Gadflies confound the Empire – Key West


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Kill em softly Kurt Wagner replied to yesterday’s KONK Life candidate questionnaire for 2014 Key West mayor race, Duval Street “cosmetic cream” rumble, and a look at the gadfly post at

Kurt Wagner

Merriam Webster
GADFLY, noun, A person who stimulates or annoys, especially by constant criticism.

Not such a bad thing. It seems to fit a lot of people in Key West

Kurt Wagner

I replied:

Hi, Kurt –

Riding my bicycle in Old Town yesterday, I happened by the home beside Love Lane of a crusty old salt I know somewhat. He was sitting on the front porch with two other men, one of whom I knew, a local musician. They hailed me, “Mr. Mayor!” I stopped, walked onto the porch and we chewed the fat and told tall and short tales for a while.

The crusty old salt said he’s left-handed, and I said so am I, and that sparked a discussion by all four of us of left-handed kids back in the old days being forced by nuns and priests and school teachers and parents to convert to writing right-handed, because left-handed was the work of the devil. Michelangelo was left-handed, I think Leonardo da Vinci might have been left-handed.

After the other two men went elsewhere, I stayed and talked to the crusty old salt maybe half hour longer, and read some of his devil writings.

He’s a prolific writer, poet and artist. Been in KW 40 years at that same home, which he bought back then. He said something like, “The Establishment wishes you had stayed up on Little Torch Key. You came back to Key West and are confounding the Empire, again.”

He said, he wants to be my campaign adviser. I said, fine. I didn’t say, I have several campaign advisers. I did not mention the angels, didn’t have to, he had read plenty of my howlings.

He said, I need a campaign T-shirt, 1,000 of them, 1,000 walking billboards; he will come up with a slogan for it; it’ll knock em dead. I said, great idea, even as I’m thinking, “He confounds the Empire, Sloan for Mayor” is the T-shirt slogan.

He asked, who is my campaign manager? Nobody, I said, not mentioning the angels, of whom he’s heard plenty.

His campaign advice kind of reminded me of yours a while back, and of my reply to youI that I’m doing what I do pretty well, and people who want me to be mayor need to be out rounding up votes.

I told him I’d be back around from time to time, he’s darn interesting, full of Empire-confounding notions.

His journal writings I read yesterday were a stitch. He must have 200 thick spiral school notebooks filled with his musings piled up on a bookshelf. I said his heirs will become very rich if those notebooks get published. He was reading a book of some of Henry Wallace’s memoirs.

The blue paper [] has a doozy article on the Matthew Murphy case today. It includes a video interview Arnaud and Naja did of the boyfriend of the racist woman with the pit bull. That video alone, maybe 10 minutes, ain’t gonna make Mayor Cates, the city commissioners and the KWPD’s day. Nor will the rest of the article. John Donnelly’s and my comments on the article, ain’t going to make the Citizen Review Board’s day, either.

Below is the blue paper’s teaser for the article, and John’s and my comments. More of my thoughts trailing.

Citizen Review Board May Investigate Use of Police Taser on Matthew Shaun Murphy Three Years Ago

It was early morning July 6, 2000. In a dark alley in Key West, Officer Michael Beerbower had Daniel Holte Stambaugh, 22, handcuffed in the back of his police cruiser. Beerbower was on top of Stambaugh’s co-defendant Jessie Gene Gregory, 19, also handcuffed. Other officers were standing watch. When they yelled, “Clear!” (it meant that there were no witnesses) Beerbower would allegedly then go on, alternately punching Gregory and then Stambaugh in the face.

But that “private” police matter would come out in The Blue Paper and later in the New York Times. In spite of public indignation, the police department appeared unwilling to fire or even discipline any of the officers involved. Public discontent grew into a grass roots movement to create an independent board overseeing the Key West Police Department. A referendum passed with 60% in favor on November 2, 2002. The CRB (Citizen Review Board) was born.

Today, over 10 years later, in the midst of another KWPD scandal (again getting national attention) some CRB members have begun to question whether the Board should wait any longer to start tackling the issues. […full article]

Key West The Newspaper [The Blue Paper] encourages spirited, open debate in comments on our stories. We do ask that you refrain from profanity, personal attacks and remarks that are off point. Please join the conversation!


JUNE 6, 2014 AT 6:29 AM

I don’t feel any sense of urgency nor real interest coming from the CRB. Their depraved indifference and silence are the reasons why this particular type of evil has been persuasive.

Infected by the endemic toxins associated with a fearful and corrupted position of importance, they prefer basking in their title, rather than rolling up their sleeves and leveling any authority that abuses, injures or kills its citizens.

Their relevancy and utilitarian role in matters of authentic importance, has been diminished and absent.

I’m cognizant of what the willpower of one individual can accomplish, if they really want to secure a particular goal or objective; such as protecting and serving the community that they represent.

Tom Milone appears to be a man of courage and honor. He can proceed full speed ahead with what needs to be done, if he so desires. Exposing all those that interfere or impede his efforts to accurately investigate the Murphy and Eimers’ case.

JUNE 6, 2014 AT 8:30 AM

I was one of many KW residents who worked to get the CRB on the referendum, and then we campaigned for its passage. The City Commission, Jimmy Weekley then was Mayor, and the KWPD strongly opposed having a CRB. The referendum passed overwhelmingly. The heavy hitter in bringing that about was Dennis Reeves Cooper and Key West the Newspaper, of which Dennis then was Publisher and Editor.

As time passed, I came to the same conclusion about the CRB as John Donnelly wrote. I attended several CRB meetings in the past maybe 6 months. Tom Milone, and to some extent Joe Pais, were the only CRB members who seemed to want the CRB to be proactive.

We are not in a the CRB “may” investigate posture in either of the two high profile cases: Eimers and Murphy. We are in a the CRB MUST investigate posture.

The CRB does not have the power to force KW police officers to come before it and testify. The CRB does not have the power to discipline KW police officers. The CRB does not have the power to make FDLE do anything. But, the CRB has the power to put the police officers involved in those two cases, and KWPD, and City Manager Bob Vitas, to whom Chief Lee answers, and the City Commission (mayor and city commissioners), to whom Vitas answers, and FDLE on the hot seat in the court of public opinion and in God’s Court, where the usual suspects, including the CRB, are on trial.


In the video, Kurt, the white racist woman’s white boyfriend tells Arnaud and Naja that he tried to talk Murphy down: he told Murphy his girlfriend was drunk, let it pass, move along, but he was unable to talk Murphy down. The white racist woman’s white boyfriend tells Arnaud and Naja, he knew Murphy was going to hit him, and he would have hit Murphy first, but he saw the cop coming up on his bicycle.

The white racist woman’s white boyfriend said Murphy hit him because he was a man, while his girlfriend was lying on top of her pit bull to protect it from Murphy, who did not see the cop approaching from up Duval Street, nor did the cop issue any warning or order for them to break it up: the cop shot Murphy in the back with the taser, and Murphy fell down on the sidewalk and began convulsing. He’s still paralyzed in a hospital three years later, and a KWPD wanted man.

I again say, CBS should do an Eimers case follow up by reporting the Murphy case. America, and beyond, need to be told of the inhuman self-styled-paradise Key West they will not hear a peep about from Key West Conch Mayor Craig Cates, Key West Conch mayor candidate Margaret Romero, the city commissioners, several of whom are Key West Conchs, the KWPD, many of whom are Key West Conchs, the Key West Chamber of Commerce, many members of which are Key West Conchs, and the Florida Keys Tourist Development Council.

And, I again say, I do not agree with arguments made by the blue paper in last Friday’s issue, and by some of its readers, including John Donnelly, that Murphy had good cause to hit the white racist woman’s white boyfriend. I can’t imagine anyone with walking around sense wanting to be on lower Duval Street after the booze and other drugs get to flowing, and especially not at 4 a.m., when this horror occurred.

Ciao maim, from Gadfly Central


Sloan at HH

Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, for Mayor of Key West

About Sloan

Darn, that would take a while. Try the autobiographical pages in the header. Ditto for header menu pages at Hatched and raised there, eventually I ran away from home. Here's a short list: Born 1942; male; spoken for; accused of all sorts of imaginable and unimaginable things, perhaps some true. Live on Key West of Weird asteroid. Publish something most days at, been at that since July 2007. That's heaps of catch-up reading, probably not recommended.
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