"The head of the League of Women Voters on Friday called Florida's readiness for the Nov. 4 general election a 'mixed bag,' citing problems with early voting sites, poll-worker training and staffing levels." The League has
identified too few early voting sites, a paucity of early voting places in predominantly minority neighborhoods and discrepancies in poll-worker training after meeting with elections officials in Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa and West Palm Beach. "League ID's potential voting snags". See also "Pinellas supervisor criticized for lack of early voting sites" (critics are "are faulting Pinellas Supervisor of Elections Deb Clark for having too few early voting sites for the upcoming election.")
See also "Early voting eases Election Day stress".
"Wave of new voter registrations has swamped the Florida"
"Fueled by a historic presidential campaign, a wave of new voter registrations has swamped the Florida elections office — and prompted state officials to turn to counties for a lifeline." "New voter registration overloads state elections office".
The tip of the iceberg: "In Florida alone, some 600,000 blacks haven't registered to vote, Michelle Obama told a rally on Saturday." "Obama, Biden wives urge new voter registration".
Yesterday: "State office is inundated with new voter registration forms". See also "State, counties grapple to register many new voters" and "Potential voters urged to use official registration forms".
"Mood unfavorable" to three PBC GOPers
"They've got clout and campaign cash. Their names — Jeff Atwater, Adam Hasner, Ellyn Bogdanoff — signify power in the state capital. But back home, they're part of a disappearing breed of Republicans in Florida's liberal stronghold, Broward and Palm Beach counties."
This election year, they're facing uncertain political futures, battling not only Democratic opponents but voter angst over the economy, dissatisfaction with political leaders and a tarnished Republican brand."3 Republican legislators in Florida face challenges".
Compounding the problem is a surge in Democratic and independent voter registration that has chipped away at the share of Republican voters in these districts.
"Broaden your search for deficit solutions"
The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "The Florida Legislature's joint budget commission agreed earlier this month to take $672 million from the state's rainy-day funds to meet obligations and try to overcome the budget deficit. Yet another $800 million has to be found somewhere before the year's end and lawmakers are struggling for reasonable places to turn." "Let go, lawmakers".
The Palm Beach Post editorial Board:
If William Abramson becomes a judge in Palm Beach County, it will be like filmmaker Michael Moore crashing a meeting of President Bush and the Cabinet. But if Mr. Abramson brings the wrong sort of temperament to the bench, the Florida Bar is bringing the wrong sort of politics to the controversy."Florida Bar practicing wrong kind of politics".
This week, a month after the election, the last of many recounts showed Mr. Abramson 61 votes ahead of Judge Richard Wennet. Though the result hasn't been certified, and Judge Wennet intends to sue, the odds are that Judge Wennet's 24 checkered years on the bench are over. For Mr. Abramson, one of the first issues to deal with might be the fact that he has been suspended from the practice of law.
Howard Troxler has a problem with
anybody who tries to minimize John McCain's time as a POW.So do we. Thing is, I have never heard anyone do that (unlike what Bush supporters did in 2004 to Kerry). So why create an issue where none exists.
Not all GOPers are Klansmen ...
... but you can be sure none of them are going to vote for the Dem candidate: "The group has morphed since the 1960s and is trying to shake its violent history. Members don't wear the white robes anymore, except to one cross-burning ceremony a year. And the klan doesn't hate black people, Pendergraft says. 'We just love white people more.'" "KKK gets a taste of Obama-mania".
Note: May we respectfully recommend an alternative video product, The Great Schlep. The folks involved in this venture are listed here.
The St. Petersburg Times: "A nonprofit group that has shipped out 28-million copies of a controversial film on radical Islam [Obsession: Radical Islam's War with the West] refuses to reveal the source of its funding, but numerous ties connect it to a well-known Jewish education group", Aish HaTorah. But Aish HaTorah "vehemently denies any involvement with the film."
Ronn Torossian, spokesman for Aish HaTorah, said that his group would in "no way be involved with Clarion Fund or Obsession because Aish HaTorah is a charity and must remain apolitical." ..."Senders of Islam movie 'Obsession' tied to Jewish charity".
Washington tax attorney Marc Owens, who was IRS director of the Exempt Organizations Division for 10 years, says that if IRS investigates and finds a link between the film and Aish, it will ask: Was the film designed or distributed to have an impact on the election? Is this film an inflammatory hate message instead of a charitable, educational message?
"If the answer is 'yes' to either question," said Owens, "the involved charities could lose their tax-exempt status."
Go here for "excerpts from the report, ''2008 National Survey of Latinos,'' released last week by the Pew Hispanic Center." See "Hispanics concerned about immigration".
Another "pit bull"
"The Democrats are back in the state House 44 race with a candidate who already is firing criticism at Republican incumbent Rob Schenck. Jason Melton, a 34-year-old Spring Hill lawyer, filed to step into the contest that Brooksville businessman Joe Puglia exited last week to focus on his wife's efforts to fight an illness. Melton said Thursday he had considered jumping into the race this year but decided to focus on his law practice. When Puglia left the race, Melton reconsidered." "'Pit Bull': Spring Hill Lawyer Enters State House Race".
Courtesy of the Florida Legislature
The St. Petersburg Times editorial board writes about one "Lori Polin, an agent for Re/Max International, who worked with attorney Allen Boyarsky to sell a number of homes at artificially high prices."
"Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum has brought a lawsuit against Boyarsky and two other 'ringleaders' for violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices act."
The lawsuit claims that they engaged in a mortgage fraud scheme, which also included Polin and two other real estate agents, that cheated lenders of more than $37-million and led to the foreclosure of some 50 homes in Central Florida."Housing collapse fueled by fraud".
The alleged scam operated through collusion between real estate agents, mortgage brokers and others who set up straw buyers to purchase homes at prices far above the home's initial list price. A mortgage for 100 percent of the purchase price would be taken out, and the extra cash between the mortgage amount and the money used to pay the home seller was pocketed. Then the home would be left to go into foreclosure. The apparent con left behind a path of devastated neighborhoods.
McCollum didn't name the real estate agents as defendants in the suit. Oddly enough, the agents are exempt from lawsuits under the deceptive practices act. Instead, real estate agents are policed by the Florida Real Estate Commission. But the deceptive practices act has teeth that the commission doesn't. McCollum has called on the Legislature to revisit the exemption, and it certainly would be worth examining.
Why should real estate agents be protected from lawsuits under the deceptive practices act when such improper behavior can ruin lives and undermine the stability of entire neighborhoods?
Losers beyond repair
Steel yourself for 8 years of whining like this: "Another Democratic convention".
Bill Maxwell: "Each year, thousands of high school students stress out as they prepare to take the SAT or ACT tests to get into college. Many researchers suggest that the singular importance placed on these tests has produced a culture of questionable meritocracy and unfairly blocked thousands of otherwise deserving students from entering the schools of their choice." "Stressful tests don't tell whole story".
"Two of state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink's top administrators have been forced out after an audit found a lack of internal controls for handling billions of dollars in public funds." "Heads roll over close call at state finance office".