Top Political Quotes from Central Florida in 2012

It’s time for the best Political Quotes from Florida Politics over the last year. It’s been a busy year with a lot of zingers. With so much at stake and with Presidential politics spilling over into the smaller races, you get a lot of that influence.

You can just shut up..- Todd Long to Alan Grayson during the Tiger Bay Congressional Debate

“I will destroy you”- John Mica (allegedly) before his primary to fellow Rep. Sandy Adams

“I believe that we’re operating under a case of mistaken identity that the fourth is the first”- Former Senator George Lemieux attacking Connie Mack the IV after he entered the GOP Senate Primary

“I’m not signing any pledge. That’s a gimmick of my opponents but, I plan to serve four years.”- Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer during his re-election campaign.

“John Mica is a personification of all that is wrong in Washington“- Congresswoman Sandy Adams referring to her fellow House Rep. during their grueling primary.

“You didn’t build that” – President Barack Obama. Yeah, I know, I know, you can interpret it any way you like but this was Obama’s “47%” moment

“If you use their playbook to get elected, when you get there, your number 1 agenda from day 1 is getting reelected.” Congressman Daniel Webster

“The people of Florida hear you saying one thing to them and then voting with Barack Obama” Connie Mack in his lone debate with Senator Bill Nelson.

“Is that the only line you memorized?“- Bill Nelson, 10 seconds later in that same debate.

3, 4, 5 years from now, if I do a good job as Vice-President.. I’m sorry.“- Florida Senator Marco Rubio

“I’m your best cheerleader”- Congressman John Mica to President Barack Obama on the house floor. Shown in an attack ad by Sandy Adams.

Please disregard previous healthcare statement.“- Florida CFO Jeff Atwater after releasing an email congratulating the Supreme Court for striking down the President’s Healthcare plan (Obamacare). They held up the plan in a historic ruling.

“He made money off of Casey Anthony”- Former State Attorney Lawson Lamar during his debate with Prosecutor Jeff Ashton.

“Look, I hope it’s not a deal maker but my playlist starts with AC/DC and ends with Zepplin” From the RNC in Tampa. GOP VP nominee Paul Ryan

“Here’s looking at Christie/Rubio 2016!”- Frank Torres minutes after President Barack Obama won re-election

“Who the heck is Frank Torres?”- Anonymous Political Operative. I ask myself that question every morning and then I work harder.

Till next time!

These two will be producing memorable quotes for years to come

These two will be producing memorable quotes for years to come

Fiscal Cliff will be a scary fall for Floridians

Rumors have surfaced from the nation’s capital that a deal on the “Fiscal Cliff” is a “virtual impossibility” before the January 2nd deadline.

If you haven’t heard, the “fiscal cliff” is a combination of massive budget cuts and tax increases, created by the Debt Supercommittee last year, during the debt ceiling negotiations (we’ve also hit that same debt ceiling again by the way). These triggers were put in place to force us to overcome political gridlock and find more permanent solutions to reduce the deficit. We’re talking tax increases for all Americans and massive cuts to the national budget, with defense spending taking the majority of the damage. One official called it a “Self-Amputation” for the industry.

It’s financial crash dieting. Oh, you’ll reduce the deficit but it’s going to be unhealthy and painful (especially on Wall St.).

What about here in Florida? How will Washington’s failure to reach a compromise affect us here in the Sunshine State?

We all know tourism is our main industry here, we’re the biggest vacation destination on the planet. As the business world adjusts to the tax increases, they’ll start laying off workers. These layoffs will take place all over the country and families that had planned on using their savings to go see Mickey at the Magic Kingdom, or visit Harry Potter at Universal Studios, will have to be used to fill the gap between jobs.

This could also endanger the chances of repeating our Tourist Tax windfall from a couple of months back, that are helping to renovate the Citrus Bowl and other venues. This should make Mayors Buddy Dyer and Teresa Jacobs a little nervous. Dyer was part of the Mayoral delegation that spoke to President Obama earlier this month.

All of know someone who currently, or at some point worked for defense contractors like Lockheed Martin or Northrop Grunman right? Each of those companies have already laid off thousands over the last few years but, going over the cliff will open the flood gates. Many more skilled, educated workers could join the unemployed. These operations are all over the state, and could cause a mass migration of talent to leave and go to Texas where the recession hasn’t been as harsh.

What about you and me? What about our neighbors?

Well, all of our taxes are going up. It could be anywhere between 2400 to 3600 individually. It will also cause layoffs at the community level. Businesses in Orlando are especially quick to reduce the workforce, after tax hikes or large policy changes, that affect the bottom line. An example are the layoffs at Orlando Health caused by changes being implemented with the President’s Health Care plan.

There is a strong possibility you’ll see more of those kind of “adjustments” by regional businesses to stabilize their bottom line.

This is scary stuff. That’s why we’re calling it a cliff, and for Floridians like you and I, already dealing with unemployment higher than the national average, the fall will be much more frightening.

There could be some dark days for tourism if we go over the fiscal cliff

There could be some dark days for tourism if we go over the fiscal cliff

Merry Christmas from Buddy Dyer, Teresa Jacobs, Marco Rubio, Rick Scott,….and Charlie Crist?!

Here is hoping that you find peace, relaxation, and happiness this holiday season. That you put aside politics (especially at the dinner table with the in-laws), and focus on what really matters during this special time of year.

Merry Christmas from me to you! I’ll be back on Wednesday when we’ll be preparing to fly full speed off the fiscal cliff.

Take care and here are some holiday greetings and pictures from your lawmakers.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer-

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs

Jacobs holiday

Florida Senator Marco Rubio

Florida Governor Rick Scott (with a dash of self-promotion)

Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist (Why would a former Governor put out a holiday message? You know why. Hey it’s the holidays!)

Scott's Biggest potential GOP Rivals have been standing next to him the entire time.

When Quinnipiac poll numbers were released this week and Florida Governor Rick Scott’s approval numbers were suffering, no one thought twice. The Governor’s poll numbers have been dismal since taking office almost two years ago. He’s still got time to turn it around before his November 2014 general election showdown with Charlie Crist or Alex Sink right?

That’s if he makes it to the general election.

The numbers that jumped off the page, and should have Scott’s team worried were the 53 percent of GOP voters that would like to see Scott compete in a primary. 53%. It’s safe to say those looking for another Republican option, would prefer Scott not being the ambassador of their party.

Ironically enough, Scott’s biggest threats have been in this state’s cabinet the entire time, and with these recent numbers and Scott’s overall approval rate failing to break 40% in almost a year, the state’s CFO, Attorney General, and Secretary of Agriculture would have to consider rushing Scott and taking his place in the general election.

It’s about keeping the Governor’s mansion in the GOP after all right? After President Obama was elected and Democrats made massive gains in the state house? Rick Scott jumped into the GOP primary late in 2010 and overthrew longtime favorite Bill McCullom before barely beating a weak Alex Sink. These three lawmakers would be doing what’s best for the party. What’s best for the state of Florida.

Let’s take a closer look at potential Scott rivals in the cabinet.

CFO Jeff Atwater: The former Senate President and current Chief Financial Officer isn’t done. We know that. He shortly considered a run for Senate before declining (a decision that in hindsight was the right one) and is always making the rounds. He’s got the experience in the state legislature and has already easily won a state level campaign. If he’s not done, and if he’s not interested in the Senate (until Nelson retires) then he’s got to be looking at Governor. If not now, then in 2016.

Attorney General Pam Bondi:The rising star on the national level for the the Florida GOP is it’s AG, Pam Bondi. She’s been doing television analysis for years on Cable TV. She was one of the moderators for a primary debate this year and spent the majority of the cycle campaigning with Mitt Romney. Her attractive appearance and that long blonde hair makes her easy to spot in the crowd. It’s easy to see her taking the Tea Party thunder from Scott. She’s been outfront fighting the President’s healthcare plan or “Obamacare”, even after the Supreme Court made it’s ruling. Like Atwater, it’s hard to see Bondi retreating after her stay as Attorney General.

Secretary of Agriculture Adam Putnam: Bondi and Atwater are both popular picks but, the insiders I’ve spoken to, like the young AG secretary. Yeah he’s young but he’s got to experience. He was elected to Congress in his 20′s and is the only one in the group (including Scott) with DC experience. You don’t hear much about him because, well, he’s the Secretary of Agriculture. When Florida Republicans get to know Putnam, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to move up. And he’s younger so, he can wait out Bondi and Atwater.

The big three factors? The ones working against Scott.

None of them had to hide during the recent elections from fear of hurting candidates.
There all adored by RPOF. (Putnam and Bondi are on the party’s literature)
They’ve all got charisma for miles longer than Rick Scott.

So, when Florida Republicans are polling that they would like to see Governor Scott win a primary, he would be best off taking notice.

And creating a little more space between the members of his cabinet, he knows in his heart of hearts could beat him in 2014.

With Florida Republicans open to a Rick Scott primary challenge, Bondi would be a possibility

With Florida Republicans open to a Rick Scott primary challenge, Bondi would be a possibility

2012 Lawmakers we'll see run again in Central Florida

In every election there is a winner and a loser. The loser often re-evaluates their goals and decides whether or not they should run again. If they “give it another go” they’ll start planning for their next opportunity. The winner immediately starts planning for re-election with fundraising and sprinkles in a little public service, here and there.

These are lawmakers from 2012 that either lost (or in one case, sat out) their elections but still have the opportunity to win a race in the future.

Sandy Adams: Just because her colleague and longtime Congressman John Mica easily beat her in their nationally watched GOP primary, doesn’t mean she’s done with public service. The termed out former State Representative and lame duck freshman is still viewed favorably by the GOP. She’s only 56 and touts a perfect voting attendance record in Washington during her term.

When and for what?: When Mica retires, Adams will get phone calls from the party and in the red 7th district, would be in terrific shape to return to Washington.

Phil Diamond: It’s important to point out that Diamond was a strong candidate to take on Buddy Dyer, in the Orlando Mayor’s race. The former Orlando Commissioner scored a lot of points being able to match, and in some cases best the Mayor’s knowledge of city issues. The Dyer fundraising juggernaut didn’t give Diamond any daylight to be competitive, and with popular big city projects recently completed or under construction, the voters didn’t believe a change was necessary.

He was a popular name for Tax Collector after Earl K. Wood passed but wasn’t selected.

When and for what?: Diamond is the kind of candidate you can plug into any race and compete in. There is a movement to make county races partisan. Could Diamond be drafted by Orange Democrats for a municipal race in the future?

Eric Eisnaugle: In what was considered one of the most selfless acts in local politics, Eisnaugle decided not to run for re-election against his colleague and friend Rep. Stephen Precourt, after redistricting matched them against each other. Eisnaugle was popular while in office, and had a reputation as being one of the more thoughtful lawmakers with advocates from both sides. He instead, dedicated the election cycle to support grassroots efforts for the Mitt Romney campaign in Orange County.

When and for what?: Florida State House 44 in 2014 with the support of Precourt and almost everyone from the local and state GOP.

There were other names you could have added to this list, but political geography creates challenges for them. It’s true that mid-term elections could give Republicans a fighting chance against some Democratic incumbents, but it’s far from a sure thing to speculate that they’ll run.

We’ve got plenty of time to see who else will throw their hats into the ring.

Eisnaugle sat out 2012 to help the team. They'll rally behind him in 2014.

Eisnaugle sat out 2012 to help the team. They’ll rally behind him in 2014.