Archive for October, 2011

Big Money and Local Politics

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

David Sirota wrote the book “Back to our Future: How the 1980s explain the world we live in.”

He’s a Colorado morning radio show host and his wife, Emily, is a candidate for the school board.  It’s an unpaid position. However to the Sirotas’ surprise Emily’s candidacy has provoked a flood of outside money into her opponent’s campaign war chest. Sirota compares the resulting attack ads to a Saturday Night Live skit.

It’s an interesting read about the effort to nationalize the debate over local policy issues. Even former President George W Bush makes an appearance  to influence the outcome of a local education debate.  Click on school board race to read more.

A Times Writer Call to Occupy Newsrooms

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

David Carr takes Gannett to task in a column he wrote for the New York Times. He notes that the former chief executive of Gannett, Craig Dubow, received a $37.1 million severance package. Dubow, during his tenure,  Dubow eliminated more than 30,000 jobs at Gannett newspapers, including the Tallahassee Democrat.

Carr credits USA Today for explaining that Wall Street’s practice of awarding millions in bonuses is driving the Occupy movement. He’s calling on protestors to start focusing on local newsrooms. To read his column click on  Occupy

Assignment Uganda: Completed: Letters 13, 14 and 15

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Former Leon County Commissioner Bob Rackleff  spent the summer volunteering in Africa.  Rackleff, through  American Jewish World Service, worked with the National Association of Professional Environmentalist (NAPE) in Uganda.  The 68-year old Rackleff, helped the group set up a web site and with other communication and fundraising activities.

While in Uganda, Rackleff wrote weekly letters to the Tallahassee Observer. To read about his final three weeks working in Kampala and wandering the Uganda countryside click on  Assignment Uganda.

A Soviet Exile’s Take on the Rubio Flap

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Andrew Pavelyev  writing for the Frum Forum  explains why he does not accept Rubio’s explanation for getting wrong key details of the Rubio family’s immigration story.

Pavelyev emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1992.  To read his comments click on Rubio’s False Bio.


Republicans Call for Corporate Tax Cuts

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Rep. Perry Thurston asks if corporate tax cuts create jobs then where are the jobs?


Florida lawmakers will need to close a $2 billion budget shortfall when they meet in January. State economists say tax collections hit a wall during the summer and revised their forecast down through 2015.

Senate President Mike Haridopolos and Senate Budget Chairman J.D. Alexander say the economists may be overly optimistic. Haridopolos says expect the shortfall to grow. The Revenue Estimating Conference will issue a forecast in January. That report will tell lawmakers how much money the state will have to spend next year. Haridopolos  says the Legislature will close any budget shortfall without raising taxes.

While Florida lawmakers have cut spending for six consecutive years., Governor Rick Scott is calling for more spending and tax cuts. It’s part of his plan to stimulate economic growth.

When Scott’s chief  lobbyists briefed the House Finance and Tax Committee on the Governor’s plan to revive a stalled economy Democrats on the panel expressed skepticism.  Broward Rep. Perry Thurston asked  Jon Costello if he knew of any report indicating the number of jobs created by previous corporate tax cuts. Costello said no. To hear a radio report on Democrats challenging what has become Republican orthodoxy that tax and spending cuts automatically create economic growth click on  tax cuts