UTAH: Gay Rights Come To Grand County

December 26, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

In a continuance of the march to full LGBT rights for small town and rural Americans, yesterday Grand County, Utah granted housing and employment protections to its gay and transgender residents. The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

That means one in four Utahns, living in 10 communities from Moab to Logan, are protected from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Advocates for the statutes hope that groundswell of support will push the Utah Legislature to protect all Utahns. “Each of these local governments has set an example for their residents and for business owners and property owners,” said Brandie Balken, executive director of Equality Utah. “They’ve also set a good example for our Legislature.” Sen. Ben McAdams, D-Salt Lake City, plans to introduce a bill in the upcoming legislative session that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to existing housing and employment laws banning discrimination based on characteristics such as race, religion or national origin. Two-thirds of Utahns support such a law, according to a January poll by The Salt Lake Tribune.

Pride In Utah cautions that the GOP head of the Utah state Senate has hinted that his party may attempt to overturn local anti-discrimination laws by statewide edict. In the meantime the effort to institute a state version of ENDA in Utah continues.

Joe. My. God.

Indiana County Throwing Man off His Own Property For Living in Camper

December 24, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

-By Warner Todd Huston

A county government in Indiana has decided that a man that is bothering no one, a man living a very simple lifestyle, a man living on his own property must be evicted from it. Why have these jackbooted government thugs decided that this must be done? Because the man has the gall to live so simply that he has no plumbing or electricity in the camper he is living in.

WISH TV news in Indiana told the tale of Dick Thompson, a 72-year-old man living on his own 38-acre property in Madison County. Thompson lives on the property with several horses, a dog, and a bird. He resides in an old camper that has no sewer and no electricity.

“I’m a country boy,” explains Thompson. “I just want to be left alone.”

The County claims that Thompson is “breaking ordinances and laws” because he refuses to get sewer service or electric hooked up. This is why the county has decided he is a criminal. The county has harassed Mr. Thompson with multiple court dates, threatening letters, and claims of fines and court actions. In fact, the courts told him he’d be evicted on Nov. 30 of this year.

Thompson waited for officials to come on the 30th, but none did. Obviously the county knows it is in a pickle with this outrageous harassment. They were probably hoping that their thug tactics would just make Thompson go away or force him to spend thousands of dollars in an attempt to comply with their demands.

But the man is not bothering anyone. He is safe. He is not causing any neighbor any problems. And further more, the 38-acre plot is HIS land!

The fact is, these sorts of government terror tactics is why the Second Amendment was created. I hate to sound so harsh, but this man has every right to meet with a shotgun any government official that comes to his door with eviction notices.

This is just one more example of how out of control our various governments have gotten. It is none of this county government’s business how simply Mr. Thompson is living. If he wants to live in a camper on his own land, then he has every right to do so. If he is not causing any hazards for the neighbors then the government should butt out.

Oh, but these un-American government thugs seem to feel they have every right to force this unoffensive citizen to do what they want him to do. Our country has strayed very far from the land of liberty it once was if a man cannot even live on his own land, bothering no one, without government thugs harassing him.

Madison Co. to evict man from camper: wishtv.com

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Stop The ACLU

Victory! AFDI/SIOA Applauds Seattle Kings County Transit for Withdrawing its Sanction of Jewish Blood Libel Bus Ads

December 24, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Here’s the announcement from over at Yahoo News:

AFDI/SIOA Applauds Seattle Kings County Transit for Withdrawing its Sanction of Jewish Blood Libel Bus Ads

NEW YORK, Dec. 24, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A prominent national human rights and advocacy organization today applauded the decision of Seattle King County Metro officials to drop anti-Israel, antisemitic hate ads it had planned to run on its buses starting next Monday.

In a statement by the New York-based American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), National Executive Director Pamela Geller said:

“It’s a bad day for Nazis and Jew-haters. This is a huge victory for us. Our objective was achieved: the Jew-hate ads have been dropped from Seattle buses after we exposed their hypocrisy.”

The King County Metro reversal came two days after AFDI announced that it would be running king-sized pro-Israel ads on Seattle buses to counter the anti-Israel ads.

Ads purchased by a group calling itself Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign had been slated to start running on twelve Seattle buses on December 27. The ads were to feature the slogan, “Israeli War Crimes: Your Tax Dollars at Work.” Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign spokesman Ed Mast is a former activist with the fanatically antisemitic International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a hard-Left group dedicated to disrupting operations of the Israeli Defense Force. ISM has numerous links to the jihad terrorist groups Hamas and Hizballah.

The AFDI ads, in contrast, were to read: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Islamic jihad,” and “One Billion Dollars to Hamas. Your Tax Dollars at Work.”

In response to this AFDI initiative, King County Metro Transit officials announced Thursday that rather than accept the anti-Israel or pro-Israel ads, they were changing their guidelines and accepting no political ads at all. Said Geller: “We will pursue this battle legally and roll out the pro-Israel bus ads elsewhere.”

Donations to support the human rights efforts of AFDI and its program Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) can be made through Paypal to [email protected].

AFDI/SIOA is one of America’s foremost organizations defending human rights, religious liberty, and the freedom of speech against Islamic supremacist intimidation and attempts to bring elements of Sharia to the United States.

Jihad Watch

Broward allows lobbyists who work for county to lobby the county, too

December 23, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Broward County re-hired a list of lobbying firms that work for the county’s interests in Tallahassee. Meanwhile, they see lobbyists from some of the same firms appearing before them on a regular basis seeking votes for private clients.

The county rated its lobbyists, determining they all met expectations but none of them “far exceeded” them. Broward commissioners expressed some displeasure with the ratings system, which includes points for communicating with the county and attending meetings.

The four firms were re-hired in a recent meeting. Click here to be reminded of the half a million the county spent on state and federal lobbyists.

The ratings are here.

Meanwhile, I asked the county for its policy on allowing the same lobbyists, like Ron Book, or lobbyists from some of the same firms, like those from Tripp Scott, to both lobby the county and lobby for the county.

On the jump: the county’s policy on this, as well as the amounts paid to these four firms, and their ratings.

Broward Politics

Lenawee County communities struggling with medical pot law

December 23, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Two Lenawee County communities have joined the ranks of dozens of other municipalities around the state that are wrestling with the state’s medical marijuana law, according to reports in the Adrian Daily Telegram.

In Tecumseh, the city council and planning commission were briefed Monday night about the law and the difficulty it created in terms of attempting to create regulations related to medical marijuana.

“It is quite controversial and there is confusion over just what the law means,” [City Manager Kevin] Welch said. “Our goal is to show how confusing this is and how little direction we have been given.”

Officials were told they had three options in relation to the law. They could ban the growing of the medicinal plant, create an ordinance or do nothing. Officials said the first option would inevitably lead to a lawsuit.

The ACLU is currently litigating against several municipalities that created bans. In addition, Bloomfield Township is being sued by medical marijuana patients over its ordinance which prohibits growing marijuana in the township and requires patients to register with the police.

Officials also warned that creating an ordinance could lead to a lawsuit as well.

It was also clear that Tecumseh officials were not pleased with the law, which they said was a move to legalize marijuana altogether.

“This comes to us as a law, not through legislation, but through a referendum,” councilman Larry Van Alstine said. “This referendum was carefully worded to tie the hands of law enforcement.”

Van Alstine is the former chief of police in Tecumseh and Lenawee County undersheriff. He said the proponents of the medical marijuana law are using this as a start to complete legalization.

“It’s a shame the electorate fell for this scam,” he said.

In neighboring Adrian, the council passed a moratorium on medical pot dispensaries in the city Monday night. The moratorium is a 120 day freeze while the city commission wrestles with regulations for the businesses.

The city already has two dispensaries, and some on the commission worried about the situation.

“It just doesn’t make sense to me how you can tell somebody you can’t do this if we already have two in town,” [Commissioner Michael] Osborne said after the meeting.

Osburne was the lone dissenting voice on the commission, which voted 5-1 to approve the moratorium.

Michigan Messenger

AMBER ALERT Issued in Pickens County, SC for Missing 1 Year Old Kynadi Leigh Grace Manley & 2 Year Old Alexis London Marie Manley … Mother Keyly Martay Wade Suspect

December 22, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

An AMBER ALERT has been issued in Pickens County, South Carolina for two toddlers who have been abducted by what is being reported as their bio mom early Wednesday morning.  According to reports. 20 year old  Keyly Martay Wade of Old Easley Bridge Road, in Easley abducted her two daughters,  1 year old Kynadi Leigh Grace Manley and 2 year-old Alexis London Marie Manley from a home on Old Easley Bridge Road in Easley. Wade was driving a red 1996 Honda Civic with a South Carolina license plate 1885OEH. Also, the passenger side rear hubcap is missing and the vehicle has tinted windows and dent on driver side hood.

 Kynadi Leigh Grace Manley as 2 feet, 5 inches tall, weighing 28 pounds with blond hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing pink pajamas with a turtle design. Alexis London Marie Manley is 3 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs 45 pounds. She has blond hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing purple pajamas with a monkey design. She also has a bob style haircut.

According to Capt. Carl Hudson with the sheriff’s office, the abduction happened sometime overnight. He said a caregiver had custody of the children. When she woke up this morning, she discovered the children were gone and her car was stolen, he said. She called 911 about 6:45 this morning, according to the AMBER Alert.

Though the alert listed Wade as a suspect, Hudson said investigators considered her more of a person of interest.

“We have officers out following up leads, but at this point, we don’t know who has the girls or where they might be,” Hudson said.

Deputies are making the assumption the children are in danger due to the fact that they don’t know who has them, Hudson said.

Wade was described as 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighing 200 pounds. She has blond hair and blue eyes, with shoulder-length hair and the word “Keyly” tattooed on her back.

If you have any information about this abduction, call 911 or Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Detective Rita Burgess at 864-898-5500.

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Scared Monkeys

Son of top Broward County Commission aide missing

December 15, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

UPDATED with info from John Beckford
The son of a top aide in Broward’s County Commission offices is missing.

Broward County Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness sent out a “missing person” alert for the son of his chief of staff, John Beckford. Fliers are in county hall.

They say that 21-year-old Che Paul Beckford, a Nova Southeastern University student, disappeared without a trace 11 days ago. Even his car has not been spotted. A candlelight prayer vigil was held for him in Lauderhill, and his disappearance has been spotlighted on TV news. NSU put a campus alert out for him, as well.

His mother says he left on Friday, Dec. 3, to go to an automotive store in Davie, but never made it there. He was driving a silver 2009 Nissan Sentra with FL license plate-
W827DG and Nova Southeastern University blue and white shark sticker on the rear window.

Pembroke Pines police are investigating. Click here for our coverage of the prayer vigil.

UPDATE: This, from John Beckford: “Police have no clues yet that have lead to anything meaningful. Last night I decided to post a $ 10,000 reward for any information that leads to the return or the whereabouts of Che. You can only imagine as a parent what I am going through with the agony of not knowing anything. Che does have an older sister Michelle – 25y/o and 2 younger siblings – Jonathan 6 y/o and Gianna 3 y/o. We all continue to pray daily for his safe return.”

Broward Politics

L.A. County Red Light Cameras Drain Taxpayers, Not Drivers

December 15, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Gruel has done it again — exposing enormous waste in yet another city department.  However, in a Reverse Kafka-esque twist, this time it is motorists who are finally getting the upper hand when it comes to the insidious $ 446 red light camera citations.

Not only did Ms. Gruel say there was insufficient evidence that the cameras reduced accidents, but she questioned whether they had even been placed at the most dangerous intersections.  Having seen many of these cameras peppered about the city, I have more than once wondered why certain intersections were chosen since they do not appear to be ones where accidents might understandably occur often.

However, the real lunacy of this program is that Los Angeles Superior Court judges have ruled that the citations are unenforceable.  The successful legal argument was that because a human being did not actually hand the citation to the offender that the citation was not properly served.

If the citation is not legally served, then there is no crime to enforce.  So people in Los Angeles County can ignore the citations with no repercussions.  That’s right — drivers actually do get off scot-free.  Yeah, you get sent to a collections agency, but even then there is no civil suit possible because no crime has been committed because no service was performed.  Nor can the agency report your lack of payment to a credit agency or the DMV.  Meanwhile, dozens of other court cases have made the camera enforcement a farce statewide.

Apparently, word of this has leaked out because 45% of the citations remain unpaid.  So the entire program has cost the City of Los Angeles $ 2.6 million, the burden of which falls on the taxpayer.  So what does the City of Los Angeles plan to do?

Renew the contract with the company that runs the red light cameras! That’s right, they will continue a money-losing proposition.  Why?  Get this — from the Asst. LAPD Chief Michael Moore.  He says that the department relies on honesty of individuals who receive the tickets to pay them.

That statement is ironic considering LAPD Chief Charlie Beck isn’t standing up to City Hall regarding overzealous enforcement of minor traffic violations to close the City’s budget deficit.

So while it isn’t physically safe to run those red lights, let it be known that in the County of Los Angeles, it isn’t so dangerous to your pocketbook.

Big Government

Broward passes anti-corruption laws on to county employees

December 14, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Landmark ethics reform that started with elected officials on the County Commission spread Tuesday to the thousands of employees under them.

A tough ethics code that will set a new standard for employee behavior, open a public porthole to behind-the-scenes lobbying, and put a damper on gift-giving got unanimous approval Tuesday from the Broward County Commission. Employees of the county must adhere to the law when it goes into effect in the spring, after training sessions.

The anti-corruption law requires employees to avoid “even the appearance or perception of impropriety’’ in their dealings.

Broward Politics

Tom DeLay and moral equivalence in Travis County, Texas

December 14, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Democrats get off easy for worse crimes. Will DeLay?
American Thinker Blog

Broward warns vendors: Don’t give gifts to county staff

December 12, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Companies doing business with Broward County got letters this week warning them: Please do not give gifts this holiday season to county staff or their family members.

The letter has the subject line “Broward County’s ‘Code of Ethics — No Gift Policy” and is dated Dec. 6.

It alerts recipients that the County Commissioner “recently approved landmark ethics reform” that includes a prohibition on “gifts of any kind” being given by a vendor or potential vendor to “any county employee or their immediate family.”

“With the holiday season upon us,” the letter says, vendors are respectfully asked NOT to deliver any gift(s) to an individual, department, office or division of the county government or the immediate family of same.”

Read the full Broward gift-ban letter here.

Broward Politics

Liquidity in Nassau County, Insolvency in Ireland

December 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

David Halbfinger profiles the budget woes of Nassau County, Long Island. It’s a good piece and worth reading. It’s also important to keep in mind that the basic story here—voters want politicians who provide generous social services and low taxes—is really pretty different from the story in Ireland.

Nassau County (like, say, California) is a very rich place and could afford to support a very large public sector if voters were willing to pay the taxes. That’s not to say they necessarily should want this, but Texas shows you can be rich and get by with low taxes and low services while Scandinavia shows you can be rich and get by with high taxes and high services. What you can’t do is repeal math or have a dysfunctional political culture.

Ireland, though, just doesn’t have the money. Households couldn’t pay back debts to banks, so the government said it would assume the debts. But the government doesn’t have the money either since its revenues come from taxing the very same households who can’t afford the debts in the first place. This difference, roughly speaking, is why America is currently awash in long-term fiscal consolidation plans that aren’t being implemented while Europe is awash in furious implementation of austerity measures that aren’t undergirded by any kind of real plan.


Who Really Won The Jean Pipes Award In Palm Beach County?

December 8, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

by Javier Manjarres

Within the past couple of days, another ‘anonymous’ mailer was sent out to Palm Beach Republican Executive Committee members in an attempt to influence tonight’s PBCREC election.  These tactics have the fingerprints of the Edward Lynch’s “Lynch Mob” all over them, as this same Alinsky-type tactic was also recently used to attack two other REC members in the form of a couple of bogus emails that impersonated Boca Raton GOP Club President Margi Helschien.  Several REC members have charged that Edward Lynch, who is running for PBCREC Chairman, has a vendetta against Greg Langowski, the Director of the Executive Committee.

The scuttle is that Lynch will probably appoint Jessica Dornblaser for the postition if he were to win the Chairman’s position.

Linda Gore, who won the Jean Pipes award, is now running for Vice Chair against Margi Helschien.  Jessica Dornblaser has openly stated her support for Gore.

Of course, this saga has played out in social media circles:

Via Facebook

Jessica Johnson Dornblaser Yey Linda Gore is running for REC VICE CHAIR in PALM BEACH COUNTY!!!!!! GO LINDA!!!!!!
Monday at 1:27pm ·LikeUnlike · Comment · View Feedback (9)Hide Feedback (9)

Jessica Johnson Dornblaser David they will each give 5 minute speeches at the meeting on wednesday. but I can give you the inside scoop and gossip on ALL the candidates! I might be 2 years new to this but I am snoopy!

Gore has campaigned on the fact that she won the coveted award, however, the question still stands, did she really win the award, or was it taken away from Helschien?

Here is how this appears to be playing out:

1- Edward Lynch is running for Chairman to try to position himself for another run at Congress
2- Jessica Dornblaser is the current Membership Chair angling for the Executive Director’s position
3- Linda Gore should not  have won the Jean Pipes award, and is supporting Lynch for Chairman
4- Tom Ramicio, who is running for Treasurer, is also backed by Edward Lynch
5- Edward Lynch, to no one’s suprise, would probably name Ellen ‘Conservative Diva’ Snyder as REC Membership Chair

It’s becoming clearer that Edward Lynch and his band of supporters are attempting to execute a power play that will position both himself and his supporters for higher office.  Is this what is truly best for the PBREC?  Will the voting members of the PBREC support this?



 Barbeque Bandit Edward Lynch Gets Grilled on Sexist Remark-(VIDEO)

Breaking News- Lynch Gets Lynched By His Own Hypocrisy

Palm Beach County REC Showdown

Here is a link to the contents of the previously mentioned anonymous mailer that contained the minutes to a past REC meeting implicating Greg Langowski of overstepping his bounds.

The Shark Tank

News flash: Broward County releasing dogs from death row

December 8, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

With help from my colleague Mike Mayo:
Brandie and Gigi are coming home for the holidays.

The owners of two dogs on Broward County’s death row said their dogs will be released. They were called today, after Broward County commissioners Tuesday evening said they wanted to find a way to bring the dogs home pending their legal appeals.

Click here for a memory refresher on this.

Fifty-six other dogs were put to sleep under the 2008 law, championed by former Commissioner Ken Keechl.

Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca and Vice Mayor John Rodstrom urged the commission Tuesday night to reconsider the dangerous dog ordinance that sentenced Gigi and Brandie to death. Commissioners said they’ll do that the first chance possible, in January.

In the meantime, the county attorney’s office is offering lawsuit settlements to the owners of at least two dogs on death row, Gigi and Brandie. It’s unclear how many dogs are on death row in Broward, but I know of three of them. Mercedes is the third; his owner hired a lawyer, who is awaiting an appeals court decision in his lawsuit against Broward.

“I felt bad,” Rodstrom said. “I’m a dog owner. It hit my heart. It tugged at me, that people would have to spend $ 7,000 to save their dog’s life.”’

Rodstrom is talking about Brandie’s owner, Lon Lipsky. The owner of Gigi, Thomas Austin, spent several thousand also, on kennel fees and attorney fees.

Lipsky said he cried when he found out Brandie will be released.

Broward Politics

Broward County will vote to spend $471,000 on lobbyists today

December 7, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

The lobbyists working for Broward County in Washington, D.C., and Tallahassee, are cutting their rates this year. Even still, the Broward County Commission will vote today to shell out $ 471,000 on their services.

For the D.C. lobbyists alone, the tab is $ 22,000-plus per month.

Commissioners today will consider director Gretchen Harkins’ request from the county’s division of intergovernmental affairs, to hire The Ferguson Group, LLC, for federal lobbyist services from Jan. 1, 2011, through Sept. 30, 2012, “or the end of the 112th Congress, whichever occurs later,” the county memo says.

The rate is 5 percent less than this year’s rate, the memo says. This same lobbying firm has represented the county since 1999, when it was picked competitively.

The “reduced compensation rate” is $ 22,207 per month, or $ 266,484 for the year. That’s down from $ 23,376 per month, or $ 280,512 for a year.

On the jump: More lobbying services the county is paying for, in Tallahassee.

Broward Politics

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