Thursday, July 27, 2006

FLORIDA DIGEST July 27, 2006


The court has spoken -- time to move on

The Vamos a Cuba debate played to divided public sentiments for months, butwhen the conflict reached the courts, the ruling was focused and clear. U.S.District Judge Alan Gold delivered an 89-page opinion that emphaticallyrejected the Miami-Dade County School Board's arguments for banning thebook. He wrote that the board ``abused its discretion in a manner thatviolated the transcendent imperatives of the First Amendment.'' -- Elementary information -- Judge Gold's ruling may not be the final word on the issue -- but it shouldbe. The School Board should accept the court's suggestion that it has nolegal grounds for banning Vamos a Cuba and refrain from a costly appeal ofthe preliminary injunction.


July 27, 2006
Groups say Florida law halted voter registration work

Associated Press

MIAMI -- For the first time since 1939, the League of Women Voters of Florida decided not to hold a voter registration drive this year because ofa new state law imposing heavy fines on organizations that fail to meetdeadlines to submit applications, the league's president testified
Wednesday.With a limited budget of $80,000 for all its activities and reliance onvolunteers around the state, there is no way to ensure that registrationapplications are submitted on time, said Dianne Wheatley Giliotti of PalmHarbor, whose organization and others have filed federal lawsuit challenging the law."The new law has imposed a severe burden on the league's voter registrationactivities and has chilled the willingness of the league, and many of itsmembers, to register new voters," she testified at a hearing on the lawsuit.


Hear out the Democrats on hurricane insurance
Palm Beach Post Editorial
Thursday, July 27, 2006

The August edition of National Geographic carries the headline "Killer Hurricanes; No End in Sight." Even scarier for Floridians, there is no endin sight to the refusal of Gov. Bush and Republican leaders in theLegislature to acknowledge how little they have done to deal with the
state's property insurance crisis.Democrats had ideas during the March-May legislative session, but thegovernor and the GOP didn't want to listen. They listened only to theinsurance industry. So, Democrats are taking their ideas on the road. Thisweek, they were in Palm Beach County. If the governor is ignoring them,though, another Republican is paying attention. Attorney General CharlieCrist, who is running for governor and watches polls the way forecasterswatch radar screens, indicated some support for the Democrats' approach.


Top Crist fundraiser departs campaign

Miami developer Sergio Pino, who is being investigated by a federal grand
jury, stepped aside as a fundraiser for gubernatorial candidate Charlie


TALLAHASSEE - A Miami developer who is under federal investigation and hasbeen linked to potential campaign-finance violations while raising money forGov. Jeb Bush has stepped down from his role as a top fundraiser forAttorney General Charlie Crist.In a brief, four-paragraph letter to Crist released Wednesday, Sergio Pino said that recent newspaper articles ``have raised questions with respect tomy involvement in past fundraising activities, which are unrelated to either your campaign or office.''


Crist, Davis still leading the way

Republican Charlie Crist and Democrat Jim Davis remain front-runners in the
governor's race, a new poll found, although the Democratic contest is still
up for grabs.


TALLAHASSEE - With less than six weeks to go till the Sept. 5 primary,Republican Attorney General Charlie Crist and Democratic Rep. Jim Daviscontinue to have comfortable leads over their chief rivals in the governor's race, a new poll shows.The Quinnipiac University poll has Crist ahead of Chief Financial OfficerTom Gallagher among likely Republican voters 55 percent to 32 percent, whileDavis leads state Sen. Rod Smith 47 percent to 19 percent among likely
Democratic primary voters. The margin of error is just over five percentagepoints.


Palm Beach gay group endorses Smith
Gubernatorial candidate's sponsoring of gay adoption bill was key factor
STAFF REPORTS | Jul 27, 11:27 AM

The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, a gay rights group, has endorsed state Sen. Rod Smith (D-Alachua County) in the Democratic primary race for governor of Florida. The primary will be held Sept. 5.The council decided to back Smith in his race against Congressman Jim Davis, a Tampa Democrat, because Smith co-sponsored a bill this year in the Florida
legislature that would allow gay foster parents to adopt children, said Jamie Foreman, president of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council."The deciding factor was his co-sponsoring of the gay adoption bill," Foreman said. "Often elected officials say they will do things, but when
people go on record and actually do something, it shows that they're serious about supporting our community." The fact that Smith took action on the adoption bill during an election year while running for statewide office also impressed the council, Foreman said.


Lavender Writes

The Next Generation:
An Open Mic Fiction Reading
at Borders Books and Music
2240 E. Sunrise Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale

Saturday, July 29, 8pm

Readers sign-up at

Funding for this program is provided in part by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council. Lavender Writes, Inc., a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, provides service and support to lesbian and gay writers by sponsoring writing workshops, developing public forums for writers to present their work and
offering assistance with publication. Non-gay writers and readers are also welcome to participate.


Become a sponsor of the Task Force's Miami Recognition Dinner!

The 2006 Miami Recognition Dinner, presented by Merrill Lynch, will takeplace Saturday, Nov. 4. The event, now in its 10th year, will once again beheld at Loews Miami Beach Hotel, the site of last year's dinner, which drewa 700-plus crowd.Merrill Lynch has signed on as Presenting Sponsor, Williamson Cadillac-Hummer has committed to a Platinum sponsorship, Leadership Councilmembers Olive Watson (a Task Force board member) & Joanna Grover/Watson are
Gold sponsors, and Andrew Tobias & Charles Nolan and James Garbus & JimVinett are Silver sponsors. Sponsorship opportunities range from $3,000 to $10,000. To become a sponsor
or for more information, contact Michael Bath at 305.571.1924 or