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Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Submits Affidavit in Florida Case on Obama Eligibility

by Da Tagilare

While we are still waiting for the second press conference from Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Cold Case Posse investigation that was promised for June, the influence of their investigation has reached a court room in Florida.
Democrat Michael Voeltz filed complaint in Florida challenging Barack Obama’s eligibility to appear on the November ballot as a candidate for President of the United States. Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch USA is representing Voeltz’s case in court. The case is being heard by Leon County Judge Terry Lewis, who is probably best known for his ruling in the 2000 case of Bush v Gore. It was ultimately Lewis’ decision that made Bush the winner of the presidency.

Back on May 31, Obama’s attorneys had asked for the case to be dismissed on the grounds that it has no merit and that legal definition of natural born citizen is different than what is stated in the original complaint. Judge Lewis challenged the Obama legal team to produce evidence to back up their claim, which they did not or could not do. Klayman had presented documentation of the 1875 case of Minor v Happersett in which the US Supreme Court ruled the term, natural born citizen, did in fact mean that both parents were US citizens. He also provided statements that the Founding Fathers purposely wrote it that way to avoid someone from obtaining the office of president who may have divided loyalties if one or both parents were from another country.
Judge Lewis has scheduled the hearing for this coming Monday. Many believe that this time, Lewis will make his decision on the request to dismiss the case by the Obama team. He has the option of completely dismissing the case or rule that the case will move forward with the discovery phase.
In the latest developments in what could be a ground breaking or birther ending case, Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Mike Zullo, lead Cold Case Posse investigator have filed affidavits in the Voeltz case. According to a WND report, Sheriff Joe’s affidavit to the court states that his department’s investigation into Obama’s documentation has lead him to believe that the long-form birth certificate, Selective Service Registration card and Social Security number are all forgeries and that their presentation to the public was an act of fraud.
Zullo’s affidavit reportedly states that upon his investigation, that he advised Sheriff Joe that two crimes were committed by the White House when they presented the long-form birth certificate to the general public. First they committed fraud by creating the forged document and secondly they committed fraud when it was presented to the citizens of Maricopa County and to the American people.
Zullo’s affidavit went on to state that the Hawaiian Department of Health has continuously worked to hide Obama’s birth records so that they were not available for public investigation. Although he did not say so in these exact terms, his statement basically says that Hawaiian officials were deliberately covering up Obama’s birth records or lack thereof.
As a nation, we need to be praying that Judge Lewis takes Arpaio’s and Zullo’s affidavits seriously and rules to move the case forward. We also need to pray that similar cases are raised in all fifty states so that Obama’s eligibility will be challenged in courtrooms across the land. One would hope and pray that through it all, the truth will finally come out and that Barack Obama will be arrested for perpetrating the greatest crime ever committed in the United States.

Read more: http://godfatherpolitics.com/5672/sheriff-joe-arpaio-submits-affidavit-florida-case-obama-eligibility/#ixzz1xt86ht10

Florida’s Scott: Wisconsin Is Validation of My Policies

By Paul Scicchitano

Florida Gov. Rick Scott tells Newsmax.TV that the victory of his Wisconsin counterpart, Scott Walker, in a recall election validates his own policies in the Sunshine State, and says that it may even be a bellwether for the November election between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

“Absolutely” it’s a validation, declared Scott in an exclusive interview on Wednesday. “What we know now is that if you run on a campaign of fiscal responsibility, making your state a business-friendly state, reducing taxes, reducing regulations, putting people in place that are going to be pro-business — because that’s where jobs get created, by businesses, then the public’s going to support you.”

Walker, who, like Scott is a first-term Republican, became only the third governor in U.S. history to face a recall vote — and the first to emerge victorious as voters delivered a 7-point win over Democratic challenger Tom Barrett. The effort to remove Walker from office began last year after the state divided over the governor’s push to effectively end collective bargaining for most public workers in an attempt to control the state budget.

Florida’s Gov. Scott has said that collective bargaining shouldn’t be a constitutionally protected right in Florida either, telling Bloomberg TV that he’d like to see Florida’s Constitution changed so that it no longer guarantees workers the right to collective bargaining.

“The public is speaking. They know that big government, more taxes, more regulation doesn’t work. . . Think about what the national election’s going to be about. It’s going to be about job creation. That’s exactly what my race was like in 2010. I had a plan for job creation. Gov. Romney, as long as he explains his plan to the public — reducing taxes, reducing regulation, having a pro-business attitude — then he’s going to win.”

Scott also insisted that Florida must continue to look for — and purge — non-citizen voters from Florida’s voting rolls despite objections from the Department of Justice.

“None of us believes that somebody that doesn’t have a right to vote should be voting in our elections. All of us believe that everyone that does have a right to vote should go out and register to vote and get involved in elections and vote,” Scott said. “I’m going to continue to make sure that the law of Florida is enforced and that’s the law that only individuals that have a right to vote . . . vote.”

While acknowledging the possibility that the Justice Department’s action is politically motivated, Scott said that he hopes that’s not the case.

“I always hope that people are doing things for the right reasons,” he said. “But I know what my job is. My job is to enforce the laws of Florida. I expect every other elected official to enforce the laws of the state. We have a great a state. We want people involved in our elections, but we only want people involved in our elections that have a right to vote.”

Turning to another issue, Scott said that he is “very hopeful” about the upcoming Supreme Court decision on Obamacare resulting from a legal challenge that Florida has championed.

“I’m very hopeful that the Supreme Court will declare the law unconstitutional or at a minimum, acknowledge that the federal government doesn’t have a right to tell us how we should spend our dollars,” Scott asserted. “Where would it stop? Do we have to buy the federal government’s cell phone, broccoli, whatever you want to talk about?”

In the worst case scenario, Scott said that Florida would enforce the law if the Supreme Court upholds it. “If it is not declared unconstitutional and if it’s not repealed, then we will have no choice but to enforce the law,” he said. “But I’m very optimistic that 1) it will be declared unconstitutional, and 2) if it’s not, that we will elect individuals this fall that will acknowledge we have to repeal it because it’s going to be the biggest job killer ever and that for patients it’s going to ration care.

“It’s bad for taxpayers who won’t be able to afford it, and it’s going to put Florida and American business at a significant disadvantage to businesses around the world.”

With Florida still suffering from higher unemployment than the national average, Scott added that he has been trying to make the state more welcoming to job creators.

“What I’m doing is making sure that this is the most business-friendly state in the country. And the way you do that is to think like a business,” he said. “Businesses’ customers want lower prices. So they do business with companies that do business in places with lower taxes, less regulation, shorter permitting processes, less litigation.”

Scott concedes that there’s more to be done.

“There’s clearly certain regulations we need, permitting processes we need, but we can’t have things that are simply impediments to business,” he said. “Our country was built on capitalism. I believe in it. I know it raises the standard of living for all Americans. I personally believe that all elected officials have a moral responsibility to make their area — whether it’s a city, county, state, or federal level — places where individuals have the ability to get a job.”

Read more on Newsmax.com: Florida’s Scott: Wisconsin Is Validation of My Policies

FLORIDA REPEALS UNITED NATIONS AGENDA 21 LAW

The state of Florida has repealed its 30-year old growth management law (also called “smart growth,” UN Agenda 21 , “compact development” and “livability”). Under the law, local jurisdictions were required to adopt comprehensive land use plans stipulating where development could and could not occur. These plans were subject to approval by the state Department of Community Affairs, an agency now abolished by the legislation. The state approval process had been similar to that of Oregon. Governor Rick Scott had urged repeal as a part of his program to create 700,000 new jobs in seven years in Florida. Economic research in the Netherlands, theUnited Kingdom and the United States has associated slower economic growth with growth management programs.
Local governments will still be permitted to implement growth management programs, but largely without state mandates. Some local jurisdictions will continue their growth management programs, while others will welcome development.
The Need for A Competitive Land Supply: Growth management has been cited extensively in economic research because of its association with higher housing costs. The basic problem is that, by delineating and limiting the land that can the used for development, planners create guides to investment, which shows developers where they must buy and tells the now more scarce sellers that the buyers have little choice but to negotiate with them. This can violate the “principle of competitive land supply,” cited by Brookings Institution economist Anthony Downs. Downs said:
If a locality limits to certain sites the land that can be developed within a given period, it confers a preferred market position on those sites. … If the limitation is stringent enough, it may also confirm a monopolistic powers on the owners of those sites, permitting them to raising land prices substantially.
This necessity of retaining a competitive land supply is conceded by proponents of growth management. The Brookings Institution published research by leading advocates of growth management, Arthur C Nelson, Rolf Pendall, Casey J. Dawkins and Gerrit J. Knapp that makes the connection, despite often incorrect citations by advocates to the contrary. In particular they cite higher house prices in California as having resulted from growth management restrictions that were too strong.
…even well-intentioned growth management programs … can accommodate too little growth and result in higher housing prices. This is arguably what happened in parts of California where growth boundaries were drawn so tightly without accommodating other housing needs
Nelson, et al. also concluded that “… the housing price effects of growth management policies depend heavily on how they are designed and implemented. If the policies tend to restrict land supplies, then housing price increases are expected” (emphasis in original).
In other words, if growth management policies do not maintain a competitive land supply, house prices are likely to rise in response. This is basic economics. Restricting the supply of any good or service in demand is likely to lead to higher prices, all things being equal.
The loss of a competitive land supply was seen during the real estate bubble in the unprecedented escalation of house prices in California (which was already high), Oregon, Washington, Phoenix, Las Vegas, parts of the Northeast and Florida. In these markets, the demand from more liberal lending standards was much greater than the land available for development under growth management plans and government land auctions. By contrast, house prices generally stayed within historic norms in metropolitan areas where land supplies were not constrained by growth management programs, such as Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Atlanta, Austin, Indianapolis, Kansas City and elsewhere.
Housing Price Escalation in Florida: In 2000, the four Florida metropolitan areas with more than 1,000,000 population had Median Multiples (median house price divided by median household income) near or below the historic norm of 3.0. By late in the next decade, all four metropolitan areas reached unprecedented levels of unaffordability. In Miami, the Median Multiple reached 7.2. In Orlando, the Median Multiple peaked at 5.2, 70 percent above the historic norm. In Tampa-St. Petersburg, the Median Multiple peaked at 4.8, 60 percent above the historic norm. The peak in Jacksonville was a more modest 3.6, though this was still an 80 percent increase.

By 2010, the Median Multiple has declined to hear the historic norm in Orlando and Tampa-St. Petersburg and slightly below in Jacksonville. The Median Multiple remained well above the historic norm in Miami, at 4.7.
When Supply Lags Behind Demand: Florida’s housing cost escalation may have been surprising, since Florida has a reputation for liberal land-use regulation. However, the growth management act had long since turned the state toward a shortage of land supply relative to demand as described by Wachovia Bank in a 2005 analysis.
“While all the stars seem to be perfectly aligned on the demand side, the supply of housing in Florida has been much more problematic. Even though residential construction has soared to new highs recently, the supply of housing has lagged woefully behind demand in recent years. This has been particularly true for single-family homes, where population growth, a rising homeownership rate, and strong demand for second homes and vacation properties created a demand for 560,000 new single-family homes between mid 2000 and mid 2004. During this period builders only delivered 540,000 units. When you add in the growing demand for townhouses and condominiums, buyers were looking to purchase 675,000 new homes during this period, while builders were supplied just 570,000 units. No wonder prices have been surging!
The chief impediment to new construction has been a shortage of developable land. The shortage primarily results from a growing resistance to new development. The state is not running out of space. Nearly every community in Florida and the state itself are looking at some type of limitations on new residential development. While well intentioned, these initiatives are making it more time consuming and expensive to build homes in Florida. Others are taking land off the market, designating areas for green space, or preserving space for industrial development. The net result has been dramatically higher land prices across much of the state.”
The point of the Wachovia analysis is that unless there is a sufficient supply of land, the price of housing is likely to rise. Having a lot of land is not enough. There must be enough land to accommodate demand at affordable land and housing prices (Note).
The Florida action is the most successful reversal of house price increasing growth management regulations to date.
Other Advances: There have, however, then more modest advances.
After taking office in 2003, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty replaced the board of directors of the Metropolitan Council in Minneapolis-Saint Paul. The previous board had been spent on the following Portland style growth management policies, including the enforcement of a variant of the urban growth boundary. The new board exhibited more liberal attitudes toward residential development, and the housing bubble did not produce the extent of housing affordability in the Twin Cities that occurred in growth management areas such as Portland, California and Florida.
The Conservative- Liberal coalition government of the United Kingdom has proposed modest relaxation of some of the world’s most restrictive land use regulations, which could lead to an improvement of housing affordability in the nation. Kate Barker, who was then a member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England was commissioned to examine land-use regulation and housing affordability in England and found a strong association between the loss of housing affordability and restrictive land use policies. This association between Britain’s strong land use regulation and higher house prices was noted in the early 1970s research led by Sir Peter Hall of the University College, London.
For the Future: The relaxation of overly restrictive growth management policies could not have come at a better time. With the squeeze on the middle-class getting tighter, fewer households can afford higher housing costs associated with growth management areas. Moreover, responsive to the political consensus for job creation, more home construction will bring return more good-paying construction jobs in Florida.
Wendell Cox is a Visiting Professor, Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers, Paris and the author of “War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life”
—–
Note: There has been a similar misunderstanding of the housing markets in Las Vegas andPhoenix, where developable land appears to stretch virtually to the horizon. However, what is usually missed is that both metropolitan areas are hemmed in by government land, some of which is periodically auctioned. During the housing bubble, the price per acre of residential land at auction in both metropolitan areas rose as much as the price for land rose over a similar period in Beijing, with its huge land price increases.

Our Congress is Bankrupting Us

Townhall Columnists Thomas Sowell

Political Statistics
When someone gives you a check and the bank informs you that there are insufficient funds, who do you get mad at? In your own life, you get mad at the guy who gave you a check that bounced, not at the bank. But, in politics, you get mad at whoever tells you that there is no money.

One of the secrets of the growth of the welfare state is that politicians get a lot of mileage out of making promises, without setting aside enough money to fulfill those promises.

When Congress votes for all sorts of benefits, without voting for enough taxes to pay for them, they get the support of those who have been promised the benefits, without getting grief from the taxpayers. It’s strictly win-win as far as the welfare-state politicians are concerned. But it is strictly lose-lose, big-time, for the country, as deficits skyrocket.

Anyone who says that we don’t have the money to pay what was promised is accused of trying to destroy Social Security, Medicare or Obamacare– or whatever other unfunded promises have been made. It is like blaming the bank for saying that the check bounced.

It is the same story at the state level as in Washington. The lavish pensions promised to members of public sector unions cannot continue to be paid because the money is just not there. But who are the unions mad at? Those who say that the money is not there.

How far short are the states? It varies from one state to another. It also varies with how large a rate of return the state gets on its investments with the inadequate amount of money that has been set aside to cover its promised pensions.

A front page story on the March 28th issue of Investor’s Business Daily showed plainly, with bar graphs, how big Florida’s shortfall is under various rates of return on that state’s investments. Florida’s own estimate of its pension fund’s shortfall is based on assuming that they will receive a rate of return of 7.75 percent. But what if it turns out that they don’t get that high a return?

A 6 percent rate of return would more than triple the size of Florida’s unfunded liability for its employees’ pension. The actual rate of return that Florida has received over the past decade has been only 2.6 percent. In other words, by simply assuming a far higher future rate of return on their investments than they have received in the past, Florida politicians can deceive the public as to how deep a hole the state’s finances are in.

Political games like this are not confined to Florida. State budgets and federal budgets are not records of facts. They are projections based on assumptions. Just by manipulating a few assumptions, politicians can create a scenario that bears no resemblance to reality.

The “savings” to be made by instituting Obamacare is a product of this kind of manipulation of assumptions. Even when the people who turn out the budget projections do an honest job, they are working with the assumptions given to them by the politicians.

The fact that the end results carry the imprimatur of the Congressional Budget Office– or of some comparable state agency or reputable private accounting firm– means absolutely nothing.

When Florida arbitrarily assumes that it is going to get a future rate of return on its pension fund investment that is roughly three times what its past returns have been, that is the same nonsense as when the feds assume that Congress will cut half a billion dollars out of Medicare to finance ObamaCare.

We would probably be better off if there were no Congressional Budget Office to lend its credibility to data based on hopelessly unrealistic assumptions fed to them by politicians.

One of the reasons why a federal “balanced budget” amendment is unlikely to do what many of its advocates claim is that a budget is just a plan for the future. It does not have to bear any resemblance to the realities of either the past or the future.

We do not need reassurances that do not reassure, whether these reassurances are in numbers or in words. No small part of the reason for the economic collapse we have been through is that federally designated rating agencies reassured investors that many mortgage-backed securities were safe, when they were not.

Not only investors, but the whole economy, would have been better off without these reassurances. “Caveat emptor” would be better advice for both investors and voters.

Public-Worker Unions Steel for Budget Fights

The Wall Street Journal BUSINESS FEBRUARY 14, 2011 By MELANIE TROTTMAN

Robert Glover, right, a local union president, joins a protest against Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s state budget proposal announced last week.
Public-sector unions have begun using their clout against efforts to roll back government workers’ wages and benefits, cut jobs and curtail contract bargaining rights as political leaders from both parties look for ways to cut spending.

Two of the nation’s biggest public-sector unions, which together represent about 2.2 million government workers, are facing a backlash against the rising costs of public workers’ pay, benefits and pensions.

As states and local governments seek to trim costs in a difficult economy, the unions are struggling to defend pay and benefit packages negotiated when times were flush.

Last week, several hundred members of the American Federation of Government Employees, the largest federal employee union, marched to the Capitol from their conference at a Hyatt Regency hotel in Washington, D.C., and delivered petitions seeking to influence congressional debate

“We don’t want to be whining federal employees, but we want to ensure these decisions aren’t made too hastily,” said Terrence Johns, a union member from New Orleans who sought out Sen. Mary Landrieu (D., La.) and Sen. David Vitter (R., La.), among others.

During the conference, union members got tips on contacting local politicians, writing letters to the editor and using social media such as Twitter to debunk what public-sector union officials say is a myth that their members are paid more than private-sector workers.

Public-Worker Unions Steel for Budget Fights

Leaders of the union, which is known as AFGE, have asked members to contribute more to the organization’s political action campaign fund. “We don’t have a lot of time to try to turn around the American public’s opinion” that public-sector workers are to blame, said AFGE President John Gage. He criticized President Barack Obama’s proposal to save $28 billion by freezing pay for civilian federal employees, and said he wished Mr. Obama “would be standing up more for his employees.”

Meanwhile, leaders of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, plan to fight proposals in a growing number of states and cities that plan to roll back public workers’ compensation. Union leaders say they plan to focus on meeting with lawmakers, as well as a public relations campaign to showcase the value of government workers.

Government-employee unions maintain considerable influence. About 7.6 million public employees, or 36.2% of all public-sector workers, belonged to unions in 2010, down slightly from the year before. In the private sector, the unionization rate slipped to 6.9%.

In the 2010 midterm elections, public-sector unions contributed $20.5 million to federal candidates, parties and outside groups, up from $19.1 million in the 2008 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The share of contributions to Democrats rose to 92% in 2010 from 89% in 2008.

AFSCME accounted for $4.03 million of the contributions in 2010, ranking third among the top 20 public-sector union contributors. The AFGE ranked seventh at $981,240.

Unions also spend money on political efforts not directly tied to a candidate, with AFSCME reporting that it spent $91 million during the 2010 midterm elections.

With no federal elections this year, AFSCME officials said they will make fighting state battles their top political priority.

Public employees face pressure from such Democrats as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has said he would seek to cut $450 million in employee costs.

In Ohio, the new Republican Gov. John Kasich has indicated he wants to limit unions’ rights to bargain over issues such as work rules that can result in larger overtime payments or require certain levels of staffing. “We have to bring a little bit more control back to the management side of the ledger,” said his deputy director Pieter Wykoff.

AFSCME has countered Gov. Kasich’s proposals in part by backing a recommendation to set a retirement age of at least 55 for many public workers, with a requirement that they work for at least 32 years to qualify for their pension payouts. Under current rules, many such workers can retire at any age as long as they have 30 years of service.

In the months leading up to November’s midterm elections, AFSCME officials pressed Democratic allies to speed or extend contract settlements before the “bad people” took office, said AFSCME president Gerald McEntee, referring to Republican candidates he feared would be tougher on government workers and unions.

But in Wisconsin, the state legislature, controlled by Democrats, voted down a contract for state workers during the lame-duck session after Republicans swept to victory across the state.

Wisconsin’s new Republican Gov. Scott Walker said in an interview that he put “aggressive pressure” on legislators to vote no.

Last week, Mr. Walker proposed that state employees pay more for their health care and pensions, a change to save $30 million and help reduce the state’s $137 million deficit for the year ending June 30. The bill also proposed stripping many state and local workers of most collective bargaining rights, allowing them to negotiate only base pay. Local police, fire and state patrol workers would be exempted from the bargaining changes.

The Wisconsin arm of labor federation AFL-CIO, whose members include many public-sector unions, launched an ad campaign Sunday to protest the bargaining proposal and ask the public to call their legislators to “stop this radical move.”

Wisconsin also faces a projected deficit of $3.6 billion over the next two years.

Governers are Fleeing Obamacare – States of Resistance

The Senate Judiciary Committee held its first-ever hearing on the constitu­tionality of ObamaCare yesterday, and talk about a barn door clos­ing. After federal Judge Roger Vinson struck down on Monday the entire statute in a suit brought by 26 states, some states are already suspending any efforts to comply with its regulations and mandates. ‘Tor Wisconsin, the federal health-care law is dead,” Attorney General J.R. Van Hollen said in a statement, unless Judge Vinson’s de­cision is stayed by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Florida Governor Rick Scott said he had no intention of wasting “time and money” executing the for-now defunct law, and his in­surance commissioner returned a $1 million federal assistance grant. Idaho will also freeze implementation, and we hope the remaining 23 states will join the rejectionists.

For all the liberal squawking, Florida, et al., are well within their legal rights: A federal court issued a binding judgment voiding the law, with Judge Vinson noting that he trusted the Administration would obey the “long­standing presumption” that such a judgment is “the functional equivalent of an injunction.” Yet the White House and Health and Hu­man Services have already said they’ll con­tinue running ObamaCare as if nothing has changed. Imagine the rule-of-law furor if the Bush Administration had said a wiretapping or other civil liberties ruling didn’t matter. The Obama Justice Department can file an appeal asking the 11th Circuit for a stay, and it will—but as soon as it does, it will be forced to concede that the Administration is cur­rently flouting the law. Florida Attorney Gen­eral Pam Bondi deserves particular credit for holding Justice’s feet to the fire on this point. Even if a stay is granted, the states should say that the uncertainty about thesurvival of ObamaCare is so great that they shouldn’t have to squander resources implementing it. The states could simply refuse to do so and let the feds take over. An alternative is to im­plement their own market friendly alterna­tives for ObamaCare’s “exchanges” and other state-based policy decisions, even if the Ad­ministration objects. HHS has the option of running the exchanges for the states, but it will find this difficult to do if a majority of states resist.

Senate Democrats circled the wagons to defeat a repeal amendment 51-47 last night, but that defensive position won’t hold for­ever. They did relent on the 1099 reporting mandate, which the Senate voted to rescind 81 to 17. One promising next step for the GOP is a bill from Wyoming’s John Barra so that would allow states to opt out of some of the other mandates. The Administration claims this would strip Americans of “consumer pro­tections,” but this is a case in which such “protections” are already harming consumers by causing higher insurance rates.

The larger story here is that the legal and political challenges against ObamaCare are revealing the rotten process and substance of this misbegotten law, and that the only way to fix this is to repeal it and start over.

Tea Party Rules in Florida

By KATHLEEN HAUGHNEY The News Service of Florida
Published: Saturday, August 28, 2010 at 1:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, August 27, 2010 at 9:42 p.m.
The Tea Party movement muscled its way into the American political psyche over the past year with huge rallies, angry voters and colorful rhetoric. It is not clear how much voters are responding, but in Florida, at least, the Republican Party appears to have taken notice.

Nearly all of the statewide candidates on the GOP ticket have embraced — and been embraced by — the Tea Party movement, the group of disenfranchised, mostly conservative voters who paraded the call for a change from the status quo over the past year, spurred at least in part by opposition to federal health care reform and the Obama administration in general.
Republican gubernatorial nominee Rick Scott has sounded Tea Party themes and showcased Tea Party paraphernalia on his campaign tour bus.
Senate nominee Marco Rubio became the immediate darling of the movement.
And the woman who is arguably the Tea Party movement’s leader, Sarah Palin, is stumping for attorney general candidate Pam Bondi.
The result is a party slate that is more conservative than others in recent history. In 2006, Gov. Charlie Crist topped the ticket, putting a political moderate at the head of the Republican Party.
While the more formal Tea Party itself may not have actually convinced any candidates to run as representatives of that party, political scientist Susan MacManus argues the group had a strong impact nonetheless, dictating the issues that GOP candidates have taken on, and even the tone with which they have campaigned.
“A lot of these candidates had to adjust their message and go much more anti-Washington, much more anti-spending; a lot of them adjusted quickly,” said MacManus, of the University of South Florida. “The Tea Party has really forced a lot of these candidates to address their issues.
“I think the Tea Party movement per se isn’t big enough to elect candidates, but they have been loud enough to affect who gets re-elected and who gets tossed,” MacManus said.
The GOP did not really have a choice, said Fred O’Neal, chairman of the Florida
The Tea Party movement muscled its way into the American political psyche over the past year with huge rallies, angry voters and colorful rhetoric. It is not clear how much voters are responding, but in Florida, at least, the Republican Party appears to have taken notice.

Nearly all of the statewide candidates on the GOP ticket have embraced — and been embraced by — the Tea Party movement, the group of disenfranchised, mostly conservative voters who paraded the call for a change from the status quo over the past year, spurred at least in part by opposition to federal health care reform and the Obama administration in general.
Republican gubernatorial nominee Rick Scott has sounded Tea Party themes and showcased Tea Party paraphernalia on his campaign tour bus.
Senate nominee Marco Rubio became the immediate darling of the movement.
And the woman who is arguably the Tea Party movement’s leader, Sarah Palin, is stumping for attorney general candidate Pam Bondi.
The result is a party slate that is more conservative than others in recent history. In 2006, Gov. Charlie Crist topped the ticket, putting a political moderate at the head of the Republican Party.
While the more formal Tea Party itself may not have actually convinced any candidates to run as representatives of that party, political scientist Susan MacManus argues the group had a strong impact nonetheless, dictating the issues that GOP candidates have taken on, and even the tone with which they have campaigned.
“A lot of these candidates had to adjust their message and go much more anti-Washington, much more anti-spending; a lot of them adjusted quickly,” said MacManus, of the University of South Florida. “The Tea Party has really forced a lot of these candidates to address their issues.
“I think the Tea Party movement per se isn’t big enough to elect candidates, but they have been loud enough to affect who gets re-elected and who gets tossed,” MacManus said.
The GOP did not really have a choice, said Fred O’Neal, chairman of the Florida Tea Party. The movement has taken off and pulled in a lot of people the Republicans need to vote for them, he argues.
“I think the debt, the size of government, the Obama-care, it activated a lot of people that otherwise would have been sitting at home watching ‘American Idol,'” O’Neal said.
As the state Republican Party has pushed to the right, moderates, most notably Crist, have been pushed aside. Crist has exiled himself from the party altogether, and is now an independent.
A spokesman for the state Democratic Party said the Tea Party movement was simply a “rebranding” of the Republican base that could disenfranchise the average, more moderate Florida voter. In the state, there are more than 3.9 million registered Republicans, 4.6 million registered Democrats, 2.1 million registered without party affiliation and 356,729 registered in minor parties.
“It’s clear that the Republicans have nominated nothing but the most extremist elements of their party,” said state Democratic Party spokesman Eric Jotkoff.
State GOP leaders have largely embraced the ideals and values of the Tea Party movement, said GOP spokeswoman Katie Betta. But the party wants to emphasize that there is still room for moderates, she said.

. The movement has taken off and pulled in a lot of people the Republicans need to vote for them, he argues.a Tea Part
“I think the debt, the size of government, the Obama-care, it activated a lot of people that otherwise would have been sitting at home watching ‘American Idol,'” O’Neal said.
As the state Republican Party has pushed to the right, moderates, most notably Crist, have been pushed aside. Crist has exiled himself from the party altogether, and is now an independent.
A spokesman for the state Democratic Party said the Tea Party movement was simply a “rebranding” of the Republican base that could disenfranchise the average, more moderate Florida voter. In the state, there are more than 3.9 million registered Republicans, 4.6 million registered Democrats, 2.1 million registered without party affiliation and 356,729 registered in minor parties.
“It’s clear that the Republicans have nominated nothing but the most extremist elements of their party,” said state Democratic Party spokesman Eric Jotkoff.
State GOP leaders have largely embraced the ideals and values of the Tea Party movement, said GOP spokeswoman Katie Betta. But the party wants to emphasize that there is still room for moderates, she said.

Florida AG McCollum, Lawmakers Unveil Immigration Bill Modeled After Arizona’s

Florida AG McCollum, Lawmakers Unveil Immigration Bill Modeled After Arizona’s
Fox News August 11, 2010
Florida’s attorney general and a group of state lawmakers moved Wednesday to push the Sunshine State into the forefront of the national illegal immigration debate with a bill modeled after Arizona’s controversial law — only, they claim, with a better shot of withstanding a court challenge.
State Attorney General Bill McCollum, following the lead of Virginia’s top prosecutor, also issued an opinion saying state law enforcement already have the right to ask about immigration status in the course of their duties.
“This legislation will provide new enforcement tools for protecting our citizens and will help our state fight the ongoing problems created by illegal immigration,” McCollum, a Republican, said in a written statement. “Florida will not be a sanctuary state for illegal aliens.”
McCollum helped write the legislation, though Florida lawmakers will be responsible for pushing it in the legislature.
The move comes after a U.S. District Court judge blocked key provisions of Arizona’s law. The battle between Arizona and the U.S. government, as well as civil rights groups, could make its way to the Supreme Court — but while that fight plays out, several states are putting similar legislation on the table.
The Florida proposal would, like Arizona’s, require law enforcement officers to check the residency status of anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant in the course of a “lawful stop.”
It would require state businesses to use a national registry to ensure new employees are legal and would increase penalties for illegal immigrants who commit other crimes. The bill would also require non-citizen immigrants to carry immigration documentation or face a misdemeanor charge that could carry up to 20 days in jail.
Though McCollum’s office said in a statement that the legislation was adjusted to “strengthen it” against a possible court challenge, the proposal would go beyond Arizona’s by letting judges consider a defendant’s illegal immigrant status during bond proceedings.
State Rep. William Snyder wrote the bill with McCollum.
The unveiling comes after Virginia State Attorney Ken Cuccinelli last week issued a ruling saying police can ask people about their immigration status during routine stops. The move prompted an objection from the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, which urged state police to ignore the opinion.
McCollum did something similar Wednesday, releasing an informal opinion to a state lawmaker saying “it appears that state and local law enforcement have the authority to inquire into the immigration status” of anyone detained under state law providing the questioning doesn’t “prolong” the detention.
As Cuccinelli said, McCollum clarified that under current law, officers are not required to ask about immigration status.

McCollum v. ObamaCare

Florida Attorney General and GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum is leading the charge to protect states from an intrusive federal government.


By KIMBERLEY A. STRASSEL

The Wall Street Journal
• AUGUST 6, 2010

“The brazen nature of this administration is undermining the basic rule of law, the confidence of the public, and taking away states’ authority—creating an ever stronger federal government. My role is to make clear we’re not going to put up with this.”
So says Bill McCollum, Florida’s attorney general, now vying to be governor of the Sunshine State. It wasn’t so very long ago that the job of a Republican governor was to promise lower spending, policies to encourage job growth, freedom in education, tax relief.
In the age of Obama, Republican governors and candidates are redefining their role to become defenders in chief against an overweening federal government that is siphoning away states’ power and crushing them with new costs.
That’s why 20 states are suing for the constitutional overthrow of ObamaCare. It’s why Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal threw in with a lawsuit to kill the federal drilling moratorium. It’s why Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is challenging federal immigration policies. It’s why 18 governors in March signed a letter demanding the Senate protect their states against EPA climate rules.
Democratic governors, too, have felt compelled to protect their citizens. The EPA letter was signed by West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and Kentucky’s Steve Beshear. Oklahoma’s Brad Henry is scoring the administration for its “net neutrality” policies. Montana’s Brian Schweitzer and Wyoming’s Dave Freudenthal both signed laws curtailing federal power over firearms.
Florida attorney general and GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum is leading the charge to protect states from an intrusive federal government.
Mr. McCollum is perhaps the brightest example of this expansive shift in thinking. The flighty leadership of (formerly Republican) Gov. Charlie Crist, has, over the years, cast Mr. McCollum as a de facto head of his party’s more principled wing. He was the most visible state politician, for instance, to oppose the stimulus bill and early on he warned Congress that its health bill was likely an unconstitutional affront to the states.
When Democrats thumbed their noses, Mr. McCollum began assembling attorneys general to join him in litigation designed to bring down the law in its totality. He filed suit minutes after the president signed the bill.
Talk to Mr. McCollum and he will reel off an exhaustive list of recent mandates and laws that are sapping state powers. In addition to health care, Mr. McCollum has filed a brief in Arizona’s immigration fight, argued against the $20 billion federal oil fund that strips his office of its ability to work with BP on local claims, and demanded from the feds more authority to tackle Medicaid fraud.
He’s waged these fights in the effort to preserve state officials’ ability to govern effectively, though in the process he’s tapped into a deep voter discontent with Washington. Mr. McCollum is in a bitter primary fight with Rick Scott. The businessman has been relatively short on policy proposals, but way long on money. He’s spent a record-shattering $25 million of his own running ads casting the race as an outsider versus a “career politician.” The fact that Mr. McCollum is still swinging, despite being outspent 5 to 1, is partly due to his defense of Florida against Washington.
Only last week the Florida Chamber of Commerce—representing 140,000 state businesses—endorsed Mr. McCollum; one reason was his fight against health care. That fight has even earned the “career politician” the backing of activist groups seeking to put on the ballot a constitutional amendment allowing Floridians to opt out the federal health law, and of tea party leaders such as Dick Armey.
The McCollum stance has become so defining that in a recent debate among candidates vying to succeed him as attorney general the fight was over who would continue his lawsuit. Mr. Scott has been forced to support the litigation. And it has allowed both Republicans to paint Democratic candidate Alex Sink—who opposes the suit—as a Washington handmaiden.
Democrats have in return pounded Mr. McCollum, calling his health-care suit a political stunt on the taxpayer dime. This is somewhat amusing coming from a party whose own view of an attorney general’s duties consists of legally torpedoing companies, sharing the booty with trial lawyers, and using the recycled donation proceeds for re-election.
Mr. McCollum has brushed off the criticism of his lawsuit, noting that the cost of the handful of lawyers in the attorney general’s office working on this issue pales in comparison to the costs ObamaCare would impose on Florida.
This is in fact the heart of the McCollum argument. The federal Medicaid program, he notes, could soon be eating up 36% of Florida’s budget—and that’s before ObamaCare’s new costs. Federal health, education, environmental and labor mandates are chipping away at the states’ ability to keep their taxes low, to grow jobs, and to devote money to their own priorities.
The backlash extends beyond Florida. A whopping 39 gubernatorial elections will be held in November; in nearly all, candidates—and not just Republicans—are running on promises to fight the Washington power grab. “This is a wake-up call,” says Mr. McCollum. “It’s a defining issue of today.”

Alan Grayson’s Fake Tea Party Candidate, Victoria Torres

Posted by bydesign001
While most politicians in the state of Florida are up to their necks in Gulf oil sludge, there is not nearly enough sludge and filth for for that jerk, Alan Grayson, to roll in. Grayson hired his own puppet at the cost of $11,000 to run for office in the hopes of upsetting the election, clearing the road for him and convincing Patriots that the Tea Party supports his candidate, Victoria Torres.
Clearly a lying pig, desperate, devious, low and is what one gets with Alan Grayson. Grayson who despises the right and the tea party has no problems infiltrating, or trying to for the sake of his grimy agenda.
Enter slime ball, liar, $11,000 puppet Victoria Torres. There is just no low to how far liberals will sink.
ROLL CALL
“One of Rep. Alan Grayson’s pollsters is running for the state House in Florida as a Tea Party candidate, fueling Republican suspicions that the Democratic Congressman is using a newly formed third party to boost his own re-election bid.
On Friday, Victoria Torres, 44, of Orlando qualified to run as a Tea Party candidate in state House district 51 in the last hours of the qualifying period.
A call to Torres was returned by Nick Egoroff, communications director for the Florida Tea Party, who described Torres as a ‘quasi-paralegal assistant who works in a law office.’ But apparently, Torres is also a pollster.
According to records from the Florida Department of State office, Torres incorporated Public Opinion Strategies Inc. in December 2008. In the first quarter of this year, Grayson’s campaign made two payments to her firm, totaling $11,000, for polling and survey expenses.
‘She’s got various businesses on the side,’ explained Egoroff, who confirmed Torres’ work for Grayson. ‘It’s just a business relationship. Nothing more. Nothing less.’
Egoroff described Torres as a conservative. When asked why she would work for a liberal lawmaker, he said, ‘It’s quite common.’
The name of Torres’ company is curious, considering Alexandria, Va.-based Public Opinion Strategies is one of the largest and best-known Republican polling firms in the country. Egoroff declined to say if Torres has worked for any other clients, and her company doesn’t appear to have a website.
‘We definitely do not poll for Democrats, nor do we have an office in Orlando,’ said Glen Bolger of the Virginia-based POS. ‘However, we do wish Congressman Grayson the worst of luck in November.’
Dave Beattie, a prominent Florida-based Democratic pollster, also said he had never heard of Torres or her polling firm.
A spokesman for Grayson confirmed that Public Opinion Strategies Inc. is one of three pollsters the Congressman has employed. Dr. Jim Kitchens is Grayson’s principal pollster, but his campaign also uses Middleton Market Research. The use of multiple pollsters simultaneously in the same cycle is highly uncommon for a Congressional candidate.
This latest connection between the Florida Tea Party, Torres and Grayson is only likely to fan the flames of an ongoing battle about the tea party in Florida.”