Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Happy Tuesday Afternoon. I was scheduled to do some phone banking for the Kerry/Edwards campaign this evening, but decided to reschedule so I can deal with family matters. I've got my vacation scheduled to begin Friday so I will have the last few days prior to election day free, and I will be a poll watcher at my precinct on Tuesday...and hopefully celebrate with my fellow Polk County Democrats that evening/early Wednesday morning.

--- There is planning underway to schedule a visit by Elizabeth Edwards Thursday in Lakeland. The site and time are yet to be determined, but advance people for the campaign have scouted some possible sites for small, more intimate sites. From what I saw on C-SPAN of a town hall meeting forum featuring the wife of Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards, I'll definately take her over the rabble-rousing the current president did last Saturday at Tigertown.

--- From the endorsement file:
George W. Bush
Polk County Democrat (Bartow; also appeared in co-owned newspapers Lake Wales News and Fort Meade Leader)

John F. Kerry
Gainesville Sun

No endorsement
Stuart News

Betty Castor
Stuart News

Mel Martinez
Polk County Democrat (Bartow; also ran in co-owned newspapers Lake Wales News and Fort Meade Leader)

--- Now to get on the pulpit for a moment...

I almost have to laugh when I see the commercials against Constitutional Amendment 5 which is on the ballot next Tuesday. Amendment 5 is the Florida Minimum Wage Amendment, which would mandate that the minumum wage for workers in the Sunshine State be raised to $6.15 an hour, and tied to the rate of inflation. The opponents are making it sound as though if passed small businesses would fold up like accordians, and larger companies would simply turn to outsourcing. The announcer's last words are "Now is not the time."

If not now, when? Next year? Five years from now? While I do admit that some businesses may not be able to deal with it, many are simply acting out of simple greed, and an effort to keep the working class pinned down as much as possible. Many of them would rather the minimun wage never be raised, while the salaries of CEOs continue to skyrocket with golden parachutes galore!

This article from Florida Chamber of Commerce president Frank Ryll, Jr. should be a red flag. Not only does the Chamber wants to kill the idea of people making a living wage to support their families, but wants to make it more difficult for organizations to get constitutional amendment proposals on the ballot (See Amendment 2). True, Florida's constitution is easier to change than most states, but it gives the electorate the opportunity to act when their elected representatives won't...and sadly, that's quite often. Many legislators --- especially those who claim to represent us here in Polk County --- are too busy sucking on the breasts of business and development interests, and don't give a rat's ass about the working people who make this county and state running. The ability to amend the constitution by inititaive is one of the few chances we have to keep our representatives' feet to the fire.

If you couldn't tell already, I voted YES for Amendment 5, and NO for Amendment 2.

--- The polls continue to be sooooo close. Survey USA has Kerry with a two point lead over Bush, with the Others/Undecided group at only two percent. Their survey on the U.S. Senate race shows Betty Castor leading Mel Martinez 50-47 with four percent supporting Others/Undecided. The margin of error for both: +/- 3.7%.

The Strategic Vision poll released this week shows Bush with a two point lead 49-47 with four percent undecided; when Ralph Nader is added into the mix the only change is one percent off of Kerry's total added to the pro-Nader camp. In the Senate race, Martinez holds a three point lead over Castor 48-45, with seven percent undecided. The margin of error here is +/- 3.0%

--- I heard about this project this afternoon on NPR's "All Things Considered". The American Institute of Graphic Artists sponsored a 2004 Get Out The Vote program where members submitted poster designs. Some of the designs are available to view and download (in pdf format; Adobe Acrobat required), and some have been noted in elections offices across the nation.

--- And it isn't often that anything knocks "slobbernocker" presidential and senatorial campaigns from "top of the fold" Page 1, but Ron Zook's firing as head coach at the University of Florida did the job...at least at the Tampa Tribune and Orlando Sentinel. You can see the front pages of those and many other newspapers at Newseum.org, the Web site of the Newseum which will soon move into new digs in Washington, DC.


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