Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ileana Hates the Environment

The League of Conservation Voters recently released scorecards for Congress. How did Ileana do? Poorly:

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (REP), 30%

Not only did all of the Democrats do better than all of the Republicans, With one exception, all of the Democrats did more than twice as good as all the Republicans. And most of the Democrats voted in favor of the environment more than four times as frequently as most of the Republicans.

I wonder how many of these Republicans own property that will be beachfront property when most of Florida is under water because of global warming? I'm just saying...

Ileana Hates Raul

...Castro that is. Naked Politics:

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen calls the election a "sham" and said the "so-called" Parliament selecting the regime's "next dictator" was "selected through elections that were a total farce.

"Today's vote is once again a clear testament to the fear that the governing elite have of the ballot box," the Miami Republican said.

While she is right on this one, the faux outrage is a bit much. This shouldn't be a surprise that this was going to happen and one shouldn't act surprised.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Economist takes note of our three Congressional races

It took Castro’s resignation, but the august British weekly The Economist has taken approving note of our three congressional challengers here in South Florida. We figured we could get national attention in the United States with three strong candidates, but it’s heartening to receive attention from the European press when the election is still eight months away.

Here's what they said about us:
Three districts in south Florida have long been the dominion of hardline Cuban-American Republicans. For the first time since 1992, the Democrats are mounting a strong challenge in the persons of Raúl Martínez, a feisty former mayor of Hialeah, and Joe García, a former spokesman for the Cuban-American National Foundation. They support the embargo but are campaigning against the travel crackdown and stressing non-Cuban issues. (A third Democrat, Annette Taddeo, a Colombian-American businesswomen, has also entered the race, but is a political unknown.)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Annette Taddeo's bid for District 18 is now open

I had hoped to pump out a couple quick links to good coverage Sunday of our congressional races, but for some reason the Miami Herald and Channel 10 aren’t cooperating, though both revealed that Annette Taddeo is challenging Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for the U.S. House in District 18.

No links available to the news:
--Channel 10’s “This week in South Florida” program covered Taddeo, along with a live interview with Raul Martinez, challenging for District 21 against Lincoln Diaz-Balart; and a reprise of the Thursday coverage of Joe Garcia’s launch of his run for District 25 against Mario Diaz-Balart.
--Miami-Herald’s story “Ros-Lehtinen Challenged” at the top of the front page of the metro section. As far as I can tell, this was the first time Annette Taddeo was identified in the Herald as intending to run for the District 18 seat in the U.S. House.

Maybe links will come later, and I’ll change this post.

But meanwhile, there is some digital coverage available.

Andres Oppenheimer’s Herald column in the main news section reminds us of another reason to vote against John McWar with the headline: “McCain’s advice Miami-bred.” Yes, our friends the Diaz-Balarts and Ros-Lehtinen, along with Sen. Mel Martinez, are influential advisers on McCain’s thinking about our hemisphere.

Count me as agreeing heartily with Oppenheimer’s opinion that McCain “would face an uphill battle to convince the world that he represents change and would bring a breath of fresh air to Washington.” His advisers are toeing a line drawn 40 years ago.

And over on the Reuters wire Miami correspondent Tom Brown has a long piece asking whether the Republicans are “losing grip” on our local Cuban vote. Well, yes, I’d say. And the Reuters report seems pretty much in agreement. Here’s its kicker (that’s news lingo for the last words in a story):

"Unless they (Republicans) address the issues that are important to this community they may be in for, unfortunately, a rude awakening," said Jorge Mas Santos, head of the once powerful but now lower-key Cuban American National Foundation.

Me, I would have left out the word unfortunately.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Florida Congressional District 18: famous squatting

Thanks for the tip! Sorry to be late catching up with this one.

Some terrible people in Washington are making fun of my representative in the U.S. House. Darn, what is that Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18) doing to make them snarky?

She’s got all this influence, you know, from her zillion years in the House, so what’s wrong with her “squatting” there in the House so that she can get a little extra time with the Commander in Chief?

Wait, maybe it’s not exactly extra time. Maybe this is the only time she gets with Bush. So she squats there trying for a spot on the aisle so she can have a second or two with him. Then she goes home and flashes the photo – See! Me and the President having a chat!

Sorry, that’s it. All she got this year was three or four seats in from the aisle – maybe a wave or a fingertip brush – and that’s it for the last year of a presidential term.

And – people were watching and writing it up on blogs. Some with impolite terms of reference, which you may see if you Google “Ileana Ros Lehtinen squatting.”

Here’s part of Politico’s writeup:

Lawmakers like Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Todd R. Platts (R-Pa.), Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio), Mary Bono (R-Calif.), Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) are so-called State of the Union Day squatters.

Bachmann, you may recall, drew headlines last year after she kept her hand on Bush’s shoulder for a record 30 seconds and then reached in for a smooch.


“Being there, in that place, on that night,” Ros-Lehtinen echoed, “it’s just thrilling.”

The day of waiting, however, is not, the congresswomen said. Ros-Lehtinen always brings a “mountain of paperwork” to the chamber to kill time.


If Capito has to walk away, she always leaves the stack of paperwork on her seat, a signal to her colleagues that someone has already reserved that spot — or if she has to go far or use the facilities, she has Ros-Lehtinen hold her place for her.

“She watches my back and I watch hers,” Ros-Lehtinen confirmed.

But being on the aisle only goes so far. One must stand out in a room of black, steel gray and navy blue, the lawmakers said.

Despite her best efforts, Ros-Lehtinen couldn’t secure a seat soon enough. She and Capito had to settle for spots three and four seats away from the aisle.

“I’m not too disappointed,” Ros-Lehtinen said Monday evening. “I’ll still reach over and talk to the president about the [Florida] primary tomorrow.”

Next time we send someone to Washington from FL-18, how about a little depth? A person who will win influence? Not a fawner? We are so ready for change.