Saturday, September 26, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Capitol Offense: Where Is Congress on the Public Option

Today, I'm joining with Democracy for America, Health Care for America Now and Open Left in supporting the Stand With Dr. Dean Campaign. The idea is to put pressure on our members of Congress to find out where they stand on health care reform and whether or not they support Dr. Howard Dean's call for a reform that includes a public option. See Dean's statement here:

Chris Bowers has suggested that we use crowdsourcing techniques to find out where everyone in Congress stands, which also helps pressure them to take the right stand. So here's the plan:

1. Contact your member of Congress via e-mail and ask them the following questions:

1--Do you support a public healthcare option as part of healthcare reform?
2--If so, do you support a public healthcare option that is available on day one?
3--Do you support a public healthcare option that is national, available everywhere, and accountable to Congress?
4--Do you support a public healthcare option that can bargain for rates from providers and big drug companies?

Don't call, do this via e-mail because we want a written response. If they are vague in answering these questions, contact them again and ask for clarification. If they don't answer you, keep contacting them (and have your friends and family contact them) until they do give you the answers.

2. Forward the responses to me at We're going to publish an official response from as many of our members as possible so we know where everyone is. And we'll keep a track of who isn't responding so we know who to put pressure on. Similarly, once we find out who is on board and who isn't, we know who to put further pressure on down the road.

3. If you have your own blog, post the responses there, too. The more public pressure we can put on Congress, the easier we make it for them to do the right thing.

Here is the public contact info for each of our Florida members of Congress:

Rep Gus Bilirakis R FL-9

Rep Allen Boyd D FL-2

Rep Corrine Brown D FL-3

Rep Virginia Brown-Waite R FL-5

Rep Vern Buchanan R FL-13

Rep Kathy Castor D FL-11

Rep Ander Crenshaw R FL-4

Rep Lincoln Diaz-Balart R FL-21

Rep Mario Diaz-Balart R FL-25

Rep Alan Grayson D FL-8

Rep Alcee Hastings D FL-23

Rep Ron Klein D FL-22

Rep Suzanne Kosmas D FL-24

Rep Connie Mack R FL-14

Sen Melquiades Martinez R FL

Rep Kendrick Meek D FL-17

Rep John Mica R FL-7

Rep Jeff Miller R FL-1

Sen Bill Nelson D FL

Rep Bill Posey R FL-15

Rep Adam Putnam R FL-12

Rep Tom Rooney R FL-16

Rep Ileana Ros-Lehtinen R FL-18

Rep Clifford Stearns R FL-6

Rep Debbie Wasserman Schultz D FL-20

Rep Robert Wexler D FL-19

Rep C. W. Bill Young R FL-10

We'll also post the results of these at the WatchBlogs dedicated to each Republican member and at the Florida Democratic News blog.

You can also sign the petition on health care here.

I'm Kenneth Quinnell and I approve this message.

Read more on Florida politics at the Florida Progressive Coalition blog ( and the Florida Progressive Coalition Wiki (

Monday, May 25, 2009

Another Priority of Gus Bilirakis

Don't have healthcare? You lost your job? On your 3rd tour to Iraq because George Bush lied us into war? House in foreclosure?

Don't worry. Gus Bilirakis is looking out for your interests. He has his priorities in order. He is going to make sure the statue of Che Guevara in New York's Central Park comes down ASAP!!

From Bloomberg (via Deseret News)

"Che Guevara's likeness shouldn't stand at an entrance to New York's Central Park, say 10 Republican U.S. lawmakers who urged Mayor Michael Bloomberg to immediately remove the artwork they say honors the Marxist revolutionary.

The Argentine-born Ernesto "Che" Guevara — who has been depicted in films, posters and books — abandoned a medical career and middle-class upbringing to join the Fidel Castro-led revolution that overthrew Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959 (uncle of Mario Diaz-Balart).
A letter sent today by U.S. Representative Dan Burton (R-Watermelon) of Indiana and co-signed by nine members of Congress, including four from Florida, where hundreds of thousands of Cuban emigres reside, describes Guevara as "an outspoken enemy of the United States" who embraced "the totalitarian, repressive policies of the Soviet Union" and once threatened to fire nuclear weapons on New York. Bloomberg News obtained a copy of the letter from Burton's office.
The statue is one of three artworks that "are not monuments to historical figures, but rather combine real and imaginary characteristics," inspired by Barcelona street performers who imitate real people, Fisher said. The city, which gave permission for the display, contributed no public funds for the exhibit, she said.

"The purpose of public art is to create dialog," Fisher said.

Public Art, which joined the city in sponsoring the widely acclaimed "Waterfalls" exhibit by artist Olafur Eliasson in the East River in October, has been hailed by Bloomberg for attracting visitors to New York and for giving residents fresh ways of experiencing and viewing their environment. The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.

"It is not a statue of 'Che'; it is a statue of a street performer acting as if he were 'Che,'" said Jason Post, a spokesman for the mayor.


Burton and other U.S. lawmakers heard about the statue last week, when a group of Cuban-Americans met with them to discuss human rights issues in Cuba, Burton spokesman John Donnelly said.


In addition to Burton, the Republican lawmakers signing the letter are: Joe Wilson of South Carolina; Ted Poe of Texas; Thaddeus McCotter, Michigan; Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Gus Bilirakis, Connie Mack and Mario Diaz-Balart, all of Florida, and from California, Dana Rohrabacher and Ed Royce."

The brain trust of the Republican party.

Gus Bilirakis Has Priorities

Got sleep apnea? Then Gus Bilirakis is YOUR representative!

As the sister-in-law of a man with severe sleep apnea, I'm very sympathetic to this serious health issue, but wouldn't Congressman Bilirakis' time be better spent making sure that people are actually able to see a doctor, no matter what the problem? We have 45 million Americans for whom routine healthcare is not available. THAT should be the priority, and not some pointless resolution.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Gus Bilirakis' recent votes from

21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act - Vote Passed (275-155, 3 Not Voting)The House passed this bill that intends to modernize, renovate, and repair public school facilities.Rep. Gus Bilirakis voted NO

(AP File Photo)

Supplemental Appropriations, FY 2009 - Vote Passed (368-60, 5 Not Voting)The House approved this bill to provide funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, security improvements in Pakistan and the national pandemic flu response.Rep. Gus Bilirakis voted YES

(Photo from The Times of London Online)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Is This Stupid or What???

I haven't posted here for quite sometime because I thought I could be more effective doing other things, however, THIS couldn't pass without being documented at GusWatch:

Lawmakers Introduce Bill Naming 'Incitive' Satellite Broadcasters as 'Terrorists'
May 18, 2009

Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fl) and Joseph Crowley (D-NY) have introduced a bill to U.S. Congress, which would label satellite operators who broadcast “encitive stations” as associates of terrorists, according to a May 15 report in The Jerusalem Post.

The bipartisan bill asserts that certain satellite television stations were helping foreign terrorist organizations in their objectives, including recruiting fighters, collecting funds and disseminating propaganda.

The bill says that U.S. policy should implement legal and punitive measures against satellite providers that transmit terror-related channels.

In 2007, Arab broadcast stateion A-Zawra was taken off the air by both NileSat and ArabSat. In a statement, NileSat officials explained the move was necessary because of technical problems. In response, A-Zawra claimed the move was politically motivated by U.S. pressure on the Egyptian government.

I deplore terrorism as much as the next person, but WTF? Is this worthwhile? Is it feasible to do it? Or, as usual for Gus, is it a merely a gesture aimed at making him seem like a serious legislator?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009