Tag: florida

The Florida Midterm Election Mess: A Recap

Atilla Sulker | United States

The recent midterm elections yet again exemplify the volatility of Florida politics. Like in the 2000 presidential election in which Bush defeated Gore by a small margin following a recount, the sunshine state continues to be plagued by a great confusion in regards to who has been elected.

Florida has been a key swing state for some time. As recent as the 2016 presidential election, it has been the focus of electoral controversy. Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump defeated his opponent Hillary Clinton by a margin of less than 2 percent in the State- Trump leading with 49% and Clinton barely trailing with 47.8%.

In the most recent Senate election, incumbent Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott defeated incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Bill Nelson by a very slim margin of less than 0.5%. Scott won by a mere 12,562 votes, i.e. by 0.2 percentage points. Counties leaning in Nelson’s favor include Miami-Dade, Leon, and Broward Counties. Scott claimed a larger percentage of votes in Miami-Dade than did presidential contender Donald Trump in 2016.

Florida law requires that if a candidate wins by a margin of 0.5% or less, an automatic recount is triggered. Governor Scott filed a lawsuit on November 8th, making the accusation of election fraud. Scott boldly proclaimed: “I will not stand idly by while unethical liberals try to steal an election”. Scott was leading Nelson by around 57,000 votes at the close of the election, but this lead diminished to less than 15,000 within a few days.

Scott also appeared on Hannity recently where he expressed his disappointment with Senator Nelson, accusing his lawyers of trying to steal the election and referring to Nelson as a “career politician”.

In response to Scott’s accusations, on November 8th, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum tweeted: “Mr. @FLGovScott — counting votes isn’t partisan — it’s democracy. Count every vote”.

Broward County has been the center of focus in the election controversy, where a large wave of new votes were discovered after election night. Scott stated on Hannity: “We don’t know how many more votes they’re gonna come up with, but it sure appears they’re gonna keep finding as many votes as it takes to try to win this election”.

Trump responded to the Broward County incident on November 9th: “Mayor Gillum conceded on Election Day and now Broward County has put him “back into play.” Bill Nelson conceded Election – now he’s back in play!? This is an embarrassment to our Country and to Democracy!”

On November 10th, Trump also tweeted: “Trying to STEAL two big elections in Florida! We are watching closely!”

Mayor Gillum, in response to Trump’s November 9th tweet, tweeted:” What’s embarrassing to democracy is not counting every vote — and you, of course. Count every vote.”

One twitter user under the name MaximusM76‏ who claims to be a supporter of Gillum responded to Gillum: “You are wrong Sir. I voted for you.. but you are wrong. NOT every vote should be counted. Fraudulent votes, which encompass several categories, should not count.”

Along with the senatorial race, the gubernatorial race in Florida has also been subject to much controversy. On election night, Representative Ron Desantis was leading Mayor Gillum by enough votes to bypass the 0.5% recount margin, but by November 10th, this lead had shrunk enough to fall within the margin of half a percent.

Gillum announced his concession from the race on election night, but retracted this concession on November 10th. Gillum loudly issued his clarion call: “I am replacing my earlier concession with an unapologetic and uncompromised call to count every vote.”

Florida continues to show its swing state characteristics and its evenly split tendencies. Rick Scott beat his 2010 gubernatorial opponent Alex Sink and 2014 opponent Charlie Crist by margins near 1 percent. These races remain hotly contested, but the razor-thin margins of this month’s elections and the mandatory recounts underscore that it is not an understatement to focus on the significance of the impact of small margins in any major Florida race.


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Joe Hannoush – Libertarian for Florida House District Twenty-Five

By John Keller | Florida

Joe Hannoush is the Libertarian candidate for District Twenty-Five of the Florida House of Representatives. He has been involved with libertarian politics since 2011 and seeks to bring that change to the state of Florida.

Keller: With a plethora of career options, what inspired you to seek a career in politics?

Hannoush: I am not pursuing a career in politics per se. I want to do what I can to inform others of a better solution to issues we face today. Running as a candidate for elected office is a great way to spread that message. I want to be the change I want to see. I am tired of complaining without offering a solution. I didn’t like the choices I had on my ballot, so I gave myself another option to vote for!

Keller: Many people when they think of government they think of Congress or the presidency. Why is politics at the state level, and in the state House of Representatives, so important and motivated you to get involved?

Hannoush: There is a saying “all politics is local”. To a certain degree, I agree. When it comes to the everyday things, it is usually the local government decisions that have the largest impact on an individuals life.

Keller: For over 150 years the United States has been locked in the two-party duopoly. What turned you on to the Libertarian Party?

Hannoush: In 2011, I took an online political quiz www.isidewith.com. The results told me my views most closely agreed with was the Libertarian Party. So I did more research on their platform and looked into the presidential candidate on the Libertarian Party ticket, Gary Johnson. I liked him a lot and found I agree on almost everything. So I voted for Gary in 2012 and the rest is history!

Keller: Being a swing state, Florida has both strong Democratic and Republican support, as well as significant moderate support. Why is a new voice, such as a libertarian, necessary in the two-party system in Florida?

Hannoush: The two-party system is not a good one even if the two parties are Libertarian and Anarchist. I believe in more choices and I know others do as well. I don’t care if I agree with other political parties or not, they deserve to get the same media exposure and debate and ballot access as the Republicans and Democrats currently do.

Keller: Florida is often brought to the political forefront, and were put into the national spotlight during the sanctuary city debate, a debate that still exists today. Where do you stand on your critical issue?

Hannoush: I believe an individual, whether they are a citizen of the United States or not, deserve the same freedoms I have. My parents left an oppressive government and came to the United States shortly before I was born. Because of that freedom to act for the betterment of life, liberty, and happiness, I have a freer life. I want that opportunity to exist for others as well.

Keller: Our Founding Fathers even disagreed on how to interpret the Constitution, shown in the Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist debates. What is your interpretation of the Constitution, and how does that influence your view on government?

Hannoush: My view of the Constitution is what I believe the Founding Fathers generally intended. That is that individuals have inherent rights and the Constitution instructs the Government on how to preserve those rights for the individual. 

Keller: Libertarians tend to believe less government is better government. What is one area of government, however, you would like to see operating?

Hannoush: I do believe that national defense is the responsibility of the government.

Keller: Branching off of the last question, what is one area you think there should be cutbacks or even elimination in the state of Florida?

Hannoush: Florida, being a “swing” or “purple” state has led to the two major political parties here to be very divisive. There is too much power in the “leadership” of the political parties. No one is defending the rights of the people. The letter next to a person’s name holds more power than what that individual believes. I want to end partisan politics in Florida. A candidate that is giving the libertarian message will win every time.

Keller: What can the people of District 25 expect should you be elected?

Hannoush: That I will be a voice for the individual. I won’t vote based on what party leadership or lobbyist agenda is being pushed.

Keller: If someone was interested in getting involved or donating, how can they reach out to your campaign?

Hannoush: paypal.me/joehannoush

Keller: Do you have any final remarks for the readers?

Hannoush: I am currently pricing campaign materials and need as much funding as possible to help spread the message. Please donate to my campaign at paypal.me/joehannoush and follow my campaign at facebook.com/joehannoush and email [email protected] Thank you!

I would like to thank Joe Hannoush for his time. Be sure to visit his website and get involved!

Nikolas Cruz Pointed Gun at Family, Report Says

By Jason Patterson | United States

19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, suspected to be responsible for killing 17 students at Parkland Highschool, has also reportedly had other family incidents. These include pointing a gun at his brother and his mother.

The suspect’s younger brother, Zachary Cruz, spoke to the Miami Herald in an interview about his sibling.

Zachary, 18, told the outlet his brother once pointed a loaded gun at him. The incident came after a spat when their mother came home from food shopping. Zachary said he’d knocked a jar of Nutella from his brother’s hands after he saw Nikolas stick his fingers in it.

He claimed that his brother then ran up to his room and retrieved his gun, loaded it when he came down and then held it up to his older brother as their mother watched, according to the report.

“If you’re gonna shoot me, shoot me!” Zachary said he yelled at his brother.

” Thankfully ” The moment de-escalated quickly, with Nikolas putting the gun away and returning to watch TV, he told the Herald. But Zachary said the moment stuck with him and he “never messed with him again.”

He also recalled a time that he did the same to his mother, Nik got his AR-15 and put it to my mom’s head,” Zachary said. “He was yelling at her because she wouldn’t take him to a cabin”. It wasn’t clear if the weapon was loaded. The brother said their mother ran to her car and drove away.

“He was in the middle of the driveway, in the middle of the street with his AR-15,” Zachary told the Herald. “I had 911 ready to go on my phone. I guess he just came up and he put his gun away and I hung up.”

He also told the reporter that his brother suffered a depressive disorder and often self-harmed.


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An Open Letter to Young Advocates of Gun Control

By James Sweet | United States

Dear Young Gun Control “Activists”,

Congratulations! You have successfully re-ignited a debate over guns, declaring yourselves the leaders of this debate! While I strongly disagree with your policies, it is nice to see a change in the political climate. You are being hailed as warriors by the mainstream media, with politicians and Hollywood elitists supporting you with strong words, as well as with Federal Reserve Notes. What a wonderful time to be alive, right?

No. You’re not special, and you have shown that you have no idea what you believe in, nor do you know what you’re talking about.

“Stop complaining, they don’t want to take our guns!” Uh, yes, they do, you’re just ignorant enough to ignore the consequences of the actions that many want to be enacted. Let’s look at Cameron Kasky, the founder of March For Our Lives (which should have been called March Against Our Rights). Cameron has a Twitter, like many activists do. Now, for someone who supposedly doesn’t want to take our guns away, he has a blatant disregard for the Second Amendment.

The second amendment was written when African Americans were still considered 3/5ths of a person…

As a matter of fact, if you read it, it didn’t even call them African Americans; it called them “Other Persons”

I really don’t want to listen to 200 years ago for EVERYTHING

Here is the link to his tweet.

There’s one large problem in the logic of this tweet: if we shouldn’t listen to the government that saw African Americans as 3/5ths of a person, why should we allow them to restrict our God-given right to bear arms? The best way to resist unjust treatment that sees certain humans as a fraction of another is through the armed resistance by the people, for the people.

By calling the right to bear arms a God-given right, I am not specifically referencing to the Christian God, but merely the supreme creator of the human race, allowing this to be applied to any religion. One can even say it’s a right from the Gods for the polytheistic religions, or a higher power for an atheistic religion or lack of religion. The United States Constitution is based on the idea of Natural Rights, championed by men like John Locke. The United States Constitution is the legal support for the right to bear arms, but not the moral justification. Morally, whether the constitution had the Second Amendment or not, it would be justified for one to own a firearm for the purpose of defense of one’s life, liberty, and property.

There are some in the nation that would base their justification merely on the Constitution, meaning they would hand over their guns in a heartbeat if Big Brother told them to. The ideas of the people that you (the gun control advocates) follow are based merely that all will hand over their guns, as the law is the final say. To some, including me, my morals are separate from the law, and the principles that I stand upon shall be the final say.

You may believe in the gun control argument based around Australia, except the facts are twisted up by the mainstream narrative.

Also, to those of you that participated in the walkouts, but stayed where your school told you to stay: you did nothing. The walkouts were a protests AGAINST the government’s inaction towards gun violence. So, by following the government’s orders, you did the exact opposite, and showed that you are just kids trying to get on your local news in an attempt to be part of a “movement”. To those students that actually went against what their school’s said: while I disagree with gun control (but also dislike gun violence), I applaud you actually going against what the government said.

The flaws of your little “movement” are evident. Gun control advocates at the March for our Lives were protected by cops and guards.

ARMED cops and guards.

They were protected by guns.

I hope the hypocrisy is evident.

Your “movement” is spoon fed by the media, and you are following what your peers are pressuring to do.

Focus on the facts, and think for yourself.

Sincerely,

A Liberty Loving Teenager

NRA Sues Florida Over New Gun Regulations

By Jason Patterson | Florida

On Friday the NRA opened up a federal lawsuit after Florida legislators approved gun legislation that would raise the age to buy firearms/ any type of gun. The NRA claimed that this law does indeed violate the constitution and the 2nd amendment.

The lawsuit started just hours after Florida Gov. Rick Scott publicly went against allies in the NRA and untimely signed a gun control bill that was drafted in response to the fatal school shooting in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14.

Seventeen people were killed in that gun attack, attributed to a 19-year-old shooter, Nikolas Cruz. Later the NRA took it to Twitter saying it has filed a lawsuit challenging Florida’s newly-enacted ban on the purchase of firearms by adults between the ages of 18-21.

It is an affront to #2A, as it totally eviscerates the #2A rights of law-abiding adults to keep and bear arms #DefendTheSecond

Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Acton, has maintained that the bill “punished punishes law-abiding gun owners for the criminal acts of a deranged individual.”

The lawsuit is asking a federal judge to block the new age restriction from taking effect.

The bill signed by Governor Scott raises the minimum age to buy rifles from 18 to 21, extends a three-day waiting period for handgun purchases to include long guns and bans bump stocks, attachments that enable semiautomatic rifles to approximate the firing speed of fully automatic ones.  Such bump stocks were used in the recent gun massacre in Las Vegas in which several dozen people died.


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