September 15, 2006
From IN Editor Duwayne Escobedo:
The numbers are in from the Escambia County Supervisor of Elections office. What does the analysis tell us for the under-40 age group?
Within the Pensacola city limits 1 of about every 5 voters was under 40-years-old. A total of 3,416 in the age group made it to the polls during the crucial primary that included the Community Maritime Park referendum out of the 17,500 city residents who voted overall. The turnout for the under-40 crowd was 26 percent. Total voter turnout for the city was 46.6 percent.
In Escambia County, 9,842 of 40-year-olds and younger cast ballots. Turnout for the age group was 13.9 percent and they made up 17.7 percent of the total votes (55,762) in the Sept. 5 primary. Overall voter turnout for Escambia County was 29.8 percent.
This is a good start and better than past turnouts. Look for young voters to make an even bigger impact at the polls in coming elections.
September 14, 2006
In Sarasota County,a judge has ruled that the voters can decide with a Nov. referendum whether they want to pay for a paper trail feature be added to their touchscreen voting machines. Voters get final say on voting system
September 12, 2006
It has been a week since the Community Maritime Park passed. Everything is the same, but everything has changed.
The Pensacola City Council, except for Marty Donovan, is more unified than ever. Mayor John Fogg is becoming a stronger mayor each day. His participation in the discussion on the future of Pensacola on WSRE last Thursday was insightful and inspiring.
The Pensacola Young Professionals have already moved on to their next projects – affordable housing and internships for college students.
On the Missing Persons List are Marty Donovan, C.C. Elebash, Sam Hall, Luke McCoy, Blair Stevenson, Melanie Nichols and P.A. Ucci.
We’ve got to build on the momentum of the CMP vote. The city council needs to vote in favor of the referendum for the expansion of the DIB area. Our downtown is more than Garden and Palafox streets.
Once that is passed. The next step is for the City of Pensacola to begin annexation procedures. We have too many urban areas that benefit from city services but don’t pay city taxes. The city limits need to be expanded to Nine Mile Road on the north and Blue Angel Parkway to the west. The annexed areas will benefit from better law enforcement and fire protection as well as better recreation and overall public services.
For the life of me, I can’t understand the daily newspaper’s editorial position of waiting. When you have a victory, you need to take advantage of that political capital and keep pressing ahead.
The future of Pensacola is only as bright as we believe it can be.
September 11, 2006
Gene Valentino winning District 2 by 5 votes makes the total of county commissioners who will be elected with 102 votes or less.
In 2004 District 5 Kevin White beat Steve Barry by 102 votes. White was elected with only 26% of the votes.
District 1 Mike Whitehead beat Wilson Robertson by 44 votes. Whitehead had only 34% of the votes.
Also 2004 District 3 Marie Young won by over 1500 votes (52%)
Grover Robertson IV – District 4 – still faces a No- Party and a Write In candidates, but he will be elected with a huge majority. He beat incumbent Tom Banjanin by nearly 2400 votes (62%).
September 9, 2006
It’s official. Gene Valentino is new commissioner for District 2. He beat Edwin Roberts 4,371 to 4,366, after five provisional ballots were counted.
Provisional ballots are those given voters who show up at the wrong precinct, don’t have proper identification or aren’t registered to vote.
In a race this close, anything can be given credit for the victory. However the recorded phone message from Superintendent of Schools Jim Paul for Valentino that was sent out over the Labor Day weekend may have given the Valentino campaign the boost that it needed. We know of one family – five votes – that voted for Valentino because of the call.
September 8, 2006
From Jeff DeWeasel:
HOW IMPORTANT IS ONE VOTE?
In 1776, one vote gave America the English Language instead of German.
In 1845, one vote brought Texas into the Union.
In 1868, one vote saved President Andrew Johnson from impeachment.
In 1876, one vote gave Rutherford B. Hayes the Presidency of the U.S.
In 1923, one vote gave Adolph Hitler leadership of the Nazi Party.
In 1941, one vote saved Selective Service, just weeks before Pearl Harbor was attacked.
In 1966, a race for Democratic Committeewoman for Pct. 31 in Escambia County, Florida, was tied; lots were drawn to determine the winner.
In 1967, one vote gave Escambia County, Florida, an elected Superintendent of Schools, instead of appointed.
In 2000, The difference in the total vote in the state of Florida in the presidential race between George W. Bush and Al Gore was less than one-half of one percent. A recount was mandated by the Secretary of State. George W. Bush received the electoral votes from Florida. He won the election by 1 electoral vote; 270 were needed and he received 271.
Your vote counts!
September 7, 2006
It’s late and I should be in bed, but the numbers side of me won’t let me stop looking at the park vote. Here’s what happened in the other districts:
District 1 – PC Wu Yes: 1391 No: 1406 Voter turnout: 48%
District 5 – John Jeralds Yes: 1231 No: 900 Voter turnout: 41%
District 6 – Jewel Cannada-Wynn Yes: 1284 No: 679 Voter turnout: 40%
District 7 – Ron Townsend Yes: 855 No: 544 Voter turnout: 32%
City-wide voter turnout: 49.4%
Predominately black districts – 5,6,7: Yes: 3370 (61.4%) No: 2123
We will learn the exact demographics of the vote next week.
September 7, 2006
From Miami Herald: Broward County poll workers still messed up the count. They failed to properly download votes onto the memory cartridges. Had to wait until the next morning to retrieve the votes because the machines had been locked up and they couldn’t locate the keys.
Sun Sentinel: Although most of the state finished counting votes hours after the polls closed Tuesday night, problems at as many as 17 precincts delayed complete results in Broward County. Computer glitches delay Broward vote tally
Meanwhile, Palm Beach County vote-counting lumbered into Wednesday and results aren’t expected until today. Two days after small primary, Palm Beach County one of last in state to report
September 7, 2006
PNJ columnist – and the man that Marty Donovan said was the only journalist he trusted – Mark O’Brien gave his observations on the Sept. 5th election (Mark O’Brien: Money, young people ). He sees that the public wanting change, the young vote and money as the factors as to why the park passed and Grover Robinson IV won.
O’Brien mourns the loss of Banjanin without mentioning how much the worse the county has become under his “leadership” the past 12 years. He completely ignores how the black community overwhelmingly voted in favor of the park and how diverse the pro-park supporters were compared to the Save Our City followers.
But Mark wouldn’t know because he wasn’t at the election night party that the Friends of the Waterfront Park hosted at Seville Quarter on Tuesday – the only one of the top PNJ writers/editors not there. The Seville Qtr crowd was black, white, young, old, established community leaders, average Joes, moms with their young children, and people with physical disabilities. Mark, the park won because of its widespread support in the community.
Was money a factor? Yes, it always helps. However, in the 2004, the candidates who raised the most campaign dollars lost most of the county and city races. Raising the most money doesn’t work unless your candidate or your cause wins over the voter.
Grover beat Tom because he built a network of friends and supporters that worked for months to help win election. He was the better candidate for a county that’s the poorest and most unhealthy in the state.
I do agree it was time for a change. Mark, you failed to recognize this in the weeks leading up to the election and backed the wrong horses in these races.
September 6, 2006
LOSER: Pensacola Christian College – They threw their support behind Commissioner Tom Banjanin. Many old-timers felt this was Banjanin’s strength and gave him a huge advantage. Grover still crushed him.
WINNER: Soccer Moms – They were Grover’s secret weapon. Mothers with their infants worked the polling places for Grover. They also heavily voted for the Maritime Park and the school 1/2 cent sales tax.
LOSER: WEST SIDE GOOD OLE BOYS- They elected W.D Childers to county commission. Then Bill Dickson – but they couldn’t put Myrtle Grove home boy Edwin Roberts in with a big majority. People on the West Side want change, too.
WINNER: Pensacola Young Professionals– Save Our City considered them pawns of their employers and dismissed their ability to get out the vote. PYP walked the streets, waved at intersections and voted.
LOSER: Tommy White – This former city council candidate went against the leaders in the black community and sided with the SOC. He appeared on their BLAB show and on the WSRE debate. His political gamble failed.
WINNER: Black Community – They once again became relevant in a city-wide vote. They voted and made the park a reality.
LOSER: WCOA Luke McCoy – He proved that he can’t drive an issue in the City of Pensacola. McCoy relentless attacked the CMP plan and gave SOC hours of publicity. Donovan was a regular guest. It helped to motivate the PYP and others to vote “Yes.”
WINNER: Pensacola City Council (except for Donovan) – The State Attorney dismissed the Sunshine Law violations and bribery charges and the park passed with 56% of the vote. They are more united and confident than ever.
WINNER: Pensacola voters – They are smarter than most people think.