elgin_jones_web_13.jpgROMNEY THE CLOWN
Following an Election Day beatdown, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has been continuously embarrassing himself with insults against  poor and working-class people. Romney was a horrible candidate who, I predicted, could end up destroying the Republican Party as it’s known today and he is well on his way to accomplishing that.

The demographics of the nation are rapidly changing, evidenced by President Barack Obama’s wins in Florida and Virginia, a close showing in North Carolina and being competitive in Texas where he didn’t campaign. Romney attributed those successes to Obama’s promising minorities “gifts.” Following Obama’s election to the presidency four years ago, the Republican Party vowed to oppose anything he proposed.

They also launched a vendetta against him to ensure his failure, hurting working people and the country in the process. In addition, they  embraced the caustic and racially tinged rhetoric of the tea party crowd and nominated an elitist and indifferent Romney as their party standard bearer. The American people sent a loud and clear message on Election Day that they are not buying the Republican Party’s counterfeit conservatism or its racist positions. If they want to remain relevant, the Republicans have much work to do over the next two years when the mid-term elections come around. They will also have to begin repudiating those such as Romney the Clown.

Palm Beach County

U.S. Rep. Allen West, a Republican who relocated to run in a newly drawn district farther north, has lost his re-election bid. Patrick Murphy, a Democrat, was declared the winner following a partial recount. West was a national star and darling of the tea party, who often made outlandish remarks and comments about blacks, Democrats and others.

A consultant is recommending that city of West Palm Beach officials dump the OpenSky emergency radio system, even though more than $5 million has been spent on it. Mayor Jeri Muoio is in favor of opting out of the police radio system, which is in use by a consortium involving Palm Beach Gardens, Juno Beach, Jupiter, the town of Palm Beach and the Palm Beach County School District. The consultant, Nick Tusa, says the city should cut its losses and move on. His report and city staff have said the OpenSky system has reception dead spots, calls that don’t go through, rigged connections and poor coverage and may not work properly in West Palm Beach due to dense downtown buildings. The system is not working in West Palm Beach as yet and the city would likely have to spend another $1.6 million for radios and additional antennas for it to become functional.

School Board member Debra Robinson and other officials of the School District of Palm Beach County are touting parental involvement in their kids’ education as a means of increasing academic achievement. A seminar on the issue was held recently at John I. Leonard High School, when parents were given tips on matters such as understanding report cards, homework assignments and parent-teacher conferences. The school district’s initiative began more than 15 years ago and includes volunteer opportunities for parents and school involvement.

Broward County


The city of Sunrise already bans street vendors and now Commissioner Joey Scuotto wants to ban food trucks from the city. Scuotto owns a pizza restaurant located near City Hall. The food trucks are also restaurants, albeit on wheels. Competition is a part of doing business and brick-and-mortar establishments will have to adapt because the food trucks are here to stay. There are profits to be made in the food truck industry and it’s only a matter of time before the likes of McDonald’s, KFC, Taco Bell and other companies begin offering food truck franchises.

Miami-Dade County

Miami Beach commissioners voted 4-3 to award new contracts to Beach Towing and Tremont Towing. The companies will continue to have a monopoly in the city but have complained they are losing money by charging $205 per tow. The new agreement will allow them to charge as much as $269 per tow, in certain situations, by the end of the three-year agreement. This is rubbish. The city should license and regulate all towing companies and increase competition. To their credit, Mayor Matti Herrera Bower and Commissioners Jerry Libbin and Ed Tobin voted against the new contracts and tow rate increases.

Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Jorge E. Cueto dismissed a case brought by former Homestead Deputy City Manager Johanna Faddis, concluding that she lied. The city can recoup costs and attorney’s fees. Faddis had sued the city over the release of text messages sent to her by her then boss former City Manager Mike Shehadeh on city-issued phones. The messages appeared to be romantic in nature but both denied being in any relationship. In her suit, Faddis claimed she was the victim of sexual harassment by Shehadeh and the city was negligent, invaded her privacy, intentionally in- flicted emotional distress and defamed her by releasing the messages. Former City Manager Sergio Purriños, who took over after Shehadeh was fired, signed an affidavit that Faddis had reported to him that she had been sexually harassed. But in a previous lawsuit filed by Shehadeh against the city for wrongful termination, Faddis was a key witness and testified that he had never sexually harassed her. Her testimony was the main reason the city settled Shehadeh’s case for $250,000.