Monday, February 29, 2016

Dear Soapbox blog readers ...

Please don't think I've forgotten you; I haven't. Having urged you to change your party affiliation so you can vote in Florida's March 15 Republican Presidential Primary, it weighs heavily on me that I owe you a post about how I will vote. 

My mail-in ballot sits on my desk, waiting to be filled out. 

The problem is, I fear that the only meaningful choices in this winner-take-all Republican primary are Trump and Rubio. (Yes, Trump, despite what I said earlier.) 

And choosing between them requires me to put aside my values and idealism, and make a purely calculated, political bet. 

The Moment of Truth: We Must Stop Trump, by Danielle Allen, a Harvard University political theorist, describes of one possible approach I'm considering.

Unlike past elections, when I've urged early voting, this time I think waiting until the last minute may be the better strategy. A key factor in my ultimate decision will be who the likely top two vote-getters in our Florida primary will be. And a lot can still happen between now and March 15.

I will continue to struggle with my decision, possibly until the last minute, and will let you know how I'm thinking as soon as I'm comfortable sharing it. Thanks for your patience.

Meanwhile, if you've decided who YOU are going to vote for in the Republican PPP, please let me know your thought-process and rationale.

Help me reach more Collier County voters by sharing this post with your friends. You and they can subscribe to Sparker’s Soapbox by email at, "like" me on Facebook at or follow me on Twitter @SparkersSoapbox.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Tuesday is the deadline!

In 2011, months before the Presidential Preference Primary in which Florida’s registered Republicans would choose between Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul, I changed my party affiliation to Republican. I wrote about that decision in a post called “An Unorthodox Suggestion.”

As I explained then, Florida is a closed primary state. Only voters registered with the party that is holding the primary may vote. (There are five kinds of primaries: blanket, top-two, open, closed and hybrid. More here.)

I understand and appreciate the differences between the Republican and Democratic Party philosophies of government, and I know which Party's candidate I will vote for in November.

But I am appalled that Donald Trump won the Iowa and New Hampshire Republican primaries and is winning in the polls. He is an embarrassment to our country.

And the possibility of a Trump presidency is terrifying.

So regardless of how you will vote in November, right now you have the opportunity to try to keep Donald Trump from getting that far IF you are a registered Republican by Tuesday and vote in that party’s primary next month.

You can change your party affiliation at any time, as often as you like. But you MUST BE REGISTERED AS A REPUBLICAN BY TUESDAY, February 16, in order to vote in Florida’s Republican Presidential Preference Primary on March 15.

It’s easy to do. Just click here, complete and print the form, and get it to the Supervisor of Elections office by Tuesday.

Every vote matters. Don’t miss your one opportunity to deny Trump the presidency.

Help me reach more Collier County voters by sharing this post with your friends. You and they can subscribe to Sparker’s Soapbox by email at, “like” me on Facebook at or follow me on Twitter @SparkersSoapbox.