Monday, January 29, 2007

New Look & Rollout of first edition of Online Magazine



First things first. Congratulations to Tally and his first edition of Turning Florida Blue. You may check it out here. I will do whatever I can to support this effort--gotta represent the heartland.

You may have noticed the new look of the blog. I figured I'd give a little info on what your looking at in the banner (From left to right): Seminole County logo, Seminole County Courthouse (Sanford Office), Intersection of I-4 and 434 (Altamonte Springs), another Sem Co Logo, Historic Downtown Sanford (capital of our County), nature trail (hard to see, but its there), and the stylized new official Democratic logo of a our donkey KICKIN A**!!

I will return to blogging next week! Keep on kickin'!!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

New Florida Online Political Magazine

An activist on DailyKos (Tally) has sent me the draft of the inaugural issue of an online political magazine called Turning Florida Blue. I was honored to be asked to participate as a contributor. I will share the link when the first issue is released.

If you want to read more about the cause or if you want to help, visit here.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

NEW BILL: Florida's Primary NEEDS 2 B January 2008!

I distinctly recall voting in the 2004 March primary here in Seminole County. My wife and I were the only ones in the voting station. It’s not that people here didn’t care, it was the attitude of "What’s the point?" Even messages from the people at the DNC pleaded me not to stay home and to vote for John Kerry to show "strong support", (which we did).

But let’s face it. By March, the race for the nomination is all but over. I never got a chance to vote for my man Wes Clark—he dropped out. So did every other major contender at that point. My voice wasn’t heard because I did not have the fortune to be a resident of small white-bread state like New Hampshire or Iowa.

I have nothing against those fine states, but darn it, if you had to pick a representative state for our nation, neither of those two hold a candle (or a piece of granite or a cornstalk) to Florida. We are the fourth largest, but unlike the top 3, we aren’t solid blue (CA, NY) or solid red (TX). We are a battleground state that is proudly purple. Our large conglomeration of minority cultures (Hispanic, Haitian, African, Indian, Asian, etc), geriatric population, and diverse religions are much more aligned with the diversity and strength of this great nation. Even better, it is matched by the diverse representation in our state legislature. Add the population diversity with the diversity of our economies and industries, and I would say that Florida would be a better choice than either Iowa or New Hampshire. (Heck, most people have even visited our state at least once in their lifetime).

But before I get angry comments from the good people of Iowa or New Hampshire, let me say that the proposal I’m supporting does not call for us to move ahead of either Iowa or New Hampshire. I understand that that would signal Armageddon. NO, the benign proposal would move the primary to either a week after New Hampshire's contest, which is currently slated for Jan. 22, or to Feb. 5, whichever comes first. This is more than fair. And that’s what this issue is about: fairness.

This is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. This is an issue of giving us a voice. Far be it from me to ever stand with the GOP, but that’s where I am going to be on this one-- along with the Democrats. At least with GOPs like Rep. David Rivera, R-Miami, who is sponsoring the FL House bill, and House elections chairman, Rep. Pat Patterson, R-DeLand, who is supporting the proposal.

However, the Senate elections chairman, our own Sen. Lee Constantine, R-Altamonte Springs, seems to be expressing doubt. He stated that we need to be "very cautious and careful" about the dates—whatever the hell that means. (Are you hitting the booze again already?)

What exactly do we need to be "careful" about, Lee? That the RNC and DNC may retaliate by taking away many of our state party's delegates to the nominating convention, as some of the power elite have threatened to do?

Here would be my response: Boo-freakin’ Hoo!

When was the last time the outcome of a party convention was NOT preordained? Refresh my history, wasn’t it around the invention of television?? The conventions are nowadays nothing but a party that we watch on our talking boxes and platform for the preordained nominee. So I ask my fellow Floridians:

Would you rather lose a couple of party-goers to attend a hoe-down, or would you rather have a real voice in choosing the president?

Yes, its nice to be a battleground state, but we are forced to choose between two people we never selected. I would much rather have a voice and choice upfront rather than after the fact. If that had happened in 2000, maybe some of the smart GOPs here could have derailed W’s train and saved our country from a lot of unnecessary grief. If not, maybe in 2004 we could have helped choose a more adaptive candidate than Kerry, (like my man Wes), and stopped the madness from that angle.

Write your state legislators and the governor and let him know where you stand. Otherwise, 2008 will prove to be just another exercise in showing "strong support".

Friday, January 12, 2007

Improvements

I will be adding features and a new design in the next few weeks. Also, you can now leave comment anonymously, and there is no more comment moderation (which was enabled essentially because of one bad apple). Closer to the elections I will go back to posting once a day, but I promise one at least per week. Many of my posts are also diaries on DailyKos, (some have been featured, so that is why some of you notice two of the same posts on aggregators.

Thanks to all of those who support this blog and support a regime change in Seminole County and in Florida.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Advice for running for office in Seminole (& other red areas)

It is a great day in Seminole County, FLORIDA!

Everyone is looking forward to 2008: the official end of the George Bush nightmare. We hit one milestone with the replacement of his destructive brother with the more moderate Crist last week. Democrats made great strides last year—-retaking the House, the Senate, and here in Florida, we made strong gains in the GOP stranglehold.

We need quality people to run for office. If you are considering running for office next time, I wanted to throw out a few pointers:

  1. Determine your platform. Emphasize the right issues. Here in Seminole County, we have the following: High property taxes, the free reign developers seem to have here, education concerns, the rising level of violence... There is no shortage of issues that need attention. As long as you are willing to fight on behalf of the PEOPLE, we need you.

  2. Seek help from US. Here in Seminole County, the reddest of the red, we have been wearing out our shoe leather walking the precincts the past year, and have refined our databases. The key to not wasting your time is learning who the targeted voters are and reaching out to them. We can also give advice, put you in contact with who you need to talk to, and help you win.

  3. Start campaigning NOW. It’s never too early to start, especially if have low funds. Now, I am not saying you need to run advertisements at this stage—-that would would be a waste of money. But NOW is the time to meet people, talk with party leadership, meet with local activists, write your campaign plan, and start building up your organization.

  4. Public speaking. You can't win if you can't communicate. Join a speaking group and practice.

  5. Learn how to communicate in moral terms. This is crucial in a red state. Look at this good example from D-Senator Salzar (redstate CO): "The minimum wage rewards work. Repealing the estate tax helps rich people get richer without risk or effort. Lax corporate oversight allows big businesses to evade taxes, deceive small investors, and raid pension funds."

  6. Emphasize security. Rightfully so, this is the number one issue on people's minds. Unless you are running for an office that does not involve security, this needs to a primary focus of your agenda. This is how we won the last election, and lost so many times before. And the GOP has squandered any credibility on this issue months ago.

  7. Faith. Get over talking about it. This is the Bible Belt. As I wrote last year, the deep south has a long cultural tradition of people expecting public officials to acknowledge their faith. If your moral foundations stem from your faith, why not share it? The era of Christian values only being limited to opposing abortion, euthanasia, and gay marriage is over.

  8. Fight for the rural voters. There is no coincidence that the red state voters are predominantly rural--the conventional wisdom was always to write them off. Democrats assumed that there would never be an opportunity for the party that represents the wealthy elite to win them over, and yet, the GOP targeted them successfully by using points 5, 6, and 7. Just like our veterans, the rural voters are used and abused by the GOP—and yet they are considered by both parties as a reliable voting bloc for the GOP. We have it easier to win them over because what we stand for is what they stand for--no deception required. Visit the rural areas and fight for them.


I am not the end all, be all of running for office in a red area. But I do hope you will take my advice seriously. Good luck--remember, its never been a better time to be a Democrat!!

Quicknote: Godspeed to Carol Cox, who left to devote full time to her rapidly expanding company, DEMSLINK. You will be missed, and thanks for all you've done.