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Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

Florida Last In Stimulus Dollars

Charles Dharapak

Charles Dharapak

Despite Charlie Crist’s very public embrace of Barack Obama and Obama’s federal stimulus plan, Florida ranks dead last in dollars received per person according to a study by the Palm Beach Post.  Crist’s endorsement of the stimulus, which brought the Governor considerable heat from deficit hawks within his own party, gave the President a much-needed bipartisan boost as he sold the plan to the American public earlier this year.  That involvement seems not to have paid off to many Floridians.

Florida TaxWatch’s Dominic Calabro placed the blame on Florida’s elected officials.  In an interview with the Palm Beach Post, Calabro alleged that the low return per resident showed “how inept Florida’s government officials are.”

The Post questions the ability of the stimulus to improve Florida’s unemployment rate—something the President promised would be a result when he touted the stimulus in a Florida stop in February.

The low distribution has left many Floridians confused and left the President potentially vulnerable in a battleground state.  Read the Post’s article in its entirety here.

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Filed under: Florida, Florida Legislature, Florida Politics, , , , , ,

City Hall Facing Angry Public

Jacksonville’s electorate is mad—steaming mad—over the latest news out of City Hall.  E-mails titled everything from “Taxation without Representation” (was anyone’s right to vote denied in the last City Council elections) to “Get a Clue” are flooding the mailboxes of City Hall.

A sampling of the e-mails are below:

I respectfully request, again, your good office to represent “WE THE PEOPLE” and kill the three (3) taxes being imposed on the electorate.  There were promises of no new taxes.  Please do not insult me by claiming these are fees and not taxation.

The Mayor’s office should be SHUT DOWN before any politician discusses shutting down services that we the people can not provide for ourselves.  Shut down Parks and Recreation, Senior Citizen Centers and frivolous spending before you talk about layoffs of the first police officer, firefighter or paramedic!  Shame on anyone who has lived over seventy years (70) and can not entertain themselves!

Respectfully,

Carroll Huffines

___________________ Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Jacksonville, Jacksonville City Council, Mayor of Jacksonville, , , , , , ,

Tea Party Returning to Jacksonville

On July 2 at 5:30, First Coast Tea Party is planning another “Freedom Rally.”  They have asked prominent Jacksonville politicians, including City Council President Richard Clark, to attend as a VIP guest.  While the first round of “Tea Parties” was apparently directed at conservative anger towards Barack Obama (although it was unclear how “taxation without representation” gelled with a democratically-elected President), one has to wonder if news of Jacksonville’s growing deficit problems will turn the July 2 rally in a more local direction.  Judging by the speaker lineup from the last rally; however, that appears unlikely, particularly in light of the fact that one of the featured speakers was Jay Fant, a close friend and ally of Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton.

Apparently, budget deficits are only bad in Washington, DC.

Filed under: Jacksonville, Jacksonville City Council, Mayor of Jacksonville, , , , ,

PolitiFact Wins A Pulitzer

One of our favorite sites has won a Pulitzer!  Politifact.com, a project of the St. Pete Times, was formed to separate fact from fiction when our political leaders open their mouths.  The site employs the “Truth-O-Meter”, a quick synopsis that tests a quote on the truth scale.  For example, a recent Barack Obama quote about the origin of guns seized in Mexico was discovered to be a “half truth.”  A quote from Republican Congressman Gus Bilirakis in regards to a controversial Department of Homeland Security report was found to be “barely true.”  

Congratulations to the St. Pete Times and Politifact.com for one of the cleverest sites to come along in some time.

Filed under: Florida, Florida Politics, , , ,

State Senator Slams Stimulus While Spending It

State Senator Mike Haridopolos (R) has released another YouTube video slamming President Obama’s Economic Stimulus Package, while failing to admit the state would be destitute without it.  From the Palm Beach Post:

In his seventh video released in the past two weeks, Sen. Mike Haridopolos takes aim at the federal stimulus package, calling it “something we simply can’t afford.” But Haridopolos and his fellow Republican leaders in the state legislature are planning to use nearly every stimulus dollar available to plug $4 billion of a $6 billion budget hole this year. Both chambers are hoping to approve their competing spending plans this week.

The video can be viewed here.

Filed under: Florida, Florida Legislature, Florida Politics, , ,

Hillary Clinton Opposed to Lifting Cuba Embargo

A lifting of the Cuban embargo would impact no state more dramatically than it would Florida.  For the time being; however, it looks as if the new administration is not open to change.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — who criticized Barack Obamaduring the campaign for suggesting he’d talk to Castro — -doesn’t back lifting the economic embargo against Cuba — her spokesman said today.

“I think we’ve been very clear that we don’t think the time is right for lifting the embargo,” said spokesman Robert Wood. His remarks came as reporters asked whether Clinton would meet with members of the Congressional Black Caucus who returned Tuesday from a 5-day trip to Cuba. They said they hope to convince Clinton and Obama — who is poised to roll back some restrictions — to normalize relations with the island nation.

Filed under: Florida, Florida Politics, , ,

Charlie Crist takes dig at Bobby Jindal, Mark Sanford

Charlie Crist is not going to be out-hustled by fellow GOP Governors Bobby Jindal (LA) and Mark Sanford (SC).  He’s also not going to miss an opportunity to get a little dig in on them.  From the St. Pete Times:

Gov. Charlie Crist signed the paperwork today to officially certify that Florida, like every other state, wants a piece of the federal stimulus pie. But unlike some other Republican governors (Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal and South Carolina’s Mark Sanford) who bashed the stimulus on one hand while holding the other out for money from Washington, Crist was unabashedly pro-Washington money.

“I find that a little amusing,” Crist said. “I have colleagues who have at least intimated that this money from Washington is not something they welcome with open arms, yet 49 of 50 show up to get it.”

Filed under: Florida, Florida Politics, , , , , , , ,

The New Media & North Florida Politicians

There was a fascinating article in today’s Miami Herald discussing how so many politicians are embracing social networking sites as a method of establishing communication with certain voter demographics that they might not otherwise interact with.  Much of this has been a result of the amazingly successful campaign of Barack Obama, which truly set the standard for interfacing social networking and political campaigns.  Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) is cited for her embrace of YouTube, and Florida Senator Mel Martinez (R) is interviewed about his newfound love of Twittering.  (Of course, I must mention…if you really want to follow a humorous elected Twitterer, follow Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO)—she’s a college basketball nut who Twitters about everything!)

So, where are North Florida politicians in this media revolution?  

Five of Jacksonville’s Nineteen City Council Members have a profile on Facebook.  Of those, only one appears to use it to engage in political discussion.  Two of the City’s Constitutional Officers have Facebook profiles, but neither appear to use it to promote their office or campaign.  The Mayor has no presence on Facebook—hardly surprising considering he doesn’t even have a published e-mail address on the City’s website.

Only one member of the Jacksonville City Council can be found on Twitter, which truly begs the question: “How is it that a Senator from Missouri can Twitter with her constituents, but a Jacksonville City Council member cannot?” Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Florida, Florida Politics, Jacksonville, Jacksonville City Council, Mayor of Jacksonville, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Quotes from Esteemed Florida Legislators

Its been an interesting week in Tallahassee and nothing illustrates that better than these enlightening quotes from our elected officials.  We truly strive for the best and brightest in Florida politicians, don’t we?

First up, State Senator Larcinia Bullard (D-Miami)…  Sen. Bullard, during a discussion on legislation that would ban bestiality (yes, it’s still legal in Florida) was apparently curious about the mention of the word “animal husbandry.”  “People are taking these animals as their husbands? … So that maybe was the reason the lady was so upset about that monkey?” Bullard asked, referring to a Connecticut woman mauled by a pet chimpanzee. Doh! Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Florida, Florida Legislature, Florida Politics, , , , ,

Florida Rep Going After Obama?

Interesting news from the St. Pete Times:

One of Florida’s new members of Congress, Rep. Bill Posey, R-Rockledge, has filed a bill in the U.S. House to require presidential candidates to prove they were born here. For those who still believe President Barack Obama was really born abroad instead of Hawaii, despite the evidence to the contrary, Posey’s bill would offer no immediate relief. But if passed, it would apply to his reelection campaign in 2012.

“This bill, by simply requiring such documentation for future candidates for President will remove this issue as a reason for questioning the legitimacy of a candidate elected as President,” Posey said in a statement.

Posey wouldn’t say if he thinks Obama is a citizen, but his spokesman told Politico:” I think he’s willing to take the president’s word for it. If the president wanted to put an end to the whole thing he could order Hawaii to release the authentic birth certificate. That’s up to him.”

Filed under: Florida, Florida Politics, , ,

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