Frank Torres, Orlando Freelance Reporter

Archive for March, 2013|Monthly archive page

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?

Former RPOF Chairman Jim Greer Sentenced to 18 Months, Ashley Judd declines Senate Run

In Uncategorized on March 27, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Today, former RPOF Chairman Jim Greer was sentenced to 18 months of prison time for money laundering during his time as the head of the Republican party of Florida. We’ve also got movie star Ashley Judd declining a Senate run against Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. You’ll recall Florida Senator Marco Rubio was fundraising in the Bluegrass state earlier this week.

This is your Daily Wrap-up.

Video Transcript:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres. The big story today the sentencing of former RPOF Chairman Jim Greer sentenced to 18 months of prison. Greer convicted of laundering $200,000, $125,000 into his own private company, I believe during his time at the head of RPOF. Greer took a deal a few weeks back to avoid going to trial. Many believed that the trial would have been an airing of the RPOF’s dirty laundry with a lot of powerful Republicans and 1 Democrat on the witness list. I’m talking about former Florida Governor Charlie Crist who is considering a run at his old job next year. What can you say? Greer will go to prison serve his time and will get some publicity when released. People will want to talk to him and hear what he has to say. The time of his release just happens to be at the height of election season. We’ll see what happens then.

In other news. Lighter news. Movie Star Ashley Judd has declined a run against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnel for the Senate next year. Why is this important for Florida Politics? You’ll recall here on FPFT we talked about Marco Rubio heading up to Kentucky to fundraise for McConnell. Well, that money will not be used against Judd. The star announcing on her Twitter account she would not be running. Well, that’s it for now, for Florida Politics with Frank Torres, I’ll see you next time.

Rubio stumps for McConnell against Possible Ashley Judd run, Bondi backs Plakon, and Scott touts job numbers in Web Vid

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2013 at 11:20 pm

We’ve got something for everyone today! We’ve got Florida Senator Marco Rubio hitting the “Bluegrass State” to stump for Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell with Movie Star Ashley Judd considering a run against him. We’ve got Attorney General Pam Bondi throwing her support behind former State Rep. Scott Plakon in his state house race against Mike Clelland, and a new Webvid from Florida Governor Rick Scott.

Here is your daily wrap-up!

Video Transcript:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres for Monday, March 25th 2013. Today, we’ve got one of those rare instances where Hollywood sort of intersects with Florida Politics. I’m talking about Senator Marco Rubio heading to Kentucky to fund raise for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Of course McConnell’s probable opponent next year is movie start Ashley Judd. I’m sure you’ve seen her movies, her television shows during her time in the business. What an interesting race that would be, what a conflict of personalities you’ve got there. McConnell with his position in the Senate and Judd who’s been involved for sometime very big on Women’s rights. She’s been encouraged to run by Bill Clinton, and we’ll see what the Florida Senator can do up there, as far as raising money goes. The other Kentucky Senator? Rand Paul along with Rubio rumored to be a 2016 favorite, during the Sunday talkers yesterday he deflected the question but certainly didn’t deny it. So, two Presidential hopefuls playing a part in Kentucky politics these days.

Another story. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi endorsing former State Representative Scott Plakon in race next year against Mike Clelland in district 29. Scott Plakon was outfront of this whole internet cafe gambling thing, he brought up the idea of banning those things a few years back, there wasn’t any movement on that, of course with the scandals involving Allied Veterans of the World, and the resignation of Jennifer Carroll, Plakon looking pretty good as far as his early push to get rid of those things go and with it paying off with an endorsement from Pam Bondi. An endorsement from Bondi in that very red district, very important, could scare other Republicans from running against Plakon in that red district, District 29. The current Representative is Mike Clelland a Democrat who beat Chris Dorworth who took a beating from the media for the entire year and lost with the President Obama on the ballot which maximized turnout. So a big endorsement for Plakon who has also been pushing fundraising online.

More news from Florida Governor Rick Scott, he has released another “its working” video. I’m not going to show you the whole thing like I did last time. The messages are the same.

(It Working II Video)

There you go. Very similar to the last video. Touting job numbers. Jobs continues to be the number 1 issue in the state. Scott’s had plenty of problems. Rumors of a primary, problems with Jennifer Carroll, the list goes on and on. That polling that has him down double digits to Charlie Crist. These videos arent’t going to do it. He needs to get back on TV and use his financial strenght to go after Charlie Crist, or possibly Alex Sink, should she decide to run. or whoever should come out of that Democratic primary, he needs to use his money to the advantage to prop up those job numbers. And I really wish Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs would stand a little farther back and out of frame during those messages. Rick Scott at this point is kinda radioactive. That is your political news today. You’ve got everything from Ashley Judd to Florida Job numbers. That is your daily wrap for today. I’m Frank Torres.

OC Mayor 2014 Rumors, Hilary Clinton and Charlie Crist enjoy lead in Polls – WIR

In Uncategorized on March 23, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Your “March Madness” Week in Review features rumors about former Orlando Police Chief and Congressional Candidate Val Demings taking on Teresa Jacobs for Orange County Mayor next year, and possibly State Representative Stephen Precourt jumping into the fray as well.

We’ve also got poll numbers that give former Governor Charlie Crist a double digit lead over his successor Rick Scott and even 2016 data that shows former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton beating Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, right here in Florida.

This is your Week in Review:

Video Transcript:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres and this is your March Madness “Week In Review”. My bracket is already a mess, I’d like to thank Georgetown and Wisconsin for “phoning it in” this year and destroying my chances of scoring in those regions.

Anyways, a lot of politics this week, let’s get started. The week started with rumors of former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings taking on Teresa Jacobs in for Orange County Mayor next year. Demings of course lost to Daniel Webster last November, with President Obama on the ballot and with a significant fundraising advantage. She lost to him last November but there is also a rumor that she might go after him again. But, these are new rumors with these two possibly meeting in 2014, Jacobs said she had spoke to her about a run and her response was uncertain, she was running for Congress at the time, her opinions must have changed and she’s got to find a race to run in. Neither of those choices sound very good with Webster’s district leaning Republican and his probable turnout in the mid term and that would also come into play for Orange County Mayor. There are also a lot of questions of Val Demings having the infrastructure to run a county wide campaign with the organizations that had helped her in the past concerned about the national races. But she’s got to do something.

A bizarre twist. Representative Stephen Precourt criticizing Teresa Jacobs, by saying there was a leadership crisis in Orange County, input from Precourt, he says he’s been getting urged to run, I haven’t heard anything about that, I know he’s also termed out. So, he’ll need a race to run in the future. You know, it’s interesting that he would go after jacobs like that. He’s been a supporter of her’s in the past and I actually saw this footage of Precourt talking to Channel 6’s Lauren Rowe on her show “Flashpoint” here take a look.

Precourt “Flashpoint” Footage.

Yeah, so Precourt’s opinion of her must have changed. He’s got a positive reputation and is well liked there might be some support out there for him. Very bizarre but we’ll keep an eye on that moving forward.

Poll numbers coming out this week that put Governor Rick Scott in a double digit deficit against Florida Governor Charlie Crist. The former Republican, turned Independent, turned Democrat enjoying a big lead in polling. You know, I’ve called this the darkest point in the Scott administration with the resignation of Jennifer Carroll, his low approval numbers, and his education policy changes being poorly received. The real question is what is Rick Scott going to do about it? He’s going to have a large financial advantage going in, maybe not as large as the one he ad against Alex Sink in 2010 but a large one. Who also by the way has a lead on him in polling. But what is he going to do to change the mind of the voters? He released that “It’s Working” video but that video was also not well recieved and you wonder if anyone even saw it. We’ll keep an eye on those poll numbers going forward.

Jump ahead to 2016 where former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton enjoys a lead right here in Florida against Jeb Bush and Senator Marco Rubio. That shouldn’t come as any surprise and I’ll tell you why. The state has been trending blue, President Obama has one it during the last two elections and the GOP hasn’t been able to roll with the Demographics and get the Hispanic voters.

So a very busy week with Politicians gearing up for 2014. We’ll keep any eye on everything as we move forward and I’ll see you next time.

March Madness 2013 Bracket Challenge: President Barack Obama vs. FPFT

In Uncategorized on March 20, 2013 at 3:04 pm

We’ve done this the last few years and it’s done well. Let’s do it again!

Below is President Barack Obama‘s March Madness 2013 NCAA Basketball Bracket. POTUS made his picks on ESPN earlier today like he does every year. His Final Four? Ohio St. Louisville, Florida, and Indiana. 3 of those picks are schools that were in swing states last year. Here is the President’s bracket below.

President Obama's NCAA Bracket 2013

Here is mine. I like chalk. There are some upsets in the earlier rounds and I gotta good feeling about Miami. Ultimately it’s Louisville. We’ll see how it plays out.

Frank's Bracket 2013

Last year, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer participated. If he releases a bracket I’ll post it here.

Scott tries to get back on track with “It’s Working” Vid

In Uncategorized on March 20, 2013 at 1:10 am

– Low approval numbers including hypothetical double digit deficits to Charlie Crist in polling
– Can’t win back educators and critics after returning money to budget and pushing for teacher raises
– His “Number 2” resigned last week after connections to a criminal ring robbing Veterans

This is the lowest point in Florida Governor Rick Scott‘s time in office and he’s got to change the subject. This is how he’s going to do it.

This is your daily wrap up.

Transcript of Video:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres. This is your daily wrap-up for Tuesday March 19th, 2013. Your big story today is a video released by Florida Governor Rick Scott. Scott having a rough start to the year. First, with former Governor Charlie Crist officially changing party affiliation to be a Democrat and asking questions about his old job. Second his change of position in Education with the Governor returning budget money he took from his first two years in office and with his proposals to give teachers a bonus has played as insincere. Finally, there was the resignation of Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll. He’s put off naming a replacement, I think that is a mistake, leaving a gap that big in his administration, I don’t know why he would want to wait until after session perhaps, his preferred choice is working in the legislature. So he released this campaign video which is trying to relay what the Governor has been trying to shout above all of the political noise. Let’s take a look.

(Its working video)

It’s working. I’m not crazy about that catch phrase. “Let’s get to work” was perhaps the most likeable part of the the Scott campaign and really related to what the voters wanted. Let’s get to work for 2014, is it working? Well, it’s debatable. Expect more of this kind of media as a delivery system for Rick Scott to say what he has to say without follow up questions. Scott stayed away from the media during his first run sorta went into this shell. We’ll see if that continues. We’ll see where it goes. You look at all of that talent up there in Tally right now. Your Adam Putnam’s your Atwaters, you really don’t want to see Scott go through a primary but you’ve got to wonder what you would do to keep the Governor’s mansion on your side. We’ll see how it goes, there will be more speculation and rumors over Jennifer Carroll’s resignation. I’m Frank Torres, I’ll see you next time.

Val Demings vs. Teresa Jacobs .. vs. Stephen Precourt in 2014 for OC Mayor? and the RNC Autopsy

In Uncategorized on March 19, 2013 at 12:25 am

If you’re a fan of rumors and speculation involving local politics, then this article in the Orlando Sentinel was a welcome surprise for what is usually a slow Monday. We’ve all know for sometime that former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings was looking at another run and that she could set her sites on Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs next year. We haven’t know that popular State Rep. Stephen Precourt has been urged to run too and unloaded a few shots at Jacobs as well. How hostile can it get this early?

We’ve also got the RNC autopsy from Reince Priebus. Where do our GOP lawmakers stand.

This is your Daily Wrap Up!

Video Transcript:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres and this is your Daily Wrap for Monday March 18th, 2013. Let’s look at the big story in the Orlando Sentinel this morning that said that Val Demings was a considering a run at Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs for Orange County Mayor in 2014. A lot of layers to this, let’s look at Val Demings, She ran against Daniel Webster last November for Congress and lost in that Republican heavy district with President Obama on the ballot and a decisive money advantage. Couldn’t come up with the grassroots support needed to counter Daniel Webster’s efforts on the ground and ultimately lost that race.

She’s got two choices. She can run against Daniel Webster again without President Obama on the ballot, the DCCC is still attacking Daniel Webster on a weekly basis, trying to pick apart what he’s been doing in Washington this year but she would still be an underdog going into a congressional race, even with the money being there.

She could run against Teresa Jacobs for Orange County Mayor. She won’t be able to match policy wits against Teresa Jacobs, it’s true that Demings is more at home with municipal issues but Jacobs has 12 years of experience with County Policy.

So, you look at her options, neither look very good, but she’s got to do something. If you look at what she would face against Teresa Jacobs in 2014, it would be a mid-term, she’d have to find the money, and raise the grassroots, running a campaign in Orange County is no easy task, it’s huge. You have to wonder if she’s got the infrastructure there to stay competitive.

Jacobs has been underfire recently for “Textgate” or the text messages exchange about the Orange County Sick time initiative. She was targeted by activists, but this isn’t about Sick Time, you can’t think that, this is about flipping seats. Those activists will be able to give Val Demings a push should she decide to run against her. But the policy knowledge isn’t there, she debated Daniel Webster once and didn’t do well, she would have to debate Teresa Jacobs at least 4 times if you look at the debate schedule from 2010. She is a strong candidate with a good background so it’s only a matter of time before she picks her next race.

Out of nowhere, State Representative Stephen Precourt taking some shots at Teresa Jacobs in the media saying there is a leadership crisis in Orange County and that he’s been urged to run. Precourt a pretty reasonable guy, one of the sharper Reps in the area and well spoken but, you’ve got to wonder where this is coming from. He says he’s being urged to run. Who’s urging him? Friends and family? The political community hasn’t been urging him because from the Republican side the two biggest priorities for 2014 is getting Rick Scott elected (which is a task in itself) and reinforcing it’s incumbents. He’s termed out so, he’ll have time to figure out what he wants to do next but really bizarre behavior from Stephen Precourt from what I’ve seen so far. I know some of his buddies tried to throw her off the Expressway Board sometime back.

So, if you look at Jacobs’ role in all of this. She’s going to be attacked for being too lax on the rules from Val Demings in “Textgate” and she’s going to be attacked for being too strict with regulations from Precourt, you just can’t win if you’re the Orange County Mayor.

A very intriguing story it looks like a lot of people are already gearing up for next year, it looks like it’s going to be exciting. 2010 had some interesting personalities and made for a good race and with the potentials already kicking the tires on a potential run, it could be even bigger in 2014.

Other news today, The RNC releasing what is being called “The Autopsy” put out by Chairman Reince Priebus, illustrating the talking points over what went wrong with the Republican party last November. Most of it is stuff we already know. More technology, more outreach or inclusion of minority voters. What I’m interested in is how the local politicians will react. You’ve got John Mica and Daniel Webster who were re-elected and you’ve also got Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush who are already moving in the new direction. You’ve got to wonder what these lawmakers in the state will do. Will they stick with old script? Or the new one?

Big day. Buzz over who’s running for what and national reports being published. We’ll keep an eye on it for you. For now, I’m Frank Torres and I’ll see you next time.

Carroll Resignation, CPAC Buzz, and Mystery Candidate in Florida House 44 – WIR

In Uncategorized on March 17, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! This is your week in review and this Sunday we’ve re-visit Lt. Governor Jennifer Carrol‘s resignation, buzz from CPAC involving Jeb Bush, and Marco Rubio. A rift between Tallhassee Republicans and State Young Republicans and finally a mystery candidate in Florida State House 44 that could spin the race in a different direction.

This is your Week in Review.

Video Transcript:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres. I’m Frank Torres and this is your Week in Review for Sunday, March 17th, Happy St. Patrick’s Day, I hope you’ve had the chance to get out and enjoy this awesome weather. We’ve got a lot to go over, let’s get started.

And we start with the resignation of Jennifer Carroll. Carroll resigned from her Lt. Governor Position after being connected with a company called Allied Veterans of the world. This company runs the internet cafes that you might see in a strip mall that revolves around providing internet access to individuals but at the center of it all is a sweepstakes that is basically a gambling operation. This company was suppose to take the proceeds from this operation and donate them to Veterans causes but it was revealed that the money was being rerouted to For-Profit operations and that only 2% of the procceeds were actually going towards the charity. The company is now being accused of racketeering, Jennifer Carroll thought that because of her connections with the company that it would be best to step down. Florida Governor Rick Scott deciding to name a replacement after session. Choosing to deal with it later than sooner, I happen to think it’s a big mistake. Why leave such a big gap in your administration empty? The Lt. Governor may not do a lot but to leave the story out there for so long doesn’t make a lot of sense. It hurt him during his media tour, Governor Scott in town to talk about job gains and lower unemployment but ended up having to deal with this instead.

More problems with Republicans up in Tallahassee, their handling of younger Republicans and their resources. A disconnect recently reported by the Jacksonville Newspaper of a rift between the RPOF brass and the Young Republicans in the state, Young Republicans saying that they’re not being utilized correctly only being asked to contribute on social media from time to time. I’m compelled to agree. I’m a Young Republican, an active one at that, and it doesn’t seem like, we’re utilized correctly, especially with void between Younger Voters and Republicans, as opposed to Democrats and their connection. So, a disconnect up there, that needs to be addressed, there needs to be a change of strategy to ensure that the youth vote isn’t always lined up decisively behind one party like it has been. Some changes definitely need to be made.

Let’s move right along to CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, with Florida lawmakers taking the stage and playing a very pivotal role, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and Senator Marco Rubio in the spotlight. Jeb got a lukewarm response by some Conservatives by being a little more moderate leaning to some of the social issues. Marco Rubio was well received during his speech reinforcing the traditional thinking of the Republican party, unfortunately he came in second to Kentucky Senator Rand Paul in the CPAC straw poll, Paul coming off of that headline making filibuster taking the win at CPAC. It might be a question for some but it’s not for me, I think if you line up Rand Paul next to Marco Rubio, if you take his style, his delivery, is electable, I can’t see him beating Hilary or even Joe Biden in 2016 but, he plays very well with that audience up there and he takes the straw poll over Marco Rubio, not by a lot and we’ll see how the relationship plays out between those two as they appear to be on a collision course for 2016.

Also some State House races for 2016 already lining up. Some match ups we’ve mentioned before, Florida House District 29 that has former Rep. Scott Plakon going after the newly elected Mike Clelland who narrowly defeated Chris Dorworth last November. Dorworth getting a ton on negative media and losing that very red seat. The early advantage goes to Plakon because of the layout of the district and Republicans turning out better for mid-terms. You’ve also got Bob Cortes going up against Karen Castor Dentel Florida State House 30, Cortes rolling out endorsements earlier in the week. He’s already engaged in that campaign. In Florida State House 28 you’ve got Republican Jason Brodeur going up against Libertarian Franklin Perez in what seems like the hundredth time. It’s likely a Democrat will jump into that contest before it’s all over. Florida State House 44, Eric Eisnaugle vs. Ronney Olivera for that seat for the termed out Stephen Precourt. Eisnaugle stepped aside last cycle to avoid any conflict, with Precourt will face off with Olivera, who lost to Randolph Bracy in November. Unconfirmed rumors of a mystery candidate perhaps jumping into that race, that would change the entire dynamic of that contest in a very drastic way, unconfirmed rumors of another Republican jumping into that race. I’ll continue to track that as we move along.

A lot going on this week with CPAC with, Jennifer Carroll’s resignation and all of these races lining up. I think Rick Scott has to look at this as the low point of his term and he’s never got those approval numbers and with losing someone who helped deliver him the Governor’s mansion, losing her is a big blow. Her replacement will have to be picked very carefully. I’m Frank Torres, I’ll see you next time.

Carroll Fallout, Grayson and Desantis make Headlines, Cortes Rolls out Endorsements- Your Daily Wrap-Up

In Uncategorized on March 14, 2013 at 11:41 pm

Busy day. Legislators are taking action after Lt. Jennifer Carroll’s resignation yesterday against Internet Cafe Companies like Allied Veterans of the World, who’s racketeering charges and connections to Carroll forced her to resign.

We’ve also got two very different Congressman making headlines for different reasons. Alan Grayson and Ron Desantis featured today.

Also in what should be an exciting 2014 race for Florida State House 30, Longwood Commissioner Bob Cortes rolls out endorsements from Orange County Commissioners Pete Clarke and Jennifer Thompson.

Video Transcript:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres. This is your Daily Wrap up for Thursday March 14th, we’ve got a lot to go over let’s get started. We start today with the fallout from the resignation of Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll. She resigned because of her ties with the company Allied Veterans of the World. What this company does is operate those internet cafes that you see in shopping centers that revolve around a large sweepstakes, which is basically gambling, alot of movement from legislators, to try to stand up legislation to stop these kinds of operations, you might remember former State Rep. Scott Plakon tried passing legislation on these cafes. They’ve been a problem in the community for sometime, you might remember a shooting at the Hunt Club location here in Central Florida. A lot of lawmakers now fighting back, we’ll see where that goes.

Also state wide, Republicans and Democrats revealing the campaign donations they’ve received from this organization. Laying all of their cards on the table some very recognizable names, from both sides accepting campaign contributions from this company, so this fall out has affected everybody over this company that was suppose to take it’s profits and give them to Veterans’ charaties and instead rerouted the money to for-profit companies, there have been over 50 arrests and this is turning into the biggest crackdown you’ll see all session. We’ll continue to monitor that situation.

In other news, a Tale of Two Central Florida Congressman, both making national headlines, let’s start with Alan Grayson, he just got his job back two months ago after being elected last November, you’ll recall Alan Grayson, not afraid to let the public know how he feels. No interests in bi-partisanship whatsoever, going off on the Paul Ryan budget proposal. We’ve got a clip.

(Alan Grayson Video Clip)

Yes, as you can see, Alan Grayson hasn’t changed any, since his first term, still trying to start conflict in a congress that already has plenty of it, we’ll see where he tries to go with this, these insults aren’t going to get us anywhere, as far as this gridlock goes.

On the other hand you’ve got Congressman Ron Desantis, trying to sponsor legislation that would freeze a part of Congress’ pay, a Bi-partisan deal, with a Representative from California, we’ve also got a clip from him, let’s check it out.

(Ron Desantis Clip)

Desantis making some waves early on, in his time in Washington. That is Bi-Partisanship legislation, the kind where you could walk up to a man on the street and ask him about and he would probably agree with it. If you go to work and don’t get anything done, you don’t get paid for it, I think Congress should be the same way. Will it work? Probably not, you know how our friends in Congress are.

Next up, the future race for Florida State House 30 Bob Cortes who would be running against incumbent Karen Castor Dentel announcing two endorsements from Orange County Commissioners both Pete Clarke, who was elected last November and Commissioner Jennifer Thompson. These endorsements give confidence to donors, that allow campaigns to stand up and get moving in a hurry. You look at the layout in the district in that race and it’s going to be an exciting race, we’ll keep you posted.

A lot going on in Florida Politics with the crackdown of that company, Congress making national headlines and candidates gearing up for 2014. It’s an exciting time. I’m Frank Torres, and I’ll see you next time.

Rick Scott won’t replace Jennifer Carroll until after session, supports her decision

In Uncategorized on March 13, 2013 at 11:49 pm

Here is the video analysis on the resignation of Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll. She resigned earlier today because of her connections with an internet cafe organization that is being investigated for racketeering.

Transcript:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres. This is Wednesday, March 14th 2013. Big day in Florida Politics. Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll resigning from office because of ties she had with a company called Allied Veterans of the World, several years back. This company has had several arrests of because of racketeering charges. What this company does, you might have seen them in shopping centers, they offer internet access to everyone but at the heart of this operation is this large gambling sweepstakes. This was suppose to be a non-profit that was suppose to give the profits of this operation to veterans’ charities, instead they funneled the money using complicated software in to for-profit companies. And only ended up giving up 2% of profits out of a multi-million dollar operation, or in this case a scam, that resulted in those charities being short changed. Carroll has done work with those companies in the past and has decided to step aside.

Florida Governor Rick Scott held a press conference and said he will not name a replacement until after the legislative session. Which is still some time away, this could not come at a worse time for Florida Governor Rick Scott, low approval numbers, Charlie Crist floating the idea of going after his job, out there. The Governor was actually in Orlando on a media blitz hitting every microphone in the area, this resignation has thrown all of that positive progress out the window. He is going to try and steer it back to his message, over the next few weeks but this is big news. This will certainly hurt any of the highlights of what he’s been able to do in office so far. He’s essentially running for re-election already. As far as a potential running mate he didn’t address any of that, some of the popular names in the conversation like Florida Speaker of the House Will Weatherford and Attorney General Pam Bondi, have said they’re not interested and why should they be? Who would want to tie their wagon on to Rick Scott at this point?

You know, Jennifer Carroll when she came aboard the campaign in 2010, she filled that charisma gap on the ticket, that Governor Scott could not fill, not only did she add diversity but a very hard campaigner and a gifted public speaker.

Where do we go now? This story has gotten national attention, getting picked up by sites like Politico, and how far do the connections going to be involved with her and this company which has already seen indictments in the 50’s. So a very big day in Florida Politics for all of the wrong reasons. Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll resigning. I’m Frank Torres, I’ll see you next time.