Tuesday, October 31, 2006


rays.list@comcast.net and we'll be happy to send the full article.



Addition shakes up governor debate
By S.V Date And Brian E. Crowley

Palm Beach Post Staff Writers

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

TAMPA - The Florida governor's race felt the impact of a human monkey wrenchMonday when Max Linn's last-minute entry into the final debate as athird-party candidate shook up the night and, possibly, the race itself.

In a rapid-paced hour, Republican front-runner Charlie Crist frequentlyfound himself ganged up on by Reform Party candidate Linn and DemocraticU.S. Rep. Jim Davis. And, thanks to Washington-based moderator ChrisMatthews, Crist for the first time in the debates was put in the position ofdefending an unpopular president and the war in Iraq.

Linn and Davis both gave President Bush a grade of F for his performance inoffice, mirroring poor approval ratings nationally and in Florida. Crist,the state attorney general, gave him a B.



Voters were losers in debate
Published October 31, 2006

The last debate between Florida's candidates for governor Monday night wassupposed to give voters one final opportunity to size up Charlie Crist andJim Davis on the key issues facing this state. Instead it was hijacked by acable television windbag and a third-party candidate who had no businessbeing on the same stage.

Moderator Chris Matthews of MSNBC's Hardball apparently forgot it was adebate between candidates for governor, not Congress. He wasted most of thehour by asking questions about the war in Iraq, a New Jersey Supreme Courtdecision on gay marriage and the Mark Foley sex scandal. He rehashed the2000 election. He burned up time demanding that Crist label himself as afiscal conservative or a social values conservative (fiscal) and trying toget Davis to declare himself a liberal (he's not). Matthews got bogged downin a lengthy discussion over a paper trail for electronic voting machines,and he apparently didn't realize there is a property insurance crisis inthis state until he was being driven in from the airport. This is whathappens when a Washington television personality brings a national agenda toFlorida's race for governor.



Third Party Changes Focus Of Final Debate

Published: Oct 31, 2006

TAMPA - Sparked by the last-minute addition of the Reform Party candidateand the moderator's tough questioning, the two leading candidates forgovernor traded body blows before a national audience Monday night.

U.S. District Judge James Whittemore ruled just half an hour before the 7p.m. live telecast that third-party candidate Max Linn had the right toparticipate in what had been planned for nearly a year as a two-candidatedebate.

Linn hustled to the WFLA studio as station employees scrambled to add athird lectern, microphone and enough metal folding chairs for the Linnsupporters along with those of Democrat Jim Davis and Republican CharlieCrist.



Prisoner of privatization
Palm Beach Post Editorial

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Floridians who thought Gov. Bush was on to something when he toutedprivatization as the cure-all for government's ills know better now afterseven years of disappointing results. When it comes to disappointment, noprivate contractor has been worse than Prison Health Services.

The Department of Corrections awarded the company a contract toprovide health care in 13 South Florida facilities late last year. Then-DOCSecretary James Crosby ignored warnings about the contractor's track record.PHS faces dozens of lawsuits across the nation over allegations of shoddycare. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office dropped PHS in 2004 after aseries of suits and complaints from inmates; the county health departmentalso blamed the company for allowing staph infections to spread through thejail.

Crosby discounted the complaints and insisted that PHS was the rightchoice. "As a result of this contract," he said, "it is estimated thatFlorida's taxpayers will save nearly $3 million between now and June 2007."



October 31, 2006

Our view: We recommend on amendments

Five proposed changes to the Florida Constitution should be rejected,one passed

Six proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution come before votersNov. 7.

Yesterday, we weighed in on Amendment 3, which would require voters topass any future amendments by a higher margin of 60 percent.

That makes it easier for lawmakers to muzzle the power of ordinarycitizens who want to bring about change in state government, which is whyvoters should vote "no" and reject it.

Of the five other proposals on ballots, only Amendment 4 is acitizens' initiative. The others are sponsored by state lawmakers.




Analysis: Cross fire shakes Crist from sound bites
By ADAM C. SMITH, Times Political Editor
Published October 31, 2006

TAMPA - Looks like Charlie Crist was right to want to avoid lots ofgubernatorial debates.

The second and final televised debate Monday night was a rough one for theRepublican front-runner. Moderator Chris Matthews pressed hard forspecifics, rattling the normally unflappable attorney general who also faceda tag-team of jabs from Democrat Jim Davis and Reform Party nominee MaxLinn, a surprise last-minute addition to the show.

Leading in the polls and outspending Davis more than 4-1 on TV ads, Cristmust have left the Tampa studio grateful that he has to hang onto his leadjust one week longer.

Talk about great political theater. Barely five minutes before air-time,stunned campaign strategists for Crist and Davis saw a third lectern wheeledin for Linn, who had just won a court order allowing his participation.Lifelong Republican Linn played the protest candidate role to the hilt,bashing both major candidates but taking most shots at Crist.

"Answer the question, Charlie, for a change," Linn said at one point. Hecalled Crist an "empty suit" and "a rubber stamp for the Republican Party."



Exactly who is running the new voting machines?

Florida's counties are not required to ask.
Published October 31, 2006

Florida knows more about the clerk who sells lottery tickets at the cornerstore than it does about the technician who troubleshoots voting machines atthe corner precinct.

That's because lottery ticket retailers must undergo criminal backgroundchecks, but there are no such state requirements for the employees of thecompanies that manufacture and maintain voting equipment for Florida's 67counties.

A Florida felon can't vote, but he or she can own, sell, program and fix themachines that nonfelons use to vote - unless counties prohibit that in theirindividual contracts.



Early voting popularity stays strong
By George Bennett

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Early voting remains popular in Palm Beach County, particularly insouth-county Democratic strongholds, first-week figures released Mondayshow.

During the week that ended Sunday, 22,077 people got a head start on theNov. 7 general election by casting ballots at the county's 15 early votingsites. Only Broward County (27,798) and Miami-Dade (22,619) had more earlyvoters than Palm Beach County during the first week.

There were 7,045 early voters in Martin County and 4,666 in St. Lucie Countythrough Sunday.



October 31, 2006

Copeland: Will be voice of consumers

By Stephen D. Price

Democrat Eric Copeland recently drove up Florida's west coast, tellingvoters on campaign stops that if elected to the Cabinet position ofagriculture and consumer services commissioner, he won't be as light onprotecting consumer interests as his Republican opponent and incumbentCharles Bronson.

''At the end of the day, being agriculture commissioner will be aboutforging government policies that will help farming stay a viable businessentity,'' said Copeland, in an interview. ''It's not about milking a cow.''

Copeland, a Miami attorney, is in his first run for statewide office.


The Sun-Sentinel


Hate crowds? Head to polls before Nov. 7 for early voting

By Melissa Hoyos
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

October 31, 2006

They wanted to avoid long lines, parking-lot traffic jams or merely cross"voting" off their to-do list.

Whatever the reason, thousands ofBroward County residents won't have tovisit the polls on Election Day, because they chose to vote early.

As of Sunday, 27,798 of the county's 923,949 voters visited an early pollingsite, said Mary Cooney, public service director of the Broward Supervisor ofElections Office.

Residents say early voting lets them decide when and where they cast theirvote, while candidates say they use early polling places for quality time toshake hands and beg for support.



Agriculture commissioner race pits old Florida against the new

By David Fleshler
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

October 31, 2006

The race to be the state's commissioner of agriculture and consumer servicesis a contest between old Florida and new.

Charles Bronson, the Republican incumbent, is a fifth-generation Floridianwho grew up on a cattle ranch near Kissimmee, just south of Orlando. Hespeaks with the Southern accent that once prevailed in Florida and thinkshis primary role is to protect the state's rural economy of vegetable farms,nurseries, citrus groves and cattle ranches.

His Democratic challenger, Coral Gables lawyer Eric Copeland, followed thepath of most of today's Floridians by moving in from out of state. He leftsuburban Chicago 22 years ago to attend college and law school at theUniversity of Miami, remaining in South Florida to open a law practice andengage in local politics.



There is only 1 week left until Election Day and we are on the verge ofmaking some historic changes.But it may not happen unless each one of us is willing to commit at leastone hour in the final week to helping get Democrats elected throughoutBroward County.

The Democratic Vote Center is in need of volunteers in this final week forphone banking and canvassing. If every person who receives this email wereto volunteer at least 1 hour in the coming week, we could significanlyimpact voter turnout in Broward County.

And make no doubt - we need to get the word out. Republican campaigns up anddown the ballot are sparing no expense with their sleezy half-truth ads andmailings. Ron Klein, Ken Keechl and Martin Kiar in particular are beingtargeted with some of the most vile attacks ever seen.

So... Call JD Camp at the Vote Center at 954-802-2202 and sign up to help.

You can really make a difference - in Broward County, in Tallahassee and inWashington DC.

The GLBT GOTV center is located at 1700 N. Andrews Ave. in Fort Lauderdale,right across the street from the South Florida Gay & Lesbian CommunityCenter.




The Palm Beach Post

Crist, Davis _ and Linn _ meet in final debate in governor's race
AP Political Writer

TAMPA, Fla. - Charlie Crist and Jim Davis argued over the best way to lowerproperty taxes, voting issues, gay adoption and other topics during a debateMonday that Reform Party candidate Max Linn fought his way into at the lastmoment.

Davis, a Democrat, said he will lower property taxes by forcing theLegislature to rescind some of the tax breaks passed during Gov. Jeb Bush'sadministration - a plan Crist criticized.

"There have been $20 billion of special interest tax giveaways over the lasteight years," Davis said. "I'll go back and repeal some of those."

Crist said he will not raise taxes, if elected.

"Let me tell you exactly what my opponent just said: He wants to raise yourtaxes," Crist said. "He wants to raise a billion in new taxes on seniors andsavers."



St. Petersburg Times

Questions, candidates offer up 3-ring circus
A blunt moderator and extra hopeful add to the sharp talk.

By ALEX LEARY, Times Staff Writer
Published October 30, 2006

TAMPA - With the surprise, last-minute inclusion of a third candidate inMonday's gubernatorial debate, Republican frontrunner Charlie Crist took abeating from two sides as the tightening contest enters its final week.

Reform Party candidate Max Linn, who won a court ruling 20 minutes beforethe 7 p.m. debate, criticized Democrat Jim Davis but reserved his venom forCrist, the state's attorney general.

Linn called Crist a "rubber stamp for the Republican Party," questioned histies to the insurance industry and mocked the lavish fundraisers that havegiven Crist an enormous money advantage.



Crist, Davis and Linn zigzag from one heated issue to another in debate

By Mark Hollis
Tallahassee Bureau

October 31, 2006

TAMPA -- The Florida governor's race turned lively Monday night when athird-party candidate and a tough moderator took on the major partycontenders for a freewheeling televised debate that zigzagged frompocketbook issues and crime to gay marriage and the war in Iraq.

After months of attempting to rally voters with scripted messages on how topare back insurance costs and property taxes, Republican Charlie Crist andDemocrat Jim Davis were forced off their playbooks during their second andfinal televised debate.

The hourlong exchange was chaotic and at times seemed almost hostile, inpart because of a federal judge's last-minute ruling that allowed ReformParty candidate Max Linn to participate. Chris Matthews, a feisty politicaltalk show host on MSNBC, challenged the candidates' rehearsed rhetoric,often cutting them off mid-sentence and pressing for specifics.


The Independent Gay News

Laffing Matterz: Independent

Theatre Club Offer

By Paul Harris

This is an offer you would be a fool to miss, and that's no joke! LaffingMatterz, the comedy club restaurant, at 219 South Andrews Avenue is offeringa terrific deal to readers of The Independent as they launch their newWednesday night show this Fall. The Independent Theatre Club evening is onWednesday, November 1 at 7pm. Instead of paying the normal $45 for salad,entrée, beverage and show they are offering readers of The Independent ahalf price deal - $22.50 plus tax and gratuity. If you wish to orderappetizers or desserts from the menu in addition you can. There is also afully stocked bar and extensive wine list. You are not going to find abetter deal in town. Trust me.

Earlier this year this newspaper celebrated our second anniversary at therestaurant when we also announced our "People Of The Year Awards." Everyonewho went that night had a great time.. If you don't believe me, simply askanyone who helped make up the sell-out audience that night.

The menu is terrific and is the work of chef John Eustace. The list ofentrees includes tenderloin of beef, Chicken Tomaso, Pork Porterhouse,Teriyaki Salmon, Crabmeat Stuffed Shrimp, and my favorite, Chilean Sea Bass,along with a couple of vegetarian alternatives. There is also a chef'sspecial every night.

For $22.50 the evening on Wednesday, November 1 is a 'steal.' Many theaterrestaurants are infamous for the low quality of the food that they serve.The food at Laffing Matterz is excellent and the 75 minute show that isperformed after dinner by the resident team of performers is sharp andfunny.

Tickets can be purchased by calling 954.763.5236. REMEMBER TO MENTION THEINDEPENDENT WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR TICKETS!!!! There is lots of parking nearby.

We'll see you there!


The Sun-Sentinel


State may downgrade gators to 'game' and allow killing by homeowners

Associated Press

October 31, 2006, 6:48 AM EST

WEST PALM BEACH -- State wildlife officials have recommended that alligatorsbe downgraded from species of special concern to game within five years.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission also ruled Monday thathomeowners be allowed to kill nuisance alligators on their property or hirea trapper to do so. How to dispose of the animal once captured is still inquestion, said program coordinator Harry Dutton.

``It's likely that selling the alligator wouldn't be allowed, but ahomeowner could eat it at home,'' Dutton said.

The recommendations come after the first comprehensive review of the state'salligator management program in its 20-year history. The commission willconsider the recommendations at its December meeting.


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