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Lawsuit Challenges Closed Primary

Four voters in Northeast Florida have filed suit against the Supervisors of Elections for Duval, Clay and Nassau Counties to keep the August 30 primary election for State Attorney open to all voters. The voter-plaintiffs in Scott v. Hogan have also named Alexander Pantinakis and Daniel Kenneth "Kenny" Leigh as defendants in the suit.

On May 5, Pantinakis, campaign manager for State Attorney Angela Corey, submitted the paperwork on behalf of Jacksonville divorce attorney Leigh, whose firm, Kenny Leigh & Associates, represents men only, so that Leigh could be a write-in candidate in the State Attorney¹s race. The lawsuit contends that Leigh’s candidacy was intended to close the primary to the majority of voters in the Fourth Judicial Circuit, and not to offer any real opposition.

Also on May 5, write-in candidate Roland Falcon filed for the office of Public Defender, closing the Republican primary. Incumbent Matt Shirk is facing former county judge Charles Cofer - both are Republicans - in that race. Falcon is not named as a defendant in this suit.

Civil rights attorneys Bill Sheppard and Sam Jacobson, representing the plaintiffs, allege in the lawsuit “Corey and her allies believed that it would be to Corey’s political advantage to restrict the voters in the primary election to the 319,004 Republicans and thereby bar the 438,896 non-Republicans from being able to vote in the primary.”

The voter-plaintiffs are asking the court to declare that Leigh¹s candidacy is a sham, to issue an order to keep the primary open to all voters, to expedite the case, and to award reasonable attorney’s fees.

Under Florida’s Universal Primary Amendment (UPA), when all of the candidates running for an office are from one party, the primary is opened to all voters, regardless of party affiliation.

Any opposition candidate filing to run – even a write-in – closes the primary.

Until this month …   More

Lawsuit May Challenge Closed State Attorney Primary

According to emails obtained by Folio Weekly Magazine, Jacksonville pastor R.L. Gundy is attempting to collect plaintiffs to challenge the closed State Attorney primary in federal court. And he’s getting an assist from the Jacksonville Young Democrats.

The complete, unedited text of a May 18 email, entitled, “Need your help! State Attorney's race/Federal Lawsuit,” says:

PLEASE KEEP THIS CONFIDENTIAL - DO NOT FORWARD except to a prospective volunteer

Hi Everyone,

Pastor Gundy called me today. He is taking the State Attorney's close primary issue to the federal courts on the basis on expressed intent of voter suppression.

He's found an attorney who's willing to file the lawsuit but needs 3 democrats to jump on board with him to file the lawsuit. Just 3 residents.

The Democratic Party has not endorsed this officially. I've just been asked to provide Pastor Gundy with 3 Democrats who are willing to get on this with him.

We need 1 African American, 1 Hispanic, 1 White ASAP.

If interested, I will connect you with Pastor Gundy and you can proceed. Let me know ASAP if you're interested by replying to this email.

Thank you!!

Article for reference:

Be Bold,



Jacksonville Young Democrats


Facebook: Jacksonville Young Dems

Follow us on Twitter! @Jax Young Dems

A May 19 email from JYD president Kristellys Estanga with the subject line, “Re: Need your help! State Attorney's race/Federal Lawsuit,” updated the group that, “We need 3 people from each county.” According to the email, so far three whites and two blacks from Duval and one white from Clay have signed on as plaintiffs.

On the last day of qualifying, write-in candidates filed to run in the state attorney and public defender’s races, …   More



One of Jacksonville's local community theatres, The 5 & Dime, has begun a run of a new show: Laura Schellhardt's 2015, three-woman play, The Comparables. The well executed production brings to life two conflicting viewpoints on the struggle of women in patriarchal society, as well as the dangers of greed and manipulation, delivering its message with whit and humor, rather than over-the-top preaching.

The Comparables tells the story of 3 women working at a real estate boutique in New York City. The first is Monica (played by Kristin Livingston), a hard working, independent woman who has worked at the boutique for 10 years, and is expecting to inherit it as her aging boss' career comes to an end. The second is Iris (played by Milan Alley), a new hire for the boutique who brings her tactics of seduction and manipulation into the workplace, much to Monica's discontent. The final character in the play is Bette (played by Gretta Russe), the powerful and famous boss of the boutique who, though seemingly wise, often takes Monica's hard work for granted, eventually leading to a power struggle between the three women over ownership of the business.

The acting in this production is what steals the show, particularly Livingston's portrayal of Monica. Livingston does an excellent job of establishing Monica as a character who promotes female empowerment through independence and hard work. However, Livingston is also able to subtly show Monica's inherently timid personality buried beneath a layer of false confidence. As the play progresses, Monica begins to break down and abandon her beliefs for those Iris has put upon her. Livingston's acting range can be seen here, as she slowly turns Monica from a cooperative, happy-go-lucky employee into an angry, demanding one open to objectifying herself.

The performances of Alley as Iris and Russe as Bette also help to build highly dynamic characters with realistic motives and beliefs. Alley brings to the show an air of …   More

Flog Poll

Flog Poll (Escape From New York Edition)


The battle for New York is over, the frontrunners of both parties earning decisive victories in one of the most hyped primaries since that one that happened last week.

Feel The Bern Givin’ you the Feels?

To be fair, Sanders certainly outperformed expectations in his native state. Two weeks ago he trailed Clinton by double digits. Then he won Wyoming, got tickets to Hamilton and an invite to hang with The Pope (kind of). Momentum may be on his side.

Five Thirty Eight sees the race for the Democratic nomination tightening moving forward. While there are no numbers to back up the assertion that follows, Sanders seems to have benefited from a rather heavy-handed documentary (see:campaign ad) featuring the Vermont Senator walking the streets of his hometown, as actor/director/uber-Bernie Bro Mark Ruffalo tosses the candidate softballs and tries desperately to engage him in extensive periods of eye-contact, to no avail.

Enjoy the awkwardness below:


You Ain’t No Bern, You Bern

While Sanders had Ruffalo in his corner in New York, Hillary had the support of a half-dozen dorks at Columbia University. Also HRC got 6 in 10 Latino votes, 6 in 10 female votes, and two-thirds the minority votes in the NYC primary where 40% of registered voters are nonwhite.

Regardless, if your Facebook feed hasn’t yet made it clear, it ain’t cool to like Hillary. As I said weeks ago, Sanders is the perfect candidate for my generation: dug up like some old vinyl (a single like Lionel Ritchie’s “Hello” for example) by a demographic Hell-bent on coopting things from the past. “Authenticity,” the buzzword of the generation that gave rise to the hipster, is often used to describe Sanders’ appeal. Just replace reclaimed wood with Bernie’s speeches from the '80s and you have, in a nutshell, the soul of why he’s popular with the under-30 crowd in the first place.

So it’s not all that …   More

Flog Poll

Flog Poll (Jim Gaffe-igan Edition)

Trump counterpunches himself in the face

After a span of two weeks in which the Trump campaign was taking heavy fire, mostly as a result of the blathering idiocy of its own candidate for President, Cruz’s victory in Wisconsin may represent a turning point as it puts the delegates Trump needs to clinch the nomination outright virtually out of reach.

While Trump is busy sabotaging his own campaign with gaffes, Cruz’s people have trained their focus on John Kasich, who – if the siege continues – will be hard-pressed to continue his campaign (see: act) of aw shucks, hug-dispensing. Kasich earned 14% of the vote in Wisconsin. This prompted the Ohio Gov. to declare the race wide-open, proving that a long held Republican tradition – namely, an aversion to math – is alive and well.

Maybe just stop talking?

On the Democratic side, similar to the current difficulties Drumpf is having with his mishandling of… well… words, Hillary Clinton continues to do unnecessary damage to her campaign with her facehole. Though HRC’s diarrhea of the mouth was much more nuanced, the statement she made about the “unborn person” not having any rights was roundly criticized. After the Nancy Reagan AIDs thing, the Bernie standing right behind her deal, and now this, it may be time for HRC’s people to give their candidate a rest break, or, at the very least employ a seven second delay on her microphone. 

With the New York primary approaching, Bernie Sanders – who has seemed, up to this point, to be allergic to saying stupid shit – had some puzzling answers for the editorial board of the New York Daily News, stumbling over specifics of how he would follow through with many of his campaign promises. It also became clear, from that same interview, that Sanders will return to campaigning in New York City with a pocket full of obsolete subway tokens.


After beating HRC …   More

Flog Poll

Flog Poll (Zero Sum Edition)

Needing more than momentum

Bernie Sanders won all three states in play on Saturday, trouncing Hillary Clinton in contests in Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii. Sanders’ supporters have been saying for some time that Clinton’s inevitable candidacy is a creation of the media, while the media continues to argue on behalf of math (or at least attempts to before cutting things short in order to take yet another phone call from Donald Trump). But, the media (and math) may be right on this one. As FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver argues,

“…about 65 percent of the remaining delegates are in California, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland — all states where Sanders trails Clinton in the polls and sometimes trails her by a lot… Sanders will also need to gain ground on Clinton in a series of medium-sized states such as Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky and New Mexico. Demographics suggest that these states could be close, but close won’t be enough for Sanders. He’ll need to win several of them easily.”

Yet, momentum doesn’t seem to be the problem for Bernie, as everywhere he goes he finds more supporters, human and avian, alike. And there are strong arguments for Sanders staying in the race until the end (though none of them can realistically involve the Senator winning the nomination). On the other hand, The “Bernie or Bust” crowd finds Clinton to be an inauthentic, warmongering, Republican wearing a Democrat’s clothing. The longer Sanders stays in, the more fervently it seems his young, energetic, passionate, social-media-obsessed supporters seem to disavow Hillary Clinton.

A digression: How did this large swath of twenty somethings come to support a 74-year old curmudgeon in a baggie suit? Really, Sanders is the perfect candidate for this generation. He was sitting there in congress, his ideas about income inequality and social justice collecting dust, then Millennials …   More

Flog Poll

Flog Poll (Race to the Bottom Edition)


One of the more interesting developments of the post-Florida-primary week was The New York Times looking into the Republicans' “desperate” mission to stop Donald Trump from earning their party’s nomination. Even Mitch McConnell has joined the fight, which is surprising because the Senate Majority Leader’s priorities are typically as follows: reelection, stifle Obama, reelection, seek out a warm rock from which to absorb sun into his reptilian skin.

Speaking of reptiles: Rick Scott endorsed Trump this week and the Florida Times Union’s Tia Mitchell has some questions for the Florida Governor, one of which he failed to answer in a recent cringe-inducing visit to MSNBC’s Morning Joe.  

The Unpopular Crowd

OK, so the Republican establishment is willing to do whatever it takes to stop Drumpf. And John Kasich won Ohio. And he’s the most moderate candidate, right?

Kasich has balanced budgets. He has broad support among independents. He’s the Governor of the most important swing state. And he gives great hugs.

OK, Republicans: fall in line.

Not so fast… as it turns out, aside from all those previously mentioned qualifications, John Kasich is also a smug, ego-maniac with anger management issues, that nobody likes. And this makes him different from the rest of the Republican field, how?

Meanwhile, shortly after Ted Cruz locked up the Mormon vote in Utah, Jeb Bush went ahead and endorsed the guy whose own kids even find him untenably creepy. While we’re on the subject, if you haven’t seen this video of Ted Cruz’s campaign commercial outtakes, it’s definitely worth a gander, if for no other reason than to see what these assholes are willing to put their families through. 


A digression: Is it just me or does Heidi Cruz, especially under duress – which she appears to be in the above video – look and act a lot like Kathryn …   More

Flog Poll

Flog Poll (It's all over now, baby blue edition)

It’s not over, technically. Important questions remain. For example:

-With Marco Rubio bowing out, who has the right stuff to win the support of Donnie Wahlberg?

-Does John “who the hell is John Kasich” Kasich have a chance in hell?

-All but finished mathematically, will Bernie court super delegates?

-Do Super Delegates use their x-ray vision to look at candidate's undergarments?

-Speaking of super powers, is the Justice League movie really going to include Aquaman? Come on, he carries a God Damn trident!


-How did we end up with two candidates that no one likes?


Come one NYT. That’s a little harsh. Plenty of people like HRC. Some, like Dennis Rodman, even like Drumpf. Case and point, this graphic from last week incorporates census data and exit polls to find out what variables were correlated to a vote for Drumpf. Among the most highly correlated were being white and lacking a high school diploma, living in a mobile home, and a history of voting for segregationists, leaving little doubt as to who Florida Man supports.

But, in order to win the Sunshine state, one would imagine The Donald would need support beyond that of satirical Twitter handles and Wal-martivores. Especially with Little Marco Rubio being from the state. One would imagine.

Rubio, however, was DOA in FL. And it doesn’t sound like he’ll be throwing his weight (small and slight as it may be, according to Trump) behind his chief rival – at least from this concession speech.


Where was Bernie on Tuesday? What happened? With computers down in polling stations across Duval County, it can be safely assumed that most Millennials in the area stayed home. But, what about everybody else?

After winning Michigan, the Ohio loss on Tuesday has to be devastating for the Sanders campaign. And it wasn’t even close in Florida. Clinton earned 74% of the vote in Miami, …   More

Flog Poll



As I watched Sunday evening’s Democratic debate from Flint, MI, I was not alone in my being struck by how much actual policy and nuance was discussed, relative to the Republican debates, which focused more heavily on which candidate was more full of fallacies and which candidate had a tiny phallus. I was also struck by how pretty damn boring the whole thing was.

With Hillary Clinton’s commanding lead, most Dems seem content having the boring primary.

After Super Tuesday, many polls had HRC ahead by double-digit margins in both Mississippi and Michigan. Then, much to the chagrin of HRC supporters, we had to go and have  another Tuesday.

Sanders' Michigan victory surprised a lot of pollsters. And though Bernie was beaten, rather brutally, in Mississippi, his win in Michigan has given the Sanders campaign renewed hope that he’ll fare well moving forward… Or not.

Anderson Cooper will moderate as CNN and Univision host another boring ass debate tonight (Wednesday) from Miami.


After a sincere and potty-mouthed (for a stiff Mormon guy) scolding from ol’ Mitt,  Drumpfmentum was marginally slowed. The runner up from the 2012 Presidential election doubled down on his efforts to stop The Donald in the most logical way possible. He went on Jimmy Kimmel Live to read mean tweets.

My favorite has to be @VOTE4TRUMP_2016’s claim that he or she wished for a time machine so he or she could “go back and punch [Mitt Romney] in the throat.”

LOL, @VOTE4TRUMP_2016. Don’t we all? Wait… do we?


Speaking of Drumpf, he seems to be doing everything he can to keep the Hitler comparisons fresh in the minds of voters, as a pledge of support from a crowd of mouth-breathers turned into an (un?)fortunate photo-op for the Republican frontrunner (below). …   More

Something for Everyone

Upon entering a Jacksonville Giants basketball game, spectators are greeted with something unique for a minor league sports team: a professional sports experience.

In spite of not having players of the highest caliber, the team's play, orchestrated by head coach Kevin Waters, is fast-paced and exciting, as well as consistently better than the opposition.

The value of the event is increased substantially by the entertainment outside of the actual game. With top class dancing and cheerleading, big money giveaways, and hilarious fan-featuring contests, the Giants have put together a spectacle that has helped make them one of the most successful franchises in minor league basketball.

The Giants came to town in 2010 as an expansion team in the American Basketball Association, an 84-team, 14-division league whose diminutive size casts a semi-serious light on the franchise.

This wasn't Jacksonville's first attempt at hosting a basketball team, nor its first rodeo with the ABA. The Jacksonville JAM were founded in 2006 and played in the ABA through 2008, when they joined the Premier Basketball League and started playing games at the University of North Florida. The team had grandiose plans to move on to play in Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, but did not survive past the 2008 season.

Determined not to follow in JAM’s disappointing footsteps, when team founder and owner Ron Sholes brought the Giants to the city in 2010, he made a point of using a professional marketing strategy that included immediately signing a contract to play in Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

The team took very little time to become successful, winning the ABA Championship in 2012 and again in 2013.

This professional model taken on early by the team may be one of the reasons for their local popularity and success. They currently hold the record for the highest regular season game attendance in ABA history, have their home games broadcast on local television …   More