Committed to Crist, or should Crist be committed?

Make no mistake, Crist once was a real threat. Then Republicans showed him the door following the Jim Greer fiasco, and after his multiple flip-flops on lifelong conservative positions, not to mention the infamous hug.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published Sunday, April 7, 2013

A moose is an animal with horns on the front of its head and a hunting-lodge wall on its back. So goes an old laugh line.

These days, Charlie Crist is the moose of Florida politics. He appears to be a threat for sure, though he is not threatening at all once you turn on the lights and see the hunting-lodge wall on his back.

Make no mistake, Crist once was a real threat. Then Republicans showed him the door following the Jim Greer fiasco, and after his multiple flip-flops on lifelong conservative positions, not to mention the infamous hug.

Today, Crist and his smiling face, with his perfectly coiffed silver hair, glows on billboards for ubiquitous trial lawyer John Morgan. Crist now works for Morgan’s law firm. His mug frequently replaces Morgan’s on TV, allowing Crist to maintain a high profile as he pitches being Continue reading “Committed to Crist, or should Crist be committed?”

‘I-GAG’ issues threaten GOP hopes

With the second night of the RNC now behind us, the party awaits Mitt Romney’s acceptance of his nomination tonight. So far, the GOP’s efforts to stay on script have been flawlessly executed.

But on the floor, at the protest zone and beyond, problems swirl for the Republican brand.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published Wednesday, August 30, 2012

With the second night of the RNC now behind us, the party awaits Mitt Romney’s acceptance of his nomination tonight. So far, the GOP’s efforts to stay on script have been flawlessly executed.

But on the floor, at the protest zone and beyond, problems swirl for the Republican brand.

On Tuesday night in Ybor City, the Republican group GOProud — a national organization of gay and straight Americans seeking to promote freedom by supporting free markets, limited government and a respect for individual rights — held a well-attended party at a nightclub.

Conservative anti-tax leader Grover Norquist was among the political celebrities in attendance.

The GOProud event was not endorsed by the RNC, and there were not any official Romney representatives present at the event — held on the same day the Republican Party platform called for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman.

The party’s problems with gays, Continue reading “‘I-GAG’ issues threaten GOP hopes”

The GOP’s flavor of the month

Conservatives complain of the squishy moderates in the party and yearn for the next Ronald Reagan. They conveniently forget that in reality Reagan was a union leader, he signed pro-choice abortion legislation, he raised taxes many times, and he tripled the size of the national debt and the overall size of the federal government.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published March 3, 2012

Mitt Romney appears once again to be on his way to securing the GOP nomination for president.

I have to admit I am not crazy about how Romney seems as hollow as an ice cream cone.

Romney has been criticized for being a flip-flopper on nearly every social issue you can imagine, being the first to pass Obamacare and taking a government bailout to “save” the Utah Olympic games. Mitt isn’t exactly what you would call a Barry Goldwater conservative.

Romney’s perception as being a Continue reading “The GOP’s flavor of the month”

Things for the Flori-duh Legislature to consider

I digress; that’s old news. But the players haven’t changed much, and I’m not optimistic that the same knuckleheads in Tallahassee, who in the midst of an economic recession last year spent four days talking about abortion and just one day talking about jobs, will get their priorities in order.

Instead of just complaining about what a bunch of out-of-touch do-nothings they are, I’ve made a list of a few things the Legislature ought to consider. They are:

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published January 10, 2012

Call in the kids, lock your doors, and cover your eyes and ears, the “Flori-duh” Legislature convenes today to conduct its annual business.

Last year’s embarrassing session saw Senate President Mike Haridopolous outmaneuvered by the House. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering this is the same guy who wrote a book with finger paint and got paid $150,000 to do so by some Podunk community college. The book sold about 100 copies.

I digress; that’s old news. But the players haven’t changed much, and I’m not optimistic that the same knuckleheads in Tallahassee, who in the midst of an economic recession last year spent four days talking about abortion and just one day talking about jobs, will get their priorities in order.

Instead of just complaining about what a bunch of out-of-touch do-nothings they are, I’ve made a list of a few things the Legislature ought to consider. They are: Continue reading “Things for the Flori-duh Legislature to consider”

Huntsman’s primary dilemma

But the facts are, as governor he was a fiscal conservative and a tax-cutter. He supports the Ryan budget plan, and he has said repealing Obamacare is a top priority if elected.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published November 4, 2011

OK, I admit it. I like Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman. If you haven’t heard of him, it’s because his campaign has yet to catch on with Republicans. Among GOP primary voters Huntsman is wrongly perceived as something of a squish — that’s a conservative code word for moderate. It’s also the kiss of death if you’re running in a Republican presidential primary.

But the facts are, as governor he was a fiscal conservative and a tax-cutter. He supports the Ryan budget plan, and he has said repealing Obamacare is a top priority if elected.

On social issues Huntsman is Continue reading “Huntsman’s primary dilemma”

Stranded? Don’t expect lifeline from major GOP candidates

This little misadventure got me thinking about whom among the GOP presidential candidates I would call as a “lifeline” if I needed their help in a similar situation.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published October 27, 2011

Last weekend I took my family out in the boat for a sunset cruise. On our return, my spotlight went out, and we got off course heading into the channel as I slightly misread the compass bearing. It was dark, the tide was low, and we were hitting bottom. So I called my friends Tommy and Ronnie, who are avid boaters and retired firefighters and live in the same neighborhood as I do. I asked for some points of reference — however limited at night — which they provided.

A few minutes later we were still off course and in shallow water when Tommy called to check on us. I told him we were still under way, looking for channel markers, though still in very shallow water. He offered to come to our aid, which I declined, telling him I’d call him back in a half hour if we needed help.

When I called Tommy back, he was already in his boat, and Ronnie was with him. An hour later we were all back home safe and sound, thanks to their help.

My selfless friends showed me and the girls in my life what being neighborly is all about.

This little misadventure got me thinking about whom among the GOP presidential candidates I would call as a “lifeline” if I needed their help in a similar situation. Continue reading “Stranded? Don’t expect lifeline from major GOP candidates”

Sen. Latvala is nobody’s lackey

In a body full of undistinguished do-nothings, that’s not really saying much, but Latvala is genuinely a good guy who is smart, capable, independent and well-intentioned.

By Chris Ingram

Special correspondent, The Tampa Tribune

Published June 14, 2011

State Sen. Jack Latvala is one of my favorite members of the Florida legislature. In a body full of undistinguished do-nothings, that’s not really saying much, but Latvala is genuinely a good guy who is smart, capable, independent and well-intentioned.

I haven’t always sung the praises of Latvala. In fact, over coffee last week, he reminded me my Irreverent View column’s endorsement of his opponent last year was the only one he didn’t get.

I’m not afraid to admit I was wrong about him. At the time I thought he was just another career politician climbing the ladder.

During this year’s legislative session Latvala and a few other senators served as something of a speed bump to the heavy-handed tactics of Continue reading “Sen. Latvala is nobody’s lackey”