Frank Torres, Orlando Freelance Reporter

Archive for 2013|Yearly archive page

Tuesday Morning Political Headlines: Explosions at Boston Marathon Finish Line

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Yesterday, the country was shocked by the tragic explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. 3 were killed and approximately 100 were seriously injured. President Obama promised that those responsible would be held accountable and feel the full weight of justice.

More facts will come forward today, as investigators from national and Massachusetts state and local agencies continue to bring the facts together and provide answers to the country.

Despite the tragedy, the Bi-partisan “Gang of 8” will release its immigration proposal today, with a presser delayed until tomorrow due to the tragic events.

Here are your Tuesday morning political headlines:

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: (VIDEO) Obama Vows to Hold Those Behind Boston Explosions Accountable

CF News 13: (AP) Rubio says immigration law not ‘amnesty’

WKMG Local 6: (AP) Florida House shoots down healthcare plan

WESH 2: (CNN) Bipartisan group of senators to file immigration reform on Tuesday

WOFL FOX 35: Gun background check deal in jeopardy in Senate

Orlando Sentinel: Beth Kassab- Much ado about parent trigger

prayforbostonII

Local Lawmakers react to Boston Marathon Explosions

In Uncategorized on April 15, 2013 at 10:53 pm

Earlier this afternoon, there were two explosions at the conclusion of the Boston Marathon. These explosions left 3 dead and dozens more injured.

The specifics and origins of the blasts are still being investigated. President Barack Obama addressed the nation a few moments ago saying “those responsible will feel the full weight of justice” and assured Americans that the Boston and Massachusetts officials will have the full resources from the government at their disposal.

Here are some of our own elected officials here in Florida reacting to the news.

Florida Governor Rick Scott sent out this tweet:

Boston marathon rick scott

Florida Senator Marco Rubio on Facebook:

Boston Marathon Marco Rubio

Congressman John Mica FL-7 on Facebook:

Boston Marathon John Mica

Congressman Ron Desantis FL-6 on Twitter:

Boston Marathon Ron Desantis

Congresswoman Corrine Brown Fl-5 on Twitter:

boston marathon corrine brown

Congressman Daniel Webster Fl-10 on Twitter:

Boston Marathon Dan Webster

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer on Facebook:

Boston Marathon Buddy Dyer

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs on Facebook:

Boston Marathon Teresa Jacobs

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam:

boston marathon Adam Putnam

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings also advised the public to call if anything suspicious surfaces, during his press conference held earlier in the afternoon.

Boston you are in our prayers

Rubio pushes Immigration deal on every Sunday Morning Talker, Scott signs Internet Cafe Ban, Orange Commission greenlights Universal Bridge – WIR

In Uncategorized on April 14, 2013 at 11:04 pm

It’s your Week in Review and the big news was Florida Senator Marco Rubio‘s media blitz this morning on all of the Sunday talk Shows. He was on Meet the Press, Face the Nation, This Week, State of the Union, Fox News Sunday, and Al Punto.

His main message was aimed at fellow Conservatives. That message? This is not amenesty and will be the toughest immigration laws we’ve seen.

He also talked gun control and plans for 2016. An effective slew of appearances for Rubio, who many believe is the future of the party.

We’ve also got Rick Scott and Tim Tebow and the Orange County Commission gives Universal Studios their pedestrian bridge.

This is your Week in Review

Video Transcript:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres. This is your Week in Review. Now normally, we start from the beginning of the week and move forward to Sunday but this week we’re doing it in reverse. That is because the big new took place this morning. I’m talking about Florida Senator Marco Rubio making his big immigration media blitz, hitting every Sunday morning talker discussing the agreement on sweeping immigration reform from the bi-partisan “Gang of Eight”. Rubio appeared on Meet the Press, Face the Nation, This Week, State of the Union,…Am I missing any? Fox News Sunday and Al Punto on Univision. Rubio’s big message was that this was not amnesty. This talking point was to try to calm some of the more Conservative opinion leaders that any path to citizenship that did not require the undocument or illegal immigrant to return to his country was amnesty.

Immigration wasn’t the only issue Rubio discussed. He was asked several times about Gun Control and the push behind the legislature for mandatory background checks. This was complicated, several of the moderators stretched back to Rubio’s time in the Florida House when he supported background checks. Rubio had to differentiate the two circumstances before moving on. He stressed that Violence was the problem, not the procedure so many Americans go through to purchase firearms.

He was also asked several times about 2016. Rubio deflected by saying that he was in Washinton to solve problems and that’s where his head was. This was similar to what he did last year when he was getting the same kind of questions.

All in all a good round of appearances for the junior Senator from Florida. Not as strong as former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who did the same a few weeks back but, Rubio was talking about gun control and specific immigration points. Bush was promoting a book and the only obstacle he had was his changing mindsets on the path to citizenship.

One problem Rubio had was the lighting at his location. His people need to learn how to handle the lighting. It looked at times like Rubio was melting and was about 3 shades redder than he had to be. He literally was in the hot seat. For a second, I thought we were going to get a repeat of the State of the Union Republican response.

We move on to Florida Governor Rick Scott. Scott quietly signed the bill banning internet cafes this week. Those are illegal, although some are being defiant and staying open until being asked to close. This could have been a bright photo op for the Governor. He could has sent a message by saying he wasn’t going to tolerate companies like this one stealing millions from veterans. He could have had the department of law enforcement, maybe AG Pam Bondi, but instead he chose to sign the bill without any cameras present. This could be because of the connections of former Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeniffer Carroll had with one of the companies that forced her to resign.

Also earlier this week. The Orange County Commission approved the Universal Studios pedestrian bridge that would link the park to one of it’s resorts. This bridge will be payed for entirely with tax payer dollars. The “Yes” votes were Scott Boyd, Fred Brummer, Tiffany Moore-Russell, and Jennifer Thompson. All of those commissioners except Thompson are termed out. The “No’s” were Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Ted Edwards, and Pete Clarke. Those commissioners questioned why they couldn’t split the tab of 9 million dollars with the park that will seen increased profits. Advocates for the bridge will argue that, the more successful the park is, the stronger the profits will be for the surrounding smaller businesses.

Finally, we return to Governor Scott. Scott appeared with Tim Tebow this weekend. It benefits Scott greatly to stand next to a guy like Tebow. As popular as Tebow is, that’s how unpopular Rick Scott is. It certainly doesn’t hurt. Right now Scott at odds with the legislature, this delay additional dents his reputation might have to endure.

That’s your Week in Review, I’ll see you next time.

Rubio hits all the Sunday Talkers, Geraldine Thompson slammed for siding with GOP on Anti-Shariah Law vote

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2013 at 3:03 pm

If you’re a fan of Senator Marco Rubio (and if you’re Republican in Florida, you probably are) then you’re going to go into GOP/Rap dialogue overload.

Rubio will hit Meet the Press, Face the Nation, This Week, Fox News Sunday, State of the Union, Al Punto on Univision, and the program on Telemundo, to talk of a possible deal in Immigration with the Bi-partisan gang of 8 next week.

Earlier this week, Rubio had dinner at the White House with President Obama, and other GOP Senators, while it was a mostly cordial affair with very little negotiating involved, it could be a sign of progress in one of the biggest issues of the year.

You can expect a lot of what you’ve already heard from Rubio tomorrow with a slightly more optimistic tone concerning a sweeping plan for reform involving one of the biggest issues of the year.

You can also expect Rubio to be fielding questions about his Presidential aspirations for 2016 on every program. The big topic last Sunday was Hilary Clinton slowly wading into campaigning for a possible run.

Earlier this week, in a story that broke just after I taped the FPFT, it was discovered that State Senator Geraldine Thompson might have been involved in some shady deal making in Tallahassee. Thompson voted “Yes” for a law that prevents international law, like Shariah law from invading the state’s court system.

The bill was sponsored by fellow State Senator Alan Hays. Hays made some nasty comments about Hispanic voters a while back, that got him in trouble with everyone including his fellow Republicans. This legislation is continuing that bizarre behavior against international interests.

In committee, Thompson was the tie-breaker and kept the bill alive. It was discovered a short time later that a $150,000 earmark was inserted into the budget for her district. You can read details in the Orlando Sentinel blog post.

The whole political scenario feels like a set-up but there is one “out” for Thompson.

This isn’t the first time she’s voted against a bill like this one.

On the campaign trail and during an interview with the Sentinel Op-Ed board, Thompson mentioned that she filed legislation to prevent mutilation of young women, like the brutal behavior you see in certain regions of Africa. It’s even on her website.

So, there is history between her and this kind of legislation and she should have brought that up.

Still, very odd behavior from a Senator who is normally one of the more sensible lawmakers in the area.

Rubio will be on every Sunday political talk show tomorrow

Rubio will be on every Sunday political talk show tomorrow

Bobby Olszewski exploring run in State House 44, Clelland rebels against Dems in Budget Fight

In Uncategorized on April 11, 2013 at 12:00 am

A lot of headlines today that could affect big elections in 2014. Let’s get started.

The Orlando Sentinel reported today that Winter Garden Commissioner Bobby Olszewski is exploring a run in Florida State House 44. This could set up a potential match-up between “Bobby O” and another popular Republican in the region, former State Representative Eric Eisnaugle. This showdown is making many within the party nervous. I’ll explain why that tension might be premature.

Seminole County Democrat Mike Clelland serving in a very Republican district 29 for “Yes” on a budget against the wishes of fellow how Democrats. Clelland sided with Republicans mentioning he will not be held hostage by insisting on the medi-caid expansion to accommodate the President’s Healthcare plan on a budget that contains increases on education and many other public services.

We’ve also got a cameo by Congressman Alan Grayson who is, like his In-State Counterpart is going against his party by protesting the Presidents changes to Social Security COLA proposed in his new budget.

All of this in your Daily Wrap Up for Wednesday, April 10th 2013.

Video Transcript:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres. This is your Daily Wrap-up for Wednesday April 10th 2013. The big news coming from the Orlando Sentinel Blog reporting that Eric Eisnaugle might be facing primary opposition in Florida State House 44 to replace termed out Stephen Precourt. Now, he already has one opponent but there was buzz a couple of weeks back about someone else potentially jumping in the race that someone turns out to be Winter Garden Commissioner Bobby Olszewski. This piece was published today, Olszewski says he’s exploring his options but there is a lot of nervousness in that political environment over those two potentially squaring off, a lot of side taking, a lot of opinions being thrown out there. Believe me. This is an elections videocast, an elections blog, no one loves hype more than me and my readership enjoys it but I think in this case it’s a little premature, to automatically assume these two are going after each other. Way too early to predict a showdown between those two to replace Stephen Precourt. Let’s wait to see how things turnout, you look at Olszewski’s sound byte he’s just taking a look at how he can serve his community the best. Both lawmakers have positive reputations, let’s wait to see how things go. Should Olszewski decide to run against Eisnaugle.. well the good people of District 44 will have a lot of talent in their Republican primary. By the way Eisnaugle already has one Republican opponent Ronney Olivera who ran last year and lost.

Moving on, State Representative Mike Clelland serving in the very Republican District 29 out there in Seminole County, rebelling against the Democratic Caucus in Tallahassee he has decided to vote “Yes” on the House Budget supported by many Republican in Tallahassee. Now, the Democrats are balking at this thing because it does not include the medicaid expansion required by the President’s healthcare plan or “Obamacare”. Clelland is voting for it, he says it includes a lot of the other conditions wanted by Democrats and he won’t be held hostage by this one issue. And if you look at the budget, it does. It’s a budget that sends money to educators, and many public services. I’ve got some sound footage from the Democratic leadership in Tally responding to a question about Clelland breaking ranks.

(Roll sound on Dem Leadership)

So there you have it. A tense answer by Democratic leadership in Tally about Clelland rebelling on the budget but, if you’re Clelland you got to look down the road, if he wants to be a State Representative for longer then two years then he must work across the aisle. He is in a very conservative district and has very tough upcoming opposition from former State Representative Scott Plakon so, he’s going to have to make these very tough decisions, in order to keep his constituents happy.

We’ve got another Democrat going against the grain. This one in Washington. I’m talking about Osceola Congressman Alan Grayson who, won his job back last November. Defying President Obama on the conditions of his new budget referring to alterations in the Cost of Living Adjustments in Social Security. The chained CPI is a no for him, and he’s shaking the boat with Democrats up there.

It’s been a very busy day with controversial day with these headlines, in a very busy week. For now I’m Frank Torres and I’ll see you next time!

Orange Commission greenlights Universal Bridge, Scott to signs cafe ban quietly, and Rubio and Gang of 8 to announce immigration deal soon

In Uncategorized on April 9, 2013 at 11:59 pm

Big day involving the Theme Parks and local politics. The Orange County Commission greenlit the tax dollars to build the Universal Pedestrian Bridge that would connect the resorts to it’s park. The vote went 4-3 in favor of the 9 million dollar project.

Today, it was announced that Florida Governor Rick Scott will not have any public signing of the internet cafe ban bill. This is due to the connections between an investigation that found one of the cafes allegedly funneling non-profit dollars into for profit companies which resulted in almost 60 arrests. Former Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll resigned because of ties her old PR firm had with the company.

Finally, it was also announced that the “Gang of 8” Senators would announce a deal on immigration next week. The bi-partisan panel including Florida Senator Marco Rubio have been working on a solution for one of the year’s biggest issues on the hill.

This is your daily wrap up

Transcript of Video:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres and this is your daily wrap for Tuesday, April 9th 2013. The big news today was the Orange County Commission approving the pedestrian bridge that would connect the Universal Studios park to the resort. 5 million dollars on the bridge 9 million dollars on the entire package. The vote passed 4 to 3, your “Yes” votes were Commissioner Thompson, Scott Boyd, Tiffany Moore-Russell, and Fred Brummer, those were the votes in favor of the Tax Payers picking up the tab for this bridge for the park. Your “no” votes were Mayor Teresa Jacobs and commissioners Ted Edwards and Pete Clarke. We’re always looking at elections here and the political equity involved and those 4 commissioners with the exception of Jennifer Thompson are termed out. Moore-Russell, Scott Boyd, and Fred Brummer are termed out. Very little to be gained from opposing Universal on this. Jennifer Thompson, we spoke about her new opponent yesterday in Sean Ashby. She’ll be on the ballot next year. Still, very little involved when you add up the reasons to oppose it. Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Ted Edwards and Pete Clarke questioned why the taxpayers should have to pick up the entire tab but, the vote passed and the vote will be passed entirely with taxpayer money. Wow! What a victory for Universal, whoever worked out this bill really did well. This bridge will increase the overall satisfaction of their guests and increase the chances for repeat business. Which have had a big couple of years with the Harry Potter expansion and other attractions. They’ve done really well in the region over the last few years and when they do well. The revenue trickles down to the smaller businesses.

Other news, it was announced that Governor Rick Scott would not have a big public signing of the bill that would ban internet cafes. It was a curious move over why they wouldn’t want to make a signing out of this, it would have been a great photo op for him and State Attorney General Pam Bondi and sent the message that they weren’t going to put up with it. Most recently the group Allied Veterans of the World which allegedly was caught stealing millions. Reasons almost definitely relating to Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll who’s old PR company did business with Allied. It was recently revealed over the weekend that she didn’t volunteer to resign. She was asked to. So, a complicated situation for the Governor. I think the Publicity would have done him well. A public signing would have sent a message that Florida will not put up with this kind of operation. But, there are positives and negatives to both choices.

Finally, late this afternoon Politico broke the news that the Bi-Partisan Gang of 8 will announce a deal at the beginning of next week for sweeping immigration reform. Of Course Florida Senator Marco Rubio has been strongly featured in this group of lawmakers from both sides including John McCain, Chuck Schumer, and Lindsey Graham. It also means that the deal might include tougher rules on worker visas and border security. We’ll see.

Another big day in Florida Politics and we’ll keep rolling along. I’m Frank Torres and I’ll see you next time.

Sean Ashby makes it Official, will Challenge Jennifer Thompson in OC District 4 in 2014.

In Uncategorized on April 8, 2013 at 11:03 pm

In a story broken by the East Orlando Post, Sean Ashby has made it official, he will challenge Orange County Commissioner Jennifer Thompson for Orange County District 4 in 2014.

Ashby is no stranger to the political scene, the educator ran for the Florida House last year, and was defeated. He interviewed with this blog during his run and is a gifted speaker with a passion for the issues.

Thompson will have the early advantage in the race. She’ll have more resources, name ID, voter turnout probability, and experience on the commission.

It’s going to be a great race. Both of these candidates are terrific on the stump.

Here is your daily wrap up and the East Orlando Sun interviewed Ashby this weekend, you can find that video below mine. Have a great day!

Transcript of Video:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres. I’m Frank Torres and this is your daily wrap for Monday, April 8th 2013. The big news today broken by the East Orlando Post earlier, former state house candidate Sean Ashby making it official, he will run against Jennifer Thompson for Orange County Commission 4 in 2014. Ashby ran for state house last year and lost but has maintained a presence in local politics. He called for the investigation into “Textgate”. “Textgate” refers to the text messages exchanged between the Orange County Commission and lobbyist during the Orange County Sick Time Initiative fight. The Initiative would have made it mandatory for Employers to give workers paid sick time off after a certain amount of hours put in. Employees couldn’t be held accountable for taking time off even if they didn’t have the hours worked. It would have hurt hiring and possibly resulted in frivolous lawsuits. Toxic Legislation.

It’s official let’s breakdown the race right now. Jennifer Thompson will have almost every advantage early on. Let me explain. One will be the money. Thompson is a gifted fundraiser, she was the money leader in her race back in 2014. The businesses will line up behind her once again. She’s a business owner herself in the district. Plus this early message from Ashby calling for this investigation into the sicktime initiative will hurt him with any potential donors from that circle. So he’s off to a bad start with them. Another thing is it’s a mid-term. Turnout will favor Republicans. Now, I know it’s a non-partisan race but both parties still try to get their guys elected. Thompson will enjoy support from both the party and her infrastructure back in 2010.

Sean Ashby his main talking point when he ran last year was education. He speaks with genuine passion about it, he’s an educator himself but that’s out of play in this race. We have a school board in the county that tackles the majority of those issues. Ashby will have to branch out and use his public speaking ability in other issues and try to excel there. Also, he’s going to have to make this about the Orange County Sick Time Initiative and if this thing gets defeated in Tallahassee and it looks like it might, then it’s going to be hard to make this race all about that particular push with so much time before the election. He can try to extend it but if this thing gets beaten at the state level it’s going to take away his one avenue of attack against Thompson. If it doesn’t get beaten then it shares the ballot with this race and local business might look at that connection and it could reflect badly on him.

Also, it’s just those two right now but that could change down the road. Another candidate could chop-up the anti-Thompson vote between Ashby and the other challenger (during the primary). There isn’t anyone now or rumored but that could change.

So a lot of the arrows leaning Thompson’s way but it’s way too early. You can’t even say that the campaign has kicked off. So, some more candidates announcing. You can expect it to kick into high gear later in the year. For now I’m Frank Torres and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Bill Nelson supports Gay Marriage, Jennifer Carroll was asked to resign, Parent Trigger and Anti-OC Sick Time Bill Advance

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2013 at 12:24 am

So much for that break.

It was a big day with Florida Senator Bill Nelson formally endorsing Gay Marriage. Nelson has been quiet on the issue that has been debated in Washington over the last couple of weeks and has dominated social media and was getting pushed by activists to support the initiative. He made it official today.

In what would normally be a top story discovery, former Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll gave her first television interview today where she says she was asked to resign after her connections to the racketeering investigation behind Allied Veterans of the world that lead to dozens of arrests. You would tend to believe that the relationship between those two would have been closer. NOTE: the footage of the interview is awful but the sound is good. You can watch the original footage at the Local 6 website here.

All of this and the internet cafes that led to the Carroll resignation will be illegal as the bill set forth by the legislator goes to Rick Scott for signature. We’ve also got parent trigger and anti- Orange County sick time measures moving forward in the legislature.

Busy day, and we’ve still got Friday.

Video Transcript:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres. This is your daily wrap up and a big day in Florida Politics. A lot of these developments happening later in the day or really close to close of business on this Thursday. We start out with the big news from today, that would be with Florida Senator Bill Nelson coming out today on gay marriage. Gay marriage has been one of the big issues in Washington as its being debated in front of the supreme court and the big social media push with that red equal sign dominating your Facebook pages. Florida Senator Bill Nelson throwing his support in favor of gay marriage if you look at the political math involved, there isn’t much behind it. The guy is in his 70’s he’s gone as high as he’s going to go. There has been some rumors he would go after Rick Scott next year for Governor is a race I believe he would win but, he’s defused those rumors, he’s doing it strictly because he thinks it’s the right reasons to. He’s quoted as saying that his reason for publicly supporting same sex marriage is because god wouldn’t have created homosexual couples like he has heterosexual couples if he did not want us to support them. So, that’s the big news. He was even trending on Twitter, yes Bill Nelson. You’ve got to wonder if he’s even familiar with that particular social media outlet.

Anyways another big announcement later in the afternoon is news that former Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll was actually asked to resign after it was discovered that she was being investigated for her connections with Allied Veterans of the world. That company is under investigation for racketeering and almost 60 people have been arrested. This adds more controversy to an already complicated situation and more problems for Florida Governor Rick Scott. You know these reports coming out earlier, this was handled very coldly. We’ve got footage by Local 6. Let’s have a look at it right now.

(Jennifer Carroll Footage)

Very eye opening stuff by the former Lieutenant Governor. A very shocking revelation coming out, you thought they were closer. Well, that’s the way it happens up there in Tallahassee.

In a connected issue you’ve also got that ban on Internet Cafe going to Rick Scott for signature. That’s moved along quickly. Those will soon be illegal in Florida.

Some other controversial legislation has been Parent Trigger. This would allow parents to have a say over the direction a failing school would take, this would include firing the principal or other administrators or even changing the public school to a charter school. Current State Rep. Karen Castor Dentel a school teacher herself, has come out strongly against it, saying in the Orlando Sentinel it makes the charter schools or for profit groups look like heroes. but parents and their voice over how their kids a very precious thing. That legislation is moving along.

Now bringing it back to Orange County, you’ve got legislation at the state level that would nullify the Orange County Sick Time initiative. Sick Time would make it mandatory for employers to offer paid sick time to workers after a certain amount of hours have been reached. Workers in favor believe it would be there right to receive that, those against believe it would hurt hiring, and growth and would possibly result in lawsuits.

A very big day. Nelson coming out in favor of Gay Marriage. Jennifer Carroll’s shocking interview, and these big legislation moving quickly. Big enough to take me off of break but hey, you do what you have to do. I’ll see you for Week in Review. For now I’m Frank Torres.

On Break, will be back for WIR on 4-7-13

In Uncategorized on April 2, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Hey all,

Taking a break for a few day. Will be back for Week in Review on Sunday.

If anything big happens (and when I take some time off like this, it does), I’ll break from my errrr break and analyze it here.

Take Care and See you soon!

gone-fishin

Buddy Dyer pushes for New Soccer Stadium in Orlando, in Sentinel Article

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Behind the power of a brilliant PR Rush by the Orlando City Soccer Club over the last 6 months, the discussion for a new Soccer stadium in Orlando has gone from a distant concept, to a strong possibility.

Recently, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer has been more verbal in his support for a brand new venue that would seat 18 to 20 thousand fans, and put Orlando in play for the possibility of moving up into the MLS or Major League Soccer.

This morning, Dyer penned an guest Column explaining the conditions and benefits or a Soccer only stadium in the City Beautiful. You can read the Orlando Sentinel article here.

It is a guest column, but not all of the Mayor’s facts exactly check out. Let’s break it down.

Statement:

“In the past decade, Major League Soccer has quickly surpassed other professional sports in popularity. It now boasts higher attendance per game than the National Basketball Association and National Hockey League.”

FALSE: The NBA has an entire network dedicated to coverage. You can walk into a public school and spot dozens of Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, or Kevin durant jerseys and other merchandise. His attendance claim is a little closer but still wrong. The NBA has almost twice as many clubs and if you take the top 19 (the amount of teams in MLS) their average is still higher. The NHL has been on strike until recently, so it’s easy to slam their attendance.

Statement:

“Major League Soccer has achieved its success by playing in 18,000- to 20,000-seat urban soccer stadiums. With the league growing, it is requiring that expansion cities have a soccer-ready stadium with a roof over the fans.”

IFFY: Most MLS stadiums don’t have roofs and the Orlando City Soccer club averaged only 7,000 fans last year. If you doubled that number, you’d still have a lot of empty seats.

Statement:

“After considering whether the Citrus Bowl could be renovated to meet league standards and requirements, the architectural firm working on upgrading the stadium determined it was not physically feasible and would ultimately cost as much or more than building a new stadium specifically for soccer.”

Business: Would you rather have a contract to renovate an old venue or build a whole new one?

Statement:

“Take for example, in 2009, when TAM airlines added a direct flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil to Orlando; the Mall at Millenia and the Prime Outlet Malls saw double-digit increases in sales. This means more jobs for our residents and generates sales-tax revenues that have benefits across the state.”

IFFY: It’s true that Brazil has played a bigger role in investing in the community, but expecting Tourists to take in a football game on vacation with more family friendly attractions like Disney, Universal, and the Beaches is a far reach. Crediting a new flight from South America for an increase in sales for the always popular outlets, is also bending too close to a break.

Statement:

“recently more than 20,000 traveled to a game across the world in Japan”

What game?: Seriously, I can assure you they didn’t travel across the world to Watch Columbus play Real Salt Lake.

Statement:

“Orlando City Soccer also has plans to add a marquee Brazilian player to the team’s roster.”

Intriguing: Who?

Statement:

“Considering the quality of life and economic benefits that Major League Soccer would add in Orlando, I think you have to ask yourself, can Orlando afford not to pursue a franchise?”

NO: No, we actually cannot afford to pursue a franchise. We had to stretch just, to get the Citrus Bowl renovations. We’ve still got unfinished DPAC and Sunrail projects.

Bottom Line: Listen, I’m a soccer fan and would probably take in a game or two over an MLS season but, this is a weak argument. I’m concerned that we’re going to spend $110 million dollars (or more) on a venue that is going to be empty. The hunger for an MLS franchise in Orlando isn’t here, and if we’re depending on tourists to fill our stadium instead of residents, then we’re taking an even bigger risk.

Really? It’s probably going to get built. But, there should be cause for concern for those wary of a financial risk like this one.

Want to eliminate this concern? Then we need a stronger argument than the one written in this column.

Is Mayor Dyer's argument for a new Soccer only stadium strong enough?

Is Mayor Dyer’s argument for a new Soccer only stadium strong enough?