Palm Harbor marketing executive Jim Hannagan says he has spent nearly $10,000 of his own money leading FloridaDemandsRepresentation.org, mobilizing Democrats to demand that the national Democratic Party recognize the votes in Florida's officially meaningless Jan. 29 Democratic primary. He's helping organize rallies across Florida, including one in St. Petersburg on Saturday, and he will be among 10 busloads of ticked-off Floridians planning to picket the Democratic National Committee in Washington on Tuesday.
"We want to let the DNC know that Florida voters are not going to take this sitting down, and we want our votes to be counted," said Hannagan. "The rules of the few should never outweigh the votes of the millions."
Funny thing about that: Pinellas elections records suggest Hannagan didn't even bother voting Jan. 29. The records say he didn't request an absentee ballot, he didn't show up at an early voting site and he didn't vote at his Palm Harbor precinct on primary day.
"The records are wrong," Hannagan insisted. "I did vote."
Certainly the records could be wrong. So the elections office checked the actual voter register log for Buzz to see if someone maybe neglected to scan the bar code sticker by his signature.
There's no sign of his signature in the book all voters are required to sign.
Potential McCain mate aims at Gov. Crist
Potential John McCain running mate Mark Sanford, the governor of South Carolina took a swipe at potential McCain running mate Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida in the Wall Street Journal last week.
"We very much disagreed with the … Charlie Crist model (which makes the state an insurer of last resort). Basically the taxpayer is going to be zapped in the long run in that model, when the next storm hits," said Sanford.
Then again, McCain needs no help carrying South Carolina, and Sanford didn't endorse McCain before South Carolina's key primary, as Crist did in Florida.
DNC rulemaker to skip Florida vote
Looks like the lone Floridian on the DNC's rules and bylaws committee, Allan Katz of Tallahassee, won't be allowed to vote when the committee on May 31 takes up a couple of appeals to reinstate Florida's delegates to the national convention. Party rules say members can't vote on challenges arising in their own state.
Katz is a top Barack Obama supporter who doesn't think Florida's Jan. 29 vote should fully count. He said he may call on a couple prominent members of the same panel, Harold Ickes and Tina Flournoy, to recuse themselves because they work for Hillary Clinton.
Jeb Bush talks tough on alligators
In Dallas last week, Jeb Bush told a group of businessmen that he has no interest in the vice presidency, was skeptical humans cause global warming and that as governor he consistently opposed spending tax dollars to market alligator meat.
"Alligators proliferate in Florida. They eat small dogs," Bush said, according to the Associated Press. "We don't need to market them, we need to kill them." After a slight pause, he added, "Is this open to the press?"
Juvenile justice chief Peterman on air
Check out Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Frank Peterman today on Political Connections on Bay News 9. The former state representative from St. Petersburg talks about his efforts to change the agency's culture, his support for Obama and his surprise that St. Petersburg City Council members last week appointed a white person, Karl Nurse, to Peterman's former City Council seat.
"That was basically carved out for an African-America representative," Peterman noted. "Whoever runs for the seat, whether they're white or black, ought to have an opportunity to do that. But in terms of appointing someone I think we ought to hold true what the whole thing was about."
The taped interview airs at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Bill would raise donation limit for ag post
Citrus, cattle and sugar interests are among the biggest donors to elections for the Cabinet office of agriculture commissioner, but in 1992 a reform-minded Legislature capped industry donations at $100 in an effort to curb the influence of industries regulated by the office.
That may soon change. In a year when three legislators are running for the ag post, an amendment tacked on to a Senate elections bill would lift the $100 restriction and allow agriculture candidates to take up to $500 each, as other candidates can.
Steve Bousquet contributed to this week's Buzz.