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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-08-12 11:33 AM
Original message
Billionaire Koch brothers try to buy Florida's Supreme court
Edited on Mon Oct-08-12 11:42 AM by seafan
Thanks to Carl Hiassen, we now know who is bankrolling the nakedly blatant Republican attempt to flush three state Supreme Court justices off the bench in November. Why? Because these three Justices would not acquiesce to relentless right wing power grabs by the GOP-ruled state Legislature.

Hiaasen, from September 29, 2012:

The new stealth campaign against three Florida Supreme Court justices is being backed by those meddling right-wing billionaires from Wichita, Charles and David Koch.

They couldnt care less about Florida, but they love to throw their money around.

Last week they uncorked the first of a series of commercials from their political action committee, Americans for Prosperity. The targets are Justices R. Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince.

They were three of the five-vote majority that in 2010 knocked down a half-baked amendment slapped together by state lawmakers seeking to nullify the federal Affordable Health Care Act.

The Florida Supreme Court upheld lower court decisions in finding that the proposed amendment contained misleading and ambiguous language, the hallmark of practically everything produced by this Legislature. Stoned chimpanzees have a keener grasp of constitutional law.


The mission of the Kochs, hiding as always behind their super PAC, is to get the three justices dumped at the polls so that Gov. Rick Scott can appoint replacements.


David and Charles Koch are bankrolling this mission. Can't say we are surprised. The well-monied radicals absolutely want it all.

The GOP foot soldiers in the Florida state Legislature and the State Party have now pried open the door to the separation of powers laid out in the constitution. David and Charles Koch are funding this drive to oust three justices on Florida's highest court. And Rick Scott, the Medicare fraud artist posing as Governor, waits in the wings with three shiny new right wing extremists to take over on the bench.

Fla. Supreme Court justices fight back to retain seats, October 7, 2012


Republican leaders say they are angry with what they contend are political rulings from the high court. In the last two years, the court has rejected several ballot amendments drafted by the Republican-led Legislature and overturned a handful of controversial laws. The successful ouster of the three justices would give Republican Gov. Rick Scott the opportunity to select replacements.

"This is a battle of ideas, a different world view,'' said Lenny Curry, chairman of the Republican Party of Florida.

The party's executive committee voted unanimously last month to oppose the justices after remaining silent in every merit retention election since the system was established in 1976.


The idea then was to take politics out of the judiciary after a series of scandals involving justices who were returning favors to campaign supporters. One justice abruptly retired after being caught on a junket to Las Vegas. Two justices were accused of fixing cases in lower courts and a fourth justice was charged with destroying evidence by shedding a document and flushing it down a toilet.

Supreme Court justices and appellate court judges are now required to go through a rigorous selection process to be appointed to the court and then, every six years, come before voters in nonpartisan elections. They don't have opponents but voters check yes or no whether they remain qualified to stay on the bench.


Here is the justices' stark warning:

"The merit selection and retention process was the remedy to remove the partisan political corruption that flows,'' Lewis said at the FSU forum. "They are trying to remove the remedy to go back to the illness that plagued Florida."

Quince worries that nonpartisan county and circuit courts could be the next target of conservatives. "We believe in a system of fair and impartial judges not beholden to any political party,'' she said.


In addition to the Republican Party of Florida, other conservative/tea party groups named in this article who are pushing for removal of these justices are Americans For Prosperity and Restore Justice 2012.

Opposing this right wing power grab are two unions, the Fraternal Order of Police and the Florida Professional Fire Fighters, saying they will fight the GOP efforts to push these three justices off the Court.

If this article didn't enrage you enough, it gets even more mind-numbing.

I was absolutely incensed by this quote from Florida Democratic Party Chair Rod Smith.

Democratic Party chairman Rod Smith said that his party "will not take a position" in the merit retention race because, he said, politicizing the judiciary will weaken its independence.

What. The. Hell.

What a pathetic, lousy and self-destructive response to this vicious right wing assault on Florida's highest court, from Rod Smith, the "Chair" of the Florida Democratic Party.

Yeah, Mr. Smith, just sit back and allow these nasty extremists on "the other side" to run roughshod over our judiciary, and to remake it in their own dark image. I've always wondered what Rod Smith's true agenda is about. It ain't what regular democrats are after. This guy must never be allowed anywhere near the governor's office.

After so many years of this frustratingly stunted, ineffectual direction of the state Democratic Party, this, my friends, is a prime example of a losing formula to lead the State Democratic Party. There is absolutely no question why efforts of regular democrats in Florida are rendered moribund.

We need a major housecleaning in our party.

Meanwhile, Floridians, we must vote YES to retain these three Supreme Court justices on the bench.

But we must say NO to the Kochs; the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF); the rabidly dogmatic conservative groups; the GOP-dominated legislature; and NO to all of their amendments on the ballot this November.

VOTE ALL REPUBLICANS OUT. And those charlatans who are posing as democrats.

It is the only weapon we have.

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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-09-12 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
1. I pledge to vote against every Republican candidate I can.
Seriously. I don't really favor Fascism.
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