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Posts Tagged ‘GOP’

DAY 2 OF GOP SUMMIT FEATURES CANDIDATES AND CHEERLEADERS

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 29, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Wrapping up the Florida Republican Love-in.

KISSIMMEE, FL (June 29, 2018) – Florida GOP Chairman Blaise Ingolia welcomed +2,500 attendees to Day 2 of the Florida GOP’s Summit sponsored by the Republican Party of Florida (RPF) and held at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee.  On Day 1, Ron DeSantis and Adam Putnam squared off in a nationally televised debate as candidates for Governor of Florida.  Day 2 consisted of a fast paced list of notable Republican speakers, including candidates for office and cheerleaders.

In terms of candidates, the Summit was an excellent venue for evaluating the Republican candidates for office, particularly for Governor, Agriculture Commissioner, and Attorney General.  The Governor’s race was primarily between Ron DeSantis and Adam Putnam, both of whom also spoke on Day 2.  However, the dark horse candidate was Bob White who lacked the financial muscle the other two enjoyed.

Four candidates were running for Agriculture Commissioner:  Col. Mike McAllister, FL Rep. Matt Caldwell, Baxter Troutman, and FL Sen. Denise Grimsley.  All had agriculture backgrounds, but I was particularly impressed by Sen. Grimsley experience, both on the farm and within the Florida Senate.  She was also a polished speaker.

As to the state Attorney General, two candidates were present, FL Rep. Frank White and Ashley Moody.  I was particularly taken by Ms. Moody’s extensive experience, both as a former prosecutor and judge.  She also earned the endorsement of outgoing Attorney General Pam Bondi.

As to the cheerleader speakers, their goal was to stir the Republican base and motivate them to action.  Their pep rallies were nice, but I think it would have been more worthwhile to discuss what the Democrats are  doing, such as generating “Fake Votes” through such avenues as the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact aimed at negating the power of the Electoral College; Chicago ID cards allowing illegal aliens to vote, and; lowering the voting age to 16.  Their policies of harassment towards Republicans were mentioned, but should have been discussed in greater depth as to what to do about it.  Also, handling the Main Stream Media should have been examined as well.

During the Summit, it struck me that women seemed to have found their voice in the Republican party.  Some very solid female candidates emerged, as well as some great thinkers and advocates.  Anyone who thinks the Republicans cannot address the interests of women is taking it in the arm.

Bottom-line, the Summit was useful in terms of promoting enthusiasm and disseminating information about candidates in advance of the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.  Two things became clear at the conference:  they unabashedly support President Trump, and are certainly not afraid of the Democrats.

Here is a synopsis of the various speakers during Day 2:

Following the Chairman’s welcome, the invocation was delivered by Pastor Paul White, the Pledge of Allegiance by Jack Wiseman, and the National Anthem by Sonya Bryson-Kirksey.

Col. Mike McAlister – candidate for Florida Agriculture Commissioner.  Opened by energizing the attendees about the party.  Explained his qualifications as candidate, and goals:  protect resources and grow business.  2nd Amendment proponent, against Sanctuary Cities.  Fine speaker, but commissioner?

Rep. Byron Donalds – Florida House of Representatives.  Proud of both candidates running for Florida governor.  He went on to push for the election of Gov. Scott as U.S. Senator from Florida, replacing Sen. Bill Nelson (D).  On the Florida Supreme Court, three justices are nearing retirement, which is why it is necessary for a Republican to win the governor’s race.

Ashley Moody – candidate for Florida Attorney General.  Former prosecutor and judge.  Has the support of outgoing Attorney General Pam Bondi.  She mentioned Florida was rated #1 in the country for fiscal responsibility.  She is very much concerned with the harassment by members of the Left, and believe they should be locked up.  She firmly believes in the unbiased prosecution of the law.  She claims to be the only candidate in the race to have actually defended the 2nd Amendment.

Tom Borelli – Contributor, Conservative Review.  He began by praising the job of President Trump.  He cited statistics that the news media is no longer trusted by the public.  He finds the recent harassment of Republicans to be disturbing.  He also contends there is a covert push to suppress conservative speech, radio, and television programming.

Baxter Troutman – candidate for Florida Agriculture Commissioner.  His wife Becky spoke on the candidate’s behalf who was at another event in Miami.  Baxter has served in the Florida House of Representatives.  She claimed her husband has extensive background in Agriculture.  This was followed by a brief video explaining Baxter’s beliefs.

Future of Florida Panel – Bill Galvano – President designate, Florida Senate; Jose Oliva – Speaker designate, Florida House of Representatives; Moderator Tom Feeney.  Unfortunately, the audio was terrible and difficult to hear.

Rep. Matt Caldwell – candidate for Florida Agriculture Commissioner.  Discussed the need for free speech.  Believes in the need for secured borders and the need to follow the law.

Puerto Rico Rising Panel – FL Rep. Robert “Bob” Cortes; former PR AG Jose Fuentes; PR Rep. Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon; Speaker of the PR House Carlos “Johnny” Mendez, and; RPOF PR Outreach Director Gary Berrios as Moderator.  The panel was asked about last year’s hurricane disaster.  Actually, it was a problem of bad planning.  There were insufficient resources on hand locally thereby making for poor logistics.  All things considered, the response from the Federal government was good when you consider the massive amount of supplies and equipment delivered.  The group also praised Governor Scott for his assistance during the crisis.

Lauren Cooley – Free Speech Advocate, Washington Examiner.  Discussed the free speech problems on college campuses.  She encouraged the attendees to educate young people regarding the principles of American government and conservative values.

FL Sen. Denise Grimsley – candidate for Florida Agriculture Commissioner.  She began by reviewing her conservative values.  She grew up on the family farm, became a nurse, became active in the Florida Republican party, and elected a Florida state senator.  She warned of a strong Democratic opponent.

Dick Morris – author, political pundit.  Claimed Trump won because he was able to connect with blue collar workers.  He tried to explain the president’s persona.  “As a builder, he gets things done, that’s his job.  This is why we is having success with foreign countries.”

Bob White – candidate for Florida Governor.  As the Dark Horse candidate, he described his conservative principles.  He claimed he was not supported by special interest groups.

Rep. Matt Gaetz – U.S. House of Representatives.  Led a Republican cheer-leading session.  Frequently praised President Trump.  Along with Ron DeSantis, he has produced legislation recommending the censure of Rep. Maxine Waters.

Grover Norquist – President, American for Tax Reform.  Discussed the Republican Tax Cuts.  He contended 200M people are paying lower utility bills as a result of the tax cuts.  By cutting the corporate tax rates, we are seeing the economy expand.  Whereas we used to be higher than Communist China, now we are less, and our country is booming.  Despite all this, the Democrats voted against the Tax Cuts and want to raise taxes and expand the size of government.

Nick Adams – CEO, Foundation for Liberty and American Greatness.  Nick is a transplanted Englishmen who loves America.

Matt Schlapp – Chairman, American Conservative Union.  Discussed the deteriorating values at the college level.  He felt President Trump was right in firing James Comey as head of the FBI.

FL Rep. Frank White – candidate for FL AG.  Described his conservative beliefs.   He has 15 years of experience practicing law.

David Webb – Host, David Webb Show on Sirius XM, Fox News Contributor.  Described the problems of class warfare in politics as practiced by the Democrats.  He also warned the audience of the Democrats’ ardent commitment to Socialism which explains their obnoxious behavior.

Anne Defries – Chair, Florida Realtor PAC Trustees.  Wants us to vote Yes on Amendment #2, a 10% cap on property taxes.  If defeated, the taxes will rise and drive companies and people away from Florida.

Agriculture Comm. Adam Putnam – candidate for Florida Governor.  Claimed to enjoy last night’s debate.  He went on to praise Governor Scott’s ability to rebuild the state’s economy.  He is critical of school’s overemphasis on college educations; that we need trade schools as well.  Claims to have the endorsement of 45 of the state’s 66 Sheriffs.  He is not a proponent of Sanctuary Cities or higher taxation.  Claimed support for President Trump.  Insists he wants to put “Florida First.”

Deneen Borelli – CRTV.com Host and Fox News Contributor.  Another pep rally touting the need to support President Trump.  She warned the audience of getting taken in by race-baiting.  President Trump has helped African-Americans find jobs.

Jason Chaffetz – Fox News Contributor, Former Congressman.  Warned the audience of violent politics.  The Democrats are going to attack you, but remember, they have nothing else.  “Nancy Pelosi believes we are one tax increase from prosperity.”  “Remember this, Republicans are on the right side of the issues.”  Of all the speakers, Mr. Chaffetz was the most down to earth and sincere.  He is in the process of writing a book, “Deep State.”

Kayleigh McEnany – National Spokesperson for the Republican National Committee.  Another pep rally praising President Trump.  She believes the main stream media is getting the midterm elections wrong, saying there is no “Blue Wave” but a “Red Tsunami” instead.

Rep. Ron DeSantis – candidate for Florida Governor.  Came on stage with his family.  He is proud he helped expose the anti-Trump campaign at the Department of Justice and FBI.  He said he was someone with conservative values, a veteran, and endorsed by President Trump.  Claimed Putnam said Trump was “vile and obscene” during the 2016 election.  He also attacked Mr. Putnam’s record on immigration.  He supports eVerify, but his opponent does not.  He is opposed to Common Core, and claims Mr. Putnam supports it.  He says he wants to see the Constitution taught in the classroom.  Complimented Gov. Scott as a good fiduciary steward for the state.  He also believes in term limits; claims Mr. Putnam is against it.  He closed by describing his good relationship
with President Trump.

Sen. Rand Paul – U.S. Senator (KY).  The Democrats lost in 2016 simply because they are out of touch with the common worker.  He cited the positive effect the Republican Tax Cuts are having on the middle class.  Claimed President Trump, “has exceeded all of my expectations.”  He reviewed the benefits of the “checks and balances” in the Constitution, and described the problems encountered in the recent FBI investigation (Peter Strzok and Lisa Page).  He made a plea for the attendees to tell their Congressmen to repeal Obamacare.  His speech was very well received.

Charlie Kirk – Founder and Executive Director of Turning Point USA.  A young man originally from Chicago.  His company, which promotes conservative principles, is now on 1,300 college campuses.  He gave a strong endorsement to Rep. Ron DeSantis for Florida Governor.  He discussed how Liberals try to stop him from coming on campuses.  “They are the most intolerant people in the world.”  He went on to describe the dangers of Marxism.  Mr. Kirk was both interesting and a polished speaker.

Florida GOP Chairman Blaise Ingolia – thanked everyone for coming and thanked the organizers and volunteers, as well as the hotel.  He then admonished the attendees to act more morally and professionally, offering ten simple lessons to live by.

Sen. Marco Rubio (by video) – U.S. Senator (FL).  Urged attendees to get Gov. Scott elected to the Senate, replacing Bill Nelson.

Dan Bongino – Host of the Dan Bongino Show podcast.  Believes the Russian collusion investigation is a travesty of justice.  Contends candidate Trump was spied on by the Obama administration.  Claims the country is going bankrupt; we have to either put the brakes on our spending or face a critical change on our government.  The good news though is that Donald Trump won the presidency.  The president is not intimidated by the news media, and it is driving them crazy.  Should the Republicans lose the House of Representatives in the midterm elections, the Democrats will assuredly impeach the president.  He closed by reminding the attendees that the Liberals will never give up, therefore they have to remain vigilant.

Dinesh D’Souza – Best Selling Author and Filmmaker; keynote speaker.  Producing new film, “Death of a Nation.”  He finds President Trump to be interesting; that he is not afraid to fight with anyone.  His new movie addresses “Fake History” and draws a comparison between today and the period prior to the Civil War.  He then went on to give a history lesson on the rise of the Nazi party as patterned after the Democrats of the 1800s.  His dissertation was most illuminating.

And thus ended a long and fruitful day.

Keep the Faith!

Tim Bryce is a freelance writer in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce.  All rights reserved.

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THE GOP DEBATE: ROUND 5

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 16, 2015

gopcan2

It seems fitting Las Vegas was selected for the next installment of the Donald Trump show, aka the fifth round of the GOP Presidential Debates hosted by CNN.  The network went to great lengths to buildup the show, often referring to it as the Cruz-Trump “Cage Match.”  They reminded us Marco Rubio has to begin to make his move now, that there are just seven shopping weeks until the Iowa Caucuses, whether Chris Christy can maintain his momentum in New Hampshire, how everyone will attack Trump for suggesting a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States, and whether Trump’s substantial dominance in the polls can be sustained.  Frankly, it sounded like another episode of “As the Stomach Turns,” a never ending soap opera.

Again, as with all of the other GOP debates, there would be no spectacle without Trump.  Love him or hate him, he is causing more people to think about the election.  According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, “Nearly seven-in-ten (69%) say they have watched at least some of the televised debates between the candidates.  In December 2007 – the most recent election in which there were contested nominations in both parties – just 43% reported watching any of the debates.”  Without Trump, the debates would have garnered considerably fewer viewers.  This also suggests we may witness one of the highest turnouts in election history come November.

Just prior to the debates, Rasmussen produced their latest report stating only “24% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction.”  This means the American people are still unhappy with the current state of their government, even angry, which politicians such as Trump have tapped into.

The debates have also been a ratings bonanza for the media, setting records for Fox, CNN, and MSNBC.  CNN’s Wolf Blitzer moderated this round, with CNN’s Dana Bash joining Hugh Hewitt of the Salem Radio Network, as questioners.  In the first debate, all treated this with more dignity than past GOP debates this year.  In the second section, they baited the candidates to attack Trump; some dodged the bait, others took it, such as Bush.  The CNN talking heads before or after the debates revealed their pedigree as liberals.

The theme for the evening was primarily concerned with terrorism and international relations, timely subjects considering recent events in Paris and San Bernardino.

The early debate included former Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Sen. Rick Santorum, Sen. Lindsey Graham, and former Gov. George Pataki.  It was particularly painful to watch these four politicians making desperate last ditch efforts to save their campaigns.  They may be nice guys with good intentions, but the party is over and somebody needs to tell them so.  In particular, Sen. Graham’s histrionics of looking bored while the other candidates spoke didn’t serve him well, and his verbal tirades made him look more like a curmudgeon as opposed to a viable presidential candidate.  The only adult at the table was Gov. Mike Huckabee who remained calm and collected in his answers.

The “Main Event” included Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Sen. Marco Rubio, former Gov. Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, Gov. Chris Christie, Gov. John Kasich, and Sen. Rand Paul.  In terms of decorum, they basically treated each other in a dignified manner, but CNN’s baiting of candidates caused them to be distracted from criticizing President Obama and Hillary Clinton, except for a few jabs here and there.  The real objective of CNN was not so much to attack Trump, as opposed to causing Senators Rubio and Cruz to attack each other, with Rand Paul occasionally jumping in.

In terms of the performance of each candidate:

Donald Trump – CNN’s first question tried to pin him down as an isolationist; he countered he is more concerned with security of the country.  After the initial attacks, as orchestrated by CNN, Trump basically sat on the sidelines and watched the senators attack each other.  His biggest detractor was Bush, but Trump exuded confidence and took him to task.  Trump eventually pushed back against the moderators about baiting Bush to attack him.  Whatever bad blood was between Trump and Cruz was quickly brushed aside by Trump.

Sen. Ted Cruz – started by making the observation that any of the candidates on the stage were more qualified to be president than Obama or Clinton.  It was obvious CNN was interested in creating a confrontation between Cruz and Rubio.  Cruz also had trouble observing the speaker time limits which seemed to turn people off.

Ben Carson – began with a moment of silence for San Bernardino victims.  He asked Congress to declare war on ISIS.  Both Carson and Fiorina complained to the moderator they weren’t being given enough time to respond to issues.

Sen. Marco Rubio – CNN baited him regarding Trump and Cruz.  Although he balked at attacking Trump, he went heartily after Cruz.  Cruz fought back, by basically calling him a liar.  Rand Paul also accused Rubio of being the weakest on immigration.  Marco looked slick, was articulate, but his arguments were pushed back by the other senators present.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush – appeared to be truly desperate.  He was the first to attack Trump, calling him a “chaos candidate.”  Trump of course fought back.  Jeb is a nice guy and was a good governor for Florida, but he appears to be incredibly naive about international affairs, thereby hurting his credibility.

Carly Fiorina – was less confrontational this time.  She spent less time attacking and more time being analytical.  She talked tough, and was irritated by her limited time to talk.  Nonetheless, it seems her time has come and gone.

Gov. Chris Christie – began by attacking Obama and Clinton.  However, he didn’t introduce anything new.  Instead, he went back to his canned talk of being a former federal prosecutor and claimed to be the only one qualified to defend the country against terrorism.  This discussion is getting old.

Gov. John Kasich – In his introduction, he called for unity amongst the group.  He faded after that.

Sen. Rand Paul – renewed his call not to trample on the U.S. Constitution, but his campaign is floundering.

By the way, I wish the candidates would stop using the expression “Meta Data,” which literally means “data about data.”  As someone who has been in the I.T. industry for 40 years, “Meta Data” refers to the attributes of data, such as its length, default values, editing rules, etc.  What they are actually describing is “information.”

Following the Iowa Caucuses on February 1st and the New Hampshire primary on February 9th, it is hoped the Republican field will be finally slimmed down to a handful of legitimate candidates.

SO WHO WON?

There was no clear winner.  Inevitably, the press will claim anyone but Trump won the debate, but the true test will be the next few polls.  If Trump’s numbers hold up or continue to rise, then he will be the winner.  The candidates who enjoyed the highest profile in the debate were Trump, Cruz, and Rubio.  All three were engineered by CNN.

One thing is for sure, we are witnessing history.  2016 will represent my eleventh consecutive presidential election, and this is the most unorthodox campaign I have ever seen.  So much so, the press has been stymied by Trump and Carson who refuse to play by the media’s rules.

NEXT UP:  “MAD AS HELL” – Midnight, New Year’s Eve – see you then.

Keep the Faith!

Tim Bryce is a freelance writer in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.  timbryce.com

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce.  All rights reserved.

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COMPARING THE THREE GOP CANDIDATES

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 9, 2014

BRYCE ON PINELLAS POLITICS

– 3 Questions for the 3 Republican candidates who want to replace Congressman Bill Young.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

We’re coming down to the wire for the District 13 Republican Congressional primary to replace the late Congressman Bill Young, which will be held January 14th. Three candidates are vying to challenge Democrat Alex Sink – Mark Bircher, David Jolly, and Kathleen Peters. To make a comparative analysis, I contacted the three candidates and asked three simple questions. I wasn’t so much interested in their resume or list of supporters as this is already known. Instead, I wanted to get their perspectives on the problems facing Pinellas voters, why they feel they are the best challenger, and their impression of the Democratic opponent, Alex Sink.

To be fair, I listed their answers in alphabetic order according to their last name.

1. In priority order, what are the top three pressing problems facing the country?

Mark Bircher –
Rein in the federal debt and deficit and balance the budget, repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and restore individual liberty and freedom (return federal government to the limitations of the US Constitution).

David Jolly –
Create jobs and grow the economy, repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and replace the National Flood Insurance Program with a new Natural Disaster Insurance Program.

Kathleen Peters –
Address the Flood Insurance problem, Repeal the Affordable Care Act, address the national debt and economy.

All three seem to understand the problems of our economy and the Affordable Care Act. Although I had specifically asked for problems facing the nation, Candidates Jolly and Peters wanted to bring attention to the local problem of the National Flood Insurance Program which is affecting the sale of homes and condos in our area. Bircher stressed the need to adhere to the US Constitution.

2. What are your strengths as a candidate? Why should people vote for you? (In their own words)

Mark Bircher –
“My strengths are my 33 years of federal military service and the experience gained from being accountable for leading large organizations. People should vote for me because my entire career, both military and civilian has taught me that true leadership is about providing support to those around you. In the military, as an aviator I supported infantry men. In industry I support my customers. As a Representative to Congress I will support constituents interests.”

David Jolly –
“The loss of our dear Congressman Young leaves an immeasurable void in the Congress of the United States, but also in our Pinellas County communities. This is what this race is about to me. I’ve worked on behalf of our community and this Congressional District for 20 years alongside our late Congressman, as he consistently found ways to grow high-tech and defense manufacturing jobs here at home, invest in transportation and infrastructure improvements that affect our quality of life, expand higher education opportunities, protect and nourish our beaches, and support our men and women in uniform. I got into this race because I humbly believe I have the qualifications to step in on day one and be effective for the people of Pinellas County in Congress. I also believe I can bring together Republicans, Independents and Democrats to work together.”

Kathleen Peters –
“For the last 28 years – I have made Pinellas County my home. From starting a small business to raising four boys and serving as your State Representative, I have dedicated my life to serving this community. That’s why I decided to run. I am the only candidate that has the experience and the background to get things done locally and in Washington like Congressman Young did for so many years. As a Member of Congress, I will fight every day to create an environment for good-paying jobs right here in Pinellas County and stop this partisan gridlock.”

All three noted the need to maintain the local interests of Pinellas County. Whereas Bircher touted his leadership skills, Jolly and Peters claimed they could work well with people on both sides of the aisle.

3. What are the weaknesses of Alex Sink? Why should people NOT vote for her?

All three candidates commented on Sink’s lack of familiarity with Pinellas County, and her embracing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

According to Jolly, “She (Sink) fully supports Obamacare despite recent public outrage over the failed rollout, increasing premiums for individuals, cancelled policies, and additional costs and administrative burdens on Pinellas businesses.”

Bircher echoed Jolly’s position, “Ms. Sink is a supporter of the Affordable Care Act. I support its repeal. I believe the states, not the federal government, are the proper venue to decide such issues as health care, flood insurance, education and similar functions not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution.”

Peters focused on Sink as an outsider, “The people of Pinellas County have a choice: Do they want to elect a career politician that has no real history in this community? Or do they want to elect a mother, a grandmother and a community leader that has spent the last twenty eight years woven into the fabric of this community. Since Alex Sink has no real history of working with the people of Pinellas County, how could she possibly represent their values in Washington?”
 

Although the rhetoric is slightly different, all three GOP candidates appear similar in their positions. All three want to repeal Obamacare, fix the economy, and tend to the National Flood Insurance Program. The big question though is, “Who can deliver?” Pinellas Republican voters must consider not only who can best fill the shoes of Congressman Young, but who can also knock off Mrs. Sink at the March 11th special election. We’ll find out January 14th.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

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Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  MY RECENT TRIP TO MARS – My preliminary notes on the red planet.

LAST TIME:  WHAT’S IN A JOB TITLE? – Evidently a lot.

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