What we're really here for, though, is to discuss the grumpy grumbles of Fred Brummer; you know the ones that involve making democracy more difficult in Orange County, among other things. Check back around 2 p.m. when the NOISE will be BROUGHTEN! We'll be liveblogging, so get your refresh button ready. GO EAT.
1:47 p.m.: Just so you know, we're done with our sandwich. Something we are very upset about: There are 12 other items coming before the shitshow, meaning this is the time when you justify daydrinking because OMG this is hell.
2 p.m.: OK, WE GET IT. THE COMMISSION IS STILL EATING LUNCH BECAUSE THINGS RAN LATE THIS MORNING. NOT ALL SANDWICHES ARE CREATED EQUALLY.
2:05 p.m.: FUN FACT! Mayor Jacobs' key opponent Val Demings published this long and winding road on her website today, and we don't even know what to think about it. MILLIONAIRES AND POORS SHOULD JUST GET ALONG.
2:07 p.m.: ANOTHER FUN FACT! When we type "Val's" into our iPhone, autocorrect makes it "bald."
2:12 p.m.: It's a LITTLE bit late, but it appears everyone is in their respective seats. Ever watched paint dry or water boil? Ever had a boil? It's like that. OMG, WE'RE STARTING.
2:14 p.m.: And we're planning and we're zoning and we're planning and we're zoning. STREET LIGHTING ASSESSMENT IN A SUBDIVISION. I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW.
2:16 p.m.: Shut up. More streetlighting in subdivisions. This time there are three people here to complain. Could you talk three minutes about streetlighting? THIS GUY doesn't want a "double bill" because he owns multiple properties and will be charged several times. Now, a neighborhood association person is all "I'm totes supporting this, because light."
2:18 p.m.: We're talking about the Trail people. So there are 38 residential burglaries every half second.
2:20 p.m.: I want to talk about "less aggressive ways of lighting." Really, I do.
2:21 p.m.: MORE STREETLIGHTING. MOVE ALONG.
2: 22 p.m.: Don't leave yet, though. Even though more streetlighting is happening right now. Everybody tweet #Teresa about #streetlighting and let's see what happens.
2:24 p.m.: RETENTION PONDS! LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED THE RETENTION PONDS?
2:26 p.m.: OOOOOOH, zoning issues are going to be continued to Aug. 19. But people might talk? What the fuck is happening? Three public hearings are currently open. Also, your mind is blown.
2:29 p.m.: Boggy Creek doesn't sound like a good place to live. And Jennifer Thompson is queen of it. Florida is awful.
2:31 p.m.: Ted Edwards (Tedwards) has an "appointment" so he has to leave for the important part.
2:32 p.m.: NOW WE'RE GOING. The first hearing will be about adding two new districts to make Hispanics happy, except not really – there is still a lawsuit. County legal is now breaking down the five different ordinances. "I don't want to dwell too much on the background today," because you've heard it all before. So, we're not abolishing the Tax Collector's office, because that was a dumb vindictive idea. But we will talk about the new commission seats that have to be established by next year (never gonna happen). How are we going to get two new districts by the August primary elections? A: We aren't.
2:37 p.m.: Now we're talking about the boring ones: nonpartisan constitutional offices, term limits. AND NOW, we're talking about increasing the number of signatures from 10 percent to 15 percent in each commission district to change the charter, also raise from 7 to to 10 percent for ordinances. OH, and let's cut the time in half from 180 days to 90 days for petitioning. LET'S MAKE IT HARDER (that's what she said).
2:39 p.m.: OMG, NO CHARTER CHANGES OR ORDINANCES CAN EFFECT BUSINESSES. Also, can't pay petitioners.
2:40 p.m.: Tiffany Moore Russell is actually citing the charter. County Attorney Jeff Newton says "yes," you can (as a county) make changes to state law offices. Local rule!
2:41 p.m.: Our friend Doug Head, former local Dem chair, is pointing out that the new districts issue is designed to "trick" Hispanics. In fact, "I think that is a lie." The community will be negatively affected. Hispanics don't traditionally vote in August. Lame ducks on the dais will be redistricting mid-decade, which hasn't happened. The Census is halfway over. This is "very ill-conceived." Yay, Doug Head. You're asking for litigation, county!
2:47 p.m.: Some guy just argued (we think) for two new districts in a longform flourish. Now another man is speaking about supporting a Latino majority district, but not when there are so many special interests involved in Orange County. "We need to hold the county's feet to the fire and go to the trial instead of settling the redistricting lawsuit," he says. Talk of "complications or manipulations," shades of sick time, exercising power, "I absolutely do not trust Commissioner Brummer and any of his initiatives." WOW.
2:50 p.m.: Carlos Guzman is now speaking on the district issue and Latinos. He is wearing a giant "NO" sticker. I guess we know where he is going with this.
2:52 p.m.: We have all the power Democrats in the house: Stephanie Porta, Property Appraiser Rick Singh, LADY VAL DEMINGS – this is about to get good. Everyone is calling the redistricting plan discriminatory and basically saying "you're in a lawsuit next week, shut the fuck up."
2:55 p.m.: OMG MARCO PENA, REPUBLICAN BUTTBOY TO RICK SCOTT, IS NOW SPEAKING EVEN THOUGH EXPRESSWAY AUTHORITY. HE SAYS EVERYTHING IS GREAT. HE CANVASSED IN HISPANIC DISTRICTS. HE LOST TO JOE SAUNDERS. FINI.
2:57 p.m.: Political gadabout Jim Callahan (who knows everything for some reason) is reminding the dais that there have already been suggestions of more districts during Census times, but nobody seemed to care then. What's happening now is "rushing the process," let's wait til 2021 when we have new numbers. MAYBE WE SHOULDN'T PRETEND THERE ISN'T A LAWSUIT.
2:59 p.m.: Can we just point out that Mayor Jacobs has actually advised the audience not to "single out" Fred Brummer lest his feelings get hurt. Jesus.
3:01 p.m.: "WHY DON'T YOU JUST TABLE THIS?... RIGHT NOW YOU'RE WAY OUT OF LINE." awesome.
3:02 p.m.: Nancy Jacobson is bringing up the cost and the lack of "urgent need" for this redistricting, other than, say, a lawsuit. "Expensive," "disruptive," "Litigation causing." Wait for the ruling. HER SHIRT IS SCREAMING "NO" AT ME. She, like most sentient beings, is suspicious of Brummer's intentions. Maybe you should have fixed this back before there was a lawsuit?
3:04 p.m.: Keith Morrison says it don't matter if you're black or white, it's how you represent people.
3:05 p.m.: THE GREENING OF AMERICA IS NOW A THING, A CAMPAIGN FINANCE THING!
3:08 p.m.: You don't really even understand Hispanics, says this lady. It's in the public record. You are all idiots. Too little, too late, too fast, she says. "Where will these 'magical' new districts be?" "TERESA, WHAT IS IT THAT YOU'RE DOING TO 1.2 MILLION PEOPLE?" omggggggggamazing.
3:11 p.m.: OH, WAIT. NOBODY COULD HAVE ASKED ATTORNEY NEWTON WHETHER HE THOUGHT THIS SHOULD BE DEFERRED - NOT EVEN TALKED ABOUT - TIL AFTER THE TRIAL? AND NOW THAT MIZZZ JACOBS HAS, HE SAYS HE RECOMMENDS DEFERMENT? Hey, cups and strings, the county called.
3:14 p.m.: Tiffany Moore Russell wants mediation, but that's already failed. So hopefully a settlement? This shit is about to be tabled, and the county is going to court. Brummer's eggface is showing.
3:17 p.m.: Brummer doesn't seem to hear the sounds of logic. It's like the ocean in a conch shell; he just makes it up.
3:19 p.m.: Who cuts Pete Clarke's hair? YOU'RE FIRED.
3:21 p.m.: Jennifer Thompson has a TINY LITTLE FLAG in front of her. And a corsage. Also, she doesn't want to go to court. Attorney Newton is telling Thompson that legal stuff is kinda private, so get back to your blowout lady.
3:22 p.m.: Pete Clarke doesn't know what the law is. NOT ANY LAW. nothing. He cuts his hair with a bowl.
3:24 p.m.: You should know that people are actually falling asleep in the chambers. I blame the beige. And Brummer. And Clarke. And absent Edwards. And Jennifer Thompson's blowout.
3:27 p.m.: This guy from Ocoee doesn't understand why we're trying to change the term limits and partisanship of constitutional officers. This has happened before, he says, and it's always dumb. "Unnecessary."
3:28 p.m.: A woman who knows about property appraisers and partisan races is basically talking down the idiocy of the eggs falling from Brummer's face. She doesn't think that there should be term limits on constitutional offices BECAUSE IT TAKES AWHILE TO FIGURE THIS SHIT OUT, DAMMIT. This lady is brilliant.
3:31 p.m.: HAHAHHAAHHAHA I LOVE IT WHEN REGULAR PEOPLE SCHOOL THE DAIS ON HOW GUBBERMINT IS RUN. THANKS, PAUL.
3:34 p.m.: I'm so in love with the Rick Namey renaissance (he was behind supergroup Biteboy awhile back) because he is a full-on liberal who just told Teresa and Fred that there is no such thing as nonpartisan elections. Let the electorate decide. "Free and fair elections. If you don't like them, vote them out."
3:36 p.m.: Tax Collector Scott Randolph is disagreeing with Atty. Newton, basically saying that you can't pile all this shit into one bill – term limits, partisanship. "Article 8, Section D," etc. Randolph knows his shit. Randolph didn't get as drunk as we did at his wife's Bday party last night apparently, because "Article 6" and somesuch. "You should simply put this off to the charter review commission" for vetting purposes. Also, "fascinating" that this would be on the August primary ballot where no NPAs show up. If you want more NPAs, push it to November. "The issue here is that this is a proposal to actually ironically decrease the participation of No Party Affiliation voters..."
3:39 p.m.: Hottie Carlos Smith who leads the local Dems is pointing out that all of Orange County is fucking Democrats, assholes. The GOP is now in third. OMG, SNAP. The only way Repugs get elected is by "tricking" voters. "Your actions today will be well documented ..." before August and November. BAM!
3:42 p.m.: Now there's a big old Republican talking about how partisanship is a total turnoff. And now County Elections Supervisor Bill Cowles' counsel is speaking against term-limits. BECAUSE THESE ARE IMPORTANT JOBS. THEY AREN'T POLITICS. "EXPERTISE IS VITAL AND CRITICAL."
3:47 p.m.: More piling on with the expertise argument from the lovely Nancy Jacobson.
3:53 p.m.: Brummer is mumbling about term limits and nonpartisan elections, etc. Using reverse logic, he's figured out that nobody wants to be in a party. PARTY PARTY PARTY.
3:56 p.m.: Tiffany Moore Russell just floated an amendment to MAKE THIS ISH HAPPEN IN NOVEMBER, IF IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN. BECAUSE VOTERS WILL BE THERE.
3:57 p.m.: TEDWARDS IS BACK. and he's being dumb. He supports nonpartisan elections, but doesn't support the term limits on constitutional offices. BUT HOW DO WE SEPARATE THESE SIAMESE TWINS?
3:59: Thompson seconded Tiffany Moore Russell's amendment, mostly because that's WHEN SHE IS ON THE BALLOT. Meanwhile, Pete Clarke's hair just shaved six years of my life.
4:01 p.m.: SURPRISE, Teresa wants this on the November ballot, too. Now she's saying she's been all about nonpartisan since 1996, because no issues are partisan in Orange County. THIS IS A LIE. Teresa, your entire team is Republican, first. Second of all, don't go throwing SunRail and DPAC into this, when you know that you have swished on these issues, and neither have been proven. "Is there a partisan way to collect taxes?" HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH CLIVE BUNDY HAHAHAHHAHAHAA.
4:08 p.m.: NOBODY KNOWS WHAT THEY'RE DOING. There is confusion about whether term limits and nonpartisanship can be separated now, and Teresa has no IDEA what to do.
4:11 p.m.: The smugness of TEDWARDS and Teresa is slimy. I can't even anymore.
4:13 p.m.: So, the bulk motion failed, but now they're going to put it on the ballot - a totally different ordinance – as allowing three terms for constitutional officers and a separate question for the nonpartisan bullshit.
4:17 p.m.: Commishes Moore Russell and Edwards are the "troublemakers." We're not laughing.
4:18 p.m.: TERESA JACOBS LOVES THE COUNTY CHARTER SO HARD AND REALLY BELIEVES IN DEMOCRACY EVEN THOUGH SHE DOESN'T AND HASN'T.
4:21 p.m.: OK, so now we're talking about the BIG ISSUE: the petition process. Apparently Teresa, Jen, TEDWARDS and Tiff don't want to even put this on the ballot, because, HELLO, charter commission. Although TEDWARDS want's to talk about it because he's been through the HELL of TEXTGATE. Teresa is now saying that the charter language isn't clear and textgate wasn't her fault and these issues won't be addressed. Teresa wants a BLUE RIBBON PANEL.
4:24 p.m.: VAL DEMINGS IS TALKING ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION TO THE FACES OF THE PEOPLE WHO FUCKED UP IN TEXTGATE. "We the people," "Govt of the people, by the people and for the people," etc.
4:26 p.m.: OMG DIRECT ATTACK ON TERESA.
4:27 p.m.: QUOTING MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.: "It will not be long. How long? Not long. Because no lie can live forever."
4:28 p.m.: Jacobs: "I'll save debates and campaign speeches for the appropriate time."
4:29 p.m.: AND HERE'S STEPHANIE PORTA FROM ORGANIZE NOW AND SICK TIME. "You violated our sunshine laws." "Today we're here AGAIN!" She's comparing petition requirements between candidates and initiatives. "2 sets of rules." TRANSPARENCY, ACCOUNTABILITY, POWER GRAB, LOBBYISTS, TEXT MESSAGES, BIG BUSINESS LOBBYISTS, RUSHING THE PEOPLE THEY DO CONTROL, POSSIBLY THIS COUNTY COMMISSION.
4:32 p.m.: League of Women Voters weighs in with "absurd" and "punitive." This shit is going down.
4:35 p.m.: Serious discussion about the loss of voting rights and the lack of sick pay from Black women voters group rep. How does this feel, Teresa?
4:37 p.m.: Rights to petition and assemble for a redress of grievances - The Constitution. Jim Callahan is weighing in again on the rights of people.
4:42 p.m.: I heart Tiffany Namey for just telling Teresa that she is shutting down free speech by making people not clap or repeat things. Truth.
4:43 p.m.: Carlos Smith "I'm offended by the blatant attempt... an attack on voters' rights... ridiculous." YAY CARLOS SMITH.
4:46 p.m.: DOUBLE DOWN ON YOUR LAW BREAKING - attorney Mary Meeks, hero. Talking about Human Rights Ordinance and Domestic Partnership Registry, and the obstructionism therein. Calling out Brummer's accusations of "extremism" in initiatives. "What the heck is he talking about?" she asks Brummer, noting that ONLY ONE INITIATIVE EVER MADE IT THROUGH. "This Brummer proposal is a complete sham." She's a constitutional attorney, this proposal is "illegal." "Just think about the ultimate irony" of the county having to spend all the taxpayer money to fight it in court. IF THIS PROPOSAL PASSES, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE DOWN THE COUNTY WEBSITE. (BECAUSE IT IS MISLEADING AND SAYS THIS IS AN OPEN GOVERNMENT).
4:53 p.m.: SO THERE IS A 15 MINUTE BREAK HAPPENING NOW BECAUSE SOMEONE HAS TO PEE. Should I keep going? Let me know in the comments....
5:14 p.m.: Union guy Glen is here and he's talking about the charter review board taking this up in January, also calling out TEDWARDS for his questioning of the process. Glen(n?) is calling it opposite day. "Punitive and restricting" was just said, which sounds like my sex life.
5:17 p.m.: Commissioners can't be impartial on this when they still have red wrists, really. Good point, Glen(n?)
5:18 p.m.: Lady in Florida Gators jacket is complaining about "outsider perspectives" wearing "suits," so we can see where this is going. She wants you to support this because she's bedding Fred Brummer? HOT GUY ALERT! Hot guy opposes. I'm with Hot Guy.
5:20 p.m.: Young Dem talking about registering 11k students to vote in 2012, setting up carpools, "yes, I am in a suit, and I'm not being paid to be here." He's engaged people in the civic process. It sucks. Don't make it harder. "A punch in the gut," he says. Suspicious that this is the intention after all, really, he says.
5:23 p.m.: DAMN, LADY FROM CONCORD STREET WHO DIDN'T SUPPORT SICK TIME JUST POINTED OUT HOW MUCH THIS INITIATIVE WOULD MAKE US LOOK BAD AGAINST OTHER COUNTIES. "Shutting down the library because you didn't like one book you checked out."
5:25 p.m.: Now we're talking about Mayor Bloomberg and the National Rifle Association, because, what the fuck? She is not making any sense. She might be unhinged. There is an alternate tower collapsing. Her sleeves are ridiculous. She wants to change the petition process "such that everybody can be heard." IN ADDITION, SHE SAYS. She thinks the commission is providing MORE time to put things on the ballot, when that's the opposite of what's really happening. I'm watching an episode of "Alice."
5:28 p.m.: Denise Diaz is talking. Nobody stops Denise Diaz from talking. Even when she is just saying the obvious and introducing her new baby (awwwwww!). Earned sick time was killed by lobbyists; it was the opposite really. "Orange County voters really don't matter," is what this is all doing, she says.
5:33 p.m.: Hello, hot mover guy who took the day off, totally NPA, to fight against the petition crackdown. "This makes it nearly impossible." WHAT LOBBYISTS CAN DO WITH A FEW TEXT MESSAGES is not equal to what citizens are able to do. Teresa is being super defensive now and saying that 50k petitions is "extremely difficult." He just called her a "criminal" and took it back. TERESA TOTALLY AGREES WITH HIM. She's using this as a campaign moment. Caring is sharing.
5:36 p.m.: Sue Casterline just pointed out that Brummer admitted he never wrote this legislation. She doesn't know who did - Disney, Chamber, ALEC (actually, it was attorney Wade Vose, but OK) - but it's a good point. She's talking about capitalism and plutocracy. Oh, dear.
5:41 p.m.: Brooke Hines is illuminating the fact that this madness is bad for the "brand of Orange County," because two sets of rules, and branding. 784 petitions compared to 5.5 per day between citizens and electeds. One of the small businesses said "citizens should be trusted... they are worthy of your trust."
5:44 p.m.: "The best way to take control of the people is to take a little bit of their freedom at a time," says Patricia. I love Patricia.
5:48 p.m.: There's a pocket-sized construction bear talking about "honor." He's a thing.
5:49 p.m.: Linda O'Keefe: "Why are we here?" INDEED. I BELIEVE YOU. TALK ABOUT COMMON SENSE SOME MORE. But BUT BUT BUT SHE'S READING BRUMMER TALKING POINTS. SHE WANTS TO BE CONTROLLED. DO YOU?
5:52 p.m.: ALL THE CRAZY PEOPLE WITH TYPED OUT TALKING POINTS FROM SOMEBODY ELSE - WADE VOSE - ARE LINING UP NOW. it's like a tanning bed in here.
5:53 p.m.: IT'S CRUCIAL, SAYS THIS GUY WHO HAS A BOAT.
5:54 p.m.: Don't talk about car salesmen when you're wearing a Ginger (Gilligan's Island) wig. YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT LADY. You haven't read the proposal. You've read the sheet you've been handed – nobody says "two-tiered." THEY JUST DON'T.
5:56 p.m.: NOW WE'RE INTO GREEN ACRES TERRITORY. This guy doesn't believe in the charter commission, doesn't believe in petitions except in "secondary" circumstances. His biggest worry IS OUTSIDE INFLUENCE. Because, fuck off Koch Brothers, RPOF. Also, uh, the CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT INVOLVED BUSING PEOPLE IN. Go home, Bubba.
6 p.m.: Keith Morrison is laying down some logic. He's against it all and he's preaching: "You're not even abiding by the 150 days you want" for this petition. "What it looks like is you're trying to put down people who don't agree with you."
6:03 p.m.: Guy who has been working since 5:30 a.m. and just got off his second job thinks this sucks. He is correct.
6:04 p.m.: WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE PAID LOBBYISTS FROM THE OUTSIDE, THE TWO BILLION WRITING OUR STATE LAWS VIA ALEC! THANKS, CARMEN!
6:05 p.m.: KATHLEEN VOSS WOOLRICH IS DOING THE CRYING FOR GOOD REASON. She's bullied, she says. By the state, by the county. "You break my heart, the things you do."
6:10 p.m.: DUMB LADY ALERT. Just going to put it out there: Petition drives have been organized from all over the country forever. Hello, MLK. Fuck off, racist.
6:11 p.m.: "The paid lobbyist thing, I will be sure to tell some of the canvassers I know out there so they know better," the amazing (and newly shorn) Tim Murray. There is so much hypocrisy. He hates talking about it BECAUSE IT'S REAL.
6:15 p.m: YOU KNOW WHO'S A LOBBYIST, DARDEN, ROSEN, ET AL. Not the people knocking on doors.
6:17 p.m.: ONE LAST SPEAKER. And he's opposed to the "undemocratic" thing that is "kind of joke." Especially when the limits are impossible to meet. WE'RE ALMOST DONE PEOPLE. Public testimony is over and Brummer is rambling again. "Let me tell you what my proposal does... My proposal bifurcates the process." BRUMMER WANTS SLAVE LABOR. Do you know that petitioners are people too?
6:20 p.m.: FYI, Fred Brummer is dead to me.
6:24 p.m.: TERESA IS HAVING A MOMENT. It's a legit concern that outside forces would come in and make us all commies because big DEM money. "This issue is so core and fundamental" to Orange County Government. She is shutting down Brummer. "I don't think there is a wrong way to do the right thing." She is imploring the board to vote this down and ask the charter review commission to look at it. This has never happened before. WE ARE NOT ABLE TO HANDLE THIS. You put this on the ballot, this goes down, she says. "I don't think everything in here is right... we are not sending the right message."
6:26 p.m.: PERCEPTION COUNTS, BY GOLLY, SHE SAYS.
6:27 p.m.: Tiffany Moore Russell is not comfortable attacking people who go and get petitions, paid or not. AMEN.
6:30 p.m.: Jennifer Thompson is all about calling out people who are paid to get petitions. #GIRLTALK
6:31 p.m.: Jacobs says this is "dangerous." TEDWARDS wants to keep talking. JUST STOP. NOBODY WANTS THIS.
6:36 p.m.: OH, TEDWARDS JUST STOPPED TALKING. He did. Now, Teresa is talking "workarounds" and "public forums." Everything is slackening in an unattractive way. Unattractive in the sense that Fred Brummer's head is on top of it.
6:38 p.m.: PETE CLARKE'S HAIR SAYS THIS "IS TOO MUCH TO DIGEST."
6:39 p.m.: Looks like we're kicking the can, but Boyd and Edwards are being assholes.
6:41 p.m.: Teresa foresees that this anti-democracy movement would likely bring a "pretty aggressive campaign" pointing out how much we're fighting democracy. She's against it all. There's a big fight now between Atty. Newton and TEDWARDS going on. Now there's a lot of issues with the amendments NOT BEING SEEN BY THE PUBLIC IN THEIR CURRENT FORM, WHICH, OK, LET'S GO AHEAD AND PUT THEM ON THE OVERHEAD SO THE PUBLIC JUST SAW THEM.
6:44 p.m.: So only Brummer voted for his own amendment. TEDWARDS wants a revised process ... NOT EVEN SURE WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE. It appears that we're voting on actual line items within the petition initiative, especially restricting ability of people petitioning against private business practices. WHAT. Jacobs can't wait to fight this again. There has to be another public hearing, though; a new ordinance with these provisions. ALL THE WOMEN VOTED NO. All the men are assholes. If it comes back, it will be on November ballot. Still a rush job. Still the dumbest thing ever. Still the worst county government your money can buy. Are you listening Linda Chapin? This is what you're supporting. Godspeed.