Frank Torres, Orlando Freelance Reporter

Archive for September, 2012|Monthly archive page

Sunday Morning Political Headlines: Grayson, Castro on local TV

In Uncategorized on September 30, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Good Morning,

Lots of good local TV today.

We’ve got an Alan Grayson video linked below. Grayson is in a political slugfest with Todd Long for the 9th Congressional District seat out towards Osecola County.

There is Julian Castro who gave the key note speech at the DNC last month in Charlotte. His star is on the rise and he’s doing his part in Obama’s re-election efforts.

Have a great Sunday. See you tomorrow!

WKMG Local 6: (Video) Alan Grayson joins Lauren Rowe on ‘Flashpoint’

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: (Video) Earned Sick Time – Central Florida Spotlight

WESH 2: (CNN) Ann Romney to rally while Obama preps for debate

WOFL FOX 35: (AP) Vice President Biden speaks to 2,000 in Fort Myers

Orlando Sentinel: Where state House candidates in key Central Florida races stand on high-profile issues

CF News 13: Julian Castro and Reince Priebus on Political Connections 130 and 730pm on News 13

Saturday Morning Political Headlines: Horner’s replacement, and more text trouble

In Uncategorized on September 29, 2012 at 2:50 pm

A very active Saturday.

We’ve got a story on the search for Mike Horner’s replacement. Last week Horner was named in a criminal investigation and chose to drop out of his re-election campaign. Now, the local GOP has to find a replacement candidate to take on Eileen Game, who has gone from an longshot to a favorite in the race for that state house seat.

We’ve also got more drama with text messages and the Orange County Commission. Those stories lead your Saturday morning political headlines.

WESH 2: (Video) Texts show exchange between mayor, attorney during sick pay vote

Orlando Sentinel: Sentinel Exclusive: Jacobs’ texts show coordinated campaign with foes of sick time

WKMG Local 6: Republicans to vote on Rep. Mike Horner’s replacement

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: (AP) Obama calls on Congress to approve refinance plan

WOFL FOX 35: (AP) Will Ohio’s economic uptick be a boon for Obama?

CF News 13: Voter Helpline open to answer your Election Day questions

Text messages exchanged during the paid sick time battle have become an issue in the last week

Friday Morning Political Headlines: GOTV efforts exceeding 2008 levels

In Uncategorized on September 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm

TGIF. This has been a rough week!

To make things worse our headlines feature a lot of syndicated content. The political world awaits the first Presidential debate between President Barack Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney. It’s going to be up to Romney to perform strong and get the naysayers off of his back.

On the local level, GOTV efforts are running at full speed as campaigns tout their phone call and precinct walk numbers. The GOP is declaring that they’ve already past the number of doors knocked by the McCain campaign in 2008 and Orange County has some of the strongest GOTV efforts by both parties in the state.

Here are your Friday morning political headlines.

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: (Video) Presidential candidates airing new TV ads targeting Fla. voters

WKMG Local 6: (CNN) Obama, Romney pitch to veterans in Virginia

WESH 2: (CNN) Clinton to campaign with Obama

WOFL FOX 35: Obama using voter registration to stay close in NC

Orlando Sentinel: Texts show lawyer advised Jacobs on sick time

CF News 13: What does your beer say about your politics?

“Wake me up when September ends” Why Mitt Romney is losing Florida

In Uncategorized on September 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm

September hasn’t been kind to the Romney campaign.

There were the ill received remarks on Libya, that had some thinking that he pounced to soon on the poor security conditions overseas. There was the dreaded 47% tape of Romney addressing donors, at a fundraiser just down the road in southern Florida. Then there is the enthusiasm gap in the conservative media. Columnist like Peggy Noonan from the Wall Street Journal and Laura Ingram on national radio voicing concerns over the direction of the campaign.

He’s getting his tail handed to him in political battlefields like Ohio and Michigan (where he was born). In states where he was only a few points back in previous months, President Obama has opened up a significant lead heading into the debates next month.

Worst of all, Romney’s grip is slipping here in Florida. No one has seen him in Orlando in a long while.

Why is Mitt losing Florida? A state where unemployment is higher than the national average. A state that has a healthy Tea Party, in pockets throughout the state. The Sunshine State, where the space shuttle program is gone and gas prices are high.

Here is why.

The President woke up his base: Everyone is paying attention now. Weekly visits from the presidential rotation that includes POTUS, FLOTUS, Biden, and even Bill Clinton have most of the President’s 2008 supporters awake and refreshed. The celebrities are off the bench with Eva Longoria, Kerry Washington, and even NBA Coach Doc Rivers getting on the stump for the Obama campaign. Wait until the robo-calls start if they haven’t already.

They don’t trust him: One of the demons Romney has been fighting since he was debating last year in the primary was the issue of trust. That 47% tape confirmed the suspicions of skeptical swing voters.

“He doesn’t know us”

Then there are the Hispanic voters that haven’t had a strong GOP message delivered to them. If the Romney campaign can’t package a strong message in English, what the heck makes them believe they can do it in Spanish?

He’s not using Ryan, and Ryan does Romney better than Romney anyways
: Take a look

In all fairness Paul Ryan was in Orlando last week but, the Romney campaign hasn’t been using him the way they should. I understand they don’t want another “Palin” situation that allows the spotlight to veer away from Romney, but Ryan is a sharp guy, a midwestern communicator that can breakdown the economy in a digestible manner for everyday people. They need to use him more and they need to put him in some ads.

He’s hard to like: Yeah, I know about the “Who would you rather have a beer with?” non-sense but, Mitt Romney won the primary because voters believed he gave them the best opportunity to beat President Obama, not because he was necessarily the most popular.

Now we’ve found out that his “human” side hasn’t been hidden but, perhaps has never existed at all. It’s just not the way he’s wired.

This guy isn’t a big sports fan, doesn’t watch television, or drink beer. While, many don’t believe that’s a job requirement to lead the country (I’m one of them) it still matters to the Americans that want to know their leader can get fired up and passionate about the country. They want a President that they can not only follow but, love and if Romney can’t convince the voters that he cares about them, then they’re not going to care about him.

There was a reason Republicans begged Chris Christie and Jeb Bush to run, and why they clung on to Rick Santorum for so long. They had the ability to use their passion to inspire, and inspired supporters are the ones who will walk neighborhoods until their feet are sore, their skin is sunburned, and their bodies are dehydrated. Inspired supporters will take that energy and use it to convince the undecided, because they’ve got the emotion and they’ve got the conviction to sell the candidate’s vision.

I’m not sure Romney can do that.

Romney is losing in multiple swing states because he can’t inspire, articulate, or earn trust

Thursday Morning Political Headlines: Demings goes national and OC Commission text messages

In Uncategorized on September 27, 2012 at 1:14 pm

It’s Thursday. The weekend if flying towards us and, will be here in no time.

Next time you see former Orlando police chief and congressional candidate Val Demings, watch what you say. Demings was featured in the national women’s magazine Marie Claire where, she was quoted saying “I carry a 9mm gun in my Dooney & Bourke”.

It’s a fun placement that gives her Pro 2nd amendment cred in a district that leans Republican. She’s got a November showdown with Daniel Webster in what is expected to be a tight race.

Also, the charge against the Orange County Commission continues. Text messages sent between the commission and lobbyists during the hearings regarding sick time pay have brought the subject matter of those texts into question.

Those two stories lead your Thursday morning political headlines.

WESH 2: Demings: ‘I carry a 9mm gun in my Dooney & Bourke

WKMG Local 6: (CNN) Obama steps up Romney jabs in Ohio

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: Tea party hero changes tune to woo Ind. moderates

WOFL FOX 35: (AP) In 2-minute ad, Obama touts ‘economic patriotism’

Orlando Sentinel: Jacobs: I will recover deleted sick-time text records

CF News 13: Connie Mack IV on Brandon campaign stop: Disregard poll numbers

Demings was recently featured in the national magazine

Wednesday Morning Political Headlines: POTUS opens lead in Florida

In Uncategorized on September 26, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Good Morning.

Today we’ve got multiple polls that show President Barack Obama widening his lead in Florida over GOP nominee Mitt Romney. What was a 1% or 2% lead two weeks ago has extended to a 10 point advantage in some polls. That lead is being attributed to the 47 percent tape, the ill received comments on Libya and a failure to get his message to resonate with voters.

This story leads your Tuesday morning political headlines.

WESH 2: (Video) Commissioner, Disney lobbyist exchanged messages before sick pay vote

WKMG Local 6: (Video) Poll: Support for Obama increases in Fla.

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: Some question whether or not State Rep. Horner will resign his House seat

WOFL FOX 35: (AP) Romney, Obama descend on battleground Ohio

CF News 13: New poll shows Obama with big lead in Florida, swing states

Orlando Sentinel: Sentinel Exclusive: Orlando allows nightclub to open despite fire hazard

Romney needs to make up ground in the debates next week.

Florida Republicans must hold the line to preserve large majority in Tally

In Uncategorized on September 25, 2012 at 9:12 pm

No matter what happens with Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama in November, whatever happens in tough congressional races like Long vs. Grayson, or West vs. Murphy, whatever happens with Connie Mack vs. Bill Nelson…

Tallahassee will belong to the Republicans.

Yep, super majority baby. R’s can strut around knowing that their recruitment efforts are stellar and they got candidates for days (or would it be cycles?), to run in districts throughout the state. Oh, there will be the traditionally safe territories for Democrats. Like here in Orlando, where Bruce Antone is already planning for his return to the state capitol, or down south in some of the areas surrounding Miami, where other D’s can stay competitive. Democrats have difficulty finding candidates to compete for D.C seats let alone spots in the state legislature.

That trend could be in danger.

Don’t get me wrong, it would take a massive political event to break the conservative majority in Tallahassee but, there are dents in the armor, dents become cracks, cracks become breaks.

There was the likely loss of State Rep. Mike Horner‘s seat. After his mention in a criminal investigation, Horner will withdraw from the race and whoever is picked to replace him, will have an uphill battle against Eileen Game. The voters will have to bubble in the circle with Horner’s name next to it.

There was no way for anyone to see that coming. Some of the following examples? They could have been prevented.

There is State House 48 where Victor Torres (no relation) walked right into office. No primary. No Republican to meet him in the general.

With the resources RPOF has at it’s disposal, that shouldn’t have happened. There are about a dozen other examples where Democrats have gotten elected with no partisan opposition. That shouldn’t happen in any district, with either party. Don’t think it’s worth the trouble to field a candidate? Ask Game. You never know what will happen.

There is the Chris Dorworth vs. Mike Clelland race. Dorworth has had more bad press than the Kardashian/Humphries wedding. The future speaker of the house has a tough race ahead and he had a primary which, for someone lined up for leadership is very unusual.

Redistricting has also caused some tough match-ups. Scott Plakon vs. Karen Castor Dentel becomes a must win for both parties, if anything, for morale reasons. There is the Marco Pena vs. Joe Saunders “Battle for UCF” race, and the Bob Brooks vs. Linda Stewart contest. Both will be competitive.

It’s not just the house races. In the Florida Senate, Dorothy Hukill vs Frank Bruno has everyone writing checks. Major party players and former lawmakers joining the fight.

All of the candidates have to walk through a hurricane of Rick Scott comparisons. The unpopular Governor has been invisible so far in election season, and should stay that way.

The good news? Republicans could lose all of those seats and keep a strong majority.

The bad news? If they’re asleep. They might.

They shouldn’t take the chance. All Florida Republicans need to walk that extra neighborhood, spend an extra hour on the phones, write one more $25 dollar check.

2012 might dent the Republican armor in Tallahassee, it’s going to be up to them to dictate how big that dent will be.

Republicans need to protect their strong numbers in the state legislature

Tuesday Morning Political Headlines: Horner drops bid for Re-election after legal trouble

In Uncategorized on September 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Good Morning.

State Representative Mike Horner from Kissimmee will drop his re-election bid, after he was named on an arrest investigation that could include ties to prostitution and racketeering.

His opponent Eileen Game, a little known Democrat from the area, has all of the sudden become the favorite, in a race that 24hrs ago, was considered out of reach. Look for the state party to throw some money her way to pick up that seat.

The county party can elect Horner’s replacement but with ballots already printed, voters have to check his name for the vote to cout

Horner had a generally favorable reputation and was liked by his fellow Representatives. The lone strike in his favor yesterday was when he led the charge to have Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs removed from the Expressway Authority Board.

This story leads your Tuesday morning political headlines.

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: (Video) State Rep. Mike Horner named in RICO investigation; won’t seek re-election

WESH 2: (Video) Republicans must find candidate to replace Horner

WKMG Local 6: (Video) Lawmaker drops out after name linked to arrest

CF News 13: State Rep. Mike Horner drops out after name linked to prostitution arrest

WOFL FOX 35: (Video) State Representative possibly linked to prostitution ring

Orlando Sentinel: State Rep. Mike Horner ends campaign after being named in racketeering, prostitution case

Horner’s opponent Eileen Game was a heavy underdog before yesterday developments

Ad Assault: Plakon vs. Castor Dentel for Florida State House 30

In Uncategorized on September 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Today’s Ad Assault post features a Florida State House race for a seat that both parties want really bad. It’s the district 30 contest between State Representative Scott Plakon and school teacher Karen Castor Dentel (Daughter to Betty, Sister to House Rep. Kathy Castor). Both candidates have the solid campaign funding to hit the television, so let’s checkout the ads.

First Plakon’s ad which concentrates on job creation:

Now Castor-Dentel’s ad which focuses on education:

The fascinating thing about this straight up “Red vs. Blue” matchup are the giants lining up behind both candidates. This is a “big money” race for a seat, that after redistricting is a toss up. If you’re a supporter, you might want to consider spending some volunteer time for the candidates. If you’re a voter try and get to talk to each of the candidates. It’s the biggest state level race in the area.

Monday Morning Political Headlines: Doc Rivers campaigns for Obama

In Uncategorized on September 24, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Slow Monday, but that’s nothing new.

What I do have is former Orlando and Current Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers taking the stump for President Barack Obama. This is hardly new. The President is known for dropping into fundraisers in the Orlando area that frequently feature a host of committee of current and former NBA players. Expect more of these events as November approaches

This story leads a very slowww Monday morning political headlines post.

CF News 13: Boston Celtics coach helps Obama campaigners register voters

Orlando Sentinel: Florida’s U.S. Senate race about to heat up

WOFL FOX 35: (AP) Vote early: Skip the lines, maybe the debates, too

WESH 2: CNN Obama ad slams Romney for “47%” comments

WKMG Local 6: Romney says Obama ‘trying to fool people’

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: League of Women Voters of Florida launches new voter support hotline

NBA All-Star and Daytona Beach Native Vince Carter frequently helps the President with fundraising