Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

What Did You Do On Inauguration Day?

Just 24 hours ago, our nation saw a new president sworn into office. Everywhere I went in the Orlando-area, people were transfixed to televisions, witnessing the dawn of a new era in Washington, D.C. as Barack Obama became our nation’s 44th president.

So I’m curious…how did you, our readers, celebrate the inauguration? Did you watch at home? Did you join in with friends or family for a party? Were you actually in D.C.?

Tell us Central Florida – how did you witness the Inaugural events and what does having President Obama in the Whitehouse mean to you?

Watch the Obama Inauguration at IZEA

Want to watch the Obama inauguration but don’t want to stay home tomorrow? Head downtown to the Quaker Oatmeal’s “Start with Substance” inauguration party.

Hosted by local online social media mavens Missy Ward and Ted Murphy, the party starts at 10am and runs until 2pm at Murphy’s IZEA headquarters (150 North Orange Avenue, Suite 412).

The event will feature a hot oatmeal bar with all the toppings, courtesy of Quaker, along with beverages. So if you’re interested, visit the event’s Facebook page to RSVP.

I haven’t really been looking around, but if any of you know of other events being held in conjunction with tomorrow’s inauguration, feel free to leave the details in a comment.

Florida Politicians and State Employees Rip Us Off

I have just read something that leaves me speechless. Okay, that’s not true because I’m about to launch into what will likely be a very wordy and spirited ripping, but it did leave me speechless for a moment. If you haven’t heard, thousands of Florida politicians are making use of loop holes to essentially “double-dip” and simultaneously pull a salary AND retirement check. Yeah, that’s right, BOTH. How do they do this? Well, apparently after getting re-elected they can turn in their resignation and start their retirement benefits. Because they are retiring from their current unfinished term, it does not affect their eligibility for the upcoming term for which they were just elected. I guess in the system it’s considered like two separate jobs. I still don’t see how that even works, it doesn’t work like that in the private sector.

The bottom line is the state currently is dishing out $300 million dollars in retirement benefits to people who are still employed by the state and pulling a paycheck. This includes 211 elected officials (they thank you for your votes), 203 senior managers and more than 7,763 state employees. 300 million dollars. That’s 300… Million… Dollars.

Here we are discussing cutting back jobs for teachers, nixing after school sports and field trips, paying for 911 service calls, and who knows what next. Families are losing their jobs, going into foreclosure, facing dire economic times. And these people are robbing the state coffers of $300 millions dollars annually? This is probably the most outrageous thing I have heard in a long long time. This makes the Illinois Governor trying to turn a buck on an empty Senate seat look like a minor infraction.

Every paper should publish the list of these names and we should be picketing these people’s houses. According to the article, it is legal. This does not mean we have to stand by and be silent about the blatant unethical nature of it all. This loop hole should be closed and those who took advantage of it should be outed.

Orlando Property Taxes Could Increase

Dyer is reported as proposing an increase in property taxes and a cutting of the city’s budget in several areas. We obviously know about county based cuts all over Florida and I have seen other reports of plans of increasing property taxes to cover the state property tax reductions. So if we have to cut services, and have property taxes raised on the city/county level… what good did increasing the homestead exemption do us? We are having to pay those taxes anyhow, except now we have reduced services. Is it too late to stop Crist’s horribly misguided plan in the courts? Are we destined to suffer his idiocy while he points his sites on DC and higher office?

Good Time Charlie Goes to Europe

Partying Like ChristHe’s the man with the tan in Tally! He’s been seen thumbing it up with McCain in DC, hangin’ with Ahnold in Cali, even bar hopping at Big Daddy’s! He’s Good Time Charlie, and soon the Double C express will land on the shores of our friends in the EU. That’s right, Charlie Christ is off to spend a 10 day whirlwind tour of Europe to talk “bidness”.

Meanwhile, back home on the ranch, educators are getting the axe and citizens are getting billed for 911 calls. You screwed us Chuck, you really did.

Get Out That Vote!

Don’t forget–today is Voting Day here in Central Florida, and across the state, as we little people drop our big votes for the Presidential primary.

Orlandonians (still haven’t picked a word for us!) are also voting for Mayor…so unless you get out and vote, your neighbors are gonna think you’re a blowhard the next time you complain about the trash pickup.

If you don’t know where to go, look up your precinct and polling place here.

America…f*** yeah!

Mayoral Election in Less Than 2 Weeks!

Did anyone out there realize that we vote for Orlando Mayor in about 9 days? I sure didn’t! The signs are pretty sparse and all this primary business for President has pretty much overshadowed it in local media. It’s the same suspects, Dyer vs. Mulvaney, this time around. I like Mulvaney, if only because Dyer just won’t admit we have a crime problem. He’s says the violent crime slowed at the end of 2007 as evidence of his progress. Greeeeat. The murders slowed down a bit at the end of the year. They sure are off to bang again in 2008 though. How about, I don’t know, a plan or something?

While I do admit, I do enjoy things like BBQ and Blues, I still don’t see a Light Up Orlando on the calendar, and unless you have the foresight to actually return to us our traditions, it’s just token parties that show you have no idea what this city used to be like, where we came from, and where we need to return.

Get out and vote guys, if you don’t like Dyer be sure to not let him just sneak in another term merely because nobody knew he was up again.

LBS Publications Getting Free Ride From City of Orlando?

If you blinked you would have missed this story. WDBO reported that a publishing company defaulted on a loan from the City of Orlando in 1997. So, the city is going to advertise with one of the company’s magazines to settle the debt. The more you look into this story, the more it stinks of political corruption. I know, amazing to hear something like that going on in Orlando. We NEVER have crooked politics going on here, Nooope, never!

In September of 1997 the city, then under Mayor Glenda Hood, came to a micro loan settlement agreement with LBS Publications for the $36,249.39 still owed. The payment schedule according to my calculations comes out to 0% interest and no penalty fees. Hell of a deal! In 2005, it looks like there was still trouble paying on the loan, however. And, of course, now we learn that loan is pretty much going to be forgiven for the entire amount. Oh, we are going to get $30,000 worth of advertising in Onyx Magazine. Yeah, that’s worth it. Could we just have the next $30,000 of advertising they sell? If the ads were truly worth anything, then they wouldn’t have to pay the city in ad space, now would they.

What’s truly stinky is the people associated with Onyx Magazine, LBS’s primary publication, contains some well known names that have more than a few connections in politics and power within this city. Names like Daisy Lynum, Homer Hartage, Harris Rosen and Byron Brooks pop up. So a ton of questions come to mind when a private company with so many obvious ties to money and power around here gets away without paying on a loan for over a decade only to essentially finally get waived off in the end. I think the citizens of Orlando deserve their $30,000. We could use that money towards helping the Police buy some equipment or something else more useful than a bunch of worthless magazine ads.

Jeb and his Berry.

Governor Jeb Bush unveiled his portrait at the governor’s mansion in which he included his Blackberry painted in right next to the portrait of his family. There’s nothing wrong with this, yet there’s something not wholly right either.

Orlando Goes to the Polls!

Is it just me or does anyone else see delicious irony in the stupid Amendment 3, which will require amendments in the future to pass only by a 60% majority vote, passing by only 57.7% of the vote? I guess what’s good for the goose is not good for the gander. What 57.7% of the voters in Florida decided was to redefine what democracy means, and I guess they think we have too much of it. But in it’s own way, this stupid act to me was still an act of Democracy in action, people deciding, and you gotta like that.

My voting experience was very smooth, I have to hand it to my precinct in the Conway area, nice job. There was a line but it kept moving and I was in and out in less than 10 minutes. No issues with campaigners on the property or hanging chads, or touchscreens. We had the connect the arrows type which seems pretty straight forward to me. There was a touchscreen unit available but people seemed to avoid it, including myself. Seems more trouble than it’s worth, I mean, do we need to really complicate a simple marker motion?

Country Mouse, Mickey Mouse, by “Rachel”, who you see in the comments often on the Orlando Metroblog, posted a great in depth analysis of why we don’t vote, or really do our civic duty at all often times. It very well could be the world’s first research driven blog post! After elections we always have to analyze how many of us did not get off our butts and how many more of us still complain of the outcome.

I also have other issues with the reporting in general of the main stream media and our own local election boards and the apparent non existence of third parties, which in my agonizing research (which entailed clicking links to candidate sites) I indeed discovered do exist. I was shocked and amazed to make this startling discovery and am prompty booking speaking tours to milk this discovery for all it’s worth. But, until I make it to your town, you can read about it here.

So how was your election day? Problems or kudos for your own local volunteers? Any surprises or grumblings?

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.