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Archive for June 4, 2012

The BUZZ about Florida’s voter purge…

From news reports Sunday…

The Guardian—Florida will defy order to stop purging voter list amid calls of ‘suppression’

“Floridasays it will defy an order from theUSjustice department to stop purging its voter roll of people the state claims may not be American citizens. The justice department has warned that the practice, which critics describe as “voter suppression” byFlorida’s Republican administration aimed at stripping the ballot from people more likely to support Democrats, is illegal under federal laws. It has given the state until Wednesday to agree to halt the purge, something officials inFloridasay they have no intention of doing.”


Reuters—Florida weighs warning against voter purge

“The warning issued this week by the head of the Justice Department’s voting section said the effort appeared to violate the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which protects minorities. It demanded a response by Wednesday. A spokesman for Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner said the state must make certain that only eligible voters cast ballots. “We have a year-round obligation to ensure the integrity ofFlorida’s elections. We will be responding to (the Justice Department’s) concerns next week,” Chris Cate said in an email message. Cate said in a subsequent telephone call that the state was still formulating its response.”


Newsmax—Florida to Continue Voter Purge in Defiance of DOJ

“Florida, a keyU.S.electoral battleground where the 2000 presidential election was decided by a few hundred ballots, will defy the U.S. Justice Department’s warning to stop its effort to purge ineligible voters, a state spokesman said on Saturday.

The warning issued this week by the head of the Justice Department’s voting section said the move to purge voters appeared to violate the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which protects minorities. It demanded a response by Wednesday. But a spokesman for Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner said the state must ensure only eligible voters cast ballots, and intends to go forward with the campaign.”


Tampa Bay Times—Gov. Rick Scott: Florida is “absolutely not” targeting minorities in noncitizen voter purge

“On Friday, county elections supervisors showed so little faith in the state-led purge that their state association said they shouldn’t cooperate. The announcement came just hours after the U.S. Justice Department orderedFloridato stop its effort due to two federal voting rights laws, partly because the purge could disproportionately affect minorities. Florida Gov. Rick Scott wouldn’t rule out fighting the Justice Department in court. ‘We want fair elections,’ Scott said. ‘We want people who have the right to vote go out there and vote.’”


Tampa Bay TimesFeds step in to protect Florida voters

“It takes the federal courts and the U.S. Justice Department to defend democracy and protect Floridians from their governor and Legislature who are determined to suppress the vote.”


Orlando Sentinal—Florida should modernize its flawed voter-purge system

“These large-scale voter-purge programs end up being such disasters because they are conducted without the proper procedures and checks in place to avoid the erroneous removal of eligible voters. For example, the 2000 purge process was so imprecise that aFloridavoter named John Michaels could be removed from the voter rolls because his name was similar to that of Californian John Michaelson, who had a criminal conviction.”


Digital Journal—Florida officials defy federal warning to stop voter purge

“Despite warnings from the Department of Justice and objections from county elections officials,Florida’s Secretary of State plans to continue the effort to scrub the state’s voter registration rolls.”


The Miami Herald—Purge the purge list

OUR OPINION: Scott administration should focus on access to voters, not impose obstacles. The Scott administration’s attempt to purge the voting rolls of suspected noncitizens violates federal civil rights laws, the Justice Department warns, and the GOP-led Legislature’s law imposing a 48-hour deadline on the League of Women Voters, Rock the Vote and other third-party groups that hold voter registration drives is a bust, a federal judge rules. Democrats cry voter suppression. Republicans insist they’re simply trying to prevent voter fraud. Who’s right? The problem is the way state GOP leaders inFlorida (and various other GOP-led states) are going about it. They want to “prevent” a problem that there’s no evidence even exists.





Poynter seeking superhero VP to help with funding

It’s no surprise that the parent of the Tampa Bay Times, Poynter Institute for Media Studies, is facing the same financial terrors as print newspapers across the nation. The first blow is obvious, coming from a relentless national recession, while the second hit has to do with Poynter’s unique ownership model of the Tampa Bay Times.

Tampa Tribune’s Richard Mullins reports: “The nonprofit Poynter Institute is recruiting new philanthropy experts, launching a massive fund-raising drive and exploring land sales as financial support from the St. Petersburg-based newspaper is ‘no longer viable.’”

“‘These have been difficult times,’ said Poynter President Karen Dunlap. The institute’s posh campus with the bay view makes ‘a number of people think there’s a huge pot of gold in a closet somewhere in Poynter. That’s not true. I’ve looked.’”

The Times has not been immune to the same threat all print media is facing—the internet. In fact, despite holding strong as the best selling newspaper in Florida, the times has had a steady decline in revenue, based on IRS filings.

“Times revenue in 2009 stood at $274.7 million, which included the sale of its Washington-based Congressional Quarterly publication. Times officials declined to say for how much. Then in 2010, revenue fell to $159 million, a drop of 42 percent. At the same time, assets, including physical property, stood at $122.9 million in 2008, then $113.4 million in 2009 and $83 million in 2010,” based on Tampa Tribune research.

This directly correlates to Poynter’s hardship as the Tampa Bay Times had been a significant part of the organization’s revenue. “Newspapers simply can’t offer the kind of ‘generous dividends’ required for Poynter to remain vital as a national journalism training institute,’ as described in the job posting for a new vice president for Poynter, “and ‘strategic thinking’ over the past few years suggests the newspaper model won’t in the future,” reported Mullins.

Poynter’s solution is that they hire it. So the organization has a new position open: President, The Poynter Foundation/Vice President, Institutional Advancement.

Based on the job description, the position’s expectation will be to double outside grants within two years, launch an endowment drive and lead a new foundation staff. While the new-hire will be responsible for “doubling outside grants,” Poynter admits that historically it has mostly left government grant untouched for ethical reasons.

“Poynter could seek donations from government-affiliated groups, such as national endowments for the arts or humanities,” reported Mullins, “but has ‘steered clear’ of those groups in the past, Dunlap said, partly out of a concern about a potential conflict of interest because journalism plays a role of government watchdog.”

If this new Vice President of Institutional Advancement is expected to double outside grants without applying for government grants, I
wonder if the applicant must also have a superhero cape in her wardrobe?

Link to full in-depth article by Richard Mullins HERE:

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