Florida United for Freedom — a Tea Party Summit in Orlando with Senatorial Straw Poll

This weekend, I attended a Tea Party Summit in Orlando.  It was accurately named “Florida United for Freedom.”  If anyone believes that the tea party movement is dying, they should have been at this event.  Approximately 200 tea party leaders from across the state of Florida met to discuss issues, strategies, opportunities to collaborate, and technologies available for grassroots activism.  The tea party movement is getting stronger and working smarter!

Also attending and presenting were several organizations that are supporting the tea party movement nationally, including True the Vote, Political Gravity, American Majority, Media Trackers, Big Voices, TheKitchenCabinet.us, Abigail Adams Project, Freedom Works, Family Research Council, and Americans for Prosperity.

The topics that we discussed included:

  1. The Energy Bill HB 7117 that was passed by all but two representatives and two senators even though more than 5000 letters were sent to the legislature against this bill.  It is now sitting on Governor Scott’s desk.  Tea party organizations across Florida are uniting in an Action Alert demanding that Gov. Scott veto this bill!
  2. Judicial activism running rampant in Florida courts.  It is critical that tea party groups research the judicial candidates that will be on the ballot; voters must know and understand each candidate before they get in the voting booth!
  3. How Media Matters studied 1000 voters registered in Ft. Lauderdale and found that 40+ were dead.  This is after Brenda Snipes, the Supervisor of Elections, supposedly cleaned up the voter database!
  4. The need for conservative poll watchers.  Since voter fraud is running rampant, it is imperative that we get not one, but several, conservative poll watchers at every polling station.  The Palm Beach County Tea Party is ahead of the curve on this one.  We had set a goal of recruiting over 100 poll watchers from our membership, and we continue to be successful in this endeavor.  If you haven’t signed up, yet, you can do so at one of our chapter meetings or at our Tax Day Tea Party.
  5. The need for oversight.  Voters need to study bills to be considered in the Florida legislature.  For instance HR3991 is a congressional act that would prohibit the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from allowing unions access to employee emails and phone numbers.  The NLRB is trying to force companies to give the unions this information through rule making, but HR3991 would keep that from happening.  This is a good bill and tea party members should let their state representatives and senators know how they feel about it.
  6. The need for voters to learn about Amendment 1:  Healthcare Freedom Act and Amendment 5: State Spending Cap
  7. How the SEIU went to Jacksonville and won the mayoral race.
We also had a senatorial candidate forum with Col. Mike McCalister, Senator George LeMieux, and Connie Mack IV.  There are significant differences between these candidates and it is critical that every voter study their voting records, backgrounds, and stances on current issues.  A straw poll at the end resulted in:
53% George LeMieux
25% Mike McCalister
21% Connie Mack
1% Marielana Stuart

Here are some of the “cool” sound bites from this event:

“Citizenship is not a Spectator Sport!”

“The Hispanic population increased 57% in the 2010 census; 23% of Florida’s 18.8 million residents are Hispanic.  The Hispanic population will be key in the 2012 elections.”

“When we vote, we need to study issues not personalities.”

“We need to get rid of ObamaCare.  We need to develop a market-based approach.”

“We (tea partiers) need to watch what we do.  We are past the days of wearing patriotic costumes to get attention.  We need to work smart so that we are invited into the key meetings and are listened to.”


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