NAACP: Mayor's Remarks Against Gay Hateful

 
 
 
Add the NAACP to the list of groups who have come out against Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle for his anti-gay remarks.

Local leaders with the civil rights organization said Wednesday the mayor's comments against the city's gay community are a form of hate and discrimination.  
 

My Email Exchange With Mayor Naugle

Jim,
99 percent of straight men that experiment with man on man sex are not gay.
gay is a being, not a sex act, it may even surprise you to know that someone can be gay without even having sex, gay is not about sex, it how and who you LOVE
 
These men in these public restrooms are 99 percent straight and would never live as or love as gay or love another man, LOVE makes you Gay not what you do with your plumbing.
Jim, you risk making your self out as being Ignorant of anything resembling psychology and making your critics right, when they say your are just saying these ignorant and false statements because, you have an AGENDA. 
 
Ron Mills

MAYORJAMES@aol.com wrote:
If they are having sex with men, they are not straight.




Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL.com.

Beth Frerking 
It's all so depressingly familiar. First comes the news of an arrest for lewd behavior in some public park or bathroom. Next follow the tortured explanations and emphatic rebuttals, often with a tremulous wife in tow. Finally, more often than not, comes the fall from grace and departure from public life.

On Tuesday, Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig insisted, "I am not gay and never have been" and apologized for not telling his family and friends about his arrest and guilty plea to disorderly conduct in a men's bathroom at the Minneapolis airport.

Earlier, he explained the incident as "a misunderstanding" by an undercover cop in an adjacent stall who mistook Craig's gestures for a sexual invitation.

Whatever happened in that bathroom, Craig is feeling the intense combustion of perceived dissonance between his publicly stated values and private behavior that might have violated those values. He certainly isn't the first.

Republican and Democratic politicians alike have faced charges of sexual misconduct; some have survived, others have foundered.

But the sting is never quite so potent, the irony not nearly so keen as when a self-proclaimed bearer of "traditional family values" finds himself (and it's almost always a "him") accused of engaging in behavior that he has condemned, particularly that of same-sex liaisons.

Lying to themselves

These high-profile political scandals raise an inevitable question: What is it with conservative male politicians who publicly espouse "traditional family values" while seeking same-sex relationships in the shadows? Do more of them live double lives than the population at large, or does the shock value of their actions simply make it seem like more?
Stephanie Coontz, a professor of history and family studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., sees two issues at play.

"One is a very general problem, and that is of people who preach absolutist values," she said. But the other particularly affects evangelicals and other conservatives who base their politics on the Bible.

"For people who take an Old Testament approach," she said, "homosexuality is so dissonant from their notion of morality that you have to lie to yourself 98 percent of the time."

In 1996, Coontz helped found the nonprofit Council on Contemporary Families, a coalition of moderate-to-liberal mental health researchers and practitioners, to offer an alternative to messages about family disseminated by conservative groups such as the Heritage Foundation and the Family Research Council.

"I don't think many of us can embrace it when we behave in ways we oppose. But they have to deny it ... and then they hate themselves, and I think there may be a certain 'Now I need to be caught'" phenomenon, she said.

Self-destructive choices    
Warren Throckmorton, an associate professor of psychology at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, has a radically different view on how to handle homosexuality.

But he agreed with Coontz about why these politicians sometimes "act out" their same-sex attractions in ways that leave the public scratching its collective head.

"It is a double-life scenario," said Throckmorton, who has developed a "sexual identity therapy framework" with a professor at Pat Robertson's Regent University to help people who are in conflict between their religious values and sexual desires.

"Quite often, these are men with sexual thoughts and feelings that are at odds with the other beliefs and values that they hold. They spend a lot of energy trying to contain those [feelings]…yet the more you try to resist something, the more it tends to be an internal bully."

That's when people make self-destructive choices, Throckmorton said.

"There's just a lot of secrecy. They don't have anyone they can confide in," he said. "And without this ability to have a confidant, or someone to work out these struggles with, the judgment can become impaired."

Double lives

Still, the repercussions differ, depending on a politician's political affiliation.
It's one thing for socially liberal politicians to come out of the closet; hardly anyone blinks an eye.

Consider former Rep. Gerry Studds and current Rep. Barney Frank, both from Massachusetts, and former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey. The first two faced no cost at the ballot box: Studds went on to be reelected for six terms after being censured in 1983 for a gay affair with a congressional page, and Frank remains in Congress today, long after he came out and even after he was reprimanded for his association with a male prostitute.

Only McGreevey left office, and he did so by proclaiming, "I am a gay American" -- hardly a repudiation of his sexuality.
 
It was quite another matter, though, when former Rep. Bob Bauman, a conservative Republican from Maryland who routinely criticized the state of American morality, was arrested in 1980 for trying to solicit sex from a teenaged male prostitute.

His memoir revealed that he'd led a double life for years, and he only came out after his defeat in Congress following his arrest. But his public antipathy toward gays made his fall all the more spectacular.

The list of conservative Republicans who have tripped over family values includes not only elected officeholders -- Bauman and former Rep. Jon Hinson of Mississippi, another firebrand conservative who resigned from Congress after being charged with sodomy in a public restroom at the House -- but religious leaders who embrace a fervent anti-gay theology.

The most recent and high-profile example was that of Ted Haggard, the evangelical pastor who left his Colorado Springs pulpit (and the presidency of the National Association of Evangelicals) after news broke of his sexual relationship with a male prostitute.
"We used to call this hypocrisy," said Robert-Jay Green, executive director of the nonpartisan Rockway Institute in San Francisco, which works to counter "anti-gay prejudice" in public policy.

Reputations at risk

Patrick Sammon, president of the Log Cabin Republicans, a group that supports gay rights, agreed. "I think voters don't have much patience for hypocrisy," he said, regardless of one's party affiliation. "I think voters are tired of people who don't live honest lives."

Hypocrisy is not a sin associated with only closeted homosexuals, Sammon said.

He pointed out that Sen. David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, in July acknowledged having telephoned the alleged D.C. Madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey. Like Vitter, Sammon said, "Sen. Craig has tried to legislate morality at the same time he's having serious character and integrity problems himself."

But Green believes the issue is more complicated, particularly for politicians who hail from parts of the country "that still harbor discrimination." And he doesn't underestimate the personal toll that even the mere suggestion of homosexual behavior can take.

"They risk losing their careers, their reputations, their family relationships, and the cost is so high for them to accept their underlying same-sex attractions that many of them still remain closeted," he said. "And being closeted is like being in prison."

Their experiences, he added, "are no different from what many teachers, lawyers, pediatricians, etc., go through." 
But the consequences are, Green said: "The difference is that those other folks are not called upon to take public stands on issues of equal rights for lesbian and gay people, so the consequences are heightened for politicians, because they're literally called out to vote.

"They feel they have to go extra lengths to appear anti-gay."
 


Sgt. 1st Class David A. Heringes

Hometown: Tampa, Florida, U.S.

Age: 36 years old

Died: August 24, 2007 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Unit: Army, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

Incident: Died near Tikrit of wounds sustained when a makeshift bomb detonated near his unit during combat operations in Bayji.

Broward School Board opposes referendum to cut property taxes

Broward School Board members have taken an official position on the upcoming state constitutional amendment to cut property taxes.

They oppose it — strongly.

To send that message, School Board members have ordered their staff to draft a resolution, as well as mount a campaign, to dissuade voters from approving the tax cuts.

School Board members say if voters in January approve a proposition to "supersize" their homestead exemption, thereby excluding much of a home's value from taxation, it would have a "devastating effect" on public education.

The message to the community, School Board members told their staff, must be powerful.

"I think it ought to say, 'It will have a devastating effect on the school district,'" Board Member Maureen Dinnen urged. "No wimp language."

"We'll put some biting language," assured Superintendent Jim Notter.

"Shock value," added Maggie Zalamea, the district's director of government relations.

Under the proposed amendment, 75 percent of the first $200,000 of a home's value would be exempt from taxation. Currently, $25,000 of a home's value is exempt.

That "super exemption" has districts across the state worried. School officials say massive cuts would be required. State officials project public schools would be hit with a $2 billion drop in property tax revenue the first year and more than $7 billion over five years.

In Broward County, officials predict a $145 million drop during the first year alone. The district has an annual budget of more than $4 billion.

Broward school officials already have cut $60 million from this year's budget because of a sluggish economy that has strained state coffers — a large part of the district's funding.

Some of the effects of this year's cuts: fewer bus stops, more hiring freezes and reduced individual school budgets.

"I'm getting e-mails from parents complaining about how the buses are crowded," said Board Member Stephanie Kraft. "And I'm e-mailing them back and saying 'what you're seeing are the first impacts of the budget cuts."

She added: "Until they feel it firsthand, it doesn't impact them. I'm telling everyone that."



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BROWARD COUNTY COMMISSION KICKS NAUGLE OFF TOURISM DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL OVER BIGOTED COMMENTS

What: The Broward County Commission voted unanimously Tuesday, August 28th to remove Mayor Jim Naugle from the Greater Fort Lauderdale Tourism Development Council due to his hate-filled crusade against the gay community.
From: Waymon Hudson, President of Fight OUT Loud, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping GLBT individuals fight discrimination and hate.
Why: Fight OUT Loud is extremely pleased that Commissioner Stacey Ritter's motion to remove Naugle from the Broward County Tourism Development Council was unanimously approved yesterday. The move comes in response to Naugle's continued attacks on the gay community. Fight OUT Loud is equally pleased that not only did the Commission remove Naugle, but all of the commissioners publicly and strongly denounced his hate-filled comments from the dais. The County also urged the Fort Lauderdale City Commission to formally rebuke the mayor at their next meeting.
Fight OUT Loud applauds Ritter and the County Commission for taking steps to remove Naugle from the Tourism Board, thereby giving him one less platform from which to spew dangerous misinformation and hate. Naugle is on a personal mission to demonize a large segment of the community he represents. By continuing his spread of lies and bigotry for his own personal satisfaction and agenda, Naugle has put the entire region at risk economically. More importantly, he has threatened the safety of LGBT citizens and visitors. He is putting the public at great risk by spreading misinformation about HIV/AIDS and other health issues. The mayor is also endangering the entire community by painting everyday citizens as depraved criminals and "abominations", in the process encouraging hate and violence against them.
Fort Lauderdale and its surrounding communities have been damaged in the eyes of the public. Travelers and residents are beginning to feel that it is no longer a safe, modern, accepting place. It is encouraging that true leadership was shown by the commission and that they have sent a clear message to the rest of the public that the County has zero tolerance for such hate and will no longer give someone a platform from which to spew such damaging rhetoric. He is hurting every member of the community by continuing these attacks and must be stopped.
By removing Naugle from this position, the Commission sends a clear message that Broward County does not allow this type of divisive discourse and truly welcomes all. It is the first, strong step in repairing the extensive damage Naugle has done.
Fight OUT Loud is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping GLBT individuals fight discrimination and hate. www.fightOUTloud.org
###

Florida Republicans to Lose 1/2 Delegates

The Republican National Committee plans to penalize at least four states holding early primaries, including New Hampshire and Florida, by refusing to seat at least half their delegates at the party's national convention in 2008, a party official said Tuesday.
 
Much of the focus in the primary scheduling fight up to now has been on the Democratic National Committee's moves to penalize Florida by not seating its convention delegates because of the state's decision to move up its primary. But the Republican rules are even more stringent, and the national party said today that it would not hesitate enforcing them.
 
The actions by Republicans and Democrats to move against states holding early contests is a rare instance of the two parties moving in concert, in this case to regain control over a rapidly evolving primary calendar that has thrust the nominating system into deep uncertainty just months before it is to begin.
 


  
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BROWARD COUNTY COMMISSION TO REMOVE NAUGLE FROM TOURISM BOARD OVER BIGOTED COMMENTS

PRESS RELEASE
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Aug 27, 2007 
 
Contact: Waymon Hudson
Fight OUT Loud
944-240-7966
 
 
BROWARD COUNTY COMMISSION TO REMOVE NAUGLE FROM TOURISM BOARD OVER BIGOTED COMMENTS
 
 
What: The Broward County Commission will be voting Tuesday, August 28th, to remove Mayor Jim Naugle from the Greater Fort Lauderdale Tourism Development Council due to his hate-filled crusade against the gay community.
 
From: Waymon Hudson, Community Activist and President of Fight OUT Loud, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping GLBT individuals fight discrimination and hate. 
 
Why:   Fight OUT Loud is pleased to support Commissioner Stacey Ritter's plan to remove Naugle from the Broward County Tourism Development Council.  This motion will be on the agenda for vote on Tuesday, August 28th.   The move comes in response to Naugle's continued attacks on the gay community.  Commissioner Stacy Ritter said Naugle's comments have been counter to the board's mission and are cause to remove him before his term ends next spring. 
 
            Members of the Tourism Development Council and Ft. Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau have publicly stated that Naugle's continued "mischaracterizations" and "hurtful, mean-spirited rhetoric" regarding the gay community have severely damaged the city and surrounding areas.  Travel industry leaders have told the board that groups have begun putting their travel plans to Fort Lauderdale on hold.  Board members said that each time the mayor speaks they receive hundreds of E-mails from potential visitors to Ft Lauderdale, saying they plan to take their money elsewhere. Visitors, both gay and straight, have begun to worry that the Greater Fort Lauderdale area is no longer a welcoming or safe place to travel.  In fact, the Bay Areas Reporter, one of the nation's most influential LGBT publications, published an editorial calling for a boycott of Fort Lauderdale .    
 
            Fight OUT Loud applauds Ritter and the County Commission for taking steps to remove Naugle from the Tourism Board, thereby giving him one less platform from which to spew dangerous misinformation and hate.  Naugle is on a personal mission to demonize a large segment of the community he represents.  By continuing his spread of lies and bigotry for his own personal satisfaction and agenda, Naugle has put the entire region at risk economically as well threatened the safety of LGBT citizens and visitors.  He is putting the public at great risk by spreading misinformation about HIV/AIDS and other health issues.  The mayor is also endangering the entire community by painting everyday citizens as depraved criminals and "abominations", in the process encouraging hate and violence against them. 
 
            Fort Lauderdale and its surrounding communities have been damaged in the eyes of the public.  Travelers and residents are beginning to feel that it is no longer a safe, modern, accepting place.  He is hurting every member of the community by continuing these attacks and must be stopped. 
                       
 
Fight OUT Loud is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping GLBT individuals fight discrimination and hate.  www.fightOUTloud.org
###

Chertoff may replace Gonzales

 
Might there be some trading up at the Justice Department? According to U.S. News and World Report, "buzz among top Bushies is that beleaguered Attorney General Alberto Gonzales finally plans to depart and will be replaced by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff."
Officials claim the Chertoff is a likely candidate because he has little connection to the Justice prosecutor scandal, has friends on Capitol Hill, and is experienced, having served as a federal judge and assistant attorney general.
 read more HERE.


  
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Barack Obama tests Hillary Rodham Clinton's Broward County lead

 Looking to add cash to his bulging campaign coffers and pick up supporters in territory friendly to his chief rival, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama shoehorned a Broward visit Saturday into a weekend of Florida appearances.

The U.S. senator from Illinois offered Broward voters the message he has been using throughout the country, presenting himself as the candidate of change.

"The country right now is ready for something new. I think our campaign has come to represent people feeling like we can't spend all our time just going back and forth bickering [and] having insiders dictate the agenda," Obama said.

As the largest source of Democratic votes in Florida — home to one in nine of the state's registered Democrats — Broward is important to any candidate in a state primary. For the moment, it's very friendly territory for the party's presidential frontrunner, U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

Read More From Sun-Sentinel

Tell the DNC we do not need 30 days

 
Tell the rules committee no need to wait 30 days, they have our plan.
Lets proceed with the plan we have put forward.
let's put this back in the Rules And Bylaws Committee's court.
The first one who blinks loses. 
Make it known we will send our delegates to Denver no matter what.
 
 
Ron Mills
Florida Democratic Party 
Affirmative Action Committee
Delegate Selection and Affirmative Committee

Staff Sgt. Sandy R. Britt

Staff Sgt. Sandy R. Britt

Hometown: Apopka, Florida, U.S.
Died: August 21, 2007 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Unit: Army, 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.
Incident: Killed when a makeshift bomb detonated near his unit during combat operation in Baghdad

Breaking: Castro Dead

update- This RUMOR was started by Cuban Gossip Queen Perez Hilton- Who still stand behind рдеे story .

As Per > Val Prieto at http://www.babalublog.com/archives/005912.html

My cellphone has not stopped ringing for the past ten minutes. Various sources inform that an announcement will come within the next few minutes from the Cuban government on Cuban TV and media. Stay tuned and we'll see if we've been manipulated once again or if today is the birth date of Cuba's liberty.
Update: Here's the deal and what I know up to now, as of 1500 hours, August 24, 2007:
First, South Florida Law Enforcement is on alert. An EOC (Emergency Operations Center) has been set-up and manned somewhere in Homestead.
Im also told Local and State government agencies have food, bottled water, and other necessities - valued in the millions - stored and/or staged in Homestead at or near the EOC.
I am presently verifying whether Coast Guard and DHS and Border Patrol agencies are on high alert. (Verified 01445)
Local News stations are abuzz, mostly on reports very much like the above, with massive law enforcemnt mobilizations throughout Dade county.
Local emergency medical services notified to be on alert by law enforcement agencies.
Im told - and still awaiting confirmation - that buses in Havana have been recalled to terminals and that Cuban workers have been sent home. (still unconfirmed 1500)
Again, I am loathe to publish the title as I did in this post, but I would be remiss in not telling you all what I know, right now. All of my sources are good but the Cuban government, as we all know, is masterful at controlling media and information and we should not rule out that this and last Friday's "news" have been and are feelers to see what the reactions are here, as well as who reacts within the island. If we've been duped we've been duped. If not, then bust out the champagne.
Once again, these may all be rumor to discredit us and other media sources. All we can do is exactly what we've been doing for quite some time now: wait and see.
More from Killcastro, with sources from within Cuba.
Update 1531: Just got off the phone with a local Congressman's media relations person: Nothing is official, lots of buzz, no confirmation. However, was told something that may make unfortunate sense: the Cuban government has gotten us all riled up only to proudly and snidely display fidel castro in full green fatigues regalia. I know it's difficult right now, for me especially (trust me), but we need to keep our wits about us and trust only that which we can verify.
Posted by Val Prieto at August 24, 2007 02:36 PM
a conservitive Anti-Castro Blog


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Gay Florida mayor hopes Mayor Naugle will come to his senses

Larry Gierer, the out, HIV-positive mayor of Oakland Park, Fla., is urging his colleague to the south, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle, to think before he brands all gays as unhappy. Gierer also urged the media to look beyond Naugle's headline-seeking comments and report on how neither Gierer's sexual orientation, nor his HIV-status, has proven to be much of an issue in his city. Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale,

TOURISM BOARD DEMANDS MAYOR NAUGLE STOP ATTACKS ON GAY COMMUNITY

TOURISM BOARD DEMANDS NAUGLE STOP ATTACKS ON GAY COMMUNITY
 
 
What: Fort Lauderdale Tourism Board demands Naugle stop his hate-filled crusade against the gay community.
 
Who: From Waymon Hudson, Community Activist and President of Fight OUT Loud, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping GLBT individuals fight discrimination and hate. 
 
Why:   Members of the Greater Ft. Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau Tourism Board demanded today that the mayor stop damaging the reputation of the city and its surrounding communities with his "mischaracterizations" and "hurtful, mean-spirited rhetoric" regarding the gay community.  They said "damage has been done" by his comments and continued attacks.  It has been reported that travel industry leaders have told the board that there are consequences to the mayor's crusade and they are beginning to be felt as groups put their travel plans to Fort Lauderdale on hold.  Board members said that each time the mayor speaks they receive hundreds of E-mails from potential visitors to Ft Lauderdale, saying they plan to take their money elsewhere. One board member said a 200-person group was scheduled to stay at a prominent hotel in Ft Lauderdale. In light of Naugle's comments, they have placed the reservation, along with $250,000 in revenue, on hold.  These concerns have come from not only gay and lesbian travelers, but from other tourists as well.  They have said they no longer see the Greater Fort Lauderdale area as a welcoming or safe place to travel.  The mayor's response was, "I am the Mayor that's not going to back down."
 
            Fort Lauderdale and its surrounding communities have been damaged in the eyes of the public.  Travelers and residents are beginning to feel that it is no longer a safe, modern, accepting place.  People are turning away from this wonderful community because of the mayor's obsession with spreading lies about good, productive members of the city.  He is making the city feel unsafe by continuing these attacks and bigoted stereotypes, thereby inciting hatred and violence against gays and lesbians. 
 
            It is very obvious that the mayor will continue his bigoted personal crusade despite the fact that every assertion he has made has been proven false.  Naugle is on a personal mission to demonize a segment of the community he represents.  He is determined to hurt the entire region, through both economics and public safety by continuing his spread of lies and bigotry for his own personal satisfaction and agenda.  Naugle is putting the public at great risk by spreading misinformation about HIV/AIDS and other health issues.  The mayor is also endangering the entire community by painting everyday citizens as depraved criminals and "abominations", in the process encouraging violence against them.  He is hurting every member of our community by continuing these attacks and must be stopped.
                       
 
Fight OUT Loud is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping GLBT individuals fight discrimination and hate.


  
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Barack Obama to be live guest on "The Stacy Ritter Report"

 
 
 
 Democratic presidential candidate and Senator Barack Obama will be a guest on "The Stacy Ritter Report" this Saturday, August 25, on News-Talk 850, WFTL. Show host and Broward County Commissioner Stacy Ritter will broadcast the show live from Cafe Bella Sera in Parkland, FL, from 10:30am to 12 noon. This will be Obama's first appearance in Broward County since announcing his candidacy.
 
Stacy is the co-chair for the fundraiser breakfast that will be held at the restaurant that morning.
 
 
Cafe Bella Sera is located at 7351 North State Road 7, Parkland, FL 33073
 
 
 
Cross Posted At Broward For Change:
 


  
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Message From: John Sweeney president, AFL-CIO

As you may already know, the underground rescue operation to save the six coal miners trapped in the Crandall Canyon Mine has been halted. Tragically, the miners may be buried beneath the Utah mountain forever.
 
At this difficult time, I ask you for your thoughts and prayers for the miners and their families, as well as for the families of the three rescue workers who gave their lives trying to save the missing.
 
I also thank you for being someone who cares enough to take action to improve life for working families—on many fronts.
Last year, after 12 coal miners died in the Sago Mine in West Virginia, you helped convince Congress to pass the first major overhaul to mine safety laws in more than three decades, the MINER Act. Since the Bush administration came into office, it has been systematically dismantling workplace safety protections. But you wouldn't allow corporate greed and Bush administration neglect and indifference to go unchallenged.

That neglect and indifference haven't been isolated to workplace safety. Just look at our economy—workers' paychecks are stagnant while our productivity goes up and up. Just think back to the administration's catastrophic response to Hurricane Katrina, the poor conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the nation's crumbling infrastructure, our health care crisis—many, many people are wondering, "What's wrong with America?"
Fortunately, in our democracy, every four years we have a chance to fix what's wrong—by electing leaders, including a president, who put working families first.
We have a very busy time ahead of us, fighting together for health care, good jobs and the freedom to form unions without employer interference—and fighting for a government led by people committed to make America work for working families.
Thank you for all that you've done so far in this fight and for all you will do in the months ahead.
 
In solidarity,
 
John Sweeney
President, AFL-CIO
 
P.S. What do you think the next president should do to make our workplaces safe and healthy? Please share your thoughts on our AFL-CIO Working Families Vote 2008 Forum.

Information on recalled toys

 
Recalled/Dangerous Toys
What You Need to Know
Weston, FL - The recent recall of millions of children's toys has many parents wondering what they can do to protect their children and where they can find information about what toys have been recalled.
Even if you don't have children, you undoubtedly purchase children's toys throughout the year, or know parents of children.
My colleagues and I in Congress will be looking into how so many toys could have been sold here in the United States that were in violation of standards put forth by the federal government's Consumer Product Safety Commission.  As a mother of three, I can assure you that I will be working closely on this issue to insure that consumers know that the toys they buy are safe.
For now, however, it is important that you check the safety of the toys around your home and request that you child's daycare, aftercare, or school do the same. I am providing a few key toy safety tips to remember when you are shopping or looking over your existing toys.
Toy Safety Tips:
  • Choose age-appropriate toys – Toys are labeled with the appropriate age group, so follow those guidelines carefully.
  • Unless a toy specifically says it is for a child 0-3 years of age, do not allow your child of that age to play with it.
  • Toys that are not appropriate for your child's age group may pose safety hazards.
  • Keep toys separated by age appropriateness – If you have children of different ages, store toys for older children out of reach of younger children.
  • Small parts on toys for older children could pose a choking hazard to children under age 3.
For up-to-date information on recalled toys, click the link below which will take you to the recalls and product safety news page of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
 
 
CONTACT INFORMATION


  
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State House District 91 Who's Issues Are Who's

 
 
   If we compare Darin Lentner republican opponent to  Ellen Bogdanoff, brand new web page to Chris Chiari's web page from 3 months ago, we see a strange comparison.
It is almost an exact copy of Chris's Issues Page, turned into Lentner's Political Program Page.
Now I am not saying, this is out right plagiarism, I am just saying it is a interesting coincidence. Made even more interesting since Lenter is running in a Republican Primary, seeking republican only votes.   
 
Let us know what you think, post a comment today

How Rove directed federal assets for GOP gains

 
Many administrations have sought to maximize their control of the machinery of government for political gain, dispatching Cabinet secretaries bearing government largess to battleground states in the days before elections. The Clinton White House routinely rewarded big donors with stays in the Lincoln Bedroom and private coffees with senior federal officials, and held some political briefings for top Cabinet officials during the 1996 election.
 
But Rove, who announced last week that he is resigning from the White House at the end of August, pursued the goal far more systematically than his predecessors, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The Washington Post, enlisting political appointees at every level of government in a permanent campaign that was an integral part of his strategy to establish Republican electoral dominance.
 
Under Rove's direction, this highly coordinated effort to leverage the government for political marketing started as soon as Bush took office in 2001 and continued through last year's congressional elections, when it played out in its most quintessential form in the coastal Connecticut district of Rep. Christopher Shays, an endangered Republican incumbent. Seven times, senior administration officials visited Shays's district in the six months before the election -- once for an announcement as minor as a single $23 government weather alert radio presented to an elementary school. On Election Day, Shays was the only Republican House member in New England to survive the Democratic victory.
 
"He didn't do these things half-baked. It was total commitment," said Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (Va.), who in 2002 ran the House Republicans' successful reelection campaign in close coordination with Rove. "We knew history was against us, and he helped coordinate all of the accoutrements of the executive branch to help with the campaign, within the legal limits."

Read The Article Here

 


  
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Hebrew Charter School Opens Today Amid Controversy

A school opening today is named for a Jewish high priest, is directed by a rabbi, will have kosher food and will teach Hebrew. It's also a public school, funded by public tax dollars and following state curriculum guidelines.
Ben Gamla Charter School, billed as the nation's first publicly funded Hebrew-English school, has prompted fears of religion creeping into public schools and has even drawn criticism from groups that defend Jewish causes. Similar criticisms have been raised against Arabic-language charter schools elsewhere, with some saying those schools teach Islam.
Organizers insist that while Ben Gamla will teach Hebrew language and culture, it won't cross the divide between church and state.
``To me, it's very obvious that we're not teaching religion,'' said Rabbi Adam Siegel, the school's director. He previously directed two private Jewish day schools in Miami Beach. ``Religion is prayer, it's God, it's Bible. And so if you stay away from there, you're not teaching religion.''
Ben Gamla is the brainchild of former U.S. Rep. Peter Deutsch, who said he was as surprised by the controversy surrounding the school as he was by the interest in it.
Its new building, set to open Aug. 20, will replace earlier quarters leased from a synagogue that had only enough room for 100 children in kindergarten through third grade. Within weeks of publicizing its opening, Deutsch said, the school received more than 800 applications. The three-story building the school is moving into has space for more than 400 students, through eighth grade.
``If we had 50 kids I would have been happy,'' said Deutsch, who hopes to open other schools in Miami, New York and Los Angeles.
Charter schools are publicly financed and run independently, sometimes by private entities. Some specialize in a language, a trade or some other subject.
Ben Gamla students will follow state curriculum, but also will take a Hebrew language course, and one of their core subjects - math or physical education, for example - will be taught bilingually.
The Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the school sets a dangerous precedent.
``Whenever you have a public school, a public charter school, that focuses on a particular culture that has an intense religious connection, there is the risk that you will end up teaching that religion,'' he said. ``It could happen because some people believe culture and religion are inseparable, or it could happen because many of the teachers and administrators are of one religion and don't recognize the problem.''
Even the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Federation of Broward County have expressed concerns.
``There are unanswered questions as to how the subject matter of Jewish culture can be taught without also teaching the Jewish religion,'' said federation head Eric Stillman.
Deutsch and Siegel claim the federation's concerns about Ben Gamla are fueled by worry that it will draw students away from Jewish day schools. The federation supports five such schools in Broward County, but says that is not a factor in its reservations.
There are already numerous foreign language-centered public schools around the country, including Arabic ones that have drawn questions of whether they are Islamic schools in disguise.
New York City has a new public high school centered on Arab language and culture due to open next month. The Khalil Gibran International Academy has prompted concerns that Islam will seep into the curriculum. Critics have even suggested it could become a breeding ground of militant Islam.
At the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy in Inver Grove Heights, Minn., many of the girls wear head scarves and many children fast during Ramadan. That charter school's executive director, Asad Zaman, said state officials made frequent visits after its 2003 opening to ensure religion was not a part of the curriculum. But he said public response was fairly tame compared with the reaction in Florida over Ben Gamla.
Hallandale Beach resident Margaret Schorr is sending her daughter Hannah to kindergarten at Ben Gamla and said she was told clearly the girl would not receive any religious education. She thinks concerns have been valid, but have ignored the fact that religion already has a place in public schools.
``If I were to send her to any other public school, you better believe that come December, she'd be learning Christmas carols,'' she said. ``You better believe that they'd be wearing Halloween costumes at the end of October.''
By MATT SEDENSKY
Associated Press Writer



UPDATE 08/22/07.................
Charter school in Hollywood ordered to stop teaching Hebrew
A Hebrew-language charter school can't teach Hebrew, at least for now, the Broward School Board decided on day two of the new school year।"We basically lied to those parents," School Board member Phyllis Hope said Tuesday as her colleagues debated the controversial school's future।Ben Gamla Charter School opened in Hollywood on Monday to about 400 students under the premise that it would be a bilingual kindergarten through eighth-grade campus।

Life Without PIP Insurance

What is the Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law?
627.731  Purpose.--The purpose of ss. 627.730-627.7405 is to provide for medical, surgical, funeral, and disability insurance benefits without regard to fault, and to require motor vehicle insurance securing such benefits, for motor vehicles required to be registered in this state and, with respect to motor vehicle accidents, a limitation on the right to claim damages for pain, suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience.
Currently, all Florida motor vehicle owners and operators are required to purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in the amount of $10,000 for losses sustained by the insured or covered person as a result of bodily injury, sickness, disease, or death arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle.

By law, PIP coverage pays the following benefits, up to the $10,000 limit:
  • 80 percent of reasonable and medically necessary medical expenses;
  • 60 percent of disability benefits for lost gross income and earning capacity;
  • 100 percent of replacement services (such as child care, housekeeping, etc.); and
  • $5,000 per individual death benefit.
Is No-Fault going away?

If the Legislature does not make any changes, the Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law will expire on October 1, 2007. The requirement to purchase PIP coverage will also expire on October 1. Beginning October 1, whether you are at fault or not in an accident could make all the difference as to which driver is liable to pay for damages from an automobile accident.
How do I protect myself as a driver in a fault-based system?

To make sure that you have coverage in case you sustain any injuries, you should consider purchasing optional medical payments coverage from your auto insurance company. Optional medical payments coverage will pay for medical bills incurred by you, your family, and passengers in your car who are injured in an auto accident. You may also wish to increase your bodily injury liability coverage (in case you injure another person and are at fault) and uninsured motorist coverage.

I bought an auto insurance policy that doesn't expire until January. What happens to my auto insurance policy on October 1, 2007?

Regardless of when your auto insurance policy is up for renewal, any accident occurring on or after October 1, 2007, will be handled under a fault-based system. Your insurance company may continue to provide your PIP benefits or may consider your PIP coverage to be a form of optional medical payments coverage for the remainder of your 6-month policy.

It is important to note, however, that all damages from accidents on or after October 1 will be paid by the at-fault driver. If your insurer initially pays your damages and you are not at fault, you may be expected to recover these damages from the at-fault driver.

What happens if I am at fault in an accident, and my medical expenses exceed the limits of my medical payments coverage?

Under an at-fault-based system, the negligent party is responsible for damages. Either you or your health insurance will pay for your medical expenses that exceed the limits on any medical payments coverage under your auto insurance policy.

What happens if I am injured by a negligent driver? Do I have to go to court to get my claims paid?

Possibly. Many times, auto insurance companies will settle based on an acknowledgement of the at-fault driver in a particular accident, and benefits are paid accordingly. In some cases, there is a dispute about who is at-fault or to the extent of the damages, and court action may be necessary.

What happens if I am injured by an at-fault driver who does not have auto insurance?

Hopefully, you have purchased optional medical payments coverage or uninsured motorist coverage from your auto insurance company. If you have, your insurance company will cover your medical expenses. If you have not purchased any auto insurance, however, you or your health insurance will likely pay for your medical bills. You may of course sue the at-fault driver, but uninsured motorists may not have sufficient assets from which to recover damages.

If I have health insurance coverage, do I really need auto insurance coverage as well?

Yes. Purchasing auto insurance coverage will help you protect yourself if you are at fault and liable for an accident. Keep in mind that your health insurance may pay for your medical treatments after an automobile accident, but co-pays, deductibles and coverage limits may apply. Additionally, your health insurance will not cover medical claims of other persons injured in an accident if you are at fault.

What will happen to my auto insurance rates?

You may see a decrease in your auto insurance premiums, due to the expiration of No-Fault on October 1, 2007. However, please note that if you choose to purchase optional medical payments coverage, there will be an additional cost to your policy. In addition, as demand increases for additional bodily injury and uninsured motorist coverage, premium costs may increase as well.

What's the bottom line?

You should purchase sufficient auto insurance coverage to ensure that you and your family receive proper medical treatment. Purchasing auto insurance coverage will also help protect your assets in the event you are at fault in an accident.
If I am in an accident, will my lost wages be covered?

You may seek to recover lost wages if you are in an accident from the at-fault driver. Some of your lost wages may be covered if you are not at fault in an accident and the at-fault driver has Bodily Injury Liability coverage. If the at-fault driver does not have Bodily Injury Liability coverage, and you have Uninsured Motorist coverage, some of your lost wages may be covered.

If none of the above circumstances apply, you may not be able to recover your lost wages outside of a courtroom; a lawsuit brought against the at-fault party may be your only recourse.

What does Property Damage Liability cover and under what conditions?

Property Damage Liability coverage pays for certain damage (up to the limit of the policy) that you or anyone covered under your policy cause to another person's property through the use of an automobile. It only covers damage for which you or anyone insured under your policy are legally liable. The damage may involve a parked, running or rolling automobile.

"Property" isn't limited to another vehicle; it may include a fence, telephone pole, building or animal. This coverage may apply even if you drive someone else's automobile. The terms and conditions of your policy determine whether or not coverage applies to anyone using your vehicle.
 
CONSUMER HELPLINE 1-800-342-2762
PIP: Who pays?
 
For moe information CLICK HERE


  
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Broward school board lifts ban: Political campaigns count for student volunteer hours

This looks like it has all the features of controversy," said board member Robert Parks. "It opens up a whole new bag of worms. I'm just trying to think about how do we protect the students from getting taken advantage of."

Past school boards agreed with Parks and had banned political participation since the inception of mandatory community service hours in 1999. Broward now requires more such hours from students than any other school district in Florida. Starting this year, Palm Beach County will require 20 hours from their seniors.

More........

Hollywood Mayor Mara Giulianti improperly accepted a trip from a labor union.

The Florida Commission on Ethics is investigating whether Hollywood Mayor Mara Giulianti improperly accepted a trip from a labor union.

In a letter dated Aug. 13 to the mayor and obtained by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the commission stated that it had received a complaint against her and will review the matter.

The complaint was lodged by Sara Case, a retired lawyer living in Hollywood who edits an online citizens' newsletter about city government — www.balancesheetonline.com.

 
Case said she sought the ethics investigation after the Sun-Sentinel reported Aug. 5 that Giulianti accepted $2,500 from an international union of plumbers to attend the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. The mayor served as a delegate to the convention, which nominated U.S. Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts for president.
 
For The Story CLICK HERE



  
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POLL: Rasmussen Florida Primary

 

A new Rasmussen Reports automated survey of likely voters in Florida (conducted 8/13) finds: Among 724 Democrats, Sen. Hillary Clinton leads Sen. Barack Obama (43% to 24%) in a statewide primary; former Sen. John Edwards trails at 11%. 
 
  • Among 724 Democrats, Sen. Hillary Clinton leads Sen. Barack Obama (43% to 24%) in a statewide primary; former Sen. John Edwards trails at 11%. All other candidates receive less than 5% each.
  • Among 689 Republicans, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani leads former Sen. Fred Thompson (30% to 17%) in a statewide primary; former Gov. Mitt Romney trails at 15%, Sen. John McCain at 7%, former Gov. Mike Huckabee at 5%. All other candidates receive less than 5% each.
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Thousands expected today at memorial for Broward deputy

Hundreds of Broward Sheriff's deputies and their law enforcement brethren took a brief respite Tuesday from the intense manhunt for a cop killer to pay their respects to Sgt. Chris Reyka and his family.

Funeral visitation was held in the afternoon at the Forest Lawn North Funeral Home and continued through the evening.

Others came from throughout South Florida to honor a man they never met but whose death brought them to tears and renewed their respect for the sacrifices made daily by law enforcement officers.
To Read More And View Video CLICK HERE

Chuck Mohlke: House District 101 is winnable

Collier Democratic Party Chairman Chuck Mohlke said members of his party don't need to dream. He believes Democrats have a good chance of winning House District 101 in the 2008 election. That House district, which spans eastern Collier and part of western Broward County, is held by Rep. Mike Davis, R-Naples. Davis has announced he won't seek re-election. While praising the job Davis has done, Mohlke argues the breakdown of registered voters gives Democrats a chance when there is no incumbent running."


  
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County Slaps Fort Lauderdale Mayor Over Anti-Gay Remarks

 
 
 
Broward County commissioners have launched a blistering attack on Fort Lauderdale mayor Jim Naugle over a series of homophobic comments made by Naugle but stopped just short of passing a motion to censure him. Commissioners called the outspoken Mayor bigoted and said his remarks were despicable, but even had they officially censured him it would have no effect.

Services for Broward Sheriff's Sgt. Chris Reyka

 

 

 
Services for Sgt. Chris Reyka   BSO Sgt. Chris Reyka Shot, Killed:
VISITATION

Tuesday, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m., Forest Lawn North Funeral Home, 200 W. Copans Road, Pompano Beach

MEMORIAL SERVICE                   

Wednesday at noon, BankAtlantic Center, One Panther Parkway, Sunrise

Sgt. Reyka will be laid to rest after the service, at South Florida VA National Cemetery, 6501 S. State Road 7, west of Lake Worth

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sheriff's Foundation of Broward County, Sgt. Christopher Reyka Memorial, 2601 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312.

Division of Elections: Optical Machines Are Safe

 

The Division of Elections said Friday that Diebold has made the fix on its optical-scan machines that will keep them from being hacked without a trace.

A Florida State University study had found that someone could use a pre-programmed computer card to swap votes. But now the Division of Elections says that's been fixed.
"I am glad that we were able to work with Diebold and that they agreed to respond to the SAIT report expeditiously to correct this security issue," said Secretary of State Kurt Browning. "While I do not believe that conditions exist in an election day environment for the machines to be compromised, it is my responsibility to take every possible precaution to ensure that Florida voting equipment is safe and secure. I am confident that this is the case."
Here is the letter From The Division of Elections here.


  
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Lawsuits will abound with the end of PIP insurance

State CFO Alex Sink said that if no-fault car insurance goes away, "mass confusion" might not be far behind. 

''We're going to a tort system. You will be subject to more lawsuits,'' said Alex Sink. 'It may be the lawyers' employment security act.''
Sink, whose office oversees insurance, wouldn't say what system she would favor, but she said she's preparing for the Legislature to do nothing about the fact that no-fault Personal Injury Protection is about to lapse Oct. 1.
Story here

South Carolina Primary Move Puts Election Calendar in Flux

South Carolina officially moved up its primary presidential election to Jan. 19 on Thursday. New Hampshire and Iowa may soon move their primaries even earlier to preserve their first-in-the-nation status. Political analysts discuss how these changes may affect the election.
 
 
Yesterdays move by South Carolina Republicans to advance their primary date from February 2nd to January 19th once again upended the presidential nominating schedule. Party chairman Katon Dawson said South Carolina's action was prompted by Florida's recent decision to advance its primary to January 29th, ahead of South Carolina's original date.
 
KATON DAWSON, Chair, South Carolina Republican Party comments, the process may be out of control, but right now we're playing the cards that are dealt to us. And South Carolina, we are firmly committed to be the first in the South primary, have a historical preference, like New Hampshire, and we've exercised that right today, and proudly so.
 
This may put Florida in a position of not losing any delegates after all. 


  
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Pfc. Cody C. Grater

 

Hometown: Spring Hill, Florida, U.S.
 
 
Died: July 29, 2007 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
 
Unit: Army, 407th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.
 
Incident: Killed by enemy direct fire in Baghdad.
 
Related Links:
Soldier Dies After Rocket Strike In Iraq (Tampa Tribune, Fla., July 30, 2007)

Spec. Christopher T. Neiberger

 

Hometown: Gainesville, Florida, U.S.
Died: August 6, 2007 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Unit: Army, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Schweinfurt, Germany
Incident: Killed by a makeshift bomb in Baghdad.