Sunday, October 31, 2004

Hope everyone set their clocks one hour back before heading off to bed last night/early this morning...

--- Nearly 19 percent of all registered voters in Polk County have darkened the ovals on their optical-scanned ballots to date, either voting absentee or taking advantage of the early voting option. The really good news is that very few issues have arrived; only one poll watcher, a Democrat, has been barred from one of the early voting sites in Winter Haven. Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards says the ban was not authorized by her office, and is investigating to resolve the issue later today.

--- And here's one great story: An Advanced Placement American History teacher and several administrators at Kathleen High School in north Lakeland will be providing free rides to the polls, with AP students serving as escorts walking the elderly and homebound voters to the polling place, talking with them, and providing any other aid necessary. The teacher, Danny Whittenton, got the idea as a method of providing a community service for his students.

--- From the endorsement file, including a couple we didn't see 'till now:
George W. Bush
Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville)

John F. Kerry
Key West Citizen

Will Make No Recommendation
Key West Citizen

Betty Castor
Leesburg Commercial (10/19)

Mel Martinez
Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville)

--- Everyone with half a brain knows that Fox News Channel's take on the news and commentators tend to be slightly right of center. Two of their top hosts, Sean Hannity and Oliver North hit Florida running yesterday to galvanize the conservative base on behalf of President Bush. Hannity and North were joined by Christian Coalition founder Ralph Reed, former Secretary of Education and Drug Czar William Bennett, and syndicated radio talker Neil Boortz. They hit a Baptist church in Pensacola, along with sites in Jacksonville and Orlando.

--- New polls out today from Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, taken October 26-29 of 800 registered voters. The margin of error: +/- 3.5%:

If the 2004 presidential race were held today, who would you vote for:
The Republican Ticket of George W. Bush/Richard Cheney: 49%
The Democratic Ticket of John F. Kerry/John Edwards: 45%
Another party's ticket: 1%
Undecided: 5%

--- And how 'bout the low blow ads being run against Betty Castor now? The Orlando Sentinel reports today that a "527" group called the Florida Leadership Council --- heavily bankrolled by Miami Dolphins owner H. Wayne Huzeinga --- has purchased full page ads picturing Ms. Castor with terrorist Osama bin Laden along with fliers picturing school-age children wearing gas masks. Huzeinga is no stranger to below-the-belt tactics to get what he wants, according to this 1994 Miami New Times piece, so it shouldn't be any surprise to see the former "garbage king" (remember, he owned Waste Management, Inc. for a time) dip into the trash once again.

--- And for those who may still be undecided, let me provide this link to the Official Interstate4Jamming Political Endorsements, although with one change:

Constitutional Amendment 4: Authorizes Miami-Dade and Broward County Voters To Approve Slot Machines In Paramutuel Facilities: NO. I will readily admit when I've made a mistake, and in this case I did simply because I didn't read the language of the proposal well enough. While I do believe in local option, that the people of an area should be allowed to decide for themselves issues that will only affect their area, the language says that the Legislature MAY tax slot machine revenues, NOT WILL! And if this is passed, I'll betcha the gambling interests would lobby hard against any type of taxation to benefit education or anything else...and Floridians would be screwed yet again.

This is the reason why everyone should read the proposals closely, and in this case I failed.


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