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.”

Democrats Reveal Voter Fraud in Florida

Tom Tillison of Florida Political Press reports of, “A Democratic candidate in Maryland, Wendy Rosen, dropping out of her congressional race after her own party told state officials that she had committed fraud by voting in both Maryland and Florida in recent elections.”

“The Maryland Democratic Party has discovered that Ms. Rosen has been registered to vote in both Florida and Maryland since at least 2006; that she in fact voted in the 2006 general election both in Florida and Maryland; and that she voted in the presidential preference primaries held in both Florida and Maryland in 2008,” wrote Yvette Lewis, the state party chair,” notes Tillison.

Watchdog Wire recently reported on the problem of dual registration in Florida and referred to it as the “Snow Bird Scandal“.

Russ Buettner, New York Daily News staff writer, wrote in an August 2004 article titled “Registered to Vote in City & Fla.“, “Some 46,000 New Yorkers are registered to vote in both the city [of New York] and Florida, a shocking finding that exposes both states to potential abuses that could alter the outcome of elections, a Daily News investigation shows.”

“Registering in two places is illegal in both states, but the massive snowbird scandal goes undetected because election officials don’t check rolls across state lines. The News found that between 400 and 1,000 registered voters have voted twice in at least one election, a federal offense punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. One was Norman Siegel, 84, who is registered as a Republican in both Pinellas Park, Fla., and Briarwood, Queens. Siegel has voted twice in seven elections, including the last four presidential races, records show,” writes Buettner.

Matthew Hay Brown, of The Baltimore Sun, reports, “Rosen, 57, a Cockeysville businesswoman and Maryland voter, told The Baltimore Sun that she registered to vote in Florida several years ago in order to support a “very close friend” running for the St. Petersburg City Council and to vote on local issues there.

“Rosen said she was able to register in Florida because she owned property there,” writes Brown.

Some states like Kansas have banded together to cross check voter rolls with bordering states. No action has been taken to date by Florida to work with those who have a residence in another state to determine if they are registered or have voted in both Florida and their home state.

Perhaps the Rosen problem is bigger than Florida wants to admit? Some are asking when will Florida address the dual registration issue?

RELATED COLUMN:

Maryland Democrat exits congressional race due to allegations of voter fraud

 

RUBIO HAILS SELECTION OF PAUL RYAN

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio issued the following statement regarding Governor Mitt Romney’s selection of Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate:

“Throughout his life, Mitt Romney has made great decisions, and choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate is a truly inspired choice. I got to know Paul during my Senate campaign when he endorsed me early on when I was still considered a long shot. Paul Ryan is a courageous reformer who understands our nation’s challenges, has proposed bold policy solutions to solve them, and has shown the courage to stand up to President Obama and other Washington politicians trying to tear him down.

“The Romney-Ryan ticket is going to win in November because it offers the American people visionary leadership to recapture the free enterprise spirit that has empowered countless Americans to build businesses from scratch and live the American dream. I’m excited about the visionary change a Romney-Ryan team will bring to Washington, and I look forward to campaigning with them this fall.”

Term Limits Comes to Duval County

Courtesy of Florida Term Limits Blog:

In May, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that county commission term limits are constitutional and also receded from its 2002 decision in Cook that term limits on constitutional officers are unconstitutional. The message from the court that day couldn’t be clearer: county term limits in Florida are constitutional.

Nonetheless, Duval County Clerk of Courts Jim Fuller didn’t get it. Fuller continued to campaign for his fourth term in office in violation of Duval County term limits law.

Naturally he was sued. And today Judge William Wilkes ruled that Fuller is not above the law. He is ineligible and must drop out of the race.

As a constitutional officer, Fuller’s term limit had been nullified by the Supreme Court’s Cook case in 2002 but this year’s Telli case “reactivated” it, Judge Wilkes ruled. Fuller said he would not appeal the decision.

“I think the court fully and properly applied the decision in the Telli case,” Duval County attorney Michael Wedner told the Florida Times-Union.

Today’s ruling turns the spotlight on Pinellas County, where four county commissioners continue to defy voter-approved county commission term limits.

Voters approved the 8-year limits on the county commission and constitutional officers in 1996 by 72 percent of the vote. As in Duval, the Cook decision temporarily nullified the term limits on constitutional officers.

Pinellas County Commissioners have long and erroneously argued that the Cook decision did apply to county commissioner term limits as well. The commission never tested this novel interpretation in court. But now that the Supreme Court has receded from Cook, that argument is kaput. Their new claim per Pinellas County Attorney Jim Bennett is that May’s Supreme Court decision in Telli does not apply to Pinellas because the court’s ruling only applies “prospectively” not “retroactively.”

Today’s ruling in Jacksonville explicitly tosses that flimsy argument out the window:

Judge Wilkes: “The Florida’s Supreme Court decision in Telli has in effect revived a dormant section [of the charter]. No legislative action must be taken for [the] section … to take effect.”

Three citizens have launched the Save Pinellas lawsuit in Pinellas County to compel the commission and supervisor of elections to comply with the voter-approved law.

Heritage Alliance Grades FL Republican Primary Candidates

Heritage Alliance has graded all the candidates with opposition in the Republican primary in Florida. Below are the grades for those contested primary races. At the bottom of the list are the criteria for the Heritage Alliances’ grades.

U.S. Senator – Republican

Long, Deon (R) Grade: C
Mack, Connie (R) Grade: B
McCalister, Michael (R) Grade: B
Stuart, Marielena (R) Grade: B
Weldon, Dave (R) Grade: A+

U.S. Rep., Dist. 3 – Republican

Jett, James (R) Grade: B
Oelrich, Steve (R) Grade: A
Stearns, Cliff (R) Grade: B+
Yoho, Theodore (R) Grade: B

U.S. Rep., Dist. 4 – Republican

Black, Bob (R) Grade: C
Crenshaw, Ander (R) Grade: B
Pueschel, Deborah (R) Grade: C

U.S. Rep., Dist. 6 – Republican

Clark, Richard (R) Grade: C
Costello, Fredrick W. “Fred” (R) Grade: A+
DeSantis, Ronald D. “Ron” (R) Grade: B
Kogut, William (R) Grade: D
Miller, Craig (R) Grade: A
Pueschel, Alec (R) Grade: B
Slough, Bev (R) Grade: B

U.S. Rep., Dist. 7 – Republican

Adams, Sandy (R) Grade: A+
Mica, John (R) Grade: C

U.S. Rep., Dist. 9 – Republican

Long, Todd (R) Grade: C
Melendez, Julius (R) Grade: C
Oxner, Mark (R) Grade: B
Quinones, John (R) Grade: D

U.S. Rep., Dist. 13 – Republican

Ayres, Darren (R) Grade: B
Vance, Madeline (R) Grade: B
Young, C.W. Bill (R) Grade: B

U.S. Rep., Dist. 14 – Republican

Adams Jr., Eddie (R) Grade: D
Otero, Evelio (R) Grade: C

U.S. Rep., Dist. 17 – Republican

Arnold, Joe (R) Grade: C
Rooney, Tom (R) Grade: B

U.S. Rep., Dist. 18 – Republican

Crowder, Robert L. “Bob” (R) Grade: D
West, Allen (R) Grade: B+

U.S. Rep., Dist. 19 – Republican

Aubuchon, Gary (R) Grade: B
Davidow, Joseph (R) Grade: C
Donalds, Byron (R) Grade: B
Goss, Chauncey (R) Grade: C
Kreegel, Paige (R) Grade: B
Radel, Trey (R) Grade: C

U.S. Rep., Dist. 23 – Republican

Bresso, Gineen (R) Grade: D
DeFario, Osvaldo (Ozzie) (R) Grade: C
Garcia, Juan Eliel (R) Grade: C
Harrington, Karen (R) Grade: B
Kaufman, Joe (R) Grade: B

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Panelists were selected after a Leadership Survey and a check of references that demonstrated conservative credentials and belief in limited constitutional government, free enterprise, strong national defense, and traditional Judeo-Christian values, such as the sanctity of life and marriage. Panelists include men and women from all walks of life who are committed to electing conservatives to public office.

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After evaluating the data, panelists assigned a grade indicating what kind of voting record that candidate, if elected, would likely receive from a multi-issue conservative organization that grades on economic and social issues. Unless a candidate already has a legislative voting record, this is purely subjective. That is why the source data is provided so voters can more easily make their own evaluation.

A = 90% B = 80% C = 70% D = 60% F = below 60%
I = Insufficient information available for evaluation

A low grade does not mean panelists necessarily considered the candidate to be liberal. Rather, it may mean sufficient information was not available from public sources or from the candidate to give panelists the confidence that the candidate would govern conservatively if elected.  Sources of information considered the most important measure of conservative principles in governance are listed in descending order:

  • Legislative voting records if the candidate has recently held office
  • Financial contributions by the candidate to legislators with voting records
  • Record vote ratings for legislators to whom donors to the candidate have also contributed
  • Endorsements by conservative and liberal groups
  • Candidate Survey – less important because it represents promises rather than demonstrated action. However, no candidate can receive an A without answering the survey.
  • Statements on the candidates’ websites

Judge Fund Raises for State Attorney Candidate From the Bench?

Judge Janette Dunnigan

12th Judicial Circuit Judge Janette Dunnigan in an email helps State Attorney candidate Ed Brodsky with a fundraiser. The email was sent during working hours, from Judge Dunnigan’s Chambers on her Judical computer, using her government email address.

The email was sent to Walt Smith, Sarasota County Court Administrator and forwarded to Ed Brodsky, who works for Earl Moreland the State Attorney, again via government emails and during working hours. The email was to have Walt Smith tell Ed Brodsky that Judge Dunnigan had secured Ed Chiles to host a fundraiser for Brodsky. The email violates Canon 7 of the Judicial Code of Ethics and it is also a crime. Cannon 7 states all judges shall not “publicly endorse or publicly oppose another candidate for public office.”

Following is the full text of the email sent by Judge Dunnigan:

From: Ed Brodsky [mailto:EBRODSKY@scgov.net]
Sent: Monday, April 04, 2011 9:44 AM
To: Ed Brodsky (ed.brodsky@mymanatee.org)
Subject: FW: SAO
——————————————-
From: Walt Smith
Sent: Monday, April 04, 2011 9:44:23 AM
To: Ed Brodsky
Subject: Fwd: SAO
Auto forwarded by a Rule

Begin forwarded message:
From: “Janette Dunnigan” <JDunnigan@jud12.flcourts.org>
Date: April 4, 2011 9:42:34 AM EDT
To: “Walt Smith” <WSmith@jud12.flcourts.org>
Subject: SAO

You can tell Ed Brodsky that Ed Chiles will support him and do a fundraiser up here. I talked with him on Saturday. I got the impression that Ed had already met with him. If that is not the case, then he should arrange that soon. He said it was Earl’s man?? Tell Brodsky to mention my name when he calls. J

NOTE: SAO refers to the State Attorney’s Office.

Mr. Ed Chiles

The reference in Judge Dunnigan’s email to Brodsky being “Earl’s man?” refers to Earl Moreland, the State Attorney for the 12th Circuit. Moreland has endorsed Brodsky who works for Moreland in the State Attorney’s Office, 12th Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Ed Chiles is the son of Lawton Chiles the former Democrat Governor of Florida from 1991 to 1998. Chiles is a local restaurateur and owns the Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant & Bar on Longboat Key, FL and two other restaurants. Ed Chiles has been the Treasurer of the Lawton Chiles Foundation since 1998.

Brodsky is running in the Republican primary against Peter Lombardo. The Lombardo campaign issued the following statement, “It would appear that they do not have to designate it as private until a public record request is made. Then we must rely on their honesty in determining what is public as opposed to private. The problem with that is who will voluntarily hand over E-mails showing ethics violations or criminal activity? Apparently not the 12th Judicial Circuit PIO.”

“It does not surprise us that liberal Ed Brodsky was engaged in effforts  to get money from noted Democratic fundraiser Ed Chiles. This is further evidence of  Mr. Brodsky being a Republican in name only not a true Republican,” notes the Lombardo campaign.

According to Dennis Menendez, Chief Information Officer for the 12th Circuit, the email from Judge Dunnigan, “was previously reviewed for another public records request and was determined to be a private email not subject to public disclosure pursuant to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.420(c) and case law.  See State v. City of Clearwater, 863 So. 2d 149 (Fla. 2003) and In re Amendments to Rule of Judicial Administration 2.051-Public Access to Judicial Records, 651 So. 2d 1185 (Fla. 1995).”

RELATED COLUMNS:

Defense attorneys question judge’s impartiality after email surfaces

Bradenton attorney Lombardo running for state attorney

 

Florida Group Reaches Out to Evangelicals

The United West (TUW), a group of academic activists, is now reaching out to Evangelicals in Florida. The outreach is focused on educating Evangelicals on national security issues, Israel and threats against freedom of religion. Tom Trento, President of TUW states, “We will ask Evangelicals to register and vote in the primaries on August 14 and general election on November 6, 2012. We do not tell them how to vote but encourage them to vote.”

Tom Trento notes, “In the 2008 Presidential election one million Florida Evangelicals either did not register or did not vote. This is a travesty and must be addressed. We are addressing this issue in the swing state of Florida.

NewsMax reports, “Some 17 million Evangelicals failed to vote in 2008 when Democrat Barack Obama beat the GOP’s John McCain — and now the fight is on to get them there this November,” Faith and Freedom Coalition founder Ralph Reed says.

November’s election is critical, Reed said, because President Barack Obama is “somebody who’s called for more government, more spending, more bureaucracy. He seems to think the answer to everything that ails America is more government and bigger government.” Reed also said he believes the Obama administration is engaged in an attack on religious freedom.

According to The United West, Florida accounts for nearly 6% of the national Evangelical vote and they are concentrated in a key state. President Obama and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney have visited Florida numerous times, underlining the importance of the state in November. It was the Florida primary that helped propel Governor Romney to become the presumptive Republican nominee. Governor Romney spent over $15 million to win the Florida Republican presidential primary. Over 8.1 million Floridians voted on the 2008 Presidential ballot; had the aforementioned one million evangelicals voted they would have made up 12.5% of the electorate.

Trento states, “President Obama won Florida in 2008 by 204,577 votes. He took key areas, such as Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties by a plus 47,000 votes. It is important to insure the faith based community is well informed, registers and votes. That is what we do as academic activists – inform the public on important issues. If Evangelicals register and vote it can make a huge difference in who takes Florida in November.”

Faith-based issues are becoming a more important part of the national dialogue, including President Obama’s recent announcement that he supports gay marriage. Florida Proposition 2–“The Marriage Amendment“–was passed in 2008 by a margin of 61% to 39% and is now in the state Constitution. As more information is revealed about the Affordable Health Law and its impact on businesses, organizations and churches providing health services more are becoming engaged. Evangelicals are now paying attention.

According to NewsMax, “Conservative Christians and Evangelical conservatives will play a big role in the upcoming election,” Reed said, “and they support Romney by about 60 percent, compared to previous support for John McCain (73 percent) and George W. Bush (78 percent) … the Evangelical vote, which has historically been between 20 and 23 percent of the electorate, turns out in the largest numbers ever seen in a presidential election.”

With long lines at Chick-Fil-A last week will Florida see long lines at the polls in November? Only time will tell what the faith based value voters will do in Florida.

RELATED COLUMNS:

Rasmussen: 87% Oppose Letting Government Officials Play Politics In the Marketplace

Rasmussen: 61% Hold Favorable Opinion of Chick-fil-A