GOP at the Crossroads

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.

2016 PBG Council Candidate Forum Synopsis

The Palm Beach County Tea Party co-sponsored this candidate forum for the Gardens Council race. View the video of the event here.

PBCTP Co-Hosts Palm Beach Gardens Candidate Forum on 2/25

Join us for an evening of in-depth discussion of city issues with the candidates for the March 15th election in Group 4 at the Gardens Branch of the County Library. With two of the three incumbents facing challengers this year, it should be a lively discussion.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly with Dan Bongino

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.

Senate Candidate Ron DeSantis visits RCNPB

Describing the country’s mood as “malaise”, and a feeling that neither party has a clue, Ron suggested that if Obama had been President during World War II, we would have lost.
Militant Islam, he said, is not limited to a few terrorist groups like ISIS, but a wider problem – witness the reaction at the Turkish Soccer match when calls for a moment of silence for Paris were met with chants of “Allahu akbar”. And ISIS is not the only Muslim Caliphate – there is a Shia version spreading from Africa to Asia led by Iran. Obama’s weakness has demonstrated to them that we can be attacked with impunity.

Wellington Chapter Candidate Night – January 6

Please join us on January 6th when Wellington chapter will host
Wellington Council Candidates.
It is your community…Come learn, ask questions and get involved. Everyone needs your help!


Laurel Bennett

Running for Florida House District 86.
Click for Bio



Stuart Mears

Running for Florida House District 86.
Click for Bio



Michael Drahos

Running for Wellington Village Council Seat 1, which is held by Vice Mayor John Greene.



Martha Webster

Running for Royal Palm Beach Mayor against Fred Pinto.



Anne Gerwig

Running for Wellington Mayor.



Selena Smith

Running for Royal Palm Beach Council Seat 3



Mike Napoleon

Running for Wellington Council



Lenore White

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.

Wellington
Wednesday January 6, 2016
Hurricane Grill and Wings
4075 Florida 7, Lake Worth, FL 33467
(561) 318-6107

Program 6:00pm
No Charge for Meeting

Please RSVP below; no meal is served with this meeting.

Boca Chapter Candidate Night – January 5

Please join us on January 5th when the Boca Raton chapter will host:


“Christine Spain”

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.

Visit her on Facebook

Tuesday January 5,  2016 – 6:00pm
Boca Community Center
150 Crawford Blvd, Boca Raton, FL 33432
(561) 393-7807
MAP

Please RSVP below; no meal is served with this meeting.

Three Takeaways from the Sunshine Summit

The Sunshine Summit, last weekend’s gathering of the Republican grassroots in Orlando, brought together 14 of the 15 candidates currently competing for presidential primary votes, along with most of the Senate candidates.

Unlike the events of the last two cycles in 2007 and 2011, which featured both televised debates and straw polls, this was mostly a candidate showcase – each was given 20 minutes to make their case. The extreme number of candidates this time, and the fact that Florida does not vote until March 15 – after 26 states will have already assigned their delegates, probably reduced attendance at the event. Still, there were upwards of 1000 in the hall, and the media presence was considerable. CSPAN covered the event live, and lots of recognizable on-air personalities could be seen roaming the halls.

External events played a role in what transpired, as reaction to the Paris attacks on Friday were integrated into the Saturday speeches, or in the case of Chris Christie, dominated their remarks. And the Democrat debate on Saturday night offered a unique opportunity to compare all of our contenders to Hillary Clinton and her two pesky sparring partners.

All the candidates remarks can be seen streaming on CSPAN.

After watching all the debates and attending the Heritage Action Event in South Carolina (with 10 of the candidates), I thought I had a good idea of the dynamics of the race and who was on my short list. That said, I left Orlando with a few new insights.

1. The outsiders have captured the imagination of large portions of the Republican base, even at an event comprised mostly of “insiders”.

As an event sponsored by the Republican Party of Florida, with a large number of blue-badged party officials in attendance, I expected a great deal of support and enthusiasm for the “favorite sons” Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, and less for the outsiders Trump, Carson, Fiorina, and (some would say) Ted Cruz. This was clearly not the case.

While Jeb and Marco have strong support, it was the outsiders who were the rock stars.

Ted Cruz laid out the red meat with a flourish and hit all the hot buttons from Obamacare to the border, the Iran deal, a flat tax, and support for Israel, to thunderous applause.

Donald Trump, avoiding any criticism of his rivals this time, took on illegal immigration (need a Dream Act for Americans), winning again, incompetent leaders, and suggested that college students should be taught about the first amendment. The response was widespread and overwhelming.

Ben Carson, after a quiet start discussing his upbringing, lit into an extensive litany of all the things he would do if he wanted to “destroy America” – all of which Obama has put into motion. His was the most complete and devastating attack on the incumbent President of all the candidates and the crowd responded with enthusiasm.

Carly Fiorina, the last speaker of the event, focused on the Paris attacks, the feckless and dangerous foreign policy of Obama/Clinton, and what she would be doing about ISIS. It seemed like Margaret Thatcher channeling Winston Churchill and left no doubt that she would be a serious and effective commander-in-chief. The response was loud and enthusiastic.

2. Almost all of the Republican contenders are displaying the vision, determination, skill and experience that could believably repair the damage that 7 years of Obama have wrought. Clinton is clearly not in the same league with these people, in spite of her over 25 years on the national stage, and tenure as Senator and Secretary of State.

One thing that has become obvious to many people is that there are many kinds of relevant experience besides being an elected official. The office of President is a unique job, unlike any other, and it takes a generalist to oversee a diverse set of tasks, a communicator to inspire the country and lead it in a positive direction, and a visionary to see our potential as a people and set the wheels in motion to carry us forward. Governors, Senators, Business Leaders – all have skills that are relevant to the job, and all of the candidates now in the race have been successful in their lives and bring serious qualifications and abilities to the table.

Some would say that the terrible state that the country is in – anemic growth, unsustainable debt, corruption at all levels, an abdication of world leadership – is a result of professional politicians and insiders (lobbyists, big donors, etc) having screwed everything up. Hillary Clinton, who is unarguably the stereotype of all those things, would represent more of the same, as could be seen on the debate stage in Des Moines. It was apparent in Orlando that our candidates (to a greater or lesser extent), reject the status quo and will lead the country in a different direction.

3. The weeding out process is going to be long and arduous, as very few of these contenders can be counted out, despite their current standing in the polls.

Until the first delegates are selected in the Iowa caucuses on February 1, the polls will be unreliable, as most likely voters appear to be making tentative selections. Many people, until they have to commit, will lean to the candidate that meets their ideological goals, appears to speak “for them”, says the “right things”, or wins debating points. When the rubber meets the road though, issues of electability, consistency, honesty, ethics, contrast with the Democrat candidate, and other issues will rise in importance. As this year is unusual in the number of candidates and the widespread dissatisfaction with elected officials, predictions are hard.

Some weeding out has already begun, as few would expect Lindsey Graham or Jim Gilmore to become the nominee, and two candidates have already left the race. But all the rest have ardent supporters and judging by the enthusiastic response at the summit to most of the candidates, there are many “acceptable alternatives”. It is truly a deep bench.

Immigration Gambit Proves Embarassing to County Mayor Vana

Palm Beach County is a Democrat stronghold. We all know that. With 43% of the registered voters (versus 28% for the Republicans), Democrats hold all of the county-wide offices except Property Appraiser, all of the Congressional seats, and about 70% of the county legislative delegation. In spite of those demographics, the County Commission does not usually behave in an overtly partisan way.

It was curious then, and unseemly, that Democrat County Mayor Shelley Vana, term limited on the commission but running for that lone Republican seat of Property Appraiser, would decide to propel the commissioners into one of the most divisive issues of all – illegal immigration and President Obama’s expansion of DACA and DAPA by (most would say) his illegal executive order.

The proposed resolution in support of the order, also asked Florida Attorney General Bondi to withdraw Florida from the 26 state lawsuit seeking to nullify the Obama overreach.

The 27 members of the public that spoke on the issue were mixed – 13 in favor of the resolution and 14 against. Those in favor seemed to be those who would seek to benefit from additional amnesty, as many had individual stories of coming to this country and having a hard time working, going to school, etc. Those against primarily focused on the rule of law and that we cannot ignore the laws that we do not like.

Many PBCTP members and friends turned out against the proposal, including Janet Campbell, Marion Frank, Pam Wohlschlegel, Lynn Scherer, Victoria Theil and Barry Carson, as well as CD18 candidate Paul Spain. Virginia Savietto, a Democrat candidate for House district 87 (which is 31% Hispanic) spoke in favor.

This highly divisive issue should never have been brought before the Commission, and Vana cited a county Hispanic Democrat group for requesting it. Republican Steven Abrams, highly critical of the county stirring up something for which it has no jurisdiction, moved to table the resolution indefinitely, which was seconded by the other Republican Hal Valeche. Three of the Democrats joined them in opposing the resolution including Priscilla Taylor (although she strongly supports President Obama), and Mary Lou Berger (who does support a path to citizenship for illegals). Mellisa Mckinlay voted against it but praised those from the immigrant community who came forth to speak for the record. Only Paulette Burdick and Mayor Vana voted for it. Mayor Vana did not like the “tone” of the debate. “What I saw here wasn’t very good,” she said.

Once again, the voices of the people made a measurable difference. Thanks to all who spoke at the meeting, called the commissioners, or sent email.

For Wayne Washington’s recap in the Palm beach Post, see: Immigration proposal begets raucous commission meeting

Ben Carson Coming for Book Signing

Received by PBCTP via email:

On behalf of Dr. Carson’s publisher, Sentinel, we wanted to let you know Dr. Ben Carson is coming to Florida from November 1-5 to sign copies of his new book A MORE PERFECT UNION: What We The People Can Do to Reclaim our constitutional Liberties. We would love your help to get the word out.

In A More Perfect Union, Dr. Carson applies his common sense approach to the Constitution, demonstrating why a proper understanding of the Constitution is essential in dealing with today’s most controversial issues – from gun control to gay marriage. He believes America is facing a constitutional crisis because too many of politicians and judges ignore the common sense in our founding document. Our founding fathers didn’t want a permanent governing or ruling class of professional politicians. They wanted a republic, in Lincoln’s words, “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” A country where any farmer, small-business owner, manual laborer, or doctor could speak up and make a difference, and the Constitution provided a simple, concise roadmap to make that dream a reality.

Dr. Carson believes America’s best days are ahead, but contends these serious issues must first be resolved with reason and compromise from both sides of the political aisle.

The details for his local Florida stops are below.

Boca Raton, FL
Thursday, November 5
6:30 PM
Costco
17800 Congress Avenue
(561) 981-5004

Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Thursday, November 5
4:00 PM
Barnes & Noble
2051 North Federal Highway
(954) 561-3732

Next Page »