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America is changing, and I don’t like it.

1506652_10152870014999188_1379944574742376970_nYesterday, I spent my morning at the Arlington National Cemetery. After parking my car, I walked through the gates and headed to a grave I have always wanted to see.Yes, it is my favorite actor, Lee Marvin. Marvin is buried near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. As I was walking toward Marvin’s grave, I forked left while everyone else was walking to the right. Of course, they went to see the cemetery’s most popular gravesite, that of President John F. Kennedy. Also, people were taking pictures of graves, indiscriminately, so that they could get that “perfect shot” which exemplifies the loses America  suffered (or so they want you to believe).

As I walked up the hill toward Marvin’s grave, the crowds disappeared. By the time I finally found the gravesite of Major John Reisman (Marvin’s name in The Dirty Dozen, one of my favorite movies), there was no crowd at all. I then walked the few hundred yards to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. When I arrived there were about five people there, all with their cameras and conducting small talk. Tuning them out, I was amazed at how moving this hallowed ground was. I was filled with emotion in a way that I never had been before. It was at this time that I realized I could never truly feel Canadian, as I will always, proudly, be an American. Unlike the others that were there, I thought it would be somewhat classless to take a photo.
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Florida Democratic Party using diversionary tactics to take pressure off of Tant?

Over the last week, I have talked about the recent losses of the Florida Democratic Party, as well as the changes that need to take place in order for the party to move forward. However, it seems that Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant and her allies want you to forget all about those losses nine days ago and focus on the leadership race for the Democratic House Caucus between Dwayne Taylor and Mark Pafford. But is this really a true concern, or a diversion to keep the attention off of the failures of the Florida Democratic Party?

First, let’s look at this in a practical sense. To do that, we have to turn our attention to an article written about the subject yesterday from the News Service of Florida. In the article, they quote Representative Evan Jenne saying that Pafford has “more than he had the last time he ran”. So, if he had more votes than before, and he won quite easily before, why would there be any worry that Pafford would lose this time? Getting involved with the race doesn’t seem practical.
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Analysis of Hispanic voters in Florida coming soon.

th-flagsWith the election over, I will be looking over the results and seeking to understand certain voting patterns. One of those patters deals with the role of Hispanics in recent elections, particularly looking at Cuban voters in Miami-Dade County and Puerto Rican voters in Orange and Osceola Counties. The upcoming research seeks to find if there has been any change in voting habits between 2010 and 2014.

Of course, there are two possible pitfalls in the research. First, while conducting the research, I will be looking at precincts with high Hispanic populations. But the term “Hispanic” does not specify nationality. As a result, there is a probability that the term “Hispanic” will not be exclusive to Cubans in Miami or Puerto Ricans in the Orlando area. To mitigate this problem, the precincts being examined are in areas where US Census data indicates high levels of certain nationalities in these geographical locations. Second, since this is looking at aggregate-level election data and not attitudinal data, precincts are not going to be 100% Hispanic. There will, more than likely, be white, black and other voters in each. But precincts with a higher percentage of Hispanic voters will probably be a good indicator of voting intentions, as well as turnout, among this demographic.

I will be publishing the findings on Sunday (hopefully).

Allison Tant moving, slightly, in the right direction.

FDP_130109A few days ago, Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant finally admitted that her team lost. After an election night filled with congratulatory tweets, Tant said in a radio interview with WFSU in Tallahassee that she takes responsibility.

“Do I take responsibility for this outcome? Of course”, Tant told WFSU.

However, it is the rest of her interview that deserves a second look. Here is the rest of Tant’s statement, according the WFSU:

“Well, obviously we got beat. We got beat across the nation. We got beat in Florida. But, I’m proud of the race we ran. I mean, do I want a different outcome. Yes! Do I take a responsibility for this outcome? Of course! I mean, we built a really good machine. We built a really good race car and we’re going to keep it going. We’re going to deep dive into what happened and who didn’t show up to vote and take corrective measures.”
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Let’s be honest, Democrats have a “white people” problem in midterm elections.

surrey_whiterock_dentist6Over the last week, Democrats have been trying to figure out why they did so poorly in the midterm elections. You have Howard Dean talking about “what did Democrats stand for”. You have other outlets talking about messaging. The Florida Squeeze has just published an article about a certain number of those in the Florida Democratic Party who say moderation is the key to electoral success. Basically, the opinions are all over the chart.

But midterm after midterm, Democrats always have the same problem…they cannot win white voters. No matter how you look at it, this demographic is the largest voting block in the nation, as well as Florida. Yet, the Democratic Party (primarily nationally) campaigns on issues that have no impact on white voters. As someone who fits this demographic, specifically the middle-aged, straight, white male voter, I ask “what has the Democratic Party done to win my vote”? Yes, that is a hard one to answer.

First, we must look at politics in general. Politics is a big-box game, not a specialty game. The goal of a campaign is to get as many votes as possible, similar to Walmart’s business model of selling as much as possible. Politics is not, however, a niche market game, where picking a specific clientele can assure you electoral success. However, the Democratic business model of winning elections is based off of that niche market approach, which hurts during midterm elections.
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Flashback: Money and the FDP Chair Race, Part II: Florida Watch Action, what’s it for?

Continuing to look at a series of articles from two years ago about the involvement of money in the FDP Chair’s race, which eventually led to the election of Allison Tant.

taxesBack in 2010 we saw the emergence of Florida Watch Action, a political advocacy group which promoted liberal causes and started the “Pink Slip Rick Scott” campaign, discrediting the current governor. As far as some of the work done by Florida Watch Action, it is nice to see that some people are out there saying things; whereas in the past nobody ever organized.

But with that being said, I wonder what Florida Watch Action is really up to. Yes, I understand that they are trying to move public opinion away from Rick Scott, but is that their main goal? To me, a few bumper stickers around the state as well as protests here and there really doesn’t do it for me. While I think it has made some impact, it still seems quite inadequate. I fail to see the lack of any real action in trying to get progressives elected in the State of Florida.

What is interesting about Florida Watch Action, Inc., is that last part “Inc”. Yes, it is one of those 501(c)(4) organizations which has been able to find its way into politics after the Citizens United case in the United State Supreme Court. Unlike Ruth’s List, who formed an organization (a committee of continuous existence, or CCE) which has to disclose their contributions and expenditures to the Florida Division of Elections, Florida Watch Action doesn’t have to disclose any of theirs.
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Flashback: Money and the FDP Chair Race, Part I: Ruth’s List: Useful Organization or Cash Cow?

Since I am still waiting for some statistics to be finalized regarding voter turnout (particularly from Orange Count), I am going to repost some articles from two years ago that have relevance in light of the recent failures of the Florida Democratic Party. 

Lamborghini-MurcielagoTo the left is a picture of the 2007 Lamborghini Murcielago. It was the first supercar that the Italian car manufacturer built after it was purchased by Audi. Therefore, it was styled by a Belgian, while also having the handling and comfort of a German-built car. Basically, it is quite a nice car. This model has a 6.5 V12 engine which produced 640 brake horsepower, 490 lbs. per foot of torque and can go from 0-60 in 3.3 seconds. True, it might not be like the new Aventador, which is…..

Well, we could talk about Italian super sports cars all day long. Anyway, the reason we brought up the Murcielago is because Ellis Robinson, the founder of Ruth’s List, has made enough money, purely from Ruth’s List, over the last two years to buy a 2007 Murcielago.

Since the founding of Ruth’s List, which was in 2009, over $381,000 worth of donations has gone into the organization. Stating that they support progressive and Democratic women, one might assume that most of these resources are used to promote their campaigns, helping women across the state to win campaigns. But that would be far from the truth.
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