Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Thank you, Chairman Bitner

David Bitner announced today that he will be stepping down as RPOF Chairman after the Presidency 5 Convention next month.

Bitner had announced earlier this year that he had been diagnosed with ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.  Sadly, it seems that the disease has progressed quicker than anticipated, and Bitner felt that he was no longer able to serve as Chairman.

Chairman Bitner should be commended for bringing the party together after a contentious election, and for serving the party with dedication and vision. He has been a good, strong leader for RPOF, setting an excellent example for his successor. Every time I saw him at an event, he was kind and gracious to everyone who approached him, regardless of whether the person was a Congressman or first-time volunteer. David Bitner was the leader that we needed this year, and he will be sorely missed.

Please keep Chairman Bitner and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Human Events Op-Ed by Adam Hasner

Florida Senate candidate Adam Hasner has written an excellent op-ed for Human Events that was published this morning:

Human Events | Adam Hasner | Tax Problems Not Too Complex For Simple Answers
It’s no secret that Sen. Bill Nelson and I disagree on most of the issues facing America.  One of those issues is tax reform, which I believe is fundamental to growing America’s economy...

New Zogby poll shows Perry breaking away from the field

Wow. Zogby posted the results of their latest presidential poll on their website yesterday, and there are some eye-opening numbers:

Zogby International | IBOPE Zogby Poll: Perry Races Far Ahead of Republican Field; 4 Announced GOP Candidates Tie or Lead Obama

(Discussion of results after the jump)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

George LeMieux tells the BEST jokes!

I really, really, really love the internet sometimes. I find the funniest stuff on it. (It was awfully nice of Al Gore to invent it for us, wasn't it?)

In the case of politics, some of the funniest stuff is the stuff that candidates themselves put online.

With that in mind, I started pondering a fun little thought yesterday while I was writing this post wishing George LeMieux a happy second anniversary of the day that Governor Oompa Loompa announced he was appointing him to the U.S. Senate:

Sunshine State Sarah | Happy Anniversary to George LeMieux!

So, are you pondering what I'm pondering?
Whatever happened to "The LeMieux Report?"
What's that, you say? You haven't heard of The LeMieux Report?! Well, let me refresh your memory!

Morning Coffee Reading for August 30, 2011

Here's your morning coffee reading for today:
Crowley Political Report | Why Mike McCalister should quit Florida's Senate race
Mike, Mike, Mike. What were you thinking? 
Mike McCalister is a tough talking, retired Army colonel who dreams of winning the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. His little dream is turning into an embarrassing nightmare.
If you listen to McCalister, it is easy to walk away with the impression that this is one combat hardened, black-ops [savvy], kick-a** son-of-a gun.
Instead, the real McCalister is a lot like the high school football player who later in life talks as if he played in the pros...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Happy Anniversary to George LeMieux!

Two years ago today, then-Governor Charlie Crist appointed his "maestro" and close friend, George LeMieux, to keep his seat warm for him in the U.S. Senate.

The move was viewed as blatant cronyism and widely criticized by Republicans, Democrats, and journalists around the state. Fortunately, Florida voters rejected Crist at the polls last November, and LeMieux has spent the last year trying to scurry away from Crist with all his might.

Over the past few months, Adam Hasner's opponents have made repeated attempts to falsely paint him as a moderate, constantly quoting the same St. Pete Times article and blog post, and playing a cute little game of ping-pong where they retweet each other back and forth on Twitter. Every few days, they post the same old links as if they are sharing new information. (We should give them credit for being such dedicated recyclers!)

In contrast, this morning, the Adam Hasner campaign issued a press release extensively detailing what was being said two years ago when the announcement was made that the self-proclaimed "Charlie Crist Republican" was going to the Senate.

The list of quotes from 2009 is nearly overwhelming, quoting dozens and dozens of elected officials, political insiders, journalists - and LeMieux himself - about LeMieux's known moderate positions and close personal relationship with Charlie Crist:

Will George LeMieux Apologize to the Veterans?

"Something's rotten in the state of Denmark."

This quote, from Shakespeare's play Hamlet, is used in modern times to refer to a situation that is "rife with errors from top to bottom," or exhibiting evidence of rampant corruption or suspicious motives.

Well, something's rotten in the Florida Senate race, and the people of Florida deserve some answers.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dedication

From the official Army Twitter account, a photo of a soldier guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during Hurricane Irene:


The above photo comes from the Facebook page for "The Old Guard," which is the nickname for the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment. One of their solemn duties is to guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, which they have done every minute of every day since April 6, 1948. Here is another photo they released:


What a moving example of the loyalty and dedication of those who serve in our military. God Bless Our Troops.

[Hat tip: Amanda Carpenter]

[Cross-posted at RedState]

Friday, August 26, 2011

Perrymania

Here's some of the latest news about Rick Perry...plus some exclusive photos and videos from Perry's announcement at the RedState Gathering earlier this month...

"How am I doing? Best week EVER!"
BOOM. Perry's been in the race for less than two weeks, and look at that, there's a new frontrunner in the GOP Presidential race:
GALLUP | Perry Zooms to Front of Pack for 2012 GOP Nomination
Shortly after announcing his official candidacy, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has emerged as rank-and-file Republicans' current favorite for their party's 2012 presidential nomination. Twenty-nine percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents nationwide say they are most likely to support Perry, with Mitt Romney next, at 17%.
(Click image to enlarge)

Florida Senate Debate - Watch and Judge for Yourself

I've made no airs about being unbiased in the Florida Senate race. I'm one of the few bloggers that directly and openly declares my endorsements. There's a place for objective journalism and there's a place for opinion sites, and I firmly believe that both of these types of commentary are helpful, especially in politics.

Now, in a week where this website received a lot of traffic for several pieces I wrote about the August 20th Florida Senate debate and its aftermath (here, here, here, and here), I've seen a few articles and blog posts discussing the debate that seem so far off base I wonder if they written by people who were not there.

[Further discussion and video after the jump]

Political Meteorology

It is often easier to get excited about Presidential and Congressional races, but here's a reminder of how important local and state governments are:

FLORIDA 2004 STORMS

Charley makes landfall on Florida's west coast
Hurricane Charley (pictured, left) made landfall as Category 4 (the day after Tropical Storm Bonnie), and still had winds over 100 mph when it crossed Orlando.

Hurricane Frances hit Florida only three weeks after Charley. Drenched Florida with severe rain (over 13" in some areas). Wind damage resulted in near total loss of citrus crops between West Palm Beach and Melbourne. Caused a sinkhole under I-95 in Palm Beach County.

Hurricane Ivan, the storm with its own sequel
Hurricane Ivan was a Category 4 and caused severe property damage to Panhandle. Then, after crossing the South, regained strength in the Atlantic and came back and hit Florida again with severe storms and heavy rain.

Hurricane Jeanne headed out to the Atlantic after causing massive devastation in Hispaniola. Then, made a complete loop and came back and hit Florida, just three weeks after Frances, making landfall just 2 miles from where Frances had struck.

FLORIDA 2004 GOVERNMENT

Governor Jeb Bush
Republican Governor Jeb Bush issued state of emergency declarations. National Hurricane Center, law enforcement and elected officials provided warnings and instructions to Floridians. Constant stream of information provided by government to news media. Millions of residents evacuated, schools and facilities closed. Governor Bush called in National Guard to help with relief efforts ahead of storms' impacts.

FLORIDA 2004 RESULT

It wasn't fun. I know. I lived here. Considering the severity of storms, fatalities were fortunately limited to less than 50. We got through it and rebuilt.

LOUISIANA 2005 STORM

Thursday, August 25, 2011

As more of Jeb's people back Adam Hasner, speculation grows about an endorsement

More good news today for Senate candidate Adam Hasner, as the campaign announces the endorsements of two well-respected Florida Republicans from Jeb Bush's inner circle:
POLITICO | David Catanese | Hasner nabs Bradshaw, Shanahan
Adam Hasner has landed the endorsements of two influential Florida GOP political hands in his bid for U.S. Senate.
Sally Bradshaw, the longtime aid to Jeb Bush, confirmed to POLITICO she's backing Hasner and contributed $2,500 to his effort.  The St. Petersburg Times had that news first.
Bradshaw explained her decision in an email to POLITICO.  "Sometimes what you know about individuals, their record on issues, the way they interact with others, their history with the party and their efforts at growing it, gives you a pretty good clue as to what they would do as a public official. This wasn't particularly complicated for me.  I know both," she said, referring to Hasner and former Sen. George LeMieux.
"George did an admirable job as a Senator but we need an authentic and consistent conservative and records over time tell the story," she continued.

"Boys Will Be Boys"

Says a lot, doesn't it?

(Click image to enlarge)

(Hat tip:  @JasonBWhitman and @DavidLimbaugh)

Yeah, it's fun to say "I told you so."

In case you've been living under a rock for the past few days, Marco Rubio gave a pretty epic speech at the Reagan Library Tuesday evening...

Get this man a cape.
...right after he saved Nancy Reagan from a potentially nasty fall as a warm-up act.

As my friend Frank Torres quipped on his blog,
I’m surprised that they didn’t ask him to pull a sword out of a stone afterwards.
So, yeah, Marco Rubio is showing extremely high levels of awesomeness.

And, yeah, those of us who supported Rubio from the beginning can't help but feel pretty darn proud.

As a fun little look back, check out this post from Stephen Kruiser back in October 2010, gleefully rejoicing at how very, very wrong the media was in predicting how last year's Senate race would turn out:

Big Journalism | Stephen Kruiser | Remember How Marco Rubio Was Going to Ruin the GOP in Florida (And Everywhere Else)?

And again, I repeat my point from a few days ago: Marco Rubio is fantastic in the Senate. He'd also be a wonderful asset as a running mate for the eventual Republican Presidential nominee. I wouldn't be surprised if he eventually runs for President himself. But whether Senator, Vice President, or President, we know that Rubio will be one of the best fighters we have for the conservative cause. No matter what, we can't lose. 

Have you signed up for CPAC FL yet? Marco Rubio is one of the confirmed speakers. We all know the man gives a great speech, so you know you're gonna enjoy being there. Just sayin'...

This has nothing to do with anything

This really is a completely irrelevant post, but hey, things have been getting a little serious around here, and this photo just cracked me up. So I figured, heck, it's my website, I'm going to post some Kung Fu Bunnies:

From icanhascheezburger.com

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming. Snark, politics, snark, caffeine, and even more snark...

[Crickets]

Oh, what an interesting day.

At 7:29 am Wednesday morning, I hit "Publish Post" on this:
Sunshine State Sarah | Connections between Mike McCalister and Doug Guetzloe?
...got a cup of coffee and waited...and waited...

...and waited...

I mean, surely, Colonel Mike McCalister would have something, something, to say in response, right? Right?

There's no way that McCalister, the self-proclaimed "National Tea Party Star," would join forces with Doug Guetzloe, the guy who spent 2010 threatening tea party movement groups and activists around Florida, the guy who helped organize a third party political party that was designed to split conservative votes and make it easier for Democrats to win, the guy who was repeatedly tied to liberal bomb-thrower Alan Grayson?

Of course the campaign will have a response. There's some excuse. There's some explanation. I mean, McCalister's excuse for the whole "I-testified-before-Congress-except-I-didn't" kerfuffle was that he had a "bad memory." Was that it?

I'm sure the McCalister campaign will have some sort of excuse for working with a guy like Guetzloe: "We're new to politics and didn't know any better." "We don't have Google." "No, seriously, we don't have Google."

But...nothing.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Connections between Mike McCalister and Doug Guetzloe? [UPDATED]

After getting caught in what is, at best, a misrepresentation about testifying before Congress, and facing mounting questions about his record, new information has been discovered that is likely to further damage Colonel Mike McCalister's credibility in the Florida Republican Senate Primary.

Previously under fire from Florida tea party organizers for his "bold self determination" declaring himself a "national Tea Party star," McCalister appears to have made the unfortunate decision to ally himself with Doug Guetzloe.

In case you are not acquainted with Mr. Douglas M. Guetzloe, let me introduce you to some of his "greatest hits:"
The bottom line is that Doug Guetzloe is no friend to the tea party movement or the Republican Party. As one Central Florida tea party organizer said to me (name withheld upon request), "I would go out of my way to not have my name associated with Guetzloe, in any way."

Despite all of this history, the McCalister campaign is running ads on Guetzloe's websites and on the website for the "Phoenix Network," where Guetzloe's internet radio program is broadcast. All of the McCalister banner ads on Guetzloe's websites link directly to the McCalister campaign website. I have taken screenshots of the websites just in case the ads are removed after I post this information (click images to enlarge):

Marco Rubio speaking at the Reagan Library OH HECK YEAH

In case you missed the live webcast Tuesday evening, here's the video from Marco Rubio's incredibly inspiring speech at the Reagan Library:


YouTube | copyrightphotos | Senator Marco Rubio Live @ The Reagan Library August 23, 2011

Lots of red meat for conservatives in that speech, but here are two of my favorite quotes:
Conservatism is not about leaving people behind. Conservatism is about allowing people to catch up.
Our rights don't come from our government. Our rights come from our God. Rights come from God.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sayfie Review interview of Rick Scott

Sayfie Review publisher Justin Sayfie added a new feature to his popular website this year: one-on-one video interviews with Florida politicians.

Here's his latest with Governor Rick Scott, discussing job creation, Florida's editorial boards, Hurricane Irene, the Presidency 5 convention, CPAC FL and the 2012 presidential race:



YouTube | sayfiereview | Fla. Gov. Rick Scott

Meet your next President at CPAC FL!

Who's your choice for the 2012 GOP Presidential nominee? No matter who your candidate is, you will want to be at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando on September 23rd (CPAC FL) to show your support. And if you haven't made up your mind, CPAC FL will be an excellent opportunity to hear from the candidates in person and help you figure out who to support.

All GOP presidential candidates except for Ron Paul have now confirmed their attendance at CPAC FL. Today the American Conservative Union announced that Texas Governor and Presidential candidate Rick Perry will be attending. (Congressman Paul, as well as Sarah Palin, have been invited but have not yet responded.)

ACU Chairman and former RPOF Chairman Al Cardenas had this to say about Perry's attendance:
As the Republican field continues to emerge, Rick Perry is generating enthusiasm across the country because of his conservative record in the Lone Star State. Through an agenda built on tax and spending cuts and pro-growth policies, Governor Perry has made Texas a leader in job creation and economic development while serving as a national voice for preserving states’ rights. We look forward to hosting him at our first-ever regional CPAC event.

In  addition to the Presidential candidates, confirmed CPAC FL speakers include: Marco Rubio, Dean Cannon, Ann Coulter, Bill Kristol, Ralph Reed, and Grover Norquist. There will also be a Florida Senate Primary straw poll.

Keep checking the "CPAC FL" tab on the top this page for all the latest CPAC news and instructions on how to register for this don't-miss event.

Allan Bense endorses Adam Hasner for Senate

Adam Hasner announced today that he has received the endorsement of Allan Bense, who will serve as Statewide Chair for the Hasner for U.S. Senate Campaign.


Bense previously served as Speaker of the Florida House, and his endorsement is highly sought in Florida:

Worried about Hurricane Irene? Here's the REAL disaster.

Hurricane Irene is spinning its way through the Atlantic and could impact the Central Florida area by Friday. The storm is currently a Category 2.

With the first major storm of the season heading our way, it's a painful reminder of how very vulnerable Florida's property insurance system is. The James Madison Institute published a comprehensive study on this topic, and suggested changes to the Florida Citizens Property Insurance Corporation ("Citizens") and the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (the "Cat Fund"):
James Madison Institute | Backgrounder February 2011 | Solutions to Restore Florida's Property Insurance Marketplace to Protect Taxpayers and the Insured

This study presents data demonstrating that Florida’s property insurance system is seriously broken and needs significant changes, some of which may be somewhat painful to — or unwelcomed by — those who benefit from the status quo. Yet those changes must be enacted if the Legislature hopes to protect the state against the risks inherent in crowding 18 million people onto a low-lying peninsula that juts out into one of the most hurricane-prone areas on Earth. For the past several years Florida has placed its public safety and fiscal health at risk, and the state has — against the odds — won each time. That winning streak cannot continue forever. Therefore, change must come because the risks are simply too great.
Some important facts and comments from the report:

Morning Coffee Reading for August 23, 2011

Here's your morning coffee reading for today:
  • I don't know what's worse: that Vice President Joe Biden might really say all these awful things without thinking, or believing that he does actually mean them. In case you missed it, while visiting China, Biden commented that he "fully understands" and was "not second-guessing" China's one-child policy. Hey, Joe, you are aware that the one-child policy really means forced abortions and sterilizations and other human rights abuses, right? Right? Sigh...anyway...here's two good commentaries on this:
Michelle Malkin | Doug Powers| Joe Biden 'Fully Understands' China's 'Million of Children Left Behind' Policy 
National Review | Kathryn Jean Lopez | Our VPOTUS at Work in China, Affirming Brutal One-Child Policy
  • Here's David Limbaugh displaying his customary ability to slice through liberal spin:
David Limbaugh | Obama Is a Robot That Needs Reprogramming

Monday, August 22, 2011

Allen West is running for Congress. Period.

Breaking news this afternoon: Allen West is running for Congress. He will run for re-election for his Congressional seat instead of jumping into the Senate race.
POLITICO | David Catanese | Allen West shuts door on Senate race

He left the door cracked open, but on Monday slammed it shut.

Florida Rep. Allen West said he'll run for his 22nd Congressional District seat next year, closing the door on a race for U.S. Senate even months before the redistricting process is complete.

"I will not seek the Republican nomination for the United States Senate in 2012. With regard to my future, the only goal I have is to do my very best to represent the constituents of the Congressional District and to restore the exceptionalism of our nation," West said in a statement.

Morning Coffee Reading for August 22, 2011

Here's your morning coffee reading for today:
  • Libyan nutcase dictator Muammar Kaddafi Quadafi Gaddafi Holy-heck-pick-a-spelling-dafi was overthrown yesterday, but it may be a bit early to pop the champagne, according to John R. Guardiano:
The Minority Report | Mission Not Accomplished In Libya
  • In case you missed it, I posted some updates to Saturday's post about Mike McCalister's post debate run-in with Miami Herald reporter Marc Caputo:
Sunshine State Sarah | "The Colonel Has To Use The Restroom" aka Mike McCalister's Post Debate Debacle [UPDATED] 
And here's a funny tweet from State Representative Scott Plakon in response to my post:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

"The Colonel Has To Use the Restroom" aka McCalister's Post Debate Debacle [UPDATED]

Earlier today the Florida Family Policy Council and the Central Florida Tea Party hosted a debate between Florida Republican Senate candidates Adam Hasner, George LeMieux, Mike McCalister, and Craig Miller.

I'll share my thoughts about the debate in general later, but wanted to post this about what happened after the debate first.

You may have noticed a bit of a kerfuffle this week between McCalister and a veterans' group called the Stolen Valor Task Force, who have questioned some of the claims made by McCalister during the campaign.

After the debate, reporters were chatting with different candidates, and Marc Caputo with the Miami Herald approached McCalister. The second Caputo mentioned the issue with the veterans' group, things got interesting.

McCalister claimed, "I did not say testify in front of Congress," became very agitated, and he and his handler hastily headed for the exit.

Here's a link to Caputo's post and video:

Quick note about today's Florida Senate Debate

I'll have more to post later, but wanted to post this press release from the Adam Hasner Campaign. It's very telling that John Stemberger would post these statements on Twitter during the debate.

------------------------------------
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 20, 2011
Contact: Douglass Mayer
410-703-5604

Hasner Campaign Comments On Florida Family Policy Council Debate

Orlando, FL - Hasner for Senate Communications Director Douglass Mayer issued the following statement in response to today's Florida Family Policy Council candidate debate:

"Every campaign is going to declare victory on behalf of their candidate. We don't have to - others who haven't endorsed in this race are doing it for us."
Adam Hasner clearly has the best grasp of the social issues especially stem cell research...strong, clear and passionate. Most dynamic of the panel.

- John Stemberger, President Of The Florida Family Policy Council, via Twitter
"George LeMieux's wholesale reinvention on values and economic issues will not stand up to scrutiny from voters and fact-checkers. While some candidates feel the need to exaggerate their resumes - or keep entire portions of it hidden from Florida voters - Adam has a consistent conservative record he's ready to take to Washington. That is why he won today's debate, and why he will win this election to take back our country."

------------------------------------

Stemberger also posted this about McCalister's answer on the pro-life issue: "[McCalister] consistently gets 10th Amend issues wrong and confused. Constitutional and policy positions two different animals."

I'll post more later when I can get in front of a computer again...including some great video from after the debate...stay tuned!

UPDATE: Here's the links to Stemberger's tweets referenced above if you are curious: here, here, and here.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Little Sugar 'n' Snark from the L.A. Times

One of my favorite things about attending events like CPAC and the RedState Gathering is the opportunity to hang out with other conservative bloggers and journalists. (By the way, have you signed up for CPAC Florida yet? Get to it!)

This guy rocks.
Last weekend, at the RedState Gathering, I got to meet Andrew Malcolm, who writes the "Top of the Ticket" blog for the L.A. Times. (Yes, the L.A. Times managed to hire a smart conservative. Even a broken clock is right twice a day...)

Back in January, I linked to one of Malcolm's blog posts about the national debt:
Sunshine State Sarah | Here's what one second of national debt looks like
Malcolm was nice enough to send an email thanking me "for the link and nice mention" in that post, which I thought was incredibly gracious. I mean, I've just got my little corner of the internet here, he's with one of the biggest news organizations in the country, and he is sending me a thank you note for linking to him? Wow. That's really cool.

Anyway, my friend and fellow Minority Report blogger Susannah Fleetwood (follow her on Twitter @susannah72) and I hung out with Malcolm for awhile last Saturday evening and had a great time swapping stories. He gave me permission to share this joke:
Barack Obama walks into a bar with a parrot on his shoulder. The bartender said, "Hey, cool. Does he speak?"
The parrot replied, "Unfortunately, not very well without a teleprompter."
Heh. I don't care if it's nice, that's funny.

Don't miss Malcolm's post about his chat with Rick Perry before the announcement:
Los Angeles Times | Top of the Ticket | Rick Perry joins the GOP Fray: 'This is gonna be a fun ride!'

Adam Hasner interviewed at RedState Gathering by FTR Radio


After his speech at the RedState Gathering, Florida Senate candidate Adam Hasner sat down for an interview with FTR Radio.

FTR Radio always does a great job with these interviews; they're fun and informative. Click the link below to listen to discussions of everything from Medicare to University of Maryland's football program (apologies to Adam and Teri, but as a Gator, "Fear the Turtle" just makes me giggle):


Adam Hasner with FTR Radio hosts @TeriChristoph and @FingersMalloy

ICYMI, my post from earlier this week about Hasner's speech at the RedState Gathering:
Sunshine State Sarah | Adam Hasner wows attendees at the RedState Gathering
And if you're in Central Florida, don't miss seeing Hasner at the Senate Debate tomorrow.



Don't forget: Florida Senate Debate Saturday!

Tomorrow in Orlando, the Florida Republican Senate candidates will have a debate sponsored by the Florida Family Policy Council and the Central Florida Tea Party. Don't miss out:

Saturday, August 20th, 2011
10:00 am - 12:00 noon
Howard Middle School Auditorium
800 East Robinson Street
Orlando, FL 32801
 
(click image to enlarge)
 
Find this and other great events on the "Events" tab on the top right corner of this website.
 

Own a small business? Good luck!

So here we are in August 2011, our national debt is at throw-up-in-your-mouth levels and the Drudge Report links to a new upsetting story about the economy every hour. Now, President Obama has promised us some sort of jobs plan in September (all of you who are out of work now, just sit tight for the month, okay?), and until then, Obama is touring the country to talk about American jobs in his bus, which was...made in Canada?

Photoshop by @anthropocon
Yeah. Fantastic. I'm inspired, how about you?

We all know the unemployment rate remains alarmingly high, so if you're a small business owner, there are lots of potential employees to chose from. So why are businesses slow to hire?

One of the biggest problems is that the cost of hiring an employee isn't just the direct costs of the wages and benefits that the employee is paid. Taxes and regulation, especially at the federal level, are growing at an alarming rate.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has formed a new initiative called "Small Businesses for Sensible Regulation." Their website is full of facts and statistics about the impact of federal regulation on small businesses and ways to get involved. Some of the most powerful statistics I found:
  • According to the Small Business Administration, the annual cost to the U.S. economy of complying with federal regulations is about $10,585 per employee.
  • These government regulations currently cost our economy $1.75 trillion a year, or more than 12 percent of our national GDP.
  • According the Office of Management and Budget, over the past five years, the number of regulations proposed has increased by more than 60 percent. Just the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) alone currently has more than 330 regulations under consideration.
This is the same federal government that thinks it's OK to regulate what light bulbs we can buy or how much water our toilets flush, so while it doesn't shock me to hear that federal regulation is oppressive to small businesses, I was shocked to see the exact figures. Beyond the quantifiable dollar figure, one of the most damaging aspects of recent government regulation is how unpredictable it has become. If business owners know it will cost an extra $10,000 for every new employee they hire, and they read about thousands of new regulations being currently drafted by regulatory agencies that will radically inflate that cost, it makes sense that they would delay hiring as long as possible before hiring someone new.

The SBSR group is conducting interviews with small business owners to discuss how federal regulation impacts their businesses and hiring decisions. Here are two of the videos (the first one is from a business owner in Port Orange, Florida):


A statement from NFIB, with which I agree:
It is essential that we restore balance to the federal regulatory process. Poll after poll indicate that economic growth and job creation are the highest priorities for Americans, indicating a growing disconnect between the administration's regulatory agenda and the American public's wishes. The administration must not regulate what has not been passed as law through Congress. With thousands of regulations already on the books, the American people would be better served by the government enforcing current regulations rather than writing thousands of pages of new rules.
For more information, check out the SensibleRegulations.org, the Sensible Regulations Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter @sensibleregs.


[Cross-posted at The Minority Report]

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Truth About the Texas Job Numbers

Here's an interesting blog post I found on Twitter this morning:

There are a lot of naysayers out there trying to minimize or discredit the Texas job numbers any way they can. The author of the above post (who you can find on Twitter @politicalmath) did hours of research into the actual jobs, wages, population, etc. data and does an excellent job setting the record straight. 

Note that the author is admittedly not a fan of Rick Perry's, but rather was just seeking clarification and truth on this issue...and the data does indeed show that Texas has been experiencing amazing economic growth. 

Anyway, go read the article. Lots of statistics and graphs and stuff but still very interesting to read.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Adam Hasner wows attendees at the RedState Gathering

Florida Senate candidate Adam Hasner was a featured speaker at last weekend's RedState Gathering, and received a very warm and enthusiastic welcome.

Here's Hasner's speech - a must watch for any Florida conservative:


YouTube | adamhasner | Adam Hasner RedState Gathering 2011

Sunshine Spotlight on...Richard Mourdock

One of the fun things about attending conservative events like CPAC and the RedState Gathering is the chance to meet other Republican candidates around the country.

One of the candidates who I had the pleasure to meet this past weekend at RedState was Richard Mourdock, who is running against Senator Dick Lugar in the Republican primary for the United States Senate in Indiana. Senator Lugar has a long history of taking moderate positions and allying with Democrats. Mourdock has a more solidly conservative platform, which has earned him the endorsements of Mark Levin, Erick Erickson, Herman Cain, and others (see endorsements here).

I really enjoyed chatting with Mourdock. He's a very humble, down-to-earth, sincere guy who has a good practical head on his shoulders that I think would be an asset in the Senate. I encourage all my Hoosier readers to check him out.

Here's Mourdock's speech at the RedState Gathering:

Happy Birthday Sayfie Review!


Today is the ninth anniversary of the launch of the Sayfie Review. Publisher Justin Sayfie has done an excellent job making sure his website is the "must read" every morning for Florida politicos.

Justin sent out the following message this morning:

Thanksgiving on Our Birthday


Today is a special day for the Sayfie Review - it is nine years old today.  As we pause (briefly) to celebrate our birthday, we are also giving thanks to you and every reader who has made the Review what it has become during the past nine years.   

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hey LeMieux, 6 + 6 = 12!

I really am starting to wonder if George LeMieux isn't very good at math.

A few days ago, LeMaestro's team sent out a press release, breathlessly claiming that Adam Hasner was a flip flopper on the issue of term limits, screeching that he had sought to "severely weaken" Florida's term limits.

Yawn. The LeMieux campaign slogan should be "Much Ado About Nothing."

The real story is that Adam Hasner has actually been perfectly consistent on the term limits issue. A few months ago, after the launch of his Senate campaign, Hasner published a list of promises on his website titled "Adam's Pledge to Floridians." (Read it here: http://bit.ly/osgpMq)

One of Hasner's pledges was that if he were elected to the Senate, he would serve only two terms. Senate terms are six years each, so two terms would be a total of twelve years.

What has LeMieux excitedly hopping up and down like a puppy who has to pee is a vote Hasner took in 2005. A constitutional amendment had been proposed that would have raised the term limits for the Florida Legislature from eight years to twelve, and Hasner voted in favor of putting the amendment on the 2006 ballot.

As the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported in July 2005, Hasner had said that he supported the amendment because "giving legislators more time would give them a better understanding of the process, thereby lessening the influence of legislative staffers and special-interest lobbyists."

OMG, it's the end of the world, y'all. Hasner wanted elected legislators to be more influential than unelected bureaucrats, lobbyists, and other special interests. Gosh, what a terrible idea! [Insert rolled eyes here.]

Here's my honest opinion on term limits: they are a good idea, as long as their duration is reasonable. Just one term would be too short. Legislators would barely have time to learn where their offices were before they had to leave, resulting in bureaucrats and lobbyists wielding disproportionate power. On the other hand, too long of a term limit (say, 20-25 years) would not be helpful in preventing politicians from becoming entrenched and corrupt.

I think about a term limit of about 10-12 years is a good balanced number for most offices. Right now our Legislature is limited to only 8 years, and I do think that's a bit short. There are a number of State Representatives whose Legislative Aides have been in the Capitol Building for years longer than they have.

So, here's the situation: Hasner has pledged to serve only two Senate terms, which are 6 years long. And in 2005, he voted to put a measure on the ballot to raise the Florida Legislature's term limits from 8 to 12 years. Sounds pretty consistent to me.

So, can someone please tell George LeMieux that 6 + 6 = 12?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Wrong Tim Pawlenty Ran for President

You've probably seen the news by now that Tim Pawlenty has dropped out of the Presidential race after a disappointing distant third-place finish in the Iowa straw poll.

I'm sad to see Pawlenty exit the race. I never completely bought into the "Pawlenty is boring" criticism. Running the United States is a big job, and I want an adult in charge. Pawlenty had a solid track record as a fiscally conservative Governor getting elected in and managing Minnesota, which is a blue state. I agree with Melissa Clouthier that executive experience is a "must have" for my Republican Presidential nominee:
RedState | Presidential Primary Priorities - UPDATED
The “executive experience” requirement eliminates some folks, but oh well. I want our next President to know his or her way around the bottom line. He or she should be ok making decisions. A Governor has to be elected by a broad base of folks. A Governor has to stay true to principles but be more pragmatic. A good Governor leads.
I really liked this guy. Darn it.
I saw Pawlenty speak twice this year, at CPAC and at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference, and both times he gave wonderful, dynamic speeches. I also had the opportunity to meet Pawlenty earlier this month at a reception in Orlando, and was very impressed with him. (Peter Lee has posted a video of Pawlenty's speech on YouTube). I got to chat with Pawlenty briefly after the speech and found him to be a genuinely warm, intelligent, wonderful person. He would have made an excellent President.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sunshine Spotlight on...Nikki Haley, Ted Cruz, and Rick Scott

I decided recently to start a new feature here at Sunshine State Sarah: fun, short interviews of Republican elected officials and candidates called "Sunshine Spotlights." The RedState Gathering has been the perfect place to get some comments from some of the "conservative rock stars" in attendance, so here are your first batch of Sunshine Spotlight interviews, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Texas Senate candidate Ted Cruz, and Florida Governor Rick Scott:


YouTube | Sunshine Spotlight on Nikki Haley


YouTube | Sunshine Spotlight on Ted Cruz 


YouTube | Sunshine Spotlight on Rick Scott




Sunshine State at Red State!

Hello everyone! I am in the lovely city of Charleston, South Carolina for the 2011 RedState Gathering and having a great time. I love events like this...it's very energizing to be with so many other smart conservatives who are so passionate about politics and protecting our country's future. (Missed out on the RedState Gathering? Fear not, you can come hang out with me in Orlando at CPAC Florida next month!)

RedState contributor Moe Lane wrote earlier tonight that this year's RedState Gathering is showing "enthusiasm" at a "higher intensity" than in past years, and one of the RedState founders, Josh Trevino, put up a great post aptly titled "This Day. This Moment." about how RedState is proud to be a part of the conservative movement and very excited about tomorrow's program. (If you somehow missed the chatter, besides all the great conservative speakers, Texas Governor Rick Perry is apparently definitely going to announce he is running for President during his speech tomorrow afternoon.)

The Sunshine State is well-represented in Charleston this weekend. Besides your humble blogger, Governor Rick Scott spoke earlier tonight and State Representative Scott Plakon traveled with him. I got a quick, fun interview with our Governor and will post it later. YouTube... uploading... takes... forever... sigh...


Charleston's Southern hospitality apparently meant that the city wanted us Floridians to feel welcome...it is hot and humid as it is at home. Everyone is melting into little puddles but we're all having such a great time that no one cares too much. ;)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Morning Coffee Reading for August 12, 2011

Here's your morning coffee reading for today:
  • First, ICYMI, my Twitter trending topics analysis of last nights debate:
Sunshine State Sarah | Twitter Analysis of the Ames Debate
RedState | The Horserace for August 12, 2011
RedState | Presidential Primary Priorities - UPDATED
  • The hands-down, most blazingly stupid, #headdesk moment of the debate was when Byron York asked Michele Bachmann whether wives should be submissive to their husbands.
Gateway Pundit | At GOP Debate Michele Bachmann Asked Whether Wives Should Be Submissive

Twitter Analysis of the Ames Debate



During the last GOP Presidential debate in June, I did an analysis of the trending topics on Twitter immediately afterwards and got a lot of positive responses.

So, back by popular demand, here's another city-by-city analysis of what everyone was tweeting about the debate in Ames, Iowa tonight. One thing is immediately clear: there were a lot fewer debate-related trending topics than when I did this analysis in June. Not sure if there were less overall tweets, or if an election that's still more than a year away was overshadowed by the controversy about whether Bert and Ernie should get married (Yes, "Bert and Ernie" is a trending topic in many cities tonight, and yes this is a real issue. I wish I were kidding.) but the Ames debate was definitely less of a presence on the trending topics lists tonight.

Anyway, here's your trending topics (if a city is not listed, then it did not have any debate-related trending topics):

Overall United States: T-Paw
Atlanta: Ron Paul
Austin: #GOPdebate
Boston: Mitt Romney
Chicago: Ron Paul
Dallas-Ft. Worth: Ron Paul   Rick Perry
Denver: Ron Paul
Houston: Rick Perry   Ron Paul
Los Angeles: Rick Santorum   Mitt Romney
Minneapolis: Ron Paul
Nashville: Ron Paul
New York: #GOPdebate   Mitt Romney   Santorum
Orlando: Rick Perry
Phoenix: Rick Perry
San Antonio: Rick Perry
San Francisco: Mitt Romney
Seattle: Mitt Romney
Tampa: Rick Perry
Washington: #gopdebate   Rick Santorum   T-Paw   Jon Huntsman

The important thing to remember is that the presence of a name on the trending topics list does not necessarily equal support. All it means is that people were talking about that candidate. In the case of Ron Paul, the overwhelming number of responses I saw were extremely negative. Paul's rabid fans don't like to admit it, but his foreign policy is just way, way out of the Republican mainstream and he has no chance of winning the primary.

Someone Tell Ron Paul that Iran is a threat because their leaders are even Crazier than he is #amesdebate #GOPdebate #iowadebateFri Aug 12 02:23:15 via TweetDeck

 
Ron Paul would be great for the economy, but unfortunately, we'd be blown up by a nuclear Iran before we got to enjoy it. #amesdebateFri Aug 12 02:16:35 via TweetDeck

The presence of Rick Perry on so many cities' lists is very interesting, considering that he was not even in Iowa tonight and has not officially declared his candidacy yet (although rumors say he will do so on Saturday at the RedState Gathering in Charleston, SC). Perry was definitely the "elephant" in the room. (Ha ha...get it? Elephant, like the Republican mascot? Sometimes I just crack myself up.) Michele Bachmann had a great answer to Bret Baier's question about Perry, saying there was room for Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, and even Bret himself if he wanted to get in...but the reality is that many of the candidates on the stage tonight know that if when Perry enters the race, their chances of victory will drop significantly.

In other news. Rick Perry is looking great. #amesdebateFri Aug 12 02:39:33 via Twitter for iPhone

I'll post some more thoughts about the debate later if I get a chance, but wanted to get this posted. What did you think about the debate? Were you following on Twitter? Who do you think won the debate? Leave a note in the comments!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Event reminder: Meet Karen Harrington tonight!

Just a reminder, you can meet Republican Congressional candidate Karen Harrington tonight at an event at Vida Latin Restaurant in Lake Mary, from 4:30 to 6:00 pm.

Full event details available at my post from Monday here.

Harrington is running against DNC Chair attack dog Debbie Wasserman Schultz, so supporting her is definitely a noble cause. Please stop by if you can.

For more information about Karen Harrington:

My post from earlier this week about a blogger conference call with Harrington
Karen Harrington campaign website
Karen Harrington on Facebook
@Karen4Congress on Twitter

For other great upcoming events, be sure to check out the "Events" tab at the top right of this page or click here.

Morning Coffee Reading for August 11, 2011

Here's your morning coffee reading for today:
  • An excellent New York Post column by Kurt Schlichter regarding the announced 2012 film focusing on the raid by the Navy SEALs who successfully killed Osama bin Laden:
New York Post | Kurt Schlichter | Call Off the 'SEALs-ploitation'
  • Looks like the Sunshine State isn't so sunny for Obama:
Real Clear Politics | Obama Faces Headwinds in Florida
Tampa Bay Blog | Fresh Squeezed Politics | Hasner signs term limit pledge, vows only two terms

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