Presidential election results by Florida Senate district: Clinton within 558 votes of 20-20 split.

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Dwight Bullard lost by 9.9% in a district that Hillary Clinton won by 16.2%.

Last week, I looked at the Florida House districts to see how the presidential candidates performed. While the Republicans still had a decent advantage, we did see that Democrats under-performed in State House races compared to the top of the ticket. After the State Senate redistricting, Democrats were handed a favorable map. However, would the Democrats have performed as well in this political climate where Trump won the election? The answer is yes.

As was mentioned previously, there are some notes that need to be added when looking at this spreadsheet. So, I will just mention them again (cut and paste):

It should be noted that many of the  districts are estimates. The reason for this is that one precinct might share multiple districts. Therefore, it is hard to determine how a presidential election vote exactly splits. On the worksheet provided here, the “Est Diff” shows how much of the vote overlaps between one district and another. In the overall scheme of things, this overlap probably did not impact the overall “winner-loser” scenario, as those with high overlap usually voted heavily for Clinton or Trump. However, some precincts were removed if they overlapped but had no population (example: precinct over water). Continue reading

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How did Florid Democratic Party chair candidates perform? Grades of their Orange County DEC discussion.

FDP_130109If there is one thing positive about this year’s Florida Democratic Party chair’s race, it is that we are really seeing each candidate’s vision for Florida. DECs are taking the extra step to not only inform themselves about the candidates, but are sharing their forums with others. With that being said, the Orange County DEC has provided a valuable service by posting their interviews with all the FDP chair candidates online. Because of this, this site will not be sending out any questionnaires because the information being provided is already at a much higher level than it had been in previous elections for this position.

With that being said, the interviews held by the Orange County DEC showed us that Florida Democrats have vastly different candidates when it comes to this year’s chair race. In the past, it had always been “establishment vs. anti-establishment”. This year, we see real solutions and discussions about the future of the party. Luckily, we don’t hear the same talking points by all candidates, but have an olio of different viewpoints. Some performed quite well, and some not so well. So, here is a “grade” for each performance. Continue reading

Presidential Election at Florida State House Level: Clinton won 51 seats, within 5% in another 11 seats.

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Hillary Clinton won Eric Eisnaugle’s House District by 7.8%. #ToldYouSo

Over the last few weeks, I have been putting together precinct-level data so that I can do some number crunching. But before I get into testing hypotheses that I have formulated, I wanted to see how well Hillary Clinton did in Florida State House and State Senate Districts. Today, I have finished (sort of) my state house evaluation.

Before I get into it, it should be noted that many of the state house districts are estimates. The reason for this is that one precinct might share two, or even three, state house districts. Therefore, it is hard to determine how a presidential election vote exactly splits. On the worksheet provided here, the “Est Diff” shows how much of the vote overlaps between one district and another. In the overall scheme of things, this overlap probably did not impact the overall “winner-loser” scenario, as those with high overlap usually voted heavily for Clinton or Trump. However, some precincts were removed if they overlapped but had no population (example: precinct over water). Continue reading

Hillary Clinton squandered 4.3% Florida lead in a matter of 12 hours.

11-14-15-hillary-clinton-cbs-debateDemocrats, particularly in Florida, pride themselves on the fact that they have a great early and vote-by-mail system. And regardless of what you think about the Democratic Party structure, they actually do. Prior to votes being cast on Election Day, more Democrats had turned out to vote than Republicans in Florida. However, Election Day changed everything.

I decided to look at the votes that were cast before Election Day in every county except three, Escambia, Jefferson, DeSoto, because did not have data for them at all (though I will try to get the data in the coming days). Looking at all of the votes that were cast before Election Day, Hillary Clinton had 50.4% of the vote in Florida, with Trump only having 46.1%. That is a healthy 4.3% lead, with Clinton leading in Pinellas, St. Lucie, Duval, and even Seminole County. Here are the maps that show the breakdown of the vote. Continue reading

Will Susannah Randolph be FDP Executive Director under Bittel?

A few sources close to both Stephen Bittel and Susannah Randolph, who wish to remain anonymous, have contacted me and stated that there is a “strong likelihood” that activist and failed congressional candidate Susannah Randolph would have a spot in a Bittel-run Florida Democratic Party. Both sources hinted that Randolph could hold the position of the party’s executive director, but even they said that his was speculative.

Not only should Randolph’s questionable treatment toward women be a concern, but her campaign tactics as well. Randolph was part of the campaign team of Alan Grayson  which released the Taliban Dan commercial in 2010. She was also part of the team when Grayson denied any wrongdoing.

I will have more on this as soon as more information comes in (as I am kind of surprised that I received these emails this morning). Watch this space.

Insider Stephen Bittel wins, and now outsiders need to back a single candidate.

dog_and_pony_showJust a few minutes ago, Democratic insider Stephen Bittel won his election for the Miami-Dade State Committeeman position. Of course, he represents the past when it comes to the Florida Democratic Party. He will be the next Allison Tant, or Rod Smith, or Karen Thurman. Basically, he will not be beneficial to the FDP whatsoever. We have seen this dog and pony show before, a FDP Chair candidate telling us that they will move the sun and the earth because they have great fundraising abilities. And, or course, it always ends up the same. If anything, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders shows that money isn’t everything.

As of right now, there are two three alternatives to Bittel on the ballot. Alan Clendenin is running for the position again (and a note, this blog actively supported Clendenin in his last bid for FDP Chair). Here is his website. We also have Osceola County DEC Chair Leah Carius running for the position. Here is her website. Lisa King of Duval County, a longtime Democrat who I knew back in my Florida Young Democrat days, is also vying for the post.

Over the course of the next few weeks, there will be bitter back-and-forth debate about the direction of the party. And yes, it will get nasty. Clendenin will probably question Carius and King, and vice versa. But in the end, all Democrats supporting these two three candidates need to realize that it is Bittel who is the real threat to the Florida Democratic Party.

Therefore, I recommend that those who support candidates other than Bittel work together so that they have the best chance when the ballots are cast. Outsiders and progressives need to be united against Bittel, and need to put their differences aside to promote the best candidate that has the most votes. This is imperative to moving forward in 2018 and beyond.

Want to run a “shadow Florida Democratic Party”? Here is your blueprint.

For quite a while, people have been wondering if Florida Democrats should create a “shadow Florida Democratic Party”? With Stephen Bittel moving closer to winning the FDP Chair position, the question becomes even more salient. Both progressives and those outside of the Tallahassee Bubble feel that they have been left out in the cold. As a result, Democrats continue to lose throughout the state. Even The Florida Squeeze is asking if this should be an option.

Well, over four years ago, I thought this might be the case. While sitting at a Buffalo Wild Wings near UCF, I put together a possible organizational structure of what a shadow Florida Democratic Party would look like. For years I have shared this with only a few people. Now, screw it, it is time that everyone should see so that we can get the conversation going, especially if we have another Tant-like person becoming the next FDP Chair.

So here is the plan. This is how disenfranchised Democrats in Florida can start a shadow party and returning to winning again. Enjoy.

Sunshine State Corruption: Time for an investigation into state and local Florida Democratic Party activities.

NOTE: Over the next week or two, I will be doing some research on Stephen Bittel. I have already started looking at hacked DNC emails, but I will be looking further into his activities, as well as Mr. Berlin’s activities. Stay tuned.

FDP_130109For many of us who follow the activities of the Florida Democratic Party, we have been suspicious of those running the party for some time. Shady deals seem to always be in the works, such as questionable proxy votes in the last race for FDP Chair, which gave us Allison Tant. However, the recent events in Miami-Dade County should be something that is seriously investigated.

As many of you may know, Brett Berlin resigned as the Miami-Dade State Committeeman to, one assumes, make way for Stephen Bittel to become the next Florida Democratic Party Chair. Bittel, who is (or was) Chairman of Terranova Corporation, a firm that has ties to Chinese investment firms and hedge fund managers, as well as others who seek to make money off of the Florida Democratic Party, will continue to move the Florida Democratic Party down the road that has led it to defeat after defeat with each passing election. The Observer also wrote a bit about Bittel as well, which is a must-read regarding the possible future chair.

Over the past few days, Stacey Patel, new chair of the Brevard County DEC, has made an extremely valid point. In her petition to the FDP, she states that Brett Berlin was not eligible to hold the position of State Committeeman. In her petition, she states the following:

Miami-Dade’s bylaws state that “Elected Membership shall be composed of one (1) man and one (1) woman who shall be elected from each of the election precincts at the first Primary election in a Presidential election year.  Should the Democratic registration of any precinct total more than one-thousand (1,000) as of January 1 of a year in which qualifying for election to the County Executive Committee occurs, an additional one (1) man and one (1) woman are entitled to be elected to represent all such precincts.” In addition, the bylaws state that “the officers shall be elected from the Elected Membership at the Organization meeting.”

As of January 4, 2016, according to the Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections website, the number of registered Democratic voters in precinct 579, where Berlin ran for precinct committeeman, was 896.  According to both Miami-Dade DEC bylaws, and FDP bylaws, this would mean only one (1) Elected Member should be eligible to be elected from the precinct. According again to the Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections website, Antonio Javier Diaz got the most votes in precinct 579, with a total of 84 votes, while Berlin came in second with 80 votes.

If, in fact, only one Elected Member should have been allocated to precinct 579, as seems to be the case based on SOE records, Bret Berlin was not eligible to run for State Committeeman according to Miami-Dade’s own bylaws which state that “the officers shall be elected from Elected Membership.”  In this case, we believe the most equitable resolution would be to repeat the election with candidates Dwight Bullard and Manuel Gutierrez, who originally challenged Berlin for the position from the floor, by an election of only those voters who would have been eligible at the commencement of the original organizational meeting.

If Berlin was not eligible to be a precinct committeeman, thus making his position of State Committeeman illegitimate, any actions taken by Berlin at the DEC reorganization meeting would be null and void, including any motions that he put forward at the meeting.

As of now, it does not seem like the Florida Democratic Party is going to be looking into the matter. If the FDP does not look into this matter, others need to finally step up and say that enough is enough!

This move by the Miami-Dade DEC to allow Brett Berlin to sit on the DEC, and then allowing him to run for State Committeeman appears nothing more than a collusive effort to hand over the Florida Democratic Party to an individual who did not qualify for the position in the first place. Furthermore, DEC Chair Juan Cuba either was unaware of Berlin’s ineligibility, which makes one wonder if he is capable of being the chair, or was involved with the collusion.

The actions by the Miami-Dade DEC can be seen as corruption. I do not mean that in a figurative sense, but in a technical and legal sense (though I am not a lawyer). The inaction by the Florida Democratic Party in investigating the Miami-Dade issue shows that there might be further collusion between Miami-Dade Democrats and the state party to favor a candidate that should not be eligible to hold any position in the party. Either way, the only way to move forward is for there to be legal action against the Miami-Dade County Democratic Executive Committee.

Unfortunately, legal action against the Miami-Dade Democrats (not a petition) is the only way to stop Mr. Bittel. The only way that we can determine that Mr. Bittel is eligible to run for any Democratic Party position is by having a court of law determine whether he is eligible to hold the office. In addition, other Democrats in the state need to file cease and desist orders to stop the Miami-Dade DEC from conducting any business until questions about both Berlin’s and Bittel’s legitimacy on that board have been clearly defined by a court of law (though again, I am not a lawyer). Yes, any legal battle might mean that the votes for Miami-Dade State committeeman might not be counted when it is time to elect a new Florida Democratic Party chair, but that is the price that needs to be paid to beat out corruption in the party.

Time to put pressure on Florida Democratic State Committee members.

FDP_130109Note: THIS LINK lists (as accurately as possible) the State committee members who will be voting for Florida Democratic Party chair in 2017. I will be updating this link as more information is available.

The 2016 election taught us a lesson. What it taught us is that facts don’t matter. The same applied to the last race for Florida Democratic Party chair. On this blog we tried to present the facts, like the fact that Allison Tant lobbied for a company that scrubbed 20,000 African-American voters off the voter roll (thus giving us President George W. Bush), and that financial interests were behind the FDP machine. However, the voters in that election didn’t listen to facts, but instead wanted to Make the FDP Great Again, and voted for Tant.

Another thing that we can learn from Republicans is that pressure works. After President Obama’s historic election in 2008, the so-called “Tea Party” organized and pressured moderate Republicans to become more right wing. They change local and state parties, they primaried incumbents, they took back Congress. Basically, they won. Continue reading

How activist liberals created their own beast.

51yfhmhhlplI’m going to admit something that only three people know. In 2008, I wrote in Lou Dobbs for president.

The reason I did so was because I was (and still am) more conservative on immigration, and I was against trade deals like NAFTA. The reason I did not vote for Obama was that as an Illinois native, I felt Obama had done nothing for the State of Illinois in the US Senate except run for president. Therefore, why would he do anything for the country as a whole? Additionally, I supported John Edwards in the Democratic primaries because I saw him as the only candidate advocating against unfair free trade policies. At the time immigration and trade policies were my most important issues (since reforming one and not the other doesn’t make sense), and not a single candidate addressed both. Therefore, I voted for Dobbs.

Still, I was not the only one “of the left” that had this opinion. Right before the election, Dobbs interviewed New Democratic Party leader, and one of my all-time favorite politicians, Jack Layton. For those of you who are not familiar with Canadian politics, Layton would never be confused with someone who is on the right of the political specturm, or even in the dead center of it. Still, Dobbs and Layton saw eye-to-eye on the issue of free trade (though immigration is a different story, since Layton’s widow is a Chinese immigrant). Still, there was that common bond, a bond in which explained my view on NAFTA.

Continue reading