How it Played: Congressman Alan Grayson accused of Domestic Violence

Yesterday, the Congressman from the 9th District Alan Grayson was accused of domestic violence by his Wife Lolita (whom he is currently divorcing). She has since been granted a protective injunction by a judge. Grayson’s staff have vehemently denied all claims and say she was the aggressor during the incident.

Here’s how it played:

WESH 2: Staffer denies claims made by Grayson’s Wife (link to video)

WKMG Local 6: video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News:

CF News 13: Judge grants wife’s protective injunction against Rep. Alan Grayson

Orlando Sentinel: Wife says Alan Grayson shoved her during domestic incident

WOFL FOX 35: FOX 35 News Orlando

So How Did It Play?: It’s a crisis that will stretch on for weeks because of the conflict of accounts of what happened that afternoon, and Grayson’s controversial reputation.

Grayson has a history of aggressive behavior both behind the podium and even during events (that story HERE). He’s a sitting Congressman that’s being accused of a nasty crime and that will always draw the cameras and generate headlines. This story actually outplayed Governor Scott’s State of the State yesterday. If there is one bright side, his Rep handled himself well on the phone and was very assertive when explaining what he saw this afternoon. A statement from Ms. Grayson’s attorney asking for privacy would have been better than coming to the door and barricading herself from the media. I’ll keep an eye on this for you.

How it Played: Feds Raid Home Owned by State Rep. Linda Stewart

Yesterday, Federal Officials raided a home owned by District 47 State Representative Linda Stewart and handcuffed about a dozen individuals, who were depending on who you ask, renting or squatting in the East Orlando Residence.

Stewart herself is not being investigated but the coverage concentrates on her daughter’s involvement with the people living at that house and her residential status. It’s uncertain if the State Representative herself, even knows exactly what is going on.

In a statement sent out, Stewart had this to say. “Today, I learned that a search warrant was executed at a rental property owned by my Husband and I. After a period of lapsed rent by the residents, we began the legal process of eviction going so far as a notice to vacate earlier this month. Neither I or any member of my immediate family has been the subject of investigation on this matter. I am grateful by today’s swift action by law enforcement authorities. I appreciate their work, as well as the professionalism they’ve displayed during this investigation”

Here is how it played

Orlando Sentinel: Drug agents swarm house owned by Linda Stewart



WKMG Local 6: video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News:

CF News 13: Homeland Security raids home owned by Rep. Linda Stewart

WOFL FOX 35:FOX 35 News Orlando

Miami Herald: Lawmaker short of answers after house raided by federal agents

So How Did It Play?: This is an absolute mess

Best Case Scenario: Stewart was an uninformed property owner that was housing the (allegedly) crack smoking and prostitution type element that she was elected to help eliminate.

Worst Case Scenario: Stewart did know what was going on in that house and her daughter was living there. This not only brings her integrity into question but completely ruins any credibility she has with crime in the legislative arena. How can anyone take her seriously when it comes to public safety when this was going on, right under her nose.

Listen. We all know Linda Stewart isn’t a Walter White/Heisenberg type (although you social media politicos have a sharp sense of humor) but this should not have happened, despite how relieved the former Orange County Commissioner was to see an arrest made. She’s got a tough election coming up this fall, this was exactly the kind of unforced error she did not want to make. She looks confused in all of the media hits and that Herald article stings.

Linda Stewart House Raid

More Drama Over Orange Tax Collector Suntrust Offices at Commission Meeting

Yesterday, the discussion over what to do with the high priced office lease for the Orange County Tax Collector and Property Appraiser went before the Board of Commissioners and while the dialog was civil, there were some conflicts over numbers and the sequence of events that led to this debate.

In the center of this conversation was Tax Collector Scott Randolph and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. There was a short presentation where the speaker called Randolph’s financial projections “inaccurate and misleading assumptions”. Randolph said he was prepared to defend those dollar amounts. The big disconnect came from the cost of actually moving the office out of the Suntrust Towers and over why staying in the tower would lead to the reopening of the Winter Park Tax Collector Center.

It was decided that the County would continue to review all of it’s options with another discussion set for March. “I know you say it’s you spending these dollars” Jacobs said “But it’s really all of us and we have to do what’s right for the taxpayers”.

In a bizarre turn of events, District 2 County Commissioner Fred Brummer decided to attack Randolph for taking business away from Apopka Veterinarians with a mobile pet vet trailer that visited the Northwest Orange site once a week. The trailer in question delivers simple services to pets only and owners would still have to visit a vet for more thorough treatment. This continued Brummer’s aggressive behavior that I wrote about yesterday (story HERE).

The media reaction was mixed.

WESH 2 published this Randolph friendly report that said the Mayor was dragging their feet. They didn’t feature the numbers involved during the slide show. It also painted the Mayor as being over controlling.

WFTV aired this follow-up to Randolph hiring a paid lobbyist to go before the commission at 5K a month. The investigation in question is regarding the task force assigned to discover whether the Tax Collector position is even needed to begin with or can it be consolidated with other departments. You’ll notice Brummer continuing his assault on this report and Jacobs’ notoriously long pause when asked about being lobbied. The County has strict lobby regulations, she could have replied with that.

I’ll continue to keep an eye on this story for you.

Tax Collector Randolph and Sun Trust Offices Get Prime Media Scrutiny

Everyone knows that the Orange County Tax Collector and Property Appraiser don’t belong in the swanky Sun Trust Building Downtown. Including current Tax Collector Scott Randolph.

Yesterday, both Randolph and the controversial offices were highlighted in two very different media reports.

The first story, an article in the Orlando Sentinel, paints Randolph as a fiscally aware elected official who wants out of the Orange Ave address, who is currently in conflict with Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, who wants the search to play out before a decision is made. You can read that story HERE.

The second story is by WFTV which slams Randolph for hiring a lobbyist to communicate with County Commissioners. He says that the lobbyist allows him to concentrate completely on his job. Critics say that he should have saved the money and do his own communicating with the commissioner. He’s the only Tax Collector doing this and it pays 5K to the Consultant a month.

Randolph and Mayor Jacobs have a long standing feud stemming back to the Orange County Sick Time Fight where Randolph tried to sue Jacobs herself before changing the lawsuit to the County itself after it was determined it was filed incorrectly. He’s also a major supporter for Jacobs’ opponent, former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings.

Jacobs was also considering eliminating the Tax Collector Position itself after opinion leaders believed the office itself wasn’t needed. There are definitely political tactics in play here. The reason Randolph needed a lobbyist was possibly because he doesn’t have a strong working relationship with the Mayor or any of the Commissioners.

They’re scheduled to discuss the matter at the Board of County Commissioners Meeting today.

Scott Randolph

How It Played: $215 Mil Expansion Project Announced for Orlando International Airport

Today, Florida Governor Rick Scott announced that he wants to spend $215 Million Dollars on a train station as part of the expanding Orlando International Airport. The station would run trips up and down Florida with the main destination being Miami.

There is also the possibility that the depot could also link up to Sunrail in the future.

The project also has the support of the regions two most powerful people. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Teresa Jacobs were on hand for the announcement and optimistic about the potential benefits of the project.


Orlando Sentinel: Rick Scott announces $215M for new train depot at Orlando International Airport

WESH 2 :( Video) Gov. Rick Scott pledges $213 million for OIA expansion

WKMG Local 6: Gov. Rick Scott says $213M to aid OIA expansion project

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: Orlando Int’l Airport to become transportation hub with new train station

CF News 13: Major airport expansion to link Orlando to Miami by rail

WOFL FOX 35: New train depot planned at Orlando International Airport

FOX 35 News Orlando

SO HOW DID IT PLAY, FRANK?: With cautious optimism

Most of the stories led with the price tag. It was anywhere between 200 and 215 mil, depending on what you were watching and there is not doubt that if this project gets the greenlight it will be scrutinized every step of the way.

It did however, have support from a lot of leaders and getting positive sound bytes from the two Mayors builds it credibility. This is Scott’s baby though and since he’s pushing the budget for this project, it depends upon the legislature approving it this year for the first half of the funding and his reelection for the second half. Only one outlet reached out to Charlie Crist to asked if he would support it. It’s likely he would considering Orlando’s standing as the tourism destination of the world.