Saturday, December 24, 2005

James W. Holton, DFAF and Fowler Mall

Originally posted as "Florida Dept. of Community Affairs throws wrench in Sembler's plans for Fowler Mall"

The Winter Garden city council voted to let Sembler build a monster-sized open-air shopping center despite the objections of their own constituents who live out there. But now the state Department of Community Affairs has told Winter Garden it will cost the city $ 6 million and neighboring Ocoee $ 5 million to let Sembler build there. That money is required to widen S.R. 50 (state road 50) where the sought-for development would be. But it's worse for Sembler. Thanks to a new law enacted this year and proposed by state Rep. Randy Johnson, R-Celebration, Sembler might have to fork over $ 9 million for the road widening. Johnson's law requires developers to share in the cost of growth managment to build projects they will profit from.

But it could have been even worse for Sembler. Already the state transportation agency made available about $28 million for right-of-way acquisition along S.R. 50. And TRIP (the Transportation Regional Incentive Program) is another state pot of money that has set aside $30 million for projects in the local DOT region that includes Orange County. But officials warn it's unlikely all those funds will be used for Sembler's pet project.

Perhaps it is worth noting that Jeb Bush appointed James W. Holton, a Madeira Beach real estate developer and attorney with beachfront holdings, and a big Republican contributor, to the Board of the Florida Transportation Commission.The Florida Transportation Commission is a nine-member body created by the Legislature in 1987 to provide oversight of the Florida Department of Transportation and to advise the Governor and Legislature on transportation policy issues. The Commission also serves as a search committee for the Secretary of Transportation. Today James W. Holton is chairman of the Florida Transportation Commission and also a board member of Drug Free America Foundation (formerly Straight, Inc.)--Mel and Betty Sembler's drug policy foundation. (Here's where Holton sits among the folks who decide how and where Florida's highway money will b e spent.) Read Orlando Sentinental Story.

Holton Contributions

Holton, James W. $25000 to REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE on 05/14/03
Holton, James W $25000 to REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE on 03/19/04
Holton, James $5000 to REPUBLICAN PARTY OF FLORIDA on 07/03/03
Holton, James $495 to REPUBLICAN PARTY OF FLORIDA on 08/20/03
Holton, James $4505 to REPUBLICAN PARTY OF FLORIDA on 08/26/03
Holton, James $2500 to REPUBLICAN PARTY OF FLORIDA on 03/05/04
Holton, James $5000 to REPUBLICAN PARTY OF FLORIDA on 04/05/04
Holton, James $17500 to REPUBLICAN PARTY OF FLORIDA on 06/15/04
Holton, James $2500 to MIDNIGHT SUN POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE on 07/25/03
Holton, James $2500 to MIDNIGHT SUN POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE on 06/25/04
Holton, James W. $2000 to FRIENDS OF KATHERINE HARRIS on 09/22/04
Holton, James W. $5000 to DEMOCRACY BELIEVERS PAC (DBPAC) on 06/04/04
HOLTON, JAMES W. $2000 to BUSH-CHENEY '04 (PRIMARY) INC. on 07/07/03
HOLTON-P, JAMES W $2000 to FRIENDS OF JOHNNIE BYRD on 10/14/03
Holton, James W. (Holton Companies) $1000 to FRIENDS OF CONNIE MACK on 06/22/04

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Sembler Company businesses in Georgia

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Sembler Company businesses in Georgia:(source Ga. Dept. of State, Corporations):

http://web.archive.org/web/20070618071932/
http://www.ganet.org/services/corp/individual.html):
BRENT W. SEMBLER (SEMBLER RETAIL, INC.)
BRENT W SEMBLER (SEMBLER ATLANTA, INC.)
BRENT W SEMBLER (SEMBLER ENTERPRISES, INC.)
BRENT W. SEMBLER (THE SEMBLER COMPANY)
BRENT W. SEMBLER (SEMBLER CENTERS, INC.)
GREGORY S SEMBLER (SEMBLER ATLANTA, INC.)
GREGORY S SEMBLER (SEMBLER RETAIL, INC.)
GREGORY S SEMBLER (SEMBLER ENTERPRISES, INC.)GREGORY S. SEMBLER (THE SEMBLER COMPANY)GREGORY S. SEMBLER (SEMBLER CENTERS, INC.)
SEMBLER, MELVIN F. (FORUM PROPERTIES, INC.)

Also, Florida's division of elections list these corporations:
SEMBLER ATLANTA DE VI, LLC and
SEMBLER ATLANTA, INC.

Saturday, October 1, 2005

Wife of former US Ambassador endorses accused child abuser

10-1-05 dateline St. Petersburg, Florida.

Betty Sembler once forced Canadian Marc Emery to issue a public apology for calling her a "court certified child abuser". How correct she was for neither Betty Sembler or her husband Melvin have ever been held accountable for the sins of their Straight program in any court of law--anywhere. Furthermore, we have never heard of one incident, not one, of either Melvin Sembler or Betty Sembler ever personally harming anyone.

For 17 years Straight Inc. brutalized, terrorized and mentally and physically abused kids all over America. And while Melvin and Betty never personally touched anyone, the man they hired to run Straight sure did. He threw one little girl to the floor and dragged her by her hair saying "I want this girl the fuck out of my group." He threw another against a wall. He fled Florida and Straight in the 80s on the heels of criminal and state child welfare investigations. He opened his own chain of second-generation Straights based in New Jersey. State criminal and child welfare authorities closed his programs for abusing children all over the country. He and his program settled with clients for $11 million for abuse some of them sustained. He settled with the federal government for $45,000 in return for not being prosecuted for 454 counts of insurance fraud. The New Jersey Law Journal says his implementation of Straight is "quack." He has changed his name to Father Cassian. A group that tracks abusive priests tracks him. (For more information on this extraordinary villain see The Miller Newton Story.)

And now, last month, in a PumpGate court deposition in Florida Betty Sembler made this incredible statement about Miller Newton, "[Miller Newton is] a very close and dear friend and a valued one." Then she calls him "an outstanding individual." Mr. Newton is even a participant on the International Scientific and Medical Forum on Drug Abuse, a front group for Betty's Drug Free America Foundation. And there's more.

See Betty Sembler's deposition, page 99.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Mel Sembler Building--a $113 million shrine to a sitting ambassador


by Wes Fager


On June 7, 2002 about 25 former clients from Straight, Inc. flew in from all over the country and paid the toll to cross the causeway out to the exclusive, ocean-side home on Treasure Island, Florida of Straight founders Ambassador Mel Sembler and his wife Betty. The St. Pete Times sent a reporter to cover the protest but the story was killed and the Times was given exclusive selling rights in Mel Sembler shopping centers. In those days St. Pete Times chairman Andy Barnes was working with other Semblerlite Republicans to try to entice the national Republican Party into holding its national convention in Tampa and in his St. Pete Times Forum.Mel Sembler is currently suing Ray Bradbury, the man on the left, who is a former Straight client and employee. Sembler may have committed perjury in his deposition when he did not mention "Straight" as a reason, in his opinion, that Bradbury has protested him all these years. Meanwhile Congressman Bill Young worked to appropriate $50 million to repair the causeway out to Sembler's home (and remove the toll), and another $113 million to name a monument in Rome after Mel Sembler and himself. The Washington Post has given Mr. Sembler its 2005 NRA award (Narcissism Run Amok).


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