Being a Democrat and being REALLY inclusive

In working with Clubs and other organizations and movements involved with the Broward County Democratic Party, I have heard from time to time comments that a particular candidate or politician was not a “real” Democrat. I have always found such an attitude to be puzzling, since there is no widely-accepted standard definition for what is a “real” Democrat. I have personally found that many different causes animate our base. Some are passionate about the environment, some about freedom of choice for women, other are passionate supporters of same-sex marriage. My belief is that there are many types of Democrats, and I do not believe (nor would I support) an ideological purity test for what would be a “real” Democrat.

In addition, it is also puzzling that some Democrats who see themselves as possessing totally inclusive attitudes draw the line when it comes to political moderates that have moved from the Republican Party to our Party. It is flattering that quite a few former Republicans have evolved and have moved closer to political positions espoused by many Democrats, and in the process have formally become registered Democrats. We need to keep in mind that evolving views are also common in the Democratic party – witness Bill Clinton, who signed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, and Hillary Clinton, who finally agreed to support same-sex marriage this past summer (when it was politically safe for her to do so).

Gaining the support of former Republicans is good politics, especially when considering an upcoming statewide election and an electorate that is substantially different from that of Broward County. Many former Republicans have left because of the relentless drive rightward of the Republican Party, which has been happening for years now and most recently has been exemplified by the rise of the Tea Party’s attempts to “purify” Republican Party organizations. We should welcome these Republican exiles wholeheartedly and not impose purity tests of our own.

When the time comes, I intend to vote in the Democratic primary for the candidate that at that time I believe strikes the most fear in the heart of the Florida Republican Party and has the best potential of defeating Rick Scott.

47 thoughts on “Being a Democrat and being REALLY inclusive”

  1. Thanks for adding your thoughts, Robert.

    I remember when Crist first took office, our state reps would come back and rave about him — because he was such a refreshing change from Jeb Bush, in terms of being reasonable and willing to compromise for the good of the state and its citizens. Compared with Rick Scott, he was a saint and often left us wondering why he was a Republican. So I’m glad he eventually switched.

    The worst thing I’d say about him is that he effectively gave us Rick Scott and Marco Rubio because of the way he walked away from the governor’s office to run for Senate and subsequently played the spoiler in a 3-way race. Maybe Kendrick Meek would have lost to Rubio anyway, but Crist could have kept the governor’s office in relatively sane hands if he cared about the state so much.

    Still, my support for Nan Rich is more FOR her than AGAINST Charlie. I see her as a strong person who is working very hard and doing what she needs to do to build a network of supporters across the state, from the grassroots. Crist’s advantage in terms of name recognition comes with a lot of baggage, including the baggage of having changed his professed positions so freely. How those two things will balance out is unpredictable. Democrats may well decide he is the best, most pragmatic choice. But I hate to see party officials stampeding toward him, in thanks for changing parties, while overlooking someone who has been a Democrat all along.

  2. “‘It is flattering that quite a few former Republicans have evolved and have moved closer to political positions espoused by many Democrats, and in the process have formally become registered Democrats. “”
    While it may be “flattering” David, it is far from true. Democrats are defecting to the Republican party at unprecedented rates, the three reasons for Jumping ship? Same sex Marriage, Immigration and Obama’s blantant assault on the Constitution (first and foremost) Gun rights, and drum roll a soon to be fourth push is due to the sheer incompetency of this administration and its democratic PLAYERS. While Charlie Crist may have the media’s attention for the moment? There are at least 8 other sitting (democratic) legislators that have or are in the process of switching parties over to Republican. It is what it is David and just saying something on a Blog doesnt make it true..

  3. Thank you, Robert, for your opinion, and David, for your comment. Robert’s position on “real” Democrats is commendable, and, proably, something that we should all strive to achieve. But David’s opinion, on being FOR Nan Rich, rather than against Crist, is something that I think all NAN RICH supporters believe.
    We, the Democratic voters of Broward County, if united, are able to elect a governor in Florida. I believe that, “the most electable Democratic candidate” IS the Democratic nominee!!
    I will do all in my power to see that NAN RICH is the Democratic nominee…if she is, she WILL be governor.

  4. You seem to be the “go to” person in this county for information so let me ask you? Comparing oranges to oranges (legislative accomplishments) who has done more for this state in terms of Jobs, economic stability, infrastructure, Tax relief, social reforms, Rick Scott or Nan Rich? This isnt a “philosophical question”, I am asking in terms of Hard and Soft dollars in relation to the well being of the residents of this state Regardless of Party? Another words, if I was an alien that dropped down from the sky and given a lift to the polls to vote between these two, and was given a list with Nan Rich and Rick Scott’s and their respective columns based on accomplishments Just WHO do you think would look better to this Alien??

  5. Now this may come back to Haunt her
    Nan Rich:Affordable Care Act Implementation

    I support the full implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) because it will benefit Floridians and provide access to health care for those who need it. (Oh Really) she was adamant against Rick’s Scott’s not expanding the Medicaid implementation and Now what do we see?? The majority of Floridians would have ended up Medicaid with NO DOCTORS willing to treat them and still paying either their present cost or more likely increased cost. Oh and dont use the Tax Subsidy argument, thats a joke and even Free health care isnt worth a damn if you cant find a doctor or hospital to go to. Seems Rick Scott may have seen this debachle coming.

    (considering his background I say Florida dodged a bullet even if democrats used themselves for target practice)

  6. While Nan Rich pushed and pushed for the ACA did she ever once tell Broward County what it will cost them? Seriously I cannot find one quote from her on what the ACA will cost individual Florida counties who must comply with the ACA and Medicaide expansion cost. Oh she talked a good game on the campaign trail about how “wonderful” that these poor and down trodden would be covered but did she EVER give actual cost to Floridians? Do YOU know Broward County (Fort Lauderdale) currently ranks number two in the nation, logging the 2nd highest number of new AIDS cases per capita in the United States.
    Do you KNOW what those meds cost every Broward County resident NOW? Plenty? Add to that the new epidemics of Hepatitis, TB and Every other disease being heaped on South Florida due to open door immigration policies (thanks to dems) and then add the cost of expansion to medicade and Broward is looking at $16 million more dollars a year thats footed by us (Broward County Residents), not the federal government,Not the State, did Nan Rich tell any of you that? Wonder if she will mention it on her NEW Campaign Trail of Tears.

  7. Val is correct when stating that just saying something on a blog does not make it the truth, and that applies especially to comments made by Val — see below:

    1. “Democrats are defecting to the Republican party at unprecedented rates, because of same sex Marriage, Immigration and Obama’s assault on the Constitution — Gun rights”
    2. “There are at least 8 other sitting (democratic) legislators that have or are in the process of switching parties over to Republican.”

    Which Democrat legislators are switching party affiliations, and do these reside in Florida and in Broward County? Regarding Same Sex marriage, the reality is that many Democratic elected officials (but not all of them) have supported same-sex marriage, and I hear of quite a few Republicans supporting same sex marriage and staying in their party, but I have yet to hear of a rush of Democrats leaving because other Democrats support same-sex marriage. Some Republicans are also supportive of less restrictive immigration laws, and some of them (especially police officers) are in favor of background checks for gun ownership. Given these facts, why would any person interested in increasing restrictions on immigration and removing restrictions on gun ownership necessarily move to a Party that is not totally in favor of those positions?

    Val’s comments sound like another cut’n’paste exercise that is so prevalent on the right, where so-called “authors” borrow each other’s statements to create a louder echo chamber. But as Val said, putting it on a blog does not make it right.

  8. Val, There are plenty of republican sites to infest. Please confine yourself to those. As far as Democrats are concerned we pretty much have been given a choice between Nan and Charlie. I will be voting for Nan. I will not try to convince people who don’t know her, because it is their duty to research her record and go to one of her many speaking engagements or go to her FB page where you can watch interviews. You decide whether she has paid her dues and if her views best represent yours. As far as Charlie goes my democratic friends who have anointed him our candidate I feel are making a terrible mistake. While I welcome his amazing conversion to sanity, I believe he has yet to show me what I want to see in my democratic choice for governor. I’ve researched his record and though wise and noble to change one’s views on an issue or two, I find it incredulous that anybody would change their view on every issue they have used to define themselves. Charlie is a pay to play opportunist, whose very existence is a blight on our government, by the people and for the people. Charlie is a dead man walking. Research Charlie’s puppet masters such as Harry Sargeant and Scott Rothstein. See who is contributing $250,000, $150,000, $100,000, and $50,000 to his campaign. I could go on and on but just be aware that Rick Scott has the best investigators that money can buy. All I did was read Wikipedia. Nan Rich is the only Democrat who can beat Rick Scott. Bring on The debates.

  9. What is a real Democrat? Excellent question. How about a citizen registered as a Democrat? Sounds simple enough for me. I am a member of the Democratic Club of Wynmoor in Coconut Creek. As there are now two declared democratic candidates for the Office of Governor, I suggested at the last month’s Board Meeting that each of them, and all future candidates, be invited to speak at our monthly club meetings. One would think that would be an easy idea to accept and take place. But President Ronny Sydney did bring up the subject of a “Real Democrat.” She talked about a lifelong Democrat as her idea of who a “Real Democrat” is. Very strange. Very sad. For a political Party that does not have a single elected statewide official outside of US Senator Nelson, we do not have the luxury of debating who is a “Real Democrat” and who is not. Under GOP Governor Rick Scott the state’s unemployment rate has fallen from 11.1% in December 2010 down to October 2013 of 6.7%. That is a drop of 39.64%. Anyone here think that any Democratic candidate for Governor will have an easy election in November 2014? Easy answer: Dream On!! And I think not!!!! Don’t forget that Governor Scott may be willing to use $150,000,000.00 of his own money for re-election. Mr. Ronald Reagan was once a registered Democrat and a President of a union. I don’t think the Republican Party ever cried about the fact that they whole-heartedly accepted Mr. Reagan as their twice nominee for the office of President of the United States. Also, the number of Independents registered in Florida may soon overtake the number of registered Democrats. So will everyone please stop talking of who is a “Real Democrat” is. And this includes the leaders of our Party; no matter how large or small their groups are. Losing another election will surely occur if only lifelong Democrats are nominated to be our party’s leaders. Joel A Greenwald

  10. The drop in unemployment in Florida in the last several years has closely followed the national drop in unemployment, which is a result of federal government fiscal policies and monetary actions by the US Federal Reserve. And Florida is not just the average state with already limited options to reduce unemployment — the basic underpinnings of FL state economic policies (including no state income tax and the state constitutional requirement to balance the budget) have already been in place since way before Rick Scott became governor. So what did he really “DO.”?

  11. Hi Robert Muniz, thanks for reading my message and responding. First, the national unemployment rate has NOT dropped 39.64%. TRUE? True! But Florida’s rate has dropped that amount. You really think GOP Gov. Scott will NOT use that in his campaign ads? Any state good news or state bad news is automatically stuck with any current Governor. Therefore Gov. Scott gets the credit of dropping the state’s unemployment rate by 40%. That is life in politics. “the state constitutional requirement to balance the budget.” OK. Gov. Scott is following the law and the state has an about $850,000,000.00 surplus, I have heard. Another reason he will use that in order not to defeat him. Poor example on your part. “So what did he really “DO.”?” He did not raise the unemployment rate!!!!!!!!
    He cut it by 40%. Along with another 11 months of future % cuts. If he brings the rate down to 5.9%, will you give him ANY CREDIT? Or are your eyes so clouded that Gov Scott will not get ANY credit?
    Now please comment about this:

    ““Nan Rich has best fundraising quarter yet, but needs much, much more.
    October 11, 2013|By Anthony Man, Sun Sentinel
    Democratic candidate for governor Nan Rich of Weston just finished the best three months of fundraising of her year-and-a-half old campaign, but she needs to raise lots more money to avoid questions about the long-term viability of her candidacy.
    Just-filed campaign reports show Rich took in $58,737 in cash and in-kind contributions of goods and services in the three months that ended Sept. 30, up from an average of $39,134 during the five previous quarters since Rich announced her candidacy.”
    Let’s see: $58,737.00 divided by 13 weeks equals $4,518.23 a week. And GOP Governor Scott may spend $150,000,000.00 of his own money for re-election. HHHMMMMMMMMMM………. In politics: MONEY DOES TALK!!!!! Whether you like it or not.”

    Finally President of the Wynmoor Democratic Club Ronny Sydney did bring up the subject of a “Real Democrat.” She talked about a lifelong Democrat as her idea of who a “Real Democrat” is. Very strange. Very sad.

    Love to hear your and everyone else’s comments.

    Concerning MS Nan Rich, you can not beat a somebody with a nobody. Facts are facts!!

  12. Like any politician, Rick Scott will take credit for as much as he can get away with. It is called “good luck.” The larger point I had wanted to make is that there is a national favorable wind behind the sails for the state of Florida, and much of that good fortune has to do with policies implemented by President Obama’s administration. Regarding any budget surpluses, the easiest way to get there is to cut your way through it, let’s ask our education professionals how that has worked for them. I am NOT willing to concede any points to Rick Scott, on the economy or anything else.

    Nor am I willing to assume that that the candidate with the biggest bank account will necessarily have the upper hand in this election. Just ask Carl Rove about his return on investment on the billions he spent in 2012.

  13. POTUS Obama will never be on any ballot again. He has said that. So forget all about POTUS Obama in the next election. GOP Gov Scott will be on the Nov 2014 Ballot. He can run: “I cut the unemployment rate by 40% to 50%. Why take the chance and remove me? I had a $850,000,000.00 state surplus in 2013. Why take the chance and remove me? About cuts in education? Scott has restored the same amount of money back in the state wide education budget. Another one of your ideas that have failed. And older people don’t care about educational budgets once their kids are out of school. Try thinking of what 55+ year olds care about. Crime has gone down. They like that. Inflation is non-existent. They like that. “I am NOT willing to concede any points to Rick Scott, on the economy or anything else.” You are walking into this election with your eyes blinded. I have listed the facts that show improvements under GOP Scott. You have shown to all that your narrow attitudes will continue to allow the GOP sweep all the statewide offices. “Nor am I willing to assume that that the candidate with the biggest bank account will necessarily have the upper hand in this election.” In politics money talks. To the average Florida vote, their question is: “Who the hell is Nan Rich?” The GOP lost badly in 2012 because they offered terrible and stupid nominees: “Put an aspirin between your knees and you will not get pregnant.” GOP Scott is a well known, experienced and successful politician. He won! He is the current governor! Like I said earlier, her gets the credit for lowering the state’s unemployment rate by 40%. Not 4%. BUT 40%!!!! TRY THINKING!!!! He has brought a %850,000,000.00 state surplus to the citizens of FL. FL schools have been terrible for years. Voters are use to that. A lot of voters don’t care about the poor quality of the schools, as their kids are out of the education field by now. They care about saving money. Here at the Democratic Club of Wynmoor, at least 95% of all members are over 55 years old, and only about 65% of the declared members bothered to pay their lousy $10.00 annual fees to the club in 2013. About 35% stated they were members, but got away without paying their $10.00. You thinks these elders really care about the quality of the elementary school down the street? Open Your EYES!!! In 2012 4 attendees of the annual Democratic Club of Wynmoor Fund raiser never bothered to pay their required $30.00. But they walked in and enjoyed their meal, the speakers and the whole event. You think they care about how many national Honor students graduated from Coconut Creek High School? Politics has unfortunately come down to: “You will lower my taxes.” The year is 2013. Join in! Americans will never walk on the moon again in your lifetime. WHY? Way too expensive. Gov. Scott has cut the unemployment rate tremendously. Try admitting that! Gov. Scott has brought about a huge state surplus. Try admitting that! And what’s-her-name Rich can’t even raise $3,000.00 a month. Accept these facts! (And Carl Rove did not spend Billions in 2012. try tens of millions. Another example of faulty comments you have written.) Finally POTUS Obama won Florida by just 1 (one) percentage point. No landslide. If there were major rainstorms and thunder storms on election day in Dade and Broward counties, Mr. Romney might have carried the state.

  14. “And what’s-her-name Rich can’t even raise $3,000.00 a month.”
    CORRECTION:
    “And what’s-her-name Rich can’t even raise $3,000.00 a week!”

    What is Florida, the 4th of 5th most populous state in the Union? And she can’t raise more than $430.00 a day? Try buying TV ads in any part of Florida with less than $3,000.00 a week. Good luck!

    And don’t bring up ‘grass roots’. “Grass roots” needs store fronts, telephones, copiers, rents… Big state = need for many store fronts = need of LOTS of MONEY!!!

  15. It is relatively early in the FL gubernatorial campaign, so quite a few things may change — poll numbers for Charlie Crist and Nan Rich, the entry of another Democrat into the race, etc. There is very little need to hyperventilate about the campaign at this stage of the process.

    If Nan Rich’s statewide poll numbers improve, more campaign contributions to her campaign will follow. From what I have seen, at present Rick Scott is afraid of Charlie Crist. There have already been new TV ads in the past two weeks, by Republicans against Charlie Crist. In addition, some time ago the Broward Republican party sent Broward DEC members an email claiming to defend Nan Rich because she had not been invited to speak at the State Party’s Jefferson-Jackson dinner.

    I also looked into how the precincts in Oakland Park (where I reside) voted in 2010’s Senatorial election, and I noticed that the majority of them (including my own) were won by Charlie Crist. In fact, I noticed that the number of votes for Crist correlated highly with actual voter turnout in those precincts – the more votes for Crist, the higher the percentage of voter participation. I believe that Crist’s Senatorial campaign in 2010 was the main reason that my own Precinct had one of the highest voter turnouts (45%) in my City that year. In addition, Charlie Crist also won Broward County overall that year.

    My own objective for 2014 is to defeat Rick Scott, not to support any particular candidate. We need to break the stranglehold the Republican Party has over most of our statewide elected offices, and this will happen most likely by recognizing that all candidates need to focus on a statewide electorate. If we do not do that, the Democratic Party will continue to be “ghettoized” and mostly limited to certain counties in the State.

  16. I agree with others that Val may be an idiot. But he is correct: “You cannot beat a somebody with a nobody.” The FL unemployment rate in OCT 2014 may be in the 5% range. Why throw out GOP Gov Scott? He would have cut the state’s unemployment rate by about 46%. In just 4 years! The 2013 FL Scott budget has a $850,000,000.00 annual surplus. Why throw out GOP Gov Scott? Nan Rich volunteers need office locations all over the state to meet, eat pizza and drink soda. Along with pay the rent, utilities, telephones, copiers, office supplies and staples. Fundraising of just $3,500.00 a week will not cut it. Charlie is now a registered Democrat. He has proven he can win a state wide race. Accept these facts. If Val can do that, what is wrong with the rest of you?

  17. “There is very little need to hyperventilate about the campaign at this stage of the process.”
    WRONG!!!!
    I live in Democratic very rich registered Broward county. I have yet to see a single MS Nan Rich volunteer. The leadership of the Democratic Club of Wynmoor in Coconut Creek have no plans to invite Nan or Charlie to speak to our monthly Club meetings. I suggested that at the December meeting. No one on the Board volunteered to do that. No POTUS Obama on the November 2014 ballot. No US Senator Bill Nelson on the November 2014 ballot. Charlie has won a state wide election. How many votes has MS Rich ever received in her elections? And if Nan loses the primary, will her volunteers work for Charlie? Seriously, will they?
    Val, why don’t you giver us your answer to my last question…

  18. A recent series of articles in the Miami Herald is very interesting, and goes deep into what is actually happening with jobs in Florida, which begs us to consider what Rick Scott has REALLY done for jobs in Florida. The series title : “Gov. Scott’s ‘lost’ jobs — The untold chapter in Gov. Rick Scott’s jobs story: the thousands of lost jobs in every sector and region of the state.”

    Gov. Rick Scott has staked his political future on his ability to bring jobs to Florida, but the first comprehensive review of his efforts shows few successes and hundreds of unfulfilled promises. The Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times reviewed public information for 342 job-creation deals that involve various tax breaks since Scott took office in 2011. Among the findings:

    • Of the jobs Scott can influence most, only a fraction now exist. Scott has pledged $266 million in tax breaks and other incentives in return for 45,258 new jobs. But 96 percent of the jobs have yet to materialize, according to state data.

    • The total number of new jobs Scott ultimately might deliver doesn’t offset the jobs lost at companies with more than 100 workers in the same time period. Between January 2011 and November 2013, large Florida employers reported 49,163 layoffs, according to federal data.

    • Nearly 14 percent of Scott’s deals — 46 in all — have collapsed for various reasons, the state says, and more projects are dormant.

    • The jobs outlook isn’t better in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, where Scott inked deals to create 5,456 jobs in exchange for $25.2 million tax incentives and breaks. Jobs created to date: 61.

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/static/media/projects/2013/rick-scotts-jobs-record/part-1/#storylink=cpy

  19. Gee! Why did you happen to ignore this of the same news article:

    “In the big picture, Florida’s economy is improving.

    Since Scott took office, the state’s unemployment rate has dropped from 11.1 percent to 6.7 percent, and the state has added 440,000 private-sector jobs, according to federal data.

    Like I wrote earlier, GOP Gov Scott has cut the state’s unemployment rate by 39.64%. You think the voters are going to ignore this? Get real!!
    Another 440,000 jobs have been created under Gov. Scott. What is that, the 3rd to 4th highest in the country? I don’t know. But that is about 150,000 jobs per year he has been in office. 150,000 jobs times 8 years = 1,200,000 jobs.
    Any Dem will be hard pressed to fight against these figures.

    More new jobs in the state lowers the amount of money the state has to pay out in unemployment benefits. 1,200,000 new jobs = more workers spending money = more money going into the state’s coffers. Due to foreigners more homes and condos being bought up = more new houses being built = more real estate taxes for the cities and towns. Supposedly more local money to be spent on the local schools.

    Dems, you have to be realistic. Read these above facts. MS Nan Rich still has lousy name recognition and TERRIBLE fund raising results. And volunteers need beer, soda and pizza money!

  20. Whether you have a GOP Governor or a Democratic Governor; he or she will take credit for this article for their re-elections in November 2014:

    “Demember 9, 2013
    Recovery, job market looking better in 2014, economists think
    John W. Schoen CNBC
    3 hours ago

    A quarterly survey of economists, taken before the recent strong employment report for November, shows business economists feeling more upbeat.
    A quarterly survey of economists, taken before the recent strong employment report for November, shows business economists feeling more upbeat about jobs and wages in 2014.
    They’re not exactly singing “Happy Days Are Here Again,” but business economists are feeling a little more upbeat about the recovery and job market heading into next year, according to a survey of the group released Monday.
    The unemployment rate will continue falling next year, with the economy adding about 200,000 new jobs a month, according to the National Association of Business Economics quarterly survey, which was taken before Friday’s surprisingly strong November jobs report.
    That strong pace of hiring should help boost wages, providing some relief to households struggling to make ends meet. Hourly wages will close out the year up just 1.8 percent this year, according to the group. They expect those wage gains will rise to 2.4 percent next year as lower unemployment will put pressure on employers to spend more to recruit and keep the best workers.
    Despite the modest wage gains, the economists expect consumer spending to remain tight, growing just 2.4 percent next year after rising 1.9 percent in 2013. (Those forecasts are down slightly from the group’s September survey.)
    A gradual rise in spending should help keep the U.S. on a slow but steady path of recovery from the Great Recession, with the overall economy ending this year 2.1 percent larger than it was a year earlier. The group expects economic growth to pick up gradually next year, with gross domestic product expanding by 2.8 percent. (That’s a bit slower than the 3 percent gain predicted in the September survey.)”

    And what will the Democratic Governor candidate say about Florida’s 45% drop in the state’s unemployment rate, under GOP Governor Scott? “I can do better” ? hahahahhahaha

  21. HERE IT IS!!!

    I have reported that in the 3rd quarter of 2013 MS Nan Rich could not even raise $3,900.00 a week. Now please read this on December 10, 2013 from the Gov. Crist web site: “And today, I’m humbled to announce that between Charlie Crist for Florida and our campaign, we raised about 3 million dollars in just over three weeks. More than 3,500 of you contributed directly to our campaign. You are incredible. Thank you.”

    $1,000,000.00 a week for Charlie.

    Now I know the Rich supporters will come out of the woodwork and say: “Nan has the volunteers! She does not need no stinking money.”
    Good luck.

    Last month and this month I signed up on MS Rich’s web site. Two months = two sign ups. I checked off the area for volunteers both times. I wrote in both times: “How can I volunteer?” NO ONE HAS RETURNED AN ANSWER TO MY QUESTION. I live in Broward Country – rich in Democratic voters.

    Where are the famous Rich organizers?

  22. ANOTHER EMPLOYMENT SUCCESS STORY FOR GOP GOVERNOR SCOTT:
    “Office Depot move raises tax-break issue again

    FILE – In this Dec. 3, 2013 file photo, Illinois state Sen. Thomas Cullerton, D-Villa Park, talks to lawmakers during a tax incentives committee hearing at the state Capitol in Springfield Ill. Illinois will lose 1,600 jobs after Office Depot said Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, that it will keep its headquarters in Florida after its merger with Naperville-based OfficeMax. The move comes just a week after the state legislature declined to give the company millions in tax breaks. Cullerton, who sponsored the Office Depot bill, said the company’s decision disappointed him. Seth Perlman, File / AP Photo

    Fullsize previous | nextImage 1 of 3
    BY DAVID MERCER AND SOPHIA TAREEN
    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Illinois will lose 1,600 jobs after Office Depot said Tuesday that it will keep its headquarters in Florida after its merger with Naperville-based OfficeMax. The move comes just a week after the state Legislature declined to give the company millions in tax breaks.

    The state senator who sponsored the bill that would have given Office Depot a tax package worth $53 million regretted that lawmakers didn’t agree to the deal. But some experts said that, given the state’s bad financial situation, not offering tax breaks might have been a smart move.

    The company’s announcement led one Republican gubernatorial candidate to call on Gov. Pat Quinn to hurry lawmakers back to Springfield to act on another set of tax breaks that Archer Daniels Midland Company has asked for as it considers locations for a new headquarters. The governor’s office did not immediately say if that was under consideration.

    State Sen. Tom Cullerton, who sponsored the Office Depot bill, said the company’s decision was disappointing.

    “It’s a small setback, but it definitely does not mean Illinois is closed for business,” Cullerton, a Villa Park Democrat, said.

    Office Depot spokeswoman Karen Denning said Illinois’ lack of an incentives package was partly behind the company’s decision. Other factors included taxes and the ability of the existing 625,000 square-foot facility in Florida to accommodate all of the new company’s employees. That facility is almost twice as big as the OfficeMax facility in Naperville.

    Office Depot doesn’t yet have a timeline for moving its operations in Naperville and other headquarters staff in the Chicago suburb of Itasca to Boca Raton, Denning said.

    The company has an existing incentives package from the state of Florida but officials there have not commented on any potential new tax breaks or other perks.

    More jobs and income come into Florida. MS Rich’s comments, please.

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/12/10/3809938/legislators-disappointed-in-office.html#storylink=cpy

  23. Poll taken on December 12, 2013:
    “On its face, a new poll from St. Leo University showing Democrat Charlie Crist leading Gov. Rick Scott by a 46-34 margin is great for Democrats.
    Accordingly, the Florida Democratic Party pounced.
    “Rick Scott began 2013 hoping for political rejuvenation. According to the only judgment that matters — the people of Florida — he clearly failed,” Joshua Karp, a party spokesman, wrote in an email after the poll’s Thursday release.”

    I looked to see if there was another poll: Rich vs Scott. Still looking. I have found nothing. I guess the leaders of this poll didn’t think there was a need to spend the money on a Rich vs Scott poll. Just reporting the facts!

  24. Joel, I’ve read your posts and have come to the conclusion that you protest too much. If you follow the money interests line that Nan Rich can’t win, then why are you and them so afraid. Is it because you fear her honesty, her core values, her grassroots popularity, and her courage to take on the corrupt machines of the past 2 governors. Let the primary play out. It will benefit the party the same way the 2008 presidential election primary did. I’m especially looking forward to the primary debates. Let the people decide who will best represent us. The party bosses have been wrong for 16 years. It’s time for a new governor. May the best NAN win.

  25. Nan Rich recently spoke to Oakland Park Democrats, and she made a very favorable impression on our BOD and other people in attendance. Florida would have en excellent governor if she were elected. At the same time, from my conversations in my Precinct and with my Republican neighbors, I get the sense that Charlie Crist has a strong reservoir of support in Broward County. Most importantly, I have Republican neighbors telling me that they would like to vote for Crist for Governor, and that crossover support could be the key to building a winning coalition to oust Rick Scott.

    Of course, we have 11 months or so left, so there will be debates and other campaign activities, and perceptions and poll numbers may change. In the meantime, Democrats that do not support Nan Rich should be able to make their point without sounding like they are writing campaign materials for Rick Scott.

  26. Joe Kreps, thank you for your comments. I am a member of the Democratic Club of Wynmoor in Coconut Creek. This year the club has over 325 members. Yet I have been the only member to suggest at the last two Club’s monthly meeting that the appropriate Officer needs to invite both Nan and Charlie to speak to our club on different months. There are about 9,500 resident on the Wynmoor reservation. So far no one has made ANY effort to contact either one of these declared Democrat candidates for Governor. Nan announced her candidacy a number of months ago. No one bothered to immediately invite her to our club to speak. Charlie just announced and I had to make the suggest / demand that both be invited. For our December 2013 club meeting our invited guest speaker was a lawyer who talked about condominium laws. The Wynmoor reservation is for 55 and above year olds. Two ladies sitting at my table were so bored with the guest speaker that they literally walked out. I doubt any club member had any interest in condominium law. For the January 2014 guest speaker will talk about education in Florida. I can guarantee you that not a single resident have any children in the local elementary and high schools. These two guest speakers offered or will offer no information to the 2014 elections or even the August 2013 primary. This is a Democratic Club. All our elected officers and all the elected board members have no idea how the club can legally spend the $12,000.00 in our bank for the 2014 campaigns. Our own President refuses to spend $12.00 to buy the Robert’s Rules of Orders book that is required in our By-Laws. Joe Kreps, would you like the telephone number of our Club president’s name and help her select qualified monthly guest speakers? POTUS Bush won Florida by about 537 votes. How would you feel is you were a member of this Club and Governor Scott won re-election in November 2014 by less than 600 votes; when there are 1,000’s upon 1,000’s Democrats here in Wynmoor and they were not properly informed of the numerous issues in the 2014 campaign. For the 2012 November campaign our club never produced a sign up sheet for volunteer campaign workers to work the polls for all the day the next door library voting station was open. To hand out informational flyers or even bottled water. Yet three months ago the whole board and all the elected officers unanimously voted themselves the right to attend two political events within the Broward area, for FREE!!! This could cost about $2,000.00. Yet they refused to follow thru on my approved motion to spend legally $8,000.00 on the 2012 campaigns. Mr. Kreps, please reply with you e-mail address and I will be proud to give you our president’s name and telephone number. You up to it?

  27. I went onto Google and typed in: Federal Department of Labor jobs created in Florida” This is what that official federal report offered:

    | November | November | Over-the-year
    State | 2012 | 2013(p) | change(p)
    ————————————————————————–
    Arizona ………………….| 2,487,200 | 2,534,600 | 47,400
    California ……………….| 14,522,000 | 14,748,200 | 226,200
    Colorado …………………| 2,332,900 | 2,378,900 | 46,000
    Connecticut ………………| 1,638,800 | 1,655,300 | 16,500
    Delaware …………………| 421,100 | 429,500 | 8,400
    Florida ………………….| 7,444,300 | 7,627,400 | 183,100

    183,100 official jobs were created last year. From POTUS’s Federal Labor Department. Take this number as a FACT!!!! MS Nan Rich can do better? Please have her e-mail me and tell me how.

    700,000 promised jobs by Gov. Scott in his potential 8 years.
    700,000 divided by 8 years = 87,500 jobs a year. Just in the year of 2013 his state created 183,100 new jobs. And as Scott is the Governor, he gets credit for all these new jobs, whether you like it or not!!!

    Just offering official federal facts!

    Table C. States with statistically significant unemployment rate changes
    from November 2012 to November 2013, seasonally adjusted
    ————————————————————————-
    | Rate |
    |———–|———–| Over-the-year
    State | November | November | change(p)
    | 2012 | 2013(p) |
    ————————————————————————-
    California …………………| 9.9 | 8.5 | -1.4
    Colorado …………………..| 7.6 | 6.5 | -1.1
    Florida ……………………| 8.0 | 6.4 | -1.6
    Georgia ……………………| 8.7 | 7.7 | -1.0
    Hawaii …………………….| 5.3 | 4.4 | -.9

    Florida’s unemployment rate fell by 1.6 percentage points in 2013. By POTUS Obama’s federal official Department of Labor facts.
    So…let’s see
    (1.6) / 8.0 = 20.0%

    The unemployment rate in Florida FELL (20.0%) in 2013. Not too bad!
    Again GOP Gov. Scott does have the right to take credit for this. Whether you like it or not.

    How is MS Nan Rich going to do better? Please have her e-mail me. I would love to know!!!!

  28. “The drop in unemployment in Florida in the last several years has closely followed the national drop in unemployment, which is a result of federal government fiscal policies and monetary actions by the US Federal Reserve. And Florida is not just the average state with already limited options to reduce unemployment — the basic underpinnings of FL state economic policies (including no state income tax and the state constitutional requirement to balance the budget) have already been in place since way before Rick Scott became governor. So what did he really “DO.”?

    Comment by Robert Muniz — December 2, 2013 @ 7:48 am”

    Excellent question Mr. Robert Muniz. How about doing some actual research and informing all of us? From the above OFFICIAL Federal figures, GOP Governor Scott’s state unemployment rate fell 20% in the past 12 months. Surely you are aware that the national unemployment rate did NOR fall 20%. Therefore Gov. Scott must be doing somethings so different and good. In order for Nan or Charlie to defeat Gov. Scott in just 10 months, vital information must be identified and examined. Are you willing to take the ball and run with it?

  29. Mr. Joe Kreps, so you have now read the official Labor Department figures and now you know the truth. Very good. Too bad you refuse to accept them. Too bad you refuse to accept that MS Nan Rich cannot raise over $4,500.00 a week in the 3rd quarter of 2013. You write that I fear her honesty? HAHAHAHHAHAHHA!!!!! Come again? Where is she for me to hear her honesty? I am a member of the Democratic Club of Wynmoor here is Coconut Creek and out of 325 members I have been the ONLY one to suggest that she be invited to be our monthly guest speaker. To this day NO plans from the elected officers of the club have followed thru on my excellent suggestion. There are about 9,500 residents living here. But no invitation to Nan. And when did Nan throw her cap into the ring? How long ago? Would you like the club’s president’s name and talk to her? Or are you one that just sits back and make unneeded comments? What else can I do? Our club has over $13,000.00 in the bank and the President for a full year,(12 months) who was Vice president for 12 months before that, STILL has no idea how to legally spend the club’s money. Again, would you like her name and talk to her? I made a legal motion in 2011 to spend $8,000.00 of the club’s money for the 2012 election and only $400.00 was spent. Care to offer your expertise? And at that time the president of the club was an elected Commissioner of Coconut Creek. But she too did squat to help get Democrats elected in 2012. My good friend Joe, I await your pearls of wisdom.

  30. This is what I received from Nan Rich’s campaign today:

    Dear Joel,
    This has been an amazing year. Our campaign gained momentum every day as I traveled across Florida talking to voters like you about setting new priorities and making Rick Scott a 1-term governor.
    And now, starting in January, the 2014 campaign moves into high gear. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but by Election Day, if every Florida voter knows me as well as you do, we will win!
    As the only woman and only true Progressive Democrat running, you can count on me to stand up for a woman’s right to control her own body. You can count on me to stand up for public education and demand an investment that makes our schools the top in the nation. You can count on me to defend the rights of all Floridians against any form of discrimination. You can count on me to stand up to preserve our sensitive land and water resources. And you can absolutely count on me to ensure the lives of at-risk children and families in Florida are protected.
    But right now, I’m counting on you and asking you to do this one last thing for me in 2013: Will you contribute $5 today, before the end of the year, to my campaign?
    I’m up against millions of special-interest dollars pouring into both the current Republican Governor and the former Republican Governor running in the Democratic primary.
    But we can win!
    Your end-of-year contribution of $5, $10 or more will help underwrite our genuine grass-roots campaign and get our message out to all voters. Click HERE to contribute now.
    With your help, 2014 will be a successful year for our campaign, and for Florida.
    Thank you so much for being part of our team! Together, we will win and get Florida back on the right track
    Sincerely,
    Nan Rich”

    The expression: “only true Progressive Democrat running” might likely turn off Independents. And will definitely turn off any Republicans thinking of switching sides with their vote. Get rid of that expression.
    “if every Florida voter knows me as well as you do, we will win!” I know hardly anything about her! And a vast
    majority of Florida voters feel the same.
    “I’m up against millions of special-interest dollars pouring into both the current Republican Governor and the former Republican Governor running in the Democratic primary.” Accepting special-interest money does not mean you have to follow their wants and wishes. And Charlie is now a registered Democrat. All you out there, try to accept this simple fact!!!! Reagan was a Democrat and a president of a union and yet the country elected his twice as POTUS as a Republican. Say, how did POTUS Reagan do when he ran for re-election? Did everyone have to stay up until 4:00 AM for that nail-biter close election? A registered Democrat is a Democrat!!! Live with this fact. Hey buddy Joe, still waiting for you to ask me for the name of the President of the Democratic Club of Wynmoor here in Coconut Creek!

  31. Mr. Joe Kreps and all Democrats voters who ONLY support born and raised Democrats, please explain this e-mail I received this evening:

    “Alex Sink for Congress
    Joel —
    Wow! We did it, and then some.
    Today, we are announcing that you, along with thousands of other supporters, have donated over $1.1 million to the Alex Sink for Congress campaign.
    With more than 6,000 donors and 8,000 donations in a little over 8 weeks, you have stated loud and clear that you want a Congresswoman that works for the people of Pinellas and brings the bipartisan, results oriented values I practiced as Florida’s Chief Financial Officer.
    While this campaign is far from over, your support in the last few weeks has been nothing short of amazing.
    Thank you!
    Alex”

    ***********************************
    “October money round-up: Nan Rich’s negative cash flow.” by George Bennett ***| November 13th, 2013

    Fresh Florida campaign finance reports filed this week mark at least two milestones: the beginning of monthly, instead of quarterly, filings and the likely end of Nan Rich‘s status as the Democratic fundraising leader in the 2014 governor’s race.
    Rich raised $8,291 in October while spending $8,788. Since April 1, former Senate Democratic Leader Rich has raised $102,419 and spent $135,701. For her entire campaign, which began in April 2012, she has raised $224,065 and spent $161,805.”

    *** George Bennett has been a Palm Beach Post reporter since 1992. In addition to his reporting duties, he writes a Monday politics column in the local news section and is a frequent contributor to the Post On Politics blog. He’s a graduate of The George Washington University.

    $1,100,000.00 divided by 8 weeks = $137,500.00 raised by MS Sinks weekly.

    $224,065.00 divided by 78 weeks = $2,783.00 raised by MS Rich weekly.

    Facts don’t lie!

    Though GOP Tea Baggers only know how to lie!

  32. 3.“Car rental company Hertz begins move to Florida
    Posted: Monday, October 7, 2013 8:40 am

    Associated Press

    NAPLES, Fla. — Executives at car rental company Hertz are moving to new headquarters in southwest Florida.

    Hertz Chairman and CEO Mark Frissora will be among the company executives starting work Monday at temporary offices in Naples.

    The company’s vice president of corporate affairs tells The News-Press that it’s an important milestone. Hertz plans to build a $68 million campus in Estero. Employees will work at the leased offices in Naples until the new headquarters is finished in 2015.

    Hertz plans to relocate 300 to 400 workers from New Jersey, Oklahoma and other locations to Estero. It plans to hire another 300 to 400 workers locally over the next two years.”

    Sounds good to me.

    How many companies has MS Nan Rich talked to and convinced to move to Florida? Bringing in about $600.00 a day does not allow much money for her to travel to other states and talk to CEOs.

  33. Office Depot moving OfficeMax HQ from Naperville to FL
    Tuesday, December 10, 2013
    IL legislators lament Office Depot HQ move to Florida
    Charles Thomas
    December 10, 2013 (NAPERVILLE, Ill.) (WLS) — Illinois lawmakers who sponsored legislation offering tax incentives for companies like newly merged OfficeMax and Office Depot say they’re disappointed the company is moving its corporate headquarters to Florida.
    The two merged last month under the name Office Depot. OfficeMax was based in suburban Chicago and Office Depot in Boca Raton, Fla. Company officials said Tuesday that it appeared the Florida location would better help drive profitability.
    Illinois state Sen. Tom Cullerton backed a bill encouraging the company to consider Illinois in exchange for creating 200 jobs. It passed the Senate but House lawmakers adjourned after approving landmark pension reform. Cullerton says Illinois needs a better approach to business retention.
    “I did everything I could to bring these jobs to our state,” Cullerton said. “Even with this setback, we need to stay proactive and competitive. I will continue to introduce new legislation making Illinois a better destination for the business community.”
    Rep. Mike Zalewski sponsored a similar bill. He says it was a case of bad timing with the pension vote.
    Naperville officials say they are also disappointed in the move, adding OfficeMax moved its headquarters to Naperville in 2006, and has facilities in Itasca, Ottawa and Peru. The headquarters facility in Naperville has 1,250 employees, with another 800-900 at corporate facilities elsewhere in Illinois, the Naperville Development Partnership said.
    OfficeMax has occupied the building at 263 Shuman Boulevard following a similar site selection process when they combined the retail and corporate headquarters locations into one 360,000 square foot location along Interstate 88, an NDP news release said.
    OfficeMax employees have known since February that their company’s headquarters might be moved. OfficeMax was purchased ten months ago by Office Depot, based in Boca Raton, Florida.
    “This was not just keeping a company here; it was bringing in a brand new company to the state. So, I’m concerned about my constituents now, making sure they find work if they’re not selected to move to Florida,” said State Rep. Darlene Senger, (R) Naperville. “Speaker Madigan’s on the floor debating the pension bill and nothing gets done… again, it’s very sad that one guy has so much power that we can’t give it a shot.”
    Madigan’s office discounted allegations that the speaker’s not calling the incentive bill led directly to the Office Depot decision. Spokesman Steve Brown said, “I’m not aware of anyone who thought Illinois was really in the hunt for Office Depot.”
    The House adjournment also stalled incentive packages for agri-business giant Archer Daniels Midland and Univar, a chemical distributor. As Office Depot did during its negotiations with Illinois, those companies also have made it clear they have offers from other states.
    “The loss to Illinois is considerable on every level. The economic impact of OfficeMax on the region – in stores, schools and communities – is immeasurable. We wish the combined OfficeMax – Office Depot corporation great future success, and want them to know that it has been an honor to host their corporate headquarters in Naperville the past several years. The purchasing power of their employees is a significant economic benefit to our communities and they will be sorely missed in Illinois” said Christine Jeffries, President of the Naperville Development Partnership.

    Whether you hate the guts of Gov. Scott or not, he does get the credit.
    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  34. Wisconsin’s ProFab moving HQ to Florida
    By Catherine Kavanaugh
    STAFF REPORTER
    Published: October 29, 2013 4:52 pm ET
    ProFab Plastics Corp. is in the process of moving its headquarters from Waukesha, Wis., to Ocala, Fla., where the precision machining company is adding manufacturing and office space to one of its two facilities there.
    The company that started out in 1996 primarily as a parts supplier for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines diversified into aviation and now is looking to make more parts for the aerospace industry.
    To boost that end of the business and attract new customers, ProFab invested $1.7 million in equipment during the last three months and plans to spend another $1 million in the next eight months at the Ocala plants, according to President and CEO Keith Hoffmann.
    “I’m basically getting rid of the old and bringing in the new,” Hoffmann said in a telephone interview. “I’m ramping up on everything and we now have two pieces of equipment that are automated. We can run lights out, 24/7.”
    The new equipment means new opportunities for the company. Hoffmann said he has seen sales double in the last three years to a projected $9 million for 2013. He expects sales to hit $12 million in 2014 and $15 million in 2015.
    “We’re still going to do a lot of medical. We’re not decreasing that,” Hoffmann said. “It’s actually increasing but we’ve gone out and got involved with aerospace and higher tech machines.”
    ProFab machines plastic and paints, die cuts and assembles parts. The company will get into thermoforming and injection molding next.
    “We’re changing to do new things with the technology out there,” Hoffmann said. “We’ve always been a step ahead of everybody else. Now I want to be 10 steps ahead of everybody.”
    ProFab is expanding its 30,000-square foot facility at 4901 NW 5th St. in Ocala by 15,000-square feet for mostly manufacturing space and to serve as the HQ. About 2,000-square feet of the addition will be corporate offices. The company also has a 40,000-square foot facility about 7 miles away.
    However, the future is uncertain for ProFab’s original 18,000-square foot facility in Waukesha, which at one point had about 70 employees.
    “We’ll still have the Wisconsin branch but it will be minimal,” Hoffmann said. “It will be down to like 5-7 people.”
    In June, everyone who works there was offered jobs in Florida, Hoffmann said, but family roots are preventing some from relocating. Four employees made the move to date; three managers and four machinists will follow, he said.
    ProFab also hired 12 new employees in recent weeks and will bring on another 25 in the next three months. A third shift will be added in early 2014.
    “We hope in the next 12-18 months to add 35 employees on top of that,’ Hoffmann said. “By mid 2015 we’ll have 80 total but things could change and we could get bigger than expected. We’ve been doing this for 17 years now. Our capabilities have expanded and there’s a huge market out there for machined plastics and machined components.”
    ProFab is in the midst of putting together the right personnel and equipment, including high-speed CNC machines and five-axis machines, to create one of the most technologically advanced plastic machine shops in the United States, Hoffmann added.
    “When we came down to Florida we had 13 to 16 machines,” he said. ‘Within the next 8-10 months we’ll have 43 pieces of equipment down there.”

    Again, the Governor always gets the credit when companies move into any state.

  35. I just googled: “Companies leaving Florida.”
    This is the only article that was brought up.
    It was printed in 2011. Over 27 months ago!
    The first two words are: “Two tiny…”

    “October 27, 2011, 07:32 pm
    Two health insurers leave Florida, citing health law regulations
    By Julian Pecquet

    Two tiny health insurance companies are exiting Florida’s individual market because of Democrats’ health law, the state’s insurance department announced Thursday in an effort to bolster its request for a waiver.
    Florida has asked for a waiver from the medical loss ratio requirement that says insurers must spend at least 80 percent of premiums on medical care or give customers rebates. Several consumer advocacy groups argued Thursday that the state doesn’t need such a waiver.
    “On October 24, 2011 the Office received notification from American Enterprise Group Inc. that two of its subsidiaries will ‘exit the state’ for the purposes of individually underwritten comprehensive major medical business,” the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation said in a statement. “In a letter to the Office, American Enterprise specifically cites a ‘change in the regulatory environment’ including the Affordable Care Act’s imposition of the minimum medical loss ratios (MLR) as reasons for this decision.”
    American Enterprise Group’s withdrawal isn’t limited to Florida.
    The Iowa-based company announced last week that it’s exiting the individual major medical insurance market nationwide, the Des Moines Register reported. The company said most of its 35,000 policyholders nationwide would have the option of continuing their coverage through a company called Celtic Health Insurance, the paper reported.
    The two subsidiaries that are pulling out of Florida — American Republic Insurance Co. and World Insurance Co. — underwrite 2,615 policies in the state, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. That’s about one-third of 1 percent of the 800,000 or so individual policies issued in Florida, according to the state’s waiver petition.
    Florida has asked the federal Department of Health and Human Services for permission to phase in the medical loss ratio over three years: 68 percent for 2011, 72 percent for 2012 and 76 percent for 2013. Public comments on the waiver request were due Thursday.
    The liberal group Health Care for America Now used the opportunity to request that HHS hold a hearing on the request to highlight its “serious defects.” And the advocacy group Consumer Watchdog urged HHS to reject the waiver because the state has “19 listed individual-policy providers doing business and a wide range of choices for individual insurance.”
    “The fact that most insurance companies do not like the medical loss ratio requirement of the Affordable Care Act does not mean that they are incapable of complying with it,” the group wrote in a letter to Sebelius. “Neither does the fact that some insurance companies will have to accept reduced profits in order to meet the standard.”

    Too bad MS Nan Rich only brings in $600.00 a day. She can’t even buy a TV ad at 3.30 AM!

  36. Joel Greenwald, why are you so obsessed with Nan? Your own Democratic Club president will have nothing to do with you. Who are you? Really.

  37. “why are you so obsessed with Nan?” Well Joe, I have heard from a number of supporters of Nan who have stated very clearly that they will stay home in November 2014 and not vote for the legally nominated Democratic candidate for Governor if that candidate is not Nan. What a total shame. They appear to be like a 5 year old kid who take their ball home and won’t allow others to play with it. What do you suggest I say to these low life Democrats? “Your own Democratic Club president will have nothing to do with you.” This president you talk about has no idea to handle any problems in her club. As Vice President and Chairperson of our club’s 2013 Fund raining event, she admitted that she knew of at least 4 persons who never paid their required $30.00 ticket and never required them to pay, even after the event they attended. As President in 2013 about 100 declared members of the club never paid their measly $10.00 annual dues. She easily had a list of these 100 non-paying members but again allowed them not to pay their required dues. When I asked her last month who is responsible to invite Charlie and Nan to be our guest monthly speakers in 2014 she said past president and current Board member Commissioner of Coconut Creek Mikkie Belvedere. At the very next Board meeting Mikkie stated she had no desire to continue lining up the club’s monthly speakers. The president then asked a non-board member to help out. Apparently none of the ten officers of the club and board members offered themselves to do this most simple job. Making a phone call to two campaign offices is not all that hard. If the campaign director is wondering if having his /her candidate needs to visit Wynmoor, Vice President Joe Biden visited Wynmoor during the 2012 campaign. There are about 9,500 residents living at Wynmoor. A vast number of them are Democrats. These same 10 officers and board members did vote themselves in 2013 the right attend two FREE political events. These costs could easily rise to about $2,000.00 a year. Yet this present president, who was the club’s vice president last year STILL has no idea how to legally spend the club’s $12,000.00+ in the bank. And it was her suggestion to have these ten friends attend the free events. For two years she has not had a single moment to obtain the official rules and regulations on how to spend the club’s money. But to go to parties seems to be a higher priority it appears to be in her mind. At a club meeting this past fall I asked a locally elected official what were his suggestions to spend our club’s $12,000.00 to get the vote out. He gave a number of well qualified answers. You think the president of our club has instituted any of these comments? Of course not! I asked her at a club meeting who is the club’s campaign chairperson. She gave out a name of a club member. I then asked who was the club’s campaign chairperson for 2012. The same name was given. I talked to this person a few months ago for about 20 minutes. During my conversation I asked him when he was going to call a campaign meeting. He gave a rather vague answer. Then I asked him if he was actually the appointed Campaign Chairperson for the past two years. His simple and honest answer was: “No one has ever approached me.” This is how totally dysfunctional the Democratic Club of Wynmoor is. Again Joe, when are you going to ask me for the name of the president of this turned into Party club; so that you will be able to offer her your expertise in running a true and honest Democratic Club?
    This who I am. I notice problems and offer excellent suggestions to fix them. Joe, who are you?

  38. Correct: She was the Vice President of the club in 2012 and Chairperson of the 2012, not the 2013 Fund Raiser event. I made a mistake and admit it.

  39. MS Alex Sink’s campaign for Congress!
    Here is a campaign that all Florida Democrats can spend time, energy and money on. There may not be any Democratic primary. The general election is on March 11, 2014 – in less than 2 months. “The coast is clear for Alex Sink in the special election for the late Rep. Bill Young’s (R-Fla.) seat.” If Democrats throughout the state help MS Sink, Florida may be able to pick up a GOP House seat in Washington D.C.
    Raising over $1,100,000.00 in JUST 3 months ‘ain’t too bad’!!!!!

    “Fla.’s Alex Sink dominating cash race vs. GOP
    Sink has a massive fundraising edge over her GOP opponents.
    By ALEX ISENSTADT | 1/2/14 6:28 PM EST Updated: 1/2/14 6:54 PM EST
    Democrat Alex Sink has a massive fundraising advantage over her prospective Republican opponents in the special election for a Florida congressional seat, according to new financial reports filed on Thursday.
    Between Oct. 1, 2013 and Dec. 25, 2013 Sink, Florida’s former chief financial officer and her party’s 2010 gubernatorial nominee, raked in an eye-popping $1.1 million. She received contributions from the likes of Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer.”
    *****************************************
    Democratic field clears for Alex Sink in Florida special election
    BY AARON BLAKE
    November 6, 2013 at 10:53 am
    Sink announced Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2-13 that she will move to Pinellas County and run for the congressional seat that had been held by U.S. Rep. Bill Young. Young died earlier this month. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter, File)
    The coast is clear for Alex Sink in the special election for the late Rep. Bill Young’s (R-Fla.) seat — at least in the Democratic primary.
    Young’s 2012 opponent, Jessica Ehrlich, dropped out of the race on Wednesday after the Democratic establishment lined up behind Sink, the former state chief financial officer and 2010 gubernatorial nominee.
    “This morning I am officially announcing that I am suspending my campaign for Congress,” Ehrlich said in a statement, adding: “While this is not the result I was hoping for, I remain committed to helping the families of Pinellas County, this state, and this country.”
    Sink, who entered the race after Young’s death, quickly grabbed the support of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic women’s group Emily’s List, which had previously supported Ehrlich.
    The race for Young’s seat is key because it will be held in early 2014 in a swing district. Accordingly, it will be looked to for clues about the 2014 landscape.
    The GOP field has yet to shake out. Over the weekend, former St. Petersburg mayor Rick Baker opted not to run, clearing way for his former general counsel, David Jolly. Jolly has the backing of Young’s widow, Beverly.
    Other potential candidates include former Clearwater mayor Frank Hibbard, former Pinellas county commissioner Neil Brickfield, and current Pinellas county commissioner Karen Seel.
    The primary for the special election will be held Jan. 14, with the general election on March 11.

  40. Robert, I have read your post and its well written, but I think you’re overlooking a few things.

    First, when President Obama ran for re-election, I was at an event in Miami where the campaign’s national political director was verbally attacked and criticized by Log Cabin Republican’s for the horrid role Democrats played with the enactment of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the “Defense of Marriage Act”. I echoed their sentiment as she was ill prepared to address this audience lacking the historic perspective on challenges and issues of the LGBT-community.

    With Crist I welcome him as a Democrat, but I remain skeptical of his authenticity. During his transformation to become a Democrat, he missed out on a major opportunity to provide leadership and send a powerful message on how wrong it was to support the Florida Marriage Protection Act. This past fall when I met one on one with Crist, I share with him while there was an opportunity for him to submit an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court prior to the ruling on DOMA, he never once uttered a sincere word.

    The more I get involved with partisan politics, the more skeptical I become as candidates think they can just flip a switch to change their position with offering any meaningful dialogue to provide voters with confidence in their commitment to a particular issue or policy position.

    And for the record, I was once a registered Republican and was a legislative aide to one of the most conservative state senators in New Jersey. I had a wake up call and realized there was no room in the party of the big tent when I became more secure with my sexual identity as a gay man. But when I was diagnosed HIV+, I became more aware of how wrong the GOP’s policies were.

    What horrifies me is as some leaders or bundlers in the gay community cozy up with Crist, they are failing to hold him accountable on the issue of HIV/AIDS. Crist’s record was horrific and during the nation’s worst crisis for access to AIDS medications, Crist was Florida’s Governor when countless people fell through the cracks and experience treatment interruption risking possible resistance to their current HIV-treatment. I personally knew some people who just stopped treatment all together because of his administration’s bureaucracy.

    To me I need those individuals to engage in a meaningful authentic dialogue, not a smile campaign. We deserve that respect, especially for those identifying with communities that have been marginalized by our government.

  41. Thanks Michael. I recall my 17 years in NJ fondly, my partner of 22 years and I are planning to get married in NJ late spring or in the summer in the City he was born in (Elizabeth). I was fortunate for my time in NJ that my Senator was Ray Lesniak, who most recently was a sponsor of the marriage equality law vetoed by Chris Christie. I also did volunteer work when I lived in NJ for the Hyacinth Foundation, working with people with HIV-related health issues.

    When it comes to gay-related issues, different politicans have evolved their views at different speeds. Just how far back do we want go to punish politicians for previous political positions? For example, I think the vast majority of lesbians & gay men have forgiven Bill Clinton for signing the Defense of Marriage Act into law in the first place. So, I think it is disingenous to castigate other politicians for past failings they have now acknowledged.

    What I want to do is to go FORWARD and not live in the past. My personal objective is to defeat Rick Scott and dislodge the anti-gay culture that animates much of the Republican Party from Florida’s executive branch (and remove it from the power to make judicial appointments). In my Precinct in Broward, I have Republican neighbors who are willing to vote for Crist for governor in November. Getting a substantial number of these cross-over Republicans in a closely divided STATEWIDE electorate could be the key to victory.

    Whatever is said about Charlie Crist, he is an excellent retail politician, and his shift on marriage equality and other issues speaks volumes about the cultural shift that is happening in our State. What his positions are TODAY in 2014 is what matters. The polls I have seen so far show Crist has the potential to unseat Rick Scott, even considering Crist’s changes on social issues such as marriage equality. Do you know of another viable Democrat who would be able to defeat Gov. Scott?

  42. Comment #45 From Mt. Robert Muniz: “Whatever is said about Charlie Crist, he is an excellent retail politician, and his shift on marriage equality and other issues speaks volumes about the cultural shift that is happening in our State. What his positions are TODAY in 2014 is what matters. The polls I have seen so far show Crist has the potential to unseat Rick Scott, even considering Crist’s changes on social issues such as marriage equality. Do you know of another viable Democrat who would be able to defeat Gov. Scott?”

    Excellent!! Look at the CURRENT positions the two Democratic candidates for Governor take today. If any Democratic desires and loves to drag up FORMER positions of a current Democratic candidate from the past and grandstand them; that will be a guarantee for the re-election of GOP Governor Scott. At times slavery was legal in the USA. Whenever new states were allowed into the Union, Congress made sure for every new Free State there was a corresponding new Slave State. In numerous states blacks and whites could not get married. Rights for Gay persons just a few decades back showed very little support. The support of medical marijuana, approved by a licensed physician, was highly frowned upon in the recent past. Democrats, kept your old beliefs and Governor Scott was be sworn in again come January 2015. Learn about the current beliefs of the two Democratic candidates and then choose: “Who can beat GOP Governor Scott?” If you love to have your mind cemented in the past; be my guest. Just prepare to stay home and not vote in the general election in November 2014.
    But things changes. Ideas change. Politicians do change. And now Democrats in Florida have to learn to think. Should they continue to drag up the pasts comments of a previous Republican Governor of Florida and hand deliver the re-election to GOP Governor Scott? Or should they listen to what the current positions are today of the Democratic candidates for Governor?
    “What his (Charlie Crist)positions are TODAY in 2014 is what matters.”
    “The polls I have seen so far show Crist has the potential to unseat Rick Scott, even considering Crist’s changes on social issues such as marriage equality.”
    “Do you know of another viable Democrat who would be able to defeat Gov. Scott?”

  43. Time to rally around Charlie Crist. He is a registered Democrat. He was all over NBS and MSNBC last week. On national shows he is beating Scott in all the polls. Haven’t seen a single national TV show with a Nan Rich and Scott poll. I know that means. Wish Rich supporters will accept these facts.

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