Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Miami: Vamos A Cuba - Judge Smacks Down Board, Frank Bolanos Campaign Steams Along

As anyone with half a brain predicted, the Judge ruled against the Miami Dade School District in this 89 page decision, which is a preliminary injunction against the School Board, and in favor of the ACLU , ordering that the books be replaced and barring their removal, pending a full trial. You pretty much have to almost prove your entire case to get an injunction, that makes it very likely that the Court will rule the same at a full trial.

What The Court Considered
Basically the Court said the removal of the books was based on disagreement with the content of the book, and violated free speech. In making its ruling, the Court, looked at the record, including minutes of meetings, and each sides memo's of law, and made some interesting findings of fact:
The board changed its position – from the available record of its meetings – from trying to remove the book based on its “distortions” of Cuban reality, being “hurtful” to the Cuban-American community to later claim it wanted to remove it based on “errors” and/or “omissions” which justified removal on "pedagogical reasons."
That any claim that the book was part of the school curriculum and subject to review by a schoolboard was wrong, since the book was not part of the curriculum, or even used in assignments.
The board refused to even consider the findings of the process mounted by the administrators to mediate, and rejected the specific “less-intrusive” compromises by the administration, which is important when dealing with free speech restrictions.
Evidence showed school board acting in an “ad-hoc” manner, instead of strictly and consistently sticking to educational procedures, which lends weight to the board wanting to remove it because it disagreed with the content of the book.
In plain English, the board really messed up by doing and saying all sorts of things which pretty much proves that people didn’t like what was said in the book, and did everything it could to try to remove it.

Its All About Frankie B's Campaign
As I have said repeatedly, what may have started as a genuine complaint by a parent who had been in Castro’s dungeons and had all the right in the world to feel offended, was turned into a farce, by Bolanos who seized and ran with the issue to inflame passions in the community, and get as much press time as he could to build up his campaign.

In this on-point article, unsurprisingly from outside of Dade County, the Saint Petersburgs Times pretty much lays down how much politics is involved:
Was politics behind the vote?
Frank Bolanos is the School Board’s most outspoken critic of the book. He also is running for a seat in Tallahassee against Alex Villalobos, the former Miami Cuban darling of the Republican-controlled state Senate.
Three other board members who voted against the book are running for re-election to the board.

Frankie B.Politicking? Noooooooooooooo!....
“This book should never have been allowed to be inserted in our public school libraries,” Bolanos said. Barely hiding a political agenda, he warned board members that they faced a choice of voting “with the Cuban community (or) ... against the Cuban community.”

Local blogger Stuck on The Palmetto has an interesting video where Frankie and his posse set up a press conference, no doubt to keep the controversy alive, and get a little bewildered by a local reporters question about what everyone in the community thought about the controversy. Ever the statesman, Bolanos has a nice response, bound to please:

the feedback that I get back from taxpayers from all segments from our community is that public dollars and taxpayer dollars should not be used to buy Communist propaganda. Thank you

Frankie B. Rolls On To Tallahasee!
Whatever press he gets, Frank sees the prize at hand, and gets it done! Stuck On The Palmetto links to the Herald story where "Alejandro Rizzo, a Miami-Dade school assistant principal and staunch supporter of Frank BolaƱos", has just registered as a Democrat candidate for election. Had no Democrat registered in what is a essentially a Republican district, the Republican primary would have been open to all voters. OTP shows convincingly how tied in Rizzo is to Frankie B.'s electoral machine.

Humberto Fontova - Shrill Shill For Franky B.
The sometimes amusing, and often wacko, Humberto Fontova, is obviously impressed by the sage of South Miami, and goes to heap all sorts of praise on Frankie B. in not one, but two columns. And he quotes from the great man's column as well:

Typically, Frank Bolanos, the Cuban-American school board member who urges the "book banning," understands and appreciates the U.S. Constitution better than most of his native-born journalistic and legal opponents, with all their multifarious and glittering LLD degrees.
"This is not a First Amendment issue," Bolanos wrote. "Censorship occurs when government refuses to allow people to purchase material, not when it refuses to provide that material at no charge."
Mr. Bolanos – again, unlike his illustrious and mega-credentialed native-born foes – understands and reveres America's founding fathers. Thus he quotes Thomas Jefferson: "To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."
Alas, by bringing up Thomas Jefferson in attempting to influence the ACLU and the teachers unions, Mr. Bolanos erred grievously. The ACLU's founder and guiding light seemed to prefer Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin. And the teachers unions probably think Thomas Jefferson was the latest runner-up on "American Idol."

WOW, that is such a load of crap! LMAO, that is either the most shameless shill job for Frankie, or Fontova ingested too much swamp gas in the bayou to miss the obvious. And that is not even going into the "substance" of his arguments in both columns - if there was any substance.
Actually, I was going to quote the second article's shout out to Frankie B. but Bert here doesn't bother changing the ending paragraph, as his Lew Rockewell and Newsmax Article end with the same paragraph. Damn, Frankie gets the hookup-twice!