Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Discussing the Senate race on yesterday's Ed Dean Radio program

Yesterday I was a guest on the Ed Dean Radio show to discuss the  Florida Republican primary candidates for the 2012 Senate race. You can listen to the show here (I'm on at the top of the second hour):

Ed Dean Radio | May 17, 2011

Matthew Falconer appeared at the beginning of the program. Yes, that Matt Falconer.

Falconer attempts to defend an article he wrote defending Senate President Haridopolos' management of the Senate this year, an article for which he is rightfully getting shredded.

Falconer gets confused several times about what he's trying to say, flip-flopping from his  article's "most conservative Senate" statement to whine that Haridopolos' failures were due to the Senate being filled with liberals. Ummm, can't have it both ways, Matt. Either it's the "most conservative" Senate or they're a bunch of Lefties.

He also laughably claims he is not defending Haridopolos but then turns around and attacks anyone who would criticize Haridopolos, saying that it risks muddying up the eventual Republican nominee and making them vulnerable against a Democrat opponent.

What. A. Hypocrite.

This is the same Matthew Falconer who lied so much during his failed Orange County mayoral campaign, I'm surprised his pants didn't spontaneously combust.

He lied in his attacks on Teresa Jacobs, most egregiously sending out mailers and robocalls falsely claiming Jacobs was pro-abortion. Gosh, Matt, if the rule is "don't criticize Republicans," I'm fairly sure that covers making up complete and total lies to attack a Republican.

But Falconer has a long history of making up figures when it suits him and telling blatant lies, getting caught, and almost always refusing to apologize or issue a correction.

So, yeah, if Matthew Falconer wants to be the champion for Mike Haridopolos, I think that's perfect...

...because only someone with a history of being a blatant and unapologetic liar, only someone who is very talented at sticking his head in the sand and ignoring obvious facts, only someone whose political ambitions lack an anchor in reality, could look at Mike Haridopolos' disastrous legislative session, failure on the immigration issue, and rude dismissal of the tea party and still call him a great, conservative, tea party candidate.

Make sure to tune in to my part of the program too (starts at the top of the second hour), where we debunk Haridopolos' attempts to dodge blame for the crash-and-burn of E-Verify, have a good laugh at Charlie Crist's expense, and discuss other factors that may impact the 2012 Senate race.

UPDATE: Matthew Falconer sent me an email this morning, saying that he apologized to Teresa Jacobs for lying and saying that she was pro-choice. I checked with someone with Jacobs' campaign and verified that, yes, Falconer did apologize after the primary. So I've corrected the statement above that "Falconer has a long history...of refusing to ever apologize or issue a correction" to "Falconer has a long history of...almost always refusing to apologize or issue a correction."

But the larger point is that he shouldn't have said it in the first place. To make the accusation that someone is pro-abortion in a Republican primary when the candidate has never, ever made a statement to that effect, and your source is just some person passing on unfounded hearsay ("I heard she was pro-choice...") is outrageous. Falconer admits this in his email, stating that, "with that issue I should have heard it directly from the candidate."

My point exactly. Falconer has an ugly habit of creating out of thin air an attack to throw at an opponent and his excitement for the battle leaves him no time for fact checking.

UPDATE #2: Falconer also posted his email as a comment to this post, which you can see below. I don't have time to go line-by-line through all of it, but there are a few points I'd like to make.

Falconer repeats Doug Guetzloe's lie that I made "vile attacks" on Rick Scott. I endorsed Bill McCollum in the primary and did write some posts supportive of McCollum and critical of Scott but also wrote a lot of favorable things about Scott after he was our nominee and I had a chance to meet him (see here, here, and here). I thought it would be dishonest and hypocritical to go back and purge this blog of the posts I wrote in favor of McCollum, so I left them as is. The Rick Scott campaign clearly thought I was on their team, as they invited me to be listed on the blogroll on their campaign website, and I also did a lot of volunteer work for the campaign.

Falconer slams me for using the "politics of personal destruction" and suggests that it's not acceptable to criticize other Republicans. Again, I say: what a hypocrite. Falconer is absolutely lousy at practicing what he preaches. The Orange County Mayor's race was just last year - we all remember the attacks he waged on Teresa Jacobs, and can easily do a Google search to refresh our memories.

More recently, Falconer accused any legislator who performs consulting work as being corrupt per se. "Per se" is a Latin phrase meaning "by itself," meaning that the accusation stands on its own without any further proof needed. In other words, Falconer is suggesting that the mere fact that some elected officials who work as consultants or in the business sector is automatic, irrefutable proof that they are corrupt. One legislator that Falconer singles out is State Senator Mike Fasano, a Republican. As usual, Falconer's rule that no one is allowed to criticize Republicans must not apply to him.

There are many, many other examples of Falconer attacking Republicans, usually with little merit behind the attacks. Back in March, he wrote a post viciously attacking Congressman John Mica, claiming that Mica had awarded two $1.6 million earmarks to two companies that contributed $500.00 and $1,250.00 to his campaign fund. Seriously? Look, special interests' influence on elected officials is a legitimate topic of concern, but accusing a Republican Congressman of selling his vote for $500.00 is just plain ridiculous.

I also find it interesting that Falconer goes after me for criticizing Haridopolos, saying "Instead of tearing down Mike I plan to continue to influence him to get more conservative legislation accomplished," but apparently that same standard does not apply to Congressman Mica. If Falconer is going to write the rulebook for how conservatives are allowed to act, then maybe he should figure out how to agree with himself on what those rules are first.

Falconer also directs me to "try outlining policy differences." That's funny, that's exactly what I am doing when I point out issues with legislation and how this year's session went. If a Republican is doing something that in my opinion is unethical or not true to conservative principles, I'm going to criticize them.

Erick Erickson, the Editor of RedState, has stated that RedState's mission is "to fight the left and clean up the right," and that their philosophy is to be "conservatives in primaries and Republicans in general elections." I couldn't agree more with both of those statements, and I will continue to exercise my First Amendment rights to point out when Republicans are failing to "walk the walk."


  1. Dear Sarah:

    It is regretful you continue to undermine the conservative mission. Your mottos operandi seems to involve backing a candidate and then writing vile articles about the candidate or their supporters. What you fail to realize is you are doing far more harm than good. If people want to know why more good people do not enter politics they can visit your web site and read about the vile attacks on myself, Rick Scott, and I am sure soon it will be Mike Haridopolos.

    You called me and my supporters anti-Semetic (my best friend is Ira Bergstein), compared us to Hitler, and put down a group of sincere conservatives trying to make a difference. For the record I did personally apologize to T Jacobs for suggesting she was pro-choice (ask her). I was given the information by a former county commissioner and a minister but with that issue I should have heard it directly from the candidate.

    Your latest attack on me comes from my article about Senator Mike Haridopolos. The article (below) explains voters cannot blame one person for the failure of a single policy measure (in this case E-Verify). I point out that every Republican in office today has disappointed conservatives in the past decade. My quote on the radio was this past legislative session had more conservative achievements than any in Florida history. That is a fact. Instead of tearing down Mike I plan to continue to influence him to get more conservative legislation accomplished. I met with Mike about Obama rail and along with a dozen others we were successful in getting him to change his position on HSR and saved the American taxpayer $400 million.

    But this email is not a debate about Adam Hasner or Mike Haridopolos. I met with Adam and he is a kind and genuine conservative (even though he too has voted for progressive ideas just like Mike). I urge you to stop using tactics of the left; the politics of personal destruction. As determined and passionate a conservative as I am (three books, attending commission meetings in opposition to spending, speaking in Tallahassee against Sun Rail, running for office) you make me want to give up hope. You might find your antics cute but the truth is they are poison for our party.

    Instead of getting your kicks from bringing others down try outlining policy differences and do something productive. I am working on voter registration drive to get 500,000 conservatives registered by 2012. I hope this will help us take back the senate and the White House.

    Perhaps the people copied can encourage Sarah to find something constructive to do with her time.

    Matthew Falconer

  2. FYI: Sarah Mathew Falconer supporters are mostly Austrian economically orientated libertarians. this is as far from fascism as one can get. Being economically ignorant, I have read some of your crap int he past, you do not have a clue between a Austrian and a Keynesian. As one who does know I will say you are more of a statist/socialist than freedom lover which explains your confusion between Mathew Falconer supporters and the real fascist over in Grayson's camp.

  3. The second Anonymous comment above was also posted word for word on the Sunshine State Sarah Facebook page by "Mark Thompson" ( who has also posted some other, ummm, interesting comments:

  4. I read your column and took the time to listen to the broadcast. I also read our "retort" to his e-mail.

    Apparently Matt has done something to offend you and your can't separate personal animus from subsequent fact. I don't know you so I am left to consider whether you are deliberately ranting and raving to draw attention to yourself, or merely lack the maturity be objective and write intelligently, or a combination of the two.

    I disagree with Matt about Mike Haridopolos. I think Haridopolos is an opportunist who sees government service as a game to be played rather than a place were serious, open discussions of policy should be conducted and made based on facts. But I also understand that Matt can be a pragmatist and very well may be trying to accomplish what he can with the tools that are available and that includes the Senate President. Mr. Falconer made that abundantly clear in his radio appearance.

    Regarding your summary of his appearance on the radio program, I think you have grossly misstated what he said, and the tenor of his statements when you happened to use words he actually spoke. For example you state:

    “Falconer gets confused several times about what he's trying to say, flip-flopping from his article's "most conservative Senate" statement to whine that Haridopolos' failures were due to the Senate being filled with liberals. Ummm, can't have it both ways, Matt. Either it's the "most conservative" Senate or they're a bunch of Lefties.”


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
Permissions beyond the scope of this license are available here.