Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
The November 3rd Election Day is nearing, so naturally the words "glitch," "hiccup," "snafu," and "snag" are back in the headlines, instead of the word "failure," which would be the appropriate one to use in such cases.
Today, it's our old friends in Sarasota, under the continuing and now-legendarily failed direction of Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent and her latest failed voting system, this one an optical-scan system made by Diebold, featured in the Charlotte Sun's"Scanning glitch in vote machine test": more...
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Feds: 223 Gang Arrests in Florida
Saturday, October 17, 2009
WASHINGTON — U.S. immigration authorities say 223 gang members and associates were arrested in Florida in the last fiscal year.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says Operation Community Shield led to 1,785 arrests in 89 cities nationwide. The arrests were made between Oct. 1, 2008, and Sept. 30.
The 223 gang members and associates arrested in Florida faced charges of attempted murder, robbery, and various drug and weapons charges.
In Operation Community Shield, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies share information and resources to arrest, prosecute and imprison or deport gang members.
Florida immigration officials say the operation has helped dismantle or disrupt numerous gang and drug trafficking organizations. Link.
Friday, October 16, 2009
In Florida, Republican leaders were elated when popular Florida Gov. Charlie Crist agreed to run for the Senate. He has adopted policies such as an aggressive approach to global warming that appeal even to Democrats. Those very policies infuriated conservatives, as did Mr. Crist's decision to campaign with President Barack Obama on behalf of the president's $787 billion stimulus package.
"He was Judas to the Republican Party in the state of Florida and across the country," says Robin Stublen, 53, of Punta Gorda, co-state coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots, a loose national coalition. "He sold us out for 13 pieces of gold."
A spokesman for Mr. Crist said the governor made sure stimulus dollars went to items important to Florida voters.
Mr. Crist has drawn a primary challenge from Marco Rubio, a former Florida House speaker, who is aggressively seeking tea-party members' support. #
Thursday, October 15, 2009
A recent string of arrests of public officials in Florida has led Gov. Charlie Crist to ask for a special grand jury. It will examine whether Florida has, as the governor suggests, a "culture of corruption." Link.
Three prominent politicians in Florida's second-most populous county, Democrat-controlled Broward County, were arrested last month on federal corruption charges, accused of accepting thousands of dollars in cash from undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen seeking illegal favors.
Crist issued executive orders suspending Broward County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion - who just hours before his arrest voted on the county's annual budget in a late-night meeting - and county school board member Beverly Gallagher from office pending the outcome of the case.
The third person arrested, former Miramar city commissioner Fitzroy Salesman had lost his bid for re-election earlier this year. More...
A case that gathered far more publicity statewide involved former House Speaker Ray Sansom, a Destin Republican who was forced from his post in February after a state grand jury indicted him for perjury and official misconduct. The latter charge was recently dismissed.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Surveys designed to persuade rather than survey are a common though dirty tactic in the political arena, the text equivalent of telephone push-polls. The sending of polls for fundraising purposes is also widely considered unethical, a practice known as "frugging" -- fundraising under the guise of research. In August, the RNC suggested in a similarly formatted "Future of American Health Care Survey" that "GOP voters might be discriminated against for medical treatment in a Democrat-imposed health care rationing system." Following on outcry from Democrats, a Republican Party spokesperson called that survey "inartfully worded."
Florida has the second-lowest rate of health insurance for people younger than 65 in the country, trailing only Texas, a new U.S. Census survey shows. Excluding Medicare-eligible senior citizens, one in four Floridians lives without any form of medical coverage. Link.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Broward County Commissioner and Vice Mayor Josephus Eggelletion, 60, was charged in a criminal complaint with conspiring to help launder more than $900,000 through a Bahamas bank account from what the undercover FBI agents told him was an investment fraud scheme. For his efforts, he was paid more than $23,000.
A county school board member, 51-year-old Beverly Gallagher, is accused of accepting $12,500 - some stuffed in official board of education envelopes - to help steer school business toward FBI agents posing as representatives of glass and construction companies.
The third political figure charged, former Miramar city commissioner Fitzroy Salesman, 52, is accused of taking $3,340 from undercover agents pretending to seek contracts to replace a gymnasium floor and build a park gazebo. Earlier this year, Salesman was convicted of a misdemeanor charge after drawing a pistol in a grocery store during an argument with another shopper.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I overheard the president call McCain’s plan “a stunt.” Dana Perino said the negotiations were nearly over, and suddenly he was going to swoop in and muck things up? The president’s political adviser, Barry Jackson, was blunt, calling McCain a “stupid prick.”
His audience was a gold curtain next to a large portrait of George Washington.
I suggested that we also apologize to the former Soviet Union and retroactively concede the Cold War.
As events turned more surreal and staff members played the spin game with each other, I asked myself daily, What more can go wrong? The answer, of course, would be practically everything.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
If the national Republican hierarchy couldn't keep U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., from blurting out, "You lie!" during President Barack Obama's Wednesday address to Congress, what hope does a lowly county chairman have in maintaining decorum during a protest? Eric Ernst
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Congressman Wilson is widely known as the voice who shouted "you lie" during President Obama's address to the joint session of Congress on September 9, 2009 regarding Healthcare reform.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
September 8, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Florida has always had a tenuous relationship with reality...It was bound to catch up with us. Gary Mormino, a distinguished historian of Florida, says our whole economy is more or less a big Ponzi scheme.more
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Florida Democrats: Greer Should Re-focus His Attention to Credit Card Reforms
Tallahassee, FL - Today, the Florida Democratic Party sent the following letter responding to Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer's baseless indoctrination claims:
James A. Greer, Chairman
Republican Party of Florida
420 E. Jefferson Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Dear Chairman Greer,
Come on now. You can't be serious about these baseless indoctrination claims.
While it is clear you have been busy meeting with the 'Birthers', making up claims of death panels in the health insurance reform bills, and now recently begun studying political theory and elementary civics, maybe your time would be better spent working on credit card reform efforts.
More specifically, rather than worrying about President Obama's efforts to inspire our nations' school children to do their homework and speak to them about, "the importance of persisting and succeeding in school," maybe you should spend your time working to track down all the Republican Party of Florida's American Express Platinum cards. You know, the credit cards you gave out to all the Republican Party's elected officials including Speaker Ray Sansom, Sen. Jeff Atwater, Sen. Mike Haridopolos, Rep. Dean Cannon, and many others. In doing so, you transformed your political party into nothing more than a Tammany Hall for Republican leaders as they lived large on the slush fund that is today's Republican Party of Florida.
Or maybe you should focus your efforts on explaining to the IRS how you and other Republican leaders didn't commit tax evasion as you have been reportedly accused of doing by charging personal expenses to the RPOF. But because the only thing that the RPOF has seemingly distributed to more Republican leaders in Florida than AmEx cards is tinfoil hats - now apparently fashioned from your old AmEx Platinum cards - we were concerned that your AmEx Platinum hat blocked your ability to see the reaction to your baseless charges. As such, I wanted to make sure you saw some of the coverage.
PolitiFact.com, a project of the St. Petersburg Times that recently won a Pulitzer Prize for their efforts helping Americans find the truth in politics wrote:
You might think that would be a harmless topic, and that people across the political spectrum could agree on the importance of education. Not so for the Republican Party of Florida...
We reviewed the study materials but didn't see any mention of controversial issues, let alone any attempt to indoctrinate students in socialism...
But he crossed a line when he said that Obama intended to discuss "plans for government-run health care, banks, and automobile companies" and other policy matters not germane to education. That is factually incorrect, and the party could not offer any support for the statement. For raising the specter of socialist ideology and indoctrination, the party takes its claim to an additional, absurd level. We rate the Republican Party of Florida's statement Pants on Fire!
And Mark Murray from NBC News wrote on their First Read blog:
This coming Tuesday, President Obama is set to deliver a speech on education and its importance to students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, VA...
Yet somehow, the chairman of the Florida Republican Party, Jim Greer, believes Obama's speech as a platform "to spread" his "socialist ideology."
...Has the state of our political discourse devolved to the point where a president's speech about the importance of education gets called a socialist power grab?
So, rather than waste all of our time with statements that are no more credible that the craziest of conspiracy theories, maybe you should turn off Glenn Beck, tune out Rush Limbaugh, ignore the Secessionist movement and focus your energy on cleaning up the Republican culture of cronyism and corruption in Tallahassee.
Florida Democratic Party
Tallahassee- Â Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer today released the following statement condemning President Obama's use of taxpayer dollars to indoctrinate America's children to his socialist agenda.
"As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology. ...
"While I support educating our children to respect both the office of the American President and the value of community service, I do not support using our children as tools to spread liberal propaganda. ... blah
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
After Republican Speaker Ray Sansom's indictment and revelations about the Republican Party of Florida's AmEx slush fund, now Charlie Crist taps his friend and campaign manager to go to the U.S. Senate. These people aren't standing up for Floridians.
Instead they let corruption and cronyism run rampant here in Tallahassee - from Ray Sansom, to former lobbyist Bill McCollum, and now current lobbyist George LeMieux.
I know we can stop it. This weekend, after Crist's announcement, thousands of Floridians have already pledged to help end the Republican culture of cronyism and corruption in Tallahassee. But, the only way we can stop them is at the ballot box.
We need your help to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime election and to end the Republican culture of cronyism and corruption in Tallahassee. Sign the pledge:
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
George LeMieux is a fierce Charlie Crist loyalist seen as the Karl Rove of Crist’s election campaign (without the association to dirty tricks) His appointment helps Crist’s election chances because it doesn’t create a rival for the seat nor does it put someone in the position with radically different views – it’s the closest thing to Crist appointing himself He was a key figure in the negotiations of the U.S. Sugar Deal and the Seminole Gambling Pact He is a former registered lobbyist who is not currently lobbying in an official capacity, although some claim he still is doing lobbying He is relatively scandal-free, although he was taped on an undercover wire talking to convicted scammer Joel Steinger – contents of those wiretaps are not public at this point, it seems Some Republican operatives worry that LeMieux might have some skeletons hidden in his closet (such as the Steinger wiretaps and other clients) On the issues, he refers to himself as a “Charlie Crist Republican.”
LeMieux believes legislative inflexibility could lead to a failed deal.
``What's at stake here is whether we are going to have limited gaming in Florida,'' he said. ``If we do not approve a compact, I'm concerned the future of Florida is casinos in every part of our state.''
John McCain's campaign is returning $50,000 of donations collected by a prominent Palm Beach County fund-raiser after questions were raised Thursday about how much a foreign national may have contributed.
Harry Sargeant III, the Republican Party of Florida finance chairman and part owner of a Boca Raton-based oil trading firm, has been credited with collecting more than $500,000 for McCain.
But about $50,000 of those contributions reportedly were solicited by Mustafa Abu Naba'a, Sargeant's Jordanian business partner at International Oil Trading Co.
Sargeant, of Gulf Stream, is among 53 bundlers McCain has in Florida - more than he has in any state other than New York and California - who have combined to raise at least $9.2 million for the Arizona Republican this year. Obama has 23 bundlers in Florida who have collected at least $2.75 million.
Gov. Charlie Crist's campaign collected at least $5,000 in 2006 from the same group of Californians that McCain's campaign is questioning. The Federal Election Campaign Act that prevents foreign nationals from participating in federal campaigns also applies to state and local candidates.
George LeMieux, Crist's campaign manager at the time, said he was not planning to review those donations.
"The elections process is not perfect," LeMieux said. "There has to be some trust in the process. And we feel comfortable that the process we had in place at the time was as diligent and professional as it could be."
Among his civic and charitable commitments, LeMieux was the Chairman of the Broward County Republican Party, Chairman of the Jeb Bush Re-election campaign, Republican nominee for the Florida House of Representatives – District 92, and served on the City of Fort Lauderdale Beach Redevelopment Advisory Board. He has been a director for Goodwill of Broward County, as well as Riverwalk, Inc., and a trustee for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce. In 2002 he was named one of the 50 Most Powerful People in Broward County by Gold Coast Magazine, and 20 People on the Fast Track by Fast Track Magazine.