Five of the most dangerous people in Florida politics

Here in the Sunshine State we have more than our fair share of those who could be deemed “most dangerous.” For the purpose of this column, “most dangerous” means those who are so totally out of touch with right and wrong that they are a threat to the American way of life and the next generation.

These people are a threat to your children’s future

By Chris Ingram

Politics is full of people good and bad. Unfortunately the system corrupts even many of the most well-intentioned public servants. Perks and privileges of office ranging from special security details for people 99 out of 100 of us couldn’t finger in a one-man lineup; to exemptions from laws they force upon the rest of us (like members of Congress getting a “free pass” from those ridiculous airport security screenings); to more free drinks and caviar dinners funded by special interest groups and lobbyists; to the sycophant staffers who lavish praise and worship on even the most inept elected officials. All these things take a toll on even the best among our elected officials. The perks and the ego-stroking make most of them forget their roots and what lead them to service in the first place.

Here in the Sunshine State we have more than our fair share of those who could be deemed “most dangerous.” For the purpose of this column, “most dangerous” means those who are so totally out of touch with right and wrong that they are a threat to the American way of life and the next generation.

Some of these individuals are household names, others are certainly not. Either way, they are all a threat.

Doug Guetzloe, Orlando political consultant and troublemaker – While he’d like to consider himself a “household name,” I’ll be the first to remind Guetzloe he’s not. A mere asterisk in the grand scheme of things, Guetzloe makes the list because he postures himself to be some sort of grand leader of the conservative anti-tax movement. While Guetzloe fools the Tea Party crowd with his rhetoric, he conveniently misses all facts that don’t support his cause. Furthermore, he’s on the list because while positioning himself as some sort of Eagle Scout, according to Orlando attorney and Guetzloe critic Sarah Rumpf he is a “convicted criminal”  with multiple violations and fines from the Florida Department of Elections. Makes you wonder how many tea-sipping Tea Party activists Guetzloe works up about various issues know his real history. Guetzloe is a threat to our American way of life because he is not objective and is in fact inauthentic in what he projects to the public regarding his advocacy for conservative tax principles. For that reason, this fly on the butt of the horse that is Florida politics makes the list.

Jeff Atwater, say-anything career politician – Florida’s current (and outgoing) State Senate President is hands down the most disingenuous elected official in the State of Florida – and given the fact that we’re home to Charlie Crist, that is quite a feat. Atwater is currently running uncontested in the Republican Primary to become Florida’s C.F.O.  His campaign platform is one of “fiscal responsibility” and economic conservatism. It’s all a bunch of bull. This guy lead the Florida legislature to balance the state’s budget on the backs of the next generation when he and his double-talking ilk in the legislature used Obama “stimulus” dollars to “balance” the budget. Where I come from, they call that smoke and mirrors. Or more simply put, politicians passing the buck because they don’t have the stones to make a tough decision. It may be unfair to single-out Atwater because the state legislature is full of lying losers like him, but the hypocrisy of his actions makes his being singled out deserved. Hillary Clinton is more sincere and authentic than Jeff Atwater. If she were on the ballot against him in November, I’d vote for her.

Sam Rashid, Tampa puppet master and gambling man  – Unless you’re on the U.S. Texas Hold’em poker tour or are some elected official looking for some easy bucks, Sam Rashid is definitely not a name in your Outlook Contacts list.  But Sam (and many others like him who play the role of puppeteer to countless candidates and elected officials across the peninsula) is a huge threat to the future of the next generation. Rashid is or has been a supporter of the likes of Charlie Crist, George Allen, Bill McCollum, Ollie North, and Marco Rubio. Nothing wrong with making contributions to candidates you like, but with Sam, the dough always comes with strings attached. Add to the equation that he has political associates of dubious character like Guetzloe, and that he once told me a Republican candidate named Buddy Johnson whom we both deemed a moron but whom he would continue to support “because he’s our [Republican] moron” and you get the picture as to why Sam and people like him are dangerous.   

John Stemberger, trial lawyer – I really struggled with this one because even though he’s an ambulance chasing trial lawyer, I like John Stemberger. I don’t know him well – we met once in Orlando and we have talked on the phone a few times and traded several e-mails – but what I’ve seen of him I’ve liked. Up until this week that is. It seems despite the lousy economy, the fact that hundreds of thousands of people in Florida can’t pay their mortgage and an equal number don’t have a job, Stemberger thinks the fact that Attorney General candidate Pam Bondi has been divorced twice and now (shock!) lives with a man whom she is not married to is an important issue to voters and reason to disqualify Ms. Bondi as a legitimate candidate for Florida’s Attorney General. It should be noted Stemberger supports fellow trial lawyer (who used to work for the ubiquitous John Morgan) and current Lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottkamp for Attorney General. For some reason Stemberger is willing to overlook the fact that Kottkamp screwed taxpayers with over $400,000 state aircraft travel and special security details so Kottkamp could go to football games, Disney World, and country music concerts in Atlanta. Yet to Stemberger, who Pam Bondi is screwing is more important. I don’t think so. Stemberger should be ashamed of himself for engaging in this type of gutter politics which detracts from the real issues.

Charlie Crist, governor and former Republican In Name Only – Florida’s next United States Senator completes the list. I’ve written about Charlie and his leadership-less antics as governor so much, I want to puke. If you want to know what I really think about “Chuckles”/”The Tan Man”/”Pander Pants Charlie,” just do a search on Irreverent View for past columns. The bottom line on this guy is, he is so absolutely devoid of any real beliefs, opinions, or dare I say ideology that it makes him the #1 most dangerous politician in the state of Florida. Twenty-five or thirty years from now when your children are 40 years old and they’re eating Ramen noodles and are trying to learn Mandarin so they can speak fluently to those who own our country, thank this dipstick and all the other elected officials in Washington who should be charged with treason for ruining the United States of America. I’m serious folks, this guy is a threat to the American Way of life – not for what he believes – but because he just doesn’t believe in anything. Well, accept for Charlie Crist.

So that’s it for the list. There certainly could be many more, and you may have your own opinions about the merits of these cats and others.

So what do we do? First and foremost, vote! But stop voting like you’ve voted in the past. Quit sending the same clowns who created the mess back to your local commission, state government, or U.S. Congress and expecting a different outcome.

Ultimately “we the people” are the ones who are to blame for electing these people in the first place. We succumb to their phoniness, forget their hypocrisy, and fall for their calls for “experienced leadership,” and believe their bloated resumes. That’s right, the lousy state of affairs in our state (and our nation) stands in front of the mirror every morning.

 Side note: I frequently am asked why I don’t take more Democrats to task for their wrong-doings and the ills of their ways. In short, my answer is simple: I’ve been a Republican my entire life and I believe in trying to help “save” the party of Lincoln and Reagan, free markets, personal responsibility, and individual liberties. The Democrats – the party of FDR, LBJ, and William Jefferson Clinton – who represent big government, welfare and other social entitlements we can’t pay for, are beyond repair.

So while I could come up with a list of the five most dangerous Democrats, I won’t – because I couldn’t come up with a list of Democrats that short. Not even if I limited it to just those in Florida, and not even if I cared. But if I did, “Pander Pants” would be on that list too.

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:

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15 thoughts on “Five of the most dangerous people in Florida politics”

  1. Last paragraph was a classic Chris Ingram-ism 🙂 I am still laughing at that!

    “So while I could come up with a list of the five most dangerous Democrats, I won’t – because I couldn’t come up with a list of Democrats that short. Not even if I limited it to just those in Florida, and not even if I cared. But if I did, “Pander Pants” would be on that list too.”


  2. In the interest of informing the voters, why don’t we list the local puppets(candidates) that Mr. Rashid is pulling strings for this cycle with his checkbook: Rachel Burgin, Josh Burgin (Rachel’s brother), Sandy Murman, and Dana Young would be a good start!


  3. What that guy is doing against Mark Sharpe is a travesty. Whats His Name should be in jail. He is bombarding our mailboxes with trash and lies. Mark is a good man who chooses not to wallow in the muck with the likes of Whats His Name. Your recent post of the most dangerous Republicans is a good read. I am understanding your writing more now. At
    first didn’t know how to take it. Don’t forget to VOTE! ! Ann, a faithful reader.


  4. Chris, Thank you for the job you do. I do wish we had more just like you and Please don’t ever change. I know you, and I know you will not.


  5. I hope you are well. It has been a while. Speaking of sycophant staffers in your article…I was at the new Republican office in Brandon yesterday to observe campaign activites for Marco Rubio. Can’t tell you how many (young wannabees) volunteers asked me if I would like to voluteer to man phones & stick Marco Rubio signs on my lawn. My response was that before I consider any kind of support for Marco, I have specific questions that I would like to ask him in person. When he finally arrived, I got as far as a handshake because the cameras were running and my ‘out of the box’ questions would have been inapprpriate and put him on the spot. Maybe next time. Met some nice well meaning people Chris, but so naive.

    All the best,



  6. “Sir: If you feel free enough and qualified to tell us ‘Who Is Dangerious? – – -than for ‘GODS Sake! Tell us who you think might ‘NOT’ be !!! “All you’v done here is tell us how many ‘Pigs’ are in the pen and what to expect from them should they get the “MORON VOTE” of the average Floridian. “I like to rant too! – -about what I believe is ‘Correct’! But I give examples and reasons as to why I see things the way I Do! “I’d love to hear what you think”! T.J.S.


  7. I couldn’t agree more with you on Crist. It’s one thing to be an ideologue, I can understand that, but Crist is nothing more than a political opportunist and that turns my stomach. We need to purge our ranks of Rinos like Crist and return this party to the principles that built this nation. I also agree with you on the Demoncrats. There isn’t enough room in in on blog to list them and their crimes against the nation.


  8. Ann a faithful reader, is “whats his name” Josh Burgin? If you are talking about Josh Burgin, it appears Ann has not read the mailings from him. The mailer I got spoke about specific issues that Mark has changed his position on from when he earlier ran as a Republican. The interesting part of the mailers is this is what the media reported Mark Sharpe said. It seems if these are lies at the time Mark Sharp made them, Ann, You would have been capable of refuting the direct quotes from the reporters when they originally made them. If you did not correct those reporters, they then must be fact not lies. I wish you would correct those posistional changes Mark Sharp has made if in fact he even originally was opposed to his current positions. Somebody said we should trust our elected politicians to change their mind regurlarly based on which way will give them the best results for themselves.
    Stan, you should not say anything if you failed to ask Marco when you had a chance. I sense that an appendage shrank or fell off during this heated encounter with Marco.


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