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13 posts from August 19, 2013

August 19, 2013

Braswell withdraws from CFO race after news reports of his bankruptcies

Democrat Allie Braswell, a political unknown and Urban League official, dropped out of the race against Republica Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater on Monday, after a weekend of news reports about his three personal bankruptcies. He said he under estimated the impact the race would have on his family.

The stories were first reported by the Jacksonville Times Union.

Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2013/08/more-fl-democrat-struggles-cfo-candidate-has-past-of-bankruptcies.html#storylink=cpy
Here's the press release from the Democratic Party:
Tallahassee, FL — Today, CFO candidate Allie Braswell made the following statement:
Against all odds, a boy who played on dirt roads in Oviedo grew up to serve this great nation as a US Marine, and work as an senior leader at one of America's most admired companies. That is what has always inspired me to serve, to ensure that today's boys and girls can live the American Dream.

At the Urban League, I work every day with people who are struggling to make it. As I have experienced struggles in my life, so many people are struggling, and that is what inspired me to run for Florida's Chief Financial Officer -- to be a champion, standing up for the poor and middle class.  

Before I started this campaign I talked with supporters and friends and family. This weekend, I have again discussed this campaign with those I love, and have reached a decision. Today, I am withdrawing from the race for Florida's Chief Financial Officer.

I have, at times, faced challenges in life that have not met with the outcomes I have desired. I take full responsibility for my actions, and apologize to my supporters. The bright spotlight of a statewide campaign has cast the ups and downs of my life into harsh relief, and I now know that this campaign is not the way I was meant to serve my community.  Running statewide is a daunting challenge for any candidate; as a political outsider, I have now learned that I underestimated how my campaign would affect those I care about most.

Push for leniency in drug sentencing is a tough sell in Florida

When U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced last week that he was ordering prosecutors to stop charging lower-level drug offenders with “draconian minimum mandatory sentences,” he echoed the refrain from a bi-partisan coalition of activists who have tried and failed to get legislators to change the laws in Florida.

The cost of incarcerating a drug offender for a mandatory three-year prison sentence in Florida is estimated at $58,400, while the cost of treatment in a work release program is $19,130, according to an analysis by the Florida Office of Program and Policy Analysis and Government Accountability.

Meanwhile, Florida’s crime rate is at a 41-year low but the prison population continues to grow with non-violent, first-time offenders, most of whom are snared by undercover agents targeting them for trafficking in small quantities of prescription drugs, the analysis found.

The Florida Department of Corrections reports that taxpayers are spending an estimated $300 million a year to house people incarcerated for drug offenses.

Holder announced last Monday a major shift in federal sentencing policies, targeting long mandatory terms that he said have flooded the nation's prisons with low-level drug offenders and diverted crime-fighting dollars that could be far better spent.

If Holder's policies are implemented aggressively, they could mark one of the most significant changes in the way the federal criminal justice system handles drug cases since the government declared a war on drugs in the 1980s. More here.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/18/v-fullstory/3569910/push-for-leniency-in-drug-sentencing.html#storylink=cpy

Numerous warning calls to DCF preceded toddler's beating death

Aliyah BranumAliyah Marie Branum spent much of her two years alive either homeless, living in a tent or a shed — and being cursed at, neglected and beaten.

Aliyah was born with several disabilities, and her right eye was deformed and turning inward toward her brain — a condition her mother knew was serious but failed to treat. Her caregivers often didn’t bother to change her diapers, resulting in rashes and bleeding.

Through it all, Aliyah’s mother was witnessed, time and time again, spewing hateful profanities at her.

The toddler couldn’t defend herself or ask for help. She could not tell authorities who had left the bruises on her upper thigh this past January. And, when a team of child abuse experts asked her mother, Chelsea Maree Huggett — a woman with admitted severe anger issues — about the injury, she exploded: “Are you accusing me of abusing my child?”

In fact, though there was mounting evidence that Aliyah was in grave danger with a mother who’d already also been accused of smothering and striking her “really hard” in a public office, state child welfare authorities never considered Huggett an abuser.

That changed on April 26, when the child was pronounced dead from a vicious beating that, in many ways, seemed inevitable. In her death, the little girl with the wisps of blond hair and a penchant for looking pretty in pink joined a tragic cluster of children who had histories with the state child protection agency before they were killed. More from Carol Marbin Miller and Audra Burch

Photo: Facebook

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/18/3570821/girl-2-pays-with-her-life-for.html#storylink=cpy