Friday, August 29, 2008

Miami Herald is catching up with Annette Taddeo

Annette Taddeo's appeal as a candidate is so strong that when the big media finally listen to her, they see the logic -- she is a winner, and she's running against an incumbent with a long history on the wrong side of a ton of issues.

Here's a link to a solid report in the Miami Herald from Taddeo's appearance at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. The same line has been appearing for months in this blog and in Eye on Ileana, the watch blog dedicated to the defeat of Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the incumbent in FL-18. Thank you, Miami Herald political reporters, for catching on. Here's a link to one of my posts on this race, this one in early July.

I am one of a large crowd of Taddeo supporters who go out and canvass and phone-bank for her. My home is in FL-18, but you don't have to be a resident to help her. Check out her website,, and sign up. This is the way Annette Taddeo will win, and so will we.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Two very bad months coming for John McCain

This doctor and former governor of Vermont came on the stage just now
and said: "My name is Howard Dean, I'm the chair of the DNC, and I know how many
houses I have."

On the train en route to Invesco Field I met an Obama advance man from a western state, and he said that John McCain was about to start "the worst two months of his life."

Howard Dean just confirmed that.

Sent from my iPhone

Live from Invesco Field 3pm Denver time

If there were sound and motion pictures you'd be hearing a country
music performance. Didn't catch the name of the group. Five hours to
the big speech. Hope to avoid sunstroke!

Raul Martinez leads new poll in FL-21

Raul Martinez and his son Raul Jr. at breakfast Thursday with Florida
delegation in Denver. Great news in Roll Call -- poll of 632 likely
voters in Fl-21 shows Martinez leading Lincoln Diaz-Balart 48% to 46%.

Downtown Denver is crazy for Obama

Remember to read the Florida Progressive Coalition blog (link in upper
right corner) for more coverage of the convention.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Glory day at Denver convention for SoFla Congressional candidates

Our congressional candidates from South Florida are getting good exposure at the Denver convention, and Joe Garcia’s magnetism is spreading to the point that he got a boisterous welcome from the crowd Tuesday evening as he joined an on-stage group of candidates the Democratic Party is featuring this year.

He wasn’t the only Floridian – Raul Martinez, challenging in FL-21, and Christine Jennings, challenging in the Sarasota area, were also in the group. But when the DCCC chairman, Chris Van Hollen, called out Joe Garcia as the challenger in FL-25, the Florida delegation led wild and prolonged applause.

Also in Denver was Annette Taddeo, who spoke at a media breakfast Wednesday morning, along with Joe Garcia. Taddeo is challenging in my home district, FL-18, and a very fine candidate is she.

I had the pleasure of inhabiting the same plane as Joe Garcia flying to Denver on Tuesday and saw him getting the card of one of the top fundraisers. So look for his already robust treasury to remain healthy. Joe has raised more than $1 million.

Here’s a link to a National Journal blog about Joe’s appearance, and here’s a Miami Herald story about the event, with mention of the $1.4 million the Democratic Party plans to spend on advertising for the congressional candidates.

For your viewing pleasure

The Diaz-Balart brothers are stars of this little video.

(Tried to embed it but that function flopped, but the link below should work, too. The video also can be seen at

Tuesday progressive panels in Big Tent at Denver

There’s a tremendous amount of progressive stuff going on around the convention in Denver and much is pointed at the bloggers. The Big Tent, where the bloggers are concentrated, has an upstairs hall where panels lay plans and speculate hopefully about the new world around the corner in an Obama administration.

Here are some notes from Tuesday afternoon’s panels under the rubric of Take Back America (check out

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-IL, beat the drum hard for universal health care, pointing out it was the main complaint she heard canvassing voters in the ultimately successful drive to put a Democrat in the Illinois seat held by former Speaker Dennis Hastert. The result, she said disproved the old nostrum that politicians didn’t care about the issue because “no politician ever has lost for being against universal health care.”

“Sixty people a day die for lack of health insurance,” she said.

Barack Obama must be backed by a movement of people demanding universal health care to make it happen, she said.

U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee of California said the modest progress in Congress on the Iraq war issue is entirely due to relentless pressure from the progressive community, which must strive to become the mainstream of the Democratic Party.

Eli Pariser, executive director of MoveOn, outlined three main tasks for MoveOn, which was well represented in the audience:
  • Keep telling the story of the Iraq war, how it started and why it may be ending, never giving up on the judgment that it was “fundamentally wrong.”
  • Elect Obama.
  • After victory in November, keep pushing.
  • In a Q-A session afterward, I had the first question, asking him to explain why he hadn’t mentioned Afghanistan in the context of this country’s foreign problems. Pariser said Afghanistan simply didn’t have a broad mandate from MoveOn members, and it was something to keep under consideration.

    Asked about media reform, Pariser said this was a huge concern among MoveOn members, who object to the increasing concentration of media ownership and are passionate about net neutrality.

    Former U.S. Rep. David Bonior made a strong plea for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, which makes it easier to form unions.

    Arianna Huffington, co-founder of Huffington Post, declared that the American public is shifting in its political views. “This is a progressive country now,” she said.

    Talking about building progressive infrastructure, she said new media had several important tasks, among them:
  • “Define the new center.”
  • “Build communities around it.”
  • Media should have a light side as well as serious analysis and comment, to attract those who want to follow celebrities and to help people live without stress.

    Her big mission: “Relentlessly pursue the truth about John McCain.”

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Denver animal behavior problem

You see the oddest stuff making your way from one blog task to the
next, and maybe this is better than blogging the political.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Defede out at WFTL

New this morning: Jim Defede joins his former producer, Nicole Sandler, in radio exile...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

McCain flip flop on the Supremes. He voted FOR the libs

Catching up rather late on this one, but what the hay. Never too late to show what a fool the Republicans have running for president.

This is from one of the sharp political blogs, Political Wire, and I'll quote the piece in full. Short and sweet.

Just Asking
During his weekend interview with Rev. Rick Warren, Sen. John McCain said that if he were president he would have never nominated Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, David Souter or John Paul Stevens to the Supreme Court.

McCain wasn't a senator when Stevens was nominated, but why did he nevertheless vote to confirm Ginsburg, Breyer, and Souter?

It seems he was for them before he was against them.

Joe Biden introduces himself

Many were hungry for him. I heard this canvassing this evening on Miami Beach, a chunk of Normandy Isle where big homes on the water are next to rather neglected properties – Florida, right?

A lovely lady from Haiti with a sparkly grandchild on her arm was thrilled to have the Obama campaign knock on her door, and quickly signed up as a volunteer. Next, she signed the absentee ballot form. “I was so happy to have Joe Biden chosen,” she said.

Those who assert that they’re sitting on the fence because Sen. Clinton wasn’t chosen must consider what they’re doing by withholding enthusiasm. We still need volunteers and donations and spirit.

Full vote realized for Florida delegates

A great headline in the Miami Herald’s online reporting Sunday afternoon, from Denver:

“Florida Delegates regain full vote at national convention”

I go on to imagine that the two bylines on that story, the Herald’s most experienced political reporters, Beth Reinhard and Lesley Clark, follow up by promising to eat the many words they wrote 6-8 months ago declaring that our votes in the Jan. 29 primary wouldn’t count because our delegates wouldn’t be seated.

Nothing personal against them. They were among many in the media herd who swallowed the Rovian line and dismissed the importance of Floridians going to vote. There was some real controversy about the circumstances, I concede, but I argued repeatedly in this blog (a link to one example) that in the end the Florida delegates would be seated – and with full votes most likely. And it was flat wrong of the flagship newspaper in Florida to say, in effect, that people shouldn’t bother to vote.

Shame, shame, shame. What about a newspaper’s civic duty?

Even after Florida voted in unusually large numbers, even after Rudy Giuliani dropped out because of the Florida result, even after John Edwards dropped out because of the Florida result, the media kept on saying the vote hadn’t counted. And that the convention delegates wouldn’t be seated. Even though it was entirely predictable that the eventual nominee would seat all delegations.

And there was another great story in the Miami Herald on Sunday, p. 1 reporting that Florida Democrats see redemption ahead in Denver. Wow, your blogger was quoted favorably to the effect that he had known all along that it would turn out OK.

''I feel vindicated because I was always confident that in the end things would work out,'' said Democratic activist Larry Thorson, who campaigned for months with a cardboard cutout of Obama on street corners across Miami-Dade when the real candidate wouldn't come because the state had been stripped of its delegates.

Now Thorson's headed to Denver to blog for the Miami-Dade Democratic Party -- and see the walking-and-talking Illinois senator claim the nomination.

''I wish it had started six months ago in Florida, but there's been a real crescendo of activity,'' he said.

A caveat: It was Dave Patlak who had campaigned for months with the Obama cutout, and I just happened to join him and his wife, Maryanne, when the Herald was doing a story on him as an early and vigorous Obama activist.

See y’all in Denver, Herald political reporters.

And fyi, here’s a great source for you, Alison Morano, a Florida delegate and blogger who fired off a triumphant email at 2:29 p.m. today saying:

The credentials committee of the DNC just restored floridas votes in full!

Alison Morano
Full Florida Delegate

Florida bloggers covering Denver convention

You already can see some of the Florida bloggers’ coverage of the Democratic National Convention. Go to the Florida Progressive Coalition Blog and there’s a video of how it was to drive toward Denver with Tropical Storm Fay on the outside of the car and a George Carlin tape rolling inside. Ba-dum!

And you can order text-message reports by texting quinnelk to 58888.

In six days we’ll know how this venture has worked out, but in the meantime, there’s a Florida flavor to what the NY Times reported Saturday as “The year of the political blogger has arrived.”

Florida has a half-dozen full members of the Convention Bloggers Team, plus three other members of the Florida Progressive Coalition who are attending and will pitch in wherever they can to provide blogging, photos, video, Internet radio, Twitter and other stuff I may be forgetting. I’m one of the latter group and am still in South Florida while most of the others are en route or begging for airplanes finally to take off after that pesky tropical storm disrupted flight plans. I plan to fly to Denver Tuesday and hit the last few days with all the energy possible.

The idea is to provide more coverage on the FPC blog of the Florida delegation than the public could see on Sunshine State media outlets of the mainstream variety.

And that is the very same reason (take away the Florida aspect) why hundreds of bloggers from around the country are in the media throng in Denver – to provide alternate, and possible better, coverage of a political event.

And win new readers.

In addition to the NY Times, DailyKos also worked on this angle Saturday with a front-page piece reporting on the NY Times article as well as making Kossak observations about the Times’ placement of the article in its Fashion & Style pages rather than in a more serious place. Click over to the Times link above and see the dazzling larger photo that illustrates the article.

Kos comments:

And as an aside, it's hard to imagine anything more hilarious than Phillip Anderson of The Albany Project--aka DailyKos's own lipris--posing with a brew, a dog, a Mac, and a baseball cap in his usual (how shall we say this?) casual apparel under a blazing Fashion & Style masthead.

Funny thing is, if the traditional media doesn't get its expense act together and learn how to cut costs and compete in the new media environment, the guy in the baseball cap--and all of us he represents--is going to have the last laugh.

That’s the main drift of the Kos piece: that mainstream media costs are stratospheric, and we skinny folks lugging laptops and $100 Flip video cameras will beat them into their gold-plated dust.

The Florida Progressive Coalition team probably will announce its modest budget when the dust settles. Suffice to say that much was raised with $25 donations.

As an example of what we’re doing, there’s the live-blogging on Blast Off the other day when Hillary Clinton was at FAU to cajole her supporters into backing Obama. Blogger Sinfonian admits that the “quality sucks” but he’s exactly right in saying that “the money shot is the last sentence.”

Which said:

“Anyone who supported me has much more in common with Senator Obama than with Senator McCain.”

Sinfonian’s report has several minutes of context – unlike the mainstreams who’d only report the sound bite – and the public has a chance to make up its own mind. Horray for comprehensive reporting. I am a camera. Let it roll for a while and people will take a few minutes and watch.

Anyone who'd like to support the blogging team is welcome to donate. One way is to go to and donate through the Florida Progressive Coalition account (,

You can write a check to Florida Progressive Coalition and send it to:
Kenneth Quinnell
3328 Whirlaway Trail
Tallahassee, FL 32309