Friday, October 29, 2010
West stressed the need to be on the lookout for problems in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries. He recognizes that we cannot rely on forced alliances to protect American security. By contrast, Congressman Klein showed his ignorance and his adherence to conventional wisdom as a substitute for terror policy, callously stating that "Iran is the enemy" and that we must bolster the Afghani, Pakistani and other armies. To be sure, the Iranian regime is a huge enemy of the West and even of Saudi Arabia, but focusing on them alone is wrong and dangerous.
In truth, Iran has the largest number of pro-Western citizens of any country in the Middle East, outside of Israel. There is hope for regime change, as long as we can stop radicals like Mousavi from hijacking those reform movements. And of course we need to deal with the current threat and the current regime. But that doesn't mean that we should turn a blind eye on the Taliban and al-Qaeda, as Ron Klein wants us to.
To eradicate terror, we need to show common sense and firm resolve on the international front, as well as introduce domestic policy to end terror recruitment in prisons by sentencing non-violent offenders to work details or military service instead of long prison sentences where large numbers are recruited every year.
There is no simple solution and only a multi-pronged change to domestic policy, coupled with foreign vigilance, will see the terror threat erased. But Ron Klein's position is shockingly ignorant and dangerous to America's security. By contrast, Allen West's is a tremendous step in the right direction.
Congressman Ron Klein has failed to do anything in his four years in Congress and is dangerously naïve on the international front. Colonel Allen West understands global politics and what is needed internationally. It's time to give him an opportunity to lend his voice to solving our most glaring global problem.
On Nov. 2, vote Allen West. The future of America relies on common sense solutions.
Monday, October 25, 2010
As of this email, we may be well on track to seeing Allen West elected to Congress in South Florida. Alan Grayson appears to be going down to defeat.
But elect Alex Sink as governor and Alan Grayson, Ron Klein, Suzanne Kosmas and Alan Boyd may well be back in two years, not to mention the future of the two new seats being gained by Florida in the process.
The Governor has veto power over any redistricting plan. A Republican governor helps ensure that these seats stay Republican. A Democrat governor would demand compromise from the Florida House and it’s doubtful that Tallahassee leadership would hold the line in great enough numbers and have the media savvy to win that battle.
That’s why electing Rick Scott is absolutely crucial to the Republican effort and why his race is the most important one in this election cycle.
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Charles Canady – Yes
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Yes, I know that in saying so I’ve just bucked conventional wisdom, which dictates that self proclaimed Marxist aficionados such as Chris Coons, wise men like Al Franken, erudite speakers like Barney Frank and great thinkers of our times like Howard Dean are the epitome of normal, while hard working Americans and Reagan Democrats, now referred to as “Tea Party Activists,” are the “extreme.” Too bad.
The real radical in the O’Donnell-Coons race is Chris Coons
The real radical in the O’Donnell-Coons race is Chris Coons, which is patently obvious to anyone who’s reviewed his positions or life experience. Pinning that term on O’Donnell, in this race, is like saying that Queen Elizabeth should learn decorum from a more famous O’Donnell of a more Rosie nature. As much should be clear to all Delaware Republicans, Castlonians and Christinians alike.
The false picture portrayed by the media of the O’Donnell-Coons race in general, and of their latest exchange in particular, represents a new low even for Network News. While O’Donnell was able to enumerate the five freedoms actually guaranteed by the First Amendment, Coons was not. Too bad that factoid didn’t make its way to the “fair and balanced” Democratic media.
As to the issue at hand, the First Amendment guarantees freedom of all religions on the federal level, the ability to express thoughts in public and other similar rights. Coons’ use of the amendment as a pretext to ban speech, thought or open discussion in public classrooms is to attribute to the First Amendment all that it is truly against. In so doing, Coons may as well have continued that line of reasoning and gone on to explain how the Second Amendment demands confiscation of all firearms.
In truth, his distortion of the First Amendment should be as offensive to Americans as calling Karl Marx a capitalist would be to a guy like Coons.
A proper reading of the First Amendment would be even more shocking to Coons and Widener Law School company. The Amendment was actually established to protect statewide religious practices from federal interference. One should read the sources that Thomas E. Woods, Jr. so brilliantly brings together in his Politically Incorrect Guide to American History (among them, historian David Hackett Fischer) for more information on this subject.
And it cannot go without saying that Coons also showed a profound ignorance of science, which in its un-politicized form (in other words, the kind no longer taught in universities), demands logic and shuns dogma; even liberal, conventional dogma. But that’s for a more in-depth discussion on the gaping holes in conventional scientific theory. For now, suffice it to say that the foolish nature of liberal dogma is as far reaching as it is wrong.
The main lesson remains as follows: Congressional Democrats have made Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and Tim Geithner in charge of banking during a time of national crisis (Geithner by way of senatorial approval). Less than two short years ago, they sued to make the Grand Statesman of the Century, Mr. Al Franken himself, a full fledged Member of the United States Senate. And they have elevated to the speakership a radical who was commonly referred to as “San Fran Nan” prior to said elevation.
Yet they persist in calling us “radicals?”
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
This Sunday, at a retirement home in Belle Glade, Florida, a United States congressman threatened the life of his opponent in front of an entire group of senior citizens. For those familiar with the entitlement mentality that has so sullied the left, the party of the esteemed Congressman can be left without saying. For all others, I’ve included it in the title.
Sunday’s riff was par for the course with Alcee Hastings. During the 2008 cycle (three days or so before the election), Democrat Hastings, a member of Congress since 1993 and the only impeached judge ever to be elected to higher office, brought up his own impeachment in a public forum, all but proclaiming it to be a badge of honor. His opponent at the time, former state Chief Medical Officer Marion Thorpe, being a quintessential gentleman, didn’t engage him head on, but instead reminded the audience that Hastings’ impeachment had precluded him from being an effective voice on issues affecting his district.
Alcee went ballistic. Although it was he, not his opponent, who had brought up his own impeachment, Hastings approached Thorpe after the debate and told him (among other things not fit to print), “you ever bring up that impeachment again and I’ll take you out.” The two then sat down and let the candidates for state attorney take the stage, Alcee’s threats having almost been within earshot. Alcee was soon at it again, finishing off the evening by standing up, waving his finger at Thorpe and hissing “it ain’t over, it ain’t over. I’m coming after you.”
Hastings’ reward for that most comical charade was reelection to a ninth term in Congress. To be sure, he doesn’t have much clout and Pelosi et al made him “Chairman of the Helsinki Commission,” to make sure that he spends most of his time amusing the good folks of Europe, doing his best to “bolster” our national image.
(Details of the above incident are available online at The entire incident is available at http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/172989/opponent-accuses-rep-alcee-hastings-threatening-his-life/mark-hemingway. Of note, I was in the room when it happened, albeit not close enough to hear Alcee’s gracious and poetic threats.)
That episode was mild and pales in comparison to what happened this weekend at Quiet Waters Retirement Home, a Belle Glade, Fla. nursing home that will be quiet no more.
Alcee Hastings arrived with Kendrick Meek and the media. Kendrick gave a good speech and left, the media following suit.
Alcee’s Republican opponent - diplomat, community leader and renown human rights activist Bernard Sansaricq - was at the home, meeting with residents. Sansaricq notes that this was after a full day of campaigning and listening to the concerns of constituents in Belle Glade, the poorest area in the state and one with an unemployment rate of 42%. Surprisingly, while Sansaricq has visited the area 20 times, Hastings had been a no show until that afternoon.
With the media gone, Alcee gave his speech. Winding down, he turned to his opponent and announced that the Tea Party had invited him to a debate, rebutting “I have nothing in common with the TEA parties, so I refused.” At that point, he called out to Bernard to stand next to him and demanded that “Bernard debate (him) right here and now.” That move would prove foolish, even by Alcee standards.
Alcee, now both the candidate and self-appointed moderator of the debate, continued on about how much he loved Belle Glade, where he grew up (but hasn’t been seen since). His concluding remarks were that he “was an impeached federal judge.” He added that he’s “now under investigation by the House Ethics Committee, but none of that matters because I represent the people.”
The esteemed Congressman continued:
“Bernard Sansaricq posted accusations on his site that I pay my girlfriend, who is also my staffer, $160,000 a year. And I have one word for him. You, Bernard should go find out what I did to my last opponent. I sued his -expletive deleted- off.”
First point of contention:
It wasn’t Bernard Sansaricq who broke that story. It was national news sources, including the ultra-liberal Sun-Sentinel (see http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2010-03-06/news/fl-congress-spending-20100304_1_budgets-staff-salaries-office-expenses).
Second point of contention:
Hastings’ expletive laced rant took place in a nursing home, right in front of elderly residents!
Third point of contention:
Hastings never sued (or attempted to sue) the honorable Dr. Marion Thorpe, Jr., former Chief Medical Officer of Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration. He threatened him with physical harm.
Well, we know what you “did to his last opponent.” And just like his impeachment, he may not want to bring it up in public.
You would think that would be enough. But, Alcee being Alcee, there was more to come.
Bernard Sansaricq is a serious man who cares about the plight of people in Alcee Hastings’ district. Hastings would have been well advised to leave him well enough alone. But he didn’t and now it was Bernard’s turn to fire back:
Turning to the audience, the statesman responded:
“I have visited Belle Glade 20 times since the beginning of the campaign and I intend on being YOUR Congressman. And I won’t tell you that you need to hire a lobbyist when you need something from me. That’s because your congressman is elected to be your lobbyist!
Belle Glade has a 42% unemployment rate. You can be sure that when elected, I won’t hire some girlfriend and pay her $160,000 of the people’s money when those funds can be used to hire eight people in Belle Glade. I also won’t take trips to Europe with that girlfriend on the taxpayer dime. I will remain here and have a presence in the district, fighting for you.”
Alcee’s response, in full earshot of all of the assembled elderly residents of the no longer Quiet Waters, “You’d better travel safe! You’d better travel safe! You’d better travel safe!” For those who don’t understand thug-ese, that’s a desperate threat (albeit an empty one) on Bernard Sansaricq’s life.
When asked about what had transpired, Sansaricq stated, “that was obviously not the speech I had in mind to give. But since he laid it all out on the table, there was really no choice but to oblige.”
Alcee Hastings was right about one thing. He has nothing in common with the TEA parties, or any other citizens’ movement for that matter.
The most riled up members of our grassroots movements are motivated by a desire to help America realize its potential. They respect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Alcee Hastings threatens his opponents and he chases the pursuit of girlfriend staffers.
What’s also true is that Alcee Hastings needs psychiatric help. As far as being a decision maker or community leader goes, suffice it to say that I’ve met wild armadillos more intelligent than he is. With 42% unemployment in parts of his district, Florida’s most impoverished one, it’s a shame that they don’t have better representation.
Alcee Hastings is the embodiment of a disgrace. Compared to Sansaricq, whose amazing bio cannot be given justice in this article (though readers are encouraged to visit www.sansaricq4congress.org to see for themselves), Hastings appears to be nothing more than a shadow of a man. And the Democratic Party, even with their pervasive entitlement mentality, should be ashamed to have him as their nominee.
Sunday, September 05, 2010
When a prosecutor calls the charges levied against a conservative commissioner in a liberal county “novel,” you know that justice has run amok. But the extent of the miscarriage of justice in the Keith Wasserstrom case goes well beyond that definition.
Keith Wasserstrom was a city commissioner in Hollywood, Fla., in the southern part of Broward County. Nominally a Democrat, Wasserstrom was open in his support for the reelection of Gov. Jeb Bush in 2002. At the height of the Iraq War’s unpopularity, Wasserstrom was a lone voice in that party, reminding them of the national security reasons for the war. He knew that his popularity would suffer and he was kicked out of three Democratic clubs as a result. But he did not know the extent of maliciousness that was in store for him.
At the same time, federal agents were looking to prosecute crimes in Broward. One county commissioner with a past that swirled with rumors, and who was later indicted after a joint federal and state investigation, had been caught misusing funds without charges being laid. There were rumored backroom deals with school board members (one instance of which was later confirmed). Broward was working on establishing new ethics standards. But instead of promoting steps to actually curb corruption, certain officials decided to alleviate the pressure of never having prosecuted a Broward official by going after the one whose politics they liked least, a Democrat who showed voters how much their party had changed. The fact that he had done nothing wrong was a side matter.
I know that many Democrats believed then, and probably still believe, that support of the war in Iraq is a crime in and of itself. The votes of 25 Democratic senators to approve the war, all of whom had the same intelligence briefings that the UN and other international organizations had provided both the White House and leaders of Congress, would stand in the way of such an argument, as would the continued presence in Iraq under a Democrat administration. Either way, the Iraq War does not give license to go on a witch hunt against its supporters or to manufacture crimes against them.
Wasserstrom was charged with unlawful compensation for dealing with a client who provided him with no compensation on anything having to do with the City of Hollywood (that charge was thrown out by the judge due to its sheer ridiculous nature). Prosecutors piled on four ancillary charges in the hopes of exacting a deal, two counts of filing false forms and two counts of getting the mayor to as well. The fact that these forms were recusal forms, meaning that they explained why Wasserstrom did not vote on the project, was all but overlooked. The city attorney called the charges “a miscarriage of justice.”
Specifically, the charges against Wasserstrom centered around a deal between the City of Hollywood and Schwing Bioset, a company that converts waste into fertilizer. The company has been hired by several cities. It is not the cheapest company to offer this service, but cities contract Schwing Bioset because of its unique track record and clear abilities to perform. Wasserstrom’s firm represented the firm, with a clause in their contract specifically excluding his firm from compensation for any Hollywood deal. This measure was not necessary. All Wassserstrom would have needed to do is to recuse himself from any Hollywood vote. Conversely, based on his fee exemption, Wasserstrom could have legally voted on the Hollywood contract.
In an abundance of caution, Wasserstrom both excluded himself from any gains resulting in the City of Hollywood contract and from voting on the contract. He was upfront about his firm’s relationship with the company. He broke no laws and did nothing untoward.
Although the judge threw out the main charge, the ancillary charges made the jury believe that something was wrong. After all, who is charged who has committed no wrongdoing? This is a dangerous supposition that assumes guilt at the onset and stands in stark contrast to the rule of presumption of innocence. If we believe that all who are charged are in fact guilty at onset, then how can anyone ever have a fair trial? But the pile on of charges led the jury to conclude that “something must have been done” and that it was reasonable to find that Wasserstrom should have at least made the forms more clear and detailed.
The jury overlooked that recusal forms are just that, forms - not biographies. They are filed after the fact and list a brief reason why the commissioner who filed them recused himself from the vote. They are not detailed explanations. They simply state that so and so recused himself of a vote and why. It’s impossible to have criminal intent in filing such a form, as no gain is garnered by their filing. Moreover, in the Wasserstrom case, the City Attorney had filed one of the forms himself. But juries that suppose that the defendant must have done something to be hauled into court have often seen otherwise. At least one Wasserstrom juror said that none of them felt good about convicting him, but felt unclear about the case. This speaks to the surreal nature of the charges, not to his guilt.
The assistant state’s attorney who prosecuted the case called the Wasserstrom conviction “novel.” There is nothing noble about “novel” prosecutions. All that means is that the charged person had no way of knowing that his/her actions would be considered illegal and that the actions undertaken were never before considered criminal. It’s the definition of prosecutorial overreach.
The case should have never been brought and should have been thrown out when it was. It’s the latest in the attempt by the left to hijack the right and to stifle dissent. And it was followed up by the unfair, unfounded and unjust charges against two Republican commissioners in another Broward city for allegedly violating Sunshine Laws (laws preventing commissioners from discussing city business outside of a public forum) in a he said/he said case that was actually dismissed and resulted in an assistant states attorney who was also a state representative attending the latter’s vindication party.
We must all stand up against injustice, against the targeting of innocents and against the besmirching of a fine public servant like Keith Wasserstrom, for no other reason than that of agenda driven politics.
Some additional shocking legal facts:
Wasserstrom followed the advice of the City Attorney all along, from drafting the clause in the engagement letter to filling out the recusal form. Although the City Attorney advised the Mayor and Wassserstrom that they had no legal conflict of interest, they both chose to recuse themselves to avoid any appearance of impropriety. The City Attorney backed up his opinion with a legal memo that explained that Florida law only requires the disclosure of conflicts that would benefit the elected official.
The prosecution, recognizing that the main charge of unlawful compensation was absurd on the face of it, contended that Wasserstrom stood to gain from Hollywood, because another city may choose Swing Bioset because they will have had a track record with Hollywood. The prosecution recognizes that even this far fetched scenario would be legal, as Wasserstrom had recused himself of the vote. They contend that the illegal act was that he didn’t specify this in the recusal forms, the forms that are filled out after the fact and detail briefly why he didn’t vote on the deal. Never mind that Swing Bioset could point to numerous other contracts that it’s performed well before meeting Wasserstrom or Hollywood. How filing a form after the fact results in unlawful compensation is too twisted to describe in words.
Nonetheless, the City Attorney forewarned against this assertion as well, citing that Florida does not consider as a benefit anything that is contingent, speculative or remote. The fact that anyone would be able to go to other cities and say “Hollywood uses Bioset” was a benefit that was remote, speculative and contingent. First, their work had to be successful in Hollywood in order for there to be any benefit. Second, Wasserstrom would only benefit if Bioset continued to retain the marketing company that hired his firm—as his firm was engaged by the marketing company for Bioset, not Bioset itself. Bioset could have fired the marketing company, or the marketing company could have fired his firm, at any time. Third, there would only be benefit to his firm if the city, municipality or county being offered the services chose Bioset after an extensive and expensive request for proposal process - remote, speculative and contingent.
Regarding the piling on of charges and how it seems to have influenced the jury, one other point stands out. Wasserstrom was charged not only for failing to provide a rendition the size of War and Peace on a simple recusal form, but also for the Mayor having done the same. By contrast, the Mayor was not charged at all. In reality, neither should have faced such absurd charges, but this just shows the malicious nature of the Wasserstrom prosecution. Of course, the jury could find no reason to believe that Wasserstrom had influenced the Mayor (and the prosecution could offer none), and acquitted on those charges, but chose to convict on his own forms, under the actual (if not the legal) premise of “I guess he could have been more specific,” a supposition that should never justify a conviction and that in fact convicted an innocent man.
Further, Wasserstrom was charged with filing his form (and the Mayor’s) and then charged again for an amendment to his firm (and the Mayor’s). By all interpretations of the law, even if there would have been impropriety, that would have been one act, one conviction. The amendment clarified that Wasserstrom’s firm did not work for the marketing company, Bionative Technologies which was the marketing company for Schwing Bioset, but for a local Florida company retained by Bionative. It was technical in nature and of course, had no bearing on whether he’d receive compensation or any criminal intent. How correcting the name of a marketing company on a form led to two separate counts brought is unbelievable.
The absurdity is that all of the above, his entire prosecution, related to his filing of recusal forms, forms filed days or months after a commissioner properly recuses him or herself of a vote due to potential conflicts. It’s the first such case that has been handled in such a way, and it’s a crying shame.
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Keechl’s Despicable Tactics Disgrace Our County – Although They Do Hide His Kickbacks
When an embattled commissioner who’s been called to the floor for finding a legal, albeit far from ethical, way of pocketing campaign donations plasters his opponent’s face onto an orange jumpsuit, you know that the bar has been lowered, even by the standards of Broward politics.
Ken Keechl’s Goebbelsesque attack on Chip LaMarca, a city commissioner with a record of public service in the district, goes far beyond shameful. It should anger every decent person in the county.
As Republicans, we disagree with many Democrats on the County Commission, including Lois Wexler, Ilene Lieberman, Kristin Jacobs and others. No one, however, questions their dedication to public service. Stacy Ritter, even in her highly partisan manner, remains decent and stays on the issues.
Not so Ken Keechl.
In an act of desperation, Keechl’s campaign consultants, with the full knowledge of Ken Keechl, doctored a photo of his far better opponent, Chip LaMarca, placing his face from a campaign photo onto the body of a man in an orange jumpsuit! They photoshopped bars onto the final product for good measure. Then in an act befitting a three year old, Keechl also changed his opponent’s name to denote something sinister.
Below the desperate photoshopping is a sad rendition of wild accusations that were news to Chip, to law enforcement, indeed to the entire county. Looks like Keech has been hitting the crystal meth a bit too hard.
The facts speak for themselves. LaMarca has never so much as been charged with a felony! What Keechl did was an unprovoked and unwarranted attack on a city commissioner, a public servant with a long and proud record of public service and a charitable man who serves on the boards of many local nonprofits - not to mention a fellow constituent of the district that Keechl is supposed to be representing.
Chip’s had a rough year. His 20 year old nephew was killed in an accident a few months ago. His longtime family dog passed away six months ago. But I can only imagine the shock and horror of having a clearly fake photo of him in an orange jumpsuit sent out to all of his constituents, friends, family and voters who he doesn’t even know. Does Keechl not realize that many voters will look at the clearly doctors photos for all of 2 seconds, not recognize the Willie Horton silhouette imagery placed around Chip’s face and think that those are actual photos? Of course he does. He’s counting on it!
Chip LaMarca deserves better. And Broward County deserves Chip LaMarca.
But it gets better.
Ken’s actions aren’t illegal, but they are unethical and anyone who votes to reward him with another term has to question why.
While Chip’s done nothing unethical, the same cannot be said of Kenneth “Kickback” Keechl.
To be sure, Kickback Ken did nothing illegal. He simply paid himself $3,100 a month in rent for campaign space every month since Jan. 2009. Paying yourself rent from campaign donations isn’t a crime. But it is unethical. It doesn’t warrant a second term.
Maybe such actions will help Keechl make a run for Property Appraiser offering “innovative solutions to make money in a down real estate market” but they make him wholly unfit to be a county commissioner.
And that’s not all. Keechl also took $13,000 in trips, all paid for from campaign donations. Again, not illegal. Each trip did involve a few meetings with some potential donors. But that wasn’t the purpose of the trip and it’s just an easy way of legally bilking the system.
Not illegal, but you’d have to be dumber than a doornail to vote to reelect him.
Keechl’s defense – “He hasn’t even made back the money he spent on getting elected in ’06.” Is that why you ran for office Ken?
The Real Truth – Keechl Fiddles As Broward Burns, LaMarca Offers Tangible Economic Solutions
Chip LaMarca’s even stayed away from Kickbackgate.
He’s proposed real and tangible solutions. He’s the only County-level candidate this cycle to propose a real solution for jobs and for the economy.
Chip’s a non-ideologue and leaves Keechl nothing to run on other than doctored photos, lies and smears. That and cricket chirps when it comes to real issues of substance.
Doctoring Photos a Disgraceful Art Form That Shames the County – Call it a “Keechl Special”
It doesn’t matter if the issue is euthanizing harmless pets or running for a second term. Ken Keechl uses faked photography to corrupt the argument and to win at any cost.
He did this a few months ago when outraged pet owners protested Keechl’s “one bite” law, a law that euthanizes pets even if they were attacked by smaller dogs. At that time, owners of pets that were unfairly entrapped by that law showed pictures of their loving pets to the public and to the media.
Common sense dictated that Keechl’s “one bite law,” enacted after his own little dog started with a larger one – and escaped, was not only unfair, but that its implementation would prevent families from moving to Broward. Keechl was desperate. So, instead of admitting error, he went on the airwaves with gruesome pictures of dead dogs. Problem is, those pictures weren’t of the dogs in question or even representative of the attacks.
I don’t use the term “Goebbelsesque” lightly. Joseph Goebbels incited genocide with his use of doctored imagery. He destroyed millions.
But Ken Keechl’s use of doctored imagery destroys individuals.
No one should have to put up with a fake photo of themselves in an orange jumpsuit mailed directly to tens of thousands of people in their neighborhood. Chip deserves a medal of honor for running against the corrupt Keechl machine, not a second helping of Keechl’s vicious smears.
You should be. Now do something about it!
Vote for Chip Leadership LaMarca (how’s that for a namegame, Ken?), forward this important email and have your friends do the same.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
In my last column, I wrote about the national importance of keeping the Florida governorship in Republican hands during this redistricting term. The makeup of three or four US House seats are possibly at stake, which may at one point be enough to swing control of the chamber.
Democrat Alex Sink made the best choice for her side by picking Rod Smith. Sen. Smith is the type of candidate who can gain swingvoters. Sink will have problems, having served as President of Florida Operations of Bank of America and due to the fact that this is a Republican leaning year. She’s also become the ultimate insider. But Scott still needs to make sure that his pick is refreshing and dynamic.
Here are some choices that can help Scott significantly:
Commander Tom Garcia. – This relatively unknown, yet superbly impressive, American hero was a political unknown who still faired respectably in a crowded field, which included two sitting politicians and the former CEO of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Garcia is an Annapolis graduate and the recipient of a presidential medal for saving lives and millions of dollars in costs to the US Navy, streamlining high-risk training techniques. Most recently, Garcia flew to Haiti hours after the Jan. earthquake to assist in humanitarian relief. He has recently been featured in the Washington Times and by NumbersUSA as a national voice against illegal immigration.
Majority Leader Adam Hasner – Hasner would serve well in uniting McCollum supporters behind Rick Scott. He has experience, knowledge (he’s widely regarded was one of the most brilliant minds in the Florida House), and has remained outside of the upper echelons of power in Tallahassee. He’s an outsider who insiders have come to respect. Moreover, he combines brilliance with a pleasant demeanor, making him a superb campaigner.
Rep. Anitere Flores – Representative Flores falls in the same category, an outsider with influence in circles that matter. Being a female pick will help somewhat, although gender will not likely be an issue in this race - not with Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton and others being the talk of presidential runs. There’s simply no longer anything special enough about being a female governor (or lieutenant) to sway significant chunks of votes. That said, Flores is qualified and dynamic in her own right.
Marion Thorpe, former Chief Medical Officer of Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration – Medical development is key to growing Florida’s economy and Thorpe’s answers are bold. He’s an extremely likeable man and a natural campaigner. And while the GOP has women, it does not have very many African-Americans among its ranks, making such a pick refreshing and momentous. His selection would also serve to further boost Allen West in the latter’s congressional run.
The stakes are high and the results may well be of national significance. Whoever he picks, let’s wish Rick Scott well.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Republicans across the board are spending time, energy and resources on defeating vulnerable Democrat incumbents, including Alcee Hastings (whose district boasts an abysmal voter turnout and who has all but lost the critical Haitian vote), Ron Klein and Alan Grayson.
We need to keep in mind that a Democratic governor in a redistricting year could not only preclude Republicans from holding these seats in the future, but could in fact lead to the election of yet another Alcee Hastings, Ron Klein and Alan Grayson, on top of those already in place.
Whoever you may have supported in the past, one thing is clear. The election of a Republican governor within the State of Florida, where the Governor holds veto power over redistricting, is crucial to the future of our statewide congressional caucus. Rick Scott is our nominee and his election will determine the future of three or four congressional seats, which may at times be the margin of control in the US House.
On top of that, it cannot go without saying that Republicans in Florida have elected a fine slate of state and local across the board. This is especially true in Broward and Palm Beach counties. Senate nominees Ellyn Bogdanoff and Lizabeth Benacquisto are both people of exemplary public service, as is House nominee Pat Rooney. House nominee George Moraitis is a former officer of the United States Navy, a brilliant mind and a true community leader and Tami Donnally’s background in improving education speaks for itself. All in all, Republicans in Palm Beach and Broward counties can say “Job well done.”
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
State platforms are more detailed and innovative business leaders who want to secure a better America often run for state level office to further American ideals. Such is the case with Arizona’s Bill Konopnicki, a current state representative who has recently become one of a select few candidates to be endorsed for State Senate by Gov. Jan Brewer.
Konopnicki opposes tax hikes across the board, especially those being placed on farmers and rural landowners. He’s for strong borders, national defense, financial literacy education and he makes no bones about it. His community involvement and track record of putting the interests of the people ahead of the interests of himself is keep to ability to propose real solutions for the betterment of his state.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Konopnicki moved to rural Arizona as a young man and became a successful entrepreneur as well as a community leader. He is a radio station owner, owns McDonald’s restaurants in partnership with his oldest son and is the CEO of WSK Management Systems. He has worked with community groups, including the Boy Scouts, Ronald McDonald Houses and The Boys and Girls Clubs. He has also served as a member of the Mount Graham Regional Medical Center’s Operating Board and is a past president.
As Gov. Brewer put it, “from the beginning of my tenure as Governor of Arizona, Representative Bill Konopnicki has supported my plan to help Arizona recover from its current economic problems and face its immigration issues. He supported my five point economic plan, including Proposition 100 to protect education and public safety, and he helped amend SB 1070 so that it could be passed and signed into law.”
Konopnicki’s economic platform should serve as a model to state candidates nationwide. Indeed, in whatever state we’re in, we all need to band together to secure a stronger America.
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Florida is set to deliver a number of true conservatives to Congress and to take back two, three or even more seats from the Democrats. If Republicans regain the House, as we are poised to do, Florida will have a key role in that effort. But of all our great candidates, not only in Florida, but anywhere in the nation, Tom Garcia in the crucial FL-24 race stands out above the crowd.
Commander Tom Garcia is a rare mix of character, integrity, brashness and common sense. His election stands to improve America’s national security and economic wellbeing more than any other congressional race.
His biography says it all. As a naval officer, Tom Garcia won a presidential medal for developing a plan to save the US Navy millions of dollars while increasing safety in motion. The plan he put forward is estimated to have helped save numerous lives as well, by increasing training safety.
Garcia has specialized in the simulation industry, key to aircraft development. This is especially important to the renewal of Central Florida’s economy. If elected, Garcia would be the only member of Congress with experience in growing this developing industry.
American of Hispanic heritage who vehemently opposes illegal immigration
Garcia is also the Democrats’ worst nightmare, an American of Hispanic heritage who vehemently opposes illegal immigration. In fact, the day after the Arizona law was announced and before any other candidate had gone on record, CDR Garcia became the first candidate in the nation to advocate for a similar national initiative in all 50 states.
Moreover, unlike new converts to the cause of protecting our national resources, Tom Garcia has always been a steadfast opponent of illegal immigration. That’s because he treasures and values citizenship in this nation.
Tom Garcia is also the only federal candidate to back comprehensive shoreline surveillance, monitoring our shores with computerized imaging, just as we should be monitoring our borders. The Intelligence Community has long maintained that our shores are our frontline in keeping the nation safe from terror. Such a program would also prevent illegal immigration, as our shores are far more porous than our borders, without jeopardizing the privacy of Americans in the process.
Every elected official in the nation should be advocating for shoreline surveillance. It’s key to protecting our nation and is non-intrusive. Yet my campaign is the only one on the state level that’s been advocating for this most needed program and Tom Garcia’s campaign is the only one in the nation advocating for it on the federal level. That, in and of itself, is a crying shame, but it shows the need to rally behind his candidacy.
I’ve worked with many great candidates and brilliant conservative leaders. What I saw in the actions of Tom Garcia was unparalleled by all.
Coalition of Conservative Candidates for Haitian relief
On the night of the Haitian earthquake this past January, I was talking with Commander Garcia as we put together a Coalition of Conservative Candidates for Haitian relief. He inquired as to what was the most pressing need of survivors. After he shared his experiences in disaster relief, we decided that water purification was probably most important. He said that he knew a specialist in his district. But what he did next was a shock even to me.
In middle of the night and mere hours after the earthquake had struck, when a flight plan could only be submitted in America and without the ability for Haiti to receive it (making landing in Port-au-Prince a huge safety risk), Tom Garcia filled up a plane with water purification equipment and flew to Haiti. He knew full well that there may be reverberations after such a massive earthquake, making an already risky adventure all the more fraught with danger.
In Haiti, he purified water, worked to save lives of injured Haitians, and at one point Commander Garcia single-handedly restored power to a three room makeshift emergency clinic, using nothing more than four car batteries and some wire.
Tom Garcia is a strong believer in our Judeo-Christian values and in our Constitution
Most importantly, Tom Garcia is a strong believer in our Judeo-Christian values and in our Constitution. He’s an innovative economic leader with a focus on jobs creation and he’s not afraid to call a spade a spade and a bad idea a Democrat one. In short, he’s the type of man who we need in Congress.
Garcia is seen as head and shoulders above the entire field. Key to this is his innate humility. As long as he can keep it, he will accomplish great things for America. And everything in his commendable military background says that this Naval Officer, son of an Air Force Officer will stick to his values and his modest, yet always forthright and ruggedly honest nature.
Commander Garcia’s website is TomGarciaforCongress.com. His plans may be of little interests to lobbyists who can’t see the need for their own safety and their role in the national economic wellbeing above their own shortsighted self interests. But that should be of no concern to voters.
Simply put, voters in FL-24 need to rally behind Tom Garcia. He needs to be our party’s nominee, not only to ensure a new and dynamic Republican Party, but moreover, to ensure the economic wellbeing and safety of our nation.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Charlie Crist has called for a special session to ban offshore drilling. Many right thinking people see this pure politicization of an issue that should be handled with common sense, but are loathe to speak out for fear of a public backlash.
Leadership is now needed on a key economic and security issue. It is the job of our state leaders to educate the public, not to kowtow to prevailing, but harmful, doctrines.
Taking a correct stand on this issue makes political sense too. We will not win seats by ignoring the issue and allowing Charlie Crist and the rest of the left to play it up. Doing so only makes us look callous in hindsight. Republicans will invariably be hit as the party of drilling regardless of what we do. The question is only whether we will allow the callous left to define the issue.
The Republican Party stands for jobs, the economy and national security. Drilling is an important part of all three. So we can take blame for having done the right thing, or we can infuse the public with common sense and rightly own the issue. The choice is ours.
The spill was not the issue. The hapless federal response to the spill is
We will not win over votes by going along with Crist’s latest PR stunt. We will, however, gain crossover votes and take control of the issue if we simply present the facts:
- The spill was not the issue. The hapless federal response to the spill is.Federal authorities didn’t just order the State of Louisiana to halt measures designed to protect its coast. They also refused dozens of Florida ships that volunteered to assist in cleaning up the spill. They could have capped the hole a long time ago. Tent pitching, throwing golf balls and doing everything short of lowering Al Gore into the hole to scare it into submission were all gross examples of ineptitude and nothing more. We have the means to deal with spills far better than we did in this case.
- We are the only continent on the globe that has oil and that hasn’t increased drilling since 2002. I have yet to see a study that shows drilling off the coast of Brazil or in the sands of Saudi Arabia to be more environmentally sound than drilling here.
- Preventing drilling off our shores is a misnomer. We can debate all day long whether or not to drill a few miles into our waters. In the meantime, Chinese, Cuban, Venezuelan and other companies of foreign nationals are drilling the exact same oil from a few miles off of our waters. The only question is whether we will get any benefit from it. Besides, we care far more about our shores and maintaining our environmental resources than the foreign companies drilling right outside of our waters do. So, yes, protect our environment. Let Americans drill our own resources.
- The problem with the BP spill was precisely the fact that it wasn’t offshore drilling. Offshore drilling is easy to monitor and its shallow leaks are easy to plug. Done in unpopulated coastal spaces, it affects no one other than the workers who would find employment were drilling to be allowed.
- Even with regard to deep water drilling, the fact is that after trying everything in the book, even Obama’s people now know how to plug a hole.
Democrats should also be outraged by Charlie’s latest costly stunt. The federal ban ensures that even if Crist gets his way, the Florida one will be nothing more than symbolic. This special session is another waste of money, time and state resources, plain and simple.
I’m willing to let my election rise and fall on this issue. It’s not politically incorrect to speak out when no one does. But it is the definition of politically inept to allow the left to use the issue to score undeserved political points by falsifying and distorting the truth.
Now is a time that we need conservative state legislators more than ever. I ask all interested people to get involved in my campaign and in those of other conservatives on the local level. We can do far more to curb the insanity that is going on than national leaders sometimes can.
The above listed facts speak for themselves. We as a party need only to articulate them.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
When the actions of the federal government directly affect the economic well being of Americans in every state, their quality of life or their national security, it is the job of local leaders to speak up and to propose sound solutions. This is especially true in the face of one of the most out of control administrations that our nation has ever seen, one that has jeopardized both our economy and America’s national security as no administration ever has before.
Yesterday’s actions were especially shocking. Barack Obama summarily dismissed a Four Star General and Commander of US Forces on what is now the central battlefield in the War on Terror. (I know, there is no “War on Terror.” Tell that to the terrorists.)
McChrystal was not dismissed because of any issue regarding his leadership. Indeed, all seem to agree that Gen. McChrysal was a fine commander. What Gen. McChrystal was fired for was (among other actions that only befit an intelligent military commander) his failure to listen to Joe Biden on military strategy.
Again, Barack Obama dismissed 4 Star General Stanley A. McChrystal, Commander of US Forces in Afghanistan, for not listening to Joe Biden on military strategy!
General McChrystal was chosen for his position because he speaks his mind, especially when it comes to winning and to taking care of his troops. And he was fired for speaking his mind when it comes to winning and to taking care of his troops.
In the course of 17 hapless months, the Obama administration has wreaked havoc on our currency by printing trillions of dollars in new currency, it has made America less safe by kowtowing to terrorists, and it has harmed our international standing by propping up leftist brutes like Honduras’ Ernesto Zelaya, after Zelaya’s own party removed him from office.
Simply put, we have left our economy in the hands of Obama, our military in the hands of Joe Biden, and our banking system in the hands of Barney Frank and Chris Dodd. And at this point, something’s got to give.
OUR STATE LEGISLATURES – OUR VOICE
Methods of dissent such as passing a resolution condemning the recklessness of the current administration would not only be appropriate. They are necessary. If the current United States Congress doesn’t see fit to pass such resolutions, then it is the job of state houses to fill the void in national leadership.
State legislators and local leaders must push for resolutions condemning the devastation of our economy, of our security and of our standing at the hands of the hapless Obama administration. And when one state legislature acts, five others will follow suit in a matter of days.
It’s time for Barack Obama to stop worrying about illegal aliens in Arizona and to start worrying about the American people who trusted him to keep them safe. Like many of you reading this, I saw through the smoke and mirrors before he was elected. But many didn’t. They elected him on the hope, change, and prayer that he would steward this country well. None other than Supreme Military Commander Joe Biden attested to his “good judgment” and many believed him. For that alone, he has a responsibility to keep them safe.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Five years ago, PETA, which had all but declared war on Biblically sanctioned meat slaughter (the slaughter of livestock in the manner prescribed in the Book of Leviticus), went on a rampage against Agri Foodprocessors, the nation’s largest Kosher slaughterhouse. The CEO, Sholom Rubashkin, had taken great pains to bring down the price of “kosher,” or Biblically sanctioned meat, so that more people could afford it with ease. Although his efforts were rewarded with tremendous success, he and his family continued to live extremely modestly, with the savings passed on to consumers.
Rubashkin was charged federally and by the State of Iowa with multiple immigration violations. In truth, evidence showed that tens of potential employees were turned away by Rubashkin and his company due to lack of papers. Most of the charges were thrown out, and Rubashkin was acquitted on all of the ones that weren’t.
Virtually simultaneously, prosecutors claimed that a line of credit with a bank was being obtained “fraudulently.” The bank knew the nature of the transactions, was always paid on time until the government shut down the plant over supposed immigration violations (of which Rubashkin was acquitted) and most of all, Rubashkin never profited directly from the line of credit. Yet this was the substance of their case against him.
It gets worse. There’s also an almost 90 year old law on the books whereby purchasers of cattle must pay for livestock within one day of the purchase agreement. This was some arcane Depression Era law that is unknown and never enforced. Rubashkin was tried and convicted for buying cattle and paying for them a few days later. It is the only known case since the statute’s writing where that statute has ever been prosecuted.
In short, what emerged is one of the most unfair cases of overkill that commenced after pressure from activist groups, groups that should have no place in the legal arena. In the meantime, a good man and his family are suffering beyond belief.
Rubashkin was a pillar of the community at large. He funded preschools, camps, food banks and more in Iowa for groups of all faiths and creeds. When workers couldn’t pay rent or needed surgery for their kids, he regularly helped them as few others would. That much was attested to by former day laborers who worked at his meat plant, as well as by numerous organizations and schools that he helped.
Sholom Rubashkin is a father of 10 children, including a son with autism. His older son related how Rubashkin would make sure to have dinner with his special needs child every day at 6pm without fail, followed by spending time conversing or playing with his son. Rubashkin would often have to go back to the office for many hours afterward, but he made sure to spend time with his child who needed him most every evening.
Six former United States Attorney Generals, ranging from Edwin Meese on the right to Janet Reno on the left, have signed a letter decrying the prosecution’s proposed sentencing guidelines. Former Solicitor General and United States Judge Kenneth Starr has also signed on to the letter.
I’m not sure exactly what to do, but I do know that silence is not an option, at least not a humane one. Friends and supporters of Sholom Rubashkin have started a website, http://www.justiceforsholom.org, and I’d urge people to view the case in its entirety and get involved in whatever action alerts they send out.
Even as people gathered to help Rubashkin, his family used the gathering as an opportunity to help find a bone marrow donor for an unrelated child in need. These are good people and the sight was moving. They deserve each of our support.
Rubashkin’s son spoke of his father’s great faith and relayed numerous stories of how his father’s reason for living has always been to serve the Almighty and to help his fellow human beings. It would be a shame not to help a man like him when he’s faced such a clear and over the top injustice. Our involvement is crucial and there can be no greater deed than to help those who’ve been unfairly persecuted. I urge readers to speak out and act.
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Charlie Crist sloganized being a “pro-life Ronald Reagan conservative.” During the Gallagher-Crist debates, Charlie was openly snarky and condescending toward Gallagher, particularly on the latter’s firm pro-life stance.
What people on both sides of the important abortion debate agree on is that they don’t want to be lied to. A candidate who lies to them on such a matter of conscious will no doubt lie on economic or other matters without breaking a sweat.
I’m a firm pro-life candidate. I believe that as society began to forget the value of life, we also began to show disregard for the care given to seniors and even toward the treatment of the infirm. I believe that abortion as a contraceptive is appalling, at any stage of pregnancy, and is at the very least the callous destruction of a potential or developing life.
I recognize that this is a touchy issue. But I’ve also met women who are in their 60s who had abortion(s) in their 20s and who still regret that decision to this day.
I recognize that this separates me from other, some would term more “moderate,” candidates. But given the choice between being moderate or being sincere, I’d gladly chose the latter any time.
Back to Charlie.
In 2006, as a volunteer making phone calls for Clay Shaw, I was the most persistent caller when trying to win over undecideds and Republican voters who were leaning toward his opponent. The official calling script included a plug for Charlie Crist for Governor. My phone calls left that line out.
We need to look beyond the slogans and see where candidates align themselves on values issues. Social conservatives are invariably more reliable fiscal conservatives as a whole. We generally have a big picture in mind, and the judgment to be able to stand firm and oppose boondoggles such as the Sun Rail, among others.
The contrast between the words and the actions of Charlie Crist need to teach us a lesson when voting; that our votes cannot be taken for granted and that they must be spent on those who are consistent in their policies.
All that said, there is one phone call that I will make for Charlie. And that’s one to him. I urge you to do the same, today.
Charlie Crist was elected with the toil and sweat of many Republicans. While I wish that more had seen fit to use those long hours on Joe Negron or Clay Shaw, the two seats we lost that year, that is no excuse for Charlie not to be held accountable to those who worked to see him in office.
Charlie Crist must finish his term as governor by faithfully executing the duties with which he was entrusted. I understand that fulfilling one’s pledge to voters or at least living up to the letter of his empty rhetoric may be new concepts to Charlie, but we must insist that he does so nonetheless.
And so I urge you to call Charlie Crist and demand of him nothing more than to live up to the promises and pledges he made in order to attain the public office that he now enjoys.
Phone: (850) 488-7146 or (850)-488-4441
Fax: (850) 487-0801
Demand that Charlie sign into law the common sense bill passed by duly elected representatives who actually do take with some level of seriousness their pledges to the “people.”
Oh, and the next time someone tells you that he’s running to be the “People’s Governor” or the “People’s anything else,” with the full support of every lobby known to the state, just tell him where to stick it.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
This week, two high school teachers in South Florida were suspended from their classrooms pending investigation. Another teacher who had preached atheist beliefs to their students claimed that she had been “sprinkled with holy water” in reaction to her preaching. Several students who were witness to the events deny that any physical contact took place and stated that the only mention of “holy water” was done in a mocking context, in response to the atheistic teacher’s over the top rhetoric. The atheistic teacher knew that the mere allegation of impropriety would be enough to suspend the involved teachers and this seems to be the reason for her complaint.
We see yet again where the left fights to silence all opposing viewpoints. In this case, we see yet again how they will break their own supposedly heartfelt standards on public speech to suit their agenda. The same people who cry and scream indignation at the mere mention of God in any public forum, all the more so in a public school, freely go about their attempts to indoctrinate students in accordance with their notions of God and religion.
Atheists as a whole have gone to great lengths of silence any mention of God or religion in the classroom. It should follow suit that indoctrination of atheistic beliefs should certainly not be allowed, according to the very arguments that they relentlessly have put forward. The actions of the atheist teacher, who openly admits to using her position to preach her beliefs and to commit (anti-) religious indoctrination, are shockingly hypocritical and wrong on the face of it. The School Board’s decision, and that of Superintendent Jim Notter, to punish two teachers who personally hold religious believes, based on seemingly fallacious allegations, while at the same time giving a complete pass to a teacher who has openly admitted to indoctrinating students, is nothing short of shameful on the part of the school board.
The double standard is all the more outrageous when one considers that the Judeo-Christian values that the left is so intent on suppressing stand at the very core of America’s founding principles. Throughout our history as a nation, until 55 years ago, no court in the land would have seen the teaching of these as anything other than the teaching of a doctrine that has been at the root of each and every healthy society for over 3,000 years. No such argument can be made with regard to the teaching of atheism.
Moreover, sheer logic unequivocally disproves the fallacy of atheism. For a single life cell to be formed, complex RNA must develop on its own, as must DNA. It would take trillions of coincidences for either of these strands to form without a conscious Creator and it’s even more improbable for the two to join together randomly. And that’s just with regard to a single life cell. For even the simplest of plants to be formed, a series of one in a trillion coincides would have to take place in perfect sequence, one after another. The orbit of the planets would have to exact itself on its own (something that’s impossible for inanimate objects to do). Even then, the chances of random objects not crashing into the planets in a way to knock them off their orbit is nil without a conscious Creator. One can go on and on and as one does so, the fallacy of atheism becomes all the more ridiculous. In fact, it would make infinitely more sense to say that an entire set of Encyclopedia Britannicas wrote themselves as the result of some ink spill than it would to say that a life sustaining universe came to being in and of itself.
Many atheists know this and, when challenged, the militant among them go into histrionics and play games to twist their arguments. It is not the first time that agenda driven radicals have falsely accused people of faith or made up allegations in order to bolster their agenda. Without resorting to tricks and character assassinations, the fallacy of their doctrine becomes all too apparent. The fact that students who were present at the time of the confrontation confirm that the “sprinkling of holy water” never happened should speak for itself.
Both Leslie Rainer and Djuna Robinson are prime examples of what every teacher should be. Upon graduating college, they both returned to their alma mater, where they’ve taught with devotion, caring and excellence for the past 20 years. They deserve better than to be removed from their classrooms based on mere hearsay.
Jim Notter should be ashamed of himself for allowing this to transpire, as should the entrenched members of the school board who are refusing to take a stand on this matter of clear cut injustice. Their behavior is all the more appalling when we take into account that in many parts of Broward, only 4% of public school students go on to complete college. Many Broward students suffer with second rate curriculums and a lack of educational resources and motivation. Yet those whose job it is to fight for higher educational standards, for less red tape and for the recruitment of better teachers have instead chosen to spend their time playing politics by punishing dissenters to hypocritical indoctrination.
The school board’s resources can be better used than by conducting what is nothing more than a witch hunt against two fine teachers who have dedicated their careers to helping students. Jim Notter owes an apology to Leslie Rainer and Djuna Robinson and to their students over this incident. The teachers should immediately be reinstated.
If teaching is the only job in which one can be suspended based entirely on highly dubious allegations, then it is understandable why finding competent teachers for the public school system is as hard a task as it is. It is the duty of anyone who wishes to change this reality to speak out about this matte and this is especially true of candidates seeking to improve educational standards throughout the state.