Hillsborough County, General Election, November 3, 2020

President and Vice President

Joseph R. Biden
Kamala D. Harris

Representative in Congress District 14

Kathy Castor

State Attorney, 13th Judicial Circuit

Andrew Warren

State Senator District 20

Kathy Lewis


Gary Pruitt

Property Appraiser

Bob “Coach” Henriquez

Tax Collector

Nancy C. Millan

Board of County Commissioners District 6

Patricia “Pat” Kemp

Justice of the Supreme Court

Justice Carlos G. Muñiz

District Court of Appeal

Judge Drew Atkinson

Judge Morris Silberman

Judge Danil H. Sleet

Judge Andrea Teves Smith

County Court Judge Group 7

Bill Yanger

School Board Member District 3

Jessica Vaughn

School Board Member District 7

Lynn Gray

Soil and Water Conservation District Group 2

Michael Harvey

Soil and Water Conservation District Group 4

Sonja P. Brookins

Amendment 1: Citizenship Requirement to Vote in Florida Elections

No, this is stupid and makes no difference.

Amendment 2: Raising Florida’s Minimum Wage

Yes. $15 an hour is less than a baby sitter makes normally. It’s inconceivable that this isn’t the case already.

Amendment 3: All Voters Vote in Primary Elections for State Legislature, Governor and Cabinet

Yes. I’m mainly going to say yes because both parties hate the idea. I’m not keen on the sponsor, and this MIGHT hurt some minorities and partisans. But anything that shakes up this crappy system seems like positive change.

Amendment 4: Voter Approval of Constitutional Amendments

No. This is ridiculous. Basically an attempt to remove direct democracy because it’s hard? The Florida Senate already finds new ways to get around amendments all the time, let’s not give them added fire power.

Amendment 5: Limitation on Homestead Assessments

Yes. It adds a year, and might protect some people from property taxes rising too quickly… not 100% how I feel on this.

Amendment 6: Ad Valorem Tax Discount for Spouses of Certain Deceased Veterans Who Had Permanent, Combat-Related Disabilities

Yes. Giving disabled military spouse the same tax rates after their spouse dies? They had to pay more taxes AFTER they lost their partner? Sounds pretty freaking terrible.


2020 Democratic Party Ballot August 18 – My picks

Clerk of Circuit Cory and Comptroller

  • Kevin Beckner – although he ran against Frank, which annoyed me and a lot of people (even though it was his right) he is probably the best positioned candidate to win in the general. 
  • Cindy Stuart – she is a great candidate, but maybe a little late to the game and I just think that Beckner has more of the organization to win. 

Tax Collector

  • Nancy C Millan – already works in the department and knows the job. This is not a crazy partisan position and while she is a Democrat, her retiring boss, Doug Belden is a republican and he is endorsing her.
  • April Griffin – a great activist in the Democratic Party and a good person. 

Circuit Judge, 13th Judicial Circuit Group 9

  • John Schifino – Both seem to be good candidates, but I’m going with John because he has a fair amount more community service experience (although a lot looks to be related to his kid’s schools most likely), and he is a thoughtful, although somewhat verbose writer.
  • Kelly Ayers – She got the ‘rona, but I’m not holding that against her.  

Circuit Judge, 13th Judicial Circuit Group 19

  • Michael Scionti – He is already a judge, seems to have made reasonable decisions (I only looked at 10 or so) and is a strong writer, good communicator, and former House of Representatives Member (as a Democrat in Florida no less!) – guys knows the system and seems to try and improve it.
  • Ashley Ivanov – A website full of vague platitudes, non-specifics about pro-bono work, and the occasional mention of her church all point to someone I’m not voting for.

Circuit Judge, 13th Judicial Circuit Group 30

  • Helene Daniel – Helene is just as qualified as Danny, and doesn’t give me the creepy cop vibe.
  • Danny Alvarez – Danny seems like an ideal guy. A great background, and full of community spirit. Unfortunately he is super tied in with local sheriff and police systems, and I don’t think he’ll be fair when deciding about anything involving a cop.

I’m not writing about each candidate if there are more than two. I’ll just mention the one I like.

Circuit Judge, 13th Judicial Circuit Group 31

  • Greg Green – These are all pretty good candidates to be honest. I think it’s a toss up between Greg and Scott. I like Greg’s name, and his community service and various practice areas make him seem like the most qualified.
  • Scott Bonavita
  • Gary Dolgin

Circuit Judge, 13th Judicial Circuit Group 39

  • Steven Scott Stephens – While Wendy seems great, Judge Stephens is a smart, smart dude, and the most overly educated person I’ve ever read about. He has 7 degrees, including an M.S., Johns Hopkins, a computer science background, and a PhD in Business. Seriously, read about this dude
  • Wendy Joy DePaul

County Court Judge Group 7

  • Bill Yanger – Going to be honest here, Bill is the choice of two or three other sites I checked, and he seems fine. I basically got tired of reading about these people at this point. Nancy L. Jacobs – Seems like the next best choice to Bill. She also loves animals and does pro-bono work for animal welfare.
  • Monique Scott – Young, ex-copRickey “Rick” Silverman – Traffic lawyer

School Board Member District 3

  • Jennifer Hill – I’m going with Jennifer, but Alexandra is a close second. They’re both good writers and communicators, but Jennifer has more experience in the school system, a Masters in Education, and a business background to boot.Alexandra Gilmore – 2
  • Leo HaggertyMitch ThrowerJessica VaughnRick Warrener

School Board Member District 7

  • Lynn Gray – I say keep her. She is not churchy, or crazy, and seems to have done a fine job. Let her keep it for now.Sally A HarrisJeffery Alex James Johnson – (Do you have enough white guy names Jeff?)
  • Angela Schroden

How to vote if you are a progressive in Hillsborough County – 2016 General Election

Big Ticket

President and Vice President
Do I have to even say?

United States Senator
Patrick Murphy

Representative in Congress District 14
Kathy Castor

State Attorney, 13th Judicial Circuit
Andrew Warren

State Representative District 63
Lisa J. Montelione

Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller
Pat Frank

Property Appraiser
Bob Henriquez

Board of County Commissioners, District 6
Patricia “Pat” Kemp



Charles T. Canady

Jorge Labarga
In (but begrudgingly)

Ricky L. Poiston
Out (dear God out!)


District Court of Appeal

John Badalamenti

Marva L. Crenshaw

Patricia J. Kelly

Nelly N. Khouzam

Matt Lucas
Out (Oh Hell No)

Robert Morris

Stevan Travis Northcutt

Samuel Salario Jr

Craig C. Villanti

Douglas Alan Wallace


The Rest

Circuit Judge, 13th Judicial Circuit Group 24
Melissa Polo

School Board Member District 7
Cathy James

Soil and Water Conservation District Group 2
David R. Phillips Jr

Soil and Water Conservation District Group 4
Nicholas Tobasco Bissett

Tampa City Council District 7
Luis Viera



No.1 Constitutional Amendment Article X, Section 29 (Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice)
This is a bullshit title. This Amendment is a Power Company Lobbyist’s wet dream. NO!

No. 2
Constitutional Amendment Article X, Section 29 (Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions)
Yeah, why not 🙂 I’m not a smoker, but I want as many steps to get some decent tax revenues out of what is currently a billion dollar illegal trade in Florida.

No. 3
Constitutional Amendment Article VII, Section 6 Article XII (Tax Exemption for Totally and Permanently Disabled First Responders)
This is a tricky one because it adds junk to the constitutional tax rules, which are messed up enough already. But it’s the right thing to do, even if done wrong.

No. 5
Constitutional Amendment Article VII, Section 6 Article XII (Homestead Tax Expedition for Certain Senior Low-Income, Long-Term Residents; Determination of Just Value)

Referendum For Voters in City of Tampa
This is your typical “We don’t want to make a decision, so we’ll make the voters decide” – It probably won’t do anything, but it should probably be a yes.


How to vote if you are a progressive in Hillsborough County

President and Vice President
Barack Obama and Joe Biden DEM (No shit)

United States Senator
Bill Nelson DEM (it pains me to do so)

State Senator District 24
Elizabeth Belcher DEM

State Representative District 63
Mark Danish DEM (Tasty!)

David Gee REP (Unless you write in for Rob)

Property Appraiser
Bob Henriquez DEM (Unless you have a brain tumor and want Storms)

Supervisor of Elections
Craig Latimer DEM (here’s hope against hope)

Board of County Commissioners District 6
Kevin Beckner DEM (Good guy)

Justice of the Supreme Court
Justice R. Fred Lewis – Yes (he is not an idiot or insane)

Justice of the Supreme Court
Justice Peggy A Quince – Yes (she’s a good judge)

District Court of Appeal
Judge Anthony K Black – Yes

District Court of Appeal
Judge Darryl C. Casanueva – Yes (would be better if he was Casanova)

District Court of Appeal
Judge Charles A Davis, Jr. – Yes/Si

District Court of Appeal
Judge Judge Edward C. LaRose Yes (really yes)

Shool Board Member District 7
Carol W. Kurdwell (Kemple is a crazy)

Soil and Water Conservation District Group 2
Shane Holman (next time, Adam Husarek)

Soil and Water Conservation District Group 4
Roy Gene Davis (best of two bad choices)

Most of this shit is either fucking crazy or does not need to be in the state constitution.

1 – No
2 – No
3 – No
4 – No (read it if you have a few spare hours)
5 – No
7 – There is no 7, and that’s just the way we like it.
9 – No (Meh)
10 – No (Meh)
11 – No (Meh as well)
12 – No

Amend Section 9.11 Of County Charter to Change The Term Physical Handicap To Disabillity

Amends Charter to Require Financial Impact Statements For All County Charter Amendments And Countywide Referenda


How to Vote in Hillsbourgh County if you’re a Human Being

Or dirty, filthy pinko Democrat.

President/Vice President – Barack Obama/Joe Biden (Wow… there’s a shock)

U.S. Representative, Dist. 9 – Bill Mitchell (Better than the alternatives)

State Representative, Dist. 60 – E.J. Ford (Filthy Democrat)

Property Appraiser – Ken Ayers (Another Filth Democrat)

Tax Collector – Beverly P. Harris (Doug Belden is an idiot)

Supervisor of Elections – Phyllis Busansky (Buddy Johnson is an amoral moron)

County Commissioner, Dist. 2 – Write-In Candidate (If the Dems can’t get a reasonable candidates, vote for Snoopy for all I care)

County Commissioner, Dist. 6 – Kevin Beckner (Bad democrat better than a Republican)

Justice of the Supreme Court (Charles T. Wells) – NO (Terry Shivo nonsense)

District Court of Appeal (Chris W. Altenbernd) – NO

District Court of Appeal (Carolyn K. Fulme) – NO

District Court of Appeal (Morris Silberman) – NO

District Court of Appeal (James W. Whatley) – NO

School Board Member, Dist. 7 – NO

Soil and Water Conservation, Dist. 2 – NO

Soil and Water Conservation, Dist. 4 – NO

Removes discriminatory barriers to ownership, possession, and inheritance of property by noncitizens. Discrimination based on citizenship status.


At least they’re trying.

Trying… not great but what do you expect.

I have no idea what this is about, who it benifits and what it even means. No one does – ie it’s a scam.

Regressive tax

Politics Rant

Barstool Economics Nonsense

I got that idiotic “Barstool Economics” email today from my boss. My grandmother sent it to me a few days ago. I won’t go into what it says because you can find a million fucking copies on the interweb that will tell you how great a picture of our economic system is. My response to the email was as follows… it got a little off subject toward the end.

First off, check your sources,

  • Summary of the eRumor
    • This is an attempt to use a story to try to explain the complexity of taxes and tax cuts.
  • The Truth
    • The biggest question about this eRumor is not so much whether it’s an accurate picture of taxation as to who actually wrote it.

Got this of a rumors site:
The most recent version that has circulated on the Internet attributes it to David R. Kamerschen, a professor of Economics at the University of Georgia.
On his website, however, he denies that he wrote it and says he doesn’t know who did.
How his name got attached to it, he does not know.

Different version says it was written by another university professor, T. Davies of the University of South Dakota.
He too denies that he wrote it.

So its origins is still a mystery

Secondly, I could counter how childish and small minded this analogy is by writing a funny retelling of it, but why bother, lots of people have done the same thing already: some great ones collected here and here

Finally, saying things like “you’re a socialist” is not only silly, but not particularly well thought out. I am a socialist, and not offended by it – it’s not “un-american” or whatever other nonsense Fox tells you it is: America is a socialist country already. We have socialized infrastructure (roads, rails, ports, highways), city services like police, fire, medical rescue, we have socialized education (not great but better than not even being able to read) socialized military (a massive, juggernaut of a socialized system), socialized democratic process with elections, some socialized television, radio and communications, socialized healthcare in the forms of medicare and medicaid and protection care and socialized insurance systems for insurance companies, banks and now the freaking housing market, loan companies and anyone who plays golf with old W.

The only thing that is NOT socialized is higher education (which it kind of is) and health insurance for the middle class. I mean, name ONE thing that is not socialized that these “socialists” are screaming to take over. Fuck the post office, I don’t care, I want to know that when my friend gets hit by a bus, someone can pay for him to live, ’cause he sure as hell can’t afford health insurance.

The only thing that people think is un-American is, in reality, secularism. We don’t wan’ ’em fags marryin’, it’ll desiccate married folk – we need our guns incase the government rises against us – muslims is evil an’ god loves football and hot dogs and apple pie and bombing brown people. (Yes, clinging to there guns and religion is right.)

I am getting sick and tired of being called un-American by right wing nutcase christian family members (who were born in places like Zimbabwe and haven’t even been US citizens as long as I have – fucking retarded) simply because I God is a fairy tale and I wish George W. Bush was.


Democrats Have Higher IQs than Republicans

Found a really interesting post on Half Sigma about how the average IQ of the parties shifts as smarter people move away from certain values and ideas. From the post:

Once upon a time, the Democratic Party was the party of the less intelligent and the Republican Party was the party of the more intelligent.

But today, the Democratic Party is the party of both the less intelligent and the more intelligent while the Republican Party is the party of the middle. This doesn’t seem to me like a stable situation.

It remains to be seen if the 2004 data is a fluke: either a statistical fluke or related to a specific antipathy that high IQ respondents have to George W. Bush and not to the Republican Party as a whole.

Well, I guess that was kind of obvious actually. It goes along nicely with some new research that suggests that people who startle more easily tend to be more conservative and another, older study I remembered that found that liberals’ brains were more able to change and remain open to new experiences and ideas.


Hillsborough County Democratic Primary

This shouldn’t be this hard. But if anyone else wants to see who they should vote for (if they’re even going to show up) follow this:

Official Primary Ballot

Democratic Party

Hillsborough County, Florida

August 26, 2008

Representative in Congress, District 9

These people are normally so useless in real life that I struggle to find something that I like in them that I believe they will actually do. Our Congressional Representatives are normally overwhelmed and become politically castrated after one session (that is if they even show up.) Anita de Palma seems to me the most interesting of the bunch. She’s the only woman, the oldest, and not a career politician (and she has a degree from Julliard.) However I don’t think she has what it takes to survive in the Congress. John Dicks is says he’s a Blue Dog, but doesn’t seem to even understand what that means. He whines about energy speculation and says he’ll do something about it. Great Dicks, you’re going to restructure our economic system? Good luck, you’re an idiot. That leaves the favorite, Bill Mitchell, boring, experienced and kind of conservative, but this is Florida, and we have to be reasonable that for our Congressional candidate, we need people who can compete on a state level at least. At least he went to Berkeley and opposes off shore drilling.

My Vote: Bill Mitchell

Board of County Commissioners, District 6

In the race between Kevin Beckner, Denise Lanyne and Joe Redner, we have the first and only no brainer. Redner is a small, old, possibly gay (depending on if you believe him or not) raging liberal. He has taken on the Supreme Court, is the father of the lap dance, but most importantly: he single handedly fought everything Ronda Storms ever did. He does not believe in men in the sky judging your life and annoys Republicans so much that they have thrown chairs at him on national television. Beckner and Lanye aren’t bad, but this lot of County Commissioners are tired and boring. I can’t think of any better shot in the arm for Tampa than Joe Redner.

My Vote: Joe Redner

Circuit Judge, 13th Circuit, Group 1

Jason D. Montes: Ok well I can’t vote for someone who want to be a judge and has only been a lawyer for six years. Plus, his opening words on his website are “As some of you already know, I have been pondering and praying on whether to run as a judicial candidate here in Hillsborough County” WTF? I know we live in Florida, but does God have to tell you to run for a job worth $145 grand a year when you’re $14 grand in the hole? Jesus! And the guy is a freaking Mason, sorry, can’t do it.

Caroline Tesche: Her website does not open everything in _target = new like Montes, and she doesn’t ask god whether or not to run for public office. Plus she likes the Orchestra and is not a Mason. She has all the experience and whatnot, but more importantly, she’s not a Mason J

My Vote: Caroline Tesche

Circuit Judge, 13th Circuit, Group 2

Miriam Velez Vs. Samantha Ward: Well this is a tough one. There is not a whole lot of info on either of them, but Velez has at least made an appeal to people who are not in their 90s. Ward doesn’t even have a website whereas Velez has everything from facebook to youtube channels. Ward is only 47, but seems to be living in the early 50s, I don’t think I can vote for her. Next time get a website Sammy and I’ll be able to find out WHY I SHOULD FREAKING VOTE FOR YOU. God. This should be an easy process, not something that the public have to rip through old case files to find out about you. Have a site, say what you stand for, have some way to back it up and do it better than the other guy – NOT HARD.

My Vote: Miriam Velez

Circuit Judge, 13th Circuit, Group 7

Kevin Carey and Catherine M. Catlin are a great example of how bad coverage can make informed decisions so difficult. It took forever to find out that even though these two are really, boringly similar, Carey has been doing a mediocre job, and is slow and annoying, holding up courts and being a pain. I’ll give Catlin my vote because these people need to be recycled anyway.

My Vote: Catherine M. Catlin

Circuit Judge, 13th Circuit, Group 21

With both Lisa Campbell and Linda Courtney Clark in a tight race for the ugliest website for any local election, Lisa Campbell comes out ahead not just in having a slightly less hideous site, but also has far more experience and seems to be like by both local papers. She also has a bunch of papers on alternatives to incarceration, while Clark has a hair cut that I’m sure she got at her Church.

My Vote: Lisa Campbell

Circuit Judge, 13th Circuit, Group 30

In the Martha Cook vs. Constance Daniels race, I think Cook has to win this hands down. Not only do her and her family’s clothing match on her website, but her awful little dogs all have matching collars. She seems to have been a reasonable judge in the past, and has a ton of experience. My choices here are between to happy-claps, but its non-partisan, so there’s not a lot I can do. Daniels on the other hand is not particularly impressive. She has nothing on her site other than a “give me money” button and a nice letter about pillars of justice or something. Also, she was fired from the Hillsborough County Public Defender’s Office – if you are bad enough at your job not to be able to do Government work, you clearly suck.

My Vote: Martha Cook

School Board Member, District 7

Ok, right off the bat I can’t vote for Jason Mims. He has some very grammatically creative sentences on his site. Now I can’t spell worth a damn and half the time never read what I’ve just written, but that’s because I don’t care. This man is running for the School Board… and he can’t even take the time to get someone who speaks English to read over his angst-filled letter-to-the-people.

The fight between Stephan Gorham and Carol W. Kurdell is a little tougher. They have some nice endorsements (though why anyone should care who the firefighters think should run for School Board is beyond me) and have reasonable websites. Kurdell has served four terms, which is 16 years of doing this stuff (which means she’s insane or actually likes it), and Gorham has fresh ideas and optimism. Fortunately I found out that Gorham is currently a technology administrator at HCC, which means he’s an idiot. Congratulations Kurdell. Kurdell also lives in South Tampa as apposed to Gorham’s Plant City address – anyone willing to live out there and be in the National Guard will probably try and get students to carry guns and that evolution thing thrown out.
My Vote: Carol W. Kurdell

Politics Rant

The God Disconnect

The other day I was sitting in a café listening to a conversation between a couple of extremely young “adults”. The one charming youngster said “Hey, you know those tall birds that don’t fly, you know the ones that walk alongside the road? Well, yesterday I was driving down the road at like 60 or something, and one was there and I hit it with my truck, cause it can’t fly you know, and then it flew after I hit it! It was so funny, those things look so funny with their long legs!” When his female companion asked if he felt regret, he said: “NO! It was the bird’s fault, it shouldn’t have been in the road.”  I repressed the urge to vomit and then punch him – The only reason I was listening in on their conversation was that the girl was reading a Lush For Life – clearly the only one with a mind in the group.

I can only assume that the truck owner was talking about one of many Sandhill Cranes that grace our fair city – and yes, they can fly. They’re creatures that many Tampa Bay natives can relate to. They mate for life, both parents feed the young live to over twenty-five and don’t breed until about seven years old. Almost tame, they have become completely at home in the city, but they still have a bird-sized brain.

So what did this young dipshit who delighted in running a fellow Earthling over teach us about people? Well, there are a type sub-human who lives in our world who is completely disconnected from the fact that they are part of this world and not simply residents of it. They feel that the Earth is like a rental property, that they don’t really have a stake in, it’s a structure built to house them. They feel as if they were put here, left on Earth by aliens, God, or some otherworldly power. They have no real feeling that they grew out of this world, part of it, and as a result, connected. Killing a “lesser” creature is as meaningless as wiping his ass.

Sandhill Cranes get it pretty rough. Recently a few were mutilated, tortured and killed in Wesley Chapel. Now I don’t think that the person or persons who committed those acts simply feel disconnected, they’re mostly likely sick, have a severe brain injury or were nicely beaten and raped as children. They demonstrate another societal illness, but the average Joe who says “Who cares? It’s not like those birds are endangered or human” is the root of those very ills that create bird-torturing monsters. Not feeling that deep connection with your world allows you to do things like beat your children, throw trash into rivers, assume scientists are lying to you about Global Warming and vote Republican. It is an attitude of defeat, one that says, “It’s not my problem; I didn’t do it; Even if it was a problem, there’s nothing I could do about it.” And I think I know what in our culture keeps this attitude alive, God.

Monotheism says that there is a Man in the sky who is watching us at all times and wants us to follow His rules. He made us. He put us here. And He left us with perfect, divine instructions on how to run our lives and it is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and when we die, if we’ve been good, we’ll go to a place where everything is happy and perfect and unicorns and candy-canes for all. It is fine to suffer and be miserable in this world, because it’s just the studying part for a test where, if you pass, you go to paradise. Just suck it up for your four-score and seven and then things will get better. And I’m OK with that. Those religions teach nothing evil, cruel or truly awful, but not only is that a simplistic way of looking at God, but it leaves you with only a peep hole into this world.