How Florida Counts

Nearly 350,000 Florida Democrats have already cast early votes, almost four times as many as voted early in the 2004 presidential primary. "The level of interest. could make the results in Florida more important for Democrats than they had assumed," writes Adam Nagourney in the New York Times. "The Florida results could help set the stage for the almost nationwide primary battle on Feb. 5." Read more.

Obama stirs fight with Florida

 Obama: The state's votes won't count.

By ADAM C. SMITH, Times Political Editor
Published January 16, 2008

America's oldest African-American newspapers, endorse Hillary

The Amsterdam News, one of America's oldest African-American newspapers, endorsed Hillary. "Our endorsement. could perhaps be viewed as the best and most difficult decision that many of us will make in our lives. Hillary Rodham Clinton is wise, competent and strong enough to lead America with dignity, forthrightness, anger when it has to be, love as it must always be, temperance as required and justice with everything." Read more.

Re: Time to Vote: Florida's Vote Matters and It Will Count

Go tell that to Obama, who has said repeatedly that Florida does not count and is "a much a do to about nothing"
Ron Mills

State Senator Jeremy Ring <> wrote:
Issue 3:  January 27, 2008
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
On Tuesday January 29th the state of Florida will hold its 2008 Presidential primaries. Floridians will have the opportunity to exercise that most fundamental right we have as Americans and have our voices heard locally, statewide and nationally. A great deal of debate has led up to this Florida primary as to whether the votes cast will count towards the two national parties delegate selections or even if our delegates will be seated at the nominating conventions. Well let me assure you, your vote will count and will definitely matter as we choose our nominees for President. 
As I campaigned for the Florida State Senate, I was approached by thousands of voters concerned with Florida's Insurance crisis. Overwhelming increases in premiums, unpaid claims and cancelled policies was beyond distressing. As I studied the issue in great depth, I realized this was a crisis that existed nationally and the problem was far greater in scope than could be addressed by Florida alone. What Floridians, and the nation needed was a National Catastrophic Insurance Fund to lower premiums by addressing issues as wide ranging as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes,  blizzards, droughts, fires, terrorist attacks,  or epidemics.
The question was how to get Washington to recognize the importance of a national fund. The answer was to make certain our next President made this a priority. Moving Florida's primary forward to January 29th led major candidates in both parties to immediately support and endorse a National Catastrophic Fund. Previously the Florida primary was held later in the spring, denying Floridians the chance to have the major candidates campaigning on relevant state issues. An early primary assures the voices of Floridians will be heard.  
Candidates campaigned in Iowa and New Hampshire on issues critical to voters of those states. Floridians deserve the same. Although the democratic candidates have not campaigned in Florida, the issues have been debated. For republicans, who have vigorously campaigned, Florida is the biggest test yet. 
In spite of the infighting in the political parties as to what will count and what won't, who will be seated and who won't, we are having this election. Senators Nelson and Martinez have been doing ads together encouraging voters to come out. The national media, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, etc… are covering the Florida vote as closely as any other state. Some candidates have been camped here for weeks in hopes of doing well in our primary and propelling their campaigns into Super Tuesday February 5th when 22 states including California, New York and New Jersey will vote. Analysts believe the winners in Florida will receive a major bounce as they head into those contests and many, many voters believe it also. In fact, as I write this report, more than 40,000 Broward residents have already voted early. Those numbers are nearly 400,000 statewide and that doesn't include absentee voters. Experts believe as many as 2 million voters will have made their voices heard by Tuesday night. Furthermore, Florida's population represents a larger and more diverse group than has voted anywhere else to date, and a population that more closely represents America than one would find in Iowa, New Hampshire, or the other early primary states. In other words: we matter. The candidates think this election matters, the news media thinks this election matters, and millions of our friends and neighbors think this election matters. So please don't be left out, come out and vote, it does matter and it will count.

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Statement by Senator Hillary Clinton on the Seating of Delegates at the Democratic National Convention

"I hear all the time from people in Florida and Michigan that they want their voices heard in selecting the Democratic nominee.
"I believe our nominee will need the enthusiastic support of Democrats in these states to win the general election, and so I will ask my Democratic convention delegates to support seating the delegations from Florida and Michigan. I know not all of my delegates will do so and I fully respect that decision. But I hope to be President of all 50 states and U.S. territories, and that we have all 50 states represented and counted at the Democratic convention.
"I hope my fellow potential nominees will join me in this.
"I will of course be following the no-campaigning pledge that I signed, and expect others will as well."

Spec. Richard B. Burress


Hometown: Naples, Florida, U.S.
Died: January 19, 2008 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Unit: Army, 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.
Incident: Killed in Al Jabour, Iraq, when his vehicle encountered a makeshift bomb.

Amendment 1 bad for Florida, Sink says Vote NO


Alexsink2 Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, the top Democrat in state government, says Amendment 1 on next Tuesday's ballot is bad for public safety. In her first public statements on the property tax proposal, Sink said the risk of diminished public services outweighs the estimated tax savings of $240 a year for the average homeowner.
"For 20 dollars a month," Sink said, "I'm not willing to take the risk that my fire service is going to be deteriorated, my schools aren't going to be supported, and I'm not going to get my potholes fixed."
Sink, whose duties include serving as state fire marshal, says she's heard from fire chiefs throughout the state concerned about having to lose positions. She added that she agreed with Florida TaxWatch, which opposes the amendment, and does not think tax policy should be embedded in the Constitution.
"If the policy's in the Constitution and it's not working right, how do you unwind it?" Sink said.

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Giuliani 'ran like a coward on 9/11'

Families of firefighters killed in the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center rallied in Orlando Tuesday in anticipation of the state's upcoming Republican primary. Unfortunately for Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, the firefighters are not in his corner.
"We want America to know that [the Giuliani campaign] is lying to America and to the American pubic," said Jim Riches, a deputy chief in the New York Fire Department, "telling all of Florida that the New York City Fire Department backs him, when that's another lie."
Firefighters and their families vowed to dog the former New York mayor at all of his Florida campaign stops because the state figures prominently in Giuliani's big-state primary strategy. The protesters think that Giuliani was aware that firefighters who responded to the World Trade Center attack were carrying defective radios and did not hear the order to evacuate.
"He didn't prepare us before, during, or after," says Riches.
Giuliani has campaigned strongly on his leadership during the attacks on New York, claiming he is the best suited to prevent an "Islamic terrorist war against us." But the firefighters were quick to question that courage.
"Yeah, the decision he made was, which direction he was going to run," says Riches. "And he ran north, and that's all he did."
The Giuliani campaign labeled the display a misleading, partisan attack. The former mayor is also emphasizing his ability to deal with the economy, distancing himself from the 9/11 pitch.
This video is from, broadcast January 22, 2008.

Did Obama Win Nevada

On Saturday, in Nevada, they elected city delegates whom will then go to the county and then to the state, where the national delegates will be selected to go to Denver.
There are two kind of delegates. The more important kind, nationally speaking, are the latter, of which Obama — according to a revised AP count — is expected to emerge with 13 to Clinton's 12.
That's the technical grounds on which Obama claimed a kind of victory. The Clinton campaign's and the Nevada party's objections to this earlier this evening were yet more technical, but also accurate: The national delegates haven't yet been formally awarded.
"The Obama campaign is wrong. Delegates for the national convention will not be determined until April 19," said Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson.
But the only plausible scenario in which the awarding of delegates chances is one in which one of the candidates drops out of the race and endorses the other. In which case it'll be academic. So in the only likely scenario that matters, Obama will wind up with one more delegate out of Nevada, an all-but-meaningless number in any case.

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Voter Intimidation in Nevada

UPDATE via Taylor Marsh: "NEVADA UPSET: Clinton over Obama"
Taylor Marsh has been on this story since last week. This morning, in "Free Elections Epilogue," Taylor posts, "'s Joan Walsh this morning":
But United Farmworkers' Union co-founder Dolores Huerta went further, accusing the Culinary Workers Union of intimidating Clinton supporters and keeping them away from the caucuses. Union leaders are telling Clinton backers if they don't vote for Obama, "they won't get transportation, they will be fired," Huerta said. She also argued that Clinton has a "cultural, political and social relationship with the Latino community, which Senator Obama does not have." Latinos call Clinton "Hilaria," Huerta said, adding derisively that they call Sen. Obama "Como se llama?" (as in "What's his name?") …
… .. Pro-Clinton blogger Taylor Marsh picked up the tale, relying on Marie Angers' account. But so far, Antuna has been silent since talking to the Sun. Reached by telephone Friday afternoon, at first she didn't want to talk. "I'm just afraid to say anything," she said. But then the CWU shop steward of 24 years agreed to tell her story.
Taylor continues:
As Walsh states in her piece, Atuna has been silent since originally talking to the Sun. Angers, whose name I have not used until this post, would not even allow me to use her name in the audio interview (the story I broke before anyone). As I said in this post taking on the Sun's piece, this is about free elections and having the right to vote for whomever you want.

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For Florida's tax panel, a pivotal vote

For Florida's tax panel, a pivotal vote

Despite strong opposition from business and agriculture interests, members of the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission on Thursday passed a proposal to give voters the option of reducing property taxes by shifting the burden to taxing some services and eliminating some exemptions.
The 8 to 3 vote, at a meeting of the commission's Government Procedures and Services Committee, was a victory for former Senate President John McKay, who has been on nearly a decade-long crusade to overhaul Florida's tax system. McKay's allies now include Darryl Rouson, a St. Petersburg lawyer and the co-sponsor who was among the eight votes in favor. "I like the idea of transferring the tax burden," Rouson said.
The proposal would reduce property tax bills by at least 25 percent by eliminating property taxes collected statewide imposed by the Legislature to support public schools, about $8-billion a year. Replacing that would be an equal amount of taxes on services or the closing of exemptions, which McKay calls "special interest tax breaks" that benefit only a politically-connected few.
Testifying in opposition were lobbyists for Realtors, accountants, architects, farmers and other groups who said the tax shift would unfairly penalize businesses and reduce Florida's ability to compete with other states and foreign countries. 
The three members who voted no were Orlando lawyer Jacinda Mathis, Clearwater real estate agent Nancy Riley and Brian Yablonski, a St. Joe Company executive. The tax proposal's next stop is the potentially hostile Finance & Taxation Committee.

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David Brock Issues Open Letter to NBC News President Steve Capus

Brock raises serious questions regarding the on-air conduct of MSNBC's Chris Matthews
Washington, D.C. -- Today, Media Matters for America President & CEO David Brock issued an open letter to Steve Capus, the president of NBC News, raising serious questions about the on-air conduct of MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews. Given Matthews' long history of degrading commentary, Brock has urged Capus to protect the network's trusted reputation for fair and equal coverage and, as Capus himself articulated, "continue the dialogue about what is appropriate conduct and speech" on the air.
Highlights from the letter include:
"Senator Clinton's candidacy aside, Matthews' degrading attacks on women constitute a broader and more troubling pattern that has unfolded over the years. During his coverage of the 2000 presidential race, Matthews repeatedly referred to author Naomi Wolf as "the political equivalent of Viagra." His on-air treatment of CNBC anchor Erin Burnett ("Could you get a little closer to the camera? ...You're beautiful. …You're a knockout.") has been described by Emily's List President Ellen Malcolm as "sexual harassment brought to you by MSNBC."'
"[A]s you well know, programs like Hardball define wider media narratives and agendas and shape public perceptions about public affairs, especially, as is the case now, when the nation is poised to make critical choices about its future direction. Given Matthews' record detailed above, I fear that he will continue to insult, misinform, and ultimately disserve the public as we continue to engage in a basic process of our democracy in the coming months."
Below is the full text of the letter:

January 16, 2008
Steve Capus
President, NBC News
NBC Television Network
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York , NY 10112

Dear Mr. Capus:
I'm writing today to express urgent concern over the appalling on-air conduct of MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews and to ask that you engage Media Matters for America and other concerned parties in the broader community of NBC viewers in a constructive dialogue about appropriate remedies to this most unfortunate state of affairs at NBC's cable news channel MSNBC.
As you know, the event precipitating the current firestorm surrounding Matthews' conduct occurred on MSNBC last week in the wake of Senator Hillary Clinton's victory in the Democratic primary in New Hampshire . During MSNBC's coverage that night, Matthews said he would "never underestimate Hillary Clinton again" -- an apparent reference to his long-standing pattern of on-air denigration of Senator Clinton's candidacy and persona -- documented in a Media Matters survey of Hardball with Chris Matthews published December 18, 2007 (attached). The following morning, on the MSNBC program Morning Joe, Matthews said of Clinton , "the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around" and that "she didn't win [ New York ] on her merits." These statements were demonstrably false, utterly disrespectful, and, as the ensuing controversy has revealed, deeply offensive to many Americans.
Given Matthews' history of animus toward both Senator Clinton and President Bill Clinton, these remarks might be seen as just par for the course. After all, MSNBC has entrusted Matthews -- as Hardball host, frequent on-air news anchor for MSNBC, and host of the syndicated Chris Matthews Show run on the NBC broadcast network -- with a prominent role in political campaign coverage throughout the last year, despite his 2001 statement referencing Clinton reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer magazine: "I hate her. I hate her. All that she stands for." To my knowledge, Matthews has not disputed the quote, which betrays an ugly and unprofessional personal bias that unfairly skews political coverage of one of the leading candidates for President of the United States night after night on MSNBC.
Matthews has referred to Clinton as a "She Devil," compared her to a "strip-teaser" and referred to her as "witchy." He has referred to men who support her as "castratos in the eunuch chorus." He has suggested Clinton is not "a convincing mom," and said "modern women" like Clinton are unacceptable to " Midwest guys." Even Matthews' journalistic guests have called out Matthews for using sexist rhetoric. On one episode of Hardball devoted to what Matthews repeatedly referred to as Clinton 's "cackle," Politico reporter Mike Allen broke in and said, "Chris, first of all, 'cackle' is a very sexist term." Matthews has hosted right-wing radio host Michael Graham, who said on Hardball:
"Anyone listening to Hillary Rodham in her speech last week about patriotism, that screaming, screeching fingernail, I wanted to bludgeon her with a tire iron. That's what I wanted to do." (Matthews is quoted on the jacket of one of Graham's books endorsing the radio host as "the funniest political observer in the country. The guy turns the truth into a punch.")
According to a Media Matters count, over the course of two weeks in 2006, Matthews barraged his guests with 90 separate questions about what Matthews has variously described as Bill Clinton's purported "lifestyle," "social life," "personal behavior," and "personal life." This pattern of obsessive personal attacks on the Clintons has, of course, been glaringly on display for years; back in 1998, Salon memorably described Hardball as the "official cable club house for Clinton-haters."
But last week -- with America engaged in an invigorating democratic process, in a moment freighted with the potential for historic progress and promise in the hearts and minds of millions of Americans as, for the first time in our history, both a woman and an African-American are leading candidates for the presidency -- Matthews' sexist attack struck a nerve.
Senator Clinton's candidacy aside, Matthews' degrading attacks on women constitute a broader and more troubling pattern that has unfolded over the years. During his coverage of the 2000 presidential race, Matthews repeatedly referred to author Naomi Wolf as "the political equivalent of Viagra." His on-air treatment of CNBC anchor Erin Burnett ("Could you get a little closer to the camera? ...You're beautiful. …You're a knockout.") has been described by Emily's List President Ellen Malcolm as "sexual harassment brought to you by MSNBC." Matthews once ended an interview with right-wing radio host and author Laura Ingraham by saying, "I get in trouble for this, but you're great looking, obviously. You're one of the gods' gifts to men in this country. But also, you are a hell of a writer."
During coverage of a presidential debate last spring, NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell appeared compelled to remind Matthews that Democratic Senator Barack Obama's wife, Michelle, is a Harvard-educated lawyer as Matthews focused obsessively on her physical appearance, stating she "looked perfect," "well-turned out ... attractive -- classy, as we used to say. Like Frank Sinatra, 'classy.' "
Why NBC apparently believes such conduct and speech to be informative, appropriate or responsible broadcasting in the public interest is a question for you and for General Electric's management and Board of Directors. In this regard, I should note that gender-based attacks have also been documented by Media Matters on MSNBC's show Tucker, hosted by Tucker Carlson. Carlson invoked Lorena Bobbitt to claim that Clinton is tapping into women's anger toward men, and on another broadcast of Tucker, said of Clinton : "[W]hen she comes on television, I involuntarily cross my legs." During a discussion of how gender might play into Senator Clinton's candidacy, Carlson's right-wing guest Cliff May said, "At least call her a Vaginal-American."
My concern about your network's broadcast standards is not limited to sexism. In 2006, Matthews hosted right-wing pundit Ann Coulter the day after she had posited on another NBC cable network, CNBC, on The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, that Bill Clinton is gay. Questioned about the remark by Matthews, Coulter offered a bizarre theory to conclude Clinton "shows some level of latent homosexuality." She continued, "I don't know if he's gay, but Al Gore -- total fag." Matthews concluded the interview with, "Well, thanks, Ann, you're great."
In Warp Speed: America in the Age of Mixed Media, the esteemed media critics Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel wrote, " 'Hardball' has no grounding in reporting, no basic news function, is not designed to elicit facts or explore issues with policy-makers."
That judgment notwithstanding, as you well know, programs like Hardball define wider media narratives and agendas and shape public perceptions about public affairs, especially, as is the case now, when the nation is poised to make critical choices about its future direction. Given Matthews' record detailed above, I fear that he will continue to insult, misinform, and ultimately disserve the public as we continue to engage in a basic process of our democracy in the coming months.
My concerns are based in fact. According to a study by the nonpartisan Project for Excellence in Journalism of political media coverage in 2000, Hardball accounted for 12 percent of all media reports that discussed presidential candidate Al Gore's purported "tendency to exaggerate," a false campaign narrative perpetuated by the Republican National Committee. Indeed, Matthews seemed so unfair in his treatment of Gore that NBC Today show host Matt Lauer upbraided him on the air, saying, "Let's be honest here. Al Gore irritates you." "The public has been saying that too," Matthews replied.
The aforementioned Media Matters study examined Matthews' statements on Hardball about  the two then-front-running candidates in each political party, Clinton and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, in the months of September, October, and November 2007. The results showed Matthews made 10 negative remarks about Clinton for every negative remark he made about Giuliani. Moreover, Matthews made nearly three times as many positive remarks about Giuliani as about Clinton .
In addition, Matthews has said on Hardball that he believes Republican Senator John McCain "deserves to be president."
Mr. Capus, during the controversy last spring surrounding Don Imus' racist and sexist remarks broadcast on MSNBC -- remarks first documented by Media Matters -- we commended your acknowledgement that NBC has a responsibility to protect the network's trusted reputation for fair and equal coverage and to "continue the dialogue about what is appropriate conduct and speech" on its air. In the case of Chris Matthews, I implore you to once again consider the gravity of that responsibility.
I look forward to your reply.
David Brock

Stop Chris Matthew's Woman Bashing

Using overtly sexist language, he has referred to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) as a "she devil" and compared her to a "strip-teaser." He has called her "witchy" and likened her voice to "fingernails on a blackboard." He has referred to men who support her as "castratos in the eunuch chorus." He has suggested Clinton is not "a convincing mom" and said "modern women" like Clinton are unacceptable to "Midwest guys." He has called her "Madame Defarge" and "Nurse Ratched."
Had enough? Contact MSNBC to tell them what you think.
Mr. Phil Griffin,
Senior Vice President, News
NBC Television Network
30 Rockefeller Plz
New York, NY 10112
Steve Capus,
President, NBC News
30 Rockefeller Plz
3rd Fl
New York, NY 10112
(212) 664-4444
Chris Matthews
After Clinton won the New Hampshire Democratic primary, Matthews asserted: "[T]he reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around." He described her performance at a debate last Saturday as apparently "good enough to seem good enough here for women who wanted to root for her anyway."
His sexism is hardly limited to comments about Clinton. During coverage of the New Hampshire primary, he said that Clinton is the only viable woman presidential candidate "on the horizon." He couldn't think of a single female governor eligible to run: "Where are the big-state women governors?" he asked. "Where are they? Name one." In fact, several of the states that currently have women governors are comparable in population to the states in which the male presidential candidates serve or have served as governor.
In November 2006, shortly after the Democrats took the majority in Congress, Matthews asked a guest if then-presumptive speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was "going to castrate Steny Hoyer" if Hoyer (D-MD) were elected House majority leader.
During coverage of a presidential debate last spring, NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell was compelled to remind Matthews that Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL) wife, Michelle, is a Harvard-educated lawyer after he focused obsessively on her physical appearance.
The good news is that people are speaking out against Matthews' flagrant, persistent sexism.
Of the New Hampshire primary results, the blog TalkLeft, observed:
"It was a revolt of women sick and tired of the likes of Chris Tweety Matthews and the Media Misogynists.
Barack Obama did not lose New Hampshire. The Media did. Their misogynist hatred of Hillary Clinton was soundly rejected by the voters. Especially the women voters of New Hampshire.
How the Media will react to this well deserved rebuke is the question. And let's be clear, Chris Matthews should be removed from covering this race. His offensive behavior is a disgrace to NBC."
It's time to play a little "hardball." Please contact MSNBC and Chris Matthews today and let them know what you think.

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Ugly Right Raises Their Head Over Denial Of Marriage Amendment


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Vote No On 1

Florida Tax ReformWe can all agree, not just in Broward, that a Florida Tax Reform is necessary, but when it comes to voting on Amendment 1 on January 29th, We say no.
From firefighters their jobs will be cut and our lives will no longer be safe to school teachers telling us that our educational system will be affected.
Let this mess of a amendment go down in flames and tell the Legislator to go back in March and get it right this time. Do not give this Legislator a pass vote NO 
There are a number of reasons why:

• The plan gives most of the relief to those who need it the least
(long-term Save Our Homes property), while giving very little to
those that have seen their taxes rise the most (non-homestead
• It will perpetuate the current system and exacerbate the shift of
tax burden from homestead to non-homestead property. It will also
continue to shift tax burden to new homeowners.
• While some solution to portability is needed, there are serious
constitutional concerns about providing it.
• The 10% cap for non-homestead property is so high as to be of
little value to most properties.
• The $9.3 billion five-year taxpayer savings estimate is likely
overstated. The proposal does not restrict local governments'
ability to increase millage rates to recoup revenue losses, thereby
lessening the savings for some and shifting more tax burden to
• And perhaps most importantly, if the voters approve this new
amendment, future attempts to reform non-homestead property taxes
will be extremely difficult."

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Did Property Tax Apprasier Lori Parrish even read the Amendmant?

How is it, that many are surprised that in the proposed amendment, the City or Counties can still raise your taxes?
They did not read the amendment. 
 The proposed property tax changes that voters are voting on starting on January 14th. 
you can read it  here.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz Voting Against Property Tax Amendment

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, said she is voting against the proposal.

"There are ways that we can do property tax relief, but this is not one of them," Schultz said. The amendment, she said, "is going to do long-term damage to our kids, in terms of their well-being and their education."

The average homeowner would save about $240 — but only if local governments don't raise taxes, which the proposed constitutional amendment would allow them to do, possibly obliterating any potential savings.

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Join HRC President Joe Solmonese

Primary Day Training with Joe Solmonese
When: Wednesday, January 16 6:30 pm
Where: Art Serve in Ft. Lauderdale
Address: 1350 E. Sunrise Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, 33304
RSVP: HRC Organizer Toby Quaranta at 202.459.3307, or by email at Toby.Quaranta@
If you can't make it to the training but still want to help, Toby will be on the ground in Ft. Lauderdale until Primary Day. To learn more about the campaign, visit Red & Blue's webpage at www.floridaredandbl
Join HRC President Joe Solmonese and HRC members from Broward County for a Training! 
Join us in Fort Lauderdale for a training on how to take action on Primary Day.

Joe Solmonese will be at our Wednesday, January 16th training to be held at Art Serve. If you can attend, RSVP with HRC Organizer Toby Quaranta at 202.459.3307, or by email at Toby.Quaranta@
HRC is organizing an education campaign against the November state constitutional amendment that would ban same sex marriage --already illegal in Florida-- and eliminate all domestic partnerships.  Health benefits are on the line, and the government will take an even larger role in your daily life.

Will you volunteer a few hours this month to help build a campaign to defeat this harmful amendment?  


Clinton way ahead in Florida

Hillary Clinton remains far ahead of Barack Obama among likely Democratic voters in Florida's Jan. 29 primary.
Quinnipiac University, in its new poll released this morning, shows her with 52 percent. Obama has 31 percent.
Her 21-percentage point lead over Obama is virtually unchanged from December, Quinnipiac said in a news release, when she had a 22-point lead.
John Edwards has only 9 percent in the current poll, compared with 19 percent in December.
Continue reading "Clinton way ahead of Obama in Florida" »

Dinner and a (drag) show to raise money for LaFontaine

Posted At The Miami Herald

Mark LaFontaine, who hopes to become the first openly gay member of the Florida Legislature by winning the seat about to be left open by state Rep. Jack Seiler, is getting a little help from a current openly gay elected official.
U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat and openly gay member of Congress, will help LaFontaine raise money at two events on Jan. 13.
Frank, who serves as the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, will appear at a closed-door fundraiser at a Wilton Manors home that morning. But for the evening event, the campaign was looking for something "a little more off-beat," said Stephen Gaskill, LaFontaine's spokesman.
Their choice? Lips, a bar and restaurant in Oakland Park, known for "drag dining."
"We thought it would be something that people would turn out for," Gaskill said. "There are always fundraisers for $100 or $150, where you get the same thing. We thought it would be fun to have dinner and a show at an unusual location."
Definitely not your typical campaign fundraiser. Check out info here.

Bryan Caletka To Run For Broward County Commission

Broward County Commissioner John Rodstrom drew another opponent in his re-election bid this year as Davie Vice Mayor Bryan Caletka filed to run.

Homestead exemption A fraud

Homestead exemption falls short of promise

 Doubling the homestead exemption!
My Ass! 
It's Gov. Charlie Crist's No. 1 weapon in selling the property tax cut plan that goes before voters Jan. 29.
The message framing has rolled off his tongue in public appearances from Miami to Tallahassee. He used it again Monday in Broward County to promote passage of Amendment 1.
But to say the measure would double the current $25,000 homestead exemption is a fraud. (Read Story here.)

Thompson's Last Stand

Former Senator Fred Thompson (R-Tennessee) provides an important lesson in effective campaign messaging.
Sen. Thompson is relying on a strong showing in South Carolina to propel his candidacy to the White House. CNN reported this afternoon that the Thompson campaign is joking about South Carolina as "Custer's last stand."
Of course, General Armstrong Custer was defeated and killed in the Battle of Little Bighorn.
Apparently, Sen. Thompson didn't learn anything from the opening scene in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. Sen. Thompson either doesn't know history, doesn't want to stick around in the race, or both. (To be fair, Sen. Thompson has a history of remembering the facts wrong, or not at all.)

They Never Learn, Do They?

Giuliani's New York canvassers are trolling Red Sox Nation in Yankees garb, in advance of the primary:
Some Rudy Giuliani volunteers bused here from New York City struck out as they went door to door in advance of Tuesday's Granite State primary while wearing caps or jackets of the hated New York Yankees.
"Some people really don't think," said a person with knowledge of the situation.
"You're in the middle of Red Sox Nation wearing stuff from their enemy. It's absolutely ridiculous.

Ron Paul to Cross Picket Line... Again

Republican presidential candidates are jumping ahead of one another to cross the picket line of workers who have public opinion handily on their side. First, it was Mike Huckabee, who said he didn't realize that he was going to be crossing the line.
Up next, Ron Paul, who will appear on the Tonight Show this evening.
As ThinkProgress points out, this isn't the first picket line that Ron Paul has crossed. In December, Paul appeared on The View -- despite the striking writers. He later said that he "doesn't care about the unions or the pickets."

Also make sure to check out FlipperTV.

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Candidate Freda Stevens Responds

Happy New Year! This is the type of dialog that should have occurred before you published anything about me. Can we agree, everyone deserves a fair chance?
As to your questions:
1) Yes, I was invited to speak at the Davie/Cooper City Republican Club meeting. However, I did not attend. Instead, I attended the Davie/Cooper City Democratic Club Meeting. I did not want to continue speaking at the GOP meetings knowing that my decision was to change parties. I changed my party after notifying members of the Republican party. When given candidate questions, I simply could not support the Republican position on issues such as (Marriage Amendment, War In Iraq, stem cell research, etc..). The Republican party recommended a consultant who offered me pictures in the Black Republican Magazine, endorsements, a possible job in the future, and money to stay in the race. Honestly, I do not know if he was really speaking on behalf of the party or just puffing smoke. In either case, I had to be true to who I am inside. My convictions simply would not allow me to go along to get along. I maintain some friendships in the Republican party; but, it was just not for me.
2) Why Dem vs. Republican? or Why do I fit in the Dem Party vs GOP? The answer is simple. The democratic party is all I know. I was an active democrat for 14 years. We are talking about a difference of 14 years as a democrat to 3 years as a republican. It's like living in Florida all your life and then going away to college. Eventually, one will come back home. 
On the issues:
I believe in equality for all. I endorsed fairness for all families and joined Florida Red and Blue prior to your blog. I believe we can really Leave No Child Behind by ensuring private schools are held accountable, too. If we must have choice then let's give parents a BETTER CHOICE FOR A BETTER EDUCATION! GAACS created a program called A+ Platinum School Program which is an answer to the No Child Left Behind debacle. As a educator, I believe it is wrong to siphon money from any scored public school and give it to parents to send their children to an unrated private school. All schools receiving state/federal funds should be held accountable for the education of Florida's children. I support middle class families that work long hours but still can not afford healthcare. I believe there should be healthcare for all. My mother  takes 15 pills a day and pays over $400 a month in health insurance. I believe the taxpayers should come before corporations, lobbyists, and special interest groups. We must fund social security and stop the Republican agenda to privatize everything. It sets an unfair balance. I believe the War in Iraq is one of the greatest forms of genocide in our nation's history. We must bring our troops home immediately. The president has asked for enormous amounts of money to fund a war that should have never began. We should protect the American people from real terrorists by funding our first responders. 9/11 happened in New York not Iraq! We need open, fair, and honest government; as well as fiscal responsibility on the part of our president.  These are just some of the reasons I am a democrat.
Thank you for asking the questions and giving me a "fair chance to respond".
Freda Stevens
phone: 954.802.3553
This is in response to our article on 12-04-07 at and

An invitation from US Congressman Barney Frank

I hope you can join us. Also, please forward on to any of your like minded friends that you think might like to attend. Thank you!
B A R N E Y     F R A N K
U.S. Congressman Barney Frank
Chairman, House Financial Services Committee
respectfully requests your presence
at a fundraising brunch for Mark LaFontaine
Candidate, Florida House of Representatives, District 92
Sunday, January 13th, 11 am to 1 pm
At the home of Mike Trost, 2024 NE 6th Terrace
Wilton Manors, Florida
$250 per person, $500 maximum by law
RSVP: or (954) 394-4980
The purchase of a ticket for or a contribution to the campaign fundraiser is a contribution to the campaign of Mark LaFontaine.
Political ad paid for and approved by Mark LaFontaine, Democrat for Florida House of Representatives, District 92

Jim DeFede returning radio on Monday

Talk show host Jim DeFede returns to radio on Monday, this time on WFTL, 850AM.

DeFede will be heard from 4 to 7 p.m. from Monday through Friday, the station said in a prepared release.

Prior to WFTL, DeFede hosted a morning show on WINZ, AM940. He was named "Best AM Radio Personality" for 2007 by New Times Broward-Palm Beach.

DeFede was an award-winning writer for the Miami New Times for 11 years, a metro columnist for the Miami Herald for three years and currently writes for Miami Monthly Magazine. He is also a commentator and investigative reporter for CBS4 News in Miami.

"I'm thrilled to be back with my own show and to be working for WFTL," DeFede said in a prepared release on Thursday.

Sgt. Bryan J. Tutten


Hometown: Augustine, Florida, U.S.
Died: December 25, 2007 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Unit: Army, 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.
Incident: Killed by a makeshift bomb near his position during combat operations in Balad.

Meet Barney Frank

Barney Frank And Mark LaFontaine
Join Congressman Barney Frank in supporting Mark LaFontaine's campaign to become the first OPENLY-GAY member of the FLORIDA LEGISLATURE!
US Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, is hosting a special evening for Mark LaFontaine at Lips, the popular drag eatery which has taken New York and San Diego by storm. Join them at the newest Lips location in Oakland Park for an evening of fun, good food, and a great cause.
1421 E Oakland Park Blvd
Oakland Park, FL 33334

Dinner and a Show at the ultimate in drag dinning Sunday January 13th 6:00 PM
VIP Cocktail Reception 6:00 pm, Gourmet Dinner and Show 7:00pm
Tickets: Reception only, 75.00, Gourmet Dinner and Show, only 100.00
The Whole Package: Reception and Dinner show 150.00
For More Info: 954-394-4980
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Rep Bob Allen receives The Golden Duke Award

    Okay, the wait is over.The TPM Media Golden Dukes awards are announced.The Judges pored over each candidate's dossier. And now the winners are ready to be announced. The winner for Best Scandal -- General Interest -- the Dukes' version of Best Picture genuinely surprised me. And one winner and one winner alone was the unanimous choice of all five judges, that was the winner for Outstanding Achievement in Corruption-based Chutzpah.
We are pleased to bring you this year's Golden Duke Awards winners ...