The Black Politico

Orlando politics and more -- from a black perspective

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.

Trump Swiftly Constructs Administration While President Obama Addresses the Nation; Supporters

Democrats, your grieving period is going to have to come to a quick end.

This is reality. No, it’s not a reality show, it’s our American reality.
While some Democrats, Independents and No Party Affiliated voters are still blaming each other for the election’s outcome, protesting in the street and sharing safety pins on Facebook, we must move forward strategically and quickly by first accepting the fact that Donald Trump will be our next President.
And, the President-Elect is not wasting any time by pulling together his transition team which is made up of his children, Rudy Giuliani, Ben Carson, Newt Gingrich, Pam Bondi, Chris Christie and Stephen Bannon, who is an ultra conservative, to say the least. Those mentioned here are just some of the names on his transition list, however the list continues even suggesting an inclusion of Trump’s ex-wife Ivana. She is rumored to be putting her name in the hat to become an Ambassador while Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner is going to have a significant role in the administration.

Unfortunately, we have no idea of the qualifications of many of those said to be appointed. As those who will be governed, it is up to us to find out.

As for the election results, unfortunately, the mathematics of this outcome is as true as it was when Clinton was nominated last summer at the Democratic National Convention. Here’s what’s scariest: Trump only needed 5% or less of our vote to win and he got it. In the eyes of those who are in his administration and want revenge, this means they don’t have to serve or govern in a manner to support issues that plague the Black community.

Latinos turned out in high numbers and voted for Trump. “The only thing that unites us, is the language,” shouted one American Latino at a protest. Even though many thought Trump’s language was damaging to his own campaign, threats to deport millions of illegal immigrants did not sway the Latino vote to significantly oppose him.
This shows us how much farther we have to go with learning the true reasons people voted for Trump. We will have to be ever present in our government in order to fight the legislation and all the issues that will come against us. In the first White House Press conference since Trump’s election, President Obama said on Monday, “Campaigning is different from governing and I think he (Donald Trump) recognizes that.”

Obama said his job is to make sure he has The White House in the best possible shape before he hands it off to Trump and his team. After the President’s Press Conference, he joined supporters, activists and campaign workers on a conference all and talked a bit more about Donald Trump.

“He successfully mobilized a big chunk of the country to vote for him and he’s going to win; he won,” he said.

President Obama continued and said he told his team, “You’re allowed to mope for a week and a half, maybe two if you really need it.” Fighting day-in and day-out for our ideals, building relationships, focusing on down-ballot races like Senate and House of Representatives seats, recruiting, training candidates are all things the President said we need to do. “We gotta train new voters, we gotta train volunteers,” he said.

“I’m going to be a private citizen and I’m not going to stop,” Obama added. The President assured those on the call he was in the fight for the long haul saying, “I’m sure we are going to be working shoulder to shoulder for many, many years to come.”

I must say though, when I saw how humble Trump looked when he met President Obama, I was oddly relieved. In a CBS interview on Sunday night, Trump humbly said, “I’ve had a lot but I’ve never had this much,” referring to what was around him in The White House.

I was happy he wasn’t power-tripping and he seemed differently than he was on the campaign trail. My concerns are those who are advising him. They can easily set him up to fail or push an agenda on people of color, the LGBTQ community, women, Native Americans, any group of people they wish to harm. Before we do anything rash, I think we owe it to the person elected by this country and its process to give him a chance. And, just as Dave Chappelle said on SNL, we demand he give us a chance, too.

Stop blaming 3rd party supporters for Trump’s surge

Democrats, stop blaming 3rd party supporters. Republicans, stop praising them.

A vote for a 3rd party is a vote for a third party. It’s not a vote for Trump no more than it’s a vote for Clinton.

Democrats didn’t need Berners or Jill Stein supporters in the primary election. So, shouldn’t their math tell them, they don’t need them now?

I remember seeing a post on social media stating, although Bernie Sanders could turn-out crowds of thousands while Clinton struggled to even get hundreds to a rally, that didn’t translate into votes.

Seriously?

People really pushed that narrative and thought it was bought hook, line and sinker.
Now, they are running back to those same supporters with heartburn begging for them to vote for Clinton.

Listen Democrats, calm down, she’ll win. No need to take it out on young people and 3rd party supporters. She will win but it won’t be because 3rd party supporters put her in the White House.

It’ll be because Republicans also know how dangerous Trump is and they too will graciously hand over the Presidency to Clinton because she’ll do more to support Republicans than Trump will ever do.

That’s the smart way to do it, right? I mean, if you are in support of the Democratic Party and in any way, shape or form at the top of the food chain making decisions, you’d be “smart” to be holding crooked, private meetings doing brother-man head nodding in agreement that this is the strategy to take.

Now, of course, the Democrats will have to sacrifice a little by offering up some Senate and House seats but it’s well worth pushing it aside and claiming that Oval Office, isn’t it?

My mother would always say not to tell a lie because you’ll have to keep on telling lies to cover up the first lie you told. If Clinton and the Democratic Party stole the primary election from Sanders, they have to keep on stealing in order to get the overall win.

They just didn’t anticipate having to steal it from fiery Republicans and the Tea Party who infiltrated the party when President Obama was first elected.

Democrats have to negotiate with Republicans in order to get the White House and by golly, my radar detector tells me that’s exactly what will happen.

Before you go all willy-nilly on me, I’m no Trump supporter. I think the man is as looney as they come and what comes out of his mouth sounds like modern-day Hitler rhetoric.

The vast majority of his supporters are angry for one reason or another. It may be because they are racist and believe Trump will send all “immigrants” away and will take America back to the days of old. Or, maybe his supporters are so angry with Democrats and the Clinton’s that they have decided Trump really won’t be so bad after all.

Then you have those who just won’t vote because they have lost faith in the system altogether.

Whatever the reasons are, it’s sad. Yet we’re in a new era that is staring at the end of a two-party system as we know it.

Trump won’t do what the Republicans tell him to do and his own party knows it.

Not one of these candidates have demanded to stay steadfast on the issues to a point where the American people can take their focus off of the personalities of both and really imagine what a better America could look like for us. It’s not and never has been about them. It’s about us. Somewhere along the line, the American people have forgotten to demand we discuss the issues rather than the personal lives of those running.

Just look at the Dakota Access pipeline controversy right now. Do you wonder why in the world no candidate is talking about it rather than name-calling each other, discussing how he gropes women and blaming Huma Abedin for wide-open private servers simply because she married a creep?

That’s where the Democratic Party has fallen short and their kickback is our sharp and beautiful, Michelle Obama speaking highly of her trust for Hillary Clinton. The Clintons and the party has even pushed our beloved Mo (Michelle Obama) to stomp for the very person that wished her husband harm and launched a brutal attack against him 8 years ago. We still and always will love you MO but we still have yet to focus heavily on us.

That’s politics and that’s where the free world stands today.

So here we are, with a little over a week until November 8th with Clinton and Trump, face-to-face, like they are in an old, western gunslinging movie and they can only draw for their guns on election day, a day when historically more Republicans turn out than democrats.

Yet, there’s nothing to fear and no one to blame but the parties themselves and the narratives that have been pushed since the start of the campaign.

Make no mistake, we’re looking at the very end of a two-party system as we know it and we should be.

Many people can’t fit themselves inside the two-party box no matter how hard they try and it’s about time we stop blaming the 3rd parties for a messy two-party system.

Debate at Mt. Sinai ruffles feathers

The African American Council of Christian Clergy (AACCC) of Central Florida reached out to Senate, House of Representatives, Comptroller, State Attorney and Judicial candidates this election season to have what was first called a “meet and greet” by some. It then turned into a forum and then a action-packed debate. In the invitation, the AACCC stated, the organization is a council of multi-denominational congregations over a myriad of residential districts. “Each of the 60 congregations have been impacted by injustice and social sin,” stated the AACCC.

Stewart Moore of WESH Channel 2 helped to moderate the debate with Pastor Larry G. Mills of Mt. Sinai and President-Elect of the AACCC/Candidate for House of Representatives District 45, Kelvin Cobaris. Former Miss America Ericka Dunlap was scheduled to show but had a death in her family and was understandably absent.

The forum’s invitation stated, “We have the moral and civic duty to change politics and systems which create conditions that oppress the body of Christ. One of the ways we can do this is by voting locally, statewide and nationally for candidates that can act justly, love mercifully and walk humbly.”

Here’s where feathers were ruffled.

This forum was put on by a 501(c)3 organization and was not neutral. Regardless of the time being shortened for some candidates and lead-in questions being asked to help certain candidates by moderators, the truth was found solidly in the incumbents. Candidates have the opportunity to say all they want about the hope and change they wish to see. They aren’t in office, yet so what they may say sounds good, preachy and right. Wrong. Some of them didn’t even appear to know how to do the job they were fighting so hard to get while others were banking on winning the election on one issue only.

However, incumbents are the ones who can truly tell you what shape our government is in and many of them that were on that stage know how to fix it. Let’s be clear, government is no place for on-the-job training. It’s ok if you’re a community organizer and activist and you want to ignite change but before you compare yourself to President Obama remember that he had a Law Degree and was a Senator at the time he worked his way up to the Presidency.

Incumbent Democratic State Representative Bruce Antone spoke candidly about his accomplishments in the House of Representative and his ability to pass legislation and secure major funding for projects and organizations in District 46, the largely urban and inner city district he represents in the Florda House of Representatives. So, let’s be clear. The incumbent in the District 46 race is far more experienced than his opponent. As I sat in the audience and listened to the debate between the candidates for Comptroller, I heard a woman next to me ask, “what is a comptroller?” Now, I’m not judging her at all. Many don’t know what a Comptroller is and many people work two sometimes three jobs in our community so they are not as in-tune with politics as you and I. But, if you don’t know what a Comptroller is, it’s time to jump off Facebook, whip out Google and start clicking buttons to see what impact that office has on your life and most of all, the finances of where we live.

What’s near and dear to me is the State Attorney’s race. This race is important because most people don’t know what a State Attorney does. Our State Attorney, Jeff Ashton, is a prosecutor. He is not our defense attorney.

He is supposed to put people in jail. But our State Attorney just so happens to be an advocate for us as well. He is our advocate for crime happening in our community. He prosecutes people for wrongdoing. He’s also changed the game, so to speak, so that children who make mistakes don’t go to jail or prison as they once did. He put to use a Civil Citations program so our young black and brown children can be without those records following them for the rest of their lives. I’ve said this time and time again. I had a friend who was murdered here in Orlando and to this day, we don’t know who killed him. We will never feel the justice many get seeing the person who harmed their loved one put behind bars.

As a people, we don’t quite understand, collectively, what we have in the State Attorney that is sitting in that seat now because we won’t look past the color of his skin. Before you call me biased, call him brilliant. Call him fair. And call him much better than that last guy. Please, open your mind to the information I’m about to put before you.

The previous State Attorney ran an office that I believe to be racially unjust. The number of attorneys of color were few. Since Jeff Ashton has taken over, the diversity in that office has now increased to well over 10% and now there are attorneys that are Black, Latino, Muslim, Asian trying cases alongside their White colleagues. The website is also translated in French so that our Haitian brothers and sisters can get the information they need as well as they are a significant part of our community.

What bothered me in the debate was the lack of factual information given by the opponent. The State Attorney’s opponent had the audacity to insinuate the lack of color in that office. She worked there under Jeff Ashton for two years and was promoted twice according to her own words. She was a product of his ambition to hire attorneys of color. But now, she’s been recruited and funded by the Vose’s, a white male Republican who worked for and helped propel the racially biased office before Jeff Ashton took office. And let me not forget to say this Bill Vose guy “just so”  happens to be a write-in candidate in this race. Let me explain why that’s a problem.

With the opponent in this race’s blessing, Vose put himself in the race to close the primaries. Because of that only Democrats can now vote in the election. This was done so Jeff Ashton’s opponent could fair better in this race. Talk about disenfranchising all voters! And if anyone tells you otherwise, including your Pastor, tell him to dig deeper and to stick to the good word in the Bible, because a biased church shouldn’t be so deeply involved in such a process.

Ashton is a Democrat and has fought hard to put together a team of people that represent this community. As an attorney in this community, his opponent is funded by Republicans, a group who is trying to take over the Black Lives Matter movement from young black people and his opponent was less than truthful in her “sermon” at the debate and forced her way into the minds of people who should just dig a little deeper and ask a few more questions than they ever have before.

Our community is being lied to and cheated and regardless of the color of someone’s skin that should never, ever happen.

One lady stood up and said Jeff Ashton sent her to prison for 15 years for driving a getaway car that “hurt somebody”. Wrong. The victim in that case was killed. She set up a good man, a black man, to be robbed and he was shot multiple times and died. That was a murder, not a wound as she initially tried to phrase it. In addition, she agreed to a plea of 15 years. Jeff Ashton didn’t “put” her anywhere. She did that to herself.

All I ask is that we ask the deep questions and come to the table with an open mind and open heart to be able to receive the information that is before us.

Lastly, I was approached by Representative Bruce Antone’s opponent weeks ago at a meeting. She attacked me with words, because I mentioned she had an endorsement from her Pastor Derrick McCrae. It was true. She did have an endorsement from her Pastor. And, my God it’s only Facebook!  I didn’t have a dog in that fight. I can’t imagine voting for and sending someone to Tallahassee to represent me who attacks constituents and voters because they may disagree with them.

My point is to be sure you ask the right questions that will lead to the best vote that you can make this season. Putting people in office that have little to no experience doesn’t help us. As for the State Attorney’s race, mark my words, if that office goes backwards to the way it was before, simply by using a person with a good sermon and black skin to do the dirty work of those who dogged us before, we can kiss our advances forward, a great big “goodbye”.

Orlando’s mayoral race heats up

Orlando’s mayoral race heats up

There are three candidates running for the title of Mayor of the City of Orlando and some voters are watching this race closely. To many black people living in the inner city, this race is personal. A mini-focus group consisting of members of the Haitian, African American and Hispanic communities talked about the five top things that matters most to them and there is enough evidence to show that the swing vote, may not swing in the direction of Orlando’s current Mayor, Buddy Dyer.

One woman in our focus group made it fairly clear that Dyer is certainly no buddy to black people in Central Florida. During the Orlando Sentinel’s editorial board interview, candidate Sunshine Grund said she feels as though her voice and the voice of other Central Floridians is not being heard. She said she is also running to help save the 100+ acres of wetlands that are set to be destroyed and to provide a voice to the people of Orlando.
Paul Paulson, said he is running because we have had a 17.7% tax hike this year which we can’t afford. Paulson continues, “the hardworking people of Orlando deserve much better.”
Paulson also said, “We can’t give Mr. Dyer a blank checkbook to write checks every time and spend our money.”

The top 5 issues our diverse group said mattered most are as follows:

1. Housing – Residents in highly populated black and hispanic communities say housing is deplorable and gentrification is not only in the near future but is happening now. Owners of black businesses along Church Street were upset because they were shut out of the All-Star Game years ago under the leadership of the current city mayor, Buddy Dyer.

2. The Orlando Police Department – OPD has a record of 23 reports of excessive force under the current police chief and nothing has been done about it outside of a press conference or two. Sheriff Jerry Demings’ office was awarded a grant for body cameras for all of his officers. Keep in mind Demings’ office is not receiving reports of excessive force but the Orlando Police Department, under the supervision of Chief Mina, is responsible for all 23 excessive reports. One officer was even caught on camera kicking a man while he was sitting on the curb adhering to the officer’s requests. This assault happened while another OPD officer watched.

3. Tinker FieldHistoric Tinker Field housed the Brooklyn Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds and other baseball teams. Legends played on this field and it is also the place where Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke before many Central Floridians in 1964. Now, Tinker Field is expected to be demolished. Although, Tinker Field is nationally recognized as a historic place within the United States, some feel that is not enough. Properly paying tribute to the historic significance of Tinker Field is unsatisfactory to many people of color who live nearby.

4. Affordable housing – For blacks looking to build businesses and thrive in the downtown area, affordable housing and rent for a business is almost impossible. City View on Church Street was initially slated to be “affordable” however the apartments alone are more than $1700 per month. While Johnson’s Diner was able to receive financial assistance to move their business from their old location to Church Street, they were still unable to make the rent and pay all of their expenses. Mathematically, the traffic around City View just isn’t quite significant enough to warrant a successful business with the overhead being so expensive.

5. Excessive pollution in the black community – Nap Ford community center sits on polluted soil. According to some community leaders, no one cares about black children and their health especially when the pollution cleanup comes with a hefty price tag. The way the situation was rectified is unacceptable to some community activists. There was a lining put underneath the school to separate the soil from the building and unfortunately, primarily black and hispanic children are still being educated on those grounds.

Residents also said they feel left out of the planning process. When it comes to the issues that plague the black community in Orlando, there is either a meeting for black community leaders or no meeting at all for issues that matter most to the community however, some black leaders want to sit at the same table with everyone and are not willing to continue to only sit alongside the same people they have sat alongside for years. As a community, if we continue to do what we’ve always done we will continue to get what we’ve always gotten. People of color can make no progress if we are not communicating with all who can help move the community forward, regardless of race.

Dyer certainly has more name recognition in this election than any of the others running against him but will that mean he will re-elected on November 3rd?

This election is about more than selecting a mayor. To many black people, it is about changing the conditions in which they live. The number of registered African American voters is significantly higher than in past years and in about four weeks, we will see whether or not the black community is ready to move forward with a new mayor.