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AFP-FL Calls Out 3 GOP Senators for Poor Votes in New Ad Campaign

Today, the Florida Chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFP-FL) launched a new effort in Florida Senate districts 2, 5 and 28 aimed at educating voters in those districts of their elected official’s poor votes on key common-sense reforms and economic freedom-related issues during the 2013 session. The multifaceted campaign will employ direct mail and television and social media ads against Sens. Charlie Dean, Greg Evers, and Nancy Detert, and it will run through the end of November.

“These three senators voted to give taxpayer-funded handouts to billionaires, opposed giving parents the power to turn around failing schools, and voted to kill common-sense reform of the antiquated Florida pension plan-reforms that would have protected and honored the contracts of everyone currently in the system while protecting Florida’s taxpayers moving forward. These are issues that conservatives in their districts care about and they need to know that it was their own senator that let them down,” said AFP-FL State Director Slade O’Brien. “We intend to make it very clear that when AFP issues a ‘key vote’ on a specific issue, we mean business. We mean it when we say we’ll educate their constituents back home on the outcome of those votes.”

AFP-FL developed and has been advocating a common-sense reform agenda called Five for Florida. The plan would make taxes fairer; help end cronyism and the overwhelming influence of special interests; bring more accountability and transparency to government; require fiscal responsibility; expand competition and choice in education; eliminate unnecessary government burdens on businesses; and make Florida the most attractive state in the nation for both businesses and families.

O’Brien continued, “Polling has shown that the policies outlined in our Five for Florida plan are supported by a majority of Republicans, Independents and Democrats alike.  With the public growing ever more disgusted with the mess that is Washington, DC, there’s no better time for the Florida Legislature to restore the public’s faith in government by passing these common sense reforms.”

View the television ads below:

Senator Charles S. Dean, Sr., District 5.

Senator Nancy Detert, Florida District 28:

Senator Greg Evers, Florida District 2:

ABOUT AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY – FLORIDA

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen-leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and intrusiveness of government is the best way to promote individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org.

HuffPo labels Florida the “anti-gay state”! Why?

In May 2013 the Huffington Post reported, “Florida lawmakers let two important LGBT rights bills languish this year, sealing the state’s reputation as an ‘anti-gay state‘ for another 12 months. One bill created a statewide domestic partnership registry, uniting a patchwork of select municipalities that grant health care visitation, among other rights, to same-sex couples.”

FL Senator Nancy Detert, District 28.

State Senator Nancy Detert (R- District 28)  has become the champion for a statewide domestic partnership registry. She was the swing committee vote on CS/SB 196: Domestic Partners.

The Florida gay rights group pushing for the creation of domestic partnership registries is called “Equality Florida“. Equality Florida issues are: Adoption, Discrimination, Family Recognition, Hate Crimes, Student Safety/GSA and Voter Mobilization.

The Student safety issue for Equality Florida is support for the US Department of Education anti-bullying campaign in public schools. CBS reports, “University of Texas at Arlington criminologist Seokjin Jeong analyzed data collected from 7,000 students from all 50 states. He thought the results would be predictable and would show that anti-bullying programs curb bullying. Instead — he found the opposite. Jeong said it was, “A very disappointing and a very surprising thing. Our anti-bullying programs, either intervention or prevention does not work.”

In 2008 the Florida Definition of Marriage, Constitutional Amendment 2 passed by over 61%. The Amendment reads:

This amendment protects marriage as the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife and provides that no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.

The “substantial equivalent of” are domestic partnership registries say critics.

It is expected domestic partnership registries will come up during the 2014 legislative session. This gives many pause, given what has happened in other states where gay marriage has been instituted. Massachusetts, the first state to adopt gay marriage, is perhaps the best example of how the social fabric, schools, businesses, legal system and culture are fundamentally changed when marriage is redefined.

The below video provided by the pro-family group MassResistance.org provides a historical review of changes and their impact:

EDITORS NOTE: Wikipedia lists states, counties and cities that have instituted domestic partnership registries. The following are those listed for Florida.

  • Broward County (Fort Lauderdale): Residents of the county or at least one partner employed by the county. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • City of Clearwater: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • City of Gainesville: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • City of Key West: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • City of Kissimmee: Employees of the city. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • Leon County: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • City of Miami Beach: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • Miami-Dade County: Residents of the county or at least one partner employed by the county. Both opposite- and same-sex couples. The cities of Miami and South Miami also grant additional benefits to domestic partners registered in Miami-Dade County.
  • Monroe County: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples. County employment benefits only.
  • Orange County: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • City of Orlando: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • Palm Beach County: Residents of the county or at least one partner employed by the county. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • Pinellas County: Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • City of Sarasota: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples. City employment benefits only.
  • City of St. Cloud: Employees of the city. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • City of St. Petersburg: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • City of Tampa: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • City of Tavares: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • Volusia County: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • City of West Palm Beach: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.

Online Survey: City of Sarasota, FL wants to repeal Stand Your Ground – do you agree?

The City of Sarasota, FL has experienced a 34% decrease in the City’s taxable property since 2008, which has affected the City’s operating revenues and levels of services. The Unfunded Actuarial Accrued Liability (UAAL) for the City’s three defined benefit plans and Other Post Employment Benefit (OPEB) plan was $296 million as of September 30, 2012. The City has a investment in capital assets net of related debt of $161,031,693 in 2012, up $4.91 million from 2011. The City has unrestricted net assets of $64,273,514. (NOTE: Although the City’s investment in its capital assets is reported net of related debt, it should still be noted that the resources needed to repay this debt must be provided from other sources, since the capital assets themselves cannot be used to liquidate these liabilities.)

At the end of the current fiscal year, the City had a total bonded debt outstanding of $142,008,656. Of this amount, $42,909,043 comprises debt backed by the full faith and credit of the City. The City’s interest on long-term debt in 2012 was $4,519,066. The City of Sarasota is on a path to become a mini-Detroit.

So what is top of mind with the City Commissioners? Repeal of Florida’s Stand Your Ground (SYG) statute.

Please take the Online Survey at the end of the column.

According to Allison Neilson from Sunshine State News, “When outlining the major legislative priorities for its 2014 agenda, the Sarasota City Commission voted to support a repeal of Florida’s Stand Your Ground laws. The repeal was listed in the City Commission’s document titled Revised Final 2014 Legislative Priorities.”

The City Commission vote was taken on September 7th, just days before the September 10th recall vote in Colorado where two Democrat legislators were ousted for their support of gun control.

The ball is now in the court of the Sarasota Legislative Delegation headed by FL Senator Nancy Detert (R). Delegation members include: FL Representatives Jim Boyd (R), Ray Pilon (R), Darryl Rouson (D), Greg Steube (R) and Doug Holder (R).

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legal Action (NRA-ILA) has already weighed in on this City initiative. The NRA-ILA sent out an email to members asking them to contact the Sarasota Legislative Delegation members and ask them to oppose the City’s priority to repeal SYG. The NRA-ILA states, “The ‘Stand your Ground’ statute gives back rights that have been eroded or taken away by a judicial system that, at times, appears to give preferential treatment to criminals.”

“The City Commission can’t expect a victim to wait before taking action to protect himself and his family and say, ‘excuse me, Mr. Criminal, are you here breaking into my home to rape and kill me or are you just here to beat me up and steal my TV set? And by the way what kind of weapon do you have?'”, asks the NRA-ILA.

WDW has asked Sarasota Legislative Delegation members for a statement on the City’s priority to repeal SYG. No replies have been received as of the publication of this column.

The NRA-ILA notes, “A law-abiding citizen should not have to worry about being arrested or prosecuted if you use force to defend yourself or your family. You should be able to presume that anyone who unlawfully intrudes is there to harm you.”

To view the results of this survey as a pie chart click here.

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FL Human Rights Organizations defeat Miami-Dade “Transsexual” Ordinance

Recently, the Christian Family Coalition (CFC), a Florida based human rights and social justice advocacy organization, with seventeen other civil and human rights organizations held a press conference at Miami-Dade County Hall to permanently defeat the discriminatory “Transsexual” ordinance.

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro

The ordinance was sponsored by Miami-Dade Commissioners Audrey Edmonson and Bruno Barreiro. The “Transsexual” ordinance would allow men dressed up as women or pretending to be women to use women’s bathrooms, dressing rooms, locker rooms, and showers. Furthermore, in the area of employment, it would legalize the firing of anyone disagreeing with this policy simply because of who they are and what they believe.

“We must make sure that this discriminatory ‘Transsexual’ ordinance never returns,” said Nathaniel J. Wilcox, Director of  People United to Lead the Struggle for Equality (PULSE), a South Florida civil rights organization.

CFC notes, “Even though the ordinance was never approved, it claimed its first victim when Commission Vice-Chair Lynda Bell was threatened and dehumanized by the extremists pushing the ordinance.”

“I am truly grateful to Miami-Dade Commission Vice Chair Lynda Bell for doing her duty as a public servant and voting against a proposed ordinance on its first reading,” Teresita “Tessie” Miglio said at Monday’s press conference. “Unfortunately, she became a victim of discrimination and hate by the very group that was trying to force this discriminatory law on every Miami-Dade County resident. Commissioner Bell, please know that there are numerous human rights organizations that proudly stand by you.”

“Today, we are calling on Commissioners, Edmonson, Barreiro, Jordan and Heyman to sign the CFC Anti-Discrimination Challenge to make sure this discriminatory ordinance never returns to Miami-Dade County,” stated Anthon Verdugo, CFC Founder and Executive Director.

CFC protest against Transgender ordinance. For a larger view click on the photo.

The “transsexual” proposal, passed 11-1 on first reading. Commission Vice Chairwoman Lynda Bell casting the lone vote against it. The proposal then went to the commission’s Health and Social Services Committee, comprised of chairwoman Edmonson, Bell, Commissioners Jose “Pepe” Diaz, Jean Monestime and Javier D. Souto.

After intense lobbying by the CFC and a broad coalition of human rights organizations, ordinance co-sponsors withdrew it on Aug. 13, when they realized they did not have the votes to pass it in committee.

According to CFC, “Now, Miami-Dade residents and human rights activists are asking all four ordinance sponsors to lead by example by signing the ‘NO to Discrimination Challenge‘.”

State Senator Nancy Detert is one of those behind an effort to recognize domestic partnerships (a.k.a gay marriage) in Florida. Many believe Detert would support transgender ordinances like the one defeated in Miami-Dade County. According to the Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC), “On February 20, 2013 at approximately 3:25 p.m. in the Florida Senate Children and Families committee (which Detert is a member), a deceptive and highly controversial bill died. The bill, SB 196, was labeled as a domestic partnership but actually attempted to create a full blown civil union and a form of homosexual marriage in direct violation of the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment passed by Floridians in 2008 by 62%.”

Miami-Dade Commission Transgender Ordinance video:

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Christian conservatives rally at Miami-Dade County Hall against gender identity non-discrimination law