Sunday, August 31, 2014

Throw another log on the fire...

With the Scott Batterson guilty verdict yesterday, we've run out of room...

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Rick Scott, Auto Tag Fees, and the State Plane

I posted two more movies on the new channel, one on the state plane, and one on the auto tag fees. As I said I'll post one a day for a while -- though I'll take the next two days off for the holiday. Have a good Labor Day!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Rick Scott Allows Ads on All State Trails (Plus, New UTube Channel)

One of the writers for the Seminole Democrat is the incredibly talented IndieThinker. He writes the widely successful Rick Scott Must Go! installments and is starting to turn some of them into animated videos.

This first one concerns a bill Rick Scott signed and went into effect July 2012. It allows the Department of Environmental Protection (which was led by Scott business crony John Littleton at the time) to place ads on any state trail. (Originally, it was just seven trails, but a later amendment expanded it to all trails.)

Scott did most of his damage in 2011 with cutting 1.3 billion in education (but doubling his budget), his drug testing of all gov. workers scheme, his voter suppression and purging awfulness, his pulling funding of sick and disabled kids, etc. etc. etc. Yet 2012 was hardly a stellar year for this state. Our legislature, completely ignoring our seniors, veterans, and uninsured, found time to debate: Jay-Z lyrics, a 24-hour waiting period for abortions, a requirement for doctors to describe "fetal pain", pit bulls, and of course, bills that made it easier for Rick Scott to destroy the environment.

Compared to Rick Scott's other environmental crimes, like allowing fracking in the Everglades, literally destroying our springs, or allowing polluters to dump, this is small by comparison. Yet it really says something when you, as a Florida citizen, feel relieved that your governor is at least not destroying our beautiful lands as much as he could be. That is disturbing.

Well, he's only allowing 4-16 foot billboards. Phew. At least he's not turning them into golf courses yet.

You can watch Indie's video here. He is posting new ones every day, so consider subscribing.

I hope they will soon be outdated, hilarious fodder for a horrible era. That depends on how many of us GOTV this November.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

800,000 Jobs Lost by Crist?

Here's the next movie for the new YouTube channel. For a while I'll post one of these a day.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

YouTube Channel: "Rick Scott Must Go!"

As I said earlier today, I have a little surprise. 

In an effort to bring my list of reasons to dis-elect Rick Scott to more people, I've created some movies for a YouTube channel I've called "Rick Scott Must Go!"

Here's the very first movie, a pilot that talks about Scott's legislation bringing advertisements to nature trails. If it turns out people like these, I'll make some more.

By the way, Rick Scott was drawn by a friend of mine who is a professional cartoonist. He thought Rick Scott looked best drawn like Mr. Burns from The Simpsons. I agree!


Jennifer Carroll Says: "I was treated like an unwanted stepchild"

Rick Scott's former lieutenant governor has a new "kiss and tell" (or maybe "kick and tell") book where she affirms most of what we already know: Rick Scott is a creepy, uncaring, cold, reptilian backstabber who despises minorities. The Scott campaign will no doubt start talking about sour grapes, but even if it was (and I doubt it is), they've heaped up enough plates of that themselves the past few years to not be able to escape hypocrisy.

I thought that was a bulletin worth sharing. A little later I'll have something special.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

FL 2014 Primary Results

I made several endorsements, but I only wrote individually about four: Crist for gov., Sheldon for AG, Lemonidis for Group 14 (18th Circuit), and a piece about Curcio/Miller for the two school districts in Seminole.

Except for the school races, the others came through.

You can see ALL of the results here at

MUST SEE: Stewart Obliterates Fox News over Ferguson

Jon is outraged at Fox's outrage. The story with link is here:

You can also go directly to the link here:

Sorry, but this video is no allowing me to embed.

We've been waiting for Jon to take down Fox's increasingly despicable rhetoric (including this morning questioning of we can really call a big black guy an "unarmed teen")? It was worth the wait.

“I guarantee you that every person of color in this country has faced an indignity, from the ridiculous, to the grotesque, to the sometimes fatal, at some point in their … I’m gonna say last couple of hours, because of their skin color,” he said, before making his final, sobering statement: “Race is there and it is a constant. You’re tired of hearing about it? Imagine how fucking exhausting it is living it.”

Monday, August 25, 2014

My one and only endorsement of GOP candidate: Florida's 5th district

The worst possible thing you can do in politics is an act of betrayal. This monstrosity could not have occurred without Corrine Brown being a willing stooge to the GOP's devious plan to retain control with her ridiculously unfair district.

Corrine has been fighting any semblance of fair districts for 20 years, allowing the GOP to bleach the surrounding districts in return for a solid DEM district (as opposed to just a strong DEM district). SHE is directly responsible for helping give the GOP an unfair super majority in a state outnumbering Republicans 2-1. She is unethical and corrupt. Frankly, I would have LOVED to see someone primary her so I could support them. Otherwise, this is the only vote I'd make in the nation for the GOP candidate: Gloreatha Scurry-Smith. There is an extremely high bar I set for crossing over, but Corrine reached it years ago.

Don't worry, the district crams every minority neighborhood from Jacksonville to Orlando in this unfunny joke so Corrine is the safest incumbent in Florida. And THAT is the problem. I would like to send her as strong a message as possible and maybe, just maybe, knock her down a peg so stronger Democrats can challenge her in the primary next time. Dare to dream.

DESPICABLE. Judge says illegal, gerrymandered map is now OK for this election cycle

As usual, Floridians are kicked in the stomach when we're down:

A judge on Friday gave a victory to the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature, rendering a decision that effectively forces voters to choose candidates in November based on a congressional map that he ruled was invalid because it favored the GOP.

So a GOP-carved district that bobs and weaves 160+ miles through NINE counties and shoves every single black neighborhood from Jacksonville to Orlando into it will stand. This despite a clearly-worded CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT, passed in 2010, that districts had to be drawn fair, compact and sensible without concern for demographics.

Beleaguered Floridians cheered the initial ruling from same judge throwing out the maps. The foremost experts on gerrymandering in the nation testified that these were the most blatantly biased maps ever drawn. The GOP had the audacity to submit the monstrosity through a a website for "public input" moments before the 5 am deadline through an FSU student who testified, under oath, that he never submitted it. (HE did somehow get a great job working for the House Speaker's brother.)

Documents were destroyed, all of the Speaker's emails were "accidentally" deleted, and internal data and drafted maps were shared with only GOP political consultants in clear violation of our state sunshine laws.

Activists brought the suit, because our overpaid, ideological Attorney General, Pam Bondi, wasn't going to do jack about it. I was proud because they not only shined a light on these cockroaches; they had them scampering.

What SHOULD have happened is a demand from Judge Terry Lewis that a nonpartisan panel or the Supreme Court redraw the maps since the legislature proved wholly incapable of following the Constitution.

What SHOULD have happened is the legislators engaging in such devious behavior should have not only been taken out of the process, but SENT TO PRISON!

But this is Florida....

The GOP legislature made very, VERY minor tweaks to the map, only cutting off some of the extraordinary appendages. Despite our state Constitution demanding that districts be drawn fair, compact, and sensible with no regard to demographics, we are stuck with pretty much the same map that the judge earlier called reprehensible.

You know this was a victory for the GOP because their leaders are crowing about how awesome this all is, while the Democrats are furious and vowing an appeal.

You can get mad or you can GOTV. People are fed up. Even people in gerrymandered districts like District 51 or District 53 are running neck and neck. Keep in mind that the GOP gerrymander the statewide races... so let's fight hard to throw our Rick Scott and Pam Bondi.

Your arrogance blinds you, Florida GOP. The state has suffered for 4 years under a Teabag regime, and we are leaning more left and getting more diverse by the day.

You can rule by lies and cheating only for so long. Enjoy your day, GOP. We'll be preparing for ours.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Meme Monday (8/25/14)

Families Stranded in Woods because Rick Scott Literally Ran Away from Questions

Rick Scott is so well-known for dodging questions that his ridiculous antics to avoid them are a story unto itself.

One that hasn't gotten much press is what happened when citizen journalist, author, and current State House candidate (District 53) David A. Kearns tried to ask a few questions at a photo op of Rick Scott. Kearns had gotten wind that Scott would be with supporters at Hillborough River State Park. The decision to have it at all at the state park was a bit of irony, since Scott earlier tried to close it down, along with 52 other parks. (Several of the survivors he wanted turned into golf courses with hotels. No kidding.)

The photo op was as usual: Rick Scott surrounded by friendly, white, republican supporters while he tried his best to look and act like his view of the straw-chewing, unwashed masses. He played dressup, complete with a ranger outfit. He did his level-best impersonation as a blue collar worker who supposedly picked up trash and spread mulch. (Odd, because no one saw him do that and there are no photos. Just take his word, idiots.)

In the afternoon, Scott was allowed to conduct a tour on a haywagon for his GOP guests of the Fort Foster Historic Site. According to his website, it went just swimmingly. In reality, it was a nightmare.

David Kearns had a few questions to ask the governor, but didn't want to embarrass the governor in front of the families who were on the trip. Scott's press guy, Lane Wright, didn't recognize David and asked which group he was with. David told him he was a citizen journalist and wanted to ask a few quick questions with the governor. He was told how "inappropriate" that was.

After a few minutes of activity with his iPhone, he told David that citizen journalists are not "serious" journalists, so no access would be provided. (As if media journalists get treated better.)

David kept pressing. Wright demanded to know the types of questions. Dave told him--budget cuts, prison privatization and the like. Wright then huddles with Scott and his handlers. They run around a little bit. Dave goes to seek some shade in the sun. In that instant, Rick Scott and his entire staff took off like mad men, ditching the entire group.

The confused guests hopped back on the hayride and tried to make it back. Within a few yards, the truck pulling them broke down.

The driver tells everyone they have to walk the entire distance back. Elderly men and women, toddlers, and entire families were forced to walk in 95 degree heat over a quarter of a mile and across a busy state road to get back. By the time everyone finally did get back, Rick had already held his press conference and took off.

Some of the group questioned the timeliness of the breakdown, and others were just furious that they had been stranded. Seems that even supporters of Scott who get to know him hate him as well.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Statewide and Local Primary Endorsements by SemDem

UPDATE: The Endorsements for the GENERAL election for 2014 are in. CLICK HERE

Had a little help. I credit local pundit Howard Mass, twitter followers like @lb_holly and Le Chat Noire, and other readers who made comments on Seminole Democrat blog. I also researched online, read the mainstream media's choices, and read through the candidate's positions and promises on their webpages.

Only a few actual endorsements, the others are recommendations. I did that because if candidates are very similar in position or ideology, I did not think it fair to endorse one over the other because I didn't use any questionnaires this year.

I linked to the posts I wrote if on the candidates I felt strongly for (or against). With only one exception, I will be doing no individual posts for the judges.

I can also only cover the local races in Seminole County as this process takes time. But if you are a Floridian outside of Seminole County with a question on a candidate or ballot issue for this primary, post in comments or send me a message I'll look into it. One last thing, I am not in any way affiliated with the Seminole Democratic Party.


Strong Endorsement: Charlie Crist

Please read why I did this.

Attorney General

Recommendation: George Sheldon

Very, very tough call. Won't be upset if Perry Thurston wins, but I picked Sheldon for a reason.

School Board Districts:

Endorsement: Frank Curcio (District 1) and Gracia Miller (District 2)

These are the best offered. Again, I explain why in the link.

Selections for 18th Circuit Court:

Recommendation: Circuit Judge Group 13: Samuel Bookhardt lll

All are qualified and all three are republicans. With things being equal, Sam is a veteran so I started leaning towards him. He is also a minority and we desperately need more minority representation. True that Sanchez is a minority as well but she is very young: not htat I have a problem with a young judge but I, along with Howard, agree that such a young conservative would quickly elevate to a higher position. Sam is slightly ahead in my book, albeit not by much.

Endorsement: Circuit Judge Group 14: Robin Lemonidis

I was leaning for Lemonidis anyway, but when I got the most ignorant mailer I have ever received from judicial candidate Goldfarb, I stepped up my effort to see she doesn't win. This is the only judicial race where I endorsed someone.

Recommendation: Circuit Judge Group 19: Donna Goerner

Howard and I are in agreement that Susan Stacy should scare the bejeebus out of you. She is being loaded with a ton of money and the rightwing really, really wants her to win.

We agree Goerner seems the most reasonable. She was also endorsed by the Sentinel for her knowledge and experience, which includes over 100 jury trials. The problem is, once again, all three are republicans so we have to expect any of them will tow the party line. Howard makes a good case for Mitch Krause by saying Goerner has time to move higher on the bench. I agreed with this strategy or Group 13, but in this case, Goerner is likely the most fair and best qualified.

Recommendation: Circuit Judge Group 23: Nancy Maloney

Nancy used to be a Democrat before she went NPA, which is actually a smart move in this county. Howard pointed out Maloney is 64 and will likely do only one term anyway.

Arcadier is a very ambitious conservative and and none too ethical. He would be my last choice on that ballot.

Seminole County Court Judge

Recommendation: Sandra Rivera

She might be more green but experience doesn't equate to being a good judge (see Scalia and Thomas). She is a registered Dem and we need to support judges that won't be intimidated by Rick Scott or the NRA. We also need more Hispanic judges as the Hispanic community gets no representation on the bench in this County.

This would be an endorsement but I can't fairly do that in this case since a questionnaire wasn't used.

Seminole County Commission

District 2: No endorsement and no recommendation, but I will be voting for John Horan

Jorge Martos is the tea party candidate. I do not want that at all. John Horan is republican but not as awful.

Opposing view: Howard agrees with me on that point but explains why he is pulling the lever for Martos:

Don't really care much although I'm glad they didn't pull the write-in loophole like they usually do. Horan probably sides with us more but I'm going Martos because I didn't like how they did the tax increase. I would have preferred them doing it right by asking in 2012. I know they had to do it because of the school budget being due but have always been turned off by the establishments power.

August 26 is the primary, but early voting is happening now. You also have until OCTOBER 6 to register to vote before the election.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Rick Scott: Endorsed by Human Trafficker!

While our host gives you the lowdown on who he endorses in various races, you might like to know that Rick Scott has been endorsed by a human trafficker.

Actually, it's also the second time Scott's campaign has had to pull an ad because Scott featured himself with an ex-con. Once more he's the gift that keeps on giving to his opposition.

Tea Party loons won't care about this, of course. They're more concerned that Scott has endorsed "Common Core 2.0." But maybe this will get some higher-morals Independents off Scott's side if the horn is blown loudly enough.


Endorsement for School Board Districts: Frank Curcio (1) and Gracia Miller (2)

Both Frank Curcio (District 1) and Gracia Miller (District 2) have been endorsed by Seminole UniServ, the umbrella organization for several groups that support public education. Given the attacks our public schools have been under from the Rick Scott regime, (so he can enrich his failing charter school buddies), we need strong advocates on the board.

Two unions have endorsed Frank Curcio, who is a member of the Science Teacher Association. Frank also wants to take out standardized testing. The union support and his belief in science (which yes, is a thing now I actually have to watch for) means he gets the endorsement. His endorsement also proves that I will back GOP candidates if they are the best in the race.

Besides the Seminole Uniserv endorsement, she is a Democrat so you know she won't put up with indoctrination like this or stupidity like this.

Hattip to Howard Mass and IBHolly

No Endorsement, Just Recommendation: George Sheldon for AG Primary

An endorsement to me means a solid backing. I'll be honest, I don't have as much a strong inclination to George Sheldon over Perry Thurston as I do for who I think will win over Pam Bondi. She is godawful, and I mean really, really godawful. Even rightwing extremists like McCollum occasionally fought for the citizens. PamBo never has. For a position that requires the trust of all Florida citizens, Bondi is the most ideological AG in our nation's history. Members of the Florida and American bar rank her worst in the nation.

PamBo has never taken action against a conservative: whether it be completely ignoring criminals who drew, in secret meetings, illegally gerrymandered districts; or dropping the investigation into Donald Trump's scam college. (Coincidentally, it was dropped at the same moment Trump made a donation to her campaign.)

Both Democrats challenging her are good men; and both have racked up separate endorsements. The Tampa Bay paper loved Thurston's passion, while the Miami Herald loved Sheldon's experience.

In the end, I made my decision based on the numbers. Unfortunately, there has not been a whole lot of polling being done outside of unreliable, wingnut polls like Gravis. However, PPP has polled. Public Policy Polling was ranked the most accurate in the past two elections. Currently, they showed Sheldon with only a 3% deficit with PamBo. Thurston had a 7% deficit. Anything over 5% at this point in the election is difficult unless you have a wave of support after the primary.

Here's the thing: as important as the AG position is, the FL Dem party and the standard donors seem to be hyper-focused on the governor's race. If Thurston had the money Sheldon did; or I believed there would be a floodgate of money and support coming, I would lean towards Thurston. No doubt there will be a boost to the primary victor, but I think it is what it is. For this reason I'm going with Sheldon.

Opposing view: My friend Howard made an excellent point about Perry Thurston:

I've decided to go Perry Thurston over George Sheldon because he might help Broward Turnout for Charlie and even though it's unlikely he will beat Bondi, I like how he talks about how The AG Office would be progressive like in California.

The African-American vote, which needs to be very high for Crist to win, will be encouraged by a very strong, passionate, articulate African-American in a high-profile race. I also agree that a Thurston victory would be more of a help to Crist. I went back and forth on this all day.

At the end of the day, though, I have to base a recommendation on who is best to beat an awful candidate for the position they are running for. I am going with George Sheldon.

Yet know that this is one recommendation that I will not die on the hill for. If Perry Thurston wins, he can expect all I can give to make him AG next year. Next to the governorship, it's the most important race in Florida. We can't let PamBo do any more damage.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Strong Endorsement: Charlie Crist over Nan Rich

I get that Nan Rich is more liberal, and she would have done a fine job as governor. (But to be fair, anyone with a small amount of concern for a Florida citizen would have done better than Rick.)

But here's something you also need to know: There is no way in hades that Nan Rich can beat Rick Scott.

Nan is behind in every.single. poll--and by a wide margin. Also consider that she is getting creamed without one dime being spent by anyone attacking her.

Our state is Democratic in the South, moderate in the middle, but solid GOP in the North--and Tea Party in the LA ("lower Alabama") region of the panhandle. Midterms are built for the GOP--turnout is heavy in the North and light in the South. There will also be no crossovers from light-right leaning moderates.

She will need a lot of money in a short amount of time. No way the Democrats will give her much money with that kind of polling. They will put limited resources elsewhere. She will also be completely ignored by the trial lawyers and corporations, who always back the likely winner. This race would go from toss-up to strong GOP overnight.

However, here's something Nan Rich is able to do and is doing right now: allow herself to be used by Rick Scott's campaign to smear Charlie Crist with his fake liberal group! This mystery group, calling itself "Progressive Choice Florida", sprang up a few months ago and is flush with cash. Naturally, it refuses to disclose donors.

It has run a ton of ads on black radio stations and media telling everyone that Crist is a closet racist, with the goal of keeping the black vote "light", (just in case all the voter suppression laws he passed isn't enough). Scott's campaign is pulling out all stops to keep the black vote under 90% this election, which they determined is the magic number for victory. Every one of these slimy attacks are coming from this fake group, supposedly because they have such strong love for Nan Rich, although their mailers and ads don't say one positive thing about her.

To be clear, Rick Scott has GOT to be defeated this November. If you are not inclined to vote for Charlie Crist in the general election, consider voting for no other reason than this:

The legislature passed a bill, signed by Scott, that said they will replace the three liberal justices by whomever wins the next gubernatorial election! The state Supreme Court has been the only branch stopping us from utter tea party madness. If you think Scott is bad now, wait until he has ALL THREE branches of government under his complete control--and no reelection to worry about.

Not to even mention that the NRA will continue to run Florida, students will be indoctrinated, citizens will continue to die over his refusal to expand healthcare in this state, and his cronies will build more F-rated charter schools in our state. More money will be taken out of helping poor, sick children and given to Scott's corporate buddies.

Our environment will continue to be choked: spring destruction, polluted beaches, and, for the first time ever under Rick Scott, fracking in the Everglades (which Rick Scott personally profited from. (Rick even used our now ruined environmental protection agency to to fraudulently defend this garbage.)

You can argue that Charlie is an opportunist. No, that would be Scott. Scott has reversed himself on several issues just this year and tried to make himself seem less evil. The difference is that Scott will fling himself back into full tea party throttle if he wins. Crist will be a Democrat. I know this because I noticed a change in him the last two years as governor: he embraced Obama, stopped an intrusive abortion law, and refused to scale back early voting. If Crist was really an opportunist, he would done the easy route and embraced the hate. He didn't, and his party hated him for it. I and many others, however, loved him for it. He finally lived up to his promise of putting people before party--or even before his own career.

As for me, if I was far behind in the polls as Rich has always been and only providing assistance to help Rick Scott, I would have dropped out long ago. Don't misunderstand, I am not calling for her to drop out. You have a choice for the primary to express your support for either one. I'll be glad that you voted. All I'm asking you to consider when you are in the booth is what will happen to our state if Rick Scott wins. Charlie is not just the best shot we have, he's really the only shot we have.

I would love if we had a preferential voting or other method that more reflected the will of the people: we'd have more participation and more robust elections. We don't, however. We use "first past the post", which means in the general election you really have only two choices: Scott or Charlie. If Charlie is our candidate, by not voting in the general to protest him not being our ideal candidate, you are doing exactly what the Scott campaign has fought so hard to do: disenfranchise. I beg you not to make that decision.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Two Bad Choices for Circuit Judge (18th Circuit, Group 14), But Boy Did I Pick One

Both tout their work for the NRA (which I guess is a prerequisite to become a judge in Florida these days). Brooke Goldfarb was classless enough to personally attack her opponent in a judicial race for doing her job; and Robin Lemonidis was clueless enough to argue Stand Your Ground for a clear homicide (Michael Dunn). I was just going to say No Endorsement because neither deserve the job, but what set me off was this mailer I received from Goldfarb's own campaign:

Opponent Robin Lemonidis has spent the last 20 years exclusively handling criminal defense matters, representing those accused of MURDER, CHILD MOLESTATION and OTHER FELONY AND MISDEMEANOR CRIMES.

(Caps were hers.)

I immediately became outraged at this statement--coming from a judicial candidate no less. Defense attorneys and public defenders are a critical part of our entire, revolutionary American judicial system. The idea, which I should not have to explain to someone who went to Harvard, is that prosecutors give everything they have to convict the accused, and the defense lawyer gives everything they have to free them. Every fact and piece of evidence that could be presented would have been presented, and the outcome is based on both sides giving it their all. This is as fair a system that anyone has come up with in hundreds of years. The outcomes are not always fair, but no one can say the process isn't.

To argue that the defense attorneys should be berated because of their huge role in this system is reprehensible.

The key word here is the word "accused". How dare she represent those accused of felonies and misdemeanors! If you or I are ever accused of a crime, we would call a lawyer. That's kind of how this works.

So I guess only innocent people should be represented by a defense attorney? Well, how the hell do we know they are innocent, Brooke? If only there was some sort of "trial" to determine innocence....

This means two things, Goldfarb is either extremely ignorant or worse, willfully tarnishing a critical role outlined in our founding documents for a slimy, disingenuous smear campaign. I don't care much for Robin Lemonidis, but I can't fault her for trying to use the stupid SYG law that gives many killers a way out. That's a problem with the actual law, which we desperately need to fix by throwing out the incumbents in my stupid state's executive and legislative branch. This is a big reason we need turnout in the midterm elections.

If there was a third option, I'd pick that person. But there isn't. This is a stunningly insulting line of attack, and for that I recommend voting against Brooke Deratany Goldfarb. Not much of an endorsement for Robin Lemonidis, but I'm going with the lessor of two bad choices.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Best Meetup in History of Mankind

OK, I'm exaggerating. There was that one meetup in Boston celebrating the Red Sox's 2004 World Series victory. That was a pretty good one too.

Out in really rural Florida, two hours from anywhere, over 65 people attended. Vetwife offered her house and it was perfect... intimate, but big enough to hold a lot of people. I wish I could have stayed the whole time but I had to leave early because my wife was being treated in the hospital. I did get a chance to meet like-minded bloggers and several kossacks: oldhippiechick, byardl, mikejay611, gordon20024, whatgodmade, pajoly, vetwife, charlie grapski and others I don't recall by name. (Sorry, I do faces better than names.)

We had several congressional, senate, and house contenders, Pastor Simmons (who has done more to counter-act Rick Scott's assault on voting than anyone), several activists, the president of Angels of Mercy, and several others I am probably leaving out (not intentionally). There was also a TON of food, entertainment, and people who drove from all over Florida. (I think Mike took the prize from Homestead.) Congresswoman Lois Frankel contacted me and requested I read this letter for the gathering.

Crist's campaign called at 1pm to say they couldn't swing by afterall. I never offered the Skype option because we were told he was coming up just the day before. Here's the thing: Koller's people informed him of the turnout--not just the blog peeps and candidates but the disabled Veterans and Veteran's advocates. On Sunday, Amanda received several calls from the Citrus Co. Dem party and Crist's people who told us there was a miscommunication with the "wrong" scheduler.

Long story short, Vetwife was given Charlie Crist's direct line and a promise to make the next one, if we do one. (Although I'm all for that, Amanda and I can't do another one.)

The rain came just a little bit to cool things off before the speakers arrived. After that, several people jumped in the pool. There were people front yard, side yard, back yard, in different rooms. No group shot taken this year, and I wish I had taken more pictures.

I'll give a shout out to several peeps below, but first, a few pics that were taken:

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So many of these guys had interesting stories such good information that decided it better to do a separate post for each. I'll do a very quick summary for each:

My first write-up is on Congressional Candidate Dave Koller, District 11. His opponent, Tea Party Rich Nugent, is outraged someone dares to run against him.

Dave Koller met everyone in person and stayed until every question was answered. With redistricting, he has a shot.


Senate Candidate Judithanne McLaunchlan, District 22, has worked for every branch of government. She is not only an educator, she was ranked one of the top 25 professors in Florida. She is intimately aware of the damage the GOP has done in gutting public education. Must-see video.

If you want to help, here's her website:

Congressional candidate Alan Cohn, District 15, is an Emmy-award winning investigative journalist who uncovered the biggest case of political corruption in the last decade. He is currently statistically tied with his opponent, GOPer Dennis Ross. He is infinitely more qualified than his opponent, who even Republicans barely give a majority of support. Help put him over the top: http://www.alancohnforcongress
House candidate for District 51, Joe Murray, was a paratrooper in the Army and was soon promoted to the Chief Computer Engineer for the entire US Army. He was one of the youngest colonels to retire. He is now a successful small business owner, when he isn't coaching Little League or out fighting the good fight. Give him your support at
David Kearns, a journalist, author of "Rick Scott: Enemy of the State" and current Congressional candidate (District 53), is known well in Rick Scott's camp. His book highlights the elections shenanigans of Rick Scott, and what happened when he confronted Scott. His opponent, John Tobias, is a homophobe who mocks gays and makes "inappropriate comments about women." He only won by 2% points. Support him at
Kara Kempley is president of Florida's Angels of Mercy which advocates medical mercy for those suffering because of Florida's antiquated cannabis law. Vote YES on Amendment 2!! She won a hard fought victory for the Moseley family. Their child suffers from intractable epilepsy and she forced the issue on reluctant lawmakers. Come to her event Sept 20
Sorry if I left people out. Let me know and I will update.

The political sculptor, Fernando Sosa, has been featured on Chris Matthews, Seth Meyers, Wired magazine, and countless radio and TV shows both national and international for his hard-hitting anti-GOP 3D print pieces. In fact, he couldn't attend because he was flying back from Ireland that Saturday. He's very talented, and a close friend. Check him out.

Beach Peanuts helped drive up support, but she couldn't attend due to a move. Visit her blog, as she is awesome.

Finally, Jim Bryan, District 1, could not attend that day but has asked Vetwife and me for his help. He is a Vietnam Veteran and faces an uphill battle, but is making such an impact that Karl Rove has opened an office in his district. His facebook is here.

We had no money, no offers from help from party officials, and every one of the organizers were going through a lot of medical and financial pain. But we pulled it off, because, as Vetwife eloquently said, that's what activism looks like in our stupid state.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

FL Congressman (TP) to Dem Challenger: "I'm royalty here!"

Crossposted as a Recommended diary on Dkos

Rich Nugent is the Tea Party Congressman from District 11. He is one of those tea partiers who drives the public's perception of Congress into the toilet. (Currently, even Russia is polling higher than our own representatives. Even Weeper of the House John Boehner can't stand him.

Richard Nugent's failed legislation reads like a right-wing wishlist: Repeal of the Health Care Law Act, Deauthorize Appropriation of Funds for ACA Act, Death Tax Repeal Act, and so on and so on. He is the one leading the call for impeachment for the President, and can't articulate why.

And why should he? Nugent is in what is currently a solid red district. He's pretty confident of victory. When Nugent was asked about his Democratic opponent, David Koller, in this year's upcoming election, he had this to say:

"I have no idea who this David Koller is nor do I know what he's thinking. I'm royalty here and liberals like Koller should know that."

A self-proclaimed lover of the Constitution who thinks himself royalty. Sure, why not? Hypocrisy is his thang. This is a man who pays a ton of lip service to Veterans, then votes against their interest. This is a man who was repeatedly warned by Veterans advocates about the conditions at the for-profit Vines hospital, where Veterans with psychiatric issues are sent to be treated by people with no qualifications, but chose to ignore it.

This is a man who cheated because he didn't want a fair fight for his seat.

Compare him to someone like Dave Koller. This is a man who does not think he is royalty by any means. At our meetup, he made sure he satisfactorily answered every question by everyone there. He really will fight for our Veterans, our seniors and our schools. He is also fighting for clean and renewable energy programs: Koller is so principled that he turned down a chance to be showered in cash by Duke Energy. Nugent, on the other hand, gladly accepted. (Duke Energy conspired with ALEC to tax solar panel users. Screw the free market, I guess, as long as campaign donations are available, eh Rich?)

Dave faces an uphill battle, BUT here's the thing: District 10 and District 5 have to be completely redrawn by Court Order since they were blatantly gerrymandered. This greatly affects District 11. One way or another, this district is going to drawn more fairly--BEFORE the election! Dave has also campaigned relentlessly since filing. His events have him somewhere every single day. I only wish we had someone like him in every district. (For many districts, there is no Dem opposition at all.)

Donate, volunteer, or whatever you can to help this guy. Democrats are waking up, Veterans are tired of being played, and constituents are tired of being ignored. The GOP has built a power dam in Tallahassee--and a fighter like Koller might be just the leak we need to break it.

Why We Should Hope Rick Scott Does NOT Expand Medicaid in Florida

The title of this post is meant to be ironic. You'll see why in a moment.

Many are hoping that should he get re-elected, Rick Scott will make good on his promise to expand Medicaid. I'd like to suggest that while some good may come of such an expansion under Scott, we would be no better off, as a whole, if he did expand it.  In fact, his behavior so far on this issue paints a frightening picture. 

Consider the following:

  • Some have wondered about the delay in Scott's fulfillment of his promise to expand Medicaid. Although he said he stood behind it, he has done nothing to push the Florida Legislature into passing it. And so, while the Florida Senate approved the expansion, the House did not.
  • Scott has said he would approve the Medicaid expansion only if he got something he wanted from the federal government - namely, the ability to privatize its application. And he got that.
  • Finally, we all know about Scott's past as someone who made millions of dollars thanks to fraud orchestrated on Medicare.
What does all this mean? Put it all together, and a very unpleasant conclusion is apparent: Scott has approved the Medicaid expansion, but delayed its implemenation, in order to allow enough time for his friends in the private sector to take the fullest advantage of the profits they can make from it. That might even include Scott himself, who is probably thinking that once he is  out of the governor's seat, he can turn a tidy profit. 

As bad as this may sound, it can be even worse. Right now it is estimated that between 3 and 6 Floridians a day are dying because Scott has not expanded Medicaid, and many more are suffering more than they should. The figures can be discussed back and forth, but even if Scott does approve the Medicaid expansion, don't look for that number to go down at all as the plan is administered. If you want to see what the administration of the Medicaid expansion will look like under Scott, you need to look somewhere else in the state, and in a place that you wouldn't have thought to look: The state's prisons.

Right now, prison medical services in Florida are being administered by two private companies -- donors to Scott's campaign. Their names don't matter, because all such companies operate the same way. These two companies, however, have a distinct record which is illustrated by one of many news stories about them. This one happens to come from Arizona, where each of those companies has had a turn at providing medical services. 

If you read the story, you'll notice these elements to the process of "treatment" afforded this inmate.

First, a clear effort to "underdiagnose" his condition, even as his condition gradually got worse.

Second, prescribing the minimum amount of care, in accordance with that underdiagnosis.

Finally, an effort to delay and put off care for as long as possible -- until death was imminent. The obvious purpose: Minimum expenditure, maximum profit.

That's the likely future of medical care for the poor, if Scott expands Medicaid in Florida. And now, suddenly, Rick Scott's lip-service support for the Medicaid expansion makes horrifying sense. It will all be part of Scott's grim game of reaping maximum profit from minimum effort, while everyday citizens become meat for his money-machine grinder.

It's tragic enough for me to think that we will be far better off if Medicaid is expanded by Florida's next governor instead.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Letter from Congresswoman Lois Frankel

Congresswoman Lois Frankel represents US Congressional District 222. She has never lost an election. She was mayor of Palm Springs and the Minority Leader of the Florida House before serving in Congress. She was trying to attend but couldn't make it. She asked me if I would read a letter to everyone that I shared.

Note that I will do a post on the meetup, and do an individual write-up of those who did attend. The stuff I learned even blew me away and I've been writing about this state for years.

Stay tuned.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Final Post (on this). Who's coming and when for Meetup tomorrow

This is it. Click here.

Meetup on Saturday... Congresswoman Louis Frankel and Joe Murray, District 51 Candidate

Although the event starts at 10, the speakers begin at 1:00. Congresswoman Frankel's staff contacted me saying that she can't physically be there, but we are negotiating a Skype session. Senate candidate Judithanne McLaunclan will be Skyping us at 1:30. House Candidate Koller will be bringing a reporter and Jim Bryan, another House candidate, will be coming. I have a few others in the wings on Skype. Rev. Simmons, who you many know from his own NAACP AME Moral Work, will attend and speak. I've been in close contact with Charlie's scheduler and he would like to attend. His people are trying to make it work. Several reps from organizations and advocacy groups will speak as well. Activities, free food, candidates, bloggers, kid-friendly activities, a nice pool, a bonfire, etc.

Sounds like a time to me.

My last blog post on this will be tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

FL: NO charges against gunman who fled scene after shooting victim 10 times WALKING AWAY

Screw you, Rick Scott. Screw you and all you rednecks with legislative power who imposed this idiotic monstrosity on Florida.

Colt Thriemer and Thomas J Brown got into a fist fight at a Walmart Parking Lot. There were several witnesses who say that the victim, Thomas Brown, was walking away afterwards to his car when Colt Thriemer shot Thomas Brown after retrieving a handgun. Mr. Brown was shot 10 times at fairly close range both in the back while he was walking away and then when he turned towards Mr. Thriemer after being shot, apparently pleading him to stop. Mr. Thriemer then fled the scene.

When he was apprehended, he did what all murderers do now in Florida: claim he was in "fear for his life". The prosecutor agreed.

The prosecutor's statement summed up all that is fucking wrong with Stand Your Ground:

"The Stand Your Ground Statue makes no exception to the immunity because Brown may have been walking away from Thiemer when deadly force was used."

That's because the fucking law was made by fucking imbeciles.

What's worse, when they had the chance to fix the law after Travoyn Martin's death, the legislature refused. Rick Scott appointed a "panel" stacked with the law's proponents and authors who thought it was just dandy.

The bastards wouldn't even tweak it to say if you are who originally caused the violence, you can't then say you "feared for your life"

Right now in Florida, a man can stalk a woman, attack her, and if she say, knees him in the groin or throws a rock at him, the man can shoot her and claim he was "in fear of his life". Thankfully, most of our prosecutors and judges aren't fucking morons like our politicians, but Rick Scott and AG Pam Bondi are trying to change that.

In this case, the prosecutor opined that maybe the victim was walking away to retrieve a gun. Sure, run with that. But if you thought that at least let this go to trial. But fuck it. These were "poors". And if you thought the latest "purge" movie was far-fetched, come visit.

On second thought, dear God, DON'T!!!

Note: I linked to David Pakman's video on youtube. If you cannot get it, several outlets picked up the story. Essentially, I covered a lot of what he covered in my post, but left out his poignant question at the end--what if someone shot an open carry member who walked into a restaurant with an assault rifle? Certainly the shooter would be justified in "fear for their life"? Yeah, right.

PS.. Pakman's previous story was about a social media specialist for a language school who was fired for writing about "homophones" because his boss thought he was "encouraging homosexuality". (Google homophones... I admit I had to.) The man in the picture was the specialist whose picture was accidentally left up and is no way related to this story. The man in the picture is not related to this story.

PSS.. One reason police are reluctant to arrest murderers is because the law states there is financial penalties for police if the gunman is acquitted under Stand Your Ground. SNL did a great take on what it's like now to be a policeman in Florida.

The NRA and the FL GOP isn't slowing down. They moved to limit the public's access to SYG cases, in response to the Tampa Bay Times award-winning expose on how unevenly and unfairly SYG is applied.

Final.... We must change this regime. We invite you to attend the candidate and blogger meetup this Saturday. If you can't attend, please throw a few bucks to the disabled Vets and advocates organizing it. Don't wait for our side's elites or Party officials to save Florida... it truly is going to fall on us.

Requesting Your Attendance or Support: FL Blogger and Candidate Meetup

All are welcome to this free event who are interested in kicking out the GOP in Tallahassee and DC. Bloggers, candidates, activists, and pretty much anyone else who wants change in Tallahassee is invited. There will be an inside blogging station (so bring your laptops if you want) and a PA system, podium for speakers and candidates. If you want to speak, let me know. The politicians, candidates, and issue advocates will get time allotted with remaining time divided amongst attendees interested.

It will be nice to meet you. I hope you can come. This event is being hosted by a popular FL blogger Vetwife, who is generously offering her house in Inverness. She has run many of these in the past.

--AUGUST 9, 2014
--Starts at 10 am to early evening. Speakers start at 1:00pm. Come and go as you please
--Inverness, Florida (message me (or Vetwife) on Dkos if you are coming, or you can email me @ emeraldcoast2000@yahoo.IE (not .com), or post in comments if you are coming. I will provide you the exact address. This also helps for planning purposes.)

If you can't come, please donate. Although Gordon, a blogger/activist who is coming down from Virginia after a Moral Monday stop in Asheville, will be providing the food, a lot of people are coming. The entire event is being done by disabled veterans and advocates , and they aren't rich. Even small stuff like bottled water for the amount of people coming adds up.

If you can't donate, then please support us. Post this to your blog, facebook, twitter, or other media to get the word out.

A few things to know:

 photo Koller_for_Congress_zps5c0e7859.jpg

1. DC Koller (D), District 11, will also be attending this meetup. David Koller is Democratic challenger to Rep. Richard Nugent. He is running for House of Representatives against Rich know Rich, the tea party congressman wanting to impeach President Obama.

2. Koller has contacting the Crist Camp on our behalf. I heard from one of Crist's people that he is interested and is trying to fit it in, so we will see. UPDATE: His staff contacted us seeking an agenda and he is planning on coming! He said he is going to win or lose based on grassroots!!  photo rickcover_zpsbc91c0cc.jpg

3. David A. Kearns (D), District 53, is attending our meetup. David is a longtime activist and has written several books, including "Rick Scott: Enemy of the State", available on He is taking on John Tobia in District 53. The Orlando Sentinel has said District 53 deserves better than Tobia, who the paper criticized for repeatedly making "inappropriate comments about women in his lectures". GOP Congressman John Tobia won with just a few percentage points--we can beat him.

4. Kossacks (DailyKos bloggers) and prominent Florida bloggers from all over Florida are coming.

5. Jim Bryan, 1st District candidate, is taking on a tea party Congressman and is coming with Koller. Jim served in Vietnam with distinction.

6. Just got note from Gwen Graham, daughter of Gov. Bob Graham and current Congressional candidate for FL House District 2, is planning on attending if her schedule permits.

7. Children are Welcome. Vetwife is planning activities for them. Also, the pool will be open.

8. Joe Murray, House candidate for District 51 is attending.

9. Florida Veteran advocates, Medical MJ advocates, Occupy, and other reps coming.

10. We are planning on an Indian style Bonfire in the evening.

11. You don't have to bring anything, but if you want to bring a dish, or water, or a Styrofoam cooler with ice feel free.

12. This is a family-friendly gathering. NO stress. We are planning on live music, food and a good time for all.

13. Congresswoman Lois Frankel's staff is working for a Skype session. That may happen.

I've gotten more emails and messages from the staff of other incumbents, candidates and prominent bloggers saying they try to come but I won't list them as confirmed until it happens. I will update this post as they do. Let us know if you are coming. I really hope to meet a lot of you in person. Be there! Also, see Vetwife's diary on the event: here

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Seminole County Endorsements forthcoming. Weigh in with your thoughs.

UPDATE: The actual endorsements for the GENERAL ELECTION for 2014 are in. CLICK HERE!

In preparation for Seminole County Primary election, I will attempt to complete my endorsements next week.

I will of course listen to my readers on their opinion before I give mine.

Charlie Crist
Nan Rich

Attorney General:
George Sheldon
Perry Thurston

County Commissioner D2:
John Horan
Jorge Martos
(both are GOP--c'mon Dems!)

Circuit Judge 18th Judicial Circuit
Group 13
Samuel Bookhardt III
George T. Paulk
Christina Sanchez

Group 14
Brooke Goldfarb
Robin Lemonidis

Group 19
Donna Goerner
Mitch Krause

School Board, District 1
Jeff Bauer
Frank Curcio
Rich Sloan

School Board, District 2
Karen Almond
Gracia Miller

Friday, August 01, 2014

News Bulletin: Judge Tells Legislature, GET BUSY Fixing Your Gerrymander Mess!

It's official. A judge says Florida legislators have to get off their duffs and rework those gerrymandered districts, and do it yesterday. It should be fun to watch Tea Party loons do some real work for a change.