Let's start this thing off with a couple of blog votes.
On Amendments 5 and 6, it's pretty easy: If you like gerrymandering, vote against them. As for me, it's a yes vote on these two.
On the judicial race between John Fry and John Howes for County Court Judge in District 1, I've made a decision. The fact that Fry was involved in the apparent beating of an unarmed man -- and that there were good Samaritan witnesses who were appalled by what they saw -- wasn't really enough for me make a decision. The fact that after becoming a lawyer he dedicated his practice to defending accused cops is fine. What isn't cool is that Fry is a Tea Party favorite who is being promoted by the yahoos right along with Allen West.
My vote: Howes.
I can't abide the Tea drinkers. It's all fake. The Tea Party says, hey, we're not just Hannities and Roves, we're populists! For a few maybe that's true, but for the most part it's total bull. The whole Tea Party, with all of its clamor and asisinity, reminds me of the jimmied up "riot" in Miami-Dade conjured up by Republican operatives from Ohio during the 2000 presidential vote recount. It's all whipped up to get the Red State types in a frenzy to vote so that a huge jerk like Mitch McConnell can take over the U.S. Senate. They're all about stripping people -- often themselves in the end -- of health care benefits. They want jobs -- sweat shop jobs. It's a joke. But they probably will carry the day.
-- Broward Mayor Ken Keechl campaign consultant, Eric Johnson, called me and said he wanted to make it clear that he wasn't trying to hide the source of "Convicted Criminal" smear campaign on Keechl's opponent, Chip LaMarca. He said they ran those ads through an electioneering campaign organization because it offered a different way to raise money, which I take to mean "soft" and limitless campaign cash. I asked him if he thought it was fair to put LaMarca in a prison jumpsuit and call him a "convicted criminal" over a college-aged DUI. "Ken Keechl was in college 21 years ago and he didn't get a DUI," Johnson told me.
We'll see if there's a backlash. This race should be close, but I honestly have no idea who will win. The third candidate on the ballot, Chris Chiari, has himself run a great campaign, talking about important issues like the multi-million-dollar morass that the airport expansion has become. That whole project looks to cost taxpayers hundreds of millions dollars in federal and local funds and doesn't even appear to be necessary. It's a project generated by the business crowd who wanted to keep the fake bubble going. Chiari is a fine alternative to the other two candidates.
In that campaign, there's a question lurking in the air: Why didn't LaMarca nail Keechl harder on his ties to Ponzi schemer Joel Steinger, his campaign expenses that included paying rent to himself and the San Francisco trip with his domestic partner, his flip-flop on the courthouse, etc? If LaMarca loses while riding this anti-Democrat, mid-term crest then it's the softness of his campaign rather than the soft money that flowed into his opponent's huge warchest that he can blame.
-- In hotly contested Cooper City, there has already been great controversy. First, the precinct at Piccolo Park didn't have the right ballots, so people couldn't vote for Cooper City candidates, reports candidate David Nall. Secondly, a poll worker for Commissioner John Sims was removed from the polling place by BSO deputies.
Poll worker Valerie Murgia tells me that she worked the poll place for the primary and it looks like turnout is way higher today (which isn't unexpected). Murgia said there were 15 voters waiting at the door at 8 a.m. and that last time there weren't even that many by lunchtime.
One of the voters, a young man, complained that he couldn't vote in the Cooper City commission race, she said. That was when the ballot problem was discovered. Murgia says that she and the clerk running the polling place, a woman she said is named "Savi," had words and that BSO was called and she was removed. "I'm trying to follow my Christian path, but if I could have legally, I would have
knocked her out," said Murgia. "The wrath of me you do not want. She said I threatened her, but I didn't threaten her; I told her not to tell me what to do. She put her finger in my face, and I told her straight out that I will file charges against you for defamation and public embarrassment. I've got two hot men, and I could have four, but I need to narrow it down. I look good, and I'm not taking this. I'm a good damned worker, I love my family as crazy as they may be, and I love my commissioner."
Murgia said that before she was escorted away by the deputy, it appeared they had gotten the problem resolved.
How can you possibly not love democracy?
-- Local lawyer and Dan Gelber supporter Bruce Udolf was hoping to get MSNBC's Keith Olbermann's attention regarding Gelber's Republican opponent in the AG's race, Pam Bondi. Here's an email Udolf sent to Olbermann yesterday that was obtained by the Pulp:
From: Bruce Udolf
Sent: Monday, November 01, 2010 10:35 AM
Subject: RE: Nomination of Pam Bondi for Worst Person
This will supplement the email I sent you on Saturday with attachments re Pam Bondi, the Sarah Palin-blessed candidate for Florida Attorney General who has been trashing State Senator Dan Gelber in South Florida through a 527 controlled by her communications director's husband suggesting that Gelber (who is Jewish) is anti-Semitic. This is the way teabaggers in Florida get traction with ethic voters who take their calumnies at face value.
This is the same Pamela Bondi who adopted a St. Bernard after Hurricane Katrina and refused to return the dog to the children who lost the dog in that storm. These kids were living with their grandparents after losing their home (their parents had died earlier that year). Bondi had to be sued and put the family through a year and a half worth of litigation before the case was finally settled and the dog returned to these kids. See link below.
Lovely person. Please consider exposing her for the fraud she is. Amazingly, she is leading in the polls, however there are 18% undecideds out there who need to be told the truth about her and her campaign and its financing violations.
Bruce L. Udolf
UDOLF LIBOW & BLATTNER
-- Speaking of that 527, the national right-wing organization that funded it, the American Federation for Children, has also financed local ads backing George Moraitis over Barbra Stern in the Florida House District 91 race. Moraitis, of course, is a true-red member of the Christian right. He's served as a deacon at the late televangelist D. James Kennedy's Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and is a board member at Westminster Academy and at Christian radio station WAFG.
Hmmm, wonder if he -- unlike cuckoo U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell -- knows about the First Amendment separation of church and state?