We had the opportunity to attend a candidate forum at the North County Neighborhood Coalition meeting, on Tuesday 7/26. While the primary focus was on Palm Beach County Commission candidates, each of whom got 15 minutes, we also heard from candidates for Florida State House and Senate positions, as well as judicial candidates for County Court, and School Board. Additionally – two candidates announced for Palm Beach Gardens City Council for the March 2017 Municipal Elections. Some candidates had already addressed the NCNC at a prior meeting and were acknowledged, but did not speak. Make sure you look up your Sample Ballot when you attend forums or Tea Party’s Candidate Expo on August 1st. Also – lookup candidate information on our Voters’ Guide. Thank you to Sal Faso, President of the NCNC and his board for a well attended event.
County Commission District 1 – November 8 Election
Hal Valeche, the Republican incumbent seeking his 2nd term, began with a brief bio. He then highlighted what he viewed has his key accomplishments:
- United Technologies HQ on the Briger Tract – which with it’s ‘smart building’ technologies and 450 new hires at $85K salaries should be an asset to the area
- Fought against raising Impact Fees
- Worked with PB Gardens to extend the North County Airport runway from 4300′ to 6000′, enabling larger corporations to consider bringing their HQ to north county.
- When baseball in the Gardens ‘fell apart’, Hal was charged with finding a new location and is proud of bringing the Astros and Nationals to the WPB site. He pointed out that the $$ come from Bed taxes.
- Uber – working out temporary agreements that permitted Uber to keep operating in the County despite opposition by the taxi industry.
- Sales tax referendum – while he voted against it, and still feels County infrastructure maintenance backlogs should be funded by issuing bonds, he was glad that the Cultural Council and Economic Development proposals had been removed from the referendum.
As for big upcoming issues – he focused on Water Management as being a key issue.
Tony Bennett, Hal’s Democrat opponent, is new to politics. He is a native Floridian, who spent most of his life in Palm Beach County. A young attorney with young children, Tony is often asked why he is running:
- His primary concern is Growth. While he is for economic opportunity – Quality of Life is primary and needs to be managed and protected. He doesn’t think that the recent big projects approved will keep North County and in fact much of Palm Beach County special, and fears that the County will become like West Broward.
- Traffic explosion, the backlog of current maintenance and infrastructure projects made him critical of the current Commission. He feels that his experience as a practicing attorney has taught him the ethical obligation to account for and spend as the client – which is the voter, not the developer, wishes.
- Tony is for the Sales Tax referendum, and is very concerned about Water as well – and fears an algae bloom in Palm Beach County.
County Commission District 3 – August 30th Primary Election
David Kerner, one of two candidates for District 3 replacing term-limited Shelly Vana, spoke next. Most in the audience would not be able to vote for David but as Commissioners vote on all County issues, he wanted to reach out. Dave also went through his bio which included being a police officer, game warden, FL State Representative. Among his concerns are looking at the Sheriff’s Offie as well as the County Budget.
During Qs and As for the Commission candidates:
- Valeche opposes the sales tax; Bennett and Kerner support
- All pledged to work with the City of West Palm Beach to examine/revise coastal impact fees.
- All were outraged by the ‘sham city’ of Westlake but it wasn’t clear much could be done about it.
Judicial Candidates – August 30th Election
- Marnie Bryson – County Court Group 7 – cited her bio and trial experience as well as endorsements
- Tom Baker – County Court Group 11 – some trial experience, mostly family law, general magistrate for 9 1/2 year – listed endorsements as well
- Dana Santino – County Court Group 11 – now in private practice but lots of varied experience as a probation officer, rape/homicide counselor, State Atty and Public Defenders offices and degrees in Law and Taxation.
Palm Beach County School Board District 1 – August 30th Election
- Ellen Baker – 26 year Palm Beach Gardens resident, 15 years a teacher. Need to reign in the new administrator and watch the spending. She is for the Sales Tax referendum
- Note – there are 5 candidates in this non-partisan election – others had already spoken at the NCNC.
FL House District 85 – August 30th Republican Primary
- Andrew Watt – current Aide to Representative Rooney and lifelong Palm Beach Gardens resident, said he was the only candidate in the primary who lived in the district and could vote for himself. He also described various accomplishments working on issues with Representative Rooney.
Fl Senate District 30 – August 30th Democrat Primary
- Bobby Powell – urban planner, was a graduate of PB Gardens HS. Listed his endorsement
- Michael Steinger – listed his primary issues – schools, gun control and background checks, Medicaid expansion – wants it accepted.
The winner of this primary will go on to compete against Republican Ron Berman in
FL Senate District 30 – November 8th
- Ron Berman – spoke very briefly – speaking of his various business experiences and co-founder of Quicken Loans.
Palm Beach Gardens City Council – March 2017
- Mark Marciano – running for Bert Premuroso’s seat – open due to term limits
- Matthew Lane – running for Eric Jablins’ seat – open due to term limits
We invite you to attend our:
Abacoa Golf Club
105 Barbados Drive
Jupiter, Fl 33458
TIME: 6:00 PM
Light Hors d’oeuvres will be served.
Admission: $15.00 per person
Please RSVP below.
Candidates MUST call 561-594-6209 or email email@example.com to reserve a table.
Tables are limited: First Come First Served
Time permitting each candidate will have an opportunity to address the guests.
Many of the so-called “establishment” are seriously plotting ways to thwart the results of the primaries at the Republican convention. They apparently feel that “their” party has been taken over by the barbarians from flyover country. They think that a convention draft of someone who has entered no primaries, taken part in no debates, spent no time campaigning, would be preferable to either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. Even a Hillary Clinton presidency (the likely outcome of such a draft) would be preferable to submitting to the rabble.
My first reaction was that they had seriously lost touch with the rank and file of the Republican party, but that is an oversimplification.
The party is defined by its voters – not those that consider themselves the “leaders”. Who are they leading? People like Mitt Romney, John McCain, Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham have much more in common with Hillary Clinton than they do with the “real” Republicans who provide the heart and soul of the GOP. Maintaining the status quo in Washington, with a heavily Progressive bureaucracy controlling more and more of our daily lives and a Congress that sees being the majority as simply a means to a bigger office and more access to lobbyist dollars, is the goal of both parties. The so-called “GOP leadership”, including our new Speaker who has given the Obama juggernaut everything it wants in their spending bills, have betrayed those that gave them the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014.
I have been a Republican for my entire voting life and have worked for candidates at all levels since the 2004 re-election of George W. Bush. I held my nose and supported McCain, and supported (although with minimal enthusiasm) Romney as he threw away what should have been an easy win by running one of the worst campaigns in modern history. I will no longer support those who have such contempt for the voters as to tell us we are morons.
The McConnells and Boehners and Ryans tell us they can’t govern from the Congress – even though they told us if we elected them in 2010 and 2014 they would change the dynamic. Now they claim they need the Presidency.
In my view, we need an insurgent – a real change agent, to alter the relationship between our government and its citizens. Currently what we have is condescension and scorn, with a dose of fraud and deceit for good measure. We are at an inflection point in our history – the country is circling the drain and everyone out there in flyover country knows it but people of the “GOP leadership” just can’t (or won’t) acknowledge it.
Without drastic change, starting immediately, the country is lost. Donald Trump may not be a movement conservative, but he is a change agent. Stopping illegal immigration, negotiating better trade deals, changing our tax and regulatory structure to bring whole industries back to the US, repudiating the “America Last” policies of Obama and Clinton – that is his agenda. Ted Cruz would proceed with a similar set of goals, but I think that Trump has a better chance of actually becoming President. He has already put a dent into the Clinton’s machine by reminding us all that Bill is an un-indicted sex offender, and that she has committed felonies – whether the Justice department prosecutes them or not. He has already altered the party registration picture, generated unprecedented turnout and voter loyalty, and has a good chance to bring some blue states to the Republican fold.
It is not that Trump will “change the Republican Party” or if it can “survive”. The party has already changed – Trump is just the best candidate suited to lead what it has become. Any attempt to ignore the will of the voters with shenanigans at the convention will not just disrupt this year’s race – it will end the GOP.
The Palm Beach County Tea Party co-sponsored this candidate forum for the Gardens Council race. View the video of the event here.
A good size crowd at Abacoa came to hear conservative pundit and former secret service agent Dan Bongino help summarize what Barack Obama has done to America.
Starting with a positive note – “The country will recover from Barack Obama”, he gave his perspective of the President – a smart man with a far-left agenda, surrounded by equal minded ideologues. From the executive orders on immigration, where the President repeatedly said he didn’t have the authority to act – then did just that, to the fanciful claims in the selling of Obamacare – “you can keep your doctor, etc. ..”, Dan described the country after the last seven years as living in a “post-constitutional society”. Our liberty is being taken away by “a man obsessed with power”.
In a clever characterization of the right-left divide, Dan points out that “we are all bound together by stories” (ie. narratives), but the left and right have different stories, which makes agreement or even dialogue very difficult.
Opening up the floor to questions, Dan went on for about a half hour, giving thoughtful, knowledgeable answers to a wide variety of questions, from 2030 and Agenda 21 (it is real – look it up), the control of local law enforcement by the DOJ, and why the Congress hasn’t moved to impeach Barack Obama (it would be unsuccessful, since 2/3 of the Senate would never vote to convict.)
Dan also had early copies of his book “The Fight, A Secret Service Agent’s Inside Account of Security Failings and the Political Machine”, available at Amazon for pre-order.
Candidates who were introduced at the meeting were Brian Mast and Paul Spain (CD18), and Christine Butler Spain, who is running for Supervisor of Elections.
We also had volunteers from three of Presidential campaigns, as Fred Scheibl, Marion Frank and Barry Carson laid out a rationale for Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Ben Carson, respectively. A short “straw poll” by Mel yielded about 25 votes for Trump, 10-15 for Cruz, and about 5 for Carson, with a few mentions of the other 9 candidates.
Wellington Council Candidates.
It is your community…Come learn, ask questions and get involved. Everyone needs your help!
Running for Florida House District 86.
Click for Bio
Running for Florida House District 86.
Click for Bio
Running for Wellington Village Council Seat 1, which is held by Vice Mayor John Greene.
Running for Royal Palm Beach Mayor against Fred Pinto.
Running for Wellington Mayor.
Running for Royal Palm Beach Council Seat 3
Running for Wellington Council
Running for Royal Palm Beach Council.
Please do your due diligence: Candidates have webpages, facebook and twitter accounts you can research and make your personal choices.
Confirmation of additional candidates to follow.
Wednesday January 6, 2016
Hurricane Grill and Wings
4075 Florida 7, Lake Worth, FL 33467
No Charge for Meeting
Please RSVP below; no meal is served with this meeting.
running for Supervisor of Elections PBC.
She is the former Chairman of the Broward Republican Party (2014-2015), Vice Chairman (2012-2014) and Chairman of Congressional District #23 serving on the RPOF State Executive Committee in 2015.
Christine is an attorney in private practice in Boca Raton, serving Palm Beach and Broward Counties, and a Certified Public Accountant. She specializes in corporate law and business transactions and has years of experience working with both national law and accounting firms serving clients from Miami-Dade to Palm Beach.
Prior to her law career, she worked as an Audit Manager/CPA with a Big 4 Accounting Firm. Christine has also served on the Boards of non-profit organizations.
She has been a resident of South Florida for 40 plus years and is a graduate of Florida Universities, including the University of Miami School of Law, where she served on Law Review. She now resides in Jupiter with her husband.
Boca Community Center
150 Crawford Blvd, Boca Raton, FL 33432
Please RSVP below; no meal is served with this meeting.