Last evening, “Betrayed” author Billy Vaughn captivated a packed house at Abacoa.
Father of a Navy Seal who died in the crash of a Chinook helicopter in Afghanistan in 2011, Mr. Vaughn described what he found in trying to understand how this happened.
In an indictment of the rules of engagement that currently tie the hands of our forces in Afghanistan, he described the gulf that exists between the “war fighters” on the ground and their senior leadership. More interested in winning the hearts and minds of the Afghans than in force protection or defeating the enemy, the current US conduct of the war greatly increases the risk and diminishes the effectiveness of our deployed forces.
He described our Afghan “allies” as untrustworthy and infiltrated by Taliban and Pakistan ISS, yet revealed that they are given full details of every special operation and have the authority to change the parameters or stop the it altogether. Describing the “ramp ceremony” following his son’s death, an Afghan Imam was taped (in his language) offering a prayer for the dead. When he had the tape translated, it was revealed that the “prayers” were actually a diatribe against the American forces.
Predicting a dark future for the next generation if the current administration policies continue, his passion and outrage was clearly felt by the audience.
In other business, CD18 candidates Ellen Andel, and Calvin Turnquest introduced themselves, as did PBG Council candidate Robin Deaton, and recently re-elected PBG Mayor Bert Premuroso.
Of interest to Jupiter Chapter members is our upcoming City Council Candidate Forum to be held in the County Library in the Gardens on February 25 at 6PM. The event is jointly sponsored by the Palm Beach County Tea Party, South Florida 912, PBGWatch, the PBG Residents Coalition, and the Republican Club of the Northern Palm Beaches.
It was a packed room to hear District 6 School Board Member Marcia Andrews at Wellington’s Total Wine & More on Monday.
The Common Core Standards are an attempt to unify K-12 education across the nation around a set of grade-specific core skills, ostensibly aimed at raising the worldwide competitiveness of American students. Unfortunately, the devil is in the details, and much anecdotal evidence has surfaced that when the standards are translated into curricula, they represent a “fundamental transformation” that many would argue is not needed or wanted.
Implementation of the standards in Florida was mandated by then Governor Charlie Crist in 2010 and has been rolled out in kindergarten and first grade, with movement to the higher grades about to begin. As they roll out, opposition has been growing across the state, prompting Governor Scott to reject the assessment part of the program called PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers), leaving open the question of how assessment in the state will proceed. This, and the move to slow things down while the debate continues, shared by Ms. Andrews and others on the School Board and in the state-wide Florida School Board Association, has the possibility to create chaos in K-12 education as teachers are trained, materials are adopted and the rollout continues in the face of a groundswell of opposition.
Ms. Andrews and District Director of Secondary Education Diana Feldman gave the group an overview of history and plans for Common Core in Florida, and fielded many questions from the floor regarding required reading lists, data collection on students, the autonomy of local teachers to shape the curriculum in their classroom, and other hot-button issues.
Although few who have formed positions regarding Common Core would have been swayed by the session, it was informative and gave us the impression that the School Board is listening.
The Palm Beach County Tea Party participated in the 2013 annual Veteran’s Day Parade in West Palm Beach.
Some pictures from Ed and Julie:
We had another packed house for the Wellington Chapter meeting on Oct. 14th. We welcomed several first timers to our Tea Party, as well as about a dozen veterans. As you are aware, the Tea Party has a special place in our hearts for veterans of all wars. The concern for the future of our country is at a fever pitch, so we gave all our participants a chance to voice their opinions.
Our Chapter Leader, Marion Frank, began the meeting with a Cliff Notes version of Mark Levin’s new book, The Liberty Amendments. Mark contends that Article 5 of the Constitution states that an alternate way of amending the Constitution is to convene a Convention of States to propose amendments, thus circumventing Congress. Mark proposes 11 amendments, including term limits for Congress and Supreme Court Justices, limiting federal spending and taxes, limit federal bureaucracy, promote free enterprise, to protect the vote and Mark’s favorite to grant the States authority to directly amend the Constitution.
While Marion was speaking, many in the audience were wondering how we could possibly get 34 states to convene a convention. That brought us to our guest speaker, former chairwoman for the Palm Beach County Tea Party, Pam Wohlschlegel. Pam recently joined a new organization called Citizens for Self-Governance. This organization was started by Mark Meckler, one of the co-founders of Tea Party Patriots. Mark Meckler began working on a project called Convention of States at the same time he found out that Mark Levin was working on his book. It appears the ideas of the two “Marks” are coming together in perfect harmony. Meckler’s organization is actually putting together the people and resources to get the conventions going in 40 states. It was so exciting to hear Pam talk about the details of this genius plan.
The final portion of the meeting was dedicated to whatever our audience wanted to talk about. Two of the topics we talked about the most were how can the Tea Party reach out to more veterans and how can we reach young voters, mainly college students. One of our first timers, Christopher Ryan, an entrepreneur of 27 years old, shared his thoughts about why we are having such problems getting to the youth of this country. We are committed to finding new ways to reach out to veterans and young voters. We are going to target our future meetings to achieve those objectives.
Overall, it was an extremely informative and enlightening meeting. Our next Wellington Chapter will meet on November 14th at 7:00 PM at Total Wine.
- Marion Frank
- Wellington Chapter
- CD 18 candidate Ilyla Katz with Mel Grossman
- Carlos Muhletaler of Americans for Prosperity
Last evening, the Jupiter chapter hosted a presentation by Phyliss Frey of the American Coalition 4 Property Rights, on the regional planning protocol known as “Seven50″.
Background: The title stands for “Seven Counties, 50 Years”, and is a work product in the area of “Regional Plans for Sustainable Development”, funded by a $4.6M HUD grant in 2010. A consortium, the developers of Seven50 formed the “South Florida Regional Partnership” to help create, support and implement the plan. Participants include local governments and NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) through membership in the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) and the South Florida RPC. The plan attempts to address how to manage an expected 50% growth in population (from 6M to 9M) in the seven target counties of Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe. They have analyzed housing density, mass transit, diversity, planning and zoning and other regional attributes. The underlying assumption is a future of global climate change and rising sea levels, scarcity of energy and water, and challenges to “food security” among other things. The group’s proposals are considered advisory by many of the city and county jurisdictions that indirectly support it. Their work product can be viewed at seven50.org
Our guest speaker is a leader in the movement to challenge this planning protocol, and along with others associated with the American Coalition 4 Property Rights and many tea party activists, sees regional planning consortiums (they are all over the country, spurred on by HUD grants) as a threat to our way of life.
In her presentation, Ms. Frey used several very professional videos to make the case that the Seven50 plan would move us toward “stack ‘em and pack ‘em” high rise dwellings, the end of the suburbs, clusters of development along rail routes and elimination of local and county planning and zoning authority in favor of super-regional control.
Going back to the origins of “Sustainable Development” starting with the UN “Agenda 21″, she profiled the federal government’s role in implementation, starting with an executive order by George H. W. Bush, and expansion through every administration since. The Obama team has ratcheted it up a notch, using the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and HUD (Dept. of Housing and Urban Development) to promulgate a set of rules that require “neighborhood diversity” defined racially rather than economically, limits on resource use, and strings attached to federal grants flowing to local communities.
A test case and clear warning bell is provided by Westchester County, NY. A video of County Executive Rob Astorino, describing the federal lawsuits that county is struggling with, and his vow to fight back against federal overreach was a most compelling argument.
Invited to the meeting to hear the “other” side of the issue were our district 1 county commissioner Hal Valeche, Mayor Bert Premuroso and Councilman Joe Russo of Palm Beach Gardens. After the speaker made the point several times that MOUs (“Memorandums Of Understanding”) executed by local commissions and councils have limited their defense against the attacks on the local planning and zoning autonomy, Commissioner Valeche thought he needed to set the record straight. Taking the microphone to explain that the PBC commission is not constrained by Seven50 or the TCRPC, but look to groups like that as consultants and advisors. Some issues really need a regional perspective he said – like inter-county rail projects or large developments near county borders. He used the example of Avenir – the proposed development for the Vavrus Ranch in Palm Beach Gardens, as an example where TCRPC is being asked to help by collecting input from the region’s residents about such a large development in the western county.
Gardens councilman Joe Russo expanded on that, and explained that regional planning really did have a hand in developments like Abacoa, but state law has changed and it is now local rules that prevail. The Avenir development will be a decision for the Gardens Council, not the TCRPC.
Both Valeche and Russo left us with the impression that these kind of radical proposals as discussed by the speaker can happen, but only if we (and our local elected officials) let it.
At this point the meeting had become a “Town Hall” with both Hal and Phyliss taking questions from the audience.
Many were not buying that Seven50 was not a major threat though, and several called for Hal to get the PBC commission to “opt out” of Seven50, much the way that Indian River County and the city of Vero Beach have. Hal declined, saying such a motion would not pass in the current commission, and although this may be an issue in the future, currently he does not see it as an immediate issue in Palm Beach County. At one point it got raucus enough that Joel Channing, a PBCTP member who is close to the Gardens Council and is a leader in the PGA Corridor Association, made the point that “these guys are really heros” (the commissioner and councilmen) and were being unfairly criticized.
Also present at the meeting were candidates for CD18 Ellen Andel and Ilya Katz, CD21 candidate (against Ted Deutch) Henry Colon, and Senate 32 candidate Brandon Cannon (a Republican challenging Joe Negron).
- Phyliss Frey Amercian Coalition 4 Property Rights
- Mark Gotz American Coalition 4 Property Rights
- Terry Gallagher, Mel Grossman, Jim Hunter, Laureen Hunter
- Bill Robinson
- Virginia and John Brooks
- Phyliss Frey and Commissioner Hal Valeche
- Phyliss Frey, Commissioner Hal Valeche, Janet Campbell
Our Wellington Chapter of the Palm Beach County Tea Party held its meeting on Monday, Sept. 9th in the classroom at Total Wine in Wellington. People started arriving a full hour before the 7 PM meeting in order to get a seat. By the time the meeting started, it was standing room only.
The Chapter Coordinator, Marion Frank opened the meeting with a short discussion on Syria. She opined that the whole ordeal was a Wag The Dog scenario and was just meant to divert America’s attention away from all the scandals.
Henry Colon was called up to speak for a few minutes to introduce himself to the group. Henry is running as a Republican for Congressional District 21, the seat currently held by Ted Deutch.
Mel Grossman was formally introduced as the new President of the Palm Beach County Tea Party and he spoke for a moment about our future plans. He also spoke about the meeting we had in August with Dennis Michael Lynch, fighting the Amnesty bill with everything he’s got. We watched the beginning of Dennis’s documentary called “We Come To America, Part II”. If anybody wants to get a free copy of this chilling documentary, they can leave a message and let us know.
Janet Campbell gave an accurate accounting of what is coming with Common Core. Many Tea Partiers were hearing this information for the first time and they were shocked by what they heard. Janet offered a math example to everyone. She handed out index cards and asked everyone to multiply two compound numbers together. Most people were done in about 30 seconds and all got the correct answer. Janet then handed out the instruction sheet for Common Core way of doing the same math problem. It involved drawing boxes and guessing. After about 4 minutes, Janet told everyone that it no longer matters if the right answer is found, as long as you show your work, the teacher cannot mark you wrong. It was also pointed out that the new American history books will skip over our Founding Fathers and begin with Abraham Lincoln. Our children in elementary school will also learn that Martin Luther King, Jr. will be labeled as a “founding father”. This was all the Tea Partiers needed to know about Common Core and all are ready to fight it in our state.
The next Tea Party meeting in Wellington will be held on Monday, October 14th.
Some pictures from Delia:
The public hearings on the county budget are Monday 9/9/13 and 9/23/13 at 6:00 PM.
September 3, 2013
The Palm Beach County Tea Party Board of Directors has elected Mel Grossman as its new President.
Mr. Grossman is a co-founder of the group, founded in 2011 as a spin off of the now defunct South Florida Tea Party, and has served as its Treasurer.
Mr. Grossman moved to Florida in October 2001 after selling his successful small business of 35 years and lives in northern Palm Beach County. He has been involved with the Tea Party efforts since 2010 and has taken an active role in grassroots activities across the county.
In a brief statement, he said:
Mel replaces former President Michael Riordan who resigned last month.
This past weekend in Orlando, Americans for Prosperity Foundation hosted a conference for grassroots activists from around the nation.
With informative breakout sessions in the mornings to highlight successes on the state and local levels, and “big tent” events in the afternoon with national conservative leaders, there was something for everyone, including ample free time to “network”.
The “malaise” that affected many of us locally after the bitter results of the 2012 Presidential election has been pretty widespread, and organizers from many locations reported falling attendance at many of their events. Hopefully, that is now starting to change. Although we are still licking our wounds, conferences like this one demonstrate that there is still life in the conservative grassroots, we have leaders in the movement that “get it” and have the fortitude to take it to the President – to lead the fight against the train wreck that is Obamacare, the endless debt and deficits, the administration that cares little for the rule of law, the separation of powers, or the role of the states in our constitutional republic.
“It’s amazing what is possible in America“, said Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, when people are free – free to make their own choices, free from the suffocating regulations of intrusive government. He talked about education as the key for the jobs of tomorrow, and the success they have had in his state in shutting down failing schools and greatly expanding the charter school system which has done a lot to improve the lot of minority children. Last week, unfortunately, Obama’s Justice Department has decided to sue Louisiana to roll back these reforms and return students to their failing schools. Judging by his fiery critique of the President and his policies, it is clear he will stand up against our rogue Attorney General and fight to retain the success they achieved.
Our own Senator Marco Rubio declared “There is nothing wrong with America – but there is something wrong with this President“. The good news, he said, is that “we still have time to save the American Dream“, by reforming the tax code and eliminating regulations. “We don’t need Common Core”, he said, and he will not vote for any budget that funds Obamacare or to increase the debt ceiling without a balanced budget amendment and specific cuts.
Unfortunately for Senator Rubio, there is still a lot of anger in the movement about his role in passing the “gang of eight” Senate immigration bill. In the hall were members of Flimen with pink shirts that said “Pink Slip Rubio”, and throughout his speech you could hear sporadic calls for “No Amnesty”. Although he avoided this issue in the speech, he did address it in a smaller group that met with him prior to the session. In a hotel suite with about 40 supporters, after answering some questions about Syria, Obamacare and other issues for which he was among friends, someone in the back asked “what about immigration”. A hush fell across the room at this point and he had no choice but to address it with a somewhat lengthy justification that amounted to “the status quo is unacceptable so we have to do something“. To me it sounded like doubling down. Not good.
Then Arthur Brooks, President of American Enterprise Institute, succinctly summed up the Obama message: “Rich people have your stuff and I’m going to get it back for you.” This shouldn’t have worked as envy is not American, but unfortunately all our side had to say to his supporters was “You’re a moocher” – no wonder we lost. The words “fairness” and “compassion” have been kidnapped by the left and we should take them back and own them, because progressive ideology is neither fair nor compassionate. As a humorous and memorable side comment illustrating our difference in values, he recalled a bumper sticker seen in San Francisco – “Your body may be a temple but mine is an amusement park”.
Next up was Governor Rick Scott, gearing up his re-election bid with a positive jobs message. Recalling his 2010 pledge to create “700,000 jobs in 7 years”, he reported us as on-track, with the likelihood of 900,000 jobs created by 2018. Scott is still popular with the Florida grassroots, although his support for Medicaid expansion had a lot of heads scratching. We do still remember that he declined to create a state Obamacare exchange, though. A few hecklers in the audience periodically shouted “No Common Core”, reflecting dissatisfaction with the direction that our education system has taken over the last few years. Scott talked about his activities as a booster of the state’s business climate and his good-natured rivalry with Texas and Governor Rick Perry who was the last major speaker of the day.
A 2012 Presidential candidate until his campaign faltered early in the primary process, he is possibly gearing up for another run in 2016. Well known as a jobs governor, the record of the Texas economy on his watch has been very impressive. As he makes the rounds of the states selling the Texas miracle, he has gained the ire of many blue state governors who do not appreciate his pointing out the shortcomings of their performance or the failings of the Progressive economics.
On another theme, “All roads lead back to the states“, said Perry. One size fits all federal programs (like Obamacare) are anathema to the founding principles of this country. A favorite target of the Obama administration, whose ideology sees the power in the states to be a roadblock to their big government agenda, Texas is now being sued by Eric Holder and the Justice Department as they try to end-run the Supreme Court and re-impose Voting Rights Act restrictions that require federal permission for such things as Voter ID laws.
On the final day of the conference, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, another possible 2016 presidential candidate and clearly the favorite of the gathering gave us reasons for optimism. With the success of Rand Paul’s filibuster on drones, and the failure of gun control initiatives after Sandy Hook, the President was forced to “listen to the people”, he said. On Syria, with Obama now going to Congress for authorization, on immigration, on common core, – the people are making their voices heard and throwing a wrench into the Obama agenda. His job as a Senator, he says, is to restore economic growth as the lack of growth is related to all of our other problems. Tax Reform (“Abolish the IRS“), and regulatory reform (“Repeal Obamacare – every single word“) are the key. He sees Obamacare as the greatest job killer of all time and sees de-funding it in the upcoming budget process as the key. In answer to skeptics that see that tactic as a political liability for Republicans, he says “You lose 100% of the fights you surrender at the outset.” Standing ovations were frequent for this speech.
All in all, the speakers reminded us that conservatism is not “in trouble” as the mainstream media may have you believe, but resurgent and full of fire. With his agenda in tatters, the Obama team sees winning back the House and holding the Senate next year as their only chance to have a legacy of anything but failure. Any thought of compromise or even dealing with a Republican House is not is the President’s wheelhouse. Although 2014 will be a harder slog than 2010 when we took them by surprise, at the end of this conference it was clear that we have depth, we have tools and we have a maturity that comes from adversity and learning from the losses of 2012. Thanks to AFP and organizations like them, the conservative grassroots will have help and structure that will amplify our effectiveness going forward.
Author and producer of the films “They Come to America” and “They Come to America 2″, Dennis Michael Lynch drove the issues surrounding illegal immigration and amnesty home to a substantial crowd of several hundred at the Abacoa Golf Club.
Co-sponsored by the Palm Beach County Tea Party and the Martin County Tea Party / 912, Mr. Lynch used a series of video clips, anecdotes and personal stories to shed some light on what is really happening on our southern border, and what could happen if something like the “Gang of 8″ amnesty bill were to become law.
Immigration is a complex issue, yet it is approached by politicians and the media in sound bites, misleading statements and 1200 page bills with loads of subtle consequences.
The Dream Act for example, allows for the best and brightest of illegals in our schools to remain in the country. It also provides entry for all their relatives through “chain migration”, a deal breaker for many conservatives.
H1B visas, favored by high-tech companies who need skilled workers in IT and other technical disciplines, have the side effect that the participants are effectively indentured to the company that procures their visas and consequently work for below standard wages – crowding out Americans with equal skills and credentials. (Editors Note: the Senate Immigration bill would make this worse by eliminating “middlemen” who obtain work visas for tech workers and then hire them out as contractors to the tech firms).
Senator Rubio’s claim that the newly legalized would “not get Obamacare” and other benefits is a similar problem – companies could hire these folks and not have to provide them health benefits or face Obamacare fines.
My biggest takeaway from Mr. Lynch’s many fine points concerned Barack Obama and his legacy. “It is not Obamacare for which he would most like to be remembered, but immigration reform”, he said. More than anything else, flooding the country with tens or hundreds of millions new immigrants would “fundamentally change America”, the President’s first and foremost goal.
Finally, regarding the border, enforcement, and the billions of new spending on border patrol in the “Gang of 8″ bill, he said it is “not about the money”, but about the will to fix the problem. Until we have a government that has the will to act on the problem it will not be solved.
Several elected officials joined us last evening, including District 1 County Commissioner Hal Valeche, and Juno Beach Councilwoman Ellen Andel. Ms. Andel, who is running for Congress in the crowded CD18 Republican field, was joined by Beverly Hires, a new entrant in that race, and Ilya Katz. Mr. Katz was a candidate in CD23 against Debbie Wasserman Schultz, but is moving north and decided to join the CD18 race instead. Also running in that district are former state representative Carl Domino, and Alan Schlesinger , both occasional visitors to PBCTP meetings.
- Good Crowd for a Friday Evening We pushed the limits of the venue with this event.
- Jupiter Leader Laura Hanley
- Beverly Hires New entrant into the crowded CD18 race.
- Joyce Kaufman Joyce introduced the speaker who she has gotten to know as an immigration activist.
- Dennis Michael Lynch
- Dennis Michael Lynch