Rep. Frank Artiles (R-Miami) is rightly feeling the heat for his ill-advised preemption legislation which was interpreted as an intention to discriminate against transgender citizens of Florida. Many Republicans have quickly abandoned Artiles leaving him desperate to backpedal publicly. Rep. Artiles has claimed in a bizarre Facebook post that his legislation is aimed at sexual deviants, pedophiles and the protection of children. He also says he is willing to work with all stakeholders and the bill submitted is only a “first draft.” Judge for yourself his sincerity. – KK @kkfla737
More confusing news coming from the Florida Democratic Party as former Representative Cynthia Chestnut is announced Vice-Chair of the Florida Democratic Party. However, doesn’t the Democratic Party already have a Vice-Chair? Looking online, it appears the FDP does indeed already have five Vice-Chairs spread around the state, although Chestnut is not included in that tally so perhaps the number is indeed higher. While Alan Clendenin has frequently posted emails of support for Allison Tant, it is also fairly obvious in his emails he is left out of the official business of the party, so the role of these ‘vice-chairs’ is mostly a mystery. Why exactly are there so many chairs and committees? Between the caucus with their own leadership hierarchy, county chairs, the LEAD committee, and a handful of staff in Tallahassee, the FDP is clearly trying to find problems, but this may well be a ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’ situation. Hopefully the party will come forward with some public changes soon, but these little announcements without explanation continue to add doubt. The party needs to build trust and transparency and this announcement only brings about more questions. – KB@BurnettKaty
Congratulations to the Jacksonville Armada and owner Mark Frisch on a successful club debut for the NASL side. Almost 14,000 fans came to witness a preseason game against Philadelphia Union which the Armada won. For those scoring at home that is a larger attendance than Orlando City, Tampa Bay or Fort Lauderdale ever generated in those club’s histories outside of playoff games or friendlies versus big international opposition (current incarnation of clubs only… I am well aware Tampa Bay averaged over 22,000 fans a game for five straight years from 1978 to 1982 but that was a different corporate entity). When I worked at the NASL, Jacksonville was among my “dream” markets for our league because it was a big enough market to sustain high level pro soccer support but a small enough market for MLS to ignore. Congratulations to everyone including my former boss and Ponte Vedra Beach resident Bill Peterson for making this happen. – KK @kkfla737
Some critics of the Florida Democratic Party have claimed that African American women are discriminated against. The party has a lot of issues it must solve in the near term, but quite honestly this is not even close to being one. The party has 16 Black Caucus chapters, 10 of which are lead by women. The party has 44 Democratic Women’s Club of Florida chapters, about half led by African Americans. The Senate Minority Leader Arthenia Joyner is an African American woman. Senator Joyner is now technically the highest ranking Democrat statewide. As mentioned above by Katy, Cytnhia Chestnut an African American woman is now a party Vice Chair. So this is far from being a problem for the party. – KK @kkfla737
Sorry Kartik, There is a problem with women of color in the Democratic Party. They did not come out to vote. Crist and the FDP failed miserably to address their issues and motivate them to vote. If you want to energize these underserved women, the party needs to let real grassroots activists such as Leslie Wimes, Janet Burnett, Hillary Keyes, Daisy Black, and Wendy Sejour, to name a few, get the lead out of the FDP.