The Black Politico

Orlando politics and more -- from a black perspective

Ayala’s position on the death penalty is still a hot topic

Yesterday Governor Rick Scott pulled 21 death penalty cases from Orange and Osceola county State Attorney Aramis Ayala.

This morning, Representative Bob Cortes held a press conference calling for Ayala’s removal from office.

Last week, there was a rally supporting Aramis Ayala in Tallahassee and a press conference held by victims of violent crimes and law enforcement. Both were sparked by the State Attorney’s decision to not pursue the death penalty in any case in Orange and Osceola counties which are located in Florida; a state that lawfully uses the death penalty to punish those guilty of heinous crimes.

We, as a unit, are fighting about where to fight. Some say we should be standing with Ayala and if you’re not, you’re called a sell-out. Others say we should be following the letter of the law.
As black people, we march and take to the streets, the capitol or anywhere else we see fit. We have that right to be able to peaceably assemble. But what really are supporters of Aramis Ayala marching for?

I’ve heard they are marching to protest the death penalty and Ayala’s decision to not enforce it. The fact of the matter is the death penalty is already legal in this state and Ayala’s decision to not enforce it is unlawful. Color of Change was a part of the movement and helped to provide petitions showing Floridians are against the death penalty.

Many of those petitions aren’t from Florida residents.

Ayala spent over a million dollars pleading her case to a small portion of Orange and Osceola counties to win the seat of State Attorney after she disenfranchised Republicans, Independents, Libertarians and NPA’s by dumping a write-in candidate into the race. With all those ad dollars coming in, never once did she use the airwaves, online or print media to tell voters her position on the death penalty. Do you think that was just by happenstance or because no one asked her?

On the flip-side, when she was an Assistant State Attorney, she had no qualms about the death penalty. She was even excited to try her first homicide case.

Prosecutors are typically questioned extensively about their position on the death penalty and most are questioned when being interviewed for the job. Someone who is uncomfortable with the death penalty would likely not be suited as a homicide prosecutor nor would they be rising through the ranks as she did in Jeff Ashton’s office if she were anti-death penalty.

But, let’s say her views changed after she launched her campaign. After receiving $1.4 million dollars in campaign money from a billionaire donor named George Soros, who is an anti-death penalty proponent, her decision to not seek the death penalty is being questioned, and rightfully so.

As State Attorney, Ayala does have prosecutorial discretion. She used that when she decided not to seek death against Markeith Loyd, who police say killed his pregnant ex-girlfriend and Officer Debra Clayton. Governor Scott removed her from the Loyd case and assigned State Attorney Brad King from the Fifth Judicial Circuit in Florida. The Governor’s reasoning to do so is absolutely on point.

Ayala’s error is not that she used prosecutorial discretion to keep from charging Loyd with death, but her error lies in announcing a blanket policy not to pursue the death penalty in her administration. At all. Ever. For any case current or in the future.

That’s right. Even cases in the future. God forbid another Pulse nightclub tragedy happens and the suspect is taken alive.

Florida Statute 782.04 1(b) states, “In all cases under this section, the procedure set forth in s. 921.141 shall be followed in order to determine sentence of death or life imprisonment.” Shall within a statute is a must. It’s mandatory. It’s imperative. She did not follow the law.
On another note, Florida Statute 921.141 then continues to spell out the proceedings for the sentence of life or death imprisonment for capital felonies. The aggravators for pursuing the death penalty are within this same statute. It appears, Loyd’s case fulfills at least 5 of 16 aggravators. Prosecutors only need one to seek the death penalty.

Making this about race, inflames both sides. Florida Senator Randolph Bracy even wrote an op-ed saying Florida Governor Rick Scott is being “vengeful”. Vengeful? Really? That’s not just a stretch, it’s outright wrong to describe him as such and to use the media to brand him as a “vengeful Governor” simply for upholding the law and the Florida Statutes.

Gov Rick Scott removes 21 cases from State Attorney

Gov Rick Scott removes 21 cases from State Attorney

Ayala announced her policy which supersedes the law and that is what this is all about. Nothing more. Nothing less. Making this about law, is the only way and this case should be sitting before a judge and jury as a death penalty case. The jury would have the option to sentence Loyd to death, certainly not a State Attorney who is the prosecutor. If the framework in Florida Statute 782.04 1(b) on capital felonies is to be followed on a case-by-case basis, how in the world can Ayala do that when she has a policy to never pursue the death penalty?

Ayala has neglected her duty as prosecutor by not looking at each on a case-by-case basis and therefore should be removed from office as her personal beliefs and her donors personal beliefs clearly conflict with the law.

State Attorney’s decision to be anti-death penalty in a death penalty state is a dangerous one

There has been an outcry from those who support and those against the death penalty over the past several days.
State Attorney Aramis Ayala held a press conference saying she would not seek the death penalty on accused murderer Markeith Loyd.
She also said, she would not seek the death penalty on any other cases during her administration; current and future.
She stood with her pastor at her side while making this announcement. When a reporter asked shouldn’t voters have known about her position on the death penalty, Ayala arrogantly responded, “they know now.”
Well, we do know now and so does the Governor of Florida. Governor Scott rightfully asked the State Attorney to recuse herself from the case yet she refused.
This decision is a big one as it means she took control by taking a piece of the law from the hands of legislators in Tallahassee and decided to govern it as she sees fit. In other words, she’s legislating her own anti-death penalty rules from the office of “Top Cop” in Orange and Osceola counties. In case anyone is wondering, a Prosecutor’s job is to be the bad guy in the eyes of criminals, not their advocate. In this case and all future cases, she is claiming to be an advocate for crime and criminals.

Sorry, Ayala, but you don’t get to do that. At least not in Florida.

State Attorney of Ninth Judicial Circuit at press conference telling community she will not seek the death penalty on any cases

State Attorney of Ninth Judicial Circuit at press conference telling community she will not seek the death penalty on any cases

It’s clear she’s not ready for the position of Prosecutor, in recent stories she’s shown she’s not ready to manage an office by holding a press conference and outting employees that she thought did drugs during off-duty hours. She’s never had any management experience prior to being elected and she likely should have put her name in the hat for Public Defender instead of State Attorney since her sympathy toward criminals far exceeds her ability to be a prosecutor.

Seeking only Life without Parole for an alleged cold-blooded killer is disturbing and some are silent because they fear retaliation.

On Monday, a hearing was live-streamed and Ayala, who was recused from the case by the Governor, was there. So was Markeith Loyd and so was Brad King, the prosecutor appointed to take over the case. As Loyd left the courtroom he looked at the State Attorney and nodded at her as if they were working together.

This is a situation that most have never seen before. Even Judge Lauten, who presided over the hearing, said he’s not seen anything like this before in his career.

This is dividing communities of color, further and here’s one reason why. The Black and Brown communities are filled with good people. People who want to provide their children with a great education and it oozes people who want to be safe. Ayala’s move shows there is no system in place in Orange and Osceola counties to defend the rights of Law Enforcement or law abiding citizens.

My Mother used to take us to the bus stop armed, to let the drug dealers, prostitutes and all other criminals know that Rhea, Rhetta and any other kid that rode our bus, were not to be bothered. She is fearless. Many are not. Having a system in place that protects us is warranted. Having a balanced judicial system is necessary.

On the other hand, it’s clear, we have a problem with justice in America. Black and Brown men and women populate prisons for violent and non-violent crimes. However, what Ayala is doing is not the way to make the necessary changes and legislating from a Prosecutor’s seat means she lied when she took the oath of office to uphold the law.

After the hearing on Monday Ayala released a motion to stay on the case. In that motion, she mentioned, she is a “popularly elected” State Attorney. That is also untruthful.
She was elected after closing the primaries against State Attorney Jeff Ashton with a fake write-in candidate. That loophole disenfranchised Independents, NPA’s and Republicans.

She still couldn’t get her head above water during the campaign so she sold her soul to billionaire and Black Lives Matter financier, George Soros, who then ran a campaign against Ashton to the tune of $1.4 million in slanderous ads that called Ashton a biased, racist, State Attorney.

Furthermore, over 20,000 people wrote-in another name on the general election, ballot as opposed to selecting Ayala, something that has never happened in a State Attorney’s race in Orange and Osceola counties.

Ayala’s oath appears to uphold Soros’ agenda and not the law of the State of Florida.
If she leaned on her Christian beliefs to make this decision, she did not separate church and state and that should scare everyone. Not all people believe in Christianity and if a non-Christian was in that seat and made a decision based on their faith, all hell would break loose. In this case, all hell is breaking loose because many believe having the Death Penalty on the table is a tool prosecutors use to get the harshest punishment they can. Ayala’s actions are summing up to look like political suicide.

There are many active groups and caucuses out there claiming to represent Black people. But, they are listening to organizations like the NAACP and other Black groups that may not represent the perspective we truly have. But, these same organizations are the ones that in the 1990’s helped fuel the mass incarceration problem by asking President Clinton to crack down on crime in the Black communities; and that wasn’t the work of the Republicans, that was the work of the Democrats. They then sketched out a plan to help stop and punish crime and that led to many people of color being incarcerated for non-violent offenses.

Ayala has a history of being sympathetic to criminals. She worked as a Public Defender and also mentioned on her campaign trail that she is married to a felon who spent 7-10 years in federal prison for dealing drugs. According to Ayala, he has since done his time and is living a new life.

But what about those who were addicted to drugs and purchased drugs from him? Do they get a new chance at life? Likely not. Addicts, if they survive, are treated as criminals and not as people suffering from a disease called addiction.

As for the real movement to make change between some law enforcement officers and the Black and Brown communities, currently, there are over 32 bills in Congress for Blue Lives Matter and none for Black Lives Matter. Congress is where the change really takes place.

If Ayala and Soros are using Markeith Loyd as their poster child for stopping mass incarceration or the death penalty, their actions have put the final nail in the coffin of the Black Lives Matter movement and shame on all the Black and Brown organizations that are allowing this to happen.

Sabal Trail Pipeline Resolution Passed

Sabal Trail Pipeline Resolution Passed

The Sabal Trail Pipeline is similar to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) that has garnered so much attention over the past year. DAPL will transport oil and the Sabal Palm pipeline is going to transport natural gas.

In North Dakota, Energy Transfer Partners’ pipeline was initially going to be constructed on land that ran through a predominantly white community. Because pipelines often contaminate water and they explode often, that community fought back and Energy Transfer Partners moved their construction to Treaty land, which is land occupied and owned by Native Americans. The Army Corp of Engineers OK’d the permit for both the North Dakota Pipeline and the Sabal Trail Pipeline.

The Sabal Trail Pipeline’s purpose is the same as the DAPL and that is to get oil or natural gas from one place to another. The problem is, communities that sit atop that pipeline do not want their water and environment threatened by the oil and the process. The Sabal Trail pipeline runs through Georgia and Alabama and the bulk of it runs through Florida spanning 260+ miles in the state alone. It crosses Reedy Creek near Disney and runs along the southern end of Lake Kissimmee.
The Sabal Trail Pipeline is a project spearheaded by Florida Power and Light (FPL) which is the parent company to NextEra, Duke and Spectra Energy. Set to carry a billion cubic feet per day of gas, this pipeline is meeting resistance head on by some community leaders.
Last year, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the project. The approval and the project itself sparked protests and reform.

Opposers believe the pipeline is not a necessity in Florida and our state should rely more on solar-generated energy.

Adam Woodhall, President-elect of the Central Florida Progressive Caucus, drafted and presented a Resolution that would call for the elected officials and residents to take part in stopping the pipeline. Woodhall’s resolution was passed by Democrats last Thursday night in Orlando when both the Osceola county and Orange County Democratic Executive Committees voted in favor of the Resolution. Moving toward stopping the pipeline is a big step to protect the environment. Woodhall said, “I wanted to bring to light, to local residents, the dangers of having a pipeline run through their back yards.”

Shortly following the victory, a supporter of the Resolution, Ansh Grover posted on social media, “Tonight, Orange County DEC joined Orange County in passing the resolution to #StopSabal (Pipeline) and take a strong stance to pressure our elected leaders across the state and #divest from those special interests that continue to threaten our clean water, our environment and keep us back in time.”

Unfortunately, construction has already started and some parts of the pipeline is already completed. According to a statement released by Spectra Energy, the project is expected to be operational by May of this year.

But, if it isn’t completed on time, the company could lose a $200 million bond.

State Commiteewoman Sama Nuzuma (D) said, “I will be taking rigorous actions to create more awareness in my community. It’s right in my backyard and I am very concerned for its harmful affects. I will be knocking on all of our elected official’s doors for it to stop. They have already started the construction, but I do believe that it’s never too late to stand for what’s right!”

Osceola county resident, Aimee Imami said, “We support the resolution because this pipeline is extremely harmful to the environment and the future of us and our children.”

Imami added, “This resolution is important to the community because being against the construction of this pipeline stands for protecting the water and the earth. It is being constructed near our precious bodies of water in the north of Florida and has the potential to impact our Florida aquifer. Here in Osceola county, it is built next to schools and communities. There are 3 compressor stations being built in Osceola county alone which can cause nose bleeds and other harmful heath effects as well as air pollution. The fracking involved in this will cause our porous Florida land which is already prone to sinkholes to only get worse and has the potential to cause earthquakes. We need being so energy dependent on oil and natural gas and go solar in this Sunshine state. This natural gas pipeline is not even for our benefit. It is for overseas consumption. We need to stop these pipelines now before it’s too late for our Earth and lives.”

Sen. Dana Young (R) Tampa, filed a bill (SB 442) with bipartisan support, banning all fracking in the state of Florida. This bill will be considered during the legislative session that starts on March 7th. If passed, it could have an impact on the construction of the Sabal Trail Pipeline.

Currently, Woodhall’s resolution is up for a vote in the Miami-Dade DEC as well.

Woodhall added, “It doesn’t bring jobs. It doesn’t bring money into the local economy. It destroys the environment for the sake of profits, over the health of the people. The absolute last thing I want to happen was Central Florida becoming the next Flint, Michigan. I did not want it to be ‘our turn’ to participate in an environmental disaster. “

Protestors sound off against Trump’s Immigration Ban at Orlando International Airport

Sunday, protestors took over the Orlando International Airport to protest Trump’s ban on immigrants. Ironically, OIA issued a statement on Saturday that no detainees were being held at the airport due to the ban but on Sunday, as the protests were underway, 3 people were detained due to Trump’s new and unconstitutional policy at Orlando International Airport.

Protestors, or protectors as they called themselves, met at a nightclub called Haven on Semoran Boulevard not far from the airport to get instructions on what to do and how to behave during the protest.

“We will not engage,” shouted one march organizer as she instructed the crowd on what to do. One major rule was to not engage any Trump supporters so that violence would not break out. Protestors then caravanned over to the airport and began chants and a march that lasted for about an hour. An estimated 1500 people or all races and religions were in attendance.

Some elected officials were in attendance. State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith and U.S. Representative Darren Soto marched and showed their support.

A lady wearing a hijab, with tears of joy in her eyes, rested her head on Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith’s shoulder. She was overwhelmed at the support Central Floridians showed. Smith said to her, “Look around. This is your community. We are here for you.” That wasn’t done on a stage or in plain view, but happened naturally as the crowd moved about the airport.

Not all elected officials who claimed support were in attendance. The ACLU showed up with a banner and shouted, “No Ban, No Wall” and “Islamophobia has got to go!”

Trump’s ban on immigration is unconstitutional but his supporters are backing him. A Fox News poll read 48% of Americans agree with Trump’s position on immigration.

Even people with green cards and visas were being detained in the past few days due to Trump’s Executive Order. They were asked to give up their contacts in their phones and were instructed to list the websites they’ve visited.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit and was able to overturn Trump’s ban but airports around the country were still detaining people.

President Obama also banned immigrants coming into the United States but not on a scale of this magnitude.

Trump, an immigrant himself, banned refugees from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya (only one refugee from Libya entered the United States in 2016), Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

During his campaign, Trump’s immigration plan also includes building a wall along the Mexican border and having Mexico pay for it. He has since changed his position and said Americans will first pay for it and then we’ll have Mexico pay us back with a 20% tax on imports to the US.

The Controversial Case Against Markeith Loyd

This is a pivotal case in the rights of Black people in America, whether we collectively realize it or not.

Markeith Loyd, a triple murder suspect, was captured by police last week after a 9-day manhunt.

According to Orlando Police Department’s Chief Mina, OPD officers along with other agency officers were on scene when Loyd was located in a house only two blocks away from the family of Officer Debra Clayton, the Officer Loyd is accused of killing.

According to the aerial view of Loyd’s capture, the suspect crawled out to the officers, surrendered and ‘cowered like a little girl.’

During Loyd’s perp walk, he shouted, “They beat me up. They beat me up. They beat me up.”

Newly elected State Attorney Aramis Ayala, who ran as a candidate funded by George Soros, the financier of the Black Lives Matter movement, can’t seem to find sufficient evidence to charge any of the Officers with excessive force in this case. Not only that, at this time, she’s not even investigating excessive force against Loyd. Read the previous paragraph again. Does that even make any sense? The answer is no.

During the press conference after Loyd’s capture, elected leaders took to the podium and described Loyd as a killer, never using the word “alleged” or “suspect.” The description of Loyd by leaders makes it that much harder for Loyd to have a fair trial.

The Orlando Sentinel and journalist Rene Stutzman did an in depth piece on excessive force by the Orlando Police Department last year that I believe everyone should read.
According to the law, Loyd should have excessive force charges brought up against the arresting Officers. There’s plenty of evidence that shows he was beaten. Loyd didn’t need to yell that out because we could clearly see that. We also saw him surrender and then be kicked and beaten.

Let’s get one thing straight. Officers are human beings. They lost two of their own while trying to apprehend this suspect. Loyd is lucky he came out alive because had I been an officer I don’t know if I could have shown the restraint they showed to keep him breathing. But, under the law and according to Loyd’s actions when he surrendered, Loyd deserved to come out of that house looking like Dylan Roof did when cops took him into custody.

Roof, the Charleston 9 shooter, went into a Black church and shot worshippers killing 9 of them. He’s now rightfully serving a death row sentence. Now and only now can Roof be called a cold-blooded killer without damaging his case or defaming him.

Here’s the irony. The current State Attorney, a Black woman, rode into Orange and Osceola counties, closed the primaries with a fake write-in candidate and then used $1.4 million of Black Lives Matter money from George Soros to call the previous administration racist. Keep in mind and regardless of what you heard, that previous administration, run by a white man, did charge police with excessive force against Black people.

Ayala promised to be fair to the Black community and to hold those responsible, accountable. But that’s not what appears to be happening here. This Loyd guy, to me, is a monster. But according to what America put down on paper, he’s supposed to be innocent right now, until he is proven guilty. That same State Attorney, the same State Attorney that sat on the Orlando Police Department review board and refused to move forward with charges against OPD officers for excessive force, is now remaining true to her history, regardless of the law and is not pressing any agency, including her own, to draft charges against the officers that beat Markeith Loyd.

That should scare every resident in the ninth judicial, regardless of your race. Roof, was tried in a court of law and ultimately sentenced. He had due process. Laws are put in place for a reason and we should follow them. Roof, a white boy, was not a victim of excessive force.

As for Markeith Loyd, I say, your rights have been clearly violated as an American citizen based on what America promised. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 11, states, “everyone charged with a penal offense, has the right to be presumed innocent, until proven guilty, according to law in a public trial, at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defense.”

When you strip someone like Loyd of his rights, you make him more likely to be back on the streets again.

Each person standing at that podium during that Press Conference, post Loyd’s arrest, should have been briefed by a well-versed Public Information Officer, prior to going on camera.

However, Mr. Loyd, you likely deserved what you received when you crawled out on your hands and knees to your oppressors. Good luck with a fair trial. So far, it doesn’t look like you’re getting one and you have a Black State Attorney to thank for that.

Florida Democratic Party fights for their future

Florida Democratic Party fights for their future

I’ve been watching the Democratic Party races up-close and from afar. It’s a mess. One big, hot, mess.

A guy named Stephen Bittel, a long time party donor, who has never served in a position in the party, used another member to cut a pathway for him to run as Florida Democratic Party Chair. To put things into perspective, this is the seat that was previously held by Allison Tant.

Bittel has long supported the messy way things have been handled in the Democratic Party.

Democrats lost a host of seats and now have to bow down to 31 Republican governors along with a Congress that not only successfully stopped the agenda of President Obama but now has even more power to support the new President.

This kind of party leadership should end if the Democrats want to win seats and reel in even more money and active members. Unfortunately, the party didn’t realize or care about this until after the loss of the latest Presidential election to President elect Donald J. Trump.

If voters in the Democratic Party simply shift people but not agendas, the devastation will continue.

Money is a key element in this shift and big donors are donating even more money, in some cases, to keep the same mindset. What is it that they are not seeing? We already know the Democrats lost the Oval Office, Congress (both the House and Senate) and will have no say on who gets to sit on the Supreme Court bench which is big deal for all people, especially people of color. It’s as if Democrats have duct tape over their mouths and need to sit quietly by while their opposition, the Republicans, run this country at full blast.

Let’s be clear. Democrats have to care about the money. They need as much as they can get and they have to stop spending it wildly and without attaching real results to their expenses. But, they should not sacrifice members or more elections in order to do it. If they rebuild a winning party, they’ll build more money and more members.

I’ve spoken with people who could be key donors to the Democratic Party and there’s a lot of money out there to be given but they are unwilling to donate to a party who will waste money, employ laziness and support a high-turnover rate during the election seasons.

One bright nugget in all of this is Senator Dwight Bullard. Bullard just busted a brilliant move on the party. He went from being a disenfranchised candidate in the Miami-Dade Chapter of the Florida Democratic Party, to being actively a part of the Florida election by launching his campaign and website, DwightUnites.com. Bullard put his name in the hat for Florida Democratic Party Chair and is now a contender alongside Bittel. That shows Bullard is not messing around. It shows Progressives are as serious about changing this party as the Tea Party was about changing the Republican Party. That’s what needs to be done in order to bring the party back to the fierce, ugly reality it faces.

Top Ten Things The Democratic Party Isn’t Telling You

Although Democrats won the Oval Office in 2008 and 2012, the POTUS had little to no help in Congress making it ever so hard for President Obama to push through initiatives needed to help move the country toward bigger achievements. The leaders of the Democratic Party counted the President’s wins as universal gains but didn’t care to educate the public, or donors of the party, about how Republicans still had so much power and were using it to their advantage. Even the Supreme Court nominee chosen by President Obama wasn’t cleared. For many, a redesign of the Supreme Court is the reason we chose President Obama. Now, the liberals have not only lost the Oval, but Congress and what’s even more destructive, Democrats lost the upcoming picks for the Supreme Court. Some say the Democratic Party is nearer to its demise more than ever before, but leaders like Nancy Pelosi are denying anything is wrong. Let’s take a close look at the truth. Here are the top ten things the Democratic Party is not telling you.

  1. Superdelegates. Sigh. The Superdelegate process is just as corrupt as the Electoral College itself. It shows they don’t care about the delegates or the votes people cast on a local level. They give gifts and benefits to the Superdelegates to make sure they vote on behalf of the party at the convention, not the people.
  2. The Democratic Party took a big, fat back seat to the Black Lives Matter movement and still captured the “hearts and minds” of the vast majority of Black female voters. As officers gunned down Black men, women and children in the bloody streets of Anytown, USA, where in the world was the Democratic Party? Black people are the firewall to the party and Clinton received 95% of the Black vote. There’s no reason the Democratic Party should have sat silent on this issue. But, shhhhh. Between us, they don’t want you to recognize that a political party has significant power in ending this kind of corruption.
  3. There is no democracy in choosing leadership within the party. Some say there was no democracy in choosing the nominee. During the last Presidential pick, there is some real evidence showing Clinton was coronated. The Party neglected to listen to the members of the party and proudly chose who they owed and convinced members of the party that Sanders could not win a general race. Sadly, we now suffer with the outcome of that decision. Recently, at the Miami-Dade Party meeting, Democrats had plenty of coronating going on in the race against Bullard versus Bittel. Michigan had the same struggle. Local chapters all over the country are facing this battle. The party isn’t listening to the voices of the people, who are the local voters and is putting those in office who are elite and wealthy.
  4. They don’t want you involved in the political process. They want you as a silent member of the committee. But, they don’t want to hear your voice if it’s not in tune with theirs. Even if, you’re right and even if you can push them to win more seats across this country.
  5. The leaders of the party are elite, wealthy and white. These leaders can make it big regardless of which party is in office. They have money and money is power, right? The elite lead the Democratic Party and they really don’t want you messing that up. Hillary Clinton may or may not have been able to understand the struggle of middle class America. We still don’t know that and now probably never will. Most importantly, the takeaway here is, we’ve often bragged that the Democrats feel our struggle. Unfortunately, they just may feel it more so than the Republicans but not to a level of doing anything significant about it. No one really understands the struggle of the middle class except the middle class and those who have had a first-hand experience with it. The Democratic Party’s main goal is to serve its members and the majority of those who protect the party are diverse, poor and middle class.
  6. The Democratic Party ignored Progressives and even abused them. On the other hand, Trump talked directly to the Progressives and felt their pain. When President Elect Trump acknowledged that Bernie Sanders was a victim of the party’s corrupt system, Progressives listened and gravitated toward him.
  7. Progressives mapped out the outcome of the Presidential election and the Democratic Party ignored it. Democrat party leaders were sure they’d win against President Elect Donald J. Trump. They turned off and angered not only progressives but Trump’s “deplorables” as well. Trump reenergized the worst part of America’s mind and clinched the Oval Office by doing that. Democrats were not unprepared, they were unwilling to notice. It was a case of snobbery at its finest.
  8. The Democratic Party ignored the issue at Standing Rock and the protestors that Occupied Wall Street. This was a major mistake in which the Democratic party is not prepared to talk about publicly. When the Occupy Wall Street movement took off, the party should have listened. When our Sioux brothers and sisters stood against the North Dakota Access Pipeline the party should have stood with them. These were predominantly middle-class, Democrats. People who have donated and been active in the party. Yet, the party remained silent.
  9. The Democratic Party rules are the most corrupt. Did you know, leaders of the Democratic party can suspend rules if they don’t want to follow them? They can throw whatever they want out the window during an election and stand on what they think is the “best” action to take even if it goes against the will of the people. Leadership in the party is a steep hill to climb. If candidates in the party don’t have the look or the requirements that pass the elite in the party, the voters don’t have a fighting chance at getting in an election or winning it. Read the rules. They are simply, anti-democratic.
  10. The Democratic Party is struggling to save money right now, not members. So, feel free to leave at any time. If you’re not amongst the super-wealthy, they don’t care. If they have tons of money, they can rebuild a losing party. Right now, the money donors have given is squandered on a system that is outdated and losing. The only way to move forward is with Progressives leading the way and they have clearly refused that option, which is the only option left. Progressives have always said, to beat a far right administration is to put a far left administration into the war. Democrats are just standing there praising the minimal wins they have gotten thus far. President Obama’s win helped the party to push an illusion on donors pushing the narrative that the Democratic Party had far more power than it really has. In addition, this narrative put so much pressure on the POTUS that it made him seem as if he could do anything. When you wonder why the President worked with Republicans, this is partly why.

Democrats Launch War Against Middle Class and Dwight Bullard; Contender to be the party’s first Black Chair

Democrats are usually touted for being the party that houses the best ideas and platforms for Black and middle income people.

But, Dwight Bullard’s experience climbing the party ladder is showing us reality is different.

Truth and demographics show, the Democratic Party is still a political party run by wealthy, white people.

Florida Progressives are hoping to change that. But it appears there are secret deals being cut to keep Dwight Bullard and the middle class out of power.

Florida could have the first African American man as Chair of The Florida Democratic Party very soon.

Except a huge barrier was just created.

A major funding source for FDP, Steven Bittel, is gearing up to run for the same seat.

It appears Bittel made a chess move last week during a Miami-Dade, Democratic party election by using another member of the party.

A long time Democrat and active member of the Democratic party, Bret Berlin, ran for Statewide Committeeman. He won that position. He told members via social media, he was excited about being elected and looking forward to holding the seat. However, it appears that was simply a sly move to make sure Dwight Bullard doesn’t get elected as Chair of the Florida Democratic Party.

Right after winning the Statewide Committeeman seat, Berlin allowed a host of new members to join.

Berlin then resigned the position he recently won in only a matter of days to make it possible for Bittel to run for his seat and subsequently for FDP Chair.
Those members could very well be joining to vote for Bittel as Florida Chair. Having a large number of people to join could upset and offset the Bullard voters currently in the chapter.

When Berlin was confronted on social media about not being transparent and honest with voters he posted and reposted the same statement over and over again which took little effort and appeared to show no true concern about his recent moves to trade power.

Both have different views on how to lead the party. Bullard, a Progressive Democrat and Bittel, a traditional Democrat.

The former Chair of the Florida Democratic Party was Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Schultz recently resigned after emails were leaked about the party’s involvement in helping Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the primary election.

Former Senator Dwight Bullard is currently the outgoing chairman in the county for the party. The Bittel-Berlin apprears to be leading to a face-off between Bullard and Bittel.

Bullard made his actions clear on Monday. In an email, Bullard wrote, “To whom it may concern, Let this email serve as notice that I will be seeking the office of State Committeeman for the Miami-Dade County DEC.”

The recent moves by the establishment seem to be yet another slap the white and elite members of the establishment landed on Progressives.

Progressives see a need to move the party in a direction that can directly compete with the far right-winged agenda Trump defined on the campaign trail.

Traditional Democrats completely missed the boat on how to run a campaign against a candidate like Donald Trump and the Republican Party ultimately losing the Presidential election, control of Congress and eliminating chances to get a liberal on the Supreme Court.

Experience is key in all of this and Bullard has it. Bittel lacks it. But with loopholes, new and mysterious members and the recent resignation of Berlin, Bittel can run for State Committeeman, remain in that position for hours, maybe several days and then become Chair.

Bullard rose through the ranks and took on each position with honesty and good-will for the party. Bittel appears to be quickly running through the ranks in order to gain access to one of the most powerful positions the party has to offer.

A Minimum of 37 Electors Can Save This Country

“The backlash would be devastating if the Electoral College votes to keep Trump out of the Oval Office,” wrote one social media activist.

Another posted, “It’s their duty to keep Trump out of The White House!”

This is a heated debate going on in groups on social media and in the private messages of many. I’ve received quite a few messages from hopefuls wondering if the Electoral College and the recount launched by Dr. Jill Stein, Green Party candidate, will make an impact so significant in America that it will change the course of the country.

It has to be justifiable and to be successful, it must have the backing and support of the Democratic Party, The Green Party, Independents, No-Party Affiliates or NPA’s, Libertarians and yes, even moderate Republicans.

It’s no secret that I blame the Democratic Party for the Presidential loss. I’ve been very vocal about that and believe they took this election for granted at a time when we had everything riding on it. The Presidency, The House and the Senate and the Supreme Court.

The party treated Progressives, NPA’s, Independents and other supporters like the main enemy. The Democratic National Convention was filled with protests that fell upon deaf ears. Republicans pulled together a network that infiltrated counties and precincts strategically and they won without fail. So, let me be clear. Democrats don’t deserve the Oval Office, Congress or even, the Supreme Court based on their performance. They didn’t fight hard enough to get it and this is what happens when you take any opponent and your members for granted.

But, let’s look deeper into what comes next. The Electoral College will cast their votes on December 19th and even though we think the battle is over, the war isn’t completely over, yet. Each Elector typically votes the way their state voted. But, the Electoral College is set up so that America doesn’t crash and burn by electing a President that can cause major damage to the country and this is no typical election.

Donald Trump has shown that he can cause enough damage to this country to leave us open for total destruction. While Trump is choosing his Cabinet, he is also campaigning to the Electoral College and trying to show them he’s ready for this role. Essentially, he’s doing the same thing he did on the campaign trail but with a much softer tone and maybe even lies.

Let’s take a closer look at the Electoral College. It was never designed by the founders as a group that would rubber stamp the election. According to Bret Chiafalo, a Washington State Elector, it was actually intended to do the just the opposite in an emergency.

No matter how they try to sugar coat it, this is a national emergency.

There are 538 Electors and if a minimum of 37 Electors vote against Trump, there’s no doubt in my mind, they’ll be the most famous Electors in American history because they would have pulled the emergency break on Trump and his administration by stopping him from taking office. Chiafalo says, the Electoral College is supposed to put the candidate through “exhaustive scrutiny.” Scrutiny that can expose them as ineligible to run this country.

What Americans must understand and faithfully hold onto, is Electors know all that is at stake and the reality of what is taking place right before our very eyes. The Electors have three simple rules they must follow when casting their votes.

They must be sure the candidate is qualified, they must prevent the election of a charismatic autocrat, or someone who is a ruler, a dictator or a tyrant. Finally, the Founding Fathers feared  a President could be under the influence of foreign powers therefore posing a risk to America. If these three rules are not met, they are not supposed to cast their vote in favor of that candidate.

The Electoral College has a duty we don’t have. As ridiculous as it may sound, the Electoral College must go by the rules outlined in the Constitution while the rest of America can sign off on a ballot because of something as simple as ‘wanting China to pay for a wall to keep Mexicans out.’

Sure, Trump won the election, but he lost the popular vote to Clinton by 2 million votes. That’s the biggest margin in history of someone winning the election yet losing the popular vote. It may also be a very clever and strategic way for Republicans to take full government control.

Among other things, the Electoral College knows Trump owes foreign countries and China is one of them. His rental agreement on Trump Tower in New York City is a problem and Trump admitted Russia influenced the election. Trump’s behavior behavior has been that of a dictator.

Besides the direct racial attacks he’s launched against a multitude of ethnic groups, Trump has also said he believes Americans should be punished for utilizing free-speech if they dare protest by burning flags. He also said during his campaign, that women should have some sort of punishment for having an abortion, even though abortions are legal in America.

This is critical to America. If the Electoral College doesn’t think so, then we have a broken system that is ripped to shreds far more than I can even imagine. Some may worry about a backlash from those who voted for Trump but what can actually happen to this country is complete destruction. If you don’t think so, think again. You don’t have to be a liberal to look at the facts behind this candidate and see that he’s not met the qualifications of the Electoral College.
If it’s to be looked at as a real college and he’s applying for entrance then he should get a rejection letter. Being qualified requires an understanding the Constitution which Trump has shown us he doesn’t quite get. Vice President-Elect Mike Pence was booed in a theatre in New York and his response was, ‘that’s the sound of freedom’.

Trump

Trump

He wasn’t booed because he’s Mike Pence. He was booed because of his affiliation with the President-Elect. People assume Pence and all those who are meeting with him, share his ideology and that may not be factual.

The Electoral College is more critical than ever now and many are hopeful the Electors will step in and save all that is good about America including the liberty and justice for all.

The Dakota Access Pipeline; an Open Wound in America

While the vast majority of Americans were celebrating Thanksgiving, America’s government and corporate America hit Native Americans with cannons of cold water during freezing temperatures to keep them away from a billion dollar project.

I’m sure you’ve seen the #NoDAPL hashtags on social media. It’s the reference to the Dakota Access Pipeline that is currently in construction on Native American treaty land.

Some wonder why Native Americans are all up in arms about this pipeline.

The reasoning is simple.

They want to continue to have clean water and they want the clean water to flow for generations from now. The pipeline is being constructed in and on treaty land in North Dakota. Approval was not given by the Native American Chairpersons or appropriate Boards for the federal government and Energy Transfer Partners, a corporation, to construct the pipeline running through sacred land.

This is important because Energy Transfer Partners is a for-profit company building a pipeline that could easily contaminate the drinking water of the Native Americans who live there. Their water could become as contaminated as the water in Flint, Michigan and eventually lead to a decline in health for those residents.
The answer should be, to reroute the pipeline into an approved area and away from the land which the protestors are fighting to protect.
But, that would cost in excess of dollars which the corporation and the federal government are unwilling to pay or forfeit. If that happened, the project would have to be stalled and that would cost more time and money. Instead, the pipeline project is continuing to snake its way through Standing Rock, which is the sacred land protestors are peacefully fighting to protect.
The function of this pipeline is to fill it with oil transport it. According to the DAPL website, the pipeline will transport almost half a million barrels of oil per day and it’s capacity is 570,000 barrels. Historically, pipelines have broken often. Once the pipelines break, the oil seeps into the water and while oil and water don’t mix, it will get into the drinking and bathing water of the people living on the land atop the pipeline. By this time next year, the pipeline is expected to be fully operational.

This is no cheap project. It’s a 3.7 billion, with a “b”, dollar investment by the government, stakeholders and Energy Transfer Partners. The project promises to grow the economy and create thousands of jobs. The problem is the people who live there are more concerned about their health and welfare as opposed to money. As far as this project is concerned, all Native Americans want is to get the corporations and federal government off their land and to keep their water clean. Protestors are not asking for jobs. Protestors are not asking for money. The people of Standing Rock are not even asking to profit from this project.

Native Americas are simply asking to be left alone and for the pipeline project to stop so they may maintain their way of life.

While we celebrated Thanksgiving, a historical time in which Europeans sat down to feast with Native Americans, has been transformed.

The federal government and big corporations shot Native Americans with rubber bullets, sprayed them with freezing water in subzero temperatures and arrested Indigenous People on their own land simply because they are refusing the construction of a pipeline on their native and treaty land. Indigenous People would rather keep their water clean for the present lives that inhabit the land and for generations to come. Listening to the stories and watching the attacks fueled by the government and big corporations should lead us all to think about what’s happening to Indigenous People on the land they inhabited prior to Christopher Columbus’ arrival. This is more than a blemish for America. It’s an embarrassment, an open wound and a national shame to take over sacred and treaty land and impose violence on non-violent protestors as they stand together for clean water on their own property.