Frank Torres, Orlando Freelance Reporter

Posts Tagged ‘buddy dyer’

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

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.


“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.


“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.


“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?


“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.


“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.


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

Intriguing: Who?


“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?

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.

Sunday Funnies: Top 10 Reasons it’s Good to be the Mayor of Orlando

In Uncategorized on March 3, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Welcome to another edition of the FPFT Sunday Funnies.

Earlier this week, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced that he would not be running for Governor in 2014. There were many reasons not to go after Rick Scott in 2014, one of them being that it’s great to be the Mayor of Orlando!

Today, we point out the reasons why!

10. You get to hang out with a lot of costumed characters:

9. You get to interact with wildlife:
Buddy Dyer Black Swans

8. You get to turn to the Darkside!
Buddy Dyer Storm Trooper

7. You run unopposed for re-election:

6. None of those “Politics” on the City Commission:
Orlando City Commission

5. Box Seats to Every Magic Game:
Orlando magic losing

4. The Commute:
Orlando Traffic Jam

3. You can do this to the Lake Eola Fountain:

2. Tough Decision? Short on Cash? You can let her handle it!

What do you mean, he said WE'D pay for Citrus Bowl Renovations?!

What do you mean, he said WE’D pay for Citrus Bowl Renovations?!

1. This.
Buddy Dyer Barack Obama Air Force One

Buddy Dyer made right choice Passing on Florida Governor Run

In Uncategorized on February 27, 2013 at 11:21 pm

Today, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced he would not run for Florida Governor in 2014. Much like he did with his re-election campaign last year, he used his State of the City Address to springboard into the announcement using the progress he’s made with the city over the previous year

Buddy Dyer not running for Governor

The rumors that he was considering a run started well over a year ago, before election year politics made 2014 seem like an eternity away. Throughout the year, the media observed his behavior to see if the signs were there. We watched how he interacted and campaigned with President Barack Obama in the important I4 corridor, we watched any unusual fundraising activity, when Dyer took verbal shots at current Governor Rick Scott, we tried to find a trend. There wasn’t one. Our interest returned when the Mayor of the City Beautiful, said he was still considering a run at the Democratic National Convention.

Today, he put an end to all speculation. The answer is no.

It was the right call. Buddy Dyer made the right decision passing on a run to be the next Governor of Florida. Why was it the right decision? Let’s break it down.

He was Invisible in early polling: He’s the Mayor of one of the most visited Cities on the planet, but he wasn’t registering in early polling against potential opponents in a Democratic primary. I say not registering which means his Name ID wasn’t even high enough to even make him relevant in the decision portion of the poll. He won re-election by a landslide here in Orlando but, he’s still widely unknown to casual voters across the state.

He’s Kinda Busy: Sunrail, DPAC, Citrus Bowl renovations, Creative Village, More condos downtown, and the paint hasn’t even dried on the Amway center yet. Now, he’s blessed the idea of a new soccer stadium (with weak numbers but that’s another post). These are all projects, he’s been “outfront” on and if he hits the campaign trail and leaves these behind, there’s no telling what direction they’d go.

Charlie Crist officially became a Democrat: When the former Republican Governor made it official by switching parties during the holidays, he essentially ended not only Dyer’s chances at a run, but many of the others taking a long look at challenging Rick Scott. Right now it’s Charlie and Alex Sink unless something changes.

It’s great to be the Mayor of Orlando: This is a pretty good job to have. This is a dynamic city with a lot of moving parts and a lot of room to grow. He’s been here for a decade and there are no serious political challengers on the horizon. He’s got the big city vision in his mind and a canvas with enough space to make it happen.

So, Buddy says no. I thought he would go the other way, until Crist switched parties. Now, with plenty of time until his next next re-election campaign, Dyer will continue push to make Orlando a major City that will influence the way the country moves.

Here is Mayor Dyer’s State of the City Address. The announcement comes at the 30:40 mark.

A Florida Political Valentines Day – Drama, Divorces, Bromances, and later sunsets

In Uncategorized on February 14, 2013 at 3:57 pm

It’s Valentines Day here in the Sunshine state and tens of thousands will be celebrating the holiday with dinner, flowers, chick-flicks, and chocolates. If you’re one of those people have a great evening.

You know, this holiday has political ties as well, Ok, maybe not direct political ties but the drama is definitely there. Let’s kick-off your Florida Political Valentines Day.

“The Unhappy Political Marriage that makes it work”- Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs: These two have to work together. The two most powerful people in Central Florida have their responsibilities so intertwined that they can’t afford not to. They’ve publicly criticized one another in the media and clash during initial talks for any big projects.

But they eventually find a way to make it work. For the kids or in this case, Central Florida Residents.

Whether its balancing the books to make the Performing Arts Center Work, finding the money to renovate the Citrus bowl, or even to take a gamble with Tourist Taxes that eventually paid off, the two Mayors continue to get it done.

“The Bromance”- Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio: Despite being on opposite sides of the political ideological spectrum, Florida’s two Senators are often seen working together on issues that affect Florida. When other states try to poach what space coast jobs are left, Rubio and Nelson will often join forces to keep that from happening. Nelson has also supported Rubio’s recent Bi-partisan, Senate Immigration bill.

As Rubio’s star continues to rise (despite missed opportunities) and Nelson enters the twilight of his political career, expect more collaboration.

“The Awkward Couple” Charlie Crist and Florida Democrats:: Now that a “Tell All” Jim Greer trial is out of the picture. Florida Democrats can fully embrace the former Republican Governor, turned Independent Senate Candidate, turned defiant Democrat, in front of “the Ex” (RPOF) and try to take back the Governors Mansion in 2014.

“Setting the Mood” State Senator Darren Soto wants later Sunsets: The local lawmaker recently sponsored the “Sunshine Protection Act”, a Bill that would keep Florida on Daylight Savings time all year. The bill has gotten some good publicity and the idea of keeping the tourists in the parks and at the beaches, spending their money is appealing. We’ll see if it goes anywhere.

So yes, none of these are tradition romances and their isn’t even a fondness involved in some of these match-ups but these lawmakers show their affection in different ways. Happy Valentines Day!

The Bill could help tourism and lead to longer, later walks on the beach.

The Bill could help tourism and lead to longer, later walks on the beach.

Potential Crist vs. Scott Governor Match-up Lands in National Spotlight

In Uncategorized on February 6, 2013 at 3:06 pm

This morning POLITICO pushed the 2014 Florida Governor’s race into the national spotlight, billing it as possibly, one of the most expensive gubernatorial campaigns in the nation’s history.

The article (found here) says that current Govenor Rick Scott has $100 million budgeted, should his predecessor, Republican turned Independent turned Democrat Charlie Crist run and win his new party’s nomination.

The piece also points out Scott’s troubles with approval during his first term, Crist’s connections with former GOP boss Jim Greer, who goes on trial next week, the political climate in the state, and Scott’s narrow margin of victory in 2010.

It’s tone makes Crist the sure fire favorite for the Democratic nomination but leaves a little wiggle room, naming Alex Sink and Nan Rich as potential challengers. Not mentioned in the article is Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer who’s been considering a run.

All of this you read in the article but and it’s focus is Rick Scott. Let’s flip the coin and talk about Charlie.

Scott is going to spend fortune but Crist is a capable fundraiser in his own right. The new FDP chair Allison Tant is a fundraiser herself and was elected with hopes she could elevate the fundraising game of Democrats in the state, without Obama on the ballot.

Crist is also better on the stump than Scott, he’s got high approval numbers, we know he’s got the job experience, the Greer trial will likely be a distant memory by 2014, and yes, President Obama will likely visit the state to campaign for him.

This race is getting national attention, and will continue to because it is an interesting contest and once again Charlie Crist and Rick Scott will deliver plenty of headlines during a Florida mid-term.

Too Soon? Or is it inevitable at this point?

Too Soon? Or is it inevitable at this point?

Should Charlie Crist endorse in FDP Tant vs. Clenendin contest?

In Uncategorized on January 16, 2013 at 1:23 am

The race for Florida Democratic Party Chair between fundraiser Allison Tant and Activist Alan Clendenin kicked up another notch today, when our own Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer threw his support behind Tant.

Dyer joins another key Democratic lawmakers in supporting Tant. Senator Bill Nelson and DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wassermann Schultz have already endorsed the candidate considered the “establishment” favorite out of the two candidates.

Former CFO and Gubernatorial Candidate Alex Sink is the biggest name in Clenedin’s camp along with several other political organizations.

The Governor angle is the intriguing twist in this race. Sink who is considering a second run at Rick Scott in 2014 sided against Tant who is known to be friendly with the biggest potential Scott opponent, who’s been silent up to this point.

Former Republican Governor turned, Independent Senatorial candidate, turned personal injury attorney, turned Democrat less than a month ago Charlie Crist.

It’s easy to tease but Crist, in early polling is the heavy favorite against Rick Scott and has a significant leads over Sink and Dyer (who is also considering a run).

FDP is coming off of a successful year that saw Florida stay blue for Obama and have declared taking back the Governor’s mansion as their #1 priority in 2014. If successful the Democratic Governor would become the symbolic leader of the party just like Scott did in 2010 after coming out of no where to beat Conservative favorite Bill McCullom.

Shouldn’t the candidate with the best chance for victory make his voice heard? Should Charlie Crist endorse in the Florida Democratic Party Chairperson contest? His campaign would be working loosely with the party. If he wins, his face goes at the top of the victory flyers.

Even if it would be his 3rd political party in as many cycles.

The contest deserves the input of the politician who could be it’s biggest champion in two years. And you know he would love the publicity.

He's been in the party less than a month but already carries a lot of weight

He’s been in the party less than a month but already carries a lot of weight

Orlando Political Yearbook 2013 – Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2013 at 1:28 am

The final Political Yearbook Profile is for the lawmaker who’s been targeted by activists and out of town political operations. Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs has a very challenging year ahead of her. She has to continue her successful operations that have the county moving in a positive direction, with political operatives already playing election year politics and standing in the way. There are also the many personalities on the County Commission that don’t always makes things easy for the Mayor.

Video Transcript:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres and this is your 2013 Political Yearbook Profile on Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. Teresa Jacobs actually got a lot done in 2012. She worked with Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer on a deal to renovate the Citrus Bowl, in a deal that would allow the venue to be competitive for prime national bowl games in the future and potentially pump millions into the county. There is the Orange County Convention Center, the real money maker in the district, it was the number one center in the country last year and will probably be again this year. That also drives millions and millions into local businesses. Along with a list of other things that kept Orange County moving in the right direction.

Unfortunately for Mayor Jacobs, that might not have been what you heard in 2012. There was the Orange County Sick Time initiative that would force employers to pay their workers for sick time after a certain amount of hours had been worked. Sounds very innocent but get this, they could not be held accountable for taking the sick time, even if they haven’t earned the hours. It didn’t matter if it was a legitimate trip to the emergency room or a 4 alarm hangover that kept them from coming to work, they could not be held accountable for that. This initiative would have scared away job creators, hurt current hiring, and resulted in countless frivolous lawsuits. It was toxic and looked down on, on many sides. Anyways, this thing went down the wire to get on the ballot, the activists had problems getting signatures for petitions, it went down to the wire and there was some legal wrangling involved. Between business leaders, between the activists, the commission ultimately ended up coming out on top. They sort of hustled the activists, they were a little more legally savvy. It went before a judge and the judge said no to putting it on the ballot. The activists went nuts. They had a fake funeral at a commission meeting, they threw roses at the commission dressed in black, like some sort of Goth Bullfight and they have not been silent ever since.

There is something you must remember about these activists. Yes, there are some genuinley concerned, true-blue citizens working for the process at hand, but these activists have leaders, well compensated leaders and it’s all about power and access. Power and Access guys, if you don’t have it, if you can’t effect legislation, if you don’t have things go your way, the you are going to throw as much money at the problem to get that access and that’s what you’re seeing here.

Even if the initiative had passed, they would have found something else to after Teresa Jacobs on because she’s been targeted by these activists, and it’s not about the issues at hand it very seldom is. It’s about flipping seats and putting people in power that will do what you want them to do, I urge you to do research and come up with your own conclusions. In a year when Teresa Jacobs got a lot done, this unfortunately was the highlight of her year and this is going to be the future for 2013. These activists that have targeted her because they want their Mayor that will do whatever they want done, will continue this message war, moving forward into 2013 and 2014 in an election year.

There have been text concerns brought up. Deleted texts during the meetings, between the commissioners and lobbyists. Today, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs coming up with guidelines to crack down on these text messages. We’ll see if it passes or not, but even if it passes, these group of activists will come up with another reason to go after her because it’s not about the issues. It’s about putting people in positions of power that will do whatever you say.

You know, it’s unfortunate that this is the last political yearbook piece that I’m putting out this year. It’s unfortunate that it had to be about this but, this in reality is really what the whole game is about, the fact that they’re disguised as concerned citizens that care what the issues are about, when it’s all about just getting people to do what you want them to do and if they don’t do it, you find someone that will. But, I’m sure Mayor Jacobs will work whenever not faced with these issues, to move the county forward, we’ll see what else is planned. A lot of exciting things going on and we’ll cover it all here. For Florida Politics with Frank Torres, I’ll see you next time.

Jacobs could be perfect in 2013 but the activists involved would still attack her

Jacobs could be perfect in 2013 but the activists involved would still attack her

Orlando Political Yearbook 2013 – Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2013 at 12:48 am

The Mayor of the City Beautiful had an epic 2012. He was re-elected, construction on Sunrail started, got a payday from the tourist tax and got to do this! Still, with Charlie Crist stealing his gubernatorial thunder, what will Buddy do?

Video Transcript:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres and this is your 2013 Political Yearbook Profile on Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. Buddy Dyer had a huge 2012, winning re-election, beating a trio of opponents. A lot going on in the City Beautiful right now, you’ve got Sunrail coming, construction on the Performing Arts Center, and renovations to the Citrus Bowl. A lot going on right now with Mayor Buddy Dyer right in the center. So, a very positive 2012 for the Mayor.

Some negatives. The negatives didn’t have so much to do with the work Buddy is doing now but, rather with the kind of work he might be doing in the future. That would be addressing rumors that he might run against Rick Scott for Governor in 2014. Well, Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist jumped on to the scene and took some of Buddy’s thunder away. They were both on the campaign trail with President Obama during his re-election campaign, and Crist in early polling is miles ahead of the Orlando Mayor. So, that would be the one negative for Buddy Dyer, that would be Crist officially becoming a Democrat and weakening Dyer’s chance of someday becoming Florida’s Governor. But hey, here and now the kind of work he is doing, it’s all good for Buddy Dyer.

In 2013, he’s going to try and finish some of these projects, money is always a problem, he did take a risk with Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs on the tourist tax that paid off. That means more money to finish these kind of projects. Orlando’s economy has slowly been getting back on track. That tourist revenue makes things a lot easier. And it’s going to be all about projects and perhaps running for Governor in 2013 for our Mayor. I’m Frank Torres, I’ll see you next time.

Did Crist alter Dyer's future plans?

Did Crist alter Dyer’s future plans?