Monthly Archives: November 2014

The Dakar Rally: “A challenge for those who go. A dream for those who stay behind.”

In 20012 and 2013, the new Dakar rally was  routed through this Peruvian desert near Ica.

In 2012 and 2013, the new Dakar rally was routed through this Peruvian desert near Ica.

Adventure Lawyer’s cocktail party factoid of the day:

The Paris-Dakar Rally hasn’t originated in Paris since 2001 (and even before then the route often avoided France entirely) and hasn’t ended in the Senegalese capital since 2007 (at which point it originated in Lisbon). Political instability in Mauritania caused the 2008 rally to be canceled, and ever since, this amateur-everyman adventure connecting old Europe to colonial Africa has bypassed both continents altogether.

Beginning in 2009, the renamed Dakar Rally (which, in a celebration of irony, is also technically not a “rally” race) takes place exclusively in South America.

Nevertheless, I still want to try it out.

The geography may have changed, but the spirit of Thierry Sabine, who founded the Rally after getting lost in the Libyan desert in 1977, lives on: “A challenge for those who go. A dream for those who stay behind.”

Who wants to live this dream with me?

You can visit the official Dakar Rally website here.

Though I disagree with you, Congratulations to Rick Scott and Pam Bondi on their reelections

The view outside "Verde."  It is, I must say, an appropriate artistic expression for Miami politics.  When the new owner of the iconic Miami Herald Building was refused permission to build a casino, he spontaneously exploded half his building to treat tourists with a  perpetual view of what he thought about the government's decision.

The view outside “Verde.” It is, I must say, an appropriate artistic expression for Miami politics. When the new owner of the iconic Miami Herald Building was refused permission to build a casino, he spontaneously exploded half his building to treat tourists with a perpetual view of what he thought about the government’s decision.

However you voted, thank you for voting!

Congratulations to Rick Scott and Pam Bondi on their reelections this evening, and congratulations to their staffers, volunteers, and those of my friends who supported them.

Though I disagree with the voters’ decision tonight, I respect that in a democracy it’s up to the people and the people have spoken. I have spent too much time in the field of conflict zones watching elections be decided by guns to feel differently.

To my friends who share my disappointment tonight, another Election Day is two years away and though I am proud of our efforts we will simply have to do better next time.

All of us want Florida to succeed so now is the time for those who share my disappointment to come together and support our elected government in our capacity as the loyal opposition.

Let us support our democratically elected government in its earnest attempt to create jobs and let us respectfully oppose them when their ideas, as we perceive them, are detrimental to our defenseless and oppressed, working poor, middle class, and our environment.

Thank you to Allison Tant Richard and the rest of the FDP leadership team for fielding the most qualified personnel available. Rick Minor in particular did an amazing job defining the issues for Florida voters. Omar Khan is the best campaign manager in the business today.

Charlie Crist and George Sheldon were great candidates!

Everyone did their job as best they could and the votes just weren’t there.

Defeat isn’t calculated by those who lose an election, it is defined by those who gives up.

Winners always soldier on, and because we are winners, that is just what we shall do.

The fun never stops!

Today is Election Day, Vote!

Campaigning in Leon County during 2012 early voting

Campaigning in Leon County during 2012 early voting

Today is election day and everyone has done their job.

Thousands of volunteers from around the state have made phone calls, knocked on doors, pestered you to sign petitions and hundreds of others will be driving the disabled to the polls today as they have been for the last ten early voting days.

Absentee ballots were tracked and mailers (occasionally making accurate statements) were made and sent.

Prospective voters have been bombarded with television ads of democrats distancing themselves from Obama while posing with a gun and insisting they’ll defend the Second Amendment. Some republicans meanwhile, in apparent seriousness, explained that the “myth” of global climate change is “proved” false because God said he’d never flood the world again after Noah’s aquatic adventure in antiquity with two of every animal.

Debates were had on live television. . . Even a small portable fan famously did its job.

Attorney General Pam Bondi takes her campaign so seriously that, with Governor Scott’s blessing, she rescheduled the execution of Marshall Lee Gore so she could attend a political fundraiser.

Democracy in a free and imperfect society is not an inexpensive affair.

$473,137,991.31 has been contributed from 1,533 political organizations and committees during the 2014 Florida General Election cycle. Of that, $458,702,602.49 was spent. This is in addition to what the actual candidates and campaigns spent. If you wish to kill what’s left of your soul, you can find where the money came from and where it went by searching through the Florida Division of Elections database here. In county races, judicial races, soil and water conservation districts, and community development districts, you need to go to your local supervisor of elections website to track down their financial reports–a list of each county supervisor’s website by county in alphabetical order can be found here. For information about municipal (mayor and city commissioner) fundraising you will have to call the municipal clerk for your city as only some will publish those documents online.

Lots of money has been expended in fighting for your attention.

They chose their government with guns.  (Mass graves in the Bosnia Hillside. I traveled here in 1999.)

They chose their government with guns. (Mass graves in the Bosnia Hillside. I traveled here in 1999.)

Overseas, more than 160,000 U.S. troops are defending our safety, security, freedom to engage in very imperfect speech, and our right to vote from foreign and domestic threats.

There are ninety-five people who are vying to be responsible for those troops and who otherwise claim to have a vision for our nation’s future. They are running for the United States House of Representatives in 27 Florida congressional districts. If you happen to live in Florida’s Second Congressional District, I would particularly like to highlight the candidacy of moderate-Democrat Gwen Graham–an attorney and education advocate who happens also to be the daughter of popular former Florida Governor and Senator Bob Graham. You can visit her website here to learn more.

Five names will appear on the ballot for office of Governor, with a further five candidates available for election as write in candidates. These are the websites for the two major political candidates, Charlie Crist and Rick Scott.

Many people will leave the rest of the ballot blank. Consider not doing this. Importantly, we get to decide who our state’s chief prosecutor is–which is pretty neat!  Also, if you plan on voting for Amendment Two (medical marijuana legalization) than you had better stay in your voting booth long enough to vote for George Sheldon–because, in my opinion, if Pam Bondi is reelected she will do everything in her power to prevent the implementation of medicinal marijuana no matter the will of the voters or the will of medical practitioners!  These are the websites for the major political candidates for Attorney General, George Sheldon and Pam Bondi.

As respected political commentator Matt Isbell explains, as most real power over our daily lives is wielded by local government, it is important to focus on your local county commission races. His extensive analysis can be found here. Or, if you prefer to wait a day, it’ll probably end-up being cut and pasted on Politico, the Daily Kos, or the Huffington Post. He grew up in Cooper City, and really hopes incumbent commissioner, and part-time alleged cartoon super-villain, Jon Sims gets voted off his boyhood local council.

I have also prepared individual county guides in local, judicial, and special district elections for Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Leon counties.

In any event, whoever you support–everyone has done their job.

Now it is our turn to do our job.

Vote!

If you have trouble voting, call 844-FL-Votes.

Richard Junnier behind the scenes

In 2012, Attorney Richard Junnier served as Chair of the Leon County Democratic Party and Executive Committee. He practices law throughout the state of Florida, often on issues related to election and campaign finance law. His law firm’s website is www.JunnierLaw.com.