Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Maf54: What are you wearing?

Florida Rep. Resigns Over Emails

U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fort Pierce, resigned from Congress on Friday, effective immediately, in the wake of questions about e-mails he wrote a former male page.

“I am deeply sorry and I apologize for letting down my family and the people of Florida I have had the privilege to represent,” he said in a statement issued by his office.

The two-sentence statement did not refer to the e-mails and gave no reason for Foley’s decision to abruptly abandon a flourishing career in Congress.

Wait a fucking minute, Congressman have pages like the knights of the round table? However I bet the pages of the Medieval period didn’t have to worry about Sir So-and-So checking out the goods under his knickers.

The kicker, Foley also was a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and chairman of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children’s Caucus. Sonofabitch!

And even double-sick, the GOP leadership knew of his indiscretions. Check out the link for an IM conversation Foley had with a different underage boy back in 2003.

I’m speechless.

For The Record, Marty Collins Has a Website

I mentioned at the end of my recent post about Conway area crime that candidate Marty Collins, in the race for Stewart’s seat on the county commission, needed to get his profile completed on the Orlando Sentinel’s voter guide. Well, he has done so, I’m sure not because of anything I ever said, but it’s interesting to note Collins also has had a MySpace page. For the record, incumbent Linda Stewart’s campaign site still displays a big “coming soon” message. Apparently she is waiting for the election to complete before beginning her online campaign.

I find it interesting that the Sentinel in this article that finally acknowledged the existence of Collins’ intelligent use of online media as a campaign tool made the statement:

While other candidates in other races, including District 4, have Web sites touting their candidacy, MySpace is different.

Does it not make sense to mention the incumbent’s neglect in this area? Hmm, maybe Stewart being the Sentinel’s darling in this race has something to do with glossing over the stark comparison of Collins campaign vs Stewart, new guard vs old guard, in an article specifically about online campaigning in District 4!

And then there’s this page on the local news 13 channel’s site (which is a Brighthouse and Orlando Sentinel joint effort.) A little more than halfway down you’ll see the listing for the candidates of district 4’s race. Apparently Collins has no web site according to them, and neither does JP Quinones. I’m sorry, we all know that isn’t true, I’m quite sure I discovered the link for Quinones on the Sentinel voter guide and the existence of Collins’ MySpace page on the previously mentioned article. But, Stewart has a link, the only candidate who actually DOESN’T have a site. But, they were kind enough to do some leg work and find and link her bio on the Orange County government site, which is not a campaign site. Interesting to note that this courtesy was not extended to 2 other candidates.

I doubt this is some kind of intentional sabotage, but I do not doubt that the age of the candidate and the favoritism of the editorship towards Stewart has played a roll in how serious these media outlets are taking Collins which directly would relate to whether or not they practice due diligence in researching and reporting their facts accurately. It is a MySpace page, afterall, and I couldn’t expect a dinosaur like the Orlando Sentinel to understand that this is indeed a campaign site, but I would think that the giant coming soon message still on Stewart’s campaign page that the voter guide links to would be understood and noted in an appropriate article.

In any case, I’ve yet to hear anything from Stewart, or anyone in office quite frankly, regarding the escalation of crime in the Conway area, even after the discovery of a dead man floating in Lake Conway with duct tape and a tire nearby (sounds like an episode of The Shield.) I supposed she’s too busy preparing for this touchy-feely event (outside of her district) to be bothered by such unpleasant issues. She IS going to revisit the idea of locking that lake lot up at night at the next council meeting, so I guess we can all sleep safely knowing Stewart is hard at work.

I Voted Early!

Next Tuesday the state and local primary elections take place for various elected offices across The Sunshine State. However, for the past 2 weeks the Orange County Elections Office (as well as all the elections offices throughout the state) have offered voters the opportunity to cast their votes early at selected polling places within the county.

i_voted.jpgSo today, on my way home from work, I stopped at my local library branch to beat the rush and get my vote in early. I’ve taken advantage of this opportunity during the past several elections and the convenience cannot be beat! I’ve never had to wait more than 10 minutes; today I only waited 2 minutes, and 1 minute of that was handing over my ID and verifying the voter roll information. One of the poll workers then showed me how to vote using the new touchscreen machines. Now, I am all for technological advances, but I’ve had real concerns about using these machines because of the possibility that the results could be manipulated. I asked if there was a paper ballot that was produced following my vote. The poll worker told me that my vote would produce a paper record on election night at 7pm when the polls close and the machines are downloaded. People who vote on the actual election day using the touchscreen machine would receive a paper ballot of their vote to turn in and have deposited into a box, but those voting early (such as myself) would not have their votes counted and recorded until the polls close on election night.

I have to admit to having some concern with this process. Votes in the machine could still be theoretically altered to favor particular candidates BEFORE the printing of the paper record on election night. I asked why the machine could not supply me with a paper record at the conclusion of my voting that I could review and sign as being valid, but was told they were not set up to do that yet. I hesitated for a moment, finally deciding to proceed because I was already there prepared to vote and this was the primary, not the general election. But I may have to seriously reconsider voting early if it means giving up a paper record of my vote.

If you’re interested in voting early, tomorrow (Saturday) will be the last day you can do so before the general elections next Tuesday. Whether you choose the early day or wait until election day, I hope you’ll exercise the freedom of our representative form of government and VOTE for the candidates of your choice.

¿Cuba Libre?

castro.jpgOne of my best friends’ family are Cuban immigrants who fled from Castro’s Cuba during the 80’s. Even though he was just a small child, he talks of a place of natural beauty and tranquil scenery marred by poverty and oppression. He is a proud American, like his entire family, but I can tell he wishes he could one day return to at the least see his relatives who were left behind, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and countless family friends. The story goes as best as I can recall that they fled under fear of death for his uncle and, as usual under oppressive communist regimes, those he cares about.

How can one man, this revolutionary relic, still cling to a failed concept that leaves the people whom he claims to have acted on behalf of in such ruin and despair? Is it pride? Is it stubborness? Or does he really believe that what he has done and continues to do serve any useful purpose? When the world today heard about the possibility that Castro’s unrelenting grip on the island slipping due to what seems like grave illness, it should not be a surprise to anyone who knows of the Cuban plight that Cubans, especially here in Florida, exhalted with such joy. For them it must be like realizing a terrible nightmare is about to end, that their families are about to be reunited. I only hope that these celebrations are not dashed by the possibility that Fidel’s brother Raul, also a central figure in the revolution, simply picks up the torch and continues the madness for a little while longer.

It’s also possible that an internal struggle may erupt and more blood is shed. Sadly, the people of Cuba are no strangers to these things. The Cuban Revolution was a violent coup and the campaigns left many dead who did not deserve it. Sometimes I wish the ignorant fools I see walking around with Che Guevera apparel on and using his image in their modern day “pseudo-movements” would do a little more research about this monster than renting The Motorcycle Diaries at Blockbuster. You spit in the eye of an oppressed people and mock the deaths of countless innocents with that crap, I hope you know.

What ever lies ahead for the people of Cuba both on the island and here in the US, I wish all the best and hope you gain your long awaited freedom. When the nightmare is over I’ll celebrate with you, and come visit your beautiful island. I hear the fishing is spectacular!

¡Cuba Libre!

Vote Latino for Latino’s Sake!

Here we go again. You know, I really wish I had more positive stuff to write about, I really do, but these articles just keep surfacing and I find myself having trouble keeping my mouth shut. Came across this article in the sentinel about The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials having their 2007 gathering in Orlando, specifically at one of the Disney resorts. This definitely makes sense, as the article descibes, because Orlando is somewhat of a hub for Latino culture of all types, from Cubans and Puerto Ricans, to Mexicans and those hailing from South American countries. What irks me is some of the comments in the article that strike me as just fundamentally wrong. I say these things not as “some white boy”, so save me the ignorant comments of me being a racist (just so you know, “Latino” is not a race, those from Latin countries are Caucasian by definition, just the same as so called “white people”.) No, these observations stem from what I’ve been taught about judging a person by their merits, their actions, their character, not the deepness of their tan or where their parents were born.

The first statement that catches my eye is “The association advocates for more political representation of minority communities, wants to increase Latino voter participation, and backs renewal of the Voting Rights Act.” Is this to mean that more minorities should be elected merely because they are minorities? Hmm… that doesn’t make a lot of sense in terms of electing officials by a standard of qualities that would make them well suited for the job. Further, this also seems to indicate that this would be accomplished by getting more Latino’s out to the polls. Hmm… so we should expect that Latino’s should vote for Latino’s, that would be their worth to this group, basically getting people elected based on ethnicity by telling those with similar ethnicity to vote for them. Why not, oh, I don’t know, focus on why the heck you would do a good job?

Last time I checked the districts are drawn geographically and elected officials represent their constituents in that area REGARDLESS of race, creed, religion, and yes, geneological origins. Yeah, that concept may be hard to grasp because so often those lines get drawn purely for racial reasons, which is a whole different post altogether. So why aren’t you focusing on impressing EVERYONE in your district with how good a job you’ll do, not how Hispanic you are. Seems to me you are pretty much telling those in your district that are Latino that they are too dumb to make a decision based on anything other than, “Hey, that guy looks like me.”

This is not an isolated article either. The most blatant example of this I recall was with Tico Perez. Sorry Tico, you should have known better than to espouse your apparently racially motivated mindset to a reporter who works for a paper with a website. Once it’s out there, it lives forever. Second paragraph down, Mr. Perez decides it appropriate and all okay to say at a mayoral debate put on by the Tiger Bay Club (“old, white people who’ve run this city forever” club as the Weekly puts it) “This isn’t their city anymore.” This was said not on stage, but as an aside from the back of the room. So. rather than try to impress the voters of the city whose vote he needs and whom he would be serving as their mayor, he puts them at a direct adversarial position. I don’t know about anyone else, but it seems to me he does this merely because they are “old, white people”.

To me, this is racism. It’s belittling, petty and ignorant. How does society move past cultural divides, if the cultures keep dividing themselves up into their own little camps. Hey, instead of just trying to get Hispanics to vote for you and then claim you don’t get voted in because of “whitey” not letting their be enough Latino representation, why not make a concerted effort to impress your ENTIRE constituency with your merits, actions, and ideas. You might find when you run as a person of quality, not solely as a Latino, people, regardless of their cultural roots might vote for you. Simple concept. Give it a try just once will ya? Humor me.

Help Enlighten Our Local Leaders

tailight.jpgIn all the hubbub over the local black leadership and their apparent problems with law enforcement and traffic stops, one thing seems to be consistent to me in the issues. The majority of these stops in which the local Black Caucus feels they are being profiled occurs as a result of a broken tail light or other vehicle malfunction.

I think we need to be compassionate and help find a real and viable solution to the problem, that will please both the offended, and the offenders. In the name of fairness and solution-seeking, I propose we take the time to help these local leaders of ours. Please take all your coupons and sunday ads for local auto parts stores and repair shops that we receive in the mail and newspaper nearly daily, and let’s give back to these leaders who have given us so much already, by mailing them to their offices. To do my part I provide the following link to local auto parts stores in an effort to ensure they find a nearby location where they can get what they need to make their driving experience safe and free of those rude and intrusive stops by the local law enforcement, who so viciously have been targeting them in their misguided efforts to make sure the driving public is safe.

Crazy Daisy At It Again

24019487.jpgSo Daisy Lynum’s son gets pulled over for having a light on his vehicle burned out (a violation I can attest even “some white boy” would get pulled over for) and she throws the race card for the umpteenth time. Maybe, oh just Maybe, Daisy your son was driving around with a traffic violation? Are you suggesting that because he is black he should not follow the law? Of course not, THAT would be racist. Are you suggesting that he not be held accountable because he is the son of a local politician? Of course not, THAT would be nepotism. So then how do you explain your calling the officer’s superiors to try and get your son out of a legal traffic stop? Why, it’s not YOU being racist or practicing nepotism, it’s the police department being racist. Ah… I see… Actually, Daisy, all that makes you at best is a hypocrite, and at worst (and most likely so) a racist nepotist yourself.

This isn’t the first time Daisy has done and said things that should most likely get her tossed from public service, and it surely won’t be the last until voters in her district replace her with someone who will represent them with respect and sanity.

Pot Shots.

So in an effort to appeal to a wider field of voters Republican Gubernatorial candidate Tom Gallagher admitted to not only having an extramarital affair but also of having smoked pot 25 years ago. Shocking isn’t it?

Not to be outdone GOP opponent and current State Attorney General Charlie Crist took this opportunity to remind voters that he too “took the pot” back in the day, and he admitted it first. Apparently it is rather chic for political candidates to admit that they smoked pot back in the 70s. Come on fellas, that’s like models admitting to snorting coke, it is pretty much a given.

Don’t take my word for it though, just listen to my good friend Bob Saget.

I’ve got a better way for you to appeal to voters, talk about issues that matter and how you are going to improve our state. Leave the other stuff for your therapist.

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