Statewide candidate, congressional, and statewide ballot recommendations

Irreverent View dissects the races and makes recommendations in all of Florida’s statewide, congressional races, and ballot initiatives

By Chris Ingram

With absentee ballots already in the mail, it’s time for a quick assessment of the candidates. Irreverent View makes the following recommendations.

Governor

Rick Scott has his baggage with the Columbia/HCA fine, but it is important to note two things about him. 1) Scott was never charged for any wrongdoing; and, 2) Scott didn’t help create the mess our state is in. Alex Sink has done a decent job as the state’s CFO, but she has not shown real leadership or proposed any bold initiatives to fix Florida’s many problems. She’s not a career politician, but she is certainly more of the problem than the solution than Rick Scott. Rick Scott knows how to get things done and will use his business experience to help cut red tape and create jobs for Floridians. Irreverent View recommends Rick Scott for governor.

Attorney General

Pam Bondi of Tampa has spent her entire career putting bad guys in jail. She’s tough as nails when she needs to be and has a thorough understanding and balanced application of the law. She’s also empathetic and kind, and would bring a fresh voice to Florida government. Her opponent Dan Gelber is a career politician from Miami who like Charlie Crist merely yearns to be elected to something. The A.G. race is but a stepping stone for Gelber, and quite frankly voters deserve better. Irreverent View strongly recommends Pam Bondi for Attorney General.

Chief Financial Officer

Loranne Ausley is hardly a Tallahassee outsider, but running against State Senate President Jeff Atwater she looks like the Mother Teresa of Florida politics. Atwater is probably the most disingenuous and self-serving elected official in the entire state – quite a feat in a state that is home to Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio. He rails against “big government” spending in Washington while balancing the state’s budget on the backs of the next generation in the form of Obama stimulus funds. Ausley probably would have done the same, but Republicans should expect and demand better. Send double-talking G.O.P. candidates a message by sending Atwater back to whatever rock he crawled out from. Irreverent View strongly recommends Loranne Ausley for Chief Financial Officer.

Agriculture Commissioner

Adam Putnam of Bartow has ably represented Florida’s 12th Congressional District for five terms. If anything, Putnam’s multiple years in office is becoming something of a liability as he looks more and more like a career politician. But Putnam grew up on a family farm and is well-suited to head the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. His opponent, Scott Maddox is the former Mayor of Tallahassee and former Chairman of the Florida Democrat Party. Maddox also grew up on a family farm in the rural outskirts of Dade County. Maddox is thoughtful and competent but Putnam appears to have a better grasp of agricultural issues. Either way, Floridians win in this race, but Irreverent View recommends Adam Putnam for Commissioner of Agriculture.

United States Senate

In its ranking of the Most Crooked Candidates in 2010, the non-partisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) named all of Florida’s “big three” U.S. Senate candidates to its list – which consists of just twelve candidates nationwide. That means Florida voters get to pick from crooked candidates Charlie Crist, Kendrick Meek, and Marco Rubio.

Fortunately voters have another candidate to choose from — Libertarian Alex Snitker. No one gives Snitker much of a chance, but he is a true “citizen” candidate – as opposed to game-playing career politician. He has some good ideas on the issues, is enthusiastic and sincere, and is the only one of the four not under some cloud of ethical or legal controversy. Irreverent View enthusiastically recommends Alex Snitker for the United States Senate – our children deserve better than more of the same from the likes of Crist, Meek, and Rubio.

Competitive U.S. House races

In U.S. House District 2, funeral home director Steve Southerland would like to bury Allen Boyd of Tallahassee. Boyd supported Obama-care and the budget-busting stimulus package. His liberal, big government tendencies are no match for his conservative panhandle district. Irreverent View recommends Steve Southerland.

In U.S. House District 8, incumbent Democrat Alan Grayson has become an embarrassment to his constituents and the Democrat Party. Grayson’s mouth has gotten him into more trouble than a Hollywood celebutante. Dan Webster’s conservative record is more in line with the Orlando district and would bring a level of respect and integrity that voters deserve. On the issues, Grayson supported the stimulus and Obama-care. Irreverent View recommends Dan Webster.

With Adam Putnam running for Agriculture Commissioner, his U.S. House District 12 seat is one of two competitive “open seats” in Florida. Republican attorney and former State Representative Dennis Ross faces Democrat Lori Edwards who is Polk County Supervisor of Elections. The liberal leaning Edwards is a poor fit for the district. Ross’s smaller government platform is far more in line with the district and his steady and sincere demeanor will serve the district well in Washington. Irreverent View recommends Dennis Ross.

In U.S. House District 22, incumbent Ron Klein faces conservative hero Allen West who has attracted a national following. Klein is a career politician and major Obama cheerleader. He supported Obama-care and the stimulus package. The district is marginal, though it used to be represented by Republican Clay Shaw before Klein beat him. The biggest ding on West is he (like Marco Rubio, Kendrick Meek, and Charlie Crist) makes CREW’s list of most “crooked candidates” for an aggravated assault charge on an Iraqi prisoner when West was battalion commander in the Army’s Fourth Division in Iraq. While assault rises to a level of concern, I’m not sure that qualifies as being “crooked.” That said, the charges are serious and a military officer of that rank should have known better. Washington is full of hotheads and big egos who think they’re above the law, and we don’t need any more.  Nor do we need more liberals in office like Ron Klein. In District 22, Irreverent View makes no recommendation.

In U.S. House District 24, Suzanne Kosmos, (like Boyd and Grayson), has voted more like a D.C. liberal than a moderate from a mildly conservative district. Like her pals, Kosmos voted for Obama-care and the stimulus.  The seat was previously held by Republican Tom Feeney and should return to G.O.P. hands. Sandy Adams is a fiscal conservative, an Air Force veteran and former deputy sheriff is poised to send Kosmos home. Irreverent View recommends Sandy Adams.

Constitutional Amendments

Amendment 1 relates to repeal of public financing of political campaigns. Irreverent View recommends a “Yes” vote on Amendment 1. Do you really want your tax money going to political candidates running for office?

Amendment 2 relates to providing a homestead property tax break for deployed military personnel. Irreverent View recommends a “Yes” vote on Amendment 2. Until such time as we reform the tax code and stop pandering to special interest groups, there isn’t a more-deserving special interest than our deployed military personnel. God bless our soldiers.

If passed, Amendment 4 would require that changes to local government land use plans be approved by public referenda. Irreverent View strongly recommends a “No” vote on Amendment 4. This draconian measure to control development would severely cripple the state’s economy if passed. Note to developers: get your act together if you want to avoid more ridiculous proposals like Amendment 4.

Amendments 5 and 6 both relate to legislative redistricting (5 relates to state districts, while 6 relates to congressional districts – the language otherwise is the same). Irreverent View recommends a “No” vote on Amendments 5 and 6. The premise for these amendments appear well intentioned, however they were pushed by Democrat partisans who would like to regain power and who never had a problem with ridiculously drawn districts when it benefitted them. Even if passed, these two amendments only provide “guidance” and don’t specify how the end goal is to be accomplished. The state constitution is no place to tinker with a temporarily perceived wrong. If citizens don’t want gerrymandered districts, they should demand better from their legislators.

Amendment 8 relates to revising the constitutional amendment voters passed several years ago limiting the number of students in each one of Florida’s public schools. While elements of this revision are worth considering, the amendment as a whole is an attempt to erode public education by denying funds to achieve the limits on class sizes voters already approved. Our public education system is a mess and that is in large part due to the liberal/Democrat teacher unions, but failing to maintain small class size limits is not the answer to our public education spending and teacher accountability problems. Irreverent View recommends a “No” vote on Amendment 8.

Nonbinding Statewide Advisory Referendum

If you’re about ready for an alcoholic beverage by the time you get to this stupid question, thank Jeff Atwater or any one of the other Republican legislators who wasted over $80,000 taxpayer dollars putting this measure of public sentiment on the ballot. While this question and what it addresses is of the utmost importance (balancing the federal budget), putting this glorified public opinion poll on the ballot to score political points is a perfect example of what is wrong with American politics: people like Jeff Atwater. That said let’s not send the wrong message. Irreverent View recommends a “Yes” vote on the question of balancing the federal budget. But check your ballot and make sure you voted against Jeff Atwater for CFO.

Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him at: Chris@IrreverentView.com.

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33 Responses to “Statewide candidate, congressional, and statewide ballot recommendations”

  1. John Colon Says:

    Chris I generally agree with you on most issues, however Col. West is an area of disagreement. Anyone who knows the real story in my opinion will agree with Col. West and do the same to save Americanm lives. Would you really like to be one of the soldiers killed or wounded by the IED’s planted by that prisoner? Could you explain to their families that you refused to use inititive and scare(without touching)the prisoner and get the information to save your troops? Good Luck with that one Chris!

  2. cingram Says:

    What separates us from the animals we are fighting in Iraq is we are a nation of laws and liberties and rights. If we ignore those –even for seemingly justifiable reasons, we become no better than those savages we are fighting.

    Chris

  3. jason blalock Says:

    How about Jim Norman? where do you stand ?? wht should we do and why??/

  4. John Colon Says:

    District 22 Col. Allen West is the best person for the job. We need to get behind someone who will make the tough decisions under presure and is willing to be held accountable for those decisions !!

  5. cingram Says:

    Jason,

    No on Norman. He’ll be in an orange jumpsuit before you know it.
    I will have Hills. election recommendations up soon.

    Chris

  6. Richard Says:

    Chris: What media outlet will you be providing commetary on election night? Last election was BayNews 9 and your insights and points were excellant. I want to tune in to the broadcast that you’ll be a participant. Please let us know. Thanks

  7. cingram Says:

    Richard,

    Bay News 9. Glad you enjoyed the coverage.

    Chris

  8. John Butler Says:

    With a few exceptions I disagree with your views and recommendation. Your labeling Alan West a crook based on his alleged assault. the fact is that he fried a pitol over the head of an insurgent who then revealed the location of weapoms . explosives etc .
    The realitry is too many civians, who have never been near the battlefiels have no clue about military combat leadership.
    And that applies to liberals and conservatives.

    You should have endorsed Alan West, and your assesment of Scott is seriously flawed. Now here is a man with no evidence of accountability ever.

    Your views are only good from the point of view that they are interesting.

    John Butler

  9. cingram Says:

    Mr. Butler,

    If you read my comments about Mr. West carefully, you will note that I thought calling his actions in Iraq “crooked” was a stretch.

    And while I give you that civilians cannot relate to the pressures of the military, a man of his stature should have known better and a military court found him guilty of the charges.

    Chris

  10. Paul62 Says:

    Chris, your comments and observations are spot on! Thanks for the honest recommendations. i think I agree with you on 90% of them and you provided some great insight (especially liked your comment about needing a drink at the end there).

  11. Jane Says:

    Rubio is a crook!

  12. Greg Says:

    Glad that you are supporting Snitker for US Senate. Do you really think that it is such a done deal that Castor will get re-elected and that it is not considered competitive?

  13. hardly legit Says:

    Yes and we can see from the Senate polls how well Chris Ingram’s opinion resonates or matters.

    Find another straw to grasp.. next.

  14. LauraL Says:

    I spent all day last Sunday researching these people and was glad to see that you agree with all my picks. I had left the governor & cfo for later because I just didn’t like any of them. But after reading your picks, I feel more confident in what I have to do. Yet, I think perhaps I will vote for Stearns instead of Ausley – just don’t trust attorneys and Stearns is a CPA with experiance in Public Sector – Pasco County has one of the tightest Tax Collectors Office in the State – this is where he last served. Wish there were more like Snitker though. I am definately voting Principle over Party!

  15. JeanW Says:

    I’m writing to say I would vote for Allen West and would not vote for Rick Scott,Charlie Crist or Marco Rubio.I’m vetting my own people and will do a write-in if I have to.I will never again hold my nose or pick a candidate just because they have an R next to their name that is how we got in this mess WE THE PEOPLE have been asleep at the wheel for to long and we are just as much to blame but now we are where the rubber meets the road and we are engaged and angry and we are not going to take it anymore and I will not let others tell me who to vote for I will decide and if they lose so be it.But I’ll feel good knowing I stood on my principles and values and will not let the government run my life I will die on my feet before I’ll live on my knees licking their boots.I work and I will not take any hand outs when I’am abled bodied and can take care of myself.The help should be for people who cannot do for themselves NOT THOSE WHO WILL NOT.
    Respectfully
    Jean

  16. scoop Says:

    Atwater has the best campaign button of all the candidates. It’s unique, cute, small and neatly done. Should that not be reason enough to vote him in?

  17. LILIANA Says:

    MARCO RUBIO IS NOT BEING INVESTIGATED BY THE IRS OR ANY BODY ELSE.YOU ARE SPREADING THE DEMOCRATS ( AND INDEPENDENT ) LIES
    ARE YOU WORKING FOR CHARLIE “POSTALITA” CRIST ??????
    GET USED TO THE IDEA; MARCO WILL BE OUR NEXT SENATOR.

  18. Joe Cipriano Says:

    I still can’t believe you are sticking with your pick of the biggest crook on the entire list, and supporting Rick Scott for Governor! We would have been much better off with McCollum as the candidate than Scott. IMO, his primary campaign ads put him in the same class with Alan Grayson! Your justification for supporting him (Scott was never charged for any wrongdoing) is weak at best. Unfortunately, the only other option is Alex Sink, who leaves only a slightly worse taste in my mouth than Scott. I still don’t know who I will vote for in the Governors race, but Sink is definately out, and Scott has a long way to go before I will hold my nose and pull that lever!
    As far as your refusal to support Col West, you do realize that assault doesn’t mean laying a finger on anyone, right? You can be charged with aggravated assault for calling someone a name! Battery is the charge where you physically injure someone. I enthusastically support Col West, who got the dirty end of the politically correct stick, by being found guilty by a military court. Had you ever served in the military, you might have a little better insight into this matter. The US armed services have become an embarassment when it comes to political correctness. When someone can be charged with assault for scaring a terrorist, we have lost our minds!

  19. Al Says:

    Your picks aren’t too bad but I do have to take issue with your recommendation for senate. If we are to stop the secular progressive destruction of America in congress, we cannot afford to mess around with the selection of a senator this year. Vote for Rubio. He has the right message and is electable. Neither Crist or Meeks will help right our ship of State and others, for whatever good points they have, will only take away from the eventual victor.

  20. LISA PALMER Says:

    MARK SHARP and JIM DAVIS will be hosting a special call in & out Q&A about the proposed tax for the county. Lets get this tax pushed thru so that devil sam rashid can just pay his fair share too! I can’t believe someone would not want to have a new train and the most world class transportation system. Odessa demands a better way to get to work in Downtown….Spread the word PASS the Tax!

    http://www2.tbo.com/content/2010/oct/02/na-transit-plan-supporters-to-hold-teleconference/

  21. RS Says:

    Mr. Ingram,

    Thank you for your support of Alex Snitker for Senate. Shamefully the mainstream news media support the
    establishment candidates. We need more people like you to defend our country in the press and news media.
    Most people want Congress cleaned out but unknowingly replace them with like kind. Thank you so very much
    for your support and recommendation of Alex Snitker.

    Ron

  22. Gary Says:

    Rick Scott either knew what was going on in his company and its theft of Medicare dollars,in which case he should have an orange jumpsuit, or he didn’t–BUT SHOULD HAVE–which doesn’t say anything good about his ability to be a CEO of anything. Add to that mix that he knows nothing about State government and he won’t be able to “run it like a business” (because government is not like a business) and you have a prescription for disaster as a Governor. Scott’s 7-7-7 Plan is nonsense. Very simplistic and unrealistic. Sink knows how to run a large business, too, without the fraud.

  23. Court Roberts Says:

    I am bewildered that so many seemingly well-informed responders appear oblivious to what’s really at stake in this election. Our national, state and local governments are bankrupting our nation because elected and appointed officials are splintering our population into warring factions, then buying the votes of these splinter groups by appealing to their most base instincts…”free money”… in order to perpetuate their power. We all say we’re disgusted with the conduct of our government representatives, who legislate to remunerate themselves for life, exchange the wellbeing of our citizenry for votes and/or campaign contributions from the vested interests, and ignore our pleas for restoration of American ideals and principles. Yet we re-elect the ones who represent OUR community because ‘ours is not like the rest of them’, or because ‘ours brings home the bacon’ to OUR community. Well, all the ‘ours’ that we re-elect ARE the corrupt government that we hate. Will it take a revolution in the streets to bring our government back under our control, or will we finally realize that NO Person is immune to corruption by extended government service, and finally realize that we must FIRE ALL PROFESSIONAL POLITICIANS!

    Up or out! A new broom sweeps clean, but over time they ALL wear out or become contaminated by dirt. We have 300 million citizens to choose from to manage our public services the way we want them managed; why do we repeatedly settle for the same old worn-out and contaminated career politicians? George Washington, stating that no person should presume permanent entitlement to their office, voluntarily stepped down after eight years in elected position, and so did every other president… until FDR.

    In nature, every creature is weaned from its mother when it is able to provide for itself. Similarly, we must limit each citizen to eight years of feeding from the public bosom, if not by statutory constraints upon the politicians, bureaucrats and welfare muthas, then by denying them the public teat! I, for one, will arbitrarily vote against every incumbent politician with eight or more years in their office, and against every candidate with confirmed, verifiable legal improprieties. But I will ignore unsubstantiated claims against “fresh” political candidates, such as those aimed now at Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, because a) anyone can say anything about a candidate, and suffer no legal repercussions, and b) these two men can’t POSSIBLY perform any worse than their predecessors in office or their career politician opponents have done in previous offices.

    And after eight years in office, if they don’t vacate their positions voluntarily, I will vote to replace these men as well; there are 300 million potential replacements available to choose from.

    Court Roberts, Cocoa Beach

  24. Lou Says:

    I agree with why you recommended Alex Snitker for office but we must not waste, in these troubled times a vote for the opposition to this wasteful President. Snitker has NO chance to win and Rubio has a chance. I agree with you Rubio is a career politician but he has other fine points and is a good, intelligent and thinking person that we need so badly in Washington. Your other recommendations are a real help. Especially on the other less important positions that we have to send a message to these career politicians. Also, you were a big help on the Amendments. So many people have no idea what they are voting for. We all need to educate ourselves as the direction we go in affects our future directly. Thank you again.
    Respectfully,
    Lou

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  26. Eagle Says:

    Damn, I gotta a headache.

  27. Ray McKinney Says:

    You should have recommended Dr. Belinda Noah for U. S. Senate. Dr. Noah is Florida’s FairTax Candidate for the U. S. Senate and she came in third out of a field of eight U. S. Senate candidates in 2006.

  28. Robin Says:

    LOL! It’s either vote for Rubio or Crist. Anything else is a PROTEST vote and a waste of time. Ross Perot taught us that, don’t waste your vote; vote for Rubio because he is BETTER than Crist.

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  30. James Black Says:

    Chris: I normally read your blog with interest and have little time or desire to become involved in a response, however, I have to speak up for Col. West. It is one thing to debate ethics and fine points of law in an intellectual setting but another, to have to deal with life and death issues. Col. West’s actions in discharging a weapon near a prisoner may have been legally wrong, but saved the lives of his troops.

    To say he should have known better, is to beg the question. What would you have done? He took the action knowing the consequences would likely be the end of his military career (which it was), but he saved his troops.

    I submit, his actions were not only most honorable, but heroic and I suggest that his troops would agree.

    Frankly, I would like to see far more people in positions of leadership and our government who are willing to place the lives of others above their own personal career goals.

    You do a vast injustice to him and those whose lives he saved by labeling him “crooked.”

    Respectfully.

  31. Brian Blair Says:

    As a true conservative you know you are being loyal to your constituent pledge when the liberal sector of the media attacks you “principally or personally”. – Brian Blair 10/18/10

  32. swede sjolund Says:

    I take exception with your reference to CREW being a non-partisan group. They seem to have problems with ALL Republican or conservative candidates, and only find fault with the liberals when their offenses are so egregious that they can’t be hidden.

  33. Eagle Says:

    Chris….Col. West is an Americam hero. I’m starting to worry about you son. As a retired firefighter, I to went outside of protocols on occassions. I was promoted to exercise good judgement and protect my men….I think I did that. Along the way, I saved a few lives.

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