t let her use it. I told her he was my husband and a really nice guy and proceeded to help her and her son. It is sad that so many have defamed Joe in the past but what we do is for the benefit of others and not for ourselves. Since they brought Reverand Marshall into the same issue as well saying he is a 24 hour employee and he cannot work with Joe in any way. he had to also defend himself with the commission. Governors and other political people assist each other in the party. But Corruption in White Springs prevails.
Today Joe received a call that Rhett Bullard has made a formal complaint siting two statutes. In other words there seems to be concern by the Town that perhaps my husband Joe E. Griffin would stand a chance being on the council. And obviously they are not happy that he would like only the General Fund be used for salaries and leave the Sewer and Water fund out of the mix. In fact, as Joe listed previously, it appears from others who over heard Mr. Bullard, that there may be increased taxes. Now Joe did not wish to believe the story to be true, but since Mr. Bullard reads the blog and made no corrections except to site two statutes
106.15 Certain acts prohibited.
(1) No person shall pay money or give anything of value for the privilege of speaking at a political meeting in the furtherance of his or her candidacy, nor shall anyone speaking for such a person pay money or give anything of value for such privilege. (This WAS NOT A POLITICAL MEETING AND MY COOKIES WERE NOT VALUABLE. NO ONE KNEW JOE CONTRIBUTED TOWARD THE FOOD. IT WAS A PRIVATE MATTER BETWEEN THE HOPE FOOD PANTRY and the Griffins) . By the way, the fact that Spencer Lofton was campaigning at Black Churches would be more of a POLITICAL MEETING.
(3) A candidate may not, in the furtherance of his or her candidacy for nomination or election to public office in any election, use the services of any state, county, municipal, or district officer or employee during working hours. I DID NOT KNOW THAT REV. MARSHALL WAS USING HIS EMPLOYEE STATUS FOR THE NOMINATION of JOE E. GRIFFIN. All we could hope for is a vote (only if he chooses and not because we help him) and we would never place him in that position. We have worked with Rev. Marshall on the Food Pantry and will still do so whether or not Joe is a candidate. Richard Marshall has not assisted in our campaign for Joe E. Griffin. Nor has he accepted any material we passed out in the neighborhoods, because he frankly is not allowed to do so. He was the minister who provided religious consultation and married us, WHAT ABOUT ALL THE PARTIES ALL OF THE COUNCIL GO TO (excluding Richard Marshall) LIKE THE ONE HELD ACROSS THE STREET FROM OUR HOUSE. Who is associating with whom? Obviously the Mayor will do anything to bring good people down.
As it stood, the Election Commission did not find any of the accusations legally sufficient but Joe paid dearly for the bashing by all individuals related to the town. So much, that he did not campaign after the accusation. The commission indicated there was no problem to have a campaign at our house, which it was not. But that is what they do to a person in White Springs. In fact, Shirley took the blame because we could not have Rhett involved whatsoever. It is the same today. Rhett never puts anything in writing. Instead, he will tell Stacy, Pam or Tracy what to do and if something comes back on his request, well his hands were clean. That is the Rhett way.