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Archive for the ‘Elections Florida’ Category

Coming in a week where we saw a 16 year old kill a policeman with a gun he bought for just $140, a political action committee is trying to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would do away with permits to bear arms in Florida.

That’s correct. No. Permit. Necessary.

From The Florida Independent:

The proposed initiative, titled “Unalienable Individual Right to Bear Arms; No Permit Required For Any Manner of Bearing Arms,” would change that wording (.pdf) so that the right to bear arms

“cannot be regulated away or infringed upon; no permit shall be required for any manner of bearing arms in Florida, only the open carry of handguns may be regulated by law. Permits may be issued by request to facilitate travel in reciprocal states and as an exemption to waiting periods.”

The amendment currently has zero valid signatures — to be placed on Florida’s 2012 ballot, it needs 676,811.

The PAC proposing the ballot initiative is one led by Richard Antolinez, of Jupiter, Florida, who is listed as the Chairperson and Treasurer. The registered Agent is listed as John Parsons.

So there you go. Just a few thousand signatures from say, NRA members and their votes are all that stand in the way of people carrying guns with absolutely no permit required. That will make it even easier to kill citizens, and even more policemen than we have lost already in recent months.

No. Permit. Required.

Feel safer Florida?

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It’s day two for Florida’s new Governor Rick Scott, and as the saying goes, sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

Well, make that a triple.

From the Gov.’s website:

From The Office Of Rick Scott

The website “media center:”

"Media Center" For Gov. Rick Scott 1-5-11

And finally if you’re looking for something else and click on “frequently requested records” under the “media center,” you won’t find “coming soon.”

Maybe coming, not so much?

"Frequently Requested Records" 1-5-11

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Gov. Rick Scott says “Hold me accountable.”

Count on it.

Excerpts from Scott’s prepared Inaugural speech:

Thank you!

Governor Crist, thank you for your graciousness.

Mr.President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Cabinet, Mr. Chief Justice and members of the Supreme Court.

Distinguished guests and my fellow Floridians.

We gather today to talk about Florida’s future.

To assess where we are, to define where we want to go, and to plan how to get there.

Clear goals and hard work can achieve amazing things.

Let’s begin by facing squarely the challenge of our time-a stalled economy.

This morning more than a million Floridians got out of bed and faced another day of unemployment.

For months they’ve searched for work.

They fill out applications.

They beg for interviews.
They face rejection after rejection.

For ALL the unemployed, life without a paycheck is a desperate daily scramble to provide the basics.

I’ve been a child in a home like that.
My father was often laid off…

My mother took in ironing just so we could have food on the table…

I have a very clear memory of their fear and uncertainty as they struggled to provide for five kids…

So, for me, job creation is a MISSION.
My personal memories fortify my commitment to this mission.

A lean and limited Government has a role to play in providing a safety net.

But prosperity comes from the private sector.

ONLY from the private sector.

The only path to better days is paved with new private sector jobs.

We have to remember that modern businesses can locate anywhere.
If the conditions Florida offers aren’t the best, businesses go elsewhere.

What does it take to create that favorable business climate?
Florida has to offer the best chance for financial success.

Not a guarantee just the best chance.

Three forces markedly reduce that chance for success, taxation, regulation, and litigation. Together those three form “The Axis of Unemployment”.

Left unchecked, they choke off productive activity.

Under my plan we’ll eliminate the business tax and reduce the property tax.

The State of Florida raises enough revenues to meet its needs.

It should focus on spending those revenues smarter, setting better priorities and demanding more accountability.

We’ll also re-examine every regulation to make sure its benefits outweigh its costs.

Today, I will sign an Executive Order creating a state office of Fiscal Accountability and Regulatory reform to review all proposed and existing regulations to determine their impact on job creation.

Every Floridian should have the right to access the court system for redress of harm.
But, we will not allow excessive lawsuits to strangle job creation.

And we WILL NOT ALLOW a small group of predatory lawyers to stalk the business community in search of deep pockets.

Private sector jobs grow in places where public sector spending is kept within bounds.

All of us who are lucky enough to have a job working for the people of Florida have a duty to watch over state spending with great vigilance.

Let’s make it easy to build and grow a business in Florida…
So that new enterprises will compete with each other for space.

Let’s tell the world, “If you can dream it, it’s EASY to make it HAPPEN in Florida”

Why NOT?

After all, we have always been the destination for dreamers.

The place where someone with a big new idea could give it a try.

Railroads into the wilderness, a magic kingdom, a trip to the moon, freedom from a foreign tyrant, better health, life without winter.

Large and small, dreams are the stuff that Florida is made of.

Floridians differ in their dreams for their children.
Every child is unique, and every child can learn.

We need an education system that offers the maximum amount of choice.
A system focused entirely on what’s best for individual student learning.

We can’t create a workforce for the future with an education model that’s stuck in the past.
To capture the world’s best jobs, we’ll need to offer the world’s best-educated workforce.

First, we’ll refuse to allow increased government intrusion in these areas.

We’ll put FLORIDIANS back in the driver’s seat with increased use of free markets.

Because when government does the buying, government chooses what services are available.

The truth is…he who pays the piper calls the tune.

We want EVERY Floridian to be in a position to call the tune.

We’ll also apply some of the key tools that private businesses use to create a culture of constant improvement.

We’ll measure everything…

We’ll implement changes based on what we learn from those measurements.

And, most importantly… We’ll hold everyone accountable.

No job – public or private —should be immune from accountability.

This is the time we can do great things together…

If we have the courage to act, our children and our grandchildren will someday thank us for it.

May God Bless the Great State of Florida.

Let’s get to work.

 

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Rick Scott has said that he plans to run the state of Florida like a business, and you can take him at his word.

So it begins:

On 12-20-2010 Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. makes a $10,000 contribution to Rick Scotts Inaugural fund.

On 12-27-2010, Scott announces that Bryan W. Koon of Arkansas will head the Florida Division of Emergency Management. Koon has been the director of Wal-Mart’s emergency management operations since February 2009. No salary information has been disclosed.

Also there’s this:

Scott’s portfolio also has included stock in Wal-Mart, Gannett Co. Inc., the publisher of USA Today and this newspaper, and West Palm Beach-based Quepasa Corp., which operates a social networking site that caters to Hispanics.

Quepasa Corp. is an entirely other controversy previously covered on this blog.

But getting back to Wal-Mart and emergency management. What does Koon know about emergency management? Good question. Last week I wondered that myself and found a question and answer “interview” of Koon on the FEMA website. It didn’t answer my question, just left me with more. I made a note of it and planned to post it later. However, in the meantime it was brought to my attention that the same FEMA question and answer “interview” disappeared from the website soon after. Sure enough, I pulled up the link I had bookmarked and the entire page was gone.

Since someone apparently doesn’t want anyone reading about what Koon may or may not know about emergency management, and what that may mean to Florida residents I’ve decided to post that same “interview” from the Google cache so you can read it for yourself.

Here are “10 Questions With Wal-Mart’s Bryan Koon” from FEMA, dated Aug. 11, 2010:

1. From an emergency operations standpoint, what keeps you up at night?

Our biggest threats very closely parallel those to society as a whole – major natural and man-made disasters that have the potential to devastate communities, cripple infrastructure, and displace hundreds of thousands of people. Events like a large New Madrid fault earthquake, a large-scale terrorist attack in a major city or a Category 5 hurricane hitting an East Coast city like New York or Boston would strain everyone’s capacity to respond, including ours. The supply disruptions, staffing issues and social distancing that would result during an avian flu pandemic could be a “game changer” for us, and we are taking that threat very seriously. An extended drought in the Southeast or elsewhere could also have severe repercussions for our operations, as well.

On the plus side, however, Wal-Mart’s Emergency Management Department has an outstanding group of associates watching the globe for potential impact to the company on a 24/7 basis, so I’m usually able to get a good night’s sleep.

2. As the world’s largest company, what unique business continuity challenges does Wal-Mart face due its sheer size?

Because of our scope, nearly every disaster has the potential to impact our associates, our customers and members, our retail facilities, our distribution system or our suppliers. Our job is to analyze the event to determine how it could affect or has already affected us, and how we should respond.

The same size that is our vulnerability is also our strength, however. We’re able to mobilize whatever resources we need from outside the impacted area to provide timely support to our associates, customers and members, our operations, and to our communities.

Our size also allows us to maintain a full-time team of experts focused on emergency management, a luxury that many private sector entities do not enjoy. Having a dedicated staff allows us to focus year-round on preparedness, planning, mitigation, and operations, and to develop and cultivate those relationships with governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations and other private sector entities that really pay off when we’re dealing with a disaster.

3. What was the most challenging crisis that Wal-Mart has faced during your tenure? What was the response?

I joined the company in April 2006, so I missed the hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005. Still, we’ve had some fairly challenging events – the California wildfires of 2007, ice storms in the Central U.S. in 2006 and 2007, major blizzards in Colorado and in the Northeast, flooding in New York and Pennsylvania, earthquakes in Hawaii and the bridge collapse in Minneapolis. As I write this, the Pacific Northwest has just gone through another severe storm with 100 mph wind gusts and flooding rains, and the Midwest has had a string of unusual January tornadoes.

Our response to these events follows the same pattern every time: take care of our associates, take care of our operations and take care of the community. Although the hazard and the regions vary, our response is designed to focus on those priorities, in that order.  We maintain an Emergency Operations Center at our corporate Home Office in Bentonville, AR, that we can increase or decrease the activation level of, depending on the emergency.  Depending on the nature of the event, we’ll bring in groups from around the company to deal with emergency merchandise, transportation, logistics, operations, property restoration, finance, legal, aviation, communication, asset protection, safety, etc..  The Wal-Mart Foundation has a presence in the EOC, and we have space for national representatives of the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army so that we can better coordinate efforts with them.  The groups are organized into Emergency Support Functions, so that we can better manage the situation and interface with governmental emergency management agencies.

4. What makes Wal-Mart successful at business continuity?

The same things that make Wal-Mart a successful retailer on a day-to-day basis make it successful during a disaster: caring associates, a powerful and flexible distribution system and a strong community presence. We are also able to leverage our experience in other disasters and transfer those lessons learned to future events. For example, we have an extensive database that helps us keep track of what the most popular items are after each type of disaster, which enables us to get the right merchandise to an area more quickly in preparation for or in response to an emergency.

In addition to being able to harness the strengths of all the different divisions of the company, the Emergency Management Department is given a great deal of support from the senior leadership of the company and the latitude to develop new, innovative programs that support the company’s overall goals.

5. Contingency plans are designed to be used in a variety of potential foreseeable events. How does Wal-Mart prepare for the unforeseen? Is this possible?

Although the structure of our response remains basically the same for many events, we do script out the initial actions required for certain types of hazards, and the groups that need to be involved in taking those actions. These “action plans” are designed to ensure that the critical first steps and notifications are accomplished in a timely manner, and allow us to bring in the appropriate personnel to deal with the issue.  Every day brings a new and interesting challenge, but we’ve found that our basic structure and response mechanism is capable of handling most of what we throw at it.

6. What support mechanisms does Wal-Mart have within its industry to maintain awareness of potential threats to its business continuity?

We maintain very close ties with a wide variety of information sources – trade organizations, governmental agencies, retail sector coalitions, contract intelligence agencies, open source, scientific publications, law enforcement, emergency management organizations and conferences, etc. We analyze our own internal data and look for trends that could become more widespread. We also need to remain cognizant of the direction that the company is taking and determine what new hazards and vulnerabilities that could expose, then plan accordingly.

7. How does Wal-Mart envision partnering with the federal government in the future? How does this differ from the past? Is there value in this partnership?

Our ideal situation is one in which private sector, non-governmental organizations and local, state and federal government emergency management organizations all have an explicit understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Together, they  develop inter-operable plans that maximize those strengths and minimizes gaps in coverage; the old analogy of layering swiss cheese slices on top of each other until no holes remain. We feel that we are on the right road to get to this eventuality, but it will still be a long trip. It started with Hurricane Katrina, where the folly of planning in a vacuum and hoping for the best was exposed and the benefits of involving the private sector were clearly illustrated. There is absolute value in this partnership and we will continue to press hard to establish and codify it.

8. What type of emergency preparedness education/tips does Wal-Mart offer to its employees? For their families?

Taking care of our associates is our number one priority, and all of our policies and procedures reflect that priority.  Our people are our number one asset, and we recognize that we won’t be able to restore our operations or our communities until our associates and their families feel safe and secure.  So, we work hard to ensure that they have access to the information and tools they need to be personally prepared for emergencies.  Our 1 ½ million associates in the U.S. plus their families account for roughly 1% of America’s population.  Ensuring they’re prepared not only helps to ensure their safety & our company’s resiliency, but it also helps to take pressure off of other responding organizations who will need to care for those who did not prepare.

We use a multi-faceted approach to preparedness education via our corporate Associate Preparedness Campaign.  By partnering with organizations like the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the Ready.Gov office of the Department of Homeland Security, the American Red Cross, the Weather Channel, and Onestorm.org, we are able to provide information, expertise, and practical tools for our associates from across the industry.  Many of these sites allow our associates to prepare a customized emergency plan for their families, including evacuation routes, nearby shelters, and customized checklists.  This crucial information is introduced to our associates via subtle ongoing messaging found on Wal-Mart Television, Wal-Mart Radio, our intranet computer systems, on-line sites, and in our Wal-Mart World magazine. However, our focus is not only on internal education – we spend a lot of time and energy spreading the word about Personal Preparedness within our communities as well.  We have been part of numerous citizen preparedness campaigns at the state and Federal level in states like Texas, Colorado, Louisiana, and California.  And this year, we are working with the National Weather Service to print and distribute a hurricane preparedness guide that will be distributed to millions of residents along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts.

9. Are employees trained and/or empowered to make decisions in an emergency or is there an easily identified chain of command to ensure quick decisions?

Every Wal-Mart and Neighborhood Market store, Sam’s Club, and Distribution Center, as well as all of our corporate facilities, have prominently displayed flip charts that detail the initial actions that should be taken for many different types of emergencies. These are backed up by a detailed emergency procedures manual that all managers have access to. In addition, we do numerous training classes for all operational and asset protection managers so they are aware of what their potential hazards are, as well as what their initial actions should be.

In addition to this training, they are backed up by a deep bench of experts at the corporate level to help them through an emergency. We have a dedicated emergency line that goes to our Alarm Central Station. Utilizing this emergency line and a mass phone and e-mail notification system, we can contact the people who need to be involved and have them up to speed and ready to respond within a matter of minutes of an incident occurring.

Finally, all of our managers are empowered to do what is right in a given situation, without direction for the Home Office. They are the ones who live in their respective communities and they are best positioned to recognize what action is necessary to rectify or mitigate a situation. We saw that during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and we continue to see it in events like the California wildfires and the Washington state flooding of 2007.

10. From your perspective, is emergency preparedness and response a government, private-sector or individual responsibility?

That’s an easy one – yes. Successful execution in the aftermath of a disaster requires a concerted effort from all three, particularly in the first 72 hours. We are doing our part by educating our associates, customers and members, giving them information about disasters and disaster kits and providing access to supplies they need to have when they need it and at the low Wal-Mart price. We will continue to work closely with governmental agencies to educate them about the private sector’s capabilities and to develop plans that utilize both of our strengths.

Any questions?

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Pop quiz:

If you’ve just been elected bought an election as Governor of a state that has an unemployment rate of 12% and state revenues $3.5 billion less than last year’s $70 billion budget, what is the first thing you would do before being sworn into office?

A. Throw an Inaugural Party costing upwards of $3 Million (so far), or

B. Launch a tour in two twin-engine private jets around the state that leads to Disney World?

I’ll give you a minute……

OK, to be fair, this is a trick question. Because if you’re Rick Scott, the answer is: BOTH!

Also to be fair, it’s not like Scott doesn’t recognize the problem here, right? Right?

When asked about the state’s money problems, Scott had this to say:

But a relaxed Scott on Monday appeared to take even that in stride. “I wish we didn’t have so much of a deficit,” he told reporters when asked what has surprised him most since his election last month.

Yeah! I mean, who could have predicted THAT?

But enough of the negative Nellie-ness here, Scott was spending the day at the happiest place on earth after all!

“Who’s ready to create 700,000 jobs?” Scott said, echoing his campaign refrain. “Who’s ready to get rid of all regulations that are killing jobs in this state? Who’s willing to use accountability budgeting to look at every state agency? Who’s ready to get that done?”

Yes, all those pesky job-killing regulations are the problem. Now who wants to jump on a thrill ride that’s currently still regulated, huh?

Now, I can’t help but wonder if Scott may just have crossed paths with another Republican Governor while he was vacationing in Disney World? You know, the one who left his state of New Jersey as it was about to be inundated with a blizzard? Surely the Lt. Governor stepped in, right?

Wrong. She was also vacationing, in Mexico.

A funny thing is going on in New Jersey. The state’s response to the massive snowstorm is being overseen by Democratic state Senate President Stephen Sweeney, in the role of Acting Governor — because both Republican Gov. Chris Christie and his Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno are vacationing out of state at the same time.

Luckily for the state of New Jersey, there was a Democrat who could step in and take charge during the snowstorm there.

Sure wish we had one of those in Florida as well, since our Republican legislature is busy with gerrymandering tactics and ripping office doors down in the name of transparency while actually conducting meetings during football games in skyboxes with doors and away from those without in Tallahassee, and our new Governor was apparently unaware there was a hefty deficit problem until after the November election.

Yes, a Democrat to take charge in Florida would look real good right about now…

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So far this Governor-Elect Rick Scott’s Inauguration donors list:

Date Company Amount
11/18/10 Thomas Doughty $250.00
11/18/10 Margarita Nelson $50.00
11/19/10 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida $25,000.00
11/19/10 Michael Preston $100.00
11/21/10 Charlie Wingo $500.00
11/22/10 United States Sugar Corporation $25,000.00
11/22/10 FCCI Services, Inc. $10,000.00
11/22/10 Richard Beard $5,000.00
11/23/10 Diageo North America, Inc. (DIAGEO) $15,000.00
11/23/10 Health Management Associates (H.M.A.) $25,000.00
11/23/10 Brewton Plante, P.A. $25,000.00
11/23/10 Florida CUPAC $25,000.00
11/23/10 Thomas Petway, III $25,000.00
11/23/10 Preferred Care Partners $25,000.00
11/24/10 Francis Rooney $25,000.00
11/24/10 Liberty Partners $25,000.00
11/24/10 Duty Free Air and Ship $25,000.00
11/24/10 Wanek Trust of 2000 $25,000.00
11/24/10 Ned Lautenbach $25,000.00
11/24/10 Morgan & Morgan $25,000.00
11/24/10 United Automobile Insurance Co. $25,000.00
11/24/10 Henry & Suzanne Rodriguez $25,000.00
11/24/10 Dr. Gary Kompothecras $25,000.00
11/25/10 FL Optometrists Association* $25,000.00
11/25/10 Richard Ullman $25,000.00
11/25/10 Benny & Juliette Klepach $25,000.00
11/25/10 Wayne Rosen $20,000.00
11/25/10 Teisha Powell $100.00
11/29/10 Consensus Communication, Inc. $5,000.00
11/29/10 Marchena and Graham, PA $5,000.00
11/29/10 Robert Saltsman REV Trust $5,000.00
11/29/10 Broad and Cassel Attorneys At Law $5,000.00
11/29/10 Fowler White Boggs, PA $10,000.00
11/29/10 Thomas & Peggy Chandler $5,000.00
11/29/10 BHS (Palm Beach Credit Adjustor, Inc..) $10,000.00
11/29/10 Florida East Coast Industries, Inc. $25,000.00
11/29/10 Alfred & Beverly Austin $5,000.00
11/29/10 Advanced Innovative Medicine $10,000.00
11/29/10 Council for Senior Floridians $20,000.00
11/29/10 Sun Healthcare $5,000.00
11/29/10 Gary & Renee Morse $25,000.00
11/29/10 The Villages $25,000.00
11/29/10 Richard Corbett $25,000.00
11/29/10 Intervest Construction, Inc. $25,000.00
11/29/10 Palm Beach Kennel Club $5,000.00
11/29/10 Agro-Industrial Management $25,000.00
11/29/10 Florida Crystals Corporation $25,000.00
11/29/10 Florida Pioneer Investments $25,000.00
11/29/10 Sun Corn, Inc. $25,000.00
11/29/10 Evelyn Treworgy $5,000.00
11/29/10 Fuentes Consulting Group $5,000.00
11/29/10 James Heistand $12,500.00
11/29/10 James Heavener $25,000.00
11/29/10 Dr. Peter Wish $10,000.00
11/30/10 TECO Energy, Inc. $25,000.00
11/30/10 Terrence Flynn $10,000.00
11/30/10 Universal City Development Partners, LTD $25,000.00
12/1/10 Wayne Huizenga $25,000.00
12/1/10 Principal Investment Company $25,000.00
12/1/10 Robert & Karen Scott $10,000.00
12/1/10 Green Solar Transportation, LLC. $25,000.00
12/1/10 Stephen Liner $500.00
12/2/10 Peace River Citrus Products, Inc. $10,000.00
12/2/10 Eola Capital LLC $12,500.00
12/3/10 GTECH $25,000.00
12/3/10 Aetna $10,000.00
12/3/10 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt $25,000.00
12/3/10 ABC Liquors, Inc. $5,000.00
12/3/10 Agua Dulce Investments, LLC $5,000.00
12/3/10 Huizenga Holdings, Inc. $25,000.00
12/5/10 Michael Campbell $250.00
12/6/10 Robert & Laurel Grammig $5,000.00
12/6/10 IMPACT $25,000.00
12/6/10 Stephen Mitchell $5,000.00
12/6/10 Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC $10,000.00
12/6/10 Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC $15,000.00
12/6/10 Florida Phosphate CCE $25,000.00
12/7/10 Holland & Knight $25,000.00
12/7/10 FL Concrete & Product Association $25,000.00
12/7/10 James Seneff $25,000.00
12/7/10 JAKS Trust, LLC $5,000.00
12/7/10 Millennium Laboratories, Inc. $5,000.00
12/8/10 Progress Energy $25,000.00
12/8/10 Prepared Holdings, LLC $2,500.00
12/8/10 Employers EIG Services $1,000.00
12/8/10 PCI Gaming Authority $25,000.00
12/8/10 GMRI, Inc. $10,000.00
12/8/10 Global Tel Link (GTL) $15,000.00
12/8/10 Pitney Bowes, Inc. $25,000.00
12/8/10 Tripp Scott $25,000.00
12/9/10 Florida RV Trade Association (FRVPC) $10,000.00
12/9/10 Gulfstream Park Racing Association, Inc. $10,000.00
12/9/10 Alaska Hotel Properties, LLC $20,000.00
12/9/10 Holland America Line Paymaster Corporation $20,000.00
12/9/10 Harrison Rivard Chartered $25,000.00
12/9/10 Grant Medical Transportation, Inc. $5,000.00
12/9/10 Albert & Pauline Jorge $5,000.00
12/9/10 Don Phillips $15,000.00
12/9/10 Mabry Carlton Ranch, Inc. $10,000.00
12/9/10 Neal Communities Land Development, LLC $25,000.00
12/9/10 CSMB Condominium, LLC $25,000.00
12/9/10 Arthur & Sari Agatston $5,000.00
12/9/10 Donald DeFosset $5,000.00
12/9/10 JM Family Enterprises, Inc. $15,000.00
12/9/10 Carlton Fields $15,000.00
12/9/10 Ronald Ciaravella $5,000.00
12/9/10 Harold Libby $5,000.00
12/9/10 Benderson Management Services, LLC $5,000.00
12/9/10 Florida Transportation Builders’ Association, Inc. $25,000.00
12/9/10 Robert & Karen Stork $25,000.00
12/9/10 Thomas J. Kukk Trust $5,000.00
12/9/10 Dr. Marc Inglese $100.00
12/10/10 John Browning Jr. $25,000.00
12/10/10 Lee & Deborah Arnold $10,000.00
12/10/10 Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts $2,000.00
12/10/10 Delaware North Companies, Inc. $2,000.00
12/10/10 Finger Lakes Racing Assn. $2,000.00
12/10/10 DNC Travel Hospitality Services, Inc. $2,000.00
12/10/10 Delaware North Companies Sport Service, Inc. $2,000.00
12/10/10 Heffley & Associates $10,000.00
12/10/10 Hutson Companies, L.L.C. $12,500.00
12/10/10 FMA Services, Inc. $25,000.00
12/10/10 A. Duda & Sons, Inc. $10,000.00
12/10/10 The Geo Group, Inc. $25,000.00
12/10/10 Vertical Integration, Inc. $5,000.00
12/10/10 Sunshine Gasoline Distributors, Inc. $5,000.00
12/10/10 Blake Casper $10,000.00
12/10/10 AT&T Services, Inc. $25,000.00
12/10/10 WRH Realty Services, Inc. $6,000.00
12/10/10 Radiology Imaging Associates, PA $10,000.00
12/10/10 Vestcor Properties $6,500.00
12/12/10 Rod Jurado $100.00
12/13/10 Sprint Nextel, Inc* $25,000.00
12/13/10 William Edwards Revocable Trust $7,500.00
12/13/10 Procacci Development Corporation $5,000.00
12/13/10 Focus Holdings, LLC $1,000.00
12/13/10 Guarantee Insurance Company $10,000.00
12/13/10 Florida Peninsula Insurance Co. $500.00
12/13/10 Windhaven Insurance Company $2,000.00
12/13/10 Hoe Brown $5,000.00
12/13/10 21st Century Oncology, LLC $25,000.00
12/14/10 Ann Gordon $100.00
12/13/10 AstraZeneca $10,000.00
12/13/10 Florida Dental Hygienists $1,000.00
12/13/10 Southern Oak Management $2,500.00
12/14/10 Risk Management Associates, Inc. $25,000.00
12/14/10 Hartman & Tyner, Inc. $25,000.00
12/14/10 Florida Emergency Physicians, Inc. $10,000.00
12/15/10 Frederick Simms $100.00
12/15/10 William Bindley $10,000.00
12/15/10 Mears Destination Services, Inc. $5,000.00
12/15/10 Florida Justice Reform Institute $25,000.00
12/15/10 Fort Knox Center $10,000.00
12/15/10 Vitaver & Associates, Inc. $5,000.00
12/15/10 Disney Worldwide Services, Inc. $25,000.00
12/15/10 Thomas Everist, Jr. $5,000.00
12/15/10 Mike & Nancy Ford $1,000.00
12/16/10 Constance Hofkin $50.00
12/16/10 Larry Tycer $250.00
12/16/10 Jason & Lois ValaVanis $100.00
12/16/10 AvMed, Inc. $10,000.00
12/16/10 Medco Health Solutions, Inc. $5,500.00
12/16/10 Allied Veterans Management Group, Inc.* $25,000.00
12/16/10 Gunster Yoakley & Stewart P.A. $5,000.00
12/16/10 Castillo Grand, LLC $5,000.00
12/16/10 DSM.Net, Inc. $5,000.00
12/16/10 Management & Training Corporation $5,000.00
12/16/10 PB Americas, Inc. $10,000.00
12/17/10 Miles & Parker Collier $25,000.00
12/17/10 Florida Jobs PAC, CCE $25,000.00
12/17/10 Settlement Funding, LLC $25,000.00
12/17/10 Beer Distributor’s Committee for Good Government $5,000.00
12/17/10 Leslie Pantin $500.00
12/18/10 Michael Palecki $250.00
12/20/10 John Blow $100.00
12/20/10 John Kelly $10,000.00
12/20/10 Keiser University $10,000.00
12/20/10 Realtors Political Action Committee Florida $25,000.00
12/20/10 Office Depot $25,000.00
12/20/10 Seminole Tribe of Florida $25,000.00
12/20/10 Centene Management Company, LLC $10,000.00
12/20/10 Gary R. Chartrand TTEE, Gary Chartrand Trust $10,000.00
12/20/10 Matrix Insurance Consulting, LLC $1,500.00
12/20/10 Rein Luning $500.00
12/20/10 The Goldwater Taplin Group, Inc. $3,000.00
12/20/10 GL Homes $10,000.00
12/20/10 Florida Family Insurance $5,000.00
12/20/10 Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. $10,000.00
12/20/10 Wellcare of Florida, Inc. $10,000.00
12/20/10 Walpole, Inc. $5,000.00
12/20/10 Hamilton Risk Management $1,000.00
12/20/10 Vernis & Bowling of Miami, P.A. $1,500.00
12/20/10 American Traditions Insurance Co. $5,000.00
12/20/10 Pfizer Inc. $10,000.00
*In-kind contribution.
UPDATED AS OF 12-28 

12/20/10

Foley & Lardner, LLP

$25,000.00

12/21/10

Altria Client Services, Inc.

$25,000.00

12/21/10

Florida Realtors

$25,000.00

12/21/10

Expedia, Inc.

$5,000.00

12/21/10

Dosal Tobacco Corporation

$10,000.00

12/21/10

Joseph Dougher

$1,000.00

12/21/10

Verizon

$10,000.00

12/21/10

Ellis, Ged & Bodden, P.A.

$5,000.00

12/21/10

Moss Feaster Funeral Home and Crema

$5,000.00

12/21/10

CCA of Tennessee, LLC

$5,000.00

12/22/10

Preferred Medical Plan

$10,000.00

12/22/10

Associated Industries of FL Service Corp.

$5,000.00

12/22/10

Associated Industries of FL Service Corp.

$5,000.00

12/22/10

Florida Bankers Association

$10,000.00

12/22/10

Florida MEP

$5,000.00

12/22/10

Bright House Networks LLC

$25,000.00

12/22/10

The St. Joe Company

$25,000.00

12/22/10

MCNA Dental Plans

$10,000.00

12/27/10

USAA

$25,000.00

12/27/10

South Florida Racing Association, LLC

$5,000.00

12/27/10

Svetlana Korotkevich

$100.00

12/27/10

Akerman Senterfitt

$10,000.00

12/27/10

Las Vegas Sands Corp

$25,000.00

12/27/10

Florida Cable Telecommunications Association, Inc.

$5,000.00

12/27/10

Rosemary Keegan

$250.00

12/27/10

Tampa Bay Downs

$5,000.00

12/27/10

Maloof Enterprises, LLC

$10,000.00

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Speaking of that pricey Inauguration for Rick Scott, here is the list of the biggest donors so far:

*Agro-Industrial Management, $25,000.00
*Benny Klepach, $25,000.00
*Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, $25,000.00
*Brewton Plante, P.A., $25,000.00
*Dr. Gary Kompothecras, $25,000.00

*Duty Free Air and Ship, $25,000.00
*Florida Crystals Corporation, $25,000.00
*Florida CUPAC, $25,000.00
*Florida East Coast Industries, Inc., $25,000.00
*Florida Pioneer Investments, $25,000.00
*Francis Rooney, $25,000.00
*Gary Morse, $25,000.00
*Health Management Associates (H.M.A.), $25,000.00
*Intervest Construction, Inc., $25,000.00
*Liberty Partners, $25,000.00
*Morgan & Morgan, $25,000.00
*Ned Lautenbach, $25,000.00
*Preferred Care Partners, $25,000.00
*Richard Corbett, $25,000.00
*Richard Ullman, $25,000.00
*Stifel Nicholaus & Co., $25,000.00
*Sun Corn, Inc.., $25,000.00
*The Villages, $25,000.00
*Thomas Petway, III, $25,000.00
*United Automobile Insurance Co., $25,000.00
*United States Sugar Corporation, $25,000.00
*Wanek Trust of 2000, $25,000.00
*Council for Senior Floridians, $20,000.00
*Wayne Rosen, $20,000.00
*Diageo North America, Inc. (DIAGEO), $15,000.00
*Advanced Innovative Medicine, $10,000.00
*BHS (Palm Beach Credit Adjustor, Inc..), $10,000.00
*Dr. Peter Wish, $10,000.00
*FCCI Services, Inc., $10,000.00
*Fowler White Boggs, PA, $10,000.00
*Alfred and Beverly Austin, $5,000.00
*Broad and Cassel Attorneys At Law, $5,000.00
*Consensus Communication, Inc., $5,000.00
*Evelyn Treworgy, $5,000.00
*Marchena and Graham, PA, $5,000.00
*Palm Beach Kennel Club, $5,000.00
*Richard Beard, $5,000.00
*Rober Saltsman REV Trust, $5,000.00
*Sun Healthcare, $5,000.00
*Thomas and Peggy Chandler, $5,000.00

(h/t Kenneth Quinnell)



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UPDATED BELOW

From the party that claims to be fiscally conservative when it comes to cutting things like Social Security and unemployment benefits, but who think nothing of adding a big ole’ black hole to the deficit to preserve tax cuts for the rich as well as tax breaks for corporations so they can outsource more jobs, there are some new numbers for you to take a peek at.

In Florida, for some unknown reason, a majority of voters chose to elect Rick Scott as the new Governor in spite of his history. Yes, they elected a guy who says he wants to run Florida like a business. Never mind that one business he owned and ran holds a record for the largest fines in Medicare fraud. Even overlooking that, this is a guy who wants to cut everything from state employees pay to Medicaid, and seems to think that stimulus money for things like high-speed rail should be turned down in spite of the jobs those projects would create in Florida.

On the other hand, he recently gave a private speech to unveil his agenda to businesses, not voters or the press. Not that it was a total surprise that he wants to give big businesses a tax break, freeze state business regulations, sympathizes with the insurance companies “hardships” due to the slow hurricane seasons of the past few years, wants to protect doctors from lawsuits, and wants to hand over just about everything else to the private sector like education and Medicaid. (Shocking, that last one, huh?)

Yes, he is absolutely Mr. Fiscal Responsibility! Except when he isn’t.

With unemployment so high in Florida, foreclosures through the roof, literally, among our other problems, and with an “Outsider” Governor who plans to practically cut everything that won’t turn a profit for private businesses, you would think that something like a Governor’s inauguration might be a somewhat modest affair.

But you would be wrong:

Scott is now soliciting donations of up to $25,000 to pay for his inauguration. Price of admission to the ball: $95 per person, a hair less than the $100 ticket price that had been set initially for Crist’s ball in 2007, after the self-proclaimed “People’s Governor” had campaigned on a populist message to lower property insurance rates and tax bills. Crist took a shellacking in the press for soliciting donations as high as $500,000 before deciding in December to scrap the ball, return the biggest checks and lower the donation threshold to $10,000

Yes, Rick the “Outsider” has even outdone Charlie the “Most Definitely An Insider” Crist when it comes to the lavish affair of an inauguration. Not to worry though, Eddie Haskell’s inaugural committee has a perfectly good explanation for those high-priced donations:

“The people of Florida have plenty to celebrate with the inauguration of our state’s new governor, Rick Scott, including the implementation of an aggressive jobs plan and a new focus on revitalizing the state’s economy. Floridians are invited to participate in the inaugural festivities, many free and open to the public, as Rick Scott prepares to forge a new path towards prosperity for all Floridians.

Again, see my translation for “jobs plan and revitalizing the economy-speak” above.

“The Inaugural Committee is organizing a dozen events in Tallahassee on Jan. 3 and 4 surrounding the official swearing in ceremony, many of them free and open to the public. These events will be funded through the generosity of private contributors (contributions are capped at $25,000). All proceeds, after costs have been paid, will go to an organization the Governor Elect is very excited to partner with and we look forward to making that announcement in the coming days.”

How thoughtful. Free events so that the small-folk may grovel and give thanks to our scary new Gov., just to name a few:

  • “Tribute To The First Lady.” (We don’t know her, but I guess a tribute will make her feel like….royalty?)
  • “Salute to Women In Leadership Breakfast (You may now salute those two women you also elected, Pam-Health-Care-Not-So-Fast-Bondi and Jennifer-I-Didn’t-Care-For-Scott-Until-He-Picked-Me-As-Lt.-Gov.-Carroll.)
  • “Forging A Path To Prosperity Reception” (So you may mingle with the private sector who will perhaps be outsourcing the job you hold now, if you have one.)

Hey, what do you want? They’re free!

UPDATE: The donors list for the inauguration so far can be seen here.

Now let’s take a look at another big event we have coming up in Florida: The 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.

In that department, Mr. Big Spender himself, RNC Chairman Michael Steele is doing his best to keep his reputation intact as one who can burn up cash faster than a compulsive gambler on steroids after a six pack of Four Loko in Vegas. Leave it to him to have already thrown $636,800 into the wind since September, and it’s only 2010! That means there’s still plenty of time for him to put the Republicans even further into the red than he already has. (Well, not counting the donations courtesy of Karl Rove, Dick Armey and the Chamber Of Commerce and others from “Whoever” thanks to SCOTUS and the Citizens United ruling.)

No sir, don’t you even suggest that he pace himself! He be da’ man!

Spending through September topped $636,800, according to figures in a report to the Federal Election Commission. That is 18 times the amount spent in a comparable period four years ago.

At a time when Steele and the RNC have come under fire for what critics call financial mismanagement, the convention spending has raised questions about oversight and financial controls inside the committee.

“I can’t imagine what you’d spend $636,000 on at this point,” said David Norcross, a former national committeeman from New Jersey. In 2004, Norcross chaired the RNC’s Committee on Arrangements, which oversees national conventions. “Is it possible that it’s early spending that would have to take place anyway? It’s possible, but I can’t imagine what it would be.”

Lucky for Mr. Norcross and others in the party, there’s plenty of time left for them to exercise their imagination while they watch Steele make many more of those dollars disappear between now and the summer of 2012, or before they find a new chairman. Whichever comes first.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, the Republicans are putting everything, including extending unemployment benefits, and our national security on the back burner while they do whatever it takes to make sure those Bush tax cuts for the rich don’t expire.

You see, the Republican-Tea Bagger Party really ARE fiscally responsible. It’s all about priorities. Gaining wealth while “gaming” elections just happen to be at the top of their list. There’s your “fiscal.”

They just choose to shift the “responsibility” part of the equation to you and me.

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