Groundswell Group Stoked Scandals with Help From GOP Leaders

A secret audio tape of a May 8th meeting of the conservative group “Groundswell” (a total nightmare amalgamation of creatures mostly bearing Southern drawls, birther conspiracy beliefs and a reliable paranoia of being persecuted) shows the group using their collective  power (media, sleeping with SCOTUS, money, evangelical base/money, GOP Congressional  aides) to pressure elected Republicans into making something out of the now debunked Benhazi scandal.
They want a special committee or else.
If they don’t get it, they warned Speaker Boehner (R-OH) and Obama fake scandal manufacturer Darrell Issa (R-CA), the two could face a loss of support and financial backing.

Catherine Engelbrecht "facilitated" the May 8th Groundswell meeting. Engelbrecht is the president and founder of True the Vote, a Texas group dedicated to challenging voting rights among the poor, students, and minorities. In addition to their regular work attacking sections 4 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act via lawsuits, Engelbrecht was the media go-to person for the media on the phony IRS scandal. That story broke on May 9th, after the Benghazi hearings had more or less fizzled out the previous day.
There was wave after wave of headlines about these so-called scandals. Some people wrote about what an awful week the White House had. It wasn't coincidence. It was orchestrated and planned by this group of people, who had the will and the power to secure the participation of people like Darrell Issa, John Boehner and more.
True the Vote led the charge to sue the IRS and serve the highest-profile plaintiff among the "aggrieved" groups. Yet this audio recording shows their president "facilitating" a clearly partisan, right-wing activist group meeting of people who claim to be fighting a "30-front war." No big deal? When is the last time anyone you know could ring up the Speaker of the House and the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee and take a face-to-face meeting in the wee hours of the evening with approval from the wife of a sitting Supreme Court justice?
In the first 20 minutes of the meeting, a lot of ground was covered. The audio of the final hour or so is available, but the quality is not clear enough at this time to publish it. However, they helpfully provided handouts at the meeting relating to their voter suppression efforts discussed later on. Here are some highlights from the audio and then parts that came later.
Benghazi "Scandal"
At 3:45, Jerry Boykin advises the group of the meetings he and Frank Gaffney had with Speaker John Boehner and Rep. Darrell Issa concerning Benghazi on the evening of May 7th about how the Benghazi investigation is progressing. This was the night before the last Congressional Oversight Committee hearing was held on Benghazi, where the so-called whistleblowers were to testify.
In the late-night meeting with Gaffney and Boykin, Boehner advised both that they needed to allow the regular order of committee meetings to play out before he would push for a select committee. Issa told him the same thing. Boykin and Gaffney reported this to the group, along with a promise that there "would be answers." Both reiterated that they and former Rep. Allen West were very concerned about the lack of a military response and assured the group that "what we'll find today is that Hillary Clinton made some egregious decisions and the president was basically absent from his post and did not make the decisions that as the Commander-in-Chief he should have been making...because he was focused on some other things."
They further assured the group that they weren't backing away from their demands, but instead they "kind of have a pledge from...Issa and the Speaker."
Future Debt Ceiling Battles
Just past the Benghazi discussion, the group received a report about upcoming debt ceiling negotiations, where they are advised that a survey has gone out to conservative lawmakers to see "what they're looking for in exchange for their votes raising the debt ceiling."
Of course, you'd never know from the press they get that there was any intention of raising the debt ceiling at all. Now we all can see that they will in fact do it reluctantly, as Shonda Weery reports when she advises that it's "not a vote they'll want to give without getting back something in return." Let the horse-trading begin.
Voting Rights
During the meeting, True the Vote made a presentation (document below) about their plan to attack groups who are actively working to protect voting rights around the country, particularly after the Supreme Court gutted most of the protections. Code-named "Hydra", True the Vote argues that the left is undermining voting rights, and must be stopped, by hook or by crook.
Let's review that timeline.
On May 8, 2013, True the Vote is a facilitator and presenter at a meeting where Ginni Thomas and others are key players. TTV presents their plan to attack "the left" for daring to register voters. They're committed to stopping them from challenging any and all efforts to disenfranchise voters. Or as they describe it, securing the vote. Others might call it democracy corrupted.
On May 9, 2013 the IRS "scandal" breaks after Lois Lerner plants a question in a conference Q&A about IRS "targeting."
On May 21, 2013, True the Vote, represented by ActRight Legal Foundation, sues the IRS for not granting their tax-exempt status and targeting them for their beliefs. ActRight Legal Foundation uses Cleta Mitchell as one of their consulting attorneys. Mitchell is a well-known and very high profile litigator on behalf of conservative causes. There are very few conservative nonprofits that don't have Mitchell's fingerprints all over them.
True the Vote goes all over conservative media with their tale of woe. Their message: The IRS was used as a tool by the liberal president to target conservatives and suppress their free speech rights. Until True the Vote was a victim of the terrible IRS, they were under Congressional investigation for voter suppression, by the way.
In fact, the IRS had ample reason to believe they were a partisan, political group who was not simply acting on behalf of voters everywhere. But that did not stop Engelbrecht from pushing forward with her anti-voter initiatives while simultaneously leading the charge against the IRS.
But wait, there's more. True the Vote wrote a letter in opposition to the nomination of Thomas Perez for Secretary of Labor, complaining that "Mr. Perez, through political appointment and action, has made clear his intent to ignore key functions in federal election law – namely Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA)."
In TTV's document entitled "Hydra with Footnotes", the battle lines are drawn with very partisan rulers. After making their case that the "Organized Left is preparing a massive campaign to promote 'Universal Registration' and threatening to block citizen observers from the polls," TTV vows to target those groups however they can and defeat the terrible lefty Hydra by "attack[ing] the source of its strengths", which they view as the usual right-wing targets: unions, the NAACP, Common Cause, Project Vote, Demos, Center for American Progress, The Nation Foundation, and more.
While this flurry of organizing and activism is happening, TTV is front and center in the press with loud, strident claims that the IRS "targeted" them.
Another active member of Groundswell, J. Christian Adams, contributes content to the True the Vote site on issues such as whether any fix to the Voting Rights Act is possible after it was gutted by the Supreme Court in June. Adams serves as counsel to the Election Law Center, yet another right-wing effort to suppress the vote.
The efforts of this group should not be marginalized, given that what they are saying is repeated in the halls of the House and the Senate on a daily basis. It isn't just right-wing crazy people being crazy. These are activistswith contacts in high places who are using those contacts to strip people of their rights, to invent scandals to undermine the President at every turn, and to marginalize Hillary Clinton if she should choose to run in 2016. Those are just a few of their goals. They have power and they're not afraid to use it.
Group members are the water-carriers and action arm of the billionaires' tea party. Listen to the full 20 minutes of that audio, or read the transcript here to see just how destructive they intend to be.
This is the first of a two-part series. Tomorrow, I'll look more closely at Ginni Thomas' involvement to see whether Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas engaged in unethical conduct or colluded with his wife and her associates.
True The Vote's Hydra document presented at the meeting:

Hydra Plan - Plan to Attack Voting Rights by Karoli
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Wilton Manors Adopts Tax Equity

Michael Emanuel Rajner
By:  Michael Emanuel Rajner  

This past Tuesday, July 23rd, the Wilton Manors City Commission voted 4-1 to establish a tax equity reimbursement program sponsored by Vice Mayor Julie Carson. This program will help close the gap of inequity for the few city employees in a domestic partnership, regardless of their domestic partner's gender.   

Unlike the benefits extended to a legally married couple, the federal government considers the portion of the employer-sponsored benefits extended to an employee's domestic partner as taxable income. Based on a formula that accounts for the pre-tax cost of these health benefits, the city is offering these employees an annual $750 stipend.
In an attempt to thwart this measure, which has been adopted by other Florida cities, Wilton Manors Mayor Gary Resnick complained at the meeting that no city employee had yet requested this benefit. Public comment is not permitted at meetings for regular agenda items, but if it were, my response to Mayor Resnick would have been that this is a chance for the city commission to demonstrate strong leadership on issues of equity and fairness and attract a more competitive workforce to serve its residents.
By:  Michael Emanuel Rajner  Read More at 

Breaking: 7 Dead In Hialeah Apartment Shootout, Including Gunman

A gunman holding hostages inside a South Florida apartment complex killed six people before being shot to death by a SWAT team that stormed the building early Saturday following an hours-long standoff, police said.
Sgt. Eddie Rodriguez told The Associated Press that police got a call around 6:30 p.m. Friday that shots had been fired in a building with dozens of apartments in Hialeah, just a few miles north of Miami.
Rodriguez said that when police arrived, they discovered an active shooter situation: "He's inside the building, moving from floor to floor. Eventually he barricades himself in an apartment."
A crisis team was able to briefly establish communication with the man. Rodriguez said negotiators and a SWAT team tried talking with him from the other side of the door of an apartment unit where he was holding two hostages.
But Rodriguez said the talks eventually "just fell apart." Officers stormed the building, fatally shooting the gunman in an exchange of gunfire.
"They made the decision to go in there and save and rescue the hostages," Rodriguez said. Both hostages survived. Rodriguez said he didn't have any information on how long negotiations lasted.
He said police discovered two people, a male and female, shot to death in the hallway in front of one unit. Three more, a male and two females, were found shot and killed in another apartment on a different floor. Another man who was walking his children into an apartment across the street also was killed. Rodriguez said it wasn't immediately clear whether the gunman took aim at him from an upper-level balcony or if he was hit by a stray bullet.
"From up there, he was able to shoot at people across the street, catching this one man who was just walking into his apartment," Rodriguez said.
In the large Miami suburb of Hialeah, the entrance to the quiet neighborhood lined with apartment buildings remained blocked off early Saturday. Those who lived in the building where the standoff occurred weren't allowed to enter Saturday morning.
Miriam Valdes, 70, said she lives on the fifth floor of the building – one floor above where the shooting began. She said she heard gunfire and later saw smoke entering her apartment.
She described running in fear to the unit across the hall, where she stayed holed up as officers negotiated with the gunman.
From the apartment, Valdes said she could hear about eight officers talking with the gunman.
She said she heard the officers tell him to "let these people out."
"We're going to help you," she said they told him.
She said the gunman first asked for his girlfriend and then his mother but refused to cooperate.
Rodriguez said police were still investigating the motive and identifying the gunman and victims.
"Investigators are talking with families of the victims, neighbors, people that were present when all this began," he said. "That way we can start to piece together this huge puzzle that we're working with."

George Zimmerman's heroic rescue of family may be a fraud

This was a suspicious story from the beginning.
We have seen news reports of protesters doing thousands of dollars of damage to be a fraud. Claims of attacks by protesters over the Zimmerman verdict turned out to be false. Now added to the list of  false news reports appears to be the story of George Zimmerman heroically rescuing a family of four from a burning SUV.    
The initial report was that George Zimmerman was just coincidentally driving by after a car accident occurred, that he leaped out of his vehicle to come to the rescue of the family of four trapped inside as the vehicle caught fire, pulling them to safety. That was followed by the claim that the family he rescued had planned a press event to thank George Zimmerman, but that they canceled due to threats from Trayvon Martin supporters.
It appears they may have canceled any such event because they did not want to be part of the fraud of making Zimmerman out to be a hero, when that story was not precisely true.
What did occur was that an accident occurred where a car slid on it’s side into a median. People at the scene called 911, which went to the Sanford office of the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office. BEFORE responding to the 911 call, News reports that Seminole Sheriff’s Dept. Officer Patrick Rehder, a self-styled friend and supporter of Zimmerman,contacted Zimmerman by cell phone directing him to go to the accident so as to appear to be a hero.      News also provides a social media screen capture of a curious statement about Rehder taking pleasure when “someone gets credit for something they did not do”.
Rehder’s name appears on the accident report.
There were plenty of people driving by who witnessed the accident, and stopped to help the family out of the vehicle, BEFORE Zimmerman showed up, according to the 911 calls, but no ‘thank you’ press conference mentioning anyone else by name specifically was scheduled by the family.
Zimmerman showed up AFTER he was called by a SCSO member according to a report at News,  Zimmerman then got out of his car with a fire extinguisher, and apparently left without doing anything especially heroic.  You can hear the course of events here in the 911 calls; many people who were there as the accident happened stopped to get people out, and the fire and smoke problem from the calls, appeared some time after they were out of the car.  As you can hear from the calls, people were out before there was a smoke or fire problem; Zimmerman did not appear to risk his life to pull anyone out of a burning car, as was claimed. :
THIS new challenge to Zimmerman’s integrity  in addition to the misrepresentation of funds donated when bail was set, as well as the conflicting statements made to police and in court, is why protesters both distrust BOTH George Zimmerman and the local Florida LEOs, and are protesting the validity of the trial verdict.  It is also part of why there is opposition to the SYG laws that make it easier for someone to get away with homicide.

UPDATE 7/26: Explanation of, information: After deep digging & gradual convincing, a family member of Officer Patrick Rehder’s became a source by hoping to extinguish this situation once & for all so that the scrutiny & chaos surrounding the individuals involved would stop. They envisioned having to go into hiding like George Zimmerman if someone did not answer to the conspiracies & skepticism. The family member confirmed in a phone call that they saw a text call log with the name “George” associated with it, time stamped 5:51PM eastern. Family member also confirmed phone records show a series of calls prior to 7/17 between the Officer & the same number labelled “George” in the phone. 
Officer Patrick Rehder wiped out his Facebook & Twitter accounts, first going private with FB until deleting it completely – following the lead of crash mom Dana Gerstle who already deleted her Facebook the day before. However, crash mom’s twitter remains (it has the only online mention that a crash indeed happened). An irrelevant side note is that Patrick Rehder has announced to his closest family & friends that his wife Constance Rehder is pregnant & that they are expecting a second child. It is not a coincidence that the media has stopped their coverage of this staged car accident hero hoax story. The state / Sheriff’s Office set out to calm the unease in the county, & this was a brilliant plan. Wait for the next accident to occur nearby & have George Zimmerman spring into action. It is a PR move. Quite smart & logical actually. So per our source’s hopes & plan, indeed the staged hoax publication quieted this story as the majority has written this incident off as a staged hoax now. After the victims of the crash cancelled their press conference in the wake of our staged hoax being published, the media completely backed off too. Is the media really known to do that? No, but when you sensationalize a story about how Zimmerman was a hero in saving a family from a car on fire & now it’s become a staged hoax, you put your tail between your legs & go home. That’s what the media has done. We will continue digging for the origination of this orchestration, but as of now there is nothing new to report. We can say with absolute certainty that our source is valid & showed us an image they took of the officer’s phone log via Skype. The chat was not being recorded. We thought it was just a follow up interview from our previous phone call that revealed the initial link between Officer & Zimmerman.
There is a reason why there has been no objection from Officer Patrick Rehder, the Sheriff’s Office, or any party involved as to the facts that have been uncovered regarding the staged hoax of George Zimmerman being tipped off. Because no one is objecting, the media has nothing new to report & like the overdramatic “saving” aspect that they sensationalized to start this – now they feel stupid about this staged hoax. It’s all quiet on the western front. We are glad to have played our role in stripping George Zimmerman from salvaging even a shred of humanity to his name – he is a sex offender, a bully, & a killer.

Join OFA Broward Issues Organizing Training Camp Next Weekend


Join Us in Preparing for the August Congressional Recess

We want to own the conversation in Broward on climate change, gun violence prevention and immigration reform during the five weeks that our Members of Congress are home in Broward, but it will require your help and support.

Come to Camp OFA Broward

Camp OFA Broward is designed to teach volunteers more about the issues on which Organizing for Action is working, and it will give participants the training needed to take action in our community. By participating in Camp OFA Broward, you'll learn community organizing skills and strategies, get information about the legislative landscape on the issues with which we're working and be ready to take the next-step action to push forward the policies that the American people voted for in 2012.  

Camp will be in session on Saturday, July 27th from 9 am to 4 pm at the Holiday Inn Express Plantation, 1701 N University Dr, Plantation (between Broward and Sunrise Blvds).

The training is free and space is limited so we ask that you RSVP now and stay for the duration of the class.    Boxed lunches will be available for purchase.


Organizing for Action South Broward Changes Name

You may have noticed that our organization's name on Facebook changed recently.  We have re-named our movement from OFA South Broward to OFA Broward in an effort to be more inclusive.  The Neighborhood Team structure will remain, however, we have begun the process of reaching out to other areas across Broward to build a countywide chapter.  The larger structure will enable us to produce larger initiatives and media events as needed.

It's been a busy summer here in Broward.  

OFA South Broward Neighborhood Team Leaders traveled to Tampa for a weekend of skills and issues training in early June.  We launched an awesome group of summer organizing fellows who have busy with parts of the county not touched since the election.  They have holding countless recruiting sessions throughout Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Lauderhill and Lauderdale Lakes.  We're looking forward to seeing these new volunteers at Camp OFA Broward.

Soon we will be recruiting for our August organizing events and our fall fellow program.  Watch for details on

Check out and support us by "liking" our Facebook page BY CLICKING HERE

White racists in Wichita attempt to incite a riot at a peaceful protest

After a Florida jury found George sermon not guilty in the murder of a young Trayvon Martin, a group of about 20 children between the ages of two and 12 and about 20 more young adults decided to peacefully protest racial profiling and an unjust criminal justice system in Wichita, Kansas.
Of course, rather than support their peaceful protest, two white males decided to attempt to stoke racial unrest and start a riot by provoking them with racism.
One of them wore a black shirt that read, “This shirt can say NIGG*R because it is black.” (Of course, the racist shirt did not have an asterisk, and made the point to capitalize the deeply offensive word)
Thankfully, Trayvon’s supporters kept their cool and showed these two bigots how adults handle things, peacefully questioning them about their intentions and shaming them for their racism.
Why in the world with these two men feel compelled to throw salt on the fresh wounds of Trayvon Martin’s supporters?
Only they know, but it is safe to assume that this episode is anecdotal of the perceived “reverse racism” that many whites feel that they themselves fall victim to on a daily basis.
Do you believe that they have an unnecessary and unearned persecution complex?
Please watch the video (BELOW), share this article so that these two bigots go viral, and let us know what you think in the comments section.



Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith on Saturday decried the “not guilty” verdict in the murder trial of George Zimmerman, and renewed his call for a critical examination of Florida’s self defense laws.
“I am deeply disappointed in the jury’s inability to hold this man accountable for the shooting death of an unarmed teenager,” said Sen. Smith. “The fact that a child is dead and an armed man can now walk free without so much as a backward glance sends the wrong message to Florida and its citizens.”
Senator Smith added that the verdict underscored the growing need for a critical review of Florida’s self  defense laws.
 “The self defense claims invoked by George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin once again highlighted the glaring shortcomings in our self defense laws,” said Senator Smith. “While “Stand Your Ground” was originally claimed by Zimmerman, his attorneys ultimately opted to defend their client under Florida’s self defense statutes. And those statutes, whether they involve the meaning of certain terms, or the basics of provocation, remain fuzzily defined and broadly drawn, mirroring in many ways the same egregious loopholes found in “Stand Your Ground.”  And, as the Zimmerman trial unfortunately underscored, open to creative interpretation.”
Senator Smith – who last year convened his own task force of attorneys and other experts in the self defense statutes to impartially examine the use and abuse of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law – added that the basic procedures used by someone in a self defense claim needed to be on the table as well.
“The legislature has a duty to stem this culture of violence. If someone makes the claim of self defense and the only other witness to the confrontation is dead, there needs to be a higher standard for proving that the use of deadly force was justified,” said Smith.
The “Stand Your Ground” task force assembled by the Ft. Lauderdale Democrat submitted a number of recommendations for revision to Florida’s self defense laws to Governor Rick Scott, the majority of which were promptly rejected. The governor’s own task force – the members of which included authors of the controversial “Stand Your Ground” and other contentious gun laws – recommended no significant changes to the current self defense statutes.

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The immigration debate is now squarely in the House of Representatives

  • The immigration debate is now squarely in the House of Representatives, with the Senate overwhelmingly passing its version of a comprehensive bill before the congressional break. ABC's RICK KLEIN notes that House leaders will begin to chart their next steps this week with a special meeting of House Republicans on Wednesday. Speaker John Boehner will ultimately face the big choice: Whether to  upport a path to citizenship or not, but until then there are plenty of little questions. Will the bipartisan "gang" in the House break through with something like a similar group did in the Senate? Will there be a Marco Rubio figure who brings conservatives along? One indication of the lack of House urgency, out of a relatively quiet break week of town-hall meetings, came from House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., who said: "Getting it right is more important than passing a bill."
  • CONSERVATIVE GROUP'S AD LOOKS TO SWAY GOP ON IMMIGRATION: Republican supporters of immigration reform are beginning to put their money where their mouth is by launching a television ad campaign designed to convince conservatives to get behind the Senate's immigration overhaul, FUSION's JORDAN FABIAN reports. The center-right super PAC American Action Network will run an ad this week on Fox News that calls on the House of Representatives to back the so-called "border surge" contained in the Senate bill. The plan would dramatically increase resources devoted to securing the southern border. The group said in a statement it is spending "$100,000 plus" to air the ad. The 30-second spot stresses the provisions of the "surge," calling it "the toughest border security plan ever passed by Congress." "Seven hundred miles of new fencing. Twenty thousand new border patrol agents. Radar. Night vision. Even drones," the narrator says during the ad. "And supported by conservative leaders like Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan."

Sen. Bill Nelson: A stake in the heart of a law that guaranteed fair elections

The U.S. Supreme Court, in striking down a central provision of the Voting Rights Act, hammered a stake into the heart of a law that’s been used to guarantee fair elections in this country since 1965.

Now, it’s unfortunately left up to a dysfunctional and highly partisan Congress to fix the law. And if I had my way, we’d already be working on it.
Congress passed the Voting Rights Act to protect everybody’s right to vote.
In a nutshell, it required states with a history of voter suppression to get approval from the federal government before making changes to their voting laws. For nearly five decades, these states had to show why a change in their voting laws or practices was necessary and demonstrate how that change wouldn’t harm voters.
But the Supreme Court ­— by a 5-4 vote — gutted that law, saying a part of it was outdated. In so doing, the highest court in our land rendered the law void until Congress comes up with new criteria to be used in determining which states and localities have to get federal approval in advance of voting changes.
Specifically, the court’s majority said our country has changed since the 1960s, when the Voting Rights Act was first passed, and that we no longer have blatant voter suppression tactics, like, poll taxes and literacy tests — which were once used to disenfranchise untold numbers of voters all across the country.
Unfortunately, voter suppression is alive and well in this country. It may not be as blatant.But it happens and, in my view, is more stealthy, sophisticated and just as pernicious as ever.

    Leading up to the most recent elections in 2012, 15 states passed restrictive voting laws and executive actions, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. And, as the center noted, these states accounted for 203 electoral votes, or 75 percent of the total needed to win the presidency.
    One of those states was my home state of Florida, where the Legislature passed and the governor signed a voter suppression law that caused the League of Women Voters, after 73 years, to decide it would no longer conduct voter registration drives throughout the state. The new law also cut Florida’s early voting days from 14 to eight.
    It was the Voting Rights Act that allowed the federal government to step in and win a case before a panel of Washington, D.C., judges who found that Florida’s reduction of early voting days “would make it materially more difficult for some minority voters to cast a ballot.”
    So, Florida had to restore 96 hours of early voting, or the equivalent of four days.
    Still, the new election law lead to an embarrassing fiasco on Election Day. Lines were long and people waited for hours to cast their vote. Faced with calls for extending poll hours, Republican Gov. Rick Scott chose to ignore the people and, in so doing, failed to do what his two Republican predecessors had done: extend voting hours in some of the most swamped polling places to give the folks there a little more time to cast their ballot.
    The Supreme Court’s decision not only removes much needed voter protections, it prevents the federal government from trying to block discriminatory state laws before they go into effect. States and local jurisdictions, including even those with a history of voter suppression, are now free to do as they please.
    In fact, it was only moments after the justices invalidated part of the Voting Rights Act that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said his state will begin “immediately” honoring local legislation that a federal court has said imposes “strict, unforgiving burdens” on many Texas residents wanting to cast ballots.
    The right to vote has not always been given to all Americans. Black men didn’t have the right to vote until after the Civil War. Then women won their right to cast a ballot in 1920. And minorities such as Latinos didn’t get voter protections until the mid 1970s.
    In rejecting the Voting Rights Act, the Supreme Court ignored our country’s history of expanding fundamental rights — not making it more difficult for citizens to obtain them.
    I am deeply disappointed by the court’s decision. But I remain committed now more than ever to working with a deeply divided Senate to move toward a common vision — protecting and preserving the democratic ideal of one person, one vote.
    Bill Nelson is Florida’s senior U.S. senator.


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    July 4th in Broward County

    JULY 4
    Patriot 5k Run/Walk
    Hampton Pines Park
    7800 Hampton Blvd., North Lauderdale.
    Info: Mike Sargis at 954-724-7061. Free.

    9:30AM – 4:30PM
    Flamingo Gardens Old Fashioned Fourth  
    3750 S Flamingo Road, Davie
    Info: 954.473.2955

    10:00AM – 1:00PM
    Let Freedom Ring Parade & Family Fun Day
    City Park, 6700 Sunset Strip, Sunrise
    Info: 954-747-4600 or Free.

    Weston July Fourth Hometown Parade and Celebration
    Hometown parade will feature local businesses, civic groups, schools, bands, organizations and residents. Be sure to wear your patriotic colors. The parade will start at the corner of Town Center Blvd. and Three Village Road. It will run south to Bell Tower Lane and wind through Town Center to the heart of Main St.
    Info: 954-389-4321 or Free.

    54th Annual Key Biscayne Fourth of July Parade
    Crandon Boulevard from Harbor Drive to West Enid
    Info: Michael Rice at 305-593-2222 ext. 805

    11:00AM – 4:00PM
    Old-Fashioned July 4th Picnic
    The Barnacle Historic State Park
    3485 Main Highway, Coconut Grove
    Traditional board games, crafts, a scavenger hunt, and more. Learn to make and fly your own kite. Pack your own picnic lunch or purchase hot dogs, burgers and other treats from The Barnacle Society. Entry is $5 for adults, $3 for kids ages 6 to 12, and free for kids under six. The event features performer, J.D. Danner. A New York girl with Southern roots, Danner has received awards from Fort Hood Army Base, Forgotten Soldiers Outreach and the Disabled American Veterans for her music in support of our troops. No alcohol, please.
    Contact: (305) 442-6866

    12:00PM – 10:00PM
    Pompano Beach Beach Bash and Fireworks
    This all day event will feature a watermelon eating contest, relay races, arts and crafts projects, airbrush and glitter tattoos, bounce houses, food and live entertainment. Featured bands scheduled to perform are 4th Dimension, Slip & the SpinOuts, Rodeo Clowns and Sekond Nature. Don’t miss “What’s the Deal?” game show scheduled to begin after the concerts. Food trucks will also be on site. Don’t forget to bring blankets and lawn chairs. Personal fireworks, glass containers, alcohol and pets are not permitted.
    Pompano Beach Fishing Pier to the Great Lawn
    North Pompano Beach Blvd.
    Info: 954-786-4111 or Free.

    1:00PM – 9:30PM
    City of Ft. Lauderdale Fourth of July Celebration
    Las Olas Blvd. and AIA on the Beach
    1:00PM – 4:40PM DJ, Games, Contests
    4:00PM – 9:00PM Live Music and Entertainment
    9:00PM Fireworks
    Info: (954) 828-5363 or

    Town of Davie
    Independence Day Fireworks and Family Fun Day
    Pine Island Park
    3801 S. Pine Island Road, Davie. 
    Free family activities including bounce houses, rides, a climbing wall, arts and crafts, youth entertainment, swimming and games around the park all day along with Food Trucks with a variety of food available for sale.  The evening will be capped off with a fantastic patriotic fireworks show at 9:00p.m. 

    Town of Surfside Fourth of July Celebration
    Live Music, Swim Races, Arts & Crafts, Games
    Surfside Community Center
    9301 Collins Avenue, Surfside
    Pool open from 9:00am – 8:00pm
    Fireworks beachside at 9:00pm
    Surfside Residents must show Surfside ID or Picture ID with current Address
    Guest policy will be adhered to for all non-residents. All guests must be accompanied by Surfside Resident.
    Maximum of 5 guests per household.
    Info: (305) 866-3635

    City Of Pompano Beach 4th Of July Concert
    W/ the 4th Dimension
    Pompano Beach Pier
    222 N. Pompano Beach Boulevard, Pompano Beach

    America's Birthday Bash
    Bayfront Park, Downtown Miami
    301 N. Biscayne Blvd., Miami
    Free Kids' Zone: 3:00pm-7:00pm
    Fireworks: 9:00pm

    4th of July Fireworks!
    Biltmore Hotel
    1221 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables
    BBQ, Beer, a live performance by the Greater Miami Symphonic Band, and, of course, a fireworks show! VIP Tickets and Tables available for purchase. Golf course grounds open to the public at 5pm and the fireworks will start at 9pm.

    Coral Springs Fourth of July at Mullins Park
    Enjoy good, refreshments and activities before the grand finale. Be sure to arrive at 6, when festivities begin. The fireworks display will begin promptly a 9. Mullins Park
    10000 Ben Geiger Drive, Coral Springs.
    Info: 954-345-2200 or
    $3 parking fee to park at the Coral Springs Gymnasium, Mullins Park and the Center for the Arts.

    6:00PM – 10:00PM
    City of Homestead Annual 4th of July Celebration
    Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead
    Family entertainment, live music, children’s rides, food and drinks, games and a major Independence Day fireworks display. Admission to the “Race to the Fourth” is FREE, with the display and vendor area located outside of the grandstands.

    6:00PM – 10:00PM
    City of Hialeah Fourth of July Celebration
    Milander Park
    4800 Palm Avenue, Hialeah

    City of Doral Independence Day Celebration
    J.C. Bermudez Park
    3000 NW 87th Ave, Doral

    7:00PM – 9:00PM
    Pembroke Pines Independence Day Celebration
    Rides, music, arts and crafts, a food truck roundup and a special fireworks display. Personal fireworks, coolers and pets are not permitted.
    Pines Recreation Center
    7400 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines
    Info: 954-435-6525 or Free.

    City of Miami Beach Fire on the Fourth Celebration
    Lummus Park
    Ocean Drive and 8th Street, South Beach
    Live Concert by Nicole Henry at 7:00PM
    Fireworks at 9:00PM

    7:00PM – 9:00PM
    Miramar Fourth of July
    Miramar Regional Park
    16801 Miramar Parkway, Miramar
    Info: 954-602-3319

    City of North Miami Fourth of July
    Florida International University Kovens Center
    3000 NE 151 Street, North Miami
    Info 305-895-9840

    Fireworks Viewing at 9:00pm
    Enjoy a grand fireworks spectacle from the highest manmade elevation in Broward County. Guests may get to see displays from Davie, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Sunrise, and possibly Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood Bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the food Guests can also bring refreshments but hard liquor and glass containers are not permitted Fireworks are also not allowed. The park 


    Ted Deutch
    Dear Friend,

    July 4th is about more than barbecues and fireworks. It's also about reflecting on our nation's founding. In that spirit of reflection, I want to invite you to join me this Thursday morning for a community reading of the Declaration of Independence, a document that truly embodies our shared values of equality, liberty, and justice for all.

    The reading will take place this Thursday, July 4th, at 9:30 am outside the South County Civic Center, 
    at 16700 Jog Road in Delray Beach, Florida.  Feel free to invite your friends and family on Facebook by clicking on the flyer below. Patriotic refreshments will be served!  RSVP by email here. 
    Hope to see you Thursday! - Congressman Ted Deutch