Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Big Sugar locks down Florida: corporations with the same rights as people, billionaires with joysticks, seeding the political atmosphere with toxics … by gimleteye

The excellent investigative report by the Tampa Bay Times, exposing links between Florida's top GOP politicians -- including Gov. Rick Scott and Republican legislative leadership -- Big Sugar and high cost, free hunting trips to the King Ranch in Texas show the extent to which the party of the "free market" freely undermines the ideals of its base: sugar is one of the most heavily protected industrial crops in America, enjoying vast subsidies including illegal (according to the Florida Constitution) subsidies for the costs of Everglades cleanup.

Sugar's true cost to taxpayers, and the context of U.S. Sugar and Florida Crystal's flagrant entertainments of elected officials, isn't the Everglades and measures to shift cleanup costs to taxpayers -- it is public health and strategies to prevent Big Sugar from becoming the next Big Tobacco.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Lynda Bell for District 8? NO WAY! The most important blog you will read!! By Geniusofdespair

Read this BEFORE YOU VOTE,  and use the links, I don't put them in for my health, if you have read them, thank you, if you haven't do it, this is my most concise history:

Daniella Levine is qualified by petition. Lynda Bell awaits as of May 4th the results, she has also submitted petitions said Doug Hanks of the Miami Herald.

When Lynda Bell comes to your door with that smiling face, don't let her off easy (and don't let her in). Question her.  Or, better yet, say you are going to vote for her and she will leave in 5 minutes. If you don't, you will have to endure at least 20 minutes of convincing: I am a mother of 3 daughters I have 8 grandchildren with Hispanic last names, I was the first woman mayor of Homestead and was hated, only serving one term, I am a fiscal conservative (tea party), my husband and I teach Sunday school, we are business owners; I am the National Delegate of Florida Right to Life.

What Lynda Bell won't tell you at your door -- that I believe is all true: In redistricting I took out all the people that would not vote for me like parts of Homestead and all of Pinecrest; My daughter is living in a trailer in my backyard for over a year; While Homestead Mayor, I changed a towing law in Homestead so the Former Mayor of Sweetwater (in jail) could get the contract;  I was the only commissioner to vote to put Pink Slime in meat served by the County to people; I got help from David Rivera in my last campaign and shared his office for awhile; To the dismay of the whole environmental community, I voted to lift a 30 year deed restriction after only 5 years;  I misrepresented Audubon of Florida at a May 6th, 2014 County Commission meeting and I claimed I did outreach before I rushed through a resolution the Everglades Foundation told me was bad for Everglades restoration - in other words I lied; I single handily dismantled DERM and tried to water down wetland protection with a task force;

It is rumored that I am strong-arming big companies for campaign donations with the veiled threat of retribution by county investigations and withholding county services; I got thousands of dollars from rock miners for my campaign and over a hundred thousand from Wayne Rosen in both ECO's and my campaign account; I didn't vote for the help libraries needed; A rich guy I am tight with (He held my victory party at his home) formed a mortgage company and gave my husband a mortgage to become a business owner, the Redland Hotel, before that he was on disability and he was a plumbers helper; I stole Frank Nero's geo-spatial website idea and called it my own after I helped get him fired from the Beacon Council;

I proposed a chain link fence ordinance not telling the rest of the County Commission there was a chain link fence company registered to my address and owned by my daughter; I claimed I protected the Environment on my website when it was untrue; I was endorsed by the Christian Family Coalition - a gay hate group,  I voted to move the Urban Development Boundary for the racetrack; My husband's failed campaign for Mayor is being investigated by the State's Attorney's offfice for Absentee Ballot Fraud;

I named an affordable housing building with $10,000,000 of your tax dollars in it, after my mom who never did anything of note in Miami Dade County but raise me; I went to Tallahassee trying to make an end-run around the local government on the CRA; I sue people a lot and they sue me in feuds my former staffer Lois Jones and my neighbor Elaine Navarre as examples; I moved my office from the Government Center where the rent was free to Palmetto Bay during the down-turn when money was scarce - with the rent, the renovation and furnishings you the taxpayers are paying about $63,137 a year to keep me close to the coffee shops or  $252,550 over four years; etc. LYNDA BELL won't tell you things like that. But don't ask. Just give her a thumbs up and let her go on her way or she will talk your ear off.

Lynda Bell: Nice Smile, But Bad History.
Lynda Bell is very good at door to door, don't kid yourself, she knows how to mask her devious side and her vindictive behavior to get your vote. You will see her sign on your neighbor's lawn. Go over there and educate your friends.

Let's not forget her leaving left over food to rot at her Farm Share Extravaganza.

Sunshine State News, PR Flak for right wing extremists, takes it on the chin, again … by gimleteye

Sunshine State News is the right-wing blog set to the nonsense from PR flaks employed by the Great Destroyers.

In September 2013, we wrote, "Sunshine State News is like a state affiliate of Fox News. The paper has tried to calm the waters of public opinion, pouring from coastal communities and voters sick of toxic water flooding into the estuaries from Lake Okeechobee. While the solution to Lake Okeechobee pollution is to treat all sources of pollution around the lake at their sources, the obvious "fix" -- to acquire vastly more acres of land around the lake for water treatment puts the focus exactly where the profits of Florida's most powerful campaign contributors are located: the Everglades Agricultural Area owned by Big Sugar billionaires."

Sunshine State News continues to aid the billionaires and their tide of sewage. We care about what happens in counties north of Miami-Dade for many reasons and wished the mainstream media would, too.

Martin County environmental lawyer Virginia Sherlock's reply to a nasty attack.
Yellow Journalist Green with Envy
By Virginia Sherlock

Poor Nancy Smith. The editor of a web-based news outlet operated by political hacks in Tallahassee has worked herself into a frenzy over Martin County’s success in avoiding overdevelopment and economic disaster that has plagued so much of the state.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Lynda Bell's ECO Campaign Report August.

18/7/2014Rafael A. Garcia-Toledo
5050 Granada Blvd.
Coral Gables, FL 33146
28/7/2014Joseph G. Goldstein
140 Meridian Ave.
Apt. 316
Miami Beach, FL 33139
38/7/2014Bayfront 2011 Development LLC
1501 Biscayne Blvd, Ste 500
Miami, FL 33132
48/7/2014MAM Title Consultants
12700 Biscayne Blvd
North Miami, FL 33181
58/7/2014Strategic Edge Inc.
235 Catalonia Avenue
Coral Gables, FL 33134
68/7/201450 State Security Services
P.O. Box 611118
North Miami, FL 33161
78/7/2014ARMAG, LLC
135 San Lorenzo Avenue
Suite 750
Coral Gables, FL 33146
88/8/2014Edward W. Easton & Co., Inc
10165 NW 19th Street
Miami, FL 33165

Lynda Bell campaign Report July and Part of August

Cont.7/1/2014Bell, Lynda -1248County Commission 08Michael I Abrams
3561 sw 1 Avenue
Miami, FL 33145


7/1/2014Bell, Lynda -1248County Commission 08David Vega
9822 SW 133 Place
Miami, FL 33186

7/1/2014Bell, Lynda -1248County Commission 08Facebook Inc.
1601 Willow Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025

The militarization of domestic police forces: what is the story in Miami? … by gimleteye

The militarization of domestic police forces is a sad story for democracy that cuts across party lines. We have learned time and again that excesses deployed by the national security state need to be dialed back. How do you do it, once the money machine is in place? With lobbyists and private contractor constituencies, tied to very large corporations that have the same rights as people, the militarists have crept in on a tidal wave of taxpayer dollars.

In Miami, we saw it coming a decade ago although few knew how the transformation was being funded.

In November 2003, Gov. Jeb Bush was embarrassed by street protesters in his hometown, Miami, during a Free Trade Summit. He meant to showcase Miami as a bastion of stability to international dignitaries. The retirees, union members, teachers, and civic activists quietly holding signs in protest marred his plan.

Miami Mayor Manny Diaz responded quickly to Jeb's complaints. He authorized the use of police force assembled from the region massively disproportionate to the threat, and in doing so, forever tarnished his political reputation. Innocents were confronted by police in full battle gear. The images burn to this day. Where did all that battle-gear come from? The question is now at the top of the news, a decade later.

At the time, for the UK Guardian Naomi Klein wrote, "Inside the Inter-Continental hotel, it was being called "FTAA lite". Outside, we experienced something heavier: "War lite". … Small, peaceful demonstrations were attacked with extreme force; organizations were infiltrated by undercover officers who used stun guns; buses of union members were prevented from joining permitted marches; people were beaten with batons; activists had guns pointed at their heads at checkpoints. Police violence outside trade summits is not new; what was striking about Miami was how divorced the security response was from anything resembling an actual threat. From an activist perspective, the protests were small and obedient, an understandable response to weeks of police intimidation."

Today American citizens are increasingly aware that their neighborhood police patrols resemble military brigades from TV close-ups in Iraq. Klein wrote presciently: "The FTAA Summit in Miami represents the official homecoming of the "war on terror". The latest techniques honed in Iraq - from a Hollywoodised military to a militarised media - have now been used on a grand scale in a major US city. "This should be a model for homeland defense," the Miami mayor, Manny Diaz, said of the security operation that brought together over 40 law-enforcement agencies, from the FBI to the Department of Fish and Wildlife."

From the website, TomDispatch: "Astoundingly, one-third of all war materiel parceled out to state, local, and tribal police agencies is brand new. This raises further disconcerting questions: Is the Pentagon simply wasteful when it purchases military weapons and equipment with taxpayer dollars? Or could this be another downstream, subsidized market for defense contractors? Whatever the answer, the Pentagon is actively distributing weaponry and equipment made for U.S. counterinsurgency campaigns abroad to police who patrol American streets and this is considered sound policy in Washington. The message seems striking enough: what might be necessary for Kabul might also be necessary for DeKalb County." And Miami-Dade, too.

The disease has infected democracy, and it has to be cured but who among elected officials has the balls to do it? (click, 'read more')

On Amendment Two, Medical Marijuana in Florida: lines I wish I had written … by gimleteye

Fred Grimm in the Miami Herald today: "… though it may be that after months of enduring malicious campaign ads and nasty robo calls, the shell-shocked electorate will decide that voting for Amendment Two had become an urgent civic duty, because only medical marijuana has brought relief to folks exposed to Florida's malignant and ever metastasizing politics."

Grimm is right. For young and independent voters, for women disenfranchised by Florida's increasingly right-wing Republican Party, going out to vote FOR Amendment Two is the best way to put a stamp on the right and obligation to disagree with an out-of-touch, intransigent legislature and status quo dominated by insider deal making.

What's Sheldon Adelson, the casino billionaire, doing throwing millions of dollars against the medical marijuana amendment anyway? Let him ply his politics in Macao. Vote YES for Amendment Two.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

County Commissioner Lynda Bell, her campaign contributors and the Marlins Stadium deal … by gimleteye

For political cynicism, try topping county commissioner Lynda Bell's lie at the center of a struggling campaign. The number of undecideds in this race are a small fraction. Many are self-described "independent" voters. Bell benefits if independents don't vote. That is the same tactic Gov. Rick Scott is deploying. Scorched earth politics.

Daniella Levine Cava spent her entire career helping the hard-working people of Miami-Dade County. She was nowhere near the Marlins Stadium deal makers, the lobbyists and insiders who crowd Lynda Bell's campaign finance reports. That hasn't stopped Bell, though, from making lemonade from her own lemons.

Bell's lemons are campaign contributors who fed at the bitter public trough. If you want to know who lobbied for the Marlins deal, take a few moments to page through Lynda Bell's campaign reports.

For insiders who control the county commission, and dominate the thirteen member majority, any loss is a sign of weakness. They don't want Lynda Bell to lose.

Don't follow the lies. Follow the money.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Jeb Bush lands on wrong side of pot, fanning the flames of the Culture Wars … by gimleteye

Interesting that Jeb Bush came out against medical marijuana on the November ballot, at the front of a coalition of industry insiders (Florida Chamber of Commerce, Associated Industries, and the builders) that this blog calls "The Great Destroyers".

Jeb has been extraordinarily careful hiding his political hand in the bland cloak of accomplishment as the so-called education governor, whatever that means. In striking out against the popular medical marijuana initiative, Jeb is tracking his political future straight into the arterial vein that animated the GOP in the 1990's: the Culture Wars.

The Culture Wars in American politics advanced conservatives like Newt Gingrich, whose career rise roughly paralleled Bill Clinton's. In opposing the medical marijuana initiative -- compassionate? -- Jeb decided to go backwards to the strategy that established the careers and wealth of GOP operatives, from Main Street to K Street. Even if the radical right couldn't claim the White House, the playbook triggering the Culture Wars did very well with Congress and the states.

The GOP problem on the marijuana front is that the public has dramatically shifted over the past twenty years. Criminal prosecutions, incarceration penalties, and the costs on society for minor pot offenses disproportionately affect minorities who vote Democrat, but they also dramatically impact law enforcement that affects everyone.

Ordinary voters and taxpayers are fed up.

The medical marijuana initiative in November will provide Jeb a platform to exercise the singular character of his two terms as governor: a father-like voice of authority. "My way or the highway" is what really gave breath to the Jeb Bush version of compassionate conservatism.

Here is to hoping that Floridians understand the political right that Jeb represents is an artifact of the past. Let's hope that on the day after the November elections, the radical right wakes up like Rip Van Winkle, rubbing his eyes and wondering where time went while he was dreaming.

On marijuana, the Culture War ended a long, long time ago. The GOP apparently believes the embers still burn, and that is what they are counting to fan.

Michael Pizzi … acquitted … by gimleteye

Yesterday, Michael Pizzi walked from a federal courthouse, a free man. Pizzi was caught up in a sting operation and prosecuted for accepting bribes. One juror, after the acquittal, told the press that she hoped Pizzi would show a little more humility in the future, suggesting a character trait that some would call a flaw and others, entertaining.

Long before becoming an elected official, Michael Pizzi was a civic activist. It is hard to argue that once he became a successful politician, that insiders and deal-makers were skeptical they could do business with him. But according to published reports, Pizzi relished both the limelight and the opportunity to do good.

It doesn't take much imagination to understand that the last year -- with the real prospect of jail time in his future -- was brutal for Pizzi and his family. Now that the trial is over, Pizzi could make a new start and if he does, it should be with the sense of making the most of his second chance at political life.

So far as the US Department of Justice is concerned, mounting investigations and undercover operations against corruption in South Florida should be its number one priority. There is a good reason that pest control is a monthly service: if you don't do it regularly, your home can be overrun. The same is true of corruption in government.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Daniella Levine Cava DID NOT SUPPORT THE MARLINS STADIUM. By geniusofdespair

DON'T BE STUPID THIS IS NOTHING BUT A SWIFT BOAT TACTIC. She talked to both mayors and they assured it was going to happen - a done deal - so she tried to get  some jobs for the people - her "lemonade" reference. SHE WAS NEVER AT ANY TIME IN FAVOR OF THE STADIUM.

Don't be fooled by the woman Lynda Bell who named a building with $10 million of public money in it  after her mother who never did one blessed thing in Miami. Lynda Bell is a lying egomaniac with a husband being investigated for absentee ballot fraud. When you hardly have any education and you worked as a domestic it is hard to run a campaign without lying -- you have nothing else to run on except Lynda Bell  using her  roto-rooter mouth to make baseless attacks as she shuffles papers and holds them up accusingly and points her stupid finger at others. Expect glossy mailers and TV commercials from Lynda bending the truth into a knot