Frank Torres, Orlando Freelance Reporter

Archive for June, 2011|Monthly archive page

When Entertainers Attack! Celebs, Lawmakers Clash!

In Uncategorized on June 29, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Pretty exiting title, eh?

There’s recently been a slew of entertainer/politician hostility. We’ve got not one but, three stories about major figures in entertainers clashing with political figures. Let’ break it down.

Tom Petty vs. Michele Bachmann:Minnesota Congresswoman and GOP Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has been on a hot streak recently, she’s polling well, making the rounds on cable TV and she’s a very close second right now, to Mitt Romney. She’s been rallying her supporters and after her speeches, like many politicians, she’s got victory song. In her case the Iowa native is blasting “American Girl” by Tom Petty.

and Tom Petty would like her to stop.

It hasn’t stopped her, she keeps playing it during her appearances. This is nothing new, Petty asked W. to stop playing “Won’t Back Down” during his campaigns.

Who’s side to take?
: Petty’s, he’s from Jacksonville and his greatest hit’s CD went around the world with me. Bachmann’s people should know that in a GOP primary, it’s a conservative, country music play list anyways.

Petty wasn't smiling when he found out Bachmann was playing his music at her rallies

Jon Stewart vs. Herman Cain: Stewart is under fire for a bit on his TV show, that mocked a Herman Cain speech criticizing the length of the bills in Washington. Stewart put on a funny voice and flashed a billboard graphic that said “Herman Cain 2012, I don’t like to read”. FOX News had a field day with Stewart’s segment and said that the material was offensive.

Who’s Side to Take?: You decide…

Lindsay Lohan vs. The Fed: Check out this Tweet from Ms. Lohan who, must be cleaning up, if she’s chiming in on economic policy.

“Have you guys seen food and gas prices lately? U.S. $ will soon be worthless if the Fed keeps printing money!”

Who’s side to take?: Lohan’s. Yes, you should be agreeing with frequent acquaintance of the L.A.P.D. You don’t have to be an economist to know how inflation works. It would appear that Ms. Lohan had a moment of clarity on Twitter and perhaps, she’s turned a corner. Who knows? She might have public service in her future…., or community service.

You know the economy is tanking, when Lohan takes time to comment

Overwhelming support for Sunrail at Orange BCC

In Uncategorized on June 29, 2011 at 12:29 am

Which side are you on?

Orange TV on cable wasn’t going to cut it this time. You had to be at the Orange County Board of County Commissioners meeting to see the major players involved, in commuter rail for Central Florida.

There had already been a couple of these meetings in the region today; a tour to spread info and gauge support.

The venue was at already at capacity, and the overflow room was filling quickly as the public presentation from Governor Rick Scott’s, secretary from the FDOT, Ananth Prasad was almost underway. The crowd was growing impatient as the preceding matter lagged on, something about ethics or something, it didn’t matter, half of the people in the room don’t buy into that sort of thing anyways. Finally, it was time to begin.

Secretary Prasad’s thorough presentation covered a lot of numbers and had a cautious tone of approval. It sounded like a parent lecturing their children before buying a dog. “If I let you have him, you’ll have to wash him, feed him, and take him for walks”, except this was a money speech clearly, pointing out the responsibilities of all the levels of government, and even the private companies involved.

There were a lot of big names there. It was a site to see. Here is a rundown.

Congresswoman Corrine Brown, State Sens. Andy Gardiner, Thad Altman, former Sen. Lee Constantine, State Reps. Scott Randolph, Darren Soto, Bryan Nelson and a whole slew of Mayors on Sunrail’s planned route. The big dogs from the Lobbying firms downtown, members of the media and pundits like myself, all with entourage in tow (except me, the only Entourage I get is on HBO).

Mayor Jacobs took a moment before the public comment session to express her support for Sunrail and explained the rules to supporters and opposition. Two minutes per speaker, twenty minutes per side.

The opposition lined up and the list was displayed on the screen. Activists in red shirts that read “Derail Sunrail” were ready. There were no big names on the screen but, the opposition was passionate. One woman drove from Tampa to speak. No reaction from the capacity crowd during their 20 minutes. Several of them took the opportunity to tell Rep. Corrine Brown to her face, that they were not “Stuck on Stupid” as she’s said about commuter rail opposition in the past.

Then came the supporters… the group was twice as long and full of big names. A lot from the list, I just got done typing, Republicans and Democrats, with leadership from major organizations following them. They were all in top form addressing the board and Secretary Prasad. Then the ones that would be personally affected by the addition of Sunrail to Orange County spoke. A disabled woman in a wheel chair conveyed her support and how it could improve her quality of life, then a native Orlando college student, studying nursing in Atlanta explained the benefits of rail in Georgia and how it could help here, in Orlando.

It was time to call the fight…

The most visible support of Sunrail in Orange County didnt’ come until the end of the meeting. It was when Mayor Jacobs was wrapping things up and asked those opposed to Sunrail to stand up and be recognized.

About seven people stood up.

Then she asked those in favor to stand up and be recognized.

Virtually, the rest of the crowd in attendance rose to their feet. There were people that stood up that, I didn’t even know where there to take a side!

I still believe Rick Scott is going to put off this decision. It’s just my gut but, if he kills the train it will send shockwaves across the political landscape in Florida…again.

It’s been a political boxing match with both sides getting some big shots in and it’s going to go to the cards for a decision.

Except, there is just one card and one judge and whoever gets their hand lifted in victory, is still going to hear some boos from the audience.

It looks like this might be a reality but, I gotta hear the Governor say it.

Political Stocks: Who’s up, Who’s down in O-town. Are you a flake edition?

In Uncategorized on June 27, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Well, are you? Have a look?

Pair this with the Jon Stewart interview from last week and FOX New Sunday is political “Must See TV”.

Regardless, of whether you think Michele Bachmann is, or is not a flake, she leads off this edition of political stocks.

Who’s Up?:

Rep. Michele Bachmann: Her stock is skyrocketing right now. That CNN debate was a coming out party of sorts for Bachmann as a Presidential candidate and she’s been trending up since. She formally announced her candidacy today, Chris Wallace apologized for that flake question you just watched, and the biggest brow raiser, is the poll from the Des Moines Register that, has Bachmann in a “virtual tie” with former Massachusetts Governor and, front runner Mitt Romney. She’s been on the news all day and if you’re familiar with Mrs. Bachmann she talks that GOP primary talk, and she’s got the track record to back it up.

Watch your back, Mitt

Herman Cain: Up to 10%! Good for you Herman, you’re in third place. Now, has anyone given you any money yet?

Holding Steady:

Mitt Romney: He’s still the man to beat, the money is rolling in and none of his opponents will call him out on “Romneycare” to his face. Is this going to be a two candidate primary?

The Pack:Santorum, Paul, Huntsman and any of the other guys, that probably aren’t going to win.

Who’s down?:

Tim Pawlenty: What happened T-Paw?! You were suppose to be the guy. Granted, this is just one poll but, come on man. I know what happened. You should have called Mitt Romney an Obamacare architect to his face during that CNN debate but, you chickened out and now GOP voters don’t think you have the stones to take on Obama.

Newt Gingrich: Iceberg! You’ve had consultants on your team treating your campaign like the Titanic, the lifeboats are gone and now you’re standing next to the string quartet playing in knee deep water, while your ship sinks.

That’s it for now, talk to you again soon!

The Rock Pink Celebrity Bowl-o-rama

In Uncategorized on June 26, 2011 at 4:00 pm

What an awesome event.

This is my favorite non-political event of the year and it raises loads of money for a cause that affects all of us in one way or another.

It’s the Rock Pink Celebrity Bowl-O-Rama and every year they bring together every day folks like you and me and dozens of local celebrities in TV, Radio, Sports and Music for an afternoon of bowling and hanging out.

Every year, it feels like this event is getting bigger and better, this was my second Bowl-a-rama and the Boardwalk Bowl on Colonial was full on a stormy afternoon, absolutely perfect conditions for an event indoors. There were also auctions, food, raffles, and other games if bowling wasn’t your thing.

I was on Dirty Jim’s team, he’s one of the Monster’s in the Morning on Real Radio 104.1, a terrific celeb to bowl with and our squad was a great group of guys.

A great group of guys to bowl with, a first class event. I'm also doing a mean "Where's Waldo?" impression here.

There were some political opinion leaders there too. Scott Maxwell- Orlando Sentinel, Lauren Rowe- WKMG’ Flashpoint, Jim Philips– Real Radio 104.1, and John Morgan- Morgan & Morgan, and CF News 13’s The Agenda.

In the end, it was all about raising money for Rock Pink, an Organization that works, so hard in the fight against breast cancer, and to see the community come together again, is another reminder of how great the people of Central Florida are.

Here is RockPink’s website, if you would like to help.

How many celebs can you spot in this short video?

Are you ready for a Sunrail Showdown?

In Uncategorized on June 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Save the Train! Kill the Train! It will create jobs! We can’t afford it! Bless Rick Scott! Save us Harry Potter!

Which side are you on?

It’s the political issue that is exclusive to Central Florida that everyone has an opinion about. This was suppose to be a done deal when, then Governor Crist criss-crossed the state on his Sunrail Signing ceremony. For the most part, it was attended by groups in favor of the train that would stretch from Deland to Poinciana but, there were pockets of Tea Party camps protesting anyone that would approve this train under the current economic condidtions.

Then came Rick Scott and he vaporized any of the state’s prior plans, he was the big dog in the Sunshine State now.

with very little hesitation and a lot of met resistance he waved off high speed rail, that would have connected Orlando to Tampa. 2.4 Billion dollars that was going to be spent anyways was sent to Illinois, Missouri and New York.

He hasn’t been so quick to judge Sunrail, though. There is a lot more support for that, on both sides of the isle. He’s pushed off this decision to June then, at the beginning of the month he pointed out it would be the end of June. Well, it’s June 25.

Tuesday is being called the Sunrail Showdown by many, there is a reason for that. This week, Scott and his team will be making stops throughout Central Florida and will be in the middle of conflicting Sunrail protests. Public comments will be heard at board meetings in most of the Central Florida counties and there will be some political heavy hitters making their voices heard.

All of this leading to an eventual decision by Governor Scott.

So far, the money is on Rick Scott approving the project. I’ve said many times, if he does, he’ll lose what little support he has left.

What do I think?

Guys, I gotta tell you. I think Rick Scott will push his decision on Sunrail back to the beginning of August. He’s going to be taking in a lot over the next couple of days and will need some time to take it in.

You heard it here first.

So, is this gonna happen or what?

Jon Huntsman opening Campaign Headquarters in Orlando. Does it matter?

In Uncategorized on June 22, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Did you know that a Presidential hopeful will have the his campaign headquarters, right here in Orlando?

You might be wondering, who?!, who?! Which candidate? Romney? Pawlenty? What about Michele Bachmann? Who was the candidate that decided to make “The City Beautiful” the heart of their operation to become the leader of the free world?

Well, it’s former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman.


That would be a perfectly normal response. You see, Jon Huntsman has no name recognition, in fact the number floating around is 87%. 87% of Republicans don’t even know who he is and when I mentioned he was the Ambassador of China, that was in this administration. Yes, he is running to replace the President that was nice enough to send him on a vacation to the far east.

That line on the resume isn’t going to help him in a primary that has zero tolerance for moderation, let alone a working relationship with President Obama.

That’s unfortunate, the guy looks like a President and his wife grew up here. Still, there is just too much lefty baggage and he waited too long to jump in.

Hey, if you want learn about him, maybe you can drop by his HQ, on your way to happy hour on Church St.

Jon Huntsman, a long shot for the GOP nomination for President will have his HQ in Orlando

Bono visits Marco Rubio..yeah that Bono

In Uncategorized on June 22, 2011 at 1:04 am

Well, imagine you’re in your office going over legislation and thinking about your stellar future in politics when….

Oh, it happens to be U2 frontman and Nobel Prize Winner Bono..

This photo from of the St.Pete Times.

Bono was gathering support for one of his many humanitarian initiatives and visiting the Senator from Florida was one of his stops.

Marco Rubio and U2 lead singer Bono .... As if he needs an intro

Linda Grund to run for Orlando Mayor

In Uncategorized on June 21, 2011 at 10:21 pm

The Orlando Sentinel reported on Monday, that there is a third candidate jumping in the race to retire Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.

Linda Grund a non-profit consultant, pushed out this release on her Facebook page. Here are some of the highlights

“I think it’s time for Orlando to have a fresh approach in it’s leadership,” said Grund. “One that gives the citizens a voice. My goal is to be that voice.”

Grund’s vision for Orlando is to nurture a city full of promise, peace, and purpose. Promise: building an environment that supports growth for businesses and citizens. Peace: keeping the streets we live and work in safe and clean. Purpose: managing how our tax dollars and resources are spent to efficiently and effectively best serve our community.

“I want to channel my passion for public service into addressing issues important to all the citizens in the city,” Grund stated.
She joins City Commissioner Phil Diamond, in the uphill climb to replace Mayor Dyer who’s, going to bring a hefty fund raising war chest to the race.

You’ve probably read how much Dyer gets on my nerves over the last few months, whether he’s mis-calculating the budget for the new performing arts center, taking his buddies to the luxury boxes at the Amway, or criss-crossing the globe on vacation.

The Mayor can’t even fix the Lake Eola fountain, or keep the Christmas Tree up.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs doesn’t even trust him, and I can’t say I do either.

This blog will keep you posted as this race progresses.

Linda Grund joins Phil Diamond, in the Orlando Mayor race against Buddy Dyer

Charlie Crist’s first pitch among MLB’s most “memorable”

In Uncategorized on June 20, 2011 at 10:00 pm

The headline says it all.

Major League Baseball released their most “memorable” reel of first pitches and your boy, former Florida Governor Charlie Crist made the cut with his tragic, opening hurl at a Tampa Bay Rays game. This pitch has been featured on this blog almost a dozen times, it’s the “go to joke” for a quick laugh and it’s great that our former Governor has made so many people happy.

Crist’s pitch is at :59. Perhaps, it should have been six funny things for a Monday.

Five Funny Things for a Monday- It’s really hot out! – Edition

In Uncategorized on June 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Happy Monday! If such a thing exists.

I hope you guys had a great weekend. It’s time for Five Funny Things for a Monday and it’s boiling outside! It feels like someone is waving a hair dryer in your face when you step outside.

Without further delay, let’s do Five Funny Things:

1. Obama and Boehner hit the golf course: You guys know how much I dig stories like this one…. Over the weekend President Barack Obama and, Speaker John Boehner took on VP Joe Biden and Ohio Governor John Kasich in 18 holes of golf at Andrews Air Base.

Now, some pundits believe that the two took the time on the links, to talk about the difficult issues facing the country and to present a united front to the public, one that inspires hope that the two leaders of each party can overcome partisan gridlock and get the country moving again.

Then there are others who believe it was all warm and fuzzy PR, and a chance for two men that really don’t hate each other that much to spend an afternoon on the course and watch the U.S Open in the clubhouse.

Let’s go with the second group. Get me Michelle Bachmann and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz on the Amazing Race and then we’ll talk about real bi-partisan progress.

The President and Speaker were victorious in their golf match. The next stop? The WWE Tag Team Titles.

2. Anthony Weiner on Entourage: It’s true, various sources have reported over the last few days that one of the execs on the HBO show has offered the lewd tweeting congressman, a role on the hit show.

You’ve got to be kidding me right?!

This clown sends obscene pictures of his junk to young girls, behind his pregnant wife’s back and he get’s a walk-on role on what is arguably, the coolest show on television!?

What’s next Charlie Rangel on Boardwalk Empire? Oh, that’s right, he was still in office back then.

Room for Anthony Weiner?

3. Jon Stewart on Fox News Sunday: If you missed Jon Stewart taking on Chris Wallace on FOX news Sunday, then you missed out on the best interview of the month and possibly the year, so far. You’re also lucky because the whole thing is on this HUFFPO post. We all know Jon Stewart but, for those of you that don’t know Chris Wallace, he is a formidable interviewer who seldom falls back on anything but facts and leveled logic and this segment was absolutely remarkable.

“Being a comedian is harder than what you do” and “You’re insane” were two shots sent Wallace’s way by Stewart.

4. Canucks Lose, Vancouver Riots: Ah, Vancouver..Congratulations, a blog on the other side of the continent is writing about your behavior last week. In an o-mage, to Los Angeles after a championship win. The lovely Host city of the Winter Olympics, went completely nuts last week, after their NHL Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins.

Vancouver mind you….and it was bad.

One photo that made it out of the riots was absolutely brilliant and so far, is being accepted as real. A humble opinion from a hobby photographer? It’s iconic.

If it's real, it's a masterpiece

5. This went viral?: Finally, the five spot is reserved for something ridiculous and this fits the description.

Debbie is it? You’re either a gifted actress or completely out of your mind. Either way…give me a call.

Have a great week guys!