CA-04: UPDATED: Brown 1,800 Votes Behind

(From the diaries – promoted by James L.)

Tom “The Carpetbagger” McClintock’s lead is down to 359 votes, down from a lead that was once over 1,000 votes. The gap closed with the addition of provisional and absentee ballots from Nevada County (Brown’s strong area in the district). There are now 2 counties left to report (El Dorado and Placer), which happen to be two of the closer counties. McClintock right now has slight leads in both of them, but provisionals are expected to favor Brown at a higher rate than normal ballots.

According to this post at edhtelegraph, Brown has a decent chance of winning:

Results today from Nevada County indicate Brown is getting 6 percentage points more of the provisional votes than Tom McClintock compared to the proportion of regular and mail-in ballots.

If the remaining uncounted ballots in Placer and El Dorado Counties follow the same pattern where the uncounted mail-in ballots match the proportions from November 4 while Brown gets a 6% edge of the provisional ballots then Brown will squeak out a win. This assumes that 10% of the provisional ballots are no good.

Let’s hope these remaining ballots come out this way. I think the big question mark will be who the absentee ballots favor, while provisionals should definitely favor Brown.

UPDATE (DavidNYC): Apparently, Placer County has finished counting and Brown is now 1,793 votes back.

LATE UPDATE (DavidNYC): The Sacramento Bee says that only 4,500 ballots are left to be counted in the whole district. Brown would need 70% of those to pull even.

ANOTHER UPDATE (DavidNYC): This piece says that only 4,100 votes are uncounted and that McClintock has all but declared victory. However, in another twist, the Brown camp says that there were some 10,000 undervotes district-wide. The issue, of course, is what percentage of these were intentional undervotes.

The problem for Brown, though, is that right now, the margin stands at 0.6%, just outside the 0.5% threshhold which would mandate a hand-recount of 10% of the ballots. So we might not get to find out if there were systemic machine problems that produced false undervotes. No matter what, this one is looking extremely tough right now.

Florida Senate Outlook: Three Key Races

Cross-Posted from FLA Politics. This is a look at three key Senate races that are shaping up this election cycle in Florida. Currently Republicans hold a 26-14 seat advantage in the Senate. To win back the chamber before the next round of redistricting (Florida is likely to gain 2 seats) Democrats would likely need to win three seats this year and another three-four seats in 2010. Alternatively, we could go after the state House (Republicans lead 77-43).

Today I'm taking a look at three Senate races that I think Democrats have excellent shots at winning. Two of them are tough races against ethically challenged Republicans in swing districts and another is an open seat contest in an area where Democrats have started taking over in a matter of a couple years.

25th District

[Note: News has just come out that Skip Campbell is considering dropping out of the race. If this were to happen, our chances of picking up the seat would depend on the replacement candidate.]

On the top of everyone's radar will be the 25th district race that puts Republican incumbent Jeff Atwater against Democratic insurgent candidate Skip Campbell. The district takes in eastern Palm Beach and Broward counties on the coast, an area that recent Democratic presidential and congressional candidates have won. If there is such a thing as a swing district in Florida Senatorial politics, this is it.

Atwater has a huge campaign war chest (more than $1.6 million), but Campbell can self fund and already has high name recognition, being a former state Senator and the 2006 Democratic candidate for Attorney General of Florida. In that campaign, Campbell actually carried the 25th district, so if he can do it one more time, we'll have a new Democratic state Senator. Current polling already show him ahead. As an added bonus, Atwater is set to be Senate President so a victory here would be huge.

Besides the excellent knowledge and being on the right side of issues that Campbell brings to this race, the fact that Atwater is following in the steps of many other corrupt Republican officials should be enough for voters to reject him. Not only has he been caught accepting campaign contribution, while the legislature was in session (illegal in Florida), but he also was caught paying outsourcers thousands in taxpayer dollers, even while the state faced a budget shortfall. The last thing we need right now are more members in the legislature that play games with ethics and that's exactly what Jeff Atwater represents.

23rd District

In the 23rd district (open seat) Democrats now have a very credible candidate in Morgan Bentley, President of the Sarasota Bar Association. Bentley will take on either former Rep. Nancy Detert or current Rep. Michael Grant. This is a race I'm particularly interested in, because I would love to see Democrats continue to kick Republicans out of Sarasota County elected office. Democrats gained big in the county in 2006, including a Sarasota County victory by Christine Jennings, and then added icing on the top with huge special election victories last year in the Venice City Commission. Even the Republicans have been admitting their losses in the County.

“The Democrats have a reason to crow,” Sarasota Republican Party Chairman Eric Robinson said. “They won. The county is becoming more liberal.”

The three registered Democrats running did not simply beat three incumbent Republicans — they all won by more than 30 percentage points. That has Democrats proclaiming a new era of competitiveness in Sarasota County, fueling hope that next year they can win another legislative seat, countywide seats and more city races.

But in some ways, the victories were not surprising. They follow two years of steady gains by Democrats, during which registered Democrats have won the majority of seats on the Sarasota City Commission, picked up seats in the Legislature and won two countywide seats on the School Board and Charter Review Board.

In addition, Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate, Congress and chief financial officer all carried the county.

If we work on it, the 23rd will be a fun race to take from the Republican column in November and this one is an open race, so there is less of an incumbent advantage.

11th District

Finally, Vietnam veteran and Democratic candidate Fred Taylor will take on the ethically challenged Republican Senator Mike Fasano in the 11th district, which takes in the western portions of Citrus, Hernando, and Pasco counties and northern Pinellas County. This is an ideal swing district and has been known to support Democratic and Republican candidates in statewide elections. In the 2000 presidential race, there was a virtual tie at 48.5%. There are signs that the FDP is putting some attention into this race, with the presence of Taylor and a new Veterans caucus onstage at the JJ dinner.

The problem will be taking out an incumbent who has served previously in the state House and was elected to the Senate in 2002. Fasano has raised a more manageable $338,000 though and Taylor himself raised a respectable $14,000+ last quarter. It will be interesting to see what those figures are for the next quarter, but this is a race we should definitely watch and work on, because it's winnable, especially if 2008 turns into another vote out the bums election.

Right now I would say the 23rd and 25th districts will be the top races, but there is also a great chance the 11th district race will become competitive.

Candidates on the Web:

Skip Campbell

Morgan Bentley

Fred Taylor

FL-25: Restoring the Everglades w/ Joe Garcia & New S FL Polling Numbers

If you would like to help Joe’s campaign, consider donating to my Give in to Garcia ActBlue page. I’ve set a goal of reaching 50 contributions by November and we’re almost 1/5th of the way there. If two people at SSP contribute, we’ll meet that milestone!

Firstly, as a bonus to SSP readers, a new South Florida poll has just been released. From the Miami Herald/Zogby, Obama leads in South Florida by 16 points over John McCain in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties.

Among a crucial voting block in our three congressional races, Hispanics, he leads McCain 40 to 35 percent. If Obama is winning Hispanics even in South Florida, he’s going to expand on Democrats’ slight statewide Hispanic victory in 2006, as it only gets better with Hispanics in other parts of the state. If the polling is accurate, this is definitely a good sign for our three challengers and could signify they might be able to break even with South Florida Hispanics in the fall election.

As the article indicates, Cuban Americans just don’t care about the Cuba issue to the same degree as they did in the past and they are also beginning to trust Democrats more on travel restrictions and family remittances.

But Democrats point to signs that the Hispanic community’s political stripes are changing. A protest Saturday outside Obama’s speech in Miami drew only about three dozen people, mostly older Cuban-Americans. The group attacked Obama for surrounding himself with two high-level advisors who helped send Cuban rafter Elián González back to his father in Cuba.

When the custody battle raged eight years ago, Cuban-Americans rose up in droves. ”We understand the Elián González issue is something that passed, and that it was not Obama’s fault,” said Ramón Saúl Sánchez of the Miami-based Democracy Movement, who tussled with the federal agents who seized Elián from his relatives’ home in Little Havana. “People are giving more weight to other issues, like lifting the travel ban.”

More good news is that Obama is leading the independent vote 33-20 percent. Independents make up about a third of voters in the South Florida congressional districts. If these voters go straight downticket Democratic, then it will be a boost to our chances of victory.

While this is certainly good news, I would also like to give you some reasons besides Joe’s outstanding electability to support his campaign.

As the end of the quarter approaches this week, I would like to cover why Joe Garcia’s race is important, especially to progressives who want a Congress with more and better Democrats. As several commenters have mentioned on The Top Ten Races post at Open Left, Joe’s race against Bush rubberstamp Mario Diaz-Balart, could be a key symbol of the 2008 election.

One of the reasons the 25th district could be a symbol of change is an issue which has often been neglected on the national scene, the environment, a cause which Joe has often spoke up about. Joe previously served in the environmentally sensitive post of Chairperson of the Florida Public Service Commission. While serving there, he established preservation policies in our public utilities, only approved power plants fueled by natural gas (No coal plants), and required public water plants to adhere to higher standards set by the EPA.

In a live-blog at Firedoglake, when asked about dangerous mercury levels, Joe said this about environmental causes:

As the Representative that sits over some of the most precious wetlands in the country, I will ensure that the environment, and the preservation of natural resource, is foremost on the national agenda.

There is not only a need to control mercury levels, we must also work toward reducing carbon emissions and confront the challenges of global climate change.

It’s a good thing we have Joe running for this seat because the 25th district is one of the most environmentally sensitive races in 2008. This district contains Everglades National Park, the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States and a national treasure of breathtaking beauty. The park has been designated an International Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site, and a Wetland of International Importance. It boasts rare and endangered species, such as the American crocodile, the Florida panther, and the West Indian manatee.

In the 25th district, we can replace a Republican who represents the Everglades but refuses to protect it. Diaz-Balart’s environmental record is so poor that he has a 10% lifetime rating from the League of Conservation Voters. Recently Diaz-Balart even admitted that he was wrong about originally supporting an Everglades Restoration bill after John McCain said he thought it was a bad idea. This change of heart came days before his presidential fundraiser with top South Florida business lobbyists and oil executives.

We need a Democrat representing the Everglades who will always stand up for environmental causes and more importantly we need one who cares about leaving the natural preservation in better shape than our generation found it. This is because the Everglades is under imminent threat. It has suffered significant degradation in recent decades and will be irreversibly damaged if we do not act soon.

Fortunately, we have the opportunity to replace the incumbent with a proven environmental leader. Joe Garcia will be a strong advocate for environmental issues. Joe understands that the Everglades not only deserves to be cherished for its remarkable beauty, but also it is a critical part of Florida’s delicate ecosystem.

Joe on cleaning up the Everglades:

The Army Corps of Engineers produced a report that in order to save the Southern Everglades from drying out, an 11-mile skyway was required. So far, the Bush administration, and the current leadership, have failed us on this issue.

Preserving and protecting our Everglades will be central to my efforts in Congress.

The preservation of the Everglades are important to Florida, our environment and they feed some of the most important hatcheries in the world.

Joe strongly supports the 11-mile Skyway proposal to restore the natural water flow of the Everglades. By contrast, Diaz-Balart supports the short-sighted one-mile alternative which the scientific community concurs will have little to no effect on the overall health of the Everglades. The restoration of the natural water-flow of the Everglades impacts future water supplies and land subsidence in South Florida; and this is critical considering the anticipated rise in sea levels. This is why Joe Garcia has stated one of his top priorities upon election will be to fully fund the 11-mile project and assure that this crucial step in restoring the Everglades is completed.

The Everglades is too important to allow it to be represented by a Congressman with absolutely no regard for the environment. Let’s help elect Joe Garcia to Congress so we have someone representing the Everglades who will always stand up to protect it and fight for a cleaner future.

The Everglades is just one reason to support Joe Garcia in our effort to take back South Florida. Please help Joe’s campaign by contributing on my ActBlue page or you can visit his website here.

FL-25: Bush Holds Fundraiser for Mario Tomorrow, Give in to Joe Garcia

Help give a strong start to the ActBlue page! I’ve set a goal of 50 contributors, I know we can do this.

On Friday George Bush will be coming to Naples to raise money for Mario Diaz-Balart, one of his most loyal rubberstamps in Congress. With the quarter fundraising deadline approaching, this means Blue Majority endorsed candidate Joe Garcia is going to need our help more than ever to help match Diaz-Balart's special interest money. I'm proposing a blog-raiser for Joe Garcia and if you think it's a good idea, I would like your help to pull it off!


Goal Thermometer

So what did it take for Diaz-Balart to get Bush's money you ask? He simply had to give in. Just this week, Diaz-Balart did a 180 on oil drilling off the Florida coast. In doing so, he gave in to Bush, big oil companies, and the special interests groups that have benefited at the expense of average Americans over the last eight years. In exchange, Diaz-Balart has already received over $20,000 from energy PACs in his sweet crude deal that is bad for the environment and bad for Floridians.

This isn't the first time Diaz-Balart has given up his principles at the expense of average Americans though. When John McCain came under fire for voting against an Everglades Restoration bill recently, a bill which Mario Diaz-Balart voted three times in favor of, Mario told the media "McCain was right and I was wrong."

On our side, we have a strong progressive Democrat running a grassroots campaign. He supports Everglades restoration 100% of the time and he doesn't accept money from big business PACs. He supports an energy solution that will move America towards alternative sources of energy, a health care policy that covers every American, and the Responsible Plan for Iraq that will bring our money and soldiers home safely.

Diaz-Balart gave in to the special interest groups to raise campaign money. As you can see, he's a corrupt politician who fills his cash coffers simply by rubberstamping a top-down policy that has put America back a century. Let's help Joe Garcia fight back by matching Bush's money dollar for dollar.

If you would like to help promote this, please email me at magic_star40 (@) yahoo (dot) com

Alternatively, if you would like to contribute to Joe's campaign, I've created an ActBlue page (Give in to Garcia). You can also check out Joe's website here.

FL-25: Co-Host Joe Garcia Event in New York/Netroots!

Please visit the Act Blue Page and tell Diaz-Balart what you think of his attacks.

On April 21st (next Monday!), Joe Garcia will be attending an event with Rep. Charlie Rangel in New York. Joe’s opponent, Bush rubberstamp Mario Diaz-Balart is trying to divide the South Florida community with the event, calling Joe and Rep. Rangel “left-wing extremists.” This of course is sticking with the Diaz-Balart campaign theme. When Joe announced his campaign, he was called a “Castro-sympathizer” and Diaz- Balart said Joe’s run was an attempt “to overthrow him from Congress.” Except the facts are that Joe has been standing up for Democracy in Cuba his entire life and he opposes the Bush/Diaz-Balart restrictions on travel and family remittances, which have taken power away from the Cuban people.

Mario Diaz-Balart on the other hand has made hypocritical attacks. He’s taken over $80,000 in campaign contributions from special interests and PACs with ties to the Cuban government, many of them who have lobbied against the embargo. At the same time Diaz-Balart continues to call powerful members of Congress “communists,” partisan rhetoric that makes it difficult to get anything done for the 25th district. This is part of the reason the district ranks 407th out of 435 in the US in terms of performance from their representative, even though it’s one of the poorest districts in the nation and could use significant help from the government.

Help fight back against Diaz-Balart’s rediculous hyprocrisy and red- baiting by co-hosting Joe Garcia’s event in New York. Together we can show that we support a politics that rejects special interest groups and embrace one that moves the country forward on combating challenges like protecting the Everglades and taking on climate change, expanding health care coverage to all, and bringing a responsible end to the war in Iraq.

Help get the fundraiser off to a start at the Act Blue Page with even a $5 or $10 contribution, really that’s all it takes! If Republicans are going to use misleading and McCarthist attacks, we need to show our numbers and make them pay for it, every single time.

There will also likely be a virtual event, either a live-blog or townhall, with Joe Garcia before or after the event on Monday, so we truely will be co-hosting!

Thank you for your support!

FL-25: Garcia Exposes Republican Hypocrisy

Mario Diaz-Balart and the Republicans have been caught in another moment of hypocrisy. Over the past few days they have been throwing out charges against Rep. Charlie Rangel, an important Chair of a committee who can bring financial assistance to Miami, and Joe Garcia calling them “left-wing extremists” among other name-calling. As it is, Rep. Rangel served this country heroically in the military and was honored for it and Joe Garcia has been an consistent supporter for Democracy in Cuba and is a former Chair of CANF.

Well now it turns out Mario Diaz-Balart has accepted over $80,000 in campaign contributions from people who do business with Cuba and have advocated against the embargo. That’s right, he didn’t just meet with lobbyists opposed to the embargo, he actually took their money and has been using it to get elected.


Under fire for inviting an anti-embargo congressman to a campaign fundraiser, Democrat Joe Garcia sought to turn the tables Friday, assailing his Republican rival for accepting campaign contributions from companies with ties to the Cuban government.

Garcia said he disagrees with Rangel’s stance on Cuba, but agrees with him on issues including healthcare, education and reducing taxes on the middle class.

Leaders in South Florida’s Venezuelan community have called on Garcia to drop Rangel, but the president of Garcia’s former employer, the Cuban American National Foundation, defended Garcia’s decision.

Francisco “Pepe” Hernández said he and former CANF leader Jorge Mas Canosa were attacked for meeting with former Sen. Claude Pepper, who at the time was considered liberal.

“Jorge Mas Canosa always said we have to have powerful friends and weak enemies,” said Hernández, noting that he and Mas Canosa also met with Rangel several times.

Garcia accused his opponent — along with his brother, Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen — of accepting campaign contributions from companies that are interested in doing business with Cuba or are already doing business with the Cuban government, including Ryder Systems, whose CEO has advocated lifting of the embargo, and Wal-Mart, whose Canadian subsidiary, Wal-Mart Canada, has sold Cuban-made pajamas at its Canadian stores.

Actually it doesn’t end there. The Diaz-Balart campaign managed to shoot out this lame response.

“The contributions he cites are in no way related to our stance on Cuba policy because our position on Cuba policy is diametrically opposed to companies that seek to do business with Cuba.”

Sounds like the rhetoric of a one-issue candidate who apparently can’t even do things right on that issue to me.

Joe Garcia actually has a plan on Cuba. He opposed the Bush/Diaz-Balart restrictions on travel and family remittances. In Congress he will work to get them repealed, because he believes democracy in Cuba starts by returning power to make change back to the ordinary citizens of the country.

A change on foreign policy is one reason Joe Garcia was endorsed by Blue America today.

Help keep the momentum going.

Joe Garcia for Congress
Blue Majority Page

FL-25: Sign the Petition, Call on the Republicans to End the Redbaiting

Sign the petition and help spread the word.

Another article in today's Miami Herald expresses the continued desire for Republicans to scare and divide the South Florida community.

On Thursday, those stances prompted the Independent Venezuelan American Citizens and 18 graduates of Garcia's old high school in Miami — several with Republican ties — to call on him to ''renounce'' Rangel's support. Outraged Cuban Americans have also been blasting the two men's connection on Spanish-language radio and blogs.

''We want to alert Joe that he's making a mistake,'' said Ernesto Ackerman, president of the non-partisan Venezuelan group. “If you're in a community with a majority of Latin Americans, you have to think about who your allies are going to be.''

Garcia, who is Cuban-American, says he has ''profound disagreements'' with Rangel on foreign policy, but notes that Rangel, who chairs the influential House Ways and Means Committee, could be a key ally in securing federal dollars for the district.

''My job in Congress will be to represent Florida's 25th congressional district — the most poorly federally funded district in Florida — on revitalizing our economy, bringing better jobs to our community, improving education for our children and providing tax relief for middle-class families,'' Garcia said in a statement. 'My history of fighting on behalf of human rights in Cuba and Latin America exceeds my opponent's limited `one-note' accomplishments.''

We need to stand up with Joe and say enough is enough of these tactics.

In South Florida, Mario Diaz-Balart has decided to use fear-mongering and redbaiting tactics against Joe Garcia to scare up votes. Tell Diaz-Balart and the Republicans to stop.

In 2004, the RNCC sent out fliers calling John Kerry a friend of Castro and a communist. Now they're back at the attacks again, this time aimed at Joe Garcia who's taking on Bush rubberstamp Mario Diaz-Balart in the 25th district for Congress. First the Diaz-Balarts called him a Castro-sympathizer, then they called him a communist on talk radio shows, now they're calling Charlie Rangel and Joe Garcia “left-wing extremists” in the Miami Herald. Diaz-Balart said Rep. Charlie Rangel, Chair of the important Ways and Means Committee who decides if money should go to the district is “appeasing our nation's enemies. Left-wing birds of a feather, tax and spend together.” With these statements, Diaz-Balart has jeapordized the entire district's ability to receive important money from Washington, all so he could get a few votes. This is the kind of partisanship that prevents progress, that we need to end in Washington.

We need to help fight back for Joe and tell the Republicans that enough is enough. We won't let them scare up votes this time and distract the real attention away from Diaz-Balart's poor performance for the district, including his votes for more war in Iraq, calling the SCHIP children's health care program an “attack on the Cuban American community”, and his failure to protect the Everglades or revitalize the economy.

We know who will really bring freedom to Cuba. Joe was a leader of the Exodus Project and has spent his entire life on work reuniting Cuban families and fighting for Democracy. He opposed the Bush/Diaz-Balart restrictions on family remittances and he wants to allow Cuban families to have the power to bring about real change by making sure funds meant to help them establish Democracy in Cuba actually reach them instead of partisan interest groups in Washington.

Please sign the petition, pass it on, and take a stand. This time we will be united for change.

FL-25: Joe Garcia and DFA Respond to Diaz-Balart Attacks

While Joe Garcia has been actively reaching out to voters across the 25th district of Florida with a plan that will unite the South Florida community on bringing about the kind of change that will enact universal health care, bring a responsible end to the war in Iraq, tackle climate change and protect the Everglades, and revitalize the economy, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart has been busy pandering to right-wing groups with outlandish statements.

Just two months into the campaign Bush rubberstamp Mario Diaz-Balart has already put his campaign to the level of using fear-mongering, redbaiting, and Rovian style tactics to scare up votes. The latest attacks come from yesterday's Miami Herald in a story in which he attacks both Joe Garcia and Rep. Charlie Rangel as left-wing extremists. This comes a month after the Diaz-Balarts called Joe a sympathizer and friend of Castro.

Joe Garcia, the FDP, and South Florida grassroots supporters are pushing back strongly against these outlandish statements.

I'm disappointed but not surprised. When my family and I decided to enter this race, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart promised to run a campaign based on the issues and his record in Congress. That was a debate I was excited to have.


But we always knew that the better this campaign does–the more supporters we attract, the more events we hold, and the more small-donors who give–the more negative and desperate Mario Diaz-Balart would get. We just never thought he would sink this low, this early.

I've already strongly rejected Mario Diaz-Balart's claims, but I'm comforted in knowing that I'm not alone in this fight. I've got supporters just like you, standing up and demanding change.

Diaz-Balart has based his career on intimidating his opponents and accusing them of being Castro-sympathizers.  He can't pull that stunt on me. I've spent my entire life working for human rights in Cuba.  When he was trying to find his legislative office in Tallahassee, I was already meeting world leaders and walking the halls of Congress on behalf of the Cuban people.

My opponent wants to run a negative campaign based on using the sensitivities of Cuban-Americans for his political gain.  That is wrong and it's the kind of dirty politics we need to move beyond in South Florida.  

While Cuba is an important issue in our community, South Floridians also want better jobs, lower taxes and an end to the Iraq war just like all Americans. It is about time we had someone in Washington that can lead on these issues.


Not only are his attacks rediculous, but they will only hurt the district by ensuring Diaz-Balart is the last who will receive appropiations help from Rep. Rangel. This is part of the reason data shows Diaz-Balart ranking 406 out of all 435 members in terms of performance for their districts. It also helps explain his vote against SCHIP, which denied 14,500 children living in the district health care, but guaranteed tax cuts for tobacco companies who have contributed thousands to his campaign. At a time when the economy is on the decline, the 25th district needs someone who is going to be able to work with members of Congress and get progressive legislation signed into law. Clearly Rep. Diaz-Balart is more concerned about getting re-elected on one-issue than the concerns of the people of South Florida.

Today DFA and Joe Trippi joined in with the following email message:

You and I have seen this attack before.

Yesterday morning, the Miami Herald quoted Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart calling Joe Garcia and his supporters “left-wing extremists.”

“Joe Garcia continues to align himself with left-wing extremists. The latest to join the ranks is Congressman Charlie Rangel,” reads a statement from Diaz-Balart's campaign.

“He has a long and well-known history of supporting a radical left-wing agenda including supporting higher taxes on working families and appeasing our nation's enemies. Left-wing birds of a feather, tax and spend together.”

I know we will not just stand aside and let these attacks go unanswered. Let's show this Bush-Republican machine what we can do when “birds of a feather” really flock together, contribute $20.08 to Joe Garcia right now.

During our Dean for America days together, we learned to always fight back.

Now, I'm the Senior Advisor to Joe Garcia's powerful campaign to take back south Florida. The early endorsement of Democracy for America led the way in bringing us a national spotlight, and helped us grow our people-powered, grassroots campaign. DFA members provide us with boots on the ground and the small-donor, financial support to back them up.

Joe Garcia has already strongly rejected Mario Diaz-Balart's claims. We can reject them by showing our people-powered support for Joe Garcia today. Contribute $20.08 now:

We know that the more this campaign grows — the more supporters from across south Florida and the country that get involved — the more negative and desperate Republican Rep. Diaz-Balart will get. This is just the beginning. And while these tactics might have worked in the past, they won't work this time. At least, not with your strong support.

Working together, we stand for a different kind of politics.


Joe Trippi
Senior Advisor for Joe Garcia for Congress


Joe Garcia for Congress

FL-25: Fundraising Numbers – with video of Joe Garcia!

Thanks to your support Joe Garcia is well on his way to taking out Bush rubberstamp Mario Diaz-Balart in the 25th district of Florida.

In half of a quarter, nearly 2,000 people contributed over $320,000 to own the campaign, that's more people than have donated to Diaz-Balart's campaign in all his years in the US House combined. Joe sent out this message of thanks to supporters:


This campaign is different because it's about us. It's about our community and the issues we care about. Because of you, what started out only eight weeks ago as a local campaign out of Kendall is now capturing the nation's attention.

You decided that it was time for new leadership that brought us together and didn't try to use Cuba as a political tool to scare up votes or divide our community.

You decided that the special interests have had their way in Washington for far too long and that it is time for someone to stand up for you and your family.

Your voice has made it clear that revitalizing our economy, making healthcare affordable and confronting global climate change are not Republican or Democrat problems — they are American challenges that we can meet in this new century.

Thanks to the help of Democracy for America, Blue Majority and the Netroots, local unions on the ground, and the citizens of the 25th district of Florida, this campaign is truly a people movement. Over the upcoming months, you can help strengthen this grassroots effort to build a team of coalitions and people-powered work in South Florida that will help turn the 25th district blue.

Joe Garcia for Congress

FL-25: Joe Garcia Statement on Breaking Bush Aide Resignation

Felipe Sixto, an aide for the Bush administration has resigned today over alleged financial wrongdoing with his former employer, the right-wing Center for Free Cuba. This case has resemblances to the recent RNCC scandal involving Christopher Ward, another Republican political operative who stole money from Republican party funds. Republicans don’t just cheat the country, they cheat their own party and interest groups who fund their campaigns too.


“Felipe Sixto was promoted on March 1 as a special assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs and stepped forward on March 20 to reveal his alleged wrongdoing and to resign, White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said Friday. He said Sixto took that step after learning that his former employer, the Center for a Free Cuba, was prepared to bring legal action against him.

Stanzel said the alleged wrongdoing involved the misuse of money when Sixto was an official at the center.”

Joe Garcia, candidate for the 25th district of Florida, released the following statement on the resignation:

“Today’s developments underscore the fundamental flaws of a policy designed to win votes in Miami and patronize partisan supporters — not bring freedom to Cuba.

As I have consistently stated in the past, millions of dollars intended to fuel a democratic change in Cuba are ending up in the hands of Bush/Diaz-Balart cronies and never make it to the island. While some of the funds are being properly used, and the program should continue, it is shameful that Bush/Diaz-Balart sidekicks have used it to take advantage of the generosity of the American taxpayer in order to enrich their friends and political allies.

In 2006, the Bush administration was warned by the Government Accountability Office that federal funds to Cuba were being grossly mismanaged and they did nothing. The GAO uncovered that “USAID’s internal controls over the awarding of Cuba program grants and the oversight of grantees do not provide adequate assurance that the grant funds are being used properly or that grantees are in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.” The report further detailed instances where the review process for granting awards was never completed. The USAID also failed to follow-up with several award recipients to ensure proper use of the funds.

Presented with this compelling evidence, the Bush administration sat on their hands and allowed taxpayer dollars to be wasted. Accordingly, American policy should require that at least 80% of these funds make it to dissident groups on the island. It’s time to move beyond the Bush/Diaz-Balart do-nothing politics of cronyism and corruption.”

This case could have repercussions in our three South Florida congressional races. The Center for a Free Cuba has been an ardent supporter of the Bush agenda and a leading agent against removing the counterproductive restrictions on family remittances and travel to Cuba. The organization has often called Democrats standing in their way communists and Castro supporters and they have already started doing so against our three challengers.

Stories like this show what Republican rhetoric really is about, fear-mongering and reactionary style politics meant to win elections rather than real substance that will bring change to Cuba.

As Joe Garcia recently stated at DWT on a post on Cuba policy and divisive Republican rhetoric, “We need to put control back into the hands of the Cuban people to make Democracy in Cuba possible. The time to act responsibly is now. We must end the demagoguery about Cuba and allow the wishes of the constituents of the 25th district to prevail.”

The end of the fundraising quarter is just days away. Please help Blue Majority endorsed Joe Garcia fight back against Republican tactics on Cuba by contributing to the campaign on Act Blue.

Disclosure: Member of Joe Garcia Campaign team.