Florida’s Midterm Elections

– Politicians –

UNITED STATES SENATOR

Katherine Harris REP
Bill Nelson DEM
Floyd Ray Frazier NPA
Belinda Noah NPA
Brian Moore NPA
Roy Tanner NPA

Bill Nelson – If there’s one kind of Democrat I like, it’s a do nothing Democrat.

Katherine HarrisAs I’ve previously mentioned, I think Harris is a complete idiot.

Floyd Ray Frazier – Interesting platform: expanding government funded healthcare for the poor, civil rights – likes to quote Malcolm-X and J.F.K, legalization of Marijuana, promotes a national sales tax over the income tax, Social Security reform, wants to raise teacher’s salaries to 100K per year, slave reperations, Kerry healthcare. I kind of like him, he’s spunky. With Nelson way out ahead it might be fun to throw a vote in his direction.

Belinda Noah – A mix match of ideas: big on the national sales tax (she attended the FairTax rally in Orlando), pro-guns, anti-abortion, Kerry healthcare. I’m confused. A professor with a degree in mass communications, she used a one page blogspot page for her campaign web site. That’s all the effort she’s willing to put into a run for the U.S. Senate? I’m not impressed.

Brian Moore – Likes to visit Cuba, Nader endorsed him, government regulation, protectionism. meh.

Roy Tanner“Reclaim America for God, family, and leadership of the free world.” True religious right candidate. Very George Bush’ish. I think I’ve had enough of these folks.

All in all, no good picks. I’m really surprised Florida doesn’t have a good Libertarian candidate. I’m not a vote along party lines kind of guy. If there’s nobody up for election that’s worthy of my vote, so be it.

No confidence vote, leave it empty.

GOVERNOR

Charlie Crist REP
Jim Davis DEM
Max Linn REF
Richard Paul Dembinsky NPA
John Wayne Smith NPA
Karl C.C. Behm NPA

Long live Jeb Bush’s excellent economic legacy and combine it with a moderate stance on civil liberties. No more Terri Schivos, please! I hope he’s not a big government conservative (or liberal) in disguise.

Charlie Crist

– Constitutional Amendments –

No. 1 – State Planning and Budget Process

Proposing amendments to the State Constitution to limit the amount of nonrecurring general revenue which may be appropriated for recurring purposes in any fiscal year to 3 percent of the total general revenue funds estimated to be available, unless otherwise approved by a three-fifths vote of the Legislature; to establish a Joint Legislative Budget Commission, which shall issue long-range financial outlooks; to provide for limited adjustments in the state budget without the concurrence of the full Legislature, as provided by general law; to reduce the number of times trust funds are automatically terminated; to require the preparation and biennial revision of a long-range state planning document; and to establish a Government Efficiency Task Force and specify its duties.

While adding additional government bureaucracy seems like a bad idea at first, the fact that this new bureaucracy is oriented toward sounder fiscal budget policy and, according to what I’ve read, will have negligible financial impact indicates this is a good measure.

YES

NO. 3 – Requiring Broader Public Support For Constitutional Amendments or Revisions

Proposes an amendment to Section 5 of Article XI of the State Constitution to require that any proposed amendment to or revision of the State Constitution, whether proposed by the Legislature, by initiative, or by any other method, must be approved by at least 60 percent of the voters of the state voting on the measure, rather than by a simple majority. This proposed amendment would not change the current requirement that a proposed constitutional amendment imposing a new state tax or fee be approved by at least 2/3 of the voters of the state voting in the election in which such an amendment is considered.

If the people want an amendment passed, 60% majority seems like a reasonable expectation to accomplish it. We’ve had some real boondoggles pass via a close majority. Special interest groups do not like this amendment. Enough said.

YES

NO. 4 – Protect People, Especially Youth, From Addiction, Disease, and Other Health Hazards of Using Tobacco

To protect people, especially youth, from addiction, disease, and other health hazards of using tobacco, the Legislature shall use some Tobacco Settlement money annually for a comprehensive statewide tobacco education and prevention program using Centers for Disease Control best practices. Specifies some program components, emphasizing youth, requiring one-third of total annual funding for advertising. Annual funding is 15% of 2005 Tobacco Settlement payments to Florida, adjusted annually for inflation. Provides definitions. Effective immediately. This amendment requires state government to appropriate approximately $57 million in 2007 for the Comprehensive Statewide Tobacco Education and Prevention Program. Thereafter, this amount will increase annually with inflation. This spending is expected to reduce tobacco consumption. As a result, some long-term savings to state and local government health and insurance programs are probable, but indeterminate. Also, minor revenue loss to state government is probable, but
indeterminate.

Three issues –

First and foremost, it’s not the government’s responsibility to educate kids on the dangers of smoking, it’s the family.

Second, programs like this tend to be self perpetuating. Once funding from the Tobacco Settlement dries up, proponents will expect the taxpayer to pick up the tab and run with the program. Currently this proposed program will cost Florida $57,000.000.00 annually, and according to the amendment, this value will be increased for inflation.

Third, existing programs which are currently being funded using the Tobacco Settlement will have to have their funding cut. But how likely is that? More likely the existing programs will receive their funding from other areas, doubling the cost to the taxpayer overall. This is a classic “big government” spending initiative.

NO

NO. 6 – Increased Homestead Exemption

Proposing amendment of the State Constitution to increase the maximum additional homestead exemption for low-income seniors from $25,000 to $50,000 and to schedule the amendment to take effect January 1, 2007, if adopted.

Tax cut.

YES

NO. 7 – Permanently Disabled Veterans’ Discount on Homestead Ad Valorem Tax

Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to provide a discount from the amount of ad valorem tax on the homestead of a partially or totally permanently disabled veteran who is age 65 or older who was a
Florida resident at the time of entering military service, whose disability was combat-related, and who was honorably discharged; to specify the percentage of the discount as equal to the percentage of the veteran’s permanent service-connected disability; to specify qualification requirements for the discount; to authorize the Legislature to waive the annual application requirement in subsequent years by general law; and to specify that the provision takes effect December 7, 2006, is self-executing, and does not require implementing legislation.

Tax cut.

YES

NO. 8 – Eminent Domain

Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to prohibit the transfer of private property taken by eminent domain to a natural person or private entity; providing that the Legislature may by general law passed by a three-fifths vote of the membership of each house of the Legislature permit exceptions allowing the transfer of such private property; and providing that this prohibition on the transfer of private property taken by eminent domain is applicable if the petition of taking that initiated the condemnation proceeding was filed on or after January 2, 2007.

Key part of the amendment:

“Private property taken by eminent domain pursuant to a petition to initiate condemnation proceedings filed on or after January 2, 2007, may not be conveyed to a natural person or private entity except as provided by general law passed by a three-fifths vote of the membership of each house of the Legislature.”

That’s got a nice ring to it doesn’t it? I’m curious to see if this will be challenged and ultimately overturned considering the U.S. Supreme Court’s despicable record on interpreting the United States Constitution’s “public use” clause.

YES

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