As I See It, Taking a Good Look With Open Eyes
|Some of This year's Florida Candidates
at a glance....
April 27, 2002 - An Editorial by Ralph F. Mariano
2002 is a pivotal year in elections for Florida's voters. Never has so much for so many been at stake. From the local County Elections to the Statewide Elections, we all must pay particular attention to the candidates. We must pay close attention to what they stand for. By that I mean their qualifications, aptitude and above all else if they are incumbent or have prior political experience, how did they vote? What did they sponsor? Were they independent thinking, voter responsive? And above all else, did they address the issues effecting voters or did they simply vote along "party lines"?
Party Lines... now there's an expression that's a million words in a nutshell. Do you really know what it means? It took me quite a while to fully digest its real meaning. This is what I see it to mean, a smoke filled room with a bunch of political powerhouse hacks wheeling and dealing over a pending deal on a bill up for a vote in the Florida legislature.
Who's pushing to have his or her "pork barrel" goodie added on to the proposed bill, who's willing to vote for the bill if he or she gets the group to vote for their particular pet bill... all members of the same party (Republican or Democrat) scheming to get their pet bill passed. How many of these goofs are actually pushing to get a bill passed that's good for the majority of those who voted for them? Don't bet on this one as most are dealing to get bills passed that are groomed and worded to favor special interest groups or have "favorite sons" taken care of. Here's an example; "Joe Glotz" wants an appointment to a particular committee... he sees that the "leader" (most powerful) of those in the back room is very likely to be the next "head" of the legislature... so, "Joe Glotz" then favors this "leader's" wants and wishes hoping to be appointed to the committee he wants to be on. Are the voter's being represented here? Not on your life!
Next, we find the "happy face" of Steven R. Wise who is busy sponsoring, co-sponsoring and filing bills that are, in reality, nonsense! One stands out for me.. a bill that would have cost taxpayers thousands of dollars, a bill wanting the manufacture, and installation of plaques placed in schools all across the state saying "In God We Trust".. Thankfully, it died. Folks, this "Legislator" apparently hasn't a clue. Seemingly, all he has ever come up with is "off the wall" noise that make no sense, go nowhere and tend to do nothing but prove this representative is virtually useless, spinning his and the voter's wheels. Personally speaking, anyone who voted for Steven R. Wise in my humble opinion, wasted their vote.
Wise should start his own political party called "The Peter Pans of Florida". He's apparently in a Peter Pan dream world. Take the time to LOOK at his record its all there on the State web site for you to see. Not from day one of Wise's political career (1988) has he ever come up with something that would truly benefit the Florida voter. Not once.
Another is the State Senator who went to seminars, Lord knows what good these things do, other than cocktail parties & glad handing time. One instance, in particular, incensed me. This "representative" of the people allegedly stayed in a hotel while at one of these seminars that charged $600.00 per night!! How many of you have stayed in a hotel and paid $600.00 for a night's stay? Representing the people? I say, resenting the people! Thank God Betty Holzendorf is facing term limits and must go. (No great loss) The contempt exhibited by her staying at a super expensive hotel at taxpayer expense is only exceeded by her total lackluster performance while in office. Check out HER RECORD. Was she representing the voters? She's not alone, take a good look at these elected goofs... you'll soon find that many are taking unfair advantage in one way or another. Not only is this type of behavior abusive of their position, it plainly points out the person is in total contempt of those who voted for them and basically dishonest. One good thing, she voted AGAINST the plaque. She said "If you're living a life of God, you don't need to talk about it for 30 minutes or hang a motto in a school." I commend her for that.
They get appointed to committees, then use that as an excuse to go to seminars and go on costly junkets at your expense.
Did you know that Republicans in the State of Florida Swear to an Oath to not VOTE or Support a Democrat or any other opposition party candidate? That REEKS! What ever happened to the BEST candidate for the Job? That's another reason for the discontinuance of Party Voter Ballots. The Voters should be able to vote for whomever they wish! Open Ballots need to be the law.
Okay, enough ranting. But is it? Here's a good way to start off appraising a candidate. His or her appearance.
First, let's LOOK at the candidate.
Grooming.. Now comes the vanity factor. How many of these fine, upstanding politicians are BALD? There's nothing WRONG with being bald. Why is it that most of them appear as if they ever fell and hit their heads their HAIR, (what's left of it), would shatter like glass? They must spend time everyday having their hair groomed and sprayed.
Now for the best... the goofs that grow their hair long on one side of their head to be able to style that long hair up and over to the other side to cover the bald spot. Oh, but that's not all. The "do" must be styled like that every day. Who's paying for all stylists, styling and hair spray? You are! Ever wonder what that clown would look like when swimming, stepping out of the shower, or caught in the open on a windy day? Imagine that person with a nice shiny chrome dome and a lop of hair hanging down one side of their head to their shoulder! Name someone? I can't. The list would be far too long for this article. All you have to do is LOOK at the candidates and elected officials to spot them. They stand out like sore thumbs. Their "hairdos" say it all.
Clothing.. Does this candidate dress well? Overdress? (Corrine Brown comes to mind) or simply dress like you or I? The way a person dresses says a great deal about their personal attitudes. Are they wearing $500.00 three piece suits or are they considerate of those who voted or, will vote for them? Must they be ostentatious (show-off) by carrying on in expensive apparel? Are they afraid of looking like their supporters and voters? Or, is it that they must outdo the other politicians by appearance? I call it egomania or, perhaps bad taste.
Jewelry.. Many of the politicos seem to own MORE that ONE Rolex or Cartier wristwatch and always make sure that you can clearly see them wearing it. Ah yes, then comes the "pinky rings" some of them are large enough that one would worry that if worn while swimming would be dangerous! Then comes the garish... necklaces and gold chains that would rival the famous Mr. "T" of the "A" team. What's with these people? Simple... more egomania. They wear these things as billboards to advertise their alleged "success".
I'm certain it makes the taxpayer and voter totally humbled and ready to do as ordered. NOT! It makes the poor souls feel like second class citizens. How ridiculous is that? Diamond Studded cuff links, huge diamond rings and pinky rings. Disgusting, simply disgusting. I'd rather see a candidate dress and look like he or she is ready to get down to working for the voters and taxpayers of this state. Not ready to promenade pompously down the runway of glory showing off.
Now the Biggie... Qualifications!
We have a number of candidates running for Governor... Only three mean anything. "Jeb" Bush (incumbent), Bill McBride and Janet Reno.
What has he accomplished in his first term as Governor? What stands out first and foremost in your mind? One thing stands out in my mind... The Last Presidential Election!! Lord knows I'll never forget that debacle. I gotta hand it to "Jeb", he showed me just how well organized the Republican Party is in Florida. They are, without a doubt, better organized than the Mafia! From one end of the state to the other, they had the election well under control. So much so that ballots disappeared and reappeared "as needed" to make certain brother George made it. Over 200,000 votes hung twisting slowly in the wind at one time or another. In Duval County alone over 20,000 votes/voters were cast aside for one goofy reason or another.
The best "dodge" was the ABSENTEE BALLOTS. This is the Achilles heel of election honesty in this state. The absentee ballots were juggled better than any Barnum & Bailey circus act. In the middle of the state, Republicans were busy "correcting" errors on submitted absentee ballots, in Duval County they appeared and disappeared as needed. Absentee Ballots should be guarded by the Secret Service like a shipment of money! But no, they were available for alteration and God knows what else by anyone with the "right credentials".
Yes sir, "Jeb" Bush certainly did a great job of organizing and leading the Republican assault on the Last Election in the State of Florida. I'm not so sure the Democrats wouldn't have done the same thing had they had the opportunity. The fact is, they have never been accused of such and there have been many Democratic Administrations in Florida in previous years.
What else stands out in your mind that "Jeb" has actually accomplished while Governor of the State of Florida? For example; He tried to take the vote away from voters when voting for Judges. (He tried and FAILED) - Appointed top notch, fully capable people to State offices that would do the very best they could for the people of Florida. Sure... just look at the performance of the Secretary of State Catherine Harris (The Chicken Dancer) She certainly can boast about her stance in the last Election Debacle. She worked in George W. Bush's Presidential Campaign in an administrative position, then when the time came, as a top State Officer, made the monumental decision that effectively decided the Election. A true, political flunky. Can you tell I'll not vote for Bush or Harris?
Here's a fresh face, new blood.. Change is in the air. Bill McBride has many new and refreshing ideas and plans to help the State of Florida pull itself from the quagmire of slop generated by "Jeb" and friends. You may think this is not the case.. but the quagmire is there and slowly creeping into your rights, pocketbook and home.
Bill McBride has stated his administration will enhance our public schools, protect the working man from exploitation, minimize taxation, protect the homestead laws, safeguard our rights, enforce the Sunshine Laws and best of all, not forget who elected him and for what reasons. One can only hope he keeps his word.
One thing is certain, by electing Bill McBride, the voters can and will send a loud and clear message to all politicians that "as fast as you're elected you can be voted out". Right "Jeb"?
A vote for McBride is a vote for decency, honesty and good government. Yes, you're right I will vote for Bill McBride.
Not much to say except... How in heaven's name can this candidate even show her face after what she did as Attorney General under Bill Clinton? Shall I start with Vince Foster's murder? And end with Elian Gonzales? Oh, I almost forgot to mention the massacre and cover-ups at Waco Texas. There is nothing further to say here except Janet Reno had the BLOODIEST term, as Attorney General, in the history of the United States. Janet Reno should retire from politics and live quietly somewhere in the land of Hades. Does this person have a conscience? How DARE she try gaining control and power again!
Our Local NE Florida Scene....
The local races have a way to go yet. However, the Mayor's race in Duval County promises to get very hot and downright dirty. There are already accusations flying that range from "Religious Zealot", "Money Hungry", "Ho Hum", "Power Broker" to "Homosexual"... yup, this race will be among the most interesting in the history of Duval County. All one can say is "Voter Beware" when it come to evaluating the long list of candidates for Mayor. I wonder if the local media will, at last, be honest and tell it like it is... the TV News, the Paper News and Radio News have all been heavily biased in the past, all seemingly worried about the potential of lost advertising revenue and not the voters and taxpayers.
The Local 4th Judicial Circuit Group 13 Campaign for Judge...
We have two candidates in this race; Daniel F. Wilensky and David M. Gooding.
This race, due for a vote on September 10, 2002, is probably the most important for the voters in many years. I cannot stress enough about how the voter should examine the true judicial qualifications and wisdom of the candidates very carefully. Forget all the hyperbole (BS). Everyone has families. Everyone has a black sheep in the family. Everyone has stubbed their toe at one time or another. Candidate's families, friends and associations will not be elected. Only the candidate will.
As such, we must consider the candidates themselves and nothing more. What will they bring to the Judicial System? What benefits will they offer the voter? Will they enhance or degrade the respect the public will have for The Bench? Will they be able to maintain the separation of church and state? Will they consider the working man as strongly as the powerful, the senior citizen as well as the young up and coming, law enforcement, rules of ethics and above all else, will they perform without influence from the powerful and wealthy? Lastly, will they be honest not only to us but to themselves?
Remember, the decisions any Judge makes will effect not only us but our families for decades to come. As a Circuit Judge.. the candidates will rule over most any type of case imaginable, from Criminal to Zoning disputes. The most important to the trivial. Is the candidate truly qualified to handle such with wisdom, honesty and solid experience in all aspects of judicial procedure? These are but a few of the questions the voter must ask if an informed vote is to be cast.
Candidate Wilensky has many positive attributes. His strongest, in our opinion, are Honesty, Integrity and Character... I have had the opportunity to talk with this candidate on many occasions and have at times, asked questions concerning many of today's issues both in and out of the court system. His typical answer on serious matters was always "I'd need more information about that matter before offering an opinion". No, I never got the impression he was avoiding the issues. My only impression was ...he clearly offered to think about the matter thoroughly after knowing as much as he could discover. He would offer an opinion, but only with sufficient information to make an informed decision.
Folks, to me it means the man is sincere in his efforts by refusing to quickly "run off at the mouth" making noises to sound like he was "informed, wise and all-knowing". That meant a great deal to me. It meant, in so many words, that when he did come forth with an answer, he had knowledge and fact to offer. Sure, I consider Dan Wilensky a friend and I'm proud to say so. He is not the usual flannel-mouthed political eager-beaver or the typical mouthpiece that lawyer jokes are constantly written about. I trust him, have faith in him and will vote for him.
Candidate Gooding, I don't know the man personally but I have listened to him speak at various gatherings. I was impressed with his "pudgy boyish" appearance in as much as I would be by the typical country grocery store manager. Friendly, all smiles, and graciously polite but something kept nagging at me. Where is the substance? What is this guy all about? Is he truly qualified to be a Judge? A Circuit Court Judge no less?
Of course, David M. Gooding knows all about me... after all, it was I, through STReport that reported about his erroneous web site address "www.judgegooding.com" and ultimately had made enough noise with the Florida Bar to have recommendations made to Gooding to have it changed to "www.goodingforjudge.com" which was in line with the guidelines. In fact, I was sent the entire file on this matter. It was a half inch thick! Gooding had taken the time to COPY and print our entire web site, page by page, www.streport.com , and send it to the Florida Bar and God knows who else, trying to give us a black eye for our editorial content. In particular, he was ever so busy pointing out how critical we were of "JEB" Bush. Is this guy a "closet" Republican? Incredible ...simply incredible!!
Here is a candidate who is representing himself to the Florida Bar in defending the erroneous web site name by trying to point out STReport and myself as "bad guys" for our editorial content! Is this lame or am I missing something? Plainly, this candidate is "different". By that I mean, it appears he came "off the wall" to defend his actions of indirectly "claiming" to be an incumbent judge in his web site and on his campaign literature by trying to slap us around!
Had he quietly changed the web site name when the error was first pointed out to him by The Florida Times Union instead of having his cronies proclaim in an article written in the Jacksonville Daily Record where they said "anything goes" on the Internet.. there would have been no fuss raised. Gooding's conduct in the matter reminded me of the bratty schoolyard punk kid caught with his hand in the candy jar hollering with a tear filled face "but Johnny did it too"! This guy wants to be a Circuit Court Judge? God help us all!! I'd have to move to a different State! I simply put.. do not trust the man.