Posted on 11 May 2011 by admin
Posted on 10 February 2011 by admin
ORLANDO – Meeting for the first time with its new membership – including Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs – on board, the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority opened itself up for feedback from the public on Wednesday — and got plenty.
Those comments included calls for an end to both the tolls on roads the Expressway Authority has built, and an end to the board itself, as well a call for higher ethical standards and a major push for the construction of the Wekiva Parkway.
As Walter A. Ketcham Jr., the authority’s chairman, noted at the beginning of the public hearing, the board welcomes feedback from the public as long as people stayed within a three minute presentation. While several of the speakers quickly surpassed that short time limit, they nevertheless brought along strong opinions on the region’s highways, tolls, construction jobs and economic future.
Charles Lee, representing the Florida Audubon, urged the board to move aggressively on the construction of the Wekiva Parkway, a 21-mile stretch of road connecting from where State Road 429 ends in Apopka to the 417/Interstate 4 interchange in Seminole County, connecting parts of Lake, Orange and Seminole counties. It would essentially create a beltway around Orlando.
Seminole County officials signed on to the project last August, while Lake County commissioners gave the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority permission to build it last October.
“I believe that it is incumbent on this organization and the members who serve on this board to place the Wekiva Parkway at the top of its priorities list,” Lee said. “We have a golden moment here.”
It’s been estimated, he said, that the project would create up to 11,000 construction jobs, much needed at a time when the region’s unemployment rate remains mired in double digits.
He also said the Expressway Authority could save even more money by moving quickly to purchase the land needed for the roadway, since the real estate market remains in a serious slump.
“We have an opportunity to save the toll payers of this region hundreds of millions of dollars by moving quickly to acquire the right of way while real estate prices are down,” Lee said. “We have the opportunity to save many millions of dollars turning dirt.”
Charlie Williams, the volunteer president of the League of Women Voters, noted that his organization supports the expansion of a multi-modal transportation system in Central Florida, which includes both a high speed train and the Wekiva Parkway.
“We all know and love our Orlando area airport,” he said. “But when it comes to our land port, what do you think of?”
The region needs to invest in improved transportation systems, and to move quickly to get them built, he said.
“When it comes to transportation, what you need to remind the average citizen is it can take seven years to build a road,” Williams said.
But Doug Guetzloe, chairman of the anti-tax group Ax The tax, countered that the Expressway Authority should instead pursue a very different agenda: abolishing itself.
“The issue is not whether or not there should be toll increases,” Guetzloe said. “The issue is whether this board should exist.”
Guetzloe noted that the Expressway Authority was created by the state Legislature back in the 1960s to build a limited access roadway from Orange to Brevard County, and then to build State Road 408, which was completed in 1973. But rather than disband and remove the tolls from this highway, the authority stayed around and continued building new roads – and adding new tolls, Guetzloe said.
“I believe – and I think a lot of citizens believe – that your mission is really completed,” he said. “What you continue to do is build more roads and pass more tolls … and build more roads and pass more tolls.”
Guetzloe noted that the authority’s executive director, Michael Synder, has successfully carried out their mission of creating a highway network that gets local residents to other locations across Central Florida, and quickly.
“Mike Synder has done exactly what you’ve asked him to do, which is build roads,” Guetzloe said. “You guys do build great roads. But it’s time that they become freeways.”
That would mean ending the toll system, rather than look at future toll hikes. He noted that local motorists are still angry at the toll hikes approved by the authority in 2009, and said the board risked angering them even further by going along with a scheduled hike in 2012.
“There is a simmering discontent among a lot of toll payers,” Guetzloe said. “I would urge you to consider declaring your mission is over. This can be done.”
Tom Powell of Windermere took the view that the Expressway Authority would be around for a long time, and should consider establishing a system of internal auditing to ensure public money is being spent wisely.
“I searched the web site to see if there was a charter for the internal audit function, and I couldn’t find it,” Powell said. “What makes an organization function properly? One of them was to establish an internal audit function with a charter. When you have certain things in place, you contribute to the ethical soundness of the organization. When I see millions of dollars flow through this organization, as a citizen I am concerned. I’m just eager to see a strong ethical climate play out.”
Contact us at FreelineOrlando@Gmail.com.
Posted on 10 February 2010 by Lee.Nash
The current U.S. Federal taxing scheme is exasperating if not convoluted and intentionally vague to incomprehensible. Any belief that fair is a concept in governmental oversight, only needs to look at the IRS for re-evaluation. There is not lack of proposals of change to manipulate and recalculate. It is only a matter of whom to bestow gracious favor. The government is in the business of choosing winners and losers. Economically “fair” is a concept that is misplaced in a fluid and vibrant free market. Fair requires a static economy that can be studied and managed. Keynesian’s believe such managing of the economy is achievable with their diligent studies, charts and graphs. So it should not be surprising that government and central bank collude to impress and befuddle with their omnipotent grandeur. The only practical reasons for such deception is to cover a theft a plundering of the citizens of magnitude.
The call for governmental reform and transparency resonates with the populace, so politicians echo sanctimoniously. The speeches passionately delivered and warmly received, will in the end provide no resolution from dissonance. There will be unending debates and ridicule of solutions, those endangering the power structure, vehemently denounced as radical. The messenger will be derided as inept and conspiratorial, quickly vanquished by hyperbole. Remember the King tyrant deemed us radicals for demanding liberty. The importance of this action is not to lecture to innocence, but to take away the pleas of ignorance. For if we are to have a government of the people, the people are responsible for safeguarding their freedom and liberty. Government no matter it’s intentions is by nature oppressive.
Freedom and liberty is the ability to make decisions unencumbered regarding life and property, without impinging on the natural rights of others. In 1913 the U.S. Government became chief arbitrator and enforcer of bestowed rights with the 16th amendment. The importance of understanding that the government decides how much prosperity your allowed to keep, not how much you pay. The government by determining the allocation of the fruit of labor transitioned the American people into a slave master relationship. For those that would claim the nation will implode without the 16th need only look at 1912 surpluses. No legitimate reform in taxation can be achieved without first abolishing the 16th amendment.
The first proposal for a tax reform bill should be to abolish the 16th amendment, replacing it with nothing. Any proposal that maintains the 16th by either manipulating or shrinking the tax code needs to be rejected out of hand, including any iteration of the FLAT TAX. The proposal of the VAT/BCT tax is a reminder of attempts to hide the true cost of government and is intellectually misleading. The need to return to a constitutional limited government may need a transitional taxing scheme to pave the way to prosperity. Reluctantly the FAIR TAX would be more advantageous to the American people. The provision of a “pre-bate”, political appeasement tactic, should be left on the table as the embodiment of socialism through a monthly government check. Consumers reminded daily by the receipt in their hand of the high cost of government will demand a decreasing rate, until a proper limited government is achieved.
Next time I’ll focus on the printing tax, the largest tax ever imposed on the American people.
Posted on 30 January 2010 by admin
This morning I woke up to a Google Alert that I thought was very interesting. NBC Miami had a story that basically called Marco a pig killer. The story was regarding a picture that Future Sen. Marco Rubio uploaded to Twitter around Christmas. It showed a hog that was about to be slaughtered for the families Christmas.
Being from Polk County and growing up in Frostproof I found nothing weird of the picture. We are humans we eat animals! I believe these Liberal pundits just want to imagine that their food beef, pork, or chicken comes from some magical place, a place where the animal is treated like a princess. This is just one example that shows how far out of touch with reality these people are.
Do Liberals hunt? Most likely not, they oppose guns most of the time. Do Liberals Eat? Michael Moore doesn’t look like he has missed a meal to me. Is it really that big of a deal to butcher an animal for food? What have we become a nation of sissies? (No offense to anyone named Sissy)
Is it a crime to provide for one self? To provide for ones family? I think not! Even the Liberal Media is in on the hits. They never once asked Marco anything on the issues at the Florida Press Corp. conference. Instead they chose to keep trying to ask tricky questions about Ray Sansom.
I think I might go to pig fest in Lakeland after all today. Maybe I will be labeled a pig killer too. Hopefully someone will ask me about it… then I can respond that the pig was so damn delicious I couldn’t resist! Don’t talk with your mouth full Liberals!
Posted on 12 January 2010 by admin
If you’re like me you talk to a few different Congressmen in DC or their staff on a regular basis. Different issues require different key members of the congressman’s staff. I have noticed that usually after the freshman year of a congressman that he generally changes. DC is a tough town and I believe it could beat anyone up.
However that’s not the case for Bill Posey (R- Rockledge) Congressman Posey has not sold out his principles or ideals. He is still an honest man in DC. Posey has been instrumental in several pieces of legislation that were driven by the grassroots. When people had issues with Barack Obama and the question of his birth certificate, Posey introduced a bill. He has gotten a lot of flack for this and been nicknamed a “Birther” because of it. However I believe he is simply trying to fix this issue for future elections.
When the Tea Party phenomenon caught on and grassroots were calling on Congressional members to accept the same health care coverage Posey Co-Sponsored it. To close the space gap and help America not fall behind in space exploration Posey suggested extending the Shuttle Missions. Posey is also very fiscally minded when it comes to our ever expanding National Debt. He introduced a measure that would allow a Taxpayer to allocate $10 of their income tax return to help pay off the National Debt. Bill Posey has also introduced HR 689 which requires bills be available 72 hours for the public before voting on them.
Posey is a welcomed face in DC. We need more congressmen with the grit and tenacity like him.
Posted on 12 September 2009 by admin
Gov. Charlie Crist‘s handpicked party chief, who once vowed to replace “divisive partisan rhetoric with common-sense solutions” has gone off the grid.
His hard-right turn began when he demanded a “stop to taxpayer-funded abortions,” even though none of the healthcare bills in Congress call for such a thing. Then he invited Carrie Prejean, a dethroned beauty queen best known for standing up to a gay blogger on national television, to headline a party convention.
And for the final flourish that thrust him into Rush Limbaugh‘s arms, Greer said Obama’s first-day-of-school speech this week aimed to “indoctrinate America’s children to his socialist agenda.”
Damn you Jon Stewart and your ill-timed vacation!
In his absence, Greer became a cable-news commando, raising his own profile but delivering questionable benefits to Florida Republicans. He was roundly mocked by editorial boards and even the conservative stewards of the Wall Street Journal, the consensus being that telling kids to do their homework and stay in school was more Bill Cosby than Bill Ayers.
“Isn’t that a joke,” said Al Hoffman, a major Republican fundraiser from Fort Myers. “I think Greer is doing a big disservice to the party whipping up the facts like that. . .There are a lot of Republicans sitting on the sidelines scratching their noodles and saying, `What are we doing with a guy like this leading our party?’ ”
It’s probably not a coincidence that Greer’s pivot comes as Crist is running for the Senate against a conservative insurgent, former House Speaker Marco Rubio. Even Crist had to admit Obama’s speech would have “an acceptable message by anybody’s standards.”
The publicity bender followed his stunt at last month’s convention when he cut up an American Express card to quash an uproar over suspicious charges billed to the party by former House Speaker Ray Sansom. Some donors, including Hoffman, were unmoved.
“It was like saying, `I promise not to waste any more money, at least through American Express,’ ” said Hoffman, who has stopped writing checks to the state party.
Donor dropoff won’t hurt Crist, who is shattering campaign finance records in his bid for federal office. The man with the most at stake is Bill McCollum, whose run for governor depends on party resources. (In 2006, Crist put about $19 million in his gubernatorial account and twice that in the party’s coffers.)
“Ultimately, what is important to me is the governor’s race, and every minute spent talking about the president’s speech is off the target,” said Broward Republican Party Chairman Chip LaMarca. “If donors are turned off, party surrogates have to work twice as hard.”
Between April and June, the Florida Democratic Party outraised the state GOP for the first time during the same fundraising period since 1996. Although Greer has promised more transparency, the party won’t disclose how much its Statesman’s Dinner netted last month, leading to speculation that the GOP will continue to lag behind.
Before Crist made him chairman, Greer was a little known city councilman in Oviedo, an Orlando suburb known for the chickens that roam downtown. Now he can spear media coverage by toying with bids for Congress or national party chairman. (He ruled out both before he had a chance to lose.)
In contrast, Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Thurman has kept a low profile since she clumsily handled the presidential candidates’ boycott of the state’s early primary last year. A party leader who scores ratings doesn’t necessarily win elections.
Posted on 30 August 2009 by Lee.Nash
Two years ago I was hanging out with the “Adopt a Greyhound” folks. Good people, involved voluntarily in a charity with good intentions and documented success. Jokily, I stated that because of my none routine lifestyle, adopting any dog would be cruel. I reasoned that since dogs are very social animals I probably could only keep a turtle or cat. Two days later I was presented with one free kitten as my cat, making me the designated cat owner in the Adopt a Greyhound program. It turns out this fully armed indoor/outdoor cat that allows me to live in her house has been a good fit. However, no matter how good the fit, I can’t afford another free cat!
Free is a relative term, is it free as a whole or partial. Is it free on a ongoing bases or just initially. In marketing and sales, free is a technique to motivate a buyer to commit. For example, children are motivated in the cereal aisle or fast food establishments with enticing free toys, motivating the parent to comply. As adults we are bombarded with offers of BOGO’s, buy one get one, or other offers to facilitate a purchase now instead of later. This sales technique is called squeezing the balloon, visualize a elongated balloon being squeezed on one end, inflating the other end. The seller is much more aware of the true expense and profits, making their nut, than the buyer, stressing emphasis on the great deal and not the bottom line. For the technique to work the buyer must be convinced they are receiving something for nothing, which they are not. No seller, I repeat no seller in a successful business gives anything away for free without
something of greater value in return. Breaking even on the balance sheet is not an option, without profit a business is only a hobby.
So you may ask, “How does this relate to politics?”. Well, government is in the business to facilitate itself, ever growing. To achieve this bureaucratic creep they must sell their customers, us, are getting something of greater value. The sales technique is the same, recently the federal government had a great example of a hugely successful sales program called, “Cash4Clunkers”. The sales pitch was, Free Money for a New Car! Without getting into the detail that the money isn’t free, but an example of monetary inflationary governmental practices, I will just focus on the sale. In the car biz the hardest part in selling cars is getting buyers on the lot. Once there, are they real buyers or tire kickers? With real buyers, what needs to be done to “de-horse” them out of their current ride and into new wheels? Traditionally the car sellers have to do horse trading, negotiating on prices for the new car and the trade-in, factoring
financing and extended warranties. Very rarely does a buyer come in that pays cash and/or does what is called a “lie-down”. Urgency is the word for the day in sells every day. Having time constraints, real or imagined, is crucial to motivate a purchase TODAY! So how has the federal government helped to motivate the buyer, by picking up the down payment and remedying that pesky trade-in negotiating. How has the federal government motivate the seller, by bringing customers to them that would not appeared on their on and did away with that pesky trade-in negotiating. Everything else in the car deal is still in play. Now that the government has de-horsed the customer and destroyed the car, the making of the artificially produced lie-down sell is underway.
The unsuspecting patsy is under the illusion that the government money for the down payment is guaranteed, if so the contract would read as such. The customer is always ultimately responsible for any “consideration”, not the government. As a rule of thumb, if the customer and their clunker qualified for the program they most likely are the least able to afford a change in terms. Now with the windfall of additional sells traffic on the showroom floor, the seller can use the time restraints of the government program to demand full MSRP (MSRP has built in profit padding), or make additional padding of the sell price. I suspect in the very near future the default rate on car loans associated with the Free Money bait for clunkers will sink those into a financial abyss, that they on their own would not of participated.
This concept of free to motivate citizens into action that is detrimental to themselves should not ever be by the hands of government at any level. Presently governments are promoting programs that can not sustain themselves beyond their initial funding and/or require a level of corporatism that should shock any voter. FREE Trains with FREE station parking, local and State for example. Where is this demand coming from other than from politicians and those that build public transportation. Recently the new revenue enhancement program for local coffers with FREE intersection cameras has grown, not surprisingly. Incentives for more tickets written, more money for the companies that install FREE cameras. The list can go on and on. We as citizen must be clear to our political leaders we are interested in FREEDOM, not free gimmicks. We as taxpayers can only afford so many FREE CATS!
Posted on 11 August 2009 by admin
I have read many interesting letters from people in support of a national or socialistic healthcare plan. One has to ponder, what would the Founders want? Interestingly enough we know what they wanted. We can look to our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution for guidance.
Thomas Jefferson once said, “A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government”
I support Adam Putnam’s stance on the healthcare issue. He has stated in another area newspaper that he supports a “Free Market System”. I believe the founders would support his position as well.
What is it going to take for people to start realizing that the Government is not the answer to our problems? Government overstepping its boundaries is the problem. When we stop taking planks from the Communist Manifesto and applying them to our lives our society will begin to heal!
It is pointless to call the current measure Health Care Reform. When has Government involvement in the Private Sector ever made anything more efficient or cost effective? I believe this Reform move is more of a power grab that will haunt future generations of Americans.
Posted on 23 July 2009 by admin
TALLAHASSEE – Florida should look at California’s landmark bipartisan agreement to permit oil drilling in state waters as a way to put people to work and help fund vital public services in the face of a historic budget deficit, a coalition of advocates said today. As part of the innovative agreement, California will reap a $100 million advance royalty payment and more than $1.8 billion in future revenue generated from a single oil platform.
EnergyFLA, a coalition of groups that support opening up Florida’s Gulf Coast waters to energy exploration, says this agreement demonstrates the tremendous potential revenues Florida could gain from tapping the vast oil and natural gas reserves in the state’s offshore waters.
Economist Hank Fishkind, principal of Fishkind & Associates, projects that Florida’s revenues from authorizing the exploration and production of the state’s offshore oil and natural gas reserves could range from $2.2 billion a year to as much as $12 billion a year.
In addition to state revenues, offshore drilling and production could add more than $7 billion a year to Florida’s economy and create more than 40,000 jobs, according to Fishkind’s conservative baseline estimates. Higher projections show a Florida-based energy sector would grow the state’s economy by $41 billion a year and create 231,000 new Florida jobs.
“California is demonstrating the potential benefits of offshore production to the state by reaping nearly $2 billion from a single platform. Florida could easily surpass that amount based on what we know about our reserves,” Fishkind said. “With one out of every 10 Floridians unemployed, we would be foolish to ignore the economic potential of Florida’s vast natural resources.”
California’s proposal allows the state to avoid deep cuts in social service programs proposed in the face of a $26 billion state deficit. Florida’s state budget has faced similar challenges in recent years, as the economic downturn has drastically reduced state revenue.
For more information visit www.EnergyFLA.com.
Posted on 09 July 2009 by admin
On July 2, Republican Party of Florida chairman Jim Greer officially removed Deon Long from his precinct committeeman post with the Orange County Republican Executive Committee as punishment for Long’s attempted takeover of OCREC.
Back in December, longtime OCREC chairman Lew Oliver was re-elected by one vote over the insurgent Long, a Winter Park lawyer, but only after rejecting more than a dozen or so potential Long votes because they didn’t turn in paperwork on time. Long and his allies sued, but a court dismissed his claims.
Calling that election invalid – two OCREC members abstained, which in Long’s view means that Oliver didn’t get the majority he needed – Long held a sort of shadow meeting in February, at which he was elected OCREC chairman. Except he wasn’t, because the state party didn’t recognize his “victory.” Greer summoned Long to a grievance hearing in March, where Oliver presented his case that Long should be ejected from the local GOP. Long didn’t show.
Finally, last week Long received the not-unexpected decision in a terse, one-page letter: “I accept and adopt the [grievance committee’s] unanimous recommendation that you should be removed from the position of Orange County Republican Precinct Committeeman effective immediately,” Greer wrote. “Please govern yourself accordingly.”
Greer’s decision “doesn’t have any consequences,” Long says dismissively. He recently re-filed his lawsuit against OCREC. He’s all but announced his campaign for Congress against Suzanne Kosmas.
This evening brought word of yet another Republican being brought to the grievance committee. Will Pitts of St. John’s County. In his grievance letter he received it stated why he was being brought to the committee. Here are the reasons
Is this really a party that I want to be a part of? I wouldn’t think all Republicans feel the same way Greer does. It would lead one to think he is on a little bit of an ego trip.
Eating your own does not seem to help the Republican Party either. With so much effort being put in by the GOP with Drive the Discussion round tables, and the listening tour it would seem that the party wouldn’t want to cause members to jump ship.
If Republicans want to get their party back it is time to stand up. We will not win in 2012 with the same people like Greer destroying the Republican Party.
Republicans are just coming off of a HUGE loss to Democrats. It would appear that the Republican Party would want to be in a BUILDING PHASE rather than a tearing down stage.