Beyond the numbers, Broward’s liberalism often makes amusing headlines — from a 2002 gay mayoral candidate in Wilton Manors who said he was attacked for not being “gay enough,” to a county commissioner in 2007 who questioned airing emergency warnings on the station that ran Rush Limbaugh’s radio show.
It wasn’t a surprise that Democrats swept Broward and helped reelect President Barack Obama and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson. But the Broward GOP also suffered the loss of two of its most prominent local Republicans: state Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff of Fort Lauderdale, who lost after redistricting, and Sheriff Al Lamberti, who lost to Democrat Scott Israel. (They also had the blow of Fox News favorite U.S. Rep. Allen West moving out of Broward to the Treasure Coast and then losing.)
Richard DeNapoli, chairman of the Broward Republican Executive Committee, wrote a memo to the group listing accomplishments of the past year. Most of those accomplishments were unsurprising, such as lining up volunteers and distributing thousands of Romney bumper stickers. But one accomplishment caught our eye:
“We had the liberal League of Women Voters Guide removed from the Broward Supervisor of Election’s website.”
We wanted to know, did the Broward GOP get the Broward Supervisor of Elections to remove a League of Women Voters guide from its website? And was that guide, or is the league itself, “liberal”?
First, some background on the Florida League of Women Voters 2012 voters guide. The guide had short biographical sections and statements submitted by Obama and Mitt Romney. It also included bio information on Senate candidates Democrat Nelson and Republican Connie Mack and questionnaire responses from Nelson. (Mack chose not to answer the questionnaire.) It included a section on the state Supreme Court justices seeking retention, as well as the state’s constitution and a list of voter resources.
The longest section was about the 11 proposed state constitutional amendments. The guide included a synopsis of each amendment and a brief explanation about what a “yes” or “no” vote would mean.
The guide summarized conflicting viewpoints — for example about a question on public funding of abortion: “Supporters say this amendment puts the state on even footing with the federal government. Opponents say it is a pre-emptive strike on a woman’s right to make her own healthcare choices.”
The guide didn’t just include opposing viewpoints — it included analysis, such as noting a “yes” vote on a question about the healthcare law would add language to the state’s constitution that could be found unconstitutional.
“Amendment 1 is more of a political referendum than a meaningful change to our Constitution. Since the Supreme Court has upheld the federal government’s right to impose the individual mandate, the legal standing of Amendment 1 is precarious,” the guide said. “The passage or defeat of Amendment 1 may have no practical implications other than to send a message that a majority of Florida’s voters are either for or against the individual mandate.”