Opinion

This Week's Rambling Thoughts

This Week’s Rambling Thoughts

By Tom Tillison

Seems as if Central Florida was a conservative haven this past weekend.  Ron Paul was in town Friday evening speaking at the Rosen Hotel on International Drive at the Liberty Summit sponsored by the Campaign for Liberty, and last night Sean Hannity was out at the UCF Arena, bringing his Freedom Concert to the area.

I’m curious if the Campaign for Liberty folks were aware that a Star Wars Convention was going on in the same hotel at the same time, and, I’m even more curious if anyone other than me sees the irony in this!

I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Paul speak and he makes a lot of sense on the economic issues and the culture of corruption in D.C., but he lost me completely when he made the claim that if we brought our troops home from around the globe it would create a “better chance for peace in the world”. 

Does this mean that U.S. troop presence is responsible for all the turmoil in the world?

Ran into Florida TEA Party political party “consultant” Doug Guetzloe at the Liberty Summit, who handed me a fake $1,000 bill with a picture of Alan Grayson on it, saying “we found the Grayson money you guy’s have been looking for”.  Ol’ Doug sure seems to be relishing every moment of his time in the spotlight with the TEA Party, which is unfortunate when you consider what’s at stake in November.

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It does make one wonder, why would the Florida TEA Party be handing out bills with a picture of Alan Grayson on them?  If he is one of their ‘supposed’ opponents in November, why would they be promoting him?  Interesting…

Speaking of stakes, is anyone surprised that President Obama has spoken in favor of the Ground Zero mosque?  Why is it that whenever the vast majority of Americans agree on something (70% disagree with the building of this mosque), we can count on Barack Obama standing on the opposite side of the issue?  There’s something really, really wrong here, folks…

As for the real tea party movement, the West Orlando Tea Party held a D8 Candidate Town Hall on Thursday night at the Foundation Academy in Winter Garden.  It’s safe to say that the event was a rousing success with nearly 1,000 citizens in attendance.  The event was sponsored by WFLA and Americans for Prosperity and was moderated by WFLA 540AM’s Bud Hedinger.  All seven Republican primary opponents were present, with each representing him/herself fairly well in the question & answer forum.wotpth

Part of the format in use allowed each candidate to pose the same question he/she had just received to one of the other candidates present.  It became apparent that one of the seven was called on far less that all the others – Todd Long.   Of the seven candidates, it’s fair to say that he was the only one calling out others present, by name, for past actions or lack thereof.

Although there was no defining moment that set one candidate apart from the others, Bud did spring a very interesting question when he asked each one to name another on the stage that he/she would support, if unsuccessful in their own bid.  Several tried to dodge the question, yet, Bud was having no part of that!  It was by far the most entertaining portion of the night.

Overall, a great night and a great job by Clyde Fabretti and Ron McCoy, co-founders of the WOTP, as well as all the volunteers who helped put the event on.

This display of class could sure be used in the governor’s race here in Florida.  It seems that the Republican ‘machine’ is firing on all cylynders and using any and all means necessary in support of Bill McCollum

With time running out and a sense of desperation setting in, his campaign has pulled out all the stops in their quest to destroy the threat Rick Scott presents.  From ‘secret money’ flowing into his coffers from D.C., to hundreds of thousands more coming from Big Sugar, from ambushing his opponents press conference to enticing misguided tea party leaders to set Scott up, I think it’s safe to say that this past week will not go down as a stellar example of how to run a honorable campaign.

Yet, it’s working…  The latest Mason-Dixon poll shows McCollum with a 4 point lead, the first time he has led a poll in months.

Oh, by the way, one thing I hear consistently from ‘old guard’ Republicans is that regardless of who we support in the primary, we have to come together afterwards and support the eventual winner.  Of course, this is usually said when an ‘old guard’ favorite wins.  So, when McCollum was asked if he would support Scott should Scott win, his answer was that he’d “withhold judgement”.  Can you say hypocrite?

The intent of the tea party movement was to put a stop to the ‘business as usual’ approach by our politicians.  It was a call for a return to the principles and values that made America the greatest nation on earth.  I’m having a very hard time reconciling this with the ‘win at all cost’ approach that we are seeing from McCollum’s campaign.  If America is to be brought back from the brink, it will be the citizens of this country that make it happen, not the politicians, and this task will not be accomplished if we continue to do the same things and expect different results.

Speaking of business as usual, in the Orange County mayoral race, there was a report in the Orlando Sentinel that suggests that Bill Segal’s campaign was involved in the troubles fellow candidate Mildred Fernandez ran into.  Another candidate in the race, Matt Falconer, has called for an outside “investigation of the Segal campaign’s apparent attempt to remove a political opponent from the Orange County Mayor’s race.”

And, coming full circle, Matt Falconer announced yesterday that Ron Paul has endorsed him for Orange County Mayor!

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Tom Tillison

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