Category Archives: Politics: 2010 Election

Florida Voters: Sign the ‘Make It Legal Florida’ Petition

There’s a petition campaign being conducted by Make it Legal Florida to amend the Florida state Constitution to make possession and use of small quantities of marijuana legal under Florida law.

I strongly support this change: the war on pot has criminalized too many people, disproportionately poor.  The pot war also creates contempt for the law among an ever-larger population, one that thinks the ban is ridiculous and which thinks nothing of flouting the marijuana laws routinely. Also pernicious is the excuse, real or feigned, of ‘smelling marijuana’ that has justified a large number of law enforcement searches that would otherwise be illegal and, in poorer areas, would otherwise be seen as the discriminatory and coercive actions they are.  (Wait until we have driverless cars and the ‘erratic lane change’ and ‘failure to signal’ excuses go out the window….)

While pot use may not be totally safe, and has little appeal for me, it doesn’t seem as dangerous or addictive as alcohol, which is legal for adults, nor for that matter (as far as we know) tobacco, which is still legal for the moment. Bans on pot, and arguably other drugs also, not only motivate and finance organized crime, they divert police resources from more important public safety issues. The large profits available in the illicit drug trade is a major source of potential corruption in law enforcement — although to be fair this is likely more true of harder drugs where the public health consequences of legalization would be more fraught.

Normally, you would expect this sort of change by legislation.  But Florida is a 50/50 state which has a large gerrymandered Republican majority in the legislature.  As a result, state constitutional amendments are often the only way to get progressive proposals adopted, even when they have as wide popular support as this one. Thus, in Florida purism about what does and doesn’t belong in a Constitution needs to be relaxed considerably from the ideal.

Crassly, putting a pot amendment on the 2020 ballot should also motivate increased turnout from younger voters, something which is usually good for progressive candidates. So that’s another reason for registered Florida voters (only) to download, sign, and mail the petition.

The petition contains a summary, reflecting what would be on the ballot. The full text of the amendment is also online.

Posted in Florida, Law: Criminal Law, Politics: 2010 Election | 1 Comment

McCain 2008 Oppo File on Romney

Did you know that back in January, Buzzfeed posted the McCain 2008 campaign’s entire 200 page opposition research memo on Romney?

I didn’t. And I also just found the Nutshell version: Buzzfeed’s Fifty Greatest Hits From John McCain’s Giant Mitt Romney Oppo File.

Posted in Politics: 2010 Election | Comments Off on McCain 2008 Oppo File on Romney

What Happened?

I want to believe this Progressive polling post-mortem from Stan Greenberg & Robert Borosage. I'm just afraid it appeals too much to my preconceptions.

Posted in Politics: 2010 Election | 4 Comments

The Only Good News

Amendments Five and Six look like they will pass (and Amendment Two is a shoo-in). The other ones either fail to get 60% or in the case of Amendment Four fail miserably.

I was a huge fan of Amendments Five and Six, which hold out the hope of fixing a pretty broken state districting system currently based on pervasive gerrymandering.

Other than that….ouch.

Posted in Politics: 2010 Election | 5 Comments

Handy Summary Voting Guide

Florida allows you take a crib sheet into the polls. I published a full-length voting guide a few days ago, but here's the summary version:

Senator: Meek, or Crist if you think it will stop Rubio. At this writing I'm leaning Crist, but I change my mind five times a day.

Congress: FL-25, vote for Joe Garcia, FL-22 vote for Ron Klein. In other districts your vote for a Democrat is a vote against the Tea Party and its fellow travelers.

Governor: Alex Sink. Stopping Rick Scott is important.

Attorney General: Dan Gelber. The GOP's Pam Bondi is a particularly horrible candidate.

[UPDATE: Florida CFO: Loranne Ausley. Any vote against Jeff Atwater is a good vote. Plus Ausley, currently the chair of Florida Healthy Kids Corporation, likely would do a fine job.]

Commissioner of Agriculture & Consumer Services: Scott Maddox.

State Representative District 111: Christina Albright.

(I don't live in Miami-Dade County Commission District 8, but if I did I would vote for Eugene Flinn; he's great and the other candidate is awful, just awful.

Non-partisan Judicial Retention Elections: Vote to retain the Justices and Judges.

State Constitutional Amendments (pay attention here, these matter)

Amendment One: NO.

Amendment Two: No recommendation, although I'll vote no.

Amendment Four: Yes.

Amendment Five: YES!

Amendment Six: YES!

Amendment Eight: NO!

Non-binding Resolution on Balancing the Federal Budget: No.

Miami-Dade Home Rule Charter Amendment: No.

Again, fuller explanations for these suggestions are here.

Posted in Politics: 2010 Election | Comments Off on Handy Summary Voting Guide


All these guys are going to vote — shouldn't you?

After all, you've been warned about will happen if you don't vote.

And don't forget to consult my utterly unbiased totally rational unimpeachable Voting Guide for Miami-Dade voters. Live elsewhere? Find a Local Progressive Voter Guide

Not convinced? Here's a group of people from SAVE Dade with some reasons not to vote:

Find Your Polling Place.

Update: A Bonus video: Hi, I'm a Tea-Partier. (Warning: swearing & Tea Party rhetoric.)

Posted in Politics: 2010 Election | Comments Off on Vote!