Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Contact: Brian Moore, 352-686-9936, or cell 352-585-2907, or Joe Lemieux at 352-686-2903
Occupy Wall Street Coming to Hernando County
Spring Hill, Florida, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011: A small group of Hernando County residents met at Perkins restaurant and bakery at 12 noon Wednesday, on U.S. Highway 19 in Spring Hill, Florida, to organize an “Occupy Hernando County” event.
Tentative plans were made to hold the rally on Saturday, October 29th, from 10 AM to 2 PM, at the former K-Mart lot on U. S. Highway 19 ( 2468 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, FL 34606 ) simultaneous with the Farmer’s Green Market Saturday activities in the same location. Efforts are being made now to determine if permits are necessary.
Attendees included Joe Lemieux, Paul Boston, Lisa Holloway, Steve Zeledon, Brian Moore and Anita Stewart (as an advisor). Moore and Stewart have already participated in the “Occupy Tampa” event on October 6th.
It was agreed upon that no organizations or interest groups would sponsor the Hernando event so as not to obscure the clarity and message of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement.
The public is invited as individuals to express their own individual concerns, anger and frustrations. They are encouraged to bring their own signs, or make them at the event.
A general assembly will be held during the rally, affinity groups will be established if desired by the group, regarding the homeless, the unemployed, foreclosed homes, college students and graduates with bleak employment futures, middle class homeowners underwater, the poor, out-of-work construction workers, the uninsured in health matters, the worried seniors and elderly over their social security, etc.
There will also be a group formed to paint signs and make symbolic items for the participants to protest Wall Street greed; lack of accountability of financial institutions; unnecessary & irresponsible bank bailouts; government oversite failures, inept political, congressional and past and present administration financial and housing policies; and overall lack of leadership by the nation’s economic and political leaders.
The public will be invited to express and share in their anger and frustration, and to discuss any future actions to take or proclamations to be made by the group.
The rally will be a non-violent assembly and any aggressive action will not he tolerated.
Note: “Occupy Tampa” event of Oct. 6th, 2011.
Photo courtesy of John Russell‘s Facebook.
NATURECOAST COALITION FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE
NEWS RELEASE, TIME SENSITIVE
Effective Immediately, Monday, March 28, 2011
Contact: Brian Moore, NatureCoast Coalition: (352) 686-9936 or cell (352) 585-2907
Congressman Nugent Tells Peace Group He is Not a Tea Party Member
Former Sheriff Shares Criticism of Iraq and Libya Wars; Says Liberals and Conservatives Have Same Concerns About America’s Possible Collapse
Activists Pleased With Congressman’s Attention to Their Concerns; But Worried About His Support of Tax Cuts and Cuts to Vulnerable People’s Programs; New Legislator Appears Smooth In Deflecting Critical Questions on Defense Budget, Corporate Taxes and Nuclear Power
U.S. Congressman Richard Nugent met in his Brooksville office meeting, Monday morning, March 28th, with seven members of the NatureCoast Coalition for Peace and Justice, saying several times that he is “not a Tea Party Member,” even though he “agrees with a number of their concerns.”
The former sheriff told the antiwar activists that Tea Party members “have just as much concern for
Mr. Nugent impressed the peace group when he said that “The nation’s problems are not due to just the Democrat party, or to the Republican Party, but, instead, “he put the blame on both political parties for what has happened.”
The newly elected congressman did agree with the seven progressive visitors that he too was opposed to both the
Congressman Nugent said, in response to a question on his support of Governor Scott’s decision of rejecting the speed train award of $2.4 billion from the federal government, that he (Nugent) “supports mass transportation, but not between Orlando and Tampa.” He said the money would be better spent if a mass transit system was constructed “through the center of the state, parallel with the Veterans Expressway,” thereby justifying construction jobs, linking many local communities and aiding the economy.
Coalition member Joe Lemieux of Spring Hill, said “Congressman Nugent showed he is willing to listen, but in the long run, he knows where his bread is buttered on [with the conservatives].” However, Lemieux praised the congressman for not just criticizing a partisan policy, but for being critical of the nation’s political leadership on both sides of the aisle as well.”
Coalition participant Janice Deal, of Zephyrhills, said our group gave the new congressman “a pass” and also enabled him “to feel us out.” Ms. Deal criticized the tax loopholes for corporations and how they are really “a quasi government that runs our county.” She and most of the peace group was also highly critical of the private corporations and defense industry that were benefiting from the wars and tax shelters, not having to pay any taxes, such as GE and Bank of America. Ms. Deal observed that Mr. Nugent “would not answer us” in response to the group’s corporate criticism.
Deal’s colleague from Zephyrhills, Fern Williams, also felt the meeting “was positive,” and that he “listened to our opinions.” However, Ms. Williams said she was “concerned about his stand on taxes” and on his wanting to cut taxes across the board. She felt his support for a fair tax is a “pipe dream.”
Both Ms. Deal and Ms. Williams informed Congressman Nugent that they had attended one of his earlier meetings in Zephyrhills several days previously. Williams and Deal said that they both agreed with another woman at the Zephyrhills meeting, who they did not know, that voiced criticism of the Exxon oil company “still being subsidized” and “not paying its fair share of taxes.”
Former World War II veteran, and peace activist, Joseph Murphy, of Brooksville, said after the meeting that former sheriff Nugent “was attentive to our group, he listened, and paid close attention to our views, but he did not change his conservative philosophy.”
Murphy said during the meeting with Mr. Nugent that during the Second World War, when he was fighting in
Clay Colson, another participant from
Mr. Colson also was critical of the government subsidizing big oil, mining and agriculture farms and said “congress should cut the budget” in these areas, “instead of taking money from the more vulnerable people in entitlement programs,” such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Home Oil grants, Single Mothers WIC programs, homeless shelters, Head Start, community block grants, Pell student loans, etc.
Colson also urged Nugent in the local office meeting to get congress to “cut the defense budget by one-third.”
Jerry Cox, of Spring Hill, said it was a good sign that the congressman welcomed us back “any time,” but that his refusal to “take a stand” [on the issues] indicates he may be “just a party man, like former congresswoman Ginny Brown Waite.” Jerry expressed concerns about the existing Nuclear reactor in
Brian Moore, chair of the peace coalition, from Spring Hill, voiced his concerns to Congressman Nugent about the huge $1.3 trillion costs of the middle east wars so far, the $800 billion bank and Wall Street bailouts, the ongoing Bush tax cuts for the rich robbing the federal treasury of over $3 trillion in ten years, and the $400 billion Medicare Bill of 2006 that is “still leading the health industry to the government trough.”
Fern Williams, who had questioned Mr. Nugent about “military spending being off the table” at the earlier Zephyrhills meeting, and then repeated her same concern with the Congressman in his Brooksville office, lamented that “He did not answer the question either time.” Williams stated after the meeting that “Congressman Nugent is good at deflecting the issues, when he does not want to answer them.”
Following is The Tampa Tribune’s Hernando Today internet article that appeared late this afternoon, March 28, 2011:
“Activist Group Airs Concerns to Nugent” --- Hernando Today:
Dear Mr. Bowen:
Hernando Times reporter Tony Marrero, and his News Editor, Mike Konrad, did Brian Moore a big favor in its November 27, 2010 article about the Hernando Sheriff candidates applying for the gubernatorial appointment in a recent piece "Politics Playing Out in Hernando Sheriff's Search." They said I was not a qualified candidate, since I had no previous experience as a law enforcement officer, plus, they indicated I was not part of the sheriff department’s network and the deputy’s labor union, nor did I make any effort to schmooze the local state senator.
From my standpoint, that means I have no conflict of interest, am not dependent on a patronage system, and I did not attempt to lobby the local district politician. Contrary to what the newspaper implies, this all works in my favor; basing my candidacy on merit and integrity alone.
The newspaper apparently thinks that if one never carried a gun or put his life in danger, that disqualifies a candidate from being seriously considered for the job of Hernando County Sheriff.
I offer my years of antiwar demonstrations and community activities, in the streets and inner cities of America, my work and living in the slums and ghettos of Latin America; and in the inner cities of two crime, murder and drug capitols of the nation (Newark, NJ and Washington, DC), without carrying a weapon, nor without any other protection, as a comparable posture of courage and moral strength. I have also been held up at gunpoint three times, in the United States, and have faced down the barrels of machine guns and been hit by exploding tear gas in Panama and Peru in South America, while these countries were under military rule and martial law.
I also consider my academic training (Masters Degree in comparative government, law and society and public administration) and my 25 years of managerial experience in the private sector, exemplary credentials for the three-tiered administrative position of Hernando County Sheriff.
More importantly, I consider it a badge of courage to not be part of the "old boy network of Hernando County (aka Sheriffs Mylander & Richard Nugent and Capt. Mike Mauer), or, for that matter, in Pasco County as well (Sheriff White and Under Sheriff Al Nienhuis), where previous sheriffs always endorse their deputy sheriffs for the highest post. I am also not dependent on the phrase, "It is not what you know, but who you know!" which is the apparent implication running throughout the Hernando Times article. I do not make backroom deals either, away from the public. I oppose the apparent patronage system, which is corrupting; while I, in turn, support the uniform application of civil service and the merit system in government.
Of the five candidates who contacted senator Mike Fasano’s office, it should be noteworthy that I did not request or lobby for the state senator’s political endorsement, nor did I expect to be invited by the Hernando County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 164 to their meet-the-candidates meeting (6 of 8 candidates were invited).
I, too, like Mr. Fasano, endorsed Governor Crist for the U.S. Senate position in the recent general election, even though I went against the party's candidate for which I represented, just as Senator Fasano did as well, supporting Governor Crist, contrary to his own political party. I suspect the local senator will appreciate my acting out of principle and according to my conscience, and not because I think Mr. Fasano "is considered one of Crist's most loyal friends" as the reporter wrote, implying that friendship mattered the most.
I can understand why the Hernando County Sheriff's union would not want to invite me for their consideration, since I have been a critic of some individual deputies’ abusive actions of citizens and questionable sheriff department procedures in pursuing speeders, rushing recklessly to problems or chasing fugitives; one, sadly, resulting in his drowning death.
I have also been the subject of covert actions ordered by Sheriff Nugent and his department in our peace coalition's antiwar demonstrations in Hernando County. I submit that a County Sheriff does not have to be liked by the county's sheriff deputies to enhance the safety and well-being of Hernando County citizens. In fact, the reverse might be preferable. However, I was still surprised that no one in the deputy rank-and-file had the sense of fairness to speak up to enable me to be invited to their meeting, out of impartiality to all candidates (see the Mission statement of Hernando County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 164 regarding the deputy’s promise of impartiality).
In addition, since the sheriff's department is unionized, and I am a strong advocate for collective bargaining for all workers, both public and private, one would think that would be an asset for a candidate for the sheriff to possess, at least amongst its deputies and their labor organization.
Brian P. Moore
5559 Cactus Circle
Spring Hill, Florida 34606
Copy: Governor Charlie Crist, State Senator Mike Fasano, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 164, St. Petersburg Times
Says Scott's plan cannot be achieved, won't solve Florida's economic woes, and rewards the few
Monday, November 1, 2010 - Spring Hill, FL
Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brian P. Moore harshly criticized Republican Rick Scott's economic plan for creating 700,000 new jobs over seven years, as "Unachievable, insufficient and wrong-headed" and will do little to alleviate Florida's looming fiscal crisis. Florida faces a $3 billion budget shortfall next year.
Moore, speaking earlier today from his residence in Spring Hill, said Scott's 7-7-7 plan, if achieved, would only address a small fraction of the almost two million Floridians who are out-of-work now, and the growing numbers will probably be "much higher in the coming years," thus making Scott's best projections at "meeting his target, by only one-fourth of the jobs needed." Moore further added that the type of jobs Scott is projecting are "mostly in the professional and higher income sectors" and will provide few economic opportunities for Florida's struggling working poor and middle-class families.
According to reporter Jim Stratton of the Orlando Sentinel, January 23, 2010, "Florida's official unemployment rate in January, 2010 was at 11.8 percent, which is "the highest level in almost 35 years...up 4.2 percentage points from last year and...almost 2 points higher than the national average of 10%."
Stratton wrote that this [11.8%] represents about "1 million unemployed out of a work force of 9.2 million," but "does not include individuals who have stopped looking for a job, those who have been forced into part-time work and those who have accepted jobs far below their skill levels."
Writer Stratton concluded "When those people are added, the percentage of workers who are unemployed or underemployed exceeds 19.5 percent."
Those numbers are reflected in the current U-6 rates.
Moore calculates there are really about 1.7 million Floridians currently unemployed, a figure that is likely to increase to 2.2 million jobless workers within the Sunshine State in the next four years. "Scott's figures, at best," says Moore, "are highly questionable, and would only provide one-third of the solution, over seven long years, by end of 2017."
The recession has hurt everybody, says Moore.
Moore wrote that state representative Marti Coley, a Marianna Republican, said that "she cannot see how another 5% of state job cuts can be elimininated after doing so in the past few years." Mr. Scott's calculation of cutting another 5% of state jobs, after eliminating a similar number during the past years, is just "unrealistic and unwise," Moore stated.
Despite his equally harsh criticism of Democrat gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink during the campaign, Moore said that "at least Ms. Sink is unwilling to take such drastic action with state employees."
Moore also criticized Scott's proposal to add a 6% matching pension contribution for state employees, saying that while it's a standard practice in the private sector, it's still "a draconian measure" and will further harm state workers, many of whom haven't experienced a pay raise for several years.
A staunch advocate of labor unions and workers sharing in the profits, the self-described democratic socialist believes the state banking concept, advocated by Independent candidate Farid Khavari, if enacted, will "enable the state to cover the pension costs comfortably."
Scott's call to tighten welfare payments by requiring drug screening and imposing more stringent work requirements on welfare recipients "is preposterous and outrageous," Moore stated. "It smacks of fascism," said Moore, the Socialist Party's candidate for President in 2008.
Moore also blasted Scott for "turning a blind eye to corporate welfare, and the Republican candidate's call for phasing out the 5.5% corporate income tax. Moore says "they are bleeding the Florida taxpayers now, and Florida is one of the worst states in the union for treating corporations too leniently in meeting tax obligations."
Scott's economic program, he said, is more "Robin Hood-in-reverse."
Scott's call for regulatory reform, further corporate tax cuts, and slashing property taxes, without any demonstration of having new revenues to accomplish it, is "wishful thinking," on Scott's part, said Moore. His decision to follow the old-school mentality of trickle-down corporate economics, which apparently, is embraced by Democrat Sink as well, will not lift the state out of its current economic abyss.
Both major candidates, concluded Moore, also support the extension and continuation of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, a reckless fiscal policy that has done nothing for job creation while robbing the federal treasury of between $3 and $4 billion, making the United States increasingly dependent on China and wealthy Middle Eastern countries to meet its obligations.
Brian Moore, who ran against Alex Sink in the Democratic gubernatorial primary taking more than 20 percent of the vote, said Bill Clinton had the right idea in trying to get Democratic nominee U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek to drop out of the U.S. Senate race to back Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running without party affiliation.
"Former President Clinton has made it clear that Kendrick Meek cannot and will not win this race,” said Moore on Friday. “It is time for the congressman to step aside for the good of our state and our nation. Too much is at stake in this election.
"Ask yourself why the Republican Party of Florida seems to want nothing more than to see Kendrick Meek stay in this race until the last votes are cast," added Moore, who was the Socialist Party‘s presidential candidate in 2008. "Today I want to urge my fellow Democrats to wake up and realize that the only hope we have of stopping tea party extremist Marco Rubio is to vote for Charlie Crist." Make a comment
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
Alex Sink’s chances of becoming the first Democrat to win the Florida
governorship in sixteen years suffered a blow of sorts on Sunday afternoon when former Democratic rival Brian P. Moore endorsed the independent candidacy of Miami's Farid A. Khavari.
In endorsing the University of Bremen-educated economist, Moore said that Khavari was “more of a Democrat than the Democratic nominee.”
A Pied Piper of progressive politics in the Sunshine State, the 67-year-old Moore polled nearly a quarter of the votes — garnering an eye-opening 201,705 votes — against the heavily-favored Sink in the August 24 Democratic primary. Moore, who proudly wears his liberalism on his sleeve, spent approximately one-tenth of one percent of Sink’s $7.8 million war chest in his quixotic quest for the Democratic nomination.
Moore’s remarks were made during a presentation of the “Khavari Economic Plan for Florida,” a three-hour event that drew more than fifty people.
In his remarks at the Kendall Hotel & Suites in Miami, Moore blasted both of Khavari’s major-party rivals, but saved his sharpest criticism for Sink, the state‘s chief financial officer and former president of Bank of America’s Florida operations.
“She wasn’t even gracious enough to acknowledge my presence in the race in her victory speech on primary night,” the white-haired Moore said wistfully. “At least she was consistent,” he added. “During the entire primary she acted like I didn’t even exist.”
Her arrogance, he said, was fostered by a jaded and somnolent media that was more than happy to crown her as the Democratic nominee long before any votes were cast in the August primary.
He’s right. Some Florida newspapers didn’t even mention that she had a primary opponent.
Pointing to her failure to support a single-payer system or a robust public option during the health care debate, her support of a ballot initiative weakening the class size amendment, and her recent call for extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy — tax cuts in which she and her husband would personally benefit — the former gubernatorial candidate said that Sink “has demonstrated an ability to be more Republican than her Republican opponent.”
The way Moore sees it, the November 2 election is really between two Republicans and independent candidate Farid Khavari.
Ramping up his attack, the mercurial Moore — a pesky fixture in Florida politics during the past decade — maintained that Sink, in her role as pension fund trustee for a million current and future state retirees, should shoulder the lion’s share of the blame for squandering more than $266 million in an ill-fated Manhattan real estate gamble.
It was one of several questionable investments made by the State Board of Administration.
“Their hands-off style of oversight was astonishing,” Moore said of Sink and the SBA’s two other trustees, Gov. Charlie Crist and Attorney General Bill McCollum.
But Sink was the biggest culprit, insists Moore.
“After all, she’s the state’s chief financial officer,” he said. “She and the other trustees ignored all of the risks associated with the Peter Cooper Village investment. She likes to say that she’s the ‘voice of the people’ when it comes to banking and financial matters, but it makes one wonder how financially savvy she really is.”
Moore also reminded his audience that Sink, a career banker, had laid off thousands of employees — as many as 6,000, according to some news reports — when NationsBank bought Barnett Bank in 1997, shortly before merging with Bank of America. At the time, Barnett was the oldest and largest bank in Florida.
“That’s not a particularly reassuring track record for somebody wanting to be governor of a state suffering from an acute unemployment crisis,” jabbed Moore.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Florida was one of only two states that experienced a spike in unemployment in August, reporting an official jobless rate of 11.7 percent, compared to 9.6 percent nationally. Unofficially, the unemployment rate is much higher.
Florida also has the second-highest foreclosure rate in the country, more than twice the national average. Moreover, some 46 percent of all residential mortgages in Florida are currently “underwater.” Only Nevada, where 68 percent of all homeowners with mortgages are trapped in homes that are underwater, has a higher rate of foreclosures.
Moore also criticized Republican Rick Scott for his role in the largest Medicare (and TriCare) fraud case in U.S. history — ripping off taxpayers, seniors and veterans alike — saying that Scott either deliberately “turned a blind eye“ to the fraud being committed by Columbia/HCA Corp. or that he was an entirely incompetent CEO, totally unaware of what was going on around him.
“He was either brazenly corrupt or woefully incapable of running a large company,“ said Moore. “Floridians can’t afford to take a chance on him.”
Moore also ridiculed Scott’s plans to lay off 6,500 state workers. “Layoffs are precisely what has crippled Florida’s economy,” he lamented.
“Scott and Sink have a lot of experience when it comes to creating unemployment. It’s easy to eliminate jobs. It’s tougher to create them, and that’s precisely what Khavari’s economic plan will do,” he told his Miami audience. “In a sense,” he concluded, “both major-party candidates are inept and unprincipled.” Their ideas for stimulating the economy, he contends, are nothing more than "fossilized folly" — worn-out and largely discredited ideas that simply won't work given the magnitude of the country's economic predicament. “Massive government layoffs, tax credits for small business, and additional tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy will do little to remedy double-digit joblessness,” he explained. “Florida needs something bold and imaginative.” In endorsing Khavari’s long-shot candidacy, Moore praised the Iranian-born candidate for his courage in overcoming tremendous adversity in his personal life — Khavari’s father was murdered by the radical Islamic regime of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1980 for refusing to renounce his Bahá'í faith — and for offering an innovative and comprehensive economic plan for recession-ravaged Florida. “He’s a pioneer in new ideas and offers practical solutions for creating jobs,” said Moore. “I‘m proud to support him.” In announcing his candidacy more than sixteen months ago, Khavari, 67, became the first candidate for public office to seriously promote the idea of a state-owned bank since the Great Depression. “The era of commercial banks is over,” he says. It’s an idea that has been picked up by more than a dozen candidates throughout the country this fall, including Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, the Democratic nominee for governor in Michigan. A number of Green Party candidates, including New York’s Howie Hawkins and Rich Whitney of Illinois, have also embraced the idea. Khavari’s proposed state-owned bank is modeled after the nation’s commercial banks and — relying on the commonly accepted practice of “fractional reserve banking” — could provide fixed-rate mortgages at two percent and credit cards at six percent. The Bank of the State of Florida, he says, would also provide attractive rates on car loans and other consumer borrowing while offering CD’s yielding a 6 percent return. The bank’s profits would be used to lower property taxes throughout Florida while helping to fund the state government. “Khavari’s idea of establishing a state-owned bank will go a long way toward revitalizing Florida’s troubled economy,” concluded Moore. “Now more than ever, Florida needs an economist at the helm.
“Scott and Sink have a lot of experience when it comes to creating unemployment. It’s easy to eliminate jobs. It’s tougher to create them, and that’s precisely what Khavari’s economic plan will do,” he told his Miami audience.
“In a sense,” he concluded, “both major-party candidates are inept and unprincipled.”
Their ideas for stimulating the economy, he contends, are nothing more than "fossilized folly" — worn-out and largely discredited ideas that simply won't work given the magnitude of the country's economic predicament.
“Massive government layoffs, tax credits for small business, and additional tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy will do little to remedy double-digit joblessness,” he explained.
“Florida needs something bold and imaginative.”
In endorsing Khavari’s long-shot candidacy, Moore praised the Iranian-born candidate for his courage in overcoming tremendous adversity in his personal life — Khavari’s father was murdered by the radical Islamic regime of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1980 for refusing to renounce his Bahá'í faith — and for offering an innovative and comprehensive economic plan for recession-ravaged Florida.
“He’s a pioneer in new ideas and offers practical solutions for creating jobs,” said Moore. “I‘m proud to support him.”
In announcing his candidacy more than sixteen months ago, Khavari, 67, became the first candidate for public office to seriously promote the idea of a state-owned bank since the Great Depression. “The era of commercial banks is over,” he says.
It’s an idea that has been picked up by more than a dozen candidates throughout the country this fall, including Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, the Democratic nominee for governor in Michigan. A number of Green Party candidates, including New York’s Howie Hawkins and Rich Whitney of Illinois, have also embraced the idea.
Khavari’s proposed state-owned bank is modeled after the nation’s commercial banks and — relying on the commonly accepted practice of “fractional reserve banking” — could provide fixed-rate mortgages at two percent and credit cards at six percent. The Bank of the State of Florida, he says, would also provide attractive rates on car loans and other consumer borrowing while offering CD’s yielding a 6 percent return.
The bank’s profits would be used to lower property taxes throughout Florida while helping to fund the state government.
“Khavari’s idea of establishing a state-owned bank will go a long way toward revitalizing Florida’s troubled economy,” concluded Moore. “Now more than ever, Florida needs an economist at the helm.
-- Brian P. Moore
Democrat for Governor