By Congressman Alcee L. Hastings for Florida’s 20th District
The general election is on! Absentee ballots are being collected, early voting starts Monday, Oct. 20, 2014 and Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014.
Please vote! We all know how important elections are.
The following are some of my observations, prognostications, denunciations, ruminations and situations:
- Those who think they know say because this is not a Presidential election year, voter turnout will be low. I believe turnout will be lower than I want, but higher than expected. Please help me and all candidates prove them wrong.
- Throughout the nation, and in Florida, republican legislators and governors are intentionally discriminating against minorities voting rights. The US Supreme Court even struck down a critical section of the voting rights act. And, the republican majority in the House of Representatives will not allow a vote to enhance voting rights. Minorities, especially African Americans, people who share the Spanish language and the poor should be mad as hell. The answer? VOTE!!!
- We have bought into the political garbage that it is O.K. for billionaires to spend and pay what they please to obstruct and suppress voting (democracy), but it is wrong to pay a worker to help overcome the suppression of voters.
- Air vs. Ground in politics is a constant tug-o-war. The consultant class wants more and more money spent on T.V., and less on the ground. By way of analogy, if you turn to the military by the US and its partners in Iraq and Syria, how often have you heard that airstrikes against the enemy will not be enough? A lot, right? Well the same applies to politics. To be successful, in my opinion, you have to have soles (boots) on the ground. Wake up Democrats!
- Get out the Vote efforts (G.O.T.V.) in African American dominated voting precincts don’t get serious until two (count them) weeks before the election. This mindset has been going on for too many years. Example, I implored Alex Sink one year before the 2010 election to not wait until two weeks before the election to get serious in the African American Community. Two weeks to the day she came to Betty’s Restaurant with a rally of sorts. We knew how that worked out. To his credit, and because of his people skills, Charlie Crist has been very visible statewide in the African American community. While it is not the only reason, it is one reason. I am fully supportive of Charlie Christ for Governor. Please vote!
When is the last time you saw Rick Scott at an African American Church, Bar, School, N.A.A.C.P., Caribbean Festival, Urban League, or homeowners association? Oh, you are right; he was at one African American church, Sunday, October 12, 2014. Now this guy must be getting pretty desperate, or is his compassion showing up three quarter years late? Yeah right! Vote him out of office! Make Florida Scott free!
Here are a few reasons to vote against Rick Scott and for Charlie Christ:
Scott cut 1 billion dollars out of education. That hurt teachers, facilities, technology, class room size, and most definitely our children. That action cost Broward millions.
It is true that he restored 1 billion dollars to education later. I have never been good at math, but last time I checked 1-1is zero. So, generally speaking, we are right back where we started. Scott ran on a slogan of “Let’s get to Work” but he cut more than 7 billion in appropriated money for light rail in the I-4 corridor (Tampa to Orlando). Incidentally, it took a bi-partisan effort more than 6 years to bring that money to Florida. The irony is that it would have provided at least 18,000 jobs. Furthermore, the money went to Connecticut, Illinois, and California. Vote against this man!
The absolutely most egregious non-caring act of Scott and republican legislators was to not expand Medicaid. This act or lack of action left nearly one million people without the most basic of medical insurance. And it was done to spite the Presidents and Democrats action to provide affordable health care. This is OUTRAGEOUS! Get him out of here! VOTE!!!
If re-elected Scott will get a chance to appoint right leaning ideologues to every level of the Judiciary. Observation. Every minority lawyer should be campaigning all day every day to avoid this backward lean in the Judiciary. Come on lawyers and everybody stop this. VOTE!!
This man, Scott, says he “cringes” when he hears the words “minimum wage”. Funny how a cringe worthy millionaire does not want people to have a living wage. $10.10 is what Crist says he will do in state contracting. That’s not enough in my considered opinion, but it’s a start and it does not make me “cringe”. Vote the cringer out of office!
Ok, you and all Floridians may have heard some of the 20 million dollars in negative ads against Charlie Christ. Notwithstanding the two candidates are tied in the polls. Why? Because favorability rating is low. But bluntly, the majority of people don’t like this Scott guy. If you don’t like him and/or his politics, prove it. VOTE!!!!!
I thank the Westside Gazette for allowing me to put forth this editorial opinion.
Finally, on October 18, 2014 and October 25, 2014 starting at 9 a.m., some members of the Broward Black Elected Officials, SEIU and others will be walking in African American dominated precincts. Join us by calling (954) 494-7596, email firstname.lastname@example.org, post it on facebook#BBOEWalk. Also, many churches will be conducting “Freedom Sundays” modeled after an effort by the Congressional Black Caucus of the US House of Representatives.
Trayvon Martin can’t vote; Jordan Davis can’t vote; John Crawford can’t vote; Michael Brown can’t vote. You CAN vote. Everybody get up, get out and vote!!!!
Next week: Who and what I support and why!