Saturday, July 29, 2006

FLORIDA DIGEST July 29, 2006


Attorney general race shows opposits attack
Skip Campbell and Bill McCollum are lawyers. Besides that, it's easy to tell them apart as they vie for attorney general.


Broward trial lawyer Walter ''Skip'' Campbell and Orlando area lobbyist Ira ''Bill'' McCollum, running for state attorney general, agree on this much:They both hate sexual predators.

But that's about all they agree on.

Campbell, a Democratic state senator, is a social liberal with aconservative streak. In the Legislature, he has supported the causes of thesocial-service community. He has also voted to restrict abortion anddeath-penalty appeals.

Republican McCollum is a conservative who served in Congress for 20 years.

He's most proud of his service on the Houseintelligence committee where, he says, he was ``at the forefront of unearthing the terrorist threat to this society and sounding the alarm.''


Panel says Gallagher may have violated ethics laws
Aaron Deslatte
News Journal capital bureau

TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida Ethics Commission ruled Friday that Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Gallagher might have violated ethics laws byowning stock in two insurance companies he oversaw as the state's top insurance regulator.

But the commission threw out a range of other complaints alleging thestate's chief financial officer had misused his office by trading stocksonline while at work, as well as buying stocks in companies that did business with agencies that answer to the Cabinet on which he sits.

Gallagher's campaign called the ruling a victory.

"I'm pleased that the commission's investigation confirmed what I have said all along -- that I never misused my office and that I never gavepreferential treatment to any company," Gallagher, campaigning Friday in theFort Myers and Tampa areas, said in a statement.


Jeb High Executioner

Palm Beach Post Editorial
Saturday, July 29, 2006

How deep is Gov. Bush's capacity for revenge? Deep enough that the governor,who wants to bring Latinos into the Republican Party, would try to oust fromthe Legislature the man who not long ago stood to become the first Cuban-American president of the Florida Senate.

Unfortunately for Sen. Alex Villalobos, R-Miami, this year he crossed thegovernor on the class-size amendment and vouchers for private schools. He was correct on both. But when he cast the vote that kept repeal of theclass-size amendment off the November ballot, and then did not provide what would have been the deciding vote on another amendment to nullify the
Florida Supreme Court decision outlawing vouchers for religious schools,Sen. Villalobos lost his leadership position. A campaign that began lastyear to deny him the presidency picked up steam. Now, because the class-sizeand voucher issues were Gov. Bush's priorities, Sen. Villalobos also is in danger of losing his seat.


At Forum, Commission Candidates Asked About Gay Rights

Published: Jul 29, 2006

TAMPA - Hillsborough County Commission District 3 candidates stated their positions on gay and lesbian rights this week, with most saying there are more important issues.

"I'm not going to be sidetracked," said Democrat Chloe Coney, one of five candidates for the seat being vacated by term-limited Thomas Scott. "If we mgo and poll our community, [gay rights] would not be our top issue. We need to stay focused on what the community needs."

At the Tampa Heights Civic Association's candidate forum Thursday night, Coney said bigger issues include affordable housing and the county's growth.

Coney faces Kevin White and Dorothy "Nicolle" Admire in the Sept. 5 Democratic primary. The other candidates are Republican Ken Anthony and John Michael Craig, who has no party affiliation.


Record bond plan for Broward schools falls short on support
The $749 million loan would be largest in county history.

By Buddy Nevins
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

July 29, 2006

A majority of School Board members said Friday they were not ready to ask voters to approve the biggest government loan program in Broward County's history -- the sale of $749 million in bonds for new classrooms and other improvements.

"It's dead. We need to bury it," said board member Marty Rubinstein.

Five of nine board members reached by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel said after studying the plan released this week, they would not support it when it comes up for a vote Wednesday.

Two members decided the plan was too expensive for taxpayers when added to other government requests for taxes this year. Two others said taxpayers had not had a chance to comment on the proposal and it should not be passed without public hearings.


For More Information Phone (954) 564-9232

Congregation Etz Chaim holds prospective members open house August 27.

Congregation Etz Chaim, a Reform Synagogue for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Jews and their friends, is having an open house for prospectivemembers on Sunday, August 27, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Synagogue: 1881 N.E.26 Street in Wilton Manors. Rabbi Harold F. Caminker, DD will meetinformally with attendees, as will Cantorial Soloist Michael Greenspan and
Education Director Dr. Murray Lichtenstein. Guests will be able to learnmore about the upcoming High Holy Days services, the weekly Shabbat service,social and educational activities. Refreshments will be served. Etz Chaim is a welcoming and diverse congregation with members from all branches of Judaism including many interfaith couples, GLBT families and heterosexual

All are welcome!