Wednesday, May 31, 2006
"FDP Says: 'Democrats United'"."
Democrats plan to tour the state this week, promoting a party message on issues like education and insurance that they hope will garner votes in November's elections. ... Democrats will head to Fort Lauderdale, Miami Gardens, Jacksonville and Tampa to bring their message to those cities. At a Tallahassee press conference, they focused mainly on class size and hurricane insurance." "State Democrats plan tour".
THE DEMOCRATIC MESSAGE:PUTTING FLORIDIANS FIRST - BECAUSE SECURITY BEGINS AT HOME
Floridians know that security begins at home. Democrats provide better security in 2006.
Click here to download our detailed "Putting Floridians First” agenda in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.
We put Floridians first because both you and I know that security begins at home. Democrats will ensure that Florida has a government that is both effective and efficient and that works for everyone at all levels. People know government should respond to the needs of the citizens first, and that’s the way Democrats plan to lead.
The people of Florida have made it crystal clear that they want government to secure them today and for the future. But it’s not just about the wars overseas, though it is important that we are successful there, too. Real security begins at home, and the people of Florida know that.
That’s why they want the leaders they elect to ensure:
stronger neighborhood schools;
an economy that works for everyone;
quality healthcare they can afford; and
real and effective homeland security.
The bottom line: Democrats put Floridians first because security begins at home.
READ THE PLAN
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Democrats also rolled out a piece of standard equipment for times like this: a web site, www.stormingmad.com (paid for by the Florida Democratic Party). The site shows the Democrats' insurance alternative, which includes a phase-out of the state-backed Citizens insurance company and a new hurricane catastrophe fund modeled after the National Flood Insurance Program. The site also clearly seeks to fan the flames of consumer outrage over insurance rates by urging homeowners to forward copies of their latest assessments to Senate President Tom Lee and House Speaker Allan Bense in Tallahassee.
Jeb’s “Dirty Little Secret”
By Brian E. Crowley
From The Post’s Dara Kam in Tallahassee:
Lobbyists close to Jeb Bush make millions. Tallahassee-based Southern Strategy Group reported annual earnings of between $4.7 million and $11.5 million. Southern Strategy’s lobbyists include former House Speaker John Thrasher, former Bush policy advisor Paul Bradshaw, Bush’s former deputy chief of staff David Rancourt, and former Florida Department of Law Enforcement commissioner Tim Moore, also appointed by Bush.
Bush thinks there’s a cheaper way to get his attention.
“I don’t think people should pay lobbyists that much, myself. They can e-mail me at email@example.com and get the same answer that I’d give to lobbyists that they’d hire.
But that’s a dirty little secret I shouldn’t probably expose.”
Posted at the Q
Monday, May 15, 2006
President Bush's Approval Rating Down in Florida
JACKSONVILLE, FL -- President Bush's approval rating continues to drop. Mister Bush's top adviser, Karl Rove, blames the War in Iraq for the declining numbers. According to a CNN poll, 58 percent of Americans disapprove of the way the president is handling his job.A new survey is showing residents in Florida and Georgia do not approval of President Bush's job performance.
The numbers from our exclusive Survey USA poll is listed below.
3% Not Sure
2% Not Sure
Friday, May 12, 2006
|Barker , Daniel (CPF) ||Active|
|Chapman , Richard U. (DEM) ||Active|
|Collins Jr., LeRoy (REP) ||Qualified|
|Frazier , Floyd Ray (NPA) ||Qualified|
|Harris , Katherine (REP) ||Qualified|
|Knepper , Howard W. (REP) ||Active|
|McBride , William "Will" (REP) ||Qualified|
|Monroe , Peter (REP) ||Qualified|
|Moore , Brian (NPA) ||Qualified|
|Nelson , Bill (DEM) ||Qualified|
|Noah , Belinda (NPA) ||Qualified|
|Padilla , Patrick T. (REP) ||Active|
|Scott , Lawrence Sidney (WRI) ||Qualified|
|Senter , Bernard (WRI) ||Qualified|
|Tanner , Roy (NPA) ||Qualified|
|Wells , Tom (FVP) ||Active|
By KEVIN BEGOS firstname.lastname@example.org
Florida's Legislature cut back on public access to information such as
concealed weapons permits and bid proposals.
Technology, though, is creating new secrecy pitfalls, with loopholes that
experts say can be used to keep government actions secret.
In Tallahassee "it was a stinky, stinky session," said Adria
Harper, director of the First Amendment Foundation in Tallahassee.
There were 10 new exemptions cut out of laws that are supposed to guarantee
residents the right to see what government officials are doing. Twenty-six
other bills renewed exemptions or limited access in other ways.
One example is that you'll no longer be able to find out the names of
people who have applied for or received concealed weapons permits. Another
bill cut back the amount of time that nursing home inspection reports must be
available to consumers. And the exemption for autopsy photos that was passed
after the death of race car driver Dale Earnhardt was extended.
Technology is adding a whole new dimension to such legal issues, said
Alasdair Roberts, an associate professor at the Maxwell School of Citizenship
and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and author of the recently published
book "Blacked Out: Government Secrecy in the Information Age."
Owners of BlackBerry wireless communication devices can send each other
messages directly, without using the email servers that government agencies
use as a central monitoring point, Roberts said.
Employees may also send messages concerning public business via private
e-mail accounts, again leaving no official trace. And personal cell phones can
be used to get around official phone logs and records of land lines.
But there's another side to the battle over public records, Roberts said.
"It's very often true that even people inside the [government] building
can't find the documents they want," Roberts said.
E-mail Can Be Used For Good
Despite rollbacks to public records laws and resistance from some
government officials, the move toward e-mail is one bright spot on public
access, Roberts said. Many policy discussions now take place via e-mail,
producing a digital record that the public can see, at least in theory.
In Florida, each government agency manages its own information technology
needs, said Tiffany Koenigkramer, a spokeswoman for the Department of
Management Services. But because some government work has been outsourced, it
creates another potential layer of questions about how records are handled and
Technology and public access issues may be more complex, but some worry
that the Legislature is laughing it off. "I'm finding the attitude of
some of the members sort of disturbing. It's like sort of a big joke, or
something," said Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment
Foundation. "It's a lack of respect."
That doesn't surprise Charles Davis, Executive Director of the National
Freedom of Information Coalition at the University of Missouri. There is no
outcry from average citizens over the weakening of public records laws, which
is happening nationwide, Davis said. "Every new exemption cedes new power
to the government," Davis said. "A lot of damage is being
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Monday, May 01, 2006
Gov. Jeb Bush’s latest and likely his last attempt to undo the class size amendment failed Friday, with six Republican senators joining with 14 Democrats to block a ballot question to water down the current strict limits.
Heavy lobbying by Senate President Tom Lee and his slated successor Sen. Ken Pruitt failed to win over the 24 votes needed to put the issue back before voters this November - a side effect of an ongoing leadership battle in the Senate.
Some Republicans accused those who voted against Pruitt’s proposal of disloyalty to their party. But the Republican dissenters, led by Majority Leader Alex Villalobos, R-Miami, said they are loyal - to their constituents and to the 70 percent of Floridians who, according to recent polls, support the existing class size standards.
Let’s keep the HEAT On Visit