BIZPAC endorses in seven races

The Business Political Action Committee of Palm Beach County, following candidate interviews, has made additional political endorsements in several races.

In the Florida Senate races, BIZPAC chose rising star Mack Bernard in Democratic District 27. In Senate 34, BIZPAC went with Ellyn Bogdanoff on the strength of her leadership and voting record in the Florida Senate.

For Florida House District 86, we chose Tami Donnally over Mark Pafford, who has a less-than-stellar record as a legislator. In House District 88, Bobby Powell is by far the most attractive candidate in the all-Democratic lineup.

Looking to the Palm Beach County constitutional offices, Dave Aronberg is BIZPAC’s pick for state attorney. Dave has several attractive attributes, and you just can’t help but like a guy who’s the target of a political vendetta by The Palm Beach Post’s politics of personal destruction.

For tax collector, our choice is Peter Carney, who held the office six years ago. And in School Board District 1, the most impressive candidate is Dr. Christine Jax, a former education commissioner for the state of Minnesota.

The South Florida business community is politically bipartisan, often supporting “the person,” with party affiliation lower on the list in importance. The business community is a pragmatic political force. We’re not inclined to fall on our sword and commit resources to some ideologically-attractive candidate who has little chance of winning. We prefer to support the most business-friendly candidate who is electable.

BIZPAC’s process of selection requires candidates to submit a biography and complete a six- to eight-page candidate questionnaire. This provides a penetrating look into the political positions, backgrounds and qualifications of people who seek to govern.

Occasionally, we check criminal records. Another part of our screening process involves reviewing incumbents’ voting records and policy decisions. Sometimes, this knowledge alone is sufficient to make a decision, without an interview. Why? Voting records are truth-tellers, especially compared to jaw-flapping at campaign time or during candidate interviews. Politicians on the campaign trail often say what they think will get them votes. But the proof comes when their votes get tallied.

When we need more information, we conduct interviews using knowledgeable interview teams of BIZPAC members and business leaders who usually know more about the issues than the candidates. Often, interviewers can spot a phony answer in a New York minute.

Our system is effective, it tells us what we need to know, and we are confident the above candidates offer the most promising slate of prospective electeds these races have to offer.

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John R. Smith

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