Florida’s 13th Congressional district special election is a microcosm of a post Citizens United America. Democrat Alex Sink is facing off against David Jolly, a Republican. Many, many dollars have come in from out of state to fight for party control of this seat. On March 11, 2014 a special election will be held to replace the late Republican Bill Young.
David Jolly is a former lobbyist who worked for a right wing group that has set out to privatize social security. By all accounts, his positions are Tea Party positions. While I could offer a diatribe about the dangers of “dark money” in politics, privatization, lobbyists and Citizen United, it looks like this race may be determined by a motorcycle accident 25 years ago.
One night in 1989, Blair Ropes and his girlfriend Sandra Vendl were on his motorcycle, returning from the mall. The motorcycle broke down, forcing the two to walk along the highway towards assistance. Ropes was wearing black and was closest to the road. A 16 year old David Jolly was driving his father’s car at the time. Jolly’s car struck Ropes and threw him 147 feet. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The troopers who responded found that Ropes was at fault because he was walking with the traffic and not facing oncoming traffic. Jolly was not held responsible.
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As we know, in politics, everything eventually comes out. Two weeks prior to the election for a congressional seat that will have national impact, this 25 year old incident has resurfaced. Jolly believes this is a dirty tactic. He says “I don’t know who has pushed this story, but I believe it to be a heartless individual who has clearly never lost anyone close to them or experienced such a tragedy”.