Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sen. Dave Aronberg's Pill Mill Bill Goes to Governor

Convicted felons or other "bad doctors" could no longer own pain clinics under a measure approved by the Senate on Monday to rein in so-called pill mill operators who lawmakers say are little more than legalized drug dealers.The Senate unanimously approved the measure (SB 2272).

The Senate gave final approval to the measure (HB 325) with a 30-7 vote just before noon. The House passed it last week with a 77-33 vote. ... Under the bill (SB 2272),

Provides that pain-management clinics that are required to be registered with the DOH are business establishments. Requires all privately owned pain-management clinics, or offices that primarily engage in the treatment of pain by prescribing or dispensing controlled substance medications or by employing a physician who is primarily engaged in the same, to register with the DOH, etc.
Effective Date: 10/01/2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sen. Dave Aronberg's Protect Our Kids First Heading to the Senate

Despite Catholic Church opposition, Protect Our Kids First legislation, HB 525 sponsored by Rep. Chris Dorworth, R-Heathrow, passed the Florida House of Representatives by a vote of 110-0. Upon passage, the House immediately certified the bill, thereby delivering it to the Senate where it is scheduled to be heard on Special Order Calendar today. A final vote in the Senate could come as soon as tomorrow.

House Bill 525 repeals the statutes of limitations for acts of child sexual abuse. The Senate companion bill, SB 870, is sponsored by Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres.

Child advocates have fought for this legislation for six years. And this year Lauren Book-Kim finished a dramatic 500-mile run in the Capitol courtyard to publicize the plight of sexually abused children.

Today's unanimous vote came in spite of opposition by the Florida Catholic Conference.To their credit, Sen. Aronberg and Rep. Dorworth rejected the Catholic Conference’s efforts and continue to stand with protecting children from sexual predators.



Removal of statute of limitations on its way to governor

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Florida 2010 Governor Race Neck And Neck

Two new polls this week proved: that the race for Florida's next Governor's is extremely competitive and extremely close. Two independent polls from Quinnipiac and Rasmussen showed a single-digit race that could come down to the wire in November.

Quinnipiac polling also showed that a majority of Floridians (54-40) think McCollum's health care lawsuit is a "bad idea". It's clear that Floridians have a problem with footing the bill for McCollum's partisan stunt, and shows just how out of touch he is with our values and priorities.

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Florida GOP Goes After Law Enforcement in Offensive Ad

This week, the Republican Party of Florida proved just how offensively out-of-touch they have become - putting their lack of respect for law enforcement officers and their families on full display in a ridiculous web video. You can even watch the Republican Party's pathetic and offensive ad here:

This started because earlier in the week, Republicans in the Florida Legislature launched an outrageous attempt to deny the sworn law enforcement officers in Alex's department the tactical weapons we purchase to keep them safe in a dangerous job. Bill McCollum's campaign piled on the attack and finally the Republican Party of Florida released their web video. Alex was so outraged by this video attacking and ridiculing Florida's law enforcement officers, that she sent it to all of her supporters, so they could see just how low McCollum and his allies at the Republican Party of Florida are willing to go.
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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Why is Sen. LeMieux standing with Wall Street?

Sen. LeMieux has a choice: he can stand with regular Americans who are struggling, or he can protect big Wall Street banks.

Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell already made his choice. He held a secret meeting with Wall Street executives, asking for more campaign contributions. Then he came back to Washington trying to kill financial reform—just like the bankers want.1

But some other Republicans are uncomfortable standing with Wall Street—especially if they know their constituents are watching. That's why Sen. LeMieux needs to hear from you today.

Can you call Sen. LeMieux and let him know that there will be a price to pay for blocking financial reform to make Wall Street happy? Tell him you want him to stand with the people of Florida who want to rein in the big banks.

Senator George LeMieux
Phone: 202-224-3041 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 202-224-3041 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Then, please report your call by clicking here:

Opposing financial reform doesn't poll well, so Republicans' PR strategy is to convince voters that it's a "bailout"—even though the Senate's bill specifically does away with bailouts.2 It's such a brazen lie that even some Republicans have admitted that Senator McConnell isn't telling the truth.3

The Senate's financial reform bill is working to end the bailouts, protect consumers, and shut down trading on the highly risky, unregulated "shadow markets" that almost destroyed our economy.4 But too many Republicans would rather try to block any hope of common-sense reform to please their Wall Street buddies.

Will you call Sen. LeMieux now and tell him to stop obstructing the Wall Street reform that Americans want? He needs to hear that voters in Florida know that he is blocking reform on behalf of the big banks.

Senator George LeMieux
Phone: 202-224-3041 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 202-224-3041 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Then, please report your call by clicking here:

Thanks for all you do.

–Daniel, Nita, Milan, Jodeen, and the rest of the team


1. "The Fire Next Time," The New York Times, April 15, 2010

2. "Bank bailouts not in bill, but liquidation is,", April 14, 2010

3. "There is no 'bailout fund'," The Washington Post, April 20, 2010

4. "Wall Street Reform Bill—Summary," United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs, April 19, 2010

"Sen. Lincoln unveils broad derivatives regulatory bill," MarketWatch, April 16, 2010

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My Prediction for the Florida 2010 Senate race

My Prediction for the Florida 2010 Senate race:
Charlie Crist is a Republican, Crist likes being a Republican. Charlie will stay a Republican. Charlie has looked at the numbers and knows he can't win this Republican Senate primary. Charlie will strike a deal with the D.C. GOP elites to run in 2012 against Nelson. charlie Crist also knows Rubio, Kottcamp, McCullem, and Trasher are far out of the mainstream of Florida voters and will go down in flames in November, leaving a huge gaping hole for a mainstream Republican to win in 2012.
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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Legislative Leadership Trying to Undermine "Fair Elections"

In the last few weeks, more than 31,000 activist joined together and took action to defeat SB 6, a legislative education proposal that would have turned our classrooms into test-prep factories and driven good teachers out of the public schools. And it worked -- Governor Crist vetoed the bill, and the public outcry ensured that the Senate could not muster enough votes to override the veto. The defeat of SB 6 is a shining example of the power of citizen activists to shape the future of our state when they band together, and we're proud to have played a part in this victory.

Yet, despite this widespread public outcry, House and Senate leadership shoved the bill through without even slowing down. Have you ever wondered why legislators often seem to blatantly disregard public opinion, passing legislation no matter how broad the opposition from their constituents?

Well, here's your answer: redistricting. If you don't know exactly what that is, don't feel bad...many voters have no idea how this process works. Every ten years after the national census, each state is required to redraw its legislative and congressional districts. The process is supposed to ensure the districts reflect population changes. In reality, the party in power gets the chance to use sophisticated software and data analysis tools to draw districts that maintain and increase their power and make it almost impossible to defeat incumbents, a tactic known as "gerrymandering."

Because most legislators are elected by voters chosen just for them, they know their re-election is virtually guaranteed. And so they feel free to brazenly ignore public opinion, even outrage as great as that generated by SB 6.

A bi-partisan organization called Fair Districts Florida has led a citizens initiative to put two constitutional amendments on the November ballot that would put an end to this practice. The legislature could not draw districts to favor either political party. Instead, the districts would have to be compact and community-based, following city and county boundaries where possible.

As you can imagine, legislative leadership doesn't like this idea one bit. The majority party could no longer guarantee their continued power and most legislators would have to face competitive elections every cycle, rather than assured re-election. So last week, the House and Senate introduced resolutions to place a competing amendment on the that would gut the provisions of the citizens amendments and maintain the status quo. The press has said the move demonstrates their "disdain for democracy" and called the proposed amendment a "poison pill designed to fool voters."

You can learn all about the issue in this article.

If you believe voters should choose their representatives fairly, rather than in elections already rigged to favor one party over the other, you need to take action now to fight the passage of these resolutions. If you want legislators who respond to their constituents' concerns, rather than ignoring them because their re-election is virtually guaranteed...use the tools below to make your voice heard! But do it quickly -- the resolutions could be voted on any day now.

1. Using this quick online tool, you can add your personal message to a pre-written email to legislative leadership that explains your opposition to their proposed amendment and lets them know you'll be watching their actions on this issue.

2. Sign this letter to all members of the House and Senate urging them to vote no on these resolutions in committee and on the floor.


Spread the Word...There Is Power in Numbers

As you saw with the SB 6 veto effort, citizens have to join together if their voices are to be heard. CIVIC has been growing its membership of citizen activists for years so that when quick action is necessary, everyone is ready to jump in. We need your help to make the community even stronger, ready to take on whatever crazy idea the legislature comes up with next.

Facebook is a great way to spread information and encourage Floridians to take action. Please become a fan of CIVIC, and ask your FB friends to do the same. You can also post links to CIVIC's issue articles or action items.

Urge family and friends to sign up here and use the tell-a-friend feature on our website

Click here to become a Facebook fan.


Contribute to CIVIC

Can you support CIVIC with a tax-deductible contribution of $10 or $20 today? CIVIC monitors legislative activity because we know average citizens don't have the time or expertise to do it. We analyze the impact of proposals, communicate timely information to our members, and provide easy tools for effective action. All of that takes funds. CIVIC is supported by its members, and we need your help. Even a small donation of $10 or $25 will help offset our costs for the 2010 Session.

Please consider making a contribution to support the CIVIC community today!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Tonight, the voters of Florida's 19th District delivered State Senator Ted Deutch an overwhelming victory in the special election to replace former Congressman Robert Wexler. Ted Deutch released the following statement after the Associated Press called the race:

"I am profoundly humbled that the people of Palm Beach and Broward Counties have chosen me to be their voice in the United States Congress. Tonight, the people of South Florida sent a powerful message to the entire nation- the Democratic Party is alive and well. This is the first special election to follow the passage of health care reform, and my opponent wanted to make this election a referendum on this historic legislation. Tonight, he got it. The voters of Florida's 19th District, consisting of large numbers of seniors, said today that they support health care reform,they want our economy to keep growing, and they want this Administration to succeed.

"The citizens that I will have the privilege to represent in Florida's 19th Congressional District are an extraordinary collection of Americans. They are seniors and veterans who fought valiantly in World War II, and they are small business owners and young families who work hard every day to pass a better world and greater economic opportunities onto their children. For too many citizens of South Florida, new jobs and economic growth have not materialized fast enough, and I will go to Washington to work hard everyday to deliver the results that my constituents want to see.

"To be given the honor to represent the people of the 19th District in the House of Representatives is the honor of a lifetime, and I look forward to providing a strong voice in Congress for this community in the days and months ahead."
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Friday, April 09, 2010

Sen.Dave Aronberg Calls on Governor Christ To Veto SB6

A majority of the Florida House of Representatives just joined the Senate in passing Senate Bill 6, which poses the greatest threat to public education that I have seen in my 8 years in the legislature.

This legislation is not about reform. It is about punishment of teachers. It is based on the arrogant view that Tallahassee bureaucrats and politicians are better suited to guide a child's education than their teachers, principals and parents.

I am calling upon the Governor to veto this bad bill that will send good teachers packing and will threaten our children, our schools and our businesses.

Join me in urging a veto by e-mailing Governor Crist at or by calling
(850) 488-7146.

P.S. Watch my Senate floor speech on my amendment to stop Senate Bill 6.
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