St Pete releases dozens of former assistant attorney's campaign emails
ST. PETERSBURG -- A day after City Council candidate Steve Galvin’s wife officially retired from her job as an assistant city attorney, officials have released the stack of emails that led to her departure.
In July, Pam Cichon emailed Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long from her work account to commiserate over a Times' story about Galvin. After the email was found and published, city officials dug into the rest of Cichon’s correspondence, eventually determining that she had violated city policy by using city computers and her work email account to advocate for her husband’s election.
"People send private email from their work all the time," Cichon told the Tampa Tribune. "The context of it was certainly not campaigning."
But in the 149 pages of emails the city released on Friday, much of the content was political.
Using her work account, Cichon edited her husband’s stump speeches and campaign literature and corresponded with his former campaign consultant. She emailed friends and relatives alerting them that he was running for office and solicited donations.
"All contributions are greatly accepted. You can go on the website and use Paypal if you like: Galvin4CityCouncil.com," she wrote.
In one email, she advised her husband to make red campaign buttons, as they would be more noticeable. In another, she suggested responses to a Times' candidate questionaire.
In one exchange (printed in full below) she criticized the leaders of Ruth’s List Florida – a group that promotes female, Democratic candidates -- for endorsing Galvin’s opponent, Amy Foster, without first giving her husband a chance at an interview.
"Unfortunately, Amy Foster is not nearly as qualified as Steve Galvin, so many are looking forward to him winning," she wrote, adding that Foster was not active in her local neighborhood association or the county’s Democratic party.
"I have not run on the fact that I’m active in my neighborhood association,” Foster said on Friday. “I’m running on the fact that I’m active in the groups related to my passions -- youth development issues and women’s issues. And whether I’m active in a local Democratic club or not, I just don’t think is relevant to whether I’m fit to run for a nonpartisan position."
Cichon could not be reached for comment late on Friday.
From: Pamela Cichon <Pamela.Cichon@stpete.org> 24-Jun-2013 15:10
Thanks for responding. Unfortunately, Amy Foster is not nearly as qualified as Steve Galvin, so many are looking forward to him winning. He only decided to run once he saw the poor choice of candidates we were being offered in our district. Amy has a background that is suitable for the school board and she should be encouraged to run for that, but Stephen’s knowledge of construction and public works make him more beneficial on City council than she. Amy has not been active in our local Democratic clubs until just recently, while Steve has not only been a regular participant in the Greater Pinellas Democratic club, but was elected a state delegate last year. Amy has not even seen fit to be a member of her neighborhood association until she decided to run for office. The past president of Historic Kenwood is not supporting her because he knows she has shown no interest in the neighborhood where she lives. Stephen has been an active participant in the North Kenwood Neighborhood Assoc. for the past 7 years. Sadly, Amy doesn’t even own a home in her district yet she claims to have been living here for 10 years. Stephen has rehabbed 3 homes in his own neighborhood using his own construction skills and savings to do it, and will soon be starting the 4th renovation. He and his wife maintain those homes in order to enhance their neighborhood. Amy also has a poor voting record in any election but the presidential election. Amy appears to be the hand picked candidate by a particular woman representing a minority, not someone who has ever been particularly engaged in the St. Petersburg community or politics herself.
I understand that Ruth’s List’s goal is to support women, so why not Kathleen Ford? She is obviously more qualified to be mayor than Amy Foster is to be a council member. Again; Ruth’s List should at least demonstrate some modicum of credibility by interviewing the men candidates before it chooses to endorse a lesser qualified woman. It helps none of us to have an ineffective representative--male or female.