Opening the smokey room.

Just when I think I'm out of the blog business the Miami-Dade DEC pulls me back in. Do they think House of Cards is a documentary? Ha!

Rules? We don’t need no stinking rules. That appears to be the attitude when it comes to the upcoming Miami-Dade DEC elections this coming Tuesday. A short primer for those of you unfamiliar with the somewhat arcane process of electing officers in each county’s DEC (Democratic Executive Committee). Every 4 years, after the Presidential election, the local DEC dissolves and reorganizes itself. Officers are then elected at the first meeting, usually in the first two weeks of December. There are lots of pesky rules that determine how these elections are run. To run for office, you must have been elected as a precinct committee person. Those elections were held on August 30, 2016. If you’re not a precinct committee person, you cannot run for office at this first Organizational Meeting.

In addition to gaining responsibility for running the local party the Chair, Vice Chair, State Committeeman and State Committeewoman are eligible to run for Chair of the Florida Democratic Party. Subsequent to this first meeting any empty precincts are then filled by appointment by the local Chair with approval of the precinct committee people. Once appointed to that person gains all of the privileges of an elected precinct person, including running for any officer vacancies that may arise – remember this for later, it’s important.

This is where the fix comes in. For any good fix to work, you need the right players in the right positions involved and “persuaded” in the right way. First we have Stephen Bittel, a democratic donor and infamous subject of DNC staffers less than laudatory emails (see DNC emails WikiLeaks), who holds no position in the DEC including precinct committee person (has he even ever been to a DEC meeting?). Then you have Juan Cuba the (current/former???) DEC executive director. Our less prominent players are Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schulz, and vice-chair candidates, Dotie Joseph and Ruben Young.

Juan Cuba was running for state committeeman against Bret Berlin. It was going to be a close race and one of them would lose their coveted power. The state committee people, chair, and first vice-chair are the only members of the DEC who can vote for the Chair of the State Party. But the state committee people have more votes based on the number of Democrats in their county, giving them a lot of power to elect chair, and other party matter votes.

Of the many catastrophes of Donald Trump’s election win, one that is becoming more apparent is that rich, white men now think they can become political leaders by using their business acumen. So Stephen Bittel (rich, white businessman) decides he wants to become chair of the Florida state democratic party. And his credentials are… wait for it, “he can raise millions for the party” (he’ll probably fail to tell you that he reneged on his agreement to fully fund the DEC executive director position for a mere few thousand dollars, and Juan Cuba formed a consulting firm to funnel dollars to pay himself). He’ll also tell you that he was on the DNC and the vice-chair of finance.

Of course, none of those are elected positions and were appointments, by whom… DWS. But wait, Bittel is not a precinct committee person and cannot hold elected office in the DEC, so he’s not eligible. That’s where back room deals, arm twisting, generous offers, etc. come in. Bittel, Cuba, and no doubt members of the Florida Alliance (and who knows who else is involved), meet and the deal is made. Bittel gets two dupes to run for Vice Chair, since the rules are the chair and vice chair must be different genders he covers his bases with a male and female. Juan Cuba drops out of the race for state committee man to run for Chair. If he wins, a high probability, he coincidentally prevents the former Chair, Dwight Bullard, from running for Vice Chair (the gender thing).

Now Bullard did not do a good job while he was chair. He did not raise any money and he did not provide much guidance, direction or inspiration to the party. So on one hand, blocking him from running may just be an attempt to prevent a less than stellar candidate from holding an officer position. But, oh yeah, he does want to run for State Party chair, the position Bittel wants.

As the chess pieces fall into place, Berlin is now running unopposed because all these machinations were done right at the deadline (although yes, technically you can be nominated from the floor on Election Day, and if Cuba were to lose his bid for Chair, he can turn around and run for state committee man against Berlin, again!). So, what's the fix?

Bittel makes a deal with Cuba. In return for setting all the right players in place, the female vice chair resigns setting up a new ad hoc election where the gender rules do not apply. Bittel, who will conveniently be appointed to a vacant precinct position, can now run for Vice Chair. Assuming he wins (can you say rigged), he is now eligible to run for Chair of the state party. What did it take to arrange all this, oh nothing big, probably just promises of positions on the DNC, super-delegate status, and did you know Bittel wants to have a CEO and COO lead the state party. Hmmm, and if we need people to fill those well-paid positions, anyone come to mind?

Now for the pièce de résistance. How does Bittel ensure he wins the election for State Party Chair? He attacks on 2 fronts. First, the Florida Alliance allegedly has informed the powers and non-powers that be that if Bittel does not win, no more donations from them. And on the second front, well let’s bring in that final player, DWS. As we learned from the WikiLeaks DNC emails, she is the master of the back room deal and arm twisting to her advantage.

She works it so she gets what she wants, which is usually about what benefits her (again read DNC staffers emails on WikiLeaks).  For DWS, this behind the scenes control off the state party (or national party) is nothing new to her. Just ask Alan Clendenin about what happened in 2012 (or even Bernie Sanders). So Bittel, who has now co-opted Cuba, Dotie and Ruben with his extravagant promises, gets DWS to control the rest of the state’s committeemen and committeewomen, gets his friends in the Florida Alliance to threaten to withhold money and “voila”, our new state chair.

If you’ve been in politics for any period of time, you’re probably thinking, duh, this is how it works. Back room deals have been going on since our Republic was formed. But aren’t you tired of the good ole boys being the ones who do the deals, hold the power, and benefit. What all these players really want is power and benefits. As the famous saying goes, “it’s all about me.” What about the true believers, the grassroots activists, those of us who believe the party can and must do better. Bittel thinks his “I’ll raise millions” is the answer. If he wants to raise millions, he can do it without bending and breaking the democratic party rules, or being chair of anything. Just do it! The grassroots Democrats will be disgusted and walk away from the party if we continue to see these backroom deals happen that are so unnecessary, and only serve to stroke the egos of billionaires. Didn't DWS raise a ton of money at the national level? And look where that got us. Do you really want the democratic party to continue to be the party that loses elections by thin margins, or do you want to see us get back to our core and start electing more Democrats who will support progressive issues?

When I first heard about all of this I thought, OMG, everyone is making a deal with the devil for their own benefit. I now realize it’s worse. Vote your values. Vote your conscience. It's time to stop selling out our party.


FDP fucks up again, 2 candidates in 25.

So today some unknown challenger from Broward who was an anti-union developer decided to run for Congress.

Why? She wanted to ward off challengers after the Women's Campaign Fund and Ruth's list got wind of a couple of big names being recruited by DCCC after Luis Garcia dropped out. She wanted to protect herself, since she has no history in running for office.

I can confirm based on sources in multiple states that the FDP acted without consulting with DC in co-releasing together with her the press release announcing her candidacy.

The big news today is the impending candidacy of Joe Garcia once again in district 25. Expect it in about two weeks. Without the Tea Party momentum and high levels of fundraising and name ID, I predict he will run and win over David Rivera. The biggest threat to him now is a primary challenge from the right on Rivera.

I'll update this story as more comes out.



Thank you for the emails folks. One of them contained an interesting that inspired me to kick my monitor.
FL-25: Oy vey. Sometimes I just don't understand why things like this happen. Businesswoman Annette Taddeo-Goldstein, whom you'll remember from her run against GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in FL-18 in 2008 (minus the "-Goldstein" back then), is accusing state Rep. Luis Garcia of falsely claiming she'd endorsed his bid for Congress against troubled GOP freshman David Rivera. Garcia of course denies the charge, but seriously, wtf?

Well, if you have a particularly good memory (like ndrwmls10), you may recall that last June, Dave Catanese reported that Taddeo-Goldstein was going to launch a her own campaign against Rivera "in the next 30 to 60 days." Obviously that never came to pass, but it also explains why Garcia was so interested in claiming Taddeo-Goldstein's endorsement, and why—if she's still contemplating the race—she wouldn't want to give it. Nevertheless, this is an ugly, unnecessary mess, but it also makes me wonder: Whatever happened to Taddeo-Goldstein's planned bid?"

This story has two points that stick in my throat. 1) Why the heck is Louis Garcia using Annette's name? I'm not in fantasy land, all these politicians use everyone else's information from prior races against their opponents. The difference is not all of them outright say the name of the last candidates in the area. From talking to people I hear he's done the same with Joe Garcia. MEMO: STOP USING THEIR NAMES. If you're so incompetent you can't raise money against a guy with federal investigations over his head and tremendous disapproval ratings who hasn't done shit for the district, then give up and let someone else take over. Which is why I hear he's being dissuaded from continuing and is being pushed to switch over to city or county commission depending on who you ask. Good riddance. But this just shows how useless the DCCC is that they backed the wrong horse on this.

2) Taddeo-Goldstein needs to be brought down a peg or 17. She might be brilliant as a businesswoman but let's be clear about this, she's not a political figure. Here she is busting someone's chops who's actually won and done something. I'm not Garcia's biggest fan, but he's in a hard as nails district and still wins. He's liked. He's been effective in positions before. Taddeo got her ass kicked by a well known political foe and then got steamrolled because she gave 40% effort on a small race she should have dominated. I've heard plenty of excuses for her behavior from friends. You don't put this out publicly. How does she expect to be treated seriously?

Annette; you seem to think Florida House or Senate is beneath you. Your hot shot friends have backed you and you can fundraise way too well for such a small race. I just want to point out you'll never get to Congress without being there and that representing Floridians and testing your legislative skills is an honor and a challenge to see if you'd be good. So far you are an egotist who thinks something is owed to her. You are owed nothing. You make your own headway in politics. If you want to be a sideline player keep doing what your doing. But if you want to get on the field, make some sacrifices and go help your state. That's if your ego doesn't get in the way. Also, stop doing stupid things like this which just cause resentment among the ground troops in the party.


It's been a long time

Your favorite blue blogger is back on a supremely inconsistent basis. Since my last post I've gone through marriage, the birth of my first child and the purchasing of my first property. So I my time is limited by waking up at 5 AM because my son decides he wants attention or that he couldn't sleep. Don't expect blogging masterpieces.

Having said that expect slow news drips. For those of you not familiar with this blog; read it.

I break news on the Democratic Party and make fun of the Republican party. If you're wondering what inspired my return it's having heard this was coming down two days ago.

I'd also like to send a special message to Senator Steinberg: You're an ass. Thank God it's a safely Democratic seat. I'm sure Democrats across the county will appreciate this stupidity.

The dozens of messages, sent over the course of more than three months last fall, were sent from a phone that used software to disguise the number.

Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2012/02/under-federal-inquiry-dem-rep-steinberg-admits-sending-sexxxy-stalker-type-emails-to-federal-prosecu.html#storylink=cpy

Nice job. Just resign ASAP before you do progressives actual harm moron.


Democracy gets kicked in the face

I have very little to add to this post as it communicates overwhelmingly my thoughts as to what happened in District 112. I have to say Rep. Luis Garcia has not always been my favorite Democrats but he has nailed this spot on.

Sandra Ruiz (Democrat-Doral) is now facing an uphill battle thanks to Johnny Farias (Douchebag) and Jeanette Nunez (Opportunist Republican). With the information I've received showing that Ruiz was leading the Republican in the race, she manipulated the neophyte that is Farias into joining her in a lawsuit that removed her from the ballot.

If I were...say Ana Rivas Logan, I'd be crapping my pants now.

But that's a separate issue. The issue at hand is that Johnny Farias, who has been running one of the dirtiest, behind the scenes campaigns one could imagine for over a year now, has finally found a way to beat Sandra Ruiz. Not at the ballot box where he'd have his ass handed to him.

I have to say that this win at any cost mentality may be good for Johnny's short term political legacy. It's bad for democracy, it's bad for the voters and I hope this sticks in the minds of local Democrats for a long time yet. When one of your own takes away your best opportunity at picking up a house seat and when they do it through these means...says volumes.

I think this matter is pathetic, and if through the stay, Mrs. Ruiz is allowed to be on the ballot and ultimately wins on appeal. I hope she crushes him. I'm glad that the underhanded tactics aren't working with Rep. Garcia or other high level Democrats. Former State Representative and now PSC commissioner Ron Brise pulled his endorsement from Farias after taking so many calls against Farias. When devoted Democrats like Joe Geller and Annette Taddeo stand up for you, it says plenty to me.

Johnny Farias may win the battle, but he'll lose the war, and inadvertently, he'll cost his wife the chance to win her seat as well.

Farias states:
"That's not a chance I am willing to take. We have to be unselfish. Did we want a democrat in the general election, yes or no? If she had been removed we would have had no democrat in the race. Whats better to have a Democrat or no Democrat?"
So let me ask him, when the David Rivera-esque charges about domestic violence come out against him in the general, is he ready for that? Hey, I'm just being unselfish and asking some questions that will be put to him.

Let me tell ya'll something else; to have a Democrat like that, I'd rather not have a Democrat in the race.