PPP Prez Poll: Christie leads Clinton, Jeb at 10%, Rubio gets 7%

Public Policy Polling released new figures that featured a new frontrunner in the 2016 race for the White House, and also pulled numbers for a few of Florida’s Presidential Hopefuls.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie leads former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton 45% to 42%. The outspoken leader of the Garden State, is coming off of his big November reelection win, that saw the Republican win approval from Hispanic and youth voters, both groups that supported Democrats in 2012. He was also able to win the always crucial battle over Independents.

In a Republican primary Christie gets 19% and leads Tea Party favorites like Texas Senator Ted Cruz (14%), Mike Huckabee (13%), and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (10%).

Also gaining 10% was former Governor Jeb Bush, who’s been kicking the tires on a Presidential run for a few years now. He’s been busy on the speaking circuit, and recently received the blessing from his brother, former President George W. Bush. He shares that figure with Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, who’s recently taken a beating with Tea Party Conservatives over the Ryan-Murray budget deal, that averted a future government shutdown but raised spending caps.

Senator Marco Rubio is currently sitting at 7%. His stock has suffered this year after he drafted the “Gang of 8″ immigration bill that featured a pathway to citizenship, which kept the undocumented in the country. Conservative media slammed him for his role in promoting the bi-partisan legislation.

These numbers are expected to change several times, with mid-term elections approaching next year.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is the new leader at the top of the latest poll

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is the new leader at the top of the latest poll

House 31 Candidates Debate Jobs, Common Core, Government Shutdown at Lake County Forum

Last night, 5 of the 7 Candidates for Florida House 31 participated in forum, where they talked about a variety of issues stemming from Education to Healthcare in front of a crowd of about 70 parents and students at the Liberty Christian Prep.

Health Care Exec Randy Glisson, Businesswoman Terri Seefeldt, Youth Development Leader Jennifer Sullivan, Business Owner Betty Hensinger, and Former Teacher Union Leader Belita “B” Grassel were in attendance and covered a lot of ground.

Here are some of the questions asked:

Why are you the best candidate for the Job?

Randy Glisson said his experience running a business and having to provide for 18 employees gave him a leadership edge.

Betty Hensinger said that she built a business from the ground up and she had “a skill set unequaled by her opponents.

Terri Seefeldt mentioned that she had been all over the country talking to audiences about Obamacare and that she had also been a business owner in the past.

Belita Grassel described herself as a moderate who “believed in a hand up not a hand out” and listed jobs shes had such as an RN, Guidance Counselor.

Jennifer Sullivan warned the audience not to let her age fool her and that she had been working since she was 8. She also told the crowd that she was from their generation and new of the challenges ahead. “It’s up to you to decide what you want in a candidate”.

What was the main cause of the shutdown?

Each candidate went at the question from different angles. Seefeldt brought up the contrast between the parties and called the barricading of Veterans from National Memorials “Sinful” and “Disgusting”. . Glisson focused on Obamacare and used his healthcare background to point out that it will change the Doctor/Patient relationship. Sullivan blamed a “Culture of Corruption” and that we had grown complacent electing officials that weren’t up there to represent the people. Grassel said like it or not Obamacare is the law.

Do you feel Common Core will have a Positive or Negative Effect on Education?

Hensinger said it would have a negative impact. Sullivan said our students were in competition with the rest of the world and she wasn’t convinced it would work because of the ties to the Government. Glisson also brought up Geography “What works in NYC won’t work in Tavares”. Grassel said that we need the standards but the curriculum needs to be local. Sullivan said we needed a “Student Centered” program and that it infringes on the rights of the homeschooled and private school students.

What are your thoughts on the standards between Private and Public Schools being the same?

A lot of the candidates had ties to Private or Homeschooling. Sullivan herself was home-schooled and warned of clumsy standards hurting the higher education application process. Hensiger home-schooled her 3 sons. Seefeldt’s Son went to Private School for a part of his education and she believed their standards were tougher. Grassel said Private Schools had their own boards and had to be regulated locally but felt school choice was important. Glisson said he was a believer of educational choice and would not like to the current standards pushed into all of the systems.

What is the most pressing issued in District 31?

Seefeldt said a reduction of the Tax Base that effects businesses. She says %60 of people that live in Lake County don’t work in Lake County.

Hensinger said putting people back to work so they can take care of their families and raise their kids. She praised Florida Governor Rick Scott on his progress.

Grassel said it was the Economy and that Education and Environment were job creators. She had a problem luring jobs from other areas of the country and bringing them to Florida.

Glisson said he wanted to be a job creator and to ensure we got ahead of the upcoming Health Care Problems.

Sullivan said Job Creation and Sustainability. “Government can’t create jobs and it’s not their role”.

An Audience Question was “Can you stand your ground while working with the other side”?

Hensinger praised the intentions of Texas Senator Ted Cruz but pointed out that he missed the mark and did not sacrifice what he believed in.

Randy Glisson said “It’s up to us to make a change. We can bring more American on-board and show them our Conservative Values work” but also pointed out “It takes a real person to walk across the aisle”

Sullivan and Seefeldt both pointed to the example of Congressman Daniel Webster.

Sullivan pointed out the relationship he had with Toni Jennings in the State Legislature “We need to make sure every bill gets heard and have a healthy debate”

Seefeldt brought up the Webster methodology of Bi-Partisanship and following that example.

Then Belita Grassel launched into a flurry of very “Alternative” Debate points for someone running in a Republican primary in a Conservative area.

In a very nervous tone she said..

“Mike Clelland and Castor-Dentel. I made campaign donations to them because if I believed half of what the Orlando Sentinel said that man (Chris Dorworth), with that past, could not be our House Speaker. Now, I don’t agree with everyone but I believe their logical. I believe we can work with them”.

Now, I understand the gravity of a remark like this one in a primary. While Dorworth lost in the most Conservative District in Central Florida, both Democrats, Castor-Dentel and Clelland are unpopular with Republicans from all over.

After the debate, I followed up with her and when asked to elaborate, she said “He’s not the kind of representation dealing with my money in Tallahassee” and said she made her decision on what she read in the Newspaper. When asked if her continued support of Clelland and Castor-Dentel would hurt her relationship with the Republicans running against them, she said no.

And she also said she supported Daniel Webster.

It was a fine event for a race that is still several months out. This will continue to be one of the more competitive races in the region with all of the candidates filing competitive fundraising numbers and continuing to campaign aggressively. The other Republican Joseph Stephens and the lone Democrat Jake Seymour did not attend. All are running to replace termed out incumbent Bryan Nelson.

The SGA did a great job with this forum and the Students that moderated the debate did better than some of their adult counter-parts. I thank them for their hospitality.


SGA Debate 010

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Congress Florida District 6 Race 2014 – Frank’s Notes

Florida Congress District 6 Changeable 10-13

These are my professional notes and research concerning the race for the Congressional 6th District of Florida. These notes are in order from the most recent events working backward.

3-11-14: Cox posted this on FB

12-26-13: INTERVIEW REQUEST: I’ll be starting my candidate interviews in January. This is a 5 questions segment done over email. Interested candidates can reply to this request by emailing torres.fjr@gmail.com or by calling me at 386-334-4492

12–9-13: All is quiet. I don’t expect much from this contest until early next spring when Desantis kicks off his re-election bid.

11-20-13; Noticed that Desantis hasn’t updated his campaign website from his 2012 run. We’re less than a year out, he might want to fix that.

10-27-13: David Cox was out campaigning at the Florida Annual Democratic Convention this weekend.

10-20-13: Cox has been criticizing Desantis throughout the Shutdown and when a deal was reached to end it on Wednesday. DeSantis will have to work with the possibility of another shutdown in January.

10-2-13: Cox sent out a release today, saying that Desantis and GOP Colleagues in the House were responsible for the Government Shutdown.

“This is a right wing tantrum, cutting funding for Veteran’s programs and our national parks. It’s time for Congressman Desantis to vote to fund programs that are vital for our nation,”

“The American people are not happy. A recent Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday showed that 72 percent of Americans don’t think shutting down major activities of our national government is a good way for Republicans to try to force changes to the health law.”

10-2-13: NOTE OPENED

Introduction: The race for the 6th features a rising star for the GOP who has become a staple on Cable Television against a Challenger who hope the changing culture of the state will work in his favor.

The 6th Congressional District of Florida features parts of Volusia, Flager, and St. Johns Counties, it’s for the most part been a pretty secure red area that was made slightly more vulnerable after redistricting compacted the district and pushed longtime House Rep John Mica out of some of the areas.

In 2012, it was believed that former Congresswoman Sandy Adams would run in the new 6th but she instead ran in the 7th and was defeated by Mica. This opened up the district to all GOP Congressional hopefuls and resulted in a 7 way primary. Out of that Battle Royal came Ron Desantis.

Desantis met fellow Navy Vet Heather Beaven in the general election and despite the Obama for America Campaign maximizing Democratic turnout, Desantis was able to capture victory on election night.

He wasted no time making waves when he got to Washington. He was a frequent visitor on Greta and FOX and Friends and quickly made a name for himself. His first controversial move was voting against Hurricane Sandy aid with fellow Florida GOP Freshman Ted Yoho. A vote that had many scratching their heads because you know, we’re in Florida. The most Conservative personalities applauded the move as a vote that insisted on cleaner, leaner legislation.

He hasn’t stopped and has been a hard worker for his Conservative Constituents. Recently, standing with Texas Senator Ted Cruz during the measures to defund Obamacare and when not in Washington holding several townhalls and Q&A’s.

He’ll be tough to beat but he does have a challenger.

Democrat David Cox has been campaigning hard. The Self-Described Moderate says he believe the culture in the 6th District is changing and that the tolerance from the voters for Desantis’ brand of politics is running out. He’s got a firm Campaign Infrastructure built, but has to avoid being the next Heather Beaven, who was strong on the stump but couldn’t overcome the letters next to her name on the ballot.

Also listed on the state website is Democrat Andrew Scott but I’ve been told he will not be running, he’s also got no campaign identity online.

As Cruz Filibuster Rolls on, Rubio watches 2016 Stock Drop

By now, you’ve no doubt heard about Texas Senator Ted Cruz‘s filibuster regarding the defunding of the Affordable Healthcare Act aka Obamacare. At the time of this posting he’s entering his 21st hour and has done everything from hitting ACA from political angles with hard policy to points to reading “Green Eggs and Ham” to his children on CSPAN.

And while everyone in Washington knows that Cruz is human and he’ll eventually have to surrender the floor, the pundits know that he’s not playing for policy in 2013, but for primary points in 2016.

That’s bad news for Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

Rubio took a risk with the “Gang of 8″ Immigration Legislation early this year. He teamed with Democrats to push reform that did everything, everyone wanted in a bill except for one thing. It didn’t make undocumented immigrants return to their country to begin their path to citizenship.

This made Rubio the subject of much criticism from the far right immigration hardliners. Forget Billions for Border Security or payment of back taxes, and English lessons for citizen assimilation, Conservative Talk Radio wasn’t trying to hear it and he took a beating from the faction of the Republican party that translates Bi-partisanship as betrayal.

It wasn’t his fault but that’s the way it is.

Meanwhile, when Cruz is done with the filibuster, he heads straight to the Rush Limbaugh show and scores even more points with Tea Part Conservatives who are sure thing votes for 2016.

The Texas Senator hasn’t been in Washington long (he was just elected last year) but he’s been touring the country singing the sweetest song Conservatives want to hear. An unapologetic promotion of the dangers of big government and the dream of growth under Conservative principles. He makes his audience dream of what could be while making them fear of what could be lost.

Rubio is left on the sidelines. He’s a cheerleader during this filibuster, giving Cruz breaks by reading letters from Constituents who disapprove of Obamacare. There isn’t anything wrong with that, it’s great teamwork and both of them did the same for Kentucky Senator Rand Paul a few months back.

Michael Jordan needed Scottie Pippen. Batman needed Robin. Will Rubio be a sidekick to one of these Conservative personalities that don’t take risks? That don’t believe in working with the other side.

He might. It’s already happened here at home.

Last month, Ted Cruz marched right into Orlando and he didn’t steal Rubio’s thunder in his home state, he took it with the soundtrack of roaring applause and the chant of “Run Ted Run”.

Those Florida voters are talking about 2016. Rubio should take notice if he still wants to run and Republicans should give him a listen if they’re serious about taking back the White House.

After all, you know Cruz’s rhetoric won’t beat Hilary in 3 years with the country getting bluer by the day.

Cruz read Green Eggs and Ham during his filibuster which is entering it's 20th hour

Cruz read Green Eggs and Ham during his filibuster which is entering it’s 20th hour

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Social Media Sunday Political Round-Up 9/22/13

Here are the best Social Media Offerings from your Central Florida Lawmakers this Week.

Florida Governor Rick Scott’s 30 Days, 30 Facts Social Media Campaign has been well, obnoxious. But, his campaign team continues to pump out the facts and with Charlie Crist looking more and more like his probable opponent, he needs to start building his list of accomplishments. I’ll be vetting these in the future.

Rick Scott School Facts

Both Florida Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio met with Cuban Civil Rights Activists. This picture was posted on FB earlier this week.

Nelson Rubio Cuban Civil Rights

Congressman Daniel Webster posted this photo on FB from a ribbon cutting for Anointed Community Services. A community-based organization serving disadvantaged seniors and the homeless in Lake County

Daniel Webster Anointed Community

Congressman Ron Desantis has been out front on the defunding of “Obama Care” hitting cable television, and in this case Social Media promote the push. Here he is flanked by Texas Senator Ted Cruz. This video was posted on Youtube.

Then of course there was this Throwback Thurday Gem from Congressman Alan Grayson. It’s about 34 years old and was taken either in College or High School.

Congressman Alan Grayson in the 70's

Congressman Alan Grayson in the 70′s

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs posted this photo from the 100th Anniversary of the Chamber of Commerce Gala on FB.
Jacobs Chamber of Commerce

Finally, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer posted this photo from the “Orlando Fire Department staff for the City’s first community-wide, hands-only CPR and AED training session as part of the Take Heart Orlando” initiative.

Dyer Fire Fighters