Gingrich vs. The Pope on Gay Marriage

Former Speaker of the House, architect of the Republican revolution, Presidential Candidate, social conservative and Catholic Newt Gingrich stated, “gay marriage is both inevitable and okay by him”. It appears that Newt’s dramatic change in attitude is politically based. “Legalization of same-sex marriage in three states in 2012’s election changed the landscape, and conservatives have to come to terms with it,” he said according to The Hollywood Gossip magazine.

The Pope in an end-of-year speech warned that the very future of mankind is at stake over gay marriage .

According to The Telegraph, “In the fight for the family, the very notion of being – of what being human really means – is being called into question,” the Pope stated in the Clementine Hall of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.

The Pope spoke of the “falseness” of gender theories and cited at length France’s chief Rabbi Gilles Bernheim, who has spoken out against gay marriage.

“Bernheim has shown in a very detailed and profoundly moving study that the attack we are currently experiencing on the true structure of the family, made up of father, mother, and child, goes much deeper,” Pope Benedict XVI said.

Reuters reports, “Bernheim, also a philosopher, argues that homosexual rights groups ‘will use gay marriage as a Trojan Horse’ in a wider campaign to ‘deny sexual identity and erase sexual differences’ and ‘undermine the heterosexual fundamentals of our society’. His study, ‘Gay Marriage, Parenthood and Adoption: What We Often Forget To Say’, argues that plans to legalize gay marriage are being made for ‘the exclusive profit of a tiny minority’ and are often supported because of political correctness.”

Is Gingrich being politically correct? Have Republicans caved on the most important social issue facing mankind? Does politics trump core human principles?

“The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s fundamental choice where he himself is concerned.” ~ Pope Benedict XVI

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How the gay movement lobbies your state legislators

TRUE THE VOTE DEMANDS ACCESS TO ST. LUCIE COUNTY POLL BOOKS

True the Vote (TTV), the nonpartisan election integrity organization, today submitted formal requests to review all voter registration records, including poll books, to St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections Gertrude Walker in the aftermath of the 18th Congressional District recount.

“Florida voters deserve a full, unfiltered explanation of the facts,” True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht said. “We cannot know whether all the votes add up unless all the relevant information is made available for public inspection,” adding that True the Vote is “committed to performing a county-wide audit of all registration records for the 2012 Election.”

True the Vote’s request follows a high-profile recount battle where St. Lucie County election officials admitted to hastily releasing vote tallies, failing to count half the precincts on election night, and double counting votes in others. Following the concession of Congressman Allen West, all investigations into the various irregularities ceased.

“Our goal is to fully deconstruct this episode so that this type of travesty won’t happen again,” Engelbrecht continued. “It’s unacceptable to allow flawed counting systems to remain in place because a candidate concedes a race. Faith in the American election system has been shaken enough in recent years – the people of Florida and our Republic deserve better.”

True the Vote’s request conforms to standing Florida open records and federal election laws, specifically 42 U.S.C. § 1973gg-6(i)(1), stating that “all records concerning the implementation of programs and activities conducted for the purpose of ensuring the accuracy and currency of official lists of eligible voters” be made available for public inspection.

True The Vote (TTV) a nonpartisan, nonprofit grassroots organization focused on preserving election integrity is operated by citizens for citizens, to inspire and equip volunteers for involvement at every stage of our electoral process. TTV empowers organizations and individuals across the nation to actively protect the rights of legitimate voters, regardless of their political party affiliation. For more information, please visitwww.truethevote.org.

Voto Honesto (TTV) es una organización sin fines de lucro, no partidaria, enfocada en preservar la integridad en las elecciones y operada por ciudadanos para ciudadanos, ara inspirar y equipar a voluntarios para envolverse en cada una de las etapas del proceso electoral. TTT capacita a organizaciones e individuos a través de la nación para activamente proteger los derechos de los votantes legítimos, sin importar a que partido político perteneces. Para más información, por favor visite www.truethevote.org.

Florida Election Night 2012 – What you should look for

Posted on November 5, 2012 by Jamie Miller from Battleground Group:

Some people have asked me “what should I look for in Florida election night?” Here are my thoughts – I’ve grouped the Florida counties below in three categories – Strong Obama, Strong Romney and true swing counties. Every campaign has a path to victory mostly in these counties. These counties will indicate early if Florida is trending toward a 5-point win for Romney like 2004 for Bush or a 2.8 % win for Obama like 2008.

It does not appear that there is major intensity for Obama like 2008, but Romney is not an incumbent President like Bush in 2004.

Strong Obama counties –

Miami/Dade, Palm Beach, Broward, Volusia and Alachua (Obama is going to win more counties than this, but these five are the counties where they can build bigger “swing” and will be a likely indicator of what Romney has to overcome to carry Florida. If Romney only loses these counties by less than 400,000 votes, he should have a very good night, but if Obama is able to push his margins in these five counties up to 500,000, he could be on a path to a victorious night.

Miami-Dade – In 2000 and 2004, Bush mitigated his losses here by less than 50,000 votes. In 2008, Obama won by nearly 140,000 votes. One would think Obama needs a margin of at least 100,000 if he is going to carry the state.

Palm Beach – The margins in 2000/2004 was 115,000 votes but in 2008 Democrats carried the county by an additional 20,000 votes for a 135,000 margin.

Broward – This is the big prize for democrats. Again 2000 and 2004 had almost identical margins of victory for Democrats with wins of 209,000 votes before Obama won the county by 254,000 in 2008. If Obama approaches a win margin of 250,000 it could be a long night for Romney.

Alachua – Home of the University Florida and the Florida Gators. This is a strong county for democrats that historically favors them by 14,000, but in 2008 Obama carried the county by an additional 13,000 for a 27,000 vote win.

Volusia – This is the home of Daytona Beach. This county often votes Republican in gubernatorial elections but normally supports the democrat in Presidential years. This county is an outlier in the fact that it is one of the few democrat-leaning counties where Bush lost the county in ‘04 by just 3,500 votes. GW and McCain lost this county in ’00 and ’08 by similar 14,000 votes. If Romney loses Volusia by less than 10,000 votes, it could be a good night for him. More than 10,000 would show stronger than expected support for the President.

Strong Romney counties –

Southwest Florida counties (Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee and Collier); Brevard County on the Spacecoast; Northeast Florida’s Duval; three counties in central Florida Marion, Polk, and Sumter; and Northwest Florida’s GOP strongholds of Okaloosa and Escambia.

Many of these counties mimicked each other in 2000 and 2008. So it could be these counties are a greater indicator of Romney’s strength and determine if the “GOP motivation” advantage is real. Obama did well in and really mitigated his losses in these counties in 2008.

Duval is the home of the city of Jacksonville and normally goes big for Republicans. George W. won here by 44k votes in 2000 and more than 60k votes in 2004. Obama didn’t win here but he lost by just 7,900 votes. Duval is historically one of the first large counties to announce vote tallies and should be a good indicator of whether Romney will do well in Florida. It is one area of the state that Romney did not do as well in the primary, however.

Brevard is one of Florida’s hardest hit counties by the great recession. It is one of the counties that Republicans can run up a large margin in just one area. GW won by 18k and 43k in ’00 and ’04. McCain split the difference and won by nearly 30k votes. So, it is more of an indicator of how well Romney is doing and not necessarily how bad Obama may be doing in the state. Romney needs to win here by 40-50k votes.

Southwest Florida – These five counties provided G. W Bush with margins of about 90,000 votes in 2000 and 136,000 votes in 2004. Romney really needs to be above a 100k vote margin in these five counties if he’s going to win the state. Obama lost this area of the state by just 74k votes.

Polk, Marion and Sumter counties are indicative of where rural counties are going to go. Polk is the one “non-swing, GOP, I-4 corridor” county. Republicans won here by 15k votes in 2000 and 2008. In 2004, Bush was able to push his margin here to nearly 38k. A 15k-vote win here for Romney probably shows a very close race like 2000 or a GOP loss like 2008. Marion County is a GOP county but is an indicator of how well a Republican is going to do in the state. GW won this county by just 10k in 2000 and 24k in 2004. McCain did well in this county in 2008, however winning by nearly 19k votes. So Marion is more an indicator of how seniors are voting and not necessarily an indicator of an Obama loss. Sumter is a former rural county that now is home to The Villages retirement community. GOP wins have grown every election cycle and I don’t think that will change. GW won here in 2000 by 2,400 and in 2004 he won by 8,200. Like Marion, Sumter County performed well for McCain. He won here by 13,200 votes. Anything less than that would spell real trouble for Romney.

Northwest Florida – The polls stay open here in the Central Time Zone until 8 p.m. (EST) and two of the larger counties where a Republican can build margins are Escambia and Okaloosa. If Okaloosa trends toward a 50,000+ win like Bush in ’04 and Escambia trends toward Bush’s 45,000 vote victory in ’04, it would be good news for Romney. The total of the 10 counties in the Central Time Zone needs to approach 180,000 margin for a big victory on election night.

That brings us to the major swing counties in the state. I include Orange (Orlando) and St. Lucie in this group even though Obama is going to win both of these counties. The others to watch in this category are Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco.

Orange County is the first county in the history of the state to switch from Democrat to Republican and now back to Democrats. GW lost here by 5k vote in ’00 and just 800 in ’04. But, Obama won huge here in 2008, by more than 85,000 votes. Obama likely wins big here again, but if it is “only” by 50k, it could be an indicator that Obama didn’t motivate his voters like he did in 2008. It is possible for Obama to win here by 100k votes and lose Florida, but it would surely be an indicator of a much closer race than most final polls indicate.

Hillsborough – Florida’s latest bell-weather county. This county, the home of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, voted in favor of Bush in ’00 and ’04 by 11k and 31k respectively. But, this county swung to Obama by more than 36,000 votes in ’08. No one is going to win by just the margin in this county, but it would likely be an indicator of how well each campaign’s television ads were received during the campaign.

Pinellas County is home to some of the nicest beaches in the state, but is also a “lean-Democrat” County. Bush won Pinellas in ’04 by just 226 votes. If Romney wins here, it is an indicator that he won Florida big. An Obama win here of 25,000 votes, might be an indicator of a long night for both campaigns.

Pasco County north of Tampa is also a county that democrats can win, but can provide large margins for Republicans. GW lost this county in ’00 by about 1,000 votes but won here four years later by more than 18k votes. This county is an indicator of where “swing” voters are going with their votes. These are also economic voters and Obama lost here in ’08 by about 8,000 votes.

That brings us to St. Lucie County which is nestled between Democrat strongholds in SE FL and the GOP stronghold on the Space Coast. Prior to 2000, St. Lucie was Florida’s bell-weather county, but it has trended toward democrats in the past three elections. GW lost here twice both times by less than 7,000 votes. Obama beat McCain here by almost twice that margin, nearly 15,000 votes. If Obama approaches that type of margin, he may be in the midst of an upset in the state.

So, who wins Florida?

We will know in just a few hours, but in short, it’s the candidate who motivates his base, mitigates his losses in his weaker areas of the state, and who is able to keep from being blown out in the I-4 corridor. My prediction? I think Romney wins Florida big, by 5-6 points. If it turns out to be a bigger margin than that, we could have an upset in the U.S. Senate race, but I think Romney would have to win really big in Florida, by 8 points, to provide coattails for Congressman Mack.

Jamie Miller from Battleground Group

ABOUT JAMIE MILLER

Jamie Miller is a political consultant specializing in political campaign management, strategic planning, public relations, grassroots motivation, and crisis communications. He has been involved with running and managing political campaigns since 1994. Learn more at Battleground Group.

Early Voting Violations Reported in North Miami

Citizen journalist Stephanie Kienzle states, “The Florida Statutes are very clear about voting laws. The enforcement of those laws? Not so clear. At least not in early voting in North Miami.”

What has Kienzle concerned are illegal activities at North Miami Public Library. The Polling Place Procedures Manual published by the Florida Department of State, Division of Elections, Florida Statutes 101.051 and 102.031 is explicit in exactly who is and who is not allowed in the polling room. The procedures outline who may help a voter needing assistance, as well as solicitation restrictions. “From what I’m being told by sources in periodic updates, these Florida Statutes have been and are continuing to be violated at the North Miami Public Library polling place,” reports Kienzle.

Florida New Majority Logo

Kienzle states, “There are two people illegally inside the North Miami Public Library polling place wearing tee shirts with the name Florida New Majority (FNM). FNM is a Florida non-profit corporation registered as Florida New Majority, Inc., with a the registered trademark of “Florida New Majority, ‘and claiming its mission is “promoting public awareness in the field of social welfare’.”

According to its trademark application, Florida New Majority is a “501 (c)(4) organization that organizes, educates, and mobilizes communities in Florida to win equity and fairness throughout the state. Unlike a 501(c)(3), an organization designated as a 501(c)(4) can be as political as it wants to be, “provided election activity is not the primary function.” However, NFM’s website is clearly partisan with columns and links to anti-Romney websites, columns and videos.

In June Media Trackers reported, “Florida New Majority, a Florida activist group teaming up with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in attempt to sway the November elections, envisions a race-conscious world dominated by public sector employee unions, Media Trackers Florida has learned … FNM announced a campaign earlier this month to give ‘undocumented’ immigrants access to taxpayer-funded college assistance programs. FNM has already launched the program in Miami-Dade County and is currently expanding its campaign to other parts of the state.”

Alex coming in early to help volunteer! Tampa New Majority

Florida New Majority’s Facebook page has numerous photos of SEIU Chapter 1199 members, pro-Obama rallies, Al Sharpton and links to anti-Romney websites. Tampa FNM Facebook page features volunteers wearing SEIU – Obama t-shirts as they work. FNM may be the reincarnation of ACORN?

Representatives of FNM are asking early voters while they are standing in line if they need assistance, which is illegal. Some FNM workers are reportedly walking into the voting booth with early voters and telling them which punch numbers to mark on their ballots. Both of these activities are illegal under Florida statues.

According to the Florida Statutes, if a voter needs assistance, “he or she may receive help from either two election officials or another person of his or her own choosing other than the voter’s employer, an agent of the voter’s employer, or an officer or agent of the voter’s union.” If members of Florida New Majority are trolling the polling room looking for voters to “help,” this is a direct violation of the law!

Reports note none of the Dade County Supervisor of Elections representatives at the North Miami polling place made any effort to question or stop FNM’s activities.

According to Kienzle, “If a voter requires assistance to use the equipment, ‘two poll workers of different party affiliations’ are allowed to show the voter how to use the machines, but then ‘must leave the voting booth so the voter can vote in secrecy’.”

According to Kienzle’s sources, not only are the Florida New Majority members staying in the voting booth with voters, allegedly ‘translating’ for them, but they are also telling them which punch numbers to bubble in. “Obviously, the ‘secrecy’ of the voting booth has been violated,” writes Kienzle.

A call into the Miami/Dade Supervisor of Elections office has not been returned. Stay tuned for updates.

Rubio: Thousands of Soldiers Disenfranchised – Won’t Get Ballots

Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and four other Senators sent a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to express their concern over delays in ballots reaching military voters overseas.

“We write to express concerns over another serious failure by the Department of Defense (DoD) to safeguard the voting rights of our overseas military service members, which we believe could result in the imminent disenfranchisement of thousands,” the letter stated.

Mail redirection in the military can take between 14 to 50 days, meaning a ballot could reach the voter possibly more than a month after ballots have to be mailed back in order to be counted. The Military Postal Service Agency (MPSA) identified problems with the system after the 2010 election, but hasn’t implemented changes.

“DoD’s failure to fix this longstanding problem means that the blank ballots of thousands of overseas service members, as well as some who have recently returned from overseas, could be currently trapped in an archaic and inefficient mail forwarding system,” the senators wrote. “These ballots are unlikely to reach these service members until after Election Day has passed.”

The senators advised Panetta to create a centralized mail redirection system and modernize military mail delivery.

“We are perplexed as to why DoD did not do everything in its power to modernize the system for redirecting blank ballots in order to eliminate this roadblock for military service members, per the top 2010 recommendations from MPSA,” the letter stated. “As we know you agree, they deserve to have a voice in choosing their elected leaders. Our men and women in uniform should be able to participate in the very same democratic system of government that they defend, not be relegated to mere spectator status because their ballot never reached them.”

71 Percent of Florida Young Adults Plan to Vote in Presidential Election

Generation Opportunity, with over 4 million fans on Facebook and direct grassroots engagement with over a quarter million young Americans, today released additional results from their comprehensive Florida-specific survey of young adults ages 18-29.

The poll found that 71 percent of young Floridians plan to vote in the presidential election, only 34 percent are satisfied with elected officials in Washington, and that 83 percent believe key life decisions have been delayed by the poor national economy.

The poll also found that of the “Get Out the Vote” (GOTV) reminder tools that will have an impact on young voter turnout in Florida, Facebook ranked first at 63 percent and text messages ranked second at 47 percent. Only 14 percent of Florida’s Millennials thought a phone call would be effective – a clear indication that smartphones and other mobile devices have reached a point of heavy market penetration within the demographic. Generation Opportunity has over 160,000 followers across the state of Florida .

In addition to the poll results, Generation Opportunity has launched the Pledge to GO Vote Campaign aimed at further increasing the already growing enthusiasm and interest among young adults to participate in the presidential election. Generation Opportunity is encouraging its supporters, their friends, and all those within their networks to Pledge to GO Vote. Read more about the initiative and sign the pledge here at GenerationOpportunity.org/vote.

FLORIDA’S YOUNG ADULTS – VOTER ENGAGEMENT

  • 71% of Florida Millennials plan to vote in the election for President this year.
  • Only 34% believe that today’s political leaders reflect the interests of young Americans.
  • Which will be the more important to you in casting your vote for President in 2012?
  • 49% – A candidate’s position on issues and a record in public office;
  • 9% – A candidate’s personal characteristics, like charisma and likeability;
  • 30% – They are of equal importance (accepted only this response);
  • 4% – Neither is important / something else;
  • 8% – Do not know/cannot judge (accepted only this response).
  • 53% agreed they will learn more about the policy positions of the presidential candidates in 2012 than they did in 2008.

FLORIDA’S YOUNG ADULTS – EFFECTIVE GET OUT THE VOTE (GOTV) TOOLS

Which of the following, if any, would make young people more likely to vote? (Accepted multiple responses) (Randomized):

  • 63% – Facebook reminder message;
  • 47% – Text message reminder;
  • 28% – Email reminder;
  • 26% – Public service announcement;
  • 14% – Phone call;
  • 12% – None of the above (accepted only this response);
  • 8% – Do not know/cannot judge (accepted only this response).

From which of the following sources do you get your news? (Accepted multiple responses) (Randomized):

  • 49% – Friends/family;
  • 46% – Facebook;
  • 43% – Online newspapers;
  • 42% – Cable news programs;
  • 40% – Radio;
  • 38% – Network news programs;
  • 27% – Specific websites focusing on topics that interest you;
  • 25% – Print newspapers;
  • 20% – Twitter;
  • 19% – Online magazines;
  • 19% – Comedy news programs (The Daily Show, The Colbert Report);
  • 16% – Blogs;
  • 16% – Print magazines;
  • 2% – Other;
  • 6% – None of the above (accepted only this response).

FLORIDA’S YOUNG ADULTS – ON THE DIRECTION OF THE COUNTRY

  • Only 31% of Florida Millennials agree with the statement “generally speaking, things in the United States are heading in the right direction.”
  • 55% are not confident that America will still be a global leader in five years if the USA continues along the same path as the last few years.

FLORIDA’S YOUNG ADULTS – ON ELECTED OFFICIALS AND NATIONAL PRIORITIES – STUDENT LOANS, ENERGY, HEALTHCARE

  • 64% of Florida Millennials believe the availability of more quality, full-time jobs upon graduation is more important than lower student loan interest rates.
  • 64% say the availability of more quality, full-time jobs with health insurance plans is more important than the ability to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans until they are 26.
  • 60% would increase production of domestic American energy sources like oil, natural gas, and coal if given the opportunity to set America’s fiscal priorities.
  • 74% would decrease federal spending if given the opportunity to set America’s fiscal priorities.
  • 70% prefer reducing federal spending over raising taxes on individuals to balance the budget.

FLORIDA’S YOUNG ADULTS – THE IMPACT OF THE ECONOMY ON FUTURE DREAMS AND CAREERS

  • 74% of Florida Millennials believe that the lack of job opportunities is shrinking the American middle class.
  • Only 26% say that the economic policies coming out of Washington are helping them.
  • 83% had planned to but now might delay or not make at all a major life change or move forward on a major purchase due to the current state of the economy (Accepted multiple responses) (Randomized):
  • 42% – Buy their own place;
  • 31% – Start a family;
  • 30% – Save for retirement;
  • 29% – Go back to school/getting more education or training;
  • 28% – Pay off student loans or other debt;
  • 27% – Change jobs/cities;
  • 20% – Get married;
  • 11% – None of the above (accepted only this response);
  • 6% – Do not know/cannot judge (accepted only this response).

STATEMENT BY PAUL T. CONWAY, PRESIDENT OF GENERATION OPPORTUNITY

“Florida’s young adults know that economic growth and increased opportunity are the only true changes that can reverse high unemployment and the lack of full-time jobs. They know the results of the 2012 presidential election will have profound implications on their ability to realize their career goals and to achieve their dreams. They are tired of a status quote defined by periods of unemployment, underemployment, part-time work, and full-time jobs outside the focus of their skills and educational level,” said Paul T. Conway, President of Generation Opportunity and former Chief of Staff of the United States Department of Labor under Secretary Elaine L. Chao. “Over the course of the next week they will use their social media networks to organize and remind their friends to vote – and they will vote as if their futures depend upon their decision.”

METHODOLOGY

For Generation Opportunity, the polling company, inc./WomanTrend, conducted a statewide online survey of 524 Florida adults ages 18-29 between July 27 – August 13, 2012. Randomly selected online opt-in panel participants were sent an invitation to the survey via email, which included a secure link to the online questionnaire. Quotas were used to ensure the survey was representative of the larger 18-29 year old statewide population with regard to race, region, and gender. The data were NOT weighted. The overall sampling margin of error for the survey is +/-4.4% at a 95% confidence interval, meaning that the data obtained would not differ more than 4.4 percentage points in 95 out of 100 similar samples obtained.

ABOUT GENERATION OPPORTUNITY

Generation Opportunity is the largest non-profit, non-partisan organization in the United States engaging and mobilizing young Americans (ages 18-29) on important economic issues facing the nation. Since its launch in June of 2011, Generation Opportunity has operated on a combined strategy of advanced social media tactics and field tactics to reach young Americans across the country.

Generation Opportunity is actively organizing young adults across America through grassroots tactics, voter registration, and voter turnout efforts in states like Ohio, Virginia, Maine, North Carolina and Florida, engaging over a quarter million young adults. The organization’s social media platforms have amassed a total fan base of more than 4 million. Facebook pages post links to relevant articles and reports from sources ranging from the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO), to The New York Times , The Washington Post, The Brookings Institution, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, and The Heritage Foundation.

UPDATE: A video taken by a student of a young audience in Red Rocks, Colorado:

TEA Party Having a Major Impact in Florida

Some have said that the TEA Party is dead. Well the Broward County Teachers Union (BTU) knows differently.

BTU letter to its members states, “Over the course of the last several years there has been a coordinated attack on the Florida Supreme Court by ideological partisans who want to remake the court to reflect their own political perspective. In 2010, four justices were up for retention. Two were singled out for attack by a Tea Party-related organization with only an online campaign. The group was successful in reducing the YES vote for these two justices. They received 10% fewer votes than the two that were not attacked and 10% less than justices get on average.” [Emphasis mine]

“The opposition, closely tied with the Tea Party in Florida, Restore Justice‘s online presence has grown much more sophisticated in the current election cycle. But Restore Justice is joined this year by national forces. American Crossroads (Karl Rove), and Americans for Prosperity (Koch Brothers) have reserved millions of dollars of media time for the final weeks of the campaign. Their efforts nation-wide were emboldened by the ouster of three Iowa Supreme Court justices in 2010 during a campaign focused on a same-sex marriage ruling. Those justices didn’t raise any campaign funds to defend themselves,” the BTU states.

Restore Justice 2012 produced a score card and the below video about the Florida Supreme Court Judge retention on the November 6th ballot:

Restore Justice 2012 has issued a voter guide on each Florida Supreme Court Judge up for retention. The voter guide may be viewed here.

Who Do You Think Won Debate III?

The third and final debate between President Obama and Governor Romney just ended. So who do you think won Round III?

Many believe that our national security and economic security are inextricably linked. Without a strong foreign policy and military our citizens overseas are vulnerable. Both candidates had an opportunity tonight to make their positions clear. Who do you think is best suited to be the Commander-in-Chief?

MONDAY, OCTOBER 22ND: WatchdogWire Live-Streaming Pre & Post-Presidential Debate III Commentary

Sarasota, FL – Watchdog Wire, a citizen journalism project of The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, will provide pre and post-debate coverage and commentary on the final Presidential Debate, focusing on foreign policy, at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. on Monday, October 22 starting at 7:00 p.m. The event will be live streamed on Watchdogwire.com.

The event will feature a Watchdog Wire panel that will consist of Mark Langfan, expert on Israeli and Middle East affairs, Tom Trento, president of The United West, and Dr. Richard Swier, U.S. Army (Ret.) and editor of Watchdog Wire – Florida.

Special guests will include—Gary Bernsten, former CIA station chief and author of Jawbreaker, Clare Lopez, nuclear arms and Russian expert, and Frank Gaffney, former Assistant Secretary of Defense.

“This coverage is unique because we have scheduled guests who have been implementers of U.S. foreign policy globally,” said Swier. “Watchdog Wire is focused on high quality citizen reporting that adds to the debate.”

“The Franklin Center is committed to giving citizen journalists the resources to investigating ground-breaking issues that are of great importance to every American,” said Erik Telford, vice president of Strategic Initiatives and Outreach for the Franklin Center.

“This is the final Presidential debate with a focus on U.S. foreign policy,” Swier noted “Given events in Benghazi, Egypt, Syria and Iran it is critical to understand how each candidate will face the challenges.”

Viewers may tune in on their computer, iPad or smart phone by going to www.WatchdogWire.com and clicking on the “Presidential Debate – Round III ad” on the right side of the page, or you can follow this link.

Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity is a leader in non-profit journalism. It was founded in 2009 to address falling standards in the media as well as a steep falloff in reporting on state government and provides professional training and assistance with a mission of exposing waste, fraud, and abuse in government.

Exposed: Dual Registration Voter Fraud in Florida, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island

True The Vote (TTV), the nonpartisan election integrity organization, announced new research findings of voter fraud in Ohio, Florida, New York and Rhode Island. The Offices of Florida, Ohio and Rhode Island Secretaries of State, the New York State Board of Elections and the U.S. Department of Justice were formally notified of ballots cast simultaneously in both states for federal elections.

“Our initial belief that we had uncovered only the tip of the iceberg continues to be reinforced,” True The Vote President, Catherine Engelbrecht said. “Pew Research’s finding that 2.75 million Americans are registered to vote in more than one state continues to ring true. Unfortunately, we keep seeing more people possibly voting illegally. It’s important for voters to remember that no candidate or cause is worth a felony conviction. While some will no doubt commit the same fraud this year, we can find them in a matter of months. True The Vote calls on Florida, New York, Rhode Island, Ohio and federal officials to investigate and confirm our latest research.”

Ohio & Florida

Similar to last week’s findings of voters committing interstate absentee ballot fraud, True The Vote cross-referenced entire voter registration lists between Ohio and Florida and alerted appropriate authorities to voters with matching full names, birth dates, addresses and voting histories demonstrating ballots cast in multiple states in a single federal election.

True The Vote found more than 19,000 Ohio voters claiming Florida mailing addresses, according to state records. More than 6,390 people hold registrations in both states. True The Vote identified 534 individuals allegedly casting ballots in both Ohio and Florida. Today 34 cases were turned over to federal and state authorities.

“To his credit, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has indicated he is taking steps to address the situation with respect to voter roll maintenance,” Engelbrecht said. “However, these findings are particularly troubling given Ohio’s wholesale approach to dispensing absentee ballots for all this year. This combination of poor voter roll maintenance, emerging evidence of interstate fraud and Ohio’s new policy of absentee voting for all could create a perfect storm. The last thing we want is a repeat of the 2000 Election – this time by mail.”

New York & Florida

True The Vote offers new findings of absentee voter fraud between New York and Florida. Citing a new sample of less than one (1) percent of upstate New York voters, TTV found 48,630 voters claiming Florida mailing addresses. Of that sample, more than 19,000 are registered to vote in both states. Today federal and state officials were alerted to 32 new cases of interstate fraud between the Empire and Sunshine States.

Rhode Island & Florida

True The Vote also reports instances of voter fraud between Rhode Island and Florida. After the comprehensive cross-reference process, TTV found 53 Rhode Island voters claimed Florida addresses. More than 15 are currently registered in both states, with two (2) having voted.

Federal and state laws were potentially violated as a result of these activities. Ohio, New York, Rhode Island and Florida each require voters to cast ballots corresponding with their permanent residential addresses. Federal law, specifically 42 U.S.C. § 1973i(e) clearly states that voters cannot cast more than one ballot in the same election.

The Decline and Fall of Registered Democrats

According to the Florida Division of Elections there has been a steady decline in the number of registered Democrats since 2008, while during the same period Republicans have gained 66,434 voters. Since 2009 the number of voters registering as Republican has been gradually increasing. The greatest increase in registered voters was in the “Other” category. There has been an overall increase in the number of registered voters in Florida.

YEAR                REPUBLICAN         DEMOCRAT       OTHER            TOTAL
2008                  4,106,743                  4,800,890             2,504,290         11,411,923
August, 2012    4,173,177                  4,627,929             2,782,261         11,583,367

Difference        +66,434                     -172,961               +277,971           +171,444

President Obama won Florida in 2008 by a margin of 204,577 votes. The Democrat Party of Florida has since 2008 seen a decrease in the number of registered Democrats of 172,961.

The combination of increased numbers of registered Republicans and the decrease in registered Democrats exceeds President Obama’s margin of victory by 34,818 or a margin of .003 registered voters. Can you say close election in Florida?

Additionally, the margin between registered Republicans and Democrats has narrowed since 2008. In 2008 the difference between the two parties was 694,147. As of August 2012 that has been reduced to 454,725. While there remains more registered Democrats than Republicans in Florida the gap has closed since President Obama was elected.

Both political parties will be wooing the “Other” voters in 2012. That appears to be where all the data mining will occur. If you are an “Other” voter expect to receive more direct mail pieces, more robo-calls and more pressure to vote on November 6, 2012.

The cut off date to register to vote in the November 2012 general election is Monday, October 8, 2012.

UPDATE: Congressional Candidate’s Communications Director Who Has “Orgasm” on Her Blog FIRED!

Democrat Congressional Candidate Keith Fitzgerald‘s new Communications Director Ana Maria Rosato posted an audio file on her public blog Sassy Political Insights. During the audio commentary Rosato states, “I have a strict policy — I don’t screw Republicans.” Well her comments have gone viral and she may have just screwed Fitzgerald, a Democrat.

Rosato asks, “Do Republicans hate sex, because they are tragically . . . pre-orgasmic? … Republicans are mad as hell, because they can’t get it up, can’t get off, and/or can’t get any.”

Rosatos’s Linkedin page states she previously worked in the office of former U.S. Congressman Gene Taylor (D-Mississippi) and on the Gene Taylor for Congress campaign. Rosato’s biography states that she is, “A seasoned, disciplined, and persuasive communications professional with savvy political acumen, I possess extensive experience with America’s diverse ethnic communities and political cultures from California’s multi-ethnic, union, pro-choice, and progressive communities to the Deep South’s Blue Dog Democratic, conservative, talk-radio, Fox-TV watching watching constituencies.”

During the podcast Rosato states, “Look at the evidence. Republicans damned sure aren’t acting as if they routinely experience that kind of rip-your-clothes-off – as you – walk – through – the – door – can’t – w-a-i-t – to kiss – your lips – and feel – your hands – all – o-v-e-r – my body – that kind of physical – merging where pleasure, pure unadulterated pleasure takes over – where being – pleased – where pleasing – each other, taking-you-to-new-heights-of-sheer – can’t catch-my-breath – orgasmic ecstasy pulses through our veins – pure delight . . . . until . . . . ☺ oh yeah, baby.”

Listen to Rosato’s commentary on her public blog:

Rosato posted a column titled “Do Republicans Hate Sex?” published in May 2012. Here is the full transcript of her podcast with a link to the podcast:

Today’s Grand Ob/Gyn Party is obsessed with sex — mainly ensuring that the rest of us have the same apparently miserable sex lives that they themselves endure. Just look at them. Do they look happy? Do they look like they are being romanced and courted? Do they look like they have happy, fulfilling, fabulous-can’t-wait-to-get-to-my-honey relationships? Nope.

They sure seem like a cranky, irritable, miserable lot to me. They ain’t getting any lovin’, and they damned sure spend a lot of time devising ways to prevent the rest of us from happy lives and in particular, happy sexually fulfilling lives.

Look at the evidence. Republicans damned sure aren’t acting as if they routinely experience that kind of rip-your-clothes-off – as you – walk – through – the – door – can’t – w-a-i-t – to kiss – your lips – and feel – your hands – all – o-v-e-r – my body – that kind of physical – merging where pleasure, pure unadulterated pleasure takes over – where being – pleased – where pleasing – each other, taking-you-to-new-heights-of-sheer – can’t catch-my-breath – orgasmic ecstasy pulses through our veins – pure delight . . . . until . . . . ☺ oh yeah, baby.

Wait a sec . . . b-r-e-a-t-h-e . . .

The kind of sex I just described? You have to experience it to understand it, to understand the power and joy, the word-escaping orgasmic ecstasy of it all. How tragic that when it comes to that lovely ecstasy, Republicans act as if they have lived their entire lives never, ever, ever coming close. (Puns quite intended.)

The Sexual Frustration & Immaturity Bad Public Policy Connection

Today’s Republicans act as if they are sexually frustrated and sexually immature. They lash out at the rest of us to prevent anyone from experiencing this fabulously Divine birth-right given to each of us by the Great Creator-of-All-That-Is just because we arrived on this planet.

I wonder.

Do Republicans hate sex, because they are tragically . . . pre-orgasmic?

Look at some of the legislation that the “I-hate-sex” Republicans aggressively promote.

1. the “Just say no” a la Nancy Reagan answer to teen pregnancy
2. re-outlawing birth control
3. re-outlawing abortion (legal in the nation until 1873)
4. opposition to legal marriage equality for LGBT Americans

The connecting dot is sex. Republicans fear that someone somewhere—perhaps many of us in many places know and experience fabulous sex. Republicans are mad as hell, because they can’t get it up, can’t get off, and/or can’t get any.

Hint: being mean and nasty, fellas, fails the AM aphrodisiac test.

Sex Ed 101: Recreation and Reeee-creation

We all know that sex can be for two reasons. On the one hand, sex can be for pure pleasure, enjoyment, fun, recreation! Yoohoo! Yeah, baby! On the other hand, it can be for the purpose of having children—babies. Sometimes for both. Most of the time, though, we have sex for purely recreational purposes. It’s fun! It’s f.r.e.e. Under the right circumstances and with the right person, sex feels soooo good. [Note to Republicans: deciding which circumstances and which person is unique to each of us, and none of your business.]

Some of us are coupled, some of us are married, some of us are single. Some have girlfriends. Some have boyfriends. Some have B.O.B. (battery operated boyfriends.) Many of us have a number of partners throughout our lives. We have sex. Life’s good that way.

Can’t you just hear the mantra from today’s Republican leadership?

“The audacity! The utter injustice of it all! How dare anyone enjoy their birth-right to f.r.e.e. recreation.”

Yes, today’s Republicans certainly expend an awful lot of energy focusing on, pontificating about, and obsessing over sex. What the Republican Party needs to focus on like a laser is fixing the economic mess they created during the eight years that their boy was occupying the Oval Office, which they stole in 2000.** But getting all up in our private business is what busibodies do when they themselves don’t have much of a life. Republican creative juices are so pent up that all they can think of is to create an America that is puritanical, harsh, cruel, hate-filled, and deprived of all pleasure – sexual or otherwise.

The idea of being sexually fulfilled just isn’t part of the Republican equation for living life to its fullest. That may explain the Republican propensity for prostitutes and airport stalls. That may help to explain why Republicans legislate as if our sex lives are their business and that sex must be for reeeee-creation only. Ergo, Tea Party Republican legislative packages center on restricting our knowledge of sex, eliminating our reproductive health care options, and punishing women and men for having sex without the intent of creating a baby inside a legal heterosexual marriage. In other words, Republicans are obsessed with punishing us – all of us – for having sex for pleasure!

You know, if Republicans had healthy, loving, hot sex lives, they would quit screwing over the rest of us.

Does Fitzgerald agree with the person he hired to speak for him? We have left a message for his campaign Communications Director to call us.

UPDATE: October 4, 2012

Now former Communications Director for the Fitzgerald campaign, Ana Maria Rosato said she is standing by her statements and issued a parting blog with the dateline “Saratoga” Fla. Rosato refused to apologize for her comments about the Pope and his “pedophilic protecting” priests and for calling Republicans “child haters” who “hate” women, blacks, the poor, police officers, firefighters and teachers.

When approached by a reporter Tuesday, Democrat Candidate for Congress Fitzgerald “refused” to comment or say whether he agreed or disagreed with her statements.

Rosato was sent to Sarasota, FL by the Democrat National Committee. Rosato was sent to help Fitzgerald breathe life into his campaign. The national Democrat Party announced it was cancelling a $400,000 TV buy reserved for Fitzgerald.

TRUE THE VOTE: NEW EVIDENCE OF CROSS-STATE ABSENTEE VOTER FRAUD

True The Vote (TTV), the nonpartisan election integrity organization, today released preliminary research findings that already show evidence of 31 cases of absentee ballot fraud in New York and Florida. The Office of Florida Secretary of State, the New York State Board of Elections and the U.S. Department of Justice were formally notified of ballots cast simultaneously in both states for federal elections.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” True The Vote President, Catherine Engelbrecht said. “This is further evidence of just how susceptible our election system is to voter fraud. Earlier this year, Pew Research found more than 2.75 million people nationwide are registered to vote in more than one state. These early findings put a name, face and potential motivation behind that startling statistic. True The Vote calls on Florida, New York and federal officials to investigate and confirm our citizen research.”

True The Vote began the process of identifying potential absentee voter fraud by accessing Florida’s complete voter registration roll and cross-referencing it against 10 percent of New York’s comprehensive list. Preliminary audits indicated more than one million Florida voters claimed New York mailing addresses. Over 1,700 people were found with voter registrations in both states. Today 31 voters were turned over to state and federal election authorities after being matched based on full name, birth date, reciprocal mailing addresses and voting history demonstrating ballots cast in both states during the same federal election cycle.

In each case, federal and state laws were potentially violated as a result of these activities. Both New York and Florida require voters to cast ballots corresponding with their permanent residential addresses. Federal law, specifically 42 U.S.C. § 1973i(e) clearly states that voters cannot cast more than one ballot in the same election.

“This should serve as a warning to any individual considering committing voter fraud in this year’s election,” Engelbrecht said. “True The Vote enjoys cooperative relationships with these states and many more. These findings are only the beginning of our effort. As today is National Voter Registration Day, it’s important to remember that no candidate or cause is worth a felony conviction.”

ABOUT TRUE THE VOTE

True The Vote (TTV) a nonpartisan, nonprofit grassroots organization focused on preserving election integrity is operated by citizens for citizens, to inspire and equip volunteers for involvement at every stage of our electoral process. TTV empowers organizations and individuals across the nation to actively protect the rights of legitimate voters, regardless of their political party affiliation. For more information, please visit www.truethevote.org.

Florida US Senate Race in NRA Cross-hairs

Millions of National Rifle Association (NRA) members have received in the mail an evaluation of key US Senate races across America. One of those races is in Florida. According to Chris Cox, NRA-ILA Executive Director, “In 1787, weeks after the Constitution was sent to the states for ratification, James Madison wrote that the Senate was ‘the great anchor of the Government’. The same is true today, for two reasons of special concern to gun owners.”

The two reasons laid out by Cox are: 1.) Only the Senate can confirm federal judges including Supreme Court justices and 2.) Treaties can only be ratified by a two-thirds vote of the Senate.

The NRA has targeted Florida as one of seven US Senate races of interest to its members. 

Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)

According to the Cox column, “Clear Choices: Key Races Will Determine Makeup of United States Senate”, “Senator Bill Nelson has served for 12 years in the Senate, and has voted many times against the interest of gun owners.” Cox notes that Senator Nelson voted against Right-to-Carry reciprocity; to ban most common rifle hunting ammunition; to gut the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of its most important provisions; and to renew the 1994 Clinton semi-automatic ban.

Cox notes, “If that weren’t enough he voted to confirm both Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. With the historic Heller and McDonald decisions riding on just one vote, one more anti-gun Supreme Court nominee supported by Nelson could be a fatal blow to the Second Amendment.”

FL Rep. Connie Mack

Cox and the NRA note, “His opponent, Connie Mack, has a strong pro-gun record as a member of the US House for the past eight years.”

According to Cox, Rep. Mack strongly supported the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Pact; voted for legislation to protect the rights of gun owners during states of emergency; and supported the Right-to-Carry reciprocity. Mack also voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with the investigation into the deadly “Fast and Furious” scandal.

The NRA gives Mack an “A” rating, while Nelson earned an “F” rating from NRA-PVF.

Dem. Candidate Fitzgerald – A Tale of Two Women

Democrat candidate for Congress Keith Fitzgerald is trailing by double digits in the polls against incumbent Congressman Vern Buchanan. He is looking to boost his campaign. The campaign has invited Sandra Fluke to improve Fitzgerald’s popularity. But there is another woman who may deflate his popularity, his sister Linda (Fitzgerald) Huber.

Linda Fitzgerald Huber with Rep. Vern Buchanan

Linda (Fitzgerald) Huber, the sister of congressional candidate Keith Fitzgerald, has endorsed U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan’s re-election, saying “Buchanan is exactly what we need in Congress.” Huber praised Buchanan’s positive vision for creating jobs, restoring prosperity to America and protecting Medicare benefits for seniors.

“Vern’s background as a businessman is exactly what we need in Congress,” Huber said in a statement released by the Buchanan campaign. “I support his agenda to grow the economy and create jobs while protecting Medicare.”

Huber also donated to Buchanan’s re-election campaign.

Huber, who lives in Kentucky, reached out to Buchanan last month to offer her endorsement. “We’re honored to have her support,” said campaign spokeswoman Sally Tibbetts.

According to a Fitzgerald campaign email sent by Julia Gill, Finance Director, “We invite you to join us on Saturday, September 29th for a special evening reception with women’s health advocate, Sandra Fluke.” Sandra Fluke is a Georgetown Law School graduate with no background in healthcare or being an advocate for healthcare. Fluke advocates on the importance of requiring insurance plans to cover birth control, requiring all insurance plans to have a contraception mandate.

The email goes on to say, “Sandra first came into the national spotlight in February of 2012 when Republicans refused to allow her to testify to the House Oversight and Government Relations Committee on the importance of insurance plans to cover the cost of birth control. She later came under attack by right-wing talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, for being a national voice for women’s reproductive health. Earlier this month, Sandra was a featured speaker at the Democratic National Convention.”

Gill states, “Keith Fitzgerald is the only candidate in Florida’s 16th Congressional District who has been an advocate for women’s health in the Florida Legislature and will continue to be one as a Member of the United States Congress.”

According to the Florida Family Policy Council Democrats Keith Fitzgerald and Ted Deutch offered HB 169 to the Florida legislature for consideration:

“This bill pushes what is called ‘comprehensive sex education’ upon our young people and requires teaching children about homosexual acts and how to use all of the available contraception devices. While giving a cursory mention of abstinence, the bill assumes the sexual involvement of most young people and by doing so the policy will actually encourage sexual experimentation by younger children”

Additionally, Fitzgerald co-sponsored HB 3: Gay Adoption, which allow gays to adopt foster children. He co-sponsored HCR 8003: Equal Rights Amendment, which is supported by feminists and gives additional legislative powers to the Congress.

According to Project Vote Smart, Fitzgerald has consistently voted a pro-abortion agenda.

Fitzgerald voted against holding teachers accountable for their classroom performance. He voted against increasing graduation requirements for public school students. He voted for the expansion of gambling and for funding of a costly commuter train system in Orlando, Florida. He voted against cutting property taxes and against a property tax cap. He voted to increase state university tuition but against teaching evolution in Florida public schools. He voted against expansion of private school scholarships. He voted against off shore drilling but for expansion of Medicaid eligibility. He voted to allow for the use of public funds to build stadiums for baseball franchises that have been in Florida since 1993.

While a legislator Fitzgerald voted against the sense of the Florida legislature to try terrorists in Guantanamo Bay. The vote took place the same week terrorist Omar Ahmed Khadr, who killed a U.S. Special Forces soldier in Afghanistan, was being tried in New York City.

UPDATE:

Hat tip to Tad MacKie of Sarasota for pointing out that, “Fitzgerald voted AGAINST a bill that would make it a crime to kill an unborn child, during the commission of a crime against the pregnant mother. See : http://votesmart.org/bill/4241.”