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< If you don’t stand behind our troops, why don’t you stand in front of them.

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.

Proud to be an American.

Salute a Veteran!

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My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy! ~Thomas Jefferson P>

General information

update 7/16/2018 – Videos of all Candidates Presented by The Highlands Tea Party 2018 Midterm – Ron DeSantis, Bob White, Arlene Tuck, Ben Albritton, Greg Steube, Julio Gonzales, Bill Akins, Rep DeSantis, Jack Richie, Ashley Moody, Baxter Troutman


  • RON DeSANTIS – Candidate Governor Florida
    Film at Trump National Golf Club – Jupiter 7/14/2018
  • DENISE GRIMSLEY – Candidate Commissioner of Agriculture Florida

 Disclaimer: This video OR article in no way implies that ‘The Highlands Tea
Party’ endorses any candidate running for office in: Highlands County,
Florida government, the U.S Congress or Presidency. This video/article is
presented for public information only. The views or opinions expressed in
this video are solely those of the candidate, their sponsors or staff, and do
not necessarily represent those of ‘The Highlands Tea Party’.







1000 Sebring Square
Sebring Florida

Candidates for Highlands County School board

Charlene Edwards (incumbent)
Can find no BIO’s at Ballotpedia, WIKI, or Linkedin

Isaac Durrance (challenger)

I am a sixth generation Florida resident, and I have lived in Highlands County for the past 23 years.
For over 20 years I have been a local business leader, student advocate, teacher and
school based administrator for the Highlands County School Board. My wife and I have been
a champion for children’s services with our time and through donations. Please take the
time on Tuesday, August 28 to vote for Isaac Durrance for Highlands County School Board.
– School Based administrator at Sun ‘n Lake Elementary — lake Placid Elementary and Avon Elementary.
– Honorary Chapter F.F.A. Degree, Hill Gustat Middle School —  Previous member of the Miracle
League of Highlands County Board 
— Previous member of Special Stars of Highlands County Board
 3 year President of Sun ‘n Lake Elementary P.T.O. — 2 year President of the Avon Park High School
Touchdown Club –
– Previous Board Member of the Highlands County Y.M.C.A. — Co-Creator and
Board Member of Avon Park Volleyball Boosters 
— Previous member of the Noon Rotary Club of
Avon Park –
– Previous Board Member for the Children’s Museum of Highlands County
Member, Florida Citrus Mutual.
Religious Views


July 31, 2018Mike McCalister – Candidate for Commissioner of Agriculture
July 31, 2018
– Ryan Torrens – Democratic candidate for FL Attorney General
August 07, 2018 – Matt Caldwell Candidate for Florida Agriculture Commissioner
August 07, 2018 Cary Pigman – Candidate for FL State Representative (Incumbent)
August 14, 2018 Jill Compton – Candidate for Highlands County School Board (Incumbent)

Please let myself or Bob know if you or any member is going In for surgery, or have
other issues we should put in our prayers.

Upcoming Events:

See fliers on tables

A)  The Big Pro Gun Rally. When: Saturday, July 28, 2018 Where: Tallahassee,
FL – The Steps of the Capitol Courtyard Time: Speakers from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Folks, If we don’t show as much opposition to the lefts attempted gun
grabs as they show trying to grab them, we are going to lose this battle, without
the 2nd Amendment, the 1st, and other are useless.


One is being held on July 17th the night of our meeting

Two other county budget presentations will  start at 6pm, 

  •  Sebring at the Board of County Commissioners
    board room on Thursday, July 19th 

  • Lake Placid at the Town Council meeting room on Tuesday, July 24th

    Anycitizen may attend any or all of the three presentations. The format for all three will include a county PowerPoint
    presentation and time for questions and answers. The combination meeting with Commissioner Elwell’s Town Hall
    will include clarifications from the commissioner in addition to open Q&A on any current county topic that citizens
    wish to discuss.

C) DONALD TRUMP Jr. & RON DeSANTIS with Guest Representative Matt Gaezt

Donald Trump Jr. is coming to Central Florida with special guest Matt Gaetz in Support of Ron DeSantis for Governor!
Wed, July 18, 2018     1:00 PM – 3:30 PM EDT
LOCATION   B.B. King’s Blues Club,   9101 International Drive  #2230,  Orlando, FL 32819
All attendees must register by eventbrite before event.


Wednesday July 18, 8:00 am-9:30 am – Tortugas Florida Kitchen and bar, 608 s. Oceanshore Blvd, Flagler Beach, (161 miles from Sebring)

Education is the key; this is the Tea Parties objextive!
We are a conservative, partisan, patriotic organization.


Beverages are complimentary – Thanks to Homer and Melanie
(Coffee, Iced Tea, Cola Machine)  –  Deserts are not!


NOTE: You know how total domination begins, one election , one office at a time, the Muslim world has stated that they are in no hurry , but one day all will be ruled by Allah through their caliphate.

The caliphate (or succession) is what Mohammed rules, the governing body that claims dominion over all believers.



REPORT: Muslims running for office
in record numbers

As many as 90 Muslim-American candidates ran for statewide or national office
this election cycle, the most since at least Sept. 11, 2001, The Associated Press
reported Monday.  Roughly 50 of those candidates remain after primaries, according to the AP.
However, that number is higher than the roughly dozen Muslim-American
candidates that campaigned in 2016.
The article goes on to state the following:
That number could still dwindle, as several Muslim-American candidates still
face primary challenges in elections in Michigan and Minnesota, the news
service noted.   There are still nine congressional candidates up for election, according to Jetpac,
a nonprofit group that helps train Muslim-American candidates. Eighteen others
are also campaigning for seats in state legislatures, and 10 are running for
statewide offices, according to Jetpac data reported by the AP.
The following information is shared from the Associated Press report:
The next critical stretch of primaries is in August.
In Michigan, at least seven Muslim Americans are on the Aug. 7 ballot, including
El-Sayed, who could become the nation’s first Muslim governor.  In Minnesota, the
decision by Keith Ellison, the nation’s first Muslim congressman, to run for state
attorney general has set off a political frenzy for his congressional seat that includes
two Muslim candidates, both Democrats:
Ilhan Omar, the country’s first Somali-American state lawmaker, and Jamal
Abdulahi, a Somali-American activist.
But historic wins in those and other races are far from assured, cautions Geoffrey
Skelley, an associate editor at Sabato’s Crystal Ball, a nonpartisan political analysis
website run by the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.
Omar’s chances of emerging from a field of five Democratic candidates in
Minnesota’s Aug. 14 primary was bolstered by a recent endorsement from the
state Democratic Party, but El-Sayed is an underdog in his gubernatorial race, he said.

To weigh in on this information provided by TheHill.com, engage in our LIVE CHAT below. Scroll down.
DML News offered you the above information as part of our ongoing effort to educate and inform people around the world. You can obtain additional information by visiting TheHill.com


What Candace Owens Thinks (How to create a mind)


Trump, Putin speak at joint press conference in Helsinki — live blog


LIVE COVERAGE: Putin says he wanted Trump to beat Hillary; both agree there was no collusion



Google removes egg from the salad emoji to be more “inclusive”

The politically correct world has reached a new low. Does google really need to remove an egg from their salad emoji to accommodate vegans? That’s absurd!

Being “Inclusive”

The idea of being politically correct has taken a turn downhill. If certain liberal attitudesweren’t ridiculous enough already, they have definitely reached that level now. Google removed an egg from their salad emoji so that vegans could feel included as well. Is that really necessary? We are talking about emojis here. Why does the liberal world have to take emojis and turn them into something so serious?

Where will it end?

It’s beautiful to have different types of people with different beliefs living in one country. America is a wonderful place! But everyone should be able to have their own values without imposing those values upon others. What has happened with the emojis is humorous. Are people actually offended because there is an egg in a salad emoji? Yes, it’s true – some people eat eggs! It’s allowed, and it’s not a crime. But because google had to remove the egg to be “inclusive” of vegans, that is just allowing vegans to impose their behaviors upon the rest of google emoji users. That is just a new low for the politically correct world. It’s just emojis. No one is forcing a vegan to eat a salad with an egg in it.

The politically correct left is trying to BAN the Bible!

The United States Constitution is the supreme law. The first ten amendments protect individual liberty and justice, and place restrictions on the powers of government. Is California trying to upset this balance?

California liberals are trying to ban certain types of books that deal with sexual morality. This includes banning the Bible. The notion is so utterly disgusting because the United States is founded on the freedom of expression. Yet liberal elites in California, run by the Democrats, are trying to tell us what to say and what to read.

Freedom of Expression – The First Amendment

The Freedom of Expression is protected by the first amendment in the United States Constitution. This amendment does many things. It prohibits any laws that impede the free exercise of religion, abridge the freedom of speech, or infringe upon the freedom of the press.
The most basic part of freedom of expression is the right of freedom of speech. This right allows people to express themselves without government interference or regulation. Yet Democrats in the California state legislature want to tell us how to think and what sort of books to read. This is completely against the first amendment!
Political correctness gone awry, and this proves it. We need to stop this before it’s too late! Citizens can reach out to their elected officials and politely express their views.

The right to assemble

The United States Constitution also recognizes the right to assemble for peaceful and lawful purposes. However, the government may prohibit people from knowingly associating in groups that engage and promote illegal activities.
The United States Constitution with the amendments is a vital part of us. We protect our rights, because they are what makes American great. And if that requires debating legislature for hours on end, we are willing to do so to protect the constitution.
© Copyright 2018 – 12Tribe Films Ltd.

The unexpected religion that’s against American values is growing FAST! SIMPLE EXPLANATION OF WHO THE LEFTIST ARE – SOCIALIST/COMMUNIST ONE IN THE SAME!!

Leftist Values

Leftists preach that if you are not like them, you have no value to what you say and do. The whole idea of freedom of speech apparently does not apply if it means going against what the leftists say. The left has gone completely insane with its politically correct “values.”
How can a country exist with what the Left has turned it into? What they do goes against American values and our joint Judeo-Christian values. They claim they are for American values, but they act against those ideas that the country was built upon. The Left has overtaken colleges, the media, and even entertainment. And it is alarming how many people have fallen into the trap.
Leftism has become similar to fascism, and it is extremely chilling. Americans must wake up and realize what is happening to their once free country. This is happening across the whole Western world, not just America. Western Europe and Israel also have similar communities of leftists. We are all in this together.

The unexpected religion that’s against
American values is growing FAST!

American Values

People think of America as a free country.  The founders of America believed in G-d, religious freedom and the ideas of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Those words are in the Declaration of Independence. And those words should be upheld. But is the Left doing their American duty to follow these values? Seemingly not.
Everyone is supposed to be equal. That is what the left will tell you. But then they will not let anyone with opposing beliefs talk. If you think differently than Leftism, there will be consequences. Leftists are tolerant only if they agree with you. Even worse, leftism supports tolerating the intolerant Muslims.
That does not sound like what America ought to be.

Leftist Values – SOCIALISM

Leftists preach that if you are not like them, you have no value to what you say and do. The whole idea of freedom of speech apparently does not apply if it means going against what the leftists say. The left has gone completely insane with its politically correct“values.”
How can a country exist with what the Left has turned it into? What they do goes against American values and our joint Judeo-Christian values. They claim they are for American values, but they act against those ideas that the country was built upon. The Left has overtaken colleges, the media, and even entertainment. And it is alarming how many people have fallen into the trap.

Leftism has become similar to fascism, and it is extremely chilling. Americans must wake up and realize what is happening to their once free country. This is happening across the whole Western world, not just America. Western Europe and Israel also have similar communities of leftists. We are all in this together.

© Copyright 2018 – 12Tribe Films Ltd.




House conservatives have begun planning the impeachment of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, according to reports.


Report: House Conservatives Move Forward
with Plans to Impeach Rod Rosenstein

Rod Rosenstein15,015

House conservatives have begun planning the impeachment of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, according to reports.

Leading Freedom Caucus members Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) are laying the groundwork to bring articles of impeachment against Rosenstein, as House investigators accuse the Justice Department of stonewalling their requests for documents related to the agency’s surveillance of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Politico writes:

House conservatives are preparing a new push to oust Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, according to three conservative Capitol Hill sources — putting the finishing touches on an impeachment filing even as Rosenstein announced the indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers for interfering in the 2016 election.   House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, in fact, had the impeachment document on the floor of the House at the very moment that Rosenstein spoke to reporters and TV cameras Friday.

Reports of the plan come after Rosenstein announced charges Friday against 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking offenses during the 2016 election and pushed back on allegations that FBI agents are leaking details of the probe to reporters. The Russians are accused of hacking into the computer networks of the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton – then releasing stolen emails on the Internet in the months before the election.



The Dan Bongino Show – What Liberals Aren’t Telling You About Socialism

July 11, 2018: Ep. 760 What Liberals
Aren’t Telling You About Socialism

In this episode I address troubling new revelations surfacing regarding the
scandalous investigation into the Trump team. I also discuss and debunk
liberal myths about socialism and I address a development in the immigration crisis.

News Picks:

© Copyright Dan Bongino



DeSANTIS GETS KOCH BROTHERs ENDORSEMENTs Plus Members of the Billionaire Club: David A. Siegel, the CEO of Westgate Resorts in Orlando, Bernard Marcus a Home Depot co-founder, Thomas Peterffy the founder of Interactive Brokers, Foster Friess, a Wyoming-based investor,

DeSantis wins formal Koch backing as momentum continues to shift

TALLAHASSEE — Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has long been the GOP front-runner in the fight for Florida’s governor’s mansion, but Rep. Ron DeSantis got another momentum boost Tuesday when Freedom Partners Action Fund, a Koch Brothers-backed group, endorsed the GOP congressman.  The Fund’s backing could provide both financial and infrastructure help to DeSantis, who recently racked up his second Twitter endorsement from President Donald Trump and survived an initially unanswered $15 million TV ad onslaught from Putnam.
The reaction was similar among many in Florida’s political class after the Koch-backed group announced the DeSantis endorsement. Few were surprised by the support; DeSantis is considered to be philosophically much more aligned with the Koch brothers than other candidates. But there was a sense that the timing of the announcement could serve as a sort of signal notifying national conservative donors, many of whom DeSantis developed relationships with during his three terms in Congress, to write checks for him.
The Koch network could also help DeSantis tap its grass-roots arm of door-knockers and the organization’s powerful political assets.
“The Koch endorsement strikes not only at the financial stake in this race, a big enough positive for DeSantis, but also social media, field operations and data gathering skills the empire has sharpened since the 2015 midterms,” said another longtime Republican politico.  Backed by the state’s biggest special interest groups, Putnam has long led the money chase, and has spent nearly $13 million more than DeSantis. He has built a ground game and honed an image of a candidate much more in tune with Florida than DeSantis. Putnam has blasted his primary rival as a D.C. creature out of touch with Florida.
The new DeSantis endorsement will help his campaign get closer to parity on its balance sheet and its ground operation, areas that Putnam had dominated so far.  “Win big by going small has made them [Koch’s] more than just a financier of politicians,” said another Republican consultant of the Koch network’s ground operation. “This strikes at the heart of the Putnam strength — the small stuff often not seen by the public.”  Much of Putnam’s campaign messaging so far has focused on tethering his political identity to his Florida roots. He has hammered home that message in an endless stream of summer campaign breakfasts and barbecues across largely rural swaths of the state.
As Putnam wraps his public political image in campaign’s “Florida First” slogan, he has been equally aggressive attacking DeSantis as an outsider who is Floridian in name only. “Becoming the Florida governor is also a prize, but you must be present to win,” Putnam said, landing a jab during the only GOP gubernatorial debate last month in Orlando.
DeSantis has tried to chip away at that image by casting Putnam, who has held election office since he was 22 years old, as a career politician and shill for the state’s largest agriculture special interests.  Recent polling has been all over the map. A Fox News poll in mid-June had Putnam up 15 points, while DeSantis’ campaign says it has internal numbers with their candidate up 19 points. The Real Clear Politics average of polls has Putnam leading 23-16, and most observers have had a sense that Putnam’s structural advantages have him in the lead.
While some see the recent moves as bolstering DeSantis, other longtime Florida political observers see them in a different light: helpful, but not a game changer.
The endorsement “is not a big deal. They have been for him all along,” said one GOP lobbyist and consultant. “They [DeSantis campaign] need the [Koch] brothers themselves to write checks.”
“That would be big,” they said.


Here’s a list breaking down the States with the highest expenditures for illegal immigration according to FAIR.

  1. California – $23,038,125,353
  2. Texas – $10,994,614,550
  3. New York – $7,489,141,357
  4. Florida – $6,290,429,108
  5. New Jersey – $4,466,838,574
  6. Illinois – $3,220,767,517
  7. Georgia – $2,487,719,503
  8. North Carolina – $2,437,965,113
  9. Maryland – $2,378,996,947
  10.   Arizona – $2,314,131,964


Ron DeSantis overplays link between the opioid crisis and southern border

In this May 24, 2016 file photo, House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla. testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo)
Republican candidate for Florida governor Ron DeSantis has a plan to solve the opioid epidemic, and it starts with securing the southern border of the United States.   That’s where lethal drugs pour into the country, he said during the Westside Republican Club Reagan Day Barbecue in Callahan, Fla., on June 2.
“This drug crisis is driven by a lot of the drugs that are pouring across the southern border,” DeSantis said. “Yeah, there are problems with prescription medication and things like that, and Florida’s done some stuff to rein that in. The bulk of the problem with the opioid epidemic is the fentanyl and all the synthetic drugs coming across the southern border. When you have a weak border like under (former President Barack) Obama — that’s a wet kiss to the drug cartels. They love that, because they can move so much product into our country.”
Here, we’ll fact-check his link between synthetic drugs smuggled across the U.S.-Mexico border and the American opioid crisis. What did a “weak border” have to do with it?
DeSantis has a point about the rise of synthetic opioids. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids surged from 2013 to 2016. Among the more than 64,000 drug overdose deaths estimated in 2016, the sharpest increase occurred among deaths related to fentanyl and synthetic opioids with almost 20,000 overdose deaths.    The problem with DeSantis’ claim is linking the supply of fentanyl and synthetic drugs from the southern border to the opioid epidemic killing tens of thousands of Americans each year. These drugs can and do enter from across the southern border, but these drugs also tend to come in through other points of entry.
Prescription vs. synthetic opioids
The National Institute on Drug Abuse describes opioids as a class of drugs that includes heroin, fentanyl and prescription pain relievers such as oxycodone (including OxyContin), hydrocodone (including Vicodin), codeine, morphine and many others.   Fentanyl, which DeSantis mentioned, is a powerful pain reliever that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent. Fentanyl can be prescribed to treat advanced cancer pain, but can be made and sold on the illegal drug market, often mixed with or sold as heroin.
Other synthetic opioids include tramadol and fentanyl analogs, which are drugs designed to mimic the pharmacological effects of the original drug.   More than 42,000 people died as a result of opioid-related overdoses in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 16,800 deaths involved a prescription opioid, and more than 19,000 were related to synthetic opioids (the latter category is what DeSantis is talking about).
While synthetic drugs accounted for more deaths than prescription opioids, there’s no way to know how exactly how many of those drugs crossed the southern border before they were taken.

A southern border link?

International gangs based in Mexico “remain the greatest criminal drug threat to the United States,” and their most common method of smuggling drugs is vehicles legally coming into the U.S., according to a 2017 Drug Enforcement Administration report.  But that’s for all drugs, not just synthetic drugs like DeSantis said.  They type of drugs that DeSantis singled out tend to enter the country through other points of entry — including, but not limited to, the southern border.
According to a 2017 DEA report, China is a main supplier of fentanyl and fentanyl-related compounds.
Some of the fentanyl comes straight to the United States from China through the mail. Other shipments come in from China to Mexico or China to Canada before making its way into the United States. In addition, fentanyl and fentanyl-related compounds are also sold and distributed through illicit drug markets on the dark web, the report said.  Between 2013 and 2017, Border Patrol seized 286 pounds of fentanyl, 3218 pounds of heroin, and 23 pounds of morphine, according to the Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee from May 2018. We don’t have an exact breakdown of how much fentanyl reaches final users through Chinese labs and how much comes from across the border.
That’s because China-sourced fentanyl concealed in mail parcels can be difficult for law enforcement officials to trace back to the original sender. Traffickers forward the package multiple times to different people, according to the DEA report.   President Donald Trump’s opioid commission seemed more concerned with shipments from China than couriers from Mexico.  “We are miserably losing this fight to prevent fentanyl from entering our country and killing our citizens,” the commission reported. “We are losing this fight (predominantly) through China.”  Trump’s opioid commission says many users order the pill form of fentanyl online and have it shipped discreetly. The commission’s report references a Carnegie Mellon University study that found revenues from online illicit drug sales increased from between $15 million and 17 million in 2012 to $150 million and $180 million in 2015.

The fentanyl found at the southern border tends to be less potent than the fentanyl shipped through the mail.

“Large volumes of fentanyl are seized at the (southern border), although these seizures are typically low in purity — on average approximately 7 percent,” the 2017 DEA report says. “Conversely, the smaller volumes seized after arriving in the mail directly from China can have purities over 90 percent and be worth much more than the fentanyl seized at the (southwest border).”  To emphasize this point, DeSantis’ spokesperson Brad Herold pointed to previous PolitiFact-checks that show that heroin is mainly smuggled through Mexico. That is accurate, though heroin is not a synthetic drug.  “As most experts admit, fentanyl is mixed with heroin and other drugs in Mexico and sent across the border,” Herold said.
Experts are skeptical that enhancing southern border security (like a wall) can do much to improve the opioid crisis. That’s because traffickers have a history of circumnavigating patrol measures, using catapults, drones, boats and tunnels. In other words, securing the border patrol might change where drugs are trafficked but it might not change the amount.  David Herzberg, a professor who studies the history of American prescription drug abuse at the University at Buffalo, took issue with DeSantis’ characterization of what’s driving the opioid epidemic.
The crisis began with a dramatic uptick in new cases of addiction associated with a rise in the volume of prescribed opioids, and then illicit synthetic ones. The “bulk of the problem,” as experts see it now, has to do with the lack of resources for those already struggling with addiction, such as methadone and Naltrexone.  “In other words, ‘the problem’ now is not the smuggled opioid supply, it is our failure to deliver an adequate public health response to existing cases of opioid dependence and addiction,” Herzberg said.

Our ruling

DeSantis said, “The bulk of the problem with the opioid epidemic is the fentanyl and all the synthetic drugs coming across the southern border.”   This claim downplays the fact that synthetic drugs are smuggled into the country from locations outside of the southern border, especially from China. However, exact numbers to sort out how much comes from where were unavailable. Trump’s own commission seemed more concerned with China than Mexico when it comes to synthetic drugs.

We rate the statement Half True.

Share The Facts

Ron DeSantis
U.S. Representative

“The bulk of the problem with the opioid epidemic is the fentanyl and all the synthetic drugs coming across the southern border.”
©All Rights Reserved Poynter Institute 2018, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization


Did Adam Putnam endorse the Gang of Eight immigration amnesty?

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, greets supporters after a Florida Republican gubernatorial primary debate at the Republican Sunshine Summit Thursday, June 28, 2018, in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)   Republican candidate for Florida governor Adam Putnam has been accused of not being conservative enough — especially when it comes to immigration.
The attacks continued during a nationally televised Fox News Republican debate. Putnam’s opponent, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, accused Putnam of voting for amnesty on immigration three times.   “When he was acting commissioner (Putnam) endorsed the Obama-Schumer Gang of Immigration amnesty,” DeSantis said. “The biggest amnesty in history, it would have lowered wages for American workers and it would have created an incentive to come illegally.”
We have looked at Putnam’s record on immigration multiple times, but this time we wanted to take a close look at the specific “Gang of Eight” legislation. Did Putnam endorse the “Obama-Schumer Gang of immigration amnesty?”   Putnam did voice support of the Gang of Eight bill, but it’s worth noting that the bill was bipartisan and supported by several prominent Republicans. Characterizing the bill as amnesty requires additional context, too.

“Gang of Eight” legislation

In June 2013 while he was Florida’s agriculture commissioner, Putnam told reporters that he supported the “Gang of Eight” bill, which he saw as a benefit to multiple industries including agriculture.   “It makes improvements at the border and employee verification, while also creating a more modern visa program so that jobs in our economy can be filled when there is a shortfall of domestic labor,” he told the Lakeland Ledger. “That has been particularly acute in agriculture.”
The bill would have eliminated the diversity lottery program, set up a path to legal status and an eventual opportunity for citizenship.
It also would have allowed the president to designate certain groups outside the United States as particularly at risk, and other officials to label certain refugees in the United States as having nowhere to go. It further would have repealed the deadline for refugees already here to apply for asylum.  Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., was one of the four Democrats who supported the bill, and it was endorsed by former President Barack Obama.  But the “Gang of Eight” actually refers to a bipartisan group of eight United States senators Democrats and four Republicans. So, the bill also — at least for a time — had support of prominent senators Jeff Flake, R-Az., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Lindsey Graham, R- S.C., and John McCain R-Az.
The bill passed the Senate, 68-32. Fourteen Republicans joined 52 Democrats and two independent Senators in voting for the bill. The bill did not get a hearing in the House.

Is it immigration amnesty?

DeSantis called the bill “immigration amnesty” and that requires additional context. As we’ve concluded in the past, defining amnesty is tricky.  Some view it as blanket permission for undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States, while others view amnesty as any measure that is favorable to any undocumented immigrants, even if it includes a list of tough measures they have to meet.  Republicans who supported the legislation emphasized the bill was not amnesty.  “This is not amnesty,” Rubio said on Fox News Sunday on April 14, 2013. “Amnesty is the forgiveness of something. Amnesty is anything that says do it illegally, it will be cheaper and easier.”
We rated Rubio’s claim Half True. We found that the bill does not offer blanket legal residency to unauthorized immigrants. The bill mandated fines, background checks and waiting periods, and it’s tougher than its 1986 predecessor. But it also offered a measure of clemency to those   immigrants, who would not be required to return to their home countries.   “This bill includes numerous punishments for unauthorized immigrants who broke the laws, including paying fines and other legal sanctions,” Alex Nowrasteh with the libertarian Cato Institute told PolitiFact in 2013. “If it was amnesty they would be legalized immediately with no punishment, no process. They would just be forgiven and handed a green card.”

Our ruling

DeSantis said Putnam “endorsed the Schumer-Obama Gang of Eight immigration amnesty.”   Putnam endorsed a bill that laid out a path to legal status and eventual opportunity for citizenship, but several prominent Republicans also supported it, including Rubio.   Calling the bill amnesty is also at least partially misleading. The bill did not offer blanket legal residency to unauthorized immigrants. The bill mandated fines, background checks and waiting periods

DeSantis has the endorsement right but the details beyond that require some clarification.

We rate this claim Mostly True.

Share The Facts

Ron DeSantis
U.S. Representative

Says Adam Putnam “endorsed the Schumer-Obama Gang of Eight immigration amnesty.”


Putnam parrots previous absurd claim on food stamps for illegal immigrants

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis answers questions from reporters after a Florida Republican gubernatorial primary debate at the Republican Sunshine Summit Thursday, June 28, 2018, in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)   The top two Republicans running for governor in Florida, Adam Putnam and Ron DeSantis, tried to paint a picture that the other was weak on immigration issues during a nationally televised debate on Fox News June 28, 2018.
Moderator Bret Baier of Fox News asked Putnam, the state’s agriculture commissioner, to respond to a DeSantis’ attack ad calling him “Amnesty Adam.”  Putnam shot back, “That’s rich for somebody who voted in an agricultural bill to give food stamps to illegal immigrants.”
Off-screen, DeSantis, a Florida congressman who has been endorsed by President Donald Trump, responded, “That’s not true, you know that, come on.”

So, is that true?

No, it’s not.

The bill in question is a 2014 agricultural bill, H.R. 2642. Farm bills are passed about every five years, reauthorizing food and agriculture policy including measures such as crop and commodity subsidies, conservation programs, agriculture research and food assistance benefits, known as SNAP for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.  The bill mentioned illegal immigrants briefly, in Section 4015, to mandate that states would be “required to use an immigration status verification system” when distributing food assistance benefits.
DeSantis voted against the bill, which passed 251-166. He also voted against a predecessor of the bill which failed to pass through the House, but had a similar provision against immigrants in the country illegally obtaining food assistance benefits.  Putnam and his supporters frequently cite these votes as evidence that DeSantis was in favor of extending SNAP to people in the country illegall
The thinking goes that by voting against the farm bill in total, DeSantis voted against a provision that sought to verify that food assistance benefits only went to U.S. citizens.  As a result, Putnam and his supporters claim, DeSantis supported distributing food assistance benefits without a citizenship test. And therefore, he supported distributing food assistance benefits to people in the country illegally.   In April, seven radio stations have pulled a radio ad from the National Liberty Federation making the same claim as Putnam made during the Fox News debate, according to the DeSantis campaign.
Even if H.R. 2642 had been voted down, SNAP regulations already in place prohibited people living in the United States illegally from receiving benefits.   Nune Phillips, a policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy, told PolitiFact in March 2018, “Undocumented immigrants are not currently, and never have been, eligible for SNAP. To qualify for SNAP, applicants must be U.S. citizens or be eligible, lawfully-present noncitizens.”
After the vote in 2014, DeSantis wrote a Facebook post clarifying his reasoning: he voted against the bill because of the high cost and low return. The bill, he wrote, is a “bad deal for taxpayers and contains little in the way of meaningful reforms.”  Specifically, he was concerned that the bill did not do enough to cut back the rising cost of food stamp program—a far cry from wanting to expand it to include illegal immigrants.  When asked about the claim, Putnam campaign spokesperson Meredith Beatrice directed us toward DeSantis’s voting record on the 2014 bill and its predecessor, as well as a link to this similarly misleading Central Florida Post article.

Our ruling

Putnam claimed DeSantis “voted in an agricultural bill to give food stamps to illegal immigrants.” DeSantis actually voted against the bill, and explained later it had nothing to do with provisions related to immigration.
Putnam has cast the vote against the farm bill as somehow allowing people living in the country illegally to receive food assistance benefits.
But the practice was prohibited before the 2014 vote, and it remained prohibited after the 2014 vote.

We rate this claim Pants on Fire!

Adam Putnam
Agriculture Commissioner

Says Ron DeSantis “voted in an agricultural bill to give food stamps to illegal immigrants.”
in a Fox News Debate – Thursday, June 28, 2018
    ©All Rights Reserved Poynter Institute 2018, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization


Do Florida taxpayers pay tens of millions of
dollars a year on undocumented immigrants in prison?

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam announced for governor at the old Polk County Courthouse in Bartow May 10, 2017. (Tampa Bay Times)   In an interview with Fox News, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam outlined his approach to illegal immigration if elected governor of Florida.
Florida has to act, Putnam said, because illegal immigration comes at a steep cost. Putnam touted his Secure Florida First Agenda, which includes establishing a community deportation system with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“In other words, Florida should have that relationship with ICE because Florida taxpayers are sick of paying tens of millions of dollars a year to feed and house in our prison system criminal illegal aliens who ought to be in the custody of the feds and oughta be deported,” Putnam said June 7.
The economic impact of immigration is widely debated, so we wanted to take a look at Putnam’s statement. We found it’s uncertain how much money “illegal” immigrants in Florida prisons cost taxpayers. That’s because Florida doesn’t keep tabs on whether inmates are in the country legally or illegally.

Flaws in Putnam’s evidence

Putnam campaign spokeswoman Meredith Beatrice said that there are two ways to calculate the “tens of millions” dollar figure he is referring to.  The problem, though, is that his calculation for “illegal immigrants” includes inmates who are not U.S. citizens but are in the country legally.   Putnam’s team multiplied the total state Department of Corrections budget ($2.3 billion) by the percent of “criminal illegal aliens” in Florida’s prisons, which Putnam said was 4.8 percent. That 4.8 percent of Corrections budget is roughly $110 million.
In the second calculation, Putnam multiplied the average cost to incarcerate an inmate for a day ($55.80, according to the Florida Department Of Corrections) by the number of days in a year. Then he multiplied that total ($20,367) by the number of “criminal illegal immigrants” in Florida prisons, which he said was 4,754.
That works out to around $96.8 million.
But terminology matters. Putnam is referring to that 4,754 figure as all “illegal aliens,” but in fact the state prison system labels them simply “aliens.”
That might sound like a small difference, but it isn’t. The term “aliens” actually refers to all people who are not U.S. citizens, those who arrived both legally and illegally. The state of Florida only keeps a count of all aliens.   According to the Florida Department of Corrections, “the vast majority of alien inmates” are released to ICE for further immigration processing, including possible deportation.   It’s possible undocumented immigrants make up a good share of the “alien” population, but Putnam still would have no way of knowing the exact numbers.   “If the state of Florida doesn’t track illegal immigrants in prison (they don’t) then that number is not knowable,” said Cato analyst Alex Nowrasteh.
Another problem is that even if 4.8 percent of the prison population were released from the prison system, it does not mean it would have a direct 4.8 percent reduction on the total budget because of fixed costs, such as the cost to keep a prison running and administrative and security costs.  Bryce Peterson, a senior research associate at the Urban Institute, said that reducing a small number of people from the prison will only really reduce the cost of clothing, food and direct health care service to that individual. “If they were to release all 5 percent of those people that’s probably not going to be enough to start laying off people and closing prison,” Peterson said. “It’s unrealistic to think it’s going to have a direct five percent impact on their total budget.”

Our ruling

Putnam said Florida taxpayers “pay tens of millions of dollars a year to feed and house in our prison system criminal illegal aliens.”
Putnam’s estimates for how much undocumented immigrants in prisons cost Florida taxpayers have several major problems. For starters, the state only tracks inmates who are not U.S. citizens, without diving into whether they are in the country legally or illegally.  Even if we had the right numbers, experts told us that fixed costs for the prisons mean reducing the population yields uncertain cost savings. Eliminating a small percentage of inmates doesn’t mean the overall prison budget can be reduced by the same percentage.

We rate this claim Mostly False.

©All Rights Reserved Poynter Institute 2018, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization


Fox News Halftime Report

July 10, 2018
By Chris Stirewalt

On the roster: Dems face big loss, big opportunity with Kavanaugh – Tim Ryan debates taking on Pelosi – Trump talks up UK ‘turmoil’ ahead of visit – Audible: Sen. McSalty – Knight to Prius 2

Democrats say that they are prepared to mount a fervent, historic effort to keep Judge Brett Kavanaugh off of the Supreme Court, but it’s kind of hard to believe them right now.

Talking about it this morning, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was only able to muster the glum resolution of a man contemplating a vegan hotdog. Mmm Mmm…

It is true that Kavanaugh’s all-but-certain elevation from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to the highest court in the land will be historic. Arguably for the first time since the 1930s, the Supreme Court will have a reliably right-of-center majority. For most of the post-World War II era, the court has been substantially focused on enhancing and shaping federal power in service of progressive policy aims. For the first time in a long time, the newly constituted Roberts court is likely to be more focused on constraining government activities.

Chief Justice John Roberts will become the swing vote and the only points on which he tends to disagree with his fellow Republican appointees is on just how narrowly to define the powers of the court itself.

No project has been more focused or more consuming for Americans in the past 40 years, so this victory will be sweet for them indeed.

Kavanaugh, a bright, thoughtful and richly qualified candidate starts with the presumption that every Republican will sign on to his nomination, which probably means that four or five Democrats from red states will get aboard as well.  Given the anguishing responses from Democrats since Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, they clearly understand how big a deal it is to have this shift toward small government conservatism on the court that has, since the 1950s, been their most successful vehicle for implementing large-scale policy changes.

But the historic nature of the moment does nothing to change the political calculus. President Trump is replacing a Republican appointee for whom Kavanaugh clerked and has apparently also been Kavanaugh’s champion through the president’s nominating process. While some conservatives are grousing that Trump did not shoot the moon with the pick and choose a more boldly conservative choice, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell understood the value of a well-vetted, well-liked nominee for what is going to be a sprint of a confirmation process.

The next term of the court starts in 83 days, which gives the Senate just enough time to push the nomination through. For context, the three most recent appointees to the Supreme Court, Neil GorsuchElena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, were confirmed in 66 days, 87 days and 66 days respectively. A wild confirmation battle like the one that took Clarence Thomas 99 days from nomination to confirmation would not do.  No Supreme Court nominee has ever been rejected by a Senate in the hands of the same party as the president. And with Harry Reid’s nuclear option in hand the chances for defeat or even significant delay appear rather remote.

Though this may sound a little consolation to Democrats in the face of what looks to be a generational setback for the liberal cause, there is opportunity in this moment for the Blue Team.

Schumer and his fellow Democrats do face some challenges in how to run their opposition effort. The loudest voices in his conference, especially those greasing the skids for potential 2020 presidential runs, would profit by being seen as extremists in defense of freedom, while moderates and those facing re-election in red states have lots of incentive to sound reasonable.  Democrat strategy has to take both of these sets of interests into account, which will essentially add up to allowing individual senators to take any rhetorical leaps they like while still trying to hold the line of unified opposition for as long as practical, at which point the defectors will be given hall passes to join the majority backing Kavanaugh.

Along the way, however, all of the scaremongering and doomsday talk will provide marvelous motivations for Democratic base voters and donors heading into the shank of the midterm campaign season.  This nomination may be a generational opportunity for Republicans, but their incipient defeat certainly provides a short-term opportunity for Democrats in their bid to hold Republicans to their current narrow majority in the Senate and take back the House.

Much of what you see over the next 12 weeks will be pure theater staged for the purpose of taking an already electrified Democratic base into new ecstasies of outrage and indignation.  Democrats will use the hearings and coverage around them to push their core issue set for 2018: Republican efforts to roll back taxpayer funded health insurance, perceived threats to minority protections and corruption within the Trump administration.

It’s no wonder that the hearings are unlikely to be either useful or illuminating, but they will be a great opportunity for Democrats to dress up this vegan frankfurter with all the electoral fixings.

Entire Thai soccer team, coach freed
from cave after daring rescue, Navy

All members of soccer team safely extracted from flooded mountain cavern

The dramatic three-day rescue of a Thai youth soccer team that had been stuck in a flooded cave came to an end Tuesday when the last boy and the team’s coach were plucked from the underground cavern — more than two weeks after they became trapped, Navy officials said.
The Thai Navy SEALS said on Facebook all 12 boys from the team and the team’s coach were out of the cave. Four rescuers, a doctor and three Navy SEALS remained inside.
“All 12 Wild Boars and coach have been extracted from the cave. Hooyah!” the post said. The Navy SEALS later wrote: “We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what. All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave.”
Earlier in the day, local Thai media reports stated the 11th person emerged from the cave after two other people had been rescued. The conditions of all of those who were saved on Tuesday were unclear.
This photo tweeted by Elon Musk shows efforts underway to rescue trapped members of a youth soccer team from a flooded cave in northern Thailand. Musk tweeted early Tuesday, July 10, 2018, he has visited the cave and has left a mini-submarine there for future use. (Courtesy of Elon Musk via AP)Chiang Rai Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said Tuesday’s intricate and high-risk operation began just after 10 a.m. and involved 19 divers. A medic and three Thai Navy SEALs who have stayed with the boys on a small, dry shelf deep in the flooded cave will also come out, he said.
“We expect that if there is no unusual condition, the four boys, one coach, the doctor, and three SEALs who have been with the boys since the first day will come out today,” he told a news conference to loud cheering, according to the Associated Press.
Before the final rescue of the group, there was optimism that the dive team was getting more efficient in their attempts. They successfully extracted the second group of four a full two hours faster than the first, officials said.


This is telling it like it is – What the Hell Happened to the Majority in this country!!!

“I Am the Majority” Mark Robinson addresses Greensboro …


Private Citizen Mark Johnson addresses the Greensboro City Council on their plan to
ban gun show use of the city owned Coliseum. A fine witness for gun rights supporters!

John Nelson - jenkan04@gmail.com
Bob Gilmore
Dick Fankhauser