Ramblin' about on a Saturday morning...
--- Politics reared it's head in Tampa, and as a result one Hillsborough County high school band will not be playing at President Bush's campaign rally tomorrow evening at Legends Field. According to the story in the St. Petersburg Times, The band from Plant High School had been asked by the Bush/Cheney campaign to perform at the incumbant's final campaign rally in Florida, but had to back out after a parent complained to the Hillsborough County School Board, as it is district policy forbidding the use of school bands at campaign functions unless all candidates are involved.
The HCSD peeved off both sides this week, as they also refused a request by the Kerry/Edwards campaign to use the gymnasium at Jefferson High School for an event.
A spokesperson said if the request had come from the White House, there would have been no problem.
--- It's always great to see a newcomer to our blogging community, and I welcome Empericial Polk County to the table. Actually, he's been around for a few weeks; I only learned about his blog when he replied to my post yesterday, having learned about I4J through the Lakeland Ledger online blog "Polk NewsWatch". I've read his posts, and he brings another view to the "eastern side of the Tampa Bay region". Check the site out, but don't be a stranger here, either...
--- EPC did mention in one of his posts that Publix Supermarkets was one of the leading contributors to the campaign against Amendment 5, the Minimum Wage Amendment which would raise the minimum wage in Florida to $6.15 an hour. Publix --- one of the most expensive supermarket chains in the area, if you do any reasonable comparable shopping --- donated $100,000 to the Coalition to Save Florida Jobs, the group organized mainly by restaurant and supermarket owners to defeat this measure. The St. Petersburg Times article also shows Outback Steakhouses and it's political action committee has donated almost a third of the $1.25 million raised for the group.
--- Speaking of Publix, it should be no surprise that supermarket chain's vice chairman and his wife donated $50,000 each to the Republican National Committee. Barney Barnett is the company's vice chair, and his wife, Carol Jenkins Barnett, is the daughter of company founder George Jenkins who also heads Publix Super Markets Charities. Lakeland Ledger reporter Mary Toothman apparantly found the information through Fundrace, where you can enter a name or city and learn who has donated to what federal campaign or party as it is public record.
--- From the endorsement column today:
UNITED STATES SENATE
Fort Myers News-Press
--- And while on the senatorial race, the new Florida Opinion Poll from the New York Times Florida Newspaper Group shows Democrat Betty Castor with a slim lead over Republican challenger Mel Martinez, 46.6 to 43.5 percent, with 9.9 percent still undecided. The poll was conducted October 23-27 with 802 most likely voters. The margin of error is +/- 3%
--- With all the talk about voter intimidation in this general election, one would think this is a strange anomoly becase of the gulf between the various factions. But in Florida's history, voter intimidation is par for the course, according to this article from today's Tampa Tribune.
--- And some words to remember heading into the final weekend before the Election...
Well, now young faces grow sad and old
And hearts of fire grow cold
We swore blood brothers against the wind
Now I'm ready to grow young again
And hear your sister's voice calling us home
Across the open yards
Well maybe we'll cut someplace of own
With these drums and these guitars
Well, we made a promise we swore we'd always remember
No retreat, baby, no surrender
Like soldiers in the winter's night
With a vow to defend
No retreat, baby, no surrender
From No Surrender
by Bruce Springsteen