Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Boycott a risk for Clinton
She has more to losein Florida than the other candidates.
By DAVID DECAMP, Times Staff Writer
Published September 13, 2007
Hillary Clinton generally enjoys a larger lead in Florida than in Iowa or New Hampshire, according to recent polls, but she could face suffer a backlash from voters in the general election for signing a no-campaign pledge for Florida.
BOCA RATON - The ballroom was so thick with support, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton couldn't possibly flub her remarks.
Fight global warming? Cheers! Keep Social Security solvent? Clapping! Bring back troops from Iraq? Whoo-hoo!
No campaigning in Florida before the Jan. 29 presidential primary? Clinton didn't mention that touchy subject while speaking recently to a supportive crowd in Palm Beach County.
Like other leading Democratic candidates, Clinton signed a no-campaigning pledge. The purpose was to allay the concerns of sensitive and vitally important voters in Iowa and New Hampshire who don't want Florida's early primary day stealing their thunder.
But with so much support evident in Florida - high in the polls, raising lots of money - Clinton would seem to have more at risk with the pledge to pull back in the Sunshine State than the others in the Democratic field.
Scoring well in Florida is important, even if the votes technically don't count, given the state's size. And if Clinton were to stumble in those earlier states, a comeback victory here would be invaluable.
"I think it's going to hurt," said Clinton supporter Bertha Klein, 80, a Democrat in Boca Raton. "I don't know why they'd do it. I just want to ask her the question, I just want to ask why they decided to not see voters here."
She and her husband, Jehuda, 80, both waved signs for Al Gore and still feel the sting of his 2000 loss. The idea of dropping away from a full Florida campaign, he said, "It's just not right."
So why did Clinton promise not to campaign for these supporters? Because refusing to sign the pledge was the greater risk, observers say. She could have alienated Iowa and New Hampshire voters, who take great pride in their role as frontline voters who cull the presidential field.
The issue dates back to the spring, when Florida lawmakers moved the state's primary election day from March to Jan. 29. National party leaders for the GOP and the Democrats had promised to punish any states (except Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina) that scheduled primaries before Feb. 5.
Republicans still are mulling the situation but so far have not treated the matter as a crisis. National Democrats, however, have told state party leaders they must declare the Jan. 29 vote as officially meaningless in the awarding of delegates to the national convention, or lose all their delegates.
In response, the Democratic field of presidential candidates signed the pledge to simply not campaign in Florida, starting at the end of September. Fundraising is still allowed.
"It's not the principle or following the rules. It's cold, hard politics," said University of Central Florida political scientist Aubrey Jewett of Clinton's choice.
Generally, Clinton enjoys a larger lead in Florida than in Iowa or New Hampshire, according to recent polls. She is popular among Florida Democrats, because of their fondness for her husband's administration and because of her appeal as a New York senator to many transplanted New York Democrats living in South Florida.
Clinton has raised $3.4-million so far in Florida, more than any candidate, Republican or Democrat.
The affection for her was shown Monday, when Clinton visited the vast Century Village seniors community in Boca Raton between five fundraisers.
Much of the audience, estimated at 900, chattered in the familiar voice of Clinton's state, New York. When it began, the crowd gave her a standing ovation. When it ended, people used mobile phones to snap pictures.
"Everything she says is very good, and I have confidence in her," said Ethel Christianson, a Century Village resident.
But the argument that Clinton has the most to lose by the confusing state of the Democratic Party primary in Florida does have a counter point of view. For one thing, even if the votes don't bring any delegates, winning Florida's popular vote among Democrats still would be a notable victory.
And even if the primary has a diminished role, Clinton might not have to worry about rivals Barack Obama and John Edwards getting ahead of her in Florida. They signed the pledge, too.
"She's a known quantity," said former Florida Gov. Bob Martinez, who supports another front-running New Yorker, Republican Rudy Giuliani. "Overwhelmingly people have an opinion of her. The other candidates, the opinions are not fixed or as strong, so it's lost opportunity for them to gain ground."
Still, Clinton's campaign and some Democratic leaders have tried to quell the anxiety over the pledge.
Clinton spokesman Mo Elleithee said the campaign is optimistic a resolution between the state and national Democrats will be reached.
He downplayed the effects on the primary contest or the general election, pointing out nothing in the pledge stops a candidate from fundraising.
Some party leaders, including Florida chairwoman Karen Thurman, speculate that low-ticket price rallies doubling as fundraisers could happen. Barack Obama had low-admission rallies with large turnouts before the pledge was done.
"Listen, Hillary is going to do everything she has to do to make sure the people of Florida understand she thinks they're an incredibly important part of an electoral victory next November," said Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, a supporter.
But there are greater fears beyond Jan. 29: the November election, which is expected to be closely fought in Florida. A Democratic campaign blackout until the nominee is settled could leave the Democrats months behind Republicans.
While fewer people are following the rigmarole over the primary date, the perception the candidates decided to stay out of Florida could be wielded against the ultimate nominee among crucial independents and moderate or left-leaning Democrats, Jewett and Martinez said.
Clinton backer Donna Shalala, the president of the University of Miami, said the party risks making fundraising more difficult, but also victory.
"If they want to win," she said, "they've got to work it out."