The following is an unedited reply to the Captain's post from Judicial Candidate Denise Martinez-Scanziani. We received an email from the candidate and re-print it in its entirety here:
O, Captain! My Captain! Quite a fearful trip you have dragged us into. Is it true what they say, that any rumor posted here, left unchallenged, becomes fact (kind of a sad commentary)?
I am new to this blog – I only became aware of it as a result of my being thrust into its spotlight – and, I must say, I was astounded and saddened by the undeserved attack upon my character based on unsubstantiated “facts,” rumor and flat out speculation. While the timeline is accurate, the scheming and strategizing and manipulating that I am accused of could not be further from the truth. Truly, Captain, if I “misjudged” anything, it was simply because I was naïve enough to believe that a campaign, especially a judicial campaign, can still be about the candidates--no more, no less.
I may know some of you, but it’s hard to tell since everyone posts anonymously. In any event, I dedicate myself to the civil arena. So, let me give you the facts:
1)I was born Denise Marie Martinez in 1975.
2)I lived in this community for my whole life until I went to the University of Florida. (For those of you keeping count, that is 23 years where everyone knew me as Denise Martinez.)
3)I completed my undergraduate and law school degrees at the University of Florida (Still Martinez, until July 10, 1998, when I married. Running total: Martinez = 23 years v. Scanziani = 9 ½ happily married years)
4)While always proud of my heritage and actively involved in my community, for brevity and convenience I began working professionally as Denise Scanziani, for no other reason than Denise Martinez-Scanziani seemed too cumbersome.
5)I practiced as an attorney, taught, and had a family. At no time, was the name I chose to use at issue.
6)Throughout my personal life, I have used Denise Martinez-Scanziani and Denise Scanziani interchangeably. Interestingly enough, no one ever found that duplicitous.
7)My husband, Paul, is also Hispanic. Actually, to my knowledge, no one in his or my family has even stepped foot in Italy, although I would love to someday. Should I be offended that you presumed I was Italian, simply based on my name? (See Paragraph 3 of your February 23, 2008 post in direct contradiction to your comment in the February 25, 2008 post.)
8) I initially filed to run under Group 34 as Denise M. Scanziani. Again, for brevity. However, the actual filing that dictates how my name will appear on the ballot is not due until May 2nd. (Note: Yes, I was aware Judge Sarduy was moving up and the Group would not be up for election soon, but just in case you are not aware, a candidate cannot really begin to “campaign” without filing documents.) However, any candidate can (and many do) switch groups before the end of qualifying, which doesn’t happen until May 2nd. I certainly did not think my filing would make such a splash – I assumed it would go largely unnoticed.
Due to my innocence regarding this process, I thought it was more important to state my intentions to run than to have a fixed Group in mind. The response from those who know me was amazingly wonderful and supportive. Perhaps I acted precipitously and had I filed under Martinez-Scanziani initially, I would have gone largely unnoticed. In fact, were I as manipulative and conniving as you suggest, wouldn’t I have filed this way from the get go? Something is not adding up…
9)In the interim, when I was deciding what Group to run in, I met with a group of friends, friends whom I had not seen in years and who knew me as Denise Martinez. In discussing my candidacy, they told me they would have never known it was me without my maiden name. (Recall: Martinez=23 years v. Scanziani=9 ½ years). Hence, my decision a few days later to run under Denise Martinez-Scanziani. If there was any “strategy” involved it was merely to ensure that those who know me in this community actually know it’s me. Not based on ethnicity, but just me.
10)In fact, I routinely use both names when socializing and corresponding.
11) In the span of a week I went from being Hispanic to being (gasp!) Hispanic. It might also shock you to know that although my middle name is French, I know of no French ancestors.
12) Gender, heritage, ethnicity—none of these played a role nor will they play a role in the future. There are no misrepresentations; I am who I am, and anyone who knows me, knows that this grand scheme of which I am accused is not in line with my character, my beliefs, or my sense of fair play.
It’s easy to post anonymously and to eviscerate someone whom you do not know based on limited facts in the context of a skewed perspective. I am not sure which is worse: basing your conclusions on a set of documents that, by themselves, do not say much or purporting to know so much about a person by simply looking at his or her name? What is truly sad is that you have denigrated this judicial race and made it into something it is not. I respect all of those who serve our community by serving on the bench. Judge Eric Hendon is no exception. You have demeaned us both by placing race and ethnicity at issue. My candidacy is about bringing everything I have to the bench, including integrity, justice and excellence. I believe I can make a difference.
BTW, to those of you who are planning and plotting, please cease and desist with those colorful, if somewhat disturbing, anonymous faxes (e.g. From: “Eyes are Watching” in Georgia, no less). Save your energy and your paper. I’m not sure what the point is, but you can leave the “cloak and dagger” business at home. I am available to anyone who wishes to discuss further my desire to serve this community as a County Judge. However, after this post, as far as I am concerned, this particular subject is closed.
Denise Martinez-Scanziani OUT.
Rumpole notes that while we have some thougths on these issues, the blog today belongs to Ms. Martinez-Scanziani, who asked for and was entitled to a front page response to the Captain's post. Well sais Ms. Martinez-Scanziani, and welcome to our humble blog.