elgin_jones_web_13.jpgTAXING ISSUE
Republican Party presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney gave a speech in Israel condemning President Barack Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act, not realizing that Israel has universal healthcare with an individual mandate as well.

mitt_romney_5.jpgAlso, a week after embarrassing himself abroad, Romney now says he may release parts of his tax returns for 2011 and 2010, but no more. That just won’t do. Several media outlets are reporting that Romney may have a $100 million-plus tax-free certificate of deposit tucked away in the Cayman Islands. Romney’s campaign theme is “Betting on America,” which is ridiculous coming from someone who still says automobile manufacturers should have been allowed to go bankrupt. Whether it’s legal to have offshore accounts is not the question. The issue is whether it is fitting to have a nominee who uses loopholes to avoid paying taxes as the standard bearer for a party, and Romney is unfit.

Palm Beach County

lois_frankel_bw_3.jpgkristin-jacobs-21.jpgFormer West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel and Broward County Commissioner Kristen Jacobs are competing for the District 22 congressional seat. Frankel is considered as the establishment candidate, while Jacobs is making a populist, grassroots effort. District 22 was redrawn to include a majority of Democratic voters. The seat is currently held by incumbent Allen West, a Republican, who is seeking election to the new District 18 seat which runs farther north and has more Republican voters.

addie-greene-1.jpgwilliam-albury-1.jpgMangonia Park Town Councilwoman Addie Greene has successfully spearheaded an effort to place a measure on the November ballot that would prevent city officials from hiring their relatives. The anti-nepotism question could impact several employees, including City Clerk Sherry Albury, who is the wife of Mayor William Albury. Greene has been at odds with the mayor and alleged they are “running the entire town.” This is getting nasty.

Broward County

Police are investigating the death of 4-year-old Jordan Coleman, who was found unconscious inside a hot daycare vehicle. The tragedy happened at the Versailles apartment complex in Tamarac, where the boy was found unconscious in a van belonging to the troubled 3Cs Day Academy located in Sunrise. Attempts by paramedics to revive Jordan were unsuccessful and he was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

frank_adderley_bw_15.jpgwilfredo_ferrer.jpgjohn_gilles.jpgAfter decades of willful disregard for the law by public officials, appointees and employees in Broward County, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI stepped in and set up a Public Corruption Task Force. The operation is being spearheaded out of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and the public is taking notice of this highly effective operation. With each arrest, however, the public is asking how to get information to the task force. Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Frank Adderley, U.S. Attorney Wilfredo A. Ferrer and John V. Gillies, the Special Agent in Charge of the Miami FBI office, should give serious consideration to setting up a tip line for the public to call with information and    to report suspected crimes.

chandra-jefferson-4.jpgChandra Jefferson, a former Broward Sheriff’s deputy who alleged she was fired after falling ill and taking time off from work, sued the Broward Sheriff’s Office. She says in her lawsuit that she was targeted by supervisors who denied her sick leave compensation, while her white co-workers received approval. When she filed for arbitration, her request was denied. But Judge David Krathen questioned BSO’s responses and has now ordered that Jefferson be allowed to go through arbitration. Her lawsuit will resume following the arbitration process.

steve-loleski.jpegThe FBI Public Corruption Task Force has struck again. Steve Loleski, a 35-year-old Fort Lauderdale firefighter, has been arrested on extortion and wiretapping charges. Loleski is accused of secretly recording a conversation with Fort Lauderdale Fire Chief Jeffrey Justinak and union president William Humphrey. The discussion involved an ongoing fraud investigation being conducted by the FBI task force operating in Broward County. More arrests are on the way; count on it.

Miami-Dade County

kathryn-abbate-11.jpgMiami Beach Community Health Center, a non-profit medical services organization, has fired its CEO, Kathryn Abbate, amid allegations that she stole more than $7 million over four years. Abbate is not commenting and the FBI is investigating. Also ousted were the vice president of finance, Stanley DeHart; the vice president of compliance, Diego Martinez; and the vice president of human resources, Angie Aguila. The nonprofit’s board made the move after discovering the alleged theft. It was discovered after the organization began conducting an audit required by the federal government as part of a grant it applied for. Auditors discovered checks Abbate had been making out to herself dating back to 2009, totaling more than $7 million so far.

The Russian-owned grocery chain Okey-Dokey, headed by entrepreneur Andrei Rogachyov, has announced plans to open its first U.S. store in South Florida next month. The company has plans for 30 stores in Miami-Dade and Broward counties with each store hiring between 10 and 16 workers. An estimated 500 workers will be hired as the company expands to Palm Beach and other counties along Florida’s southeastern coast.

al_sharpton_2_web.jpgvictor_curry_3.jpgThe Rev. Al Sharpton was in town urging people to get out and vote. While appearing at Bishop Victor Curry’s New Birth Baptist Cathedral of Faith International in Opa-locka, Sharpton warned about efforts to suppress the black vote through tactics such as voter-identification requirements and ending Sunday early voting. Many black churches have been organizing so-called “Souls to the Polls” events where parishioners descended on early voting venues after Sunday services. With Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican-led Legislature ending early voting on Sundays, it can only be surmised that this was yet another effort to suppress the black vote.