The Water Cooler: Scott to abondon rail?; Victor Crist’s boy Pinocchio; Blowhard Bunting

If enough governors rejected all the pork-like projects Congress sends to the state, we might just get the federal debt under control and stop the hemorrhaging. Of course entitlements are the real budget busters that must be addressed, but cutting pork is equally necessary.

The Water Cooler is a snapshot of some of the things people are talking about in politics

By Chris Ingram

Rick Scott is on the right track in abandoning rail

Though he hasn’t formally announced a position on the high-speed rail boondoggle between Tampa and Orlando, Governor Rick Scott appears to be heading that way.

Scott’s biggest concern is burdening Florida taxpayers who are already strapped for cash — and with the state facing a $3 billion budget shortfall — with the balance of the funds necessary to start (and complete) the line.

Of course the bigger concern (and the one that gets lost in Congress), is the fact that our country is $14 trillion in debt with no current politically viable solution to get us out of the spending mess that created the problem. Buying cool little toys like bullet trains because they will “create jobs” and “stimulate spending and tourism” are the buzzwords politicians, Chambers of Commerce, and developers like to use to advance their own selfish interests.

What about the interests of the next generation? They’re already holding the piles of debt notes to China, and Saudi Arabia, and by the end of the day the federal debt will grow by another $2 billion just like it does every other day.

America is failing itself and its children because it has no collective, national-sense of obligation to do what is right for the next generation. Elected officials pander to existing constituencies by giving them more entitlements – things like prescription drug benefits (Republicans), and Obamacare (Democrats) all the while passing the bill along to our kids – who have no vote but who will have to pay for all the largess.

Leadership is about making tough and often-times unpopular choices. It’s about giving us what we need, not just what we want. Accepting $2.4 billion to build a choo-choo that is funded by more federal debt held by China may be what we want, but it certainly isn’t what we need. Taking the money just because “it’s there” (and it really isn’t) is not a good reason either.

If enough governors rejected all the pork-like projects Congress sends to the states, we might just get the federal debt under control and stop the hemorrhaging. Of course entitlements are the real budget busters that must be addressed, but cutting pork is equally necessary.

Kudos to Governor Scott for showing leadership on this issue.

Victor Crist plays Geppetto to Michael Ciftci’s Pinocchio

In what should come as a surprise to no one, Hillsborough County Commissioner Victor Crist has endorsed Tampa City Council District 3 candidate Michael Ciftci.

Now I know most of you are sitting there reading this asking, “Michael who?”

Ciftci is a twenty-something political-wannabe who has a far bigger ego than he does a resume of accomplishment. Ciftci’s biggest claim to fame is he was local developer Don Phillips’ do-boy for a while. He now runs some sort of environmental business that promotes “green” stuff. Publicly he is most well known for being closely connected with Bobby Thompson and his imaginary Navy Veterans Association.

If Ciftci had half as much experience as he does yearning to “be somebody” he’d make a fine candidate for dog catcher. But alas, his resume is as thin as the matches he uses to light up his Marlboros.

There are multiple opponents facing Ciftci including: former Hillsborough County Commissioner Chris Hart; some guy whose nickname is “the Cat”; incumbent (by appointment who said she wouldn’t run) Yvonne Yolie Capin; Seth Nelson; and Jason Wilson.

Hart, who entered the race late last week is now the man to beat.

In addition to eight years as a county commissioner, Hart has business, banking, and career military service on his resume. He’s lived in Tampa for a long time, knows the community, and usually knows how to treat people. The biggest ding on Hart is he’s a better talker than he is a listener. Ask Chris Hart what time it is and he’ll tell you how to build a clock tower.  In short, when Chris Hart starts talking, you better have some time on your hands (no pun intended).

But being a “chatty Chris” is hardly a reason to pass on Hart’s offer to continue to be a public servant – especially when you compare him to some little twerp with a Napoleon complex and the rest of this mostly unimpressive field.

Hart will have to run hard and knock on a lot of doors – something he failed to do in his last election, and it cost him. We’ll have to wait and see which Chris Hart hits the campaign trail — Hart of old, or Hart of late.

Regardless, residents of Tampa district 3 can’t do much better than Chris Hart. Irreverent View strongly endorses Chris Hart for Tampa City Council district 3.

As for the aforementioned Victor Crist, he’s the clown who in one of his last acts in the state legislature sponsored the legislation that gave Florida taxpayers the $49 million Taj Mahal courthouse in Tallahassee. Thanks Vickie-boy! With public servants like you, we don’t need any Michael Ciftcis.

RNC Arrangements versus Tampa Host Committee

In an interview on Bay News 9 on Monday I misspoke when I referenced the problems facing the Republican National Committee’s Committee on Arrangements. I referred to the Host Committee when I meant Arrangements. The difference is, the Commmittee on Arrangements works to produce the convention and is made up mostly of D.C. types. The Tampa Host Committee is the group started by Al Austin and directed by Ken Jones which was responsible for bringing the convention to Tampa and raising the $40 million it will take to put it on.

I knew the difference but misspoke on camera; my apologies to the host committee.

Blowhard Bunting tanks Tony

Pinellas County Republican State Committeeman Tony DiMatteo isn’t a bad guy. In fact, I genuinely like him. So I was dissapointed to learn one of his best pals is Bill “the Buntinator” Bunting who is a certifiable wing-nut and former Rikers Island Prison alumnus.

Bunting is one of those one-issue voters we all should be afraid of.

His issue is guns.

I think the guy is so scared of his own shadow he probably takes an Uzi to Sunday school. I asked him at the convention if he was “packing heat” and he gave a one-word blunt reply before he realized who was asking: “Always.”  Hey, you never know when one of your fellow Republican state committeemen is going to go postal. 

In addition to being a wing-nut, Bunting is also a bully with a tremendous sense of self-importance. We’re not talking Michael Ciftci high school ego either — we’re talking “I been quoted in da’ New Yawk Times!” ego. I guess all those years being a Democratic labor union organizer in New York City made Bunting really proud of himself. We’re talking big. Like M-16 big. People say his ego arrives at the door thirty minutes before he does. That important. This guy is that big! Well, in his own mind…

Whack job: Bill Bunting

Anyhow, Bunting nominated DiMatteo for Chairman of the RPOF at the party’s annual meeting last weekend. Candiates had ten minutes of time to speak and the clock started ticking the moment the people who nominated them (two were required) began speaking.

So ol’ blowhard Bunting gets up there and starts spewing off why Tony is the best man for the job. But it sounded more like Bunting was nominating himself. He bragged on himself a number of times and mentioned guns no less than a dozen times.  About three minutes into Bunting’s rant, Tony stood up and tried to give the Buntinator a hint that it’s time to shut-up and sit down, but Bunting was so wrapped up in himself he missed the cue. Finally a minute or so later Tony walks to the microphone on the podium (Bunting was on the convention floor speaking) and says, “Hey Bill, who’dya thinks uh runnin’ hee-ah, yuse, uh, me?” At which point Bunting finally ended his remarks and returned to Pasco County obscurity.

For his part, DiMatteo came in last place out of five candidates. He received just seven votes out of over 200 cast. You are the company you keep Tony. Next time leave Bill at home, or at the firing range, or at whatever rock he crawled out from.

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:

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10 thoughts on “The Water Cooler: Scott to abondon rail?; Victor Crist’s boy Pinocchio; Blowhard Bunting”

  1. I don’t think Bunting served time for burglary. It was indecent exposure.

    I thought Tony had some great ideas, but I could not stomach Bunting. Tony lost my vote because of his nominator.


  2. According to the St. Pete Times, “Bunting was busted in New York of criminal mischief, indecent exposure (skinny dipping) and burglary, a petty larceny Bunting acknowledged pilfering liquor. He served five months at Rikers Island.”


  3. Back to the Train thing: My question, if built how do you pay to keep it running? My understanding is that the commuter train in Miami requires tax dollars or “bailouts”, that it cannot operate profitably even with a steady commuter ridership. How is a Tampa to Orlando train going to have any ridership close to paying for it’s operation? It won’t,taxpayers will foot the bill who don’t even ride on it. Just like the County Buses!I’m fed up with these local RINO’s and their PORK BELLY friends looking for a government handout.Obama wannabe’s is what they are.


  4. Gov Christie just tanked the dig project in NJ for the same reasons you mention here. Do I believe in and would I like to have high speed rail? Yes! Can we afford it? No. Do I believe in and would I like to have a new hybrid car? Yes! Can we afford it? No. When we can, I will. (The other answer here, of course, is to shift around expenses…want the hybrid? Okay, no more x & reduce y, then sure. But the government does not do that – they do not pick x & y to eliminate/reduce to cover the newly desired item and therein lies the rising and rising debt.)


  5. Dropping the High Speed Rail, hopefully along with Sun Rail, will be a benefit to our children and grandchildren not only tax wise but freedom wise as well. With China being one of the top high speed rail builders, who do you think might have gotten the bid? But, the freedom from rails is this, from a highway you can put a road, from the road a driveway. On trains you go from ‘village’ to ‘village’. Being Green is costing way too many greenbacks and cost analysis of wasted money in not politically correct. So, if it happens, I can only say, finally, thank you governor for understanding the true problem to economic freedom, marginalizing the green machine.


  6. First slurp from today’s “water cooler” — the bullet train. Some Floridians seem to forget that they are also Americans, and as such would be paying for this project from both pockets. So what if FL gets federal money to pay for PART of the train? Hey! that’s OUR money. Actually, it’s our grandchildren’s money. And how much would it cost US to keep the damn thing running?

    But it’s our cultural tradition to spend money we do not actually have. Whether it’s in our own houses or in the state or in the nation. Spend Spend Spend. Buy houses you can’t afford and then cry the blues because you get foreclosed. Build houses you can’t sell and then cry the blues that regulations are killing you. Get too many credit cards, use them too much and then cry the blues that you are stressed by too much debt..then declare bankruptcy and stiff all the people you owe. This nation is SICK.


  7. Second slurp — Michael Ciftci. I guess developers can’t afford to have do-boys anymore, so this young man is scrambling for a job? Hey, Don Phillips himself may be looking for a new gig soon, so wouldn’t be surprised if he ran for, say…mayor. Is it too late to qualify for that race? We need a few more candidates in that race. And why is Victor Crist for this Ciftci person? What is the link there? This county is so crazy….


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