Source of Donations Becomes Issue in Gruters-Vernon House Seat 73 Race as Steve Vernon Donor Rodger Dowdell Proposal Linked to Sovereign Citizen Movement

Saturday, August 20, 2016

 Well, well well, it must really be a full moon as Sarasota Herald Tribune reporter Zac Anderson followed up on my investigation of District 73 candidate Steve Vernon’s campaign contributions from dubious sources. Last Friday August 12th, 2016 I posted, Steve Vernon Running For Fl State Dist. 73 Has Few Campaign Contributions One Large Donor of $1,000.00 is Rodger Dowdell of National Liberty Alliance Which Touts Wacky ‘We The People Citizens Grand Jury’.”

SARASOTA HERALD TRIBUNE: Campaign contributions are essential for most candidates, but they also can come with baggage. State House candidate Joe Gruters learned that when his opponent, Steve Vernon, went after him as an establishment shill beholden to his well-heeled donors. Now Gruters and his allies (PI Bill Warner) are raising questions about whether Vernon shares the fringe views of a major donor, a man who has been pushing a concept associated with extremist groups. Manatee County resident Rodger Dowdell gave Vernon $1,000, the maximum allowed by law. Last year, Dowdell brought a proposal to the Sarasota County Charter Review Board that has roiled the normally low-key elected body. Dowdell wanted the board to support putting a referendum to voters that would create a “people’s common law grand jury.” Such a system would allow average citizens to indict government officials on corruption without going through a judge or law enforcement agencies.

The people’s grand jury idea has been linked to the sovereign citizen movement, which does not recognize government authority in many areas. Sovereign citizens have attracted attention for everything from refusing to pay taxes and use driver’s licenses to so-called “paper terrorism” — filing frivolous lawsuits against government officials— and even, in extreme cases, violent acts against government workers and institutions. The FBI considers extremists within the sovereign citizen movement to be domestic terrorists. Dowdell is a state coordinator for the National Liberty Alliance. The group has disavowed the sovereign citizen movement but the Anti-Defamation League considers the alliance a major promoter of sovereign citizen ideology. Dowdell’s proposal for a people’s grand jury gained enough traction on the Charter Review Board that some prominent officials suggested the board become an appointed, rather than elected, body. They argued board members were abusing their authority. County officials say the people’s grand jury violates the state Constitution. Vernon — a former Tea Party Manatee president — praised Dowdell, whom he met through other tea party groups.

Rodger Dowdell, of Bradenton Fl, is the Florida state coordinator for the National Liberty Alliance which touts the ‘We The People Citizens Grand Jury. Sovereign Citizen Guru John Darash aka John Vidurek and National Lib­erty Alliance Sets Up Vigilante Peoples Grand Juries In USA With Assist From Posse Comitatus. The sovereign citizen movement arose from the ashes of the Posse Comitatus, a 1970s extremist group that believed the County (and the Sheriff) was the highest seat of government because all other levels of government had engaged in a conspiracy to destroy and override the Constitution. Sovereign citizens believe that the United States government is illegitimate and operating outside of its jurisdiction. Sarasota Citizens Grand Jury proposed by Rodger Dowdell, a Tea Party activist who denies being a sovereign citizen but, nonetheless, spouts sovereign citizen rhetoric says “Grand jury powers come from God.”

Steve Vernon Running For Fl State District 73 Has Very Few Campaign Contributions in the last year, only $11,964 from 7/27/2015 to 8/05/2016, Vernon has put in $90,000 of his own money. One of Steve Vernon’s Largest Donors is Rodger Dowdell of the National Liberty Alliance Which Touts the Wacky ‘We The People Citizens Grand Jury’, Roger Dowdell put in $1,000 on 3/15/2016. Sarasota Citizens Grand Jury proposed by Rodger Dowdell who is the State coordinator for the National Liberty Alliance and a Tea Party activist denies being a sovereign citizen but, nonetheless, spouts sovereign citizen rhetoric says “Grand jury powers come from God.” I am very well aware of Rodger Dowdell and his crew, I do not know if Steve Vernon is aware of who and what Rodger Dowdell represents but he should be.


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About pibillwarner

Private Investigator Bill Warner owner of 'Bill Warner Investigations' a Private Detective Agency in Sarasota Fl since 1995, Fl Detective Agency License A 9500364. Website WWW.WBIPI.COM, Consultant to the FBI and ICE on smuggling of vehicles in support of terrorism. Consultant to the US Secret Service on money laundering cases.
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