A Christmas wish list

I only want a handful of things for Christmas, and fortunately for my loved ones, they didn’t have to fight people at the mall at 4 a.m. on Black Friday to get me what I want. Because nothing I want is sold in stores.

This year’s list includes Charlie Crist!

Photo: Charlie Crist
Photo: Charlie Crist

 

By Chris Ingram

With Thanksgiving past us, it’s time to start thinking about Christmas.

I only want a handful of things for Christmas, and fortunately for my loved ones, they didn’t have to fight people at the mall at 4 a.m. on Black Friday to get me what I want. Because nothing I want is sold in stores.

Here’s my hodge-podge list of what I want for Christmas.

Fix our roads. I would ask for less traffic on our area roads, but that isn’t going to happen. So instead, I am asking for a few things related to traffic that we can all do to make our roads safer and less congested.

First, I wish that everyone who feels the need to instantly respond to Tweets, texts, emails, and Facebook postings on their mobile device while driving, would put the darned things down and just drive before they rear-end someone and make some trial lawyer rich.

Second, I’m asking that people who feel the need to Continue reading “A Christmas wish list”

The Pros and Cons: Should medical marijuana be legal?

Personally, I have never used marijuana or other illegal drugs, and wondered what all the fuss is about. But I know plenty of people across the social spectrum who smoke pot, and it seems no more harmful than alcohol. The libertarian in me says take a laissez-faire approach: If it does no harm, let the individual decide for himself.

The “facts” on medical marijuana are as diverse as the people who smoke it. Credible studies from one side are countered with convincing conclusions by the other – and both sides have strong and plausible points.

At over $40 billion annually, enforcing our nation’s marijuana laws is expensive. Pot is big business not just for dealers, but for those who enforce our drug laws. And marijuana has the potential to be a boon for the pharmaceutical industry. If scientists are able to package the benefits of marijuana into a pill, it would be a gold mine for the drug companies. Those companies have a vested interest in keeping weed unavailable to patients in its natural state.

For the pro-legalization point of view, I spoke at length on two occasions with John Morgan. To date, Morgan has put more than $1 million of his own money to get the medical marijuana issue on the ballot next year.

For the opposing view, I spent a day with Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee, discussing the issue as we patrolled the streets and went on a scheduled security check over Hillsborough County in a sheriff’s office helicopter.

By CHRIS INGRAM

Special to The Tampa Tribune Sunday, November 24, 2013
marijuana_debate_header

Thanks to a well-funded effort by ubiquitous trial lawyer John Morgan, Florida voters are likely to get the opportunity to vote for, or against, approving the use of medical marijuana next November.

For most supporters, the issue of medical marijuana is a highly emotional issue based on personal beliefs and scientific evidence that is often criticized by the establishment. Meanwhile, opponents say approving marijuana usage for medicinal purposes is a mere foot in the door that will eventually lead to approval of recreational marijuana use. That, they say, will lead to greater use of harder drugs and create more societal ills.

Personally, I have never used marijuana or other illegal drugs, and wondered what all the fuss is about. But I know plenty of people across the social spectrum who smoke pot, and it seems no more harmful than alcohol. The libertarian in me says take a laissez-faire approach: If it does no harm, let the individual decide for himself.

The “facts” on medical marijuana are as diverse as the people who smoke it. Credible studies from one side are countered with convincing conclusions by the other – and both sides have strong and plausible points.

At over $40 billion annually, enforcing our nation’s marijuana laws is expensive. Pot is big business not just for dealers, but for those who enforce our drug laws. And marijuana has the potential to be a boon for the pharmaceutical industry. If scientists are able to package the benefits of marijuana into a pill, it would be a gold mine for the drug companies. Those companies have a vested interest in keeping weed unavailable to patients in its natural state.

For the pro-legalization point of view, I spoke at length on two occasions with John Morgan. To date, Morgan has put more than $1 million of his own money to get the medical marijuana issue on the ballot next year.

For the opposing view, I spent a day with Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee, discussing the issue as we patrolled the streets and went on a scheduled security check over Hillsborough County in a sheriff’s office helicopter.  (Click here to read the full column in Sunday’s Tampa Tribune.)

Gee still
Click on image to quick link to video interview with Sheriff Gee.
Morgan still
Click on image to quick link to video interview with Sheriff Gee.

 

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: Chris@IrreverentView.com.

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Schorsch, Crist and the Tampa Bay Times

As part of Smith’s posting, he included a list of all of the “insiders” who participated in the poll – who may participate by invitation only – from Smith. On the list this week were the usual assortment of regulars, but one name on the list struck me as odd and inappropriate for being a participant. That name: Charlie Crist.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Bay Times seems to be in a funk. Of late, the newspaper has shown poor judgment and a lack of journalistic standards. On two recent occasions the paper has shown why readers may be abandoning it – it lacks credibility. Meanwhile, cross-bay rival the Tampa Tribune’s (which I contribute a column to, but am not employed by) circulation numbers have increased – one of just two Florida dailies to post increased circulation  numbers last year.

In addition to perpetually having a thing for publishing exhaustingly long, one-sided, front-page stories about the Church of Scientology, the paper is starting to show low standards of journalism and good judgment. Unfortunately for readers, they may not even recognize it.

Here are two examples:

Proving the Times‘ bias against Rick Scott

On Friday, the Times’ online “Buzz” section posted a story by the paper’s political editor, Adam Smith about how Florida “political insiders” view a variety of state and local political matters. The insiders survey is something Smith does on occasion, and which I have regularly participated in. Friday’s “Buzz” post was about what insiders think about the governor’s race and likely match-up between Governor Rick Scott, and former Governor Charlie Crist (among other subjects). No harm there, but the devil is in the details. 

As part of Smith’s posting, he includes a list of all of the “insiders” who participated in the poll (participants must be invited to do so by Smith). On the list this week were the usual assortment of regulars, but one name on the list struck me as odd and inappropriate for being a participant. That name: Charlie Crist.

cristcharlie 057
Caption: The Tampa Bay Times certainly loves Charlie.

Yes, the Tampa Bay Times conducted a survey about Florida politics and included one of the candidates being surveyed about for his opinion about his own race! That’s like asking the CEO of McDonalds, “Who makes the best hamburger?” What do you think he is going to say?

To make matters worse, when I inquired with Smith about Continue reading “Schorsch, Crist and the Tampa Bay Times”

Beetle Bailey, er, Charlie Crist, starts his march to the sea

At his announcement in St. Petersburg on Monday, Crist took a page out of Chapter One of the Democratic Party’s campaign manual. The chapter is titled, “Class warfare works!” Crist followed it just as his campaign advisers no doubt told him to, by taking swipes at Gov. Rick Scott for being wealthy — as though coming from lower middle-class and humble means (as Scott did), should be considered a negative. Only someone born to privilege (as Charlie Crist was), who has never built a business, and never personally created a single job, or met a payroll, would think making something of yourself on your own abilities and fulfilling the American dream is something to be ashamed of.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune, November 6, 2013

If Charlie Crist was a comic book character, he would be Beetle Bailey.

Beetle Bailey is known for being loose, lackadaisical and utterly likable. He also is something of a knucklehead, more interested in pursuing a good time than achieving anything of merit.

Like Beetle Bailey, Crist is extremely personable and is a master campaigner who knows how to make people feel good. They both also share a longing for fun and a free-spirited nature — which is great when you’re a comic character who is a hapless private in the Army. Not so great when you’re expected to lead the nation’s fourth-largest state.

images CRIST3

Outside of being likable, Crist has little else to offer. He is an empty suit and a political opportunist who does not have convictions. As someone who lacks significant accomplishment in life outside of politics, Crist is the poster-child of a career politician who is a member of the political class. His 2010 U.S. Senate campaign opponent, Marco Rubio, is also a member of this group. These political ladder-climbers lack the real-world skills, life experiences and business practices to effectively lead our country. For the best and most well-known member of this group, look no further than Barack Obama.

All three of them have been given Continue reading “Beetle Bailey, er, Charlie Crist, starts his march to the sea”

Crist to run for governor. Or perhaps not…

It was also disclosed yesterday by the Tampa Bay Times that Crist stooge Peter Schorsch has filed for a permit to have a rally in a St. Petersburg park on November 4th. Schorsch’s wife is also a close Crist confidant. Schorsch has denied the permit is connected to Crist, but Schorsch is a proven liar who has a lengthy criminal record and is not someone whose word about politics is to be taken seriously. That Crist appears to continue to associate himself with the likes of people like Schorsch suggests Chuckles hasn’t learned from past associations with criminals including Jim Greer and Scott Rothstein.

Ever the chameleon, Crist could be changing colors again

By Chris Ingram

Now that former Rep. Bill Young has been interred, expect a flurry of political jockeying to replace him.  Young’s son, brother, and wife, former Mayor Rick Baker, Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos, and former County Commissioner Neil Brickfield are among Republicans who have been mentioned as possible candidates to succeed him. Former CFO and gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink is the leading Democrat mentioned. She is joined by talk of county commissioner and former state Senator Charlie Justice, and state Representative Janet Long as potential candidates, among others (Justice said on Friday he would not run).

Lost in most of the chatter is attorney Jessica Ehrlich, who was the 2012 Democratic nominee and has continued to campaign for the job even before Young’s retirement announcement and subsequent death.

Yet despite posting the strongest challenge to Young in twenty years, she hasn’t won any bonus points with establishment Democrats who care more about winning than rewarding Ehrlich for not just being a political opportunist.  

aTooTan Charlie 2
Caption: That’s one box of Fruit Loops you might want to take a pass on. (Drawing by Jake Fuller)

Who the candidates will be, and when the election will be held remains unclear. Florida law is vague about the date of a special election to replace a member of the House of Representatives. Unlike replacing a member of the U.S. Senate, vacancies in the House of Representatives cannot be appointed. So there will be an election, we just don’t know when the governor will set it.   

While the rest of the political intelligentsia chatter about a Baker versus Sink race, or all the “what ifs?” concerning Young’s various family members, one person not so frequently mentioned whom I think may very well run, is former Governor Charlie “Too Tan” Crist. Sound crazy? Perhaps, but in politics, anything is possible.

When he’s not pitching his skills as a trial lawyer to take your slip and fall accident or parking lot fender-bender case to court, Crist is said to be forming a campaign team for another run for governor. I haven’t ever bought the notion that Crist would run for governor again — and have speculated it’s been an act all along that he would, in order for Crist to maintain a high profile and build up his fundraising base so he can run against Bill Young.  That’s what I expected to happen. Now that young has died, Crist can run in a much easier open seat and land himself a job as Congressman for the next twenty years if he wants it.

Yesterday he unveiled an odd campaign website that looked like a typical candidate’s website, but it was missing two things. Those two things were: Continue reading “Crist to run for governor. Or perhaps not…”

Finally! The media gets it right about the two biggest losers in politics!

Scorsch who routinely and unapologetically lies publicly to the press, who owes nearly $68,000 in outstanding fines to the Florida Elections Commission, who six years pleaded no contest to grand thef and scheming to defraud charges. Really?

Ready for the NFL, Charlie Crist?

Friday, October 25, 2013 3:40pm

“Welcome to the NFL,” Charlie Crist used to say of Marco Rubio, when the insurgent Republican complained about Crist’s attacks in 2010.

We’re just days away from Crist announcing his campaign for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and it’s unclear whether Crist will be playing like he’s in the NFL or the Pop Warner League.

Looks like blogger/consultant/man about town Peter Schorsch pulled the permit for Crist’s first campaign rally/announcement. Now I’m a big fan of Schorsch’s web site and more than once  have enjoyed a martini or three with Schorsch.

But Crist already has a history of lousy judgement in leaning heavily dubious supporters (Scott Rothstein, Jim Greer, Alan Mendelsohn, Greg Eagle) who have a knack for winding up in prison. Count on that to be part of the campaign against him over the next 12 months.

Still, for his very campaign event Crist turned to Scorsch who routinely and unapologetically lies publicly to the press, who owes nearly $68,000 in outstanding fines to the Florida Elections Commission, who six years pleaded no contest to grand thef and scheming to defraud charges. Really?

Crist today launched a Web site, CharlieCrist.com. What struck us first about it  is that it included no disclosure text saying who funded, as is required for campaign sites. Crist is in gray area as an unannounced candidate, of course, but it seems the campaign felt a little uneasy about the disclosure rules too. The site has been amended to say: “Paid for Personally by Charlie Crist.” (Click here for the full story in the Tampa Bay Times)

Feel free to leave your comments about this story here.

A tale of two Tweeters

I didn’t find any embarrassing or controversial tweets from Charlie, though I’m sure he deleted all the ones from back in the day he may have sent to @JimGreerRPOFChair. Perhaps one like this: “meet u 4 pancakes 2 plan next donor meeting?” or, “Rubio is such a twerp! He’ll scream uncle when AMEX records come out!”

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune, September 19, 2013

Twitter, the Internet platform where users send brief “tweets” of 160 or fewer characters is part of the social media rage and is frequently used by politicians and elected officials. I recently took a look at the Twitter accounts of Gov. Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) and former Gov. Charlie Crist (@CharlieCristFL) to compare the two likely opponents in next year’s race for governor and to analyze what their accounts say about them.

Although he’s been posting since 2010, Crist is an infrequent user of Twitter except around election time. Crist has just 169 tweets, he follows a mere 146 other Tweeters, and has 12,788 Tweeters who follow him.

I didn’t find any embarrassing or controversial tweets from Charlie, though I’m sure he deleted all the ones from back in the day he may have sent to @JimGreerRPOFChair. Perhaps one like this: Continue reading “A tale of two Tweeters”