Voter's guide
September/October 2004

President/Vice President: Kerry/Edwards
U.S. Senate: Betty Castor
Representative Dist. 6: Dave Bruderly
Representative Dist. 3: Corrine Brown
State Attorney: Bill Cervone
State Rep.: Ed Jennings
Sheriff: Bill Davis
Supervisor of Elections: Pam Carpenter
County Commission 1: Mike Byerly
County Commission 3: Paula Delaney
County Commission 5: Rodney Long
Justice & Judge retentions: we know of no recall attempts
8th Judicial Circuit: Harvey Baxter
Co. Judge Grp. 3: Green or Springfield

Three races which deserve mention:

President--Nov. 2 is a referendum on Bush's presidency. To defeat him, we'll need every vote FOR Kerry we can get. In the end the two, three or four percent for the Greens, SWP or Nader won't rate more than a footnote, what will be concluded is that people in the U.S. either (a) supported Bush's shove to fascism or (b) kicked him and his reactionary gang out on their ass. It's our responsibility as citizens of the world to vote him out.

State Attorney-We are endorsing, in our collective wisdom (?) the incumbent Bill Cervone, a Republican. His challenger does not impress us politically. We left Democrats (or left of Democrats) feel he's a known person who has actually supported important liberties when called upon to do so.

County Judge group 3 pits Emory Springfield against Walter Green. They are both quality people, it's too bad one has to lose. Walter Green is running a grassroots campaign, and we hold him in high esteem for his great amout of volunteer work; from 12 years with Head Start to his 2004 pro bono award; his work in establishing the drug court to keep non-violent offenders out of jail, as well as other pro-active work to help disadvantaged people from getting caught up in the criminal system. We also think Emory Springfield is worthy of the job. (We don't think Springfield's ad in this issue adequately characterizes Green's experience, though.) We co-endorse in this race.

Constitutional Amendments (statewide)
Amendment 1. NO. Would require that parents be informed if their minor daughter is seeking an abortion. Young women must have the right to control their own bodies. If you're old enough to be pregnant, you're old enough to decide you don't want to be pregnant. Where laws like this have taken effect, the result has been young women who don't want their parents to know seek illegal abortions or try to abort themselves. From the parents viewpoint, this law is also illogical. The major change in a minor's life (and also more dangerous to her health) would be to carry the pregnancy to term and have the baby, not the abortion. One is going to occur.
Amendment 2. NO. This would require constitutional amendments filed by citizen initiative to get their voluminous number of signatures in to the Secretary of State by Feb. 1 of the year of a general election. This is another in a string of attempted restrictions to citizen initiatives. The claim is that it would give the public more time to study the issues before them. But we notice the legislature itself is not bound by these rules, they can submit initiatives whenever they want.
Amendment 3. NO. This is an attempt by the Florida Medical Association to limit compensation to lawyers in medical malpractice cases and thus discourage lawyers from representing clients suing for malpractice.
Amendment 4. NO. Miami-Dade county wants local control to ram through slot machines. The parimutuel betting industry is slobbering over this one. How about some real economic development that isn't built by holding out false hopes to people that they'll strike it rich, while making them poorer.
Amendment 5. YES. Raises the Florida minimum wage to $6.15/hr. and indexes it to inflation. ACORN worked hard to get this on the ballot, let's make it a reality.
Amendment 6. NO. Repeal of High Speed Rail Amendment. They're not going to build it anyway, but we still think rail should be emphasized over more road construction.
Amendment 7. YES. The patient's right to know about adverse medical incidents.
Amendment 8. No position. This is a three strikes you're out for the medical profession--if you're found to have committed three or more incidents of medical malpractice your licence is pulled in Florida. We don't know enough about it.

County Referendums
1. Campaign finance reporting --YES.
2. Campaign contribution limitations--limits contributions to $250 per person. Many citizen groups including Sierra Club and Women for Wise Growth support, labor opposes. We lean towards it, since it'll help tremendously with the big anti-environmental donors, although we worry that it will further marginalize unions.
3. Half-penny sales tax for parks and recreation--no, this should be funded by a less regressive tax. Sales taxes are the most regressive there are.
4. Half-penny sales tax for transportation improvements--no, local gov't should fight to have Florida implement an income tax on the rich to fund this stuff.


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