Friday, October 13, 2006


While running through the day's editorial pages to search for endorsements, I came across this interesting article in today's Fort Myers News Press. A former Lakeland area resident who relocated to Lehigh Acres is running for a seat on the town's Fire Control and Rescue District Board of Commissioners, although he pleaded guilty or no contest to five felony counts while living here during the 1990s.

Robert Anderson pleaded nolo contendre (Remember that from the Nixon-Watergate period?) to a count of grand theft in 1998 after stealing nearly $8,900 from his employer. Anderson paid restitution in full.

Before this case, Anderson had pled guilty in 1994 for one count of organized fraud and again the following year to three counts of obtaining property by worthless checks. He was sentenced to five years probation in each case.

So how can he run for a public office after all this? The state's Office of Executive Clemency restored Anderson's civil rights on Oct. 1, 2004, allowing him to vote and hold public office.

Since moving to the eastern Lee County community, Anderson has been a political activist, forming a PAC and using it's website to attacks local agencies, civic groups, and politicians for a variety of reasons. The site includes a picture of a Lee County commissioner that changes into a weasel, and a member of a local water board said he has a problem with how Anderson gets down and dirty against his critics.

"He doesn't just try to destroy them politically, he tries to destroy them personally," [Desmond] Barrett said. "He's learning his lesson. Unfortunately, he deserves whatever he gets."

Anderson said that while some may not like his tactics, he does what he does to generate community discussion.

"If they hate me or love me, it doesn't matter," he said.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The local firefighter's union would like you to believe I'm a bad person, not qualified to serve as your fire board commissioner.
They are desperate.
The history of the Lehigh Acres Fire and Rescue District is one where once three seats are filled by either union members or union-backed candidates, carte blanche spending becomes the norm, thus benefiting union members. They want to continue spending your tax dollars in this carefree manner.
Therefore they want you to believe that a youthful indiscretion on my part - I admit these transgressions, which happen over 12 years ago, and somehow they want you to believe that it taints me as a bad person.
I paid for this acts, determined to lead a productive life, actively involved in the community in which I live.
I have accomplished this through a variety of ways becoming active in many civic organizations plus founding the Lehigh Acres Watchdog - always checking on the government entities and officials YOU have entrusted to spend your tax dollars.
I want to continue this activity as your fireboard commissioner, continuing my watchdog efforts.
The union refuses to discuss the many issues I have brought up during the campaign. Instead they want to scare you into thinking I'm a bad guy.
Don't let them.
Vote for me Nov. 7 so I can continue my watchdog ways holding the fire district accountable for spending YOUR tax dollars.

Robert J Anderson
The People’s Candidate for Lehigh Acres Fire Board Seat 5

8:40 AM  

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