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Still confused about Florida’s constitutional amendments? We can help.

You’ve probably seen your sample ballot by now and realize you’re going to figure out how to vote on eleven LONG amendments written in perfect unintelligible legalese.

At The Village Square, we feel your pain. That’s why we’ve created a one-stop shop for all things constitutional amendment. For each amendment we’ve got an explanation in actual English, links to newspaper editorials, pro-con lists, and links to voters guides like from our forum partners Collins Center for Public Policy, Florida TaxWatch and the League of Women Voters of Tallahassee. We’ve also got an approximately 20 minute panel discussion you can listen to to hear proponents and opponents debate. Find each one here: Amendment 1, Amendment 2, Amendment 3, Amendment 4, Amendment 5, Amendment 6, Amendment 8, Amendment 9, Amendment 10, Amendment 11, Amendment 12

Miss Amendments 101? WFSU will air the program tonight at 7pm.

We’re delighted that tonight WFSU will air the second half of our “Constitutional Amendments 101” programming covering amendments 1, 5, 6, 8 and 12. Tune in tonight to WFSU 88.9 FM at 7pm or check out the program online by clicking here. (You can also grab the Village Square on podcast!)

Tonight! Constitutional Amendments 101, covering 2, 3, 4, 9, 10 & 11

If you don’t know how you’re going to vote on the amendments yet, we’ve got the least painful way to learn about them (it could even be fun)! Bring your favorite take-out meal and a drink and join us tonight at St. John’s from 5:30 to 7:30 pm to get the lowdown on the amendments, both sides of each. Tony Carvajal of Collins Center for Public Policy will be moderating. Get all the details on the panel and make your reservation HERE. (We still have space, but not a lot…)

Elena Novak: The Vice President’s Visit to FSU and Other Musings


Credit to fsunews.com

Monday was a momentous day in FSU history. The university was visited by Vice President Joe Biden, who gave an impassioned speech on education and its rising costs.

He attacked the issue without a party slant, choosing instead to reach the audience through personal anecdotes and appeals to parenthood. He did, however, make light reference to “the other team,” without malice but with slight complaint.

He discussed the “domestic priority” that education holds for the Administration, despite receiving criticism for a misplaced focus. He defended making education a priority by stressing the pivotal role that good education plays in maintaining America’s security and freedom. He proudly quoted his wife, who once said, “Any nation that out-educates us will out-compete us.” Read all »

Our recount reunion made national news

Read the Associated Press press piece in today’s Miami Herald (although you should note that we also made papers like the Dallas Morning Herald and the India Times).

(Panelists from left to right: Bush attorney Barry Richard, Leon County Election Supervisor Ion Sancho, retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Harry Anstead, First District Court of Appeal Judge Nikki Ann Clark, Second Judicial Circuit Judge Terry Lewis, Florida Supreme Court Public Information Officer Craig Waters and Florida Supreme Court Justice Jorge Labarga.)

Photo credit: Lea Marshall

ONE WEEK: Florida Recount Reunion Dinner at the Square (and enter our photo contest)

Get your tickets now! Find everything you ever needed to know HERE. And enter our Florida recount photo contest, co-sponsored by the Tallahassee Democrat, details HERE. Also check out the spectacular photo gallery released by the Florida Supreme Court HERE.

According to Luke: Election Quick Hits

On the eve of the midterm elections I thought it would be productive to look back on this cycle and reflect on some things we may (or may not) have learned. I suspect most people have their minds made up, and if not, then maybe this will help. Here is some 2010 Midterm Election – Quick Hits:

Still think the Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case won’t make a difference in our elections?

The Center for Responsive Politics reports that outside groups have poured $455 million into this cycle. $280 million of that has come from non-political party sponsored groups.

Party of fiscal responsibility?

In Florida, Republican Rick Scott has spent more than $70 million of his personal fortune in his bid for Governor; In California, Republican Governor hopeful Meg Whitman has poured more than $140 million of her own money into her campaign; Republican Linda McMahon in Connecticut has loaned her campaign more than $40 million. Sound responsible to you? Read all »

Florida Recount Anniversary is one week from today

Be sure to check out our Florida Recount Reunion dinner a week from tomorrow night.

Campaign 1800’s: Hermaphrodite raised on hoe-cakes

A footnote: I love this video but they join the “War on Context” with the snarky “try cracking a history book” at the end as – while they are exactly correct that foul things have been said in the name of campaigning through history, they get a Village Square rap on the knuckles for doing some major cherry picking.
First of all, we should note that the Jefferson and Adams campaign was ultimately the first election in human history with a peaceful transition of power from one party/group of people to another… let’s just say given the unique feat they were undertaking, it’s not that hard to imagine that tensions ran high. The standard way to handle it up until then was with bayonettes.   Read all »

My Purple Post: Cheapest Shot of the Campaign Season? You decide.">My Purple Post: Cheapest Shot of the Campaign Season? You decide.

Hop on over to our friends at Purple State of Mind to review your choices.

VIDEO: Florida Hometown Democracy

Still not sure how you’ll be voting on Amendment 4? Get the scoop from our panel moderated by Leon County Commissioner-elect Kristin Dozier: John Hedrick and Joyce Tarnow of Hometown Democracy, Robert Weissert of Florida TaxWatch, Adam Babbington of Florida Chamber of Commerce and Charles Pattison of 1000 Friends of Florida. Find our We the Wiki Florida Amendments primer online HERE.

Amendments 101: Fair Districts Florida

According to Luke: Clowns & Jokers

The current environment of American politics reminds me of that old Stealers Wheel song: “Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right, here I am, Stuck in the middle with you.” You might think it more apt to replace Clowns with Liberals and Jokers with Tea Party, but I think the Stealers Wheel version is probably pretty accurate.

As for the Clowns, they thought their messiah had come down from the mount to save America and the Democratic Party. What they got was a pragmatic leader who bit off more than he could chew and has been more cautious than Joe Biden around a hot mike.

The Jokers, disillusioned by the enormity of their defeats the past two election cycles, are on a power craze. Their “Pledge to America” is a big IOU wrapped in the American flag topped with apple pie and good moral values, like the ones possessed by Senator John Ensign, former Governor Mark Sanford, and the grand master himself, Newt Gingrich. Read all »