RES PUBLICA

Politics, Politicians, and Current Events Examined

Posts Tagged ‘conservatism

Bill Foster is Running for Re-Election as Mayor of St. Petersburg

leave a comment »


Bill Foster, Mayor of St. Petersburg

Bill Foster, Mayor of St. Petersburg

Commentary by GH Khan

The nonpartisan race for Mayor of St. Petersburg matters, and the time has come for conservatives of all stripes to fully and without reservation back the re-election of Bill Foster for Mayor of St. Petersburg.

That is the message emerging from a series of polls that show Foster trailing challengers Kathleen Ford and Rick Kriseman in the run-up to the August 27 St. Petersburg primary.  Conservatives need to set aside their disappointments with Foster over his often folksy, rather ambiguous, and sometimes downright mushy approach to many of the issues facing our fair city.  In particular, conservatives will have to overlook His Honor’s deficient leadership over issues surrounding The Pier.

This is a nonpartisan race with far-ranging consequences.  The chief executive of Florida’s third-largest city has influence far beyond City Hall, and far beyond the city limits.  This means that the more conservative the mayor is the more favorable the political environment will be for conservatives and their ideas, and that is why this race matters to conservatives.

It is extremely unlikely at this point that any candidate in the mayor’s race will receive the required 50% of the vote plus one to win the race in the August 27 St. Petersburg Primary, which means that there will be a November run-off between the two top vote getters.  The two biggest threats to Foster’s re-election are Ford and Kriseman.  The other two candidates in the race, Anthony Cates and Paul Congemi, are unlikely to have any statistically significant impact on the race.  Ford and Kriseman each show stronger polling strength than Foster, and Foster will have to beat at least one of them in the primary in order to be in the running in the November election.  Kriseman, an unremarkable garden-variety liberal Democrat, is seen by some as more beatable by Foster in November than remarkable progressive Democrat Ford would be, making Ford the candidate Foster must best in the primary.

To know Bill Foster is to like him.  The Mayor has done a lot of good campaigning to date, and has garnered a lot of important endorsements, but there is a lot more to be done.  Foster needs to shore up his base and, to the extent possible, expand his appeal to other voters.  He needs to send to voters a sharp, clear message of accomplishments and the path he will take to further accomplishments in his next term.  He needs to define his candidacy and the issues of the election, and not cede the initiative to his challengers to define things for him:  E.g., The Pier is only one of many issues facing St. Petersburg voters, and not the most important one in this election.  No more muddled, ambiguous pandering that appeals to all and satisfies none.  He needs to reconnect to social conservatives of all types, and not just the local Republican hierarchy (Foster is a Republican).  He badly needs to repair his relationship with St. Petersburg’s African-American community, which has a history of being very forgiving of political trespassing.  He needs to raise a boatload of money and use it to saturate the available media with his improved message.  Perhaps Foster also needs a new consultant, one who has an intimate understanding of the politics of The Burg and can generate a winning strategy that will get Foster through the primary and on to victory in November.

Kathleen Ford, candidate for Mayor of St. Petersburg

Kathleen Ford, candidate for Mayor of St. Petersburg

So, what’s not to like about Ford?

Kathleen Ford has unsuccessfully run for Mayor of St. Petersburg twice previously, losing the first time to Rick Baker and losing the second time to Bill Foster.  She has previously served on the City Council.  Ford is presently riding a wave of notoriety arising from her litigation over The Pier.  This will give her an edge with many of the voters who will be voting on The Pier in the August primary.  This popularity is, however, very thin and is undercut by several of Ford’s strong negatives.  To know Kathleen Ford is to have strong feelings about her; indeed, one of the jokes going around town lately is that “Will Rogers never met Kathleen Ford.”*  Ford  has been described as being self-righteous, condescending and rude to those who disagrees with her.  She also has been criticized for  being reluctant to admit  when she is wrong, and being given to blame others for her failings, as when in her 2009 campaign for mayor she disingenuously tried to blame her use of the racially offensive term “HNIC” on the radio host who was interviewing her when she used it.  It was this insensitivity and ignorance that earned Ford condemnation from distinguished St. Petersburg Times columnist Bill Maxwell and effectively destroyed her bid for mayor that year.  Her overall judgment and competency as an attorney is also questionable in light of the debacle she made of her lawsuit against the City of St. Petersburg over the closing of The Pier, in which she made an ill-fated attempt to join as “indispensable parties” in the suit the more than 15,000 persons who signed the petition to get The Pier on the August ballot.

Ford also has been accused of being self-serving, and some have opined that Ford’s initiation of this ill-fated lawsuit was just a gimmick to get her name in the press and heighten her visibility prior to her run for mayor.  She also has been accused of being a loose cannon, which is one of the main reasons that the pro-abortion group Ruth’s List Florida  will not back her in this election, despite her credentials as a progressive.For conservatives, there is a lot about Ford to dislike.  During the June 28 mayoral candidate debate sponsored by the NAACP, Ford prattled on about, among other things, the need for “affordable” (read: taxpayer-funded) housing, her opposition to police chases, and her belief in (Republican) voter suppression.  In past elections Ford has been enthusiastically supported by the SEIU, the Suncoast Sierra Club, and the Florida National Organization of Women Political Action Committee.  Ford can fairly be described as a pandering progressive who favors big government with an authoritarian bent, making it very unlikely that she would be willing to work with members of the City Council to forge the sort of consensus that allows city government to serve its citizens effectively.

There is not much time left for conservatives to get in the game.  St. Petersburg has chosen not to do early voting, but voting by mail is an option.  The deadline to mail ballots to overseas and absent military voters is July 13; the deadline to begin to mail ballots to domestic voters is July 23.  The voter registration deadline is July 27.  The polls open on August 27 at 7:00 AM and close at 7:00 PM.  Don’t forget to bring some identification.

__________

* American humorist Will Rogers is famously quoted as having said that he never met a man he didn’t like.

Is It Time to Get Rid of the Constitution?

leave a comment »


By Spartacus Thrace

the-constitutionAs 2013 dawns across America, the Progressive Movement appears to be at the zenith of their power within the federal government and throughout major sectors of American society and culture.  Buttressed by decades-long control or domination of the academy, the theater, the press, labor, and the Democratic Party, the Progressives have fundamentally changed the state of the nation by creating a secular utopian statist path as an alternative to the religious individualistic minimalist government path set down by the Founders two centuries ago and expressed in the obligations of the government to the governed they enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

The Declaration has long been treated by many in power as an irrelevant historical relic.  The radical notion that the Constitution is a “living document” has gained wide adherence across several parts of the societal spectrum, even among those who hold themselves out as experts on matters of constitutional law.  America is now governed by a semi-permanent ruling class, engaged in rampant self-entitlement, seeing itself as separate and apart from — and superior to — the governed.  The notions of the American melting pot of disparate peoples and American exceptionalism have been lost to Balkanization of the population along the classic imaginary socialist fault lines of race, ethnicity, gender, and class.  The fundamental concept of minimalism — where the power of government is a revocable grant from the governed and the government has only that power and authority necessary to perform the essential duties entrusted to it by the governed — has long been smothered by massive growth in the size, power, and reach of the federal government and the concomitant decrease in individual liberty. Read the rest of this entry »

Should Florida Supreme Court Justices Pariente, Quince, and Lewis Get the Boot?

with 4 comments


Judicial Retention Sample Ballot

By Spartacus Thrace

An issue facing Florida’s voters in the November 2012 election is:  Should Barbara J. Pariente, Peggy A. Quince, and R. Fred Lewis each be allowed to keep their jobs as justices on the Florida Supreme Court?

Each is up for a merit retention vote this year, and each has generated considerable controversy with decisions that opponents describe as anti-democratic judicial activism in denigration of constitutional rule of law in Florida.  In particular, each has been accused of overstepping their authority in making law, as opposed to interpreting existing law, with far-reaching consequences for the people of the state.

Separation of Powers

As with all other states, Florida has organized its government upon the democratic premise that when a single person or group has too much power, that person or group can become dangerous to the citizens.  To prevent such concentration of power, Florida has embraced the trias politica principle espoused by John Locke and Baron de Montesquieu, which separates the government into distinct executive, legislative, and judicial divisions.  The Florida constitution also gives each branch certain defined powers not shared with the other branches, a concept knows as “separation of powers.”

Florida’s scheme of separation of powers is set forth in Article II of the state constitution which provides:

The powers of the state government shall be divided into legislative, executive and judicial branches. No person belonging to one branch shall exercise any powers appertaining to either of the other branches unless expressly provided herein.1 Read the rest of this entry »

The Obama Campaign Follows a Porn Feed on Twitter

with one comment


By Spartacus Thrace

We rightfully expect political candidates and the people around them to be morally upright and of excellent character as a condition precedent to the ability to properly conduct themselves in the affairs of government if and when elected.  The fact that a candidate for public office has pornography on his or her computer or subscribes to a pornography feed should be big news in any election, as it says a lot about the morals and character of the candidate.  Presidential candidates and their committees are no exception.  That is why it is significant and relevant to the election of our next President that the Barack Obama campaign subscribes to the pornography feed, https://twitter.com/ILikeTitsDaily, which features a daily posting of (often gaudy) photographs of the exposed breasts of women. Sometimes the breasts are not completely exposed, often the breasts are framed without showing even the faces of the women, and the sexual organs are exposed in some of the photographs.

Screenshot from @ILikeTitsDaily, showing image dated September 25, 2012.

Read the rest of this entry »

Everett Rice and Bob Gualtieri Vying for Republican Nomination for Pinellas County Sheriff

leave a comment »


By Spartacus Thrace

With the coming retirement of Sheriff Jim Coats the office of Pinellas County Sheriff will be on the 2012 ballot. The five announced candidates to date are Bob Gualtieri, a Republican; Randy Heine, a Democrat; Stephen W. Reilly, another Democrat;  Greg Pound of the Constitutional Party of Florida; and former Pinellas County Sheriff Everett S. Rice, another Republican.

More information about Gualtieri can be found on his campaign website. Candidates Heine, Reilly, Pound, and Rice did not have identifiable campaign websites as of June 13, 2011.

On June 13, 2011 Gualtieri made the following statement about his candidacy to the members of the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee (PCREC):

(Video Courtesy PCREC)

On June 13, 2011, Rice made the following statement about his candidacy to the members of the PCREC:

(Video Courtesy PCREC)

Leslie Waters and Jim Frishe Vying for Republican Nomination for State Senate District 13

leave a comment »


By Spartacus Thrace

Florida State Senate District 13, comprising parts of Pinellas County, will be up for grabs in 2012 due to term limits precluding incumbent Republican Dennis Jones from running again. There presently are two announced candidates, and both are Republicans.

The first announced candidate is James C. “Jim” Frishe, currrently State Representative for District 54 in Pinellas County and Majority Whip in the House of Representatives. More information about Frishe can be found on his campaign website. On June 13, 2011 Frishe made the following statement about his candidacy to the members of the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee (PCREC):

(Video Courtesy PCREC)

The other announced candidate is former state representative Leslie Waters. More information about Waters can be found on her campaign website. On June 13, 2011, Waters made the following statement about her candidacy to the members of the PCREC:

(Video Courtesy PCREC)

Political Warfare and the Mainstream Media Hatchet Job

with one comment


By Spartacus Thrace

One of the most enduring and effective weapons employed by the radical statists who comprise the mainstream media (MSM) is the political “hatchet job.” Wielded for decades with near-impunity by the MSM against conservatives, Republicans, and other political enemies, the hatchet job has been a potent force for the Left in its efforts to reduce or eliminate political debate at the national, state, and local levels. This article is a primer for conservatives and members of the New Media on what a hatchet job is and how it is employed.

Hatchet Job Defined

A hatchet job is a biased, maliciously destructive, and often cruel written or spoken critique or attack on the character or activities of a person, organization, or institution. In its most common form, a hatchet job comprises a printed attempt disparage, discredit, and ultimately destroy a targeted person’s or organization’s reputation in the eyes of the public and to deny the target public sympathy or support through the use of innuendo, inaccuracies, and misleading statements. It is also used for the inherently undemocratic purpose of intimidating and stifling political opposition or dissent.

The hatchet job is a work of pseudo-journalist art, psychological warfare, and political disinformation. Hatchet jobs are in derogation of the ethical rule that journalists should always be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.1 While some hatchet jobs are one-time efforts, many are part of a sustained political campaign. The smear campaign waged by the MSM against Sarah Palin is an example of the latter. Few are blatant, and most are quite subtle. Sometimes, for example, a direct accusation against the target is merely the carrier for darker and more ominous insinuations. In many more cases, however, factual errors, innuendo, and implications of wrongdoing are placed alongside, and draw plausibility from, scattered truths to create a grossly distorting effect on the reader or viewer. Read the rest of this entry »

Eye on the Prize: The PCREC Prepares for 2012

with one comment


Jay Beyrouti, Chairman of the PCREC

Jay Beyrouti, Chairman of the Pinellas County Executive Committee (PCREC) is not satisfied.

He is not content that the PCREC’s fundraising efforts have been immensely successful. He is not ready to relax given that that Republicans occupy the majority of elected positions in Pinellas County, and dominate the county board of commissioners and the state legislative delegation. The fact that a Republican occupies the Governor’s mansion does not make him complacent.

A believer in the Republican message of smaller government, lower taxes, and more individual freedom, Beyrouti points to the facts that registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by about 19,000 in Pinellas County, and that the county is home to 150,000 registered Independents. Beyrouti thinks the vast majority of the adult inhabitants of Pinellas County are conservative in their political and social views, that the Republican message resonates with a lot of people who are not members of any party as well as many who are members of the Democratic Party, and that the radicalization of the Democratic Party is a source of ongoing concern for these people.  He thinks this is so because, as a longstanding businessman in the community, he deals with such people on a daily basis, and he knows that many of them are ripe to be brought over to the Republican fold with the right approach.

Beyrouti’s goal is the defeat of President Barack Obama and Senator Bill Nelson in the 2012 elections.  He points out that Obama carried Pinellas County by 30,000 votes in 2008, and he does not want to see that repeated in 2012.  To accomplish this, he has begun a new Republican voter registration initiative, and has placed responsibility for its implementation squarely on the hundreds of precinct officers, club presidents, and other activists who make up the soul of the PCREC. Read the rest of this entry »

Pinellas Republicans: Work Hard, Think Deep, and Plan Long

leave a comment »


Logo of the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee (PCREC)

(March 14, 2011) If one wants to see and feel just how much grassroots energy and strength is being generated by the Republican Party these days, one of the best places to go is to a monthly meeting of one of their county executive committees.

The county executive committee is the lowest level of formal organization in the Republican Party, and it is at this level that the future stars of that party are born and nurtured. One such committee worth watching is the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee (PCREC), which has emerged as a political powerhouse in what traditionally has been one of the biggest swing districts in the State of Florida.  Led by its chairman, Jay J. Beyrouti, the unofficial motto of the committee seems to be “Work Hard, Think Deep, Plan Long.” Read the rest of this entry »

SB 428: Fired Judges Employment and Popular Vote Nullification Act of 2011 Filed in Florida Senate

with 3 comments


Neutralizing the pink slip of democracy.

By Le Corbeaunoir

UPDATE: SB 428 and its House counterpart, HB 1033, died in their respective Judiciary Committees on May 7, 2011.

The 2010 elections were a wakeup call for members of the Florida political elite who both enjoy being in the ruling class and hate the uncertainties of democracy. Some are beginning to devise ways to push back against the popular will when it comes to deciding who is or is not suited to remain on the bench.

Let’s put this in perspective: Imagine that the you and the majority of the voters in a democratic election choose to fire and replace a sitting state trial court judge, appellate court judge, or a supreme court justice as being unfit to serve on the bench any longer.  Then imagine that a short time later you and everyone else who voted the same way you did learn that the person you and the majority rejected as not fit to serve on the bench is in fact back on the bench judging cases. Incredibly, this is exactly what could happen if Senate Bill (SB) 428 becomes law. Read the rest of this entry »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 103 other followers

%d bloggers like this: