DHS Stonewalls Florida on access to SAVE Database

Nearly a month has passed since the U.S. Department of Homeland Security agreed to grant Florida access to the federal citizenship database (also known as the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements database, or SAVE). Florida still cannot access the SAVE system to identify and remove non-citizens from the voting rolls, and we are now less than three months away from the 2012 general election.

Given the Department of Homeland Security’s failure to execute an agreement over the last month, after agreeing to provide Florida access to SAVE, attorneys representing the State of Florida and its citizens are now preparing all appropriate legal options to ensure that an agreement is executed in a timely manner and prevent the irreparable harm that will result if non-citizens are not removed from the voting rolls.

Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner is releasing an obsolete list of potential non-citizens registered as voters that was generated months ago. Governor Scott supports the decision to release the list. However, as the Department of State has said, the list is a preliminary and unverified former working document that is being provided upon request. The data has not been verified or vetted for credibility or reliability by the Florida Department of State. This information is now outdated, should be considered obsolete, and will not be used as the basis for any action by the Florida Department of State. Accordingly, removing non-citizens from the voting rolls requires additional analysis and specific procedures governed by state law to accurately determine voter eligibility.

Given the sensitivity of this information and citizens’ right to privacy, as well as the proximity to a major primary election next week, anyone who obtains these public records must handle them with the utmost caution. Some have rightly raised concerns about the irresponsible use of these names and other accompanying personal information for political and other purposes. The Governor shares these concerns and further cautions all recipients of this list to act responsibly.

TEA Party Pulls Endorsement of Broward School Board Candidate Leach

Tea Party Fort Lauderdale, America’s longest running tea party, has pulled their endorsement of current Broward County School Board member and District # 3 Candidate Katherine “Katie” Leach. Leach has received the endorsement of Equality Florida, a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender organization that opposes traditional pro-family Christian organizations along with the popular national fast-food restaurant chain Chick-fil-A. http://eqfl.org/node/1901

According to TEA Party Fort Lauderdale, on Equality Florida’s website Broward County School Board Leach is mentioned as receiving a 100% rating on their School Board Candidate Questionnaire she had filled out. “TEA Party Fort Lauderdale apologizes to the loyal followers of our voting recommendations for us not vetting this candidate closer. On their website, Equality Florida lists opposition to traditional pro-family Christian organizations Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and many others,” in an email.

According to the TEA Party Fort Lauderdale email, “Members are made-up of Republicans, many extremely vocal Independents, and a growing number of Democrats. Members are black and white, male and female, young and old, rich and poor. They share one common bond… uniting to protect our Constitution by changing our government thru the ballot box.”

RELATED COLUMN:

Tea Party to Leach: Nevermind, we don’t like you; United Christians of Florida: Neither do we

By Brittany Wallman August 3, 2012 02:31 PM

Broward School Board Member Katie Leach, running for election in schools District 3, is a Republican. But that’s about as far as her likeness to some of the Tea Party and United Christians of Florida members goes. Both groups are telling voters not to select her. The Tea Party unendorsed her Friday, after learning she was endorsed by Equality Florida, a gay rights organization. READ MORE…

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

About iVoterGuide.com

Volunteer Panelists

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.

Grading

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

EXCLUSIVE: Radio Interview with Ronna Romney

Dr. Rich Radio in Florida got an exclusive interview with Ronna Romney. Mrs. Romney is married to Bruce Kulp, a former executive with Ford Motor Company. They have 8 children and 13 grandchildren.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST OF THE RONNA ROMNEY INTERVIEW

In 1996 Ronna was the Republican Nominee for the United States Senate from Michigan. She was from 1984-1992 the Republican National Committeewoman from Michigan. She was Co-chairman, Bush for President, Michigan and active in the leadership of George Romney for President, father of Mitt, and Lenore Romney, Mitt’s mother, for Senate campaigns.

Ronna hosted “Back To Back”, A PBS Television show devoted to discussions of current events and public policy. From 1993-1995 she Hosted “The Ronna Romney Show” on WJR Radio. The show aired nightly for three hours and covered a variety of news related subjects with an emphasis on politics, airing in 38 states and 7 countries. From 1992-1994 she hosted “The Ronna Romney Show” on WXYT Radio. The show aired nightly for three hours and covered all aspects of the news in depth. The showed covered all of Southeastern Michigan.

Currently Ronna is Director, Park-Ohio Holdings Corporation and Chairman- Compensation Committee. Park-Ohio Holdings Corp is an industrial supply chain logistics and diversified manufacturing business operating in three segments: Integrated Logistics Solutions (ILS), Aluminum Products and Manufactured Products. The Company operates primarily through the subsidiaries owned by its direct subsidiary, Park-Ohio Industries, Inc. ILS provides customers with integrated supply chain management services for a range of high-volume, specialty production components. The Aluminum Products business manufactures cast and machined aluminum components, and the Manufactured Products business is a manufacturer of highly engineered industrial products.

Pinellas County Commissioners defy voter-approved term limits

Of the 20 charter counties in Florida, voters in 11 have overwhelmingly approved term limits for their county commissions. Ten of them recognize and respect the law.

The exception is Pinellas County.

In 1996, 73 percent of voters in Pinellas approved a countywide referendum that limited their county commissioners and county constitutional officers to eight years in office. Since then, a split Florida Supreme Court in Cook (2002) decided that counties don’t have the right to impose term limits on constitutional officers. But the Pinellas County commission decided the Cook decision applied to them as well even though the Supreme Court never ruled on commissioner limits in Cook or any other decision.

Until this year. In May, the Supreme Court not only clearly affirmed the constitutionality of county commissioner term limits, but also overturned its previous ruling in Cook regarding constitutional officers.

There is no longer any question whatever about the legality of county term limits in the state of Florida. Sarasota County – the only other county that was defying their voter-approved term limits law – accepted the Supreme Court decision and is now enforcing their popular 8-year term limits.

And yet, the Pinellas county commissioners continue to claim the law does not apply to them. The commissioners do not believe this is true. They simply want to keep their well-paid positions of power and are willing to brazenly defy the law – overwhelmingly approved by the people — in order to keep them.

In Pinellas County, 8-year term limits are currently in the charter. It was never amended to remove them. There is no court ruling that nullified the county commission term limits. On the contrary, there is now a Florida Supreme Court ruling explicitly affirming them.

It is not as if the voters are calling for their repeal. In 2009, a Quinnipiac poll showed that 79 percent of voters in the greater Bay area believe that their politicians should be term limited. Furthermore, the polling suggested that 78 percent prefer that the proper term limit is eight years and opposed longer limits.

Pinellas County commissioners should act honorably and obey the law. The four who have exceeded their legal term limit should resign before being forced to do so by the courts.

Former Soviet Agitprop Artist Oleg Atbashian coming to Sarasota, FL

On Tuesday, August 7, 2012 Oleg Atbashian will be the guest speaker at an event hosted by Sarasota Patriots. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. at the Waldemere Fire Station class room located at 2070 Waldemere Street, Sarasota, FL.

Oleg was born and raised in the former Soviet Union and after its collapse emigrated to the United States. When he arrived he saw that the United States was implementing policies similar to those he was subjected to under Communist rule. Seeing his newly adopted country going down the progressive road to perdition he decided to do what any loyal citizen would do. He began to fight back with the skills he obtained in Soviet Russia – agitprop. He uses political satire and the graphic arts to send his message of freedom, liberty and less government to the unwashed masses. Oleg exposes useful idiots for what they are: Useful and Idiots!

Oleg is a citizen journalist for Watchdog Wire – Florida where his satirical columns and graphic art work are on display. Oleg is author of “Shakedown Socialism: Unions, Pitchforks, Collective Greed, The Fallacy of Economic Equality, and other Optical Illusions of Redistributive Justice.”

To learn more about this event please visit the Sarasota Patriots website.

The War for the Veteran Vote in Florida

Florida is home to 1.6 million veterans, which is the second largest concentration of veterans in the U.S. after California. As a percentage of population Florida ranks number one.

In December 2008 ABC reported on how the veteran vote impacted the election of then Presidential candidate Barack Obama. Remembering that John McCain is a veteran the ABC column titled “The Veteran Vote – an Update” noted, “But the biggest surprise is for anyone who assumed a major tilt toward the Republican Party among veterans. Thirty-five percent of veterans voting in 2008 identified themselves as Democrats, 34 percent as Republicans (the rest were independents). That’s a striking change from 2004: Republican allegiance among veterans dropped from 41 percent then to 34 percent this year [2008]. Democrats gained 4 points, independents 3. What had been a 10-point Republican advantage over Democrats among veterans vanished.”

The war for the veterans in Florida is on with two groups vying for this coveted vote. In 2008 veterans nationally accounted for 14% of the total votes cast. Veterans do vote.

The two groups are Vote Vets and Concerned Veterans for America. Each is after the veteran vote in Florida, a key battle ground state and must win for both parties. The issues of concern by these organizations are as different as night from day. Vote Vets is linked to and supported by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The Vote Vets website states, “While non-partisan, the group is the largest progressive organization of veterans in America.” Their primary focus during the 2012 election is to increase the minimum wage from the current $7.50 an hour to $10.00. Veterans benefits and military salaries are not tied to the minimum wage. Both are determined by Congress, which uses various metrics to determine increases or changes to co-payments for medical care, as an example.

Jeff Jacoby in his Boston Globe column “Minimum-wage laws are costly for the unemployed” reports on efforts by Democrat Senator Tom Harkin to raise the minimum wage. According to Mr. Jacoby, “Congress enacted the first federal minimum wage in 1938. A provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act, it covered about 6 million workers and set a wage floor of 25 cents per hour. It also cost a lot people their jobs. The Labor Department reported that as many as 50,000 employees, mostly poor Southern blacks, were thrown out of work within two weeks of the law’s taking effect. In the months that followed, the carnage spread. ‘African Americans in the tobacco industry were particularly hard hit,’ wrote David Bernstein in his 2001 history of labor regulations and black employment. ‘In Wilson, N.C., for example, machines replaced two thousand African American tobacco stemmers in 1939.'” [Emphasis mine]

Mr. Jacoby provides the below chart in his column showing a nexus between raises in the minimum wage and rise in black teenage unemployment from 2002 to 2010.

Mr. Jacoby states, “Minimum-wage laws are typically thought of as a mandate on employers. In reality they constrain employees. As it stands now, the federal wage law tells workers that unless they can find a company willing to pay them at least $7.25 an hour, they can’t get a job. That may not seem like much of a barrier to [Iowa Democrat Senator Tom] Harkin, one of Congress’s wealthiest members, but it might as well be the Berlin Wall to an unskilled teen or young adult with no high-school diploma or employment history whose labor is only worth, say, $5.50 an hour. No matter how much that person might leap at the chance to work for what he’s worth, the minimum wage forbids it. Should Harkin’s bill become law, life will become even harder for those seeking entry-level employment.” [Emphasis mine]

Raising the minimum wage may harm Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. According to David Lerman from Bloomberg, “The unemployment rate for U.S. veterans who’ve served during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan increased last year, while the rate for non-veterans declined, the Labor Department reported yesterday. The jobless rate for veterans who were in service following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks was 12.1 percent last year, up from 11.5 percent in 2010, the department’s data show. Among all non- veterans, 8.7 percent were jobless last year, down from 9.4 percent in 2010.”

While harmful to veterans seeking jobs, raising the minimum wage does get out the vote.

The discredited group ACORN successfully used the minimum wage issue in Florida in 2004. “In Red State Florida, Victory for Working People” John Atlas reported, “The decision for ACORN, which has chapters in 28 states, to invest heavily in a Florida campaign [to raise the minimum wage] was not made in haste. The group commissioned a statewide poll in November 2003 that found overwhelming support for increasing the state’s minimum wage, especially among low-income and minority residents … ACORN was betting that many low-income people, who might not otherwise register or vote, would do so to increase their pay, and once they went to the polls, they would vote overwhelmingly for a Democrat.” [Emphasis mine]

Mr. Atlas noted, “ACORN budgeted over $2 million for the campaign. In addition to a team of strategists, pollsters, fundraisers and a full-time coalition coordinator, the group deployed a field staff of 40 organizers, up to 60 canvassers, and over 2,000 volunteers. The field staff gathered signatures, registered 122,000 voters and implemented a get-out-the-vote plan that resulted in a net increase in turnout of 68,000 new voters in November. The campaign roused the interest of wealthy progressive donors, major Democratic party players, unions and well-financed anti-Bush groups smitten by the notion that helping the poor was not only an end in itself, but a way to dump Bush.” [Emphasis mine]

The same strategy is playing out today by Vote Vets and the SEIU in Florida. The added twist is this”veterans advocacy” organization with deep community organizing roots may actually harm veterans with its campaign to raise the minimum wage.

Mr Jacoby warns, “With the best intentions in the world, lawmakers cannot raise the value of anyone’s labor to $9.80 an hour (or $7.25 an hour, or even 25 cents an hour) merely by passing a law. Making it more expensive to hire workers who are just starting out doesn’t advance beginners’ prospects; it worsens them. Decades of economic research and empirical studies confirm what common sense should tell anybody: Boost the minimum wage beyond what low-skilled workers are worth, and more low-skilled workers will be priced out of a job.”

Floridians Support Stand Your Ground Law

It is the inalienable right of every individual to defend themselves from an attacker. Many states including Florida have passed Stand Your Ground laws to protect this right any time and any where a person is attacked and in fear of their life. Toluse Olorunnipa, McClatchy Newspapers, reports, “Florida’s controversial ‘Stand Your Ground’ law continues to enjoy widespread support among likely voters, even as a state task force considers rewriting the law, according to a new Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald/Bay News 9 poll.”

This comes on the heal of a video showing Samuel Williams, age 71, who sprung into action on Friday to thwart an armed robbery at an internet cafe. “Williams was present when two masked thugs walked into the Palms Internet Cafe in Marion County, Florida. One of the men was brandishing a gun while the other had a bat. They started ordering patrons around and one smashes a computer screen. That’s when Williams took action,” reports The Blaze.

View the surveillance video of Mr. William’s actions click here.

Nearly 65 percent say the 2005 law — which allows people who believe they are in grave danger to use deadly force to defend themselves — does not need to be changed.

Voters in South Florida and blacks are the most likely to say “Stand Your Ground” should be repealed or amended, and that Zimmerman was not justified in shooting Trayvon.

George Zimmerman case , who is facing second degree murder charges in the shooting of Trayvon Martin,   hinges on the popular “Stand Your Ground” law. The came under scrutiny after the Martin shooting, with some calling for its repeal. The 2005 law — which eliminates the so-called “duty to retreat” during a confrontation in a public place — remains popular in Florida, with only 18 percent saying it should be repealed.

Randy Gaskins, a 57-year-old firefighter and paramedic in Gainesville, is a big fan of the law, and has a concealed weapons permit. “I love ‘Stand Your Ground,’ ” he said. “I don’t want to turn tail and run. Now, I’m not going to look for trouble or anything, but if someone advances on you, you should be able to defend yourself.”

A state task force is currently reviewing the Stand Your Ground law to see if changes should be recommended to the Legislature. Critics say the law has allowed murderers to escape justice, and that it is not applied fairly to all races. However, the decision to use deadly force rests with the person being assaulted and in the Zimmerman case race did not appear to play a role in the shooting.

Debra Peoples, of Tampa, said her son Chyvas was convicted of manslaughter after killing a gang member who attacked him, and was not allowed to use “Stand Your Ground.” “This law failed my son,” Peoples, who is black, told members of the task force last week. “I implore you, to look at the disparity of how the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law is applied.”

Sixty-nine percent of black voters believe the law should be repealed or modified, compared to just 28 percent of white voters and 34 percent of Hispanics.

Outside organizations have formed the Second Chance on Shoot First campaign, that includes New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the NAACP and the National Urban League. Second Chance to Shoot First presented a petition to the state task force with more than 300,000 signatures demanding changes to the law. They argue that those who initiate a confrontation should not be protected under Stand Your Ground. There is no indication that Mr. Zimmerman initiated any confrontation.

Florida Victory: Feds Grant Access to SAVE Database

The Department of Homeland Security will give Florida access to the SAVE law enforcement database of illegals. The access will be used by Supervisors of Elections to determine if ineligables are on the Florida voters rolls. The Department of Homeland security granted access only after Florida sued in a related case and the suit was upheld by a Federal District Court.

Governor Rick Scott issued the following statement about the victory:

“Access to the SAVE database will ensure that non-citizens do not vote in future Florida elections. I’m appreciative that the federal government is working with us cooperatively. This is a step in the right direction. This commitment from the United States Department of Homeland Security marks a significant victory for Florida and for the integrity of our election system.

“We’ve already confirmed that non-citizens have voted in past elections here in Florida. Now that we have the cooperation of the Department of Homeland Security, our state can use the most accurate citizenship database in the nation to protect the integrity of Florida’s election process.”

The Orlando Sentinel’s Charles Babington reports, “Democrats say that the government’s concession is less troubling than some GOP-controlled states’ push to require voters to show photo identification.” An Indiana law requiring voters to show a photo ID was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 553 U.S. 181 (2008).

This decision may prove pivitol in the swing states of Florida, Colorado, Nevada and North Carolina.

 

Sarasota County Charter Review Board Races Heat Up

Sarasota is one of twenty home rule or charter counties in Florida. The County Charter is not unlike a local form of  the U.S. Constitution. The County Charter establishes how the county is governed and may be amended. All proposed amendments to the County Charter must pass through the Sarasota County Charter Review Board (CRB).

According to the Sarasota County website, ” The Charter Review Board reviews and recommends changes to the Sarasota County Charter for improvement of County government on behalf of the citizens of Sarasota County. These recommendations are subject to referendum in accordance with the provisions of Article VI of the Charter. An affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Charter Review Board members is required to recommend amendments for referendum.”

A charter amendment may be proposed by a citizen, the Charter Review Board or the Board of County Commission.

Five of the ten CRB seats are up for election in 2012. According to the Sarasota County Supervisor of Election website the following candidate have qualified to run:

Charter Review Board, District 1 Paul A. Cajka Sr. (REP)
Charter Review Board, District 1 H. Ross Gustafson (REP)
Charter Review Board, District 1 Anthony “Tony” Sawyer (REP)
Charter Review Board, District 2 Donna Barcomb (REP)
Charter Review Board, District 2 Marie Nisco (REP)
Charter Review Board, District 2 Alexandra Coe (LIB)
Charter Review Board, District 3 Fred Tower III (REP)
Charter Review Board, District 3 Pat Wayman (REP)
Charter Review Board, District 4 Mark Hawkins (REP)
Charter Review Board, District 4 Tom Trevor (REP)
Charter Review Board, District 5 John J. Fellin (REP)
Charter Review Board, District 5 John Scolaro (REP)
Charter Review Board, District 5 Kevin T. Connelly (NPA)

Eleven of the thirteen candidates running for Charter Review Board are Republicans. The composition of the CRB could dramatically change in 2012. There has been a string of emails from supporters of the Republican candidates running for the CRB that break down into two camps – the Republican old guard and new Republican conservatives’ favorites.

The Republican old guard candidates are: District #1 Anthony “Tony” Sawyer (R)  (past member of the Sarasota County Board of Zoning Appeals and past president of the Meadows HO Association); District #2 Donna Barcomb (R) (past (12 yr) member of the Sarasota Memorial Hospital Board); District #3 Fred Tower (R) (Past (8 yr) North Port City Commissioner); District #4 Mark Hawkins (R) (Member of Home Builders Assoc, Gulf Coast Builders Exchange and past candidate for Sarasota County Commission) and District #5 John Fellin (R)(past member (12+ yr) and Chairman of the Sarasota County Planning Commission). All of these old guard candidates have long term political records on County boards or local political positions. These candidates are supported by political operatives and four of the Sarasota County Commissioners.

An email supporting the old guard candidates, signed by Cathy Layton, Jud Boedecker, Frank Moore, Joe Barbetta, Christine Robinson, Carolyn Mason, Nora Patterson, Karen Rushing, Bill Furst, Caroline Zucker, Jane Goodwyn, Mollie Cardamone and Bob Waechter, states:

“The Sarasota County Charter Review Board (CRB) is the ONLY elected charter review board in the entire state. The only one. Its sole stated function in the Charter (Article II, Sec 2.8B) is to “review and recommend changes to the County Charter for improvement of County government”.

In most other jurisdictions a CRB is convened on an ‘as needed’ or ‘when needed’ basis. It was never intended to be an activist board nor was it envisioned as a vehicle to move forward the specific agendas of splinter groups. Yet this is exactly what is being attempted, the stacking of the CRB with a majority sympathetic to particular agendas.”

The new faces running for the CRB are: District 1 Paul A. Cajka Sr. (REP); District 1 H. Ross Gustafson (REP); District 2 Marie Nisco (REP); District 3 Pat Wayman (REP); District 4 Tom Trevor (REP); and District 5 John Scolaro (REP). All of these candidates are new to the political process and not career politicians.

The email from the old guard states, “[A] concerted effort by agenda-driven groups to load up the Charter Review Board in 2012 with the goal of placing in the county charter items that more properly belong in ordinances. Their aim is to do an end run around the elected County Commissioners in determining how Sarasota County is governed.” The agenda driven groups are not identified, however, some of the new Republican faces come from TEA Party and 912 affiliated groups in the county.

There is a process that allows for proposed amendments to be vetted by the CRB. Every proposed amendment has an agenda. Recently the Sarasota County Commissioners tried “to do an end run” around the people on term limits. In 1998 a charter amendment was overwhelmingly passed by the citizens to limit county commissioners to two four year terms. That amendment was challenged in a local court, by Frank Moore one of the old guard signatories, and overturned. However, in 2012 the Florida Supreme Court found term limits for county commissioners constitutional and this has caused Jon Thaxton to not seek re-election. Christine Robinson, Carolyn Mason and Nora Patterson were in favor of amending the amendment by changing the verbiage making the term limit not retroactive. This would have allowed Thaxton to run for his fourth term. This “end run” around the citizens was championed by Christine Robinson, Carolyn Mason and Nora Patterson, all of whom co-signed the old guard letter.

Kathy Bolam, former candidate for the CRB, in an email reply to Mr. Waechter notes he too has an agenda. Mrs. Bolam states, “Today, you are alerting the public to THE MOST IMPORTANT RACE IN SARASOTA COUNTY yet a few years back you went before the Charter Review Board with an Amendment to change the Charter Review Board Members to appointed rather than elected.  Fortunately for the citizens of Sarasota county, your efforts were thwarted.” Mrs. Bolam sent two letters addressing this issue and they may be read here and here.

The idea of a charter is to allow the people to determine how they are governed. The charter gives the people the power to determine if they will be governed by a Board of County Commission, as it does now, or change that to another form of government. A number of citizen proposed amendments to limit government and government spending have been brought before the CRB in the past year. None have moved to the ballot and some have died without even going to committee for review. This has led ordinary citizens to run for the CRB.

The battle lines are now drawn between the Republican old guard and the New Republican party supported by TEA Party activists. The race is heating up.

Rasmussen: Mack Leads Nelson by 9 Points

A Rasmussen Report survey of 500 likely voters in Florida taken July 9, 2012, shows Republican Representative Connie Mack IV (FL District 14) with a nine-point lead over incumbent Democrat Senator Bill Nelson, 46 percent to 37 percent.

Representative Mack’s Senatorial campaign manager Jeff Cohen said, “The momentum is on our side. Rasmussen now considers the Florida Senate race ‘Leans Republican’ for the first time.”

The poll was taken after the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. Likely voters may have been influenced by a statewide advertising campaign from Freedom PAC – Florida, which labeled Senator Nelson as a “lockstep liberal” alongside President Barack Obama.

Rasmussen Report notes, “Fifty-two percent of Florida voters favor repeal of the health care law, while 36 percent oppose repeal. Mack earns 85 percent of the vote from those who ‘Strongly Favor’ repeal. Nelson gets 78 percent support from the smaller group of voters ‘Strongly Opposed’ to repeal.”

On July 11, 2012, two days after the Rasmussen survey, Congressman Mack (FL-14) voted to repeal ObamaCare, a measure that passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 244 – 185. Congressman Mack recently introduced two pieces of legislation that would repeal the law in its entirety and block funding for the law’s implementation: the “NObamacare Act” and the “NObamacare Funds Act.”

“Florida, with its large number of retirees, has consistently registered high opposition to President Obama’s national health care law and was one of the leaders in the recent unsuccessful constitutional challenge of the law before the U.S. Supreme Court,” according to Rasmussen.

Romney Applauded 27 Times at NAACP Convention

Major media wires are reporting that Mitt Romney was booed once during his speech at the NAACP Convention. This is a classic case of “man bites dog” reporting. What the news wires did not report is that during his twenty-five minute speech Governor Romney was how many times he was actually applauded. Reverend Wayne Perryman in an email notes, “The media did it again. They focused on the fact that Romney got booed at the NAACP Convention, but they didn’t say how many times they applauded him. I charted the speech and each time they applauded him during his speech. They Applauded Total of 27 times in 25 Minutes.” Following time sequence prepared by Reverend Perryman:

1:56 He would represent every race

2:58 He will help the middle class

3:58 He complimented the NAACP

6:39 You are entitled to an answer

7:27 A quote from Frederick Douglass

8:27 Blacks have waited long enough

9:53 He support strong families & traditional marriages

11:15 He will help the middle class

11:58 Bring Jobs back to the United States

12:24 He will clamp down on cheaters like China who steal our jobs

12:52 He will stop spending

13:02-13:18 He was booed regarding overturning Obama Care

14:22 He would protect social Security and Medicare with higher benefits for those with lower income and lower for higher income

14:51 He reference to minimum wage jobs and the need for skilled workers

15:52 Wages will rise again

16:28 His goal as President it to create jobs for American people

16:39 If you want a president to make things better for the African American Community, you’re looking at him

18:12 The 4 year Scholarships program that he created while governor

19:58 He joined with the Black Legislative Caucus in Mass to promote Charter Schools

20:36 He won’t let special interest groups stand in the way of education reform

21:03 Money for education will be linked to the student for true choice

21:49 The hospitality that they (NAACP) will be returned and he will seek their counsel

22:12 If they invite him back next year as President he will say “Yes”

22:57 He talks about his father as a man that he admired for equality and justice

23:14 His father was a man of faith that knew that everyone was God’s children

24:01 He said God’s Mercy endureth forever

24:55 NAACP and their past victories and their victories in the future

25:15 Ended his speech

The full text of Mitt Romney’s speech follows:

Thank you, Bishop Graves, for your generous introduction. Thanks also to President Ben Jealous and Chairman Roslyn Brock for the opportunity to be here this morning, and for your hospitality. It is an honor to address you.

I appreciate the chance to speak first – even before Vice President Biden gets his turn tomorrow. I just hope the Obama campaign won’t think you’re playing favorites.

You all know something of my background, and maybe you’ve wondered how any Republican ever becomes governor of Massachusetts in the first place. Well, in a state with 11 percent Republican registration, you don’t get there by just talking to Republicans. We have to make our case to every voter. We don’t count anybody out, and we sure don’t make a habit of presuming anyone’s support. Support is asked for and earned – and that’s why I’m here today.

With 90 percent of African-Americans voting for Democrats, some of you may wonder why a Republican would bother to campaign in the African American community, and to address the NAACP. Of course, one reason is that I hope to represent all Americans, of every race, creed or sexual orientation, from the poorest to the richest and everyone in between.

But there is another reason: I believe that if you understood who I truly am in my heart, and if it were possible to fully communicate what I believe is in the real, enduring best interest of African American families, you would vote for me for president. I want you to know that if I did not believe that my policies and my leadership would help families of color — and families of any color — more than the policies and leadership of President Obama, I would not be running for president.

The opposition charges that I and people in my party are running for office to help the rich. Nonsense. The rich will do just fine whether I am elected or not. The President wants to make this a campaign about blaming the rich. I want to make this a campaign about helping the middle class.

I am running for president because I know that my policies and vision will help hundreds of millions of middle class Americans of all races, will lift people from poverty, and will help prevent people from becoming poor. My campaign is about helping the people who need help. The course the President has set has not done that – and will not do that. My course will.

When President Obama called to congratulate me on becoming the presumptive Republican nominee, he said that he, “looked forward to an important and healthy debate about America’s future.” To date, I’m afraid that his campaign has taken a different course than that.

But, in campaigns at their best, voters can expect a clear choice, and candidates can expect a fair hearing – only more so from a venerable organization like this one. So, it is that healthy debate about the course of the nation that I want to discuss with you today.

If someone had told us in the 1950s or 1960s that a black citizen would serve as the forty-fourth president, we would have been proud and many would have been surprised. Picturing that day, we might have assumed that the American presidency would be the very last door of opportunity to be opened. Before that came to pass, every other barrier on the path to equal opportunity would surely have come down.

Of course, it hasn’t happened quite that way. Many barriers remain. Old inequities persist. In some ways, the challenges are even more complicated than before. And across America — and even within your own ranks — there are serious, honest debates about the way forward.

If equal opportunity in America were an accomplished fact, then a chronically bad economy would be equally bad for everyone. Instead, it’s worse for African Americans in almost every way. The unemployment rate, the duration of unemployment, average income, and median family wealth are all worse for the black community. In June, while the overall unemployment rate remained stuck at 8.2 percent, the unemployment rate for African Americans actually went up, from 13.6 percent to 14.4 percent.
Americans of every background are asking when this economy will finally recover – and you, in particular, are entitled to an answer.

If equal opportunity in America were an accomplished fact, black families could send their sons and daughters to public schools that truly offer the hope of a better life. Instead, for generations, the African-American community has been waiting and waiting for that promise to be kept. Today, black children are 17 percent of students nationwide – but they are 42 percent of the students in our worst-performing schools.

Our society sends them into mediocre schools and expects them to perform with excellence, and that is not fair. Frederick Douglass observed that, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Yet, instead of preparing these children for life, too many schools set them up for failure. Everyone in this room knows that we owe them better than that.

The path of inequality often leads to lost opportunity. College, graduate school, and first jobs should be milestones marking the passage from childhood to adulthood. But for too many disadvantaged young people, these goals seem unattainable – and their lives take a tragic turn.

Many live in neighborhoods filled with violence and fear, and empty of opportunity. Their impatience for real change is understandable. They are entitled to feel that life in America should be better than this. They are told even now to wait for improvements in our economy and in our schools, but it seems to me that these Americans have waited long enough.

The point is that when decades of the same promises keep producing the same failures, then it’s reasonable to rethink our approach – and consider a new plan.

I’m hopeful that together we can set a new direction in federal policy, starting where many of our problems do – with the family. A study from the Brookings Institution has shown that for those who graduate from high school, get a full-time job, and wait until 21 before they marry and then have their first child, the probability of being poor is two percent. And if those factors are absent, the probability of being poor is 76 percent.

Here at the NAACP, you understand the deep and lasting difference the family makes. Your former executive director, Dr. Benjamin Hooks, had it exactly right. The family, he said, “remains the bulwark and the mainstay of the black community. That great truth must not be overlooked.”

Any policy that lifts up and honors the family is going to be good for the country, and that must be our goal. As President, I will promote strong families – and I will defend traditional marriage.

As you may have heard from my opponent, I am also a believer in the free-enterprise system. I believe it can bring change where so many well-meaning government programs have failed. I’ve never heard anyone look around an impoverished neighborhood and say, “You know, there’s too much free enterprise around here. Too many shops, too many jobs, too many people putting money in the bank.”

What you hear, of course, is how do we bring in jobs? How do we make good, honest employers want to move in and stay? And with the shape this economy is in, we’re asking that more than ever.

Free enterprise is still the greatest force for upward mobility, economic security, and the expansion of the middle class. We have seen in recent years what it’s like to have less free enterprise. As President, I will show the good things that can happen when we have more – more business activity, more jobs, more opportunity, more paychecks, more savings accounts.

On Day One, I will begin turning this economy around with a plan for the middle class. And I don’t mean just those who are middle class now – I also mean those who have waited so long for their chance to join the middle class.

I know what it will take to put people back to work, to bring more jobs and better wages. My jobs plan is based on 25 years of success in business. It has five key steps.

First, I will take full advantage of our energy resources, and I will approve the Keystone pipeline from Canada. Low cost, plentiful coal, natural gas, oil, and renewables will bring over a million manufacturing jobs back to the United States.

Second, I will open up new markets for American products. We are the most productive major economy in the world, so trade means good jobs for Americans. But trade must be free and fair, so I’ll clamp down on cheaters like China and make sure that they finally play by the rules.

Third, I will reduce government spending. Our high level of debt slows GDP growth and that means fewer jobs. If our goal is jobs, we must, must stop spending over a trillion dollars more than we earn. To do this, I will eliminate expensive non-essential programs like Obamacare, and I will work to reform and save Medicare and Social Security, in part by means-testing their benefits.

Fourth, I will focus on nurturing and developing the skilled workers our economy so desperately needs and the future demands. This is the human capital with which tomorrow’s bright future will be built. Too many homes and too many schools are failing to provide our children with the skills and education that are essential for anything other than a minimum-wage job.

And finally and perhaps most importantly, I will restore economic freedom. This nation’s economy runs on freedom, on opportunity, on entrepreneurs, on dreamers who innovate and build businesses. These entrepreneurs are being crushed by high taxation, burdensome regulation, hostile regulators, excessive healthcare costs, and destructive labor policies. I will work to make America the best place in the world for innovators and entrepreneurs and businesses small and large.

Do these five things – open up energy, expand trade, cut the growth of government, focus on better educating tomorrow’s workers today, and restore economic freedom – and jobs will come back to America, and wages will rise again. The President will say he will do those things, but he will not, he cannot, and his record of the last four years proves it.

If I am president, job one for me will be creating jobs. I have no hidden agenda. If you want a president who will make things better in the African American community, you are looking at him.

Finally, I will address the institutionalized inequality in our education system. And I know something about this from my time as governor.

In the years before I took office our state’s leaders had come together to pass bipartisan measures that were making a difference. In reading and in math, our students were already among the best in the nation – and during my term, they took over the top spot.

Those results revealed what good teachers can do if the system will only let them. The problem was, this success wasn’t shared. A significant achievement gap between students of different races remained. So we set out to close it.

I urged faster interventions in failing schools, and the funding to go along with it. I promoted math and science excellence in schools, and proposed paying bonuses to our best teachers.

I refused to weaken testing standards, and instead raised them. To graduate from high school, students had to pass an exam in math and English – I added a science requirement as well. And I put in place a merit scholarship for those students who excelled: the top 25 percent of students in each high school were awarded a John and Abigail Adams Scholarship – which meant four years tuition-free at any Massachusetts public institution of higher learning.

When I was governor, not only did test scores improve – we also narrowed the achievement gap.

The teachers unions were not happy with a number of these reforms. They especially did not like our emphasis on choice through charter schools, particularly for our inner city kids. Accordingly, the legislature passed a moratorium on any new charter schools.

As you know, in Boston, in Harlem, in Los Angeles, and all across the country, charter schools are giving children a chance, children that otherwise could be locked in failing schools. I was inspired just a few weeks ago by the students in one of Kenny Gamble’s charter schools in Philadelphia. Right here in Houston is another success story: the Knowledge Is Power Program, which has set the standard, thanks to the groundbreaking work of the late Harriet Ball.

These charter schools are doing a lot more than closing the achievement gap. They are bringing hope and opportunity to places where for years there has been none.

Charter schools are so successful that almost every politician can find something good to say about them. But, as we saw in Massachusetts, true reform requires more than talk. As Governor, I vetoed the bill blocking charter schools. But our legislature was 87 percent Democrat, and my veto could have been easily over-ridden. So I joined with the Black Legislative Caucus, and their votes helped preserve my veto, which meant that new charter schools, including some in urban neighborhoods, would be opened.

When it comes to education reform, candidates cannot have it both ways – talking up education reform, while indulging the same groups that are blocking reform. You can be the voice of disadvantaged public-school students, or you can be the protector of special interests like the teachers unions, but you can’t be both. I have made my choice: As president, I will be a champion of real education reform in America, and I won’t let any special interest get in the way.

I will give the parents of every low-income and special needs student the chance to choose where their child goes to school. For the first time in history, federal education funds will be linked to a student, so that parents can send their child to any public or charter school, or to a private school, where permitted. And I will make that a true choice by ensuring there are good options available to all.

Should I be elected President, I’ll lead as I did when I was governor. I am pleased today to be joined today by Reverend Jeffrey Brown, who was a member of my kitchen cabinet in Massachusetts that helped guide my policy and actions that affected the African American community. I will look for support wherever there is good will and shared conviction. I will work with you to help our children attend better schools and help our economy create good jobs with better wages.

I can’t promise that you and I will agree on every issue. But I do promise that your hospitality to me today will be returned. We will know one another, and work to common purposes. I will seek your counsel. And if I am elected president, and you invite me to next year’s convention, I would count it as a privilege, and my answer will be yes.

The Republican Party’s record, by the measures you rightly apply, is not perfect. Any party that claims a perfect record doesn’t know history the way you know it.

Yet always, in both parties, there have been men and women of integrity, decency, and humility who called injustice by its name. For every one of us a particular person comes to mind, someone who set a standard of conduct and made us better by their example. For me, that man is my father, George Romney.

It wasn’t just that my Dad helped write the civil rights provision for the Michigan Constitution, though he did. It wasn’t just that he helped create Michigan’s first civil rights commission, or that as governor he marched for civil rights in Detroit – though he did those things, too.

More than these public acts, it was the kind of man he was, and the way he dealt with every person, black or white. He was a man of the fairest instincts, and a man of faith who knew that every person was a child of God.

I’m grateful to him for so many things, and above all for the knowledge of God, whose ways are not always our ways, but whose justice is certain and whose mercy endures forever.

Every good cause on this earth relies in the end on a plan bigger than ours. “Without dependence on God,” as Dr. King said, “our efforts turn to ashes and our sunrises into darkest night. Unless his spirit pervades our lives, we find only what G. K. Chesterton called ‘cures that don’t cure, blessings that don’t bless, and solutions that don’t solve.’”

Of all that you bring to the work of today’s civil rights cause, no advantage counts for more than this abiding confidence in the name above every name. Against cruelty, arrogance, and all the foolishness of man, this spirit has carried the NAACP to many victories. More still are up ahead, and with each one we will be a better nation.

Thank you, and God bless you all.

Donald Trump coming to Sarasota, Florida

Donald Trump is coming to Sarasota, FL according to Joe Gruters, Chairman of the Republican Party of Sarasota. In an email Chairman Gruters states, “As you are probably aware we have been able to get Mr. Donald Trump to Sarasota prior to the convention for our Annual Statesman of the Year Dinner.”

The Statesman of the Year award has been given to those Republicans making a difference in politics locally, at the state and national levels. The Atlantic did an interview with Chairman Gruters on selecting Donald Trump. Here are some excerpts from that interview:

Q: There’s been a big reaction to the announcement that Donald Trump will receive the Sarasota Republican Party’s “Statesman Award.” A lot of what I’ve seen has been negative, along with a few positive reactions. Let’s start with the background. How did this award come to be? Is it something that’s given out every year?

A: I’ve been chairman since 2008 in Sarasota and we’ve given out three statesman of the year awards. Last year we gave it to Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi while he was sitting chairman of the Republican Governors Association. What we do is try to find individuals who are national in nature that also fit the mold of what we feel is a statesman and someone who is worthy to carry the title and receive the award.

Q: What kind of attributes are you looking for?

A: We go back to that definition of what is the statesman. It’s a wise, proven, and respected leader. I certainly think that Mr. Trump meets all those attributes. He is willing to make difficult decisions and take difficult positions regardless of the political consequences. When he was running for president, when he was mentioned as a possible candidate for president last year, he immediately shot to the top of the polls in the Republican primary. And he is one of the few people in America that can command the respect of people from of all walks of life.

Q: Although there are some negative comments on the blogs about the award, at the end of day Mr. Trump is a statesman. He certainly is skilled and has wisdom. I’ll just say that. He meets that criteria. He’s a skilled, you know, respected leader.

A: I don’t think you’ll get any disagreement when you say that he is willing to take controversial stands. That seems beyond dispute. His fans would probably say that he has wisdom; his detractors would say the opposite. What is it about him that demonstrates wisdom?

Well, here is one thing. While everyone else is struggling around the country, he continues to excel. He’s had his own ups and downs over the course of his life, but the guy is a job creator. Election 2012 is all about jobs and the economy. Another thing we wanted to do is since he’s been active with the Romney campaign trying to help the governor get elected in November, his stock continued to rise. Because with his background as a job creator and the focus of the upcoming election being jobs and the economy, it made perfect sense and he was the perfect fit for us at this time.

To read the full Atlantic interview transcript click here.

Watchdog Wire Radio Guest Line-up: July 9-13, 2012

Watchdog Wire – Florida radio may be heard Monday-Friday from 11:00 to Noon EST. Below is the current Guest Lineup for Watchdog Wire radio with the Dr. Rich Show on WWPR AM 1490 or listen live via the Internet at www.DrRichShow.com:

Monday, July 9 – Pastor Stephen Broden, National Delegate Republican Party from Texas will join Dr. Rich to discuss all things political. Pastor Broden, of Fair Park Bible Fellowship in Dallas, hosted the Constitutional Elections Summit held May 26, 2012. Pastor Stephen Broden is a contributor on Fox News and has been a guest on Huckabee and Glenn Beck. Pastor Broden will be speaking at an upcoming C-Span event to be held in Washington, D.C. Pastor Broden is a Black, Politically Conservative Pastor. Host: Dr. Rich Swier

Tuesday, July 10 – Don Dix, Director – Corona ACT for America. Don will report on the Election Year – National Security Briefing with The United West, and the status of the Jihad in Southern California. Host: Dr. Rich Swier

Wednesday, July 11 – Clare Lopez, former Operations Officer with the CIA and Middle East expert, will be analyzing events in the Middle East and the rise of Muslim Brotherhood controlled governments in Egypt and Libya. Clare will be connecting events in the Middle East to our economic and national security interests in the United States. Host: Dr. Rich Swier

Thursday, July 12 – “The Jihad in Boston,” with Rabbi Jon Hausman and Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin, U.S. Army (Ret.). LTG Boykin was one of the original members of the US Army’s Delta Force. He was privileged to ultimately command these elite warriors in combat operations. Later, Jerry Boykin commanded all the Army’s Green Berets. He has participated in clandestine operations around the world. This program will be video LIVE STREAMED on www.TheUnitedWest.org. Host: Tom Trento.

Every Friday is FREE SPEECH FRIDAY! – This is “You The People” Talk Radio. Giving local citizens concerned about local issues a voice to air their grievances and petition their elected representatives via the Dr. Rich Show is our mission each and every Friday. A citizen volunteer from Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota Counties will be talking about local issues of importance to you. What is happening at the local City/County Commission, School Board and events planned in each county will be presented to inform and educate our listeners. The last segment on FSF is the “Voice of the Observer” with Rod Thomson, Editor-at-Large for the Observer Group Newspapers. Host: Dr. Rich Swier

Every Saturday is “Righting the Right” The Glenn Pav Show on WTIS AM 1110 every Saturday from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. EST. Visit Glenn’s website by clicking here.

Please listen to the archives of our past shows by CLICKING HERE.

Pinellas County Commissioners Behind the 8 Ball

By Dr. Rich Swier – In 1996, the ballot initiative “8 is Enough” was passed by 78% of voters in Pinellas County, Florida to limit County Commissioners to two four year terms. That ballot initiative has been in litigation since then. Recently the Florida Supreme Court upheld term limits for all Constitutional officers and County Commissioners.

This Florida Supreme Court decision impacts four of the seven sitting County Commissioners, including the Chair and Vice-Chair. The commissioners who are in violation of the two term referendum are: Susan Latvala, John Morroni, Karen Williams Seel and Kenneth T. Welsh.

A lawsuit has been filed against the Pinellas Supervisor of Elections, Pinellas County and names the four Commissioners in violation by a group of local citizens. At the Pinellas County Commission meeting on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 the lawsuit will be discussed.

Former Tarpon Spring Mayor Bev Billiris, who is part of a group that has filed a lawsuit to support the referendum, stated “They did not follow the will of the people. The people voted 78 percent to have term limits for county commissioners.”

A similar lawsuit was filed in Sarasota County, FL to keep Commissioner Jon Thaxton off the 2012 ballot. Commissioner Thaxton violated a referendum passed by Sarasota County voters in 1996 limiting County Commissioners terms to eight years.

A Rasmussen Reports survey asking about trust of local government of 1,000 Adults nationwide was conducted on July 5, 2012. The survey found six out of ten do not trust local government. The federal government garnered 23% and state government 12%.