Frank Torres, Orlando Freelance Reporter

Archive for May, 2010|Monthly archive page

Downtown on Memorial Day

In Uncategorized on May 31, 2010 at 10:52 pm

I wanted to spend Memorial Day relaxing like so many other families do, but it was important that I put some time aside and attend one of the dozens of events, communities all over Central Florida put on today to honor the heroes that have paid the ultimate price. I like to tell fellow veterans that we’re lucky to live in a community where everyone genuinely appreciates the military and takes every opportunity to show it.

I decided to attend the Orange County War Memorial Rededication at the courthouse, downtown.

I parked my car on Orange ave and stared down the quiet, main drag downtown. I forgot how tranquil downtown can be on a holiday morning like today, a different picture from the groups of college kids that run wild on Orange and Wall st. on the nights before.

As I walk up to the courthouse, I look up to the sunny sky and its a peaceful scene as I reach the memorial and the ceremony.

The media and a couple of politicians are here, but today I don’t care. They post the colors and the national anthem is sung beautifully and echoes through the streets. The ceremony is honoring SSG. Randy M. Haney, whose name will be added to the memorial today.

The guest speaker begins and I start to reflect on my time in the military. The great leaders I followed and my time in uniform that I’ll never forget and always consider returning to. The bond that the men and women in uniform share is one that lasts a lifetime and the bravery of our servicemembers is one of the finest examples of why the United States is the greatest country in the world.

Taps is played, I remember the funeral service details that I was on and led. The folding of the flag and handing it to a spouse, or a parent and hearing the words come out of my mouth “On behalf of a grateful nation…” and knowing that simple words cannot begin to describe what their sacrifice means …

SSG Haney’s name is revealed and the ceremony comes to an end. The Veteran’s Advisory Council of Orange County, could not have done it better. I observe the scene, pay my respects and make my way back to my car.

I slowly drive down Orange, there are a couple of more cars on the street as Orlando starts to get moving on this holiday. I get on I-4 and with a refreshed gratitude and understanding of this important holiday.

It’s good to live in Central Florida.

Jacobs vs. Falconer and the RJC Panel

In Uncategorized on May 29, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Wow! Very sorry that I haven’t posted in a couple of days but I’m bringing some pretty neat stories this time, so stay with me.

On Thursday, I had the chance to get out to the Orange County Republican Executive Committee and listen to, two of the candidates for Orange County Mayor Debate. Teresa Jacobs and Matt Falconer threw down without pesky commercials and two other candidates to get in the way.

I've seen Ultimate Fighters on better terms, than the candidates in this debate

Event: OCREC Mayoral Debate
Turnount: Full house
Moderator: Orange County Chairman Lew Oliver
Media Coverage: 1 real journalist there (Orlando Sentinel)

Matt Falconer took the floor (with notes in hand and I hate notes for the opening remarks of a debate) and started laying down a nasty attack against Jacobs. I’ve always wondered why Falconer always attacks Teresa Jacobs more than any other candidate. Bill Segal is the money leader and has a slew of endorsements. If I were drawing up the plays, he would be the one, I would be campaigning against. Point the cannons at him. It’s almost like a bizarre obsession.

The applause meter tilted in his direction. His message is angry, he takes shots at Jacobs and her “liberal” friends. This is a non-partisan race in a Democratic county, I’ve never understood that tactic. You run the risk of scaring away your moderates.

He takes another shot at Scott Maxwell, a major columnist from the Orlando Sentinel. He doesn’t just want to take a match to that bridge, but call in an air strike on it. Scott Maxwell is good journalist writing for a newspaper I’ve been reading since I was six. He returns a lot of reader E-mail and he’s an opinion leader, not a wise decision.

I like Matt Falconer, he’s a hustler, a hard worker and I understand that he had to start attacking early to build his name recognition, but after the mudslinging, after the name calling, where does this anger take Orange County?

I can say that if it wasn’t for him, this race would be a snoozer..

He wraps up his attack and takes a seat.

Matt Falconer wasted no time attacking his opponent on Thursday

Teresa Jacobs took the floor and started firing back.

“Matt Falconer asked me to be his chief of staff”……Wow! I looked at Falconer for a head shake or a no, but it didn’t come. This is interesting….

She managed to knock down almost all of Falconer’s attacks, and her message wasn’t an angry one, but a rational one. This didn’t play well with some of the losers mumbling insults in the back. Some people just want to be angry and sit around and do nothing about it.

Here is the thing about Teresa Jacobs and the reason why so many people wanted her to run. Before she makes any promises, she asks the questions “Is this legal?” “Is this ethical?” “Is this solution actually possible”. It’s one of the most honest approaches to government that I’ve seen in all of the races I have been covering this year. I can observe a lawmaker or candidate having a conversation with a voter and tell if there “running lines” or being honest and actually admitting that they need to do a little more research, before making promises they can’t keep.

Teresa Jacobs

The Q/A was more of the same. Both of the candidates had good ideas and still took shots at each other, when it was related to the question being asked.

It was anything but boring and it’s not the last clash we’re going to see before August 24th..

The Republican Jewish Coalition District 8 Candidate Forum-
Turnout-60 to 70
Above Legends Bar and Grill on Orange (Great venue)
Moderator: Angie Langley- Alan Grayson foe and creator of mycongressmanisnuts.com
Media Turnout: 3 Real Journalists- all Orlando Sentinel

This post is running long…sorry! I will try to sum this one up quickly all of the candidates running against Alan Grayson (Except Bruce O’Donghue, who was at a meet and greet in Eustis) came together to discuss the issues affecting the 8th. It was running against the Magic game so a lot of people were checking their watches. They agreed on a lot and by looking at the crowd I would have to say that it was a Kurt Kelly/ Dan Webster split and…..Wow it’s Dan Webster! He showed…, it’s really him! There was no controversy and no shots thrown really…I really am running long, so I will just show the photos..

Dan Webster

Todd Long

Patricia Sullivan

Kurt Kelly

Dan Fanelli and Moderator Angie Langley

Till’ next time!

Alan Grayson/Pedro Pierluisi QA

In Uncategorized on May 23, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Alan Grayson…..

Is he your best friend or your worst enemy?

You either love him or you hate him. You find him refreshingly brutal and honest or you see him as an embarrassment for the district and a tyrant.

Me, I’m not crazy about him. I have slammed him on the blogs on everything, from mocking his clothing to slamming his policy and behavior on the house floor. He was the only representative from Florida, Republican or Democrat to vote against defense appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan. This affects funding for everything soldiers need, from body armor to internet cafes that let soldiers e-mail and webchat home. Kosmas voted for it, Corrine Brown voted for it, not Alan Grayson. Unforgivable.

Now that I got that out of the way, I attended the Q/A session with Alan Grayson and Puerto Rican Representative Pedro Pierluisi. It was a forum that dealt with Hispanic issues affecting the culture in Central Florida and it was at the Englewood Neighborhood Center.

Turnout was at full capacity in a room that held 100-125. 99% Democrat and two Journalist there (Fox 35, Orlando Magazine).

There was some good meat (info), on safe, common sense issues and programs that everyone could agree on. Grayson had several opportunities to slam conservatives but passed and referred to Republicans as “the other side”. He was mildly campaigning.

The QA was moderated well, and the event had a small rally “feel”.

Whoa, what was that? An unmoderated follow up question? One of Grayson’s opponents did indeed have a presence at this event, and the gentlemen was video taping the entire Q/A. He asked an “unfriendly” question and was flagged by Grayson’s people immediately.

I’m not naive and I don’t think anyone that is involved in politics, here in Central Florida will deny that supporters from other candidates drop in on events like this one. You always have to assume that your opponents has ears in the audience, but the following events that took place after this discovery was really kind of silly.

Grayson’s people basically sent their photographer to take some pics of the guy who asked the unfriendly question. Then they recruited another guy with a camcorder, to video tape the guy, who was videotaping the event, who may or may not send it to one of Alan Grayson’s opponents. The whole thing was really kind of ridiculous.

Me photographing the guy, who was videotaping, the guy, who was video taping the event

The event wrapped up and it was successful. I know my conservative readers will cringe, but here were some things I heard said after the event during photos.

“Your our hero, Grayson”
“That is a Presidential photograph”
and the most important..
“You’ve got our vote”

Si' Habla Espanol

Let me put on my strategy hat, here. Democratic incumbents will try to replicate the 2008 turnout. In a close election, the area Alan Grayson was courting on Saturday, which was basically the population dense, Hispanic area from Colonial, stretching down to Orlando International and the Conway area stretching out to the 417 area can be a big deal. You will see Alan Grayson dubbed on Spanish television like a bad kung fu movie, trying to get those votes. He can afford it, believe me.

The last few days have been about getting the Hispanic population of Central Florida more involved in the political process, and the majority of these leaders have been Democrats.

Hispanics don’t vote? Hispanics only vote Democratic? You want to gamble with 35% of the vote…go ahead.

Republican, Hispanic leaders need to step up and talk to the people if they want to take these seats in November.

Alan Grayson with Pedro Pierluisi and some guy, I didn't meet

Moderator and Communications Director Todd Jurkowski

Puerto Rican Affairs Summit

In Uncategorized on May 22, 2010 at 12:01 am

Crist bails, Sink sails…

I don’t think they are enough events like the one I went to today. The Puerto Rican Affairs summit in Kissimmee was great. We had great panels that dealt with everything from politics to education and business. The Governor bailed on the biggest Hispanic community in the I-4 corridor, but Gubernatorial hopeful Alex Sink dropped in to take his place..I’ll get back to that.

It was great to meet my Puerto Rican peers! It seems like we’re spread out between Deltona, East Orlando and Kissimmee…..it’s terrific to know, that people of our proud heritage can come together. Everyone in all fields of business can break bread and talk. The place was full and it was a smooth drive down I-4 (or as smooth as it can get) to the resort.

Puerto Rican Leaders in all areas of business and government.

The political panel was good…your never going to have a bi-partisan panel with out a jab or a shot here and there and this one, was no different. There was speculation that Governor Crist skipped out because he went indy, there was criticism from one of the members of the panel who also sits on the Orange County Dem Committee about the possibility that Crist could appoint Armando Guitierrez to the vacant Orange County Commission seat and ofcourse, The Puerto Rican Democracy act that could add the island as the 51st state…expect a lot more of that from the Hispanic community in the months to come. My assessment from applause and crowd reaction was that the room was about 70 percent Democratic.

Still not believing Governor Crist could diss us like that, his pollsters must not have thought we were worth the time.

Minor drama aside, It was a good discussion and it was the consensus that we must get involved to make a positive difference, this year and for all elections to come. Get to the polls and donate to candidates when we can..

Moving into the luncheon, the lovely Yvette Bruzwal from CF News 13 hosted and we had former Miami Mayor and Senate Candidate Maurice Ferre speaking, but people were expecting the Governor.

Enter Alex Sink…

and she killed it, our views are night and day but, she did a great job speaking and the audience dug her, if you were a democrat in that audience, you gave her a standing ovation.

Stepping in for the Governor, Alex Sink was a crowd pleaser..

but wait, the Governor is here! He sent a video! Let’s have a look….and, well, no one was watching…

This was the Charlie Crist we got today...and no one was watching

and…..Look! a Orange County Mayoral candidate. This is Osceola county, I guess you really have to hustle to nail down the Hispanic vote..

I had to take off to go to work but, I heard Bill Segal dropped in and even participated in the panel….Now if your one of my out of state readers and don’t know, who the good commissioner is, attending this Puerto Rican Affairs summit, I will give you a chance to pick him out of this photograph

and which person in this photo is courting the Hispanic leaders?

Bad Blogger! I apologize.. It was nice of both of those leaders to attend, and they both did their part to make this event a success.

It’s been a great week and I was very happy to attend this Summit. A really great time!

Ten Ideas for the Amway Arena and working in the sewers

In Uncategorized on May 20, 2010 at 11:24 pm

After this season, the Amway Arena will no long be the premiere venue here in O-town. It’s going to be replaced by the new Amway Center just across the way (how great is that skywalk!) It will be bitter sweet to see the Orlando/TD Waterhouse/Amway arena replaced. I remember when Bill Cosby opened that place, when the All-Star game invaded, and kids were bussed in for the weekend festivities and my first event at the Arena, a figure skating, school field trip.

There have been ideas for the old arena…I have heard Megachurch, I’ve heard Creative Village. Those are fine ideas, but I have ten much better ideas for the Amway Arena after the center opens up.

10. Super-Walmart! Tell me the residents of those half full, high rise condos wouldn’t want that! The 2AM church street crowd would migrate over there and go nuts..

9. Billionaire, Democratic, Senate hopeful, Jeff Greene’s campaign HQ. His best man, Mike Tyson could migrate to Church street at 2AM..with Tiger ofcourse.

8. We could finally bring Carrot Top home and woo him with a great nightly venue.

7. Space Shuttle Storage, very sad, but true…

6. We could sign it over to the city of Boston, the Celtics have played like they owned the place over the last two games, anyways. Seriously though, it’s sad. I thought this team was better than the one we had last year and I can tell you that myself, Mayor Crotty and the OC commission could have put forth better effort at times. I’m cheering for them, but they’ve got to wake up!

Mayor Crotty at the 2...

5. While we’re talking about Basketball and the earlier concept of a megachurch, we could pull a 3 way trade that would send the cash and a player to Cleveland, A Lebron James sign and trade to Houston, and bring Pastor Joel Osteen to Orlando. That arena would be full every weekend!

The Amway would be full every week!

4. After engineers recently inspected the Amway Arena, it was determined that it could house the Ego of Congressman Alan Grayson. We could get some of the out of work actors from Lost to guard it and make sure it could’nt escape on an airplane. Interestingly enough, it does not look like black smoke, rather a push of hot air that is attracted to TV cameras…

Don't let it escape again, Hurley!

3. Statewide Charlie Crist Independent rally! Lower bowl VIP seats only…

2. Creative Village—It’s actually a decent idea

1. You thought an Orange County classroom was crowded now?!

……………….

Most of these are jokes, but this is a great opportunity to do something great with one of the most important locations in Central Florida, I would hate to see this space wasted on a shallow development or something that doesn’t make any sense.

On a serious note, I was at a PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) meeting today. I usually never go because, I hate ties and blazers and the Citrus Club isn’t a place I can warm up to but, I went today because they had some big PR leaders in region and a great media panel.

What I heard was disappointing.

I heard one of those PR leaders say that commenting on a blog was the equivalent of working in the Public Relations Sewer, even with relevant knowledge, that sets the record straight. Now, I know that comments get out of hand and people don’t moderate like they should, but an exchange of ideas is never a bad thing. I was disappointed, I run a very small operation that revolves around communications in politics that are powerful and at times funny, and I know that a lot of those comments need to be used as a measurement of public sentiment. They’re an honest snap judgment of the readers, war-gaming of opposing positions and sometimes actual good information. It’s arrogant to see any methods of communication as below us, if it’s possibly useful, regardless of the format. I blog, I comment on blogs, I guess I work in the sewer..and I am more in touch with public opinion than most…..

The media panel was terrific….and I’m a better consultant because of it..

Puerto Ricans Affairs Summit and Rep. Grayson/Commissioner Pierluisis QA coverage coming this weekend!

Till next time…

Me and the Census guy

In Uncategorized on May 18, 2010 at 11:10 pm

I was in the Army the last time the Census took place and I should have known that with a Census Headquarters down the street, I could expect a visit from the nice people working there.

First off, I think it’s great that this is putting people to work. Too many people out of work and the road to recovery is a slow one. When I saw the HQ on the news, opening down the street, I was happy to know some of my neighbors would have jobs again, even if it’s a short term one.

It was around 7pm on a Monday or Tuesday, when i got a knock on my door. “Who could that be?” I thought “Who dares drop by unannounced?” I figured it was neighborhood kids selling candy and I was out, so this might not be a bad thing. I looked through the window and who do I see but a man in his 40’s wearing a tie…this is never a good thing. I opened the door.

The man introduced himself as a census worker and I looked at the two previous notices of the missed visits on my counter, but I wasn’t buying it yet. I’ve heard the horror stories of these guys pretending to be census workers, only to rob the residents of the home blind. I quizzed him with the most bizarre questions possible, things that didn’t have anything to do with the census. Who was the judge on American Idol before Ellen? Where did JJ Redick play college ball? He got both questions right…he must be legit. I invited him inside.

He sat down in the living room and he looked at his clipboard and began to ask the questions.

1. How many people living in this home? – I answered

2. Are there any ADDITIONAL people living here- “Do you think I’m a liar?” I replied. I was joking but kept a straight face. He looked concern….”I’m just playing, dude, no….” there was nervous laughter and he continued.

3/4. I answered questions 3 and 4 about owning or renting and my phone number…. This is a potentially awful pick up line at the bar “Uh, Hi, I am with the census and can I have your home phone number?”

5. My name- Got that one, had to know that for the SATS

6. What is person 1’s sex? “Are you joking?” I asked “This is my first day, I’m just going through the form” he replied. Great I thought, the people that are trying to get the info, that could potentially bring more congressional seats to Florida, just fed me the same line I got from the kid behind the counter at McDonalds. I am joking! I did feel bad for him and I decided to try and behave.

7. Age, date of birth- I joked about my age and he didn’t laugh. Apparently I had used my allowance of polite laughs.

8. Are you Latino? If so what Origin? Now, the form says that this is form anti-discrimination provisions and Voting right Acts…Sure it is. I answer “Hispanic, Puerto Rican. I have a Chihuahua, she is named after a Mexican city, would you like to see her papers?” “That is Arizona, sir” he said without looking up from his papers. I could tell he was thinking..”great, last house of the day and I get this wise guy”

9. What is your race? “I’m Hispanic, wasn’t that the last question?” duh. “Sir, for some reason that is not one of the choices” “So, what are all the other Hispanics saying?” I replied, a little annoyed “I haven’t had any other hispanics today” he said, he couldn’t get out of here fast enough. I’ve been called ethnically vague before and I don’t speak with an accent, but I was concerned. “Dude, just put something” I said..he was uncomfortable and checked something. I did some research and it turns out the box to check was white, he might have checked that.

10. Do you ever stay somewhere else? Ok, now he is scouting the place for a robbery later….”no” I replied with a hint of curiosity.

By this time we were both irritated and tired, like when couples get in long discussions over an easy question like what they’re eating for dinner.

I suppose he was a nice guy and he wasn’t in a joking mood, and after all it was his first day. Maybe, I was too harsh?

I do know that the next time the census comes, I will send in that form, the second I get it. I will probably fill it out at the mailbox! Unless, we’re all chipped like my chihuahua by then…

Till next time thanks for reading!

I promise you, she is legal!

Seminole County Hob Nob and Pink Slip Party

In Uncategorized on May 16, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Saturday was a crazy day if your into the conservative political thing here Central Florida. Hob Nobs, Pink Slip Parties, Dinners, Gun Shows…you name it, it was going on yesterday. I decided to go to the Seminole County Republican Hob Nob and the Pink Slip Party for Congressman Alan Grayson and Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas.

Okay, Lets start with the Hob Nob at the Altamonte Springs Hilton. For you non-political people a Hob Nob is when they slam as many candidates for office as possible into a ball room, rec hall or any large venue. Voters can talk to any of the politicians, ask them questions, take pictures etc….then there is usually a straw poll, where the attendees can vote on the different races and the winner is announced at the end of the event.

I get to the Hilton, walk through the lines, shake hands. I’ve met a lot of these people before and head into the main ballroom where this thing is going down. There is a good crowd at this thing. Jason Brodeur is the MC and Rep Trent Franks and Marco Rubio are the big talkers expected.

The Line for the Straw Poll at the Seminole County Hob Nob

The vibe between some of the candidates that were shaking hands up and down the line were colder than the pulled pork sandwiches at the food table. Straw polls are tricky because you can bus in as many supporters as possible to vote for you, whether there actually going to be voting in the race or not and that was definitely the vibe I got walking down the lobby flanked by the supporters for some of these candidates.

I need to give some major props to Seminole County supervisor of elections Michael Ertel. The guy was non-stop hustle and was dealing with a line that stretched from the front door to the rear of the building

Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Michael Ertel

Finally, it was time for Rep. Trent Franks to speak and he was pretty good. The only problem was that everyone was having such a great time talking, eating and campaigning, that no one was really listening and I think that ticked him off a little bit.

Don't worry Trent Franks, I was listening to you

Then Marco Rubio showed up and the superstar of Florida politics took over. He’s been called the Republican Barack Obama and you can tell why. He is an awesome public speaker. I asked one of his people, who writes his stuff and he said no one. Outstanding delivery.

There was no one talking when Rubio was at the podium..

After he spoke, I took off for the pink slip party. As soon as I get results from the straw poll I will post them…

Then I went downtown to City Hall where NRCC pink slip party was taking place. Now, I wonder what it must feel like to have legions of people, your neighbors,  detest you enough to celebrate the day when you will be out of office.

Communicating and working with your critics can prevent this from happening.

All of the congressional candidates from District 8 (Grayson) and District 24 (Kosmas) were on hand, except for Kurt Kelly and Dan Webster, who was undecided whether he was going to attend or not and finally committed to going to the event, only to arrive 1 hr after the event was over and everyone was gone….I kid! I kid! I heard his daughter was getting married and if that was the case, congratulations. It was a great afternoon to be outside.

NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions and others spoke and it was a sight to see all of these candidates standing side by side, united, to send a message to their eventual opponents that they’re ready for a fight……..but first they’re gonna rip each others eyes out in the primary.

If your one of my conservative readers, you really do have a great selection of candidates to go to work for. It’s a wide variety of backgrounds, experience, and ideas and if you don’t like Alan Grayson or Suzanne Kosmas your going to have to get involved, I look at these races and the eventual primary winners will have to talk over the noise of the money train, both of those incumbents have at their disposals.

A great group of canididates to get behind this year if your a Republican

Two great events on one sunny Saturday afternoon in May. If your throwing an event you want me to cover, let me know and I will push it on the blog. Thanks for reading!

NRCC Chairman Rep. Pete Sessions addresses the media after the event

The new digs!

In Uncategorized on May 14, 2010 at 11:13 pm

Hey Guys!

I am exited to finally have this thing set up in a new location. I think you’ll find that its going to be a much more exiting read. I will mix up the subjects more often, push the envelope a little more and give you guys a chance to tell me what my problem is. I will continue to cover politics, communications and public relations strategy but I will branch out and cover some more fun stuff as well. I am going to be able to give you details of my experiences here in Orlando and tell you what I see. I will include more pictures and media and hopefully provide a much better read. I’ve put up my old posts for those who are new to my blogging and I will keep posting as often as I can. This new format should make that easier. Let me give you some quick bullets of the funny things I’ve seen and heard

Strangest phrase from a politician: “Now, I have nothing against the Hispanics. Heck, I let my daughter marry one” – You see? This is why we hire communication professionals!

Lebron James has to pick between winning championships in Chicago now, or hanging with Jay-Z in New Jersey and winning them later. Tough choice.

I liked Iron Man 2 but not as much as the first one. The surprise at the end of the credits was pretty cool, but it’s gonna be hard not to make that look like another “Clash of the Titans”

I have to agree with everyone else… we all know Governor Crist is calling a special session to score political points. Oil drilling is going to be off the table for sometime.

I am still under construction here, there will be improvements and hopefully, the great readers I had at my business site will follow me here.

Thanks guys!

OC Mayor Debate Analysis

In Uncategorized on May 6, 2010 at 10:33 pm

*****A Humorous Article, Please watch the debate and make your own conclusions, also get out there and talk to these guys (and girls) and go to work for them*****

Ok, Here we are! I thought the idea of a televised debate was a terrific idea a couple of weeks back and I was glad when it was put together so quickly. The one problem?…..It looked like it was put together so quickly! I understand it was better than nothing and I love WFTV, but I’ve had games of Modern Warfare 2 that have looked smoother and lasted longer than that debate last night. It sounded like the lightning round of a quiz show at times, and if the candidates were sitting any closer to each other, they would have been in each others laps. It was exiting at times and all of the candidates stayed true to the messages that they have been campaigning with. Let’s move forward with my analysis, by timeline of the footage!

Opening Credits and Intro: I know it has to be killing Matt Falconer that he is sitting on the far left of the panel. Craig Patrick is smiling politely with an “I don’t know how I am going to get through this in such a short amount of time” look in his eyes.

1:09- Patrick asks “Would you repeal the toll increase” Stewart and Falconer raise hands. Jacobs says “That is not a fair question” (its not, too vague for a debate this important)

1:33- Generic stock footage of a man pumping gas.

2:12- Teresa Jacobs wants to make sure it’s legal. She is staying on message of ethical government.

2:24- Segal says he was against the toll increase during those economic times. Do you get the feeling that you could stick Commissioner Segal in a cage full of tigers and he would still be perfectly calm?

3:00- Falconer vows to repeal the toll increase. I really hate tolls, and so do thousands of other Central Floridians

3:30- Falconer attaaaaaaaaack! Vegas had the odds somewhere between the graphics of the opening credits and the moderator’s introduction. His info on protecting consumers is strong, but I just dropped $20 bucks on his reserved debating style…Thanks, Matt.

4:04- Commissioner Segal corrects Patrick by summing up a long question with the word consolidation. He could have consolidated 20 seconds of this short debate there!

4:42- Falconer is staring off-screen with an “I got this” look

5:21- Is Matt Falconer plugging his book?! He was holding it up. I think he wanted the cameraman to get a close up of the cover…

6:30- Commissioner Stewart talks about her part in bringing Burnham to Central Florida. She is a nice lady.

7:27- Jacobs talks about diversification of our economy…. That’s what I’ve been saying! We do lean too heavily on construction, we must retrain our workforce and move forward. Adapt and overcome!

7:55- Commercial…..Time!? Time?! How are we doing?

9:18- Bill Segal is smiling at Falconer condescendingly, the way I do when a salesperson is selling me something I don’t want to buy.

9:28- Zoom in! Zoom Out! Who is running the camera?! It was Cinco De Mayo…maybe they had a few Margaritas?

9:35 – Jacobs mentions that she proposed a creating a safe environment to report fraud and waste back in 2006

12:34- Falconer- lower taxes, stop corporate welfare

13:06- The LWV wants the candidates to pledge that they will not use defamatory materials against their opponents. Now, I like the thought but it’s kind of a loaded question. You are de-clawing your campaign, if someone attacks my candidate; we are coming at them not once but twice. What if I pledge but my other 4 opponents don’t? Segal wants to read it, Stewart says no, Mad Matt manages to attack Segal while addressing a question on his methods of attack and also manages to gets a shot in on President Obama, as well. Teresa Jacobs mentions that the facts are important and that Segal and Falconer have attacked her with things that aren’t true.

14:55- Patrick, upset that he was being talked down to earlier by Segal, questions him about ethics. Segal starts channeling philosophers with his “Fact and Opinion” analogy and deflects the question with ease. Your not a Jedi yet, Patrick.

16:00- Teresa Jacobs talks about an ethics compliment Segal himself gave her about turning down a supporter to do the right thing.

16:08- Patrick says we’ll be right back and then tells us to take care……

17:32- Commissioner Stewart says that everyone should have a say on how government goes regardless of language differences.

18:30- Segal calls Sunrail a blessing and then makes Patrick repeat the 2nd question again. Maybe, I can get these guys connected to American Top Team Mixed Martial Arts and have them slug it out.

20:04- Falconer says Sunrail will cost a fortune, is unconstitutional, and was voted down twice.

22:24- All four candidates say they will update a flawed retirement system. Bill Segal says the system has gone the way of the “Buggy Whip”. I am going to steal that phrase from him.

22:47- All of the candidates except for Falconer say they will release their tax returns. Falconer says “He doesn’t want to get into that mudslinging contest”..Jacobs and Segal both turn to him with a “You can’t be serious!!!” look, Stewart wants to laugh. The camera focuses on Falconer, then when it returns to the panel, every candidate has an “It’s on” look on their face. Patrick is rapping faster than Eminem trying to finish in time, the music interrupts him and Linda Stewart leaves him hanging, when he offers her a handshake.

Debating on television is tough. I think all of the candidates did fine, no one got really stumped. There were other panels before this one, so a lot of the candidates knew what to expect. I am not going to pick a winner, but I do think I know who I am going to support. WFTV will re-air this debate Sunday at 1230pm and it can also be found on their website.

Did you see that?

In Uncategorized on May 3, 2010 at 10:32 pm

I have to admit that last week was a Crisis Communications bonanza. In the span of a week, we had a Governor walk away from his party, a commissioner arrest, a massive Oil spill, and a heated abortion debate in Tallahassee, The Puerto Rican Democracy act and the Arizona Immigration law which everyone has something to say about.

I think it’s important for me to point out that I maintain a Bi-Partisan profile when it comes to my work. I have friends and clients on both sides Republicans and Democrats; if I don’t believe in what my client is saying then I just won’t help them say it. It’s unethical…with that being said let me try to get through my mostly professional opinion on these matters.

Governor Crist goes Indy:

Winners: Marco Rubio, Kendrick Meek,

Losers: Gov. Crist

Why?: I agree with the majority of people that say this would be honorable if it was anyone but Charlie Crist. We all know the Governor is a slave to poll numbers and will keep his eye on the prize (The White House). Voters are smarter than this and while Crist will steal some votes, both parties will slam him. I wish you could have heard my cell phones after this announcement, Tweets, E-mails, and Facebook posts with both parties rallying respectively behind Rubio and Meek. The Governor will most likely veto a controversial abortion bill that was passed last week to gain favor with the Pro-Choice groups in addition to the teachers he went to bat for when he vetoed Teacher merit pay.

The Commissioner Fernandez arrest:

Winners: Everyone else in the OC mayor race

Losers: Commissioner Fernandez and myself

I don’t have to explain why the other candidates in the race benefit from this but I should explain why I’m a loser in this scenario. After the arrest occurred, the only Hispanic presence on the Orange County commission was gone and with the mumblings and grumblings I have heard, I am not so sure that another one will be appointed. The district elected a Hispanic, Republican commissioner and after she allegedly broke the law, our culture lost an ambassador to reflect the honorable values and beliefs of the Latino community.   I hope the Governor makes the right call and appoints someone with the same fundamental beliefs of the people in that district and someone with better judgment….

In my professional opinion silence is always the worst option in a Crisis….defend yourself, verbalize your commitment to taking the situation seriously and finding the facts before judgment is made. Do not hide from the media.

The Puerto Rican Democracy Act:

Don’t like the language on the third option in the second vote.

Arizona Immigration: Concerns on both sides and both sides are doing a poor job of explaining themselves. We’ll hear more as we move towards November.

The Oil Spill:

Winners: Anti-Drill Advocates

Losers: Anti-Drill Advocates, BP and everyone else…

What a mess…..

Well,

My friends and family have observed me shouting at the TV during these events of the last 7 days and when I hear people voice their opinions on what is happening, I love asking the following question.

So, what are you gonna do about it?