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John Dicks was a Democratic candidate in the 2008 congressional elections for the 9th Congressional District (map) of Florida. He was seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.). 
Positions, record and controversies
In June, Dicks said he was against immediately drilling off Florida's coast. According to Dicks, the country should strive to use new technologies to extract more domestic oil from places like Alaska's National Wildlife Refuge, first.
Dicks said he is against abortion but is "respectful" of Roe v. Wade. He also said he did not support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, although he is against gay marriage.
Prior to running for political office, John Dicks was a licensed securities dealer. In the late 1980s, he was contracted by Delta First Financial as an event speaker. After several limited partnerships failed, however, six investors filed civil complaints against Dicks, including Tampa resident Joann Chandler. She asserted she gave Dicks $70,000 to invest after she met Dicks at financial seminar. Chandler alleged Dicks never told her that the investments were risky.
Chandler sued Dicks in the Ohio Court of Common pleas for $70,000, alleging that Dicks defrauded her through "untruths" and "omissions" about certain unsuitable investments.
Other complaints against Dicks were filed by Carol Palley, Joe Kennedy, Ed and Shirley Karelsen, and Giri and Thana Giridhar. The lawsuits were settled out of court. Dicks asserted he lost money in the investments as well, and said he "was truly doing what I thought was best for them in their situation." He denied doing anything illegal, unethical, or immoral, and said he sold a good product. In addition, he said there was no way he could have predicted the partnerships would fail.
Delta First Financial
The seminars at which Dicks spoke were sponsored by Delta First Financial. Delta First Financial was closely tied to multi-millionaire financial adviser Charles Givens. Givens, Buddy Smith, and John Dicks’s brother, Jack Dicks, founded Delta First Financial. The group set up limited partnerships and attracted investors through members of Givens’ educational organization. That organization was was the subject of thousands of client complaints and several lawsuits, including a suit brought by the Florida attorney general. The Florida AG alleged Given’s group made it "difficult or impossible" for clients to get full refunds for educational materials they attempted to return, and that the group "misrepresented how financial strategies worked."
Dicks claimed that it was an "incredible stretch" to attach him to Givens. He said, "I wasn’t a partner, wasn’t an employee, wasn’t anything. I wasn’t involved in the day to day strategies of the business." Dicks and Givens did co-author a book and audio cassette, Business Power Strategies.
Dicks also published a do-it-yourself legal form in Givens’ book Financial Self Defense. In that book, Dicks was identified as a Givens organization instructor and an attorney on Givens’ staff. Givens’ wife contributed $500 to Dick’s campaign.
Dicks lawsuit against National Republican Senatorial Committee
Dicks lost the 1996 state senate election by a margin of 61% to 39%. He sued the National Republican Senatorial Committee on October 31, 1996 for libel, after the organization ran ads accusing Dicks of swindling seniors during the campaign. According to Dicks, the lawsuit was settled out of court. Dicks said the NRSC did pay him as part of the settlement, but he said he donated the money to charity.
Dicks ran unopposed for Plant City Commissioner in 1998. He was subsequently selected by his fellow commissioners to be Plant City Mayor.
Money in politics
Committees and affiliations
Dicks will be assigned committees if and when he is elected to Congress.
Campaign Contact Information
P.O. Box 2
Plant City, Florida 33564
Articles and resources
- 2008 U.S. congressional elections
- Portal:Florida and the U.S. Congress
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 “Florida 2008 General Election,"The Green Papers, August 27, 2008
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Wayne Garcia, "Congressional 9: the race to face Bilirakis," The Political Whore, Creatove Loafing.com, June 5, 2008.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Investors Bitter About Candidate", Tampa Tribune, October 22, 1996
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Memorandum of law in Support of Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment," John Larry Dicks v. National Republican Senatorial Committee, Case No. 96-7441, Circuit Court for Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, Hillsborough County Florida.
- ↑ Charles Givens, Financial Self Defense, published by Pocket Books, 1990
- ↑ "Dicks Deposition Transcript at pp. 283-86," filed in John Larry Dicks v. National Republican Senatorial Committee, Case No. 96-7441, Circuit Court for Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, Hillsborough County, Florida.
- ↑ 2008 Race Tracker page on Florida's 9th Congressional District
- ↑ Official Dicks for Congress website
- ↑ Wayne Garcia, "Dicks is in," The Political Whore, Creatove Loafing.com, October 1, 2007.
- ↑ "Challenging Gus," The Buzz, St. Petersburg Times, October 1, 2007.
- "Challenging Gus," The Buzz, St. Petersburg Times, October 1, 2007.