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Debate 101: Let’s get ready to rumble B1


As many Black Floridians focus on this week’s presidential debate (which occurred after the Florida Courier’s press time Wednesday night), events in Washington, D.C. were unfolding that could have long-term impact on foreign policy and public education.

Benghazi attack Partisan sparring and angry questioning of witnesses underscored how the deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, a State Department computer expert and two U.S. security contractors – and the Obama administration’s response to them – have become issues in presidential and congressional races four weeks before the elections. Stevens and Sean Smith, a

OCTOBER 12 - OCTOBER 18, 2012

VOLUME 20 NO. 41

State Department computer specialist, suffocated from smoke from fires set by the estimated 120 suspected Islamist militants who stormed the compound around 9:40 p.m. on the 11th anniversary of the 2001 attacks on the United States. Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, two former Navy SEAL serving as security officers, died in a subsequent assault on a nearby CIA safe house.

Partisan arguments Republicans and Democrats jousted over alleged security failures, the administration’s fluctuating accounts of what happened, and the State Department rejection of U.S. Embassy requests to extend the tours of security personnel even as the danger of being in Libya grew. Democrats alleged that they were denied access to witnesses

and information, while Republicans sought to tar the administration with the U.S. fatalities. “I believe, personally, with more assets, more resources, just meeting the minimum standards, we could have and should have saved the life of Ambassador Stevens and the other people who were there,” asserted Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who is helping lead the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee investigation into the attack. “The fact is that since 2011, the House has cut embassy security by hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the panel’s top Democrat, who cited a bipartisan estimate that ending tax breaks for oil companies could save $2.5 billion annually. “We could fully replenish these emSee REFOCUS, Page A2

...on issues other than debates. The murder of four Americans in Libya is determined to be a terrorist attack; the U.S. Supreme Court examines affirmative action.


A Transfer of Remains ceremony marked the return of the human remains of the four Americans killed in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012 to the United States.


Thousands ‘wine’ in Miami-Dade and Broward

FMU is flying high Aviation program buys new plane SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER

OPA LOCKA – The Florida Memorial University (FMU) Aviation and Safety Department ushered in a new era of excellence on Sept. 28 when more than 100 guests joined university officials and students at the Opa-Locka Airport to help dedicate the newest addition to the South Florida skies. On a windy, blue-sky day, the new aircraft was taxied around to the canopy at Miami Executive Aviation where Dr. Henry Lewis III, FMU president, hopped out and addressed the enthusiastic crowd of elected officials, university representatives, airport executives, flight school personnel and FMU aviation students.

‘Dreams take flight’


A group of ‘mas’ (masquerade) band members pose after a rain-drenched parade Sunday closed out the Fourth Annual Miami Broward One Carnival at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens.

FAMU band member pleads ‘no contest’ in hazing death BY STEPHEN HUDAK ORLANDO SENTINEL / MCT

Former Florida A&M University band member Brian Jones pleaded no contest in Orlando Tuesday morning to felony hazing in the death of drum major Robert Champion.


ing aboard a charter bus parked outside the Rosen Plaza hotel where the school’s famed Marching 100 was staying. The band was in Orlando for the Florida Classic, the annual rivalry game at the Citrus Bowl between FAMU and Bethune-Cookman University.

‘Crossing Bus C’


Robert Champion Jones, who will turn 24 later this month, is the first of the 12 band members charged in Champion’s beating death to withdraw a “not guilty” plea. The others are set for trial next year. Champion, 26, died Nov. 19 after a haz-

According to fellow drum major Keon Hollis, Champion’s friend and his roommate during the Florida Classic, Champion reluctantly participated in a ritual known as “Crossing Bus C” – the percussion bus. The hazing required Champion to push his way from the front of the bus to the back while enduring an onslaught of physical abuse from band mates. Hollis, who submitted to the ritual before Champion, said they hoped to earn the percussion section’s respect.

“We are here to serve notice that Florida Memorial University is a place where dreams also take flight,” declared Lewis. “This new airplane allows our students to gain experience on state-of-the-art equipment and provides the greater community with stellar aviation professionals.” The orange-and-blue Cessna 172 SP with top-level avionics is a single-engine, four-passenger aircraft that will allow students to earn various pilot licenses and instrument ratings. Mychal Martin, a recent FMU aviation graduate, was at the controls. He is now a certified flight instructor at Endeavor Flight Training, Inc. “I never thought it would get to the point that FMU would have its own plane,” Martin said. “I felt very empowered and deeply honored to celebrate the moment.” See PLANE, Page A2


New study calls for elimination of bail bonds FLORIDA | A6

Zimmerman’s brother’s media tour attacks Trayvon attorneys


Do you know the scoop? Presidential media quiz FINEST | B5

Meet Joe

See FAMU, Page A2




OCTOBER 12 - OCTOBER 18, 2012

Will Bro. Prez’s ‘hard head’ make for a ‘soft behind’ in Black Florida? Editor’s note: This commentary was written before the vice presidential debate. Last week, I wrote about how close the presidential race in Florida is between Mitt Romney and Bro. Prez – and that was BEFORE the first debate. I told you that Barack Obama’s team continues to take Black voters for granted. It continues to run a 2008-style campaign that doesn’t consider the lukewarm enthusiasm of Black Floridians for Bro. Prez, nor the impact of three years of voter suppression laws and activities on the Black electorate here. I wrote that thousands of Black votes of qualified Floridians won’t be counted because of the campaign’s inattentiveness, and due to its unresponsiveness to a favorable court decision expanding the voter registration process. (Voter registration ended in Florida on Tuesday.) Here’s more: • As of this writing with four weeks left, the Obama campaign has already spent $49 million to run more than 70,200 TV ads in Florida alone, according to the Washington Post. The tally: $14 million in Tampa; $14 million in Orlando; $9 million in Miami-Fort Lauderdale; $5 million in West Palm Beach; $3 million in Jacksonville; $3 million in Fort Myers/Naples; $635,000 in Gainesville, the home of the University of Florida. To my knowledge, not one dime went to financially support existing thirdparty community-based voter education or registration efforts. • The campaign has replicated its 2008 strategy of shutting

Charles W. Cherry II, Esq. PUBLISHER

out existing Black voter registration and get-out-the vote (GOTV) networks in Florida. In 2008, Obama revolutionized American politics via its digital/ Internet outreach. The campaign made a strategic decision then to bypass established local Black registration/GOTV networks so it wouldn’t be beholden to local Black political powerbrokers. It depended on paid staff and volunteers – some of whom were bused all over Florida and into inner-city neighborhoods in the days before Election Day 2008. It’s said that “Success has many fathers; failure is an orphan.” I’m sure Bro. Prez’s people were thinking their revolutionary 2008 digital strategy put in place with paid staff and ‘outside’ volunteers would work again, and Black turnout would approach that of 2008. I believe they are wrong. They overestimated the impact of the Internet and TV ads on Black voters in Florida. They underestimated the singular historical nature of Obama’s 2008 candidacy (and subsequent win) on the collective psyche of Black America. They’ve underestimated the amount of resources and work necessary to maintain or improve the Black average voter registration rate of 69.7 percent AND the 92.8 percent Black voter turnout of four years ago. In 2008, Black communities

nationwide were motivated to work for Obama for personal and historical reasons, and activated their own existing registrations/GOTV networks without help from Obama’s organization. National Urban League statistics indicate that 185,000 more Black Floridians voted in 2008 as compared to 2004. Can Obama’s campaign apparatus take complete credit for that increase? I think not. How many of us heard Black senior citizens say in 2008, “I want to vote for a Black president before I die? I want to tell my grandkids I voted for the First Black President.” Shattering a glass ceiling that was preventing a Black American president from rising to power is a onetime event. And almost every Black person in America helped “throw a rock’’ by registering and casting a single vote. Fast-forward four years. Bro. Prez is running the same strategy in Florida in a different historical and political environment with reduced historical significance, less Black enthusiasm for his policies, tighter voter registration rules, and a shorter voting period. Had relationships been built with existing local networks in 2008 rather than relying solely on staff and volunteers parachuting into Florida, things may be different now. Obama didn’t have to choose either a digital/paid staff strategy or a local registration/GOTV strategy; both work together. And you’ve got to invest campaign funds in both, which Bro. Prez has never done in this state. • The campaign has made a strategic decision to shut out Black-owned media with the

exception of Black radio talk shows with national reach. The campaign considers newspapers and radio “old media’’ that they can’t control. How do I know? His top-level campaign folks essentially said so at a National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) convention in Chicago in June 2011. After asking Black newspaper owners to redouble their efforts to “tell the president’s story,” Obama’s folks told us in 2011 that money would be spent in places more “cost-effective” than in Black-owned media. (Fisticuffs damn near erupted because Black newspapers were “telling the story” before most of America could pronounce “Barack Obama” correctly. We’re good enough to “tell the president’s story” but not good enough to run his paid ads? Yet the campaign spends millions running ads on Fox News?) The Florida Courier is an award-winning, circulation-audited newspaper with statewide reach and a consistently updated website and social media platform. We are no “fish wrapper.’’ There are Black-owned newspapers in almost every nook and cranny in Florida. There are Black-owned radio stations in Miami-Dade, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Pierce, Orlando, Daytona, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and other areas that primarily serve Black listening audiences. Yet, the Obama campaign treats Black media owners as moneygrubbing nuisances. Some of his people see Black newspapers especially as the enemy – akin to Black Tea Partiers – because most of us remain “unbought and un-

bossed,” in the late U.S. Rep. Shirley Chisholm’s immortal words. They continually underestimate and devalue our hard-won credibility, the quality of what we do, and the intimate connections built over decades in the communities we cover and live in. At the same fiery June 2011 NNPA meeting, the Obama campaign was urged to use Blackowned media statewide starting in March 2012 for voter education with regard to new identification and registration rules, early voting days, and GOTV efforts, especially in Florida and battleground states. The campaign also was urged to invest in existing community-based nonprofits to assist in such efforts. The suggestion was quickly rejected at the meeting. They didn’t even think about it. Instead, Bro. Prez’s campaign is now making and airing “Big Bird” commercials on the Web to take the sting out of him getting pimp-slapped by Romney during the first debate. Black-owned media have not been paid one dime of the $49 million in advertising Obama has spent in Florida. Thus far, he has yet to speak directly to Florida’s Black voters. • Bro. Prez’s people have been warned – often. Back when you could beat a kid without going to jail, Mama ’nem said, “A hard head means a soft behind.” That’s true –even in politics. Next week: If there’s a Democratic Party in Florida, let me know.

Contact me at ccherry2@; holler at me at www.; follow me on Twitter @ccherry2.



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Lewis applauded the generosity of the U.S. Air Force and the Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust; both entities provided grants to underwrite the airplane.

Champion’s parents have sued the university; the bus company, Fabulous Coach Lines; and the bus driver, Wendy Mellette; alleging negligence in the wrongfuldeath of their son. The university has asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit. FAMU contends Champion “knowingly and voluntarily” participated in a felony act prohibited by university rules.

Locals can learn In an effort to uplift the community, FMU is making the plane available to customers interested in flight lessons through Endeavour Flight Training, Inc. “We’re offering new possibilities to our community by giving future aviators access to our plane,” Lewis announced. “Local residents will be able to take flight lessons at affordable and competitive prices.” Since its inception in 1985, the Aviation and Safety Department has created a pipeline for high-quality aviators and airport-management professionals. It confers bachelor degrees in Aeronautical Science with a concentration in Flight Education, and Airway Science with a concentration in Airway Science Management. Additionally, the program launched an Air Traffic Control major and a Homeland Security minor last year.

Judge speaks


Florida Memorial University President Dr. Henry Lewis III disembarks from FMU’s new Cessna fourpassenger airplane.

‘First-class product’ “We spared no expense in developing this aircraft,” said Capt. Arnold Tolbert, FMU aviation program chairman. “We take great pride in producing a first-class product with first-class resources.”

GOP from A1 bassy security accounts with just a fraction of that.” At the White House, spokesman Jay Carney conceded that in hindsight “there is no question that the security was not enough to prevent that tragedy from happening.” But Eric Allan Nordstrom, who served as the chief security officer at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli from September 2011 until July, testified that the “ferocity and intensity” of the attack on the rented Benghazi compound that served as a temporary consulate exceeded any violence that he had seen in Libya or elsewhere.

Affirmative action questioned Conservative Supreme Court justices took aim at affirmative action Wednesday in a politically-charged case that will likely determine what role race can play in college admissions and other public policies.

Tolbert, a retired decorated military and commercial pilot, is charged to guide one of the region’s most exhaustive Aviation and Safety programs. Tolbert smiled broadly as one of FMU’s own, who has already made history in his own right, spoke at the press conference.

The pointed questions during an unusually long oral argument presaged a close call, and possible problems ahead, for racial consideration of applicants to the University of Texas and other schools. This most highly anticipated case of the court’s 2012 term will probably come down to a single swing vote. “There has to be a logical endpoint to your use of race (in admissions),” Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. told the university’s attorney. “When is that endpoint?” Roberts pressed repeatedly for details on the university’s stated goal of enrolling a “critical mass” of minority students. Justice Samuel Alito said flatly that he didn’t understand what the university meant, and Justice Antonin Scalia voiced repeated skepticism about the admissions preferences granted under what he termed “a very ambitious racial program” at the state’s flagship public university.

‘One factor’ Attorney Gregory S. Garre, representing the university, re-

‘On the map’ Barrington Irving, an FMU graduate, earned fame as the first Black and youngest pilot to successfully embark of a solo flight around the world. The Guinness World Record holder noted, “This is a great day for our program.

sponded that race is “only one modest factor among many” considered in admissions decisions, that diversity “serves an interest that is indisputably compelling.” Andrea Noel Fisher, a White graduate of Steven F. Foster High School in Sugar Land, Texas, challenged the state university’s admissions policy after the school rejected her in 2008. The University of Texas guarantees admission to students in the top 10 percent of their high school classes, but Fisher’s 3.59 GPA was not enough to make the grade. The university also admits a certain number of other students, for whom race, socioeconomic status and other factors can provide an admissions advantage.

In the courtroom Fisher, who had a combined SAT score of 1180 out of 1600, was rejected. She subsequently enrolled at Louisiana State University and graduated in May. Fisher was present in the courtroom for the 85-min-

“The FMU Aviation program is growing and soaring. I wish I had access to this type of plane while I was a student,” said Irving. “We are finally on the map. I hope to log a few flight hours on this plane.” For more information, log on to www.FMUniv. edu.

ute oral argument Wednesday morning, as was University of Texas President Bill Powers. Powers and other university officials could be heartened, in part, from the questions and asides of Democratic appointees like Justice Sonia Sotomayor, although the final call could come down to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has straddled positions on the issue.

Eight will vote Justice Elena Kagan, who replaced affirmative action supporter John Paul Stevens in 2010, has recused herself because she previously served as the Obama administration’s solicitor general. The administration supports the University of Texas. With only eight justices considering the case, a 4-4 tie could occur. If that happens, a lower appellate court’s ruling upholding the University of Texas’ admissions policies would be sustained but would not serve as a national precedent.

Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers (MCT) contributed to this report.

Circuit Judge Marc Lubet accepted Jones’ plea but did not pronounce Jones guilty. Lubet set sentencing for Oct. 22 to allow Champion’s parents to attend. “You’ll never make it right with them,” the judge told Jones, “but do everything in your power to try.” Jones, who did not respond to questions as he left the courtroom, faces up to five years in prison and a possible $5,000 fine. A percussionist and criminal justice major from Parrish, near Tampa, Jones was accompanied by his mother, Jacquelin Jones, as he faced the judge. According to documents released by prosecutors earlier this year, fellow band member Benjamin McNamee, who also is charged with felony hazing in Champion’s death, told investigators that he recalled Jones “basically” holding Champion in a bear hug. McNamee also told detectives that he tried to free the drum major from Jones’ grasp.

Cut a deal The change of plea occurred after a 28-minute private huddle in the courtroom with the judge, Assistant State Attorney Nicole Pegues and defense lawyer Alisia Mary Adamson. The lawyers would not comment about the discussion that was, at times, animated – with the judge doing most of the talking. After a recess, Lubet called the death of Champion “a tragic set of events.” The judge also labeled Jones’ participation in the hazing as “rather minimal,” a description affirmed in court by the prosecutor. “There is no testimony that he at anytime actually beat or hit...Mr. Champion,” Lubet said. “He allegedly was there. But as far as the injuries caused to Mr. Champion, he wasn’t directly responsible.” The judge also praised Jones, now enrolled at the State College of Florida, “for stepping up to the plate” and accepting responsibility for his role in the deadly hazing. An Orlando lawyer, Adamson described Jones’ decision as a “best interest” plea in which he is not admitting guilt nor denying it, but accepting the facts and the law as presented by the prosecutors. She said the plea does not require nor bar Jones from testifying against any of his bandmates.

october 12 - OCTOBER 18, 2012



New study calls for elimination of bail bonds For-profit money bail a problematic policy for poor and communities of color BY SUSANNE MANNEH TRICE EDNEY NEWS WIRE

If you were to get arrested in Kentucky, Wisconsin, Illinois, or Oregon, or other jurisdictions such as Washington, D.C.; Broward County, Florida; or Philadelphia, finding a bail bonds agency and the sufficient funds to make bail would be one less concern. That’s because according to the Justice Policy Institute (JPI), a national nonprofit law and justice advocacy and research organization, these locations have eliminated money bail. In a series of JPI studies released this month, the organization is calling for all states to end for-profit bail bonds practices. Two reports were released earlier this month: “Bail Fail: Why the U.S. Should End the Practice of Money Bail,” and “For Better or For Profit: How the Bail Bonding Industry Stands in the Way of Fair and Effective Pretrial Justice.” A final report release last month provides firsthand accounts from residents in Baltimore, Md., with the money bail system.

Risk assessments Both studies suggest that for-profit money bail is a problematic policy that is especially harmful to the poor and communities of color, and call for it to be eliminated. Instead, JPI offers solu-

tions such as using pretrial services, which would include a risk assessment – an evaluation that would determine if the individual poses a danger to the community, conducted by judges to determine who to release and how to release. Those released would undergo mediation as well as frequent monitoring and supervision. Depending on their charges and the results of their risk assessments, they can be released with, for example, weekly visitations from a probation officer, a tracking device, and drug testing and rehabilitation when applicable.

Millions processed Other key recommendations include issuing court notifications to remind people of their court hearings, which would prevent failure-to-appear rates, as well as considering the voices of all parties involved, including the victim’s, when deciding on the individual’s pretrial. Tracy Velazquez, executive director of JPI, noted that approximately 60 percent of individuals detained nationally who are not convicted are being detained on low bail amounts, but they remain in jail awaiting the resolution of their charges because they cannot afford to pay a forprofit bail agency. JPI reports state that between June 2010 and June 2011, nearly 12 million people were processed through jails in the United States. Since the year 2000, U.S. jails have operated at an average of 91 percent capacity.

Impact on poor What’s equally alarm-

ing, said Velazquez, is the amount of people detained who plead guilty just to expedite their release. “[In] as high as a quarter to half of cases nationally, the detained individual pleads guilty just to get out of jail and not lose their job or their kids.” She said that this was the result of their not being able to find a bail agency and afford to pay to get out. “Sometimes they are dismissed because they had already served time while they were awaiting their trials. It’s also punishing people before they are found guilty, or if they aren’t [found guilty],” she said. One of the greatest concerns highlighted in the reports is the impact high money bail has on communities of color and the poor. The reports note that while 12 percent of the total U.S. population is Black, Blacks comprise 38 percent of the U.S. jail population. Blacks ages 18 through 29 received significantly higher bail amounts than all other ethnic and racial groups, and likely can’t afford to pay the 10 percent bond to be released.

No choice Because of this, Velazquez suggested, people who earn lower wages or are members of minority communities have no choice but to stay in jail. “People who stay in jail were more likely to be found guilty regardless of the merits of the case. Think about it – they show up to court looking guilty,” she said. Velazquez also noted that many victims in groups she has interviewed prefer

The reports note that while 12 percent of the total U.S. population is Black, Blacks comprise 38 percent of the U.S. jail population. Blacks ages 18 through 29 received significantly higher bail amounts than all other ethnic and racial groups, and likely can’t afford to pay the 10 percent bond to be released. the pretrial system to providing the suspect with the opportunity to bail him or herself out. But Dennis Bartlett, executive director of the American Bail Coalition, a national organization representing the for-profit bail industry, disagrees with several of the report’s findings and recommendations. He said that there is a significant need for the bail bond industry. “The commercial bail industry does what it’s supposed to do – get the defendant to trial on time. The reason pretrial agencies are not flourishing is because they do not do that job very well.” He said 97 percent to 98 percent of all money bail clients nationally make their court dates.

Misperceptions challenged Eric Granof, vice president of Corporate Communications for AIA Bail Bond Insurance Company, the largest underwriter of bail in the country, echoed Bartlett and shared his concerns regarding JPI’s reports. He added that the bail bond industry is too often

misrepresented by reality shows and Hollywood as the “scum bags of the Earth,” and said they have developed the website to “challenge these misperceptions.” He also contested that 60 percent of individuals in jail are awaiting trial, because not all are “bailable.” “That is a misrepresentation because some are awaiting transfers to other states, some are on an INS [immigration] hold, and some are too dangerous to be released.” But he said there is a need for both pretrial programs and money bail programs. “We understand that there is a role for pretrial services,” he said. “There are people that need help with substance abuse, and putting them through a pretrial is better than letting them out on bail. But there is a [higher] level of appearance rates that happen [from money bail] because we outperform every other form,” he said.

tice Institute in Washington D.C, where money bail has been eliminated, says the key issue is that money bail does not address public safety. “It [money bail] was never designed to make the community safe. There is no accountability,” he said, adding that bail money goes “directly into the pockets of businessmen.” “The nation currently houses more pretrial defendants in jail than they do convicted criminals. The costs are staggering, but it doesn’t have to be so,” he said. “The system favors those who have cash, regardless to the danger they pose to the community.” He provided an example of an experienced car thief and a novice car thief caught together. “The experienced car thief will buy his way out, while the novice remains in jail, but who do we, the concerned community, want to monitor?”

Public safety concerns

This story is special to the Trice Edney News Wire from New America Media.

However, Tim Murray, director of the Pretrial Jus-



OCTOBER 12 - OCTOBER 18, 2012

Black Republicans defend their right ‘to be’ I am one of the thousands of Black Republicans who find themselves at odds with 95 percent of the rest of the Black community who are Democrats. Ten years ago I wrote a poem entitled, “Why Do You Call Me Names.” One would think in the most advanced nation in the world in the year 2012, that poem would not be applicable with today’s Black intelligentsia. But alas, the opposite is the case. Let’s talk about how one would think how fantastic it is that a Black woman in Utah would not only be elected mayor of a city there, but also could just possibly be Utah’s next congressional representative. Then let’s have her become one of the speaker’s at the 2012 Republican National Convention.


alas again, the only Black press I see about Mia Love is a put-down – negative and demeaning. Par for the course from Black liberals about Black conservatives. But we press on, in spite of the negativity, the cursing, the name calling, even the physical and verbal assaults. All because we exercised our right to vote – a hard fought right, dripped in the blood of innocents. What our liberal brothers and sisters seem to forget is that heroes died for our right to vote – not for our right to vote for the Democratic Party – the very party No one’s talking Since we are still talking about which prevented us from voting several firsts in this one woman, in the first place. one would think that several if not all of the Black media would Love’s story Mia Love is a beautiful Black be celebrating as they normally do for these kinds of firsts. But woman of Haitian immigrant

parentage. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Connecticut as a Catholic, Love fell in love with a Mormon on a mission, married him and moved to Utah. A working mother of three, Love later became a Mormon. Evidently she paid no attention to the rumors of racism in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She later was elected mayor in Saratoga Springs, Utah – a town of 18,000 in a state with less than one percent African-Americans. Seems she ignored some other racist rumors – which means that White Republican Mormons (those so-called racists, according to Democrats) elected Mia Love to run their town. Now it seems they will elect her to help run their state. So it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see why she endorsed and is campaigning hard for Mitt Romney. She has successfully ignored all the naysayers up to now; why not continue? This is what more and more Black Republicans are doing – ignoring those horrible, evil, nasty

Don’t be fooled by Romney’s debate performance Somehow the body snatchers came last week and took the fire (as in “fired up, ready to go”) out of President Obama, leaving a rather listless shell of a man who never truly engaged the audience. He looked down at his notes, fidgeted, and let his opponent, Mitt Romney, get away with multiple lies.  The body snatchers also took Mitt Romney, the greedy venture capitalist who likes to fire people, and turned him into a facsimile of a human being. 

Romney disrespectful Of course, with Romney’s disrespect for both President Obama (interrupting him several times) and moderator Jim Lehrer (who he simply ignored), the faux human being turned out to be one that was rude, arrogant, overbearing, and clearly rehearsed. Romney threw out a line that he had five boys, thus


he was used to hearing the same thing said over and over as if it were the truth. President Obama could not ask Romney who taught the little liars, but that’s what went through my mind.  While President Obama does not have to be as sarcastic as I usually am, he surely could have given Romney a better run for his money. Still, anybody who can do arithmetic knows that Romney has a penchant for mathematical fiction.  How can you cut the taxes on the wealthy (which is done if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire), cut tax rates by 20 percent, and end up with a revenue-neutral solution?  His solution is by cutting spending, in which he cites

Who won debate? The question about who won the debates turns out to be a question of policy versus performance. Too many pundits talked about Mitt Romney’s “performance” indicating that he performed well.  The United States is not a stage looking for a leading actor; it’s a nation, looking

Change underway To understand how 70 percent of Republicans would believe that the polls are biased, you have to appreciate their inability to recognize the nature of the changes underway in the country. To the extent to which they believe that this is a ‘White republic,’ where the rest of us are barely-tolerated visitors, the polls don’t

Ahead in polls While President Obama BILL may be slightly ahead in the FLETCHER, polls, the only poll that reJR. ally matters is to be held on NNPA COLUMNIST

make any sense. After all, from their perspective, there is no way that the U.S. should have a Black president, and, more importantly, there is no way that the demographics of the U.S. should be changing in the manner in which they are – towards a society where there is no White majority. There is no way of knowing how the elections will turn out. The fact that President Obama has been ahead in most polls is striking, particularly given the depth of the economic crisis. Such ratings have to indicate that large numbers of people have little confidence in the vision articulated by Romney/Ryan, but also that there is a sense when looking at the pictures of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, that this gathering (and this political party) bore no resemblance to the reality of the nation. It looked like something very alien and for that matter, something very scary.


Public Broadcasting as one of the cuts he would make. Public Broadcasting represents less than one-thousandth of one percent of the entire federal budget, so cutting it won’t make much difference to the deficits he is quick to rail on. President Obama really needs to toot his own horn.  When Romney says, “you have been president for four years,” our president needs to respond with his list of accomplishments, many of which blunted the effects of the Great Recession which he inherited from George Bush. 

Republicans out of touch with reality I saw an astounding figure that approximately 70 percent of Republicans believe that the poll numbers on the presidential race are biased towards President Obama. In other words, they are asserting that because President Obama has been – at least at the time of this column – ahead in most polls, this cannot be correct and the media must be mucking around. It is important to put this sentiment in context. This is the same Republican Party where more than 60 percent of its members believe that President Obama was not born in the U.S. Despite the incontrovertible evidence, most Republican voters wish to believe otherwise. I would love to think that this was a comedy routine, but it is reality.

names Blacks are calling us and out of every aspect of their polivoting our values, our conscienc- tics. es and our faith. Yet they want to disparage us as traitors. What audacity. What hyNothing’s good enough pocrisy. What arrogance. MeanMichael Eric Dyson once asked while, warriors like Mia Love me on his radio show, “Why should Blacks join the Republi- fight daily for family, faith and can Party?” Of course, he wasn’t country. satisfied with my answer and God bless Mia Love. Her commented that I never even speech at the RNC was exhilaratanswered the question. So re- ing. Her courage is contagious – a gardless of what reasons or answers we Black Republicans give, beautiful Black Christian Repubnothing is quite good enough for lican woman, wife, mother and those who consider us as “traitors mayor. We shall soon call her to our race” and other pejoratives Congresswoman from the White you can’t even print. state of Utah. But finally, more and more So haters, hate on. You never Black Republicans are “coming out” and standing tall for our know when you entertain angels. right to be. Nobody tells us which Barbara Howard is trade party we must belong to or for and travel goodwill ambassawhom we must vote. In fact, we find it very confusing dor to Kenya and Florida state that people, especially the Black chair of the Congress of Racial bourgeoisie who claim Christi- Equality. Contact her at bhowanity as their life map, can serve a political party that conveniently Click on has moved so far away from mor- this story at al principles that they take God to write your own response.

November 6 when we actually vote. Despite all of the efforts by the Republicans to reduce voter turnout by the elderly, the youth, by people of color, by union members and by gays/lesbians, the bottom line will be the determination of those same constituencies that were not in evidence at the Tampa Republican Convention to mobilize in the interest of justice. This will take us further down the road, away from the racist and archaic notion of a ‘White republic’ (for the rich), and instead in the direction of a more consistent democracy. Forget the opinion polls and just make sure to vote on November 6.

Bill Fletcher, Jr. is executive editor of and is the immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum. Contact him at papaq54@ Click on this story at to write your own response.

Opinions expressed on this editorial page are those of the writers, and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of the newspaper or the publisher.

THE CREDO OF THE BLACK PRESS The Black Press believes that Americans can best lead the world away from racism and national antagonism when it accords to every person, regardless of race, color or creed, full human and legal rights. Hating no person, fearing no person. The Black Press strives to help every person in the firm belief...that all are hurt as long as anyone is held back.


for a leader who can make a difference. We are not looking for a contender who thinks that bluster means leadership. We are looking for a leader to finish the work he started.  Those who were mesmerized by the body snatchers’ version of Mitt Romney fail to understand that a listless Obama is ten times better than an

arrogant and overbearing Romney. It’s not over ‘til it’s over. There are two more debates, and many of the undecided will be swayed by these debates.  Others will make their minds up as they walk into the voting booth.   In the next debate, President Obama must be a stronger advocate of the

policies he has embraced, and we who watch must not be fooled by a glitzy performance that is devoid of truth or substance.

Julianne Malveaux is a DC based economist and author. Click on this story at to write your own response.

NAACP silent on ex-offenders’ rights Dear editor: Since I became a member of the NAACP in January 2012, I have complained to NAACP officials about speaking out for so-called gay rights earlier this year but not for the right of ex-offenders to be able to vote. Nothing has changed because the NAACP waited until too close to election time to have any chance of changing the law so ex-offenders could vote in this election. Without being able to vote, ex-offenders suffer from taxation without representation, which was a reason for the Revolutionary War. But if ex-offenders wanted to start a revolution, America’s hypocrites would call them terrorists. Also notice that the NAACP still has not boldly spoken out against all the legalized job discrimination against ex-offenders. Why was it more important to have marches for Trayvon Martin, but not for

LETTER TO THE EDITOR the thousands of Black ex-offenders who suffer employment discrimination? What does this say about the leadership of the NAACP? Since Benjamin Jealous and Julian Bond are the NAACP leaders and are closer to White than Black in skin color, could this be part of the problem? In fact, since the NAACP has many White members, could such integration be an example of infiltration designed to prevent a powerful Black political formation? These are legitimate questions that should be discussed instead of hushed. – Vince Carthane St. Petersburg, Florida

Click on this letter at www.flcourier. com to write your own response.

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october 12 - october 18, 2012

Judges must continue to make tough decisions This November, Floridians will vote on whether to retain three Florida Supreme Court justices and fifteen District Court of Appeal judges. They’re not on the ballot because they did something wrong; rather, it’s just business as usual under Florida’s merit retention system, which requires that all Florida Supreme Court justices and appellate court judges appear on the ballot in six-year cycles based upon when they were appointed by the governor.

Here’s the purpose


lives and taking up almost 11,000 pages of small type. That’s a lot of power.    Another leg of the stool helps balance that power. The governor – who has the authority to veto laws and keep them from going into effect – heads the executive branch, which implements the laws.  To enforce and implement the laws that do go into effect, the governor presides over more than two dozen agencies. Again, that’s a lot of power.  The third leg of the stool helps balance the legislative and executive branch power combined. The judicial branch is charged with interpreting laws and constitutional provisions. That means that the judicial branch can strike down a law that was passed and implemented by the legislative and executive branches, even if the law is very popular. 

As a current member of the Florida Supreme Court, I can neither support nor oppose fellow justices or any of the appellate court judges on the ballot. However, I can speak out about the purpose of merit retention and ask that when you go to the voting booth, you consider the importance of a separate judicial branch in our system of government. Our system is built on a foundation of “checks and balances” and “separation of powers.” It is much like a stool delicately balanced on three legs. One leg is the legislative branch, Some laws illegal which makes the laws. Our FloriThe problem is that even popuda Legislature passes laws cover- lar laws can offend the very founing a broad range of topics affect- dation of our society – the Constiing just about every aspect of our tution.  A great example is Brown




v. Board of Education, a 1954 legal case in which Black children had been denied admission to schools attended by White children under laws requiring or permitting segregation according to race. Brown was so unpopular it led to riots.  But mob rule does not govern our country; the rule of law does. A core constitutional principle is the protection of the powerless from “the tyranny of the masses.”  The justices in Brown could address that tyranny without fear of being kicked off the court, as United States Supreme Court justices are appointed for life.  Their independence was assured because they were insulated against political or popular pressure or retaliation.  They could do their jobs properly precisely because they were without fear of losing them.  But Florida Supreme Court justices and appellate court judges face a merit retention vote every six years.  Some suggest that they should be voted out of office for making certain difficult decisions. While politicians in the other two branches are elected to follow the “will of the people,” the judicial branch must follow the Constitution. So when you vote, I hope you’ll consider that sometimes Florida Supreme Court justices and appellate court judges


have the absolute responsibility at times to make difficult decisions in order to uphold core constitutional principles that in the end serve and protect us all.

Three in unity Their ability to be fair and impartial and at times make unpopular decisions ensures that all three legs of the stool – the legislative, executive, and judicial branches – remain in balance. Cut one leg of the stool short, and it all crashes to the ground.  Make no mistake.  It’s not just about the Florida Supreme Court justices and appellate court judges on the ballot. It’s much bigger than that. The integrity of the en-

tire judicial branch – and therefore, the overall balance of our state’s government – is in play. Will Florida Supreme Court justices and appellate court judges in the future hesitate to make difficult decisions that they believe are required of them if their colleagues have been voted out of office for doing just that?  You be the judge.

Justice James E. C. Perry was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court by Gov. Charlie Crist and took office on March 11, 2009. Click on this story at to write your own response.

How mass incarceration affects everything else The United States is the imprisonment capital of the world. Just one state, Louisiana, has an incarceration rate five times higher than Iran and 13 times higher than China. More than 2 million Americans are behind bars in jails and prisons, the highest on earth in total number and by percentage of population. Mass incarceration began in the early 1970s and has steadily increased since. Minor infractions result in prison terms and an ever-increasing number of offenses are added to the list. Black people are a minority of Americans but make up fully half of the imprisoned population. Most committed nonviolent crimes.

Reversing gains Imprisonment was and is seen as a tool to keep Black people from fully realizing gains made in the 1960s. It was no longer legal to keep Black people from liv-


ing where they wanted, getting jobs for which they were qualified, or preventing them from going to the polls. It was possible to put people in jail for any and every offense, however. People can’t compete for good jobs or agitate for their rights if they are in jail. Problem solved. The toll that mass incarceration has taken on Black people is enormous. A newly published book entitled “Invisible Men: Mass Incarceration and the Myth of Black Progress,” gives the facts and figures behind the crime committed against Black people. Prisoners are ‘disappeared persons’ who are removed from census figures,

who lose their voting rights, and who upon gaining their freedom are banned from entire categories of employment. According to author Becky Pettit, statistics about Black people cannot be trusted because incarcerated men aren’t included in them. Every negative statistic that bedevils the Black community is tied to the awful effects of imprisonment. It is not mysterious that a group with large numbers of its members locked away would have higher rates of HIV or lower rates of marriage or a median net worth of only $4,955. As “Invisible Men” so clearly points out, the large numbers of Black men who are behind bars and who therefore disappear from productive life means that these dismal statistics would be even worse if the incarcerated were not also disappeared from the numbers. “Invisible Men” is just the latest in a series of books such as “The

What have we become and what will become of us? Centuries ago, Black people in America came to realize they had to fend for themselves in order to survive in this foreign land. Our ancestors – enslaved Africans – figured out very quickly that if they had money, they could buy their way off the plantations and become free men and women. They understood the value of their skills and knowledge, and began to “negotiate” with their enslavers for land to grow crops for themselves and sell a portion to others.

Purchasing freedom As our ancestors accumulated money, they were able to purchase their freedom and that of their family members and friends. Their entrepreneurship skills came to the fore, and set in place the priority of economic empowerment among Black Americans. They knew that ownership and control of income-producing assets were keys to their success. I often wonder what our forebears would say to us today about our failure to place that same priority on our economic empowerment.

Changed priorities Today, our priorities have changed almost to the point of ignoring the very basis of existence in this capitalistic society. The rules have not changed since our ancestors learned them and passed them on to us.

forever be relegated to the bottom rungs of this society, and politicians will only call upon us when it’s time to JAMES CLINGMAN cast our votes. In this era of political infatuation, vicariNNPA COLUMNIST ous living, escape TV, and nonsensical diversions from In general, it seems we reality, Black people are in have become a complacent special need of proper pribunch of mentally enslaved orities. people driven by emotional speeches, paralyzed by Others control us the passion of what could We have grown more debe rather than what really is, and captivated by the suc- pendent than independent. cess of others – while ignor- We have allowed our emoing our own lack of success. tions to control us, thereby What have we become allowing others to control and what will become of us? our thinking, our actions, It’s simply a matter of prior- and our priorities. We have ities, of keeping “the main rejected the words of Marcus thing the main thing,” as our Garvey, and we have failed relatives did. The main thing to heed the following words is economics; politics is sec- of Booker T. Washington: ond, and everything falls in “There are reports that line after those two. in some sections the Black man has difficulty in votEconomic fight ing and having counted the As we move closer to the little white ballot he has election, I see excitement, the privilege of depositing commitment, and bound- twice a year. But there is a litless energy among Black tle green ballot he can vote people to get out the vote, through the teller’s window which is commendable. 313 days each year and no However, that same energy one will throw it out or reis missing when it comes to fuse to count it.” Enough said. economic initiatives. If Black people would muster the James E. Clingman, same enthusiastic activism when it comes to empower- founder of the Greater Cining ourselves economically, cinnati African American we could carve out a niche Chamber of Commerce, in the marketplace and take is the nation’s most proa permanent seat at the table lific writer on economic of commerce. empowerment for Black If we fail to bring that people. Click on this story same level of engagement to at to the economic fight, we will write your own response.

New Jim Crow” and “A Plague of Prisons” which reveal the terrible toll that incarceration is taking on the Black community. These works are seriously needed, documenting with hard data the depth of the attack on Black people.

Trend continues Unfortunately, this plethora of books doesn’t seem to be lowering rates of incarceration. The Great Recession and its resultant budget constraints around America have been the only things forcing some states and municipalities to open up some of the prison doors. It all may have started slowly, but the code words and race baiting were evident from the beginning. Terms like “law and order,” “war on drugs,” “deadbeat dads” all meant that more and more Black people would end up behind bars for infractions big and small.

It’s racial The wave of scholarship on incarceration is all to the good, but it isn’t enough if it doesn’t address the “why” behind the numbers. The backlash against Black progress is an old story that keeps repeating itself and mass incarceration is just the latest manifestation. The next steps must include ways of honestly addressing the fact that racism is at the root of almost every crisis facing Black people. If this simple fact isn’t addressed, all of these excellent books and studies will in fact be irrelevant.

Margaret Kimberley’s column appears weekly in Click on this story at to write your own response.

A ‘good Negro’ debates ‘Race Card Romney’ By now, everybody knows President Barack Obama got his clock cleaned by a modern-day Uncle Remus dipped in flour. Mitt Romney told more fairy tales and fables than Aesop and Hans Christian Andersen during the first 2012 debate. The president bowed his head, seemingly in fear of Romney, like a mischievous slave that was afraid of his overseer. Of course CNN and MSNBC cable news networks won’t explain what really is going on, but The Gantt Report will.


Capital and Romney’s “47 percent” statement to conservative campaign contributors, but Obama didn’t say a mumbling word about either issue during the debate. The Gantt Report doesn’t endorse any candidates with the possible exceptions of candidates that I know personally, so I could care less what either Did as told   candidate was wrongfully We all know Obama is told to do. a better speaker, a better candidate and a bet- My response     ter commander in chief But if I were Barack than Romney will ever be Obama, I would have said, but – no disrespect – the president is a good Negro! “Medicare will never be When the president’s non- turned into a voucher proBlack campaign strategists gram under my watch.” I told him, “Do what we say would have said that I will do,” the president did just fight tooth and nail for lower costs for students that. The president was ad- and improved funding for vised not to act like an an- teachers schools. I would have said, “I will gry Black man during the debate, not to raise his increase job opportunities voice at Romney, not to by building and repairing point his finger at Rom- America’s roads, bridges, ney, and don’t suggest that ports and airports.” I would Romney misrepresented have said, “Obamacare the truth – even if every will never be repealed as other word from Romney’s long as I am in The White mouth conflicted with House.” I would also have spowhat he had said or done ken out very strongly on before. The president’s cam- women’s rights and immipaign runs ads about Bain gration rights. I would have

spoken out strongly even if I was accused of acting like a nigger!

Romney’ code     No Black man should ever bow down and act like he is afraid of “Race Card Romney.” Yes, I said it! If you are exploited, oppressed or discriminated against because you are Black and you mention it, a racist will say you are “playing the race card.” But Romney can use racial code words all of the time because everybody but The Gantt Report is scared to talk or write about it. “The President’s base,” well, that’s Black voters. “Those people” could be any group other than White people. “Lazy,” “victims,” “on welfare” and other terms used by Mr. Romney all show insensitivity to people of color. I’m not afraid to stand up to Race Card Romney in a debate about the issues facing American citizens and the president shouldn’t act, look or be afraid either.

Buy Gantt’s latest book, “Beast Too: Dead Man Writing” on Amazon. com and from bookstores everywhere. Contact Lucius at Click on this story at to write your own response.


TOj A6

OCTOBER 12 – OCTOBER 18, 2012

Florida Supreme Court justices hit back at critics BY BRANDON LARRABEE THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA


Attorneys for Trayvon Martin’s family – left to right, Daryl Parks, Natalie Jackson and Benjamin Crump – listened to court proceedings in June in Sanford.

Zimmerman’s brother’s media tour attacks Trayvon attorneys BY FRANCES ROBLES THE MIAMI HERALD (MCT)

Seven months after the killing of unarmed high school junior Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman’s family is on a national media crusade to clear the family’s name. Zimmerman, 29, is charged with second-degree murder for the Feb. 26 shooting of Martin, 17, who was spending the weekend at a Central Florida townhouse complex. Zimmerman called police when he thought the teen looked suspicious, and minutes later the two were tussling on the grass. Zimmerman says he was forced to shoot Martin, who attacked him. Prosecutors say Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch volunteer, profiled the teenager and has no claim to self-defense.

Twitter blowup What began as a series of routine media interviews denying that Zimmerman is a racist blew up into a Twitter rant Monday night. Zimmerman’s brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr. took to social media after midnight and vowed to make it his life’s work to have one of the Martin family attorneys disbarred. He said he would expose the lawyers and their publicist, “one by one, day by day.” “I hope GOD grants you a long life so you live to repent for what you have done,” Robert Zimmerman Jr. wrote in a tweet directed to Natalie Jackson, one of the lawyers for the slain teen’s family. In another, he wrote: “My Life’s work equals you WILL be held accountable for your words/actions. You AINT seen NOTHIN’ yet... I will see U disbarred.” Defense attorney Mark O’Mara said he cringed when he saw a relative of his client acting out on the Web, and said the new media tour was launched without George Zimmerman’s knowledge. His message to Robert Jr.: “Be careful with my case.”

Various missteps The family’s media campaign follows months of public relations debacles. Last month, Zimmerman’s best friend published a book riddled with errors that offered a new accounting of how Martin died. It wound up on the prosecution’s evidence list. Zimmerman’s neighbor, who did more than 100 TV interviews on Zimmerman’s behalf, was arrested on a DUI charge, and the video of his arrest was posted on the Internet. A co-worker was discredited on national television when it seemed he hardly even knew Zimmerman. The family did very few interviews, but complained vehemently about their portrayal in the media. In July, Zimmerman’s parents, Robert and Gladys, launched a website to raise money for their life in hiding and to share details about their son, who they described as a longtime altar boy who donated blood, mentored Black children and collected clothes for the homeless.

Took control After Zimmerman’s best friend published his book that included a scene that depicted the so-called “most hated man in America” as wildly paranoid against Blacks, Robert Jr. took control of the family image himself. In an e-mail sent to several reporters last week, Robert Jr., 31, said his family sent him to Los Angeles to do a series of local television interviews aimed at “reintroducing the Zimmerman family.” He stressed that he was the only authorized spokesman for the family. The family believes they were skewered by the “national media machine” that did not uncover hard facts, but instead was manipulated into destroying the Zimmermans’ lives. He made a reference to what critics have dubbed the “scheme team:” attorneys Jackson and Benjamin Crump and Orlan-


Purge ruling to be appealed A legal battle about whether Florida can purge possibly ineligible voters from the registration rolls is headed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. Plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit quickly gave notice last week that they will appeal a U.S. District judge’s ruling that would allow the state to continue its con-

do publicist Ryan Julison. Conservative critics accuse the three of orchestrating a false narrative about the case for their own profit, presumably a payout from the insurance policy of the homeowner’s association where Zimmerman lived.

Jackson on Twitter Jackson, the Martin family lawyer, grew up in Sanford and has a solid Twitter following that enjoys her sarcastic remarks about George Zimmerman. On Monday, she alluded to him being a “murderer” and suggested that his brother’s CNN appearance was a fundraising drive. That’s when Robert Jr. responded with a series of tweets threatening her license. She quipped back: “Please see my Rule No.1: Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference – Mark Twain.” In an e-mail Tuesday, Robert Jr. stood by his twitter tirade. “I don’t want her to be able to use her position as an attorney to assassinate anyone else’s character or to ever hurt anyone else’s family,” he said.

Three justices of the Florida Supreme Court used a forum at Florida State University in Tallahassee to hit back at their critics, while campaign filings showed the trio had raised more than $1 million for their electoral defense. Speaking to an audience at the FSU College of Law comprised mostly of students, Justices R. Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince pushed back against a campaign to push them off the bench that has spread from a conservative grass-roots uprising to a denouncing of the three by the Republican Party of Florida.

‘Don’t go back’ The justices said that the effort to throw them off the court in this November’s merit retention elections, in which the justices don’t face opposition but have to get the approval of a majority of voters, was a challenge to the state’s judicial branch itself. “We do not want and we should not want to go back to a system where judges are beholden to anyone – no political party, no group, no individual,” Quince said. Pariente stressed the same theme: That the bid by the group Restore Justice 2012 and other opponents to push the justices off the court would help to dismantle some of the reforms passed after a series of scandals shook the high court in the 1970s. “What we see is that it is not about just the three of us, but it is about our system Peggy of a fair and impartial judiQuince ciary,” she said. Lewis, who at times choked back tears when talking about his respect for the court and his role as a judge, recalled working for then-Circuit Court Judge Shelby Highsmith’s unsuccessful campaign for the Supreme Court. Lewis said he and Highsmith were shocked at the corruption in the race. “Floridians deserve better,” Lewis said. “We ought not allow it to go back to those days.”

Activist judges? Opponents have sought to cast the three,

who often serve as the backbone of the court’s left-of-center majority, as activist judges who are out of touch with the state’s voters. Supporters have insisted that the justices have simply followed the law and that the new effort is an attempt to mold a court less likely to thwart Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican-dominated Legislature. Recently, the Republican Party of Florida’s executive board got into the fight, upbraiding the justices for their votes in a 2003 appeal by Joe Nixon, who was convicted in the 1984 murder of Jeanne Bickner in Leon County. In that ruling, the court found that Nixon’s lawyer erred in essentially conceding his guilt during the trial without getting a statement of approval from Nixon. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned that decision. “These three justices voted to set aside the death penalty for a man convicted of tying a woman to a tree with jumper cables and setting her on fire,” party spokeswoman Kristen McDonald said when the state GOP announced it was backing the effort to remove the justices. Lewis did concur in the majority opinion in the 2003 appeal, but wrote in a separate concurring opinion that he felt bound by the court’s earlier ruling even though he thought the result was “legally and logically incorrect.”

‘Disappointed’ in GOP Lewis added to reporters that his colleagues shouldn’t be attacked for the decision. And he criticized state Republicans for jumping into the fray. “I’m disappointed,” he said. “And I would have been disappointed if the Democratic Party had come out one way or another. I would have been disappointed if the Green Party [had gotten involved]. I’m disappointed that we are in an era where partisan politics, there’s an attempt to inject that into nonpartisan matters.”

Money flows in Meanwhile, as the justices began fighting back harder by speaking out publicly, figures showed the committees working to retain the justices were also back on the fundraising path. After raising little money in July and August, the justices collected a combined total of $132,002 between Sept. 15 and Sept. 28, newly filed reports show. Pariente’s committee raised $51,796, Quince’s raised $40,531, and Lewis’ raised $39,675 during the period. The justices collected large amounts of money during the first half of the year before fund-raising dropped off in July. In all, the justices have collected about $1.15 million, with Pariente topping $404,000 and Quince and Lewis each at about $373,000.

Not personal Jackson dismissed the spat, saying she could not be sure if the person who posted the threats was really Zimmerman’s brother. “I don’t take stuff personally from family members,” Jackson said in an interview. “I do criminal defense work and I understand how families react. I don’t think people should attack them or threaten them in any way. It’s stressful when someone you love is possibly going to jail for life.” Attorney Crump said he preferred not to comment on the tweet directed at him by Zimmerman’s brother. “We are trying to stay focused on holding the killer responsible for the death of Trayvon. We’re trying to keep it there,” he said. “Name-calling doesn’t get us anywhere.”

troversial effort to remove non-citizens from the rolls until the November election. Judge William Zloch rejected arguments that federal law prevents such purges within 90 days of an election. Zloch wrote that Florida Secretary of State Kenneth Detzner “has a compelling interest in ensuring that the voting rights of citizens are not diluted by the casting of votes by non-citizens.” The plaintiffs, including two individuals, a labor union and other groups, did not provide details in the notice of appeal filed last week, but said they are appealing Zloch’s order.

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Creamy, dreamy recipes with condensed milk See page B4


TV’s minority report not making the grade See page B5





Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan squared off in their only meeting; ABC News’ Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz was scheduled to moderate.

Prepping the team The candidates have enlisted their A-list rosters of advisers to prep them for the war of the words. The Obama team reportedly includes strategists David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs. Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry is playing Romney in mock debates. The Romney team includes strategist Stuart Stevens and senior advisers Beth Myers, Peter Flaherty, Ben Ginsburg, Ed Gillspie, Lanhee Chen and Eric Fehrnstrom. Ohio Sen. Rob Portman plays Obama in mock debates.

Presidential debates are a TV phenomenon, with the first debate in 1960 between the Republican, Vice President Richard Nixon, and the Democrat, Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts. Both men were trailblazers in using television as a campaign tool and saw political advantage in the debates.

Hiatus Despite the favorable reaction to the four Kennedy-Nixon debates, the next debate did not occur until 1976. Why? Incumbent presidents refused to debate. Federal communications laws required equal time for all candidates, even minor ones.

Guessing at questions A candidate’s staff spends much time anticipating what will be asked and briefing the candidate. President Gerald Ford recalled his prepping before a 1976 debate with challenger Carter: “My staff put together two or three volumes of possible questions and suggested responses. I spent several days, if not more, going through the several volumes that they had arranged, and then we would have sort of preparatory debates where members of my staff would ask me questions and I would respond.” All that work, but Ford lost.

Ratings Presidential debate ratings hit an all-time high in 1980 when 80 million people watched Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan square off, according to Nielsen Media Research. Ratings have since declined, with 38.3 million tuning in to the final debate in 2008 between President Obama and John McCain.

Predictions Heightened viewer interest. The United States has never seen two sides so diametrically opposed in views, which should make for must-see TV. Additionally, social media sites like Twitter allow anyone to be a critic, which should encourage viewers to tune in and tweet up a storm.

Appearance Candidates and their staff make sure they look “presidential” and convince viewers they should lead the country — tie color, hair, facial expressions; it Donna Grethen/mct all matters. By Mark W. Sanchez and Emma Kantrowitz McClatchy-Tribune

Setting the rules The Commission on Presidential Debates, which was established by Democratic and Republican leaders in 1987, was created to set rules and pick questioners and locations for debates. The major candidates then must sign off on those choices before the debates can proceed.

Qualifications A candidate must have an average of 15-percent support from five national polls by the end of September to participate. • Pros: The debate setup offers voters a good opportunity to see candidates talking about important issues. Allowing third-party candidates who don’t meet the

The battle does not end in the debate ring. Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama have been hitting the campaign trail hard, focusing on the states of Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Florida and six others. That’s because experts agree the election will be won over hard-fought votes in those so-called battleground states.

President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney are facing off in the debate ring and in battleground states across the country like Florida. With one debate down as they duke it out on their way to Nov. 6, we take a look at the debates and the final battle for the presidency. 15-percent threshold would dilute the discourse. • Con: Greater candidate participation encourages a breadth of ideas for voters.

This year The commission scheduled three 90-minute presidential

debates and one 90-minute debate between the vice presidential candidates. That schedule: • Oct. 3: University of Denver in Denver, Colo.; “PBS NewsHour” host Jim Lehrer served as moderator. • Oct. 16: Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.; CNN’s

Most political experts say the election will be decided by 10 swing states. How the states stand:



Likely/leaning Mich.



The Numbers

Elections are determined by a candidate’s electoral votes, a toll determined by population. Electoral votes were altered after the 2010 census. The magic win number? 270. And as we learned in 2000 when Bush beat Gore 271 to 267, one state can swing a whole election (Florida, Florida, Florida).



R.I. Conn. Del. D.C.


There are a total of 538 electoral votes; the number of electors for each state is proportional to its population; 270 votes are needed to win the presidency

The States

• Florida, 29 electoral votes: An aging-issues-savvy voter base. The state has voted democratic presidential candidates into office only three times in 40 years. Since June of this year, Obama has visited Florida 19 times; Romney has visited 22 times. If you add in spouses and running mates, the state has had 63 campaign visits from both parties since June. Population: 18.8 million; 56.2 percent are registered voters. • Ohio, 18: Every winning candidate in the past 40 years has

Ohio Va. N.C.







Source: Real Clear Politics Graphic: Judy Treible

won Ohio. Obama has visited Ohio 20 times since taking office in 2008 and Romney has visited 20 times since June. Population: 11.5 million; 64.8 percent are registered voters.





NOTE: Alaska and Hawaii are not to scale © 2012 MCT

• Michigan, 16: Though the state is leaning democratic, it is Romney’s home state. Obama has visited Michigan 11 times since 2008. Romney has visited Michigan

Keeping it real Talk conversationally, “not like you are on ‘Face the Nation’ or giving a talk at a Harvard-Yale society debate,” said Donna Brazile, campaign manager for Gore in 2000. She helped prep him for his debates with Bush.

More information

Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley will moderate. • Oct. 22: Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.; CBS News’ Chief Washington Correspondent and “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer will moderate. • Oct. 11: Centre College in Danville, Ky., where Vice President

• The Commission on Presidential Debates’ website. It also offers transcripts and video clips of presidential debates from 1960 to the present. • “The Presidential Debates: Media, Electoral and Policy Perspectives,” edited by George Bishop, Robert Meadow and Marilyn Jackson-Beeck (Praeger, 1978).

seven times this summer. Population: 9.8 million; 68.2 percent are registered voters. • North Carolina, 15: Though the Democratic Convention was held in Charlotte to try and rally democratic support, the state is still up in the air. Obama has visited the state 10 times in the past four years, though only once this summer. Romney has campaigned in the state three times since June. Population: 9.6 million; 63.7 percent are registered voters. • Virginia, 13: Obama won Virginia in the 2008 election by six percentage points, but it could go either way in this election. Obama visited Virginia 15 times since announcing his run for re-election in April 2011. Romney visited Virginia nine times this summer. Population: 8 million; 60.4 percent are registered voters. • Wisconsin, 10: Romney’s running mate Rep. Paul Ryan is from Wisconsin. However, Wisconsin voted Democrat in the past four presidential elections. Since June, Obama has campaigned in the state four times, while Romney has been there twice. Population: 5.7 million; 67.8 percent are registered voters. • Colorado, 9: Even though President Obama won Colorado in 2008, the state has voted Republican eight times in the past 10 presidential elections. Obama and Romney have both visited the state

eight times this summer. Population: 5 million; 61 percent are registered voters. • Iowa, 6: According to recent polls, Iowa’s voters could go either way. Obama has visited the state 11 times since 2008, including six times since June. Since June, Romney has been in the state six times. Population: 3 million; 67.9 percent are registered voters. • Nevada, 6: Nevada is one of the top five states with the highest foreclosure rates and has the highest unemployment in the country, which might make this a difficult win for Obama. He has visited Nevada 14 times as president, including seven times this year. Romney has traveled to Nevada for 24 events over 16 days since February 2011. Population: 2.7 million; 50.9 percent are registered voters. • New Hampshire, 4: Even though Obama won New Hampshire in the 2008 election, it will be harder to win the state against his current opponent. Romney has a house in New Hampshire and vacations there every summer. Also, more than 40 percent of the state’s voters are registered Independents. Obama has been to New Hampshire three times since June, but Romney has been there seven times in the same time period. Population: 1.3 million; 65 percent are registered voters.

Sources: Commission on Presidential Debates; MCT; Detroit Free Press; U.S. Census Bureau; New York Times; Washington Post; Real Clear Politics




FLORIDA COMMUNITY CALENDAR Orlando: “MythBusters: Behind the Myths,” based on the highly rated “Mythbusters” show on the Discovery Channel, mixes scientific method with gleeful curiosity and plain old-fashioned ingenuity to support or debunk urban myths that we live with dayto-day. The event takes place at the UCF Arena Oct. 12 at 8 p.m. More information: 407823-3070.

OCTOBER 12 - OCTOBER 18, 2012




In honor of the 10-year anniversary of the AfricanAmerican Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC), the Fort Lauderdale library announces the Jump Jivin’ Gala – “an evening of dinner and dancing with a hint of 1940s flair.” This elegant affair will begin at 7 p.m. on Oct. 20. Tickets are $125 each or $1,000 for a table for 10. More information: fabulousfortiesontheavenuegala.

Comedian David Alan Grier stops by the Orlando Improv Comedy Club Oct. 12 for an 8 p.m. show. STANDUP MEDIA

Tampa: The Nu Upsilon Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. is hosting its 25th Anniversary Ball on Oct. 13 at the Hyatt Regency Tampa, 211 N. Tampa St. from 6 p.m. - midnight. Tickets are $75 per person or $140 per couple. More information: Tampa: The Third Annual Tampa Bay Veg Fest will be held Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park featuring local restaurants with vegetarian food, live music, fun and games for kids, healthy-living and eco-friendly exhibitors, information on local nonprofits and animal adoptions. Speakers will include Dr. Michael Greger, author Victoria Moran and bodybuilder Kenneth G. Williams.  More information: Winter Park: The 39th Annual Winter Park Autumn Art Festival, a community-oriented sidewalk show presenting quality visual art, live entertainment and children’s activities, will be held Oct. 13 at Central Park, 251 S. Park Ave. from 9 p.m. – 5 p.m. Free. Tampa: The West Tampa Community Development Corporation and the National Institute for Strategic and Tactical Planning will host a free professional grant-writing workshop in basic grant writing on Oct.  13 from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at West Tampa Library - 2312 West Union St., Oct. 19 and Oct. 26 from 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, 1002 E. Palm Ave. More information: Michael Randolph, 813-8577657, or mikeconsultant@gmail. com to confirm a seat and to attain an invitation and workshop packet. No one will be admitted without an invitation.


Jill Scott will be at the St. Augustine Amphitheater, Anastasia Isle, on Oct. 28 for an 8:30 p.m. show and at the Hard Rock Live Hollywood on Nov. 2 for an 8 p.m. show.


Rap artist Snoop Dogg makes his way to the University of Central Florida Arena on Oct. 27 for an 8 p.m. show.

Orlando: Tyler Perry’s “Madea Gets a Job’’ makes a stop at the University of Central Florida Arena in Orlando on Nov. 8 and the American Airlines Arena in Miami Nov. 9-10. Orlando: Senator Gary Siplin is hosting a health and social services fair Oct. 20 at Evans High School, 4949 Silver Star Road. Children 11 through 18 years old, living in Orange


Songstress Esperanza Spalding will be at the Florida Theatre Jacksonville Oct. 21 for an 8 p.m. show. JOHANN SAUTY

County and uninsured, can be registered for a free physical medical exam by Teen Express of Orlando Health. Information on Medicaid/ Medicare, the WIC program, child support collection, breast cancer prevention will be available. More information: 407-297-2071.

mee for its fourth flashback into the ’80s and ’90s Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. The old-school lineup features Lisa Lisa, Sugar Hill Gang, Sweet Sensation, Brenda K Starr, C&C Music Factory, Trinere, Charlie Rock, Debbie Dee, Clear Touch, Nayobe, Noel, Corina, Soave and Giggles.

Kissimmee: The Freestyle Jacksonville: Comedian and Legends Tour returns to the actor Kevin Hart will be at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissim- T:7”Times-Union Center for the

Performing Arts Oct. 12 for a 7 p.m. show. Orlando: Comedian Sinbad makes his way to the Orlando House of Blues Oct. 12 for an 8 p.m. show. Jacksonville: Gospel duo Mary Mary will perform at the Florida Theater Jacksonville Oct. 25 for an 8 p.m. show. St. Petersburg: First Fridays

are held in downtown St. Petersburg at 250 Central Ave. between Second and Third Avenues from 5:30 p.m.10:30 p.m. More information: 727-393-3597. Jacksonville: Jennifer Holiday will perform at Edward Waters College during its 11th Annual Fine Arts Scholarship Benefit Concert at the TimesUnion Center for the Performing Arts on Oct. 14 at 8 p.m.

my weapon against arthritis What’s your weapon? Visit


OCTOBER 12 - OCTOBER 18, 2012



Dresses, dogs, college degrees: No detail is too small in an election year. Here’s our slate of questions. By Darryl Levings, The Kansas City Star illustrations By Chris ware, MCT

With the presidential race in its final stretch, expect arguments over taxes, health care, jobs, foreign policy and perhaps a statement or two that either candidate might wish he could take back. But some topics, we’re fairly certain, will not come up. Some-how these issues have so far escaped blistering pundit criticism or secret videotaping. But we’ve been digging, digging, digging. Have you seen a political ad about Vice President Joe Biden’s golf handicap? No! Who else would track down the Romneys’ getaway car in the “Seamus” caper? We did!

1. What did Mitt Romney suggest recently to improve air safety? A. Fewer air controllers B. Windows that open on jetliners C. Younger pilots 2. Barack Obama referred in a speech to a tragedy, saying, “Ten thousand people died — an entire town destroyed.” To what disaster was he referring? A. A hurricane in Texas B. An earthquake in China C. A tornado in Kansas 3. Which golf twosome reportedly has the lowest average handicap? A. Obama and Biden B. Former presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush C. House Speaker John Boehner and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice 4. Who was quoted in a GOP ad running this June as chiding: “Shame on you, Barack Obama.” A. Bill Clinton B. Hillary Clinton C. Chelsea Clinton 5. According to a recent survey, what percentage of Republicans polled in Ohio said Romney is “more responsible” for Osama bin Laden’s death than Obama? A. 5 percent B. 10 percent C. 15 percent 6. For her convention speech, Ann Romney wore a red Oscar de la

And what about the Oval Office rug? Why hasn’t Rush Limbaugh pounced on that scandal? So, here’s the inside scoop, but you’ll have to work for it — it’s in quiz form to test your political acumen. Twelve or more correct, and there’s probably a place waiting for you on a candidate’s plane. Eight to 11, you still rate as a political insider. Four to seven, perhaps you can ride in the back of the campaign bus as an intern. Less than four? Sorry. Our operatives say we’ll have to throw you under the bus.

Renta dress that cost $1,990. First lady Michelle Obama wore a Tracy Reese number. How many of Michelle’s dresses could one buy for the same cost as Ann’s? A. Two B. Three C. Four 7. If you add the heights of Barack and Michelle and those of Mitt and Ann, how many inches taller are the Democrats? A. Two B. Three C. Four 8. If one combines the ages of the couples, how many years older are the Republicans? A. 9 years B. 19 years C. 29 years 9. Biden once sold used cars. What did GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan do? A. Sexed chickens for Tyson B. Drove the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile C. Spent summers as an Orkin exterminator 10. Romney and Obama went to Harvard Law School. Biden (barely) got his law degree at Syracuse University in New York. Where did Ryan get his degree? A. Georgetown in Washington, D.C. B. University of Wisconsin at Madison C. Miami University in Ohio 11. What statue does Romney want to restore to the Oval Office?

ANSWERS 1. B. Windows that open on jetliners, after his wife’s plane filled with smoke. 2. C. Greensburg, Kan., where 10 died. 3. C. Boehner (7.9) and new Augusta member Rice (14.7) edge out Obama and Biden (17 and 6.3). Clinton (once said to be a mulligan-laden 12) is rusty, and Bush (15) cut back because of the war. Romney? He doesn’t play. 4. B. Hillary Clinton. 5. C. 15 percent. The poll, conducted in early September by Public Policy Polling, also found 47 percent of Republicans are “not sure” whether Obama or Romney deserves more of the credit. 6. C. Four. We ain’t talking Target here. 7. A. Two. Mitt is 1 inch taller than Barack, but Michelle is 3 more than Ann.

A. A Remington bronco buster B. A bust of Winston Churchill C. A bust of Ronald Reagan 12. Most presidents change the rug in the Oval Office, but what is wrong with Obama’s? A. The eagle faces the wrong way, toward the claw with the arrows B. It is missing two stars that represent the states C. It misattributes a quote 13. As we all know, Seamus, the Romney’s Irish setter, once rode atop the car to Canada, but what was the make of the station wagon? A. Chevrolet Caprice B. American Motors Eagle C. Ford Fairlane 14. In a recent Vanity Fair article excerpting a new book, “Obama’s Way,” why was it a good thing Obama was not relaxing on the Truman balcony in the evening last Nov. 11? A. Lightning struck the White House garden B. A bullet hit a nearby window C. An Alabama high school band mooned the White House 15. Which listing of names is those of Mitt’s five sons? A. Ben, Josh, Craig, Matt and Tagg B. Brad, Jeff, Mark, Caleb and Tadd C. Biff, Jason, Chuck, Mitt Jr. and Trigg

8. C. 29. Mitt and Ann are 65 and 63. Barack and Michelle are 51 and 48. 9. B. Ryan worked for Oscar Meyer. 10. C. Trick question. Redhawk Ryan completed his double major in political science and economics from Miami University. His wife, Janna, is the lawyer in the family, getting her Juris Doctor at George Washington University. 11. B. In London, the Republican said he’d return Winnie, replaced by Martin Luther King Jr., when Obama moved in. 12. C. The rug attributes the words “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice” to King, who did use them, but the author is Theodore Parker, a pre-Civil War abolitionist. 13. A. A very-well-hosed-off Chevy Caprice. 14. B. Oscar Ortega-Hernandez was charged with firing nine semiautomatic rifle slugs from a car parked on Constitution Avenue, one of which hit a balcony window.



TOj B4


OCTOBER 12 – OCTOBER 18, 2012

FROM Family Features


he secret is out — and it’s both sweet and savory! Sweetened condensed milk helps make desserts — and so much more — extraordinary. Whether its traditional recipes with a twist, a new take on a classic dish or a fresh new idea, Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk is the secret ingredient to make desserts — and even savory dishes — delicious. These recipes, all finalists in the Eagle Brand Sweet Secret Recipe and Essay Contest, are infused with creativity and sweetened condensed milk. From the savory winning entry — a smooth, creamy soup with a touch of curry — to a sweet dreamy malt shop inspired pie and a taste-of-the-tropics cheesecake, these recipes are mouthwatering to look at, easy to prepare and perfect for sharing. For more easy inspiration to satisfy your creamy cravings, visit Autumn Acorn Squash Soup Rebekah R., Appleton, Wis. Servings: 6 Cooking Time: 10 minutes  1 small onion  1/4 cup chopped celery  2 tablespoons sweet cream butter  2 tablespoons all-purpose flour  1 teaspoon chicken bouillon  1/2 teaspoon dill weed  1/4 teaspoon curry powder  Dash cayenne pepper  2 cups chicken bone stock  1 (14-ounce) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk  3 cups cooked acorn squash, mashed  Salt and pepper to taste  6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled SAUTE the onion and celery in butter in a large saucepan. Stir in flour, bouillon, dill, curry and cayenne pepper. Gradually add chicken stock and sweetened condensed milk. BOIL for 2 minutes. Add the squash, salt and pepper. PLACE in blender; blend in batches until smooth. Pour into bowls; garnish with bacon.

Making Homemade Caramel If you want to make your own creamy caramel top­ping or dip, heat sweetened condensed milk, following these directions. For safety reasons, do not heat in the can. •

Oven: Pour one 14-ounce can into a 9-inch pie plate. Cover with aluminum foil; place in larger shallow pan in oven. Fill larger pan with about 1/2 inch of hot water to surround plate. Bake at 425°F for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until thick and caramel colored.

Stovetop: Pour one 14-ounce can into top of double boiler; place over boiling water. Over mediumlow heat, simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours stirring occasionally until thick and caramel colored. Whisk until smooth.

Microwave: Pour one 14-ounce can into 2-quart glass measuring cup. Cook on 50 percent power (medium) 4 min­utes, stirring briskly every 2 minutes until smooth. Cook on 30 percent power (medium-low) 20 to 26 minutes or until very thick and caramel colored, stirring briskly every 4 minutes during the first 16 min­utes and every 2 minutes for the last 4 to 10 min­utes. Use potholders when removing the glass measuring cup from the microwave, as it will be hot.

Malt Shoppe Chocolate Mousse Pie Gloria B., Naperville, Ill. Servings: 8 Cooking Time: 22 minutes  1 (9-inch) refrigerated pie crust  1/3 cup packed light brown sugar  1/3 cup malted milk powder  3 tablespoons cornstarch  1/4 teaspoon salt  1 (14-ounce) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk  1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels  1 teaspoon vanilla extract  1 (8-ounce) container frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed, divided  3/4 cup crushed chocolate-covered malted milk balls, divided  Chocolate flavored syrup, maraschino cherry, garnishes

HEAT oven to 450°F. Thoroughly prick bottom and sides of crust with fork to prevent shrinking. Bake pie crust as directed in baked shell using 9-inch glass pie plate. Cool completely. COMBINE brown sugar, malted milk powder, cornstarch and salt in medium saucepan. Whisk sweetened condensed milk, stirring constantly, over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Remove from heat, stir in chocolate morsels and vanilla until smooth. Refrigerate filling until cooled. FOLD in 1 1/4 cups of whipped topping into filling. Fold in 1/2 cup crushed malted balls. Spoon filling into cooled, baked crust. Top pie with remaining whipped topping; sprinkle with remaining crushed malted balls. Drizzle with chocolate syrup; top pie with cherry. Refrigerate.

Tropical Breeze Mango-Coconut Cheesecake Amy S., Clifton, N.J. Servings: 12 Cooking Time: 60 minutes Crust:  2 cups sweetened flake coconut  1 tablespoon granulated sugar  Grated zest of half a lime  2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened  3 (8-ounce) packages reduced fat cream cheese, softened  1 (14-ounce) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk  3 large eggs  3 tablespoons lime juice  1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract  2 tablespoons cornstarch  1 cup Smucker’s® Mango Jam Garnish (optional):  1 ripe mango, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced  1 lime, thinly sliced  1 can sweetened whipped cream

For Pie Crust: HEAT oven to 350°F. Toss together coconut, sugar and lime zest in a medium mixing bowl. Add butter and stir until crumbly. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch non-stick spring form pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until light brown. Allow to cool completely. For Filling: REDUCE oven tempera­ ture to 300°F. Beat cream cheese until smooth with an electric mixer on medium speed in a large mixing bowl. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk, beating until smooth. Add eggs, lime juice, vanilla extract and corn­ starch, mixing until well combined. POUR cream cheese mixture into pre­pared crust. Stir in jam until smooth, drop dollops of jam on top of filling. Gently swirl jam with a knife until top of filling appears marbleized. BAKE for 55 to 60 minutes, or until center is set when jiggled. Place pan on wire rack to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.


OCTOBER 12 - OCTOBER 18, 2012


Meet some of



submitted for your approval


Think you’re one of Florida’s Finest? E-mail your high-resolution (200 dpi) digital photo in casual wear or bathing suit taken in front of a plain background with few distractions, to news@flcourier. com with a short biography of yourself and your contact information. (No nude/ glamour/ fashion photography, please!) In order to be considered, you must be at least 18 years of age. Acceptance of the photographs submitted is in the sole and absolute discretion of Florida Courier editors. We reserve the right to retain your photograph even if it is not published. If you are selected, you will be contacted by e-mail and further instructions will be given.

This week’s Florida’s Finest were at the Miami Broward One Carnival at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens.




TV’s minority report is not making the grade BY NEAL JUSTIN MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE (MCT)

Last time you went to a clinic, chances were good that your primary doctor could be of South Asian descent – unless you happened to check into a TV hospital. Fox’s “The Mindy Project,” a new sitcom about a lovesick OB/GYN, is the first series on broadcast television to feature an Indian-American in the lead role, a milestone that writer/ star Mindy Kaling does her best to downplay. “There’s a saying that I really believe in when it comes to my ‘Indianness,’” said “The Office” veteran. “I try not to rely on it nor deny it.” What Kaling and the rest of Hollywood can’t deny is that the industry has made little progress in putting non-White actors in leading roles. While there’s a steady stream of great non-White character actors playing diner owners, community college students and even physicists, they rarely get to be the star. The only returning broadcast shows with that distinction are ABC’s “Scandal,” featuring Kerry Washington, and CW’s low-rated “Nikita,” with Maggie Q. That lack of diversity was glaring at TV’s Emmy Awards two weeks ago. Of the 25 performers nominated for leading roles in a drama or comedy, only one was a minority actor: Don Cheadle, for “House of Lies.”

Not optimistic Lance Reddick, a sup-

porting player on Fox’s “Fringe,” said he isn’t optimistic about the future, especially after his experience as a cast member of “The Wire.” That HBO series is now considered a masterpiece, but during its 2002-08 run it failed to attract a significant audience or a single Emmy nomination for its largely Black cast. “I’m not holding my breath for acknowledgment of African-American talent,” he said. Reddick and many of his peers thought the landscape would change when Andre Braugher took home a leading-actor Emmy in 1998 for his work on “Homicide: Life on the Street,” becoming only the third Black actor to win in that category (Bill Cosby and James Earl Jones got there first). But in the 14 years since, it’s seen only one minority nominee: Braugher again, for the swiftly canceled medical drama “Gideon’s Crossing.” It’s even worse for women. No actress of color ever has won for a dramatic lead role. And the last nomination? Way back in 1994, when Cicely Tyson got one for the short-lived drama “Sweet Justice.” As for comedy, only two people of color have been nominated for lead roles in the past 20 years: Tony Shalhoub, who won three times for “Monk,” and America Ferrera, a winner for “Ugly Betty.”

No control Braugher hopes to get another crack at a lead-

‘White flight’ Why is the industry falling short? David Simon, who created “The Wire” and “Treme” for HBO, compares the situation to the urban phenomenon of “White flight.” “A Black sidekick here and there, no problem,” he said. “A couple less-thancentral characters in an ensemble piece, OK. It makes us all feel better about ourselves. Anything beyond that and ‘There goes the neighborhood.’ The only difference is that the metric isn’t home sales and housing values. It’s ratings and advertising. Never forget: The entertainment industry is 96.9 percent about money.”



Actor Andre Braugher, who plays submarine Captain Marcus Chaplin in the new NBC dramatic series ‘Last Resort,’ is one of a handful of Black actors in leading roles on TV. actor Emmy with his new ABC series, “Last Resort,” in which he stars as a U.S. submarine captain who turns renegade after his government orders him to nuke Pakistan. Braugher, who won a second Emmy in 2007 for the miniseries “Thief,” hopes his success is making a difference, but it’s hard for him to gauge. “The only thing I can suggest is that the wins weren’t a blip, that it’s part of a progression, but it runs at its own pace and I don’t

Stacey Dash criticized for supporting Romney EURWEB.COM

Stacey Dash

Stacey Dash drew outrage on Sunday when she took to Twitter to express her support for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. “Vote for Romney. The only choice for your future,” the

actress wrote in a post that was accompanied by a photo of her in front of an American flag wearing a red dress. Dash, 46, who recently reunited with the cast of her film “Clueless” for this week’s Entertainment Weekly cover, most recently played Val Stokes in the first season of

have control or the solution,” he said. Lack of control may be an understatement. Only one non-White has ever run a major network’s entertainment division: Scott Sassa, an Asian-American executive who helmed NBC’s programming in 1998-99. It’s no coincidence that three of TV’s most diverse series – “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “Private Practice” – are run by a Black woman, Shonda Rhimes.

VH1’s drama “Single Ladies” but did not return for the second season.

‘Beautiful idiot’ The “Clueless” star took a ton of heat on Twitter from Obama supporters, many of whom bashed the AfricanAmerican actress for not supporting the president in his reelection. “@REALStacey-

Networks misread what audiences want, says John Cho, who plays a radio-station manager on Matthew Perry’s latest sitcom, “Go On.” “Producers are naturally risk-averse,” said Cho, best known as one-half of the munchies-craving movie duo Harold and Kumar. “But there’s no actual risk, any more than there is hiring a White standup that nobody has heard of and giving him a sitcom.”

Societal effect The lack of diversity in leading parts is not only hurting non-White actors; it may also affect the next generation of Americans. According to a recent study, Black children in the Midwest come away with less self-esteem after being exposed to television; the opposite is true

Dash You’re an unemployed black woman endorsing @ MittRomney. You’re voting against yourself thrice. You poor beautiful idiot,” Tretista Kelverian wrote on Twitter in response. “I guess Clueless star Stacey Dash endorsing Mitt Romney shows that she is indeed clueless,” Just Plain Mary chimed in. Some unlikely figures rose

for White boys. “Regardless of what show you’re watching, if you’re a White male, things in life are pretty good for you,” Indiana University Prof. Nicole Martins said. “You tend to be in positions of power, you have prestigious occupations, high education, glamorous houses, a beautiful wife... Young Black boys are getting the opposite message: There are not a lot of good things you can aspire to.” Louis Gossett Jr., an Emmy winner for 1977’s “Roots,” also worries about our children: “We have to remember that the medium is the message. If they get the proper message, they’ll know that AfricanAmericans are not just gangbangers, but they’re doctors and lawyers and mothers and fathers. And presidents. This is a responsibility of ours.”

Just an actor “The Mindy Project” is a step in the right direction, but progressive producers such as Braugher’s current boss, Shawn Ryan – who also cast Black actor Dennis Haysbert as lead for “The Unit” – know that Kaling’s “Indianness” will remain an issue until there are more diverse faces on TV. “I actually do believe that Hollywood is the kind of place where merit is rewarded,” said Ryan. “It will be nice when these questions don’t get asked anymore and Andre can just be an actor getting praise for his performance.” to her defense, however. Politically minded rapper Talib Kweli supported Dash’s right to express herself, even if he himself supports Barack. “[Am] I the only one that finds it hilarious that Stacey Dash supports Romney? Y’all mad? That makes it funnier to me,” Talib wrote on the social-networking site.

TOj B6


OCTOBER 12 – OCTOBER 18, 2012


Max Macon FPL associate


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Florida Courier - October 12, 2012  

Florida Courier - Sharing Black Life, Statewide

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