Tag Archives: Rick Scott

Hero of the Week Award: Sen. Chris Murphy

17 Jun

Chris MurphyThis has been an extraordinarily painful week for the LGBTQ community, in the wake of last Sunday’s massacre. If it is possible for something good to come from all of this hate, homophobia, and fear, I hope part of the healing will come from gun control reform.

Kudos to Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn), for leading the filibuster on the senate floor to expand gun control policies with two specific measures. Yes, this is the very least the senate can do in response to the massacre in Orlando. As a side note, I need to point out that this is also very tied into race, gender, homophobia, and misogyny. The Pulse was — and will be again — a safe space for LGBTQ people, mostly queer people of color. The United States seems to feel it is acceptable to regulate women’s bodies, why can we not regulate guns? Finally the NRA’s bedfellow, Mitch McConnell, has acquiesced and agreed to hold votes for the proposed amendment.

It grows ever wearisome to hear the call for prayers every time we have people murdered by guns. We do not need the prayers, we need gun control! Sadly, I have to offer a dishonorable mention to Florida Governor, Rick Scott, a.k.a Lord Voldemort. When reporters asked Scott if there was anything that could be done on a policy level to prevent future shootings like this, Scott (who has put forth enormous energy to relax gun control laws (there is no waiting period currently to buy the AR-15) replied: “We can pray for the victims, pray for the families and pray this never happens again.” How’s that working so far?

There are at least 27 reported gun deaths EVERY DAY in the United States. The AR-15 was used in the following massacres: Orlando, Florida–49 killed, 53 wounded; Aurora, Colorado, 12 killed, 70 wounded; Sandy Hook, Connecticut, 26 killed; Santa Monica, California, 5 killed, 4 wounded; Roseburg, Oregon, 9 killed; San Bernadino, California, 14 killed, 22 wounded. Maybe its just me, but prayers don’t seem to be doing much to change things. Maybe we need action, such as adopting expansive gun control measures? Want that to happen? Get out and vote!

In addition to Murphy, I want to acknowledge and give an honorable mention to the following Democratic Senators for finally creating significant resistance against the NRA and pushing for greater gun control policies: Richard Blumenthal, and Cory Booker (NJ),  Dick Durbin (IL), Bill Nelson (FL), Chuck Schumer (NY), Joe Manchin (WV), Ben Cardin (MD), Ed Markey (MA), Patrick Leahy (VT), Al Franken (MN), Patty Murray (WA), Gary Peters (MI), Bob Casey (PA), Ron Wyden (OR), Elizabeth Warren (MA), Jeff Merkley (OR), Bob Menendez (NJ), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Claire McCaskill (MO), Mark Warner (VA), Amy Klobuchar (MN), Barbara Mikulski (MD), Sherrod Brown (OH), and counting. Yes, I’m very glad to see that both of Oregon’s senators were on this list!

The constitution is a living document and the flaws of the second amendment seem glaringly obvious. Given that no women and no people of color had any representation or voice in drafting the original document, it would stand to reason that this document needs further tweaking to represent more voices.

If you do not see your senator on this list, please contact them and let your voice be heard. I wish everyone a Happy Pride Month and let us not give into fear but share our love and solidarity!

Voting Rights Act of 1965–What Happened?

6 Aug

Today marks the 47th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  The Voting Rights Act finally addressed the widespread discrimination African Americans faced when trying to cast their votes. Sadly, here we are in the 21st Century and there are still political factions trying to suppress minority voters (who vote overwhelmingly Democratic…). Florida’s Republican Gov. Rick Scott and and Secretary of State Ken Detzner are trying to block voting rights for thousands of Latino Floridians.  These silly Republicans clearly either don’t know history, or feel they are above the law.

Now Republican Tom  Corbett is watching as the State of Pennsylvania tries to disenfranchise minority voters by imposing a “photo ID” requirement to vote.  Of course, this adversely and disproportionately affects people of color, young voters, older voters and those with low incomes — all people who traditionally vote Democratic. Sadly, there are 35 states that require photo ID to vote; all these laws have been pushed through by Republicans led legislatures.  Even my home state of Georgia practices this type of discrimination by requiring voters to present a photo ID. I would point out here that an estimated 21 million people do not have a current, government-issued photo ID. The numbers are even higher for black people, Hispanics and other minorities.

It is amazing to see how Republicans work hard to chip away bit by bit at fundamental rights like those in the 14th Amendment. It’s just like their efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade incrementally and to block marriage equality one state at a time. Clearly, being on the right doesn’t make one right about rights…

Hero of the Week Award: June 15, County Election Supervisors in Florida

15 Jun

Hero of the Week

How nice to be able to celebrate 67 elected officials in one award this week! Election supervisors in every county in Florida have stood by their principles and refused to participate in the illegal voter purge that Republican Gov. Rick Scott is intent on carrying out.

In an effort to make Florida 2012 a repeat of Florida 2000, Scott and Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner are trying to block voting rights for thousands of Floridians. The program is being conducted under the guise of removing non-citizens and other ineligible people from the voting rolls. Curiously, however, the people targeted trend heavily Hispanic and Democrat. Voters are told that they will not be able to vote unless they appeal and appear in person within 30 days. This is a heavy burden for poor or elderly voters who are also heavily targeted.

A few election supervisors noted early on that the list of voters to purge was deeply flawed. (In Miami-Dade, for example, the false hits on the list outnumber the non-citizens 50-to-1!) They asked the Secretary of State to halt the program until it could be refined and were told NO. The purge is also a violation of the National Voter Registration Act under at least two sections. Purges cannot be conducted during a 90-day quiet period before a Federal election and with the Florida primary in August, that window is closed. Florida also has to comply with Federal review guidelines for any purges because of racist history in its voting practices.

Fortunately for Florida’s voters, County Election Supervisors have the final say on who is registered to vote — and with all 67 telling the Secretary of State to take his list and shove it, the purge is effectively halted. Says Ion Sancho of Leon County, one of the most vocal opponents of the purge,

We’re just not going to do this. I’ve talked to many of the other supervisors and they agree. The list is bad. And this is illegal.

Great to see these men and women doing the jobs they were elected to do and protecting the innocent. Bonus points to the U.S. Department of Justice, which is taking Florida to court over this blatant abuse of power.

Thank you to TSM reader and LGBT ally Voice of the Trailer for this week’s Honorable Mention which goes to The Department of Defense.  The Pentagon announced Thursday that it will be commemorating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride later this month.
“The Defense Department is planning an LGBT Pride Month event for later this month,” Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Laniez said in a statement issued Thursday.
Press Secretary George Little said senior Defense Department officials will take part in the event, but had no other details. It was just a year ago, a member of the military faced punishment or discharge if he or she admitted being homosexual, but last September the administration scrapped the policy known as “don’t ask don’t tell.”

Progress!  Thank you Department of Defense.

Florida: Bullying LGBT Youth

27 Mar

Welcome to CracKKKerville

Thank you to my friend John Abbott who inspired me to write this article; hopefully we can help other LGBT youth from being bullied. Florida’s Flagler County Schools is NOT a safe place for ANY students.  It is not safe for LGBT youth because they are being bullied and it is not  safe for heterosexual students because they are learning that it is acceptable to bully others who are different.  Luke Herbert is an out and gay 15 year old in Flagler County Schools. He describes Flagler County:

The U.S. Congressman for this district, John L. Mica, has voted against every single gay rights measure ever presented to him for a vote.  The KKK has distributed hate literature in the county, telling persons “qualified” to apply for KKK membership that they will help “stop the moral destruction of our culture by homosexuals.

Luke reports he has never heard any adult in the Flagler County Schools say the least positive thing about gay people.  How pathetic that the KKK can be celebrated in Flagler County, but they won’t do anything to prevent bullying of LGBT youth.  Rep. John Mica (R-FL) seems to be a typical RepubliKKKan (thank you John). In this article, Luke recounts many incidents of being bullied for being gay, some which include being physically bullied and tortured.  The school system has yet to take any action. Given the current Governor, it is not likely that the political landscape of Florida will change soon, unless there is a recall. Of course, Florida is also where Terry Jones burnt the Qur’an–so much for religious freedom!  Please share this article so that we might expose the school system in Flagler County and help other LGBT youth. We must stand together to drown out the voices of hate and bigotry!

Bigot of the Week Award: March 25

25 Mar

Bigot of the Week

The Tea Party Brew grows more bitter with each passing day. Unfortunately, Scott Walker and Rick Scott have shared some tea/Kool-aid with Maine Tea Party Gov. Paul LePage (R).  LePage’s latest move to order the removal of of a 36-foot mural depicting Maine’s labor history from the lobby of the state’s Department of Labor offices, claiming they received “some complaints” from business owners, earns him this week’s BWA.

But wait! It gets worse. LePage goes even further to prove that this is now Corporate America and workers are immaterial–slaves really, if you will.  Yes, LePage also ordered eight conference rooms named after labor leaders — including Cesar Chavez— to be renamed. Perhaps we can call one of the conference rooms Koch Industries or Haliburton.  LePage is the same governor that supports rolling back child labor laws.  Bravo!  We don’t need to educate our youth.  Better they learn a trade. I hear 10 year olds make perfect coal miners. Here is a great quote from the Portland Press Herald:

This is political payback, the opposite of putting people first. It’s a spiteful, mean-spirited move by the governor that does nothing to create jobs or improve the Maine economy.

Is anyone paying attention out there?  Wake up America. The Tea Party is not about creating jobs or helping Americans; it continues to prove it is the party of Rich White bigoted Christians!  Time for a recall!  Here are two sources to read for further information. Click here and click here.

Reading the Tea Leaves: We’re In for Two Years of Nasty Craziness

19 Feb

Who's pouring this bitter tea?

Last November, American voters started brewing a strong pot of tea. It has finished steeping and officials elected by the Tea Party are starting to pour their brew. Let’s take a quick look at what they are serving up.

  • The budget proposed by the Republican-controlled house savages women’s rights, stripping funding from Planned Parenthood and defunding Title X.
  • That same budget contains a provision defunding health care reform, sacrificing the elderly, the young, and the poor.
  • Just for fun, the budget also slashes all support for public broadcasting. Of course they defeated an amendment that would have ended military funding for NASCAR.
  • Republicans in Virginia have launched an aggressive campaign to roll back gay rights in that commonwealth.
  • Scott Walker, the TP Governor of Wisconsin is working with the Republican-controlled legislature to crush organizing rights and basic benefits for public employees.
  • Florida Governor and Medicare scam criminal Rick Scott has refused federal funding for high-speed rail because it is funded by President Obama’s stimulus program. (That’s okay, Rick, Oregon will gladly take more money for safe, efficient travel.)

While the Tea Party prides itself on being a grass-roots movement (funded by corporate interests), there is a basic set of principles that supporters tend to list as their platform:

  • Individual freedoms (from women’s rights, gay rights, efficient transportation, collective bargaining, and non-corporate media)
  • Personal responsibility (to pay for congressional health care while losing one’s own)
  • Returning political power to the states and the people (power to spend time and money fighting health care in court and crush workers)

Cheers to the Democrats in the Wisconsin Senate, Harry Reid, President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and other who are speaking out and taking action against this horrific agenda.

The Tea Partiers press their agenda despite substantial public objection to most of the specifics, not wishing to be troubled with facts. The rest of America should be terrified about what’s coming next.

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