Broward County Democratic Unity Rally

  By Carol Porter

A strong message of unity was on display at the Democratic Unity Rally on August 28 at the Urban League of Broward County. Democrats united behind gubernatorial candidate and former governor Charlie Crist after the primary on August 26. In attendance at the rally were Crist and his primary opponent, former Senator Nan Rich; Attorney General Candidate George Sheldon and his primary opponent Perry Thurston; Senator Maria Sachs, Palm Beach Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo, Broward Democratic Party Chair Mitch Ceasar, Florida Democratic  Party Chair Allison Tant Richard, Rep. Gwyndolen Clarke-Reed, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Senator Chris Smith, Broward County Commissioner Marty Kiar and many others, and all with the same message, that current Governor Rick Scott should not be granted a second term. The room was packed with about 100 to 150 supporters.
Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant
Mayor Joe Varsallone & Ron Mills

Senator Chris Smith
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Gov. Charlie Crist
Annette Taddeo

At Koch Retreat, Top GOP Senate Candidates Credited Koch Network For Their Rise

Three top Republican Senate candidates heaped praise on the political network built by the conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch during a secretive conference held by the brothers this past summer, according to audio of the event.
Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst and Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton directly credited donors present at the June 16 retreat in Dana Point, California, for propelling them forward. Colorado Rep. Cory Gardner told attendees that his race would likely be decided by the presence of "third party" money -- an obvious pitch for generosity from the well-heeled crowd.
The presence of Gardner and Cotton was previously reported by The Nation magazine, though it is unclear if Cotton ever confirmed his appearance. Ernst's attendance had not previously been reported.
For all three, the association with the Koch brothers' network is likely to provide kindling for their opponents, who have already argued that the Republicans are steered by deep-pocketed conservatives.
My Advice to all my clients, youtube is always on! Always!

Rally for The People’s Team 4:00 PM, Thursday, August 28

Join a unity rally celebrating “The People’s Team" on Thursday, August 28th. Governor Charlie Crist, Senator Nan Rich, Representative Perry Thurston, George Sheldon, and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz will rally Florida Democrats and stand together to take on Rick Scott and Pam Bondi this November.  

We all know that fighting Rick Scott’s $100 million dollar onslaught won’t be easy, so it’s more important than ever that Florida Democrats stand united to bring change to Tallahassee and move our state forward. 

Rally for The People’s Team 
4:00 PM, Thursday, August 28
Urban League of Broward County
560 NW 27th Ave., Ft Lauderdale 33311

Please RSVP to Mayra Macias at if you plan on attending.

It's Election Day! In Florida You Must Vote!

TODAY is Primary Election Day! Let YOUR voice be heard!

Polls open at 7am close at 7pm 
Sample Ballot                 Precinct Finder

f you have requested a vote by mail ballot for the upcoming primary, and still have not received it please call the Broward Supervisor of Elections today to make sure it is being sent to you:     954 357 7055 

Voting by mail: Absentee ballots are due back at the county Elections Office by 7 p.m. Tuesday. Postmarks don't count. Besides mailing ballots back, Palm Beach County voters can drop them off at the main Elections Office west of West Palm Beach until 7 p.m. on Election Day or until 5 p.m. at a branch office in Delray Beach, Belle Glade or Palm Beach Gardens. Broward voters can return them to the elections offices in Fort Lauderdale or Lauderhill until 7 p.m. on Election Day.places at any of the times indicated:  Please remember to bring a photo ID

White House will honor "Champions of Change

On Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 1:00 PM ET, the White House will honor "Champions of Change," veterans and their families who are doing extraordinary work across the country as leaders in entrepreneurship.  The Champions have distinguished themselves by continuing to serve our country through their successful small businesses and non-profits that create jobs, spur economic growth, and help their communities.

The Champions include veterans who have started a for-profit or non-profit business, veteran spouses who have started their own business, and individuals that support veteran entrepreneurs by providing them with skills, capital, and other necessary resources. This event will showcase these inspirational leaders and highlight the importance of their work.  The program will feature remarks by Dr. Jill Biden and will also feature Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary, and Robert Herjavec, from ABC’s Emmy Award-winning TV show Shark Tank.

The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.  The event will be live streamed on the White House website  To learn more about the White House Champions of Change program,

Adrianna Domingos-Lupher, Tampa, FL
Adrianna Domingos-Lupher is the CEO of MSB New Media, a digital media marketing and publishing firm that houses the Military Spouse Blogger Network™. Adrianna has played a significant role in launching ground-breaking programs for military spouses that include the Military Spouse CEO Experience and Homefront Rising. Adrianna is a passionate advocate for military spouse employment, entrepreneurship, and political engagement.

Dr. Stephanie Parson, Windermere, FL
Dr. Stephanie Parson is the CEO and Founder of Crowned Grace International, a global management consulting firm.  Crowned Grace International works with companies around the world to identify, develop and implement the winning strategies required to produce business results. Dr. Parson served as a decorated officer in the United States Air Force prior to entering the corporate sector.

Good News Bad News For Gov, Tick Scott

 A new survey from Republican pollster Cherry Communications, taken on behalf of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, finds GOP Gov. Rick Scott leading Democrat Charlie Crist 41-35, with Libertarian Adrian Wyllie taking four percent. That might sound bad for Crist, but it's actually disappointing for Scott, who had a 41-38 lead in June. Yes, Crist's dropped a few points, but Scott hasn't seen his numbers improve despite a massive advertising campaign, so releasing these numbers is a bit of a bonehead move by the Florida Chamber, which has endorsed Scott.

‎Not My Boss' Business Press Conference with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman

Recently the Supreme Court handed down the decision that a woman’s boss could decide if you can have access to birth control coverage. We at Planned Parenthood believe that a woman should have the right to make her own medical decisions in consultation with her doctor, not her boss.

In response, members of congress have introduced HR 5051, “The Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act of 2014” otherwise known as the “Not My Boss’ Business” Act. Please #JoinTheDissent and become part of our rally to support this new bill.

Wednesday August 20th at 
Out front of Hobby Lobby in Davie, 1901 S University Dr, Davie, FL 33324

We will have guest speakers and Selfie Station where we will have plenty of signs to take selfies with!

RSVP to or 786-594-4741

Turnout Light on Broward's first day of early voting


Avoiding the "Trashy Four" When Packing School Lunches

PHOTO: Some simple changes in packing a school lunch can prevent tons of trash from ending up in Tennessee landfills. Photo credit:
PHOTO: Some simple changes in packing a school lunch can prevent tons of trash from ending up in Tennessee landfills. Photo credit:

Students across the state returning to school this week, forming friendships and making the team, but also generating a massive amount of trash. Over the next school year it's estimated the average student lunch will generate more than 60 pounds of garbage, 

Proper planning, according to Holsapple, can help greatly reduce waste.

"We urge parents and kids to especially avoid having lunch with the ’trashy four’ and that includes packing lunches with paper, plastic, Styrofoam and foil,".

Alternatives include using a lunch box with reusable food-and-drink containers or cutting down on the trash by going "old school" and using actual silverware or cloth napkins.

"Paper napkins and paper towels are not recyclable," said Holsapple. "We would urge people to use a cloth napkin. It can be washed and reused and kids will think it's kind of fun to have a lunch that's a little different than their friends. It might start a new trend."

Holsapple says each year, more than 34-million tons of paper towels and napkins wind up in landfills and enough Styrofoam cups and containers are thrown away to circle the earth more - 


New School Year Brings Some Changes For South Florida Students

Broward County, students should anticipate a quite a few changes.
Some students, who use the bus, may notice a more quiet ride to school as the district will introduce 98 brand new propane-fueled buses.

The fleet of propane buses for the school district, which has over 260,000 students, is the largest such purchase in the nation’s history, according to the district Propane buses aren’t the only thing new.
Another addition for the 2014-2014 school year is that debate will now be offered in every high school and all middle schools .
Middle school athletics are back with the addition of of volleyball and flag football .
Scholastic chess is being added to second and third grade classes.
High school students will be able to take advanced computer science classes.
The district is also adding ‘three’ K-8 schools. That means some students will no longer attend a middle school but stay in their elementary school grades six through eight.
Superintendent Robert Runcie tells CBS 4 that he expects more schools to go toward the K-8 model in the coming years although some middle schools will remain.
The biggest change however is the end of the controversial FCAT testing system.
Beginning in the Spring of 2015 students will begin a new state devised testing system to prove they are making the grade.
“The FCAT was about facts. The new world is can you apply what you’ve learned to solve real world problems,” explains Runcie.
The Superintendent who is now making three full years with the District (his contract was extended to 2019) says one of his top priorities is to get the $800 million dollar bond issue passed in November that will be used to renovate older schools in disrepair and build real classrooms to replace portables in the overcrowded newer schools.
“We’re going to have a great school year. I welcome back all students, teachers, and support staff,” said Runcie.
Runcie plans to visit a half dozen schools on Monday and then hold a news conference Monday afternoon to give an overview of how the first day went.

Representative Perry Thurston, demanded that Rick Scott quit his pandering and push for Medicaid Expansion

 Photos  By Carol Porter
Representative Perry Thurston, Corey Shearer, President of the Broward County Democratic Black Caucus of Florida  joined local health care advocates in demanding that Rick Scott quit his pandering and actually push for Medicaid expansion.

Last Friday, Scott said in an interview that he “would not stand in the way” of accepting federal funds to expand the program. However, two days later during the special legislative session, Scott had the opportunity to push its passage and failed, yet again, to do so.

A new study released by the Urban Institute this month shows that Scott's inaction has cost Floridians over $66 billion dollars in federal funding and an additional $22 billion for Florida hospitals. That’s almost $90 billion that could have benefited the state of Florida.

The financial cost pales in comparison, however, to the thousands of Floridians who are literally dying because they do not the have health insurance coverage that they would have otherwise been eligible for under Medicaid Expansion.  

Thurston says the governor needs to accept the federal funds offered under Obamacare to insure millions of Floridians.
"The Governor would prefer us to ignore his hypocrisy and his inaction on health care. But we have a moral responsibility to remind him that helping his constituents is his job," said Corey Shearer, President of the Broward County Democratic Black Caucus. "If he’s not up for it, then maybe someone else is."

Rep. Perry Thurston & Cory Shearer

2014 Fort Lauderdale Civic Association Candidates Night

  By Carol Porter

Voters in the condominiums and homes located in Broward County got to know their candidates for Circuit & County Court Judges on Wednesday, August 6, at the 2014 Civic Association Candidates Night. The event was sponsored by representatives of Flagler Village Civic Association, Lake Ridge Civic Association, Middle River Terrace Neighborhood Association, Poinsettia Heights Civic Association, Progresso Village Civic Association, South Middle River Civic Association and Victoria Park Civic Association. The event was held at ArtServe, located at 1350 E. Sunrise Blvd., in Ft. Lauderdale.

George Castrataro

Russell Thompson & Michael Albetta

Judge Ellen Feld

Stacy Schulman

 Judge Lynn Rosenthal

UPDATE: Special legislative session kicks off in Tallahassee

UPDATE: Florida legislative committees on Friday approved a proposal to make slight changes to seven congressional districts to comply with a court order.
Panels in both the House and Senate passed the new map altering the districts, which stretch from central to northeast Florida. A final vote in the full House and Senate on the new map is expected early next week.
Leon County Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis ruled last month the original maps passed by legislators in 2012 was intended to benefit Republicans, in violation of a constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2010.
The ruling specified that Congressional Districts 5 and 10 were invalid. Republican legislative leaders defended their new maps as the best way to comply with the court order without disturbing other districts throughout the state while obeying the federal Voting Rights Act's prohibition against undercutting minority districts.
But the League of Women Voters, which brought the lawsuit, contends that small changes to the map are not enough. The group takes particular issue with District 5, currently held by U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville — a skinny district running from Jacksonville to Orlando that was designed to produce a majority African-American district. The league prefers a district that runs west from Jacksonville to the heart of the Panhandle.

UPDATE: Florida legislators are going to vote on a proposal to tweak and alter seven of the state's 27 congressional districts.
The Florida Legislature is holding a special session to draw up a new map in order to comply with a judge's ruling.
House and Senate committees are scheduled to vote Friday on a new map that would make changes to a handful of districts located in north and central Florida.
Republicans who control the Florida Legislature kicked off a special session Thursday by proposing to tweak seven of the state’s 27 congressional districts in order to comply with a judge’s ruling.
The session is scheduled to last up to nine days, but legislative leaders are moving ahead quickly with a new map that would make changes to a handful of districts located in north and central Florida.
The session is being sparked by a judge’s July ruling that found two districts were drawn illegally to benefit Republicans. Circuit Judge Terry Lewis last week gave legislators until Aug. 15 to draw up a new map.
House Speaker Will Weatherford insisted that the new maps would be free from the partisan influence that Lewis ruled had rendered the previous map adopted in 2012 unconstitutional. The Wesley Chapel Republican said the new proposal was being drawn in consultation between legislative employees and attorneys to address Lewis’ ruling.
“They are working on a map that is legal in nature, that is completely apolitical and is focused on addressing the concerns of the court,” said Weatherford.
But the new map was also drawn up largely behind closed doors. The two Republicans in charge of the redistricting committee met for hours a day earlier to fine-tune the map before releasing it publicly.
Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton and the main senator working on redistricting, maintained that the meeting was legal and ethical under legislative rules.
The proposal released Thursday includes changes to the two districts flagged by Lewis as invalid: The sprawling district that stretches from Jacksonville to Orlando and is held by U.S. Rep. Corinne Brown and the central Florida district represented by U.S. Rep. Dan Webster.
Brown’s district would no longer include the city of Sanford in central Florida but her district would include more of Putnam County in north Florida. Webster would lose part of Orange County, while the district of U.S. Rep. John Mica’s district would also change.
The coalition of groups that sued the Legislature had proposed shifting Brown’s district to north Florida, saying the current district that reaches down into central Florida should be “abandoned.” The groups in their lawsuit contended Republicans packed Brown’s district with Democrats in order to make it easier for Republicans in adjoining districts.
“Slight alterations will not correct the constitutional defects Judge Lewis identified,” the groups wrote in a letter to Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz.
But George Meros, an attorney representing the House, questioned the validity of that proposal. Meros said that such a configuration could result in Brown losing her seat to a white candidate.
“There is no question that it makes it less likely for an African American candidate to win in an east-west configuration,” Meros said. The federal Voting Rights Act bars states from diluting the voting strength of minorities.
Voters in 2010 passed the “Fair Districts” amendment that says legislators cannot draw up districts to favor incumbents or a political party. A coalition of groups, including the League of Women Voters, contended that the Republican consultants used a “shadow” process to draw districts that benefited Republicans.
Lewis agreed there was enough evidence to show that consultants helped make a “mockery” of the process and ruled that two districts were invalid.
It’s not clear when the new maps would be implemented. Lewis has left open the possibility of ordering a special election later this year, but legislative leaders have vowed to challenge it. Source:

Judge Lewis called-out the Florida Legislature for creating unconstitutional congressional maps. I voted against these maps a few years ago. I am not happy returning to Tallahassee tomorrow to begin drawing honest maps. Fair maps that should have been drawn the first time. Fair maps that were promised at the time, yet failed to materialize due to politics as usual. Please pay attention to this "Special Session"
Thanks to the League of Women Voters for protecting Democrats, Republicans and all 3rd party folks who deserve honest representation in Washington.
Oh, I have no doubt Florida senate and house maps - drawn by the same people - are also unconstitutional. Fool me once....just once. Course, I wasn't fooled the first time.- Incoming Florida House Minority Leader Mark Pafford 

Florida lawmakers on Thursday began a special session to redraw congressional districts.
The unusual session stems from a ruling last month by Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis that a congressional map approved in 2012 violated requirements of the state Constitution.
The House and Senate met briefly Thursday and were later expected to hold a joint committee meeting to hear presentations from attorneys and to take public input.
House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, said a revised map would be released Thursday and that members could propose amendments Friday during a committee meeting.
The full House and Senate are scheduled to meet Monday.

A circuit court judge ruled that the Florida legislature's redrawn congressional districts were illegal, violating a state law preventing certain types of gerrymandering. A look at maps from before and after the redraw pretty clearly show what the Legislature hoped to accomplish.
In a scathing opinion, Leon County Circuit Judge Terry P. Lewis ruled in Tallahassee that the Legislature's Republican political consultants had "made a mockery" of the redistricting process, tainting it with "partisan intent."
Before the 2010 Census, Florida had 25 congressional districts. After, that number jumped to 27, thanks to an increase in the state's population. When state lawmakers set out define how those districts would be outlined, they relied on the advice of operatives from the Republican party, who provided input with the apparent goal of maximizing the party's advantage in the House. In 2008, 11 of the 25 districts were held by Democrats. In 2012, 10 of the 27 were.
Comparing Census data on racial composition from before and after the lines were redrawn, you can see the result: Hispanic votes were increasingly concentrated in districts held by Democrats.