Sunday, September 03, 2006

FLORIDA DIGEST September 3, 2006


Judge blocks Fla. voter registration law
By CURT ANDERSON, Associated Press WriterMon Aug 28, 1:29 PM ET

A federal judge on Monday declared a new Florida voter registration lawunconstitutional, ruling that its stiff penalties for violations threatenfree speech rights and that political parties were improperly exempted.

The 48-page ruling by U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz means that stateauthorities cannot enforce the provisions of the law. It took effect Jan. 1and has been blamed by several labor unions and nonprofit groups foreffectively blocking voter registration drives across the state because ofthe financial risk.

"If third-party voter registration organizations permanently cease theirvoter registration efforts, Florida citizens will be stripped of animportant means and choice of registering to vote and of associating withone another," Seitz wrote.


Victory Fund, Planned Parenthood Support Democrat Keechl

Fort Lauderdale - Democratic candidate Ken Keechl - whose agenda of lower
taxes, controlled spending, and sensible development has propelled a strong
challenge to his Republican opponent -- has picked up two key endorsements
in his race for the District 4 seat on the Broward County Commission: the
Victory Fund and Planned Parenthood PAC (political action committee).

"I'm pleased that my civil rights background has led to the endorsement of
two key groups that understand the importance of individual rights and
choice," Keechl said. "Victory Fund and Planned Parenthood bring
recognition, support, enthusiasm and energy into my campaign. I heartily
accept their endorsements."

The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund is the nation's largest GLBT (gay, lesbian,
bisexual, transgender) political action committee and one of the nation's
largest non-connected PACs. The Victory Fund provides strategic, technical
and financial support to openly gay candidates and officials. Keechl is the
only Victory Fund-endorsed candidate in Florida. To view Keechl's bio and
to contribute please click this link to the Victory Fund:

Planned Parenthood Voice for Choice Action Fund of South Palm Beach and
Broward Counties is a non-partisan PAC dedicated to supporting pro-choice,
pro-family planning candidates for local and state office. Planned
Parenthood PAC endorsed Keechl for his "consistent leadership an commitment
to expanding access to reproductive health care and information."

Keechl is challenging developer/lobbyist/career politician Jim Scott, the
only Republican on the nine-member Broward Commission. Today's New Times
details Scott's role as vice president of the consortium trying to develop
the American Golf Course - a huge swath of green space in Eastern Broward
County - into McMansions, even though as a sitting Commissioner he will have
to vote on the project. Scott stands to make millions from his
participation, despite the ethical considerations of his involvement.

"Elected officials should support the people's interests, not their own,"
Keechl said. "When I'm on the Commission, Broward residents will know that
their concerns are my concerns. The endorsements I received today
underscore my commitment to that principle."

# # #


Alex Sink - Democratic candidate for Chief Financial Officer of Florida

Calling All Floridians,

Are you aware that Alex Sink is the Democratic candidate for Chief Financial
Officer of Florida? In Alex, we have a tremendous opportunity to elect a
strong and extremely qualified woman to a state cabinet position. The
office of CFO is regarded as one of the most powerful positions in Florida,
second only to the governor's office.

Alex earned a reputation for credibility, integrity and fair dealing when
she served as President of Florida's largest bank, where she managed more
than $40 billion in assets while supervising more than 9,000 employees in
800 branches.

We all want to send a strong message on November 7th about the future of
women and qualified candidates in Florida politics. Here are a few ways YOU
can make an immediate impact:

1. Most importantly, visit Alex's website (!!!
While there, go ahead and sign up for her email list.

2. Forward this email to everyone you know ! We want to spread the word
like wildfire.

3. Host a Porch Party or Organize a "Running In Heels" Party. Visit
( for more info.

4. Donate on Alex's secure website. Simply put, this race will be won on
visibility: if Alex can buy enough media time to get her name and financial
qualifications out there, she will win decisively in November. And
remember, a Floridian's personal contribution may be matched by the state up
to $250.

Alex wants to be our watchdog in Tallahassee to keep Florida government
Let's unite behind Alex Sink to make a difference on November 7!!!

Political advertisement paid for and approved by Alex Sink, Democrat, for
Chief Financial Officer.


Citizens switch brings huge rate increases, little choice for customers
You have little choice if policy is taken over

By Kathy Bushouse
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

September 3, 2006

Michael Burrell never asked for a new insurance policy for his Boca Ratonhome.

Because he lives east of Interstate 95, an area where few private propertyinsurers are willing to tread, Burrell assumed no company other thanstate-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. would cover the wind risk onhis three-bedroom, three-bathroom home.

Then in late June, Burrell got a notice in the mail that his coverage wasshifting to a different insurer. Last year, his annual premium cost $1,595.This year, it's $4,581 -- a 187 percent increase.

Staying with Citizens wasn't an option. With a private insurance company nowoffering to cover his home, Burrell couldn't refuse -- no matter the price.


The Miami Herald

Poll: Davis-Smith race a tossup

A recent Miami Herald poll suggested the race between Jim Davis and RodSmith in the Democratic primary for governor is too close to call.

Despite Big Sugar's avalanche of attacks, Jim Davis is holding onto a modestlead over Rod Smith in the Democratic primary for governor.

A new Miami Herald poll shows Davis edging out Smith by five percentagepoints, the same gap found in last month's survey. Since then, sugar growershave unleashed a multimillion-dollar ad campaign against Davis for missingvotes in Congress and rejecting compensation for two wrongfully convictedblack men.

The poll's error margin of 4.5 percentage points makes Tuesday's electionimpossible to call.


Gay vote important in governor primary
Democrats less reserved in seeking support

By Anthony Man
Political Writer

September 3, 2006

Democratic candidates looking for anything that might give them an edge inTuesday's gubernatorial primary are courting gay and lesbian voters morethan ever.

Activists and analysts say it shows the growing political clout of the gaycommunity and the passing of an era in which campaigns feared a backlashfrom conservative voters.

"You've got the two Democrats trying to outmaneuver each other," said EricJohnson, the openly gay chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-BocaRaton, whose district spans Broward and Palm Beach counties. "I think it'sreally refreshing and it says a lot about how the politics has changed thatthey're both going after the gay community."


In My Opinion

Governor's race: entertaining, not enlightening

By Carl Hiaasen

The Florida gubernatorial race has devolved into the usual tinkling match,but it's not without entertainment value.

On the Republican side, Charlie Crist and Tom Gallagher each presentshimself not only as a rapt worshiper of Jeb Bush, but as his clone andrightful heir.

Their commercials are beatifically punctuated with Jeb's name and image, asCrist and Gallagher compete witlessly for the title of ``most conservative.''

Of the two candidates, Gallagher has undergone the most mystical makeover.In recent campaigns he cast himself as a moderate, but this year he hasproudly staked out a position slightly to the right of loony Pat Buchanan.

He seems especially excitable on the topic of gay marriages, which (he fails to note) not a single other candidate for governor supports.


Goodman: Vital issues take a back seat to political mudslinging
Howard Goodman
Palm Beach columnist

September 3, 2006

I've been having this nightmare.

It's just terrible: I look at the TV and I see an image of a man who resembles U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson. But it's in blotchy gray, and he seemsdrunk. I think he might be getting ready to take a poke at me.

Damning words are stamped across his face. Words like: "Do-Nothing." And"Liberal."

It gets worse. A voice says this Nelson is responsible for Florida's highinsurance rates!

And recommends that I vote for Katherine Harris.

Later I see a picture of governor candidate Charlie Crist. It must have beena discard at the Fotomat, because the likeness sure isn't flattering.



Big Sugar Sours Florida Governor's Race with Falsehoods
Outside groups funded by U.S. Sugar mount deceitful attacks on a Democratic
primary candidate

September 1, 2006
Modified:September 1, 2006

In the Florida Democratic primary for governor, Rep. Jim Davis has been thetarget of a series of attacks by outside groups funded largely by U.S. SugarCorp. According to state records, one group is 100% funded by U.S. Sugar;the other has recieved $1.6 million in contributions from U.S. Sugar overthe past two weeks alone.

A TV ad sponsored by one of the groups says Davis "voted to deny somestruggling workers the minimum wage." However, the bill Davis voted foractually called for a raise in the minimum wage for the vast majority of workers.