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488 posts from October 2008

October 31, 2008

Hillary hearts Raul

In two separate e-mail appeals this week, Hillary Clinton urged her supporters to back candidates in tough races across the country, including Raul Martinez.

Headlined "Last Chance to Make a Difference," the e-mails asked Clinton supporters to help "the Democrats who need your help right now," including Raul Martinez, whom she said "has a great chance at picking up a Democratic seat from a conservative Republican incumbent. The latest polling has this race in dead heat and Raul needs our help to push back against Republican attacks."

She's also emailing on behalf of Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha whose recent remarks about his fellow Pennsylvanians sparked a Saturday Night Live skit -- and put his seat into play.

Challenger: Hastings threatened to kill me

Congressional candidate Marion Thorpe Jr. has accused Rep. Alcee Hastings of threatening to kill him shortly after the two debated Thursday night at a candidate's forum in Boca Raton.

A Thorpe campaign press release says Hastings was upset about Thorpe's mention of his impeachment as a federal judge in 1989.

According to the release, Hastings threatened to "take [Thorpe] out permanently'' if he mentioned Hastings' impeachment again. Hastings then walked away while "wagging his finger and whispering 'It’s not over, it’s not over, I’m coming for you,' '' the press release states, adding that Thorpe has asked for a restraining order.

In a statement Friday, Hastings said "I have not seen this frivolous police report nor did I know anything about it before this afternoon. I did not say anything of the sort to Dr. Thorpe."

Investigators are looking into Thorpe's statements but as of Friday afternoon no charges had been filed, said Sandra Boonenberg, a police spokeswoman.


Last minute dollars in the congressional race spark controversy

Thousands of last-minute dollars are continuing to flush into Miami's three congressional races, but Democrat Joe Garcia is calling foul on one: $2,000 to Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart from Alaska Republican (and earmark king) Don Young who is the subject of an active, unspecified federal investigation.

(The Wall Street Journal in 2007 reported Young had "come under criminal investigation in the Justice Department's widening inquiry into alleged influence-peddling and self-dealing in Congress.")

It's surprising Young has the money to spend; he's considered one of the most vulnerable Republican incumbents in the country.

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Voting figures don't lie, but the McCain campaign figures

John McCain's deputy campaign manager Christian Ferry wins the fuzzy math award with this near lie: That "John McCain and the Republicans have an advantage in the combined total" of early voting.

By the campaign's logic, merely asking for an absentee ballot is a "method of voting." So when you add up absentee ballot requests, absentee ballots cast and early votes cast, yes, the McCain campaign has a 201,472 edge, according to Florida data pulled by George Mason University's Michael P. McDonald.

The reality is, you can't count a vote that isn't cast. Otherwise, if the mere act of showing one's intention to vote is a vote for one's party, Barack Obama would already win Florida because Democratic registrations outpace Republican ones by 658k.

So when actual absentee and early ballots CAST are counted, Democrats have the actual lead:  248,179.

Then there's this potential whopper from Ferry:

Continue reading "Voting figures don't lie, but the McCain campaign figures" »

Sheriff candidate: I pray for my opponent

Democratic sheriff candidate Scott Israel told a group of black pastors this afternoon at Word of the Living God in Pompano Beach that he is praying for his opponent Republican Sheriff Al Lamberti.

"I pray that he does the right thing and unhardens his heart,'' Israel explained in an interview.

Israel is ticked off about ads attacking him for his internal affairs record. He was the subject of 10 investigations while a Fort Lauderdale police officer in the 1980s. He was cleared of wrongdoing, but Lamberti has highlighted the fact that many of the files are missing. It wasn't unusual for departments to toss unsustained complaints at the time.

Israel met with a group of black pastors Friday afternoon to expand his outreach to black voters. A poll released earlier this week showed that Lamberti is ahead by 10 percentage points but Israel is far ahead among black voters. The poll was conducted by pollster Jim Kane for browardbeat.com, a political blog.

Israel was non-plussed about the poll in part because he said it didn't reach people who only have cell phones.

"African-American voters are going to come out like never before,'' Israel said.

Pastor Allen Jackson of Living Word Community Church in Lauderhill urged fellow black pastors to spread the word about Israel at church Sunday.

"The last thing you say before you do that closing prayer is 'vote for Scott Israel for sheriff,''' he said. "Word of mouth travels further than a TV ad.''

Where was Lincoln?

The Latin Builders Association invited Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart and his Democratic challenger, Raul Martinez to its monthly luncheon Friday, but Diaz-Balart was a no-show.

Martinez, nevertheless, managed to keep lunch lively. Introduced by Cuban American National Foundation chairman Jorge Mas Santos as a politician who "isn't going to stand for the status quo," the former Hialeah mayor promised to bring a fighting spirit to Washington DC.

"Am I very colorful? Absolutely," Martinez said. "Am I fighter? Absolutely. Have I made mistakes? Of course I have. But when you look at what I did in 24 years in the city...

"Had I not been bold about being mayor," he said, "Hialeah would still be a cow pasture."

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Latin Builders Association hearts John McCain; calls the congressional races too hot to handle

The influential Latin Builders Association has endorsed John McCain for president -- but is sticking to the sidelines when it comes to Miami's three congressional races.

"Within our organization so many people are supporting different candidates, we decided we'd stay out of it," said LBA president Ovi Vento, said of the three congressional races. "There's a lot of different sides to those races."

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Something spooky for Halloween: Amendment 4's cute, singing animals

Here's another try: What could be more spooky? Check out these cute animals singing about a Florida constitutional amendment that's in trouble. "I'm for Florida and I'm for Four. The amendment gives a tax break to land owners who use their property for conservation purposes.

Lincoln Diaz-Balart infomercial: Let's prove the so-called experts wrong

Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart takes on what he calls the "so-called experts" who suggest a shift to the Democrats among younger Cuban American voters.

Appearing late Thursday on a paid political ad on Spanish-language WAQI 710 AM Radio Mambi, Diaz-Balart didn't mention his Democratic challenger, Raul Martinez, but asked for support "so I can continue fighting for the cause of liberty."

He added that some analysts suggest the Cuban exile community wants a change in U.S.-Cuba policy, but that he's confident his reelection will prove otherwise.

"There are so many analyses from so-called experts almost daily saying our community has changed and that we do not have the support of the community," Diaz-Balart said. "We know this is not true. But we need the mandate, the public support, the support of the community in the election, and humbly ask for that support."

Mason Dixon: Ballot amendments are all in trouble

The final Mason Dixon poll of the season shows that none of the constitutional amendments on the Nov. 4 ballot have the support to get past the 60 percent threshold they need to become law.

Amendment #2, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, has lost some support from the first October poll and is now at 55-35 percent. "It still has a chance to win approval,'' said pollster Brad Coker, noting that the undecided voters -- 10 percent -- could push it over the top.

Amendment #1, which would repeal the outdated constitutional ban on ownership of property by people ineligible for citizenship, has a 46-30 percent margin.

Amendments #4, which allows for property tax exemptions to be enacted for land used for conservation, also loses with a 46-26 maring.

Amendment #6, which allows for property tax exemptions for waterfront property used as marinas, has a 48-24 percent of margin.

Amendment #3, which gives homeowners who invest in hurricane protecdtion and energy saving improvements a tax break, also lacks voters support with a 36-28 percent margin.

Amendment #8, which allows counties to offer a local option sales tax for community college funding, wasn't included in the poll but a mid-October poll by Mason Dixon found it was opposed by 47 percent of those surveyed while only 38 percent favored it. 

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