For voter suppression, take I-95 north

The reaction to last month’s Supreme Court ruling that rendered Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act unconstitutional was full of typical hyperbole about the impact the court’s decision will have on minority voting rights.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune, Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The reaction to last month’s Supreme Court ruling that rendered Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act unconstitutional was full of typical hyperbole about the impact the court’s decision will have on minority voting rights.

The overturned section related to the formula by which nine states and some jurisdictions in other states (including just six counties in Florida) are brought under Section 5, which requires them to get federal permission – “preclearance” – for even the most minor changes in voting procedures.

In his opinion, Chief Justice Roberts wrote Section 4 “[uses] obsolete statistics,” and that the coverage formula “violates the constitution.”

To wit, the Supreme Court did not overturn the act itself, just Section 4, and effectively Section 5. Congress is free to consider rewriting the law, though if it wants to ensure fair voting it should look elsewhere.

Such as the 15 states (mostly in the Northeast and in states that strongly tend to favor Democrats), that don’t permit any form of early voting or “no-excuse needed” vote by mail (previously referred to as “absentee” voting). Among those states are New York, Massachusetts, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Despite the fact that these Democratic Party-leaning states have more restrictive voting opportunities than Florida, our state and its Republican elected officials are frequently vilified by the media for so-called “voter suppression.”

While the state Legislature did tighten some of the rules regarding early voting in 2011, it reinstated most of them this year. But even under the pre-reinstated laws, Florida had far less-restrictive elections than in 15 states, as well as some others that permit early voting and/or no-excuse mail balloting but that are more restrictive than Florida’s.

Yet the liberal mainstream media rarely looks in its own backyard. It’s much easier to label Florida’s legislators and our governor as right-wing voter suppressors than it is to do a little research and then point out that Florida has some of the most progressive voting laws in the country – all of which were instituted by Republicans (not Democrats), and that New York (home of the liberal mainstream media) has among the most oppressive voting laws in the country.

For example, the Obama Network (aka MSNBC), noted in a propaganda report that the effort to overturn provisions of the Voting Rights Act Continue reading “For voter suppression, take I-95 north”

Reflections by Florida’s senior Republican statesman

The “other side,” as Martinez refers to the Democrats, is very adept at playing politics with important issues. He points to the sequester as a prime example. Initiated by Democrats, they then turned around and pointed the finger at the Republican-controlled House of Representatives as being the villains for the forced spending cuts — which Martinez accurately points out are just cuts in the rate of growth, not really cuts in total spending, which continues to increase.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

After serving as mayor of Tampa for six years, Bob Martinez resigned to run for governor in 1986. The former Democrat became Florida’s first Republican governor in 16 years but lost his re-election bid four years later following the state’s controversial attempt at implementing a tax on services — a measure the Legislature passed but quickly repealed.

He later served for nearly two years as the nation’s “Drug Czar” under President George H.W. Bush. Since then, Martinez, who has always maintained residency in Tampa, has kept an active but mostly behind the scenes profile in Florida political circles.

I recently sat down with the former governor in the offices of the law firm where he works as a lobbyist to talk about his life in politics, his legacy and issues facing the Republican Party and the country.

We start out talking about the national political environment and the major issues facing our country — most notably the national debt and government spending.

“Since the federal government doesn’t have to balance the budget, they have the ability to just kick the can. Every time they kick the can, after a while voters stop listening,” he says.

Economic and budgetary issues are hard to explain, and are far removed from people’s lives — or so they think, Martinez says. Explaining them is “… complicated because there is no sound-bite answer.”

The “other side,” as Martinez refers to the Democrats, is very Continue reading “Reflections by Florida’s senior Republican statesman”

Marco and the Road Runner

Just how different the concerns and interests of Cubans compared to Mexicans are is evident in how differently they are treated by our government.

The so-called “wet-foot, dry-foot” immigration policy of the United States is a perfect example. It says any Cuban who illegally enters the country and sets their foot on dry land is automatically entitled to a fast track to permanent residency.

 By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune
May 18, 2013

Having Sen. Marco Rubio as the champion of the immigration reform bill Congress is considering is akin to asking the Road Runner to be in charge of speed limits. Here’s why: Rubio is Cuban. Being Cuban means he is Hispanic. Republicans have a huge problem in appealing to Hispanics. Ergo, Rubio is the savior of the party who will help it win the Hispanic vote.

Problem is, although Rubio is Continue reading “Marco and the Road Runner”

All our kids (should) want for Christmas is $86 trillion

They’re getting ready to punt again, with President Obama and Speaker Boehner working on a compromise that would include tax increases, spending cuts and an extension of the debt ceiling. Although the tax increases and spending cuts are a good start, they’re a mere drop in the bucket. A $400 billion unspecified cut in entitlement spending here and a $440 billion tax increase there (both over a period of 10 years), won’t do anything other than symbolize the need to do something. Those mediocre attempts to rectify an $86 trillion debt would be like throwing a gallon of water on a five-alarm fire of a completely engulfed building that stretches for several city blocks.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published Saturday, December 22, 2012

Photo: My kids. Caption: The next generation is getting screwed.
Photo: My kids. Caption: The next generation is getting screwed.

If the 1960s are most remembered for the Kennedy and King assassinations and the fight for racial equality, and the ’70s for Watergate, Vietnam protests and the gas crisis, the ’80s for the fall of the Berlin Wall and Ronald Reagan’s optimism, the ’90s for the tech boom and Bill Clinton’s intern, the 2000s for the September 11th tragedy and the election of the first black president, the decade of 2010 will be defined by the bankruptcy of America.

You could write tomes explaining how this happened and who is to blame, but that won’t solve the problem. The fact is, America is broke, and it’s only a matter of time before we face the upheaval seen in Greece (in 2011, only Greece, Italy and Japan had higher debt as a percentage of GDP than the United States). The only reason we aren’t there yet is due to our politicians’ proclivity for punting.

They’re getting ready to punt again, with President Obama and Speaker Boehner working on a compromise that would include Continue reading “All our kids (should) want for Christmas is $86 trillion”

RNC: Back scratching, weather-watching and fond thoughts

So who chooses the delegates? Every state party has different rules about how its delegates are selected, and there are multiple ways to get one of the coveted slots. In many states, delegates are elected at a congressional district convention by rank-and-file Republicans. While Florida delegates are picked at the congressional district level, most are selected by a few local party leaders, rather than grassroots’ activists. The process is mostly a back-scratching affair.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published Saturday, August 25, 2012

The hype and hoopla surrounding the arrival of the 40th Republican National Convention is coming to a head.

Convention planners have spent two years planning the event, scheduled to start Monday. So far, things appear to be going well for RNC planners, the City of Tampa and other convention organizers.

I have attended three previous conventions — including as a delegate in San Diego for Bob Dole at the 1996 convention — but I never realized how much effort goes into putting on what amounts to one giant four-day made-for-TV infomercial.

Some 50,000 delegates, journalists and VIPs from across the country are descending upon Tampa. Of those visitors, just 4,411 are delegates and alternates to the convention. The chosen few will nominate Mitt Romney next week.

So who chooses the delegates? Every state party has different rules about how its delegates are selected, and there are multiple ways to get one of the coveted slots. In many states, delegates are elected at a congressional district convention by rank-and-file Republicans. While Florida delegates are picked at the congressional district level, most are selected by a few local party leaders, rather than grassroots’ activists. The process is mostly a back-scratching affair.

For example, Continue reading “RNC: Back scratching, weather-watching and fond thoughts”

Buffett Rules!

Buffett rules are good for America. They bring harmony, sharing and fairness to Americans. I don’t understand all the haters of the Buffett rule. Perhaps the lawmakers overreached (again) and wrote a bill laced with some poison pill pork projects that had to be voted down. Perhaps I could take a stab at some legalese that will establish a Buffett Law that is sure to satisfy Congress and the rest of Americans.

An irreverent view of the “Buffett Rules”

By Shamus McConomy

Buffett rules are good for America. They bring harmony, sharing and fairness to Americans.  I don’t understand all the haters of the Buffett rule. Perhaps the lawmakers overreached (again) and wrote a bill laced with some poison pill pork projects that had to be voted down. Perhaps I could take a stab at some legalese that will establish a Buffett Law that is sure to satisfy Congress and the rest of Americans.

Continue reading “Buffett Rules!”

Irreverent Radio — live today 11-1:00 on 1470 AM and streaming at www.NewsTalkFlorida.com

Chris Ingram’s “Irreverent View” radio show with special guest Mark Sharpe.

Mark Sharpe to make major announcement regarding his congressional campaign LIVE on the air.

Listen to “Chris Ingram’s Irreverent View” radio show live today, February 10th from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Special guests Commissioner Mark Sharpe, Republican candidate for U.S. Congress during the 11:00 hour followed by Josh Burgin, conservative activist and gubernatorial appointee to the Board of HART during the 12:00 hour.

The show will be broadcast live on 1470 AM in the Tampa/St. Pete market and can be heard worldwide streaming on your PC by going to http://www.newstalkflorida.com Just scroll down to the “Listen Now” section on the right and then click on “1470 Listen Live.” An audio stream of the show will pop up in a new window. As long as you leave the new window up, you can continue to use your computer and listen at the same time.

Listener calls will be taken throughout the show. Dial 866-977-4820 to ask a question and join the show!