Sunday, December 06, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
At this time in our nation’s history, we need people with ingenuity. So when a congresswoman with little name recognition decides to run for US Senate while simultaneously running for reelection to her House seat, that kind of creative thinking is worth noticing. Sure she dropped out after amassing hundreds of thousands in campaign funds, but you’ve just got to applaud that outside of the box thinking, the kind of thinking that makes sane people pause the nation over.
Still, one cannot help but wonder why Corrine Brown has stopped there. Running for US House and Senate simultaneously allowed her to skirt campaign contribution limits. But a run for the presidency would open up new doors altogether. And judging by Obama’s rating trend, at the end of the day she’d at least come in ahead of the incumbent. I can hear Hillary’s 2012 campaign cry already: “No way, no how, no crazy congresswoman.”
Back to her Senate bid. Did the scheme work? Well, to quote the Florida Times Union’s reporter David Hunt: “The possible Senate run did build some fundraising momentum. Spokesman David Heller said Brown generated about $445,000 in the last quarter. The money was split between her congressional and Senate exploratory funds, but can all be used to finance the House campaign.”
The odds of Corrine Brown being elected to the US Senate, even before she quit the race, were about as good as mine are of being the keynote speaker at an event hosted by the ACLU. She’s not foolish enough to give up her House seat for a long shot run and never started any of the mechanics that would have indicated a serious run for Senate. All of this was nothing more than a creative way to raise more funds for her House campaign - and the American people deserves better.
Take into account all of the above. Then factor in the following: Corrine Brown’s district is one of the poorest in Florida. Her lackluster record in Congress has produced precious little for the people of her district.
Fortunately, there is a solution for her district. It’s just not Corrine Brown.
While Brown was off ostensibly running for both House and Senate (yes, for the purposes of brevity we dare to leave out President, Queen of England and Heiress to Napoleon), someone else managed to launch a campaign to actually take care of the needs of her district. In a welcome change to the politics as usual that until now has been offered as the only choice to the people of her district, that person is proposing real solutions. And he is none other than common sense conservative Mike Yost.
Mike Yost is a man whose caliber we haven’t seen the likes of since Dick Armey. He proposes real solutions for real people. He’s a principled moral and economic conservative who also believes in common sense national security. More importantly, he’s got great ideas and is running for all of the right reasons.
I asked Mike Yost what he thinks of Corrine Brown’s shenanigans. Being that he was the first to expose them, his answer was “not much.” But we did have a conversation that touched on every indepth economic subject, as well as a detailed discussion of the problems facing his district. After a few minutes of conversation, it was clear that Yost is among the most informed and intelligent candidates that the GOP has today and that he possesses a true desire to better life in his district for his soon to be constituents.
Can he win? You’d better believe it!
Demographics have shifted significantly since the District was last redrawn in 2002. Moreover, because his district is economically depressed, the people of the district want solutions. Yost is taking the fight to Brown as no one ever has before. If you want to see his extensive platform and thought provoking updates, visit www.yostforcongress.com.
Then if you want to see what he’s up against and why close to nothing has ever been done under Corrine Brown’s watch, view this most eloquent speech given by Brown from the House floor - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8N2uQ7Fg_Uk. Perhaps it could be the start of an inaugural speech should she indeed decide to run for president (and should Obama’s education plans take hold, upping the prospects for her electoral victory).
Lastly, I do not want readers to think that I’m being in any way facetious in my endorsement of Corrine Brown for President or in the title of this article. I just mean it in a different way than most readers will have understood.
Corrine Brown would be a vast improvement to Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and I readily endorse her for President of same. Incompetent is infinitely better than ruthless and the same can be said of many other countries, all of which would be far better off with Corrine as their president. But the people of Florida’s Congressional District 3 have a better choice. And they deserve Mike Yost.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Statement by Dennis Lamb for Congress: Associated Press Attacks on Republican Candidate are Shameful and Uncalled For
OCTOBER 9, 2009
CONTACT: Lamb for Congress
Today Dennis Lamb, Republican Candidate for Congress in Florida's 20th District, issued the following statement:
I understand that the Associated Press has mischaracterized an incident in which an activist jokingly scribbled on the target of another candidate at an event sponsored by the Southeast Republican Club. From what I've been told, the candidate's campaign was forthright with the Sun-Sentinel, explaining that they had indeed found the joke tasteless, chastised the activist who scribbled on their target and even asked for a new one. When pressed as to why they didn't purchase a new one, their campaign told the Sun-Sentinel that it had been a mistake not to spend the extra money. The AP, relying on second hand information from the Sun-Sentinel, spun that statement to imply that the candidate had changed his story, which was totally untrue.
I am the first Republican in the campaign, but I know the candidate mentioned in the story and he is a fine person. The attacks on him are shameful and they will not help us defeat Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a goal that me, my wife and my campaign are committed to. I also ask whatever happened to truth in journalism.
The mischaraterization of events by the Associated Press makes all candidates who challenge well known incumbents wonder. If the job of the media is now to protect entrenched Democrats then that should be reflected in their name. The DWSP is admittedly less recognizable than the AP, but if they are to lie and smear Debbie Wasserman Schultz' opponents, they can at least have the decency to be open about it.
What this boils down to is that if you're a local candidate and you challenge a strong incumbent, the media will smear you with lies. No one should stand for that.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Rifqa Bary is an
For starters, Rifqa’s parents are members of the Noor Islamic Cultural Center. The Center was home to resident scholar Salah Sultan, who calls himself a ‘friend and pupil’ of avowed terror supporter and advocate of suicide bombings Yusuf Qaradawi.
Qaradawi is designated by the
It is deeply troubling that the
Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs rightly points out that Rifqa posted a message about her Christian beliefs on MySpace over two years ago. Geller’s report that her father officially dissolved his successful jewelry business days after her disappearance, as well as reports of a previous instance of bruising add to the suspicious nature of this case and force all caring people to, at the very least, err on the side of caution.
So what can we do? We can advocate for two simple changes to the law that would help Rifqa and other teens in clearly dangerous situations while not affecting cases in which there is no significant or immediate provable cause for concern.
Florida law, as laid out in Section 743.015 of the Florida Statutes, currently allows for emancipation petitions to be filed by a parent of a minor, 16 years of age or older. When both parents have not signed the petition, notice is given to the other parent informing them of the filing.
While many states allow minors to file their own petitions, after which a detailed emancipation hearing is held,
But when a child no longer lives with their parents, waiting for a guardian ad litem to be appointed to initiate the process clogs up the very court system the statutes were designed to relieve. Moreover, restricting a 16 year old child’s ability to file, when both parents no longer play a vital role in the child’s upbringing, ends up being a fairness issue. It makes sense that parents who have abdicated their responsibilities and who no longer raise their child should not be turned to as the sole initiators of a petition on the child’s behalf.
There is a second needed change to the law as well. A second proposal should assert
Some contend that no changes to the law are necessary. In doing so, they fail to recognize that legal experts were divided as to how the judge would side with regard to jurisdiction in the most recent case of Rifqa Bary, precisely because the law is unclear. A girl’s life hang in the balance and it is unfathomable that other children may face similar circumstances due to a lack of clarity in the law.
The cost of inaction far outweighs the cost of making these necessary changes to the law. These two proposals I have proposed have no bearing on well over 90% of cases, and are purposely limited in scope, but they make a world of difference to the children who need them most.
Lastly, this case is a human rights issue. All concerned people need to take part in safeguarding teens from terror.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Socialized medicine has led to a drastic reduction in services and in quality of care in every nation it’s been tried. The elderly and the infirm are always the hardest hit.
When Barack Obama was asked about this by the media, he openly admitted that the elderly and the infirm would not be priorities. How shameful it is that the media did not see fit to call him out on this. Can you imagine their reaction had a Republican president said the same thing?
Failure to care for the elderly and the infirm is a failure in society as a whole. It’s un-American and it lacks compassion. It is our responsibility to speak out against this, vocally and constantly. It is also our responsibility to gather civic groups and candidates throughout the nation to rally the public against this monstrosity.
Obama’s loyalists have organized themselves into groups that act locally. Obama’s team coordinates directly with them as they take their message to every county in the nation. While this is unfitting for a president and threatens the foundation of democracy, we must learn from them and speak out on a local level. Truth can easily destroy fiction if only it raises its voice in protest.
With that in mind, consider the following. Here are just some of the horrors that are socialized medicine:
The typical wait for hip surgery in
Children with significant hearing problems are denied access to cochlear implants.
Arthritis treatment in the
Is this the so-called compassion inherent in socialized medicine?! In a word, yes.
Patients across the spectrum are denied access to thousands of necessary medications, which are deemed “too costly” or “unnecessary” by non-doctor bureaucrats.
We cannot and will not allow this type of devastation in
Most of all, protecting health care options for seniors is a sacred trust. These options are only available under a competitive system that at least attempts to force doctors and hospitals to be at their best.
Can health care by fought on a local level? You bet it can! But we all need to get involved in the fight.
All issues can be fought in the battle of ideas. And that battle starts locally.
I’m at least pleased to say that my State,
This is partly because
I understand that we must make health care affordable. But we don’t have to throw the proverbial fish out with the tub or resort to governmental micromanagement of our healthcare system to get it right.
A large part of the massive cost of health care, and the main reason that our system is failing, is because government health programs like Medicare are caving over due to the size of their bureaucracy. We can streamline costs and augment care by simply doing away with much of the red tape. That’s not a solution, but it’s an important ingredient in any viable plan to fix the system.
Republicans and Democrats agree that the current health care system has become too complex, too bureaucratic and woefully inefficient. Like the tax code, no matter what side of the political aisle you are on, all agree on the need for simplification and for less bureaucracy.
Cutting unneeded red tape and focusing on necessary and effective oversight should be a prime goal of fixing the health care system. If government would simply concentrate on being effective rather than being large, it would be amazing what we could accomplish in all areas of society.
Governors throughout the nation are shocked by the trillion dollar costs of the proposed federal bill, much of which is being passed on to the states. Governors like Bill Richardson, who is certainly no political foe of Barack Obama, have expressed shock at the amount that the latest healthcare bill would cost, especially its cost to the states.
As we look for solutions, let this much be clear: Government run healthcare is government rationed healthcare.... and it helps no one!
Socialized medicine is as failed a doctrine as is socialism itself. It needs to be fought and I am committed to leading the fight on our local level, right here in our district.
Most of all, we will look to keep competitive options available to seniors and families regardless of what the federal government does. Good health care, complete with competitive market based options that force providers to offer the best care available, is worth protecting. The future of
On all issues, we will provide real common sense conservative solutions that bring true improvements to society, not another socialized bureaucratic mess or a fiscal nightmare that all taxpayers are forced to bear the brunt of.
Garcia is a bright candidate who has been described as bringing a keen sense of certainty to the issues. At a recent speech at the South East Volusia Republican Club, he started off by explaining to the audience that as an American patriot of Hispanic heritage who is fiercely against amnesty for illegal immigration, he has the potential to be “the Democrats’ worst nightmare” on the issue of amnesty.
Garcia also brings business sense to the table. After analyzing various proposals, he has developed a plan to increase the quality of healthcare by keeping the system competitive while eliminating unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles. His proposed model is similar to Dr Dejerome’s “The Cure For The American Healthcare Malady” with added input from local physicians and health care administrators. His approach to education is to cut the amount of government testing and to stipulate that the majority of federal aid be spent directly in the classroom. On all issues, his proposals combine key business sense with compassion and a resolve to get to the root of the problem.
Tom Garcia’s vision of government is one that involves the active participation of his constituents. “When I was a Navy Commander, I didn’t just lead my troops. I worked with them. I listened to them and made sure that their concerns were taken into account and that their needs were met,” says Garcia. “Similarly, I’m not running for a seat in some House of Lords. I’m running for the House of Representatives and my job will be to represent the needs of my constituents and to uphold the trust of those who will have voted for me and bring tangible results to my district.”
Thursday, July 09, 2009
The positions we advocate for are right. We need only to advocate for them more effectively. A local representative can provide a voice on these issues by explaining the benefits of time tested conservative solutions and by demonstrating the fallacy of liberal, feel-good ones. For this reason, I’ve decided to run for State Representative and have launched my campaign website at www.ABetterFlorida.com.
Another reason I’m running for State Representative is simple. Communism, socialism and a whole host of other dangerous dogmas have been allowed to take hold on every populated continent on the globe. Indeed, of all continents, only Antarctica has been saved from their bankrupt philosophies. After all, there’s no fooling penguins.
Had local politicians and civic leaders risen up against socialism in Chile in the late 1960s or in Venezuela in the early 1990s, neither of those countries would have been swept over by a sea of tyranny. Local officials must raise the rallying cry against the advocacy of seductive yet harmful policies and against the demagoguery that is the hallmark of the left.
Most importantly, the reason I’m running for State Representative is because our nation is in need of solutions if we are to continue as a strong and vibrant Republic. The answers are clearer than one would be led to believe and are routed in common sense and in a willingness to do what is right.
Accordingly, I’ve developed the following platform. It is a recipe for good governance, and for our continued strength and prosperity.
• Property Taxes – At a time when our district is faced with record home foreclosure, the problem does not need to be made worse by confiscatory government taxation. First and foremost, assessment values need to come down to reality. Government must find other ways to sustain revenue without further endangering the homes of families and individuals in our district, especially those of thousands of seniors who live on a fixed income.
This issue is profoundly important. Every attempt to address it has been met with an outcry that if we lower our property tax rates we endanger our essential services. But why is that police, fire and other emergency services are always the ones brought up by proponents of unsustainable property tax rates? Why is no discussion given to curbing arts funding, city sponsored recreation events or other noble, but non-essential projects that should not take priority over protecting the homes of our citizens? The answer is clear. We must find new and better ways to make government work, ways that do not involve endangering homes or otherwise harming families in the District.
• Encouraging Local Business Development – Small business is the bedrock of the livelihood of families and individuals in the District. Across the nation, most jobs are found in the small business sector. Simply put, family run businesses are vital parts of our community.
But family businesses have been ignored for far too long. As the federal government concentrates its efforts on propping up large banks and corporations, Florida must take a different route.
The most comprehensive solution is to allow struggling small businesses that are still deemed viable, to hire pre-approved counselors to help with restructuring and other critical needs. Such a move would enable teetering businesses to stay afloat. Unlike most government spending, this form of aide is quickly recoverable. It’s a step up, not a hand out, and it enables the bedrock of our economy to sustain itself.
• Protecting Our Shores from Terror – National security is also a State responsibility. Much talk is made of our porous borders, but all too many ignore the most porous of them all and the most rife for terror; our Atlantic Seaboard.
While protecting our coasts remains on much of the nation's backburner, you can be sure that terrorists aren’t putting it on theirs. It’s our responsibility to do something about it, fast. My plan is to strengthen monitoring along our entire coastline, including the Gulf of Mexico. Doing so is essential to our security. No part of Florida can be allowed to become a point of entry for those who seek to harm this nation.
• Protecting the Rights of Our Seniors – Senior citizens are the most valuable, yet most underappreciated segment of society. They are our parents, our grandparents and our mentors. They are the ones who built our District and who laid the groundwork for all that is in it today. They also have a lifetime of wisdom available to share.
We must strengthen the resources available to our seniors. We must make sure that current resources work effectively and efficiently. So as to avoid additional government spending, we can and must involve our youth in the process by working with local school boards to introduce an intergenerational component to high school community service hours.
Such a program would allow teens to develop a personal connection with senior citizens. Students will gain insight and understanding, while seniors will have a chance to share their experiences with a new generation.
Volunteerism sets teens on the path to become contributing members of society and community involvement has been shown to dramatically lower school dropout rates and juvenile crime. Channeling those efforts into visiting and spending time with the elderly provides even further rewards, to both seniors and students alike.
Additionally, we must ensure that access to health care is streamlined and that quality is not compromised. Health care options must be plentiful, competitive and affordable. Florida’s retirement industry relies on the availability of good health care options, so working with health care providers to improve services is both a personal issue as well as an economic one for our state.
A sound health care system needs to be based on private competition. Universal socialized medicine has hurt seniors more than any other segment of the population in every country where its been implemented. But we must also ensure that the system we have in place is one that keeps health care affordable, as well as widely available to all seniors.
Lastly, as someone who, during my student years, performed chaplaincy in seniors’ hospitals, I have witnessed elder abuse and neglect first hand. We must make sure that this never happens in Florida and I will work with local hospitals and eldercare agencies to develop further mechanisms to safeguard against such a nightmare from happening to our most cherished of citizens.
• Motivating Our Youth – There are areas of Fort Lauderdale in which less than 2% of young adults currently graduate from college. Such areas are generally riddled with crime. They are also ignored by society.
If we ignore them, we cannot help lift them up. And lifting them up is essential, first and foremost because it is the right thing to do, but also because when we do not, the culture of crime that is allowed to fester throughout our neighborhoods ends up affecting the rest of society as a whole.
The best answer to this problem is to instill in our youth a sense of values and hope. Refocusing trouble teens on achieving their best needs to be a priority for anyone in government or for anyone who seeks to make a difference in our society.
Reaching out to youth can be accomplished in large measure by getting into schools early and teaching kids the tangible differences that choosing the right path can mean in their lives. To this end, when I was a 29 year old businessman, I authored a course for high school and middle school students that showed them the clear and tangible difference that staying in school, avoiding of crime and refraining from drugs can make in their lives. The course teaches them to envision their lives in just a few years and showed them how saving money and positioning themselves for success can help make a real difference for them and for their families. This program is a first step. We must work together to achieve lasting success with and for our youth.
• Lowering Crime Through Effective Deterrence and Rehabilitation – We must stop making career criminals out of non-violent offenders. The greatest deterrent against crime, as has been proven everywhere it’s being tried, is that of short, intense labor/alternative sentences.
The matter is simple, but it is also one that threatens society as a whole. Short intense stints of labor serve as real deterrents and motivate offenders to abandon lives of crime. By contrast, long sentences have only promoted boredom and apathy. They also rob offenders of any sense of hope and force them to sit in boredom and despair, surrounded only by much more hardened criminals. That is a recipe for disaster.
It is essential for the safety of society that short hard labor sentences replace harmfully long ones. The difference between the two systems means a world of difference as far as rehabilitation, recidivism and the safety of society are concerned.
A few months of labor can set a first time offender back on the path to once again become a contributing member of society. Compare that to the despair and anger and the possibilities for criminal collaboration that have gone hand in hand with every long sentence.
This matter is also of vital importance to national security, as terrorists have been recruiting such dejected and angered people for their own purposes. Labor sentences are also a fairer form of punishment, being that they punish only the offenders, not their families.
• Education – Financial literacy, life skills training (such as how to avoid peer pressure and how to keep a job) and health and nutritional education must go hand in hand with any regular curriculum. Graduating students need to learn how to navigate through life and making such courses essential public school curricula will set our youth on a proper path. At a minimum, these programs should be a part of any state approved curriculum.
South Florida may well be leading the nation in terms of cultivating great candidates. We have Bernard Sansaricq, former President of the Senate of Haiti and a man who has aided the US Government on border security and US relations in the Caribbean for decades, going up against Congressman Alcee Hastings. We have Ed Lynch giving previously unopposed Congressman Robert Wexler more competition than he realizes as growing disenchantment with many of Obama’s recent decisions, and with Wexler himself, set in.
War hero Allen West isn’t in a 435 race. He’s actually favored to beat Ron Klein, but he started out the last cycle as all but written off. That’s what can happen when we resolve to fight on every playing field.
We cannot fight properly if we’re on defense and the others are on offense. Fielding candidates in every congressional district forces Democrats to focus on protecting their incumbents instead of attacking ours. It also allows us to recruit local voices who can bring new members to the GOP fold. All in all, it’s a needed strategy for more reasons than the length of this column could permit.
And now South Florida has another candidate to add to the field. One who is uniquely positioned to bring business owners and everyday Americans to the GOP fold.
For the past two election cycles, Dennis Lamb watched with dismay as Republicans decided not to field a clear alternative to Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. This election cycle, he’s decided to do something about it himself. And we’re pleased to welcome him to the 435 strategy.
In Dennis Lamb we have more than a candidate. We have a spokesman for everyday American businessmen, and everyday Americans in general. He’s a fine man and his representation of the GOP serves the party well. New to politics, Lamb knows the issues that affect his district, and he’s committed to giving small business and everyday Americans a voice in government.
Lamb’s campaign is emblematic of the feelings of American small business. Fed up with reckless overspending and a stream of government interference with business, the very attitude that has stifled growth in every country where government has extended a heavy hand, more and more businesspeople are dismayed with our current system. They are at the point where they’re deciding to do something about it and Dennis Lamb is leading that charge in Hollywood.
His campaign is straightforward and just what the doctor ordered:
National Security - America must realize that there are enemies who are not of our choosing who are nonetheless relentless in their plans against our nation. The safety of Americans must be ensured by maintaining a highly competent and properly training armed forces and by giving law enforcement the tools they need to combat terror on the homefront.
Economic Growth - We must fight to allow businesses to succeed without unnecessary government intervention. Small business is the backbone of our economy and government can facilitate loans to qualified and salvageable businesses without using our children's money to bail out failed giants.
Education - Mandatory tests must work hand in hand with teacher incentives, bringing creativity back to the classroom. Incentivizing and recruiting quality teachers should be the focus of any governmental education program.
Healthcare - Maintaining competition is key to maintaining quality. Government can help make healthcare affordable through incentives and by expanding Health Savings Accounts without bringing the horrors of socialized medicine to America. Universal healthcare has met with disaster anywhere it's been implemented and the elderly are the first to lose services. America can and must do better. We can make healthcare accessible to all, without leaving the rationing of doctors, services and medicine to bureaucrats and to impersonal governmental criteria.
Lamb made his official announcement earlier this week on the popular Joyce Kaufman show, WFTL 850 AM. He will also be a regular on Blog Talk Radio and conservatives will find much to like about this everyday American candidate who is just what the GOP needs. His mission, policy platform and other info are available at www.lambforcongress.com.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
- The lessons of America's Greatest Generation
- American Exceptionalism - America has nothing to apologize to the world for. On the contrary, America changed the world for the better in ways that are immeasurable.
- Connecting youth with the elderly is essential to raising a new generation of Americans who will recognize the accomplishments of our American past and who will therefore see the need to continue the fight for human rights and American decency.
- Comprehensive educational reform is the only way to achieve these goals.
- National security is a human rights issue and education is both a national security and a human rights issue.
Today we stand in between the commemoration of two earth changing
The lasting impression that the United States of America has made on world society is an accomplishment that should be recognized and honored, not one that should be apologized. The Greatest Generation's struggle for human rights would spread throughout the world the simple but essential concept that every individual is entitled to a life of decency. America's noble quest to ensure that all who are born with inalienable rights, endowed by our Creator, are able to live lives of fulfillment and accomplishment, stands as a record of achievement that we as a nation can be proud of. Needless to say, we as a nation have nothing to apologize for.
THE GREATEST GENERATION WENT ON TO CHANGE HUMANITY
The brave vanquishers of Nazism and those who stopped the spread of Communism in its tracks went home and changed our world forever. They were the ones who truly led the struggle for civil rights in the 1950s and early 1960s. And with the help of their elders, most notably that of our last general president,
Eisenhower's actions were cemented by his two successors, as
The World War Two generation are America's greatest generation. The fact that, today, racism is universally condemned is due to their efforts. America has led as an example time and time again, thanks to the efforts of that unique generation.
If we are to re
INSPIRING OUR YOUTH
The youth of today need to have personal experiences with our greatest generation. Only then can we ensure that they grow up having a personal feel for the American exceptionalism so exemplified by those who fought in the Second World War. Only then can they recognize the need to fight for American ideals, wherever that struggle may lead them. And only then can they recognize that the concept that each of us are endowed with rights bestowed by our Creator is what makes America the force for good that was so exemplified by those who we refer to as our Greatest Generation.
Only by teaching our youth the ideals and struggles of our greatest generation can we hope for them to continue to be leading forces for good in the world. These concepts cannot be transmitted impersonally and without feeling. Our youth need to be exposed to the first hand experiences of those who risked their lives to fight against a cruel set of principles or against enemies sworn to destruction and world domination. Our children need to learn the dangers of racism and the real struggles and sacrifice of those who fought for equality in the 1950s and early 1960s, when the real hard work was done, not some glamorized version of that era.
Youth gain from volunte
EDUCATION FIRST AND FOREMOST
Connecting youth with our elderly is a needed ingredient in the solution, but it is only a first step. Similarly, the financial literacy course that I authored and that is a key part of my platform is also a needed ingredient, as it focuses youth on their long term goals and shows them what staying in school and away from crime can really mean for their futures. These are needed partial answers, but the complete solution is far more complex.
To that end, we must strengthen our educational system by refocusing efforts on developing highly skilled teachers. Many within South Florida's business community are in the process of transitioning from one industry or another and recruiting the most qualified of them as teachers can have a positive effect on our educational system.
BEYOND STANDARDIZED TESTING
Most importantly, we must refocus educational priorities on teaching to the individual student. Standardized tests were a necessary first step in preventing the continued graduation of illiterates, but they were designed as a temporary fix, to be built upon once properly implemented. We are long overdue for the next phase of educational improvement.
As we go forward, we must give leeway to teachers to teach to the individual needs of each student. Teachers who serve as role models, who take time out of their breaks to help students during recess or after hours should be rewarded for their efforts and school boards should be mandated to actively recruit quality teachers.
Standardized tests are still needed to ensure a basic level of competency, but teaching to the test should be replaced with teaching to the student and the curriculum should reflect this philosophy. To begin with, shortening test material while not sacrificing quality would help immensely in forming a new and b
These changes would not cost more to taxpayers and do not involve throwing more money at the system. They would be the result of thoughtful allocation of funding. We would spend smarter and more effectively and teachers would have a greater say in curriculum development.
Finally, the combination of hands on teaching, financial wellness training and volunteer work with the elderly would breed a growing generation who would be proud and able to carry forward the best traditions of America. Many of our military families, who live and display these values to their children, already do this and it's time for the public school system to be allowed to catch up.
EDUCATION IS A NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE - IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE
Education can teach a child the need to stand up for human rights and against tyranny no matter what the cost. But a proper educational foundation also serves as the greatest deterrent of juvenile crime. This is another reason why improving education is a key part of my platform.
My platform calls for proactive national security. It calls for increased guarding of our ports. It stresses the fact that labor sentences prevent non-violent offenders from becoming career criminals and the need to end long sentences that have allowed radical Jihadists to recruit dejected and hopeless prisoners.
But as we discuss the need for shorter swift labor sentences that actually enforces the message that crime has consequences in a humane way that leaves the offender with hope of leading a better life, let us not lose site that the best defense against crime and the spiraling cycle of violence to which it leads can best be stopped by providing youth with a quality and real life education.
Education is not the sole deterrent to crime. I recognize this. In fact, one of my initiatives involves developing a dialogue between youth who live in higher crime areas within the district and their local police force. But education is by far the most sweeping tool that we have against crime.
No matter how you look at it, education is the most valuable tool for the success of a nation. Instilling in our youth the best of our values, those exemplified by our Greatest Generation who risked their lives in pursuit of a better world, can only be accomplished by connecting our youth to their past. They must learn first hand from those who were inspired by America, by its Judeo-Christian values and by the determination of American men and women to stand up against the forces of tyranny and oppression wherever they reared their ugly heads.
It is this sense of greatness that we must preserve as a nation. And education, motivation and connection to our seniors are the only ways to accomplish this necessary goal.
(end of remarks)
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
“The rush to confirm Judge Sotomayor prior to her being properly vetted is premature. But far more disturbing are the accusations of racism that many Democrats have made toward those who take pause at certain past statements made by the nominee. It should be noted that many of these same Democrats, including President Obama, tried to prevent so much as an up or down for the nomination of Justice Alito,” said Sansaricq, the Republican challenger to Representative Alcee Hastings for Florida’s 23rd congressional district.
Sansaricq continued, “Most disturbing of all is the double standard that has met this nomination when compared to that of Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991. No one has ever suggested that the unsubstantiated and often provably false mudslinging at Justice Thomas, the second African-American justice ever to be nominated, was racially motivated. Yet mere question of Judge Sotomayor’s qualifications or past comments are met with accusations of ethnic bias. This double standard is wrong and needs to be exposed for what it is.”
Congressman Alcee Hastings, who Sansaricq is seeking to unseat, previously served as a Carter appointed federal judge, prior to being impeached by Congress in 1989. Hastings has most recently come under fire from the Law Enforcement Examiner for his proposal of Bill HR 645, the National Emergency Centers Establishment Act, which the Examiner excoriated as a call for make shift prison camps throughout the United States.
Sansaricq served as President of the Senate in Haiti from 1991-1994 and led the struggle for human rights in that country. In 1964, Sansaricq saw 13 members of his family killed by the Duvalier regime which then ruled Haiti. His life was again endangered in the late 1980s, forcing him to seek refuge in the Argentine embassy.
Having lived in America for decades in between, Sansaricq returned to the United States in 1994 and has led the struggle for better economic conditions for South Florida’s most economically depressed areas ever since. His platform calls for a complete economic redevelopment of the 23rd congressional district. To this end, Sansaricq is currently working with leading small business development consultant and candidate for State Representative Yomin Postelnik, to formulate a comprehensive small business regrowth plan for South Florida’s economy.
For more information or to get involved in the Sansaricq for Congress campaign please visit www.sansaricq4congress.org.
Text of Article:
Local reaction to the Florida House race for District 91
Broward County Commissioner Ken Keechl announced late last week that he would not seek the Democratic nomination for the District 91 seat in the Florida House of Representatives, a run that until then had widely been expected. The announcement came less than two days after Republican Yomin Postelnik announced his candidacy for the seat being vacated by current Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff. Bogdanoff is running for the Florida Senate and is the clear frontrunner to replace State Senator Jeff Atwater, who announced his bid for State Chief Financial Officer late last month.
When Bogdanoff, a former foster mother with extensive community ties outside of the political realm, announced that she was leaving the seat, Republicans seemed hard pressed to find a candidate with a similar record of involvement in the District. But Postelnik's candidacy brings with it a series of accomplishments for the community at large.
In 2006, Postelnik authored a financial wellness curriculum that was later approved by the Broward School Board Superintendent's committee and adopted by the United Way and other agencies. He and his wife Leah are former foster parents who adopted their oldest child. Postelnik also has fairly extensive campaign experience, having managed and worked on several campaigns on the federal and statewide levels.
According to John Labriola, a former elected Democratic committeeman and top volunteer for numerous campaigns, there is a reason for Democrats like Keechl to forgo any attempt at taking the seat. It's the same reason that has caused Labriola to now volunteer for Postelnik. "Democrats didn't count on someone with the extensive level of community involvement that Yomin Postelnik brings to the table. His achievements give him a lot of bipartisan support, that he’s able to get without compromising his principles," he said.
Greater Pompano Beach Republican Club President Carol Waldrop gives another reason for the perceived strength of Postelnik's candidacy. As she put it, “I see why Ken Keechl would not want to run against a candidate like Yomin Postelnik. As the only openly observant Jewish candidate in the race, Yomin’s candidacy dispels many of the notions that Democrats have often played upon in order to get minority votes. Yomin’s candidacy presents a huge problem for any Democrat in the race.”
Postelnik has made education a key part of his platform, which includes proposals for financial wellness and job skills training in the classroom. Nor is he shying away from his affiliations in the District, making his involvement with local non-profits a key part of his stated credentials.
Postelnik had hammered the last point in recent days. Speaking to a group of supporters at Waldrop's Republican club prior to Keechl's announcement Postelnik said, “it’s not enough to say that you want to represent the District. If you want to be an effective representative, you need to have a track record of real accomplishments in your district. You need to know the issues and concerns of your area first hand in order to come up with plausible solutions that actually help instead of doing more damage. If you don’t know the problems through first hand experience, if you haven’t been in constant contact with those who are on the frontline of finding solutions, you can’t possibly know how to advocate or to properly advance any of the vital concerns facing our District.”
At the meeting, Postelnik seemed to be directing his remarks at Ken Keechl, who he had described as "having one of the thinnest records of public service of any official in the County." When asked now for comment on Keechl's decision not to run for State House, Postelnik stated "I wish him well and look forward to hearing from all current and former government officials. I believe that all can provide perspective on the needs of the District." Keechl is still expected to face a stiff election challenge, with rumors of Republicans running a candidate with extensive and long lasting South Florida ties against him for County Commission as well.
Postelnik is not the only candidate in the race to represent Florida House District 91. Fort Lauderdale attorney and businessman David Maymon has also announced his intentions for the seat, as has Broward Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioner Oliver Parker. Parker previously served as Mayor of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and was the subject of a recall vote in 2007 that was eventually stopped by the courts over the protests of hundreds of city residents.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Fielding a candidate in each congressional district also allows us to gain some real stars who want to do amazing things for their district. Few if any have ever run with a more unique story than 2010’s Republican candidate for Florida’s 23rd district, renown human rights leader Bernard Sansaricq.
To begin with, Bernard Sansaricq knows the struggle for human rights first hand. This leader, who eventually rose to become the President of the Senate in Haiti, saw 13 members of his family killed by the Duvallier regime in 1964. In August 1987, Sansaricq was almost assassinated by the Haitian Army. His life was spared when friends managed to bring him to safety at Haiti's Argentine Embassy.
From his place of refuge, Sansaricq launched the beginnings of a stunning political career, one that saw him rise to become one of Haiti’s top leaders and President of the Haitian Senate. His platform was one of human rights and until former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide overturned his humanitarian and crime reduction initiatives, Sansaricq was able to accomplish much for his people, including the introduction of a living wage for many and improved US relations. Sansaricq was American educated and returned to the United States in 1994.
A passionate believer in economic achievement, American human rights and excellence, Sansaricq is now running for US Congress in Florida’s 23rd congressional district. His goal is to fight for better conditions for small business and to champion human rights. With regard to the latter, he believes that the United States should work with Haiti to end the horrific abuses of backbreaking child labor and lay the foundation for a stable economy. A passionate believer in human rights everywhere, Sansaricq will also step up pressure on the Castro regime to respect human rights, stand with Israel and India against terror and lead the cause for better economic conditions and fair treatment all across the globe.
Sansaricq is very experienced on the international stage and is finishing his second book on international affairs. During the first overthrow of Aristide, Sansaricq was in constant contact with the US Ambassador in Haiti and met with then Congressman and future UN Ambassador Bill Richardson, seeking to cement better relations between the United States and the island nation. Such improved relations would not only benefit Haiti. They would help curb threats against the United States throughout Central and Latin America. Sansaricq was also a regular guest on Nightline, Good Morning America and the Today Show as international attention turned to the island.
“I believe that America has been a force for good throughout the world,” concludes Sansaricq, “but we must also ensure that we provide for our people at home. People in District 23, be they native born, Haitian-American, Cuban-American, or other, all care about economic opportunity. We need to support small business, the bedrock of our job market and the lifeblood of many of our families. We need to give youth a reason to stay in school, by showing them the opportunities that education helps them to achieve. District 23 is among the most impoverished in the nation, and it’s about time somebody does something about it.”
Asked why he is running, Sansaricq replied, “first of all, I believe in the principles of personal responsibility and self motivation. I also believe that families provide our youth with the optimal conditions for success. I also believe that the Republican Party has been more willing to stand up to the brutality embodied by the Castro regime and more willing to pressure the Haitian government to take action against the horrific child labor abuses throughout its countryside.”
Sansaricq continued, “but what my campaign is about is ensuring economic excellence, strengthening the ability of families to achieve the American Dream and reforming the justice system so that we stop making career criminals out of previously non-violent offenders.”
It should be noted that Sansaricq’s campaign for criminal justice reform, an issue that we are working on as a team, is one that is crucial to the safety of society and to the nation as a whole, yet it is often overlooked because it isn’t a hot button issue. Real leadership means identifying problems before they become hot button topics, and doing something about them. That’s what is so attractive about this campaign.
Asked if he can beat long time incumbent Alcee Hastings, Sansaricq replied, “in a word, yes. 2010 is not a presidential election year. There are no other issues on the table for people in District 23 other than what is good for the district. They’ll have my platform, I am a fighter and I intend to bring real change, change that comes from experience at improving the conditions of those who need it most.”
For more information or to get involved please visit www.sansaricq4congress.org.
Monday, May 18, 2009
In Marco Rubio, Ronald Reagan would also find an heir to his legacy in more ways than one. But before I explain how Rubio is like the Gipper, let me preface with why the two are alike.
Republicans today are consumed with finding a next Reagan, yet in their search, most seem to miss one crucial point. Ronald Reagan never aspired to be Ronald Reagan. He was a man of sincere and passionate beliefs who was ready to take the fight to where he needed to.
Ronald Reagan saw real problems, proposed real and common sense solutions and then fought for them with a focused passion that can only come from a determination to do what is right.
Reagan’s message was essential. His ideas were needed. The race was never about him. It was about setting America on a proper path, starting with the needed task of taking the nation off of a path that had thus far led to destruction, or at least toward decay.
Marco Rubio is intelligent and sincere. His policies reflect his thoughts and sound ideas. You can tell the difference between a man who merely talks the talk and a leader who espouses and communicates his sincere beliefs. The former is more often than not left twisting in the wind when his ideas are challenged. The latter, if articulate, can use such challenges to explain the soundness of his or her views.
Marco Rubio understands that one of our biggest problems as a nation are low rates of household savings and society’s desire to consume. So Rubio favors a fair tax that encourages savings and makes those who spend frivolously contribute to the nation as they do so. Moreover, Rubio makes no bones about how the current tax system rewards those who can afford the best accountants and attorneys, and who thereby find the best loopholes. He also makes no bones about how that system needs to change.
On family values, Rubio walks the walk. He’s the embodiment of a family man first and foremost. Needless to say, he understands the important role that national security plays in protecting both family and country.
Like the Gipper, Marco Rubio gives the impression that he understands a most crucial point in governing; that what works for the family is also what works for government. This philosophy is central to good government and to sound economic policy – but that’s for another article, as it deserves proper explanation. The main point is that Rubio understands public policy in a way that can only come from a sincere endeavor to arrive at conclusions that are truly in the public interest. In this way, Marco Rubio is the heir to the real legacy of Ronald Reagan. Like Reagan, Rubio’s interest lies not in winning a popularity contest, rather in winning the battle of ideas. And because of this, Rubio, like Reagan, will do wonders for the nation for years to come.
And yet, there is another way that Marco Rubio is like Ronald Reagan, and because of this, our involvement is needed in his campaign. Like Reagan, Rubio is being challenged by the weaker wing of the party, one that is devoid of ideas and interested in maintaining the status quo. Up until 1980, this wing fought Reagan at every turn, not because they failed to recognize the unique qualities that the Gipper possessed, but because they were worried about rocking the boat. And that same overcautious wing that paralyzes the party’s ability to progress and draw new blood is as hesitant of the dynamic Marco Rubio as they were of Ronald Reagan less than 30 years ago.
But yesterday’s mistakes are today’s utter folly. In 1980, we did not have the advantage of hindsight. In 1980, we Republicans also did not have a strong Democratic opponent who made it necessary for Republicans to seize the initiative and momentum. In 1980, we were not bleeding for a young candidate to reach out to youth, Ronald Reagan did just fine. And in 1980, we had yet to recognize the need for minority outreach. All of the above necessitates a Rubio candidacy.
I don’t want to overplay this point. While the media pundits who gave us Rudy and Hillary as sure bets until two months before the primaries are now touting Charlie Crist, Crist’s home town paper needed to report that in Crist’s own home county, more than half of those who attend party meetings signed up to help Rubio. The paper was also forced to report that mention of Charlie Crist has actually drawn boos from average Republican crowds throughout the state.
(I don’t want to harp on this either. Charlie Crist is a widely liked person among independents. Honestly, I don’t see how a Senate run as a candidate of “bipartisan appeal” against an up and coming Republican star helps Crist’s national ambitions. If he were to lay the groundwork for two years for a run against popular Democrat Bill Nelson - an easier feat than it seems – Crist could spend the next two years traveling the state and campaigning full time while Nelson is forced to rubber stamp the Obama agenda – Crist would he heralded as a giant slayer. Running for the seat open in 2010, even if he were to win, would prevent Crist from advancing beyond the Senate. He’d be the consensus general election candidate and bruised among Republicans for his run against an enthused up and coming conservative. And if he is the nominee in 2010, look for Democrats to build an Obama-like story around their nominee, Kendrick Meek, one that Rubio can easily counter and that Charlie Crist cannot.)
Marco Rubio, if made our nominee, will be an instant national figure and the cornerstone of youth and Hispanic outreach. Of Cuban-American descent, Rubio will be able to make strong inroads in the demographic that is most fluid and most up for grabs. He’ll do so without compromising or wavering on any conservative principles. Most of all, Rubio is simply the best candidate to arrive on the political stage in a long time. I hope to speak of President Rubio some day, but for now we need to get him elected to the US Senate.
An appeal to readers and to all likeminded people who wish to have a strong and vibrant common sense and values oriented party: Get involved in this campaign. Sign up at www.MarcoRubio.com. It is a fight that is truly worth fighting.
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
It was the worst of times. The majority party just two years ago, Republicans have lost the Presidency, the House as well as the Senate, where they may well be reduced to 40 seats after Republican leads on election night in three races were each reversed (more on the mathematical probabilities of that happening under normal guidelines in another column) and a vulnerable incumbent is offered a prominent cabinet position. (Note: Those who have not yet emailed Sen. Gregg to encourage him to stay on are urged to do so by going here – Also email Senate Leader McConnell and ask him to offer Sen. Gregg a leadership role of some sort to keep him on.)
It was the best of times. As in the Carter years, when the dawn of a new conservative movement was set in motion, conservatives today are enthused, reinvigorated and ready for action. It’s not so much that we’ve gone back to our roots, though we have. It’s that we’re back to educating, back to playing offense and back to sharing our side of the story without finessing over half of our message for the sake of diplomacy. Leading us into battle is a new, bold and innovative team, lead by new RNC Chairman Michael Steele and RNC Secretary Sharon Day.
Michael Steele was by far the best choice for the job. One needed only to watch the RNC Candidates for Chair debate to see as much. Every time he spoke, his demeanor commanded the audience’s wrapped attention. He’s fast, to the point and can take on any Democrat in a one on one battle in a way that is rarely seen. His affable fighting style is, in many ways, Reaganesque. As a side note, Ken Blackwell, who helped push Steele over the edge at the convention, emerged from that debate as the most intelligent of the group. His strategic insights should be sought out by the RNC and they’d do well to retain his talent in some prominent capacity. But Steele, a smart man himself, was the most vibrant of the group by leaps and bounds.
Chairman Michael Steele is to media relations what his former brother-in-law Mike Tyson was to the boxing ring. And he brings with him a great team. In fact, our new RNC Secretary could give Tyson a run for his money.
RNC Secretary Sharon Day is a proven fighter. Words do not do justice when describing this true conservative who had her car wrapped for the Republican presidential nominee in each of the last three cycles. She did this while living in a county that is a bastion of liberalism and did not back down even as some Democrat supporters targeted her car in threatening and menacing ways, at times jumping off of bus benches to surround it.
Day was unanimously supported by all three founders of Rebuild the Party and by Top Conservatives on Twitter. Her online outreach campaign for RNC Secretary exceeded that of most candidates for Chairman of the RNC. In Day, the GOP has a proven fighter and a leader who will reinvigorate the party as no previous Secretary has before her. Her campaigned centered on drastically overhauling technology and on opening the lines of communication to the grassroots. Democrats watch out. In our new Secretary, there's a fighter in the room.
And on a state by state level, the GOP is assembling a team of winners like never before. In Florida, the most critical of swing states (as well as the largest), Dr. Marion Thorpe Jr. is recruiting thousands of minority voters to the party based solely on the strength of its ideals. That and the fact that during his tenure as the state’s Chief Medical Officer, this current candidate for the US Senate was instrumental in bringing the dynamic research of Scripps Health to Florida, an accomplishment that few others in either party can match. On the US House front, Republicans have recruited a war hero with the ability to convey true conservative values to voters from across the political spectrum. Lt. Col. Allen West has a Reaganesque ability that may well be unmatched by even the RNC dream team.
Nationally, Gov. Huckabee, another top ranking communicators of conservative values, has taken a page out of the Reagan playbook and is using the media as an outlet to convey his message during the off years, at a time when movements are shaped and molded. Across the nation, activists are demanding better and the party is becoming stronger, more aware and ready to fight its message with greater strength than ever before.
So America, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The Republican Party is strong, as are the ideals on which it stands. Sometimes there’s nothing like a good kick in the pants to reinvigorate and better a movement. We’ve been kicked with the hind legs of a donkey. But that’s no match for an elephant.
Monday, January 19, 2009
The various candidates for RNC Chair each bring with them many of the above aspects. But those who will be right there with them are sometimes even more important. Who we choose as Secretary of the RNC is, in a way, even more important than the chairmanship. While the Chairman will need to spend a large part of his time as the face of the GOP to the media, much of the heavy planning and strategy will go to the rest of the committee. It is with that in mind that I would urge the party to elect Sharon Day as RNC Secretary.
Before I get into Sharon Day’s personal story, her devotion to the party, her competence and her integrity, it is necessary to point out why she is one of the rare mixes of all the ingredients needed to rebuild and revitalize this party. This is an important race. After reading the following information, if you agree that she is indeed the best candidate for the job, I would encourage you to go to http://www.gop.com/Connect/States.aspx, click on your state to contact your state party (specifically your chairman and committeepeople) and urge them to support her candidacy.
To begin with, Sharon Day has been leading the fight to revamp the party’s technological outreach. “Just having been in Florida alone, we saw the great technological advantage that the Obama Campaign brought with it to the table. It became clear that we were waging a 2008 battle with 2004 technology. That has to change.” Her plan to revitalize technology includes everything from organized social networking to providing operatives and volunteers with the hands on equipment that they need. “Generally, the Obama people knew exactly where to go at all times. Our people were at a serious disadvantage due to the lack of equipment needed to coordinate with them. We must ensure that this does not happen again.”
The case that Day makes for increased technology is compelling. But that is only a small part of the picture. What makes her candidacy unique is that despite her strong advocacy to increase utilization of technology, she does not fall into the trap of believing that technology is a be all and end all unto itself. To Day, it is an important tool, but not an entire marketing plan. She agrees that the failure of the GOP to get its message out to the public must be countered by coordinating with local clubs, college groups and county executives, encouraging them to conduct media write-in campaigns and providing them with the talking points needed to set the record straight in their local areas. She recognizes that this form of outreach is key to shaping the hearts and minds of the public.
But beyond these needed strategy points, who is Sharon Day? She’s someone who possesses that rare mix of qualities, the heart of a fighter and the head of a leader. The former quality was most prominently displayed in each of the past several election cycles when she paid to have her car wrapped top to bottom and bumper to bumper for the GOP presidential nominee.
To many, that may seem to be simply a nice gesture, albeit one that shows tremendous spirit and party loyalty. But given that Sharon Day lives in Broward County, Florida, where conservatives are few (but those who are conservative are strong ones), the act of so openly displaying her support for our party was nothing short of heroic.
In 2004, many cars were keyed for simply having Bush/Cheney bumper stickers. Fortunately for Sharon, nothing happened to her car. She recounts with laughter how people would give her a thumbs down. She’d smile and return a thumbs up and they’d usually go back and forth a few times before driving off. That was in 2004. This past year was another situation entirely.
Day got her car wrapped for McCain. This time, the least she had to worry about was getting keyed. Students would jump off of bus benches and surround her car. One time when she went to fill up on gas, she was chased out of the station. She was surprised, but did she back down? No. Her car stayed wrapped until the end. She plans to do it again in 2012.
Yet she is not oblivious to the dangers. When asked, she readily acknowledges the risks. She just cares more about doing what’s right and isn’t deterred or distracted by other factors.
Day is a fighter, yet one who is conciliatory by nature. More often than not, it takes a combination of those two qualities to get the job done. Day exemplifies both such qualities. When many of her neighbors who she had given McCain bumper stickers took them off their cars amid much more minor cases of harassment than the ones she faced, they were embarrassed to tell her. Day reassured them. She didn’t look down on them, she understood where they were coming from. And without thinking twice, she simply continued to do what she felt she needed to do.
This combination of determination and an ability to work with and influence others will carry over well when it comes to taking a leading role in the party.
Day is a strong conservative. Yet she recognizes that it takes a coalition of diverse people to win. So on the one hand, she will never stop fighting for core Republican values and never abandon her principles for the sake of expediency (or for any other reason). At the same time, she is disarming and seeks to bring others to the fold through reasoning and discussion.
In other words, she’s a leader, and an effective one at that. Her high spiritedness is reserved for her own actions and for campaigns. When it comes to winning over hearts and minds, she uses the convincing but endearing Ronald Reagan approach, a strong ability to communicate that resonates well and is focused on educating others to see the inherent rightness of conservatism. For more information about Sharon Day, readers are encouraged to visit her website, www.SharonDayGOP.com.
We need to support this unique candidate. Only 168 people can vote for RNC Secretary, but we each have a voice. Go to http://www.gop.com/Connect/States.aspx and click on your state and view the contact info for your state. Then email or call your state party chairman and committeepeople. Tell them that the GOP needs a leader like Sharon Day to serve as our next RNC Secretary.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Understanding the ground game of the opposing side is central to any battle. If one team thinks they’ve arrived on the field for a game of dodge ball while the other side is ready to play tackle football, you don’t need to be a professional sports caster to figure out where this game is headed. That much should be obvious. But for some reason, when it comes to politics, Republicans come out with bouquets while Democrats bring brickbats to the match.
The problem goes back almost to our nation’s founding. In 1800, Federalists pushed harder than they ever had in the three days before the election. But that was no match for the Republican-Democrats, who had campaigned nonstop for an entire year. On the surface, both original parties seem to have more in common with today’s Republican Party (and, truthfully, not much in common with either of today’s parties). But as far as campaign strategy goes, Democrats have inherited the campaign zeal of Aaron Burr, while Republicans are at least somewhat the heirs of those who sat back and thought that their ideas would carry the day by virtue of, well, their ideas. If only the public were that attentive.
Which brings us to the Daily Kos. Their views certainly run counter to the ideals of either Adams or Jefferson, but it is their tactics that we must discuss. When it comes to rallying their base, they have shown a keen ability to run a long and protracted war to win over voters. In the world of politics today, there are few who are better at stealth fighting than the radicals at the Daily Kos.
Republicans can be better. Republicans are smarter. And much more of the time than do they, we have the truth on our side. We can and should be just as relentless in preserving the traditions that have been shown time and again to be essential to the healthy survival of any civilization. We can and should be able to defend the sanity of our side versus the insanity and spin of theirs. Yet we don’t. We won’t. Anticipate? Not us. And so we lose.
Well it’s time for us to say: No more! Democrats have 59 seats. Liberals have a few more than that. We must reverse the trend and the way to do so is to recognize that we’re in a fight, not a skateboarding contest.
The Daily Kos knows that conservative values beat liberal ones hands down, no contest, each and every time. Even California is fed up with the liberal insanity that is their eventual goal for all 50 states. So they spin and distort, they attack relentlessly, they lie and confuse the public and then….
Are they successful? Are the best bartenders (and presidents) Irish? In 2004 the Democratic Party was the clear minority party. People were fed up and downright sick of so many of their antics. And that was with a media that was more in the tank for them then than they are now (as we’re finally starting to call them on it, albeit ever so slightly).
Fast forward to 2006. After unending spin, lie after relentless lie and years of offering up slogans as an alternative to national security, the President and the GOP had successfully been discredited in the eyes of the public. Kos activists had worked with the media to take measures that would have turned the public against FDR during WW2, not the least of which being the coverage of the full life story of every individual soldier that was killed, done on an almost daily basis without ever mentioning the reasons that led to the war (such as the UN weapons reports and the failure of Saddam to open up to inspectors after 12 years of non-compliance and 18 months of constant warning).
Kos and likeminded activists also worked a district by district strategy. They concentrated on developing candidates in each district who would appeal to their local area. Most of these candidates masqueraded as conservatives. Some actually were moderate. Once elected, all went on to vote with Pelosi at least 80% of the time.
We can continue to ignore the strategies and tactics of the left and continue to run races as if we’re the only party whose actions matter. But if we do so, we can change our name to the Insanity Party, as we’ll have fit the clinical definition of the word as coined by Einstein, the act of “doing the same thing over… again and expecting different results.”
Which brings us to Florida and the United States Senate. The fight for Florida’s Senate seat was set to be a battle royale. Three Democrats seemed likely to enter the race. They still might, but if they do, the other two will find out soon enough that only the anointed one (yes, the Obamaesque phrase can be passed on to his disciples too) has been preordained to win.
How was Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, Florida’s most well known Democrat (more so than even Bob Graham at this point) outmaneuvered by Congressman Kendrick Meek, a relatively unknown figure outside of Miami-Dade? And it is worth noting that Kendrick Meek also seems to have out maneuvered fellow Congressman Ron Klein, who also has more name recognition and fundraising power.
The answer is simple. Activists at the Daily Kos and Huffington Post recognized that common wisdom is generally folly. They analyzed the race as anyone intent on winning should. Forget the hype. Concentrate on who can win.
And so a few weeks ago, when the race seemed to be headed to be Jeb Bush vs Alex Sink, these online activists yelled out “not so fast!” They touted Meek as a far more viable, easily winnable, candidate.
And they were met with ridicule. But those who scoffed did so in error. Running Meek was a brilliant strategy.
What makes Meek such a formidable opponent? Simply put, he fits in with the very effective Kos strategy: Look to rally the crowd in whatever superficial way possible, usually with intense emotion fueled by ignorance.
Sometimes they instill hatred by politicizing a war or other measures. When there’s no fault or wrongdoing they manufacture it. When both sides fall short they cast all blame onto their opponents. When someone on the other side does something wrong they trumpet it around for years. When ten members of their side all do worse, they fight to silence all criticism.
Other times, most notably in the last campaign, they fuel emotions with baseless appeals to hope and love, turning real politicians into false messiahs in the process. And that is their campaign strategy for the US Senate.
Kendrick Meek is popular among Obama’s strongest base. He’s well known in disadvantaged areas. Activists on the left will appeal to minorities, immigrants and other struggling working people to see in Meek the embodiment of themselves. Their appeals are ludicrous, shallow and should be viewed as insulting. But for far too many, those tactics are effective.
Once their target audience has drunk the kool-aid, Kos activists go on to inspire others to take pride in the false hopes of their initial recruits. They proclaim their candidate of choice as an inspiration to the masses, a man who is the living embodiment of the best that society has to offer.
This is their plan for Kendrick Meek. The fact that his Senate race would make him the first African-American to be nominated as the lead candidate for statewide office in Florida is the fuel they need to put their appeal into motion. It is, in fact, a catchy narrative for all of us who believe in the importance of equality. And while those who truly mean it are concerned with substance and record, not with race, that doesn’t stop the Daily Kos, who are only interested in exploitation, from distorting the issue, turning the Meek race into a fairytale that it is not.
Simply put, Kendrick Meek can rally Obama’s base in ways that no other Democrat can. Once activists have built up hype about Meek to Obama-like levels in their target areas, they will use the mass hysteria that they manufactured to portray him as the hope of the great masses. In doing so, they can rally a large number of voters to “look beyond” (i.e. to ignore) issues and concentrate only on the narrative that they will have successfully invented out of thin air. Their plan, to first galvanize the base and then motivate the masses, is what makes Kendrick Meek so effective.
Jeb Bush understood this. He didn’t run. Now a number of others are rumored to be considering entry into the race, none of which are able to counter the above narrative. If Jeb felt the time wasn’t ripe for him, they’ll be quashed. Even with all the hype, Jeb would have made it at least a 50-50 race in his favor, not odds that would interest him when any other statewide run would be an all but guaranteed win. He has other options.
The Meek strategy has been laid out. Republicans can ignore it, fail to react and lose. Or we can do something about it. And we can actually do something about it, because there is one candidate who can attack the Achilles heel of their strategy and in so doing cause it to be rendered moot. He’s Florida’s past Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Marion Thorpe, Jr. Dr. Thorpe is a true conservative. He’s also an African-American who is widely known and respected in the regions that turned out most strongly for Obama.
Sure, we as Republicans can keep pretending that whoever the Democrats nominate doesn’t matter. All depends on the delivery of our message. But any battle in which the actions of the opposing side are not anticipated is one that is fought recklessly. To win we must analyze the other candidate, see why they’re running him and react accordingly. Democrats are running Meek to build up enthusiasm by using the historic nature of his run. They have nothing else. So Republicans: make sure that their only point, the one they want to hype all the way to the general election, is taken away from them. In this case, the only way we can do this is by nominating Marion Thorpe.
Democrats are counting on Barack Obama coming down to Florida to help rally the crowds to help elect the first African-American senator from the South since Reconstruction. Neutralizing the race factor and putting up a truly qualified candidate who has tackled the hard issues takes the air out of the balloon that they have come to substitute for real strategy.
The reasons why we must embrace Marion Thorpe’s candidacy are strategic. But that alone does not do justice to his run. Dr. Thorpe is an excellent candidate and leader in his own right.
Marion Thorpe has preached the message of Republicanism to African-American churches. He makes no bones about the moral decay of the Democrats. He also points out their history, how
the Republican Party was the civil rights party for over 100 years, how the NRA was founded to supply weapons to African-Americans for their own protection (and how decades later, Charlton Heston’s involvement in the organization was a natural progression of his strong civil rights advocacy) and how Democrats have exploited the issue of race without doing one concrete thing for African-Americans. More importantly, he paints the contrast between Republican values and those of the Democrats.
In doing all of the above, Dr. Thorpe has brought thousands of youth and minority voters to the Republican fold. And that’s just in South Florida. Running statewide, he can do wonders for our party. As an African-American leader in the Senate and as an active leader on the national level, he can and will be a key voice in building the stronger and more diverse base that is so needed for the GOP in going forward.
Dr. Thorpe is staunchly pro-life. But he’s more than that. Marion Thorpe points to the targeting of minority areas by groups like Planned Parenthood. He points to the moral values that most people recognize as being right and educates audiences on the positions that both parties take on those issues. This may not be news to us, but it is to much of his audience. And few people can grab their attention as can Dr. Thorpe.
He is also a national security hawk and understands the risks that America faces. He also understands economic realities, seeing the economy as being priority number one. To quote Thorpe “without jobs our educational system, our healthcare and our national security fall apart.” He has proposed concrete steps to revitalize Florida’s agriculture based economy. Along those lines, he was one of the first political leaders in South Florida to oppose the bailouts, measures that he finds to be band-aid fixes that will do little for the middle class.
In the area of education, Thorpe supports financial literacy and lifeskills (manners, employment) training in middle schools and high schools so that students graduate with the tools they need to compete in the workplace. He boldly paints the contrast between Republican solutions and those offered up by the Democrats by asking youth whether they’d like to work hard, own a business and pass it on to their children or whether they’d prefer a life of constant dependency, accomplish far less and pass nothing on. When they inevitably choose the former he tells them: “Well I agree, and that’s why I’m a Republican. That’s why you need to be a Republican too.” He then goes on to educate them on policy.
Thorpe is also a staunch advocate for effective healthcare that isn’t government run. He proposes viable solutions that don’t call for all competition, and therefore all quality, to be taken out of the system. He boils down the dangers of socialized medicine in simple terms without detracting from the seriousness of the dangers involved. On the national level he’d be one of the few voices against socialized medicine with the background needed to be able to oppose the issue effectively.
And he makes no bones about some recent Obama picks that few others have been willing to criticize. On the stump, he labels Dr. Sanjay Gupta an “entertainer, not a Surgeon General,” and “someone who knows little about public policy.” He calls the appointment part of the Obama team’s smoke and mirrors tactics and quotes a supporter who said “Dr. Sanjay Gupta; isn’t that like appointing Judge Judy to the Supreme Court?” He rightly adds that he was shocked that Obama was able to find a less qualified Surgeon General than Jocelyn Elders.
But above all else, in the race against Kendrick Meek, the inevitable Democratic nominee (and the strongest Democratic candidate, due to the tactics outlined above), for Republicans, it’s Marion Thorpe or bust. Take your pick.
Here’s what those who want to make a difference need to do:
- Invite your friends to join this facebook group by clicking here
- Tell your friends. We need to familiarize ourselves with the tactics of the Daily Kos and actively prevent them from taking hold
- Anticipate similar tactics in other states and react accordingly