Archive for ‘Fla. State Poitics’

September 18, 2011

Unite Voters of America

The United   States of America is divided, Left, Middle,  Right and economically in two the rich and everyone else. Because of these  divides we find confusion and apathy growing in our population day after day setting  the groundwork for a perfect political and economic storm which will  potentially have catastrophic results affecting everyone not seen since the  great depression. In war one of the most important strategic maneuvers is to  separate and divide. Are we at war and with whom? 

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March 16, 2011

Florida Voters were fooled

Tuesday the 15th of March I attended a rally at the Spring Hill Dr. Library for Move On .Org. We were rallying for the workers in the State of Florida who are currently under attach by Governor Rick Scott and the Republican majorities in the State House and State Senate. I met a young man with his wife and children. He just lost his job because of the Scott budget cuts for social work programs. We heard from women who also lost her job recently with a heart condition and no health insurance while Scott was cutting Medicaid funding which gave her no options for treatment. Who are the workers in Florida? They are Teachers, Firemen, Policemen, Librarians, Nurses State Workers, County Workers and all the Service Employees of Florida. Targeted at the moment are Teachers in the public school system. Republican legislation Senate Bill 736 now called the Son of Six eliminates tenure for teachers hired beginning July 1, ties teachers pay to student test scores, and ends layoffs based on seniority. I find it cynical and not amusing that Republicans would use a reference to the Son of Sam a mass murderer because that’s exactly what they are doing to the Teaching Profession, murdering a once sacred profession. What this bill does it takes away everything gained through collective bargaining for teachers for over decades through union accomplishments, does this sound familiar Wisconsin. Teachers who once were admired for their contribution to society’s progress through teaching future generation are now no longer admired for their efforts but treated like they are the cause of the State Governments over spending. The truth of the matter is this. How else can you provide the money to businesses that were instrumental in getting you elected you do this by cutting aid to school districts by 1.7 Billion dollars and give tax cuts to those same businesses? Rick Scott a man who took the 5th amendment 75 times as CEO of HCA during a deposition hearing for his role in the embezzlement of billions from Medicare and The Republican majority House and Senate found the way by giving almost 1.5 Billion of tax cuts to Corporations. Those of you who voted for these characters are getting a wake up call. Sooner or later the old saying comes true, you can fool some of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. Did Florida get fooled?

April 1, 2010

Voter rights jeopardized

In early April Commissioner Adkins will be proposing to the County Commissioners the creation of a Study Commission for a Charter Government.  Once he gets 2 more votes for the Study to be conducted by 2 other commissioners, Charter government will have to be considered on the ballot in an election for the public to decide at their expense if that is what they want and how they want the Charter to be written by a Study Commission.

It is obvious to me the origin of this thought process by Mr. Adkins is not from his creativity but possibly originates from the Hernando County Republican Party or a committee of the party. If you recall Mr. Adkins proposed an economic stimulus package in 2009 which he enlisted the help of local homebuilder Blaise Ingoglia to craft a three-pronged Comprehensive Plan for Recovery. This plan was defeated overwhelmingly by the county commission because of its ineffectiveness. 

We now have Adkins et al proposing a takeover of our local government. Charter Governments strip away voter checks and balances against political manipulation of taxing and spending. It takes away Hernando County voter rights to decide who will be our Tax Collector, our Clerk of the Circuit Court our Property Appraiser, our Supervisor of Elections and finally our Sheriff.  All of these constitutional offices should be independent of a County Commission or Administrators Control. 

Charter Governments are typically forms of government for City’s not Counties. When Charters are written many powers can be taken away from the voters and placed in the hands of the County Commissioners, Appointees or their Committees. One of these powers could include land development. Remember that Amendment 4 Hometown Democracy strips away control of land development from county commissioners and puts it in the hands of the voter, you the people. It seems that the current attempt to reduce voter powers is an attempt to destroy Hometown Democracy in Hernando County and many other voter rights.

February 15, 2009

Republicans should be angered by their lack of representation

Hernando County Republicans should begin to support their Democratic counterparts. It has become apparent that republican politicians don’t care about you. The Stimulus package was passed by 246 Democrats and ZERO out of 183 Republicans in the Congress, you must be proud of your Rep Ginny Brown Waite who voted against creating jobs locally for the construction industry, or educational support to keep teachers in their jobs, increased unemployment compensation, and a 65% subsidy for Cobra Health Insurance, and the beginning of the long awaited energy independence to support alternative energy sources which are part of this bill. Please don’t confuse Brown Waite’s political rhetoric utilizing the term pork, hopefully not referring to her Republican constituents who will be the recipients of this bills intent and who re- elected her, as pork. In the Senate 57 Democrat’s and 3 wise Republicans, 2 from Maine and one from Pennsylvania rose to this bi-partisan occasion without political agendas for the 2010 election year. There were 36 Senate Republicans who voted against this bill including John McCain. Here is a message to registered Republican’s who are currently receiving unemployment, you should not have a short memory in 2010, remember it was Democrats who were looking out for your interest in 2009.

January 19, 2009

Exempt Children from Budget Cuts

The Republican controlled legislature once again prioritizes according to special interest influences instead of representing the people who voted for them.

 

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics the largest over-the-month decrease in the level of employment was recorded in Florida (-58,600) in the month of December, we currently have over 650,000 unemployed Floridians with a 7.3% unemployment rate. Hernando County alone has over 10% unemployed.

 

The State of Florida has begun to swing its axe by cutting $820 million from School Budgets. They have with one swing transferred the burden of budget cuts to local school boards. They don’t care how the job gets done its now out of their hands. This is Republican Florida State legislature at its worst. Why are the youth of this state and Hernando County bearing the burden?

 

Here is a no brainer; legislators can cut the state budget without affecting millions of school children. There are 8,175 Double Dippers in the state of Florida, retired state employees, legislators, judges, and municipal workers who are collecting a pension and are receiving their same salary plus their pension complements of a Republican legislature (1998 DROP program). If we assume that at the lowest end of the compensation scale there are double dippers receiving $40,000 a year the cost to the state is $327,000,000. This represents 14% of the state budget deficit and could reduce the School Budget cuts by 40%.

 

Gov. Charlie Crist pointed to the empty Capitol plaza and told supporters that Floridians ”know and understand” the difficult cuts lawmakers have to make. ”That’s why you don’t see protesters outside,” he said. Governor Crist people don’t understand the complexities of legislature if they did Tallahassee wouldn’t have enough space to accommodate the protest.

December 28, 2008

Serve the majority not the few

In the Sunday St. Petersburg Times two writings drew my attention. On the front page Double Dipping: Ire, but higher, by Times Senior Correspondent Lucy Morgan and in the Hernando Times section Guest column by C.D. Chamberlain, No Local preferences for contracts. Both deal with leadership decisions and their affects. Mr. Chamberlain addresses the issue from a psychological perspective, what is the intent of a policy, for whose benefit and at whose cost, where in economics we call it cost benefit analysis. The Double Dipping writing addresses the outcome of state policy making with a failed decision related to a cost benefit analysis.

 

Legislatures whether it is State or Local Governments continue to focus on the benefits for the few rather than the majority. We see this at the State Level when politicians, judges, administrators and anyone participating in the State Pension Fund are allowed to Double Dip because of a law written in 2001 by lawmakers, of which some are participating in this loophole. At the Local level in Hernando we see the same cronyism at its best in this new board of County Commissioners regarding Peck Sink. Favoritism for local firms would only be acceptable if that firm satisfied the three key factors in cost benefit analysis, or Social Return on Investment (SROI) something our local official should study when making future decisions. It is an approach to understanding and managing the impacts of a project, or a policy. It is based on stakeholders, the residents and all businesses not just real estate related, in Hernando County and puts financial values on the important impacts identified by stakeholders. The aim is to include the values of people that are often excluded from these decisions and not committees consisting of pre-selected campaign workers and political party supporters.

December 20, 2008

The Bush Legacy

 

 I am amazed at the republican rights’ trying to build a positive image of the Bush Legacy after eight years of failure. Lets’ add up the republican conservative non intervention of government, deregulation, and any other right wing terminology which would define the Republican Administration destruction of the American way of life and dream.

 

Recently a slew of executive orders favoring multinational corporation to add to the destruction of the ozone layer, and continuing of our dependence on fossil fuels. More than 750 billion to Wall Street and National Banks, over 125 billion to AIG American International Group, with no conditions I may add, and 14 billion with conditions to take power away from unions and to seize limited  control of the three auto makers in this country so that foreign auto makers producing in America have a better advantage.

 

I know he was elected the president of this country but by his acts he represents the ultimate special interests, which leads me to the main point. Puppet W reminds me of Howdy Doody.  If you remember Buffalo Bob always pulled the strings. Does anyone think that W is capable of making a decision worth any value. He was a man over his head with very little ability to make rational choices. He was incapable to distinguishing between justice for all and just this for the few. He fertilized the greed mentality over the last eight years which has placed us in the crisis we are in today. His organization rivals any organized crime organization since the 20’s. He and his cronies have looted America.

He has violated his oath of office and should be punished for it. There is no excuse for what he has done.   

 

 

November 27, 2008

Florida Politics

Written in 2006

 

I doubt that the St. Pete Times will print this opinion like others I’ve sent in the past. It is the same old thing every four years or during midterm elections. We hear the same old political rhetoric and nothing ever changes.  The American public and the people of Florida are always subjected to the lesser of two evils.  For example, the gubernatorial race here in Floridahas two candidates Jim Davis and Charlie Crist.  Each candidate says that they are the solution to the woe’s Floridians are experiencing.  Lets take a look at their records.  Charlie Crist has been attorney general for the last four years.  During his tenure what has happened to the Floridian homeowner should not be a feather in his cap but an indication of his inability to protect the people of Florida from the insurance lobbyists. His excuse is I wasn’t a legislator. While he was the Education Commissioner, Florida schools ranked at the bottom of the barrel.  He says he was hard on crime, during his tenure child abductions and crime did not go down. He also turned his back on Terry Schiavo; he didn’t get involved.  Charlie Crist is a no involvement legislator or policeman.

Now let’s look to Jim Davis.  Jim Davis has been in the U.S. Congress for the past 10 years.  He has been accused of being an absentee representative. I don’t know what he was doing while not in his seat of Congress, but based upon statistics congressional seat holders only spend two days a week in Washington.  Jim Davis is not the only problem in Washington he was part of it.  The question that comes to mind of course is how to choose the lesser of two evils.  My choice would be Jim Davis.  He was working among the Republican majority therefore unable to effectively legislate the wishes of his constituency. I wouldn’t vote for Charlie Crist for two reasons one being that he turned his back on the people of Florida while Attorney General by not getting involved with the insurance issues which are devastating homeowners today: secondly, I don’t want a politician in office who puts his campaign first before his constitutional responsibilities.  Charlie Christ is a special interest candidate.  He is also a non-committal individual who cannot make a choice T O way or the other when it comes to the common good for the people of Florida. Leaders make decisions and stand by them. Charlie Crist is not a leader. I don’t think we would reward a sheriffs deputy if he turned his back on a mugging, why should we reward Charlie Crist for turning his back on the people of Florida while the Insurance Lobby mugged us.

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October 20, 2008

Insurance, a tool for risk management

Re: If you can’t take the risk, get out of the market- 10/17/2006

 

When I first read the heading I presumed the opinion was concerning the Stock Market. After reading it I realized that Ms. B was speaking to Real Estate Investment. I also realized that Ms. B doesn’t know the first thing about the functionality and concept of insurance and its purpose in society. Insurance was designed to assist individuals or companies in case of catastrophic events. The premiums paid for this guarantee were to be invested and held in reserves to pay claims if such events did occur. These premiums were calculated by actuarial therefore to protect the insurance companies from excessive claims. They did this by spreading the risk over the population of all policyholders nationally. So if a flood devastated a resident in New Jersey our premiums would help them, or if and earthquake in California devastated a resident in San Francisco our premiums would help them. One event occurred which upset the Insurance Industry in Florida. Homestead, they found that the claims for this catastrophic event were cutting into their profits and their reserves. The shareholders were going to possibly loose dividends and the value of their shares would drop especially if the company showed a loss. So to avoid such a catastrophe at company headquarters, Florida State lawmakers were lobbied to change the laws governing Insurance Companies. Our State Representatives including our Attorney General and Governor at the time turned the other way and let the insurance companies form separate corporate entities in Florida. This change in law reduced the number of policies funding reserves to cover catastrophic events in Florida. This change would limit the risk of the insurance companies and preserve their profitability.

Premiums were not artificially low for decades they were low because the risk was spread nationally. They are currently high because the lobbies transferred the cost of providing insurance to the people and the State of Florida, Citizens Insurance. You shouldn’t be condemning the hard working residents of this state you should be condemning your representatives who caved into the Insurance Companies lobbyists.  

September 25, 2007

Tax Revelations (2007)

Where did it begin?  In 1992 the people in Florida voted for a 3% cap on assessed values of their residential properties.  The law was written to protect and encourage long-term home ownership.  The percentage used to increase assessments would be either the 3% cap or CPI consumer price index whichever was lower.  The second part of this legislature was the $25,000 homestead exemption.  Other provisions of this legislature included the important fact that once a property was sold the current market value would be used to establish the new assessed value. All of these components work very well and have protected long-term ownership in the state of Florida except for the homestead exemption which is fixed.  If

Today questions of fairness concerning tax burden has been questioned by whom?  It’s certainly isn’t long-term homeowners who have managed their budgets and made sound budget decisions when purchasing their homes.

Today we are experiencing an evolution in economical class structure which is eroding the American middle class tax base.  This is being done by continuously shifting the tax burden to the middle class.  These taxes come in many forms.  For example, Property Insurance premiums, Gas taxes, Health Insurance premiums, and Real Estate property taxes and so on.  Most of our systems of taxation have been systems of progression.  What I mean by this is that those who can afford to pay more should pay more.  A person who can afford a $500,000 house should be able to pay the taxes on that home.  If he or she can’t afford the taxes they should not have purchased the home in the first place.  This applies to individuals as well as investors.  The long-term resident of Florida should not have to carry the tax burden of investors in real estate or commercial entities doing business in this state for profits.  This entire question of tax relief has very little to do with a majority of the long-term homeowners in Florida.  It has everything to do with residential property developers, commercial real estate investors and some recent home owner who purchased their home in the last five years.  Why should the long term homeowners of Florida take on the tax burden for all those investors when we certainly will not share in their profits?  There is always a cost to carry an investment for a period of time; these costs to finance an investment are if built into the future price of that investment.  The people of Florida should not have to pay the costs for those investors.  

My suggestion would be as follows maintain the current system of taxation except for one thing, each year increase the homestead exemption $5000 per year until the maximum homestead exemption of $75,000 is reached.  This would give tax relief to long-term home owners and provide government the opportunity to streamline their budgets over a longer period of time.  The current proposals will increase real-estate speculation. The last thing the state of Florida needs is real estate speculation.  We cannot afford to become another state of California.

 

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