THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:
ELECTION CENTRAL: GENERAL ELECTION 2018 .....
Voters in Miami-Dade County face only one run-off election for a judicial seat. In Group 14, in the August primary, Renee Gordon tallied 122,561 votes (47.56%) while Vivianne del Rio received 89,587 votes (34.76%). Louis Martinez came in a distant third. Gordon & del Rio square off to replace retiring Judge Cindy Lederman.
ELECTION RESULTS: - 99% reporting
DEL RIO -
In other contests, former ASA and former Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Grieco is now State Representative Grieco as he defeats his opponent J.P. Parker, with 63% of the vote. Unfortunately, Mary Barzee Flores did not defeat Incumbent US Rep Mario Diaz Balart. Diaz Balart garnered 61% of the vote. And it looks like both Constitutional Amendment 4 (64%) and Amendment 6 (62%) will pass.
Vivianne del Rio - she is an ASA and has been with the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office (SAO) for her entire 26 year career. Since 2012, she has headed the Post Conviction Unit and she reviews claims of actual innocence.
Renee Gordon - she is an Assistant Public Defender (APD) and has spent her entire 22 year career at the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s office, part of that time as a contract attorney for the office. She has devoted much of her career to bettering the juvenile justice system including by managing the Miami Halfway House and as a participant in the Dept of Juvenile Justice’s Quality Assurance Program. Ms. Gordon ran for an open Circuit Court seat in 2016 in a four person race eventually won by Mark Blumstein. She missed out on the run-off by a mere 1,737 votes.
NORTH OF THE BORDER: In Broward, there are four run-offs, two in Circuit and two in County: (The four Winners, all women, are listed in PINK).
Jason Allen-Rosner v. Stefanie Moon (Circuit);
Maria Markhasin-Weekes v. H. James Curry (Circuit);
Corey Cawthon v. Tanner Demmery (County);
Allison Gilman v. Jackie Powell (County).
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS: There are a total of 12 on the ballot today. Two of them, Amendments 4 and 6 would have a direct effect on the criminal justice system. It takes 60% for any of these amendments to pass.
Florida Amendment 4, the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative. A "yes" vote supports this amendment to automatically restore the right to vote for people with prior felony convictions, except those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense, upon completion of their sentences, including prison, parole, and probation. Florida is one of only four states where convicted felons do not regain the right to vote, until and unless the State Cabinet agrees to restore an individual's voting rights.
Florida Amendment 6, the Marsy's Law Crime Victims Rights, Judicial Retirement Age, and Judicial Interpretation of Laws and Rules Amendment. A "yes" vote supports this amendment to: •add specific rights of crime victims, together known as Marsy's Law, to the Florida Constitution; •increase the judicial retirement age from 70 to 75 years of age; and •prohibit state courts from deferring to an administrative agency’s interpretation of a state statute or rule in lawsuits. Critics of the amendment point to several issues. For one, the amendment reduces the amount of time in which you can file an appeal post conviction. It reduces it to two years for a noncapital, non-death case and five years for a death penalty case. Given the fact that Florida leads the nation in exonerations from death row, this part of the amendment is extremely problematic. Many of those death row inmates would have been wrongly executed if this amendment was in place.
ELECTIONS MATTER ..... THIS ELECTION MATTERS ..... VOTE
Because there is such a short list of judicial elections on the ballot, we decided to post this powerful tweet we saw on Twitter recently. It was tweeted by Alicia Sharon, she calls herself @ASharon004, and describes herself as "a UCLA Law ‘18; D.C. to Los Angeles; Fly Eagles." According to LinkedIn, she worked in the Office of Correspondence at the White House during the summer of 2010. She has quite the impressive Resume from 2008 - 2018. She is currently a Law Clerk at Venable LLP in Los Angeles.
"I recently tweeted about my time working in Obama’s mail room while in college. How he received a tremendous amount of hate mail, a disproportionate amount being racist (sometimes graphically). But the letters of hate aren’t what I remember most clearly.
Instead, what haunts me are the letters and stories of every day struggling Americans. Too often politics becomes about gamesmanship and strategy and people forget that politics has real world consequences. It can literally kill.
So as we near one of the most important midterms of (maybe) our lives, I want to highlight some of the stories I remember best. Stories that might be about your neighbor, your colleague, or your own family. Remember these stories. These are the people we fight for when we vote.
The single mom with three boys. She was worried about gangs so she put her kids in sports, hoping that would keep them safe from after school violence. Her middle son was gunned down walking home from practice. She just wanted to save enough money to move to a safer neighborhood.
The dad who promised his daughter that he would pay for her to go to the best college she got in to. She got into her dream school, Duke. But he got laid off during the recession and he didn’t know how to tell her he could no longer afford her dream that she worked so hard for.
The parents of a child with severe developmental disabilities. They were getting old and they were worried about who would take care of him after they were gone.
The couple who endured the pain and loss that comes with having 7 miscarriages. All they wanted was a family. They couldn’t afford expensive IVF treatment. They wanted to adopt but felt the agency didn’t like them – they were a mixed race couple living in the deep south.
The mom who knew her son was being bullied at school because he didn’t speak English very well. They had just moved here. She would stay up until the early morning to teach herself English, hoping she could then help him.
The single mom who admitted she sometimes went days without eating so her kids could have 3 full meals. She worked 3 jobs but was still struggling to make ends meet. She didn’t want them going to school hungry, she knew education was the only thing that would save them.
The parents struggling with a daughter who was an addict. They were wealthy so they could afford to get her treatment. But they had met lots of families in group therapy that couldn’t afford it. They wanted to make drug treatment facilities more affordable for everyone.
The father with terminal cancer who confided that he thought about ending his life early, just to spare his family the costs of sustained medical treatment. He didn’t want to leave his wife and 2 young kids with a mountain of debt.
The gay couple who had been together for 50+ years. But they were still afraid to hold hands in public for fear that they would be physically attacked.
The young schoolteacher who worked at a Title I (low income) school. Many kids didn’t get outside for recess during the winter because their parents couldn’t afford to buy them winter coats. She raised money, including her own, to buy them herself.
The newly single father who was terrified he was going to ruin his kids after their mother passed away from breast cancer. He cried in the aisle at Dick’s Sporting Goods because he didn’t know what size shoe his son was. His wife used to buy the kids cleats for baseball season.
The father who was dealing with depression, but was too afraid to tell anyone. Men weren’t supposed to be weak. He loved his wife and new baby daughter. He didn’t understand why sometimes he felt like everyone would be better off without him.
The parents who dreaded Friday evening. Their son was a freshman at an Ivy League School, but he was having trouble fitting in. Other students suggested the only reason he was there was affirmative action. He spent Friday nights in his dorm alone, talking to his parents.
The wife who married young. Too young she would say. Her husband was physically abusive, but now they had 2 kids and she couldn’t leave and financially support 2 kids on her own. She hoped she could save up enough money to get out before he killed her.
The mother who knew her son was gay, but knew he would have to hide it until he left the house. She knew her husband would hurt him if he found out.
The parents of a girl who had to get 3 heart surgeries before she was 3. They were terrified she wouldn’t make it to be a teenager. And even if she did, it still meant lots of additional and expensive surgeries. They knew another surgery would push them over the financial edge.
The young veteran who struggled with PTSD and nightmares. He was afraid he was going to hurt his wife while they slept. He hated his new job at a manufacturing plant, but he felt he couldn’t complain because at least he came home alive.
These are the types of stories people wrote to our President about. Not because they were looking for handouts, but because they were hoping something could be done to make their lives just a little easier. Life a little more affordable. Opportunities a little more reachable.
These are the people we fight for when we vote. So please, show up on Nov 6th and make your voice heard. People’s lives depend on it."
CAPTAIN OUT .......