Adjudication withheld for Panhandle Politico publisher on omitting political flyer disclaimer

The judge declined to convict Panhandle Politico publisher Greg Fink despite the six member jury’s guilty recommendation, at a June 17 trial, of failing to include an electioneering disclaimer on political material mailed during the 2014 primary election.

underhill evidence 1 side 2 (002)The disclaimer is required to detail who approved and paid for the message.

Electioneering communications are defined as material that may not necessarily directly ask voters to select a particular candidate, but have been mailed close to an election.  In this case, the applicable timeframe was within 30 days of the primary election.

First Circuit Court Judge Joyce Williams sentenced Fink to $500, with adjudication withheld.

When asked to respond to the verdict, Escambia Commissioner Doug Underhill, who was the subject of the mailout, described Panhandle Politico coverage as hateful in an email.  Panhandle Politico has made the editorial decision not to reprint derogatory references to individuals who were not part of the court case.

The portion of Underhill’s comments that directly address Fink state:

“The founder/owner/editor of the Panhandle Politico is well known to be a useful tool of the GOBs in town, and he has always attacked those who would reform this county.”

Underhill said he objects to what he describes as the entire negative nature of the campaigns Fink runs, noting that they “always skirt (or in this case, break) the laws and rely primarily on disingenuous personal attacks.  This behavior is toxic to the democratic process, and it clearly does not work for winning elections. We both know that Greg didn’t “forget” to add the disclaimer.  This was part of a concerted effort to attack my integrity with lies and hate, and Panhandle Politico was a part of that…”

Touching on what he described as Fink’s team’s efforts to raise money for “dirty campaigning,” Underhill added:

“Keep it up, y’all.  You represent the dirty past of Escambia County, and you make it very easy to juxtapose the positive, honest message of the reformers against the tired old playbook of the Greg Finks and [other supporters] of the world.”

Underhill did not address the question “You’ve publicly objected to the mailout in question, which concerned your financial history.  Do you object to the flyer’s content, the missing disclaimer, or both?”

underhill evidence 1 side 1 (002)

Separate court documents, provided by the defense, detail a July 2008 Chapter 7 bankruptcy that granted a discharge to debtors Douglas B. Underhill and Wendy Kinton Underhill.  The documents cite over 75 associated business, banking and utilities entities.

The flyers in question, provided by the defense, are posted above and below.


underhill evidence 2 side 2 (002)

underhill evidence 2 side 1 (002)

underhill evidence 3 side 2 (002)

underhill evidence 3 side 1 (002)


  • Jeffery R Cudd says:

    I got word today the Commissioner Underhill has missed 3 of the last 4 County Commission meeting and he has given notice that he will miss the next one as well. Just how long do the tax payers have to pay this absentee commissioner? What are the rules for attendance of a commissioner? Should the Governor step in a replace him with someone who will do the job properly?

  • Jeffery R Cudd says:

    I don’t see anywhere where Underhill disputes the claims in these cards, am I missing something?????

  • County Citizen says:

    Has Mr. Underhill ever repaid these huge outstanding debts he owed to these companies?
    That’d seem to be the right thing to do, make them whole again and not place the burden of loss of monies on them because he didn’t pay his bills.

  • Doug Underhill says:

    Cudd, that is a bald faced lie on my attendance record and you know it. “Citizen”, My business failed in the real estate crash. I took advantage of NONE of the protections of the law: sold my homestead, cashed out my wife’s 401K and all college savings…to try to keep my business afloat through the financial crisis caused by greedy bastards and bleeding heart liberals. I stayed with it until everything was gone…making payroll, taking care of my employees, and paying my suppliers. But unlike those who had their snouts in the trough, I couldn’t survive the protracted collapse of the real estate system, and there were no bailouts for small businesses. Keep listening to the baffons if you want, but you guys can’t match pace with my work ethic.

    • Jeffery R Cudd says:

      I got my info from your victims that bought into your lies and deceit. As far as your attendance record, I got that from two of your fellow commissioners that told me you were the worst CC they had ever worked with.
      I think you would be better off focusing on your elected job before you are removed for dereliction of duty.
      Why don’t you post your attendance record here and prove me wrong. If I am wrong will apologize, but as I said, I got this on good authority

  • Doug Underhill says:

    Oh come on, Cudd. We both know who you’re talking about and in spite of all the money that Gene offered her to speak in public she refused to do it. Why did she refuse to do it. Because she knows darn well that I have documentation to prove that I fired her from the job site because she brought illegals on my job site. I had a 100%, zero tolerance policy with regard to illegals on my job sites. You’ve been pretending to be Mr. Connected for so long I think you started to drink your own Koolaid. Any casual Observer of the board of County Commissioners will recognize that it is much more congenial and functional than it has been in recent history.

  • Jeffery R Cudd says:

    Well, talked to several of your victims, not just one. And I checked your attendance records and you are right, looks like you only have missed two main meetings but several work shop meetings and left early for one. Therefore I apologize for the inaccuracies in my first assertion.

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