Archive for the ‘Law’ Category
By Spartacus Thrace
An issue facing Florida’s voters in the November 2012 election is: Should Barbara J. Pariente, Peggy A. Quince, and R. Fred Lewis each be allowed to keep their jobs as justices on the Florida Supreme Court?
Each is up for a merit retention vote this year, and each has generated considerable controversy with decisions that opponents describe as anti-democratic judicial activism in denigration of constitutional rule of law in Florida. In particular, each has been accused of overstepping their authority in making law, as opposed to interpreting existing law, with far-reaching consequences for the people of the state.
Separation of Powers
As with all other states, Florida has organized its government upon the democratic premise that when a single person or group has too much power, that person or group can become dangerous to the citizens. To prevent such concentration of power, Florida has embraced the trias politica principle espoused by John Locke and Baron de Montesquieu, which separates the government into distinct executive, legislative, and judicial divisions. The Florida constitution also gives each branch certain defined powers not shared with the other branches, a concept knows as “separation of powers.”
Florida’s scheme of separation of powers is set forth in Article II of the state constitution which provides:
The powers of the state government shall be divided into legislative, executive and judicial branches. No person belonging to one branch shall exercise any powers appertaining to either of the other branches unless expressly provided herein.1 Read the rest of this entry »
By Spartacus Thrace
David DeCamp, Staff Writer for the St. Petersburg Times, is trying to create the impression of controversy involving Republicans where none exists, as he has in the past.
In a June 7, 2011 article titled “Pinellas Housing Authority land purchase could yield commission for former member,” DeCamp does not state, but strongly suggests without foundation, that members of the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee (PCREC) engaged in illegal or unethical activity involving a proposed real estate purchase. The truth of the matter is clearly and demonstratively otherwise.
The facts are straightforward: The Pinellas County Housing Authority Board of Directors has been looking for land for a housing complex for veterans. Housing Authority Chairman Joseph Triolo asked Jay Beyrouti, a Florida licensed realtor for over a decade, if he knew of any land the Authority could purchase. Beyrouti told Housing Authority Board Executive Director Debbie Johnson about a 13-acre plot on Lake Seminole (about a mile from the Bay Pines Veterans Hospital) owned by Cornerstone Community Bank which had originally been purchased for $4.3 million and for which the bank wanted $2 million. Johnson recommended the purchase to the full Housing Authority board of directors at an open meeting on the record, and the Authority made an offer to the bank of $1.5 million. The bank refused the offer and the land was not purchased. No money — taxpayer or otherwise — changed hands and, if the deal had gone through, any rightfully-earned commission paid to Beyrouti would have been paid by the bank in accordance with standard business practices. Everything was done out in the open and on the record, and there was nothing illegal, unethical, or immoral about anything that any of the persons involved did — period. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the most enduring and effective weapons employed by the radical statists who comprise the mainstream media (MSM) is the political “hatchet job.” Wielded for decades with near-impunity by the MSM against conservatives, Republicans, and other political enemies, the hatchet job has been a potent force for the Left in its efforts to reduce or eliminate political debate at the national, state, and local levels. This article is a primer for conservatives and members of the New Media on what a hatchet job is and how it is employed.
Hatchet Job Defined
A hatchet job is a biased, maliciously destructive, and often cruel written or spoken critique or attack on the character or activities of a person, organization, or institution. In its most common form, a hatchet job comprises a printed attempt disparage, discredit, and ultimately destroy a targeted person’s or organization’s reputation in the eyes of the public and to deny the target public sympathy or support through the use of innuendo, inaccuracies, and misleading statements. It is also used for the inherently undemocratic purpose of intimidating and stifling political opposition or dissent.
The hatchet job is a work of pseudo-journalist art, psychological warfare, and political disinformation. Hatchet jobs are in derogation of the ethical rule that journalists should always be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.1 While some hatchet jobs are one-time efforts, many are part of a sustained political campaign. The smear campaign waged by the MSM against Sarah Palin is an example of the latter. Few are blatant, and most are quite subtle. Sometimes, for example, a direct accusation against the target is merely the carrier for darker and more ominous insinuations. In many more cases, however, factual errors, innuendo, and implications of wrongdoing are placed alongside, and draw plausibility from, scattered truths to create a grossly distorting effect on the reader or viewer. Read the rest of this entry »
(Video courtesy PCREC)
(April 11, 2011) Jay Beyrouti is a man with a mission, and remains focused on Republican victory in 2012. As the Chairman of the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee (PCREC), he has invigorated that organization’s fundraising, recruitment, and political clout as he readies Pinellas Republicans for the fight of 2012. But the path to victory in 2012 remains strewn with challenges. Read the rest of this entry »
By Le Corbeaunoir
UPDATE: SB 428 and its House counterpart, HB 1033, died in their respective Judiciary Committees on May 7, 2011.
The 2010 elections were a wakeup call for members of the Florida political elite who both enjoy being in the ruling class and hate the uncertainties of democracy. Some are beginning to devise ways to push back against the popular will when it comes to deciding who is or is not suited to remain on the bench.
Let’s put this in perspective: Imagine that the you and the majority of the voters in a democratic election choose to fire and replace a sitting state trial court judge, appellate court judge, or a supreme court justice as being unfit to serve on the bench any longer. Then imagine that a short time later you and everyone else who voted the same way you did learn that the person you and the majority rejected as not fit to serve on the bench is in fact back on the bench judging cases. Incredibly, this is exactly what could happen if Senate Bill (SB) 428 becomes law. Read the rest of this entry »
By Angry Wasp
While I was at the local K-Mart the other day, I ran into one of my cop friends. He was talking to me about having to go to court two weeks ago to testify in front of some judge about a drunk driver. As he was telling me what happened in court and what he thought of the judge, I realized that I didn’t know much about who the local judges are, how much they are paid, or when they are on the ballot. After talking to several of my friends about this, I got the impression that a lot of people are in the same boat when it comes to knowing anything about our judges. Geez, I thought, this isn’t good with all the crap going on in government today.
So I sat down at the computer to find out what I could. The first thing I found out is that the judiciary is kind of like a secret arm of the government when it comes to finding out about individual judges. There is next to squat out there when it comes to detailed information.
I was able, however, to get a lot of salary information, and I found an interesting national survey of judicial salaries here. I also found the following salary information in the Governor’s FY 2010-2011 Recommended General Appropriations Act, in Section 8, on page 340: Read the rest of this entry »
By Le Corbeaunoir
It is not every day that someone from the neighborhood makes national news, and it makes sense for a member of the public to think that such an event would attract the attention of the local press. Alas, that is not always the case when it comes to the liberal media.
That having been said, it is remarkable that a 19-month criminal prosecution for voter registration law violations committed by a Pinellas County leftist working for a nationally-scandalized progressive activist group with ties to the Democratic Party has received virtually no coverage in the local press: As a result of this self-imposed news blackout, the recent prosecution of Amy Busefink by the Nevada authorities has made her notorious across the country, yet little is known locally about her and her crimes. That is unfortunate, because this case can be very instructive on the matter of how and why the radicals see voter registration as a key battleground in their class warfare strategy.
With that in mind, this post is intended to help conservatives get a handle on this case, and understand who was involved, what happened, why it happened, and what it means. Read the rest of this entry »
By Spartacus Thrace
It appears that another candidate for the 2012 judicial elections has emerged, almost two years before voting is to begin.
Tom Ramsberger lost the 2010 Sixth Judicial Circuit Court Group 20 race to to Patrice Moore by a vote of 86,704 (51.03%) to 83,200 (48.96%), despite outspending her $59,821.49 to $21,798.20 and having higher name recognition as a result of a brother, Peter Ramsberger, being a serving circuit court judge in Pinellas and Pasco counties. Moore, however, had the endorsement of the St. Petersburg Times and was a more impressive speaker than Ramsberger while out on the stump.
It appears that Ramsberger has not given up and has not shut down his campaign. His content-copyrighted campaign website has now been modified to indicate that he will be running for the seat of an as-yet-unidentified judge who will be retiring in 2012, and to caution visitors not to make contributions until he sets up a campaign finance account later in 2011. Read the rest of this entry »
By Spartacus Thrace
R. Scott Andringa is already running for county court judge, even though the 2012 election is almost two years away. He is running for the seat currently occupied by his father.
Among the elected officials in Pinellas County up for election in 2012 is Judge of the County Court, Group 2, a seat currently occupied by Henry J. “Hank” Andringa, who is expected to retire in 2012. Until now, there has been considerable speculation as to who might run for this seat when it becomes vacant. That speculation ended December 13, 2010 when, with little fanfare, Andringa’s son, Attorney R. Scott Andringa, announced that he has entered the race to succeed his father when the next election is held, on November 6, 2012.
Robert Scott Andringa is a 1986 graduate of St. Petersburg High School, a 1990 graduate of Florida State University, and a 1992 graduate of Stetson Law School. He was admitted to the practice of law in Florida in 1993. He has worked as a prosecutor from 1993 to 2004 for the 6th Judicial Circuit in New Port Richey and from 2004 to 2006 in the 16th Judicial Circuit in Plantation Key. He is a solo practitioner doing business in Largo, Florida as R. Scott Andringa, Esquire, LLC, and Suncoast Arbitration & Mediation, Inc., handling administrative, civil, and criminal cases. He has been admitted to practice by The Florida Bar, the U.S. Middle District of Florida, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He also is a Florida Supreme Court-certified mediator in Circuit Civil, County, Family and Foreclosure cases. Read the rest of this entry »
By Spartacus Thrace
Elections do have consequences, and one palpable consequence of the November 2 election is that the legislative and judicial branches of government in Pinellas County have gotten more conservative, and more Republican.
In the legislative races, all Republican incumbents were returned and two long-serving “moderate” Democrat incumbents, Janet Long and Bill Heller, lost their seats in the House of Representatives to conservative Republican challengers Larry Ahern and Jeff Brandes. The election of Larry Ahern is particularly significant in that he was in a three-way race against a moderate female Democrat with vastly superior financial support for her campaign and a female candidate from the so-called “TEA Party” who some observers believe was a ringer who entered the race with with the sole purpose of drawing votes away from Ahern. Read the rest of this entry »