Michael E. Arth, Dark Horse of the Week

Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 3:08 pm

If now is the time for underdogs to shine, we’ll need to take a serious look at Michael E. Arth, an artist, developer, activist and, most recently, Democratic candidate for governor of Florida. He’s the rare aspiring pol with a zero percent unfavorable rating (to one percent favorable and 99 percent shrugged shoulders). And his bio on his Website is sure to win over the Sunshine State masses. Here are some choice excerpts, starting from the top:

Michael Edward Arth was born near Liverpool, England at a U.S. Air Force Base on April 27, 1953. In 1955 his parents moved to New Mexico. This was followed by a move to Midland, Texas where he was taught at a parochial school by the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, all of whom were named Mary, but none of whom were immaculately conceived. His own mother however was born on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, but named Evelyn Yvonne instead of Mary. [...]

On his father’s side the family name, Arth, means “Bear” and is an ancient Celtic form of the name Arthur, which may just be a lazy way of saying the Welsh phrase, “Arth Vahr.” Arth Vahr means Bear Great. It is not known why they did not just say “Great Bear,” but backwards or forwards it still refers to the Great Bear Constellation, the mythological source of the King Arthur legend. [...]

If you have not guessed by now, this is actually an autobiography written in the third person partly because some of the Marys considered I-itis a disease. I was also convinced that it looked more professional to pretend that I just happened to find someone to write my biography who knows as much about me as I do….

So anyway, I sought solace from the frocked Marys and the scorching desert sun by digging underground forts in the desert wherein I could utter the shortest word in our language without shame. The nuns would surely have found my underground activities to be quasi-pagan in nature, thus adding the lure of the forbidden to one of the reasons for crawling into a desert spider hole long before a certain ex-dictator publicized the practice.

This guy is currently polling at just four percent in the primary, far behind Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink’s 49 percent. But 49 ain’t 50, and 47 percent are still undecided, so keep an eye on Arth!


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Comment posted July 1, 2009 @ 12:06 pm

Nice to have a candidate with a sense of humor, both about himself and the world! It helps keep things in perspective and a good leader needs perspective. Arth is a highly accomplished, straight-speaking candidate with original and creative ideas.

Michael E. Arth
Comment posted July 1, 2009 @ 12:24 pm

Having just entered the race I'm an underdog and a dark horse, but I'm not running a dog and pony show. I'm in to win it. They have the money (see the banner ad above) but I have the ideas (see http://www.michaelearth.org) and I'm not afraid to put them out there. By the end of the race, the voters will know who I am and they will decide which is more important–the issues or pay-to-play.

I was told by a top Democratic official that because I didn't have $3 million to start, and $1.3 million a week to win, not one single word would be written about me in the mainstream press. I asked the Daytona Beach News Journal if this was true and they repudiated it with a huge above-and-below-the-fold front page story. ( http://www.news-journalonline.com/NewsJournalOn… )

Michael E. Arth
campaign site: http://www.michaelearth.org

Gregory Arth
Comment posted July 1, 2009 @ 12:35 pm

Michael Arth is one of the most determined, honest, and principled people I know, and I have known him as long as I have known anyone, because he is my brother. I have seen him accomplish goals that I wouldn't expect a normal person to accomplish. I have seen him start and complete projects that only a fool would think possible. I have seen him take on, and follow through with jobs that nobody would attempt because they would think it impossible. And through all of this he maintains a positive attitude and a 'can do' spirit that is a constant source of inspiration. Michael also seems to choose projects that are not just challenging but seem to always leave in their wake a much better place than when he started.

In politics it seems that the status quo is the goal. What we desperately need in this country are people who will look critically at a problematic situation and come up with real solutions that may actually change things for the better. Michael Arth is that person.

Comment posted July 1, 2009 @ 12:47 pm

I think Arth is exceptional in his visionary ideas for America. What he's done for Deland is a microcosm of what can be done for Florida and America. Money should not be the reason people run, but true talent for leadership and innovative ideas that can serve America rather than take advantage of it.

winning longshot
Comment posted July 1, 2009 @ 12:55 pm

Just by virtue that he is NOT a standard politician puts him well ahead of the losers who are born with original sin. It is extremely possible that he is just the guy to bring forward thinking ideas into voter's selection of choices. The system of 'winner take all' itself is limiting. He has changes in store for improving that up front. He's a preservationist and a humanitarian who steps further back to see how things are screwed up. He's thinks out of the box and even down the street from the fast food joint that sells the ideas in boxes that people are eating. Look at his ideas!

Comment posted July 1, 2009 @ 1:00 pm

Michael Arth spoke at our local Democratic club meeting last week in Celebration, Florida. He came across as an impassioned and hard-working advocate of all the very best progressive positions, an honest and forthright person who has thought deeply and tells you what he thinks on every subject. His story of turning a crack neighborhood into “The Garden District” of Deland is the real story. I'm sorry that Aaron Wiener selected this small piece of Arth's extensive web site to represent the candidate.

When I went to Michael's website after the meeting I skipped over all the genealogy above and went right for the meat of who he is and what he stands for. If the reader really wants to see a well written biographical piece on Arth I suggest going to an article by Michael Jiloty from the Real Estate Journal of Volusia County reprinted at http://michaelearth.com/gard_manvision.htm. Once you read that story then look around at Arth's web site and you will find a wealth of information. This is a man of depth and passion. He should be considered a genuine contender, not merely a joke candidate. This article does Arth a great disservice. Why not take the man seriously?

Comment posted July 1, 2009 @ 1:00 pm

Michael Arth has some really terrific ideas. He is an accomplished artist and has contributed greatly to the remaking of a crack neighborhood in downtown DeLand. He is definitely not one of the worn out policiticians we have grown to know and loathe. I wish him well in his endeavors.

Comment posted July 1, 2009 @ 1:06 pm

The author is having a bit of fun with his subject, but Florida is facing real crises: economic, environmental, and human, and the answer of the political establishment is more meaningless incremental change and a compromise with the practical equivalent of evil.

Mr. Arth, while a political novice, would never repeat this error. He is intelligent enough to treat the state's problems as linked and that a coastal state with limited aquifer access, higher incarceration, poverty, and infant-mortality rates than the national average will have to make some hard and creative choices in the years ahead.

Mrs. Sink is competent and conscientious, but Mr. Arth has vision and drive, and that's what a state needs when time is running out.

I live sixteen feet above Sea Level. Protecting the “American Way of Life” at all costs means I'm treading water in my living room.

Comment posted July 1, 2009 @ 1:22 pm

As Michael no doubt learned from the Sisters, underdogs with what appears to be less than adequate weaponry quite often slay the giant and become great leaders of their people – perhaps we should all pay more attention to our history lessons?

Comment posted July 1, 2009 @ 1:24 pm

I've known Michael since he moved to Florida. He is a renaissance man with an astonishing candor that is not found in conventional candidates who wiegh every response with regard to its probable political impact. Moreover, his ambitions are qualified. It isn't power he seeks it is rational change. He is a futurist and philosopher – an intellectual, but one who can pick up his tools and rebuild a slum into a garden with his own hands. He is devoid of artifice.

By applying conventional metrics, he doesn't have a chance of being elected, which is exactly why he just might get there. These are changing times!

Comment posted July 1, 2009 @ 2:17 pm

I'v known Michael since childhood and can vouch for his honesty, ability and compassion to take on the challenge and do the right thing. He's a multi-talented and intelligent problem solver with a can-do spirit, exactly what Florida and the rest of this country needs right now.

Comment posted July 1, 2009 @ 2:49 pm

Michael Arth is an Oxymoron- an honest politician! He is completely transparent and will tell you exactly what his plans for Florida are. No Oz behind the curtain, no ventriloquist doll being fed lines by those who say what we want to hear, but do nothing. Honesty & integrity, how refreshing.

In the Garden District, where he turned a crack neighborhood into a beautiful residential haven, he worked tirelessly to show how one man could make a difference. If he could do that with a neighborhood – single-handedly – think of what a difference he can make in Florida, with our help?

Comment posted July 1, 2009 @ 3:23 pm

Consider the tough road ahead for Mr. Arth. He is going against the political machine. Yet he is the proven business person an entrepreneur. Florida desperately needs change, a fresh focus. In general we do not have business people in politics and the political process has become a business of special interests and repayment of favors. I can only hope Mr Arth is seen for what he can bring to the table. Being in business for myself as he is, gives him a unique perspective. Entrepreneurs survival depends on good money management & decision making skills and the ability to survive in tough times. Mr Arth has proven this and I think the time is now for a new direction. I wish him the best.

Comment posted July 1, 2009 @ 4:11 pm

Michael E. Arth really needs to get elected. For once someone is running to better the Floridian Lifestyle rather than further their political career. I heard someone ask him why he didn't run for something a little easier like Mayor or even Congressmen he said it's because he really feels he can make a difference as Governor and he isn't planning on going on as a lifetime politician. his goals are to get in fix things so we aren't in the mess we're in again and get out. Very Admirable

Comment posted July 1, 2009 @ 4:21 pm

I'm a member of TWU 291 and support Michael Arth. He's a real person that has achieved real success. He has my vote and in a few minutes he'll have my donation. I want Michael to rebuild Florida and chase out the career politicians this time. GO MICHAEL!

Comment posted July 1, 2009 @ 4:49 pm

We talk so much about politicians who talk instead of act, who posture with “positions” to make the other guys look bad, and who distract from the problems we all suffer from. Michael Arth is a breath of fresh air offering positive solutions to make an end run around the polarizations. Are you tired of political talk that is little more than liberals calling conservatives impersonal aggressive businessmen, and conservatives charging liberals with moral degeneration? Look to Arth: he is both open-minded minded and market oriented. As Sam Walton said, we don't have a shortage of resources, but a shortage of imagination. Look to Arth to find the imagination Florida needs to help us work together to solve our problems.
-Paul Croce, citizen of Florida

Comment posted July 1, 2009 @ 8:51 pm

Arth passes the citizen political litmus test. He supports Florida Hometown Democracy, he did not take government handouts for his revitalization project, and he thinks building beyond what our aquifer can support is a bad idea (sounds obvious to outsiders but most politicians support over building and would have the people add a zero to their water bill for desalination plants to support the campaign contributors best interests instead of the peoples). Go Arth and go STAND!! http://www.StandDaytona.com

Julie Speir
Comment posted July 2, 2009 @ 2:52 am

I've known Michael for over 30 years, and I'm delighted that he has decided to run for governor of Florida. Michael is the most honest man you'll ever meet, and a visionary seeking sensible, innovative long-term solutions to the most challenging issues facing humanity. The people of Florida will find him to be fair and compassionate, and a real breath of fresh air from the standard fare of stale career politicians. He has already demonstrated how deeply he cares about the people of Florida, and will continue to put citizens first, working to improve Florida's quality of life on every level. Citizens of Florida will soon learn how fortunate they are to have Michael working for them.

Comment posted July 2, 2009 @ 6:02 pm

I recently moved to the Garden District in DeLand, FL as one of Michael Arth's tenants in one of his restored craftsman style cottages. His vision and restoration of this once downtrodden neighborhood is a true test to Michael's compassionate character, determination and ability to improve the quality of life for others. I've recently had the privilege of spending the day with Michael talking about his vision and policies. There is no doubt that Michael is an innovative, honest, and sincere leader in or out of political office.

Julie Singh
Comment posted July 3, 2009 @ 6:22 am

I was surprised and pleased when I heard Michael Arth is running for governor of Florida. He is an ethical man of immense vision, energy, and transparency–what a rare treat! And what a boon for Florida if he is elected!

Comment posted July 3, 2009 @ 6:03 pm

I”ve known my cousin Michael almost all his life. He's extremely intelligent and creative, interested in almost everything, works like crazy, and actually executes successfully virtually everything he determines to do. He's idealistic, but practical when it comes down to putting ideas into practice. Like most, I'm very skeptical of his chances in a political world that normally requires a lot of money, connections, public name recognition, and, ideally, solid experience in previous elected office(s) to succeed in a campaign for any higher office. But Michael normally thinks bigger than anybody thinks he should, and then goes right ahead and succeeds. Aside from all the political odds making, he would actually make a good governor and push better and more effective ways of doing things than many established approaches that aren't working.

If nothing else, he has tremendous courage to tell the voters completely up front his thoughtful stands on all the issues, even when many are obviously unpopular. Thus, if he is able to garner enough resources to get significant media attention in the campaign, he will be able to smoke out the other candidates on a lot of tough issues.

Dr. William R. Nylen
Comment posted July 7, 2009 @ 2:25 am

In a state with a government 'of the developers, by the developers, and for the developers' Michael Arth would certainly shake things up in Talahassee. His ideas on people-friendly urban and suburban development would, in the governor's mansion, cause many a heart ailment to manifest in the halls of the overly-fed and overpaid. Land development really is Topic #1 in Florida, directly linked to the # 1 'industry' in Florida — paving, building and financing — and Michael Arth would be a breath of fresh air. If you really want to see fireworks fly in Talahassee between the Republican/Developer hacks in the legislature and a guy who is absolutely not Politics as Usual, take a chance on Michael Arth.

Comment posted August 2, 2009 @ 9:14 am

Please be sure you want this man as a govenor. I could not wait to meet this man as I live in one of his renovated homes. with in 10 seconds his arogance came out and embarrassed me but in truth embarrassed him self.. He was talking on how he wants to legalize marijuana as he pulled away from my hand shake because I smoke ciggerettes. He is behind the president of the garden district community, Frank Rueda, who does not even live in the state, is being fined on a daily basis for illegal city laws, and who will not disclose financial matters on where all the home owners monies are going to. His answer to the homeless and drug problems is to move them out not help them. Do you really want this man as a governor. I don't even want him as a neighbor!!!!!!

Michael E. Arth
Comment posted August 2, 2009 @ 12:55 pm

The solution for families and kids who are homeless is to reintegrate them into the community ASAP. For the adult homeless with mental illness or substance abuse issues who do not qualify for programs such as Housing First, the solution is to provide a full service community that meets their needs.

I regret that Ms. Caracelle perceived that I was drawing back from her handshake and I am sorry for the misunderstanding. I thought I had explained to her that I was drawing back from her cigarette smoke. I am allergic to anything in the deadly nightshade family, which includes tobacco. The allergic reaction causes my face to swell up and I bear an uncanny resemblance to the Elephant Man. I did not want to embarrass myself nor frighten Mr. Caracelle. The person she was referring to, as far as I know, is not incurring daily fines for either legal or illegal city laws, nor is he the president of the Garden District. He is the president of a homeowners association to which I am no longer associated. I wish her luck resolving her complaints with him.

Comment posted August 2, 2009 @ 3:02 pm

I appreciate your reply and appollogize for the unknown. As I hate my addiction there are ways of handleing your illness. Being a diabetic and having a son with cystic fibrosis I have been wronged by people not knowing side affects but have learned the right words as to not be rude and to explain a situation. as for Mr. Rueda, the statements were given to me by the town and as posted on his residence I have had a recent problem with Mr. rueda that is now fixed and was given the info…..Good luck in your campaigne and your health.

Michael E. Arth
Comment posted August 2, 2009 @ 3:32 pm

Ms. Caracelle, I'm glad we have resolved the misunderstanding. Alex Birch did an interview with me that was published yesterday, which further explains my views on a wide variety of subjects, including the homeless issue. Please check it out:


North Capitol Street » Blog Archive » Florida Goes Topsy-Turvy in New Poll
Pingback posted June 10, 2010 @ 11:57 am

[...] more, Quinnipiac also shows a major turnaround in the state’s gubernatorial race. Michael E. Arth’s quixotic campaign aside, this was supposed to be a contest between Attorney General Bill McCollum (R) and Florida [...]

electronic cigarette
Comment posted September 4, 2010 @ 8:39 am

I recently moved to the Garden District in DeLand, FL as one of Michael Arth's tenants in one of his restored craftsman style cottages. His vision and restoration of this once downtrodden neighborhood is a true test to Michael's compassionate character, determination and ability to improve the quality of life for others. I've recently had the privilege of spending the day with Michael talking about his vision and policies. There is no doubt that Michael is an innovative, honest, and sincere leader in or out of political office.

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