CYBER CITIZENS FOR JUSTICE, INC.
DISPATCHES
02-20-2002
Dear members and friends, 

It seems, four weeks into the session, the committee process has slowed in Tallahassee. Before you can blink an eye there won't be adequate time for the Legislature to get it's work completed. Committee hearings will cease! 

As a result, two of our priority bills re animal cruelty and our task force bills, H887/S1484, are in jeopardy of 'dying' in committee. 

Please don't let this happen without putting up the 'good fight!' 

Continue to contact your members of the Legislative delegation to move these bills through committees and onto the floor of both chambers for a final vote.

Time is of the essence! 

The following is an appeal for your support from our member Trudy and Laura Bevan of the U.S. Humane Society. 

                                                 *** SEE BELOW *** 

The best to you and yours, 
Bob, 
Ocala, FL 
Public Relations - CCFJ, Inc., 
                  **************************** SEE BELOW *****************************
I have been involved in supporting legislation regarding animal cruelty.
 Even though this is not the primary focus of our organization at present, I would appreciate your continued support. Thank you. 
Trudy
                                                 -----Original Message----
 Subject: Support Florida Animal Cruelty Bill!
Original Message from Laura Bevan 
Southeastern Director, HSUS, Tallahassee, FL

There are two very important bills working thru the Florida Legislature regarding animal cruelty laws. Senate Bill 1002 and House Bill 691 are companion bills that strengthen the current animal cruelty laws in our state by creating a minimum mandatory fine, possible prison time and anger management/psychological testing for those charged with cruelty to animals.

We all know the connection between animal cruelty and violence to humans so let's educate our government officials on this issue! 

PLEASE contact your local State Representatives and State Senators to let them know you (and your organization) support the passing of this bill!

The bill is being strongly opposed by the Cattlemen's Association and a Cockfighting association but the sponsors of the bills are dedicated to their passage. 

PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO CALL AND LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!

To find your State Representative and State Senator, or to read the bills in full, click here:

 http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Welcome/index.cfm

Thanks much for anything you can do to help.
Sincerely,
Laura Bevan, Director
The Humane Society of the United States
Southeast Regional Office
1624 Metropolitan Circle, Suite B
Tallahassee, FL 32303
(850) 386-3435 phone
(850) 386-4534 fax
lbevan@hsus.org

       Review the status and Read the Animal Cruelty bills!


01-25-2002
Dear members and friends, 

This message is to inform you that Sb 150 will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee next week and to remind recipients; 

Neither Sb 150 nor any other U.S. Flag bill in Florida provides for; 

"...the right of a homeowner to erect a portable, removable or telescoping FLAGPOLE, a maximum height of which can be twenty (20') feet, in the front, side or rear yard of their property nor the installation of a BRACKET for a flagpole on a CONDO unit to display the U.S. Flag..." 

The primary reason we continue to suggest this amendment is; past and current lawsuits by homeowners associations against it's members were/are for the purpose of preventing the use of a FLAGPOLE in the manner suggested above. 

Regardless of whether you agree or disagree you should offer your opinion on this matter to the sponsor and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee of which you might be a constituent. 

The names of committee members is provided. 

*** SEE BELOW ***

Incidentally, please access the Online Sunshine network Web site and make time review other bills that might affect the financial resources of all Citizens of Florida. Several Senate bills of interest are provided below. Several have a companion in the House. 

After accessing you can type in the bill number in the appropriate space provided at the upper left hand corner and press the Enter key or click on GO to bring up the specific bill summary which can be read in it's entirety in either .html or .pdf format. 

       The ONLINE SUNSHINE Welcome Page

Bills worthy of your review are; 

Senate Joint Resolution 938 State tax reform - Constitutional Amendment 

This is the bill we told you about before the session convened, promoted by the President of the Senate John McKay, which seems to circumvent the mandates of the State Tax Reform Study Commission created by Governor Jeb Bush. 

Many Senators have joined in this effort as has a prominent national organization - AARP. 

We'd suggest another temporary postponement because the next scheduled meeting of the commission is scheduled on January 28th 2002, when the final report required for distribution on February 1st 2002. 

The commission's proposed final draft is available here; 

       Draft of Executive Summary of State Tax Reform Task Force

We believe it's pertinent to consider the final report in future deliberations of tax reform in Florida and the postponent would be a gesture of respect and good faith to Governor Jeb Bush. 

Sb 1106 by Pruitt - Taxation 
Sb 1244 by Pruitt - Taxation on Communication Services 
Sb 988 by Campbell - Telecommunications 
Sb 1158 by Campbell - Telecommunication Access Charges 
Sb 1072 by Campbell - Telecommunication Facilities 

Any one or a combination of the following bills could enhance deregulation of the electrical industry in Florida with Sb 1256 and Sb 978 appearing at the top of the heap. 

Sb 1256 by Campbell - Electrical Utiliities 
Sb 978 by Laurent - Electrical Power Generating Plants
Sb 1096 by Wise - Florida Renewable Energy Act
Sb 226 by Lee and Sb 602 by Campbell 

Brought to you as a public service! 

The best to you and yours, 
Bob
Ocala, FL 34476 
                          *************************** SEE BELOW ************************
United States Flag/Display; provides that it is unlawful to prohibit display of flag of United States; provides exception; provides penalties. Creates 256.15.  EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon becoming law.
  09/19/01 SENATE Prefiled
  10/04/01 SENATE Referred to Criminal Justice; Judiciary
  12/11/01 SENATE On Committee agenda-- Criminal Justice, 01/09/02, 9:00 am, 37-S
  01/09/02 SENATE CS by Criminal Justice; YEAS  6  NAYS  0
  01/11/02 SENATE Now in Judiciary
  01/22/02 SENATE Introduced, referred to Criminal Justice; Judiciary
                  -SJ 00014; On Committee agenda-- Criminal Justice, 01/09/02, 9:00 am, 37-S; CS by Criminal Justice; YEAS  6  NAYS  0
                  -SJ 00074; CS read first time on 01/22/02 -SJ 00068; Now in
                 Judiciary -SJ 00074
  01/24/02 SENATE On Committee agenda-- Judiciary, 01/29/02, 9:00 am, 412-K
    Senate 0150: Relating to United States Flag/Display
             Senate Committee on Judiciary


12 - 17 - 2001
Dear members and friends,

Florida is running out of water!

Uninhibited growth is 'par for the course!'

The St. Johns Water Management District is contemplating additional desalination plants  in order to cool the tempers of residents in South Florida lacking adequate water supplies. We've had a drought the past three years. Acquifers are at their lowest levels.

Lakes are drying up!

Residents that purchased a home on 'The Lake' no longer have a lake. Their boats sit in 'dry dock', literally!

Fishing camps are deserted!

There isn't any water to launch the fishing boats. The docks sit on what appear to be 'muck farms.'

Cattle are stressed out!

Farmers are trucking water into the fields because the 'watering holes' are; G-O-N-E!
WEEDs proliferate!

St. Augustine sod runners are thwarted by the weeds. The sod doesn't produce "seed" so lack of runners combined with the weeds and bugs, bugs, bugs produce bare spots and brown outs.

St. Augustine sod, recommended by many HOA's, is the 'thristiest' of sod and is prone to; cinch bugs, web worms, mole crickets and Lord knows what other dastardly creatures quench their thirst on every blade of grass they can find.

It's could be very expensive to keep a St. Augustine lawn green within the standards applicable to the HOA governing documents. Likewise, Bahia sod but St. Augustine is the most difficult to maintain.

Xeriscaping is a recommended option to preserve water but if the governing documents require replacement of the sod to original aesthetic parameters, you're stuck! Afterall, it's said: HOA's have been created to protect the value of property. YEAH RITE!

Of course, these are secenarios ya'll living in Florida know about. Besides, the situations aluded to might not be the problem in the following story but, then again, it could very well be?
* SEE BELOW *

The best to you and yours,
Bob,
Ocala, FL
Public Relations - CCFJ, Inc.,
                                                       ----- Original Message -----
                Neighbors notice as grass goes to seed

   Facing a lawsuit over a brown lawn, a family of six plan to move. They can't afford to resod.
By BILL COATS, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times   -   published December 16, 2001 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
LUTZ -- In the midst of the neighbors' green uniformity, Mike Nelson's lawn looks mostly brown, dead and desolate. Nelson's green spots are scattered in stubborn footprint-size tufts. 

But Nelson, his business devastated by a burglary last year, has bigger problems. He said he can't afford the $1,500 to replace his lawn. And he has few plans to deal with the latest blow, a lawsuit filed over the lawn by the VillaRosa Master Association. 

"We're planning to sell the house, and that's how it's going to be taken care of," Nelson said. He and his wife bought the house in 1999 for $162,000. 

VillaRosa's attorney said the homeowners association had little choice; Nelson's ragged lawn is affecting property values around him, leaving VillaRosa vulnerable to a suit from those neighbors if it didn't take action. 

"There are neighbors that are not particularly happy," said the attorney, John Conley of Clearwater. 

"Would you buy the house next door to him if it was for sale?" he asked. "You're buying into a problem." 

Nelson, a 31-year-old father of four, said he kept a fine lawn until his irrigation system began malfunctioning and chinch bugs moved in. 

But his biggest setback was a break-in, the night before Thanksgiving last year, of Cartoys, Nelson's business. Burglars did $20,000 in damage and took $50,000 in car electronics, security systems and other accessories. Nelson said that forced a six-month closing of the business that cost him $250,000 in revenue. 

He resents the lawsuit's allegation that he refused to replace the lawn. "We never refused these people to resod the grass," he said. "We just couldn't afford the money." 

As for the neighbors, Nelson said he has reported some for violating county watering restrictions. 

"At this point, we just want to get out," Nelson said. "Now that I've lived in a deed-restricted neighborhood, I'll never live in one again." 


11 - 22 - 2001
Dear members and friends, 

Well, here we go, AGAIN! 

Another special session scheduled for the period; 
November 27 - December 6 to attempt to balance the Florida state budget because our Legislature couldn't get it right the first time but many 'other' bills have been prefiled for other reasons. 

* SEE BELOW * 

As you've learned from previous media reports; our Legislature has a bad habit of eliminating Citizen access to public records in the 'Sunshine State.' Apparently, the Special Session will not be the exeption to the rule. 

Justifiably or not, (you decide), under the cloak of 'Terrorism' an attempt is being made to eliminate access to certain public records for security and other reasons. 

Review the bills, express your views, pro or con, to your Legislative delegates. Thank you. 

BTW, it seems; the reduction of government salaries as touted in the press by the HOUSE leader Representative Tom Feeney didn't happen during the previous special session so the HOUSE is giving it another try. Read the bill. 

The best to you and yours, 
Bob, 
Ocala, FL
Public Relations - CCFJ, Inc., 
http://www.ccfj.net/ 
------------------------------- * SEE BELOW * --------------------------------------
   Senate Bills for 2001C Special Session

To view HOUSE bills click on Select Chamber drop down arrow. 


9 - 16 - 2001
Dear members and friends,

The following message has been received from Governor Jeb Bush and is included after our brief remarks.

* SEE BELOW *

Honorable Governor Jeb Bush,

We have attempted to stray away from utilizing the dastardly deeds of terrorists to foster support for our intentions to permit homeowners residing in deed restricted communities the right to fly the American flag from a flagpole in front of their home

Maybe the events of recents days and your stance on this matter will strike an appropriate patriotic cord in Tallahassee toward the belief that restrictions preventing the display in the manner aluded to is respectful, proper and should be the law of the land?

As a result of your candor we're encouraged that you'll discuss this issue with members of your Cabinet, leaders of the House and Senate, stakeholders and industry partisans for the purpose of enacting legislation to eliminate this restriction in Florida during the 2002 Legislative session.

We will support this effort because it makes no sense to force patriotic citizens to expend excessive funds fighting this battle in our courts because of ambiguous provisions. Let's make time to get this matter resolved, once and for all.

Thank you for your kind remarks and consideration. We look forward to supporting  your views.

God Bless you Governor Bush and God Bless America!
Gratefully,
Bob
Public Relations - CCFJ, Inc.,

-------------------------- * SEE BELOW * ------------------------------
----- Original Message -----
From: "Office of Governor Jeb Bush" <gulf1@gulf1.com>
Sent: Saturday, September 15, 2001 9:46 AM
Subject: Regarding flying the American Flag on Private Property

TALLAHASSEE -

"On Tuesday, the day our country suffered attacks from depraved international terrorists, I encouraged all Floridians who own American flags to fly them to show support for the victims, their families and emergency workers, as well as to show defiance to the perpetrators of these awful acts and their protectors abroad.

"However, I have received e-mail from constituents alerting me that they cannot comply with this call to exhibit our patriotism because of restrictions and limits on the public display of the American flag imposed by some homeowners associations or other community agreements.

While I firmly support in general the right of communities to set their own policies for those who choose to live in them, I nevertheless believe an exception applies to the flying of our flag.

"No one should be able to sign away their rights to fly and display Old Glory. I therefore support amending existing laws to clarify those principles and call on all Florida homeowners associations in the meantime to repeal any such provisions in their agreements and allow their members to participate in the support of their fallen countrymen as Americans traditionally have done."



         To read article, comments etc., please click here !
9 - 14 - 2001
Dear members and friends, 

The dastardly attack upon our way of life in America has created so much frustration because of our inability to react in a personal way against those responsible for the attack on our freedom. 

We've had mixed emotions and didn't want to dispatch messages which recipients might perceive as self-serving to our organization. 

Messages from our friends and members continue to be received but we're unable to dispatch all. However, our friend Lori has provided access to the following Web site which we ask you to access. 

* SEE BELOW * 

Dear Lori, thank you very much for sharing with us. 

To recipients; turn on your speakers, make time to access and send to your friends, neighbors, family and government officials. If you're inclined to pray, please take time to honor the memory of the victims, their families, rescue workers, our President and our government officials. 

Wherever you live, please fly the American flag at half-mast until September 16th as requested by President George W. Bush. 

Thank you and God Bless America! 

The best to you and yours, 
Bob
Public Relations - CCFJ, Inc., 
------------------------------------ * SEE BELOW * -----------------------------
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Lori
Sent: Friday, September 14, 2001 2:12 AM
Subject: Tribute to Victims and Families of WTC
Tribute to Victims and Families of World Trade Building 


9 - 8 - 2001
Dear members and friends, 

It seems; controversies about flying the American flag will never end until our constitutional right to do so is protected. Opponent say, it's not about the flag. Proponents say, prove it while they remove the American flag and drive off to the next fairway. 

So, are golfer's wise enough to figure out how to protect their rights or, maybe, put up a good fight trying? YEAH RITE! Read the story from the Ocala Star-Banner written by Joe Byrnes to find the answer. 

* SEE BELOW * 

The best to you and yours, 
Bob, 
Ocala, FL 
Public Relations - CCFJ, Inc., 

------------------------------------ * SEE BELOW * -------------------------------
Friday, September 07, 2001 6:20 PM
Stonecrest Flagpole Flap

Rule leaves Stonecrest residents teed off

JOE BYRNES
Local News Editor

SUMMERFIELD Unless it's a "handicapped flag" indicating a disabled golfer, as of Sept. 1 the Stonecrest Golf and Country Club won't allow a flag on carts along its course.

The rule is designed to prevent confusion when a course ranger checks from a distance to see if carts have the special flag and may park close to the greens.
 

But the rule has created confusion of an different sort, as many veterans and other Stonecrest residents cannot understand why they're not allowed to fly the American flag.
"I think it's kind of ridiculous. Can there be any reason . . . for telling anybody that he can't fly the American flag?" said Chet Williams, who during World War II was a radio operator aboard a B-24 over Europe. "As one who is a veteran, that just aggravates the daylights out of me."
                       -------------------- READ THE FULL STORY HERE --------
       Rule leaves Stonecrest residents teed off


7 - 30 -2001
Dear members, friends and Veterans, 

Thanks to our friend and colleague Fred Pilot in CA we've learned; the ex-Marine in Jupiter Florida is not ready to throw in the towel and has chosen to 'draw a line in the sand!' 

"Semper Fi," soldier and thanks for the head up! 

This brave Veteran is fighting for the right of all homeowners in deed restricted communities to display the American Flag on a free-standing flagpole in front of your home and should be supported for that reason. 

The choice about how an American Flag should be flown should not be dicated by ambiguous restrictions nor dictatorial powers of a board of directors and certainly not by an Architectural 'Control' Committee seeking to 'control' the lives of residents enticed to relocate. 

Our hope is a favorable resolution to the principles of freedom of expression and the rights of a free people in America will previal in our courts. 

Regardless, this and the flagpole flap in the state of Virginia, wherein a Veteran has been ordered to pay in excess of $86,000 for a similar 'violation of the deed restrictions,' will reverberate into every deed restricted community in Florida and our nation to set the tone for amending this onerous restriction. 

Good luck to George Andres, the Veteran in Virginia and; 

God Bless America! 

The entire story can be accessed, as provided; 

* SEE BELOW * 

The best to you and yours, 
Bob
Public Relations - CCFJ, Inc., 
-------------------------------------- * SEE BELOW * -----------------------------
Flag flier sues homeowners group


7 - 15 - 2001
Dear members, friends and Veterans, 

If you have an interest in these matters, we urge you to contact your Florida Legislative delegates and members of Congress. Included is a recent e-mail sent to Senator Bob Graham. 

* SEE BELOW * 

A similar message has been sent to Representative Cliff Stearns. 

The best to you and yours, 
Bob, 
---------------------------------- * SEE BELOW * ----------------------
Dear Senator Bob Graham, 

Your attention to this matter is greatly appreciated. 

Antiquated deed restrictions preventing the erection of a portable free-standing flagpole in front of a home, to fly the American flag, should be eliminated. 

* SEE BELOW *

Federal law must prevail in this matter because state law is silent and remains so because of stakeholder and industry partisan influences in Tallahassee. 

As a matter of fact, Congress should conduct hearings into the concept of Common Interest Developments and the failure of the state of Florida and others to protect homeowners rights for the unjust enrichment of the industry. 

Citizens should not be enticed to relocate when the laws of our state and/or federal interstate advertisement laws might be violated. 

As a former of Governor of Florida you must be shocked to learn; Caveat Emptor rather than Full Disclosure during real estate transactions and after contract for sale are the "Buy Words" in the Sunshine State?

Homeowners Associations, 'mini-governments' in Florida, remain unregulated because of the same influences and power of the stakeholders and industry partisans. It's time for a change! 

However, it seems; the Federal government must provide the impetus for change because our three branches of government in Florida have turned a blind eye to violations of disclosure, prior to and after contract for sale, forcing residents to expend excessive funds to attempt to resolve complaints in our Florida courts.

Your consideration of these matters is greatly appreciated. We look forward to your reply. 
Sincerely, 
 ------------------------------- * SEE BELOW * -------------------

Dear members, friends and Veterans,

Residents of deed restricted communities are familiar with 'selective
enforcement' of restrictions. The ongoing dilema of a Korean Veteran's
desire to erect a 12' free-standing (portable) flagpole in front of his home seems to be another example of a dictatorial board of directors power to enforce restrictions in a similar manner?

In addition, for whatever reason, if you read the following article in your local newspaper you might not have read the entire story written by AP writer Amanda Riddle? We're providing a LINK to the full story,

* SEE BELOW *

because these key elements were omitted in the reprint by my local
newspaper, the Ocala Star-Banner, i.e.;

"There's other people around, including board members, who have violations on their properties and nothing is said to them," he said.

A message left with the board president was not immediately returned Friday.

A hearing set for next Friday will determine how much Andres, a retired electrician from New York, owes the association in attorney fees, which Andres estimates at $25,000. Veterans clubs have said they plan protests outside the West Palm Beach courthouse.

"I'm not going to pay it; I'll go to jail," Andres said about the fine.

The best to you and yours,
Bob
Public Relations - CCFJ, Inc.,


Please read articles:
           FLYING "OLD GLORY" ?


 
7 - 1 - 2001
Dear members, friends and Veterans, 

Here we go again! 

Another homeowners association in Florida (where else?) deprives a Veteran from flying the American Flag on a flagpole in front of his home. 

Judge: Jupiter veteran must pay $7,300 for flag pole violation

Man Fights Neighborhood For Flag Display

Isn't a free standing flagpole the most respectful and proper way to display the American Flag?

How much longer will our government permit these antiquated deed restrictions to be the 'law of the land?' 

We had a similar lawsuit in our community in Marion county several years ago which cost homeowners approximately $14,000 to resolve. 

The flagpole in question, which displayed the American Flag in front of a patriotic Veteran's home, was moved to the side but placed strategically toward the front of the home after the case was mediated. A beautiful sight! 

To this date, our restrictions deprive Veteran's and/or all lot owners from displaying the American Flag on a free standing flagpole on their property...PERIOD!

However, on any given day in a deed restricted community adjacent to ours, you'll find the American Flag displayed on a free standing flagpole, IN FRONT OF A HOME! So, go figure?

Although this situation isn't unique, it seems; government entities in Florida are content to look the other way while enticing Citizens to relocate. 

Sadly, Caveat Emptor rather than Full Disclosure are the "Buy Words" during real estate transactions in Florida.

To: Prospective Purchasers! 

Request and Read the Governing Documents BEFORE CONTRACT FOR SALE! Engage the services of a competent real estate attorney, if you're unsure of ambiguous provisions. 

If you're unable to display the American Flag on a free standing flagpole in front of your home maybe you don't want to live in the community? 

The best to you and yours, 
Bob
Public Relations - CCFJ, Inc., 



 
6 - 3 - 2001
Dear members and friends, 

Florida isn't the only 'sunshine state' preventing the sun from shining in on public documents but it has been and continues to be one of the best at exempting records from public scrutiny. 

We know you've read how the Florida State Tax Reform Task Force and the Energy 2020 Study Commission created by Governor Jeb Bush has, basically, shut down public participation by failing to include scheduled time on their meeting agendas. 

...and you've read about the 134 exemption bills filed during the 2001 Legislative session to diminish access to the public but you might not have read how your state is attempting to emulate Florida's desire to shut down public access? 

Maybe your state is mentioned in the following story: 
State Sunshine Laws Under Attack
Courtesy Stateline.org

The best to you and yours, 
Bob, 
Public Relations - CCFJ, Inc., 


5 - 8 - 2001
Dear members and friends,

The following is a response to our dear friend in CA. His message has provided an opportunity for us to 'sum up' our advocacy during the recent legislative session, thank several people for a 'job well done!'

Good morning Soldier,
Today is VE DAY, Fly your American Flag!
Thanks for your kind remarks.
------------------------ * SEE BELOW * -----------------------------

Filling a void is not an easy task! We agree, there is a huge void out there. My friend, we're unsure how much of an impact we're having and will have in the future. In addition to building our ranks we are attempting to build coalitions with others. As you know, it's the only way to accomplish common goals and objectives.

Recruitment is slow! Apathy abounds! Grass roots orgs seek quick remedies and seem intent upon protecting their individuality!

The state of Florida is business oriented from top to bottom, i.e., at all levels of state, county and local government levels making it very difficult to advance meaningful reform against the power and influence of the stakeholders. We win some 'battles,' get a 'small bite of the rotten apple'
but the 'war' continues.

Despite the rejection by the Legislative branch of the Growth Management model proposed by Governor Jeb Bush (by Executive Order), which would have shifted the burden for infrastructure from the development community (stakeholders) onto the backs of the taxpayers at the local level, Dept of Community Affairs Secretary Steven M. Seibert is on record stating;

"...(Gov) Bush would (will) come back next year with a growth management reform bill. In the meantime the administration will implement the reforms it can that don't require legislation," he said.

Hopefully, local government and their constituents will be aware of reforms the DCA intends to implement before not after the fact?

My dear friend, we're more optimistic of the current and future efforts of AARP than you seem to be and we urge you to touch base with their leaders in your state.

They 'stepped up to the plate' and exposed themselves to the general public while in past years they were content to work behind the scenes. We believe and hope this is a 'new beginning' for AARP which boasts a membership of (2) two million in Florida.

Our coalition with their Florida leaders, Lyn Bodiford and Bentley Lipscomb (former Secretary of the Florida Dept of Elder Affairs), was a worthwhile experience from which everyone has benefited.

They were on the front line in their efforts to protect the rights of the infirmed and elderly needing Long Term/Nursing Home Care and we stood shoulder to shoulder with them and longtime advocate for the elderly, Anna Spinella, on this issue.

Singling out individuals and specific members of the Legislature is a difficult and cumbersome task. We know there were many involved in this particular issue.

However, we do acknowledge; Representative Nancy Argenziano's efforts to thwart the industry and their supportors.

Representative Argenziano was steadfast in her desire to provide adequate protections of the infirmed and elderly. She devoted hundreds of hours to the cause but was being reigned in by Speaker of the House Tom Feeney in his apparent desire to side with the stakeholders 'tort reform' efforts and amend the intent of her legislation.

The lobbyists for the nursing home industry skewered the argument, created panic amongst the Citizens; held hands with those in power; but, we believe, cooler heads prevailed and meaningful reform was achieved. We anticipate; nursing home residents and those needing adequate care might receive adequate care in the future? We'll s

Representative Argenziano's frustration came to a head when she delivered a 25-pound bag of cow manure to a nursing home lobbyist who taunted her. It remains to be seen if the Speaker will discipline Argenziano for her actions and withholding her vote on the final Long Term Care/Nursing home bill?
We'll see?

It was our first real effort to effect change as a fledging consumer advocacy organization after incorporating as a not for profit in December 2000. We had a very successful endeavor and look forward to advancing meaningful reform in the future.

To their credit; AARP through their representative, Ed Paschal, is seated on the Energy 2020 Commission as a consumer advocate. This commission will, no doubt, recommend deregulation of the electrical industry in Florida (they tried to get in the back door during the recent session but were rebuffed, temporarily!) when it concludes it's mandate next February.

A few questions in Florida?

-Is our electrical industry broken?
-Will deregulation protect consumers or provide unjust enrighment for the wholesalers?
-Do we need to build more nuclear and coal fired electrical generating plants?

We'll see?

As you know and other consumer advocate realize; we must reform the way real estate transactions are conducted in Florida. "Full Disclosure" not 'Caveat Emptor' must be the "Buywords" in our state. AARP has promised to review these matters, instate and at the national level.

The efforts of Senator Anna Cowin and Representative Dennis Baxley to protect homeowners rights was a futile attempt to shift the burden onto local government. As anticipated, the lateness of the filings doomed these bills from consideration. They never left the 'gate!'

While Marion County Commissioners shifted the blame for the failure to advance meaningful reform of 'mandated properties,' i.e., deed restricted adult and residential communities with mandatory homeowners associations, onto the shoulders of Senator Anna Cowin their apparent unwillingness to insist follow-up with the Senator by their legislative delegation laison created the 'void' toward drafting meaningful legislation.

They have no one to blame for this debacle but themselves. We urge them to take another view of their stance on the issues of failure to disclose, before and after contract for sale; conduct appropriate seminars with their constituents and legislators; establish priorities for a meaningful reform and insist upon a bill draft in time for the 2002 Legislative session.

In addition, foreclosure of homestead property by a homeowners association must not continue to be tolerated. We believe it's a violation of the Florida Constitution and will continue to advance our JOINT RESOLUTION to insist that Citizens of our state have an opportunity to decide this issue at the ballot box.

The next time you visit our Web site review information provided, sign our Guest Book, and consider clicking on that ever present JOIN button. We need your help to reach our goals and objectives and our desire to represent the Citizens of our state, in coalition with others. Thank you.

The best to you and yours,
Bob



--------------------------- * SEE BELOW * ------------------------------
----- Original Message -----
From: "Frederick L. Pilot" <fpilot@directcon.net>
Sent: Monday, May 07, 2001 8:08 PM
Subject: First consumer organization in Florida?

You may recall my email to you several weeks ago in which I observed much of what you are doing (taking on corporate interests) is the same thing consumer groups have historically done, and that CCFJ seemed to be reinventing the wheel in that regard.
Now I realize why you are doing what you are doing with Cyber Citizens For Justice -- you are filling a void.  Apparently the national consumer organizations have written Florida off.  I'm a bit surprised to come to that realization and also that AARP is also MIA in a state populated by so many seniors.  I never would have guessed that.

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