Saturday, October 06, 2007

FLORIDA DIGEST October 6, 2007

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Posted on Fri, Oct. 05, 2007

14th person seeks post of interim Broward sheriff

A former Broward Sheriff's Office crime scene technician has applied to bethe interim sheriff.

Bruce Hirdler, who now works at a hardware store, is one of 14 people whohave submitted their names to Gov. Charlie Crist, seeking appointment. Cristhas not indicated when he will pick an interim sheriff.

Hirdler, a 60-year-old Republican, lives in Pompano Beach. Crist appointedMaj. Al Lamberti as the acting sheriff in September after Ken Jenneresigned. Jenne pleaded guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion.

Many political observers expect Crist to appoint Lamberti because he is afellow Republican and a seasoned law enforcement official.

Meanwhile, the union representing the Broward sheriff's firefighters said itendorses Lamberti for the job, citing his knowledge of BSO and years withthe agency.

An interim sheriff will serve until the 2008 election.



Thompson Loses Motion to Sue Judge

Gets Disciplinary Referral Stayed Pending Tuesday's Hearing
Friday, 05 October 2007 17:11

Judge Adalberto Jordan has just dispatched as specious and without meritanother one of Mr. Thompson's amended complaints, this one which asked theCourt to permit Thompson to name the Judge as a defendant in his suitagainst the Florida Bar.

The court declared that the proposal was outside the scope of the Rules ofFederal Procedure on one hand, and that he previously advised Thompson thatno more amendments would be allowed.

The legal issues in the case are expected to crystallize in a Miami federalcourtroom on Tuesday, when the Judge will hear the Florida Bar's Motions toDismiss Thompson's federal civil rights suit.

In the interim, the court has temporarily stayed his referral ofdisciplinary action to the Ad Hoc Committee on Peer Review until after theShow Cause hearing, which will now also be heard on Tuesday. The issue iswhether Thompson acted recklessly in attaching graphic gay pornography tohis pleadings, part of a letter which accused National Gay News PublisherNorm Kent, an attorney, of trafficking in obscenity.

The logic Thompson used was that since you can find a link on Norm Kent'slaw firm to a link on NGN which hosts adult sites, it means Norm Kent isillegally transmitting obscenity. Judge Jordan effectively responded toThompson by ruling earlier this week that "this law suit is not about otherattorneys. It is about a Florida Bar disciplinary proceeding being broughtagainst Mr. Thompson," adding that the "moral standards of this world" arebeyond the court's jurisdiction.

more . . . . .


Monday, Oct. 8

Relax (or recuperate) on Columbus Day to the sounds of recording artistRichard Cortez in the Manchester Room at Georgie's Alibi in the Shoppes ofWilton Manors. He'll be performing live between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. (and he'll also be there on Sunday, if you like).


No-Fault Coverage To Return In January

Published: Oct 6, 2007

TALLAHASSEE - Drivers will once again be required to carry personal injuryprotection in their auto insurance policies as of Jan. 1 after lawmakersagreed Friday to return Florida to its status as a no-fault state.House Republicans threw a wrench into a deal on Thursday when, against theirlead negotiator's advice, they targeted the fees collected by plaintiffs'attorneys in a bill sent to the full House floor. But Friday, attorney feecaps were stripped from the bill, and both chambers passed the measure.

"It appears that the House was struck with an inordinate amount of goodsense after we went home last night, and they corrected their bill," saidSen. Bill Posey, R-Rockledge, the upper chamber's lead negotiator.

Rep. Ron Reagan, R-Bradenton, who amended the original deal to include thelegal fee caps, said he wasn't going to let the cap issue derail the bill.

"When it came right down to it, I wasn't going to let the bill blow up," hesaid. "I think PIP is more important than even my situation."



Our view: The last resort

Sen. Nelson right to sue Democratic National Committee in primary fight

It should never have come to this.

But Florida's two leading Democrats -- Sen. Bill Nelson and U.S. Rep. AlceeHastings -- had no choice Thursday but to file suit against the DemocraticNational Committee for attempting to freeze out voters in the Jan. 29presidential primary.

The DNC got into a snit after the GOP-controlled Legislature moved up theprimary date, saying it violated party rules.

It then stripped Florida of all 210 delegates to the Democratic NationalConvention next year, and banned White House contenders from campaigning inthe state.

The arrogant move is downright crazy because it means the ballots of morethan 4 million Floridians who are registered Democrats -- including 116,440in Brevard County -- won't count in the important sweepstakes.

Nelson and Hastings rightly argue the DNC and its chairman, Howard Dean, areviolating the Constitution's free speech guarantee and the Voting Rights Actof 1965, which protects voters from racial discrimination.



Sink has faith in Florida real estate

CFO thinks state can overcome its problems
By Will Brown

Florida is a resilient state that will bounce back from the real estatedownturn, Alex Sink, the state's chief financial officer, said Friday at theReal Estate Trends and Networking Conference.

"There is opportunity for the future," she said. "This is Florida. We'vealways had entrepreneurs. ... We've always found a way to make chicken saladout of something that wasn't chicken salad."

Hosted by the Florida State Real Estate Network, the conference was held atthe University Club inside Doak Campbell Stadium. Lawrence Yun and JoeScarborough were also speakers. Yun is the managing director and senioreconomist for the National Association of Realtors and a former congressman.Scarborough is a television host on MSNBC.

Sink brought a positive message to the audience of developers, real estateagents, bankers and students, but she recognized challenges ahead. Sinkreferred to a story in the Sept. 29 edition of The Wall Street Journal,which reported on the decline in the number of people flocking to the stateand asked: "Is Florida Over?"

"You should read what the national naysayers are saying about Florida," Sinksaid. "Do we have our problems? Of course we do."

Consistent with her statements since taking the position in January, Sinksaid solutions need to be long term.



A Statement Regarding Transgender Equality from the South Florida Committeeof the Human Rights Campaign

As the South Florida Committee of the Human Rights Campaign, we reiterateour strong and unqualified support for transgender equality.

Consequently last week's proposal to strip transgender protections from ENDAhas left us saddened and frustrated, but we recognize that the Houseleadership has granted us a critical window of opportunity in which toconvince our South Florida lawmakers that ENDA can and must includetransgender protections. It is crucial that everyone contact theirCongressional representative, and each South Florida member's contactinformation is listed below.

At the local level, we recognize that our transgender neighbors lack notonly the federal protections which an inclusive ENDA would provide but alsothe local protections which Broward's gays and lesbians have enjoyed foralmost 10 years, and we have made a commitment to do everything within ourpower to help rectify this.

Our work toward this shared goal has fostered a wonderful partnership withBroward's Transgender Equal Rights Initiative and with the wider transgenderand equal rights communities, and we value these partnerships immensely.

We are listing the contact information for the Broward County Commissionersbelow. We urge everyone to contact each commissioner in order to (1)request an update on the status of adding transgender protections inBroward, and (2) to make sure each commissioner knows that this cannot waituntil 2008. We were told this would happen in the fall of 2007 and theneed is now.

We realize that it is not possible to have equality for all when the membersof the transgender community are excluded from civil rights legislation. Itis unacceptable to remove them from ENDA and it is unacceptable to delayexpanded protections in Broward.

We call on everyone to contact their House Representative and all ninecounty commissioners on regarding these two issues immediately.

House Members:
District 17 Kendrick Meek (202) 225-4506 & (305) 690-5905
District 18 Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (202) 225-3931 & (305) 220-3281
District 19 Robert Wexler (202) 225-3001 &(561) 972-6454
District 20 Wasserman-Schultz (202) 225-7931 & (954) 437-3936
District 21 Lincoln Diaz-Balart (202) 225-4211 & (305) 470-8555
District 22 Ron Klein (202) 225-3026 & (954) 522-4579
District 23 Alcee Hastings (202) 225-1313 & (954) 733-2800
District 25 Mario Diaz-Balart (202) 225-2778 & (305) 225-6866

Broward County Commissioners:
Comm Diana Wassserman-Rubin (954) 357-7008
Comm Suzanne Gunzburger (954) 357-7006
Comm Ilene Lieberman (954) 357-7001
Comm Joseph Eggelletion (954) 357-7009
Comm John Rodstrom (954) 357-7007
Comm Kristin Jacobs (954) 357-7002
Comm Stacy Ritter (954) 357-7003
Comm Lois Wexler (954) 357-7005
Comm Ken Keechl (954) 357-7004


No-show Democrats stick to their pledge

What should you do if you're a Democratic presidential candidate accused ofignoring Florida voters? Blame 'the pledge' to four other states.
Posted on Thu, Oct. 04, 2007


Barack Obama pulled his Florida political director out of the state. HillaryClinton nixed her brother's appearance at the Weston Democratic Club. JohnEdwards rebuffed a Fort Lauderdale banquet honoring gay Democraticactivists.

When the Florida Democratic Party holds its state convention in three weeks,all of the major Democratic candidates for president will take a pass.

The reason: ``the pledge.''

Allegiance is not to the flag, but to four smaller states blessed by thenational Democratic Party to hold the earliest 2008 primaries. Floridacrashed the calendar when it moved its primary to Jan. 29, sending Democratsin the four states -- Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina --scrambling to come up with an unprecedented loyalty oath.

With the nomination riding on the leadoff contests in the four early states,the candidates signed on the dotted line. Under the pledge, the onlyactivity permitted in Florida is fundraising, turning the steady buzz overthe primary campaign into the gentle swoosh of checks being whisked away.

''The grass roots is angry,'' said Ann Zucker, president of the Council ofDemocratic Club Presidents in Broward County. ``There's no way I would notcampaign for the Democratic candidate who wins, but I'm not sure I will havethe passion I felt during other elections. . . . I'm taking thispersonally.''

Since the pledge went into effect Saturday, Obama and Edwards have come andgone, raising money behind closed doors and leaving little trace of aFlorida appearance. Obama's fielding of a few questions from reportersoutside one reception in Tampa led to mildly suspicious write-ups in Nevadaand New Hampshire newspapers -- the pledge doesn't allow news conferences inFlorida.

''Barack Obama is committed to abiding by the letter of the pledge,'' saidspokeswoman Jen Psaki. ``It's unfortunate that his friendly gesture ofsaying hello to local media was misconstrued into something.



[TheDolphinDemocrats] MEDIA ALERT - F.Y.I.

Broward Democratic Chairman, Mitchell Ceasar, will be a guest on the MichaelPutney show on Sunday, October 7, 2007. The show aired locally on Channel 10at 11:30 a.m. is a live public affairs presentation, featuring news makersand opinions. Topics are expected to include the recent Democratic Partycontroversies.


Ft. Lauderdale

Light University Sponsors the Showing Of
Dangerous Living - Coming Out in the Developing World
6:00 PM - Sunday, October 7, 2007
The Great Hall - Sunshine Cathedral

"This is an incredibly compelling, insightful, and harrowing wake-up call toactivists and people who care about human rights around the world. Thevoices of the courageous LGBT folk interviewed from around the world in thisfilm are inspiring and challenge us all to join in the internationalstruggle for human rights." Danielle Silber ( reviewer.)

There is no cost to see the DVD.
An offering will be taken in support of the work of the MCC Global JusticeTeam.

Please contact Reverend Canon Robert Griffin, Academica Dean for moreinformation at 954.462.2004 ext. 206


Fort Lauderdale OKs 42-story condo next to Stranahan House

By Brittany Wallman
October 3, 2007

FORT LAUDERDALE Under threat of multimillion-dollar lawsuits, citycommissioners voted 3-2 late Tuesday night to allow the controversial IconLas Olas condo to be built next to the historic Stranahan House.

A previous City Commission had approved the Icon condo on the Hyde ParkMarket site, but that was threatened by a court decision. Commissioners wereordered by the courts to consider whether the tower should receive a"certificate of appropriateness" to build on land that has been declaredhistoric and is next to a historic property.

Stranahan House supporters hoped the historic angle would help them achievewhat multiple lawsuits and years of passionate fighting have failed to bringso far - a denial of the 42-story tower they don't want next door.

Commissioner Christine Teel, a longtime supporter of Stranahan House,nevertheless said the "die was cast" when a previous City Commission votedto allow it.

"I don't see us backing out of it now," she said.

more . . . . .


Davie, Florida

The Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova Southeastern University is pleased toannounce this year's Goodwin lecture series, which is entitled: 30 YearsAfter Anita Bryant's Crusade: The Continuing Role of Morality in theDevelopment of Legal Rights for Sexual Minorities. With the controversies surrounding the mayor of Fort Lauderdale this past summer, this lectureseries is very relevant and timely. The lectures are open to the public andtake place at the law center on the Davie Campus.

We have a great group of speakers this year, including the first openly gayEpiscopalian Bishop, Gene Robinson. Our first speaker is Suzanne Goldberg,who will discuss how the U.S. Supreme Court addresses and has addressedsexual orientation issues. Her public presentation is on Thursday October11, 6-7 pm. Professor Goldberg spent nearly a decade as a leading attorneyon lesbian and gay rights issues with Lambda Legal Defense. While atLambda, she served as counsel in a wide range of cases in employment,immigration, and family law, as well as two cases that eventually becamecornerstone gay rights victories before the US Supreme Court, includingRomer v. Evans and Lawrence v. Texas. She currently is a law professor atColumbia Law School.

The remaining schedule includes:

Thursday October 25, 6-7: David Mixner, Author and Political Activist whoworked with Bill Clinton.

Tuesday November 6, 6-7: Matt Foreman, Executive Director of the NationalLesbian and Gay Task Force

Tuesday November 27, 6-7: Rev. Gene Robinson, the First Openly GayEpiscopalian Bishop

We hope that you can make this very exciting lecture series. If you haveany questions, please contact Anthony Niedwiecki or at (954) 262-6206.

A map and directions to the law center can be found at

Anthony S. Niedwiecki
Associate Prof. of Law
Director of LSV Program
Shepard Broad Law Center
Nova Southeastern Univ.
3305 College Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314

(954) 262-6206


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