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 Voting shenanigans at precinct in Florida [VIDEO]

Voting shenanigans

At least three Democratic voters were told there were only ballots available for the Republican race at Precinct 321 in Winter Haven, Florida. The voters, including Teresa Wibert, showed up to participate in Florida’s Presidential Preference Primary Election on March 15, 2016. Wibert was initially given a Republican ballot. When she questioned that, she was told there were only Republican ballots. Wibert persisted and knew her rights as a voter. A call was made to the Polk County Elections Department. The clerk at Precinct 321 was told the ballots for the Democratic race were located in a closet. Wibert, her husband, and the other Democrat voted using the correct ballot.

The Polk County elections supervisor, Lori Edwards, and other elections officials in Polk County are trying to minimize this serious incident but it should be reported to the Department of Justice. How many other voters were given the wrong ballot? How many other voters were turned away? Has this happened during previous elections at this precinct? Did this happen at other precincts in Florida?

This incident highlights why it is important to know your voting rights in this country and that you exercise those rights. When you hear citizens say voting is not important, or their vote doesn't matter, they need to understand that voting is so critical that some folks will try to stop you from doing it.




Democratic Convention Off to a Rousing Start


DNC 2012
Florida delegation on the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, September 4, 2012, Charlotte, NC.


The first night of the Democratic National Convention was awesome, inspiring and electrifying. If this is how the Dems start off, then Thursday evening’s culminating activities should be mind blowing.

You know, sometimes events and people can be so hyped up that it’s humanly impossible to deliver at such a highly anticipated level. Well, that was not the case last night. From First Lady Michelle Obama to San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to Lily Ledbetter to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and many others, the first night set the tone.

The Democrats successfully presented a picture of America and the diversity of Americans. The Democratic National Convention did not seem contrived, as did the Republican National Convention. There was a nice mixture of speakers we knew and speakers who were novices to the national spotlight, it all seemed organic.

After all the speeches are completed and President Obama accepts his Party’s nomination Thursday night, the reality is that the Democratic Party has to register voters in spite of what appears to be successful voter suppressive laws. Moreover, they must get voters out to vote. There’s a lot for the Democrats to do. There’s little time in which to do it. 


Photo:  Keenan Austin 

President Obama's State of the Union Address 01/24/2012 [VIDEO] [TRANSCRIPT]

President Barack Obama delivered a rousing State of the Union address last night that addressed a myriad of topics from the economy to education to healthcare to bipartianship and Republican obstructionism. When the President mentioned the takedown of Osama bin Laden early in his address, it was apparent that he was in the zone.

Some criticize the President by attacking his gift of public speaking others accuse him of being divisive. That's a shame. The President spoke to the heart of the issues that Americans face every day. He expressed the frustration that Americans feel about government and the partisanship bickering. The President challenged Congress to do their job.

Here are the video and text of the President's speech.


Remarks by the President in State of the Union Address

United States Capitol
Washington, D.C.

9:10 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

Last month, I went to Andrews Air Force Base and welcomed home some of our last troops to serve in Iraq.  Together, we offered a final, proud salute to the colors under which more than a million of our fellow citizens fought -- and several thousand gave their lives.

We gather tonight knowing that this generation of heroes has made the United States safer and more respected around the world.  (Applause.)  For the first time in nine years, there are no Americans fighting in Iraq.  (Applause.)  For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country.  (Applause.)  Most of al Qaeda’s top lieutenants have been defeated.  The Taliban’s momentum has been broken, and some troops in Afghanistan have begun to come home.

Continue reading "President Obama's State of the Union Address 01/24/2012 [VIDEO] [TRANSCRIPT]" »

Rising Star Seeks to Lead Florida Democratic Party

Andrew-Gillum The 2010 General Election is over and the beat down taken by the Democratic Party is well documented. Since that debacle, the chair of the Florida Democratic Party (FDP), Karen Thurman, resigned – as many Party leaders wanted. Her replacement, if left to traditional Party leadership, will be Rod Smith. You know Smith from other political bids, his latest as running mate for Alex Sink who was beat out by political newcomer Rick Scott in the race for Governor.

Enter one Andrew Gillum, 31 year-old Commissioner in Tallahassee. Tall, handsome, intelligent, articulate and charismatic. Oh and don’t let his youth fool you, he has been involved in politics for much of his life. Gillum, who I met when he was student government president at Florida A&M, has stepped up to challenge Smith to lead the Florida Dems. He may be just the new blood the Democratic Party needs, if not, the 2012 elections may be tantamount to Slaughter Round Two.

Here is Gillum’s  announcement of his candidacy:

Fellow Democrats,

In order to win, the Florida Democratic Party needs a fresh start.

Our previous losses were not due to a lack of work ethic. I know because I was on the ground with you, fighting, raising money and knocking on doors. We lost because we failed to communicate a clear, concise reason to vote with us locally and statewide.

Somewhere along the way we forgot why we were fighting.

When I was growing up, my mother Frances held down two jobs. She was a school bus driver and in-between her morning and afternoon shift she worked at a local dry cleaners, pressing and washing other people’s clothes. It was her battle with unfair labor treatment, and the support of her local union, that taught me the value of organized labor, and the power of everyday Floridians working together to take care of one another.

My father was a construction worker, his face and hands weathered by long and rough days working on construction sites in Florida. His decades of hard work meant nothing when he fell ill, because his blue-collar employers refused to provide him healthcare. That’s what inspired me to fix our broken healthcare system, insisting on real reform.

These are the types of Floridians that lose their voice when we lose elections.

When you cast your vote for the next Chair of the Florida Democratic Party, you face a tough choice. And it should be tough. Millions of Floridians like my mother and my father depend on having an aggressive, viable opposition party in Tallahassee and a party that will protect Democratic wins and gain members in the US Congress and US Senate.

The choice you make in January is not about who wants to elect Democrats the most, it’s about the entire future of our party in 2012 and beyond.

My entire adult life has been dedicated to building the bench of our party and raising money for candidates who fight for everyday Floridians. When I won my first election nearly eight years ago, I became the youngest City Commissioner in Tallahassee history. Since then, I have organized statewide, and I’ve raised more than $6 million in support of progressive officials and college leaders around the country.

I’ll bring this same energy to our party, which faces numerous challenges.

First, we cannot afford another disastrous redistricting by the right-wing Tallahassee Legislature. If it weren’t for gerrymandering after the 2000 elections, our outgoing Chair Karen Thurman would still be in Congress fighting for economic recovery, healthcare reform, and jobs.
If given a chance to lead, I have the confidence and competence to execute a winning plan for our party that will once again make us a competitive force in Florida politics.

Fundraising – Restructure our fundraising operation to support both local and statewide candidates. We can’t win statewide unless we win locally. I will strengthen our fundraising base by launching a small donor initiative to recruit every registered Democrat in Florida to make a small donor gift to the Florida Democratic Party, with proceeds split between the state party local DECs.

Staffing Structure – Conduct a complete assessment of the party staffing and strategically restructure our organization to incorporate a robust Communications, Research, and Policy Department and a Constituency & Outreach Department, to include college & youth, caucus and elected official outreach.

Building the Bench – Launch an initiative with local DECs, beginning immediately, to recruit and train local candidates and campaign managers, field organizers, finance directors, communications staff, and volunteer coordinators.

Redistricting Plan – Assemble a talented panel of attorneys and redistricting experts to create a counter redistricting proposal that will ensure an equitable plan that fully incorporates the intentions of Amendments 5 and 6.

Fighting the Radical Right – Create an opposition research team to closely monitor the actions of the Republican Party and its leaders to expose corruption, double standards or efforts to force its ultra-conservative agenda on Floridians.

I want to be your voice.

One of the most important considerations for the Florida Democratic Party right now, unfortunately, is perception. That’s why we need an entirely new voice. As a young, energetic elected Democrat, I will help deliver our fresh message to Floridians.

In order to bring about the fresh start we need to win, I’m asking for your vote.

It goes without saying that the FDP has some damage control to do to maintain the loyalty of many black voters who felt slighted and taken for granted during the 2010 mid-term elections, especially in South Florida. There is rising dissatisfaction with the Republicans and the Democrats but the Dems have the most to lose and if the FDP leaders continue to be out-of-step with Florida voters, the Democratic bloodletting will continue.

Related Links:

Rising Star Andrew Gillum, 31, Enters Race for Florida Democratic Chair

Andrew Gillum in challenge for Florida Democratic Party chairman post

Tony Hill: State Democrats need "fresh blood"



Count State Senator Dan Gelber In FL U.S. Senate Race

Dan_Gelber Florida State Senator Dan Gelber has officially thrown his hat in the ring for the Florida U.S. Senate seat to be vacated by Mel Martinez in 2010. Two weeks earlier, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek officially announced he would seek the seat. A Meek win would be historic, as a victory would make him the first black elected statewide in Florida.

Gelber, a South Floridian like Meek, was widely known to base his decision to run on whether Florida CFO Alex Sink would also seek the seat. Since she decided not to run, the race is really wide open.

Meek and Gelber are both Dems. One is black and the other Jewish in a state that hasn’t been known for selecting ethnically diverse candidates in elected state leadership positions. Martinez, a well-connected Cuban-American, won his seat by a narrow margin in 2004. President Obama won Florida in the 2008 General Election but that was the result of a lot of hard work and a lot of money.  Will the Obama effect last until 2010?

Like Obama, the victor will likely be the one that can raise the most money to get his message across to voters. Meek has started strong with a presence on the internet and campaign materials prominently displayed in Miami-Dade County and likely throughout Florida. Momentum for the Democratic ticket for this senate seat is swinging toward Meek based on some high profile folks who’ve lined up behind him but don’t count Gelber out of this one just yet.Kendrick_meek

Another important factor is the 2008 presidential primary. Meek was an ardent supporter of Hillary Clinton while Gelber was an early and strong supporter of Barack Obama. How those decisions influence voters in this race still remains to be seen. Some folks still haven’t gotten past that in spite of the public Kumbaya moments between the Clintons and Obama during the general election.

As the Dems campaign, let’s see who lines up on the Republican side. FL Attorney General Bill McCollum? Former Speaker of the House Marco Rubio? The race for this seat will be hot so stay tuned.

Do you think Florida voters are ready to elect either of these gentlemen or will the seat remain in the Republican column in 2010?



© 2009, Vanessa: Unplugged!,

Vote for this blog for Best Political Blog and for Best Blog Design in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.


Year 2008 in Review by Uncle Jay

I never heard of Uncle Jay until a friend shared this video. Uncle Jay has a series of videos similar to this one.




© 2009, Vanessa: Unplugged!,

Vote for this blog for Best Political Blog and for Best Blog Design in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.



Blagojevich Controversy Goes Racial [POLL]

You can say what you like about embattled Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, but his appointment of Former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to the seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama was a brilliant move.

As expected, race has come to the forefront of this situation and Blagojevich can just sit back and watch the Democratic Party leaders squirm while tries to save himself. Now that President-elect Obama has gone on record siding with Democrat senate leaders, this political circus will continue.

It’s unfortunate that this situation has come to this; the people of Illinois are the real losers.

LA Voters to William Jefferson: Buh-Bye!

William_Jefferson Each election in our country is important but some are more historic and Cao_img1 more significant than others. We are still basking in the glow of the election of Barack Obama as POTUS but quietly, the people of Louisiana, District 2 made a significant statement in electing little-known, Vietnamese, Republican attorney Anh “Joseph” Cao their Congressman.

He will replace incumbent and beleaguered long time representative William Jefferson. For some reason Jefferson thought his constituents would vote along Party and ethnic lines and send him back to DC for another term.

Well, that didn’t happen. The people wanted CHANGE and they got it. Voters are sick and tired of politicians like Jefferson. Voters refused to overlook the indictment of Jefferson and others close to him. I pray that this is the continuation of the revolution of the American voter and notice to pols that their usual foolishness will be tolerated no more.


© 2008, Vanessa: Unplugged!,

Vote for this blog for Best Political Blog and for Best Blog Design in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.

The General Election That Will Not End, Part 2: Georgia

The Georgia Senate run-off election between Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss and Jim Martin is in full effect during the last few days of this campaign. Neither gentleman garnered enough votes during the General Election so here we are in the midst of a run-off.

Republican superstar and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin continues her obvious campaign for 2012 by campaigning for Chambliss on the eve of the run-off. I guess that Thanksgiving turkey slaughter wasn't a big deal for the Georgia Republicans after all.

All eyes will be on this race as the Republicans are trying to keep the Democrats from attaining total domination in both houses. Palin is scheduled for campaign stops on Monday, December 1 and voting is the next day, December 2.

Oh yeah, the Republicans are using the socialism schitck to convince voters to support Chambliss instead of Martin. Prayerfully Democrats will show up at the polls and vote for Martin.


© 2008, Vanessa: Unplugged!,

Vote for this blog for Best Political Blog and for Best Blog Design in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.


Just How Desperate is the GOP?

In an incredible poor sense of timing, poor taste, and just plain ole foolishness, the California GOP has sunk to a new low by filing a complaint with the FEC over Barack Obama's use of his campaign airplane to visit his ailing grandmother in Hawaii.

Give me a break. Is this the best these folks could come up with? The man was trying to see his grandmother before she passed and these numb nuts wanted him to catch a regular airplane. You've got to be kidding. I'm glad he used the most expeditious means of getting to her and was able to see her before she passed.

You may have noticed I've resisted the urge to refer to the GOP as Rethuglicans lately but they definitely deserve it after a shameful move like this.

You know McCain and the GOP are trying to hold on to as many seats as possible throughout the United States but they do that at the risk of tarnishing their personal brand and Party brand for many years to come. It's lame moves like this and selecting Sarah Palin for VP that may appeal to the conservative base but alienates the Rethuglicans from moderate conservatives, independents and conservative democrats.

It's bad enough that these folks seem to have no problems in attracting a mainly non-diverse ethnic group of supporters. This stunt is the lowest of the low. It's time for a change.



© 2008, Vanessa: Unplugged!,

Vote for this blog for Best Political Blog and for Best Blog Design in the 2008 Bloggers Choice Awards.