Friday, October 29, 2010

Read This Before You Vote

The 8 biggest lies of this election season. Take a quick gander yourself:

1) President Obama tripled the deficit.
Reality: Bush's last budget had a $1.416 trillion deficit. Obama's first budget reduced that to $1.29 trillion.

2) President Obama raised taxes, which hurt the economy.
Reality: Obama cut taxes. 40% of the "stimulus" was wasted on tax cuts which only create debt, which is why it was so much less effective than it could have been.

3) President Obama bailed out the banks.
Reality: While many people conflate the "stimulus" with the bank bailouts, the bank bailouts were requested by President Bush and his Treasury Secretary, former Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson. (Paulson also wanted the bailouts to be "non-reviewable by any court or any agency.") The bailouts passed and began before the 2008 election of President Obama.

4) The stimulus didn't work.
Reality: The stimulus worked, but was not enough. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the stimulus raised employment by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million jobs.

5) Businesses will hire if they get tax cuts.
Reality: A business hires the right number of employees to meet demand. Having extra cash does not cause a business to hire, but a business that has a demand for what it does will find the money to hire. Businesses want customers, not tax cuts.

6) Health care reform costs $1 trillion.
Reality: The health care reform reduces government deficits by $138 billion.

7) Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, is "going broke," people live longer, fewer workers per retiree, etc.
Reality: Social Security has run a surplus since it began, has a trust fund in the trillions, is completely sound for at least 25 more years and cannot legally borrow so cannot contribute to the deficit (compare that to the military budget!) Life expectancy is only longer because fewer babies die; people who reach 65 live about the same number of years as they used to.

8) Government spending takes money out of the economy.
Reality: Government is We, the People and the money it spends is on We, the People. Many people do not know that it is government that builds the roads, airports, ports, courts, schools and other things that are the soil in which business thrives. Many people think that all government spending is on "welfare" and "foreign aid" when that is only a small part of the government's budget.

Need more? OK. Here's the fact, reported by Bloomberg: The Obama administration cut taxes for middle-class Americans, expects to make a profit on the hundreds of billions of dollars spent to rescue Wall Street banks and has overseen an economy that has grown for the past five quarters.

We are on the right track, finally. The GOP has fought this administration tooth and nail every step of the way. Instead of finding solutions, they focused on their primary objective, as admitted by Mitch McConnell this week: make Barack Obama a one-term president. Saying NO to everything meant they could concentrate all of their energy and efforts crafting their narrative, which is the exact opposite of reality. The ditto-heads and teabaggers gobbled it up and spread the word without question.

The Democrats are not without blame. They failed to tought their accomplishments (some have even run from them). They also allowed themselves to be played again and again.

In fact, just recently Nancy and Harry were handed a game-changing golden opportunity with the middle-class tax cuts. They could have split the bill and held one vote for Americans making UNDER 250,000 and followed that up with one for citizens OVER 250,000. That would have been WIN WIN. The GOP would have had to either vote down the middle-class tax cut, or cave and hand the Dems a victory. The only way they could have lost is to punt...which is exactly what they did. Demoralizing their base once again.

And here we are...

It is frustrating, but I am watching all of my hard work in 2008 go up in smoke. I am seeing a GOP that is willing to drag their country down to win, and am I am watching helplessly as a supermajority of Democrats in power do nothing to stop them.

How sad and ironic that America is on the brink of putting the GOP back in power by replacing those who have actually grown the economy with people who really did triple the deficit last time they were in power.

Looks like its up to us again. Get the message out, and most importantly, VOTE!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Seminole Democrat's Voting Guide 2010

If Amendments 4, 5, and 6 pass, and Alex Sink defeats that immoral criminal Rick Scott, I will consider it a great day no matter what happens.

State Amendments:
There are six amendments written confusingly as always. I found a non-partisan site that broke them down in plain english, and who supports each side. Take a moment to read it.

Here is how I plan on voting on the state amendments:

1. NO
2. no position
4. YES
5. YES
6. YES
8. YES

Political Candidates
Governor: ALEX SINK

(Endorsed by every paper in the state, including the Orlando Sentinel

Senate: Charlie Crist

District 8: Alan Grayson

District 7: Heather Beaven

District 24: Suzanne Kosmas

District 3: Vote Independent. Don't vote GOP but do not vote for Corrine Brown. She doesn't deserve to be re-elected. Read her opposition to fair districts.

Attorney General: Dan Gelber

Chief Financial Officer: Loranne Ausley

Agriculture Commissioner: Scott Maddox

State District 33: Leo Cruz
State District 34: Steve Barnes
State District 25: Frank Layne Wood
State District 20: Eunice Garbutt
State District 24: Steve Edmonds

School District Candidate
School District 5: Dr. Tina Calderone

Judicial Candidates
There was a really bad one I wanted to lose when he ran in the primary, but unfortunately he succeeded. Then there was a good one who lost. I have a bad track record for judges. Fortunately, I am indifferent to this crop of judges. I do not endorse any Judicial candidate for the circuit court or county.

If you care, here is what the Orlando Sentinel thinks:

Circuit Court, 18th District, Group 3 - Jessica Recksiedler
Circuit Court, 7th District, Group 5 - Dennis Craig
Circuit Court, 7th District, Group 10 - Don Holmes
Seminole County Judge, Group 5 - Fred Schott
State Supreme Court justices - Yes to retain
Fifth District Court of Appeal judges - Yes to retain

Councilman Group IV: Judith Dolores Smith. She is a Democrat and the only minority in the race.

Amendments: In Oviedo, the voters must vote to any changes to the charter. (Who's bright idea was that?) I reviewed them and didn't see anything in any of them that would cause me to vote No. Generally, I defer to my elected local officials unless there is something shady (which I usually hear about) or it deals with growth management-which they always screw up.

Nonbinding Statewide Advisory Referendum: NO (Inserted by teabaggers who ironically had no trouble with the deficit under the GOP)

County Referendum: Yes

I am happy to receive any comments on this list.

REMEMBER TO VOTE EARLY!!!! Democratic volunteers must call everyone on election day if they haven't voted, so having your name crossed off the list saves time for the big GOTV push on Nov. 2!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Non-Partisan Voting Guide to All of Florida's Amendments

This is a non-partisan guide from a University that gives all the amendments in plain English: Thanks for reading.

Dear God YES on Amendments 5 and 6!!

I am not exaggerating when I say that these two amendments, which prevent gerrymandering for Legislative and Congressional districts respectively, are the most important amendments that Florida has faced in decades.

In more than 400 legislative races over the past six years, only three incumbents lost their seats.

You see, unlike Florida, forty-four states already require that redistricting adhere to local boundaries. Thirty-six states require compactness, and twelve prohibit protecting incumbents. In a major state like Florida? NOTHING. Our constitution only requires redistricting every 10 years, but there are no rules whatsoever in drawing the boundaries. That means no matter what party is in power, the incumbents make backroom deals and rig districts to secure their own re-election.

Republicans are against this right now because they are enjoying the benefits in stacking the deck.

Democrats were guilty of this 20 years ago, but now there are sophisticated computer modeling programs that can allow the incumbents to draw maps around individual houses. Your only real hope in challenging an incumbent is two ways:

1. Defeat the guy in a primary
2. Hope for an in-state migration to dilute the redness of the district

Our state legislators can’t even be bothered to disguise what they are doing. These are the actual records used by former speaker Jack Merckl during the preredistricting debate that lead to this monstrosity.

As you can see, the incumbents are picking the voters... where it should be the other way around.

Incumbent Democrats, by the way, are just as culpable. You see, when they draw these districts to benefit the incumbent, they must also cram all of the "undesirable" voters in just one district so they can “bleach” the surrounding districts with their people. Of course, the incumbents in these sacrificial districts have no trouble agreeing to this scam. That is why asshats like Corrine Brown and Gary Siplin are trotted out by the GOP to make the bogus argument that somehow the current system protects minorities. Absolute garbage.

If that was really the case, the Florida NAACP, the Florida Conference of Black State Legislators, and the Florida Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials wouldn’t be supporting Amendments 5 and 6 so strongly. If anything, the current system is preventing diversity.

Measures 5 and 6 protect lines from being drawn for racial or language reasons, and forces the districts to be contiguous, compact and as equal in population as possible.

This is a no-brainer and any politician advocating against these measures, Republican OR Democrat, should be voted out of office.

Incumbents have done everything they could to keep these amendments off the ballot. They tried bullying the movement's leader. Senate President-designate Mike Haridopolos yelled "Look at me!" to Ellen Freidin, who was made to stand during two hours of testimony before the Legislature in February.

They tried killing the amendments in court. And they tried sabotaging 5 and 6 by proposing a COMPLETELY BOGUS and confusing amendment (Amendment 7) of their own to "clarify" amendments 5 & 6, which would have in effect killed them. Thankfully, the judge threw that amendment out when challenged in court.

If the legislators worked as hard on creating jobs as saving their own, they could probably win the elections on their own merits and not need to cheat.

If you vote for any amendments, vote YES on Amendments 5 and 6! Tell your friends to do the same!



If I had to pick the critical amendments for Florida in the past 10 years, it would be this year's amendments 4, 5, and 6.

5 and 6 prevent gerrymandering (Florida is the worst in the nation--but more on that later), and amendment 4 is HOMETOWN DEMOCRACY: which is the best and only chance we have against the nonstop sprawl in our state.

The developers have poured MILLIONS into fighting this, and the lies are maddening. They will stop at nothing to defeat this, and they are currently winning. Let me tell you exactly what it IS and what it ISN'T, and what's at stake.

Every community in Florida is required to have an overall master plan that sets aside land for development. This plans are called the Local Comprehensive Land Use Plan. They should rarely ever be changed once in place. However, right now, these plans are an absolute joke in Florida.

The developers bribe our commissioners with campaign contributions, who in turn change these plans over and over and over again. This is why there is so much sprawl and empty development...and the Florida taxpayers always foot the bill for this.

All Amendment 4 does is put any changes to this plan, which should be rare, to a vote by the community when the commission wants to let development occur “out of bounds” according to their own damn land use plan.

Citizens will only vote on changes to the local comprehensive land use plan.

They won’t vote on routine rezonings, variances, or individual development approvals. Voters won’t weigh in on every new grocery store or hotel, but will vote when a speculator wants to change, for example, farmland to apartments, or turn a residential area into a commercial zone. Only speculators who insist on building outside the community’s already agreed-upon areas will face a vote.

As of now, all a developer has to do is throw money a politicians way, and they get to bulldoze a rural area so they can throw up another strip mall or housing area. THIS COSTS US MONEY! The new developments require new roads, sewer, schools, police and fire services, and guess who has to pay for all of that? Why the hell shouldn’t we get a say?

Ever wonder who is putting all those very fancy signs you see everywhere and who is paying for those expensive commercials? The very same over-building developers and real-estate speculators that crashed Florida’s economy and the politicians who serve them.

These publicly traded construction companies engaged in reckless speculation, over-built many communities, and crashed Florida’s economy. Yet they received huge taxpayer bailouts this year and are now using them to try to deny Floridians the right to vote by funding the opposition to Florida Hometown Democracy Amendment 4.

Here’s a breakdown of recent contributions from the Bailed-Out “Bubble Builders” to Amendment 4’s opponent:

(Source: Citizens for Lower Taxes & A Stronger Economy PAC, Fla. Division of Elections – Searched by “Contributions” and “Amount” 4/1/2010-7/16/2020):

These are some of the big donors (how much they gave to fight Amendment 4 is the first number, how much public bail-out money they got is the second number):

Lennar Homes FL $367,000 $251.1 million
Meritage Homes $34,000 $93 million
M.D.C. Holdings $39,000 $142.6 million
Standard Pacific of Tampa $132,000 $103 million
Pulte Homes $567,000 $800 million
Ryland Homes $135,000 $97.6 million
KB Homes $255,000 $191.7 million
K. Hovnanian Companies $96,000 $250 to $275 million
Beazer Homes $75,000 $101 million
M/I Homes $73,000 $31 million
Toll Brothers $43,000 $78.8 million
MDC Holdings $39,000 $142.6 million

This is not a liberal or conservative amendment. Established politicians on the left and right who enjoy getting campaign donations are fighting their own citizens. Big name Democrats like mayor Buddy Dyer and his allies hate it just as much as the GOP funded politicians do.

Ironic that they argue that voters are wise when they put them in office, but suddenly become uninformed dolts who can’t handle having a say when a developer wants to sprawl in their communities. I would think that Florida teabaggers, who claim they want to take power from the government, would be all over this.

The latest line of attack is one of the most ridiculous arguments made yet... that this will somehow cut jobs. Preposterous.

Overdevelopment crashed Florida’s economy, leaving us with empty buildings and foreclosed subdivisions. Our local master plans have plenty of land set aside for development and builders could be building right now if it weren’t for the busted real estate bubble. In fact, there’s enough land set aside in Florida’s local comprehensive plans right now accommodate 100 million people – five times more than the 18 million people we have living here now.
It is ridiculous to suggest that giving people a vote will affect the job market.

Overdevelopment created eyesores and cost local taxpayers millions of dollars. Giving voters the chance to approve or veto projects will protect our homes and our pocketbooks.

VOTE YES on Amendment 4, and request your friends do so as well.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

GOP Using Foreign Money to Buy Elections

This is due directly to the Citizens United case brought to you by the John Roberts Supreme Court...

Thanks guys...

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Sink Hits Rick Scott in New Ad...FINALLY

Only in Florida could a bona-fide criminal who stole money from taxpayers and seniors; and not to mention barely escaped imprisonment, be a contender for high office. (Using the money he stole, no less).

In this ad, Republicans and law enforcement officials talk about uber-criminal Rick Scott:

Transcript of Ad:


TV :30

Michael McAuliffe (State Attorney, Florida 15th Judicial Circuit): Take it from prosecutors who know - Rick Scott just can't be trusted.

William Cervone (REPUBLICAN State Attorney, Florida 8th Judicial Circuit): Scott claims he didn't know the company he led was systematically defrauding Medicare.

Paul Southwick (Sergeant, Tampa Police Department): Ripping off seniors and taxpayers.

McCauliffe: But when he was questioned under oath, Rick Scott pled the Fifth seventy-five times.

Robert Crowder (REPUBLICAN Sheriff of Martin County): That means Scott refused to answer questions to avoid incriminating himself.

Cervone: Seventy-five times, Rick Scott refused to answer.

McCauliffe: Rick Scott couldn't be trusted as a CEO. And Florida can't trust Rick Scott as governor.

I would LOVE for Alex Sink to also run an ad on Rick Scott ALSO being on the Board of Directors of a company used by Saudi Arabia and Iran to suppress Internet access!

Throw in an extra ad for his extremist views, and you can nail this bastard.

Yes, she has positive ads as well, but frankly people need to know the alternative. There is no contest here. No rational person could pick a criminal over the most qualified person in years.

Wake Up Florida! You are soooo much better than this!