Friday, February 01, 2008

FLORIDA DIGEST February 1, 2008

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ACLU sues Panhandle school over rainbow stickers
The Associated Press

February 1, 2008


The American Civil Liberties Union claims a Florida Panhandle school keptstudents from having rainbow stickers on their notebooks, suppressing theirright to free speech.

A lawsuit against Ponce de Leon High School was filed Thursday in federalcourt.

The ACLU says the school told them any form of expression in support for gayrights would "likely be disruptive." It also claims the School Board'sattorney said a rainbow sticker could mean students are members of an"illegal organization."


From Ron Mills

Did Florida Mean Anything?

Bereft of delegates to the National Convention, a penalty imposed by the Democratic National Committee for noncompliance with the prescribed calendar, Florida nevertheless mattered, maybe a lot.

More than 1.7 million Democratic voters cast ballots in Tuesday's primary, the largest presidential turnout in the state's history, exceeding the revious 1976 high by more than 400,000 votes and more than doubling the 2004 turnout and tripling the 2000 turnout. The winner, Senator Hillary Clinton, amassed more votes than did any previous Democratic contender, including two past southern presidents -- Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.The voting in Florida mirrored the national demographic composition far more ccurately than did events in South Carolina , New Hampshire or Iowa . 31% of the vote was cast by African-Americans (19%) and Hispanics (12%). Unlike in Iowa and New Hampshire (overwhelmingly white) and South Carolina (55% African-American), in Florida a diverse agglomeration of voters melded the final results.

Replicating the results in Nevada , the Clinton campaign scored heavily with hispanics, garnering an impressive 69% of the vote and nearly offsetting Senator Obama's 73%-25% margin among African-Americans. If results in New York , California and New Jersey match the Florida outcome, Obama will have a difficult time amassing statewide margins, as his share of the white vote has declined since Iowa and New Hampshire . Florida 's white voters favored Clinton by a 53%-23% margin.

On a geographic level, Clinton defeated Obama in every region of the state, with the exception of the heavily conservative northern Florida area. As for the crucible in the general election, the Orlando and Tampa ticket-splitters, Senator Clinton won easily, with a stunning 52%-33% advantage among Florida suburban voters.

There are other demographic trends warranting attention: There was a substantial gender gap -- Clinton won females by 23% and males by a scant 4%; Clinton won white males by 18%. Liberals and moderates strongly favored Clinton , while Obama garnered a 1% advantage with conservatives. Support for Clinton among Catholic (63%) and Jewish (58%) voters even exceeded the statewide percentage.

To be fair, Obama had to overcome several hurdles. The share of voters 18-29, his strongest group, composed less than 10% of the vote, in a state where senior voters compose the most important voting bloc. Second, all three major candidates, including John Edwards, honored the Fowler Family's 4 State Pledge of prohibition on campaigning in the state. Obama has benefited from strong organizational activities in other primaries.

Florida , however, matters. It will soon encompass the third-largest population in the nation, trailing only California and Texas . Moreover, it is a general-election battleground for both parties, unlike California (Democratic), Texas (Republican) and New York (Democratic), the other large states.

As we approach Super Tuesday, the race for the nomination remains competitive. While Clinton is favored in the larger states, Obama will amass a considerable number of delegates in New York and California ; will carry his home state, Illinois ; and is favored to win several caucus states. In a race where clarity was anticipated, even prior to February 5, it now seems likely that the Republicans will coronate a prospective nominee, John McCain, before the Clinton-Obama contest is decided. While the departure of John Edwards renders the prospect of a brokered convention extremely remote, it is likely that the Democratic struggle will be fiercely contested for weeks to come.

Source: NCEC

For More on Florida Progressive Politics See:


From Mark La Fontaine for Florida House of Representatives, District 92.

Friends and Supporters -

We're on a roll! Our campaign has picked up steam and is moving toward Election Day in August with momentum. Here's a quick recap of what's been happening:

US Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, spent a day campaigning in the Fort Lauderdale area with Mark.

First, the chairman was the special guest at a fundraising brunch at the Wilton Manors home of Mike Trost. The small group event allowed guests to mingle over a tasty buffet, and hear Rep. Frank discuss Mark's unique qualifications for the Florida Legislature. Recognizing Mark's profession as an accountant, Rep. Frank said that most decisions made in the Legislature are ultimately financial in nature, so Mark's experience as the only accountant will provide great insight and benefits for the residents of district 92.

In the evening, Rep. Frank was the special guest at Lips, a drag dinner theater in Oakland Park. The event drew Broward's leading GLBT activists, elected officials, and Mark's extended family. Dinner was great and the show was fantastic! Rep. Frank again addressed the crowd and extolled Mark's background and experience as what the Florida Legislature needs - now!

If you missed the events with Barney Frank but want to contribute to their success, click HERE.

Mark and his friends and supporters rang in 2008 in style - at the home of rock legend Chuck Panozzo of the group Styx and his partner Tim McCarron. Chuck and Tim's beautiful home was the setting for a rocking New Year's Eve, and featured performances by Tiffany Arieagus and Nikki Adams.

Host a House Party or a Coffee with Mark

We need your help to win! Mark is moving throughout the district - he's everywhere! - but he wants to meet YOU and your circle of friends and neighbors. Call us and we'll help you set up a house party for Mark, or just invite Mark over to meet your friends and neighbors for coffee. We need to spread the word about Mark's campaign and we need you!

To get on Mark's calendar email us at or call us at (954) 651-3147.

Speaking of money (and unfortunately campaigns always have to...) Mark's campaign raised more money than his opponents in the last quarter and for all of 2007. That's no reason to let up, though, because it costs a lot to run a professional campaign.

Help Get Mark on the Ballot

Please take a moment to print, fill out and sign a petition so Mark can get on the August primary ballot. Completed petitions should be sent to our office at P.O. Box 23697, Oakland Park, FL 33307-3697. All registered voters -- Democrats, Republicans and Independents -- in the 92nd House District are eligible to sign the petition form.

For all of you who have already signed the petition THANK YOU SO MUCH! Please forward this message to your friends and relatives who might be interested in helping us with our petition drive.

For any of you who are able to volunteer to get petition signatures in your community, please call the campaign office at (954) 651-3147.

Message From Mark

I'm excited about this campaign and all the great supporters I've met along the way. We have a lot more coming up, and with your continued support and the hard work of many, many people, I'll be taking my pledge of providing fiscal accountability in the Legislature to Tallahassee. I'm the only accountant in this race (and will be the only one in the Legislature) - the only veteran in this race - and the only candidate who has spent his life fighting for the civil rights of ALL Floridians,

There's too much at stake in this election, and Barney Frank laid it out for us this month. It's all about money - your money. I want to be sure it's spent wisely, on the things we all need to make Florida a better place to live.

As you know, we have many months ahead of us, and lots of money to raise. A contribution of $500, $250, $100, $25 or any amount you are comfortable giving will help our efforts to bring change in Tallahassee.

Thank you for your support!



Political Advertisement Paid for and Approved by Mark LaFontaine, Democrat, for Florida House of Representatives, District 92.


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