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Posts Tagged ‘Elections 2012’

Coming in a week where we saw a 16 year old kill a policeman with a gun he bought for just $140, a political action committee is trying to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would do away with permits to bear arms in Florida.

That’s correct. No. Permit. Necessary.

From The Florida Independent:

The proposed initiative, titled “Unalienable Individual Right to Bear Arms; No Permit Required For Any Manner of Bearing Arms,” would change that wording (.pdf) so that the right to bear arms

“cannot be regulated away or infringed upon; no permit shall be required for any manner of bearing arms in Florida, only the open carry of handguns may be regulated by law. Permits may be issued by request to facilitate travel in reciprocal states and as an exemption to waiting periods.”

The amendment currently has zero valid signatures — to be placed on Florida’s 2012 ballot, it needs 676,811.

The PAC proposing the ballot initiative is one led by Richard Antolinez, of Jupiter, Florida, who is listed as the Chairperson and Treasurer. The registered Agent is listed as John Parsons.

So there you go. Just a few thousand signatures from say, NRA members and their votes are all that stand in the way of people carrying guns with absolutely no permit required. That will make it even easier to kill citizens, and even more policemen than we have lost already in recent months.

No. Permit. Required.

Feel safer Florida?

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Rick Scott seemed to think he was running against President Obama rather than Alex Sink in his run for Governor last year, and he still manages to work in his criticism of the President’s policies every chance he gets. Just yesterday it was “ObamaRail” and the “ObamaTrain” that he rejected when he threw Floridians, $2.4 billion dollars and 23,000 jobs under the train bus.

He also has a great deal of interest in repealing the Affordable Care Act, and recently said he would be spending a lot of time in Washington. For what reason? Well, he said it was to make sure Florida gets its fair share.” But wouldn’t the money for the high-speed rail project qualify as “getting our fair share?” Wouldn’t the project also create a few of those “700,000” jobs Scott promised to Floridians before they voted? Sure it would. But Scott just trashed a nice chunk of our “fair share.” His reasoning is reckless spending and all the other nonsense talking points he and many of the Republicans in the state who now despise him along with the rest of us use all the time.

Maybe there’s a reason he doesn’t really seem to give a flying fig about Florida. Maybe his ego is so overblown that he has bigger ambitions. Maybe he’s just using Florida and his policies to prove himself to the Tea Baggers he spends all of his time with.

Maybe it seems like he’s still running against President Obama, because he actually plans to run against Obama in 2012. The thought has occurred to me before, but it just seemed crazy and so ridiculously far-fetched. Of course Scott seems to thrive on failed, far-fetched ideas and he does seem to have a rather large ego. I guess now see I’m not the only one who noticed it.

But hey, it’s not like we haven’t had failed Governors as national candidates before. It also wouldn’t be the first time an elected official tried to convince the country he was not what he “appeared” to be:

“I am not a crook!”

If so, well, good luck with that!

 

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Yesterday the U.S. House voted to abolish public financing for presidential campaigns.

Democrat Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) proposed an amendment to the bill saying “it would have safeguarded our security funds for local law enforcement.” She was referring to the security budget for the upcoming 2012 Republican convention in her city, Tampa, Florida. She went on to say:

“I’m waving some red flags here with the help of my hometown to say this is expensive and we’re going to fight tooth and nail to have it covered,” she told the Buzz. “We’re not going to have the local taxpayers foot that bill.”

Well, her amendment was quickly killed, the voting commenced, and abolished public financing.

Voting in favor of the bill was Rep. Mike Bilirakis (R-FL). Well, later in the day, the following details came out concerning Rep. Bilirakis:

A spokesman for Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, notes that the lawmaker has been working with the governor’s office to get the convention designated as a National Special Security Event and obtain federal funding that way.

“Rep. Bilirakis is acutely aware of the security needs of the upcoming political conventions, especially in the aftermath of the Rep. (Gabrielle) Giffords shooting,” Creighton Welch said.

So Rep. Bilirakis gets to vote “against the cake” but eat it too.

Sounds like a big old slice of hypocrisy to me. But then Rep. Bilirakis is an old pro in that department. Just check his Twitter feed sometime for starters.

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UPDATED BELOW

From the party that claims to be fiscally conservative when it comes to cutting things like Social Security and unemployment benefits, but who think nothing of adding a big ole’ black hole to the deficit to preserve tax cuts for the rich as well as tax breaks for corporations so they can outsource more jobs, there are some new numbers for you to take a peek at.

In Florida, for some unknown reason, a majority of voters chose to elect Rick Scott as the new Governor in spite of his history. Yes, they elected a guy who says he wants to run Florida like a business. Never mind that one business he owned and ran holds a record for the largest fines in Medicare fraud. Even overlooking that, this is a guy who wants to cut everything from state employees pay to Medicaid, and seems to think that stimulus money for things like high-speed rail should be turned down in spite of the jobs those projects would create in Florida.

On the other hand, he recently gave a private speech to unveil his agenda to businesses, not voters or the press. Not that it was a total surprise that he wants to give big businesses a tax break, freeze state business regulations, sympathizes with the insurance companies “hardships” due to the slow hurricane seasons of the past few years, wants to protect doctors from lawsuits, and wants to hand over just about everything else to the private sector like education and Medicaid. (Shocking, that last one, huh?)

Yes, he is absolutely Mr. Fiscal Responsibility! Except when he isn’t.

With unemployment so high in Florida, foreclosures through the roof, literally, among our other problems, and with an “Outsider” Governor who plans to practically cut everything that won’t turn a profit for private businesses, you would think that something like a Governor’s inauguration might be a somewhat modest affair.

But you would be wrong:

Scott is now soliciting donations of up to $25,000 to pay for his inauguration. Price of admission to the ball: $95 per person, a hair less than the $100 ticket price that had been set initially for Crist’s ball in 2007, after the self-proclaimed “People’s Governor” had campaigned on a populist message to lower property insurance rates and tax bills. Crist took a shellacking in the press for soliciting donations as high as $500,000 before deciding in December to scrap the ball, return the biggest checks and lower the donation threshold to $10,000

Yes, Rick the “Outsider” has even outdone Charlie the “Most Definitely An Insider” Crist when it comes to the lavish affair of an inauguration. Not to worry though, Eddie Haskell’s inaugural committee has a perfectly good explanation for those high-priced donations:

“The people of Florida have plenty to celebrate with the inauguration of our state’s new governor, Rick Scott, including the implementation of an aggressive jobs plan and a new focus on revitalizing the state’s economy. Floridians are invited to participate in the inaugural festivities, many free and open to the public, as Rick Scott prepares to forge a new path towards prosperity for all Floridians.

Again, see my translation for “jobs plan and revitalizing the economy-speak” above.

“The Inaugural Committee is organizing a dozen events in Tallahassee on Jan. 3 and 4 surrounding the official swearing in ceremony, many of them free and open to the public. These events will be funded through the generosity of private contributors (contributions are capped at $25,000). All proceeds, after costs have been paid, will go to an organization the Governor Elect is very excited to partner with and we look forward to making that announcement in the coming days.”

How thoughtful. Free events so that the small-folk may grovel and give thanks to our scary new Gov., just to name a few:

  • “Tribute To The First Lady.” (We don’t know her, but I guess a tribute will make her feel like….royalty?)
  • “Salute to Women In Leadership Breakfast (You may now salute those two women you also elected, Pam-Health-Care-Not-So-Fast-Bondi and Jennifer-I-Didn’t-Care-For-Scott-Until-He-Picked-Me-As-Lt.-Gov.-Carroll.)
  • “Forging A Path To Prosperity Reception” (So you may mingle with the private sector who will perhaps be outsourcing the job you hold now, if you have one.)

Hey, what do you want? They’re free!

UPDATE: The donors list for the inauguration so far can be seen here.

Now let’s take a look at another big event we have coming up in Florida: The 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.

In that department, Mr. Big Spender himself, RNC Chairman Michael Steele is doing his best to keep his reputation intact as one who can burn up cash faster than a compulsive gambler on steroids after a six pack of Four Loko in Vegas. Leave it to him to have already thrown $636,800 into the wind since September, and it’s only 2010! That means there’s still plenty of time for him to put the Republicans even further into the red than he already has. (Well, not counting the donations courtesy of Karl Rove, Dick Armey and the Chamber Of Commerce and others from “Whoever” thanks to SCOTUS and the Citizens United ruling.)

No sir, don’t you even suggest that he pace himself! He be da’ man!

Spending through September topped $636,800, according to figures in a report to the Federal Election Commission. That is 18 times the amount spent in a comparable period four years ago.

At a time when Steele and the RNC have come under fire for what critics call financial mismanagement, the convention spending has raised questions about oversight and financial controls inside the committee.

“I can’t imagine what you’d spend $636,000 on at this point,” said David Norcross, a former national committeeman from New Jersey. In 2004, Norcross chaired the RNC’s Committee on Arrangements, which oversees national conventions. “Is it possible that it’s early spending that would have to take place anyway? It’s possible, but I can’t imagine what it would be.”

Lucky for Mr. Norcross and others in the party, there’s plenty of time left for them to exercise their imagination while they watch Steele make many more of those dollars disappear between now and the summer of 2012, or before they find a new chairman. Whichever comes first.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, the Republicans are putting everything, including extending unemployment benefits, and our national security on the back burner while they do whatever it takes to make sure those Bush tax cuts for the rich don’t expire.

You see, the Republican-Tea Bagger Party really ARE fiscally responsible. It’s all about priorities. Gaining wealth while “gaming” elections just happen to be at the top of their list. There’s your “fiscal.”

They just choose to shift the “responsibility” part of the equation to you and me.

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It’s THAT simple.

They’ve been telling you this all along, and they mean it. The extremist wing of the Republican Party, Tea Party, want to “take this country back.” While they’ve been rallying all over the country rounding up those who are easily fooled into voting against their own self-interest and will proudly don hats with Tea Bags dangling from the brim, they’ve distracted them from their real agenda. They want to take the country back…and away from you, and sell it to the highest bidder.

As if eight years of the Bush Administration weren’t damaging enough to the country, the Republicans are hell-bent on gaining power back in next week’s election for an even bigger and more destructive “fleecing of America” and they’ll do ANYTHING to get there. If you don’t believe that, take another look at the video of the “head-stomping” of a 23 year old woman in Kentucky for merely holding up a protest sign at a Rand Paul debate.  And that’s not the only time it’s happened. The silence from the Republican Party speaks volumes: they condone it.

They are serious. They want to take the country further back than you can imagine and replace the flag with this one, while they wrap themselves in it and call themselves “patriots.”

While the “stomping” may or may not have been designed to scare voters, it should. Fearful voters should head to the polls to make sure that “takeover” doesn’t happen.

Last night Keith Olbermann illustrated this point extremely well, and he showed many of the players along with their extreme views, and they aren’t pretty. There were a few I had never even heard of and chances are I’m not the only one. But Olbermann ended with the so-called “darling” of them all, who said the following concerning immigration:

“There are millions of people in America that hate our country, so why can’t we just do a trade? We’ll send you Sean Penn, Janeane Garofalo and Keith Olbermann, and you can send us people that actually love this country and want to help us build it.”

Who said this? Florida’s U. S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio, himself the son of immigrants. Rubio “loves his country” like he loves a meal ticket. Just look at his record so far in Florida. He’s leading in the polls right now. If you don’t vote he could very well win, and he could be “doing a trade” with anyone who doesn’t share his views, just for starters. I haven’t heard him condemn the head stomping of that young woman either. Have you?

If you haven’t seen it, watch these videos, or read the transcript, and then GO TO THE POLLS AND VOTE. Because we can’t afford two more years of obstruction, much less putting government on hold so the Republicans can take back the White House in 2012. That pie in the sky is NOT sustainable, and the very people that want to be back in charge are either clueless about that or they don’t care.

Either way, as Olbermann said: “if they win, America loses.”

Part 1

Part 2

Transcript.

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A couple of funny things happened on the way to picking a city for the Republican 2012 Convention. First the Tea Baggers went to Utah and ousted three-term GOP Senator Bob Bennett because he wasn’t crazy enough for them. He just wouldn’t fit tidily enough into their little padded insanity box.

Then they passed a radical anti-immigration law in Arizona and people started boycotting the state in protest. (Although I think the real reason Arizona lost out was that John Boehner was in real danger of being detained the minute he so much as set an orange toe in the state without presenting proof of citizenship and, let’s face it that would be more embarrassing for the GOP than having a leader whose coloring is not one occurring in nature in the first place. Just sayin’.)

So that left the third runner-up and ugly step-child in the form of a swing state that “The Party of No” so desperately wants to win: Florida, and a city with a well-known GOP developer, Al Austin, who’s been frothing at the mouth for years over the prospect of a GOP convention coming to his town: Tampa.

So now as the planets apparently have aligned just right, have collided with the demented wing of the Grand Obstructionist Party, and intersected with a state where aliens, both illegal and interplanetary would have to prove they are citizens of these United States, the GOP convention lands in Florida, making us a karma bulls-eye come Hurricane season 2012. I smell a party!

Just Because They Are "The Party Of No" Doesn't Mean They Don't Plan To Party!

City leaders and big wigs gathered yesterday to wait for a phone call from Republican National Committee Chair Michael “What Up Home….Bro?” Steele, and they weren’t disappointed.

“We’re excited and ready to get to work on what we believe will be one of the best people’s conventions we’ve ever had,” Steele told the host committee members.

Well, Tampa isn’t Hawaii, but I’m sure Steele will find something to his liking to do while he’s in Tampa. The city does have a lucrative red-light district after all. Al Austin and Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio probably weren’t the only ones celebrating after the announcement yesterday. Connoisseur of all things smut and multiple strip club franchise owner Joe Redner was probably thanking the God of Pole Dancing, or whatever God he worships, that the Party that parties in lesbian bondage clubs was coming to his very own city! What a “get” indeed! He’s probably making plans and sprucing up as I type.

Of course this will be good for local tourism and the economy in Tampa, but I’m guessing that, given the GOP’s proclivity for scandal it will be great for the private investigation industry as well.

“This is big fish, but it takes a long time to land one,” said Al Austin, co-chair of the host committee, who spearheaded two previous unsuccessful bids to land the convention.

Sadly though, by 2012 that is the only “big fish” we’re likely to see in Florida. Thanks to the GOP’s lust for “Free Market Oil,”  by 2012 there will probably be a fishing ban in place, our white sandy beaches will be black and sludge laden, and the Gulf Of Mexico will resemble a giant “hold-your-nose” gas-scented tub of oil with boats, jet ski’s and rubber rafts replaced by old tires and garbage, and “No Swimming” signs will dot the coastline. But not to worry, Republicans, it’s OK! By all means, please do come down and feel free to swim in our waters.

Come on in, the oil’s fine!

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It’s election season again, although these days it’s difficult to define a line of demarcation between election cycles. That being said, there’s a lot going on as we’re drawn closer to November. The GOP has been at it making the rounds with their endorsements. Here is Florida the “true” Republicans have lined up to endorse Marco Rubio instead of Charlie Crist to try to intimidate Crist in his decision on whether to go it alone and run as an Independent and not a Republican. There’s no better way to intimidate than to bring Dick Cheney out of his bunker and into the daylight to say “Weh, weh, I’m with Marco Rubio, weh.” (As Jon Stewart so aptly mimics big Dick.) Of course Cheney would endorse Rubio. He’s under investigation over his alleged spending of GOP funds, so it’s only natural that an endorsement would follow from the man who tells any Democrat (or anyone else for that matter) who dares to question him: “Go f— yourself.” As he mentioned just the other day, that is one of the best things he ever did and he’s quite proud of himself.

As Floridians know only too well, election season brings about many interesting voter and ballot issues (cough Florida 2000, cough, cough.) and it’s already starting.

Just yesterday the Republican controlled legislature in Florida passed a proposed constitutional amendment that would “clarify” a citizen driven “Fair Districts” proposal. (HJR 7231) It passed 74-40, two more than the minimum votes to get on the ballot.

The proposal would allow legislators to craft districts using “communities of interest,” such as race or coastal communities. Supporters say the legislative amendment is needed to preserve minority gains in the statehouse.

The Fair District amendments “will in effect eliminate the Legislature’s ability to draw many of the minority-access seats that are in effect today,” said Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami.

Never mind that voters in Florida are very much in favor of the initiatives. More than one million voters signed the Fair District petitions.

A key provision of the legislative proposal would allow lawmakers to continue basing districts on “communities of common interest.”

Republicans argued it’s needed so districts can be drawn with sufficient numbers of minorities to give them a fair shot at winning legislative or congressional seats.

Democrats said it’s nothing more than a loophole to let lawmakers sidestep requirements in the initiatives, one for legislative and the other for congressional redistricting, designed to prevent them from drawing maps to favor incumbents or particular political parties.

The initiatives also say districts must be contiguous and cannot be drawn to deny racial or language minorities from having an equal opportunity to participate in the political process.

Finally, districts lines “where feasible” would have to follow political and geographical boundaries.

And note these statements near the end of a story from the Miami Herald:

Fair Districts campaign chairwoman Ellen Freidin said the House vote was a perfect example of why the initiative amendments are needed.

“Those in power will do everything they can to protect their seats, avoid truly competitive elections, and maintain the ability to manipulate districts for political gain,” Freidin said.

Democrats stressed that more than 1 million voters signed the Fair Districts petitions, but Republicans derided the campaign because the organization used paid signature collectors.

“This is the most arrogant, preposterous disingenuous attempt to thwart what the people of this state have already said by their signatures that they want,” said Rep. Janet Long, D-Seminole.

Rep. Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, responded that it was arrogant Long and other opponents to assume voters have already spoken because the initiatives have yet to pass.

Because isn’t that what the Republicans are afraid of, that “Fair Districts” would pass? What better way to confuse and misguide voters in Florida than by gutting the amendment in the first place?

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Mike Huckabee.

Huckabee has reportedly registered to vote in Florida, and by doing so, he has made a sworn statement that he is a resident of the state. He rents a beach house in the Panhandle.

Is he becoming a Florida resident so that he can have friendly backyard squirrel barbecues with Joe Scarborough? I’m sure that’s a strong possibility, but I think there’s more we haven’t heard about yet.

According to his daughter,  the St. Petersburg Times reports:

“Some of his personal business activities dictated the Florida residency,” she wrote, declining to elaborate.

“Business activities.” Since his chances for running for President in 2012 probably aren’t good, and the fact that his new Florida BFF seems to be Marco Rubio these days, that’s a scary prospect. He’s been crowing lately that he thinks Marco Rubio could be the next President. This in spite of the fact that Rubio hasn’t even won a Senate seat yet, and so far doesn’t have much of a plan or platform for said Senate race beyond slogans.

Is he hoping that perhaps hell would freeze over and he could be Rubio’s VP? Doubtful.

Still, given that corporations are considered people now and can throw as much cash at any candidate they choose, the fact that Huckabee and his odd views and values, would come to the state for “business activities” bothers me, and not just for this reason, among others:

During Huckabee’s interview with the College of New Jersey’s paper, The Perspective, he compared same-sex marriage to incest and expressed his views against gay people adopting children. “Children are not puppies,” he said. “This is not a time to see if we can experiment and find out, how does this work?”

An odd analogy for Huckabee to make, considering how he and his family hold “puppies” in such high regard. Yes, a real poster boy for “family values” that group.

I do hope Huckabee will re-consider and go register to vote and take his “business activities” elsewhere.

Florida has enough problems, like Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Charlie Crist and Bill McCollum for starters. We certainly don’t need to add Huckabee to the list.

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