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–Eileen Higgins has a good chance to win an open seat on the Miami-Dade County Commission Tuesday.
–Higgins is a Democrat. If she wins the election, then Democrats would have 7 of the 13 seats on the Commission.
-Despite being technically non-partisan, the race has become politicized by both the local Democratic and Republican parties.
-Bruno Barreiro represented the 5th district (which stretches from Miami Beach to Little Havana and includes much of Downtown Miami) for 20 years. He was forced to step down in order to run for Congress due to a new state “resign to run” law.
-Barreiro’s wife, Zoraida is running to succeed him in the seat. She was born in Cuba and helps run her family’s home healthcare business in Miami.
-Higgins was born in Ohio and raised in New Mexico. She also spent time in Latin America running Peace Corps operations and in Washington, D.C. where she worked for the State Department. She now runs a marketing company.
-A white woman (hence the “la gringa” nickname) probably wouldn’t have stood a chance in this district in recent decades. But Higgins has run a smart campaign that has motivated Democrats to get off the sidelines and commit resources to getting her elected.
-Higgins also speaks close to fluent Spanish, which has helped her while campaigning in the nearly 63% Hispanic district.
-If Higgins can win, experts think that Democrats will copy her campaign and make other local races like the upcoming 2020 Mayor race a partisan affair.
***”Why Does Any Of This Matter?”***: Because local elections in Miami have historically been non-partisan and that is about to change, probably to the benefit of Democrats.
——Here’s Something Completely Different: ——
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About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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By Staff Report
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Watch the Democratic Primary debate hosted by ABC News:
Rise News live blog: Here’s our snarky take on what is happening in the debate.
RR: Rich Robinson
CB: Chris Beacham
CB 10:53PM: @RR I agree, another solid night for Clinton.
CB 10:52PM: Instead of watching Clinton’s closing remarks referencing Star Wars, America was actually watching Star Wars.
RR 10:50PM: Hillary has a real chance to position herself as a sort of “America’s grandmother” type of figure. Very solid closing.
RR 10:48PM: A bit meandering from O’Malley in the closing. A bit of family history, student loans, climate change. A hot mess as far as closing statements go.
RR 10:45PM: Solid closing from Sanders. Bringing the family history into it really helped soften him and make him more three-dimentional.
RR 10:42PM: Sorry @CB: I literally fell asleep there for a second.
CB 10:39PM: ABC is the biggest fail of the night. Just awful. Questions, moderation, not allowing candidates to respond to remarks made about them, moving on without Clinton for a minute, etc. CNN looks really good next to this.
RR 10:33PM: I don’t like this question about the President’s spouse. Seriously could not care less.
RR 10:30PM:Hillary is the only one that has come across as presidential tonight. O’Malley sounds like he is still Governor of Maryland and Bernie is trying to be everything to all people.
CB 10:27PM: It is an important issue-Clinton’s stance is just more reasonable.
CB 10:25PM: O’Malley wants to put 12 billion dollars towards the drug epidemic. Let’s talk about reducing the national debt.
CB 10:23PM: Sanders says he wants to legalize marijuana and in the same breath says we need to get strict on opiates that are gateways to heroin. One can make the argument that marijuana is a gateway drug, and some doctors believe pot works like an opiate despite not technically being one.
CB 10:17PM: This debate just feels so unimportant despite the important issues.
CB 10:14PM: ……..zzzzzzzzz
RR 10:07PM: Back to Maryland for ole Martin. Is Maryland a utopian state? Sounds like it by the way he talks it up.
RR 10:03PM: Hillary questioning Sanders’ plan on healthcare and education.
CB 9:59PM: I agree with Sanders on colleges too. Spend a lot of money on unnecessary things that should be towards education or scholarships.
RR 9:59PM: Bernie sounds like he really doesn’t have a plan to pay for his universal healthcare plan.
CB 9:53PM: Obamacare does need a lot of fixing. But getting rid of the idea of universal healthcare shouldn’t be the answer.
CB 9:51PM: @RR Lol yeah, those had been there for awhile.
RR 9:49PM: Hillary finally gets to dust off those O’Malley opposition research reports sitting on the nightstand.
CB 9:48PM: We need some Trump to liven this up. Somebody needs to say something totally ridiculous.
CB 9:47PM: @RR Yeah, and that’s the DNC’s fault. It annoys me how rigged this is.
RR 9:45PM: “The greed of the billionaire class and the greed of Wall Street is destroying this economy,” Sanders.
CB 9:45PM: Sanders nails it on Wall Street
RR: 9:44PM: The problem for O’Malley is that he doesn’t have a lot of cash and the cash he does have, he is spending at a pretty high rate. He could have made a splash if these debates were higher profile but they really don’t mean anything.
CB 9:40PM: I think this is O’Malley’s worst debate. May be his last.
RR 9:39PM: I just don’t think that O’Malley constantly pivoting to his record in Maryland really works. People aren’t that interested. They want to hear about the future.
CB 9:38PM: Just wait for Clinton, ABC. This is a shitshow
RR 9:37PM: Hillary comes back late to the podium after ABC was on air for over a minute.
CB 9:36PM: Uh, where’s Hillary?
CB 9:30PM: Clinton wants to take out Assad? News to me.
RR 9:29PM: His name is Sanders, not Saunders. David Muir is having a hard time with that one.
RR 9:28PM: @CB: Interesting that O’Malley is using that tact. There are a whole lot of older folks in early states who will not appreciate it. (And many of them are activists who make a whole bunch of phone calls.)
CB 9:27PM: Audible gasps at O’Malley generation remark.
RR 9:26PM: Is O’Malley not a big NATO fan? Not really understanding his point in terms of how the US pivots to a new system of alliances.
CB 9:24PM: ABC is doing a terrible time. CNN has mastered the “let the person that was referenced respond” tactic
RR 9:23PM: Yeah, if we leave now then we can make the 10 PM showing.
CB 9:23PM: Wanna go see Star Wars?
CB 9:22PM: LOL @RR yeah this sucks
CB 9:22PM: Clinton actually is knowledgeable about foreign policy. No fear-mongering
RR 9:21PM: Oh wait a minute… Bernie is starting to go after Hillary on her penchant to support regime change. But he is not really being forceful about it.
RR 9:21PM: This is without a doubt, one of the most boring things I have ever watched in my entire life.
CB 9:18PM: Oh, so they’re letting Clinton break the rules…
RR 9:16PM: Hillary is getting pressed on foreign policy this evening. It is actually interesting to see her present a plan about how to engage with the Arab world.
RR 9:08PM: Hillary just went all grandma up in that answer. I don’t know the internets too good.
CB 9:04PM: Yes, it is okay to profile if there is suspicious behavior. Although I wouldn’t emphasize it excessively like the GOP, I agree political correctness shouldn’t be a primary motive.
RR 9:03PM: Meanwhile…
RR 8:56PM: O’Malley knows this is one of his last moments to make a difference and wants to drag it in the mud.
CB 8:56PM: O’Malley did some coke before the debate.
CB 8:54PM: Although I don’t know that they were moving on to something entirely different.CB 8:54PM: O’Malley deserved to speak on that topic.RR 8:54PM: MARTIN SMASH RULES OF DEBATECB 8:50PM: “Arming more people is not appropriate response to terrorism.”-Clinton.CB 8:48PM: I agree about O’Malley. Rehearsed for a fight and went with it even when there wasn’t one.RR 8:46PM: O’Malley having a hard time finding his footing in the early going. I think he hoped for a Sanders/ Clinton fight about the DNC.CB 8:45PM: Haha I like “snarky”.
CB 8:45PM: (Insert Star Wars Spoiler)
CB 8:42PM: Nicely handled by Bernie. O’Malley is overboard here.
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Some time has passed since my season as an adult kickball player has come to a close and I’ve had a week to reflect on my experiences.
Kickball, a game that is supposed to be fun and played amongst school age children has become a phenomenon of sorts for the 20-something crowd who pine for the nostalgia of their own childhood.
I decided to join a team in a league with some friends to see what the hype was about and to stay active, if even once a week (there are only so many hours a day one can binge watch tv).
I had zero expectations going in to the season and I was only hoping to have some fun, be goofy and enjoy my time.
Little did I know that the random strangers who were on my team with my friends and I took this game way too seriously.
We are all grown adults with big boy and big girl jobs that we clock in and out of each and every day, yet the idea of kicking a ball and winning turned them back in to the school yard children they once were.
I realized in that first game, when a teammate and team captain who had placed me in right field (because he took one look and me and assumed I had no athletic skill without any prior conversation) screamed across the field asking if “I was awake out there.”
It was in that moment that I was brought back to my childhood when I first experienced being teased for lack of athletic prowess or skill.
It was in that moment that I once again felt my manhood had been called in to question, being treated as if I was like one of the many girls on the team who they also assumed had no physical skill on the field.
I flash backed to those times in the school yard when I chose to sit out from playing with the other boys who played the recreational games at recess because I didn’t want to be shamed or made to feel lesser as a male because I was not as athletically inclined as they were.
My interest and desire to “be the best” in sports never existed.
It was meant to be fun, to be spectated on, and because of my views I often times found myself on the outs with those who I shared the same genetic makeup as.
My frame, my build and my stature have always indicated to others merely from my perception alone at first that I am not to be taken seriously, that I am not into sports and that I am just a joke.
As the years have gone by I have more than come to terms with not being the sporting type but that little bit of insecurity always existed, even if it was so far buried.
The five weeks I played on the kickball team I was subjected to those same insecurities I had as a young boy, a teenage male, and an adult male by the other males on the team who didn’t value me as an equal because I had not played kickball bi-weekly since the incarnation of these adult leagues.
I was told to “bunt like the girls” because they thought I couldn’t kick.
Week by week I attempted to try to prove them wrong.
There were weeks where it just wasn’t my week and I was okay with that but it was those five weeks when I realized how idiotic the whole thing was.
I was letting people who take kickball seriously get under my skin when I realized that it was so minute and unimportant in the grander scheme of life.
The idea of what a man is has changed drastically over the years and it’s because of these new roles and non-conforming ideas of what “men” and “women” are that I felt okay that I wasn’t an athletic specimen.
It’s okay to not be physically inclined to kick a ball far out in the outfield that won’t be a pop up fly.
It is because of my experience on this Co-Ed adult kickball league that made me think about my future children and who they will become.
No longer does gender conforming roles guide how children are raised and no longer are stereotypes acceptable.
Our value as a person should not be based on how much or how less we equal up to our gender identity.
Next time you think about putting someone down because they’re not performing by what society’s standards expect of them because of their gender, remember that they have insecurities just like you and that their interests vary from yours and they should be respected.
There is a fine line between a joke and an insult.
Think before you speak and before you pass judgement on those who you don’t know.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
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This article was originally published on www.risemiaminews.com on April 10, 2015.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s public political beliefs and personal financial gain seem to have been at odds during his time as a member of the board of directors of Tenet Healthcare.
The potential republican candidate for president stepped down from the company in late December, a move that came as no surprise to political watchers. But with the announcement, new attention is focusing on what Bush actually did at the nation’s third largest for profit hospital chain and whether he supported the corporation’s embrace of the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare.
Just to put into perspective how big of a boon ObamaCare has been for Tenet, it’s CEO Trevor Fetter reported in a November 2014 press release that the company’s net earnings grew over 59% from the same time in 2013. Fetter said that 40% of that growth had come as a direct result of ObamaCare reforms.
Specifically, the additional revenue came from the Medicaid expansion in five states which Tenet operates in and a decrease in uninsured and “charity” hospital admissions.
“We drove an accelerating contribution in the third quarter from healthcare reform, with sequentially higher declines in uncompensated care and increases in Medicaid volume,” Fetter said in the release. “We achieved another quarter of strong performance across every dimension of our business.”
“It would make sense to pay Jeb Bush, because he’s a well connected guy.”
Bush joined Tenet soon after leaving public office in early 2007 and served until the last day of 2014. Bush came on the board shortly after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accused the company of wide spread Medicare fraud between 1999 and 2002.
The government said that Tenet’s strong earnings in those years came about because of the company’s “exploitation of a loophole in the Medicare reimbursement system.”
Tenet refused to admit or deny the allegations made in the SEC complaint and agreed to pay a $10 million civil penalty. However, it did also pay $725 million to settle a Justice Department inquiry on the same matter.
Bush was brought on in part to help clean up Tenet’s corrupt image and instill greater public confidence. That strategy seemed to have worked.
And Bush was not the only politician on the ten-member board. Former Democratic senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska spent over a decade on the board starting in 2001, then temporarily stepped down in order for run for senate in 2012 and quickly rejoined it after losing. Kerrey did not respond to a request for comment.
According to multiple experts on corporate finance and governance, it is not unusual for politicians to be brought into the fold of companies.
“It is to most boards advantage to have people from both sides [of the political spectrum]”, Carlos Parra, a professor and Corporate Sustainability expert at Florida International University (FIU) said. “It would make sense to pay Jeb Bush, because he’s a well connected guy.”
That “well connected guy” happens to be a conservative leader and a son and brother to American presidents. Bush is also according to multiple polls, an early frontrunner in the 2016 republican presidential primary.
He also really doesn’t like ObamaCare, at least not in public.
In an interview on ABC’s “This Week” in October 2013, Bush emphatically said that, “Obamacare, flawed to its core, doesn’t work.”
But while he was publicly opposing President Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement, he and his company were profiting from its successes.
According to an SEC filling, Bush was paid $128,000 in cash and received $170,000 in stock options, for just under $300,000 in total compensation from Tenet in 2013.
2013 was a banner year for Tenet as it turned out. The company finalized a blockbuster deal to buy up Vanguard Health Systems, which increased the number of hospitals under Tenet’s management from 49 to 77.
Fetter told CNBC that the merger was sought after because of Vanguard’s footprint in states that had embraced the Medicaid expansion, or soon would. In other words, Fetter sounded confident that the law would be staying in place.
“Any board member has a higher calling to the shareholders than his political beliefs”
“The more you’re exposed to states with large numbers of uninsured people today, the better it is for a hospital in the future,” Fetter said in the cable interview.
Some find Bush’s perceived cognitive dissonance on the issue to be potentially problematic.
“If it were to come out that he were opposing ObamaCare but while on the board he was privately supporting it, then that would be a huge conflict,” Everett Wilkinson, a South Florida Tea Party leader said in a phone interview. “If I was on the board of Tenet Healthcare, I would not be happy that the president of the company came out and supported the legislation.”
A Bush spokesperson told the Washington Examiner that the former governor strongly opposed ObamaCare in Tenet board meetings.
Tenet declined to release copies of the minutes to the meetings from board gatherings during Bush’s tenure, saying through a spokesman that they were not publicly available.
It’s worth noting that many business insiders see nothing wrong with the situation.
Bruce Foerster is the president of South Beach Capital Markets Advisory Corporation, a company that offers advice to firms and corporate boards. He said that he found Bush to be an upstanding businessman who played by the rules and liked the ideological balance on the Tenet board.
“Any board member has a higher calling to the shareholders than his political beliefs,” Foerster said. “The CEO of Tenet [Fetter] has the courage to have differing opinions in the board room, which is a rare trait for a CEO.”
But Qiang Kang, a professor of finance at FIU took a different view, saying that if Bush was making a profit directly from ObamaCare than he should disclose it. “I would not call it a conflict of interest but I do think it is an interesting issue,” Kang said.
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