Charlie Crist and marriage equality

In 2006, Florida’s Republican Attorney General Charlie Crist signed a petition to enshrine a ban on gay marriage in Florida’s state constitution.

Thereafter, Florida’s Republican Governor Charlie Crist, as head of the state Republican Party, “helped fund [the campaign for a state] gay-marriage ban.”

“And,  he boasted about voting for it.  “I voted for it,” Crist told the Tampa Bay Times outside the polling place at the time. “It’s what I believe in.”

On 8/29/10, during his 2010 run for the U.S. Senate, self described “Reagan Republican” turned “Jeb Bush Republican” turned “Independent Conservative” Charlie Crist told CNN that he backed a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

Within one day, Crist clarified “that the governor just meant an amendment to the Florida constitution.”

Now a Democrat, Crist “regrets signing a petition in 2006 calling for a gay marriage ban in the state constitution.”

Okay – – now Crist regrets signing the petition.  But, does he regret supporting the campaign?  funding the campaign?  voting to amend the constitution?  In fact, does he still support Florida’s ban on gay marriage?   

I guess it depends.

Support Dan Gelber for Attorney General

Florida is facing serious challenges in the coming years:  cracking down on public corruption, ending the proliferation of pill mills, going after con artists who prey on seniors, putting criminals and street gangs behind bars, fighting mortgage fraud and taking on BP.  Florida’s next Attorney General will be responsible for all of these, and there is only one Democratic candidate with the broad legal experience to meet these challenges: Dan Gelber.

Dan was born into a family of public service – his father was a prosecutor and judge, and his mother was a public school teacher.  After graduating from law school, Dan followed the path of public service and was appointed one of the youngest Federal prosecutors in America.  He served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for nearly a decade and managed hundreds of attorneys in the Miami office while prosecuting thousands of cases – the only Democratic candidate with actual jury trial experience and management experience.

Later, Dan served as Chief Counsel in the U.S. Senate’s investigations committee, tracking down international terrorist networks all over the world.  He investigated the Oklahoma City bombing, the Atlanta Olympic bombing and the Japanese subway attacks, among other cases.

In the Legislature, Dan spent eight years in the Florida House, including a term as the House Democratic Leader where he fought for Democratic principles as one of the most effective Minority Leaders ever.  Shortly after 9/11, he was chosen by the Republican leadership to write most of Florida’s domestic security and terrorism laws.  He is currently a State Senator representing Miami-Dade and parts of Broward County.

Dan has been endorsed by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, incoming Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich, Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs, every Democratic State Attorney who has endorsed, the Broward Teachers Union and many others.

10 out of 10 newspapers statewide – a clean sweep – have endorsed Dan, saying:

  • “Sen. Dan Gelber…however, has stronger legal credentials and record of leadership” (Sun-Sentinel)
  • “[Gelber] is the most qualified Attorney General candidate in some time” (Pensacola News Journal)
  • “Gelber’s breadth of legal experience and superior leadership skills make him the better choice for the state’s top legal job” (St. Petersburg Times)
  • “We give Gelber an edge because of his extensive experience and leadership roles as a prosecutor and legislator” (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)
  • “Sen. Gelber looks more like Attorney General material than Sen. Aronberg” (Palm Beach Post)

The under-the-radar race for Attorney General is one of Florida’s most important, given the challenges we face.  Experience matters, and I strongly encourage you, as Broward activists, leaders and voters, to consider my good friend Dan Gelber as your choice for Florida’s next Attorney General.  Check out for more details.

The primary election is August 24th, and we need more than your vote – we need your help to canvass, make phone calls and help at Early Vote locations.  Contact me at for more details, and thanks for all that you do.

Franco Ripple, Vice President of Political Affairs, Broward Young Democrats

Support Dave Aronberg for Attorney General

“I hope you will join me in voting for my friend, Dave Aronberg, for Florida Attorney General.

Dave has the best experience to be Attorney General, as he is the only one in this race who actually worked in the AG’s office.  He served under Bob Butterworth as an Assistant Attorney General in the economic crimes division, where he took on consumer fraud and financial scams.

As a White House Fellow, Dave served as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury Department for international money laundering, including the laundering of terrorist assets.

Dave’s experience in protecting public safety has led 18 Democratic Sheriffs to endorse him.  In fact, every endorsing Democratic Sheriff has endorsed Dave in this race, making the count 18 to 0.  Dave also has been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police and the Police Benevolent Association, making Dave the clear choice of the law enforcement community.

For the past 8 years, Dave Aronberg has distinguished himself as State Senator, where he has been called the “strongest consumer advocate” by both the Sun-Sentinel and Fort Myers News-Press, and a “fierce consumer advocate” by the Tampa Tribune.  He has gained national attention for his work to keep our streets safer from sex offenders and has passed landmark legislation that safeguards our privacy from the growing threat of identity theft.

See for yourself at <> why Dave Aronberg is the best choice for Attorney General.  Our state needs real change, and Dave will be the one to shake up the status quo.

The Democratic primary election is August 24th – so please spread the word!


Ron Mills

Please help Dave out at the polls for early voting and election day. Email or Call Ron Mills

Kendrick Meek Campaign Appeal for Volunteers (Reposting)

From: Abe Dyk <>
Date: Sun, Aug 8, 2010 at 9:34 AM
Subject: On the ground

 With just 16 days until the August 24 primary, it’s all hands on deck.

We know you have done so much already, but with so little time left, we can’t let up. I am telling you — what we do on the ground over the next week will be the difference between victory and defeat.

Our dedicated army of grassroots activists has been on the ground for months, but they need help to get the word out about Kendrick before next week’s primary. I wouldn’t ask if it weren’t so important. Will you join our team of volunteers?

Click here to join our thousands of volunteers and help Kendrick in the final stretch.

Over the next 16 days, our volunteers are going to make over 120,000 phone calls and knock on over 65,000 doors. Together, they are making sure voters all across Florida know about the only real Democrat in this race — Kendrick Meek. They are also making sure voters know that Kendrick has been endorsed by papers all across Florida including the St. Petersburg Times, Palm Beach Post, Pensacola News Journal, Naples Daily News, and Sarasota Herald Tribune. The endorsements lauded Kendrick saying he has a “commitment to the state,” is “a loyal Democrat,” has a “grasp of the issues,” and “shares [Democrats’] ideas and beliefs.”

The bottom line is, the more undecided voters hear about Kendrick, the more they want to join our campaign. We need your help to reach these voters. But Florida is a big state, and we’ve got a lot of ground to cover. With tomorrow marking the start of Early Voting, the timing couldn’t be more critical.

Together, we can win on August 24, but you are part of our plan for victory. We can’t leave anything on the table.

Click here to sign up to volunteer today and help us get out the vote.


Abe Dyk
Campaign Manager

P.S. Our field plan is just one part of our overall strategy. We have an aggressive TV buy planned, but we need to have the funding to implement it. It is critical we match our efforts on the ground with ads on the air. If you make a contribution today, not only will you help us raise critical funds, but you will also be automatically entered to win a chance to meet President Clinton at a private reception on August 16. Click here to contribute.

Meek Looking, Sounding Stronger (Thank You, Jeff Greene)

Kendrick Meek looked and sounded like a much stronger candidate for U.S. Senate when he came to visit the Broward Democratic Party this week. One of the criticisms of Meek as a candidate is that he has never been tested in a tough campaign, since he basically inherited his U.S. House seat from his mother. But billionaire carpetbagger Jeff Greene has done a lot to change that, as has the advent of Gov. Charlie Crist as a wildcard third-party candidate in the race.

Meek knows he has to fight now, and he is sounding more convincing when he says he can and will win. I’d seen him speak at a poorly attended rally in Plantation just a few weeks ago and was underwhelmed, so the contrast was striking. The Sun-Sentinel’s Anthony Mann heard the change in tone, too:

Meek told the Democrats that Greene’s advertising hasn’t won him the election.

“After $7 million of advertising that you’ve been watching over the last several week’s, my opponent’s negatives are higher than his positives,” Meek said. “We have not run a 15-second radio ad yet. And I’m still three points ahead.”

Meek arrived at the Democratic Party meeting from the airport. Earlier Tuesday he spoke to the Senate Democratic Caucus in Washington, D.C.
His 10 minutes of remarks were more animated than many of his speeches earlier in the campaign, and he got two standing ovations from the Democratic activists.

“I am the real Democrat in the race,” he said.

“Democrats, I need you right now. This state needs you right now. And regardless of the money that’s going to be involved in this campaign we have to show the country when you have four major candidates, including my opponent, and I’m the only one who hasn’t run as a Republican in the past, that’s a no brainer. That’s no brainer,” Meek said.

He was referring to Republican Marco Rubio, no party affiliation candidate Charlie Crist, and Greene, who ran for Congress as a Republican in California. Crist was a Republican until he left the party. (Kendrick Meek says he’ll have ads on television within days, possibly sooner)

Meek has also been doing some of the right things all along, such as using a petition drive to qualify for the ballot as a way of building grassroots support along the way. Assuming he wins the primary, he will fill face a tough challenge in the three-way race with Crist and Republican Marco Rubio. But he is looking more like he knows how to win it.

News Roundup from Florida Democratic Party Fundraiser

Miami Herald:

Democrats raise $700K for state party at Hollywood dinner

Some 1,300 Democrats attended a dinner that raised more than $700,000 for the state party.

With Florida in the throes of the wildest and most wide-open election in decades, Democrats girded against a Republican-friendly political climate and gathered Saturday for one of the state party’s most successful annual fundraising dinners.

About 1,300 officeholders and activists attended the dinner at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, which raised more than $700,000. The 2010 election features a tight governor’s race, a topsy-turvy U.S. Senate contest and three statewide campaigns for Florida’s Cabinet.

“Folks in this room understand what’s at stake — one of the most important elections Florida has ever had,” said political consultant Steve Schale, who led President Obama’s winning campaign that registered a slew of new Democrats in the nation’s largest swing state. “We don’t have to bring out most of the [Obama] voters in 2010. Just some of them.”

Read more:

Zingers from FL Dems’ Jefferson Jackson dinner
So many speakers, so little time to blog. Here are a few memorable one-liners from the parade of candidates who spoke at the Florida Democrats’ annual Jefferson Jackson dinner fundraiser Saturday night:

— From Senate candidate Kendrick Meek: “I’ll be the only one that hasn’t run as a Republican in the past.”

— From his opponent Jeff Greene: “We put a man on the moon 40 years ago and we’re just now inventing an electric car.” (The third Dem in that contest, Maurice Ferre, declared himself the “sleeper” candidate.)

— From congressional candidate Joe Garcia, who lambasted Arizona’s controversial immigration law: “I can assure you that I am an American citizen. I’ve got [Republican gubernatorial candidate] Rick Scott‘s hate mail to prove it.”

— From congressional candidate Luis Meurice, a longshoreman: “I will take [Republican congressional candidate] David Rivera to the woodshed. That’s the way we do it on the docks.”

— From attorney general hopeful Dan Gelber: “I was called [former Gov.]Jeb Bush‘s chief nemesis, and I am proud of that designation.”

— From his opponent, Dave Aronberg: “They have swift boated me but I’m still standing.”

— From Alex Sink, the state’s CFO who is running for governor: “Sometimes I sit at those Cabinet meetings and think to myself, ‘Who are you people? And what are you doing for Florida?'”

— And from Florida Democratic Party chairwoman Karen Thurman, after Sink had mic trouble during her speech: “Even before she’s governor they’re trying to silence her.”

Palm Beach Post:

Applause meter: Meek gets louder applause than Greene at Florida Dem dinner

by George Bennett | July 17th, 2010
HOLLYWOOD — The crowd at tonight’s Florida Democratic Party Jefferson-Jackson dinner gave noticeably louder applause to Senate candidate Kendrick Meek than to primary rival Jeff Greene when both spoke to the crowd of about 1,300. Continued


Alex Sink enjoying Republican governor primary fight
Posted by Anthony Man on July 17, 2010 06:04 PM

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink sees a lot to like in the Republican Party fight between Bill McCollum and Rick Scott.

Sink said she’s helped by the fight for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. Continued

Kendrick Meek, Jeff Greene tone down rhetoric at Democratic dinner
Posted by Anthony Man on July 17, 2010 09:10 PM

Democratic leaders spend lots of time Saturday talking up gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink, the big unknown is the U.S. Senate race.

The two main Democratic candidates – U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami and Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene – have been blistering each other on the campaign trail. Continued

Florida House Democratic leader says it’s too early to write off Democrats chances
Posted by Anthony Man on July 17, 2010 05:08 PM

The national mood isn’t a good one for Democrats as the midterm elections approach.

But Florida House Minority Leader Franklin Sands, D-Weston, said it’s way too early to assume the Democratic Party will have a terrible year.

“On a national level, it’s anybody’s guess. On a state level I think it’s anybody’s guess,” he said in the place where Democrats from across Florida are gathering Saturday afternoon – the lobby of the Westin Diplomat in Hollywood for the party’s big Jefferson-Jackson weekend. Continued

Mitch Ceasar smells success in the wind for Democrats
Posted by Anthony Man on July 17, 2010 05:50 PM

Maybe he was breathing too much of the signature white tea scent in the lobby-atrium of the Westin Diplomat in Hollywood, but Broward Democratic Chairman Mitch Ceasar smells nothing but success for his party this fall.

Ceasar is among the hundreds of Democrats gathered for the state Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson weekend of politicking and fundraising.

The event comes at a time when President Barack Obama is unpopular. Polling shows Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink is shaky. And the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate is fraying political relationships and dividing party activists.

There’s a lot for Democrats not to celebrate Saturday. But there was a lot of celebrating – and positive spinning – anyway. Continued

PBPost to Allen West: It’s democracy, not tyranny

Cribbing from FLA Politics, which picked up on this observation about Congressman Klein’s Tea Party-friendly Republican opponent.

FLA Politics: As the Palm Beach Post’s Randy Schultz recently pointed out, the tea is squirting outa Mr. West’s ears:

Last year, Col. West gave a stemwinding speech in which he urged people to “fix bayonets” and “take back the country.” It was a YouTube sensation, and brought in lots of donations. Col. West referred to the “tyranny” of the Obama administration. So we wanted to know what he considers examples of “tyranny.”

As it turns out, “tyranny” to Col. West means President Obama’s criticism of the Supreme Court during his State of the Union address. It means extracting $20 billion from BP upfront to compensate victims of the company’s negligence. It means the stimulus package, the financial bailout and the health care bill.

Tyranny? Elected representatives cast those votes. Most of those representatives will go before the voters and have to defend their records. Those who believe that parts of the health care law are unconstitutional will get to make their case in court. That’s democracy, not tyranny. In a democracy, sometimes your side loses.

Read: “It’s democracy, not tyranny

Oh, crap. Republican Allen West Has Another Great Quarter for Fundraising

I take no pleasure in reporting this, but it’s the reality. Right now, a far right wingnut is doing the best job of fundraising, and even grassroots fundraising (note the reference to individual contributors, which was a point of pride for Democrats in 2008). So the question is, what are we going to do about it? Check in at to see how you can help.


July 09th, 2010

Republican Congressional Candidate Allen West (FL-22) has Record Fundraising Quarter

(Deerfield Beach, FL) Republican 22nd Congressional Candidate Allen West raised over $1.4 million during the 2nd Quarter (April-June), blowing past his previous fundraising record of $860,000. To date, LTC(R) West has raised nearly $3.5 million from over 40,000 individual contributions.

“The strength of our campaign is that over the course of this election cycle almost 96% of our donations have come from individual contributions,” said Allen West. “This campaign will demonstrate that the American people, led by the good folks here in South Florida, can elevate someone into the United States House of Representatives.”

To date, the average contribution to LTC(R) West’s campaign sits at about $85.00 per donation, bringing his cash on hand available to nearly $2.2 million.

“These fundraising numbers show that South Floridians and all Americans are fed up with business as usual in Washington,” said Allen West’s Campaign Manager, Josh Grodin. “In particular, our district has a Congressman who has voted with Nancy Pelosi 98% of the time. Citizens are tired of politicians like Ron Klein, and are looking for leaders like Allen West.”

For more information or to schedule interviews with Allen West, please contact Valentina Weis at (561) 603-8188 or

Absentee Ballot and Early Voting Options

Thanks to Alan Stieb for the info I’m reposting below:

Don’t forget to vote in the 24 August Election – get an absentee ballot if you are away!

Absentee Ballot Instructions


Early Voting dates, times and locations for the August 24, 2010 Primary Election
Dates: August 9 to August 14, 2010 and August 16 to August 21, 2010

Times: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.


Southwest Regional Library
16835 Sheridan Street
Pembroke Pines, FL 33331-2008

Miramar Library
2050 Civic Center Place
Miramar, FL 33025

Weston Branch Library
4205 Bonaventure Boulevard
Weston, FL 33332-2111

Hollywood Branch Library
2600 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, FL 33020-4807

North Regional Library/Broward College
1100 Coconut Creek Boulevard
Coconut Creek, FL 33066-1647

Tamarac Branch Library
8701 W. Commercial Boulevard
Tamarac, FL 33321

Northwest Regional Library
3151 University Drive
Coral Springs, FL 33065-6134

Lauderhill Mall
1299 N.W. 40th Avenue, Bay F
Lauderhill, FL 33313-5894

Main Library
100 S. Andrews Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-1830

African-American Research Library
2650 Sistrunk Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311-8658

West Regional Library
8601 W. Broward Boulevard
Plantation, FL 33324

Standing Room Only at Congressman Klein’s Kickoff

This was good to see, an overflow crowd of supporters coming out to cheer on Congressman Ron Klein as he officially kicked off his 2010 re-election campaign. The event at the new Broward campaign headquarters, 623 North Federal Highway, Pompano Beach (Map), followed two other kickoff events at the parts of his district that reach up into Palm Beach County.

Standing Room Only

Continue reading “Standing Room Only at Congressman Klein’s Kickoff”