The Water Cooler: Buntyn can’t win; Atwater Amnesia part II

Florida Senate President and candidate for Chief Financial Officer of Florida apparently has the campaign belief that you can fool most of the people most of the time and that if you repeat something that isn’t true enough times it will be perceived to be true by voters.

The Water Cooler is an occasional feature providing a glimpse of things people are talking about

By Chris Ingram

Why Tony Buntyn can’t win

I don’t know much about Tony Buntyn. I’ve never met him so I couldn’t point him out in a one-man line-up. But Tony recently announced his candidacy for the U.S. Congress (Fla. 11). Among people I know who know him, they say he is a great guy and a real American hero.

Unfortunately for Tony he can’t win. That is because he’s running in a district gerrymandered to ensure a Democrat wins. And before my GOP friends (at least those who live in the district) get their undies in a wad, remember, for every one of the districts gerrymandered to ensure the Dems. win, there are one-and-a-half districts gerrymandered to favor a Republican.

As perennial Republican candidate Eddie Adams should but apparently doesn’t recognize by now, this seat can’t be won by a GOPer. It’s Kathy Castor’s seat until she dies or doesn’t want it anymore. It’s a fact because the registration numbers rarely lie.

In any event, it’s great to see good people step up to the plate and run for office. So kudos to Tony and Eddie.

Note to Tony: the next time you send out a press release announcing your candidacy for something, don’t do it on New Year’s Eve. If you’re lucky enough to get any press from it in tomorrow’s paper it will be among the lowest read of the year. You know, with all the people with hangovers and all…

Anyhow, Tony’s press release is pasted below my column. Which continues because…

Jeff Atwater still has Amnesia

Florida Senate President and candidate for Chief Financial Officer of Florida apparently has the campaign belief that you can fool most of the people most of the time and that if you repeat something that isn’t true enough times it will be perceived to be true by voters.

Atwater may be right in as much as voters are ignorant, short-sighted, and have poor memories. So it figures that he would continue his effort at portraying himself as something of a conservative fiscal steward of taxpayer dollars even though his record shows he’s a big-spender with no regard for the future. Readers will recall I called him out for similar claims in a column I wrote a few weeks ago.

Well, Jeffy-boy is back at it again. This time he’s taking aim at Obama-care and the costs associated with this big-government boondoggle. In a campaign e-mail he sent yesterday, he accurately points out that “…Obama Care health plan will bring middle-class tax increases.” What he fails to mention is that he (and Charlie Crist and most of the Republicans in the Florida legislature) balanced the state’s budget by embracing Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package. Said package will result in tremendous tax increases at some future date when our debtors want their money back. Our kids and generations after them will eventually get stuck with the bill.

For Atwater and his ilk, it’s easier to spend borrowed money our kids will have to pay back later than it is to figure out how to spend, spend, spend, and pay as you go by raising taxes now, cutting other services, or both. Voters don’t like lots of taxes and politicians like Jeff Atwater understand that. It’s what makes him a good politician. Who says you can’t be rewarded for talking out of both sides of your mouth?

But true leadership is about making tough choices and doing the right thing. Apparently that isn’t something Jeff Atwater knows anything about. And while his attacks on Obama-care are true, you’ve got to wonder why a candidate for CFO isn’t talking about what he’d do as CFO.

Stay tuned…these clowns only get worse as Election Day gets closer.

Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, Front Page Florida, and National Review online. E-mail him at:

Here is the Tony Buntyn press release:

Media contact: Jason Rodriguez


Phone: (727) 656-4256

Tony Buntyn Announces Candidacy for Congress

TAMPA, Florida – December 30, 2009  Tony Buntyn today announced that he is seeking the Republican nomination for the 11th Congressional District that includes portions of Hillsborough, Manatee, and Pinellas counties.

“I decided to enter this race because I am concerned about out-of-control government growth and spending and the increasing disconnect between our elected officials in Washington and their constituents,” said Tony Buntyn.

Tony added, “It is time to restore accountability, defeat reckless spending, and bridge the gap between politicians and the American public.”

Tony is a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve and has served over 30 years in Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve.  Tony has been called to active duty three times and served in Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.  He recently served as the Vice Commander of the USAF Cyberspace Command.  Tony was awarded the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star medals.  In addition to his military career, Tony enjoys a civilian career as an Information Technology Security Engineer and Cyperspace Strategist.  Tony obtained his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science/Data Processing from the University of Southern Mississippi and his Master’s Degree in Management, Computing, and Systems from Houston Baptist University.

Tony is married to the former Carol Conerly of Columbia, Mississippi.  Tony and Carol have been married for 23 years and are raising their two children in South Tampa, where they have resided since 1996.  Tony is an Eagle Scout, a member of the American Legion Post 138, VFW Post 4321, and the National Rifle Association. 

As our next Congressman, Tony will support a strong national defense and protect benefits for our troops and veterans.  He will fight to reduce government spending and will support small business and a strong domestic energy program that will create jobs for Americans in research and production.

5 thoughts on “The Water Cooler: Buntyn can’t win; Atwater Amnesia part II”

  1. I’ll say it…since you know it is coming. You are wrong Chris. Eddie IS a nice guy, but he’s also the right candidate to beat KCastor. More and more folks recognise that, but you don’t. OK, that’s why we play games and keep score.

    Lets see KCastor defend her record? I’m surprised the -D- haven’t found someone with the “stuff” to run in the -D- primary. Castor is damaged goods, after this last term in DC. Sure, Dist 11/FLA is gerrymandered, but Eddie only needs to move from 32% to 50-point-1 percent to win. It is do-able.


  2. Florida’s 11th District was gerrymandered in a cooperative effort between Republicans and Democrats to save the U.S. House seat of Sam Gibbons. In return for cramming all the Dems into that district, the GOP took control of all the districts surrounding the 11th (which is why the 11th is now a “donut hole” surrounded by elected Republicans). The district went for Al Gore and John Kerry in 2000 and 2004, while a Hillsborough County majority voted for Bush in both years. In 2008 Barack Obama won 66% of the vote in the district. But even with all that, 2010 is going to be an extraordinary year. I have never in my 60 years seen the American people as political galvanized as they are right now. This is a once-in-a-lifetime happening. It is caused by people actually becoming afraid for their country. The last time that happened was in the 1930’s under Roosevelt, who created and prolonged the Great Depression, but managed to fool the voters for an entire decade.


  3. Tim,

    Keep all the score you want. Come November (if not sooner) Eddie will have another loss under his belt.

    No Republican is going to win this seat unless — to paraphrase Huey Long — Kathy Castor gets caught in bed with a live boy or a dead girl.



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