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In a release sent out today, Congressman John Mica R-FL7-Winter Park announced that part of the new Orlando Veterans Hospital will open in late January or early February, marking progress in the troubled construction of the badly needed facility.
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Mica said a portion of the new VA Hospital would open early next year
Here are the best Social Media offerings from your Lawmakers this week!
We start off with an Old School photo from Florida Governor Rick Scott taken back when his children were younger. Look at the hair on the Guv. This photo was posted on FB.
Next we’ve got Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs helping out a school crossing guard. Thousands of children in the area returned to school this week and thousands more will follow next week. This photo was posted on her FB page.
Here we have Jacobs’ former colleague State Rep. Linda Stewart doing her part on a community housing project. Always good to see the politicians picking up a hammer or in this case a brush.
Then we have Congressman Daniel Webster who recently toured construction of the troubled VA Hospital that was suppose to have been completed early last year. Webster posted this photo along with this message on FB.
“The continued construction delays at Orlando Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center are a disservice to the more than 300,000 Central Florida veterans and their families who deserve to have promises made turn into promises kept. The VA’s mismanagement of the early stages of the project have left it well over two years behind schedule and hundreds of millions of dollars over budget. Solving these problems continues to be the subject of congressional hearings, oversight visits and discussions with the VA project management team, and will remain one of my top priorities.”
Finally we’ve got Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, who participated in “Give Life Orlando” day Blood Drive. He posted this photo on FB during the event.
In his first major visit to Orlando since campaign season last year, the Orlando Sentinel is reporting that President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be visiting the City Beautiful to address a Veterans Convention on Saturday.
The President made Bi-weekly visits to the I4 Corridor en route to his re-election last year, there were speeches at the UCF Arena, Rollins College, and a few of his signature “Drop Ins” that saw him dining at a Puerto Rican eatery on the East Side, and a Pizza parlor on the Space Coast where the signature Bear Hug from the restaurant’s owner took place.
It worked and Florida went “blue” a second time for the President.
This visit won’t be as easy for the President, with D.C under constant scrutiny amidst multiple scandals, a budget showdown, and the audience-specific endless back log from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Right here in Central Florida, we have the stalled VA Hospital at Lake Nona which has overshot it’s anticipated completion day by over a year and has resulted in finger pointing between the VA and Private Contractors, and even more frustration for 1.6 million Vets that call Florida home that don’t have easy access to comprehensive medical care.
More recently, there were the President’s remarks on Trayvon Martin and the George Zimmerman trial, which took place less than 25 miles from where the President will be speaking on Saturday. 2 weeks ago, he compared himself to the 17 year old that lost his life in an altercation to Zimmerman, who was ultimately found not guilty.
I’ll have a full write-up of the President’s remarks as soon as he’s done on Saturday.
This photo from the President’s visit to Central Florida last year got national attention
It’s Thursday and the main story this morning is the continuing problems surrounding the construction of the new VA Hospital, here in the Orlando area, off of Lake Nona.
The facility, which thousands of local Veterans have patiently waited for, has been an epic parade of mistakes, set-backs, and finger pointing between the VA and the contractor.
Now the date being thrown around is April 14th with patients from nearby Lake Baldwin, eligible for care months later and new patients eligible approximately 7 months later.
Original estimates had the Hospital completed in 2012.
Florida Governor Rick Scott and his cabinet, consisting of Attorney General Pam Bondi, CFO Jeff Atwater, and Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam had their meeting here in Orlando, then toured the Nemours Children’s hospital. We’ve got video of that.
These are your Thursday morning Political Headlines.
WOFL FOX 35: VA hospital not likely to be completed before April 2014
Orlando Sentinel: VA says it learned mistakes from Orlando Hospital
WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: (Video) Gov. Scott cabinet meets in Orlando, tours Nemours hospital
CF News 13: In Depth: Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer on failed stadium bill
WKMG Local 6: (CNN) In spoof video, Christie pokes fun of fleece, 2016
WESH 2: (CNN) Sanford will no longer appear in court for trespassing
At 70 years old John Mica can still throw down on in the House of Representatives.
The long time Winter Park Congressman took to the podium on Capitol Hill today to blast the Obama administration on it’s handling of the Air Traffic Controller furloughs brought on by the sequestration cuts that took effect at the beginning of the year.
Mica and Florida Governor Rick Scott have been very vocal about the furloughs that are causing hundreds of departures and arrivals, in and out of the state of Florida which could hurt tourism here in the Sunshine state.
“If Ronald Reagan were President, we would not be in this mess” Mica said during his floor time on the subject.
You can watch his one minute statement below (For you Michele Bachmann fans, the tea party Congresswoman and former Presidential candidate has a cameo while Mica is being announced.)
This isn’t the first time Mica has identified under staffing during operational delays. He also identified that construction on the new VA Hospital in Orlando was short several hundred workers last year.
Representante Daniel Webster no has paro con su trabajo pues de ganando el Noviembre pasado. El tenia negociar para un acuerda para evitar el abismo fiscal. Junto con los ataques de el DCCC y los negocios para el proximo debito debatte. No hay resto para este Representante
Florida Politics con Frank Torres y hoy nosotros hablamos de Representante Daniel Webster. El tenia un fuerte 2012 con ganando su eleccion a despecho de ataque de el DCCC y tambien Alcade de Nueva York Mike Bloomberg tirando dos millones a luchar contra Webster.Todavia el sigo trabajando en los barrios hablando con los votantes y gano.
Que el necesito hace este ano? Obviamente vienen los negocios para el debito pero que yo querer a ve es el Webster de viejo. Ese politico que sabia como trae los dos lados junto. Estaban un tiempo cuando el siempre hacir eso pero en Washington es mas dificil.
Hay tambien el DCCC que piensa que ellos pueden roban ese siento en 2014. Mucho mas ataques vienen contra Webster. Como es va hace con un organizacion que nunca paran con el luchar.
Tambien hay el hospital para los Veteranos que todavia falta muchos mas trabajo. Webster necesito entrar ese proceso is poner mas influence para terminar ese proyecto.
John Mica had a terrific 2012, beating tough primary opposition and taking his prime spot as Chairman of the Transportation committee as far as it can go. Now, that he’s left that position, what’s next for the Winter Park Congressman?
Florida Politics with Frank Torres. This is Florida Political Yearbook profile on Congressman John Mica. John Mica in 2012 had an interesting year, a tough nationally watched GOP primary against his fellow Representative Sandy Adams. He ultimately went on to win that primary, fairly easy but pretty intense there for a while, making everyone take sides. He had an easy general election contest to get re-elected which brings us to this year.
He’s not the chairman of the Transportation committee anymore, a powerful assignment in Washington, he doesn’t have that anymore. He’s got Sunrail coming is he going to be able to make for that leverage he lost. Most likely he will, it’s obviously getting built. That was one of his biggest goals in office. In addition, there is the VA Hospital, he was outfront with Sandy Adams trying to get the thing built. The whole thing has been delayed for, I guess you could call it years now. As disputes between VA and contractors continue. So, in addition to the debt ceiling, transportation, budget fights, the VA Hospital and all of the other congressional things, John Mica should be pretty busy. That is your 2013 Political yearbook profile for John Mica. I’m Frank Torres, I’ll see you next time.
Sunrail is on the way. Is the region and Mica ready for it?
Representative Daniel Webster hasn’t stopped moving since winning re-election last November. He’s had to deal with random DCCC attacks in addition to dealing with the fiscal cliff, the oncoming debt ceiling debate and constituent services. No rest for the long time lawmaker.
Florida Politics with Frank Torres. And, this is your Political Yearbook preview for Congressman Daniel Webster. Webster had a good 2012 being able to win re-election to Congress against strong opposition despite, being targeted by the DCCC and Mayor Mike Bloomberg of New York who poured millions into that race. He did however, run a strong ground game to win re-election.
What does 2013 hold in store for Daniel Webster, obviously he’s going to have to tackle the national debt, but he should try to use that bi-partisan statesmanship we saw in Tallahassee, I know that’s difficult to do in that bigger environment but those kind of initiatives that we saw from the much respected State Representative is what we need to be spread around up there. Tough challenge but one that is possible.
He’s also got to worry about the DCCC. It’s funny, after he beat his opponent, they didn’t go away, they kept sending attack emails because they want his seat. And they’ll continue to target him, apparently until they get it. So, in addition to the debt, and constituent services, he’s still got to worry about the DCCC lobbing attack emails, like there is still an election happening. That’s another challenge he’s dealing with.
Also, the VA hospital. With re-districting, the Veterans lost a fighter with Mica and Adams having to battle each other and Adams leaving office. I would really like to see Daniel Webster step in and really get the dog-gone VA hospital fixed. It’s been delayed too long. To see him “outfront” on that would be a terrific service to his constituents. For Florida Politics with Frank Torres, I’ll see you next time.
Webster’s common sense approach is much needed in DC
This week has been PR gold for Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and it’s only Wednesday.
The beginning of the week had the rumored Gubernatorial candidate coming to terms on renovations for the Citrus Bowl renovations with Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs; A move that will keep the venue competitive for national events and temporarily halt questions over his ability to work with Jacobs and on Tuesday he showed his kinder and gentler side releasing two black swans into Lake Eola. A photo opportunity most politicians would shout for.
Two days, two wins.
The real credit goes to Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan who purchased the swans and has also sponsored the city’s growing Urban Chicken program that allows city residents the chance to house two “fowl” creatures (see what I did there?).
Perhaps Dyer could advise the Department of Veterans affairs and the contractors behind the delays of the Orlando VA Hospital. Today we’ve got more bad news over the finger pointing that has delayed the badly needed facility that has thousands of Veterans waiting.
In other more serious political news, we’ve got video content on poll closings in Osceola County, and poll numbers that have President Obama ahead in Florida over Mitt Romney on the eve of the controversial health care ruling.
These stories lead your Wednesday morning political headlines.
WESH 2: (VIDEO) Black swans released in Lake Eola
Orlando Sentinel: VA, contractor try to sort out Orlando hospital delay
WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: (VIDEO) Some question closing of polling places in Osceola County
CF News 13: Swing state poll shows support for Obama
WKMG Local 6: Seminole County to vote on property tax increase
WOFL Fox 35: (AP) Obama to host White House picnic for lawmakers
The two swans released on Tuesday should have more freedom than this one photographed last year.
Happy Saturday Morning, I hope your weekend is off to a great start. It’s been a busy week and the next one shows no signs of slowing down. Enjoy these two days of quiet, it’s about to get crazy in Central Florida.
Yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden was in town addressing the conference of Mayors. The VP’s speech was a subdued address with a general election feel. There are several links links to video below.
Then there is the construction of the new Orlando VA Hospital. This thing is an embarrassing mess.
Now we have the VA and the contractor pointing fingers at each other.
While they play “the blame game”, the access available to healthcare for those who have served this country suffers.
These two major stories kick off your Saturday morning political headlines.
WOFL Fox 35: (VIDEO) (Entire Speech) Vice President Biden speaks at U.S. Conference of Mayors
WESH 2: (VIDEO) Biden seeks bipartisan support to fix inner cities
WKMG Local 6: (Video) Joe Biden addresses nation’s mayors in Orlando
WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: New Orlando VA hospital could take longer to build
CF News 13: VA to contractor: Hurry up on medical center or lose the contract
Orlando Sentinel: VA threatens Orlando hospital contractor
Biden dialed down his usual attack first philosophy in Orlando yesterday