Conexion Miami / Voters on the verge of extinction

Republican presidential hopefuls Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio were not pleased to see the American flag raised over the U.S. Embassy in Havana last Friday. The two dinosaurs (What else can we call them? Those on the wrong side of normalization are becoming extinct. Don’t believe us, check out the polls…) were in Miami trying to rile up the decrepit T-Rexes at Versailles and other Miami locations where they once roamed freely. These days those once faithful voters are almost extinct and mostly tired, retired and on their last legs, or dead. The Miami duo may have to change their tune –if they hope to garner (even) the Cuban vote in south Florida.

Latino organizations’ neutrality on the embargo

Respected U.S. Latino leader Angelo Falcon on Sunday made reference to the U.S. embargo and the flag raising ceremony in Havana in his National Institute of Latino Policy report. Something to consider, according to Falcon: “How will a Republican-controlled Congress in a Presidential election season address this [embargo] issue is anyone’s guess. What will be interesting to watch within the Latino community in the U.S. is how the national Latino organizations will approach this question. For years, most of the mainstream Latino organizations have developed an unwritten understanding with anti-Castro Cubans to remain neutral and not to take any position on Cuba. Broad American and Latino support for the normalization of relations, along with generational changes in the Cuban-American community, will put pressure on these organizations to change their posture on this matter.”

kVgKW.AuSt.143Key West possibly next to relax pot law

Here’s an interesting quote from the Key West chief of police, Donie Lee, when asked by the Miami Herald about the marijuana question being debated by the city’s governing board: “I certainly support this change that would create a fine in lieu of taking someone to jail for small amounts of marijuana. It gives our officers an option that can help relieve the overburdened court system.” It looks like Key West will soon relax the law for smoking weed.

Jeb’s Cuban cigar cover-up

The following was reported by Marc Caputo, a former Miami Herald columnist, in the website Politico. We actually found it amusing, and believable, so we will share it with you, in case you have not read it. “Former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura … was ‘astounded’ that Jeb Bush’s campaign would deny a decades-old gift of Cuban cigars. […] The controversy centers on a box of Romeo y Julieta cigars Bush gave Ventura after a meeting of governors at the White House, where Ventura complained to then-president Bill Clinton about the “ridiculous” Cuban embargo and how it should be lifted. […] Ventura … said the gift was ironic, since Bush supported the embargo. […] Bush’s presidential campaign denied the claim, saying the cigars weren’t from Cuba.”

Florida Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, looks at a map for proposed changes in Congressional districts during a Senate committee meeting on reapportionment, Wednesday Jan. 11, 2012 in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Are fair maps possible?

The Florida Supreme Court has deemed numerous drawn political districts unconstitutional. The Supremes have stated that Republicans, in charge of the redistricting process here, have drawn maps to favor them. Voters thought they had solved the problem in 2010, when 63% voted in favor of the “Fair District” amendments to the Florida Constitution that outlawed gerrymandering and banned lawmakers from intentionally drawing districts that favor or disfavor incumbents or political parties. But Florida legislators, the great majority republicans, ignored the wish of the voters. The question of the year now becomes: Are fair maps possible in Florida?

Tallest monstrosity in Miamitorre-skyrise-miami2

Miami SkyRise developer Jeff Berkowitz wants his tower to be the tallest in Miami. Remember Jeff? He’s the developer who promised to build a monstrosity that looks like a giant nail clipper in the city of Miami and not use taxpayer dollars. After gaining approval from city voters, it turns out there was a deal that had been worked out with certain politicians where Berkowitz would receive millions in funding, but technically not for the project. Now Berkowitz wants to be able to boast that he’s got the biggest one in Miami. By biggest we mean tallest building, of course… And he has submitted plans to the FAA requesting an increased height of 1,045 feet above ground. In 2008, the agency had approved a height of 990 feet above ground for Sky Rise.


Biden for president? Maybe…

There’s talk that Vice President Joe Biden is considering a run for the presidency in 2016. If he does it appears he would have the guy who directed two straight victories for President Obama in Florida in 2008 and 2012. And it’s a known fact that for a Republican to win the White House he or she better take Florida along the way. Steve Schale, a Florida political operative, recently wrote in an email: “I’m #ReadyfForJoe,” reported The New York Times. “I’d love to see him take the jump,” Schale added. “I would be there if they’d have me!”

Protecting the Florida panther

Last week we reported about the fall hunt for the Florida black bear. This week we are glad to report that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has no intention of removing the Florida panther from the endangered species list or changing any of its protections. Florida’s panther population has been growing during the past 20 years and stands at around 180 adults. The Florida panther was listed as endangered in 1967, when the population was as low as 30 animals. But there are some who see the panther as just another target to shoot.

Playing by David Rivera laws – part 2

In a brief blurb titled “Playing by David Rivera laws”, last week’s Conexion Miami reported that “Florida is paying $700,000 to settle allegations that Gov. Rick Scott and other state officials flouted the state’s public records laws.” We were wrong. Florida newspapers reported this week that the figure had been raised by more than $300,000, in other words, over a million bucks. We forgot to include the lawyers defending Scott that also have to be paid.

Would Jeb Bush use torture?Adam Zyglis Cartoon

According to the Associated Press Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush declined to rule out resuming the use of torture under some circumstances by the U.S. government. “I don’t want to make a definitive, blanket kind of statement,” Bush told an audience of Iowa Republicans, when asked whether he would keep in place or repeal President Barack Obama’s executive order banning so-called enhanced interrogation techniques by the CIA.