Palm Beach Post Endorses Ted Deutch

Endorsement: Pick Deutch for U.S. House

In the Florida Legislature, Ted Deutch has shown he can work across the aisle to get things done. But the Democratic state senator from Boca Raton also knows when to take a stand on principle. Sen. Deutch is the best choice to fill the U.S. House District 19 seat in the April 13 special election. Early voting starts tomorrow. The seat will be up for election again in November.

Democrats are badly outnumbered in the Florida Senate and House. But last year Sen. Deutch persuaded the fervently anti-tax Republicans to support a $1 per pack tax on cigarettes. The revenue has been important to the state this year, even if Sen. Deutch’s primary goal was to discourage smoking.

Given that he’s running in an overwhelmingly Democratic district to replace Rep. Robert Wexler, who resigned to run a Middle East think tank in Washington, it’s no surprise that Sen. Deutch is reliably liberal. It’s also no surprise he frequently has been on the losing side in the Legislature. When the Florida Senate approved SB 6, a heavy-handed attempt to impose FCAT-based merit pay on teachers, Sen. Deutch voted against it and said, “Let’s be clear about one thing. Testing is not teaching.” He was one of only two senators who also stood up to the gun lobby to vote against a bill to keep adoption agencies from asking prospective parents about gun ownership.

Mr. Deutch will fit in better in the U.S. House, which is controlled, at least until the November election, by Democrats. There, he will be a supporter of President Obama’s recently passed health care legislation, particularly covering existing conditions and closing the doughnut hole.

Sen. Deutch also supports Mr. Obama’s policy of sending more troops to Afghanistan. To justify the U.S. commitment, however, Afghanistan has to assume increasing responsibility. Keeping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and threatening the United States and Israel is another top foreign policy concern. He has said such issues outweigh any momentary U.S.-Israeli disagreements, such as Israel’s announcement of housing construction in East Jerusalem during Vice President Biden’s recent trip.

Domestically, he wants to ensure that stimulus dollars are disbursed as quickly as possible and that future spending is focused on helping small businesses. Helping homeowners facing foreclosure is another priority.

He faces two opponents, Republican Edward Lynch and Jim McCormick, a former Republican with no party affiliation. Neither has supported key domestic objectives of the Obama administration. Mr. Lynch’s record features a number of financial disputes. Most recently, his homeowners’ association filed a lien against him for unpaid maintenance assessments. Both opponents are long shots in the district. Both deserve to be, and not just because it is a Democratic stronghold.

Marleine Bastien: Help Me Change How Business Is Done In Washington

Sharing this on behalf of my friend and client Marleine Bastien.

Help Me Change How Business Is Done In Washington

My Dear Friends:

Several months ago, I declared my candidacy to be the Congresswoman for District 17. I want to change the way business is done in Washington. For too long, we’ve bailed out companies that hurt our communities. We have used our resources to wage unnecessary wars.

On Tuesday, January 12th, a strong earthquake hit Haiti. Thousands, including members of my own family, lost their lives. After the earthquake, I went to Haiti to advocate for a strong and immediate recovery. I brought food, water, tents, and medication to those in need. While there, I was struck by the vibrancy of the community and the incredible resilience of the Haitian people.

Americans are also resilient in the face of adversity, but we need leadership to achieve goals like affordable healthcare and fair economic recovery. Our country needs to regain its strength if it is to continue to extend a helping hand when other nations suffer, or even, to protect its own people when the next Hurricane Katrina strikes.

My recent experiences have strengthened my resolve to become your Congresswoman.

Our economy needs to be rebuilt. I am running for Congress to make government work for you instead of rich corporations. You deserve to have stable, gainful employment to take care of your family, send your children to college and save for your retirement. Your children deserve the best education so that they can look at the future with hopeful eyes and trusting hearts, not with the anxiety of a fearful nation.

My life has been one of service. My parents taught me the importance of caring for others and giving back. For more than 28 years, I have championed issues like immigration reform, affordable housing, health care, good jobs, women’s and workers’ rights. I have been deeply engaged in the district, and I know the challenges facing our community today. We are tired of more of the same. We need new visionary leadership, and I’m ready for the challenge.

But I cannot do it without you. Please make a $20, $50, $100 donation to my campaign before the March 31st reporting deadline so that I can fight for you in Washington. You can give as much as $2,400. Go to and make your donation today.


Marleine Bastien

Profiles of Obama’s Courage on Health Care

These columnists remind us what a long, hard slog it has been to get to this point in the healthcare debate. Good to reflect on when it’s so easy to be discouraged at how far short this deal may fall from our ideals. If the voters agree with the conclusion that this shows courage and determination, we may yet see better results in November than we have been led to expect.

New York Times Columnist Charles M. Blow: Could Obama Be Invincible?

Barack Obama Is Not A Wimp – Politics – The Atlantic

Return of the Public Option?

Here is hope for all of us who have been finding it hard to get excited about rallying around compromised-to-death health care reform efforts.

The Hill: Public option revival gains steam

Daily Kos: Specter Signs on to Public Option/Reconciliation Push

Politico: Reid would back a public option in reconciliation

Not sure I believe it yet, but glad to see an effort to get something real done.

What do you think? Comeback story, or last gasp?

Workshop: “Is the Web Working for You?” with’s David F. Carr, Weds. Feb. 24

I invite you to join me for this free workshop I will be presenting through the Coral Springs Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, February 24 at 3:30 p.m.

I’ve given a slightly different version of this talk to some political audiences, but really the principles are the same for a campaign as they are for a business. You need to think carefully about how to present the right impression online, through your website, Facebook profile, and email broadcasts. I draw on both my personal experience as a webmaster and consultant, as well as my reporting for Internet World, Baseline Magazine, and most recently

Update: Will also share some great tips I picked up at this week’s WordCamp Miami conference for WordPress enthusiasts. I’m a fan of WordPress as a content publishing tool that can be part of an affordable, effective solution for small businesses, non-profits, and political campaigns.

RSVP through the chamber, 954-752-4242 or


Fair Districts Florida Redistricting Amendment OK’ed for Ballot

Congratulations to everyone who worked to make this happen by gathering signatures. Now, we just have to make sure it passes.

From: Ellen Freidin <>
Date: Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 4:20 PM
Subject: We are on the ballot!

Phenomenal news! I want you to know before it becomes public that we just received notice from the Division of Elections that, thanks to the hard work and donations of thousands of people who care about our state, our amendments will be on the ballot!!! This is a huge accomplishment and it would not have happened without you!

We cannot thank you enough. Below is the press release we’ll be sending out.

Our work is not over though. Now we must let all Floridians know about the importance of voting for the FairDistricts amendments. We’ll be laying out our plan for victory for our supporters soon, but first we need to staff up and transition from petition gathering to a full-fledged campaign.

Can you chip in whatever you can afford to help fund the transition?

Let’s win this!


January 22, 2010

Redistricting amendments on the ballot: Florida voters earn historic chance to vote to stop politicians from rigging districts

After November passage voters will choose elected officials – not the other way around

Tallahassee, FL – Today, Floridians took a giant step towards ending the incumbent and political party protection plan that masquerades as legislative and Congressional redistricting. The non-partisan group gathered more than 1,650,000 petitions signed by Florida Republicans, Democrats and Independents from the Panhandle to the Keys. As a result, today the Secretary of State certified Constitutional Amendment 5 for the November 2, 2010 ballot, and is expected to soon certify its partner, Amendment 6. Florida voters now have a powerful opportunity to stop legislators from rigging and manipulating district boundaries in order to stifle competition while perpetuating their own political power.

“These critical reforms will finally end the legalized conflict of interest that allows legislators to design their districts and those of Congress for their own political purposes,” said Bob Milligan, who was elected State Comptroller during the Lawton Chiles and Jeb Bush administrations.

Under our present system, there are no rules that limit legislators from drawing districts to favor themselves or their parties. Districts in Florida are bizarrely shaped, often meandering for hundreds of miles or from coast to coast. Communities are carved up so that voters living in the same neighborhood are often represented by different members of Congress or state representatives.

As a result, incumbent legislators almost never lose their re-election bids. Only three (out of 140 up for election each cycle) were defeated in the last six years. How could this happen? Because legislators draw up their own districts for one purpose: to ensure that they stay in office!

Former Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham said, “Florida’s legislators are choosing their voters instead of voters choosing their representatives. There are presently no rules to stop this self protection plan. And when this happens, the voters don’t have a real choice! These amendments will change that.”

With voter approval in November, Amendments 5 and 6 will establish constitutional rules that will:

  • Prohibit politicians from designing districts to favor themselves or their parties;
  • Require them to make the districts compact and community based; and
  • Make it impossible for legislators to draw districts to diminish the ability of minority voters to elect representatives.

“I am so happy that the voters of Florida will finally have the opportunity to vote to put these fairness standards in the Florida constitution. These amendments provide new protections for all voters and especially minorities,” added Representative Perry Thurston of Broward County.

State Representative Darren Soto, Orange County, said, “Today’s certification bodes well for achieving fair districts in the state of Florida. I think that these new protections will be very popular with my constituents as well as all of the voters of our great state.”

For additional information and the exact language of Amendments 5 and 6, please visit


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The CAPITOL STEPS at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Jan 20-24

I think we all need a laugh at the expense of our politicians about now.

Come see the CAPITOL STEPS at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts

Tickets available now at

Date(s): Wednesday, 1/20/2010 –
Sunday, 1/24/2010
Tickets: $35, $25

Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop warns, "The Capitol Steps will cause your sides to split!"

Don’t miss the insightful, irreverent and always amusing humor of Capitol Steps, the talented band of former Senate staffers who satirize the people and places that employed them. Known for their hilarious musical skits of Capitol Hill personalities and current events, their 27 albums and sold out shows keep audiences on both sides of the aisles laughing out loud. They put the MOCK in democracy, and are even funnier than Congress! You’ve seen and heard them on NPR, NBC, PBS, and ABC. Now see them live!

Capital Steps