Shadow Speaks: Deb Denys' big campaign money won't help her overcome foolishness by not showing up at debates

The Sunday Conversation / Headline Surfer

Deb Denys, incumbent county councilwoman, a no-show for 2014 debate in Oak Hill, FL / Headline Surfer®Photos for Headline Surfer® / The image, above right, is that of the NSB Shadow, who under the get-up is Nahum Litt, a retired federal judge turned-local/county watchdog with one of the first blog sites in Florida. Above left, is one of his targets of criticism, Volusia County Councilwoman Deb Denys, who Litt insists looks foolish, having purposely skipped the recent public candidate debates in Oak Hill. Her challengers, David Machuga and Justin Kennedy were there, but she wasn't. An even bigger crowd showed up for Thursday's debates highlighted by the race for the at-large council seat held by incumbent Joyce Cusack. She and challenger Webster Barnaby, a Deltona city commissioner attended, but term-limited District 5 Councilwoman Pat Northey, also running for Cusack's seat, was a no-show. Denys' name came up repeatedly both nights and none of it was positive. Below, Kennedy and Machuga at the debate with an empty chair where Denys was to have sat had she shown up.
Headline Surfer

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla -- Headline Surfer® spoke with Nahum Litt, known by his alter ego, the NSB Shadow, about the hotly-contested district 3 County Council race between incumbent Deb Denys and her challengers, David Machuga of New Smyrna Beach and Justin Kennedy of Edgewater.

The following is a summary of a phone conversation earlier this Sunday morning with Litt in his own words:

Jason Davis, with his win in the 2012 elections for county chair against two opponents with much larger finances and bigger name recognition, is the example against the illusion in this election (cycle) that a candidate with a lot of money is a shoe-in to win.

That's what the Republicans are thinking with Deb Denys, the incumbent district 3 county councilwoman, and it could be a huge mistake. She's got something like $30,000 left, but that's not going to make a big difference in this election.

Carl Persis had a lot of money and name recognition and so did Ted Doran, but Jason Davis beat both of them. Davis' race is an example of what can happen when you run a broken horse like Denys. She looks foolish by having not attended the debates in Oak Hill by Headline Surfer® when both her opponents were there in front of big audiences.

Denys is supposed be the front-runner, but she's not acting like it. Instead, she's running scared. How many more of these debates does she think she can skip before she really starts looking like a complete fool?

She's got a problem now. How does she explain skipping out on the debates in Oak Hill when the citizens there want to know why she stayed away? Same thing with Pat Northey the following night in the at-large race.

What the debates showed some of us already know, but the citizens there and many more who see the debates on the videos published by Headline Surfer® will see is that she has two opponents in Dave Machuga and Justin Kennedy, who are far more articulate than her and neither has the negative record and baggage that she's been carrying around for too long, going back to her days on the school board.

I've referred to her in the past as "Ding Dong Denys" for a reason: She has no common sense. Her refusing to show up at the debate with Machuga or Kennedy just reirnforces that she really has nothing to say that would convince voters that she should get their support to continue on the County Council. 

Mayoral candidate Hathaway a threat to Brangaccio

Jim Hathaway, candidate for mayor, if he wins in the race against (Commissioner) Jack Grasty, will take control of the city, which has now run by (City Manager) Pam Brangaccio without question for several years. They all sit there and do what she tells them.

I don't think Hathaway will like to share the power with her if he's the mayor. I don't think it will be too long before he's in control, if he wins, which I expect him to do in November. He knows enough of what goes on his own without her being able to run it her way, which is to overtax and spend the money in manners not necessary.

FAST FACTS: Nahum Litt

Nahum Litt commentary / Headline Surfer®Nahum Litt, who will be 79 in August, is a retired chief administrative law judge with the US Department of Labor, who lives in Silver Sands, just outside the New Smyrna Beach city limits, with his wife, Jean Green. She also is a retired administrative law judge who served in the US Environmental Prortection Agency. He started the NSB Shadow blogsite in 2006. 

Litt describes himself in his role as the NSB Shadow, as that of an "ombudsman" for the citizens of greater New Smyrna Beach and across Volusia County who, like him, have become disenfranchised by the inner workings of local and county government and the power elite in general. His site includes a weekly summation of political notes and commentary and an around-the-clock anonymous blogger page that sometimes can be a chore for him to clean up with innuendo that runs the gamut and colorful language to boot. 

Here is the link:

Henry Frederick Picture

Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories narly eveenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in Wst Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.