A Response to Marco Rubio

September 6th, 2011

Rubio, on the left, and Gelber, on the right, served in the Florida House together.

Former state senator Dan Gelber penned a rebuttal to U.S. Senator Marco Rubio’s Reagan Library speech.  Gelber takes exception with  Rubio’s assertion that policies to collectively care for the aged, sick and poor have “actually weakened us as a people.”

In a  Miami Herald op ed Gelber writes that the right has lost sight of  what makes America different. To read the full column click on Gelber.

What Happened When Civil Rights Were Restored

August 12th, 2011

   A report by the Florida Parole Commission found that ex-felons whose rights were restored were less likely to commit new crimes.

Attorney General Pam Bondi campaigned to reverse a decision by former Governor Charlie Crist to make it easier for released inmates to regain the right to vote, serve on a jury and hold an elected office.

In March, when Governor Scott, Attorney General Bondi and the Cabinet met as the Parole Commission for the first time they established a five-year waiting period for former prison inmates  to prove they can go crime-free before getting their rights restored.

Now, a just published state report finds the Rights Restoration initiative established by Crist cut the recidivism rate by almost two thirds. To hear a radio report click on  Parole Commission Report.

The Gov’s Charm Offensive

August 12th, 2011

When surveys indicated he had the lowest approval ratings in the country Scott switched tactics and started trying to explain himself.

Florida Governor Rick Scott is still the least popular governor in America but his charm offensive is less than a month old.

Scott’s approval rating has ticked up six points since may when 29 percent of respondents in a Quinnipiac University Poll said they approved of his job performance.

Starting in August, Scott tried to start melting the icy relationship between the governor’s office and the reporters who cover him on a daily basis in Tallahassee.

He even invited the press into his office for coffee, donuts and an hour-long discussion with no ground rules. To hear a radio report click on Scott.

Obama Losing Florida’s Voters

August 12th, 2011

Half of the respondents said the President didn't deserve a second term.

 A Quinnipiac survey of Florida voters indicate Floridians are not impressed with the job President Barack Obama is doing.

Pollsters called voters between July 27th and August 2nd while Mr. Obama and Congressional leaders debated a national debt ceiling deal.   The dispute coincided with the President’s job approval rating crashing.  In a May survey, his approval/disapproval ratio was a positive 51 -43 percent.

The August poll has opposite numbers with the disapproval number at 50 percent. To hear a radio report click on poll.

Assignment Uganda

August 1st, 2011

Former Leon County Commissioner Bob Rackleff is spending the summer as a volunteer in Africa. He signed up with the American Jewish World Service to assist the National Association of Professional Environmentalist (NAPE) in Uganda.  

While in Kampala, the 68-year old Rackleff will provide NAPE with communication, fundraising and management services.

Click on Uganda June 19 to read a month’s worth of letters in which Rackleff  walks the congested streets of Kamapla neighborhoods, he writes  police officers have begun to greet him as a familiar sight. 

Rackleff”s latest report covers the time between June 19th to July 25th.

Scott Backs Down on Parks Proposal

July 20th, 2011

Hundreds of citizens attended public hearings and protested a proposal to allow camping at more state parks. After a weeks of protests the Department of Environmental Protection said it would pull Honeymoon Island from the list and Governor Rick Scott said he would take a “closer look” at the idea of permitting RV camping. To hear a radio report detailing the controversy click on state parks.

Assignment Uganda

June 29th, 2011

Former Leon County Commissioner Bob Rackleff is spending the summer as a volunteer in Africa. He signed up with the American Jewish World Service to assist the National Association of Professional Environmentalist (NAPE) in Uganda.  

A Tallahassee native and  former Jimmy Carter speechwriter, Rackleff established himself as a local activst in the early 1990s when he led a  campaign to stop construction of a petroleum pipeline through Leon County. Rackleff served three terms as a  Commissioner and retired last fall. He considers construction of the East Side Library and a landfill highlights of his 12 years as an elected official.  

While in Kampala, the 68-year old Rackleff will provide NAPE with communication, fundraising and management services. He said he wants to provide “as much public service I can, while I can.”   Until his return to Tallahassee in late September, Rackleff will write about his experiences in weekly letters. To read  more click on Bob Rackleff .  

 

 

It’s A Sham!, Redistricting Rules Anger Groups

June 28th, 2011

Twentysix meetings are scheduled across FL this summer

Florida Lawmakers are spending the summer holding public hearings to  get citizens input into the once-a-decade task of redrawing congressional and  legislative districts. 

However the rules and procedures lawmakers adopted for the meetings has angered many activists and a couple Democratic members of the Florida House.

To hear a radio report click on rules.

The Best Government Money Can Buy

June 13th, 2011

Most Americans agree with Twain that Government is for sale.

 

Most Americans are cynical about the effect of money on politics in the U.S., and that cynicism is significantly higher than it was in the 1990s, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Thursday indicates that 86 percent of the public thinks elected officials in the nation’s capital are mostly influenced by the pressure they receive from campaign contributors.  

James Call reports a University of Central Florida political science professor said Florida is taking steps to change the culture of money and politics. To hear a radio report click on voters

An Incoherent Message

June 6th, 2011

 Governor Rick Scott is one of the least popular governors in the United States. Since taking office in January, Scott has pursued aggressively policies to reduce the size of governement, lower taxes, cut spending and eliminate regulations.

Less than a third of poll respondents approve of the moves. Scott’s public image suffered when sheriff’s deputies removed citizens holding signs critical of Scott from a budget signing ceremony.  To hear a radio story about the Governor’s media-relations problems click on  Scott