Sunday, November 18, 2012

Democrats Blast Rick Scott for Helping Allen West's Quest to Overturn Election

Allen West. Worst Congressman ever. Unstable, erratic, extreme, and bigoted. Hates gays, women, is a proud Islamophobe, equated food stamps to slavery, and actually claimed that 80 House Democrats were communists.

How bad was he? In a GOP-gerrymandered district where a right-wing incumbent should have won easily, and where outside groups significantly outspent and smeared his Democratic opponent, Allen West STILL lost!!!

Allen West was too crazy for even Florida Republicans. (And they elected Rick freakin' Scott!)

And let's be clear. Despite Allen West's mad rantings, he did in fact LOSE the election. Under Florida law, a taxpayer-paid recount occurs when a race is within 0.5 percent or closer. Allen West lost by 1,907 votes, which is more than that. Case closed.

If a judge orders a recount anyway, so be it. But he will still lose.

Enter Rick Scott. Aka, Dr. Evil but less comical.

Scott is a close friend of Allen West. They are both teabaggers and often praise each other.

Now, you might have heard a few stories in the national news about Rick Scott pissing on Florida voters. Well, it seems Rick has had a change of heart. Now Scott is suddenly saying, (I shit you not), that he is determined to protect "the voice of the voters".

FL Sec. of State Ken Detzner, (who, again, I need to remind you replaced the previous SoS because he was disgusted with Rick Scott's voter suppression tactics), ordered a team of "auditors" to essentially harrass the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections.

(The harrassment apparently worked. Gertrude Walker was hospitalized today.)

Detzner's spokesman said the auditors were sent because of concern that "fair elections were conducted in all of the St. Lucie County races, not just the highest profile contests".

Riiiiight. Auditors were sent to this one county because Rick Scott is really concerned about the Soil and Water election results in St. Lucie. Allen West's Congressional race just happens to be one among them.

Not only is this action not justified, but this is a blatant attempt to undermine and pressure the elections chief.

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz ain't having any of that mess:

"All votes in this election were counted fairly and accurately, and Allen West has lost beyond the mandatory recount range. Having Governor Scott intervene is outrageous and inappropriate. After disenfranchising Florida voters by cutting down early voting days and creating extraordinarily long lines at the polls, Governor Scott is now trying to blatantly overturn an election result he disagreed with and undermine Gertrude Walker, a three-decade veteran of the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections office. Governor Scott needs to remove himself from this process immediately."

Rep. Alcee Hastings also jumped in:

“It was Governor Scott who cut early voting hours, created long lines during early voting, and imposed unprecedented burdens on county election offices. Despite his repeated efforts to disenfranchise voters, the people of Florida’s 18th district chose Patrick Murphy to represent them in Washington, and by a margin that does not necessitate a recount. “Governor Scott’s efforts to interfere with a local official who has decades of experience and overturn an election conducted in full accordance with the law are a gross misuse of power and an unwarranted intrusion into the electoral process that should cease immediately.”

Florida has a bad reputation. The reason? Republicans, who hate government, completely run our state government. Look at just this past week: we got results from a government study to determine if texting while driving is bad (newsflash: it is), Rick Scott hired a laid-off banker who abused his unemployment compensation to head the agency that doles out uneployment compensation, and we got the results back from the Stand your Ground panel--no changes needed to the law! (The fact that it was made up of people who wrote the bill had no impact, I'm sure). I never have a shortage of material to write about for this series.

I have hope, though. Election day was a great day for me. Florida might finally be saying "Enough!" Election day might even be better in 2014, when Rick Scott can join his buddy Allen West in the unemployment line.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Rick Scott Crosses the Line From Crime to Treason

Yesterday was the glorious vision of Rick Scott and our one-party system: a day actually referred to as "Color-Free Sunday". It is typically the largest African American voting day because black churges organize "Souls to the Polls". But this year, as the former head of the FL GOP admitted, they had to keep nonwhites from voting.

Yesterday we had chaos in South Florida. People who stood in lines for literally over 7 hours on Saturday and didn't make it in were promised they could pick up and vote using absentee ballots from 1-5 pm: only to have the Miami-Dade elections office shut down after less then two hours. Over 180 angry voters, Hispanics, blacks, whites, all screamed "We want to vote!!"

Think about that for a second. In our own country, people were screaming to vote.

I was shocked when I read that. Republicans watchin at the elections office had a different reaction. They had their cars towed!

Welcome to Rick Scott's Florida.

As much as I eviscerate my state, I will tell you that people here are so damned determined to vote despite the best effort from the state GOP to turn our state into a fucking third-world country. Maybe its BECAUSE we live in a virtual dictatorship. But as bad as voting was this weekend in Democratic areas, it will be worse tomorrow: on Election Day, there will be even fewer polling precincts this year than in 2008.

Gov. Voldemort has actually said voting has gone very smoothly here and denies that there has been any problem. His new Secretary of State, Ken Detzner, (the last one resigned in disgust, by the way), said only an actual emergency would allow more early voting hours... which is utter-fucking crap. Because in my own county, a suspicious package was placed at a Democratically-leaning polling district which shut the polling station shut down for four hours. EVEN THEN, Rick Scott said NO--even to make up the damn hours lost by some right-wing whackjob.

A judge had to intervene to extend the hours we were promised only after the state Democratic Party sued.

Senator Bill Nelson in a letter to Rick Scott:

You should be doing everything in your power to make sure everybody has the chance to vote, and that their vote is counted. Instead, Gov. Scott, you are allowing people to be turned away and jeopardizing the credibility of Florida's election.

Former Governor Crist:

The only thing that makes any sense as to why this is happening and being done is voter suppression.

It's one thing to steal and get rich off of Medicare fraud. That's just another day here in Florida. But Amercicans have fought and died for our right to vote. So let's call this what it is. Treason.

Voter suppression is Treason, governor.

And that is something even Florida won't tolerate.

It's not enough to defeat you in 2014, Rick; your traitorous ass needs to be thrown in prison. Or at least exiled to a third-world dictatorship you so obviously envy.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

5 Ways a Romney Victory Will Ruin Future Campaigns

Don't get me wrong. I am feeling a lot better about Obama pulling this off. But it is my nature to worry--I thought there was no way Rick Scott could win either.

I am not fearful for myself personnally; I make good scratch and actually would do well under a Romney presidency. I do fear the devastation to the middle class Romney will certainly try to inflict, not to mention the rights he will try to destroy, but at least I am finally confident that our leadership in the Seante will stop him where they can. (Although it will suck that we will have to fight for our basic rights consistently-again).

What I fear about a Romney victory on Nov. 6 will be the devastation to our democracy. There will be 5 takeaways campaign strategists will use for future campaigns:

1. Outright lies will become a legitimate campaign strategy. Journalism, fact checkers, and even facts, will be attacked as partisan if they contradict a politician. I get that lies are part of politics, but in the past, if you were called on it, you were shamed and IT STOPPED! In the new environment? A candidate will literally make things up, and not only will there be no consequence, but there will be reward. As long as there is money to keep pushing the lie, and fake news sources (hello FOx) to ignore or stand by it, we will be bombarded with so many lies in future campaigns that our outrage over Romney's blatant, debunked lies about everything from welfare to Chrysler will be considered quaint.

2. Bigotry, even hate, will be used as just another election tool that can work. Questioning someone's Americanism, religion, patriotism, birth, intelligence, college transcripts, you name it, will become par for the course in a campaign. Especially if the candidate is "foreign" looking. But as disgusting as those tactics are, I promise you that after a Romney victory you will see more-- and worse.

3. Voter suppression tactics will be standardized in modern GOP campaigns. Romney is already training people to lie to voters to supress teh vote on election day. Here in Florida, people are getting phone calls and letters telling them the wrong dates and times, and I'm not even sure that is illegal here. (If it is I can say there are no consequences, because it keeps happening.) Our legislature worked overtime last year to make it as difficult as possible to register and allow voting for likely Democrats--from essentially banning third party registration outfits, shredding absentee ballots for fake "handwriting analysis", purging eligible voters, forcing provisional ballots on students and women, etc. These are tactics that make third-world dictators blush. A Romney victory, however, will mean refighting the Jim Crow laws that we thought we put to bed half a century ago.

4. Its all about money: Candidates will spend more time fighting over a billionaire's favor, not the public. Romney's entire campaign was financed with 32 billionaires. Obama primarily took in small donations and gave him a run for his money. The take-away from a Romney victory will be candidates running to billionaires and their SuperPACs to curry favor for votes.

5. Secrecy will be the new normal. Did we ever see Mitt's tax returns? Does anyone really know how he made his money? Never mind it has been the standard for 4 decades to release 10+ years of taxes. Putting that aside, has anyone EVER figured how what Romney is going to cut to reduce the deficit?? Somehow we are going to keep our popular deductions, the superrich will get a 20% tax break, and our defense budget will rise by 2 trillion. My now discredited Orlando Sentinel endorsement failed to say how in the hell any of that is going to happen... but it doesn't matter. They didn't ask and I guess its too much trouble for them or anyone else in the MSM to try to get answers.

With a Romney victory, you will see an immediate change under GOP campaigns from the national all the way down to the local level. I fear down the line that even non-GOP campaigns will feel they have to respond in kind.

Romney's campaign was the ugliest and slimiest in modern history... and if he is victorious, I fear that soon his campaign will be the standard, not the exception. Even worse, one day, his campaign will be considered "tame".

It doesn't have to be this way. Vote, then get others to vote, then volunteer, then rest. Thank you.