Lighthouse Point mayoral candidate Maria O’Donnell launched an eight-hour insult filled rant over a REDBROWARD story detailing her failure to comply with the city’s election law. City code section 22-2(a) requires candidates to submit the names and signatures of ten registered voters from Lighthouse Point. On Sunday, REDBROWARD revealed one of O’Donnell’s signatories was not a registered voter.
Due to her failure to submit ten valid names, some Lighthouse Point residents believe O’Donnell should not be on the March ballot.
On Tuesday, O’Donnell and her husband started to add their commentaries to the REDBROWARD story. Brendan O’Donnell said his wife “personally” asked the ten people if they were registered voters. When asked if she did more to verify their information, Mr. O’Donnell wrote, “Are you seriously saying she should distrust her neighbor when she confirmed her voters status when pointedly asked???”
Minutes later, Maria O’Donnell attempted to use the same excuse.
Maria O’Donnell wrote, “I take great offense that the incumbent or anyone would ask I distrust my neighbor when I pointedly asked her if she was a registered voter and she was emphatic she was. You and the incumbent suggest we don’t trust our neighbors of Lighthouse Point? This issue is closed.”
After being asked why she did not take even basic steps to verify the information, O’Donnell wrote, “You are engaging in libel. I don’t appreciate that. I followed all the rules and respected them. I asked my neighbor pointedly if she was a registered voter, are you suggesting my incumbent asked for voter ID cards for his signatories?”
O’Donnell repeatedly referred to checking voter ID cards or “deeds.” She seems unaware that most of the voter information can be verified online, for free.
Instead of answering questions about her actions, Maria O’Donnell decided to launch personal attacks.
“You are quite skewed in your dislike for me, and it is tainting your ability to report the news unbiased,” she said. “Clearly that’s why you work for an internet local media outlet, if it even rises that that.”
Just after 6:30pm, O’Donnell claimed her rant was over. She said, “Your attacks are clearly fueled by your bias views and no facts therefore this discussion is now pointless. I won’t respond again. Re read my comments. Good day.”
Instead, O’Donnell continued her diatribe via Facebook messages to this reporter’s personal account.
O’Donnell claimed REDBROWARD had joined forces with her enemies in an attempt to keep her from winning.
She claimed she followed the law even though she had not submitted valid names. “All my signatories read the paper and affirmed their status and my cell records show I called them all in a row to reaffirm before filing so don’t knock me for my due diligence as if I sat on the corner asking for names….”
O’Donnell wrote, “Why are you so against me as mayor??? I am an American success story. I am running to donate my time to this town, why are you doing this?”
An hour into her Facebook rant, O’Donnell attempted keep her comments private. “Oh and you don’t have my permission to use any of my texts for your harassment column.”
This reporter stated we were on the record. At no time did she ask to go off the record.
Then, O’Donnell tried to imply she was an impostor pretending to be the candidate! She mentioned discussing legal matters with Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca. She said REDBROWARD “twists Chip’s actions.”
O’Donnell wrote, “I have a friend who sues reporters for this very thing. Always verify your source Tom.”
The exchange lasted from 2:00pm to almost 11:00 pm.