Waiting anxiously (snicker) for a new ‘Flori-duh’ lieutenant governor

For a guy who has built his entire political purpose around “jobs,” this is one job he can’t seem to fill. And who can blame him? The position is largely ceremonial, having only one constitutionally delegated power — to succeed the governor in the event of his death, resignation or incapacitation.

Any politician with the slightest yearning for a political future would take a pass if offered the opportunity to serve as lieutenant governor. In modern times, the lieutenant governor from Florida has never gone on to higher elective office.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune, January 14, 2014

The best-kept secret in Tallahassee that is of zero consequence to Florida is who will Gov. Rick Scott select to be his lieutenant governor (and when will he do it).

For a guy who has built his entire political purpose around “jobs,” this is one job he can’t seem to fill. And who can blame him? The position is largely ceremonial, having only one constitutionally delegated power — to succeed the governor in the event of his death, resignation or incapacitation.

Rick_Scott_Off
Photo: Governor Rick Scott.

Any politician with the slightest yearning for a political future would take a pass if offered the opportunity to serve as lieutenant governor. In modern times, the lieutenant governor from Florida has never gone on to higher elective office.

This doesn’t keep Tallahassee insiders and political pundits from debating over which demographic group (women, blacks, Hispanics) Scott needs the most help with in his re-election campaign — and speculating whom he will pick to fill the biggest electoral demographic void. This is complete bunk, of course, because with the exception of the newly-minted lieutenant governor’s immediate family, pretty much no one is going to vote for Scott just because his lieutenant governor is black, or female or Hispanic.

Even though Continue reading “Waiting anxiously (snicker) for a new ‘Flori-duh’ lieutenant governor”

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”

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”

Gov. Scott set to resign today at noon

Florida Governor Rick Scott’s office announced the governor will hold a news conference today to inform the public that he be resigning effective immediatey.

Scott’s press spokesman Oliver Klozoff told the Tallahassee press corp that Scott, “wants more time to be with his family.”

By U. Ben Had

Florida Governor Rick Scott’s office announced the governor will hold a news conference today to inform the public that he will be resigning effective immediately.

Scott’s press spokesman Oliver Klozoff told the Tallahassee press corp that Scott, “wants more time to be with his family.”

However, another source indicated Scott Continue reading “Gov. Scott set to resign today at noon”

Florida forgives, and you get the bill

The state of Florida recently “forgave” $142.2 million in taxes, fines and overpaid benefits for the third year in a row. The previous two years, the state wrote off $110.5 million and $109 million. I wasn’t ever really good at math, but I can add 142, plus 110, plus 109 and realize that’s more than $350 million the state failed to collect.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published Saturday, December 28, 2012

The state of Florida recently “forgave” $142.2 million in taxes, fines and overpaid benefits for the third year in a row. The previous two years, the state wrote off $110.5 million and $109 million. I wasn’t ever really good at math, but I can add 142, plus 110, plus 109 and realize that’s more than $350 million the state failed to collect.

What I lack in math skills, I make up for in knowing how government works. It works like this: Every time the state fails to collect money it is owed, somebody else has to make up the difference.

That’s you and me, folks. It works out to be about 19 bucks a person for every resident of the state — that is, if the state could collect it.

To make matters worse, Continue reading “Florida forgives, and you get the bill”

Election outlook prediction

By Chris Ingram

Here are five things to look for tonight

As voters across the country head to the polls today, here are five things to look for tonight as the ballots are counted. My Electoral College and popular vote prediction is included at the end, along with a link to an Electoral College map creator.

Photo: Katherine Harris holding a Palm Beach County voter in 2000.

Here is the list:

1) It’s going to be a long night. Voting started and ended in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire shortly after midnight Tuesday. The handful of first-in-the-nation voters were evenly split between the two major-party candidates just like the rest of the country is divided.

Ohio is a swing state where the candidates are virtually tied in the polls. The Electoral College could hinge on Continue reading “Election outlook prediction”

5 things Obama doesn’t want to think about

Ever the arrogant one, President Obama is crisscrossing the northeast like a pre-Election Day Santa Clause in the post-hurricane Sandy aftermath. Democrats are no doubt secretly thankful that the storm has taken Benghazi and the lackluster economy off of the front pages of the newspapers and the blogosphere. But in their gleeful moment, they shouldn’t get too confident. Here’s why:

 By Chris Ingram

Ever the arrogant one, President Obama is crisscrossing the northeast like a pre-Election Day Santa Clause in the post-hurricane Sandy aftermath. Democrats are no doubt secretly thankful that the storm has taken Benghazi and the lackluster economy off of the front pages of the newspapers and the blogosphere. But in their gleeful moment, they shouldn’t get too confident. Here’s why:

Obama Clause: Ho-ho-ho! Big government makes the people happy!

1) American voters have short memories, but they aren’t altogether stupid. Sure the TV moments with storm victims may help the president a bit, but who among the storm victims are going to vote for this guy just because he showed up to do what the president is supposed to do in these instances? No one. Anyone who would vote for him just for being the “comforter in chief” is an idiot who was probably going to vote for him anyway. And those short memories still remember they don’t have a job, that their kids’ future is not as bright as it used to be, and that the economy is currently floating on Monopoly money. Besides, most of the storm states were going to Obama (blue states) anyway.

2) The media has widely reported how Continue reading “5 things Obama doesn’t want to think about”