From Organize Now’s northern cousins


ACORN’s successor group in Missouri has been paying protesters $5,000 a month to generate civil unrest in Ferguson, the troubled St. Louis suburb where black youth Michael Brown was killed by a white police officer last August.

We know this because some of the protesters haven’t been paid and, now, they are demanding what they were promised. They held a sit-in at the offices of Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) and posted a demand letter online.


(from Tom Tillison’s f/b group The REAL Orange County Political Voice)



From the Coalition for Good Governance in Orange County:

We had a fantastic victory last November as a result of your hard work and participation, but we still have work to do regarding the weaknesses in the Orange County Charter.

We currently have a venue in which to advocate for more change because the commission to review the Orange County Charter has convened. This commission is known as the Charter Review Commission (CRC). There are many changes we could propose and support but we think the most important and productive at this time is the citizen petition process.

Our goal is to get  PETITION PROCESS REFORM on the 2016 Ballot.

On Thursday March 12, the CRC met for the second time, and a few of our friends attended. Some notes from that meeting are below; but none of these items were discussed at any length in this meeting:

The commission voted to retain Wade Vose as legal counsel, as  recommended by the Legal Counsel Working Committee. Interestingly, Commission chairman Shaughnessy argued against Vose. Instead he  supported Gray Robinson (who was the very close second place choice of the Legal Counsel Working Committee). In fact at least 2 of the 3 Mayoral appointees did not support Vose as counsel.  Because  of a motion set forth by Eddie Fernandez, Gray Robinson will be  retained in the future IF there are conflicts or if their expertise is needed.

CRC members had the opportunity to set forth possible areas of focus. Fred Brummer informally mentioned several  including limiting the frequency of CRCs from every 4 years to every 20 years,  increase the number of districts, streamline the tax collectors office into county government, change the petition process to make every signature  carry the same weight across the districts, and limit petition language to 75 words. Shaughnessy also spoke of the need to have  clear, legal initiative language. One other member put forth a couple inconsequential items.

The CRC will be meeting again in April:

When:    April 9th 2015 at 4:00PM

Where:  Orange County Administration Building

                201 South Rosalind Avenue

               Orlando, FL

Please, if able, attend this meeting and subsequent meetings. We want to continue the discussion of reforming the petition process so Orange County businesses and citizenry are protected from the influences of out-of-town special interest agendas and funds.

We need to appear and/or speak to the Commission about the need to reform the petition process. Our initial task is to urge the commission to form sub-committees to review the current problems with the petition process.

Our strategy is as follows:

Attend the CRC meeting on April 9th and possibly subsequent meetings — we need to ATTEND these meetings to show presence and interest. 


There will be some who do speak to the commission and elaborate on the citizen petition pitfalls, and explain why the petition process needs reform.

We will:

Highlight why Petition Process Reform is necessary

·        Charter’s wording of the petition process is vague and unclear.

·        During the Paid Sick Leave Petitioning, we saw confusion over  missed deadlines, misleading petition language, and multi-issue questions.

·        Unfair representation across the districts of the county. Some districts were purposely ignored by the last two petitioning campaigns.

·        Lack of transparency in the process. During last two petitioning campaigns, professional petitioners were hired by front groups funded through shadowy means by outside special interest groups.

·        Potentially support recommendations proposed by SOE Bill Cowles.  (We will attend his presentation to the CRC; we’ll announce the date of his appearance when scheduled.)

Encourage CRC to study Petition Process

·        Highlight the idea that the CRC is the proper vehicle for addressing Petition Process Reform.

·        Describe how the current petition process generates mob rule; we live in a republic, not a pure democracy.

·        The Charter is the Constitution of Orange County.

·        The Charter is a procedural document, not intended to dictate policy.

·        There is a national trend to use Charter to push an agenda driven by special interests.

Thank you, Linda O’Keefe

November 4 2014

Tidbits & 2014 opposition election postmortem for Orange County Florida Elections

Big Win for the Republicans and self admitted disaster for the Dems during the 2014 election, as  Mike Cantone (democrat political advocate) sez HERE in his I Like Mike post. (hat-tip Tom Tillison.)

Important to note among Mike’s prescient analysis is the admission that ‘Question C’ on the ballot was “pushed and financed by outside money!”

As I’ve been sayin’ – and make no mistake:

Orange County is Under Attack by outside influences awash in out-of-state financing to change the very things we love about Orange County for their personal gain! Like a ripe Orange perfect for the plucking.

Orange County Now

November 5, 2014



On Tuesday, Orange County voters from both parties turned out to show that jobs and opportunity override government intrusion into the local marketplace, and that partisan politics are not consistent with good governance.

We thank these voters for standing in agreement with Orange County Now on all issues supported and opposed, with the exception of state Amendment 1. For more information, please visit our website –

Voters passed Ballot Amendment Questions A and B to strengthen the county charter to guard against out-of-state interests who seek to manipulate the citizen petition process to advance a political agenda. In addition, Question D was also approved, which establishes term limits and nonpartisan constitutional offices. At the same time, voters rejected the partisanship that Question C would have ushered in.

While opponents of good governance issued celebratory pre-election press releases touting their accomplishments, Orange County Now remained focused on educating voters on the issues and what was at stake – and we’re pleased to see that voters chose to make informed decisions.

Orange County Now congratulates voters for their common sense approach, and we look forward to the next battle to bring good governance to our community.


Vote-525x350We know monkeys are intelligent, but who could have guessed that they are able to craft ballot language for charter questions?

And use legal dictionaries and dart boards to boot!

That’s the assertion Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell made last week when he offered his folksy two-cents on four potential changes to the Orange County charter voters will be deciding on in the upcoming election.

The thought of monkeys and dart boards conjures up a vision of the columnist throwing darts at a board covered with images of the Republican commissioners as he penned his missive — better known as “the hacks on the commission,” as he labeled them in his column.

In this scenario, can there be any doubt that Commissioner Fred Brummer’s mug would be resting on the bulls eye?

Not only does Maxwell continue the myth that professional activists well compensated by labor unions and other liberal organizations are nothing more than “citizens,” he eagerly embraces the potential for them to “take democracy into their own hands.”

See Orange County Now Voting Guide Here!

In addressing Question A, he looks past our representative form of government to talk about being able to “directly petition” the commission. This is known as direct democracy, which often goes by another name — mob rule.

The expanded 150 day time limit allows locals more time to better understand how ballot initiatives may affect the community before voting on them, and for this reason alone you should vote YES on A.

He tells readers that Question B will “ban” them from addressing economic issues, which is disingenuous. These issues can certainly be addressed through those elected to represent the community — that is what they are there for. If you don’t like their decisions, vote them out.

The economic issues he speaks of — favored by labor unions — will limit local opportunity. Voting YES on B will prevent out-of-state special interests from forcing a job-killing agenda on Orange County.

Maxwell gets it right on Question C, vote NO — even a broken clock is accurate twice a day.

He ripped those behind Question D for combining two issues, but wasn’t nearly as harsh on Democrats for doing the same thing on C. In the end, this helps protect Orange County from polarizing political agendas — and establishes term limits — so voters should vote YES on D.

In baseball jargon, a great pitch is preceded by a proper setup, and in this case, Maxwell’s setup stinks. Which means Orange County residents can’t trust that he’s throwing strikes. Vote NO on C, but ignore Maxwell and vote YES on Questions A, B and D.

Most Floridian’s, not already ‘indulging’ really understand that the move to amend the state constitution to allow Use of Marijuana for Certain Medical Conditions is just the ‘tip of the spear’ for legalizing marijuana usage.

To my libertarian friends I would say – AMENDING THE STATE CONSTITUTION is not the appropriate place to codify marijuana usage. Besides, opening the door for mob rule, circumventing the legislative process leaves not many good options in case there is need for a legal remedy.

To all who so vehemently oppose smoking cigarettes and cigars, I would say – that smoking is NOT a proper delivery device for medicine.

To everyone not already ‘self medicating’ I would say – that NONE of these recognized medical associations support marijuana as medicine:

American Medical Association
American Cancer Society
American Glaucoma Society,
American Academy of Ophthalmology,
National Institute of Drug Abuse(NIDA),
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Association(SAMHSA),
Food and Drug Association (FDA),
National Multiple Sclerosis Society,
American Academy of Pediatrics,
Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA),
American Society of Addiction Medicine.

hickenlooper-potreckless Moreover, the Governor of Colorado – a state recently moving from Medical to Legalizing Marijuana – just came out last week stating it was a reckless idea to legalize marijuana.  As I was saying Colorado started with medical marijuana.

I don’t think this is a bridge too far; but, as medicine, I wonder how long it will be before marijuana is  be covered under the Affordable Care Act? Where costs are certain to be passed on to the unwitting taxpayer.

Why Isn’t Marijuana an FDA-Approved Medication?
Marijuana comes from the plant Cannabis sativa. It contains more than 400 di erent chemicals—many with unknown effects—which differ from plant to plant. For something to be a medicine, it must have well-defi ned and measurable ingredients that are the same each time a person takes a dose. That means one pill has to have the same amount of medicine as the next. This way, a doctor can determine what dose to prescribe and how often a patient should take it.
Also, marijuana has harmful effects, especially when it is smoked, that must be considered. Smoking marijuana can cause a chronic cough and increased risk of bronchitis and other lung infections. It can also interfere with learning and memory, affect driving (especially if combined with alcohol), make some people anxious and paranoid, and can lead to addiction. More Here  myths-of-medical-marijuana.

Vote NO  Question / Pregunta-C

Moving Countywide Charter Office Elections and Making all Charter Office Elections Partisan.

vote-no-on-CFor more than twenty years, one political party  the Democrats in Central Florida have been manipulating the County Charter to benefit their own political agenda!

The only problem with what is now being proposed — to revert elections from non-partisan to partisan — is that is that many Central Florida Voters  will be disenfranchised from their right to select a county commissioner!

Yes, all of the NPA, Independents  and Libertarian registered voters will be shut out from process of selecting a county commissioner!


It’s just politics!“; they say.


Of course, these same people and their party leaders have some other interesting things to say also: “… being a NPA is just being weak minded!…”





So I would urge all of my Orange County Neighbors to vote NO on Question C. 

Your vote is your voice!

Why help those who are attempting to engage in voter suppression for hundreds of thousands of your neighbors who are Independent or NPA voters!

Amendment One – a proposal to collect $18B in documentary stamps over twenty years primarily for land acquisition – brings to our state several dangers that raise serious questions.

First, how much government owned and controlled conservation land do we need?  Twenty-eight percent of Florida is already in conservation.  Add another 3% for government facilities and we have over 30% of our state owned and controlled by government.  According to Nancy Smith of the Sunshine State News, Florida has “more land under public ownership per square mile than any other east of the Mississippi.” 

Second, is it wise to insert a part of our state’s budget into the constitution thus limiting the budgeting authority of the Legislature?  It is the Legislature’s responsibility to work with the Governor to craft an annual balanced budget to meet the needs of our state.  Through the Legislature, all the needs (including environmental) are considered, debated, and approved by our elected representatives, not just those of a single special interest.

Third, have you considered the impact decreasing acreages of private property will have on local needs such as education, roads, infrastructure, and public safety?  When property is moved from private ownership to government ownership, it is moved off the tax rolls.  Less taxable property means less tax revenue. Local governments will have the choice to lower their spending or raise property taxes.  Which decision do you think they’ll make?  

Fourth, do you know that most groups endorsing this amendment are special interests pushing an environmentalist/sustainable development agenda?  Their petition and campaign has been funded and directed in large part by a Boston-based 501(c)(4).  The Conservation Campaign and The Trust for Public Land have been directly involved in one-quarter of all US conservation finance measures since 1996, generating $35 billion in new public funding for land conservation.  Florida is one of their top priority targets.

Fifth, does government ownership of land enhance wise purchasing practices to protect taxpayer money, good stewardship maintenance of land, or making more land open to the public?  US Congressmen representing the state of Utah (87% federally owned) will tell you “No.” 

The American free market system encourages willing buyers and sellers to transact agreements, and there is a place for government to own land.  But, government should not be handed enormous amounts of tax payer money to buy and control land.

The American dream was founded upon the principle of private citizens owning and using property as a protection against the potential tyranny of the state.  More government ownership threatens that principle with no guarantees of better land stewardship. 

Alternatives exist to conserve land.  For example, rather than buying private farms, the state could simply buy their conservation rights.  The cost would be much less while keeping farms in production and on the tax rolls.

Amendment One brings many dangers to our state and is promoted by very driven and well-funded special interest groups.  These things should be considered before writing an $18 B check to Amendment One advocates.

Dan Peterson
Executive Director
Coalition for Property Rights

“There is no such thing as a Republican or a Democrat pothole.”

Orange County voters will decide in November whether to have party affiliations placed next to the names of candidates for charter offices — these offices include the county mayor and commissioners, which are currently non-partisan.

The ballot amendment would also move the county mayor’s race to the presidential-year election cycle — which means Mayor Teresa Jacobs will only serve a two year term instead of the customary four year term, and be forced to run again in 2016.

This citizen petition proposal is the product of local Democrats and professional activist allies, who are seeking one party rule — Orange County Democrats have a lead of nearly 100,000 registered voters and experience greater voter turnout in presidential year elections.

At lease $111,000 flowed into our community from outside sources, primarily Washington, D.C., in pursuit of the one party rule agenda.

Ballot language is unclear at this time:

Resolution Calling a Referendum On Petition Proposing to Move
Elections for All Charter Offices Elected Countywide to 2016 and Every
Four Years Thereafter, to Abbreviate Any Term of Office Consistent
with this Change, and to Change All Charter Office Elections From
Nonpartisan to Partisan

Day-to-day responsibilities of county government rise above partisan ideologies and center more on service, hence the saying: “There is no such thing as a Republican or a Democrat pothole.”

And for this reason, Orange County Now recommends a NO vote on this amendment. 

*A lawsuit has been filed against the legality of this ballot amendment, but it’s not expected to be resolved before ballots are sent out to voters.

Citizens for Informed Elections paid well to obtain the required number of signatures to place a citizens petition amendment on the November ballot that will, if successful, change charter office elections from non-partisan to partisan, and place the mayor’s race on the presidential election cycle.

Charter offices include the Board of County Commissioners.

These two issues will prove to be hugely beneficial to the activist-controlled Orange County Democratic Party, but the majority of financial contributions to Citizens for Informed Elections originated from sources outside of Orange County.

To help establish local one party rule, Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph, the former chairman of the local Democratic Party, gave $26,750 to Citizens for Informed Elections through a political action committee he controls.

But here is a list of “other” donors who contributed to Citizens for Informed Elections, according to records on file with the Orange County Supervisor of Elections:

DC-based Leadership Center for Common Good – $47,500

DC-based Project Vote: $19,500

California-based New Leaders Council – $9,000

Miami-based Democracy Alliance member Chris Findlater – $35,000

*Both Leadership Center for Common Good and Project Vote have strong ties to now defunct ACORN.

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