Lehigh Voters Approve Fire District Referendum – Gives Vote Of Confidence To Fire District! – Dirty Politics And Smear Campaigns Soundly Rejected By Voters!

Mike Welch

By Mike Welch

Local “Smear Merchants” were disappointed to see that their tactics did not work with malicious attacks against several candidates running in the August 18 Primary and against the Lehigh Acres Fire District. The referendum passed 51.26% in favor of 48.72% against. Attacks filled with libel, malicious accusations often made by nonexistent political action committees on social media platforms failed to sway voters. These are challenging times for our country and our community. Yet in a distressed community as ours right now, there was a sound rejection of this behavior.

Despite the libel and slander: Sheriff Carmine Marceno was elected as the Republican nominee, Former Representative Matt Caldwell was nominated as Property Appraiser as well as elected Republican State Committeeman, Representative Spencer Roach has been elected as the GOP’s nominee. Additional Candidates receiving the nod of approval from Republican Primary voters: Mayor Kevin Ruane for the Lee County Commission District 1, Commissioner Ray Sandelli for the Lee County Commission District 3 and Commissioner Frank Mann for Lee Commission District 5.


With accuracy, I warned in July that a well-known criminal who operates these fake enterprises was active in leading these malicious operations in our community. Smearing others’ reputations is a sport for this person, and the disappointing aspect is that there are people in our community who know what he is, and yet they conspire with him. Some of them are presenting themselves as candidates for public office in November. They know full well about his history, his life of criminality, and the long list of financial crimes of fraud and theft. Currently, this person is on felony probation with the Florida Department of Corrections in Polk County after his jail release. To date, he fails to make restitution to his many victims.


In a related smear, Robert Anderson heralded and emailed announcements in late May 2020 that I was under investigation for Florida statutes violations. Of course, he filed the complaint. He implies that I am corrupt and that I should be charged with crimes, etc. The Ethics Commission met on July 24th – issued the Commission’s Public Report (20-71) Order Dismissing Complaint. The Judgement Order is extraordinary in that it was promulgated in a timely and robust manner against Anderson’s charges. Those who work with and collude with Anderson should beware of his “jailhouse lawyering.”

As we go into the next election cycle, voters and the public will be subject to several sleazy and underhanded tactics. Social Media will be full of it. Beware, Lehigh! The public has a right to know those presenting themselves for election without the Smear Merchants’ interference.


Sheriff Carmine Marceno and Dr. Ernie Blum, offer articles regarding animal abuse and pet care. In many ways, they complement each other regarding our defenseless furry friends.

As always – be vigilant as we are now in the height of Hurricane season. Be mindful of the COVID-19 practices. Stay safe!

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