Frank Torres, Orlando Freelance Reporter

Posts Tagged ‘tiffany moore-russell’

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.

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.

Orange County approves extra funds for higher Police presence in schools. State Government to follow next year?

In Uncategorized on December 18, 2012 at 10:52 pm

This afternoon the Orange County Commission approved 3 million dollars for an increased Deputy presence in the county’s elementary school system. This action follows the tragic shootings in Newtown, CT last Friday.

Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Sheriff Jerry Demings, and Orange County School Chair Bill Sublette led the talks leading up to the unanimous “yes” vote. There were many concerns over the sustainability of the increased presence in the schools. Sheriff Demings broke down the existing level of strength in the schools (2 per high school, 1 per middle school, 1 officer per 4 or 5 elementary schools), and the different duties involved on each level of the school system, with deputies teaching anti-bullying and drug lessons in elementary schools, leading up to the more traditional law enforcement duties that are occasionally required at the High School level. He stressed an improvement of infrastructure as a more permanent solution and that existing deputies would be working overtime to fill the requests. Jacobs agreed that this measure was to “bridge the gap” until other plans were made.

Commissioners Tiffany Moore-Russell and Scott Boyd also stressed the need for longer term plans, citing that residents will insist on this becoming the standard moving forward.

With the current security conditions in schools being reviewed all over the country, can we expect action in Tallahassee next session? Or in 2014?

If the recent past is any indication, action at the state level is a strong possibility.

Unlike “Caylee’s law”, which made it illegal for a parent to ignore reporting a missing child, a state level solution would have to be a fiscally oriented one. A plan that would avoid the same obstacles the County Commission had to deal with today. The state legislature has been touting a surplus, no doubt there will be debate over existing projects or programs that would have to be cancelled or delayed to fund any improvements for school security.

The county commission approved funds for more deputies in Orange County Schools

The county commission approved funds for more deputies in Orange County Schools

Sunday Morning Political Headlines: Don’t forget about Orlando City Commission races too

In Uncategorized on April 1, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Happy April Fools Day! No tricks or surprises, just your morning political headlines for the first day of April. Have a great Sunday!

WESH 2 (By way of CNN): Romney Predicts Wisconsin Win

WKMG Local 6: George Lemieux on Flashpoint (Video)

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News (By way of AP): Mack, Lemieux draw contrasts in GOP Senate race

CF News 13: Political Connections breaks down everything you need to know about the Orlando Mayor Race.

WOFL FOX 35: Humor Can Help Candidates, Or Not

Orange TV: Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and County Commissioners Tiffany Moore-Russel and Jennifer Thompson recently taped an episode of Orange TV discussing Women’s issues. That can be viewed here.

Orlando Sentinel: Council races could change Orlando’s future

If you haven’t already be sure to check out the candidates for the Orlando City Commission races as well.

Don't forget about the commission races!

Orange County Commission doesn’t need to Expand

In Uncategorized on March 9, 2012 at 11:09 pm

It needs easier access to information.

There, this post could end right now and the problem would have been solved but, I’ll explain anyways.

Thursday the county charter review commission voted against expanding the current 6 member county board to 8 members. And it was the right call. The current size is exactly where it needs to be.

You see, there has been a lot of controversy in county government over the last year. No one liked the county redistricting appointments, negotiations for a domestic partnership registry were tense at times, and the Sunrail debate went right down to the wire.

But during those debates the problem was never with the size of the county commission it was the availability of the information to the community.

Unless a resident of Orange County puts aside a portion of their day to aggressively seek out information about the issues, they’re going to have a hard time finding what they’re looking for and when important and potentially controversial issues come before the Commission. Then you have residents feeling like they’ve been duped and that the political process is taking place behind closed doors, instead of out in the sunshine.

Not to mention additional costs to the taxpayers. More commissioner salaries, more resources needed to serve constituents and more confusion over who’s in who’s district.

Oh, but Orange County Government isn’t off the hook, they must do a better job of making announcements and information easily accessible.

Look at the County Website….. see all that empty real estate on the lower half of the screen. There should be an aggressive listing of open board appointments.

Every member must be using social media correctly. Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. Only two members use it effectively on a regular basis. One doesn’t use it at all. This is a must! Put the widgets on their County profile page.

Return phone calls! Commissioners don’t do it. Instead phone calls are vetted through staff and don’t always get through (I know firsthand).

Both sides have work to do. The county has to eliminate excuses that have caused these problems and if activists and adversaries still aren’t happy, they need to find better leadership and mobilize on the campaign trail.

The size of the Orange County Commission is fine.

Far from perfect but the size of the County Commission should stay where it is.