A year after Tampa, can the GOP fix itself with a third party?

Unfortunately for the GOP, there is truth to both concerns, and the present dichotomy between these two views from within the party is unenviable.

The problem is compounded by the fact that millions of people are abandoning the Republicans (as well as the Democrats), preferring instead to register with no-party affiliation.

So what is the GOP to do?

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune, August 27, 2013

One year ago, the GOP convention came to town, albeit delayed for a day because of sensitivities to what Tropical Storm Isaac, brewing in the Gulf of Mexico, might do.

As Isaac passed and the party began to convene, Republicans began what they thought was the last leg of their road to retake the White House. The convention ended up being a seemingly seamless and perfectly choreographed affair — unless you consider the Isaac issue, Clint Eastwood’s performance with “Obama’s chair,” or the fact that the assembled delegates on the convention floor looked whiter than a bowl of cottage cheese.

Mitt Romney left the convention without much movement in the polls, and days later, the Democrats met in Charlotte, where they held one of their most successful conventions in recent times.

The hopes of Republican voters jumped after the first debate, but Romney couldn’t sustain the enthusiasm and lost big to Obama on Election Day.

Caption: Delegates cheer for Mitt Romney at the Republican Convention in Tampa last year.
Caption: Delegates cheer for Mitt Romney at the Republican Convention in Tampa last year.

For the GOP, the Tampa convention and the Romney campaign with the flaws that came with the candidate are now mere asterisks in the annals of party history. The question is, what have we learned since, and when will the party change?

Since the election, the most common comments I hear about the party contain one of two views, one being Continue reading “A year after Tampa, can the GOP fix itself with a third party?”

Jonny Torres’ real record and his pal John Morgan

Torres’ campaign platform centers around his concern with what he believes is over-representation of northeast Florida by the executive board members of the YRs. “With Florida being one of the largest states in the continental U.S., it’s unfortunate that half of the board members are from the northeastern region of the state,” Torres stated in a press release announcing his candidacy posted on the TBYR website. This is apparently the big ill of the GOPs ways that causes it to lose elections; having someone from Tampa as FFYR chair is apparently going to fix the GOP’s election woes – whatever you say Jonny!

By Chris Ingram

Florida Young Republicans can do better than this political wanna-be

Just when you thought it was safe to call yourself a Republican again, little Jonny Torres enters the room to remind you of the slime of the Jim Greer days.

Granted, Jonny Torres is by no means a household name and you probably wouldn’t recognize him in a one-man lineup, but he’s got some greasy Greer qualities nonetheless. Torres is actually nothing more than an unknown wannabe and poser in Florida political circles — those “circles” being limited to the Tampa Bay Young Republicans organization where he serves as the club’s chairman. In an attempt to make a name for himself, Torres is challenging Peret Pass for chair of the parent group of the TBYRs, the Florida Federation of Young Republicans at the organization’s annual meeting in Orlando this weekend.

Jonny Torres and friends. Photo courtesy Jonny Torres
Jonny Torres and friends. Photo courtesy Jonny Torres

Torres’ campaign platform centers around his concern with what he believes is over-representation of northeast Florida by the executive board members of the YRs. “With Florida being one of the largest states in the continental U.S., it’s unfortunate that half of the board members are from the northeastern region of the state,” Torres stated in a press release  announcing his candidacy posted on the TBYR website. This is apparently the big ill of the GOPs ways that causes it to lose elections; having someone from Tampa as FFYR chair is apparently going to fix the GOP’s election woes   – whatever you say Jonny!

In his campaign materials attacking his opponents for where they hail from, Jon-boy fails to acknowledge what should be bigger concerns to the voting members of the Florida Young Republicans organization. Namely, Torres’ arrest Continue reading “Jonny Torres’ real record and his pal John Morgan”

Chris Ingram on WMNF and WFLA

I will be guest hosting, and filling in for Jack Harris on AM Tampa Bay on WFLA 970 AM, Tampa from 5 a.m. – 9 a.m. with Tedd Webb and Cory Dylan. Listen live on the air or click here to listen on your computer or smart phone.

On Wednesday, I was interviewed by Warren Elly, hosting “Last Call” on WMNF 89.5 FM, Tampa. We discussed the Republican Party, elections, “stand your ground,” Rep. Jamie Grant, Mike Fassano, and “voter suppression.”  Click here to listen.

WFLA

I will be guest hosting, and filling in for Jack Harris on AM Tampa Bay on WFLA 970 AM, Tampa from 5 a.m. – 9 a.m. with Tedd Webb and Cory Dylan. Listen live on the air or click here to listen on your computer or smart phone.

The St. Pete mayoral debate, featuring Ward, June and Wally

ST. PETERSBURG ­­­— Watching the three candidates at the St. Petersburg mayoral debate at the Palladium on Tuesday night reminded me of the old 1960s television sitcom “Leave it to Beaver.”

The candidates discussed The Pier, the Rays and traditional municipal issues such as city services, homelessness and economic development. Each also placed significant emphasis on improving public education — so much so I wondered why they all aren’t running for school board if Pinellas County public education is so in the tank.

ST. PETERSBURG ­­­— Watching the three candidates at the St. Petersburg mayoral debate at the Palladium on Tuesday night reminded me of the old 1960s television sitcom “Leave it to Beaver.”

The candidates discussed The Pier, the Rays and traditional municipal issues such as city services, homelessness and economic development. Each also placed significant emphasis on improving public education — so much so I wondered why they all aren’t running for school board if Pinellas County public education is so in the tank.

For her part, neighborhood advocate and former city council member Kathleen Ford was poised, though a bit edgy, toward Mayor Bill Foster and his administration at city hall. She chastised Foster by saying, “Just saying you’re going to [do a job] doesn’t do it.” She also said St. Petersburg needs some fresh ideas — but offered few of her own.

In one of the more peculiar comments of the night, Ford spoke of the Continue reading “The St. Pete mayoral debate, featuring Ward, June and Wally”

Tightening a bond during another cherished summer

Last week we took the girls to North Carolina, where we rented a house on Lake Toxaway with a pontoon boat. We spent lazy mornings fishing off the dock and tubing on the lake. Since our part of North Carolina was experiencing long and heavy downpours every day, most of the afternoons were spent indoors playing games, reading and watching more children’s movies than any adult should ever be forced to watch.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune, August 3, 2013

Tightening a bond during another cherished summer Published: August 3, 2013 It is hard to believe, but summer break is almost over. In the next few weeks, school-aged kids will forego lazy days, late nights, beach trips and just hanging out in exchange for backpacks, homework, earlier bed times and dreadful school lunches.

The pastor at my church once reflected that your kids are only children for 18 years. He said that means only 18 summers to spend with them.

He urged parents with young children not to take that time for granted, and to enjoy the 18 (or fewer remaining) summers you have with your kids while they are still children.

I think about his pointed remarks often, and at the end of each summer reflect on what more I should have, or could have done with my kids. Time is precious, and you can’t get it back.

Last week we took the girls to North Carolina, where we rented a house on Lake Toxaway with a pontoon boat. We spent lazy mornings fishing off the dock and tubing on the lake. Since our part of North Carolina was experiencing long and heavy downpours every day, most of the afternoons were spent indoors playing games, reading and watching more children’s movies than any adult should ever be forced to watch.

We played cards, and I got beat playing “Junior Monopoly” by my three girls, who have a combined age of 21 to my 42.

Donald Trump, I apparently am not. Continue reading “Tightening a bond during another cherished summer”