Monday, October 31, 2016

Leon County Florida, General Election, November Ballot 2016

:(

After many hours of work and late nights staying up writing this blog it was accidently deleted and I can't figure out how to get it back.

I apologize for the lack of in depth research but below is a quick synopsis of how I plan to vote without all of the previous detail, except in a few races.

Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller

Difficult choice but I give the edge to Gwen.
Gwen Marshall - DEM - (My Pick) has been working for the Clerks of the Circuit Court and Comptrollers for 17 years.
Franklin Ayetin - NPA - Assistant General Counsel for the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

Sheriff

After 2 years being the county with the highest violent crime rate in the state it is time for a change.
Charlie Strickland - REP - (A close second) -
Walt McNeil - DEM - Former Police Chief, would also make a good choice.
Tommy Mills - NPA -
Mike Woods - NPA - (My Pick) Current Sheriff, based on inside info, has helped to greatly improve moral at the office.

Property Appraiser

Akin Akinyemi - former county commissioner. My favorite quote from him. "I am a very humble man, but I have done more for this county in 3 years than anyone." He should not be allowed to hold any public office.
Greg Lane - (My Pick) Has been in real estate and doing property appraisals for many years.

Superintendent of Schools

View the WCTV debate HERE
Forrest Van Camp - REP - (My Pick) Former Leon County School Board member and long-time school administrator. He is against the common core curriculum.
Jackie Pons - DEM - Current Superintendent, Time for someone new.
Rocky Hanna - NPA - Worked as Assistant Principal and Principal of Leon High, worked with Special Sites and Programs for Dept. of Juvenile Justice.
Patricia Ann Sunday - NPA - No chance of winning not enough people know who she is.

Justice of the Supreme Court

(Yes) Charles T. Canady - one of only 2 conservatives on the court
(No) Jorge Labaraga
(Yes) Ricky L. Polston - the other conservative.

District Court of Appeal

(Yes) Ross Bilbrey
(Yes) Susan Kelsey
(Yes) Lori S. Rowe
(Yes) Kent Wetherell
(Yes) Bo Winokur
(No) Jim Wolf

Supervisor of Elections

Mark S. Earley - (MY PICK) 22 year employee of the elections office, currently Voting systems manager. Endorsed by Ion Sancho. Clearly has the most experience.
Alan Williams - Former Democrat State Representative looking for another government job.

County Commissioner - District 2

Jimbo Jackson - Has served as Administrator at Fort Braden School for past 12 years. Seems OK but I'll give the edge to Manny.
Manny Joanos - (My Pick) Divisional Director for the Leon County School District. Endorsed by NEBA (pro business group), based on his platform he seems more pro business which is something Leon county needs.

County Commissioner At Large, Group 1

David T. Hawkins - (My Pick) Works at Florida Department of Revenue Warehouse. Fiscal conservative, emphasis on limiting county spending.
Mary Ann Lindley - Current County Commissioner, former Tallahassee Democrat and Miami Herald employee and Hillary Clinton supporter.

Leon County Soil and Water Conservation District 1

Unpaid position
Brooke Bustle - (My Pick) Works for Strategic Management Office of the DMV. Has worked for Steve Southerland and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation.
Lorin Pratt - Current Supervisor of the Leon County Soil and Water Conservation District. Public Information Specialist.

Leon County Soil and Water Conservation District 3

Unpaid position
Tabitha Frazier - Runs website "leontrees.org" a website dedicated to Leon County's trees. Current supervisor, Leon Soil and Water Conservation District. Not bad.
Bill Helmich - (My Pick) BA Military History. Owns local business consulting firm. Has worked for City Water Utilities and Underground Utilities Departments. Previous supervisor, Leon Soil and Water Conservation District

Capital Region Community Development District, Seat 2

Brian Kelley - Regional Sales Director for IT company.
Carl Mikyska - (My Pick) Executive Director of the Florida Metropolitan Planning Organization Advisory Council. Worked for FDOT. He has the most experience.

Amendments

In general if you don't understand an amendment it is better to vote NO. Our Florida constitution is muddied up with way too many things that should have been left to legislation by the house and senate, and not put forever in the constitution.
Amendment 1 - Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice
this has been pushed by the Florida Utility companies, and should not be in the Constitution, but through legislation.
(No)

Amendment 2 - Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions
I am actually for the Medical use of Marijuana or its derivative, but this should not be in the constitution.
(No)

Amendment 3 - Tax Exemption for Totally and Permanently Disabled First Responders
For this to happen, needs to be through amendment.
(Yes)

Amendment 5 - Homestead Tax Exemption for Certain Senior, Low-income, Long-Term Residents; Determination of Just Value.
This is a revision of a previous amendment and must be handled by another amendment
(Yes)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Leon County Florida, Primary Ballot August 2016

Leon County, Florida Primary Ballot Blog (Republican Party)

Don't forget to vote August 30, 2016

This is my take and observations on the candidates on my ballot. I include links where I can but really this is an exercise to help ME decide who to vote for. Hope it helps those others out there researching
 

United States Senator

Carlos Beruff - A businessman with some experience on local government boards, appears to be a strong conservative. I would consider voting for him if Rubio were not running.
Ernie Rivera - Former pastor from Puerto Rico. Has done a lot of missions work and a little bit of Puerto Rican politics. Appears to be a constitutional conservative.
Marco Rubio -  (MY PICK) You should know him by now. He is not perfect, but I like him and think he will continue to do a great job as senator.
Dwight Mark Anthony Young - Born in Jamaica, former army, currently a Sheriff's Deputy, very little experience. Should try to be a little more active in the community first.
 

Representative in Congress District 2

These are all good candidates I just like Ken better.
Neal Dunn - Served in the army for 10 years.  Currently a Urologist in Panama City.  Locally active in community groups charity boards and the boy scouts.  Supported by Steve Southerland (a plus). Strong conservative, I would vote for him if not for Ken running.
Ken Sukhia - (MY PICK) A lawyer that served as a clerk for the Florida Supreme Court for many years and now owns his own law firm.  Politically conservative.  I know personal stories about Ken, that let me know he is a man of great character. This is one of the most important traits a politician can have.
Mary Thomas - Born to Indian parents after migrating to US.  A lawyer that currently serves as the General Counsel at the Department of Elder Affairs. A strong conservative in a tough race.
 

 State Committeewoman (for Leon County)

What is a State Committeewoman you ask?  It is an unpaid, vague position designated by each political party.   It is basically an elected party leader, who is to support the party (Republican" for me), and only has "power" within the party itself, and is in charge of overseeing Republican organizations and clubs throughout the state.
Dorothy Lee "Dotty" McPherson - retired, former Legislative Aide and Legislative Analyst, locally active in Navy League, American Legion, and the Republican Party. Not a bad pick.
Caitlin Murray - (MY PICK) Director of Government Affairs at Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, former finance consultant for CMM strategies, Chief Legislative Assistant, Campaign Manager for State Senate.  To be so young she has a lot of experience and appears to be very ambitious. 
 

County Judge Seat 2

Monique Richardson - Endorsed by NOW, 15 years as an attorney for the State Attorney's office and the Public Defender's office.  I just can't get over her being proud to be endorsed by NOW.
Layne Smith -  (MY PICK) He is the current judge. Worked in private practice for 24 years. Also worked as a Special Assistant Prosecutor and as a Special Assistant Public Defender.  Also has a lot of local community involvement, teaching and doing law stuff. I don't know much about his judgements so this is not a strong endorsement.
 

Supervisor of Elections

Mark S. Early - (MY PICK) 22 year employee of the elections office, currently Voting systems manager. Endorsed by Ion Sancho. Clearly has the most experience.
Tena M. Pate - Served for a long time on the Parol Commission, been on a lot of state public safety boards.  Served under last 4 governors.
Alan Williams - Former Democrat State Representative looking for another government job. Huge partisan progressive, I would never vote for him.
 

School Board District 4

For the Tallahassee Democrat Debate video click HERE
Patrick Cannon - political science grad, currently works on the Florida Rehabilitation Council, which is part of the Department of Education, and assists people with disabilities as they leave high school.
Tallie Gainer III - (My uncertain Pick) former teacher and assistant principal at Capital City Public Charter High School. Served as youth pastor at St. John Cathedral, current Christian radio host.
DeeDee Rasmussen - Current chair of the Leon County School Board, has been on board for 8 years. Has 15 years experience in higher education (whatever that means), and was a senior staff member in Florida's legislative and executive branch.  There have been several issues, like bathroom choice and no bid contracts that the school board could have done better.  She is also endorsed by the Teachers Union, which is a negative for me.
 

Tallahassee City Commission Seat 1

This is a Pick of the least bad.
For the WFSU Debate video click HERE
Gary Gayle - Group manager at LegalShield,  did not respond to multiple local debate requests, Not a serious candidate
Luther Lee - (My Reluctant Pick) degree in Information Systems, currently working in management for FL Department of Revenue, formerly worked as a sales manager. New to politics. Based on his answers to candidate surveys and in debate, he is not great but is the least bad.
Scott Maddox - Ugghh, Former mayor of Tallahassee. Former chair of the Democratic party. Big progressive, Not my favorite
Dr. Bruce W. Stouble Jr - Community organizer, big into social justice, well spoken, just graduated in 2015, affiliated with left leaning alarmist media group "People Over Politics", can anyone say Obama
 

Tallahassee City Commission Seat 2

For the WFSU Debate video click HERE
Dr. Steven Hougland - (My Pick) Retired police officer, and former professor. Supports a change of policy to make it illegal for vendors to donate to campaigns. The best thing about Steven, is that he is not Curtis.
Curtis Richardson - Current City Commissioner, a progressive, pushed for 27% city tax hike, voted to approve contracts for city vendors that had recently donated to his campaign and did not excuse himself from voting.
 

No. 4 Constitutional Amendment, Article VII, Sections 3 and 4, Article XII, Section 34

I'm voting (YES). If a property owner adds solar to their home or business, when the property value is assessed for taxes, this bill would make it so the addition of solar does not add to the property owners taxes.
 
A good article is HERE
This is very different from the Solar Amendment that will be on the November ballot, which you should vote NO.
 
 
 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Leon County General Election 2014

This is my take and observations on the candidates on my ballot. I include links where I can but really this is an exercise to help ME decide who to vote for. Hope it helps those others out there researching.

Research Websites:
WFSU Bandwagon - A bunch of 3-minute videos of each candidate "debating"
League of Women Voters - short summaries of each candidate
Chamber of Commerce guide
James Madison Institute guide
Florida Family Policy Council guide


Representative in Congress/ 2nd Congressional Congressional District:
Steve Southerland - REP - (My Pick)When I first supported Steve in the last election I wasn't sure how he would actually vote. He has been great, voting conservative often against his own party.
Gwen Graham - DEM - Daughter of Bob Graham, lawyer, works as an administrator for Leon School superintendent. Supports Obama Care.

Governor & L.T. Governor
Rick Scott - REP - (My Pick) Current governor. Although not a very good speaker and not always a conservative, he has really focused on job creation in the state, and has done a pretty good job in that arena.
Charlie Crist - DEM - Former Republican governor. Will say just about anything to get elected. Blatantly contradicts himself depending on who he is speaking to.
Adrian Wyllie - LPF - Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Florida.  Former military, owns IT business. I agree with the Libertarian Party on 80% of their issues, and he would probably make a good governor, however the race is too close to risk letting Charlie win.
Farid Khavari - NPA - Another libertarian not on the libertarian ticket, supports legalizing all marijuana, against death penalty, pro-2nd amendment...Not a chance of winning
Glenn Burkett - NPA - Formerly ran against Bill Nelson in the DEM primary. I have more chance of winning.

Attorney General
Pam Bondi - REP - (My Pick) Current Attorney General. I think she has done a great. She has focused on busting up pill mills and lowering car insurance rates by targeting the gangs that cause accidents to file fraudulent claims. Endorsed by pretty much all of the state police organizations.
George Sheldon - DEM - Former member of the Florida House of Representatives, served as the Secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families. Supports Obama Care, Medical Marijuana, gay marriage, and pro-abortion.
Bill Wohlsifer - LPF - supports "an end to the war on drugs", supports gay marriage, medical marijuana, open carry gun laws,

Chief Financial Officer - this is a hard one to judge, it is not really political.
Jeff Atwater - REP - (My Pick) Current CFO. Former banker at Riverside National Bank for ~25 years. Former Florida House of Representatives, Former Florida Senator.
William "Will" Rankin - DEM - Served as Special Agent investigator in the Army, served as Director of Asset Management for the State Treasury of Ohio, not many endorsements other than the Democrat party.

Commissioner of Agriculture - this is not really political either but is often a step stool for candidates to go to the next level. I think either will do a good job.
Adam Putnam - REP - (My Pick) Current commissioner of Ag. Seems to have been doing a good job. His family are ranchers and citrus growers. He is spoken well of by farmers and former friends of his that I have known.
Thaddeus Thad Hamilton - DEM - Worked for USDA, National Resources Conservation Service for many years, former chairman Broward County Land Preservation Council.  Nothing wrong with Thad, I just think Adam is already doing a good job.

Retaining Judges:
I heard that justices in Florida have always been retained.
I'm voting NO for all the Judges. I think they end up staying in these positions way too long, but check out their resume's and judge for yourself.
District Court
Robert T. Benton
Joseph Lewis Jr.
Scott Makar
Tim Osterhaus
Clay Roberts

County Commissioner, District 1 - was hard to choose
Weser Khufu - (My Pick) Formerly James Washington. Lived in Leon county many years. business owner, engineer and certified General Contractor. He actually has some good ideas that he expressed in an interview I heard.
Bill Proctor - Current County Commissioner. While not the worst county commissioner we have, we could definitely use a change.
A good summary of the two is in the Tallahassee Democrat here

County Commissioner At Large
Curtis Baynes - (My Pick) Real Estate broker. Regular attender for city and county commission meetings. Against the city utility surcharges. Well spoken, I liked the interview I heard.
Nick Maddox - Our current commissioner. Considers himself "a conservative Democrat", is OK with raising taxes, focus on affordable housing in the county. Former FSU and NFL football player, voted for $800,000 sidewalk project that mostly benefits the Double Tree.

Leon Soil and Water Conservation District, Group 2
William E. Helmich - (My Pick) BA Military History. Owns local business consulting firm. Has worked for City Water Utilities and Underground Utilities Departments. Current supervisor, Leon Soil and Water Conservation District.
Stan Peacock - Optometrist. Has had a lot of school involvement. Did a good job answering questions from the Florida League of Women Voters. Not a bad pick but doesn't have the experience or education of Helmich.

Leon Soil and Water Conservation District, Group 4
Brian Lee - Democrat Campaign Director and organizer. Education in political science. Political operative.
Ryan Truchelut - (My Pick) works as graduate research assistant, Degree in Geosciences working toward a PhD in Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences. He probably can actually tell the difference between soil and water.

The Amendments
In general if you don't understand an amendment it is better to vote NO. Our Florida constitution is muddied up with way too many things that should have been left to legislation by the house and senate, and not put forever in the constitution.
Amendment 1 - (NO) 1st this should not be in the constitution. It limits the ability to adjust the budget in hard times. Over 27% of Florida is already "public lands" which are untaxed. This WILL raise taxes for everyone else by limiting the tax base of state and local governments. Don't be suckered by environmental emotionalism.

Amendment 2 - (NO) Again this does not belong in the constitution and should be legislated. In fact the legislature already allows one type of marijuana for medical use. I don't have a problem with anyone getting any kind of medicine if it helps and does more harm than good. My fear is that the way this is worded is going to make it more about making it easier to smoke pot than it is about providing medicine, Did I mention it shouldn't be in the constitution.

Amendment 3 - (NO) This is actually relevant to the constitution but I'm voting against is based on the idea that lame duck governors are picking judges just before the new  governor takes office.  Even though this might benefit Republicans this year or next, I think it is bad policy.

One Cent Local Government Surtax Extension (Should be called the 1% Sales Tax)
(Yes) - Adds 1% sales tax to everything bought in Leon County. I've been on the fence about this one.  We already have one of the highest sales tax in the state.  That being said I prefer consumption tax over property tax.  Without the sales tax increase you can bet the commission would just up our property taxes which hurts locals and doesn't allow us to gain from tourists spending money when they visit.

Referendum Amending Charter Establishing an Ethics Anticorruption Code, Board, Office and Campaign Finance Program
(YES - PLEASE) One thing Leon county and Tallahassee definitely needs is some way to help stop government corruption. Just using the voter box has not worked (as Mayor Marks knows).



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Leon County Florida, Primary Ballot - August 2014

Leon County, Florida Primary Ballot Blog (Republican Party)

Don't forget to vote August 26, 2014

This is my take and observations on the candidates on my ballot. I include links where I can but really this is an exercise to help ME decide who to vote for. Hope it helps those others out there researching

Governor & Lt. Governor:
Yinka Abosede Adeshina - Who ??? She ran for president as a democrat in 2010 so.....
Elizabeth Cuevas-Neunder - Very focused on Florida Puerto Rican cooperation
Rick Scott -  While he has his flaws and made a lot of state workers angry, I think he has done a pretty good job, especially in promoting business and jobs in the state.

State Representative 9th House District: (both Democrats)
Arnitta J. Grice-Walker - First time running, elementary teacher for 16 years. Wants minimum wage increase
Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda - (my pick) Currently holds this office. Lawyer/professor, not bad, has a pro-2nd Amendment stance.
 
Mayor
Andrew D. Gillum - Currently a city commissioner. Very liberal. Works for George Soros funded group "People for the American Way" more like Communist way.
Larry Hendricks - He wants less development and fewer roads. The video interview is entertaining. He works hard at being involved but I do not think he is very competent. 
Zack Richardson - (my pick) CEO of Pivotal Point Enterprises. Supports an independent ethics officer for Tallahassee. Is not Andrew Gillum.

City Commissioner Seat 2  (hard to pick)
Diana Oropallo - (my pick) Says Public Safety is 1st priority.  First time running for office.  Well spoken. Against the city "kill switch" at meetings. Supports "penny" sales tax.
Curtis Richardson - Democrat - Current Florida House Representative of Dist. 8. A Psychologist consultant,
David "Bubba" Riddle - Former Army and former Corrections officer (20 years). Has a hard time answering interview questions. Supports an independent ethics officer.  Supports "penny" sales tax.

City Commissioner Seat 3
Nancy Miller -  Current City Commissioner. Former Project Coordinator of TAPP. Former Urban Planning Consultant. Voted against independent ethics officer.
Steve Stewart - (My Pick) Runs the newspaper "Tallahassee Reports". Electrical Engineer, realtor, business owner that does marketing and printing. Has focused campaign on reducing Utility rates, making City spending more transparent, and making doing business easier. Strong conservative.
 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Leon County General Election

This is my take and observations on the candidates on my ballot. I include links where I can but really this is an exercise to help ME decide who to vote for. Hope it helps those others out there researching.

Research Websites:
WFSU Bandwagon - A bunch of 3-minute videos of each candidate "debating"
League of Women Voters - short summaries of each candidate
Chamber of Commerce guide
James Madison Institute guide
Florida Family Policy Council guide


United States Senator:
Connie Mack - REP - (My Pick) I am really not a big fan of Connie but he is way better than Bill

Bill Nelson - DEM - I have never liked Nelson, I'm sure he is a fine person, but he is very liberal and has been in politics way too long.

Representative in Congress/ 2nd Congressional Congressional District:
Steve Southerland - REP - (My Pick)When I first supported Steve in the last election I wasn't sure how he would actually vote. He has been great, voting conservative often against his own party.
Al Lawson - DEM - I'm not sure how Al got elected previously, he is not a good speaker and avoids debate.

State Attorney, 2nd Judicial Circuit:
I'm not sure who to pick for this one. I think either one will do a good job.
Pete Williams- REP - (My pick) The recent Inspector General for the Florida Department of Education, he has an impressive resume. He as worked in a number of different prosecutor positions in Florida including, Statewide Prosecutor, and director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco.
Willie Meggs - DEM - Overall I think Meggs has done a good job. He has been State Attorney a long time, even retiring then getting re-elected for another term. My one issue is that after being elected he "retired" for 30 days so he could collect retirement and salary at the same time.

State Senator District 3:
This is a hard choice
John Shaw - REP -  27 year old IT professional, small business owner. Irish Step Dancer. One of his major platforms is legalizing industrial hemp. I happen to agree with this issue. More of a libertarian than republican: Pro-choice, pro-2nd amendment, pro-single payer healthcare, non-interventionist, pro-FairTax.
Bill Montford - DEM - (My reluctant pick) Current State Senator. A former teacher and long time school principal has served Leon County Superintendent of schools and as Leon County Commissioner in the 80's.

State Representative 9th House District:
Bradley Maxwell REP - (My pick) A really nice guy. I know him from the NE conservative club. A small business owner.
Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda - DEM - Our current state representative. She is a fairly moderate democrat but still too liberal for me.

Sheriff:
Based on my sources I think it is time for a change.
Larry Campbell - DEM - Our sheriff since 1996. I have thought that he has done a pretty good job. I would like to see a little more discipline among some of the officers.
Lisa Sprague - NPA- (My uncertain pick) CEO of private security firm. Former Deputy Chief of Police for Florida State University. Says she has 30 years of law enforcement experience but clear where.

Superintendent of Schools:
Jackie Pons - DEM - (My pick) Our current Superintendent of Schools. He seems to have done a good job and will probably do better than Allen.
Sabrina M. Allen - NPA - A teacher for 15 years in English and reading. Has a MS degree in special ed. I listened to an interview with her. She is a little crazy.

Retaining Judges:
I heard that justices in Florida have always been retained.
I'm voting NO for all the Judges. I think it is time for a change in particular the Supreme court is very liberal.
Supreme Court major decisions.
District Court Judges:
Simone Marstiller
Stephanie Ray
Ron Swanson
Brad Thomas

Circuit Judge, 2nd Circuit Group 2
Barbara Hobbs - Owns Private law firm for 16 years. Attorney for DOT for 9 years
Josefina M. Tamayo - (My Pick) The current circuit judge. She has a more impressive resume being the attorney for 3 different state agencies and a former assistant state attorney.

Board of County Commissioners At Large, Group 1
I don't really like either choice but one is better than the other.
Akin Akinyemi - My favorite quote from him. "I am a very humble man, but I have done more for this county in 3 years than anyone." He is a little crazy. He also likes to spend the county's money.
Mary Ann Lindley - (My reluctant Pick) Newspaper columnist. Has been a part of a lot of local organizations and awards.

City Commissioner Seat 1
Scott Maddox - Former mayor of Tallahassee. Former chair of the Democratic party.
Steve Stewart - (My Pick) I like Steve. I've listened to him speak a couple of times.

Leon Soil & Water Conservation District I Supervisor
Martha Lang - FSU doctoral student in "Philosophy"
Lorin Ann Pratt - (My Pick) Worked for Northwest Florida Water Management District, and the City's Utility Dept.
Ryan Terrell - Self proclaimed activist with no real experience

Leon Soil & Water Conservation District 3 Supervisor
Phyllis Basch Smith - no info
Tabitha Frazier - (My Pick) Current seat holder. MS in environmental engineering.
Evan Power - MS political science.

Leon Soil & Water Conservation District 5 Supervisor
Blas J. Gomez - (My Pick) Current seat holder. Works for the City Utilities Dept. MS Environmental Engineering.
William Helmich - BA Military History. Owns local business consulting firm.
William Howell - no info

The Amendments
In general if you don't understand and amendment it is better to vote NO.
Amendment 1 - (Yes, just for fun) This is basically a protest vote against Obama Care. But since Federal law trumps state law, it doesn't really do much. A “yes” vote means you want the Florida Constitution to include a provision that prohibits the government from requiring you to purchase health insurance

Amendment 2 - (Yes) OK I'm a sucker for Disabled vets and I dislike the whole idea of property tax (you never really own your property).

Amendment 3 - (Yes) This is a measure that already passed through the Legislature but must now be voted on by the public. " Amendment 3 really amounts to requiring a super majority vote of the legislature to pass a major tax increase."(Tax Watch) Supported by the James Madison Institute and the FL Chamber of Commerce.

Amendment 4 - (uncertain No) This is another measure that already passed through the Legislature but must now be voted on by the public. I like that it limits non-homestead property tax increases. While I agree with the premise of the amendment I think it is too complicated and involves too many parts. It could be broken down into 3 amendments. I also worry about how it would effect the budget when (not if) we start having massive inflation.


Amendment 5 - (uncertain Yes) Another measure that already passed through the Legislature but must now be voted on by the public. Allows the legislature to veto Supreme Court nominations and have more control over the rules governing judges. Supported by the James Madison Institute and the FL Chamber of Commerce. Florida Farm Bureau recommends NO.

Amendment 6 - (Yes) Another measure that already passed through the Legislature but must now be voted on by the public. Prevents state funding for abortions, with exceptions for life of mother, rape, etc. Also makes it easier to pass laws requiring parents to be informed before minors can have an abortion.

Amendment 8 - (Yes) Another measure that already passed through the Legislature but must now be voted on by the public. This is basically a repeal of the 1885 anti-Catholic "Blaine Amendment". I agree with the premise of the amendment. Supported by Florida Family Policy Council the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the James Madison Institute.

Amendment 9 - (Yes) Another measure that already passed through the Legislature but must now be voted on by the public. Uggh another property tax amendment for another special group. Did I mention I'm against the whole idea of property taxes? This allows (not requires) the Legistlature to reduce/eliminate property taxes for surviving spouses of Veterans or First responders. Expected to reduce state income by less than 1 million.

Amendment 10 (Yes) This gives counties the option for a  tax cut that can actually produce jobs for FL. It lets county governments give businesses both large and small the ability to exempt more of there office equipment like computers printers and chairs from further taxes. That businesses are taxed every year on things they already bought and paid taxes on is just wrong.

Amendment 11 (hesitant Yes) This gives the county governments the option (and does not mandate) to grant the 65+ crowd lower property taxes if they have been resident for 25 years. I'm for this because it gives counties more flexibility with their own tax structure.

Amendment 12 (Yes) This changes the pick for student representative to the University Board of Governors from an organization that does not include all FL universities to one that does. This insignificant amendment is here because the FL Constitution is full of stuff that shouldn't be in it and an amendment is required to do anything.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Leon County, Florida Primary Ballot Blog

Leon County, Florida Primary Ballot Blog (Republican Party)

Don't forget to vote August 24, 2010

This is my take and observations on the candidates on my ballot. I include links where I can but really this is an exercise to help ME decide who to vote for. Hope it helps those others out there researching

United States Senator:
William Escoffey III- a doctor no one has heard of, may have a website but hard to find
William Billy Kogut - (My Pick) Would be a great candidate if he had a prayer and some funding. A founding member of "Judicial Watch", wants to repeal Obama-Care, focus on the constitution.
Marco Rubio - (Almost as good) Has served in the FL House of Rep for 8 years part of that time as Majority whip. Really the only one of the three that has a chance. I have liked most of what I have heard from him in interviews etc. this past year. He is a solid conservative candidate.

US 2nd Congressional District: (lots of good candidates hard to go wrong)
Eddie Hendry - I like Eddie Hendry I've met and talked with him, and listened to some interviews with him. He knows his constitution and is a strong advocate for limited government.
Ron McNeil - An inventor with several small businesses and patents focusing on environmental issues. Ran for this congress seat during and supported by Ronald Reagan. A solid conservative.
Barbara F. Olschner - I agree with most of what she has spoken about but I have 2 criticisms. 1. she is open to tax increases to lower the deficit. 2. she thinks that being a lawyer makes her better qualified.
David Scholl - (My Pick by a hair margin) Retired Air Force pilot with a strong conservative background, good sense of humor, well spoken, has a strong understanding of the constitution and current politics.
Steve Southerland - Funeral Director, has lived in NW FL for a long time. I pretty much agreed with all of his issues as stated on his website. Is against off-shore drilling in FL. A solid conservative.

FL Governor: (this is a tough decision)
Mike McCallister - Ret. Colonel. Can't find a website or any real information on him.
Bill McCollum - (My Pick by a hair margin) Current FL Attorney General, retired-Navy JAG corp., 20 years as US congressman. I haven't liked his total focus on negative campaigning. Very little talk of his position on the issues. On a positive note is endorsed by Jeb Bush, Dick Army and Steve Forbes. In the end I think he will have an edge over Rick in winning the general election.
Rick Scott - Ex-Navy, Lawyer, Founder of two health care companies. I like that he is a political outsider and a self made millionaire. I like his stances on the issues, i.e. limited government, supports Arizona immigration law. I had written off Rick because of accusations about a "Playboy" connection, but after research have realized are not true. Accused but not convicted of fraud.

FL Attorney General
Holly Benson - Secretary of Health Administration, Former head of Dept of Business and Professional Regulation. Was FL House of Representative for 6 years. endorsed by Newt Gingrich. Will continue State law suite against Obama Care, supports AZ immigration law. Strong 2nd amendment and pro-life.
Pam Bondi - (My Pick) Was registered Democrat until 2000. Has worked as an Assistant State Attorney for 18 years. Has served on several councils and chairs as a prosecutor. Endorsed by Sarah Palin. She is my pick because she has the most experience as an Attorney and not a politician.
Jeff Kottkamp - Current Lt. Governor. Was FL House of Representatives for 3 terms. Endorsed by FL Right to Life.

FL 9th House District
Kirk Headley-Perdue - (My Pick) Long term clinical social worker, current owner of a graphic design business. Seems fairly conservative. Has a strong focus on personal responsibility. Seems "level headed"
Ann Yarko - A young recent FSU grad. Wants to "protect state workers." A strong conservative wants to pass stricter illegal immigrant laws and supports lower government spending and tax cuts. I like her ideas but I think she is a little too young and inexperienced.

Circuit Judge, 2nd Circuit Group 9 (Check out this Site)
Eddie Evans - (My Pick) 18 years as district state attorney for Leon, Gadsden, Franklin, and Wakulla Counties, former Mayor of Sopchoppy, auxiliary state trooper. A hard choice but my pick because I tend to lean toward the Prosecutor mind set.
Karen Gievers - strong child advocate and has won several awards because of it.
Barbara Hobbs - liberal judge - admits that her "life experiences" makes a difference in the quality of judge. Has had a lot of different jobs as an attorney, both as a prosecutor and advocate.
Bruce Leinback - VP of Jefferson Historical Society, served as Special Assistant US attorney, US attorney working with Panama Canal, City Attorney for Monticello, Adjunct Professor at FSU, private attorney.
J. Layne Smith - public defender, over 22 years private practice trial attorney

Leon County Commissioner at Large Group 2
Nick Maddox - Former FSU and NFL football player. Real estate Degree. Current VP of Development for Bowden Foundation for Ethical Leadership. Considers himself "a conservative Democrat", is OK with raising taxes, focus on affordable housing in the county.
Rick Malphurs - Former Marine, currently works at family owned CJ Malphurs Septic Service. Has served on local citizen committees. A focus on growing and encouraging small business and limiting county spending. I like Rick definately not a politician.
Scott Matteo - (My Pick) Registered professional engineer. 2nd term Ochlochonee River Soil and Water District Chairman. Favors term limits for commissioners. Promised to not raise taxes. Wants to streamline County permitting. Registered Democrat. Would like a Arts center but not willing to raise taxes to build it.
Cliff Thaell - Has been county commissioner for 16 years. Radical environmentalist. anti-business. Pushed for a Leon County based Health Care program which of course would have had additional taxes.

Tallahassee Mayor
Larry Hendricks - He wants less development and fewer roads. The video interview is entertaining. I'd pick Marks before him.
John Marks - Our current mayor whose main focus has been on trying to get awards for having the "greenest" city. Works full time as a lawyer, part time mayor. Has refused to be interviewed by WFLA and avoids questions at town hall meetings. On a positive note has made Tallahassee parks a priority.
Steve Stewart - (My Pick) Electrical Engineer, realtor, business owner that does marketing and printing. Has focused campaign on reducing Utility rates, making City spending more transparent, and making doing business easier.

Tallahassee City Commissioner Seat 3
Stephen Hogge - Considers himself a political moderate. Silver Life member of the NAACP. Has done a lot of volunteer work for city, even won some awards for it.
Nancy Miller - (My Pick) I met Nancy she seemed very well informed, was well spoken, and has been active in the community and a small business owner.
Bill Rollins - Wants to focus on improving the South side of town. I met Bill, he seems like a nice guy that is fairly well informed and would be OK at this position just probably not as good as Nancy.

Tallahassee City Commissioner Seat 5
Erwin Jackson - (My Pick) I met Erwin at a debate. Not a politician, but very well informed and has a passion for saving money for himself and the city. A poor dresser (a plus in my book) and a OK speaker.
James Moran - FAMU professor of pharmacy. Served in Army. Supports lower taxes, but also a county wide Health Care Program. (how are you going to fund that).
Gil Ziffer - I met Gil at a debate. The current stand in commissioner for someone that quit early. He is smooth well spoken but definitely a politician.



Saturday, October 11, 2008

Election 2008

Here we go again: this is a big one

President (if you know me you should already know where I stand)
Just in case you didn't here is a few things you should know about Obama
- He was the only one in the Illinois state senate (that is 1 out of 100) to vote against a bill to save babies that survive abortions (they were sticking viable living children in a closet to starve to death)
- He kicked off his first campaign in the house of an admitted and proud terrorist William Ayers then sat on two boards with him and helped Mr. Ayers promote one of his books. Ayers is responsible for fire bombing peoples houses and the pentagon. On Sept 11, 2001 Ayers said he didn't go far enough and should have done more (referring to the bombings)

2nd Congressional District
Mark Mulligan (REP) - (MY Pick) General conservative views/ against the recent bailout packages/
Allen Boyd (DEM) - blue dog Democrat, voted for both of the 800 billion dollar Bail Outs/socialist take over of our banks even though he admitted 90% of constituents called or emailed against the bill. I am tired of Allen Boyd, I voted for him before... not again

State Representative - 9th House District
Peter Boulware (REP): (My Pick) General conservative views
Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda (DEM): big time liberal, I heard her say in an interview that one of her top priorities is raising taxes, her other big priority is providing more benefits to state workers.
John Shaw (NPA): One of his primary issues is trying to legalize marijuana

Judges: Unless I know of misconduct by a judge I won't vote for or against their retainment

Circuit Judge, 2nd Circuit, Group 7, (either one sounds like a good choice fairly even)
Lisa Raleigh (My Pick) lot of community service work, prosecuting attorney office
Frank E. Sheffield has a more experience than Lisa, but has mostly just been a trial lawyer

County Judge, Group 5
Nina Ashenafi Richardson: only legal experience as staff counsel for FEA. A lot of community involvement but little court room experience
Sean Desmond: (My Pick) was Assistant State Attorney for Leon and Franklin Counties, and owned his own law firm and worked at another private firm.

County Commissioner At Large, Group 1
Akin Akinyemi: interesting guy, but leans liberal.
Ed DePuy: (My Pick) I'm sure you've heard commercials against him from the police union, they stretch the truth with their accusations, being that Ed is one of only 2 semi conservatives on the County commission, and the ONLY one to vote against raising property taxes I'm voting for him.

Ocklockonee River Soil & Water Conservation District 1 Supervisor
Brian Acosta (NO) 23 years old, FAMU student, doctors aid
Sean McGlynn (My Pick) 52 years old, B.S. in Biochemistry, Doctorate in Biology, Library director for McGlynn Laboratories Inc

The Amendments: My rule of thumb if I don't understand it I shouldn't be voting for it.

Amendment #1 (YES or NO) [it doesn't really matter]
Eliminates some language already in the constitution that gives the legislature power to limit land ownership of people that are ineligible for US citizenship. This has been around since WWII and has never been used, Yes or No I don't think this Amendment matters.

Amendment #2 (YES)
Florida Marriage Protection Amendment. "Protects marriage as the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife." With Massachusetts and now California legalizing gay marriage, this could help protect Florida.

Amendment #3 (NO/Maybe)
Your property taxes can't go up if you put hurricane shutters or a solar water heater on your house — for example. Any storm-hardening or renewable energy source would be exempt.
I agree with the idea I just don't think this should be in the Florida Constitution, the legislature should do this on their own. I'm OK if you want to vote Yes.

Amendment #4 (NO)
Basically land set aside for conservation (by counties or individuals) get tax breaks.
This sounds nice until you realize everybody elses taxes will be increased to make up the difference. There is a lot of conservation land in Florida (est 9.6 million acres)

Amendment #6 (Yes)
Basically changes the tax law so that marinas and oyster slips are taxed based on what they are being used as instead if the lands potential use (high rise condos). This will help Florida's boating and fishing industry as they are currently being taxed at the lands highest potential. It is like you owned a 10 acre lot with a 3 bedroom house but were taxed like a Walmart because a Walmart "could" fit on your property.

Amendment #8 (NO)
This would allow counties to vote on increasing county sales taxes to support their local Community College.
I just don't want Leon County adding more taxes for one more thing.