October 20, 2016

Prominent gay-rights group backs Joe Garcia against Curbelo

NP-JoeGarcia-LBGT-SAVE-102016-006 Joe Garcia DS


A key LBGT organization in South Florida on Thursday endorsed Joe Garcia in his bid to win back from Rep. Carlos Curbelo the House seat that the Miami Republican wrested from him two years ago.

The Miami-based SAVE group, formed in 1993, said it was supporting the Miami Democrat because of his work advocating equality.

"During his term as congressman, Joe served South Florida's LGBTQ community admirably, garnering SAVE's Champion of Equality Award in 2013 for his sponsorship of the Federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act and his efforts to protect LBGT immigration rights," SAVE said in a statement.

Long before joining the House in January 2013, the group noted that Garcia had led the Cuban American National Foundation, which he then headed, in opposing the repeal of Miami-Dade's human-rights ordinance.

Once in Congress, Garcia served as vice chairman of the LGBT Equality Caucus. He helped pass bipartisan legislation reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, which extended protects against rape and domestic violence to members of the LBGT community.

"One of my guiding principles is that every person should be treated equally," Garcia said Thursday. "That's why I'm honored that SAVE would recognize my work in support of the LGBTQ community."

SAVE's endorsement of Garcia came six days after Log Cabin Republicans, an influential GOP gay-rights group, endorsed Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Carlos Curbelo of South Florida in their re-election races, along with five other incumbent lawmakers from across the country.



Hastings leads black lawmakers on Broward blitz for Clinton, Murphy



Rep. Alcee Hastings is bringing a group of fellow African-American members of Congress to South Florida for a two-day push to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump in the key battleground state.

Hastings, a 12th-term congressman from Miramar, will be joined by Reps. Charlie Rangel and Hakeem Jeffries of New York, and by Sheila Jackson Lee and Al Green of Texas in a swing through Broward County.

Almost 30 percent of Broward residents are black, forming one of the state's largest African-American voting blocs and a hub of a critical demographic group for Clinton to win the nation's biggest swing state in the Nov. 8 presidential election.

"With the rhetoric that we've heard from the Republican ticket, there can be little doubt how dangerous a Trump presidency would be for our country," Hastings told the Miami Herald. "We are here, first and foremost, to rally the African-American community in South Florida to elect Hillary Clinton as president and Patrick Murphy as our next United States senator."

Murphy, a Democratic congressman from Jupiter, is running against Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Miami.

The congressional group's first stop was slated to be tonight at 7 p.m. to address a meeting of the Haitian American Democratic Club at Diecke Auditorium in Plantation.

Hastings and his Congressional Black Caucus colleagues had six events planned for Friday:

9 a.m., Breakfast at Betty's Soul Food Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale;

Noon, Visit the combined Clinton/Hastings campaign offices, 1033 NW Sixth Street, Fort Lauderdale;

12:55 p.m., Lunch at Ponderosa Soul Food Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale

1:40 p.m., Visit the headquarters of the Broward Democratic Executive Committee, 8320 W. Sunrise Boulevard, Plantation

3 p.m., Visit the Clinton campaign office, 3519 North Pineland Road, Sunrise;

4 p.m., Canvas homes on foot in Sunrise neighborhood around the Clinton campaign office.

Photo credit: Matias J. Ocner, Miami Herald




October 14, 2016

Major GOP LBGT group backs South Florida lawmakers



Log Cabin Republicans on Friday endorsed Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Carlos Curbelo in their re-election races, along with five other incumbent lawmakers from across the country.

The advocacy group, which believes that equality for LBGT people is in the best traditions of the Republican Party, said the seven newly endorsed representatives "have been steadfast allies of LBGT freedom" in the House of Representatives.

"All of these common-sense conservatives have not only spoken out in support of equality, but also cast votes in the 114th Congress that confirm their commitment to the cause," Gregory T. Angelo, head of Log Cabin Republicans, said.

Ros-Lehtinen, running for her 15th term against Miami small business owner Scott Furhman, expressed gratitude for the endorsement.

"I will continue to promote inclusiveness and ensure the fair and equal treatment of all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender," she said.

Curbelo is running for his second House term against Joe Garcia, the former congressman he defeated two years ago.

"In Congress, I have been proud to stand up for equality," Curbelo said. "I am honored to have the support of Republicans who understand that equality can never be a partisan issue."

For more information about Log Cabin Republicans, read here.

Photo credit: Hector Gabino, El Nuevo Herald



April 28, 2010

October 02, 2008

Naked Politics comes to the end of the road

Img00051_2 PORT ORANGE -- After three days on the road talking to voters, Naked Politics reached the end of Interstate-4 and made one more stop. 

Patty Tropea, 47, is the manager of a waterfront pavilion used for weddings and other events in this coastal town. She's a Republican who hasn't made up her mind about the presidential race. But she is certain about one thing: her anger about the federal government's management of the economy.

"I've paid my bills. I didn't go out for lavish dinners or take expensive vacations, and now I have to pay for what other people have done?'' demanded Tropea. "I would like to see one of the candidates prove to the American people that they can stabilize the economy."

Military mom for McCain

Othermap_2 CASSELBERRY -- Naked Politics' tour of Interstate-4 included a stop in this middle-to-upper income Orlando suburb, outside a public library.

Stay-at-home mom Nichole Garcia and her three-year-old were late for storytime but stopped for a few minutes to talk about the presidential election. She and her husband are Army veterans who strongly believe in the war in Iraq.

"I believe if we just pulled out our troops, it would cause problems.'' Garcia said. "All the troops, all the deaths, would be in vain."

Garcia is also concerned about "pork-barrel spending" and said Republican John McCain will get it under control.

"All those crazy things they are using our tax money for,'' she said. "I believe he and Gov. Palin will shake things up."

What the kids are saying these days

ORLANDO -- Heading east across Interstate-4 in search of what makes this region tick, Naked Politics followed the footsteps laid yesterday by former President Bill Clinton. He campaigned here, at the University of Central Florida, on behalf of Democrat Barack Obama.

Lauren Korchek, 18, pictured below on the right, had to forego the Clinton rally for biology class. But she's already made up her mind to vote for Obama.

"I feel more confident that he would make a change,'' she said. "He puts a lot more faith in younger generations."

Her friend Casey Link, also 18, is still on the fence and may not even vote.

"My thoughts are really mixed up on the election,'' she said. "I want to vote but....I don't feel a strong pull."


Starbucks crowd half-caf between McCain and Obama

Img00049_2 ORLANDO -- The stereotype of the latte-swilling Starbucks crowd is that they're all a bunch of over-educated, white guilt-riddden liberals. Not so. Naked Politics met about as many supporters of Republican John McCain on this downtown street corner as fans of Democrat Barack Obama, during another stop along the politically coveted Interstate-4 corridor.

"McCain is more conservative and more fiscally responsible,'' said Gino Butto, who works at the Orange County Clerk of Courts. "With Obama, I feel like I've seen so many different sides of him and I don't know who he is...I'm a moderate Republican, and he's too liberal and inconsistent."

Rob Frese, a 46-year-old CFO, said he doesn't buy the Democratic line of attack that  voting for McCain is voting for another eight years of President Bush.

"I'm voting for this year's candidate, not last year's candidate,'' he said. "McCain has the ability to make his own mind up."

October 01, 2008

Forgetting about the economy with futbol

KISSIMMEE -- Naked Politics' road trip along Interstate-4 made a detour here, to one of the fastest growing Hispanic communities in the country, where a group of about two dozen men are playing soccer. For a few hours, they can forget about the mortgage being past due or the cost of gas.

Img00046_2 "We're trying to have a little fun, do something healthy, take the stress out,'' said Sebastian Busquets, 33, who is here with his 10-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter.

They lost their condominium nearly two years ago when the interest rate on the mortgage skyrocketed. Busquets works for AAA and picks up stranded drivers who often need to vent about their own money problems. He's voting for Democrat Barack Obama.

"He's something new. He's a change,'' Busquets said. "We can't afford another Republican like John McCain."

Lunch break in Lakeland

MapdataLAKELAND -- More than one out of five residents of this town between Tampa and Orlando are black. So it's not hard to find voters excited about Democrat Barack Obama, the first African-American presidential nominee.

"I'm so proud of him, even if he doesn't get to be the president,'' said Pat Moore, 52, who was born and raised here. "Times have certainly changed."

Like just about everybody, Moore's top concern is the economy. She was on her lunch break from work at Lakeland Regional Medical Center and had treated herself to a Filet-O-Fish combo from McDonald's. She usually brings lunch.

"It is indeed a treat,'' said Moore, adding that she struggles to pay her property taxes and mortgage payment. "Tomorrow is payday so I can splurge."