A paradoxical view on term limits

The consequence of the amendment has created multiple obvious problems, including a lack of institutional knowledge and effective leadership. Tallahassee insiders say the last legislative session was one of the worst in the state’s history — due in large part to a leadership vacuum.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published March 30, 2012

There is an old saying: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

In 1992, 77 percent of Florida voters approved an amendment to the state’s constitution to limit the terms of Florida legislators to eight years.

The consequence of the amendment has created multiple obvious problems, including a lack of institutional knowledge and effective leadership. Tallahassee insiders say the last legislative session was one of the worst in the state’s history — due in large part to a leadership vacuum.

In 2000, the year Florida’s term limits law took effect, 220 years of legislative experience was forced out of the chambers of the state House and Senate.

Since then, power in the capitol has been transferred from Continue reading “A paradoxical view on term limits”

Will Ron Paul upset the apple cart?

Republican or Democrat, you can’t argue with the fact that our politicians in Washington are failing the American people.

The other day the GOP finally caved to the realization that playing politics with middle-class tax relief was a losing proposition.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published January 1, 2012

Republican or Democrat, you can’t argue with the fact that our politicians in Washington are failing the American people.

The other day the GOP finally caved to the realization that playing politics with middle-class tax relief was a losing proposition.

Meanwhile, the Democrats and President Obama play politics with our nation’s energy dependence (or lack thereof) by denying the application of an oil company to build an oil pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to refineries in Texas.

Both parties are complicit in excessive government spending, a complicated tax code that benefits special interests, and a complete lack of responsibility about the staggering national debt — currently at $15 trillion. To understand how bad the debt situation is consider this: You would have to spend $1 million a day for the next 2,739 years to blow through a trillion dollars. Now multiply by 15.

The only thing the two parties generally agree on (albeit behind closed doors) is Continue reading “Will Ron Paul upset the apple cart?”

A better approach to chairmanship mess

A well-trained monkey could probably do the job, but that didn’t keep some commissioners and their puppeteers from jockeying for the position. It apparently got nasty and personal, with commissioners cutting deals behind closed doors — a clear violation of Florida’s sunshine laws.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published November 26, 2011

If all seven members of the Hillsborough County Commission were drowning and you could only save one, would you go to lunch or read the paper?

Last week the world’s greatest deliberative body within six blocks of the Hillsborough River demonstrated why good intentions don’t mean better government.

Before it got all well-meaning, the commission went about its business of organizing its “leaders” for the coming year. Mostly this means electing who amongst them will serve as chairman. The chairman signs legal documents, represents the county at official events and manages commission meetings. For his efforts, the commission chair earns an extra 10 grand in pay.

A well-trained monkey could probably do the job, but that didn’t keep some commissioners and their puppeteers from jockeying for the position. It apparently got nasty and Continue reading “A better approach to chairmanship mess”

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”

Mark Sharpe declares

I declare a commitment to forge ahead with those who want to deal responsibly with our financial woes and check our unsustainable and poorly thought out military commitments.

True leadership, not fear-mongering is what America needs

By Mark Sharpe

It’s the 4th of July so in respect to those who put it all on the line to create a new nation some 235 years ago – I make my own declaration. 

I am committed to working with anyone – Republican or Democrat, independent or tea party, vegan or meat eater, straight or gay, black or white, Hispanic or other ethnic origin so long as they are equally committed to answering America’s challenges and putting us on the course to greatness once again. 

Photo: Mark Sharpe

Some among us butter their bread dividing America or launching irresponsible invectives against their opponents.

I commit myself to eschewing fear-mongering or labels which attempt to identify the “other side” as unpatriotic or worse, preferring rather that we get on with the hard tasks of putting our country back on a sustainable path of economic prosperity and opportunity for all.

I declare Continue reading “Mark Sharpe declares”

Florida [still] needs Grady Judd for U.S. Senate

Polk County (Fla.) Sheriff Grady Judd (R) is known to residents of Florida’s I-4 corridor as a no-nonsense law enforcement officer who knows how to identify a problem, take aim at it, and put the bad guys in jail. He’s a lot like Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph Arpaio minus the overdose of Viagra.

Judd is Florida’s version of Sheriff Joseph Arpaio — minus the overdose of Viagra

(This column was originally posted on December 21 of last year. Four months later, the message still applies. When will a serious candidate emerge in the Fla. U.S. Senate race? We’ve got to demand better than the current crop of candidates or we’re doomed with 6 more years of Bill Nelson. Candidate updates in red.)

By Chris Ingram

Polk County (Fla.) Sheriff Grady Judd (R) is known to residents of Florida’s I-4 corridor as a no-nonsense law enforcement officer who knows how to identify a problem, take aim at it, and put the bad guys in jail.  He’s a lot like Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph Arpaio minus the overdose of Viagra.

Photo: Sheriff Grady Judd

Judd’s performance in office in just the last few months includes going after pedophiles, pimps and prostitutes, fake pot, pain clinics, and purse snatchers.

The man knows how to Continue reading “Florida [still] needs Grady Judd for U.S. Senate”

Buckhorn has vision, experience and temperment to lead Tampa

These critical times require someone with Buckhorn’s skills and understanding

By Chris Ingram

In the race for Tampa Mayor, both of the candidates have resumes of experienced public servants, and quite frankly, neither of them would likely harm or embarrass the city if elected. Only one of the candidates has the experience and the vision and temperment to be a successful mayor.

That candidate is Bob Buckhorn.

Photo: Bob Buckhorn and his girls.

Bob is a Continue reading “Buckhorn has vision, experience and temperment to lead Tampa”