Friday, October 31, 2014

Saying goodbye to Lynda Bell. By Geniusofdespair


Lynda Bell at October 7 2014 Commission Meeting. Heck, I will miss that pointing finger.

Lynda Bell is now a consultant according to her business card. On what I don't know.

I heard something disturbing which I assume is NOT true, that when Ms. Bell was fundraising she warned potential donors that if they did not give to her campaign, they would get nothing passed in her district.  I know that can't be true because that would be illegal, like blackmail or something. I don't think she would do that even though I heard it from a few people. Maybe she warned them in jest? Does this really go on?

Anyway, the latest is that Lynda would like to be on the school board. She is not in Curbelo's  district where the seat will open up, but maybe, if the governor appoints, he can do someone out of district. Don't know the law on this matter. I also heard Lynda won't help Daniella Levine Cava in her transition. No burying the hatchet here. I guess I am still on her shit list too.

If I were Lynda Bell I would move up the coast. She could win a seat easily in Melbourne. Even though Lynda called me "pure evil" (shouting it across a parking lot at the polling place in Palmetto Bay with voters around)  I wish her the best as long as she is not making our laws. Lynda has said she is blessed with many grandchildren (another one just born) I am sure that can fill the gap.




Thursday, October 30, 2014

Terrorizing Miami readers in the age of anxiety: The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald … by gimleteye

An observer dryly notes: "So, El Nuevo Herald endorses Rick Scott over the weekend in an editorial that doesn't even mention the environment and glosses over his abysmal record on everything else, from health care to education to women's rights.‪#‎Shameless‬ As a public service to its readers, I suggest El Nuevo Herald run the St. Pete Times editorial, "The Rick Scott record: an environmental disaster."

In its bifurcated gubernatorial endorsements (The Miami Herald for Crist, El Nuevo for the worst governor in Florida history) McClatchy is perpetuating wedge politics in a region that has had its fill. OK, the newspaper business -- if there is one -- is appealing to demographics and advertisers, but with so much at stake for Florida, wouldn't you expect a meeting of the McClatchy minds at the Heralds, or did that turn to dust so long ago that not even its trace can be found?

Jorge Luis Lopez is a County Hall Lobbyist? Not for the County According to Records nor the Court House. By Geniusofdespair

In this morning's Herald it said:
The morning of the court hearing, Jorge Luis Lopez, the County Hall lobbyist and lawyer leading the courthouse campaign, posted a message to both Regalados on his Twitter account that read: “Plenty of blame to go around; public records will soon reveal. Miami politics as usual, SAD!”
 

Here is Jorge Luis Lopez's lobbyist report. Where does it say he is a county hall lobbyist and a courthouse lobbyist? Is he paid by the county? Also, he lobbies our Good Mayor on just about everything.  Doug Hanks of the Herald just contacted me. He says he is not a "County" employed lobbyist but I say, he might as well be.

Jorge we all know the courthouse is in disrepair. That is a given. It is the County's obligation to keep up with it's infrastructure.  You don't leave it till it is in such a bad state. It is the County's fault so why should we pay EXTRA TAXES to fix it? The bond stinks Raquel Regalado is right and it is the County's fault.

 Lopez shouldn't have such access to the Mayor given all these clients and the mayor should actually be one of them don't you think:


FRIENDS OF HIGHER EDUCATION POLITICAL COMMITTEE 7/7/2014

NONE Open

ATKINS NORTH AMERICA, INC 2/14/2014

NONE Open

FLORIDA DEVELOPMENT GROUP, INC 8/28/2013

NONE Open

METRO GAS FL LLC 8/23/2013

GENERAL REPRESENTATION Open

NICHOLSON CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 7/24/2013

15 D PROJECT NO. DBD-WASD-01 Open

CLEVER DEVICES INC 6/21/2013

NONE Open

INFORMATICA EL CORTE INGLES USA CORP 6/11/2013

GENERAL Open

FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY 6/5/2013

NONE Open

HAVANA PALMS 5/17/2013

PRO BONO REPRESENTATION Open

SMALL CELL TOWER 5/17/2013

GENERAL Open

LYFT, INC 5/13/2013

NONE Open

GREATER MIAMI AND THE BEACHES HOTEL ASSOCIATION 1/29/2013

GENERAL REPRESENTATION Open

MIAMI DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY 1/25/2013

GENERAL REPRESENTATION Open

THE RICHMAN GROUP OF FLORIDA 12/17/2012

SURTAX Open

LEMARTEC ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION CORP. 8/30/2012

GENERAL REPRESENTATION Open

KENDALL DODGE CHRYSLER JEEP 7/30/2012

PUBLIC WORKS PROPERTY ACCESS ISSUE Open

HEALTHPORT 2/1/2012

PHT - GENERAL REPRESENTATION Open

TRANSPORTATION AMERICA 12/21/2011

NONE Withdrawn

SIGNATURE FLIGHT SUPPORT, BBA AVIATION USA, INC 4/12/2011

NONE Open

SCI MANAGEMENT 4/6/2011

GENERAL REPRESENTATION Open

IRON SKY, INC 2/22/2011

GENERAL REPRESENTATION Open

MONTOYA HOLDINGS, INC 2/9/2011

GENERAL REPRESENTATION Open

ADVANCED TRANSPORTATION SOLUTIONS, LLC 1/27/2011

SPECIAL TRANSPORTATION SERVICE Open

HOMESTEAD MIAMI SPEEDWAY LLC 1/13/2011

PROPOSED EXPANSION Open

RIVIERA SCHOOLS 12/6/2010

GENERAL REPRESENTATION Open

INDRA USA 6/10/2010

GENERAL REPRESENTATION Open

SILTEK GROUP, INC 6/8/2010

GENERAL REPRESENTATION Withdrawn

COCONUT GROVE PLAYHOUSE 6/3/2010

COCONUT GROVE PLAYHOUSE Open

UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI 3/10/2010

GENERAL REPRESENTATION Open

ADVANCED TRANSPORTATION SOLUTIONS, LLC 12/18/2009

CONTRACT NO. TR04-TSB, SPECIAL TRANSPORTATION SOLUTIONS, INC Withdrawn

INNOVATIVE TRAFFIC GROUP 10/30/2009

UNSOLICITED PROPOSAL - DESIGN BUILD FINANCE, MAST ARM UPGRADES Open

GATEHOUSE GROUP INC 10/26/2009

GENERAL REPRESENTATION Open

FPL ENERGY SERVICES 9/23/2009

GENERAL REPRESENTATION Open

HJ ROSS 9/9/2009

GENERAL REPRESENTATION Open

ARAMARK CORRECTIONAL SERVICES, LLC 7/17/2009

PROCUREMENT RELATED TO INMATE COMMISSARY SERVICES, RFP NO. 649 Open

THE JORGE LUIS LOPEZ LAW FIRM 6/11/2009

GENERAL REPRESENTATION Open

ALLIED BARTON 4/6/2009

GENERAL REPRESENTATION Open

If GOP Takes Senate, Climate Change Deniers Will Control Key Committees, by Lee Fang

If GOP Takes Senate, Climate Change Deniers Will Control Key Committees
POSTED AT 1:03 PM BY LEE FANG
From The Republic Report

It wasn’t long ago that coal executives were openly discussing their dream of Republicans seizing the White House and making Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe — who believes climate change is a “hoax” concocted by greedy scientists — the head of the EPA.

Now, they have a second chance.



As dark money groups and SuperPACs backed by millions of dollars from the fossil fuel industry are propelling Republicans to a Senate majority, climate science-denying politicians are likely to seize control of key committee chairmanships, a coup for companies seeking to pollute the atmosphere with impunity. What’s more, Inhofe is slated to become chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, with oversight of the EPA.

Stupidity is airborne in Florida. Guest blog by Diane Roberts

Diane Roberts: Epidemic freaks me out; what if stupidity is airborne?
From Context Florida

I don’t know about you, but this latest epidemic is really freaking me out. The experts say it’s hard to catch — you can’t get it merely by living in the same state as infected people or being exposed to toxic campaign ads.

But what if they’re wrong? What if stupidity is airborne?

Everywhere you look there’s a new outbreak. Rick Scott, asked what the minimum wage should be, said, “How should I know?” Doesn’t “the private sector” decide all that?

Er, pro tip, Mr. Scott? The government sets the minimum wage. It’s written down in a law and stuff. Perhaps one of your staff can explain.

Then there’s Attorney General Pam Bondi, fighting fiercely to protect the God-sanctioned institution of marriage from those sinister gays. She says children should be “born to and raised by the mothers and fathers who produced them in stable and enduring family units.”

Bondi’s been divorced twice herself. Straight divorce, of course, the kind God favors: she’s currently fighting the attempt of a lesbian couple who contracted a civil union in Vermont in 2002 to split legally.

At least we’re clear on where the AG stands on marriage equality, however backward and idiotic. Not the governor. Rick Scott says he:
Supports “traditional” marriage
Is against “discrimination”
Isn’t a scientist.

Contact with extreme stupidity can lead to panic. The mayor and city commission of South Miami, exasperated by the governor’s inability to grasp the obvious and extremely damp reality of global climate change, have voted to secede from the rest of the state.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What happens at the school board if Curbelo wins? By Geniusofdespair

If Curbelo wins the election against Joe Garcia (hardly likely since he is such a putz) the governor appoints someone to represent the school district from now to November 2016 which is the next election

Curbelo does not have to resign until January but obviously he will resign early if Charlie Crist wins so that Scott will name his replacement

The Academica people are pushing to have a charter school principal named so that there will be "charter representation" on the board. When there were vacancies on the Broward county school board Scott named pro-charter people but was never as blatant as to name a charter employee.

Should they name a pro-charter person that person would be a minority on the board. The biggest damage would be done in Tallahassee where this person would be by law allowed to lobby and contradict the rest of the School Board one legislator at a time

The fight in Tallahassee this year will include a charters school agenda for more funds and the further expansion of vouchers which is a priority for incoming leadership.

Rick.Scott.Jeb Bush. Everglades Fail: more … by gimleteye

Florida Everglades activist leaders -- like those running Florida Audubon -- are caught in a dismal loop: hostages to Big Sugar as though Stockholm Syndrome had affected them all. They are fearful to criticize their captors (ie. Big Sugar or state sponsored cronyism in government), else risk an even worse fate than befallen Florida's natural resources under the extremist wing of the GOP.

For example, Florida's Everglades leaders are too timid to organize along side public policy activists who call for measures to reduce the impact of sugar on the American diet by drawing attention to its enormous health care costs. The constituencies among health care advocates are much greater than for confronting Big Sugar and its political cronies in Florida.

Florida environmentalists won't see the forest through the trees the way John Oliver does.

The comic / social critic teed off on Big Sugar on HBO cable the other day. Oliver uses the deft hammer of excess sugar consumption to raise public awareness in ways that are driving Big Sugar crazy. Too bad Florida environmental leaders can't find their way to upsetting the Big Sugar reign of political terror in Florida.



There was another rebuttal to the recent OPED by former Governor Jeb Bush supporting his sugar sponsors and Gov. Rick Scott, printed in the Miami Herald. (El Nuevo Herald endorsed Rick Scott. The Herald, Charlie Crist.)

A former lead scientist with the South Florida Water Management Disrict, Larry Fink, offers a sober assessment of Jeb Bush's irresponsible OPED, more focused than Florida Everglades leaders have the courage to summon. Here is what Mr. Fink wrote on a Sierra Club Everglades listerve.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Jeb.Bush.Rick.Scott.Everglades.Fail … by gimleteye

In debates with his Democratic challenger Charlie Crist, Gov. Rick Scott claims credit for a 2012 deal with federal agencies on a 13 year cleanup plan for the Everglades.

In fact, it was a federal judge, Alan Gold, who forced the deal on a very reluctant state of Florida.

The cleanup plan Gov. Scott claims credit for was the result of successful litigation by Friends of the Everglades and the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians. The state of Florida had done Big Sugar's business by deforming an earlier federal state agreement to solve the industry's widespread pollution of the Everglades. Cue, Jeb Bush.

When Gov. Jeb Bush came to office in 1998, Big Sugar immediately set out to undermine the 1994 federal state agreement to fix the dying River of Grass, choking on Sugar's torrents of pollution.

The cleanup plan guaranteed completion by 2006, but in 2003 Gov. Bush and the state legislature conspired to pass a new weaker law that environmentalists claimed violated the Clean Water Act. Bush's top environmental lieutenant crowed from federal courthouse steps in Miami; all the alarm is misplaced, we are your friends. It took nearly a decade to prove the Jeb Bush law illegal in federal court.

So it is a special indignity for Gov. Scott to assert it was he who reached a deal with federal agencies on the Everglades. It is as though a health care executive whose company is guilty of fraud shrugs off a billion dollar settlement because -- well -- violating the law is just a cost of doing business.

Why Bonds Suck: Because you have to pay for them stupid. By Geniusofdespair



Bonds suck and finally you can see the numbers, remember something called 'interest'. Doug Hanks wrote about them yesterday, they are called the debt tax (see bonds are a tax):
"Miami-Dade’s debt tax will soar in the coming years, even if voters reject a $390 million borrowing plan for a new courthouse, according to county forecasts.

Without a dollar of new debt for the judiciary, county forecasts show the special property tax that pays for the county’s debt is set to jump by about 50 percent in 2016. That’s thanks to the arrival of new debt that voters already approved for the county-owned Jackson hospital system, as well as rapidly increasing borrowing costs tied to a nearly $3 billion bond program that voters approved in 2004."

The bonds are coming home to roost, or more accurately - they are cleaning out your pocketbook. Don't believe the hype on them not costing anything.

"Currently costing $45 for every $100,000 of a property’s value, the debt tax funds borrowing approved by Miami-Dade voters and generates the revenue behind a wide portfolio of construction projects.
This year it is backing about $1.4 billion in borrowed funds used to create the new Pérez Art Museum Miami, expand county park facilities, build the Miami-Dade police headquarters, dig a tunnel to PortMiami and back hundreds of other projects. It also would allow Miami-Dade to borrow $75 million for an economic-development grant program that Mayor Carlos Gimenez wants to use to provide $9 million for the SkyRise Miami project."

Ready for Mitch McConnell as Senate Majority Leader? If not, vote … by gimleteye

MONEY & POLITICS
How to Buy an Election
October 27, 2014
by Lee Fang
This post first appeared at The Nation.

The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which allowed corporate and union money to flow freely in American elections, rested on a critical assumption: that so-called outside groups would not corrupt the political system because they would be legally separated from the candidates. In his majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy acknowledged that without a fire wall between the candidates and outside groups making “independent expenditures,” deep-pocketed donors would come to have an undue influence over politicians. “By definition,” Kennedy wrote confidently, “an independent expenditure is political speech presented to the electorate that is not coordinated with a candidate.”

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mayor Gimenez to become an independent? By Geniusofdespair

Non-partisan mayor Gimenez may become an independent. He said because he is an independent thinker.  He had better tell that to all the Republican lobbyists he has been cozy with and taking advice from for the past few years. They might not know he is an independent thinker. His cozy relationship with T Party favorite Lynda Bell certainly contradicted his independence from Republican values.