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12 posts from April 4, 2012

April 04, 2012

Immigration satire cartoon shows Native Americans threatened by snarky invading Anglos

Some will laugh. Some will be outraged. Some will be both. Some will be none of this. Welcome to the politics of immigration, which have been goin' on for quite some time, pilgrim. (skip to 3:15 or so to avoid slow beginning)

Connie Mack's cash haul: $1 million


Congressman Connie Mack will report he raised more than $1 million in his first full quarter since entering the Senate race.

His campaign announced the figure Wednesday. Mack entered the race in late November and reported after the end of the year he started the race with about $750,000 raised, including about $300,000 transferred from a House account.

Republican George LeMieux will report a lesser amount next week. Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has not yet reported.

    Mack spokesman David James said 80 percent of Mack's total for the quarter came after LeMieux began negative attacks on the congressman.

Hey, South Florida, Obama wants more of your money. This time in Hollywood

President Obama's South Florida Cash-Grab Tour continues. From a press release (which omits the fundraiser at superlawyer Jeremy Alters house):

CHICAGO, IL – On Tuesday, April 10, 2012, President Obama will deliver remarks at a fundraising reception at the Westin Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, Florida. 

WHAT:                      Remarks at a Fundraising Reception with

                                                President Obama

WHEN:                      Tuesday, April 10, 2012

                                    Event Start Time: 6:15 PM EDT  

WHERE:                   The Westin Diplomat Hotel 

3555 South Ocean Drive

Hollywood, FL 33019

County, city leaders cut Miami Marlins Park ribbon

Marlins ribbon cutting

(courtesy of Miami Marlins photographer Robert Vignon)

Hours before the Miami Marlins' opening game at their new Little Havana ballpark, the team held a ceremonial ribbon-cutting with Miami-Dade County and city of Miami officials. Some were instrumental to getting the (mostly publicly financed) project off the ground; others were elected after the controversial stadium vote.

Perhaps most noteworthy is who wasn't there: Neither Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez nor Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado attended the photo-op. Both were invited, but both also vocally opposed the stadium deal as county and city commissioners, respectively.

"It would have been hypocrisy on my part to celebrate," Regalado said. "I wish them the best, and I hope this will bring a championship to Miami, but I still believe it was a bad deal for the city."

Gimenez, according to his office, spent the day with his family following the birth of a new granddaughter. He was elected after the recall of former Mayor Carlos Alvarez, who was ousted after backing the ballpark and pushing for a higher property-tax rate. Alvarez did not attend Wednesday's ceremony. 

Who did attend? From Miami-Dade: Commissioners Bruno Barreiro, Esteban Bovo, Jose "Pepe" Diaz and Dennis Moss, and former County Manager George Burgess. From Miami: Commissioners Frank Carollo, Wifredo "Willy" Gort and Francis Suarez, former Mayor Manny Diaz, former Commissioners Angel Gonzalez and Joe Sanchez, and former City Manager Pete Hernandez. And Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and president David Samson, of course.

Suarez, who was elected after the stadium vote, acknowledged it was contentious. But, he added, "no matter how you feel about the deal, the stadium is here and now it's on us to ensure that the stadium is successful."

Congressional Black Caucus, in honor of Trayvon Martin, calls for Florida to repeal "Stand Your Ground" law

Some members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami, have offered a resolution on Trayvon Martin's death.

In their resolution they urge state legislatures considering "Stand Your Ground" legislation to "reject such proposals." They also condemn "all relevant parties for their roles in proposing 'Stand Your Ground' legislation and similar legislation that compromises public safety and the integrity of the prosecutorial system." It also "condemns unfounded reliance on 'Stand Your Ground' laws to protect actions that extend far beyond historical use of self-defense."

Wilson was among the members of the Florida Senate who approved the 2005 "Stand Your Ground" law in Florida by a 39-0 vote. She has since said she regrets the vote.

Group of 200 holds rally for Trayvon Martin at Florida Capitol

Led by local officials, nearly 200 protestors rallied at the Capitol Wednesday, using the Trayvon Martin case to highlight problems in the state’s justice system, Florida’s Stand Your Ground law and racial profiling.

Rep. Alan Williams, D-Tallahassee, led the group in chants of “I am Trayvon Martin” and “No justice, no peace!”

The rally, organized by the National Christian League of Councils, was one of dozens that have taken place in the months since Trayvon, an unarmed teenager, was shot dead in Sanford. Last month, a group of criminal defense attorneys converged on Gov. Rick Scott's office to protest the fact that Trayvon's shooter, George Zimmerman, was not arrested.

Continue reading "Group of 200 holds rally for Trayvon Martin at Florida Capitol" »

Fasano and Aubuchon cleared of ethics complaints

Ethics charges were dismissed against Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, and Rep. Gary Aubuchon, R-Cape Coral, after a closed door meeting held Friday, according to a statement released today from the Florida Commission on Ethics.

Michael Rossi, the retired Pasco County lieutenant who filed a complaint against Fasano, said the senator was serving spaghetti at a Pasco community event where Rossi was selling gold.

Rossi was speaking out against Republican incumbent Sheriff Christopher Nocco, whom Fasano supports.

Fasano held out his hand for a shake and said, "I hear you've been badmouthing the sheriff, that's not going to be good for business."

Continue reading "Fasano and Aubuchon cleared of ethics complaints" »

Connie Mack disses Paul Ryan budget as "a joke."

Criticizing the Republican House budget isn't just for Democrats any more.

Republican Congressman and Senate candidate Connie Mack called the budget plan, drafted by fellow Rep. Paul Ryan, a "joke" during a weekend Orlando Tea Party forum. Mack, who missed the Ryan plan vote in Washington last week while he was fundraising in Florida, later said through a spokesman that he would have voted for it anyway.

Mack spokesman David James also sought to clarify that Mack didn't mean to criticize the conservative plan itself -- which President Obama roundly bashed Tuesday in a campaign-style speech.

"The vote was the 'joke,' as in the process being a joke, not the Ryan plan itself.  And Connie said the vote was a joke," James said in an email. "He supports they Ryan plan but the process is a joke when the GOP House continues to do the right things and the liberal Senate under [Majority Leader Harry] Reid and [Florida Sen. Bill] Nelson continue to kill fiscally responsible measures."

Still, Mack clearly criticized the Ryan plan itself when he was asked about a string of missed votes in Congress, including the budget plan.

“I was here in Florida campaigning," Mack said Saturday, according to an undisputed quote reported by the conservative Florida Political Press. "You know that budget was a joke, doesn’t balance the budget for years.”

Comments like that can be deadly to Republicans this campaign season. Last year, conservatives were outraged when Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich dissed the first Ryan plan.

Mack also chided then-Senate candidate and state Senate President Mike Haridopolos last year for waffling over the Ryan plan. Haridopolos ultimately withdrew from the race for other reasons and has endorsed Mack. Mack, Ryan and Haridopolos have all endorsed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who has praised Ryan's budget plans.

Continue reading "Connie Mack disses Paul Ryan budget as "a joke."" »

Paul Bradshaw's exotic chicken farm spotlighted in New York Times

This morning's New York Times features Florida politico Paul Bradshaw -- in the dining section.

The Bradshaw's Havana-based Greenfire Farms is featured in a section-front story about city-dwellers raising their own eggs.

"The recession has helped, the local food movement has helped and the green movement has helped," Bradshaw, founder of Southern Strategy Group, is quoted as saying. He's featured in a photo, too.

Greenfire's specialty poultry includes Swedish flower and French Marans, rare breeds that "lay lustrous chocolate-brown eggs that the writer Ian Fleming designated as the preferred breakfast of James Bond," according to the Times.

Read more.

Can you apply for a gun permit without leaving your home?

Obtaining a permit to carry a concealed gun in Florida is so easy that Floridians can do it without leaving the comfort of their own homes, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Dan Gross, the president of the group, testified about Florida’s gun laws at a briefing held with some congressional Democrats March 27. The topic was racial profiling and "stand your ground" laws in the wake of the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin.

Martin, an unarmed black teenager from Miami Gardens, was shot and killed by a white neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla. The volunteer, George Zimmerman, has not been arrested, and that has spurred debate of Florida’s "stand your ground" gun law.

The Brady Campaign says Florida has become a "great success story" for the gun lobby.

"In Florida, being armed in public is such a casual formality that law enforcement does not issue the license to carry loaded, concealed guns; that is done by the Department of Agriculture – the same agency charged with issuing permits to pick tomatoes or transport livestock," Gross said. 

"Their website is FreshFromFlorida.com. You can use it to get a permit to carry a loaded hidden gun without ever leaving your house," he added.

Gross made it sound incredibly easy to obtain a concealed weapons permit. Can Floridians simply log on to FreshFromFlorida.com and obtain a weapons permit without getting off the couch? PolitiFact investigates.