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And so it starts...

SEIU union and other Democratic groups have been holding rallies at early voting locations in Palm Beach County, where they have a captive audience of voters standing in line. Normally campaign workers can not come with in 50 feet of polling places, but apparently that rule does not apply to this year's new Early Voting in Florida.
One woman who voted early in Boca Raton, at the Southwest County Regional Library, complained that as she stood in line, two men behind her were "trashing our president," Fletcher said, declining to identify the woman. She tried to ignore them. Then the man touched her arm and said, "Who are you voting for?"

"I said, `I don't think that's an appropriate question,'" the woman said she responded.

"Uh oh! We have a Bush supporter here," screamed the man behind her.

For the 2 1/2 hours she had to wait in line, she was heckled by the man. As they neared the voting room, someone in the rear of the line yelled, "I sure hope everyone here is voting for Kerry!" she reported.

That's when the man behind her held his hand over her head and screamed, "We have a Republican right here!" There were "boos and jeers" from the crowd.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood on Oct 23, 2004 - 105 comments

The Path to Florida

The Path to Florida A long Vanity Fair article (part one and part two, both PDFs) about the experiences and reactions of US Supreme Court clerks during the 2000 election and Bush v. Gore [PDFs hosted at SCOTUSblog; via Intel Dump]
posted by kirkaracha on Sep 23, 2004 - 11 comments

Maybe there is a god...

God hates Bush voters.
posted by jpburns on Sep 22, 2004 - 47 comments

science

View the Milky Way at 10 million light years from the Earth. Then move through space towards the Earth in successive orders of magnitude until you reach a tall oak tree just outside the buildings of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida. After that, begin to move from the actual size of a leaf into a microscopic world that reveals leaf cell walls, the cell nucleus, chromatin, DNA and finally, into the subatomic universe of electrons and protons.
posted by semmi on Sep 20, 2004 - 18 comments

Let him enforce it!

"It's up to the judge to determine, based on the law, whether Nader should be on the ballot or not" - Jeb Bush. In fact, the court has issued an injunction barring placing Nader on the ballot. But today, Bush's Secretary of State issued an order [pdf] to local elections officials, telling them to ignore the current injunction and place Nader's name on the ballot anyway. [via Kos]
posted by falconred on Sep 13, 2004 - 44 comments

Volunteers for America!

ElectionProtection is a clearinghouse for folks who want to be part of the US electoral process. They've already shown their stuff in primary elections. They're set to go in Florida. The group is a coalition effort of People for the American Way and a bunch of other organizations--some of the usual leftish/centrist suspects (Working Assets, the ACLU, the NAACP), and some rather strange bedfellows (the United Church of Christ, the African American Ministers' Leadership Council). One hopes that people of all political stripes will be welcomed in this effort to get the vote out and educate people about their rights. One (well, this one, anyway) hopes as well that those of us who post about our impatience with the US electoral process on MeFi will put our time and/or money where our pixels are.
posted by Sidhedevil on Sep 3, 2004 - 3 comments

Oh, the terror...

Miami importer distributes toys depicting 9-11 attack. Makes me wonder how long it'll be before these will be on Ebay...
Don't wait, get your own 9-11 inspired figures.
Tired of toys, how about games?
posted by jpburns on Aug 28, 2004 - 60 comments

BOHICA!

Is the GOP tampering with Florida elections? The New York Times reports that State police officers have gone into the homes of elderly black voters in Orlando and interrogated them as part of an odd "investigation" that has frightened many voters, intimidated elderly volunteers and thrown a chill over efforts to get out the black vote in November. Also, see here and here. Why do we even put up with this?
posted by black8 on Aug 16, 2004 - 61 comments

A tale of modern day slavery

Slavery is not just the shameful stuff of history books - not in Florida. Last year, 7 journalists spent 9 months in a behind-the-scenes exploration of the state's immigrant workers. In more than 30 articles and photo essays, they revealed a system where workers are threatened, beaten, locked up, injured, forced into prostitution, and trapped in a spiral of debt and abuse. Powerful forces are arrayed against them in a state where agricultural laws are shaped by politician-farmers who have a vested interest in the status quo. - more -
posted by madamjujujive on Aug 11, 2004 - 28 comments

Brandon's Arms

When he was seven years old, Brandon Maxfield was accidentally shot in the face, becoming permanently paralyzed below the neck. [More inside]
posted by mr_crash_davis on Aug 9, 2004 - 50 comments

Every vote counts

A political party urges Miami voters to use absentee ballots because electronic voting has no paper trail and cannot "verify your vote." The Democrats? Nope -- the Florida GOP.
posted by tregoweth on Jul 29, 2004 - 13 comments

paper trail NOW paper trail NOW paper trail NOW

Florida county loses 2002 E-voting records in computer crash Ooooops. Do your Congresspeople and Senators support verified voting ? - Check the VerifiedVoting.org database (verifiedvoting.org previously mentioned here) to see if your political reps support H.R.2239 and S.1980, the tandem bills before the U.S. House and Senate which would mandate paper-trail voting. "Electronic miscounts of votes are a fact, not a theory...Technologists warn that electronic voting machines are flawed. They say we should "trust but verify." " Others disagree....with Democracy.
posted by troutfishing on Jul 28, 2004 - 26 comments

Democracy...ummm - sometime ?

"No voting rights for YOU......boy!"- Florida's illegal purges of voter rolls to continue for 3rd national election? Election head resigns. While Florida refuses to release the "purge lists" to CNN, "The head of Florida's elections division resigned Monday amid reports he was feeling political heat over a push to purge thousands of suspected felons from the state's voter rolls." (Tallahassee Sun-Sentinel) " there has been little action (and worse, really) on Florida's agreement to reinstate illegally purged voters to Florida voting rolls that resulted from an NAACP lawsuit over the 2000 election ["Many voters said their votes didn't count or they were turned away from polls due to mistakes on voter lists, busy telephone lines at election headquarters, punch-card voting machine foul-ups and other problems...Statewide, the largest numbers of voting problems were found in precincts with high proportions of black and elderly voters." The NYT editorially acknowledged the scandal on February 15, 2004.]

On May 21, 2002, Ashcroft's Justice Department began a suit against Florida counties "for purging Black voters from voter rolls and other violations of civil rights" Now, four years after the 2000 election, illegally "purged" Florida voters will not be notified until it is "too late to have their rights restored for this election - or are turned away on Election Day", reports the Tampa Tribune. "The vast majority of them are black and would be likely to vote Democratic." It's difficult for convicted felons to regain the right to vote in Florida, but many on the "purge" lists were not (in 2000) and still are not felons at all. [ note : Greg Palast - busy of late - must be most credited with blowing this story wide open. See here here, here.....]
posted by troutfishing on Jun 9, 2004 - 46 comments

Florida town changes MLK street name

Florida town changes MLK street name What's in a name, asked Shakespeare. Everything, it seems.
posted by Postroad on May 11, 2004 - 41 comments

Tigger arrested on molestation charges

Tigger arrested on molestation charges. Why couldn't it have been Eeyore? or Piglet?
posted by aaaaa on Apr 2, 2004 - 28 comments

i hate taxes.

Ever hear of a "tangible tax law"? Chances are, you haven't. Florida doesn't have an income tax, so it makes up for it by having something called a tangible tax. The state of Florida taxes businesses for property they ALREADY OWN that could be used to generate income...on top of a 5.5% corporate tax rate. Many Floridians own their own businesses, a percentage of which are sole proprietorships (like me doing freelance work) and so won't owe state or corporate income taxes, yet will have to pay because of this law. Many of you have experience with property taxes, which are the most common form of Ad Valorem tax, but if you own a business or do freelance work, I suggest you educate yourself.
posted by taumeson on Mar 2, 2004 - 10 comments

Open access to government documents? What's that?

"I can make your life very difficult..." In January, journalists posing as regular citizens attempted to review documents under Florida's open access laws. 43% of all requests were denied, and in some cases volunteers were lied to, harassed or even threatened by government officials.
posted by Irontom on Feb 9, 2004 - 29 comments

Did Florida's justice system fail miserably?

Joseph P. Smith had a criminal record dating back to 1993, now suspected of kidnapping and murdering eleven year old Carlie Brucia in Sarasota. According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Smith had a history of "second chances." How typical is this, or is this just a case of hindsight being everything?
posted by SentientAI on Feb 6, 2004 - 23 comments

Florida Art Gallery

Florida Art Gallery: 'Lowbrow Psycho Mod Pop Underground Artwork'.
posted by hama7 on Jan 9, 2004 - 3 comments

shoplifters of the world

Jeb Bush, comedian. "It looks like the people of San Francisco are an endangered species, which may not be a bad thing. That's probably good news for the country."
posted by the fire you left me on Nov 13, 2003 - 50 comments

Florida's New Senator

Florida's New Senator. Bob Graham's retiring and not running for re-election of his senate seat. It's sad to see a good senator go. But not to worry because the end of this Floridian's distinguished senatorial career marks the beginning of another... Katherine Harris for U.S. Senate 2004!
posted by gregb1007 on Nov 7, 2003 - 12 comments

Jeb Bush Should be Ashamed

What Jeb Bush is up to these days. A followup to a dreadful situation in the state of Florida.
posted by tommyspoon on Aug 27, 2003 - 23 comments

Tampa drops face-recognition system

Tampa drops face-recognition system The Tampa Police Department says the system, which scans faces in a crowd and compares them with a database of criminals, didn't help them catch even one criminal. Could it be that law enforcement is starting to understand that technology is no substitution for good old fashioned police work?
posted by whirlwind29 on Aug 23, 2003 - 8 comments

The Historical Museum of Southern Florida

The Historical Museum of Southern Florida. A good set of exhibits and collections : the Afro-Cuban Orisha religion and associated arts; the Miami Centennial Quilt; South American music in Miami; illustrating Cuba's flora and fauna; vintage Cuban postcards; selections from Audubon's 'Birds of America'; Pan Am memorabilia; and more.
posted by plep on Jun 20, 2003 - 9 comments

jesus loves you, but not in that way

Walt Disney World's recent designation as a no-fly zone has had an additional consequence: Christian extremists can no longer harass gay tourists from above.
posted by donkeyschlong on Jun 3, 2003 - 28 comments

Bob Graham's diary

Bob Graham, Florida senator and Democratic presidential aspirant, burned 246 calories on his exercise bike on Feb. 7, 1999. Good thing, because he weighed in that morning at 187, up one pound from the previous day. How do we know this? Because over the past 26 years, Graham has filled box after box with journals capturing an incredible, some say obsessive, level of detail about his daily life. Quirky, sure; parody friendly, no doubt; but will the GOP be successful in using it to paint him as crazy? (Salon daypass req. for last link)
posted by luser on Jun 3, 2003 - 17 comments

Suckers!TM

Jeb Bush has asked a court to appoint a guardian for the fetus of a developmentally disabled rape victim. (reg: mefi, mefi) Never mind that in a 1989 case, the Florida Supreme Court declared that it was "clearly improper" to appoint a guardian for a fetus.

The 22-year-old woman is so disabled that her pregnancy is considered a product of rape, is incapable of consenting to a DNA test and cannot otherwise help the police find the father; but I'm sure she'll make a great mom!
posted by magullo on May 16, 2003 - 45 comments

No more Scarlet Letter!

Is this your fetus? Are you the one I slept with? Remember when we discussed this before? Florida has now been forced by 4 plaintiffs and the ACLU to repeal the so-called Scarlet Letter law that forces women who are pregnant and giving children up for adoption to take out an ad local papers once a week for 4 weeks, stating her name and her sexual history in the last year, to let men know if they *might* be the father. Here is the ACLU legal brief. The details about the decision are in the first link. Thank god for the ACLU.
posted by aacheson on Apr 25, 2003 - 46 comments

Florida's Culture Cutbacks

Rallies in the streets didn't do much stop it. The Florida Division of Cultural Affairs distributed $28M last year to 720 arts organizations. Gov. Geb Bush proposed a 57% cut to $12M. The House proposed $6.6M, a 78% cut. The Senate voted to abolish the fund, and today the House voted 67-44 in agreement with the Senate. Some Florida press are calling it "culture on the chopping block" but arts groups are mobilizing action in hope of some funding miracle.
posted by bclark on Apr 25, 2003 - 17 comments

Attention Deficit Disorder

Choking Man. This weirdo has been running around South Florida for a few months, feigning choking in front of women in parking lots. Why do people feel the need to act out Chuck Palahniuk's stories?
posted by shadow45 on Mar 17, 2003 - 9 comments

substitute ruins Christmas for kindergartners

"No, Virginia Hayley, there isn't a Santa Claus" A substitute teacher in Florida was reading aloud to her class of Kindergartners when the subject unexpectedly turned to the existence of Santa Claus. Rather than perpetuate a myth, "Mrs. P" chose to come clean with the gathered five year olds, and explained that there was no Santa, and that all presents "come from mom and dad." Well, next thing you know, kids are crying, parents are protesting, and the teacher feels awful. In an effort to "make up for the teacher's lapse," the school district decides to send in a "Santa" to visit the class in order to "set the record straight": "Today's visiting Santa, with a natural, full white beard, should convince even a classroom full of skeptics, said district spokesman Englehart. 'He's the real deal.'" Great! Well, except for the fact that he's not. (via obscurestore)
posted by pardonyou? on Dec 13, 2002 - 123 comments

Is state government finally doing something right?

Is state government finally doing something right? Who knows? this seems legit enough. Apparently, if you register you can get cyber security alerts delivered to your mailbox. Can I register if I'm from say, Nebraska? Furthermore, how real is the threat to Florida's cyber infrastructure anyways?
posted by Captain Supermarket on Nov 21, 2002 - 11 comments

I'm amazed. (And no, this isn't a Lone Star thread.) For all the politics fuss we've engaged in over the last 2 years, I'm a bit surprised that no one thought it a fit topic for discussion that Florida lost 100,000 votes this week. In Broward County. But of course, those are the *only* votes we lost track of, right...?
posted by baylink on Nov 8, 2002 - 5 comments

Florida Machine Records Votes for Wrong Candidate.

Florida Machine Records Votes for Wrong Candidate. OK, I know Matt Drudge isn't exactly a venerated news outlet, but he is in South Florida. And he's reporting that a West Palm Beach voter called in to a South Florida radio talk show to report that when he voted for McBride this morning the machine counted his vote for Bush. After he'd tried three times, the voter said, an observing poll worker finally acknowledged that the machine would have to be reprogrammed, since earlier voters had experienced the same problem. There is no official confirmation of this problem, but calls to the same radio show two years ago evidently foreshadowed the 2000 election debacle. I'll be keeping an eye on sites like Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo as the day wears on. In the end, what should the electorate do (in addition to initiating lawsuits) if outcome-determining irregularities surface in yet another Florida election?
posted by maud on Nov 5, 2002 - 68 comments

Ever visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Ever visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame? I haven't...I live in Florida. In honor of football season, however, check it out online. It has some pretty neat features, like how football teams got named, concise team histories, and a timeline of how American Football came about. Princeton vs. Rutgers in 1869 started it all....
posted by taumeson on Oct 8, 2002 - 22 comments

More mischief in Florida: Jeb's "devious plans"

More mischief in Florida: Jeb's "devious plans" Unaware that a reporter with a tape recorder was present, Jeb Bush told Florida lawmakers last wednesday about his "couple of devious plans" to thwart the will of Florida voters. And that's not all....
posted by troutfishing on Oct 6, 2002 - 21 comments

Was Jeb Bush fed the Florida Grubernatorial debate? The governor addresses random voter "Sylvia" in regards to her question. The problem is that the moderator didn't say a woman named Sylvia has a question until three minutes later. (More inside)
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Oct 1, 2002 - 32 comments

This Green House,

This Green House, an Orlando couple's struggle to build the ecologically friendly home of their dreams: "The question eventually comes down to the price of environmental consciousness. I was asked, 'Why bother with all these things if the readily available alternatives are suitable?' And my best response is: 'Why not?'"
posted by mr_crash_davis on Sep 29, 2002 - 11 comments

Jeb Bush delivers Florida ... to Janet Reno's opponent in the primary.

Jeb Bush delivers Florida ... to Janet Reno's opponent in the primary. Not a repost of the trouble-at-the-polls brouhaha. Carl Hiaasen looks at the Bush team's "stupendous" backfire in targeting a second-tier candidate, eventual winner Bill McBride, in an apparently incessant string of TV ads that moved McBride from anonymity to a fearsome candidate. "Why else would the GOP buy so much TV time to slam him?" asks Hiaasen, and indeed, McBride's follow-up ads capitalized on this notoriety. By carrying the primary, the race against Bush gets more interesting: "Reno is a known quantity about whom most voters already feel strongly one way or the other," notes Hiaasen. "McBride is a fresh face with no Clinton baggage and a Bronze Star from the Vietnam War."
posted by blueshammer on Sep 12, 2002 - 11 comments

Two-headed turtle found in Florida

Two-headed turtle found in Florida
Probably not all that interesting as a single link, but it turns out there are many animals out there with 2 heads. There's a Two-headed moose fetus, The Full Range of animals with 2 heads, Two Headed Snakes, and here's A Nice Bibliography on the double head topic.
As for the turtle, they let it go, "We didn't want it to become a freak in a freak show," they said.
posted by Blake on Sep 12, 2002 - 17 comments

Another election debacle in Florida.

Another election debacle in Florida. One year and $30m in technology later, the Reno/McBride primary is marred by late openings and other assorted and sundry glitches. I know, it's a CNN link, but I can't resist anything that includes someone delivering the grade "F-minus-minus-minus" (later determined to be merely an "F-minus-minus" and some Drambuie). Any personal voting horror stories from our Florida contingent? Will the state become a case study in how "throwing money at the problem" never works?
posted by mkultra on Sep 12, 2002 - 27 comments

Florida just might screw it up again, with problems voting state-wide, with concentrations in the southern portion of the state. With the fame of the Reno vote, along with the controversial gay rights issue on the ballot, can they afford to screw this up? And if they do, what next? More lawsuits?
posted by benjh on Sep 10, 2002 - 30 comments

This week, two boys in Florida were tried for the bludgeoning-murder of their father. With accusations raised of the actual killing to have been done by another, adult male with alleged sexual ties to the two boys, the boys were found guilty only of a lesser second-degree murder charge, claiming the adult must have done the actual deed... yet the jury was unaware the adult accused and being tried for that very idea was acquitted of all charges the previous week. The issue? Both trials were handled by the same prosecutor who presented completely different theories to each jury... in other words, not settling on a confident belief of who actually performed the killing, the prosecution tried to get both the adult and the pair of boys convicted for it. Isn't that risky? Or, if you like a different flavor of debate, isn't that completely unethical?
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Sep 7, 2002 - 40 comments

Florida to settle 2000 election lawsuit.

Florida to settle 2000 election lawsuit. Major provisions include a promise for massive reforms in voter registration, voter-roll maintenance and polling practices, as part of the lawsuit pushed by the NAACP. Granted, it's good that a large angered group is "getting over it" as many (even on this board) have still been explaining, but should skeptics (read: Democrats) such as myself read the Florida legislature's desire to settle as a sign that they may not have thought they would have won against charges of rigging the election?
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Aug 31, 2002 - 11 comments

Watch those Waterway in Florida

Watch those Waterway in Florida says the U.S. Coast Guard. Possible terrorist threats include drawing or taking photographs of the shore, being near the shore for a long time, and under no circumstances would any law abiding citizen be doing something as daring and thoroughly terrorist-like as renting a boat.
posted by benjh on Aug 23, 2002 - 37 comments

DCF leader: It's OK to spank

DCF leader: It's OK to spank The man named Thursday by Gov. Jeb Bush to head Florida's notoriously inept child welfare agency is an evangelical Christian who views spanking that causes ''bruises or welts'' as acceptable punishment. In a 1989 essay entitled The Christian World View of the Family, Regier and co-author George Rekers railed against abortion and gay couples forming families, and emphasized that husbands have ``final say in any family dispute.''
posted by bas67 on Aug 17, 2002 - 82 comments

Florida's child services system lost track of over 500 children; Sun-Sentinel newspaper locates 9 of them using public records and high tech gadgets like the telephone.
posted by junkbox on Aug 13, 2002 - 11 comments

Women who put babies up for adoption required to publish sexual pasts

Women who put babies up for adoption required to publish sexual pasts Web sites can't collect info on minors, but Florida wants all women, including minors, to publish their sexual history in local newspapers before they're allowed to give their child up for adoption. Abortions are difficult to get in Florida, almost impossible for some minors because of parental notification and permission requirements, yet wouldn't this law push more women towards abortion rather than towards adoption?
posted by dejah420 on Aug 7, 2002 - 83 comments

Pornographers jack domain name from Florida sheriff.

Pornographers jack domain name from Florida sheriff. Aycock said the Sheriff's Office had owned the domain name since 1995, and that its registration is current. "When I was told about this, I thought they were kidding," he said. "We dug out a receipt and we're paid up through November. When we find out who's responsible for this we're going to go after them. I am not very happy that this has happened."

The Sheriff may discover that precious few laws protect him and that prosecuting a Canadian company could be tricky. Link from Delaware Law Office.
posted by mikewas on Jul 9, 2002 - 5 comments

Canine candidate challenges Harris in FL elections

Canine candidate challenges Harris in FL elections Harris the dog is running as a write-in candidate in the Republican primary. Percy is described as "a compassionate conservative who takes a hard-line with social parasites, particularly fleas and worms. His past is free of sex scandals, due to 'timely neutering.'" A great reminder of why this country is so great.
posted by wackybrit on Jul 3, 2002 - 25 comments

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