Crist holds Press Conference with Hispanic Leaders in Downtown Orlando

This afternoon, Charlie Crist held a press conference with Hispanic leaders from California and Puerto Rico in an effort to get out the Hispanic vote, ahead of what is expected to be a razor sharp conclusion to the Florida Governor’s race.

Along with running mate Annette Taddeo, Crist was joined by Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro GarcĂ­a Padilla, Puerto Rico Senator Carmelo Rios Santiago and Congressman Xavier Becerra (D-California).

Each member of the delegation praised Crist’s history and stance on issues that effect the Hispanic population in the state. Senator Rio-Santiago described family ties in Central Florida. Becerra drew contrast between Crist and his opponent, incumbent Governor Rick Scott and his policies that hurt the state. Annette Taddeo also slammed Scott for his connections to Texas Senator Ted Cruz and his opposition to immigration reform and movement in Washington.

When it was Crist’s turn in front of the microphone, he had this to say about the support on hand in Orlando..

“You’ve heard it straight heard it straight from them. And to stand here and have support from these Men and Women is extraordinary to me and I can never thank them enough. My message is simple, Thank You, Muchos Gracias, and we have to make sure that everybody gets out and votes. Por favor, Su voto es muy importante. This race is close. It’s going to end close. We don’t care how much money the other side has. Money can’t vote. People vote. If you vote. We win”

Standing outside with protesters, State Representative David Santiago (R-Deltona) provide rebuttal saying…

“I find it ironic that the Governor or Puerto Rico, Padilla comes here and yet he is dealing with over 15% unemployment on the Island. And it’s clear that the policy of tax and spend doesn’t work and we need to send a clear message to Floridians that it doesn’t work in Puerto Rico and it doesn’t work here. Charlie Crist is just here to pull heartstrings. That’s his message. Whatever is emotional, not what works. Rick Scott’s plans have proven to work. We’re one of the fastest growing states in the nation”

The event was scheduled to be a rally held outside of the Orange County Courthouse with a full media corp on hand. 45 minutes after the event was scheduled to start, the media was escorted to a conference room inside the building after protesters, which outnumbered the supporters at the event, began chanting just a short distance away from the podium on public property.

Here are some photos from the event…

Protesters chanting a few feet away caused the event to be moved indoors

Protesters chanting a few feet away caused the event to be moved indoors

Crist with elected officials from Puerto Rico, California and Central Florida

Crist with elected officials from Puerto Rico, California and Central Florida

Crist stressed getting the vote out ahead of Tuesday's big election

Crist stressed getting the vote out ahead of Tuesday’s big election

Taddeo, Becerra, rally in Apopka with supporters for early voting walk

Miami Businesswoman and Lieutenant Governor Candidate Annette Taddeo, was in Apopka today, rallying with supporters and walking with them to a nearby early voting location, to support the Charlie Crist for Governor campaign.

Along with Taddeo, was the Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Congressman Xavier Becerra (D-California), who introduced Taddeo and pumped up campaign supporters as we head into the final dash of the campaign.

“Everyone wants to know, if you’re going to finally right the ship in Florida. If you’re going to get back to investing in your future, instead of giving it to the people that already have it all.” Becerra said “Let’s shut down the lies that go on television, as Billionaires try to buy elections. I say rather than have someone who gets elected, who wants to sue the President for doing his job and deprive millions from health care, lets elect Charlie Crist and Annette Taddeo to put millions back into schools, raise the minimum wage and lead you into the future with a Florida you can be proud of”

When Taddeo spoke, she slammed Governor Rick Scott for his alliance with Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

“While I’m here standing with you, this is the day Rick Scott is standing with Ted Cruz. Think about this. Charlie Crist stood on the podium for 7 minutes waiting for Rick Scott while he threw a ‘fantrum’ and now he’s standing with Ted Cruz, the person who wants to sue the President. The man who almost single-handedly shut down the government and stood there reading children’s books just to get in the way”

After the walk to the VFW a block away and talking with voters as they cast their ballots, Taddeo took a minute to speak with OPO about Becerra’s support..

“I’m not surprised he would come, he’s always been a friend to Florida. I’m also happy to come back to Apopka, I opened this office and they’ve worked so hard getting out the vote. He’s (Scott) has so much money, we need to send a message that Florida is not for sale”

Taddeo, as well as some other lawmakers have been advocating drivers licenses for all citizens including the undocumented, as a potential opportunity for economic efficiency and development..

“It’s not only the right thing to do. The fact is we have these undocumented citizens and our economy depends on them. We should give them driver’s licenses. So, they can buy insurance for their cars. We have to pay more for auto insurance, when we have more uninsured drivers around. It’s not only the right thing to do. It’s the smart thing to do.”

Becerra is also scheduled to rally with Crist himself in Downtown Orlando later today. All of this in advance of Tuesday’s epic finale to what has been the biggest gubernatorial contest in the history of the state.

below are some pictures of the event….

Rep Becerra is in Florida helping Charlie Crist get elected and met with supporters in Apopka today

Rep Becerra is in Florida helping Charlie Crist get elected and met with supporters in Apopka today

Annette Taddeo looks on as Becerra addresses supporters

Annette Taddeo looks on as Becerra addresses supporters

The rally then walked to an early voting location a block away

The rally then walked to an early voting location a block away

Mica, VA Officials, brief Veterans at new Lake Nona Medical Center

Congressman John Mica (R-Winter Park), along with officials from the Department of Veterans affairs, delivered a briefing to local Vets regarding the state of the areas medical facilities, including the clinics in Orange City and Winter Park. And the new state of the art Hospital at Lake Nona, where the event was held.

The Congressman talked about the his work along with the rest of the Central Florida delegations efforts to increase the level of care in the area. Tim Lizert, Director of the Medical Center, spoke about the progress of construction on the facility, which has been plagued by delays due to conflict between private contractors and the VA. He also spoke about his local work done with VA Secretary Bob McDonald and his administration.

After the briefing, Mica answered some questions from the Veterans in attendance regarding other problems that the embattled VA has experienced with case backlog and mental health incidents involving local veterans which has led to suicides. Despite the challenges that have confronted the VA, the Representative was hopeful that they were making progress in solving those problems.

After the briefing, I spoke to Congressman Mica regarding the eventual opening of the facility. Here is what he had to say.

“We got news the sequenced opening that is planned, it looks like there about to turn over the hospital from the contractors to the VA to get final components done. Communications has to be in place, there is a possible advance opening of the clinic depending on the results of the testing of advance systems, so its making excellent progress. It’s going to be the finest hospital for Veterans ever built in the United States. It is behind schedule and over budget but it has to be the best for our Veterans”

After the sequenced opening, the Hospital is projected to be fully operational by next Summer.

Below are some photos of the event……..

Rep. Mica briefed Veterans this morning on the progress of the area's medical facilities

Rep. Mica briefed Veterans this morning on the progress of the area’s medical facilities

mica taddeo becerra 048

mica taddeo becerra 053

Friday Morning Political Headlines: Derrick Wallace thought POTUS letter was real

TGIF! 4 days. We’re rolling up to that final drop on that political roller coaster. Are you ready?

In a story you saw on OPO first, Orange County Commission District 6 Candidate Derrick Wallace posted a letter on social media from President Obama bearing the Commander in Chief’s Signature and the White House Seal. There were several typos and inaccuracies with the letter, and the possibility of President of United States getting involved in a County Commission race made the correspondence highly questionable.

Wallace is now telling reporters he thought it was real.

In a report to WFTV, Wallace said he was so excited to received the letter that he immediately believed it’s authenticity and posted it. It has since been taken down.

Only 4 days left until elections. It’s going to be a wild, final weekend. Buckle-up.

This story leads your Friday Morning Political Headlines:

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: Orange Co. Commission candidate posts phony endorsement letter from Obama

WESH 2: Marijuana could be spoiler in Fla. governor’s race

WKMG Local 6: Palm Bay police investigate complaint on Brevard school board campaign signs

CF News 13: Exclusive Poll: Scott, Crist still dead even, many refused to answer

WOFL FOX 35: Satanic group wants to make children’s book available in Orange County schools

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News
: Miller’s employment claim, Stewart’s land become issues in District 47 race

Orlando Sentinel: Miller’s employment claim, Stewart’s land become issues in District 47 race

BusinessForce polling has Nelson, Siplin, up in Orange Commission races

Today, BusinessForce, the political arm of the Orlando Chamber of Commerce, released polling results for the two Orange County Commission races that will be decided when voters cast their ballots on Tuesday.

In Orange County Commission District 2 which largely covers northwestern Orange County State Rep. Bryan Nelson leads Eatonville Vice Mayor Alvin Moore. Nelson is up with 43.34 percent of the vote with Moore trailing at 17.34 percent, and 39.33 percent of the voters undecided.

The polling results from Orange County Commission District 6 spanning areas of western Orlando show Businesswoman Victoria Siplin, leading in the race with 38.41 percent to 19.53 percent for her opponent, Businessman Derrick Wallace. Undecided voters in the district number 42.05 percent.

The results are similar to the primary results in both races, where Nelson and Siplin received the most support. Both incumbents on the commission, District 2’s Fred Brummer and District 6’s Tiffany Moore-Russell are termed out.

The polling was conducted on Oct. 22 and consisted of interviews with 300 likely voters in Orange County Commission Districts 2 and 6.

Businessforce has Nelson, and Siplin up in County Commission races with only a few days left to go in the race

Businessforce has Nelson, and Siplin up in County Commission races with only a few days left to go in the race