Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Good news re signature petitions, Florida Hometown Democracy

Just received some good news this morning from the Central Florida Political Pulse blog of the Orlando Sentinel about a subject I wrote about a while back: petition gathering and the effort by some in Tallahassee to make that even harder.

I later found similar stories in the Herald and Sun-Sentinel, but as usual, Aaron Deslatte had more context.

In the next few days, I'll be posting some thoughts and observations on that Broward County Charter Review Commission meeting I attended two weeks ago, especially on the MTA proposal, which I spoke in favor of, recounting some anecdotes about Broward transportation you really need to know about.

I'll also connect-the-dots on the City of Hallandale Beach's effort to prevent the proposal's adoption by the 19-member panel.

Trust me, it's more of the same classic "Only in Hallandale Beach" moments you've come to expect from the crowd at 400 S. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach 33009. _____________________________________________
Hometown Democracy wins a court victory
posted by Aaron Deslatte on Apr 23, 2008 10:56:29 AM

In the lingering legal fight between Hometown Democracy and the business lobby, the anti-sprawl Hometown crew finally notched a win Wednesday when the 1st District Court of Appeal ruled that a signature-petition revocation law the Legislature passed last year was unconstitutional.

After the law passed, Associated Industries of Florida formed a group called Save Our Constitution that targeted thousands of voters who signed Hometown's slow-growth amendment with mailers, asking them to revoke their support with claims that it would destroy the state's "scenic beauty."...

Go to the URL above to see the entire story and the court ruling in a pdf. format.

Reader comments are at:
Miami Herald
State appeals court rules in favor of citizens group
April 23, 2008

An appeals court says it is unconstitutional to revoke signatures on petitions to get citizen initiatives on the ballot. The 1st District Court of Appeal decision Wednesday in Tallahassee reversed a lower court ruling. The higher court supported so-called Hometown Democracy proponents.

They seek voter approval for changes to plans laying out where new roads, homes, businesses and other development can be built. The decision rejects efforts by the Legislature and the Florida Chamber of Commerce, who have backed several new laws in recent years making it more difficult to pass initiatives. They contend such moves could limit growth and the state's economy.
A week earlier, the Sun-Sentinel was reporting:

South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Legislation limiting citizen initiatives advances in House
The Associated Press
April 16, 2008

A bill that could make it harder for citizens to change the Florida Constitution using petitions has won approval from a House panel.

The bill does that in part by reducing the time signatures are valid for — two years instead of four. Also, cards with the signatures would have to be turned in within 60 days after they are signed. Right now, there is no time limit.
Gov. Charlie Crist last year vetoed a bill that would have required signatures to be turned in 30 days.

Another provision would require criminal background checks for people who get paid to collect signatures.

The bill's opponents, including Common Cause, labor unions and the League of Women Voters, argue that background checks, which can cost up to $85, and other provisions are designed to prevent average citizens from having a voice in government.

Only the wealthy and powerful would be able to afford to sponsor a petition drive, they contended.

Chamber of Commerce lobbyist Adam Babbington said background checks would enhance public safety because "this is an industry that operates in the shadows by and large."

The Chamber supports making it harder to amend the constitution.

Sen. Larcenia Bullard, D-Miami, was hoping for a rare sweet moment Tuesday in the largely bleak legislative session when she served Key lime pie at the Capitol.

"I hope it helps sweeten up the bitter session," said Bullard, who tasted one of the scores of pies available. "Let people feel good about something."

Across Capitol meeting rooms, firefighters, corrections officers and social workers were tracking down lawmakers in efforts to save jobs and health care for thousands of children.

Lawmakers are poring over budgets passed by the House and Senate and trying to come to agreements over cuts.

"We see all these people leave here feeling so out of sorts, hopeless, like nothing's going to happen," Bullard said.

"The Key lime, I thought, would be perfect to take their minds away from that for the moment."

Reader comments are at:
__________________________________________________________________ Below are some excerpts from some older germane links about this subject.

Senate elections panel tries to undo petition-gathering ruling
posted by Aaron Deslatte on Apr 1, 2008 2:02:54 PM

A Florida Senate panel advanced a package of election-law changes Tuesday that critics said was an attempt to undermine a recent court ruling against the state regarding the way signature-petitions are gathered.

An administrative law judge in late February ruled the state Division of Elections had overstepped its authority when it tried to ban signature groups from "bundling" multiple signature-petitions together when they're presented to voters to sign.

A group called FairDistrictsFlorida.org, which is trying to make it harder for Florida lawmakers to gerrymander their legislative districts, had been circulating several petitions related to its drive to place the re-districting issue on the 2010 ballot...
Bucher and Dorworth get a timeout
posted by Aaron Deslatte on Apr 1, 2008 4:46:36 PM

In the middle of a hearing over his bill restricting the rights of felons to work as paid signature-gatherers, freshman Rep. Chris Dorworth, R-Lake Mary, was getting a grilling by veteran Democratic Rep. Susan Bucher.

The bill, a priority for business groups this year, would also require paid signature-gathers be Florida residents and cleared a Senate panel earlier in the day. But Bucher, D-West Palm Beach, wanted to know how the Department of State was supposed to police thousands of signature-gatherers across the state, who would be required to register with the state under the bill.

Dorworth said he didn't know, then told the panel he was sick, had been curled up in a ball just before the House Economic Development and Infrastructure Council meeting had started, and had been heavily medicated.

"Forgive me if I pass out," he said...

This is the one from one of my other daily must-read's, the St. Petersburg Times' political blog, The Buzz.
Go to the URL to see the reader comments, as they're 100% spot-on!

April 01, 2008
Targeting paid petition-gatherers
Mindful of Florida Hometown Democracy's near-miss in its slow-growth ballot initiative, business groups and their legislative allies have a new idea.

They want to require all paid initiative petition signature gatherers to pay a fee, register with the state and be assigned a registration number to appear on petition forms (volunteers would not be affected)....

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#HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy

Thumbs up! What a night! #HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with a very elated Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy at his Victory Party, held at Leo Anato's Atelier3/AT3 on Harrison Street & S. 19th Avenue, Hollywood. AT3's great environment and the amazing variety of food prepared by chef Kevin Dreifuss, former owner/chef of ENDS MEAT restaurant, was SUPERB! November 8, 2016

Esther Chuang, Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015

Above, perhaps my most-favorite photo ever of Esther, which is really saying something considering the THOUSANDS that I've actually seen of her, from all over the world. But despite the fact that you can't actually see it here, trust me, her amazing smile and inner and external beauty are there. This photo is an even more amazing achievement when you know the backstory of what it took for Esther to get to the top of the mountain, since it's NOT for the faint of heart. Next time you see her, ask her about that! Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on her birthday, July 10, 2015. That's the Christ The Redeemer statue way out in the horizon on the top of another mountain, to the left of her head. �� In case you forgot what the Christ the Redeemer statue looks like, up close, here's another Brazilian beauty to connect-the-dots for you: Gisele Bündchen, aka @Gisele.

Abençoado por Deus e bonito por natureza!✨ ������

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View of Rio De Janeiro from my room.

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