Frank Torres, Orlando Freelance Reporter

Archive for May, 2012|Monthly archive page

CF News 13: Get ready for political presence along I-4 this election

In Uncategorized on May 31, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Here’s some of commentary from CF News 13.


By Scott McDonnell, Reporter


Our own backyard may be the deciding factor on who will be the next President of the United States.

It’s no secret that the I-4 corridor puts the swing in the “swing state” that Floridians live in.

But the way the presidential election is shaping up, our area is becoming more and more pivotal in the race for the White House.

“The I-4 corridor has the possibility of determining the entire presidential election. Right here where we are standing in the middle of the biggest battle ground in the country,” said News 13 Political Analyst Frank Torres.

Florida is already a swing state, North Florida traditionally votes republican, south Florida votes democrat.

However, folks in the i-4 corridor lean both ways, leaving valuable votes up for grabs.

“So that I-4 corridor encased in the biggest battleground swing state in the county makes us so important. That’s why you have candidates making these massive ad buys in the middle of May months before the election,” said Torres.

Along with advertising there will be plenty of visits, and not just from President Obama or Mitt Romney. Torres says expect a rotation of influence.

‘You’ll see President Barack Obama one week, the next week it will be Joe Biden, the week after that it could be Michelle Obama, the week after that it could be Jill Biden,” Torres said.

President Obama wants to have a constant presence in Florida all the way to election day, and the same goes for the Republican ticket.

“‘And get used to seeing some Mitt Romney surrogates. You know your Marco Rubio, your Pam Bondi, other people who have sided with Mitt Romney on that side of the campaign, expect them to be out there campaigning for them too,” said Torres.

The Florida race will be a close one, right now the latest Quinnipiac poll has Mitt Romney ahead in Florida by seven points.

Expect those numbers to fluctuate back and forth along the road to the presidency.

Thursday Morning Political Headlines: Enter Ryan Williams, Stewart Declares for Florida House

In Uncategorized on May 31, 2012 at 11:39 am

Heavy Video Content this morning.

State Attorney candidate Ryan Williams made a strong play in the State Attorney Race, holding a press conference that blamed the Cady Way Murders of two young men on his opponent and former boss Lawson Lamar. He says it was Lamar’s poor management of the office that let the killer go free. I spoke to a Williams spokesperson yesterday evening and the campaign didn’t back down. They are blaming his management of the office in the death of these two High School Students.

Linda Stewart officially entered the State House race yesterday. The former Orange County Commissioner and Mayoral Candidate will step in and try to win Scott Randolph’s seat (with his endorsement).

These two stories and President Obama’s phone call to Mitt Romney lead your Thursday Morning Political Headlines.

WESH 2: (Video) Lamar at center of criticism by challengers

Orlando Sentinel: (VIDEO) Candidate Ryan Williams: Lawson Lamar’s office bungled Jesse Davis’ cases

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: (Double Play) Candidate in state attorney race blames Lamar for Cady Way killings

Linda Stewart announces run for State House seat

WKMG Local 6: Former Orange County commissioner running for Florida House

CF News 13: (AP) Romney savors GOP nomination victory

WOFL FOX 35: (AP) Obama calls Romney, congratulates him on GOP nod

Linda Stewart officially kicked off her State House Race yesterday

Adams vs. Mica: The Two Elephants in the room.

In Uncategorized on May 30, 2012 at 1:35 pm

The fight for the 7th has provided high drama early this election year. Redistricting has forced two popular incumbents to run against each other in a primary that has garnered national attention and put Central Florida Republicans in the tough position of having to choose between them.

There is longtime incumbent John Mica who’s chairman of the Transportation committee and Tea Party favorite freshman Sandy Adams who has never missed a vote and sports solid conservative credentials. These two along with Daniel Webster would be an impressive congressional delegation but election year politics has all but splintered that alliance.

Instead, what we have are both House Representatives doing laps at events trying to pull from the same pool of primary voters, getting their “flicks” in front of the camera lens, all while not directly addressing each other.

Attendees at these events are politically savvy, they know what’s going on and they recognize the two elephants in the room (See what I did there?).

There seen at events, seated at opposite sides of whatever the venue might be at that time. Mica flanked by longtime aides or family, Adams with supporters or Tea Party notables and when the ceremony or meeting adjourns the starting whistle is blow and the two lawmakers are off in a race to get the undecideds in the room on their side.

Adams hasn’t been shy about taking the fight to the entrenched Winter Park representative. She enjoys support from local bloggers and regularly pushes out their posts through her social media channels. Mica tailored his message around his accomplishments and prefers to avoid addressing the primary altogether. The only time he’s raised his voice was during a recent “franking” controversy with Adam’s office with taxpayer funded mail.

Mica has the fundraising advantage and top flight consultants but Adams won a competitive primary in 2010 with less than she has now. The primary is approaching and it’s unclear what the turning point in this race will be. Could it be a battle on the ground with volunteers? Through the mail? or some other offensive one of these campaigns will go on before the voters head to the polls?

UPDATE: The Mica Campaign released a poll this morning that has the Transportation Chairman up by %30 and cites the %14 increase from Adams’s poll taken in February to the negative tone of her campaign.

The Mica-Adams race has gotten as uncomfortable as anticipated

Wednesday Morning Political Headlines: Williams throws at Lamar, Shenanigans at OC Supevisor of Elections?

In Uncategorized on May 30, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Strong content this morning let’s not waste anytime.

State Attorney candidate Ryan Williams threw tremendous criticism towards his boss, longtime incumbent S.A Lawson Lamar. Williams says the Cady Way Murders could have been prevented and the heavy workload in the State Attorney’s office might have allowed the killer to walk free. Williams debated well last time but lacks name ID in the current high profile field that includes Casey Anthony Prosecutor Jeff Ashton and Defense Attorney Joegr Jager. We’ve got video content available on that.

What is going on at the Orange County Supervisor of elections? Another report reveals that mailers are still going out that identify Lui Damiani as the current district 3 commissioner. Damiani was the former commissioner before being replaced after John Martinez was appointed by Governor Rick Scott. Damiani is running for that seat and benefits greatly from the error. There is also a video report on that.

All of this and Romney hits 1144 are in your Wednesday morning political headlines.

WESH 2: (VIDEO) Candidates Level More Criticism At Lamar

CF News 13: Romney clinches nomination, but Trump overshadows

WKMG Local 6: (CNN) Romney hits ‘magic number’ for GOP nomination

Orlando Sentinel: Randolph will not run for re-election, endorses Stewart

WOFL Fox 35: (AFP) Sen. Rubio visits Guantanamo

The Supervisor of Electons might have given Damiani a big assist

Scott Randolph passes on re-election for State House

In Uncategorized on May 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm

The environment in Tallahassee will be much more peaceful next year. Scott Randolph will not be seeking re-election to the Florida House. He made the announcement this morning.

There will be no pink buttons with “Uterus” on the house floor next year. The office supplies of his Democratic colleagues will be safe. No more one man, Shakespearean rants on the Florida Channel with a hostage audience of lawmakers, texting dinner plans back and forth. Nope, Randolph is passing.

Wait, I need a moment.

Okay, let’s continue.

Randolph will instead seek the position of Florida Democratic Party Chair, which is a find endeavor for him, it could bring some energy back to a tired organization that isn’t so much charging into the election year, it’s more of a brisk walk. But, Randolph does tend to go too far sometimes with his rhetoric and that could become a liability. He will also work with other activists to take back the Governors mansion in 2014, with Rick Scott’s low approval numbers that is going to be a very competitive race. Still, outside of the capitol you’re just another protester in the crowd and his reach will be limited.

As far as the other Democrats in the state house, they might as well skip next session altogether. They just lost their enforcer, their legislative goon, their “look at me!” guy that kept Floridians from forgetting the party has a presence there to begin with. This is a huge loss for them.

Randolph will instead endorse former Orange County Commissioner Linda Stewart, who is a thoughtful lawmaker that will be a fine ambassador for the Democrats in the general election and could win with the President Obama on the ballot and high name recognition in the district.

But, she ain’t going to throw your pen in the garbage and threaten your political career.

I’m sure we’ll hear from Randolph again very soon but, it won’t be from an elected post and that will change the landscape of the political conversation in Central Florida.

Randolph will not seek re-election and will try to become the next chairman of the Florida Democratic Party

Tuesday Morning Political Headlines: Romney walking to Primary Finish

In Uncategorized on May 29, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Good Morning, here is hoping that Beryl didn’t wreck too many of your plans and that you had a peaceful moment to reflect on Memorial Day.

Mitt Romney is expected to finish this marathon of a primary this evening in Texas, after 20 Debates, 7 frontrunners, and countless attack ads. Piece of cake.

This and an interesting article about Citrus Bowl renovations and comparisons with the Rose Bowl in Cali, lead off your political headlines.

Orlando Sentinel: Stalled Renovations: Part 2 of a 2-part series: Rose Bowl courts donors for renovations

CF News 13: (AP)Romney ready to claim GOP nomination after Texas

WFTV 9 Eyewitness: Obama Reply on Education

WOFL Fox 35: US Rep. Frank apologizes for hooded robe remark

WKMG Local 6: (CNN) Bain mindset could work in DC, Issa Says

WESH 2: (CNN) Romney Likely To Hit ‘Magic Number’ On Tuesday

Romney could hit the magic number tonight.

Memorial Day 2012: Orange County Memorial Day Service

In Uncategorized on May 28, 2012 at 3:43 pm

This morning in front of the Orange County Courthouse, veterans, lawmakers, and residents of the area came together to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice defending our freedom.

The County always does a wonderful job with ceremonies like these and this year was no different. Here are some photos from the event and please take a moment to remember those we’ve lost.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs

Congresswoman Sandy Adams, Mayor Jacobs, and Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demmings honor the families

Congressman John Mica was also on hand to remember those we’ve lost

Jacobs with the family after the names were revealed on the memorial

Honoring those we’ve lost.

Monday Morning Political Headlines: Wishing a peaceful Memorial Day

In Uncategorized on May 28, 2012 at 1:16 pm

This blog wishes you a peaceful Memorial Day and please take a moment to remember and try to get out to the many local events our community will be holding.

Here are you Monday Morning Political Headlines:

CF News 13: Memorial Day weekend events around Central Florida

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: (VIDEO) Beaches packed for Memorial Day weekend; Officials prepare for tropical storm

Orlando Sentinel: Memorial Day events in the Orlando area

WOFL Fox 35: Rainy Memorial Day forecast for southeast coast

WKMG Local 6: Memorial Day: A history in pictures

WESH 2: (CNN) President, GOP Recognize Memorial Day In Weekly Addresses

Wishing you a Peaceful Memorial Day

Sunday Morning Political Headlines: Pam Bondi ties the knot.

In Uncategorized on May 27, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Sigh….Gentlemen, this weekend Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi married her longtime fiance in the Cayman Islands. Those in attendance include Florida Governor Rick Scott.

The camera ready AG and Fox News analyst has had a busy year. She had time in the national spotlight while moderating a national Presidential debate before ultimately endorsing Mitt Romney and introducing him throughout the state.

I’ve made it no secret that Bondi was my “political crush” now that the most eligible Bachlorette in the state has made it official, it’s time to move on. Congratulations to AG Bondi and her husband.

This story leads off your political headlines in Orlando.

WKMG Local 6: (VIDEO) Flashpoint- ‘Media gang’ introduced on ‘Flashpoint’

CF News 13: Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Political Connections.

Orlando Sentinel: Scott Maxwell- FCAT failures show test-obsessed teaching falls short

WOFL Fox 35: Seminole replaces lightning systems

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: (AP)Search for Romney running mate in audition phase

WESH 2: (CNN) Biden Touts Obama’s Foreign Policy In West Point Address

Congratulations to AG Bondi!

Weldon for Senate: Because he’s got little to lose?

In Uncategorized on May 26, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Hardly the ideal catchphrase for a new Florida Senate campaign but, after one week of being in the race, it’s the first take away we have from former Brevard Congressman Dave Weldon first major media hit.

In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel Weldon acknowledges that the odds against him are big and then comes the stinger.

“You can’t win if you don’t throw your hat in the ring. And I have very little to lose. If I do lose, I can go back to my practice,”

Then why? Why even lace up the gloves if you’re walking into the contest with that philosophy.

Connie Mack IV is the current frontrunner and that should remain the same. The latest Q-Poll numbers have him lapping former Senator George Lemieux in the GOP primary and neck and neck with current longtime Senator Bill Nelson. Lemieux has thrown every kind of attack imaginable at Mack IV and nothing sticks. Weldon entering the race could be the end for the candidate that hasn’t been able to shake the specter of former Governor Charlie Crist.

Weldon will have to get his campaign up and moving five minutes ago if he has any intentions of being competitive and if he does it means that Mack IV has to spend more to get through this primary that at this point is his to lose.

Still, Weldon is going to give it a shot. “I have very little to lose” is the attitude you want to have when asking out the popular girl in a college English Lit class, not when running for United States Senate.

Weldon’s first outing in the media since declaring his candidacy lacked the fire in the belly