Rasmussen, right wing push poll, has Sen. Bill Nelson Ahead of all opponents

FL-Sen: Rasmussen: Bill Nelson (D-inc): 47 (36), Connie Mack (R): 36 (43); Bill Nelson (D-inc): 44 (41), George LeMieux (R): 30 (38); Bill Nelson (D-inc): 48 (42); Mike McCalister (R): 29 (38)

White House Endorses Safe Schools Bill and Student Non-Discrimination Act

The White House today announced that President Obama is endorsing the Safe SchoolsImprovement Act (SSIA) and Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA), two bills pending in Congress to address bullying and discrimination faced by students across the nation.
obama-bullying.jpgWhite House spokesman Shin Inouye tells Metro Weekly, "The President and his Administration have taken many steps to address the issue of bullying. He is proud to support the Student Non-Discrimination Act, introduced by Senator Franken and Congressman Polis, and the Safe Schools Improvement Act, introduced by Senator Casey and Congresswoman Linda Sanchez.  These bills will help ensure that all students are safe and healthy and can learn in environments free from discrimination, bullying and harassment."
The SSIA would amend the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act to include bullying- and harassment-prevention programs, including ones based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The SNDA, modeled after Title IX, would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal education nondiscrimination law.
[UPDATE @ 6:25P: White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett, in a blog post, noted today's news, writing, "Recently, I watched the movie BULLY with my mom.  We were both deeply moved by the film and the stories it tells of students, families, and communities impacted by bullying."
She went on to note the administration's work to address bullying thus far, then added, "We also hope that Congress will take action to ensure that all students are safe and healthy and can learn in environments free from discrimination, bullying, and harassment by passing the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) and the Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA). These pieces of legislation are critically important to addressing bullying in our schools and safeguarding our most vulnerable students."]
The news comes, Inouye wrote, as "the White House Office of Public Engagement is holding a screening of the documentary Bully at the White House with bullying prevention advocates from a wide range of communities."
More than a year ago, the president held the first White House conference dedicated to discussing bullying prevention and sharing ideas and strategies for combating the problem.
Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network executive director Eliza Byard said in a statement, "Today's announcement is a vital show of support to students everywhere of all identities, backgrounds and beliefs who face bullying and harassment in school," said Byard. "By speaking out on GLSEN's Day of Silence in support of these two critical bills, the President has given greater hope to students who often feel that they have nowhere to turn. It is deeply moving to know that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students who face the multiple threats of harassment, violence and discrimination have the President as an ally in their efforts to win all of the protections that they deserve."
Before today, Inouye and other administration officials had said the administration supported the goals of both of the bills but there was no specific endorsement of either bill. Specifically, Inouye told Metro Weekly in March 2011, "We support the goals of both of these bills. This year, when the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is being considered, we look forward to working with Congress to ensure that all students are safe and healthy and can learn in environments free from discrimination, bullying and harassment."
When the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee considered the Elementaryand Secondary Education Reauthorization Act of 2011, it passed the bill in October 2011 without inclusion of or even a vote on either the SNDA or the SSIA.
The SSIA was reintroduced by Sens. Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) the week of the White House bullying conference in 2011 and currently has 38 co-sponsors. The House version, introduced the next month by Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), currently has 147 co-sponsors. The SNDA, meanwhile, was reintroduced by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) the week of the bullying conference in 2011. The House bill has 157 co-sponsors, and the Senate version has 37 co-sponsors.
Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese said in a statement, "The President's endorsement of the SNDA and SSIA recognizes the importance of providing LGBT students with the same civil rights protections as other students. No student should feel scared when walking into their school and these bills would address the discrimination and bullying that our youth have endured for far too long."
Regarding the SNDA, the American Civil Liberties Union, which has strongly pressed the bill, called the development "key."
"Having the White House stand behind the Student Non-Discrimination Act is key to getting this necessary legislation passed into law," Ian Thompson, ACLU legislative representative, said in a statement. "Our public schools should be a safe harbor for our youth, not a place of exclusion and ridicule. By passing the Student Non-Discrimination Act, Congress can have a profound and very real impact in improving the lives of LGBT students. It’s time to make passage of this bill a priority."
The news comes as the White House has faced blistering criticism -- from LGBT advocates toThe Washington Post editorial board -- for Obama's decision not to pursue an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Today's endorsement also comes one day after The Huffington Post's Amanda Terkel reportedon New Mexico U.S. Senate candidate Heather Wilson's comments criticizing the SNDA.
UPDATE @ 6:10P: Following the publication of this article, additional individuals and groups commented on today's endorsement:
  • Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.): "I'm extremely pleased that President Obama has endorsed my Student Non-Discrimination Act, which will help ensure that LBGT students can attend school free of harassment, discrimination and violence. This endorsement is an enormous step forward for equality, but on a human level it is about the right of any student in America to attend school and learn without the fear of being bullied. I intend to work with President Obama and Senator Franken, who introduced the companion bill, to see that the Student Non-Discrimination Act becomes the law of the land."
  • Mara Keisling, National Center for Transgender Equality executive director: "These two safe schools bills are just tremendously important to trans youth and President Obama's endorsement is another example of his broad commitment to trans people and trans issues. According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, trans and gender nonconforming young people face startling amounts of harassment, assault and sexual violence at school, with more extreme rates of harassment and violence among trans youth of color. Trans kids are hurting and we have a way to stop that. Congress must act quickly to protect our transgender young people."
  • Jeff Krehely, Center for American Progress vice president: "Together, these bills offer a comprehensive approach to ensure that all children—including those who are gay and transgender—in our nation’s public schools have a safe and positive environment in which to learn. President Obama should be commended for his leadership on this issue. We hope that the administration continues raising awareness of this problem and its impact on gay and transgender youth."
  • Rea Carey, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force executive director: "We have a responsibility to ensure all young people are protected from this pervasive bullying, discrimination and abuse. Parents, educators, policymakers — all of us — need to stand against this unacceptable behavior. The president did that today. We urge him to now help get these life-saving bills through Congress."
  • Abbe Land, Trevor Project executive director: "At The Trevor Project, we know that young people who are at risk to harm themselves, including attempting  suicide, are less likely to do so if they know of one resource that they can safely turn to in times of crisis. By endorsing these important pieces of legislation, the Obama Administration is sending a strong message to ensure every school and university has the support and responsibility to be a life-saving, life-affirming resource."
[Photo: President Obama addresses attendees of the White House Bullying Prevention Conference on March 10. (Photo by Ward Morrison.)]


ROCHELLE “SHELLY” SOLOMON will run to be elected District 4 School Board Member!”

I and my company, are longer associated with the Shelly Solomon Campaign- Ron Mills- Foot Print Strategies
update 05/01/2012

Dear family, Merri, Lori and my amazing campaign team..
Please see the following.  This is just the start.  Thank you all for your support.
Dad..you're spirit is in me..I carry on your tradition of giving back from the heart.  That's how we roll.

Articles and pictures for kickoff...

"As a parent and public education advocate, I want to bring my grassroots dedication to a job so important for our children, our schools and our collective futures, "NOW"..
Coral Springs, Florida: Today, Shelly Solomon, a long time advocate and mother of four children in the Broward County public schools, announced her decision to run for District 4 School Board Member. "I have been committed to public education for many years and believe strongly in the grassroots power of parents and local schools in seeking better education in a safe and nurturing environment for our children," said Shelly.
Shelly was born in Washington DC, raised in Broward County and educated in the Broward County public schools. She attended UCLA and played on the first team to win the NCAA National Tennis Title, and was selected as an All American twice. After graduating from UCLA, Shelly became a professional tennis player and in that time was ranked one of the top 60 tennis players in the world. After retiring from professional tennis, she graduated from Nova Law School Magna Cum Laude and became a member of the Florida Bar Association.
Shelly has lived in District 4 for 20 years and currently resides in Coral Springs with her four children who attend Broward County public schools. In addition to raising her four children, Shelly has dedicated her time to serving as a volunteer and activist fighting to make the great schools that encompass District 4 even better. More specifically, Shelly has volunteered on numerous public educations related Boards and Committees at the State and local level. Shelly also was an integral part of Broward's PTA first Midnight Bus Ride to Tallahassee ("Rally to Tally") to advocate for adequate school funding.
Shelly is best known for her involvement in the District's Anti-Bullying effort. She started the grass-roots movement to implement an anti-bullying policy, and through her efforts, brought forth a motion for district wide and School Board approval of creating an anti-bullying policy. She then served as Co-Chair of the District's Anti-Bullying Task Force which authored the Broward County Anti-Bullying Policy, a model for the State. In recognition for her work in this area, Shelly was awarded the North Area Advisory Crystal Apple Award.

While Shelly is proud of the positive changes she has been a part of and seen in the Broward County School System; she believes more can be done. This is why she has decided to run for the Broward County School Board, District 4. Shelly is committed to re-engaging parental involvement and community engagement in the schools that encompass District 4. Shelly is dedicated to creating a partnership with the children, teachers and parents that make up School Board District 4 in order to create an educational experience that will make our great District schools even better.Parent – Community Volunteer – Attorney

Shelly Solomon has been an active community leader in the Broward School District Volunteering her time andlegal expertie to benefit our kids. She was instrumental in the Broward PTA Midnight Bus Ride to Tallahassee to advocate for adequate funding of our schools. Shelly also has worked hard to stop bullying in Broward’s public schools. Her efforts lead to the Anti-Bulling Task Force that spearheaded the adoption of the School District’s Anti-Bullying Policy.

Shelly is the recipient of the Broward Sheriff’s Office Special Recongnition Award for her support and efforts as moderator for the screening of the film “Bullied“. In addition, she was awarded the North Area Advisory Crystal Apple Award.

Shelly Solomon knows that values, such as scholastic excellence, hard work and dedication, are the foundation for every child to succeed in life. Currently, Shelly is raising her four school-aged children who attend Broward public schools with the same core values that became the foundation for her success in life.

At UCLA, Shelly was an All-American tennis player, won the NCAA team champioinship, and turned professional in 1982. As a world ranked tennis professional, she was active as a player representative n the Women’s Tennis Association Board of Directors. She graduated from UCLA Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Political Science and from Nova University Law School Magna Cum Laude.

Shelly was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1992 and became an Assistant State Attorney for Broward County. She then went on to become a Partner and Of Counsel for a Coral Springs law firm and a volunteer for Legal Aid Services.

Shelly Solomon will be a Champion for Our Children on the Broward County School Board!

Video Message From Democratic Leader Pelosi: Harvey Milk Day 2012

Incredible new video and moving official message from Democratic Leader Pelosi in support of Harvey Milk Day Celebrations, the role in history of Harvey Milk and using this day to further the collective work of the LGBT community!

Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 201

Since 1999, average student loan debt has increased by a shameful 511%. In 2010, total outstanding student loan debt exceeded total outstanding credit card debt in America for the first time ever. In 2012, total outstanding student loan debt is expected to exceed $1 trillion.
In response to this crisis, U.S. Representative Hansen Clarke of Michigan has just introduced H.R. 4170, the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012, which would extend a helping hand to those struggling under massive amounts of student loan debt. 
That's why I created a petition to Rep. John Kline, Chairman of the House Education and the Workplace Committee; the United States House of Representatives and Senate; and President Barack Obama on SignOn.org, which says:
Total outstanding student loan debt in America is expected to exceed $1 TRILLION this year. Millions of hardworking, taxpaying, educated Americans are being crushed under the weight of their educational debts, while the economy continues to sputter. Support a REAL economic stimulus and jobs plan. Support the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012 (H.R. 4170).
Will you sign the petition? Click here to add your name, and then pass it along to your friends:
–Robert Applebaum
The text above was written by Robert Applebaum, not by MoveOn staff, and MoveOn is not responsible for the content. This email was sent through MoveOn's secure system, and your information has been kept private.
Want to support our work? MoveOn Civic Action is entirely funded by our 7 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.

Looks Like Exxon Mobil Is Out to Crush Florida's Energy Bill, Corleone-Style

It's like that scene from "The Godfather," when Don Corleone tells the undertaker Bonasera, "Some day, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me."

Read More 

Message From Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz Chair Democratic National Committee

The Republicans' anti-women's health agenda is, according to the head of the GOP, a "fiction."

That's right -- Reince Priebus says it's just a figment of our imagination.

Let me just say these attacks are very real to the millions of women whose access to health care is on the line, thanks to threats to defund Planned Parenthood and the GOP fight to limit access to birth control.

If you're with me on this one, we'll make sure Priebus sees your name on this petition.

We'll collect as many names as we can and deliver them to the RNC headquarters, to give them a strong dose of reality.

It's no coincidence that women are fleeing the Republican Party in droves.

This is the party that supported Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell's ultrasound law, which forces women considering abortions to undergo a medically unnecessary procedure.

For the women opposed to forced ultrasounds, Pennsylvania's Governor Tom Corbett's answer is to just "close your eyes" and deal with it. This is the "conservative leadership" that Mitt Romney praises.

As for Romney, he has promised repeatedly to defund Planned Parenthood, a 95-year-old organization that is many women's only option for health care. And his No. 1 goal if he gets to the White House: repeal Obamacare, which means turning the clock back to when being a woman was considered a pre-existing condition, and charging us up to 50% more than men for the same health care coverage.

This anti-women's health agenda is not a "fiction" -- and, no matter how many times the GOP denies its existence, this issue isn't going away.

Join me today. Add your name alongside mine:




Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Democratic National Committee

Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, accused of Tax Evasion

In a deposition given on Jan. 9 and obtained by The Florida Independent, a former employee of Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, alleges that he reported Buchanan to the U.S. government in 2008 for tax evasion and conspiracy to evade U.S. income tax, and that he has been in contact with federal officials about Buchanan.

Rep. Ted Deutch Town Hall Meeting

Tonight, April 3, 2012 7:30pm
Coconut Creek Community Center  1100 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek, FL    
For Questions Call 954 597-3990
RSVP online at www.Deutch.House.Gov

Congressman Ted Deutch Hosts Town Hall Meeting

(Coconut Creek, FL) Tomorrow evening, Congressman Ted Deutch will welcome constituents of Florida's 19th district to the Coconut Creek Community Center for a town hall meeting. Prior to taking questions from the audience, the Congressman will provide an update on his recent legislative initiatives. Topics will include his efforts to reduce the influence of special interests in Washington, prevent Iran from using oil revenues to fund its nuclear program, and his recent vote against the House Republican Majority's budget.


Town Hall Meeting with U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch
Tuesday, April 3rd at 7:30 pm
Coconut Creek Community Center
1100 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek, FL

Congressman Ted Deutch Newsletter

Dear Friend,                                           
It has only been two years since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, but
the people of South Florida are already benefitting from lower costs and better
coverage. I want to share with you some recent figures released by the
Department of Health and Human Services on the implementation of health care
reform in our community.

Over 4,700 young adults in Florida’s 19th district have already taken
advantage of the ability to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans while
they look for jobs in a challenging economy. The Affordable Care Act has also
banned insurance companies from denying coverage to children with pre-existing
conditions. As a result, over 27,000 children in the communities I represent
have affordable health insurance despite preexisting conditions, from chronic
asthma to congenital heart problems. When reform is fully implemented in 2014,
this important protection will extend to Americans of all ages who suffer from
pre-existing conditions.

Reform is also delivering savings to retirees. For seniors who find themselves with huge prescription drug bills due to the dreaded Medicare “donut hole,” the Affordable Care Act is providing 50 percent discounts on brand-name and generic prescription drugs. Already, over 14,000 seniors in Florida’s 19th district have saved over $9.1 million on their medications, and these savings will only increase until the Medicare “donut hole” is fully closed. Finally, all Medicare beneficiaries are now eligible for free check-ups and vital preventative screenings, like mammograms and colonoscopies.

Finally, the Affordable Care Act is strengthening our economy and helping
small businesses afford health plans. I was pleased to learn that nearly 800
small businesses in Florida’s 19th district have received new tax credits to
help provide coverage to employees. As health care reform is implemented, these tax breaks will only grow more generous. Just as important are the Affordable Care Act’s provisions requiring that at least 80 percent of the insurance premiums you pay actually go to your health care, meaning that the days of health insurance companies charging you more in premiums for less in benefits are over. In Florida’s 19th district alone, this law has prevented costs from going up for 170,000 Floridians, and has barred insurance companies from
establishing lifetime coverage limits for 220,000 others.

These numbers speak for themselves. The reforms implemented over the past two years are helping families and seniors throughout South Florida better afford
health care. As the remainder of the Affordable Care Act is put into effect, I
am confident that our community will continue to benefit from policies that put
the health and well-being of the American people first.

Kind regards,
Congressman Ted Deutch