Monday, September 01, 2014

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It is Labor Day. The National Labor Relations Act includes some language that may be surprising to some:

It is declared to be the policy of the United States to eliminate the causes of certain substantial obstructions to the free flow of commerce and to mitigate and eliminate these obstructions when they have occurred by encouraging the practice and procedure of collective bargaining and by protecting the exercise by workers of full freedom of association, self- organization, and designation of representatives of their own choosing, for the purpose of negotiating the terms and conditions of their employment or other mutual aid or protection. . . .

Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection, and shall also have the right to refrain from any or all of such activities except to the extent that such right may be affected by an agreement requiring membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment . . . .

Even the Florida Constitution recognizes the fundamental right of Florida employees to unionize:
The right of employees, by and through a labor organization, to bargain collectively shall not be denied or abridged.
Our digest of, and commentary on today's Florida political news and punditry follows.

SoFla Dems Stayed Home

Marc Caputo: "In midterm after midterm after midterm after midterm, Democrats have done an extraordinary job of suppressing (more like repressing, in a psychoanalytic sense) their own vote. Florida Democrats excel at being mediocre stewards of democracy when there’s a governor’s race."

That’s doubly true if you’re a South Florida Democrat.
"Look no further than the Tuesday primary."
Fewer than 840,000 of nearly 4.6 million registered Democrats cast their ballots in the primary — an 18.2 percent turnout — in which Crist beat longtime Democrat Nan Rich by a whopping 48.7 percentage points.

After the win, SurveyUSA’s tracking poll for WFLA-Tampa indicated Crist moved marginally ahead of Scott, 45-43 percent. That’s essentially a tie, with Libertarian Adrian Wyllie pulling 4 percent of the vote. . . .

So what did Southeast Florida do on Tuesday? Stayed home, by and large. Overall turnout was abysmal in Miami-Dade (14 percent), Broward (11 percent) and Palm Beach (13 percent). . . .

Compared to Democrats, Republicans had 19 more races for state House, state Senate and Congress combined on Tuesday’s ballot. That drove turnout.

Not only did the total ballots cast for the Republican candidates in the state House, state Senate and congressional races exceed the total ballots cast by Democrats — the margin between Republican and Democratic ballots in each type of legislative race exceeded the Republican-over-Democratic margin in the governor’s race.

That indicates thousands of Republicans were more fired up for their local candidates than for Scott, who didn’t have a true primary challenger of note.

"Florida Democrats’ biggest problem is ... Florida Democrats."

Hot races in St. Pete

"With the general election barely nine weeks away, Pinellas County’s legislative candidates are hitting the ground running in the days following the primary. The candidates will join a fiercely competitive governor’s race and the Greenlight Pinellas sales tax referendum on the Nov. 4 ballot. And as the legislative races heat up, some are proving more competitive than others." "After primary, Pinellas races heating up."

Remembering Joe Shoemaker on Labor Day

You won't find any mention of Florida labor martyr Joseph Shoemaker in the traditional media today, or on any other day for that matter. "One of the most notorious Klan incidents in Florida history occurred in Tampa in 1937, when labor organizer Joseph Shoemaker was flogged, castrated, and tarred and feathered. Shoemaker eventually died from his injuries." Although some of the killers were charged, all were eventually freed after a charming decision by the Florida Supreme Court.

Facebooking judge

"Facebooking judge asks state to toss out ethics charges."

Just a tax cut away

"Florida Gov. Rick Scott is beginning a two-week, 28-city campaign bus tour to promote proposed tax cuts as part of his re-election campaign." "Scott to begin two-week bus tour on tax proposals."

Dead Inmates

"The 2010 death of an inmate in a prison in the Panhandle is being investigated once again amid questions about the original investigation." "After Florida inmate’s lethal gassing, claims of cover-up."

"Half True" and "Mostly False"

"As Florida’s students return to school this month, we thought it was a good time to review PolitiFact Florida’s fact-checks." "Reviewing the record of Charlie Crist, Gov. Rick Scott on education."