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2012 constitutional amendments’

‘No on 6′ launches third TV ad against abortion-related amendment

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 by Dara Kam

The “No on 6″ political committee, funded largely by Planned Parenthood organizations from around the country, launched a third television ad in Florida urging voters to reject a proposed constitutional amendment dealing with abortion.

The proposal, placed on the November ballot by the GOP-dominated legislature, would ban state money from being used to pay for abortions or insurance policies that cover the procedure except in cases of rape or incest or when the life of the mother is in danger. The measure would also change privacy rights included in the state constitution used in previous court cases to strike down anti-abortion laws.

The latest ad, called “I’ve Seen First Hand,” features a doctor warning that Amendment 6 would bar insurance companies from covering abortions in pregnancies that could threaten a woman’s health.

“No on 6″ has earmarked at least $2 million for TV, radio and online ads before the Nov. 6 election.

A previous ad entitled “Don’t Let Politicians Play Doctor” features a Gov. Rick Scott look-alike barging into a woman’s examination with her doctor.

The “No on 6″ campaign’s first TV ad starred Sandra Fluke.

FL League of Women Voters: ‘No’ on all 11 proposed constitutional amendments

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 by Dara Kam

The League of Women Voters of Florida is advising voters to shoot down all 11 proposed constitutional amendments placed on the November ballot by the legislature.

The measures include changes to the state’s property tax system, a state revenue cap, weakening the state constitutional privacy protection used to defend abortion rights and amending the separation of church and state doctrine by allowing public money to be spent on religious schools. Another, Amendment 5, would give the legislature a say in the selection of Supreme Court justices and the courts’ rules.

“From beginning to end, these amendments are bad ideas,” Florida league president Deirdre Macnab told reporters in a telephone conference today. “We are strongly opposing all of the 11 amendments on the ballots and we are encouraging voters to give them a thumbs down.”

Realtors move another $1.5 million into Amendment 4 pro-property tax campaign committee

Monday, September 24th, 2012 by Dara Kam

State and national Realtors associations pumped another $1.5 million into a campaign pushing a constitutional amendment limiting property taxes mainly for nonhomestead property owners, bringing to $3.5 million the groups have raised so far, according to campaign finance records.

The Florida Association of Realtors added another $1 million on Aug. 31 and the National Association of Realtors gave $500,000 on Sept. 5 to the “Taxpayers First” political committee, the records show. The Florida group had already dumped more than $2 million into the campaign, which includes a slick “Tax Your Assets Off” marketing blitz, urging a “yes” vote on Amendment 4.

Amendment 4 would save money for first-time home buyers, rental property owners and snowbirds, and it could cut taxes for homestead owners who lose value on their homes.

Local governments oppose the amendment, one of 11 put on the November ballot by the GOP-dominated legislature, which state economists say could cost schools, counties and cities about $1.7 billion over four years.

The Florida Association of Counties recently set up the “Citizens for Local Decision Making” political committee but haven’t reported any contributions yet, the campaign finance records show.

House Ok’s high court overhaul for ballot

Friday, April 15th, 2011 by John Kennedy

Less than a year after the Florida Supreme Court killed three proposed ballot measures pushed by the Republican-ruled Legislature, the state House voted 79-38 along party lines for a measure completely overhauling the seven-member panel.

House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, said the move is designed to improve the court’s efficiency. Democrats weren’t so sure.

“No one party should be in control of all levels of government,” said Rep. Jim Waldman, D-Coconut Creek. “This is an attempt by leadership to not only command the governor’s office, the House and the Seante — but also the judiciary.”

The legislation (CS/HJR 7111) is a proposed constitutional amendment going before voters next year. If 60 percent approve, the Supreme Court would add three members be split into two divisions — one civil, one for criminal cases.

The state Senate also would gain authority to confirm the governor’s appointments to the court. The Legislature also would have more power to repeal court rules, while the Supreme Court would gain a guaranteed level of state funding — topping what it historically has drawn.

Democrats said Republicans are court-packing — seeking a friendly panel that may play a key role in reviewing legislative redistricting next year.

But GOP leaders disputed that Friday, saying, instead, they are looking at modernizing the high court and improving justices’ ability to deal with death penalty cases.

Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-New Port Richey, said he’s tired of hearing Democrats accusing ruling Republicans of devious plans and “sticking it” to various interest groups.

“Today, I am voting for this bill, to stick it to every Death Row inmate,” Corcoran said.

A Senate version of the proposal is still awaiting a full chamber vote.

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