Monday, June 30, 2008


New Port Richey – Senator Dave Aronberg's (D-Greenacres) statewide fight against Florida 's controversial write-in candidate loophole came to Pasco County today, as Senator Aronberg announced the filing of a lawsuit to open the election for Pasco County Commission, District 1, to all voters.
With the assistance of pro bono attorney Robert Altman of New Port Richey, Senator Aronberg announced that "today's lawsuit will give 170,000 Democrats, Independents and minor party voters the right to decide who their County Commissioner will be." 
In 1998, voters overwhelmingly passed a constitutional amendment that opens primary elections to all voters if all candidates in the race come from the same political party. But in 2000, the will of the voters was undermined by a State Division of Elections opinion, which said that write-in candidates close primary elections because they are considered a general election candidate, even though they pay no filing fee, collect no petition signatures and their names never appear on the ballot.
With the birth of the write-in loophole, politicians began to take full advantage of it. Candidates wanting to stack the deck to their favor recruit sham write-in "opponents" who have no intention of mounting a legitimate campaign. Because of the Division of Elections opinion, the primary is then closed, denying the right to vote to others.
In 2007, Senator Aronberg was able to pass an amendment that began to tighten the reins on write-in candidates by requiring them to live in the district they seek to represent.  "The residency requirement was intended for cases like this one, where neither the candidacy nor the home address is real," said Senator Aronberg.  
The lawsuit, filed in Pasco County Circuit Court, names John M. Taylor and Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley as Defendants.  Taylor filed as a write-in candidate with the admitted intent of exploiting the write-in loophole to disenfranchise all non-Republicans from voting in the November election.  The lawsuit alleges that Taylor lives outside of District 1 and thus is ineligible to run as a write-in candidate. Although Taylor claims to live in the district, he claims his homestead exemption on a home outside of the district and his occupational license lists his home as outside of the district.  In fact, the lawsuit alleges that the home that Taylor claims as his residence is actually the residence of a couple unrelated to Taylor .  
The Plaintiffs are Pasco County residents, Steve Byle, a Democrat from Hudson, and Deborah Lopez, a voter with no party affiliation from Zephyrhills.  They seek Taylor 's disqualification as a write-in candidate, which will open up the election to them and all Pasco County voters. 
"We are confident that this lawsuit will give thousands of Pasco residents the right to choose their County Commissioner , and hopefully deter future sham candidates from outside the district who attempt to manipulate elections," attorney Altman said.
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Florida Couple Marries In San Francisco

Broward County activists Waymon Hudson (of Fight OUT Loud) and Anthony Niedwiecki (a Nova-Southeastern law professor and Oakland Park commission candidate) got married Saturday in City Hall in San Francisco.

Here's a picture from the ceremony!

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Skip Campbell not dropping out of Senate race

After days of rumors , Democrat Skip Campbell denied that he was dropping out of the high-profile race against incumbent state Sen. Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach.

"I don't know where everyone is getting these rumors," Campbell told The Miami Herald Wednesday. "I'm still in there."

Campbell, a former state senator, is trying to unseat Atwater, who is trying to become the next Senate president. rumors had been circulating that Campbell planned to withdraw from the race.
UPDATE: PALM BEACH POST: Campbell may still drop out

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

GAO:Administration Delusional About Iraq

 GAO reports, the American plan for a stable Iraq lacks a strategic framework that meshes with the administration's goals, the administration is not dealing with the realities on the ground and it's execution contains serious flaws in its operational guidelines.
Read The GAO Report Here

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

What Obama said in Miami

Here's the text of Barack Obama's speech today in Miami to the U.S. Conference of Mayors:

Continue reading "What Obama said today in Miami" »

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Celebrate Pride Month

Celebrate Pride Month With A Donation To Obama: 

Let's Kick Some Ass

Barack Obama came to Jacksonville for the first time this year Friday....

In his first visit to Florida since McCain, who will be his Republican opponent in Nov-ember's presidential election, called for lifting the ban on off-shore drilling, Obama said doing that "would have long-term consequences for our coastline, and no short-term benefits."

Citing a 2007 report from the Department of Energy, he said drilling "wouldn't do a thing to lower gas prices."

...Following the late afternoon news conference, Obama went to a fundraiser at the Prime Osborn Convention Center that left Jacksonville Democrats, disorganized and discouraged by their lack of electoral success in recent years, thrilled.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

FISA: Compromise Fails to Strike Adequate Balance Between Our Security and Our Liberty

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz:
I firmly believe that Congress has no greater responsibility than keeping our country safe.  In November, and again in March, I voted to give our Commander-in-Chief the legal tools he needs to track terrorists, intercept their communications and disrupt their plots because that legislation also protected core American civil liberties that make our country great – and make our country worth fighting for.

To be sure, this compromise, which is the product of the strong leadership and skilled negotiations of Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, is a significant improvement upon the Bush Administration's illegal program and the Senate bill.  However, it does not, in my view, strike the adequate balance between our security and our liberty. This bill plainly allows the government to monitor Americans' international communications without a warrant, even when they have no connection to terrorism. What is more, court review of these private communications is completely eviscerated under the compromise legislation. I believe the terrorists "win" when we unnecessarily forfeit core American values.

As a member of the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, I simply cannot support a bill that perpetuates a troubling precedent and will ultimately lead to the gradual disappearance of other important privacy rights we hold dear. Although I have deep respect for the hard work and difficult decisions that have been made during this process – I ultimately believe that the only thing compromised in this legislation is law-abiding Americans' right to be free from unreasonable government intrusion. We need not choose between our security and our liberty. We can have both.

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Tell Gov. Crist: Comply with the law and register voters!

Tell Gov. Crist — Comply with the law and register voters
Help get more voters registered and voting!
The National Voter Registration Act requires that public assistance agencies offer voter registration services to all their clients — but Florida is neglecting this requirement. Tell the governor to follow the law and start registering voters.

Congress passed the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) in 1993 to make voter registration more accessible. The NVRA is best-known for its "Motor Voter" provision, which requires motor vehicle offices to offer voter registration when you apply for or renew your driver's license.
The NVRA law also requires public assistance agencies to offer voter registration to all their clients and applicants — usually lower-income Americans. Regrettably, a majority of states just aren't complying, which means that traditionally under-represented groups are further disenfranchised — despite a federal law enacted specifically to correct this problem.
In Florida, the number of voter registrations coming from public assistance offices has fallen from nearly 158,000 when the law was first implemented, to just 13,000 in the last election cycle. This decline occurred despite increases in state population and food stamp participation. The governor and public assistance directors need to make this a top priority and enforce the NVRA law.
Fortunately, this is not a difficult problem to solve. States that have implemented new procedures — such as Iowa and North Carolina — have seen significant increases in registrations. All we're lacking in Florida is the political will to carry out the requirements of the law — which is where WE can make a difference. Our democracy works best when everyone — not just the better-off — are allowed to participate.
Thank you for working to build a better world.
Will Easton, Activism Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Obama Polling Ahead In Florida

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Democrat Barack Obama leading Republican John McCain in Florida for the first time. Until now, McCain has had the edge -- by 2 to 16 points -- in more than a dozen polls dating to September.

The poll shows Obama leading McCain 47 percent to 43 percent in Florida. He's also up by 6 points in Ohio and 12 points in Pennsylvania. The margin of error in each is about 2.6 percentage points.
The breakdown

In Florida, Obama's lead is built on women (up 10 points over McCain), under-34 voters (up 18 points) and blacks (up a whopping 91 points). And he leads 47-37 among independents, a group supposed to be McCain's strength. White voters favor McCain 50-40.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

FDP JJ Weekend Open Thread

Florida Democratic Party JJ weekend Open Thread:
Please leave your comments and impressions below in the comments
Also please send any pictures you would like me to post to :  

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Getting a Campaign Job

June 25th, 8:30 p.m. EDT - Getting a Campaign Job
DFA Night School
Are you currently looking for a job on a campaign?  Is your campaign ready to start hiring staff?  Staffing can be a very frustrating experience for both job seekers and campaign staffers.  On June 25th DFA Night School is teaming up with Democratic GAIN to help you find the right campaign or staffer for you or your campaign.

Democratic GAIN is the premiere online clearinghouse for Campaigns looking to hire staff and activists looking for jobs.  Democratic GAIN President Amy Pritchard will join us for an hour long discussion on the do's and don'ts of searching for the right campaign job.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008


House Democratic Leader Dan Gelber (D-Miami Beach) issued the following statement in response to the governor's decision to sign the budget:
"Today, Gov. Charlie Crist signed Florida's $66 billion budget without any of the fanfare or pomp that often accompanies the event. It's a good thing, as this is not a budget that warrants celebration. A budget that cuts $1 billion from public education at a time when our high school graduation rate is already the worst in the nation is nothing to celebrate. A budget that delivers a disproportionate amount of pain to developmentally disabled children and seniors in nursing homes is nothing to celebrate. A budget that prevents Florida's young men and women from finding higher educational opportunities is nothing to celebrate. 
"No one should be uncorking champagne today other than, perhaps, those wealthy, well-connected special interests who were spared the harmful impact of the budget cuts that everyday Floridians will have to suffer.
"I understand Gov. Crist's decision to forgo his line-item veto power and keep much of the funding for road and water projects in our state, as these projects are needed for economic stimulus. Ultimately, however, this budget contains a cut in the K-12 education funding by $130 per student, millions of dollars in cuts to Florida's community colleges and universities, position losses in the public defender and state attorney offices, less funding for Everglades clean up than in past years, and cuts in the state's healthcare system that will harm our most sick and most vulnerable.
"All of the Democrats in the House of Representatives voted against this budget because of those cuts."

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

How To Help Elect Obama



Here are a few ways you can learn more, get the latest news, and share information with friends:


Your fellow supporters are coming together across the nation to knock on doors, make phone calls, and Get Out The Vote in their communities. You can have a major impact on the race for the Democratic nomination. Sign up now and help organize for Barack in your community.

Watch a brief video and learn about Barack's early years, his education, his work as a community organizer and civil rights attorney, and his years in the Illinois and U.S. Senate. This is a great introduction to share with your friends:

Catch up on the latest news, photos, and videos from the campaign trail and share your thoughts on our official campaign blog:

Learn more about Barack's positions on a variety of issues, from his opposition to the war in Iraq to his plan for universal health care: FACTCHECK ACTION CENTER
Barack Obama stands for a new kind of politics -- without the smear tactics that we're all fed up with. You can help push back against negative attacks and distortions right now by telling people about Barack and his background. The truth is only as strong as your voice:

Watch a few of the more than 500 videos from the campaign trail on our YouTube channel:

Our movement is ready to go wherever you are. Text HOPE to 62262 (OBAMA) to receive text updates on your mobile phone and advance notice about local Obama events:


Barack Obama got his start as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, and since he declared his candidacy in 2007, a nationwide network of supporters have taken this campaign into their own hands, organizing online and their local communities. Here are some ways to get involved:

My.BarackObama is an organizing tool that empowers you to take this campaign into your own hands. Connect with other supporters in your area and find out about local events, or create your own organizing group and schedule your own events:

Introduce your friends, family, neighbors, or coworkers to Barack Obama. Let them know why you support Barack and encourage them to join our movement for change:

There are more than 25,000 supporter created blogs on My.BarackObama where they chronicle their campaign experience and interact with other supporters. Find one for your community or launch your own today:

More than 2,000,000 phone calls have been made by volunteers using the online calling tool. Sign up for our National Call Team and you can reach out to supporters all over the country from your home:

Print your own posters, flyers, fact sheets, supporter cards, and dozens of other resources from our online resource library:

LGBT for Obama, Students for Obama, Veterans for Obama, Women for Obama and People of Fatih for Obama are just some of the many communities large and small supporting Barack Obama. Explore a few of them them here:


Barack Obama does not accept donations from Washington lobbyists or special interest groups. Instead, we depend on a network of grassroots supporters giving whatever they can afford.

Take the fundraising process into your own hands. Help support the campaign by reaching out to people you know and asking them to give through your personal fundraising page:

This campaign has always been about reaching as many people as possible and bringing them into the political process. When you make a matching donation you'll learn the name and hometown of the person whose gift you match, and even exchange a note with them through our unique system:

Let everyone in your community know that you support Barack. All purchases through our online store go to support our campaign and are considered political donations. Show your support in style:

Monday, June 09, 2008

Cracking The Ceiling

On Saturday, thousands of people joined Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) as she ended her historic run for president. "Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it's got about 18 million cracks in it," Clinton told her supporters. "And the light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time." Her campaign may be over, but the effects of her candidacy will continue to pave the way for progressives. "She shattered barriers on behalf of my daughters and women everywhere, who now know that there are no limits to their dreams," said Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). Even First Lady Laura Bush said she "admired Hillary's grit and strength." Because of Clinton's candidacy, women analysts were featured by the media more frequently, women's issues rose prominently in the national debate, and the need for more women office-holders entered the national consciousness. Even while facing intense displays of misogyny, as the New York Times's Paul Krugman noted, Clinton continued to stay focused and put forth policy proposals that were "surprisingly bold and progressive."

Helping the Campaign this Summer

Obama for America
Here are a couple of ideas for helping the campaign this summer and winning your state for Obama:
Voter Registration drives near you:
or events near you

Saturday, June 07, 2008


Florida for Hillary, the statewide campaign that was largely responsible for her big win in the Florida Primary announces its endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for President.
"Throughout this historic campaign and her incredible life, Senator Clinton has fought for issues that the people of Florida care deeply about, including the expansion of children's health care, the creation a national catastrophic insurance fund and the protection of Israel," said Ana Cruz, Co-Founder and spokesperson for the group. "Senator Barack Obama will fight for these same important causes as President, and we look forward to working with him to make sure that Florida voters are heard."
Florida for Hillary is an organization of Democratic elected officials, party leaders and activists from across the state who mobilized grassroots support to ensure a victory for Senator Clinton in the Florida Democratic Primary on January 29, 2008.
The group now turns its energy and attention to electing Senator Barack Obama the next President. Florida for Hillary will work hard to ensure that every single Floridian who cast their primary vote for Senator Clinton now votes for Senator Obama in November.
"The differences between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are small, but the differences between Democrats and Senator John McCain are enormous," said Co-Founder of Florida for Hillary Alan Clendenin. "John McCain wants to continue the failed policies of the Bush administration. Barack Obama will deliver the change this country desperately needs."

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Democratic National Committee Swings Behind Obama, Declares Him Nominee

A Statement by Democratic Leaders on the End of the Presidential Primary Process

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, DGA Chairman Joe Manchin and DNC Chairman Howard Dean today issued the following statement:
"We have come to the end of an exciting primary and caucus process - the voters have spoken. As the Democratic leaders of the Senate, House of Representatives, the Governors and the Democratic National Committee we commend all of the participants of the 2008 primary process, especially Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, for making this such a transformational election. Because of the enthusiasm our candidates have inspired, our party has brought record numbers of voters to the polls, gained millions of newly registered Democrats and now has advantages in states many thought were difficult to win. We are grateful to the millions of Independents and Republicans who have crossed over to vote for a Democratic candidate for President.
"Democrats must now turn our full attention to the general election. To that end, we are urging all remaining uncommitted super delegates to make their decisions known by Friday of this week so that our party can stand united and begin our march toward reversing the eight years of failed Bush/McCain policies that have weakened our country.
"We once again congratulate all of the candidates for their leadership and dedication to providing this country with a New Direction. We look forward to working with them and with all Democrats to win the White House, congressional seats and state capitals so we can deliver the change the American people deserve and demand."

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The General Election, Day One

The Primary and Caucus Season is now officially over and a potentially fascinating General Election campaign is finally underway.
Just 17% Say Federal Government Represents Will of the People
As Election 2008 draws ever closer, it is hard to overstate the disconnect between the American people and their government. Just 17% of voters say that the federal government represents the will of the American people.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Media Blows it Again: Clinton NOT Conceding Befor the Votes Are Counted

Clinton Camp Says Concession Reports False --Voting Under Way In Montana, South Dakota 03 Jun 2008 The Associated Press reported Tuesday that Hillary Rodham Clinton will concede Tuesday night that Barack Obama has the delegates to secure the Democratic nomination, but her officials refuted that report. However, Clinton's campaign chairman, Terry McAuliffe, said reports that she will concede are "100 percent incorrect."
Harold Ickes, Clinton chief strategist, is stating that the AP story is incorrect. Sen. Clinton will continue to 'make her case' to uncommitted superdelegates. (MSNBC interview)

Media Blows it Again: Clinton NOT Conceding Befor the Votes Are Counted

Clinton Camp Says Concession Reports False --Voting Under Way In Montana, South Dakota 03 Jun 2008 The Associated Press reported Tuesday that Hillary Rodham Clinton will concede Tuesday night that Barack Obama has the delegates to secure the Democratic nomination, but her officials refuted that report. However, Clinton's campaign chairman, Terry McAuliffe, said reports that she will concede are "100 percent incorrect."
Harold Ickes, Clinton chief strategist, is stating that the AP story is incorrect. Sen. Clinton will continue to 'make her case' to uncommitted superdelegates. (MSNBC interview)

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Florida at DNC RBC Meeting

After DNC Chairman Howard Dean opened the proceedings with brief remarks, the committee l heard from DNC member Jon Ausman, who presented Florida's appeal. Sen. Bill Nelson spoke on behalf of the state party, and state Sen. Arthenia Joyner spoke on behalf of the Clinton campaign.  Congressman Robert Wexler Spoke for the Obama campaign.

To Watch all of them on video

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Special Ring Report: DNC Votes to Restore Florida Delegates

Dear Friend,
Yesterday the rules committee of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) voted unanimously to restore Florida's delegates. They did however penalize the state with providing each delegate a ½ vote at the democratic convention in Denver later this year. The decision gives Senator Hillary Clinton an additional 19 delegates from the state of Florida.

While we maintain the proper decision would have been to provide each delegate with a full vote, we are nevertheless supportive of the will of the committee and recognize that the time to put inter-party bickering behind us is now, and we must be unified in support of the eventual Democratic nominee for November. We also call for the nominee to restore Florida's vote entirely by the Denver convention.

As many know by now, the decision to move Florida's primary forward was due to the need to have candidates campaigning on issues relevant to Floridians. Unfortunately, many of the most pressing issues we face daily cannot be easily addressed from Tallahassee.
  • Only Washington can ease the burden of the "No Child Left Behind Act", that has harmed public education, not helped;
  • Only Washington can repeal the Medicare Part "D" prescription drug plan, which disallows government from negotiating with pharmaceutical companies directly to provide the lowest possible drug costs for our seniors;
  • Only Washington can truly provide a long-term fix to our insurance crisis by creating a national catastrophic fund to reduce the high cost of wind insurance Floridians are forced to pay.
It remains puzzling that candidates spend close to two years campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire discussing issues relevant to those states. Neither Iowa nor New Hampshire includes the broad representation that Florida provides. Being a cultural melting pot, Florida best represents the nation's population and therefore should have tremendous relevancy in the primary process. I truly hope that by 2012, the current presidential primary system is updated to be more fair and inclusive.

I also take this opportunity to call on Congress to overhaul the nation's entire election process. Our current system is too complicated. It's impossible to define super-delegates vs. regular delegates, Electoral College vs. popular vote, electronic voting machines vs. verifiable paper trails, the timing of primaries and the weighting of delegates. We as a nation deserve and must demand a more streamlined election process where the statement of "One Person One Vote" is unconditional.

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1637 NW 100th Dr.
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AGs from 10 states seek stay of California same-sex marriage ruling


Can AGs convince California Supreme Court to stay its same-sex marriage ruling?

CaliforniaEarlier on this blog, I reported on the case of In re Marriage Cases decided May 15, 2008 by the California Supreme Court holding that two state laws that had limited marriages to opposite-sex partners are unconstitutional and that single-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.
The attorney generals of ten states (Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah) have petitioned the California Supreme Court to stay its decision which would legalize same-sex marriages as of June 17, 2008.
Here are some additional details from Jesse McKinley, States Seek Delay in California Marriage Ruling, NY Times, [They] asked that the marriages be put off until after the November election, when California voters are expected to vote on a measure that would ban same-sex marriages.
The attorneys general said that allowing same-sex marriages now could unnecessarily open the door to legal challenges from gay residents of other states who get married in California. Upon returning to their home states, the newlyweds could demand equality in everything from tax-filing status to testimonial privileges in civil suits, the attorneys general said. * * *
The court is expected to issue a ruling on the stays by the end of business on June 16, said Matt Dorsey, a spokesman for the San Francisco city attorney, Dennis Herrera. * * *
The California attorney general, Jerry Brown, said on Friday that a stay was unnecessary. "Same-sex marriage is a deeply contentious issue, but in California the matter has now been resolved by the state Supreme Court," he said. 
Ten US state attorneys general have petitioned [brief, PDF] the Supreme Court of California [official website] to postpone implementation of its May 15 decision [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] legalizing same-sex marriages until after state elections in November. California is slated to allow all same-sex couples, regardless of state citizenship, to wed in California, but each of the 10 petitioning states bans recognition of same-sex marriages. The attorneys general - from Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah - wrote Thursday that if California starts issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples [JURIST report] on June 17 as announced, many same-sex couples in their states would become "marriage tourists" in California and the states' courts would then face unfair, extensive and burdensome litigation on whether to recognize the marriages. The AGs also joined conservative Christian legal advocacy group Alliance Defense Fund's recent petition [text, PDF; JURIST report] in saying that deciding the issue before California citizens vote in November on a likely proposed amendment to the California state constitution banning same-sex marriage could lead to legal havoc. Attorneys for the city and county of San Francisco have responded [press release; opposition brief to ADF petition, PDF] that a stay would mingle judicial and political processes and would deny rights based on a merely proposed state constitutional amendment. The New York Times has more. The San Francisco Chronicle has local coverage.


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