By: Sharon Aron Baron
Democratic Candidate William Rankin has left many questioning his lack of knowledge and experience for Florida’s top financial job of CFO. On Tuesday, reporter Brooke Knight tried to ask him questions but was banned from the Riviera Beach AFL-CIO meeting and accused of working for Jeff Atwater.
Knight along with Attorney Marc Reiner tried to attend the meeting in Rivera Beach on Tuesday evening where Rankin was scheduled to speak to union members. Knight had written about Rankin after the story first broke on MyActsofSedition.com.
“That’s her, she works for Jeff!” Rankin pointed towards Knight.
The chairwoman of the AFL-CIO said to Knight, “Do you work for Jeff?”
“Jeff who?” Asked Knight.
“The CFO? I’ve never met the man in my life. I’m a voter who is doing research, and I have questions for Rankin.”
“The article you wrote was all lies,” said Rankin.
Marc Reiner asked Rankin, “Which of the facts was a lie?”
Rankin didn’t answer. He disappeared inside the building. However, both Knight and Reiner were banned from entering. They handed their questions to the union leader and told members to Google Rankin before giving him any of their money.
By accusing Knight and Reiner of being spies for Atwater, Rankin may have given bystanders a stellar performance, however, he knew that the two of them were no spies. It was just a week earlier he had approached both of them to work on his campaign.
Reiner, a trial attorney in West Palm Beach was approached by Jim Gibbs of the West Palm Beach Democratic Club to meet Rankin. Afterwards, Reiner received an email from Gibbs, asking if he would accompany Rankin to Orlando and introduce him to all of his contacts at the Florida Democratic Convention held in October. Reiner was happy to oblige and made the rounds with Rankin introducing him to all the local clubs from around Florida.
Once they returned, Reiner grew concerned about being associated with Rankin after witnessing his lack of knowledge during an appearance he had witnessed on Veterans Day in Lake Worth.
“The head of the Democratic Club asked Rankin about issues like PIP laws, forced-place insurance, the Citizen’s Insurance debacle and he was clueless. He said he was throwing too much out at him at once,” said Reiner. “I deal with the office of financial regulations all the time, so I’m very familiar. If you’re running for CFO you should know more about it than me.”
Rankin wanted the attorney to give him information on legislative issues and introduce him to others in the community.
“He kept asked asking me for legal advice and approached both Brooke and myself to be on his ‘Ideas Committee.’”
However, Reiner told Rankin that he would not work for him until he entered into a retainer. He wasn’t paid for his out of pocket expenses from Orlando so he didn’t want to proceed until then. Reiner also wanted some questions answered about his background.
Reiner wanted answers about Rankin’s DD214 cleared up, namely the fact that Rankin was telling others that information is classified when it wasn’t.
He never explains how a man who touts himself on his campaign page as someone with a blue-colored background “who understood the value of the hard-earned dollar” becomes the publisher of Millionaire Lifestyle Magazine, which is a pretentious publication for uber-wealthy jet-setters. He never discloses his military background in his profile or his humble beginnings. More importantly, how or if he really is a millionaire.
Rankin told people that he was the Director on the 2000 Florida Census. Why would he tell others he was a volunteer?
Reiner also believes Rankin needed to clear up the discrepancies on his residency. “You refuse to say where you live? You don’t own? He refuses to answer it.” Reiner says upon further research it was found he allegedly lives at the same address as candidate for State Representative Scott Herman is renting.
“Rankin has not produced one iota of an idea for fixing the CFO position other than generic ‘reduce fraud’ balderdash without substance,” said Reiner.
Unfortunately, the “Millionaire Lifestyles” man wouldn’t pay a retainer to the attorney, nor would he answer the questions.