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Sep 20th
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Written by Jack King, BT Contributor   
November 2016

A look at some down-ballot options

I bigstock-Florida-Senator-Marco-Rubio-120413582have this feeling that all of us are suffering from severe Trumpitis. And not just the people who hate him. Even the people who are voting for him are tired of him.

I do understand why people who hate him are supporting him. It’s more philosophical than about actually liking him, and I have no problem with that -- it’s all part of the great American Political System. Sometimes it works well and sometimes it doesn’t. Most of the time it works well enough for us to muddle through and accomplish most of what we want.

In a few days, the messy part of the election will be over and we can all get back to work making this country operate as well as we can.

Enough of the top of the ballot. Let’s think about the down-ballot issues and the candidates who will have a direct effect on our lives, starting with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Absent). He spent less than a year working in the Senate. Granted, he was trying to do something worthwhile, like working on an immigration bill.

It was a good try, but unfortunately for Rubio, it was a lost cause. Turns out his fellow Republicans didn’t want any more immigrants, especially ones who speak Spanish.

So Rubio did what any new American would do when thumped by his own party: he ran for president. And he did that for the next five full years. In that time he racked up the most absences in the Senate and still accomplished exactly nothing.

He also told us he wouldn’t run again for the Senate. Like so many other things Rubio has told us, that was a lie. Now he’s running again against Congressman Patrick Murphy, who has shown up in the House for the past four years and actually has had accomplishments. So why don’t we give Murphy a try? He doesn’t mind going to work.

Rubio won’t even debate Murphy. Well, sort of. He’s said he’ll debate Murphy on television -- as long as it’s in Spanish! Really, Marco? You know that a lot of us here speak English, right?

As usual, every congressperson is running for re-election. Most of them are Republican Hispanics and spend much of the campaign time calling each other names. Hey, guys, some policy statements or programs would be nice.

When it comes to the county and county commission races, you’re on your own. We have Carlos Giménez, the current county mayor, running for re-election against former schoolboard member Raquel Regalado. Several months ago I thought the better candidate was Giménez, but now I’m not so sure. A lot of people are turning out for Regalado. It could be that neither one of them is very good. Or it could be that the county system of governance is just really bad.

What’s the answer? I haven’t a clue. County elections are very expensive. It may just be time to fix what’s ailing the county system.

One final ballot note: There’s something on the ballot called Amendment 1. On the surface it seems innocuous. But in reality it’s just another way for Florida Power & Light to scam money from the public. For years FPL (Flunder, Plunder, & Loot, as I like to call it) has been working on innovative ways to take more of our money.

For example, FPL has been trying to delay and limit the use of solar energy, not unusual for a fossil-fuel company. It has somewhat admitted defeat so has to come up with an innovative way to limit solar power for a while and get still more money from us.

The amendment starts off with complete obfuscation (that first sentence means nothing and just adds confusion), and the entire plan of the Amendment 1 is to slow the growth of rooftop solar power and to use FPL’s revenues to build more fossil-fuel plants before solar takes over.

Always remember to vote no on anything that FPL wants, especially if it wants your money.

In last month’s BT, there was letter from a woman who was upset about my support for Hillary Clinton. I seldom respond to people who write nasty letters, and I consider it your right to call me names, but I do take offense when you challenge me on the facts.

No doubt Benghazi was a tragic situation, but the U.S. is often a target for overseas attacks. In this case, I lay the blame directly on the U.S. Congress, which severely cut the State Department’s budget, both on operations and security, and then expected State Department staff to work as if nothing had changed.

If you truly want to find out what happened months before, during, and after the Benghazi incident, I suggest you read Robin Wright’s piece in the June 28, 2016, issue of The New Yorker.

Be careful, the truth is difficult to handle.

 

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