Sunday, November 9, 2008

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Stripper Pole Dance

Wish I were making this one up...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Post-Election Message From Annette Taddeo

Dear Friend,

Thank you for all of your hard work and support throughout this campaign. I will always be proud of what we achieved, and I will always be grateful to you for your support.

We never stopped fighting to bring a new beginning to South Florida and our country. We know that the work we did helped elect Barack Obama. We didn’t win the final battle, but we did help make history.

On Election Day, more than 100,000 voters in District 18 voted in support of my campaign. You need to know that together we made a difference - we made history, together.

In my life, what I value came from only two places: love and hard work.

And because I love America, I will continue to work hard for America.

I won’t be doing it in Congress, but I will not stop working.

We have waited long enough for change. We have waited long enough for the future. We have waited long enough for our American dream to be made real.

If we work – if we work hard, if we work smart, and if we work together – we will rebuild the American dream. We will make our own dreams come true. And we will ensure that our children’s dreams come true.

Thank you with all my heart,


Friday, October 31, 2008

FL-18: Wasserman Shultz in public endorsement of Annette Taddeo for US House; Closing difficult chapter?

l-r: Annette Taddeo, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Raul Martinez, Kendrick Meek, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Garcia.

This was a long time coming, and so quite choreographed. A rising star among Democratic congresswomen, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, of Florida District 20, stood on a stage in Little Havana on Oct. 23 and publicly endorsed the candidacy of the Democratic challenger to one of Wasserman Shultz’ friends in the House.

This is an observation and supposition I’m making without having interviewed her or knowing all the influences that brought her to this new point. I hope it means that she’s decided that Annette Taddeo, a successful businesswoman making her first foray into elective politics, is going to defeat the 19-year veteran, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, in District 18.

District 18 is where I live. I campaign some for Taddeo, whose half-Colombian, half-American background is perfect for this district that spans from Key West in the Florida Keys to Miami Beach and a good bulge of Little Havana and downtown Miami on the mainland. The district is majority Hispanic but not quite as Cuban as before, so Ros-Lehtinen, who’s Cuban American, is fighting hard with a mass of TV ads that fail to mention her links to neo-con misleaders and play up her “service” to the district.

As I try to persuade some brilliantly intelligent people to vote for Taddeo, they often reveal themselves as having been conned by Ros-Lehtinen’s supposed “service.” They ignore or are unaware of her repeated votes for the Iraq war, for torture, against the expansion of children’s health insurance. Hardly anyone seems aware of her hardline position on Iran, and they profess to admire her ability to get the Miami River dredged. (Big deal – some say it’s the shortest river in the USA, at 4 miles. Though it certainly needed dredging. Took forever. Anyway…) Once in a while they can change their minds after hearing her voting record. More have been swayed by her saccharine manner, and if they go to her office in Washington, they get such a nice cup of coffee.

It’s disgusting what dupes we are. How so many of us agree to be bribed by federal dollars. How we vote against our interests. I know, this behavior has been analyzed to hell and gone, and Americans are well established as having a tendency to let their vote be swayed by vague feelings of patriotism or by which candidate presents as a good social pal. Not that we’d ever get close to the snob. But we’ll take our emotional leaning as somehow related to attaining the American Dream, and we throw away our chance to vote for someone who has a solid and intelligent view of our situation. Well, I’m thinking of good old wooden Al Gore there, but he’s not a very good example, since he really won.

Let’s get back to what’s publicly known about Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her many months of reluctance to get on the side of Annette Taddeo and her two fellow strong Democratic challengers, Joe Garcia against Mario Diaz-Balart in District 25 (the outer suburbs and the Everglades) and Raul Martinez against Lincoln Diaz-Balart in District 21 (inner suburbs of Miami).

This came into the public eye in March, started by the Miami Herald’s featuring it on the front page. This blog picked that up pretty quickly (first post on March 9) and the story ran repeatedly on Daily Kos and elsewhere in the blogosphere. Wasserman Schultz was regularly creamed for not using her position of influence in the DCCC – Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee – to help the Democrats challenging in her neighboring districts.

At one point I was quietly happy about it, because it got Taddeo, Garcia and Martinez much more publicity locally and nationally than the little-known challengers had two years earlier. I know that too well, as I was nominal campaign manager for Dave Patlak, who didn’t quite get 40 percent against Ros-Lehtinen in the 2006 midterm election. We made her spend over $1 million – so there was some satisfaction for that.

What was Wasserman Schultz’ justification this year? Best guess was some collegial loyalty among fellow members of the U.S. House. They were all in the business of promoting federal bucks for South Florida and had to act together. There may have been some socializing. She told a skeptical audience once that it was a difficult balance. Not convincing. Many of us walked out because she came down on the wrong side of that teeter-totter. A report from March 21 at this link.

This affair caused me to think a lot about our political predicament. And it’s not just South Florida. This is all over our beloved country: the invulnerable incumbent. Their districts are so gerrymandered that they worry little about re-election. Wasserman Schultz and her Democratic colleague, Kendrick Meek of District 17, do not even get Republican opponents. Their districts are 70-percent safe Democratic.

They don’t benefit from the American tonic of competition. (Remedy: there’s a petition circulating to amend the Florida state constitution to ban political considerations in laying new district boundaries. This must be a priority after this election.)

If the two Democrats are invulnerable, the three Republican incumbents have less of a built-in advantage nowadays, though they started out with more solidly Republican districts. Demographic changes have put them in danger, and their three challengers, with strong campaign staffs and decent financing, are evidence that all three Republicans are seen as vulnerable, like their fellows most everywhere in the last months of George W. Bush.

Yet it still took forever for Wasserman Schultz to be more open in backing first Martinez, then Garcia and finally Taddeo. She wasted a lot of time being unnecessarily tenacious in backing Hillary Clinton. Then she spoke in favor of Taddeo at a meeting of Florida delegates at the Denver convention, where she somehow also cadged a slot to second Barack Obama’s nomination. Now it’s the last lap before election day, early voting is already under way, and finally Wasserman Schultz is in public at home in Florida before the TV cameras. And not alone.

Before I name her companions, here’s the quote:

“We need to make sure that we have leaders in the Congress who will stand up and be your voice. To make sure that the middle class ... that they have members of Congress who are in Washington fighting for them. And these three candidates, Raul Martinez, Joe Garcia and Annette Taddeo, are the people that we need to elect so that we can make sure that they do that…

“This is the most important election of our lives. We are at a turning point in the United States of America. The wealthy have had their leaders in Washington. The wealthy have been taken care of for a long time. It is time to elect these three candidates to Congress so that we can have a voice for people who have not had one for a very long time.”

You can see from her words that all three Democratic challengers were in the room with her, Annette Taddeo, Raul Martinez and Joe Garcia, along with Rep. Kendrick Meek. The star in the room was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who for months has been trooping to South Florida doing fund-raisers for Garcia and Martinez. This was her first for Taddeo, I believe, and she also did fundraisers for Garcia and Martinez during a busy day.

Taddeo stood beside Wasserman Schultz and served as interpreter for the largely Cuban audience in the Little Havana Center for Activities and Nutrition, a senior center. Joe Garcia handled interpretation duty for Nancy Pelosi, who gave ringing endorsements of all three Democratic challengers, touting Taddeo’s strong business background, Garcia’s work in community organizing and Martinez for his long public service as mayor of Hialeah.

It’s time to say Thank You, Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz. I fervently hope you’re right in guessing that Annette Taddeo is going to win.

One last question, though. Those ads that the DCCC is running on TV here … the ones that criticize the Diaz-Balart brothers for their rotten votes in Congress. Why don’t they also mention Ileana Ros-Lehtinen? After all, she voted the same way as the rubber-stamp brothers. The ads run in the very same TV market that serves potential voters for Annette Taddeo. You’re a big wheel in the DCCC. Why, O why, don’t the ads also mention the third rubber-stamper, and maybe give your fellow Democrat a little boost? Why?

Monday, October 20, 2008

FL-18: Annette Taddeo campaigns with big sign

Annette Taddeo with a supporter and TV reporter in front of giant sign on wheels.

My favorite congressional candidate, Annette Taddeo, campaigned Sunday evening with a lively party at Kaffe Krystal in Kendall. At the end, clipboards were passed around and quite a few people signed up to be Taddeo Troopers -- volunteers for the final push to election day.

Regular readers will know that I live in FL-18, which Taddeo is fighting to wrest from the rubber-stamp Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. If you, too, live in FL-18, look for this sign being towed around your neighborhood.

The Obama campaign chimed in for Annette on Mnday, sending an email to some of us in District 18 urging that we help her campaign.

The email said:
You can change politics in this country at every level -- up and down the ballot.

Our records show that you live in Florida's 18th district.

There's a candidate in Florida who's working to bring the change this country needs, and that candidate is Annette Taddeo. Get involved and help bring change now.

Annette Taddeo for Congress:
Visit the website

Don't wait until Election Day to support Taddeo. Get involved today to make sure Florida has a strong representative to take our country in a new direction.


Obama for America

P.S. -- To get involved with Obama for America in your community, visit your state page:

This teamwork is great!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fla. Dems Good on Environment, Reps Not So Much

The League of Conservation Voters released their scorecards for Congress. Can you guess what the pattern is? Of Florida Republicans, only Ileana Ros-Lehtinen does as good as any Democrat and that's only one person. Beyond that, all Democrats do way better than all Republicans. No shocker there.

Alcee Hastings (D), 92%
Ron Klein (D), 92%
Timothy Mahoney (D), 92%
Kendrick Meek (D), 92%
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D), 92%
Bill Nelson (D), 91%
F. Allen Boyd (D), 85%
Corrine Brown (D), 85%
Kathy Castor (D), 85%
Robert Wexler (D), 69%
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R), 69%
Vern Buchanan (R), 62%
Gus Bilirakis (R), 38%
Ginny Brown-Waite (R), 38%
Mario Diaz-Balart (R), 38%
C.W. Bill Young (R), 38%
Mel Martinez (R), 36%
Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R), 31%
Ander Crenshaw (R), 15%
Ric Keller (R), 15%
Connie Mack (R), 8%
John Mica (R), 8%
Adam Putnam (R), 8%
Dave Weldon (R), 8%
Tom Feeney (R), 0%
Jeff Miller (R), 0%
Cliff Stearns (R), 0%

Monday, October 13, 2008

From the Blogs Video: Taddeo Smacks Down Ileana Ros-Lehtinen on Social Security

Miami-Dade Dems: FL-18: Another reason to reject the incumbent and vote for Annette Taddeo

Miami-Dade Dems: FL-18: Annette Taddeo instructs incumbent on Social Security

Daily Kos: FL-18, FL-25: Bushraiser III

Daily Kos: FL-18, FL-25: Bushraiser II

Daily Kos: FL-18, FL-25: Bushraiser

Daily Kos: FL-18: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen thinks people don’t like Social Security

Miami-Dade Dems: DailyKos takes up donation drive for Joe Garcia and Annette Taddeo

Ybor City Stogie: The Three Amigos vs. The Dynamic Duo Local Congressional Race Update

AMERICAblog: In Florida, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen sticks with Bush/McCain on privatizing social security

Blue Herald 2.0: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Finds Time to Get Her Ass Kicked

Down With Tyranny: South Florida: 6 Candidates Debate And 1 Gets Caught Up In A Major Bribery Scandal

South Florida Daily Blog: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Is A Criminal

Ybor City Stogie: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen And George Bush Are Two Peas In A Pod

Ybor City Stogie: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Now Supporting The Great Swindle of 2008

Another reason to vote for Annette Taddeo

Michael Froomkin has posted on his superb blog,, a denunciation of Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and the Florida Republican Party for the slimy mailer going out to Congressional District 18. It accuses us Democrats of surrendering to terrorists — what else do they have in their bag of dirty Republican tricks?!?

There’s an image of the mailer at the link above to, and I’ll encourage traffic thataway by not showing the rotten thing on this blog. It’s also being picked up nationally by Hullabaloo, where Digby is encouraging a response by donating to Annette Taddeo’s campaign to unseat Ros-Lehtinen. I’ll second that with a helpful URL.

Though I also live in FL-18, this mailer hasn’t hit me yet. But my dining table is starting to groan under the weight of the lies rolling in from Ros-Lehtinen’s campaign. This weekend came one extolling her for “helping middle class home owners, improve our health care system, invest in alternative and efficient energy sources and facilitate an affordable college education for our youth.” All the stuff she doesn’t do.

And there’s a photo of her with her family and the slogan, “Together we will make the necessary changes.”

Y’all catch the “changes” that she’s asserting? Beware, there’s no mention of retiring her rubber stamp.

By contrast, mailers from Annette Taddeo are factual and persuasive. I can only hope that people have their minds open as they decide how to vote

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Republicans Don't Support Troops As Well As Dems

Check out the latest scorecards from Disabled American Veterans and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America...


Bill Nelson, 100
Allen Boyd, 100
Corrine Brown, 100
Kendrick Meek, 100
Robert Wexler, 100
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, 100
Alcee Hastings, 100

Mel Martinez, 60
Jeff Miller, 66
Ander Crenshaw, 66
Ginny Brown-Waite, 66
Cliff Stearns, 66
John Mica, 66
Ric Keller, 50
C.W. Bill Young, 66
Adam Putnam, 66
Connie Mack, 66
David Weldon, 66
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, 66
Lincoln Diaz-Balart, 66
Tom Feeney, 66
Mario Diaz-Balart, 66

Notice a pattern here? All of the Dems have 100%, while none of the Republicans has anything better than a mid-range "D." So much for supporting disabled troops.


Bill Nelson, A+
Allen Boyd, A
Corrine Brown, A
Kathy Castor, A
Timothy Mahoney, A
Kendrick Meek, B
Robert Wexler, A
D. Wasserman Schultz, A+
Ron Klein, A+
Alcee Hastings, A

Mel Martinez, B
Jeff Miller, B
Ander Crenshaw, B
G. Brown-Waite, B
Cliff Stearns, B
John Mica, B
Ric Keller, A
Gus Bilirakis, A
C.W. Bill Young, B
Adam Putnam, C
Vern Buchanan, B
Connie Mack, B
Dave Weldon, C
I. Ros-Lehtinen, A
L. Diaz-Balart, B
Tom Feeney, B
M. Diaz-Balart, B

Republicans do a little better on this one, with Keller, Bilirakis and Ros-Lehtinen all getting an "A." Dems still do better, Meek has the lowest grade on our side of the aisle, and he still has a "B." The only "A+" grades amongst Florida's delegation are Dems and the only grades below "B" are all Republicans. Again, which party actually supports the troops?

Friday, October 10, 2008

FL-18: Annette Taddeo instructs incumbent on Social Security

This was a telling moment in this week's forum for congressional candidates. The question was about the future of Social Security. Democratic challenger Annette Taddeo defended it with passion and logic. Then incumbent Ileana Ros-Lehtinen hopped up and asked the audience if they were happy with their return from Social Security.


How out of touch can she be? This was on a day when the stock market tanked after tanking the day before. Big headlines. No hint that Ros-Lehtinen saw the foot heading for her mouth, even though it was hers.

One of Annette Taddeo's top qualifications for Congress is that she's not a politician, but rather a successful owner of a thriving business providing language services. More of her sort of expertise is badly needed in the U.S. House, and out with the unthinking rubber-stamps who need to look at their scripts to know what to say.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Great New Ad From Annette Taddeo

Check it out:

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

FL-21, FL-25: Good news for Martinez and Garcia campaigns

Here we are at five weeks to election day – meaning three weeks to start of early voting – and the momentum looks positive for the Raul Martinez and Joe Garcia challenges to the Diaz-Balart rubber-stamps.

Very proud, the Martinez campaign announced a promotion by one of the handicappers on Tuesday. No longer “lean Republican” to the Rothenberg Political Report, this race in FL-21 now is “Pure Toss-Up.”

” The race's inclusion as one of only ten races in the country ranked as ‘Pure Toss-Up’ signifies that this race is more competitive than ever,” the Martinez campaign said.

That doesn’t make it easy. Incumbent Lincoln Diaz-Balart has run an ad about as sleazy as they come, and Raul Martinez is asking donors to help in the stretch to Election Day. You can see how Miami’s Channel 10 skewered the ad in a post a few days ago on this blog.

And at Joe Garcia’s shop – also contending with gross distortions from Mario Diaz-Balart’s ads – they’re announcing good news from another of the handicappers, Real Clear Politics, which is calling the race in FL-25 one of the most competitive House races in the country.

This race, according to the Rothenberg Political Report (linked above), is still in the “lean Republican” category. But there’s yet another piece of good news for Joe Garcia. Mario DB is polling below 50%, which is a classic sign of trouble for incumbent members of Congress. If I recall correctly, this has been true for several months, so the incumbent has not done himself any good with his crummy ads (also linked in the same post as for Raul Martinez).

Here’s part of a statement from the Joe Garcia campaign:

A poll that was conducted by a non-partisan firm was recently released that shows Mario Diaz-Balart is only getting 45% support, and that Joe Garcia is polling within the margin of error. As you know, “polling under 50 percent generally spells trouble for incumbents.” [Rasmussen Reports, 9/22/2008].

This explains why MDB is running scared and has resorted to lying about Joe Garcia's record of fighting for Florida's families. The fact that a career politician like Mario Diaz-Balart is polling below 50% provides proof that South Florida is ready for a change. The poll also states that Joe Garcia's favorability is higher than Mario Diaz-Balart’s.

Don’t forget that Joe needs money, too.

Speaking of momentum, my favorite Congressional candidate, Annette Taddeo in FL-18 where I live, is advertising on radio and TV, so I expect her to start taking big bites out of incumbent Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Taddeo is getting help from the national Democratic Party establishment, having been promoted to the Red to Blue list of top Democratic challengers, and her internal polls have shown for months that the incumbent has meager support. Once voters see and hear the ads for Taddeo, they will realize there’s a powerful challenge and bid Ros-Lehtinen an unfond farewell.

Taddeo has been getting coverage in the Miami Herald and in the Florida Keys, so the word is getting out. Now it’s time to step on the gas, and that’s what the campaign is doing. You can pitch in with money and time. Sign up at

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Meet the Patriot Corps Staffer Assigned to the Taddeo Campaign


Kento Azegami: "I am a sophomore at Portland State University, majoring in Political Science. I am happily engaged to my boyfriend Kyle. In 2004 I worked, as a campus organizer for the 21st Century Democrats Young Voter Project. I've interned with Basic Rights Oregon and worked as a lead canvasser for Larry Galizio for State Representative. I have served as President of the College Democrats of Portland State University and as the President of the Oregon Federation of College Democrats."

First Ad Up from Annette Taddeo

In Spanish:

Monday, September 22, 2008

Taddeo Not Happy About Bailout

They aren't happy.

We will not be forced into acting on a $700 billion bill without even examining what the bill does. The American people need protection so that this emergency does not turn into a boondoggle give-away to corporate insiders. Congress should send President Bush a bill that includes transaction standards, independent oversight, protections for homeowners, and constraints on excessive executive compensation.

The bill is inadequate because while doing nothing for homeowners, it gives the Treasury Department a blank check for Wall Street - it authorizes purchases "on such terms and conditions as determined by the [Administration]." There would be no guidelines, no standards, no conditions. The Treasury would be permitted to purchase assets at any price it wanted, even if it provided a huge profit to the same corporate entities that got us into this mess in the first place, entities like commercial banks, investment banking firms - even hedge funds -- that have acted recklessly or worse.

I oppose, and call on Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to oppose - the Bush Administration's proposed legislation giving the Treasury the power to spend up to $700 billion to buy "mortgage-related assets" from U.S.-based financial institutions, until the proposed bill is strengthened to protect homeowners, and to protect the American taxpayer from sweetheart deals, cronyism and outright waste.

Finally, if the bailout is to be expanded to cover foreign-headquartered companies, then our allies must share the burden. Unfortunately, after seven and a half years of Cowboy diplomacy and a war in Iraq based on lies, we have little if any leverage left with our allies. They have no desire and little incentive to help us in our moment of need. It is time for a new beginning.

Candidate Annette Taddeo and US Rep Hilda Solis on the economy

Video thumbnail. Click to play

Annette Taddeo, Democratic challenger in FL-18, and U.S. Rep. Hilda Solis, CA-32, address the economic crisis in remarks near downtown Miami. Building in background is office of Foreclosure Relief System.

Good prospects for three Democrats in South Florida congressional races

Joe Garcia, running in District 25, speaks at fundraiser on the key nature of Annette Taddeo's candidacy in District 18. He says she is doing the heavy lifting that will help him win and also help Raul Martinez in District 21.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cry foul: Lincoln Diaz-Balart won't debate Raul Martinez

Sorry, little mistake in the headline. Replace the word foul with fowl, for chicken. That should be the modifier for Lincoln Diaz-Balart, who's not up to the challenge of meeting his challenger in the debate arena.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Walk for Annette Taddeo: Red to Blue winner in FL-18

Terrific news for Annette Taddeo, our brilliant challenger against a Bush rubber-stamp in Washington. Taddeo now has full backing of the Democratic Party establishment’s Red to Blue program. It was leaked out today on The Politico and the Down with Tyranny blogs. This will mean more funding for her campaign against Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and equal footing with the other Democratic challengers in South Florida, Joe Garcia and Raul Martinez, who have been on the Red to Blue list for some time.

We all can help build momentum in this important race by canvassing for Annette Taddeo, who’s a multiple winner this week – certified also after winning a national contest among progressives to show whose backers would work the hardest.

First, the canvassing details. This event is primarily backed by the Democratic Hispanic Caucus of Florida but everyone’s welcome to join.

·         When:  1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday Sept. 14

·         Where: Little Havana, at the Ayesteran restaurant, 706 SW 27th Ave.

·         Who: Millie Herrera 305 972-4162

Thanks to the readers of this blog and those receiving Democracy For America-Miami-Dade newsletters and others who boosted Taddeo in the Blue America contest among nine progressive candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives.  

This is also a chance to introduce you to some nationally known blogs that were sponsors of the contest:  Down With Tyranny, Crooks and LiarsFiredoglake and Digby.

 The idea in the contest was to register an individual’s support for one of the nine candidates by making a donation of as little as $1 to that candidate. Taddeo, who made calls herself to backers asking for a buck (I know, I got one of her calls), came out ahead in this national contest and will receive over $15,000 including a $5,000 matching check from Rep. Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The DCCC now also has promoted Annette Taddeo from the category of “Emerging Races” to the fully emerged status of the Red to Blue program. This will call for the long-reluctant Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, FL-20, to become a full backer of Taddeo’s campaign to unseat Ros-Lehtinen, whom Wasserman Schultz has been reluctant to oppose. 

This blog has been writing about this conflict for almost six months, and it will be a great relief to put this chapter behind us and step into a more unified final eight weeks of campaigning.

Here’s a link to the Taddeo campaign site with news of the Blue America win – nothing official yet on the DCCC Red to Blue program – and you can click on the Contribute button and do the right thing.

And a Florida footnote: also among those promoted from “emerging” to Red to Blue” is Alan Grayson, the Democratic challenger in FL-08. The incumbent is Rick Keller, who must now think his 53-47 margin in 2006 is looking pretty skimpy. The district is in central Florida including part of Orlando.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Deadline: Help Annette Taddeo on ActBlue

Have you given $1 to help Annette Taddeo? (More is fine, but $1 is OK.)

Our Democratic candidate in FL-18 is in a tight race to win this contest at ActBlue. Contest ends at 3 p.m. today!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Commentary in El Nuevo Herald points to defeat for Republicans in Congress

Thanks to the Joe Garcia campaign for finding and translating this opinion piece from El Nuevo Herald this past weekend. It concentrates on Joe Garcia's strong chances in the FL-25 race against Mario Diaz-Balart but is just as relevant to Annette Taddeo in FL-18 and Raul Martinez in FL-21: Florida "will not be an island" in the ocean of change coming on election day.

The entire piece is quoted hereunder, and this link goes back to the original Spanish.

It's not hard to guess why Mario Diaz-Balart prefers to avoid Joe
Garcia these days. He doesn't want to bump into him at social gatherings at the
Versailles Restaurant in Little Havana, much less on the radio, television or
here in the Herald. Things happen when, after so many years of a family holding
political power, all of a sudden, there is fatigue of the repeated speeches, the
passing of days, generational shifts or the moment of political realignment in
the country sounds several alarms that warn that the trendy word, change, is not
only coming to the White House, but to the Congress as well. And this is going
to happen to good ol' Joe.

Let's go piece by piece. Nepotism, regardless how nice the brothers of a
dynasty may be, creates antipathy, whether it be in Florida,California, Texas,
China or Vietnam. You also have to add that the same anti-Castro focus of the
‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, no longer resonates in 2008. On the contrary, there
is a boomerang effect, and you can no longer duck your head or use the same old
story that generated votes in the past. Cuban-American voters clearly want
change in their homeland, along with liberty and democracy, so they can once
again breathe the breeze that stayed behind in Havana's piers. There is no
disagreement on this issue, but alongside this exiled voting bloc, there is now
a new voter. There is the young Cuban American that was born in the United
States, and despite the love he may have for the grandparents and uncles he may
or may not have met, he has a different vision of the problem. His origins may
be in Cuba, but his school, university, wife, kids and future are in the United
States. His first language is English, and he almost doesn't understand the
rhetoric that dates back four decades of exiles talking about the death of the
tyrant or the fall of the regime.

These young Cuban Americans are affected by the drama of their peers, and
the nostalgia less than 90 miles from Florida, but what they're more interested
in is that a young politician, that speaks their language, is ready to solve
their daily problems here in the United States. This has been the focus of Mr.
Garcia's campaign. Aside from this generational dilemma, the Diaz-Balarts' and
Ms. Ros-Lehtinen's problem, is that their Democratic opponents for Congress have
surfaced while the country has been inspired by the optimistic change that
Barack Obama signifies. During such a political climate, the standard-bearers of
exile politics represent the exact opposite.

Some things happen when a candidate arrives that was born on Miami Beach;
has longer hair; is known for being a good guy; is linked to the University of
Miami; is well prepared; and close to various groups of Cuban Americans, prefers
to speak less about the 'Cuba libre' we all want, and focuses more on speaking
to voters, whose lives are committed to the country we live in, about
pocket-book issues and their daily lives.

I'm not sure if there will be a electoral dethroning of the congressional
Republicans, but what is felt in forums, letters to the media and in polls is
that change is not only a perception, but rather a real possibility, with a
candidate that shows personal respect toward his opponents and thinks they are
not efficient and that the time for another option is now. Certain things happen
when a veteran politician that follows the line of Diaz-Balart begins to
understand that we find ourselves in a year where China changes, and that
Florida will not be an island in this cry for change, and that's why he'll find
every possible excuse not to be in the same place where he may have to debate,
confront or analyze his rival. Joe Garcia is here to win.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Miami Herald is catching up with Annette Taddeo

Annette Taddeo's appeal as a candidate is so strong that when the big media finally listen to her, they see the logic -- she is a winner, and she's running against an incumbent with a long history on the wrong side of a ton of issues.

Here's a link to a solid report in the Miami Herald from Taddeo's appearance at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. The same line has been appearing for months in this blog, the watch blog dedicated to the defeat of Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the incumbent in FL-18. Thank you, Miami Herald political reporters, for catching on. Here's a link to one of my posts on this race, this one in early July.

I am one of a large crowd of Taddeo supporters who go out and canvass and phone-bank for her. My home is in FL-18, but you don't have to be a resident to help her. Check out her website,, and sign up. This is the way Annette Taddeo will win, and so will we.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Kos reports on "Democratic resurgence" in Miami-Dade

DailyKos, thanks to Kos himself, Markos Molitsas, has a wonderful rundown of the latest voter registration statistics for Miami-Dade County.

This is the DailyKos Link. We all should study these numbers as we campaign our hearts out for our three congressional candidates, and the DailyKos article is the best place to get it in full detail and nicely laid out with hyperlinks to the official sources.

For this blog I’m only going to report the three districts’ Democratic deficits and show how they’ve shrunk.

  • District 18, where Annette Taddeo challenges long-time Republican rubber-stamp Ileana Ros Lehtinen. The Democrats are only behind 7,129 souls, much better than the deficit of 18,006 in January.
  • District 21, where Raul Martinez has what Kos regards as the hardest role to oust Lincoln Diaz-Balart. The Democrats are behind 24,643, against a deficit of 31,045 in January. It sounds like a big deficit until it’s clear that Republicans always have voted like crazy for Raul Martinez in the district, where he was mayor of Hialeah for many terms.
  • District 25, where Joe Garcia is taking on Mario Diaz-Balart (he who brags untruthfully that our two Democratic congressmen won’t support Garcia). Here the margin has narrowed the most of the three districts, down to 3,624 from 13,348 in January.

No excuses will be accepted for slowing our efforts to recruit new Democratic voters.

Along those lines, I have to say I was sent out to canvass for Annette Taddeo last Saturday and the kit handed to me did not include voter registration forms. There’s no excuse for that. At least a couple.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Canvassing for Annette Taddeo on the Beach

At the lunch break on Saturday, Annette rallied with canvassers before another hour knocking on doors in Miami Beach

Annette is the one in the center, behind the arm with a tiny red camera.

This was a busy and hot day of canvassing -- a day? Not really, 3-4 hours was as much heat and humidity at most could tolerate.

The candidate brought a lot of good news to the lunch break.
  • Voter registration figures for FL-18 show the Republicans continue to lose their lead, now down to some 8,000 people. Ms. Taddeo feels the non-party group will go for her 2-1, so she's very encouraged by the developments in the numbers. I'll wrap up the numbers in detail as soon as I can, for all three of our Democratic challenges.
  • She's received a donation and promises of support from U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, Fl-17, who was a holdout along with Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20), supposedly bound by collegiality with the three Republican Bush rubber-stamps.
  • A new national group called Accountability Now has sprung up to raise money to help defeat particular Bush Rubber-stamps, and we're happy to declare that the FL-18 incumbent, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, is among them. The group should run print media ads making the case for voting her out of office.
This, I'd say, made my case of heat prostration feel better.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

From the Blogs The Medicare Fraud/Ros-Lehtinen Connection

Miami-Dade Dems: US Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen rejects Medicare fraud remedy Emily's List endorsed Annette Taddeo

US Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen rejects Medicare fraud remedy

The Miami Herald is outdoing itself lately with investigations. As the staff shrinks, will the good work still have a chance to continue? The answer will have telling effect on our civic culture, and on the jail population. Fewer crooks will be incarcerated if the Herald isn’t able to keep on exposing fraud.