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Posts Tagged ‘palm harbor’

THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF TAMPA’S YBOR STADIUM

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 20, 2018

BRYCE ON SPORTS

– Another taxpayer ripoff.

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

I have always found it interesting the amount of money the public invests in sports venues. Most of us are unwitting pawns in financing the various arenas and stadiums around the country, often paying substantial increases in taxes to support them, even when we have absolutely no interest in them.

Let me give you an example, coming from Cincinnati, I remember when they finally closed and razed Crosley Field, the iconic home of Reds baseball, which stood for 58 years and was originally constructed for $225,000 ($5.71 million in 2017 dollars). In 1970, it was replaced by Riverfront Stadium, a multi-purpose stadium for the Reds, the NFL’s Bengals, and a variety of concerts. It cost less than $50 million to construct and the public was assured the stadium would last well into the 21st century. This was simply not so. In 2000, the Bengals moved into Paul Brown Stadium at a cost of $455 million. In 2003, the Reds moved into the Great American Ball Park at a cost of $290 million. In other words, a stadium constructed at a cost of $50 million lasted only 33 years and was replaced at a cost of $745 million, all paid for by Cincinnati tax payers.

A similar phenomenon is occurring in Tampa Bay. In 1967, we opened Tampa Stadium (aka “The Big Sombrero”), costing $4.4 million for construction ($32.3 million in 2017 dollars). This, of course, became the home of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers until 1998 (31 years later) when it was replaced by Raymond James Stadium for $168.5 million ($253 million in 2017 dollars). In 1996, Tampa opened Amalie Arena for the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning for $139 million ($217 million in 2016 dollars). Finally, St. Petersburg opened Tropicana Field in 1990 for the MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays at a cost of $130 million ($244 million in 2017 dollars). Now, just 28 years later the Rays are abandoning “The Trop” in favor of a new stadium, Ybor, to be ready by the 2023 season. As an aside, this will be the smallest MLB stadium in terms of capacity, yet costing $892 million.

In other words, a larger stadium constructed in 1990 for $130 million, and still in sound condition, will be replaced by a new one for $892 million, almost seven times the cost of Tropicana. Since 1967, Tampa Bay will have paid over $1.3 billion for professional sports venues.

I find this “disposable” way of thinking regarding sports venues to be disturbing as there appears to be little consideration for upgrading existing facilities at far less cost. By comparison, Tampa Bay’s investment in such facilities, makes Cincinnati’s costs look like a bargain. The reality is both cities are practicing obnoxious economics, with the tax payers picking up the lion’s share of the costs. The teams themselves pay a mere pittance by comparison. The reality though is the consumer pays twice for the stadium, once for inflated ticket prices (and accompanying high priced beverages and food), and a second for increased taxes, particularly sales. Some claim this is the price of progress. I call it wasteful inflation.

We’re all aware stadiums have been used by sports teams to blackmail cities, whereby the teams demand new lavish facilities or threaten to move to another city. Consequently, cities feel compelled to pay the ransom. In the NFL, we saw this in Baltimore, Cleveland, Houston, Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Oakland. In Baseball, we’ve seen it in Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Montreal, and Washington, DC. And we’ve seen it in Spring Training facilities here in the Tampa Bay area.

To sell the concept of a new sports venue to the public, proponents boast how it will invigorate the local economy. How? By local restaurants, hotels, and air travel? Souvenirs? Parking? No, let’s quit kidding ourselves, the only one prospering is the team. To prove this, a 2015 study was performed by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, finding there is little evidence professional sports franchise venues lead to significant economic benefits.

One of the principals of the study, Dennis Coates, Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland wrote: “If the local government is looking for a policy to foster economic growth, far better candidate policies exist than those subsidizing a professional sports franchise.”

In a separate report, “Do Economists Reach a Conclusion on Subsidies for Sports Franchises, Stadiums, and Mega-Events?”, Coates wrote: “We have seen that economists in general, as represented by Whaples’s survey (2006), oppose sports subsidies. Economists reach the nearly unanimous conclusion that “tangible” economic benefits generated by professional sports facilities and franchises are very small; clearly far smaller than stadium advocates suggest and smaller than the size of the subsidies. The fact that sports subsidies continue to be granted, despite the overwhelming preponderance of evidence that no tangible economic benefits are generated by these heavily subsidized professional sports facilities, remains a puzzle.”

It seems rather reckless that sports venues are given carte blanche by cities to support their teams. Let us remember, all of the major leagues are well financed and deal with millions of dollars, be it Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Arena Football League (AFL), Major League Soccer (MLS), and more. I have a problem asking John Q. Public, who makes an average salary of $56K, to sponsor teams and players making millions of dollars.

Evidently I am not alone, as there is the “Americans for Prosperity,” a political advocacy group in the United States funded by the Koch brothers (David and Charles). According to their web site, “We protect the American Dream by fighting each day for lower taxes, less government regulation, and economic prosperity for all.” Their local contact in Tampa Bay is Demetrius Minor, (727) 270-1407 – dminor@afphq.org@dminor85

Since they are concerned with fiduciary responsibility in government and the lowering of taxes, the group is well aware of the zealous over-spending on sports venues and wants to protect tax payers. To find out more, look them up on the web at: https://americansforprosperity.org/.

One last thing to consider:

* In 2026, just three years after the scheduled opening of the new Ybor field, Amalie Arena will be thirty years old and past its prime.

* In 2028, just five years after Ybor, Raymond James Stadium will also be thirty years old.

Who is then going to foot the bill for new stadiums? The teams? Hardly. Like it or not, we are trapped in a vicious cycle. We can either sit back and take it or fight back. It’s your choice.

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 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

THE POLITICAL WAR OF 2018

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 19, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Into the breach we go.

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

Back in January, I previewed the midterm elections and predicted this will become a “bloody” political war. Unfortunately, I was right. With just over a month to go, the election gets nastier with each passing day.

As I predicted, every word President Trump says or Tweets is scrutinized by the news media and twisted by the Left. Accuracy in news reporting is a myth. Flagrant lies and misrepresentations abound in order to try and stop Republicans from holding on to the Congress and various State governments.

Everything is politicized, even hurricanes, in fear it might make the president and Republicans look good. Prior to Hurricane Florence’s arrival off the coast of the Carolinas, the media asked the president if the federal government was prepared for the emergency and had they learned anything from Puerto Rico one year earlier. The President responded by saying the government was ready for Florence and, all things considered, did a remarkably good job in supporting Puerto Rico, which took the press aback, claiming it was a disaster instead.

When you consider the location of the island and its poor economic condition, Yes, the federal government did a good job.

People seem to have forgotten that, thanks to the policies of the Democrats, Puerto Rico was on the verge of bankruptcy. It has a horrible reputation for economic responsibility, with billions of dollars in debt, pension obligations they cannot afford to pay, and a dwindling GDP. Consequently, the infrastructure and utilities were not in the best of shape prior to the hurricane, as well as emergency services, requiring major repairs by the federal government.

Then, the president was accused of being insensitive to the deaths in Puerto Rico when he tweeted…

@realDonaldTrump
“3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000…”

“…..This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!”
– Donald J. Trump – 9/13/2018

After maintaining for several months that only a handful of people had perished due to hurricanes, the Puerto Rican government raised the death toll unexpectedly to 2,975 in August. Is it a coincidence this news came just before the midterms? Hmm…

In other words, the president makes a good point, yet the media went viral in their condemnation of what he said. This certainly will not be the last instance of twisting his words as we still have over a month to go until the election.

Then there is the outrageous behavior by Senate Democrats to obstruct the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, including an alleged High School sexual misconduct charge reported as a last minute “Hail Mary” designed to stop Mr. Kavanaugh. The candidate categorically and unequivocally denies this allegation, and is backed by many women who have known him for many years. This was nothing more than a last minute smear campaign to besmirch the candidate’s good name.

What this all highlights is this campaign goes well beyond the president to other Republicans running for governor, senate, the House, state assembly, or dog catcher. Using the influence of the media, the Democrats are falsely accusing GOP candidates of racism and other improprieties. Case in point, the attacks on Florida GOP gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis by the media adamantly accusing him of making racist remarks. Actually, he made no such comment at all, this is all concocted by Democrat operatives in the press.

Publications like the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Tampa Bay Times, and many others have lost all sense of honest journalism and have become the marketing arm of the Democrats. The same can be said for CNN, MS-NBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc. They have lost their integrity and any semblance of reality. Their job is simple: refute anything and everything the president says, and accuse him of maligning their character when he dares to fight back.

While the press persists in putting down a diversionary smokescreen for the Democrats to hide behind, the economy continues to rebound and the average American prospers. As noted by the the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Republicans possess a far better track record of running state governments, particularly in Florida, yet the media refuses to acknowledge this as it does not fit with their political agenda.

Even the polls are skewed in favor of the Democrats, just as they were in 2016. As they are under control of the Left, it is no small wonder they claim the Democrats are pulling ahead. Their predictions will likely be as bad as they were in 2016. Frankly, the polls do not matter. The best way to determine election outcomes is to study the early-voting and absentee balloting data coming out of the various Secretary of States, Division of Elections. This is how I knew Mr. Trump would clinch Florida in 2016. The polls are worthless.

The Left has gone well beyond simple propaganda and lampooning their opponents and now resort to name calling, identity politics, bullying, rumors and innuendo, slander and libel, lies and deceit, character assassination, race baiting, and bearing false witness. They are unapologetic for it as well, even quite proud of how they have changed the moral fabric of the country. This is what the face of desperation looks like.

In reality, what we are witnessing is the death roll of the Democrats, a party desperate for a win in November. As I mentioned back in January, the Democrats have to win if they ever hope to survive as a party. As such, any lie or deceit is deemed acceptable in order to win at any cost. If you think the press is bad now, you haven’t seen anything like what you are about to see in the last month of the campaign. They have lost their civility and found a home as bottom-dwellers. Sad, very sad.

As for the Republicans, they have to keep their cool and not lower themselves to the level of the Democrats. They need to stick to the facts and sell the financial prosperity and stability they have created.

Since the press will not report anything positive about their party, it is necessary for Republicans to blitz the Internet using such things as social media and e-mail to get the truth out. Unfortunately, social media is controlled by the Democrats and, as such, may be censored. Regardless, it is time for Republicans to be proactive, not reactive, in combating the Socialists. Their biggest mistake would be to underestimate the will of the Left and let them have their say uncontested. If they do this, they deserve to lose.

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 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

PRESIDENT OBAMA’S TRUE ECONOMIC RECORD

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 18, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– No, it is not what he would have us believe.

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

Former President Barack Obama was back on the campaign trail recently, less than two years after leaving office. Most former presidents stay out of the fray, but he was called out of mothballs to help elect Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections. As such, he took swipes at President Trump’s economic agenda, saying:

“When you hear how great the economy’s doing right now, let’s just remember when this recovery started.” “Suddenly, Republicans are saying it’s a miracle. I have to kind of remind them, actually, those job numbers are the same as they were in 2015 and 2016.”
– former President Barack Obama
September 7, 2018

Whenever you study economic trends, there are two fundamental variables, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which reflects production, and unemployment. For the record, how did President Obama do as compared to President Trump?

Gross Domestic Product (GDP):
Under President Obama – In 2016 (his last year in office) – went from 1.5% to 1.8%
Under President Trump – Since taking office in January 2017 – went from 1.8% to 4.2%

Unemployment Rate:
Under President Obama – In 2016 (his last year in office) – went from 4.9% to 4.7%
Under President Trump – Since taking office in January 2017 – went from 4.8% to 3.9%

The economy is not based on the performance of the stock markets, which only reflect confidence in the economy. I have had people ask me, “If the economy is so good, why won’t my portfolio go up?” It never occurs to them they may have invested badly.

There are many other variables that could be examined, such as wages, earnings, consumer confidence, inflation, the prime rate, the national debt, etc., but it is the GDP and unemployment which matter most.

President Obama supervised the recovery from the recession in 2009, one of the slowest on record. So many people were unemployed, they gave up and wouldn’t report their status, which lead to fallacious statistics and caused polling companies, such as Gallup, to define “true” unemployment.

For Mr. Obama to claim responsibility for today’s economic boom is simply fantasy land. If anything, it represents a refutation of his policies. It came about primarily for two reasons: President Trump repealing many of the bureaucratic rules strangling American business, and his reduction of the corporate tax. Consequently, companies were invigorated to invest in their businesses, pay their workers more money, hire more employees, and bring back jobs to America.

Let us not forget what President Obama said in June 2016 at an Indiana town-hall meeting, when asked about Candidate Trump’s promise to kick-start manufacturing jobs in the country:

“Well, how exactly are you going to do that? What exactly are you going to do? There’s no answer to it. He just says, ‘Well, I’m going to negotiate a better deal.’ Well, what, how exactly are you going to negotiate that? What magic wand do you have? And usually the answer is, he doesn’t have an answer.”

According to Bloomberg in March 2018, a rebound in manufacturing has indeed occurred, “Over the past year, according to today’s employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the sector has added 222,000 jobs, resuming a recovery that had paused in 2015 and 2016 amid strength in the dollar and weakness in the U.S. oil and gas industry.”

Making claims to the contrary is simply nonsense. This is another example of how the Democrats are laying down a smoke screen regarding successful Republican economic policies prior to the midterm elections. It is an act of sheer desperation.

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 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

2018 AMENDMENTS TO THE FLORIDA CONSTITUTION

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 13, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Do we really need all of this?

As part of the 2018 midterm elections, Floridians will be asked to vote on thirteen amendments to the state’s constitution. Thirteen seems a lot, but it is understandable as many of them are proposed by the Constitution Revision Commission, a state commission that meets every 20 years to recommend changes, and, Yes, this is the year when they met, hence the substantial number of changes.

A copy of the amendments can be obtained from the state (click HERE), and I encourage voters to become familiar with them prior to November 6th.

The purpose of a constitution is to define the basic mechanisms of the government. For example, the U.S. Constitution defines the duties and responsibilities of the three branches of government, including voting and how to enact changes. The Bill of Rights is a separate document related to the Constitution detailing our rights. In Florida though, the state constitution is a bloated document where everything is thrown into, thereby requiring it to be updated frequently. Many of the Amendments here should be placed in a separate document or simply handled by the state assembly.

I endeavored to find out how the Democrats and Republicans feel about each issue. This was difficult as I could find no party specific recommendations. Along the way though, I discovered how many of the party officials felt and deduced their answer. Naturally, the two parties were black and white on every issue (no surprise there). The one group who was unafraid to state their position was the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Consequently, I have included their response herein.

With this said, here are the thirteen amendments, along with their sponsors and pertinent comments:

NO. 1 – BALLOT TITLE: Increased Homestead Property Tax Exemption
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT, ARTICLE VII, SECTION 6, ARTICLE XII, SECTION 37
Sponsor: The Florida Legislature/House (HJR7105)

BALLOT SUMMARY:
Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to increase the homestead exemption by exempting the assessed valuation of homestead property greater than $100,000 and up to $125,000 for all levies other than school district levies. The amendment shall take effect January 1, 2019.

COMMENT:
Democrats will likely vote NO, Republicans YES, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce is Neutral. Conceptually, the legislation gives homeowners a tax reduction, and by doing so will result in less money for municipalities, counties and special districts.

NO. 2 – BALLOT TITLE: Limitations on Property Tax Assessments
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT, ARTICLE XII, SECTION 27
Sponsor: The Florida Legislature/House (CS/HJR 21)

BALLOT SUMMARY:
Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to permanently retain provisions currently in effect, which limit property tax assessment increases on specified nonhomestead real property, except for school district taxes, to 10 percent each year. If approved, the amendment removes the scheduled repeal of such provisions in 2019 and shall take effect January 1, 2019.

COMMENT:
Democrats will likely vote NO, Republicans YES, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce is a YES.

NO. 3 – BALLOT TITLE: Voter Control of Gambling in Florida
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT, ARTICLE X, SECTION 29
Sponsor: Voters In Charge

BALLOT SUMMARY:
This amendment ensures that Florida voters shall have the exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling by requiring that in order for casino gambling to be authorized under Florida law, it must be approved by Florida voters pursuant to Article XI, Section 3 of the Florida Constitution. Affects articles X and XI. Defines casino gambling and clarifies that this amendment does not conflict with federal law regarding state/tribal compacts.

COMMENT:
Democrats will likely vote YES, Republicans NO, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce is a YES. If passed, 60% of Florida voters will be needed to regulate it in the future. Is this something that really belongs in our constitution?

NO. 4 – BALLOT TITLE: Voting Restoration Amendment
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT, ARTICLE VI, SECTION 4
Sponsor: Floridians for a Fair Democracy, Inc.

BALLOT SUMMARY:
This amendment restores the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions after they complete all terms of their sentence including parole or probation. The amendment would not apply to those convicted of murder or sexual offenses, who would continue to be permanently barred from voting unless the Governor and Cabinet vote to restore their voting rights on a case by case basis.

COMMENT:
Democrats will likely vote YES, Republicans NO, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce is Neutral.

NO. 5 – BALLOT TITLE: Supermajority Vote Required to Impose, Authorize, or Raise State Taxes or Fees
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT, ARTICLE VII, SECTION 19
Sponsor: The Florida Legislature/House (HJR7001)

BALLOT SUMMARY:
Prohibits the legislature from imposing, authorizing, or raising a state tax or fee except through legislation approved by a twothirds vote of each house of the legislature in a bill containing no other subject. This proposal does not authorize a state tax or fee otherwise prohibited by the Constitution and does not apply to fees or taxes imposed or authorized to be imposed by a county, municipality, school board, or special district.

COMMENT:
Democrats will likely vote NO, Republicans YES, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce is a YES. A YES vote means tax increases require a 2/3 approval in both the state senate and house; a NO vote means a simple majority is needed for passage.

NO. 6 – BALLOT TITLE: Rights of Crime Victims; Judges
CONSTITUTIONAL REVISION, ARTICLE I, SECTION 16, ARTICLE V, SECTIONS 8 AND 21, ARTICLE XII, NEW SECTION
Sponsor: Constitution Revision Commission

BALLOT SUMMARY:
Creates constitutional rights for victims of crime; requires courts to facilitate victims’ rights; authorizes victims to enforce their rights throughout criminal and juvenile justice processes. Requires judges and hearing officers to independently interpret statutes and rules rather than deferring to government agency’s interpretation. Raises mandatory retirement age of state justices and judges from seventy to seventy-five years; deletes authorization to complete judicial term if one-half of term has been served by retirement age.

COMMENT:
Democrats will likely vote NO, Republicans YES, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce is Neutral.

NO. 7 – BALLOT TITLE: First Responder and Military Member Survivor Benefits; Public Colleges and Universities
CONSTITUTIONAL REVISION, ARTICLE IX, SECTIONS 7 AND 8, ARTICLE X, NEW SECTION
Sponsor: Constitution Revision Commission

BALLOT SUMMARY:
Grants mandatory payment of death benefits and waiver of certain educational expenses to qualifying survivors of certain first responders and military members who die performing official duties. Requires supermajority votes by university trustees and state university system board of governors to raise or impose all legislatively authorized fees if law requires approval by those bodies. Establishes existing state college system as constitutional entity; provides governance structure.

COMMENT:
Democrats will likely vote NO, Republicans YES, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce is Neutral.

NO. 8 – BALLOT TITLE: School Board Term Limits and Duties; Public Schools
CONSTITUTIONAL REVISION, ARTICLE IX, SECTION 4, NEW SECTION, ARTICLE XII, NEW SECTION
Sponsor: Constitution Revision Commission

COMMENT:
THIS AMENDMENT HAS BEEN STRUCK DOWN BY THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT. As such, it will not be included on the November 6th ballot.

NO. 9 – BALLOT TITLE: Prohibits Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling; Prohibits Vaping in Enclosed Indoor Workplaces
CONSTITUTIONAL REVISION, ARTICLE II, SECTION 7, ARTICLE X, SECTION 20
Sponsor: Constitution Revision Commission

BALLOT SUMMARY:
Prohibits drilling for the exploration or extraction of oil and natural gas beneath all state-owned waters between the mean high water line and the state’s outermost territorial boundaries. Adds use of vapor-generating electronic devices to current prohibition of tobacco smoking in enclosed indoor workplaces with exceptions; permits more restrictive local vapor ordinances.

COMMENT:
Democrats will likely vote YES, Republicans NO, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce is a NO. It is a mystery why a bill concerned with offshore drilling includes a section on e-smoking devices.

NO. 10 – BALLOT TITLE: State and Local Government Structure and Operation
CONSTITUTIONAL REVISION, ARTICLE III, SECTION 3, ARTICLE IV, SECTIONS 4 AND 11, ARTICLE VIII, SECTIONS 1 AND 6
Sponsor: Constitution Revision Commission

BALLOT SUMMARY:
Requires legislature to retain department of veterans’ affairs. Ensures election of sheriffs, property appraisers, supervisors of elections, tax collectors, and clerks of court in all counties; removes county charters’ ability to abolish, change term, transfer duties, or eliminate election of these offices. Changes annual legislative session commencement date in even- numbered years from March to January; removes legislature’s authorization to fix another date. Creates office of domestic security and counterterrorism within department of law enforcement.

COMMENT:
Democrats will likely vote NO, Republicans YES, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce is Neutral.

NO. 11 – BALLOT TITLE: Property Rights; Removal of Obsolete Provision; Criminal Statutes
CONSTITUTIONAL REVISION, ARTICLE I, SECTION 2, ARTICLE X, SECTIONS 9 AND 19
Sponsor: Constitution Revision Commission

BALLOT SUMMARY:
Removes discriminatory language related to real property rights. Removes obsolete language repealed by voters. Deletes provision that amendment of a criminal statute will not affect prosecution or penalties for a crime committed before the amendment; retains current provision allowing prosecution of a crime committed before the repeal of a criminal statute.

COMMENT:
Democrats will likely vote NO, Republicans YES, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce is a YES.

NO. 12 – BALLOT TITLE: Lobbying and Abuse of Office by Public Officers
CONSTITUTIONAL REVISION, ARTICLE II, SECTION 8, ARTICLE V, SECTION 13, ARTICLE XII, NEW SECTION
Sponsor: Constitution Revision Commission

BALLOT SUMMARY:
Expands current restrictions on lobbying for compensation by former public officers; creates restrictions on lobbying for compensation by serving public officers and former justices and judges; provides exceptions; prohibits abuse of a public position by public officers and employees to obtain a personal benefit.

COMMENT:
Democrats will likely vote NO, Republicans YES, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce is a NO.

NO. 13 – BALLOT TITLE: Ends Dog Racing
CONSTITUTIONAL REVISION, ARTICLE X, NEW SECTION, ARTICLE XII, NEW SECTION
Sponsor: Constitution Revision Commission

BALLOT SUMMARY:
Phases out commercial dog racing in connection with wagering by 2020. Other gaming activities are not affected.

COMMENT:
Democrats will likely vote YES, Republicans NO, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce is a NO.Again, is this something that really belongs in our constitution? And what is next, elimination of horse racing?

As you can see, there isn’t anything here to change the basic mechanisms of our government, yet people find it necessary to put everything but the kitchen sink in there.

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 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

MAYHEM IN THE WHITE HOUSE?

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 12, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Fact or fiction?

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

The Democrats have a dilemma. They are rapidly approaching the 2018 midterm election and have nothing to offer the American voters other than a Socialist agenda featuring universal health care at an estimated price of $32.5 trillion. They know this will not play well in Poughkeepsie as Americans are not comfortable with Socialism. As such, they are desperately trying to divert attention away from their frailties and attack the president instead, declaring him mentally unstable thereby making him unfit to fulfill his duties.

To this end, the Congress has brought up the concept of impeachment and enactment of the 25th Amendment which would represent nothing less than a coup de tête. The main stream media has also been doing their part by scrutinizing every word the president says, writing fallacious accounts of turmoil in the White House, such as the “anonymous” OpEd piece in the New York Times, and Bob Woodward’s new book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” all of which claim senior staffers believe the president has lost his mind and they are operating at odds with him.

First, let’s be clear, this goes well beyond slander and libel, it is playing politics with the Constitution which is recklessly dangerous and could backfire on the Democrats in November, making them even weaker than they already are.

As a first time politician, President Trump’s approach to the job has been unquestionably unorthodox. We saw this in his campaign where he wasn’t afraid to counter-punch his political opponents. His use of Twitter to circumvent the news media and his on-going feud with them is like nothing we have ever seen, nor his blunt negotiating tactics with foreign leaders. The news media was quick to accuse him of alienating our allies and putting us on a path towards war. Of course, this never happened, and we are working to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, we’ve opened a new embassy in the capitol of Israel, and we are now beginning to get better trade deals with other countries.

The left also demeans the president’s accomplishments, such as the rising Gross Domestic Product, lowering unemployment, the influx of jobs from reduced taxes and bureaucratic red tape, economic prosperity, more secure borders, a re-galvanized military, and reforms to the VA. Next up, attacking the budget deficit. All of this is immaterial to the Democrats who declare him crazy in order to lay down a smoke screen to divert the public’s attention. In a way, it is like the scene in the movie, “The Wizard of Oz,” where the Wizard says, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”

If President Trump is truly as mad as the Democrats claim, and I do not agree with their premise, than this country needs more of this madness in our government. The left’s disapproval of his character is nothing more than an expression of how out of touch they are with the well-being of the country. Whether you like President Trump’s character or not, you cannot deny his results orientation. It is his success that unnerves the Democrats as they realize the public is becoming more cognizant of his accomplishments. Hence, they demean his deeds and falsely paint a picture there is helter-skelter in the White House.

Think about it, the President is fighting not only the Democrats, but the news media, left-wing radicals, Never-Trumpers, and federal bureaucrats (the legendary “deep state”). Despite all this, he is winning. Not surprising, Independents and moderate Democrats are turning away from the New party of Socialist Democrats and gravitating to Republican candidates. The outcome of the November election will either show the tactics of the Democrats are effective, or the party will be in disarray.

As Trump says at his rallies, “It is a lot easier to act presidential than to do what I do.” Sounds crazy, right?

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 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

WHY DOES PROJECT MANAGEMENT FAIL?

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 11, 2018

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– We tend to underestimate its scope and mechanics.

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INTRODUCTION

In addition to problems related to the activities of Project Management (e.g., planning, estimating, scheduling, reporting, and control), I often run into companies who ask the simple question, “Why can’t we get our act together? Why does Project Management routinely fail in our company?”

I do not believe a company’s overall problems in Project Management can be attributed to a specific tool or technique (although some certainly do not help matters). Instead, I believe it is based on how important a company considers Project Management to be. If they believe it to be a vital part of the company’s overall performance, it will be more successful than a company who considers it irrelevant. In other words, I view Project Management as an integral part of the corporate culture.

Let’s consider the indicators of how a company values Project Management:

* LACK OF KNOWLEDGE – employees simply lack the basic knowledge of the mechanics of Project Management. I do not run into too many companies anymore with a total absence of knowledge in this regard. The conceptual foundation of Project Management has been around for a number of years. There is a multitude of training programs in Project Management, both at the college and commercial level. There are also several discussion groups on the Internet and professional associations dealing with this subject (e.g., the Project Management Institute of Newtown Square, PA). Hiring or contracting people with absolutely no knowledge of basic Project Management concepts is becoming a rarity.

* LACK OF ORGANIZATIONAL POLICY – the company has not adopted a formal policy for managing projects. Consequently, informal and inconsistent approaches to project management are used with mixed results. This is a much more common occurrence than finding a company devoid of knowledge in Project Management.

* LACK OF ENFORCEMENT OF POLICY AND PROCEDURES – even though a policy has been established, it is not enforced. As a result, inconsistent results emerge. If a standard and consistent approach to Project Management is devised by a company, it must be routinely policed in order to assure accuracy and uniform results. It is one thing to enact legislation, quite another to enforce it.

* LACK OF CONSIDERATION FOR THE MAGNITUDE AND COMPLEXITIES OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND ATTACK IT IN PIECE MEAL – People seem to naturally underestimate the magnitude of project management. For example, project planning involves defining work breakdown structures and dependencies which is a precursor to estimating, planning, reporting and control; estimating is a prerequisite to scheduling; time reporting impacts project estimates and schedules; resource allocation is based on availability of qualified people (skills inventory) and current project schedules; etc. There is an overwhelming number of software packages on the market attacking various aspects of Project Management, but very few addressing it is an integrated whole.

It must be remembered that project management is first and foremost a philosophy of management, not an elaborate set of tools and techniques, nor is it an administrative function. Rather, it is concerned with managing human beings towards the accomplishment of work (it is a “people management” function). As such, project management will only be as effective as the people who use it.

Ultimately, project management represents DISCIPLINE, ORGANIZATION, and ACCOUNTABILITY; which are three areas people seem to have a natural aversion to these days.

DISCIPLINE – In the western world, people tend to resist discipline because some believe it inhibits creativity and personal freedom. As a result, teamwork is often sacrificed in favor of rugged individualism.

ORGANIZATION – Pursuant to discipline is the problem of organization. Again, in the western world, people prefer to maintain their own identity and organize themselves to meet their needs as opposed to the needs of the organization. There are also those who claim, “A cluttered desk is the sign of a brilliant mind.” Hogwash. In contrast, I am a believer of the Navy’s regimen whereby you either work on something, file it, or throw it away. This forces people to get organized. If we need more files, let’s get them. A cluttered desk is a sign of a disorganized person. Shape up, or ship out.

ACCOUNTABILITY – This is an area people tend to rebel against the most. The approach to project management, as advocated by “PRIDE,” ultimately represents visibility and responsibility to produce according to plan. Unfortunately, some people shun commitments and, instead, prefer to hide their activity, thereby they cannot be measured and evaluated. This is typically the reaction of people who are insecure. People who are confident in their abilities have no problem with the accountability issue.

REACTIVE VS. ACTIVE MANAGEMENT

The old adage, “If you do not make the decision, the decision will be made for you,” is valid. This also sums up the difference between an active and a reactive manager. True Project Management requires an “active” manager, not “reactive.” The active manager takes care of the problems before they happen. They plan on the future. The reactive manager deals with yesterday and waits until problems occur, then tries to take care of them. Today, more and more IT organizations find themselves in a constant “firefighting” mode of operation. Why? Because of a “reactive” management style. The “reactive” manager never seems to get ahead, yet probably enjoys the highest visibility in the company. As an aside, beware of your “firefighters,” they are probably your chief arsonists.

Managers don’t wait for things to happen, they make things happen.

HOW MUCH PROJECT MANAGEMENT IS NECESSARY?

Can the philosophies of project management be adopted and implemented by a single group of people for a single project? Yes. A department or division? Certainly. The entire company? Definitely. In fact, as the scope grows, communications improves and the philosophy is more consistently applied.

The scope of project management affects many people:

* The individual worker will prepare estimates and schedules, perform project work, and report on activities.

* The project manager will plan and direct the use of resources on projects, and solve problems.

* Department managers will administer resources and control projects within an area.

* Executive management will establish project priorities and monitor project progress.

Obviously, project management should not be restricted to a handful of people or projects. Dozens of projects may be active at any one time, involving hundreds of workers across departmental boundaries. Synchronization of the work effort is required to maximize effect and minimize confusion. Project management, therefore, should be viewed as a corporate philosophy as opposed to a technique used by a select few. Only when a standard and consistent approach to Project Management is adopted by a company will it become an integral part of the corporate culture. We will then hear less about why Project Management fails, and more of how the company is prospering.

First published: April 18, 2005

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 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Business, Management | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

THE PROBLEM WITH PILLS

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 6, 2018

BRYCE ON LIFE

– It’s pop-pop time around the clock.

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The size of the drug culture in our country is truly amazing. We start popping pills as little kids for vitamins and to treat such things as the common cold. As we get older, we take them for just about every ailment we have, be it for mucous, fungus, rashes, infections, aches and pains, or just to get high. Not sure what your problem is? Pop a pill. This mentality has led to the deaths of many entertainers. Instead of dealing with reality, we take a pill to buzz us up.

A few years ago, I was amazed by the number of pills my father took in the morning. It was easily a handful, and I looked at him like he was some sort of chemistry experiment. Since then, I was always mindful of the number of pills I took for whatever reason, and determined to stay away from them.

Lately though, pills have slowly crept into my life. I take a red pill to dry my sinuses, a blue diet pill, a little brown pill for my osteoarthritis. On the weekends, after working in the yard, it is not uncommon for me to pop some Advil to tackle body-aches. If I come down with a cold, it’s pop-pop time. Actually, I think a good Scotch is better medicine.

Whereas I wondered how my father had come to take so many pills, now I find I carry pills of my own wherever I go. And I believe the influx of pills is a disturbing sign of aging. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn the average pharmacist can probably guess your age based on the volume and types of pills you take.

Some people carry their pills in zip-locked plastic bags, others use designer purses and murses (I guess they want to make an impression), and others use well organized plastic trays, be it for the days of a single week, or for a whole month. As to the latter, much time is devoted to sorting pills into such trays. It’s rather impressive the number of pills they can contain, representing a substantial investment in money. Such pills are used for a regular regiment, but for other ailments, such as a cold, a generous backup of pills is maintained in our home base, be it prescription or over-the-counter.

So prevalent are pills in America, I would wager there is probably enough pills in the average household to fill a gallon milk jug. So, the mindset is clear; Got a problem? Pop a pill. Instead of using natural cures, take a pill as the panacea du jour. Want to feel up? Take a stimulus. Need to calm down? Take a depressant. Why I didn’t invest in the pharmaceutical industry years ago is beyond me.

This also explains why we will never find a solution for the opioid problem in this country; pills have become an intrical part of our way of life. Now where is my Fred Flinstone fix for the day?

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 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Drugs, Life | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

A TALE OF TWO VIDEOS

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 5, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Are we willing pawns of the media?

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Last week, shortly after the Florida primary election, I happened to sit down with some friends over a friendly libation or two. We discussed many things, but the conversation inevitably turned to politics due to the outcome of the election. Aside from myself, the others leaned to the Democrats and do not like President Trump, claiming he acts “unpresidential.” His record of accomplishments is meaningless to them, just his “unpresidential” character. Frankly, I do not understand this mentality. Thank God for his unorthodox behavior. Other presidents may have acted “presidential,” but look at the mess they left us. As Trump says at his rallies, “It is a lot easier to act presidential than to do what I do.”

During the conversation, my friends contended President Trump is a racist. Naturally, I challenged their source. Nothing was forthcoming other than they believed he influenced GOP nominee for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ conduct whereby he used the word “monkey” in an on-air interview. The press lept on this and accused him of being a racist. At that moment, I was unfamiliar with the interview, but I looked it up on YouTube afterwards and found he had said, “The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases…” This was a reference to the Florida economy and the perceived problems should the Democrats get elected in November.

DeSantis’ use of the word “monkey” went viral overnight and voters were left with the impression the candidate was a racist (as well as President Trump). This was the media’s attempt to smear DeSantis by making something out of nothing. Interestingly, President Obama made use of the same expression in the same context (click for VIDEO). If Cong. DeSantis is a racist then, most definitely, former President Obama is one as well. Yet he was never accused as such by the news media.

In my response to my friends, I mentioned a recent meeting President Trump had with black pastors at the White House. During the session, one of the pastor’s said, “This is probably the most pro-active administration regarding urban America and the faith-based community, in my lifetime.” And continued by saying, “This is the most pro-black president in our lifetime.” The video is also available on YouTube (click HERE; and go to 17:10 in the meeting).

My friends were unaware of this video. I was only made aware of it a few days before by a friend on social media. As to the news media, they buried the story as it was complimentary to the president.

I do not suffer under the illusion our president is a saint, but then again, none of us are. What’s the old expression, “Let he who is without sin cast the first rock”? The problem is, the news media has been throwing a barrage of rocks at the president since his first day in office. This flies in the face of their August 16th newspaper editorials claiming their innocence in covering Mr. Trump. These two videos demonstrate the opposite.

The DeSantis video goes well beyond Fake News, it is malicious malignment at its worse. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a bald faced liar.

What disturbs me is my friends are willing pawns of the news media and do not contest the integrity of their reporting. In other words, they are perfectly willing to allow the media do the thinking for them.

Yes, I am angry, when I see an insignificant story like the DeSantis interview blown out of proportion based on a false supposition. I am angry when the public is not made aware of the accomplishments of Mr. Trump, not just his meeting with the black pastors, but events like the Consumer Price Index hitting an 18 year high or the re-development of the NAFTA treaty, all of which are either falsely maligned or deliberately hidden from public view. Yes, I am angry when I see such injustice.

It is no small wonder the public is gravitating to social media to get their news as they no longer trust the news media. Who would have ever thought YouTube would be more reliable in video coverage than the main stream media?

I guess it is time to start picketing the news media. No, they are most definitely not “fair and balanced.” Better yet, just turn them off and seek the truth on social media, you won’t find it in the main stream media.

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 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

WAS AMERICA EVER GREAT?

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 4, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– You betcha.

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In defiance of President Trump, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently declared, “America was never that great,” an unfortunate comment which will cost him points politically. Even his father, former NY Governor Mario Cuomo, would have trouble swallowing it as he was well known for his stories of his family’s humble beginnings as Italian immigrants, that America was indeed the “land of opportunity.” The declaration made by today’s governor is in keeping with the left’s position that the country is desperately in need of a makeover, and certainly not in keeping with President Trump’s policies.

Nonetheless, they beg the question, “Was America ever great?” A lot of people tend to think so…

* Ask the Europeans who we aided to free the continent from Nazism and Fascism, and the “Marshall Plan” to rebuild it.

* Ask the Russians about how “Lend-Lease” saved their hides from German destruction.

* Ask Japan and South Korea who we helped rebuild into powerful economic engines.

* Ask the victims saved by the ravages of Polio and other diseases we helped find cures for.

* Ask the victims of the many countries who suffered through disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and typhoons. Ask who fed them, gave them shelter and medicine, and helped them get back on their feet.

* Ask the millions of people in this country who can now easily travel and communicate from coast-to-coast.

* Ask the millions of people around the world who have found enjoyment in our music, films, theater, and art.

* Ask the millions of Americans who enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world.

They will all say, “Yes, America was great.” By the way, has anyone forgotten we were the first country to land on the moon (and still the only ones to do so 50 years later)? This little feat invigorated our country, not just educationally, but caused the creation of new technologies and jobs.

However, there is a difference between being great and being perfect. Even President Trump is well aware of our imperfections, as we all should be, but this shouldn’t make us any less proud of our achievements. Thanks to our melting pot of multiple cultures, there is still a spirit of invention, innovation, creativity, and productivity. Over time though, we slipped and made it possible to ship jobs and companies overseas due to stifling government regulation and economics. We allowed others to dominate industries simply by enacting trade barriers against American products and services. All of this affected our GDP, the number of people on unemployment, our trade deficit, and the national debt, simply because we chose a policy of following as opposed to leading the free world.

The truth is, there are people who want us to be ashamed of our accomplishments, as they want to undermine the government and replace it with something new. This includes the media, academia, and the far left. The reality though is the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights have served us well for over 200 years and will continue to do so if we allow it. During his campaign, President Trump hit a nerve with people when he said, “Make America Great Again.” Deep-down most Americans want to feel proud of our country and ourselves again, that we will do what is right to protect our country, that we can build superior products, do big things, and be a beacon of light; to prove the American experiment still works, despite those who would rather see us fail.

There are people who simply do not believe in American greatness and will go to any length to see it abolished. Let me give you one tiny example; like many of you, I have watched various presentations at the White House via a Facebook feed. Although most people comment on how they enjoy watching it, there is always a handful trying to malign the event. To illustrate, recently there was a Medal of Honor presentation given to a fallen airman posthumously, Tech. Sgt. John A. Chapman. During the presentation, I looked at the number of people voting their pleasure of the event, whereby there were 5.3K who liked it, and 390 who laughed at it. I’m not sure why they laughed; perhaps because it was President Trump making the presentation, or maybe they think the Medal and Sgt. Chapman are a joke. Whatever the reason, it denotes hostility towards the country. It is this small group who, I am sure, doesn’t believe America was great, but what they do not realize, most Americans do.

As we approach the midterm elections, this question of American greatness will occur again. The Democrats are playing with fire on this issue, which will be a key factor in turning independents away from voting for their party, and cause them to vote Republican.

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 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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A POSTMORTEM OF THE 2018 FLORIDA PRIMARY

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 31, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– And what to expect in the mid-terms on November 6th.

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The Florida primary was held last Tuesday (Aug 28, 2018), and the field of Republicans and Democrats have been whittled down to one per party. The number of votes cast, and the delegates selected give us a glimpse as to what to expect November 6th, not just here in the Sunshine State, but around the country.

The candidates now include:

U.S. SENATE
Rick Scott (R)
Bill Nelson (D)
Comment: This will be a contest between an out-going GOP Governor who reduced unemployment and created jobs, versus a career politician (22 years in the House (11 terms), 18 years in the Senate (3 terms))who followed party lines. Because of his tenure and voting record, Nelson is vulnerable.

U.S. HOUSE, DISTRICT 12
Gus Bilirakis (R)
Chris Hunter (D)
Comment: Bilirakis is the incumbent, serving since 2007, and is a strong advocate for veterans. He faces a serious challenge in Hunter, a former federal prosecutor and FBI agent.

U.S. HOUSE, DISTRICT 13
George Buck (R)
Charlie Crist (D)
Comment: Former Governor and Republican Crist is the incumbent and ran unopposed as a Democrat. Newcomer Buck has an up-hill battle on his hands.

GOVERNOR
Ron DeSantis (R)
Andrew Gillum (D)
Comment: This will be the most visible race in the state and will set the tone for all others. Rep. DeSantis is pro-Trump (having been endorsed by the President), versus anti-Trump candidate Gillum. Gillum surprised a lot of people by defeating Gwen Graham in the primary. His experience primarily includes serving as Mayor of Tallahassee. He is a Progressive and endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders.

ATTORNEY GENERAL
Ashley Moody (R)
Sean Shaw (D)
Comment: Moody possesses an extensive legal career, including commercial litigation, Federal prosecutor, and Circuit Court judge. Shaw’s background is as the state’s Insurance Consumer Advocate. Hand’s down, Moody has more experience.

AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER
Matt Caldwell (R)
Nicole “Nikki” Fried (D)
Comment: Caldwell pulled off a bit of a surprise by defeating Denise Grimsley and Baxter Troutman. Caldwell is endorsed by Sen. Marco Rubio and the NRA. He is also an avid Constitutional Conservative. Fried is from Miami, an attorney, and helped expand access to medical marijuana. She claims, “Our politics and our government is broken.”

And from around the Pinellas County area, we have:

STATE SENATE, DISTRICT 16
Ed Hooper (R)
Amanda Hickman Murphy (D)
Comment: Murphy is a former member of the Florida House. She will be running against Hooper, a career politician who has generated a lot more campaign funds than his opponent.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 64
James Grant (R)
Jessica Harrington (D)
Comment: Harrington, a school teacher, will be running against incumbent Grant.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 65
Chris Sprowl (R)
Sally Laufer (D)
Comment: Former Assistant State Attorney and incumbent Sprowls faces Progressive newcomer Laufer.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 66
Nick DiCeglie (R)
Alex Heeren (D)
Comment: Heeren is another former teacher looking to support his community. He will face DiCeglia who is a business owner and GOP county head. Hard to read this one; could be a coin-toss.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 67
Christopher Latvala (R)
Dawn C. Douglas (D)
Comment: Douglas is a newcomer and another school teacher vying against incumbent Latvala. She may be without the financial resources to adequately fight.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 68
Ben Diamond (D)
Comment: Running unopposed, incumbent.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 69
Ray Blacklidge (R)
Jennifer Webb (D)
Comment: Blacklidge is a local attorney and businessman, as well as life-long Republican. Webb is active in her community.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 70
Wengay “Newt” Newton (D)
Comment: Running unopposed, incumbent.

NOTE: This list does not include candidates for County Commissioners, School Board, or Fire Commission.

For the complete list of candidates, including the Pinellas County School Board, click HERE.

CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS

Although the election day data has not yet been posted, showing votes by counties and party, the final numbers are in in terms of Votes-by-Mail (absentee) and early voting. The data shown here is most illuminating.

Here we clearly see Republicans like to vote by absentee ballot (write-in), and Democrats prefer early-voting in person.

According to the Florida Department of State, Board of Elections, the number of registered Florida voters eligible to vote in the Primary included:

This means Democrats had the advantage going into the primary election, but allowed Republicans to cast more votes. This implies Democrats still do not like to vote in mid-term elections.

Over 2 million people voted in Florida prior to election day, an admirable number, but it pales in comparison to the 2016 presidential year figures which is typical.

– There were 832,052 less early-votes in the Tampa Bay area than the 2016 election (1,326,728); in other words 62.8% less.

– In Florida, 4,510,659 less early-votes in Florida than the 2016 election (6,511,678); in other words 69.3% less.

       REP    DEM    OTHRS
2016   39.5%  38.0%  19.5%
2018   45.7%  43.8%  10.4% 

In other words, from a percentage perspective, Republicans were more active than 2016, and the Democrats did not keep pace. However, notice the “OTHRS” figure, representing independents; as this was a primary, the percentage is down; again, this is to be expected as the primary is a race for the parties. The Independents though are the real prize as that number will go up for the November 6th election.

SO WHAT CAN WE EXPECT GOING INTO THE NOVEMBER ELECTION?

It appears the Republicans are cognizant of what is at stake in this election and are not taking anything for granted. If they lose, and the Congress falls into the hands of the Democrats, they fear their president will face impeachment. They are also deeply satisfied with the economic changes in the country since Mr. Trump entered the White House. As such, Florida Republicans are unified and determined. They are rallying around their President and are showing up in force to vote. At the state level, they fear a liberal agenda will force higher taxes and threaten the second amendment.

If you read the campaign pages of the Democrats, you’ll notice a common theme: “Florida is broken,” and, “We need to put the interests of the people above those of special interests.” The question is, will Independents buy it? The Democrats’ problem is they have yet to devise a compelling argument to vote for them, other than to resist President Trump. They also offer the enticement of more freebies, particularly college education, but the taxpayers know they will get stuck with the bill. In other words, the Democrats are stuck in a rut. And please, forget the mantra of Socialism; it will simply not fly down here where people have worked hard all their lives to retire.

What we are about to witness here in Florida, as well as elsewhere across the country, is an ugly brawl pitting the pro-Trump forces against the anti-Trumpers. The real fight is over the votes of the Independents. If they believe the country is better economically and in need of tougher laws on immigration, they will side with the GOP. If not, they will go with the Democrats.

Frankly, I see a “Red Tide” coming to Florida in November, certainly not blue. I would like to believe the other states will follow suit, but I will only comment on Florida herein.

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 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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