This Week's Rambling Thoughts

Are you as surprised as I am to see Charlie Crist ahead in the polls?  Rasmussen has him ahead of Marco Rubio 38% to 34%, with Kendrick Meeks drawing 17% and 11% undecided.  Crist is certainly enjoying a ‘bounce’ in the polls since his decision to run as an independent, however, the real question here is can he hold this lead until November?  It’s certain that a fair number of Democrats are supporting Crist, yet, will this support slowly drift back to the party base as we get closer to election day?

As for Rubio, his margin for error just got a lot tighter.  And, his back and forth response to the Arizona Immigration law is not doing him any favors.  He must take a clear position on this issue, that continues to dog him throughout the campaign, and then stand on it with boldness and a sense of purpose.

There was an Orange County Mayoral Candidate Debate this past Wednesday, which did not seem to gain a whole lot of notice.  Perhaps, the idea going in was to just be conservative, no pun intended, and not make any big mistakes, after all, how many viewers were even watching?  The first question was a show of hands on who thought county taxpayers were “overtaxed.” Surprisingly, only Matt Falconer raised his hand.

Things did get a little interesting later when candidates were asked if they would sign a League of Women Voters pledge not to defame foes or put out ads “that distorts the facts.”  Bill Segal said he couldn’t take the pledge without looking into it, Linda Stewart appeared to back it, and Teresa Jacobs said she would sign it, and then said, “Mr. Falconer has just about written a book as long as that with lies about me.” She also said Segal had recently launched attacks at her that “were not fact-based.”  Segal responded, “One man’s fact, or one ladies fact, is another person’s opinion.”  As for Falconer, he said, “I will do what it takes to get the truth out.”

For those who were expecting a little more clarity in the local congressional races once qualifying took place, you have to be disappointed.  In district 8, there are still seven Republican challengers in the race to unseat Rep. Alan Grayson.  In district 24, five Republican challengers remain to replace Rep. Suzanne Kosmas.  Interestingly, there is also a Democrat challenger to Kosmas, Paul Partyka.  Talk about diluting the vote, let’s hope those who fail to gain relevant traction do the right thing before the primary, and step aside.  Country before self, right???

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, there is also a candidate in district 8 running under the controversial Florida Tea Party label, which, hopefully, does not find itself in court on election day addressing the growing number of lawsuits that are emerging from this endeavor.  Your humble correspondent was named in the latest lawsuit, which lists local tea party activist Cheryl Matchett among the defendants.  Not sure why I’m listed…perhaps, I can take solace in that old saying, ‘you’re judged by the strength of your enemies’.

The RPOF released thousands of credit-card receipts Friday that showed donor money was used to allow the party’s elected officials and top staffers to travel and dine in style.  The American Express records revealed that seven GOP lawmakers held cards and charged about $540,000 during Greer’s reign, a figure that does not include more than $1.4 million their personal aides also charged.  Daniel Webster, one of the Republican candidates running in district 8, had one of these Am Ex cards as the Senate majority leader in 2007 and 2008, and charged just over $9,400 almost exclusively for meals at Tallahassee spots such as $311 at Moe’s Southwest Grill, $199 at Macaroni Grill, $165 at Mellow Mushroom and $267 at Three Guys Pizza.

Registered Republican voters must be on pins and needles awaiting the next fiasco that emerges from the RPOF…

As a friend recently said, these are indeed interesting times in the world of politics  Let’s hope that everyone also understands that these are very defining times in our nation’s history.  The direction America takes for the next several decades is now being decided, by you and I, and we cannot allow the entertaining values, nor, the self serving actions, of those in the political spectrum to distract us from the purpose at hand.  Our children and grandchildren deserve better!

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Tom Tillison

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