Friday, July 30, 2010

More Fake Tea Parties

Looks like Florida's not the only state having problems with Fake Tea Party third parties.  From the JammieWearingFool blog:
Be very suspicious when alleged "Tea Party" candidates mysteriously enter races this year and begin attacking Republican candidates. Chances are they're usually Democrat plants, and this sure [looks] to be the case in South Jersey. Expect this to start happening across the country as desperate Democrats try to cling to power.

See what I've written about our local Fake Tea Party, the Florida Tea Party here.  An additional site covering this despicable trend around the country is FakeTeaParty.com.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Michelle Malkin goes after Charlie Crist

From Michelle Malkin's blog today:

Really. I don’t know what else to call it. But in just seven brief, fleeting seconds, Charlie Crist manages to show us what the rock bottom of political lame-assery looks like: Smug mixed with deer-in-the-headlights fear mixed with vulgar, instinctive political calculation, topped with a sickly orange glow.

Just watch. With an empty stomach, of course:
“No reaction” to the Arizona immigration enforcement ruling.

Dear Florida: Please, please deliver the proper reaction to the execrable Crist at the ballot box and wipe that orange smirk off his face.
Don't worry, Michelle, we're doing our best to send our Oompa Loompa Governor to an early retirement. 

Just when I think Matthew Falconer can't possibly be any more obnoxious...

...he manages to exceed all my expectations.  The sheer arrogance and ugliness coming from this guy on a daily basis never ceases to shock and amaze me.

I went to the Apopka Chamber HobNob tonight, and of course Matt Falconer was there, passing out his little business cards and calling all his opponents career politicians, blah blah blah.  Regular readers of this blog know there is no love lost between me and Falconer.  I think he's completely unqualified for the office of Orange County Mayor, and that he's an arrogant, dishonest jerk.  Oh, and a bad speller.

Anyway, I stirred up quite a kerfuffle with this post after one of Falconer's supporters called me and said an ugly little pile of antisemitic things.  One of my motivations in going public with the conversation is my own personal distaste for antisemitism in all its forms, based on my knowledge of history.  

As I wrote on July 20th,
Hitler didn't start out saying that he wanted to round up and kill several million Jewish people.  The early Nazi propaganda was much more subtle, suggesting that the Jews were unfairly controlling the financial system, that they were conspiring together to gain illicit advantages, and that it was hurting the German people....[I] believe that saying that a group of people are helping each other out because they're all Jewish and insinuating there's something nefarious about that...is a form of antisemitism.
OK, so now to the latest stupid, ugly thing from Camp Falconer...immediately after tonight's hobnob, I was chatting in the parking lot with a few people I know who are Teresa Jacobs supporters.  One of them mentioned something about Falconer talking to him about Teresa and asking if she was Jewish.  This person has not read my website (shocking, I know, right?!  haha) and at first didn't understand why some of the other people in the group laughed and mentioned "Sunshine State Sarah!"  

Anyway, the person asked that I not use their name, but gave me permission to report on the conversation here (after I explained that I really did have a blog and golly gee he should be reading it!  Lots of good snarky fun here at Sunshine State Sarah!).  I asked him to tell me exactly what was said and repeated it back to him several times.  He is absolutely, 100% positive that he heard Falconer clearly and correctly and this is exactly what was said:
Falconer asked him if Teresa was Jewish.  

He told Falconer, no she's not, she's Catholic.

Falconer responded, "Oh, she's not Jewish?  She looks Jewish."
What.  The.  F***.

Mr. Falconer, if you can't see the bigotry in your words, then I don't know what, short of a kick to the head, could possibly shake the stupid out of you.  

Oh, and for the record, just to clear up another lie that Falconer was trying to spread around tonight...Teresa did not "buy extra tickets to buy votes" at the HobNob tonight.  It was some of the Republican Congressional campaigns that bought extra tickets.  I know because I was given one.  Yes, I voted twice at tonight's HobNob.  It's not illegal or unethical.  It's a private club holding a straw poll and if their rules allow it, then that's how it works. 

What tonight's HobNob shows is that the active long-term grassroots Republicans (that's who is involved with the Congressional campaigns enough that they would be offered a ticket) like Teresa Jacobs and don't believe Falconer's lies and nasty attacks.  We're smarter than that.  Oh, and I confirmed with Teresa's campaign manager: they did not buy extra tickets for the Winter Park HobNob either.  Too bad for Matty.

I wrote down the results from some of the races tonight.  (I've done my best here, but they read the numbers pretty quickly so if I've made a mistake on the exact percentages, please let me know and I'll correct it.) Teresa Jacobs put a lovely smackdown on Falconer, beating him by more than 2-to-1:
Teresa Jacobs: 51.0%
Bill Segal: 23.1%
Matthew Falconer: 21.0%
Linda Stewart: 4.9%
Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, see these numbers as the result on August 24th, Tuesday night!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Apopka HobNob

I'm at the Apopka HobNob tonight.

One of my favorite things at these events is State Rep. Bryan Nelson's table. He always passes out yellow roses from his family's nursery. What a cool trademark!

For more updates follow my twitter account @rumpfshaker.

Seriously, who the heck are these Republicans who are still supporting Charlie?

It just makes no sense to me how the heck anyone can claim to be a Republican AND a Charlie Crist supporter.  It's beyond his abandonment of the party.  The selfish political pandering, the flipflopping on so many issues, his rejection of core conservative principles, all should make it impossible for any principled conservative to support him any longer.

Mary Ellen Klas, Tallahassee Bureau Chief for the Miami Herald, posted on her twitter account this weekend:
A picture speaks volumes - Crist fan, as spotted in a Sarasota parking lot. http://tweetphoto.com/34895201
Exactly.

Rick Scott: Nothing New. Something Bad.

From the Miami Herald:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Political HobNob - some thoughts, gossip, and other random musings...

Last night, I attended the 2010 Political HobNob held by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando at the Crowne Plaza Hotel by the airport.  Having attended what seems like a million of these HobNob events in the past few years, the HCCMO should be commended for the excellent job they did with this event. 
 
Of course with any large gathering of politicos, there's always something interesting going on.  Here's a few of my thoughts and observations from last night:
 
The way they handled the candidate speeches was great - lined up the candidates in groups, gave them 30 seconds each and that was it.  Short and sweet.

A lot of the candidates, even those who are not native speakers of Spanish, made an effort to at least say a few words in Spanish. Having attended other area Hispanic community political events over the past few years, I know that gesture is appreciated and a great way to show respect.

However, if you're attending a Hispanic event and you don't speak Spanish, that's fine, but for heaven's sake, don't just get up there and yell "Hola!" and then continue on in English.  Several candidates did this last night and sounded like total goobers.  Seriously though, how hard is it to learn a short phrase?  Try this: "gracias por su apoyo."  It means "thank you for your support."  Nice and polite.  C'mon now, if you're smart enough to run for office, you're smart enough to memorize four words.

Why do so many HobNobs insist on having attendees vote before they get inside the event and actually talk to the candidates?  Seems sort of silly to vote in a race where you don't know much about the candidates, when the actual candidates themselves are standing 50 feet away, waiting to meet you.

I was disappointed to see two of the guys running against one of my candidates putting up their yard signs and actively campaigning at the event, even though they hadn't bought a table.  It was very disrespectful of a great organization and all the hard work by the people who planned the event - it's just blatant, obnoxious, pathetic freeloading.  If you think the event is worthy enough to attend, then show some respect by buying a table.  

Music last night was fantastic.  Live guitar and singing.  Another fun bit was when they blasted the "Star Wars" theme before reading the results of the straw poll.  One of the things I like best about the Hispanic events is that while they take politics very seriously, they have fun too.

Yesterday was District 5 County Commission candidate Ted Edwards' birthday, and his present was a landslide victory in the straw poll.  He received 142 votes (40% of the vote), Doug Kinson, who did not attend the HobNob, received 66 votes (19%) and Robert Shelly Talley received 25 votes (7%).

Looks like the Republicans are in pretty good shape in our local Hispanic community.  Alan Grayson and Suzanne Kosmas both won their straw polls, but only because the Republican slates are so crowded.  I am confident that Republicans will rally behind our nominees in Districts 8 and 24 when we vote in November.  
 
Specifically in District 8, Grayson got 96 votes (27%), and the next top three vote-getters were all Republicans: Daniel Webster (68 votes, 19%), Kurt Kelly (40 votes, 11%), and Todd Long (38 votes, 11%).  "Other" candidates got 48 votes (14%) and Fake Tea Party candidate Peg Dunmire got 29 votes (8%).  So if you add up just the top three Republicans, you get 41%, and most of the "other" candidates on the ballot were Republicans as well (O'Donoghue, Sullivan, etc.) so the total votes cast for Republicans last night was probably close to 50%.  
 
This poll also shows what happens to Dunmire when the Republicans are included on the ballot.  Doug Guetzloe and his slime squad, I mean "supporters" were out in full force last night, and I assume that the approximately two dozen candidates and other people I saw wearing "Florida Tea Party" shirts and pins voted for their candidates.  So if you don't include the people that Guetzloe and Dunmire brought with them, the total votes she received would be in the single digits, or close to it.

Regarding District 24, Kosmas received 69 votes (20%), Sandy Adams received 63 (18%), Karen Diebel and Tom Garcia both tied at 50 votes (14%), and Deon Long 28 votes (8%).  So that gives total Republican votes at 54%, more than double what Kosmas received.  

Congrats to Teresa Jacobs, Bill McCollum, Marco Rubio, John Mica, Dean Cannon, Chris Dorworth, Bryan Nelson, Steve Precourt, John Horan, Fred Brummer, Rand Wallis, and Frank Attkisson on their straw poll wins.  

You can see full results of the straw poll here.  Note that all their percentages include under votes, which would not factor into the numbers when we cast our ballots in the real elections.  If I was feeling industrious, I would recalculate the above figures for the vote percentages, but I'm just not feeling like doing a lot of math this morning, sorry.  Anyone else want to do so, please post in the comments.

Managed to get my hands on a copy of Matthew Falconer's book last night.  It's already providing me with so much joy and entertainment.  From the back cover:

(click image to enlarge)

Good job, buddy.  You're running for the highest elected office in Orange County, and you can't even spell "government?"  Before you think I'm being overly critical, Falconer's book has been out for at least a year, and I've seen and heard plenty of other people comment on the numerous spelling and grammatical errors throughout the text (see, e.g., page 98, with the headline "SMALLL SCHOOLS").  He's had plenty of time to make corrections with new printings.  Really though, how do you miss such an obvious error on the back cover before going to print the first time?  And is someone who apparently can't even understand how to use his computer's spell-check program really competent to run Orange County?

Monday, July 26, 2010

You know you're in trouble when the Sentinel calls you a liar

From the Sentinel's Mike Lafferty last week:
The Sentinel’s editorial board interviewed Teresa Jacobs Thursday, but I’m not sure that Bill Segal’s campaign was watching the same interview.
The Segal camp sent out a press release Friday, a portion of which isn’t true. Now, the editorial board doesn’t make it a practice of commenting on every misleading campaign claim, and we have not yet made an endorsement in this race. But this claim purports to reflect what was said during our interview, and it does not.
... I think Segal’s folks need to take another look at the video. Because their interpretation of what was said is not even close to correct.

See also:


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Matthew Falconer shows his belligerent ignorance, AGAIN

If you haven't already seen this on the Sentinel's blog, it's a must-read:

Orange County mayoral candidate Matthew Falconer gets accused of playing with numbers and facts by his opponents, but this time he’s tangled with Comptroller Martha Haynie and what she said is the financial reputation of the government he wants to run.
Haynie is Orange’s fiscal watchdog, so she didn’t just hit delete when she saw Falconer claim in a recent email ad: “Just this week the credit rating of the bonds for Orange County were downgraded because of ‘too much debt.’”
“My office checked directly with the rating agencies after I saw this message, and confirmed that no debt issued by Orange County government has been downgraded,” Haynie said in a statement issued late today. “Our citizens are not well served when misleading information is disseminated in campaign messages. Mr. Falconer owes it to voters to check his facts before sending out inaccurate and potentially damaging statements.”
Falconer could not be immediately reached by phone or email, but later sent a copy of a down-grade notice on bonds issued by the Orlando-Orange County Expressway — which was apparently sent to him by Haynie’s office . Haynie’s top deputy asked Falconer to correct this distinction. The toll authority is a state entity, and not a part of county government. Falconer did not indicate right away whether he planned to issue any such clarification.
Falconer "did not indicate" whether he planned to issue a clarification?  Ha.  Of course not.  I have yet to see a single example where Falconer corrects any of the mistakes, misrepresentations, errors, or outright lies that he's been spouting since he decided to run for Orange County Mayor.  Regarding his despicable lies about Teresa Jacobs, calling her a lobbyist and misrepresenting about her voting record, after he was confronted multiple times about it, he just deleted a few statements from his websites.  Never issued a correction, never apologized, never admitted he was wrong.

This is just the latest example of Falconer not wanting to take the time to learn the facts, rushing to judgment, spouting out some soundbite campaign slogan, and refusing to apologize or correct his errors afterward.  This is a guy who wants to have the highest elected office in Orange County, and he doesn't even understand which government agency controls our Expressway Authority?         

Friday, July 23, 2010

New Endorsements: Kurt Kelly, Greg Reynolds, and Becky Erwin

I've decided to endorse three more candidates in local races.  For a complete list of my endorsements, check out the "Endorsements" tab at the top of this page or click here.

Becky Erwin 
Seminole County School Board, District 5

I've had the opportunity to meet Becky several times through my work for another great Seminole County candidate (note: none of my endorsed candidates should be implied as endorsing each other or anyone else) and have been very impressed with her.  Becky and her team of supporters have been out in the community working hard and building some great grassroots support.  She is very sincere in her enthusiasm and dedication to Seminole County Public Schools and I believe she is running for all the right reasons. 

For more information about Becky Erwin:
Greg Reynolds 
Florida House District 36

I first met Greg several years ago, when we were both on a host committee at a young professionals event for Eric Eisnaugle during Eric's first run for office.  Greg is a lifelong Central Florida resident, and an amazing six generations of his family have made Florida their home.  He has an excellent record as a community and business leader and cares very much about his hometown.  District 36 is a tough race for a Republican to win, but I strongly believe Greg is our best chance to win back this seat.

District 36 includes parts of College Park, where I grew up, and Downtown Orlando, where I have lived as well, where my family goes to church, and where I've worked.  I know the district well and believe Greg Reynolds would be a great representative for the community.

For more information about Greg Reynolds:

 
Kurt Kelly 
Congress (Florida District 8)

I took my time making a decision on this race.  I live in District 8, and it embarrasses the heck out of me that Alan Grayson is my representative in Congress.  Part of the reason I waited so long to make an endorsement is I wanted to wait and see which candidates really were capable of knocking out Grayson, a multimillionaire and darling of liberal nuts across the internet.  

Kurt Kelly has impressed me from the beginning and has always been on my "short list."  He has a solid conservative record from his time in the Florida House, he's warm and sincere, but also not afraid to discuss tough issues or directly attack Grayson and the Democrats controlling Washington.  Kurt has put together an amazing grassroots network.  A lot of my Young Republican friends have been long time supporters of Kelly and every HobNob I've attended lately always has a noticeable group of Team Kelly people running around in those bright green shirts.  Kelly has has been consistent and solid with his fundraising and won a string of straw polls with respectable margins.

I believe the Orlando Sentinel made a mistake in their endorsement of Dan Webster.  Don't get me wrong, I like Webster, I have a lot of respect for his accomplishments and record in the Legislature, but the Editorial Board's dismissal of Kelly for Webster seems to rest solely on Webster being more "experienced."  Hogwash.  OK, Webster has more years in the Legislature than Kelly, but that doesn't automatically mean that he would be a better choice for Congress than Kurt Kelly.  That's like saying "Mrs. Smith has been teaching for 20 years, and Mrs. Brown has been teaching for 10 years, so Mrs. Smith is a better teacher than Mrs. Brown."  Ummm, no, that's not how it works. 

Just because one person has a few more years working at a job, doesn't necessarily mean that person is "better."  Neither Webster nor Kelly are political rookies, and Kelly actually has broader experience than Webster, having worked in the private sector as well as spending many years working for conservative causes outside of elected office.  I understand the current popularity of opposing "career politicians," but experience in government should be viewed as an asset.  And Kurt Kelly is far from a career politician, having first been elected to the House in 2008.

Regarding the other candidates in District 8, Bruce O'Donoghue and Todd Long  have both shown strong conservative credentials and a willingness to go after Alan Grayson's jugular, and they've earned my respect for that.  Patricia Sullivan strikes me as very sincere and her grassroots volunteers are an impressive hardworking bunch, but her inability to make significant fundraising progress makes me hesitate.  District 8 is large and an expensive media market; taking on Alan Grayson will require a strong candidate and a pile of money.  It might not be fair, but it's reality.  I hope Sullivan considers running for office again after this - she'd be great in the Florida Legislature - because I think she has a lot to offer, and she's young enough to run for Congress again later.

Webster, O'Donoghue, Long, and Sullivan are all good conservatives but when I look at the big picture, Kurt Kelly is simply the best candidate across the board, and the best chance for the Republicans to beat Alan Grayson.  

On August 24th, I will be voting for Kurt Kelly.  If you live in District 8, I encourage you to do the same.

For more information about Kurt Kelly:


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Motion to Dismiss filed against Doug Guetzloe

Today, attorneys for South Florida Tea Party Movement activists filed a scathing Motion to Dismiss (coupled with an even-more-scathing press release) in the lawsuit filed against them by Florida Tea Party Fake Tea Party leader Doug Guetzloe:

State Campaign Finance Laws Under Attack - The Republican Lawyer Blog

Here's a short article with a summary of some of the legal challenges to campaign finance laws in courts in Arizona, Connecticut, and Florida, from the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) blog:


If you are an attorney, I highly recommend checking out membership in the RNLA.  I went to one of their election law seminars in 2008 and it was fantastic. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Matthew Falconer uses the Whoopi Goldberg excuse to respond to charges of bigotry

Just in case you've been living under a rock for the past week or so, actor Mel Gibson is having a bit of a stressful time lately.  Just when the world was starting to forget the crazy antisemitic nonsense he spewed during his DUI arrest, Gibson and his baby mama are tangled up in a custody battle, and tapes of their phone conversations were released  that, frankly, shocked the heck out of me.  Gibson, who seems to be on the edge of losing his darn mind, can't seem to say an entire sentence without screaming profanities, not to mention some of the most vile and bigoted things I've ever heard.  If you're curious but prefer not to listen a man tell the mother of his child that he hopes she gets "raped by a pack of n******" [Seriously! Who says stuff like that?!] then Salon.com has posted a transcript of the tapes here.

One of the more bizarre stories to come out of the Gibson meltdown was Whoopi Goldberg's defense of Gibson.  Salon writer Mary Elizabeth Williams described Goldberg's words as follows (warning - NSFW language in original article):
Monday on "The View"...Goldberg copped readily to Gibson being "an a**hole" and said, "I don’t like what he's done. Make no mistake." She also firmly stated, "I know Mel, and I know he's not a racist. I can't sit and say that he's a racist, having spent time with him in my house with my kids." She furthermore chalked up his earlier anti-Semitic remarks to the fact that "Drunks say stupid stuff to people all the time because they're drunk." So if you've ever been drunk and forgot to blame the Jews for all the wars in the world, maybe you were doing it wrong.

...[T]o listen to those tirades and conclude that the person behind them -- who did not merely blame his girlfriend should she get raped but also specified that it would be at the hands of "a pack of n******" -- is anything but racist as all hell is inconceivable, no matter how many times the alleged speaker has hung out at a black woman's home. Whoopi's right that Gibson's an a**hole. He also appears every inch a racist. But Goldberg? She's just plain crazy.
I agree.  This appears to be nothing more than a version of the old, tired "I have a black friend!" standard defense to racism charges.  Regardless of how many times Mel Gibson has been to Whoopi Goldberg's house, or how nice he is to her kids, it doesn't change the fact that what he said was abhorrent and disgusting.  

Many people are able to conduct themselves in socially appropriate ways in front of others, but still hold tightly to inner prejudices or anger.  Think about the stereotypical movie scene of a jerk at a cocktail party, telling a racist joke - the jerk never announces the joke to the entire party, but instead just whispers it to his group.  Does the fact that the jerk is later cordial to a Hispanic waitress make his racist joke less ugly?  Nope.  Let's give another example: the guy at the bar who sweetly tells his girlfriend on the phone that he'll be home soon, only turn around to his buddies, roll his eyes and tell them that "The b**** is making me come home."  Would the girlfriend not be angry if she heard about what he said, just because he had been nice when speaking directly to her?  Ha!

The point I'm trying to make is that if someone says something bigoted, giving an example where that person was nice to someone in the group that his comments were targeting does nothing to erase or excuse the bigoted comments

And now to Matthew Falconer...

After my post last week questioning whether Falconer was encouraging or condoning antisemitism in his campaign, I have gotten a number of comments from Falconer supporters, all of which said something along the lines of "Matt is nice to me and I don't believe he is racist or antisemitic."  Well, I'm sure he is nice to people who agree with him and tell him they'll vote for him.  Still doesn't explain my phone conversation though!

Falconer also responded himself in a very humorous little email, which someone forwarded to me:
Teresa Jacobs attack dog Sarah Rumpf has gone way too far this time. She has suggested I am anti-Semitic and perhaps even racist. She said it is “my (her) belief that Falconer may be encouraging anti-Semitism in his campaign.” This claim comes because one of my supporters (who she did not mention by name) asked Sarah if she was Jewish.

For the record I went to a high school that was 75% Jewish and most of my lifetime friends are Jewish. 
She then went on to claim I was rude to minorities. Why not throw racism in while she is at it. I met this month with the head of the NAACP and tea party leaders to try and convince the NAACP the tea party is about our children’s future, not race. I attended African American and Hispanic festivals this year and shook the hands of 1000s of minorities.

A Hispanic political advisor for another candidate said; “I can tell you do not have a racist bone in your body.”
OK, like I said above, pointing out how many Jewish or minority friends Falconer has does not prove my phone conversation with "Susie" didn't take place, or provide any sort of explanation for it.  I am still waiting to hear any explanation from Falconer or his supporters that would excuse what I heard.

And let's be clear: I am not claiming that Falconer is antisemitic just because someone "asked if I was Jewish."  Go back and read my original post.  The accusation was that I was supporting Segal and Jacobs because "you're all Jewish," and there was something wrong with that, and then the statement about whether certain people were "Anglo-Saxon enough."   Oh, and I "claim [Falconer] was rude to minorities" because people who are minorities told me he was rude to them!  It's pretty simple.

Hitler didn't start out saying that he wanted to round up and kill several million Jewish people.  The early Nazi propaganda was much more subtle, suggesting that the Jews were unfairly controlling the financial system, that they were conspiring together to gain illicit advantages, and that it was hurting the German people.  

Now, I'm certainly not suggesting that Matthew Falconer wants to build concentration camps, but I do believe that saying that a group of people are helping each other out because they're all Jewish and insinuating there's something nefarious about that (not to mention judging people as inferior depending on their level of "Anglo-Saxon") is a form of antisemitism.

Well, it's been several days since I first posted this story.  I assume that if there were a legitimate explanation for what I heard, Falconer would have already said so.  

Falconer did have one more great comment in his email:
To my supporters, I ask they stop trying to win over Sarah Rumpf. It only fuels her vial rhetoric. 
Awesome.  It was getting pretty annoying to have to have the same conversation over and over with the Falconer groupies.  "Stop telling me he's honest and kind.  He has not been honest regarding me, he's lied and attacked and slandered my name, and never apologized or corrected his mistakes..."

Plus, how adorable is it that Falconer apparently uses the same style manual as whoever writes the NAACP's press releases?  Hey Matty, "vial" is a container.  I think you meant "vile."  

Monday, July 19, 2010

Karen Diebel's first TV ad

Hey Craig Miller...this is what a TV ad for a Republican congressional candidate looks like...well, anyway, what the ad can look like when the candidate actually has a conservative track record.



Friday, July 16, 2010

Even the NY Times has to admit, Chris Christie is a force of nature

From the New York Times this weekend, a great article describing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as "six months into his term as governor: blunt, energetic, clearly enjoying himself...[a]nd having his way."
Mr. Christie has turned out to be a far more deft politician than his detractors — and even some supporters — had expected, making few compromises as he pursues a broad agenda for remaking New Jersey’s free-spending political culture. So far, polls suggest, the public is giving him the benefit of the doubt.
“The most important thing in public life, in a job like governor, is for the people you’re representing to know exactly where you stand,” Mr. Christie said in an interview on Friday. “People who disagree with me on things at least have a sense of comfort in knowing where I’m coming from.”
In a mostly blue state where Democrats control the Legislature, Mr. Christie, a Republican, won election last year mostly because of the deep unpopularity of his opponent, Gov. Jon S. Corzine. Mr. Christie, a former federal prosecutor known for aggression rather than deal-making, took office to predictions that his hard-charging style would not work in the labyrinth of Trenton, where factions of party, region and interest group would slow him down.
“I think we all underestimated his political skill coming in,” said Brigid Harrison, a political science professor at Montclair State University. “You can’t deny that he’s been a tour de force in Trenton. He has managed to control the legislative agenda more than other governors, despite having a Legislature controlled by the opposite party.”
The governor has a direct, pithy speaking style...often leavened by humor. And he is relentless, willing to hammer any message repeatedly and take on any critic, and he rarely meanders or evades a question...

He’s a much better communicator than we realized, and people seem to be willing to go along with him for now,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. “He uses clear language, he doesn’t mince words, he’s funny, and he says what he thinks.” 
So, basically,what Chris Christie has done is completely blow out of the water the standard argument that Republicans need to dilute their positions, moderate their ideas, and bend over backwards in the hope that they might be seen as bipartisan.  

Christie offers no apologies and takes no prisoners in his efforts to enact much-needed reforms of New Jersey's tax and spend culture.  He has attacked the powerful teachers' and labor unions head on, and, incredibly, seems to be succeeding.

Personally, I cheer the development of elected leaders like Chris Christie.  Republicans trying to be moderates gives us politicians like Arlen Specter and Charlie Crist, and disastrous legislation like Ted Kennedy's immigration reforms and the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill (which, in my opinion, is an unconstitutional assault on the First Amendment).

Is the Matthew Falconer Campaign Antisemitic?

Well, I'm pretty sure I have your attention with THAT headline...

Please understand I do not throw around the word "antisemitic" lightly.  It drives me bonkers when conservatives get called racists just for questioning Obama's policies,  the NAACP's accusation that the tea party movement is racist is in my opinion fraudulent and reckless, and in general I think when someone starts yelling that you're a bigot, it's usually just a sign that that person just can't think of any better arguments.  That being said, when someone is actually exhibiting racist or antisemitic behavior, then I think that we should criticize them, and loudly.

The reason I am accusing Falconer's campaign of being antisemitic relates to a telephone call I received on Tuesday from one of his inner circle of supporters, who I will call "Susie."  I am going to leave her name out of it, because my issue is with Falconer, "Susie" is not the candidate and not a public figure.  If Falconer is dumb enough to sue me for what I write here then I will go public with "Susie's" real name and some other information.  I am writing the truth here, about what I heard with my own ears, and will defend myself with the truth.

Before I describe the phone call, let me give you a little background on this story, to provide some context and the information that supports my belief that Falconer may be encouraging antisemitism in his campaign...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

No, Doug Guetzloe is not "winning" all of his lawsuits

When asked about the multiple lawsuits or criminal investigations that have been following him around for the past few years, Doug Guetzloe always brags that he is "winning" all the lawsuits and gets all the criminal charges "dismissed."  

Sorry, Doughboy, but, in the famous words of Congressman Joe Wilson, "You Lie!"

I've covered some of Guetzloe's past troubles here (most notably, that his constant claims that he has "won" the appeal and gotten his criminal conviction "overturned" are not true, merely that the 14 counts to which he pled no contest and for which he was convicted have now been consolidated into one count).

And now, today, something new and fun.  WKMG Local 6 posted today a copy of a October 2007 grand jury report on the "culture of corruption" at the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority, which was released to the public today after Guetzloe's lawsuit to keep the report private was officially rejected by the appellate court, after 18 months of legal acrobatics by Guetzloe's favorite attorney/attack dog, Fred O'Neal.  Read Local 6's article here.

The grand jury report describes how OOCEA paid $107,500 to Doug Guetzloe and his company, Advantage Consultants, for what was claimed to be a consulting fee for a public opinion study about paying tolls.  However, "no scope of work was delineated" for the work, and [n]o expectations or goals were outlined in writing" for Guetzloe's work, and all he apparently did was produce a "two and a quarter page" report.  

The grand jury report also describes how the Advantage Consultants contract was concealed by hiring them as a subcontractor and the normal OOCEA bidding process was circumvented.

Considering the short and flimsy report that was generated, the large fee that was paid, the efforts to conceal the contract, and Guetzloe's activities with "Ax the Tax," a group that had been a loud and vocal opponent to toll increases in the past, the grand jury came to what they termed the "inescapable conclusion" that the payment was "hush money," and notes that "a quieter Ax the Tax did seem to flow from the $107,500 payment to Doug Guetzloe."

The hypocrisy of this just amazes me.  Doug Guetzloe has championed himself as the local champion in all fights against tax increases for years, but here is yet another example of his support or opposition of an issue being for sale.  Toll increases are a form of a tax increase, and for him to do a complete 180 in his position on the issue after getting over a hundred thousand dollars illustrates, in my opinion, exactly how true and honorable (or should I say false and dishonorable) his beliefs really are.

Anyone associated with the Florida Tea Party should really question what's motivating Guetzloe's loyalty now.  If Guetzloe is for sale, who's paying the bill this year?

Felons For Franken? An update on voter fraud in Minnesota

A new study confirms what many have suspected since the 2008 elections: Illegal voting practices may be responsible for Al Franken's election as Senator of Minnesota. The study by Minnesota Majority, a conservative watchdog, provides evidence that the election, in which Franken beat out then-incumbent Senator Norm Coleman, shows the election may have been decided by at least 341 convicted felons who voted illegally in the heavily Democratic Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Read more here:


For more on voter fraud issues, please check out my earlier post, Voter Fraud: The Risk is REAL.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New movement to draft Sarah Palin as RNC Chair

Saw this post on BigGovernment over the weekend:


Yes, we now have an online petition and a blog devoted solely to the idea of drafting Palin as Chair of the Republican Party:

...the answer can only be Sarah Palin. Why? Notwithstanding the reasons we have outlined here and here, it is because she will raise more money and command more control over the media narrative than ANY other Republican in the field. Seating Sarah would also set the Progressive-Democrats on their heels, forcing them to ratchet up their vile PR smear campaigns.

The problem for the Progressive smear machine, and they know it, is that the jig is up. More and more Americans are becoming aware of the Alinksy song and dance the Progressives have been running. Their charges of racism and labels of stupid and evil grow less and less effective every day.

The advantage for the Right is that the Progressives have no other strategy than to go vicious, so the Left will likely double down on the tactic. Doing so will only expose them as hypocrites when it comes to their claim of righteously elevating the narrative above cheap personal attacks, and working to solve our nation’s problems. 

Who more than Sarah Palin can inspire the Left to so publicly display their ugliness and contempt for American civility?
What do you think? Crazy idea, or so crazy it just might work?


At minimum, I think I can definitely agree that Michael Steele has unfortunately been a big, hot mess lately, and under the right circumstances, I would definitely support finding a way for Steele to make a grateful exit before we get much closer to the crucial midterm elections.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Orange County Young Republicans HobNob

We're down at the Citrus Bowl hanging out with some fantastic Republican candidates. 

Above is Karen Diebel, congressional candidate in FL-24, voting in the straw poll. 

Follow me on twitter @rumpfshaker for more updates and photos.

UPDATED: Here is a link to the OCYR page with the straw poll results.  Congrats to Marco Rubio, Bill McCollum, Kurt Kelly, Karen Diebel, Teresa Jacobs, Jason Brodeur, Greg Reynolds, Bill Sublette, and Jennifer Thompson!

...and some more photos...

Teresa Jacobs with supporters, happy about winning the straw poll


OCYR Exec Board, who did an awesome, awesome job on this year's event


Enjoyed hanging out at Fiddler's after the HobNob was over


Best Typo EVER

As most of you know, there are several lawsuits between the Florida Tea Party Fake Tea Party, Doug Guetzloe, and some people involved with the actual tea party movement.  

Last week, the mediator assigned to the South Florida Tea Party litigation issued a Notice of Mediation Hearing, directing the parties and their attorneys to attend a mediation conference on September 20, 2010.  For my non-lawyer readers, this is basically a settlement conference conducted outside the courtroom, with the mediator acting as "referee" and trying to encourage the parties to settle the case.  

Anyway, this is all fairly standard civil litigation procedure (most judges require the parties to attempt mediation at least once before agreeing to set a case for trial), except for an absolutely delicious little typo in the caption:

"Dough" Guetzloe?  Awesome.  I've heard a number of people refer to ol' Dougie as a doughboy, but I guess it's legally official now.  ;)

Is Doughboy a fair nickname for Guetzloe?  Judge for yourself:


That's a pretty old picture.  Doughboy looked a little rounder last time I saw him.  You can see him in some videos from last month here.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Voter Fraud: The Risk is REAL

Friends, this is a long post, but it's probably one of the most important things I've written for this site.  Please take the time to read to the end, share with your friends, and I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments...

You've probably heard about the Department of Justice dropping the case against the Philadelphia Black Panthers accused of voter intimidation (you know, the nightstick-wielding guy who wants to kill all the "crackas"), and maybe you've seen the funny sight of  Facebook users changing their profile pictures to actual crackers:

(The Ritz Cracker Company does not support racism or voter fraud)

OK, now for the serious stuff, a story much more serious than one idiot with a big stick and even bigger mouth.  Yesterday, I came across a story about a filmmaker named Gigi Gaston,  a lifelong dedicated Democrat, who started a new documentary project after the 2008 elections that aimed to disprove accusations by Hillary Clinton supporters that there had been widespread voter fraud in the Democratic Presidential primary process.

Gaston started her film with the belief that the accusations were just nonsense and conspiracy theories, but as she met more and more Democratic voters who told her their stories and showed her their evidence, she became convinced that the accusations were true, the stories of voter fraud and intimidation were real, and, most importantly, a deciding factor in Barack Obama winning the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2008.  The documentary quickly reversed from its original direction and she gave it the title "We Will Not Be Silenced."

Here is Gaston being interviewed on Fox & Friends:

Friday, July 9, 2010

Rubio's "By the Numbers" Response to Crist's Special Session

After yesterday's announcement from Charlie Crist that he was calling a special session of the Legislature for the purpose of drafting a constitutional amendment to ban oil drilling, Marco Rubio's campaign has responded with a fun and snarky "By the Numbers" analysis of Crist's blatant pandering:

By the numbers, Charlie Crist’s call for a special session to ban something that is already banned in Florida is nothing more than another Washington-style political gimmick meant to distract from the real issues confronting the Gulf Coast:
0 oil spills will be prevented by Charlie Crist’s constitutional amendment.
0 real world impact of Charlie Crist’s constitutional amendment banning something already banned in state law.
0 tourists will re-book their travel to Florida because of Charlie Crist’s constitutional amendment.
0 skimmers will be freed-up because of Charlie Crist’s political photo-op.
0 fishermen in the Panhandle would be helped because of Charlie Crist’s constitutional amendment.
0 claims will be sped up to impacted Florida Gulf Coast residents and businesses because of Charlie Crist’s constitutional amendment.
0 small businesses will be able to keep their doors open because of a constitutional amendment.
2 complete flip-flops Charlie Crist has done on offshore drilling.
2 points down in the polls is where Crist discovered he was in the U.S. Senate race when he decided to call for a special session.
4 hours between the release of a bad poll for Crist and his call for a political sideshow special session.
$120,000 will be spent by taxpayers for Charlie Crist’s political photo-op special session.
The Orlando Sentinel pointed out  on its Political Pulse blog today that the Rubio campaign's calculation that $120,000 of our money would be wasted on the special session was "probably low:"

...The cost of a special session was calculated at $40,000-per-day by a Tallahassee Democrat reporter 20 years ago.  While no one has done the calculations to update the number — based largely on travel costs and per-diem of $133-a-day per legislator — the cost has almost certainly risen. The St. Petersburg Times used a $50,000-per-day number this morning — which for a 4-day session would work out to a total of $200,000 — but even that may be low.
Here's the St. Pete Times article referenced by the Sentinel.

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