BRYCE ON POLITICS
– Wrapping up the Florida Republican Love-in.
KISSIMMEE, FL (June 29, 2018) – Florida GOP Chairman Blaise Ingolia welcomed +2,500 attendees to Day 2 of the Florida GOP’s Summit sponsored by the Republican Party of Florida (RPF) and held at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee. On Day 1, Ron DeSantis and Adam Putnam squared off in a nationally televised debate as candidates for Governor of Florida. Day 2 consisted of a fast paced list of notable Republican speakers, including candidates for office and cheerleaders.
In terms of candidates, the Summit was an excellent venue for evaluating the Republican candidates for office, particularly for Governor, Agriculture Commissioner, and Attorney General. The Governor’s race was primarily between Ron DeSantis and Adam Putnam, both of whom also spoke on Day 2. However, the dark horse candidate was Bob White who lacked the financial muscle the other two enjoyed.
Four candidates were running for Agriculture Commissioner: Col. Mike McAllister, FL Rep. Matt Caldwell, Baxter Troutman, and FL Sen. Denise Grimsley. All had agriculture backgrounds, but I was particularly impressed by Sen. Grimsley experience, both on the farm and within the Florida Senate. She was also a polished speaker.
As to the state Attorney General, two candidates were present, FL Rep. Frank White and Ashley Moody. I was particularly taken by Ms. Moody’s extensive experience, both as a former prosecutor and judge. She also earned the endorsement of outgoing Attorney General Pam Bondi.
As to the cheerleader speakers, their goal was to stir the Republican base and motivate them to action. Their pep rallies were nice, but I think it would have been more worthwhile to discuss what the Democrats are doing, such as generating “Fake Votes” through such avenues as the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact aimed at negating the power of the Electoral College; Chicago ID cards allowing illegal aliens to vote, and; lowering the voting age to 16. Their policies of harassment towards Republicans were mentioned, but should have been discussed in greater depth as to what to do about it. Also, handling the Main Stream Media should have been examined as well.
During the Summit, it struck me that women seemed to have found their voice in the Republican party. Some very solid female candidates emerged, as well as some great thinkers and advocates. Anyone who thinks the Republicans cannot address the interests of women is taking it in the arm.
Bottom-line, the Summit was useful in terms of promoting enthusiasm and disseminating information about candidates in advance of the upcoming 2018 midterm elections. Two things became clear at the conference: they unabashedly support President Trump, and are certainly not afraid of the Democrats.
Here is a synopsis of the various speakers during Day 2:
Following the Chairman’s welcome, the invocation was delivered by Pastor Paul White, the Pledge of Allegiance by Jack Wiseman, and the National Anthem by Sonya Bryson-Kirksey.
Col. Mike McAlister – candidate for Florida Agriculture Commissioner. Opened by energizing the attendees about the party. Explained his qualifications as candidate, and goals: protect resources and grow business. 2nd Amendment proponent, against Sanctuary Cities. Fine speaker, but commissioner?
Rep. Byron Donalds – Florida House of Representatives. Proud of both candidates running for Florida governor. He went on to push for the election of Gov. Scott as U.S. Senator from Florida, replacing Sen. Bill Nelson (D). On the Florida Supreme Court, three justices are nearing retirement, which is why it is necessary for a Republican to win the governor’s race.
Ashley Moody – candidate for Florida Attorney General. Former prosecutor and judge. Has the support of outgoing Attorney General Pam Bondi. She mentioned Florida was rated #1 in the country for fiscal responsibility. She is very much concerned with the harassment by members of the Left, and believe they should be locked up. She firmly believes in the unbiased prosecution of the law. She claims to be the only candidate in the race to have actually defended the 2nd Amendment.
Tom Borelli – Contributor, Conservative Review. He began by praising the job of President Trump. He cited statistics that the news media is no longer trusted by the public. He finds the recent harassment of Republicans to be disturbing. He also contends there is a covert push to suppress conservative speech, radio, and television programming.
Baxter Troutman – candidate for Florida Agriculture Commissioner. His wife Becky spoke on the candidate’s behalf who was at another event in Miami. Baxter has served in the Florida House of Representatives. She claimed her husband has extensive background in Agriculture. This was followed by a brief video explaining Baxter’s beliefs.
Future of Florida Panel – Bill Galvano – President designate, Florida Senate; Jose Oliva – Speaker designate, Florida House of Representatives; Moderator Tom Feeney. Unfortunately, the audio was terrible and difficult to hear.
Rep. Matt Caldwell – candidate for Florida Agriculture Commissioner. Discussed the need for free speech. Believes in the need for secured borders and the need to follow the law.
Puerto Rico Rising Panel – FL Rep. Robert “Bob” Cortes; former PR AG Jose Fuentes; PR Rep. Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon; Speaker of the PR House Carlos “Johnny” Mendez, and; RPOF PR Outreach Director Gary Berrios as Moderator. The panel was asked about last year’s hurricane disaster. Actually, it was a problem of bad planning. There were insufficient resources on hand locally thereby making for poor logistics. All things considered, the response from the Federal government was good when you consider the massive amount of supplies and equipment delivered. The group also praised Governor Scott for his assistance during the crisis.
Lauren Cooley – Free Speech Advocate, Washington Examiner. Discussed the free speech problems on college campuses. She encouraged the attendees to educate young people regarding the principles of American government and conservative values.
FL Sen. Denise Grimsley – candidate for Florida Agriculture Commissioner. She began by reviewing her conservative values. She grew up on the family farm, became a nurse, became active in the Florida Republican party, and elected a Florida state senator. She warned of a strong Democratic opponent.
Dick Morris – author, political pundit. Claimed Trump won because he was able to connect with blue collar workers. He tried to explain the president’s persona. “As a builder, he gets things done, that’s his job. This is why we is having success with foreign countries.”
Bob White – candidate for Florida Governor. As the Dark Horse candidate, he described his conservative principles. He claimed he was not supported by special interest groups.
Rep. Matt Gaetz – U.S. House of Representatives. Led a Republican cheer-leading session. Frequently praised President Trump. Along with Ron DeSantis, he has produced legislation recommending the censure of Rep. Maxine Waters.
Grover Norquist – President, American for Tax Reform. Discussed the Republican Tax Cuts. He contended 200M people are paying lower utility bills as a result of the tax cuts. By cutting the corporate tax rates, we are seeing the economy expand. Whereas we used to be higher than Communist China, now we are less, and our country is booming. Despite all this, the Democrats voted against the Tax Cuts and want to raise taxes and expand the size of government.
Nick Adams – CEO, Foundation for Liberty and American Greatness. Nick is a transplanted Englishmen who loves America.
Matt Schlapp – Chairman, American Conservative Union. Discussed the deteriorating values at the college level. He felt President Trump was right in firing James Comey as head of the FBI.
FL Rep. Frank White – candidate for FL AG. Described his conservative beliefs. He has 15 years of experience practicing law.
David Webb – Host, David Webb Show on Sirius XM, Fox News Contributor. Described the problems of class warfare in politics as practiced by the Democrats. He also warned the audience of the Democrats’ ardent commitment to Socialism which explains their obnoxious behavior.
Anne Defries – Chair, Florida Realtor PAC Trustees. Wants us to vote Yes on Amendment #2, a 10% cap on property taxes. If defeated, the taxes will rise and drive companies and people away from Florida.
Agriculture Comm. Adam Putnam – candidate for Florida Governor. Claimed to enjoy last night’s debate. He went on to praise Governor Scott’s ability to rebuild the state’s economy. He is critical of school’s overemphasis on college educations; that we need trade schools as well. Claims to have the endorsement of 45 of the state’s 66 Sheriffs. He is not a proponent of Sanctuary Cities or higher taxation. Claimed support for President Trump. Insists he wants to put “Florida First.”
Deneen Borelli – CRTV.com Host and Fox News Contributor. Another pep rally touting the need to support President Trump. She warned the audience of getting taken in by race-baiting. President Trump has helped African-Americans find jobs.
Jason Chaffetz – Fox News Contributor, Former Congressman. Warned the audience of violent politics. The Democrats are going to attack you, but remember, they have nothing else. “Nancy Pelosi believes we are one tax increase from prosperity.” “Remember this, Republicans are on the right side of the issues.” Of all the speakers, Mr. Chaffetz was the most down to earth and sincere. He is in the process of writing a book, “Deep State.”
Kayleigh McEnany – National Spokesperson for the Republican National Committee. Another pep rally praising President Trump. She believes the main stream media is getting the midterm elections wrong, saying there is no “Blue Wave” but a “Red Tsunami” instead.
Rep. Ron DeSantis – candidate for Florida Governor. Came on stage with his family. He is proud he helped expose the anti-Trump campaign at the Department of Justice and FBI. He said he was someone with conservative values, a veteran, and endorsed by President Trump. Claimed Putnam said Trump was “vile and obscene” during the 2016 election. He also attacked Mr. Putnam’s record on immigration. He supports eVerify, but his opponent does not. He is opposed to Common Core, and claims Mr. Putnam supports it. He says he wants to see the Constitution taught in the classroom. Complimented Gov. Scott as a good fiduciary steward for the state. He also believes in term limits; claims Mr. Putnam is against it. He closed by describing his good relationship
with President Trump.
Sen. Rand Paul – U.S. Senator (KY). The Democrats lost in 2016 simply because they are out of touch with the common worker. He cited the positive effect the Republican Tax Cuts are having on the middle class. Claimed President Trump, “has exceeded all of my expectations.” He reviewed the benefits of the “checks and balances” in the Constitution, and described the problems encountered in the recent FBI investigation (Peter Strzok and Lisa Page). He made a plea for the attendees to tell their Congressmen to repeal Obamacare. His speech was very well received.
Charlie Kirk – Founder and Executive Director of Turning Point USA. A young man originally from Chicago. His company, which promotes conservative principles, is now on 1,300 college campuses. He gave a strong endorsement to Rep. Ron DeSantis for Florida Governor. He discussed how Liberals try to stop him from coming on campuses. “They are the most intolerant people in the world.” He went on to describe the dangers of Marxism. Mr. Kirk was both interesting and a polished speaker.
Florida GOP Chairman Blaise Ingolia – thanked everyone for coming and thanked the organizers and volunteers, as well as the hotel. He then admonished the attendees to act more morally and professionally, offering ten simple lessons to live by.
Sen. Marco Rubio (by video) – U.S. Senator (FL). Urged attendees to get Gov. Scott elected to the Senate, replacing Bill Nelson.
Dan Bongino – Host of the Dan Bongino Show podcast. Believes the Russian collusion investigation is a travesty of justice. Contends candidate Trump was spied on by the Obama administration. Claims the country is going bankrupt; we have to either put the brakes on our spending or face a critical change on our government. The good news though is that Donald Trump won the presidency. The president is not intimidated by the news media, and it is driving them crazy. Should the Republicans lose the House of Representatives in the midterm elections, the Democrats will assuredly impeach the president. He closed by reminding the attendees that the Liberals will never give up, therefore they have to remain vigilant.
Dinesh D’Souza – Best Selling Author and Filmmaker; keynote speaker. Producing new film, “Death of a Nation.” He finds President Trump to be interesting; that he is not afraid to fight with anyone. His new movie addresses “Fake History” and draws a comparison between today and the period prior to the Civil War. He then went on to give a history lesson on the rise of the Nazi party as patterned after the Democrats of the 1800s. His dissertation was most illuminating.
And thus ended a long and fruitful day.
Keep the Faith!
Tim Bryce is a freelance writer in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.
Copyright (c) 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.