Thursday, June 30, 2011

Seminole County Voter Outreach During July 4th Weekend

Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Mike Ertel has announced a packed schedule of voter outreach activities during the upcoming July 4th weekend.

Ertel, who will be at all of the events this weekend, had this to say:
These events are magnets of patriotism, and hopefully when folks are reflecting on the freedoms we enjoy, they’ll take a few minutes to stop by and either register to vote, change their address on file, request an absentee ballot, or simply chat about the administration of the upcoming elections.
Here is the schedule:

Saturday, July 2 – 6-9 p.m.
Red, Rock & Blue
City park next to Lake Mary City Hall
SOE Ertel will be the opening speaker and there will be a voter registration and information booth with free voter guides and American flags

Sunday, July 3 – 4-10:30 p.m.
Red Hot & Boom
Central Winds Park in Altamonte Springs
Voter registration and information booth with free voter guides and American flags

Monday, July 4 – 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Geneva Independence Day parade and festival
Rural Heritage Center
SOE Ertel will walk in the parade and there will be a voter registration and information booth with free voter guides and American flags until 2:30

Monday, July 4 – Noon-9 p.m.
Oviedo Independence Day Celebration
The Oviedo Mall
Voter registration and information booth with free voter guides and American flags

Monday, July 4 – 5-9 p.m.
Star Spangled Sanford
Fort Mellon Park in Sanford
Voter registration and information booth with free voter guides and American flags

Monday, July 4, 5-9:30 p.m.
Celebration of Freedom
Central Winds Park in Winter Springs
Voter registration and information booth with free voter guides and American flags

For more information about the Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Office, check out their website at

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Morning Coffee Reading for June 29, 2011

Here's your morning coffee reading for today:
  • The fight over redistricting in Florida is starting to heat up. Conservative think-tank James Madison Institute has published a must-read article on the status of the redistricting process and the hypocrisy from those on the Left:
James Madison Institute | Redistricting Charade
The Other McCain | Florida: Adam Hasner for Senate
  • Texas Governor (and soon-to-be Presidential candidate?) Rick Perry does an excellent job showing his personality and Texas pride on his official Twitter account, @GovernorPerry. Last week, he posted this photo with the comment, "Chocolate chip...Texas style":
I need to get a Florida-shaped cookie cutter!
  • It's now been nearly 800 days without a budget from the Senate Democrats, and of course Twitter has risen to the challenge of mocking them for it. Someone created an account called @SenateDemBudget, and it's full of epic sarcastic goodness. Here are some of my favorite tweets they've written:

I have not been seen for 790 days. Please help locate me.Tue Jun 28 04:09:31 via Twitter for iPhone

Hey @SenatorReid, I have no plans today. Want to hang out? #p2 #tcotTue Jun 28 06:47:54 via Twitter for iPhone
RedState | Pledge Fatigue, My Butt
  •  Ross Douthat has written a heartbreaking article about the impact of sex-selective abortion around the world, noting that the increased access to abortion, especially in third-world countries, has led to significant gender imbalances. Many journalists have noted the "missing" females, but as Douthat points out, "The tragedy of the world’s 160 million missing girls isn’t that they’re 'missing.' The tragedy is that they’re dead."
New York Times | Ross Douthat | 160 Million and Counting
  • Chris Wallace made headlines when he asked Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, "Are you a flake?" Here's a video that points out that the question might be better directed to Barack Obama (hat tip: @stackiii):

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Karen Diebel launches new Congressional campaign

Former Winter Park City Commissioner and Verizon Business executive Karen Diebel has thrown her hat into the ring to run for the newly-designated Congressional District 26, which will be located in the Central Florida area due to population gains in the last Census.

I was proud to be a part of Karen's 2010 campaign team and look forward to seeing her continue her fight for conservative causes in this new election.

Winter Park Mayor Ken Bradley and I were quoted in a Winter Park/Maitland Observer article about Karen's campaign:

Winter Park/Maitland Observer | Diebel's Early Bid for Congress
Former Winter Park City Commissioner Karen Diebel is already in the running for a new congressional seat that has yet to be created…

Diebel’s plan is to fill whatever new seat is added in the Central Florida area. This will be her second run at Congress in two years after narrowly losing in a Republican primary to Sandy Adams, the eventual winner of Florida’s 24th District congressional seat in 2010.

“My reasons and motivation remain the same,” Diebel said. “I think we haven’t gotten the changes right going forward. I’d like to help with that.”

Winter Park Mayor Ken Bradley congratulated her on her candidacy and said he looks forward to seeing her campaign take shape.

“She’s a good listener, very cautious and concerned about financial situations and very mindful of making sure we don’t spend money needlessly,” Bradley said. “I’d love to have her in Congress representing us.” …

Regardless of the eventual shape of the district Diebel hopes to represent, Sarah Rumpf, a former campaign consultant for Diebel, said that she’s made an important move getting into the running first. “She’s done well to establish herself as the front-runner being out there first,” Rumpf said. “It’s not a guaranteed slam dunk that you win, but it’s a big advantage.”
Here's a short video recapping Karen's 2010 campaign and her plans for the 2012 election:

YouTube | karendiebel | Karen Diebel for Congress

Additionally, I'd like clarify two points that keep confusing some members of our local media:

First, contrary to the way some have reported it, District 26 does, in fact, exist. It is a real legal political entity. True, we do not know the precise borders yet, but we don't know the borders for any Congressional districts. Right now, I live in District 8, and Dan Webster is my Congressman. District 26 exists just as much as District 8 does. When the borders are finally drawn (and the litigation is over, sigh...), then we'll know what District 26 looks like, but calling it a "nonexistent" district is silly.

Second, Karen is running for an open seat. She is not challenging Sandy Adams, Dan Webster, or any other Republican incumbent. Period. Some have noted that, theoretically speaking, there is a possibility that the lines may be drawn in a way that would result in Adams or Webster getting placed in a different District than they are now. For example, Webster's home might end up in 26 instead of 8. In that case, if Webster does not move into the new boundaries for 8, he could then run for re-election from 26, and 8 would then become the "open" seat, so Karen would run for 8. In no case will Karen be challenging a current Republican Member of Congress. Anyone who is reporting that she is considering otherwise is lying or misinformed.

For more information about Karen Diebel:

Karen Diebel campaign website
Karen Diebel on Facebook
@KarenDiebel on Twitter

[Cross-posted at RedCounty]

Stuff You Should Be Reading: Florida politicians on Red County

Congressman Allen West and Senate candidate Adam Hasner have been posting on a variety of topics on the conservative blog Red County. (Note: I am also a Red County contributor.)

Here are their latest posts:
Red County | Allen West | Poll Numbers Dictating Obama's Afghan Policy
Red County | Adam Hasner | Game Time: Tackling Energy Independence
You can view all Red County posts by Adam Hasner here, Allen West's posts here, and my posts here.

More on Beth Dillaha's ethical problems

The Winter Park/Maitland Observer published their own article yesterday about former Winter Park City Commissioner Beth Dillaha's latest ethical problems:

Winter Park/Maitland Observer | Dillaha's mailer violated election law, state attorney says
The anti-Sarah Sprinkel mailer that went out before the March 8 election was commissioned by then-outgoing Winter Park City Commissioner Beth Dillaha, and it violated a state election law, according to the state attorney's office...
Community activist William Graves was listed as the financier of the mailer, but later said he was not behind it after a developer and former City Commission candidate threatened to sue him over its content. In an interview with the Observer in March, Graves declined to reveal the author of the mailer or where the money came from.

That secrecy frustrated [City Commissioner Steven] Leary, who spoke out against anonymous mailers at Monday's meeting. 

"Transparency and anonymity are contradictory," Leary said...
And in case you missed it, my blog post from yesterday:
Sunshine State Sarah | How to Speak Winter Parker: "Dillaha" Means "Hypocrite."
Next week, the Winter Park City Commission will be voting on a resolution to send to the Florida Elections Commission, condemning these anonymous mailers. As I noted yesterday, Pete Weldon's complaint is being sent to the FEC for further investigation.

Also, the letter from the State Attorney's investigator and the Observer article linked above both mention that the mailers "appear" to have complied with the statutorily required disclaimer. However, by my reading of the Florida Statutes, this is not the case.

I'm going to try and avoid getting into an overly complicated legal analysis, but in general, because the exact identities of the persons, companies, or organizations who paid for the mailer have not yet been disclosed, I cannot say specifically which statute would govern the mailer. Independent expenditures, electioneering communications, and political committees are the possibilities for how the mailer should have been organized, paid for, and reported. The bottom line is that all of the statutory disclaimer rules require disclosure of who paid for the ad, so providing false or misleading information in the disclaimer complies with neither the letter nor the spirit of Florida's election laws.

So, let's look at the actual language of the Florida Statutes. Here are the relevant subsections setting forth the disclaimer requirements for independent expenditures, electioneering communications, and political committees:

Independent expenditures:
Section 106.071(2). Any political advertisement paid for by an independent expenditure shall prominently state “Paid political advertisement paid for by (Name and address of person paying for advertisement) independently of any (candidate or committee).”
Electioneering communications:
Section 106.1439(1). Any electioneering communication, other than a telephone call, shall prominently state: “Paid electioneering communication paid for by (Name and address of person paying for the communication).”
Political committees:
Section 106.143(1)(c). Any political advertisement made pursuant to s. 106.021(3)(d) must be marked “paid political advertisement” or with the abbreviation “pd. pol. adv.” and must prominently state, “Paid for and sponsored by (name of person paying for political advertisement). Approved by (names of persons, party affiliation, and offices sought in the political advertisement).”
Note the words I've highlighted in bold. Florida law requires disclaimers in political advertisements to disclose the identity of who paid for it. Listing a fake name, or the name of a person who is not the actual one who paid for the advertisement does not comply with the Florida Statutes. 

Because the mailer that Beth Dillaha organized to attack Sarah Sprinkel listed William Graves in its disclaimer but he was not the one who actually paid for it, the mailer is not in compliance with the statutory disclaimer requirements.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Only $141,512.10 to go!

Senate President Mike Haridopolos justified his book deal with Brevard Community College by saying that the college would earn some money from the sale of the book.

Well, thanks to a public records request by liberal group Progress Florida, we now know how profitable the book has been for BCC:


Ouch. The book, which BCC paid Haridopolos $152,000 to write, has earned less than five hundred bucks.

So, hey, only $141,512.10 to go! (Somehow I'm not optimistic.)

"Only $487.90? Really? Awww, darn!"
Note also that Progress Florida has set up a mean little website called "Dirty Hari," where they are gleefully publishing this lack-of-a-profit report and other negative items about Haridopolos. Florida Republican primary voters should look through that website and ask themselves if they think this is the best candidate for us to send up against Bill Nelson. This is what they are publishing now - they certainly won't get nicer during the general election.

How to Speak Winter Parker: "Dillaha" Means "Hypocrite."

Former Winter Park Commissioner Beth Dillaha (pictured, left), loves to tell other people how they should live their lives. Never content to simply disagree, she frequently accuses her opponents of being motivated by unethical causes.

Anyone who has followed Winter Park politics for any period of time can cite multiple examples of what the Winter Park/Maitland Observer has described as her practice of making "political enemies out of those who disagreed with her" (Staff Opinion, March 9, 2011). In her support for the failed Hometown Democracy constitutional amendment, she repeatedly accused those opposed to this growth-destroying measure as being in the pockets of developers and special interests (See, e.g., Winter Park/Maitland Observer, Letter to the Editor, January 28, 2010). You may remember my blog post from last year about Craig Miller's use of Dillaha's false attacks on Karen Diebel in a mail piece, and Pete Weldon has done an excellent job over the past few years documenting Dillaha's nasty little habit of claiming moral superiority while falsely attacking her opponents (see here, here and here).

Dillaha has been especially self-righteous on the issue of campaign finance, making a pledge in 2007 not to accept corporate contributions to her campaign, and to limit individual contributions to $250.00 (instead of the $500.00 which was the legal limit). Dillaha then turned around and violated her own campaign promise just a few months later, accepting $8,000.00 (almost 20% of her total contributions for the race) from companies controlled by former Winter Park Mayor David Strong. As she is wont to do, she then spun around again a few years later and pretended none of this had ever happened, arguing that corporate contributions and bundled contributions were unethical in 2009 when Winter Park was in the process of revising its Ethics Codes and election procedures.

...which brings us to this year. During the 2011 Winter Park City Commission elections, a mailer that attacked candidate Sarah Sprinkel was sent to approximately 8,000 Winter Park residents. The mailer had a disclaimer that said that "William Graves, 30458D George Mason Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32792" had paid for it, but Mr. Graves admitted that he was not actually behind the mailer, that someone else had created and paid for it ("Developer says he was defamed," Winter Park/Maitland Observer, March 16, 2011).

Florida's election laws require all political advertisements to clearly disclose who paid for them, and for regular campaign finance reports. In this case, the mailer attacking Sprinkel (1) did not have an honest disclaimer, and (2) no campaign finance reports were made disclosing who paid for the mailer.

[Side note: this is very similar to the issue that sent Doug Guetzloe to jail, sending out an anonymous attack mailer in a Winter Park city election. Hmmm...]

Pete Weldon filed a complaint with the Winter Park Police Department regarding the Sprinkel mailer, and the matter was referred to the Ninth Judicial Circuit State Attorney's Office for investigation. You can read Weldon's original complaint here and see the response from Roger Floyd's investigation here.

What the investigation by the State Attorney's Office revealed was that Beth Dillaha was behind the mailer attacking Sprinkel, that she had intentionally taken steps to keep the financial backers of the mailer anonymous, and that she had failed to file the proper reports to form a political organization and also failed to file any campaign finance reports whatsoever. (Note: the letter from Floyd to Winter Park Chief of Police asks whether Dillaha might have filed paperwork to form a political committee with the city; I confirmed this morning that she had not.)

Weldon forwarded a copy of his complaint and the response from the State Attorney's Office to the Winter Park City Commission on Friday, commenting:
It is a great disappointment to me and I trust to all Winter Park citizens to discover that [Beth Dillaha,] a Winter Park city commissioner, and one who has consistently brow beaten others for their perceived ethical lapses, is at the very least the coordinator of malicious, anonymous election mailers.

This matter is now being sent to the Florida Elections Commission for further investigation. Hopefully the City of Winter Park Ethics Board will also undertake its own investigation. These type of ugly, anonymous attacks have been going on in Winter Park for far too long. [Note that while I am not aware of any criminal charges being brought, there are procedures to pursue criminal investigations in connection with an FEC Complaint.]

By her own conduct, Dillaha has proven, once again, that she is an extremely unethical and hypocritical person. I have always been a strong advocate for transparency in election and campaign finance laws, and I am disgusted by her deliberate circumvention of laws designed to provide voters with fair and timely information about who is trying to influence our elections. Even if Dillaha discloses the names of her co-conspirators who paid for the mailer, it is now over three months since the election.

Beth Dillaha, and those who supported her in this unethical activity, should be ashamed.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's a good thing the Democrats don't have more Rod Smiths

Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith spoke yesterday at the monthly lunch meeting for the Tiger Bay Club of Central Florida. If you're unfamiliar with Tiger Bay, it's a non-partisan political meeting group with clubs in cities around Florida.

Smith was the State Attorney in Gainesville during my time at UF and was well-known for successfully prosecuting serial killer Danny Rolling. He served in the Florida State Senate for a few years, was tapped as Alex Sink's running mate in last year's gubernatorial race, and then took the reins of the FDP.

Smith was known for being a moderate Democrat during his time in the State Senate, and kept such a low profile during last year's election that many people wondered if he was in some sort of candidate witness protection program. As a political junkie and Republican, I was very curious about what Smith would say, and there were definitely some very interesting comments:
  •  Smith began his speech talking about how he was chosen to chair the Florida Democratic Party, admitting that he took the job because "no one else would." Ouch.
  • He said his advisers are "James Beam and Johnnie Walker," and "for Hispanic outreach, Jose Cuervo." Double ouch. Not good if the job is making him drink barely half a year into it. Also, isn't that a bit offensive? Rick Perry just got slammed for making a similar joke on Thursday (see here, here, and here).
  •  Smith spent a lot of time talking about how Florida was an evenly divided state, noting how we had swung back-and-forth between the parties during the presidential elections (voting for Bush, Clinton, another Bush, then Obama). He spoke of his own record as a moderate and the need for the Democrats to recruit candidates who "fit" their districts.
  • I'm not sure how Smith's moderate style works behind the scenes with Debbie Wasserman Schultz. I actually asked him this directly and he gave a very nice political answer about how they were both working for the goals of their party, but you know, I just cannot see the two of them getting along well together.
  • While discussing redistricting, Smith expressed his belief that there would be lawsuits and he expects the courts to draw the maps. He also cracked a joke that he was sure that the Florida Supreme Court would "forget that Speaker Cannon tried to dismantle" the Court. Ugh. 
  • Smith spent awhile characterizing the tea party movement as extreme, right-wing, radical, etc. It boggles my mind how the Left continually attacks people who advocate for fiscal responsibility as extremists. Smith may have a moderate record, but he expressly stated his belief that government stimulus spending creates jobs, and that he believed that "the tea party will burn hot, but then burn out." (Somehow I'm thinking a lot of my readers would disagree with that statement!)
  • For all the grassroots Democrats out there, you may be interested to know that Smith does not like primaries, and is actively investigating steps to avoid them. The FDP is considering adopting rules that would allow local parties to endorse candidates, and it sure sounded to me like the party is going to do everything it can to pick their candidates and bully competitors out of the primaries. Were the attempts to push Kendrick Meek aside in favor of Charlie Crist during last year's Senate race just a trial run for this new survival-of-the-fittest strategy? I'd advise Democratic candidates who are thinking of running for office in 2012 to watch their back.
Bottom line, Rod Smith may have a reputation as being low-key and laid-back, but it sounds to me like he's putting together a cutthroat strategy for his party, and unlike DWS, he doesn't sound like a crazy attack dog when he speaks. Republicans would be well-advised to pay close attention...and hope he was serious when he said he was retiring from politics after the 2012 elections.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Conservative endorsements continue to pile up for Adam Hasner

Author and talk show host Hugh Hewitt has joined fellow conservative stalwarts Erick Erickson, Mark Levin, Monica Crowley, and Ken Blackwell in endorsing Adam Hasner in the Republican Primary for the 2012 U.S. Senate race:

YouTube | adamhasner | Hugh Hewitt Stands With Adam Hasner
I got a call over the weekend, actually it was a tweet, "who should I start supporting?" People want to get involved in the 2012 cycle, and I said you can look at Adam Hasner, you can look at Josh Mandel, you can look at Ted Cruz...These are Senate candidates who will fundamentally change the way politics is done in Washington, D.C.
...[Hasner's race is] one race you can contribute to with great confidence that your money is going to a conservative who is going to be a constitutional conservative when they get to D.C. 

To learn more about Adam Hasner:
Adam Hasner official campaign website
Adam Hasner on Facebook
Twitter: @AdamHasner

Ouch! American Spectator has some harsh words for Haridopolos

In an article published yesterday, Larry Thornberry at American Spectator covered the Republican primary for the 2012 Senate race in Florida:
American Spectator | A Florida Senate Primer
Thornberry notes that Adam Hasner "appears to have a lead in the race to be crowned the real and true conservative," following the Marco Rubio campaign blueprint:
In a campaign that mimics Rubio's 2010 race both in ideology and strategy, Hasner is crisscrossing the state highlighting the urgency of cutting federal spending and regulation and following a strong foreign policy based on defending America's security interests. He was the first of the candidates to endorse the Ryan plan for dealing with Medicare.
Just as Rubio's 2010 campaign attracted the support of Florida and national conservative household names, bagging almost all of them well before Election Day, Hasner so far has collected the endorsements of conservative broadcasters Monica Crowley and Mark Levin, Red State's Erick Erickson, and Pass the Balanced Budget Amendment Chairman Ken Blackwell.
The article continues, noting that it will be difficult for George LeMieux "to rid himself of the Ghost of Charlies Past," and "deal with [his] image of a Washington insider," but Thornberry's harshest words are saved for Mike Haridopolos:
...Florida conservatives sniff that Haridopolos got far less than he could have, considering the Florida Legislature is 2-1 Republican and the governor and all cabinet members are Republican. His opponents particularly like to point out that Haridopolos was unable to get any meaningful immigration legislation...

...though Haridopolos is 41 he looks 25 and sounds 16. He has a high-pitched voice that is so squeaky it sounds like his nickname should be "Sparky." He can't help this, and it's not fair. But these things might cost him a few points. If he were running for student-body president he would be perfect.

Sparky? Like the cartoon fire safety dog?

Ouch. Not the best image for someone who wants to get taken seriously as a Senate candidate.

After Haridopolos' brutal ejection from the Ray Junior Show and end of session meltdown, it may be too late to makeover his image in the minds of Republican primary voters. Having the national conservative media basically call him a kid does not help.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Well, heck, maybe I should run for office...

Here's the video from my appearance on the Ray Junior Show on June 7th:

YouTube | RayJuniorShow | Tuesday June 7, 2011 - Sarah Rumpf Interview

Just a reminder, this is the same radio program where Mike Haridopolos crashed and burned just a week before I was on.

Ray Junior did ask me some tough questions, but I think I held my own. Heh. I at least managed to not get kicked off the show.

Maybe I should run for office? ;)

Why you should register your domain name

If you have even the teeny-tiniest inclination that you may want to run for office someday, and you haven't registered your own name as a website address ("," etc.), then you're a blooming idiot.

Further proof of my theory that you really can find anything on the internet

Once your name becomes even slightly recognizable, it's too late and someone will quickly capitalize on your delay. There's no excuse - registering a domain name takes just a few minutes and costs about $10.00.

The latest person to learn this painful lesson is former Utah Governor and newly-declared Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman. Huntsman has registered "" for his campaign.

Why Well, it turns out that was already taken...and, ouch, it's not very helpful to Huntsman's presidential ambitions.

Whoever created the site (the whois domain registration is set to private) has posted a letter from Huntsman to Obama (click image to enlarge):

Adding to the zing of this love letter to Obama is the pink heart background and this cutesy little logo, making a heart out of Obama's "O" logo:

Adorable, right? Heh.

Not the best friend to have in a Republican primary...
...just ask Charlie Crist.
What's not so adorable for Huntman's campaign is his poor internet presence. Most people, when searching for a candidate will type in "" and then if that doesn't work, run an internet search. Well, today, within hours of Huntsman's press conference officially announcing his candidacy, here's the top search results on Google for "jon huntsman:"
  1. The "Jon Huntsman, Jr." Wikipedia page
  2. A TIME article that's over a month old
  3. A Daily Beast article that's nearly two months old
  4. Erick Erickson's RedState article titled "Why I will not support Jon Huntman. Ever."
  5. An Economist article titled "Jon Huntsman: The perils of hype"
  6. The website for the current Utah Governor, Gary Herbert
  7. An ABC News article about today's campaign announcement
So his official website barely cracks the Top 10, the top two articles are old and losing relevance by the day, and the next two are negative. Yeah, whoever is managing search engine optimization for this campaign needs to put in some overtime this week.

(Hat tip re the valentine site to and @JonahNRO)

[Cross-posted at The Minority Report Blog and Indie Politics]

Monday, June 20, 2011

Morning Coffee Reading for June 20, 2011

Here's your morning coffee reading for today:
  • Tim Pawlenty spoke at the Right Online conference last weekend, and knocked their socks off. Don't write him off yet, folks.
RedState | Erick Erickson | Tim Pawlenty impresses Right Online
  • Looks like President Obama's quick visit to Puerto Rico may have been a good fundraising trip, but has the potential to become a public relations nightmare. Apparently spending only four hours on the island territory "unleashed a growing political furor."
Salon | Obama's Puerto Rico visit spurs anger, discontent

  • Here's a heartwarming story about a charity, American Veterans Empowerment Team (AVET), which sends care packages to troops overseas and pampers them when they visit home. This Fox Orlando video shows one service member getting picked up in a limo at the airport.
  • Great blog post by @ChrisOfRights with a more accurate perspective on the Robin Hood story:
Chris of Rights | Liberalism and Robin Hood

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Adam Hasner: "Consistent Message" and Principles Will Attract Hispanic Votes [VIDEO]

Here's an interview of Senate candidate Adam Hasner regarding what effect the Hispanic vote may have in the 2012 elections, and how to attract Hispanic votes, by Javier Manjarres for his recently-launched site, HISPOLITICA:

YouTube | HISPOLITICA |U.S. Senate Candidate Adam Hasner on the Latino Voting Block

From the article about the interview:
Hasner does not think that Republicans need to tailor a “special” message to Latinos, but rather convey a message that all law abiding citizens can relate to.  Hasner also observed that Republicans need to emphasize the point that the Republican Party is the party that believes “that our rights come from our creator, that we are strong in faith, and we are a pro-life/ pro-family party.”

New Website: Indie Politics

Filmmaker and blogger Lee Stranahan has launched a new website, IndiePolitics, describing it as "a new, unique vision of political blogging that’s coming just in time for the election."

The site is still under construction but the idea is to be a political discussion forum that's not strictly partisan. As Stranahan posted on the Indie Politics Twitter account:

Is there a place for a political site that goes past partisan ideologies & tries to present fresh, lively ideas...without insulting your IQ?Fri Jun 17 09:08:23 via web

I've been invited to contribute content and will be posting over there from time to time when I have something that fits the site.

Here's my first Indie Politics post:
Indie Politics | Sarah Rumpf | Who won the GOP debate? The answer may be on Twitter
Stranahan is still looking for additional contributors to Indie Politics, so if you're interested, email and put "IndiePolitics Blogging" in the subject line.

Happy Father's Day from Marco Rubio [VIDEO]

Here's a Father's Day message from our Senator, Marco Rubio:

YouTube | SenatorMarcoRubio | Sen. Rubio's Father's Day Message
...while I'm a United States Senator, and that's an important job, the most important job I have is as a father and husband. In fact, it is in the role of father and husband that I can make the greatest contribution to our country and to our future, and that's true for each of you as well...
And a special Happy Father's Day to two great fathers in my life:

Dad in 1969, the year he married Mom. my Dad, who can fix almost anything, taught me to love coffee and classic automobiles, has been a great and steady presence in my life and my brother's life, and is now a very happy and proud Grandpa to my little niece...

...and to my "little-big brother" Tom (he's younger but taller), who is hands down the best brother a girl could want, finds the cool new bands before I've ever heard of them, is one of the funniest people I know, and a wonderful father to his little girl.

Love you guys!

[Video cross-posted at The Minority Report]

Saturday, June 18, 2011

"Recovery Summer"? Hardly.

Here's another awesome video from American Crossroads:

YouTube | AmericanCrossroads | Recovery Summer

"Shovel ready was not as...uh...shovel ready as we expected."

Sorry, Mr. President, but the millions of Americans looking for work don't find it as funny as you do.

I previously posted American Crossroad's last video, "Debbie Downer," and you can view it here.

Friday, June 17, 2011

How to participate in Florida's redistricting process

One of the most crucial issues for the upcoming 2012 elections is redistricting. The Florida Legislature has created an extremely detailed website at with all the information you could possibly want regarding the redistricting process, related legal issues, calendar of meetings and events, maps, and even all the software and data you need to create your own district map.

The Florida Senate and House Apportionment Committees will begin conducting public meetings around the state starting on Monday. You can view the schedule here and sign up to attend the meeting in your area.

This is a unique opportunity to directly participate in the politics and history of our state. Because of population growth shown on the 2010 Census, Florida is gaining two new Congressional seats, and population shifts around the state will further reshape our political borders. I encourage you to check out the website, review the materials, and attend a meeting or submit your comments as instructed on the website.

For more information, check out the following links:

My District Builder on Facebook
@FLRedistricting on Twitter
MyDistrictBuilderFL on YouTube

Witnessing History

Earlier this week, I published a post with the video from Senator Marco Rubio's maiden speech on the floor of the Senate:
Sunshine State Sarah | ICYMI - An inspiring speech by our Senator, Marco Rubio
Well, I was inspired just watching the speech on YouTube. Imagine being one of the lucky people who got to see it in person.

My friend Andrew Staroska, is one of those lucky people. Andrew is in Washington, D.C. for an internship this summer and Rubio's office sent over several Senate Gallery passes so the interns could come watch his speech. I thought it would be fun to share with y'all what the pass looks like, so I asked Andrew to send me a picture (click to enlarge):

Is this the signature of a future president?
Here's what Andrew had to say about his experience watching this historic speech:
Rubio's speech was spectacular. He really tells the story of the American Dream. His story proves that anyone can achieve their dreams with hard work and determination.
You can follow Andrew on twitter @OHconservatism and check out his website at Truth About Bills.

Adam Hasner: Ryan Plan Preserves Medicare for Seniors

The following op-ed by Senate candidate Adam Hasner appears in today's Orlando Sentinel:

Ryan plan preserves Medicare for seniors
Orlando Sentinel
Adam Hasner
June 17, 2011

Medicare is going broke. That's not Republican spin or Democrat spin. It's a fact.

And it's not far off. Medicare's trustees recently said its eventual collapse has been accelerated. I'm 41. Before I turn 55, the main trust fund in Medicare will be depleted.

Saving Medicare is going to require reforming Medicare, and that means moving past politics as usual.

According to, Florida has nearly 2 million Medicare beneficiaries under the age of 75. These Floridians face the real possibility of living to see drastic cuts to their benefits. Crueler still, seniors like my mom and dad, who are nearing retirement age, may have Medicare benefits for only a few years before the rug is pulled out from under them.

House Republicans, led by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, wrote a plan that balances the budget, pays down the debt, cuts spending and saves Medicare. I support it.

The Ryan plan saves Medicare without making any changes for current beneficiaries or seniors close to enrolling. Future retirees — Americans like me who are 55 or younger — will be offered essentially the same kind of health plan as members of Congress receive, a payment-support system where they pick from approved plans. Poorer and sicker seniors get more money. Wealthy seniors get less.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thanks for the soundbite, Debbie!

Florida Congresswoman and DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been sticking her foot in her mouth so often lately, she's learned how to floss her teeth with her toes.

Recently, during an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press, DWS made the laughably, ridiculously, unbelievably stupid remark that "under President Obama's leadership, we were able to turn this economy around."

Say what?!

Yeah. Host David Gregory didn't buy it either: "Clearly the economy has not been turned around...Americans don't believe that to be the case."

Cue the RNC's media team, who came up with this catchy little one-minute video:

YouTube | RNC | Economic Turnaround?

Gotta love the closing line:
They'll say anything to save their own jobs, but what have they done to save yours?
Debbie Wasserman Schultz really is the gift that keeps on giving. She has filled the role vacated by my former Congressman, our one-hit-blunder Alan Grayson, as the Democrats' rabid attack dog, but they forget that you win elections by (1) energizing your base AND (2) not scaring the middle.

ICYMI - An inspiring speech by our Senator, Marco Rubio

Senator Marco Rubio gave his maiden speech on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday. The speech is nearly fifteen minutes of emotional, inspirational, powerful, aren’t-you-proud-to-be-American solid awesomeness. (Is “awesomeness” a word? If not, someone needs to make it a word, just for the sole purpose of using it to describe Marco Rubio.)

If you haven’t seen it yet, you’ll definitely want to take the time to watch:

YouTube | SenatorMarcoRubio | Senator Marco Rubio's Maiden Floor Speech

One of my favorite parts comes at about the eight minute mark:
If we can deliver on a few simple but important things, we have the chance to do something that's difficult to imagine is even possible: an America whose future will be greater than her past.
But sadly that's not where we are headed. We have made no progress on the issues of our time, because frankly we have too many people, in both parties, who have decided the next election is more important than the next generation.
And our lack of progress on these issues has led to something even more troubling: a growing fear that maybe these problems are too big for us to solve, too big for even America.
Well, there is no reason to be afraid. Our story, the story of America, it is not the story of a nation that never faced problems, it is the story of a nation that faced its challenges and solved them. Our story, the story of the American people, is not the story of a people who always got it right, it is the story of a people, who, in the end, got it right. We should never forget who we Americans are...
The foreign policy discussion near the end of the speech is especially powerful, centering on Rubio's poignant question, "if America declines, what nation on the Earth will take these causes as their own...if America declines, who will do all these things, and ask for nothing in return, motivated solely by the desire to make the world a better place?" Of course, the answer is "no one will, there is still no nation or institution on this planet that is able or willing to do what America has done."

If we are going to have the "new American century" of Rubio's speech, a good first step seems to be in finding, recruiting, electing, and supporting as many solid conservatives like him as possible. I continue to be filled with pride and inspiration every time I hear this man speak, and cannot wait to see what the future holds for him.

Here's Rubio's interview with Greta Van Susteren the night of his speech:

YouTube | Senator Marco Rubio Goes 'On The Record' With Greta Van Susteren

[Cross-posted at The Minority Report]

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A few thoughts on last night's GOP presidential debate

Last night's GOP presidential debate took place in New Hampshire and was moderated by CNN's John King. Here's some of my thoughts on how it went:

Excellent video explanation of why Israel cannot withdraw to its 1967 borders

Last month, I wrote a post about why President Obama was completely, dangerously wrong when he stated that Israel should withdraw to its 1967 borders:
Sunshine State Sarah | A historical perspective on why Obama is wrong about Israel
In the post, I discussed several history-based reasons why I so strongly disagreed with Obama, but I did not have a lot of detail about the specific geography of Israel. I've never been there and it's not my area of expertise, so I was very pleased to find this excellent video by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, which includes some amazing computer animations of Israel's borders, mountains and bodies of water, transportation corridors, etc.:

YouTube |shaharclips | outstanding Explanation: Why Israel can't withdraw to its pre '67 borders line - Please Share

I encourage you to watch this video and share it with your friends. For more info about the JCPA, click the image below:

Morning Coffee Reading for June 14, 2011

Here's your morning coffee reading for today:
  • The Republican Party is starting to present increased challenges to the long-standing Democrat domination of the Hispanic vote:
Los Angeles Times | Democrats losing favor with some Latinos
  • Stephen Green, also known as @VodkaPundit, wrote up a hysterical live-blog of last night's GOP debate in New Hampshire:
 Pajamas Media | Drunkblogging the Republican Primary Debate
  • Robert Stacy McCain has some harsh words concerning the viability of Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign, and links a short video report from ABC's Jake Tapper:
The Other McCain | VIDEO: ABC's Jake Tapper Reports on Calista and the Newt 2012 Implosion
    The Sundries Shack | The Post Where I Break Out Some Math On Debbie Wasserman Schultz
    The Sundries Shack | More Math for Debbie Wasserman Schultz. This Time, It's Jobs.
    Pajamas Media | Tips for Not Appearing Crazy on the Internet
    Don't forget, you can receive a free once-a-day email subscription to this blog, "A Daily Dose of Sunshine," and please vote for me in Orlando Weekly's Best of 2011 Orlando contest as "Best Local Blog" under the "Local Color" category. Thanks, y'all!

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    More on why Obamacare will be a disaster

    Sometimes I come across an article while I'm browsing the internet and I just know I am going to want to write something about it. Here's one such article:

    John Nolte
    In this powerful and intensely personal article,  Big Hollywood Editor-in-Chief John Nolte describes his wife's struggle with "trigeminal neuralgia," a nerve disorder that causes episodes of excruciating facial pain. It's an extremely debilitating medical problem that has literally been deemed "The Suicide Disease" because it has driven so many sufferers to end their lives.

    Nolte describes the years they spent visiting multiple doctors and desperately trying different treatments with great emotional detail. Blessedly, his wife was able to successfully obtain several newly-developed treatments and her symptoms have now abated.
    My wife has the promise of her life back because of the dynamic innovation of our current health care system, and also, those individuals and institutions the Left is so determined to demonize.

    ...I’m not arguing our current system is perfect and couldn’t use some major improvements...And though I always fear chasing the perfect at the expense of the good, there are a number of market-based solutions to the legitimate problem of the uninsured that deserved a chance before a full-blown government takeover.

    Yes, as I noted above, there were moments so frustrating that I would’ve gladly reached out for anything marked hope or change. But the bottom line is that what saved my wife can best be described with a single word: Innovation – and nothing drives away creativity and risk-taking and those industriously intelligent individuals good at both, faster than the punishing regulations, restrictions, red tape and overbearing punitive measures that always come with government interference.

    Had ObamaCare become the law of the land ten years ago would the perfect storm of scientists, technicians, thinkers, and doctors have been around to create the medications and equipment necessary to give my wife her life back? No one can say. But when you’re talking about the well-being of my wife, or anyone’s loved one, “no one can say” is not an acceptable answer.

    True, at first we trusted the system and it failed us. Miserably. But because the system is still mostly market-based this gave us choices and alternatives that made The Miracle possible. 

    What is ObamaCare and its advocates stifling the kind of creativity that affects our quality of life, and this I fear will be the unintended consequence. This will also affect everyone. In the world of ObamaCare, the wealthy will most certainly continue to enjoy their elite, top-tier health coverage. But everyone will be in the same boat when it comes to paying the cost of whatever medical innovations are lost in the bureaucratic maze of what is now the law of the land...
    Nolte is absolutely right. The American healthcare system is messy and chaotic and frustrating. Almost everyone has a dear friend or family member who has struggled at some point with the challenges of getting the treatment they need. But across the board, the American system provides quicker and better medical services to more people than that of any other nation. 

    Not only do we have a choice of doctors in virtually any specialty, doctors who will be able to select from a number of different medications and treatments to fix what ails us, we also benefit from American researchers who have pioneered new technology which allows for quicker and more detailed diagnoses of diseases before they even develop, e.g., the discovery of the mutation of the BRCA1 gene and its correlation to increased risk of breast cancer.

    To give a more superficial example, capitalist ingenuity brings you stuff like Hot Pockets and iPads. Government-run development gets you a Trabant...also known as a Trabi, the East German car infamous for its cheap construction and poor mechanical reliability (see jokes here and here).

    Q: How do you double the value of a Trabi? A: Fill its gas tank!
    Additionally, the Democrats' arguments in support of Obamacare center around the supposed "47 million uninsured." First of all, 47 million is a extremely inflated figure. (Seriously, why do Democrats always seem to be having such problems with math?)

    Research verified from a number of groups, including the left-leaning Kaiser Family Foundation and the U.S. Census Bureau, show that the actual number of uninsured Americans (i.e., those who are uninsured not because they have chosen to be, but because they cannot afford insurance) is, at most, about 14 million.

    According to the 2010 Census, the current population of the United States is over 308 million, so 14 million is less than five percent. Obama and his Democrat allies in Congress have decided to tear apart our medical system, unconstitutionally mandate the purchase of individual insurance policies, and add billions of dollars of cost from added levels of bureaucracy and regulation, all supposedly justified by the ability to help less than five percent of the country.

    You've probably seen discussions about the hundreds of new bureaucratic agencies and departments that will be needed to enforce and administer Obamacare, such as the thousands of new employees to be hired at the IRS. Americans for Tax Reform, citing research done by U.S. News and World Report, points out that the cost of ObamaCare just at the IRS alone will be over $359 million next year.

    I cannot see how providing basic health care coverage for 5% of the U.S. (even if we paid for all of the costs) wouldn't far cheaper than over-regulating all of us. If the Democrats actually wanted to help the poor and uninsured, they would be doing everything they could to encourage preventative care and reduce the use of emergency rooms as the major medical provider for uninsured Americans. Besides the fact that providing care in an ER is significantly more expensive, it's also far more stressful for the patient. I mean, given the choice, would you rather make an appointment to see your primary care physician or wait for hours and hours in an ER with seriously ill and injured people?

    I am cautiously optimistic that the constitutional challenges to Obamacare will succeed (everyone say a special prayer of encouragement for Pam Bondi, OK?), but in the meantime, Republicans in Congress as well as those who are seeking elected office need to keep hammering the points that Obamacare is a dangerously risky burden on the best parts of our health care system, while failing to adequately help the uninsured people that it claims justify the new legislation.

    (You may also consider this post my statement that, while I'd vote for him over Obama, I will not be supporting Mitt Romney in the primary. Government takeover of health care and individual insurance mandates are not "conservative" ideas, in my opinion, and while I recognize there is no "perfect" candidate, this is just too big of a deal for me to look past.)

    [Cross-posted at The Minority Report]

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