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Archive for the ‘2018 – ELECTION NEWS/COMMENTARY’ Category

Poll: Graham, DeSantis Take Lead In Florida’s Gubernatorial Race

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – With the primary elections almost exactly a month away, a poll released Friday shows Democrat Gwen Graham and Republican Ron DeSantis as the front-runners in the race to replace Gov. Rick Scott.
The Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy poll came after Florida Atlantic University also released a poll this week showing Graham and DeSantis leading their gubernatorial primaries — though the margins were larger in the Mason-Dixon results.
“Democrat Gwen Graham and Republican Ron DeSantis have established themselves as the clear front-runners in their respective gubernatorial primaries,” Mason-Dixon said in analysis accompanying its results.
The Mason-Dixon poll showed Graham, a former congresswoman from Tallahassee, getting the support of 27 percent of Democratic voters, followed by former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine at 18 percent. They were followed by Palm Beach businessman Jeff Greene at 12 percent, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum at 10 percent, Winter Park businessman Chris King at 7 percent and other candidates at 1 percent. Many Democratic voters — 25 percent — were undecided as the Aug. 28 primary nears
The Florida Atlantic University poll, by comparison, gave Graham a four-point edge over Levine.
Graham has large leads over her primary competitors among women and Hispanic voters, according to the Mason-Dixon poll. But she also might be benefiting from Greene’s entrance into the race last month, with Mason-Dixon saying Levine’s “previously growing base of support appears to be stalled.”
“Levine had been running about even with Graham until Greene jumped in,” the Mason-Dixon analysis said. “Both men have extremely similar profiles — politically experienced, successful business owners who are white, male, Jewish and from South Florida. They each have tremendous personal wealth that gives them the ability to put a considerable amount of their own money into their campaigns. With this over-lapping appeal, the two are drawing a combined 30 percent of voters — slightly more than Graham.”
In the Republican gubernatorial primary, meanwhile, the poll showed DeSantis, a Northeast Florida congressman who enjoys support from President Donald Trump, with a double-digit lead over state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.
Mason-Dixon’s analysis pointed to Trump’s support as a key factor for DeSantis. The president is slated to hold a rally Tuesday in Tampa in which he will tout DeSantis.
“It is likely that President Donald Trump’s endorsement of DeSantis is the driving factor behind the shift in the race,” the Mason-Dixon analysis said.
The poll said 41 percent of GOP voters backed DeSantis, while 29 percent supported Putnam. The Florida Atlantic University poll, by comparison, gave DeSantis a nine-point edge over Putnam. Mason-Dixon’s results indicated DeSantis has large leads over Putnam among male and white voters.
Mason-Dixon, a longtime pollster in Florida, conducted telephone interviews of 625 registered voters statewide who said they were likely to vote in the November general election. The poll was conducted from Monday through Wednesday.
The News Service of Florida’s Jim Saunders contributed to this report.


Scott Maxwell    Contact Reporter

Republicans: Ron DeSantis

I’ve always thought DeSantis was the more solid choice for Republicans. He’s a former Navy JAG officer, member of Congress and rock-solid conservative.

Republicans seem to agree as DeSantis is surging in the polls. He’s gone from 15 points behind Adam Putnam in one poll to more than 15 points ahead in another.

That’s partly because Putnam is a career politician (44 years old and in elected office since he was 22) whose campaign has been a train wreck. It’s not that Putnam’s tactical operation has been poorly run. It’s that his actual record has been exposed. And for Putnam, that may be fatal.

Putnam’s agriculture office has botched gun permits. The state’s waters are now thick with polluted green slop after he spent years fussing about environmental protection.

And there’s the fact that he declared himself a “proud NRA sellout” — an admission that made even ardent Second Amendment supporters wince. Many people, after all, respect gun rights. No one respects a “sellout.”

Meanwhile, DeSantis, a Bronze Star recipient and graduate of Yale University and Harvard law, has scored endorsements from President Trump and Fox News celebrities while reminding voters that he stood up to Big Sugar, which has poured money into Putnam’s campaign.

The knock against DeSantis is that he kowtows to the president. The knock against Putnam is that he kowtows to any business interest with a campaign check.

Regardless of who wins, count on Republicans rallying behind their guy. Because, unlike Democrats — who sometimes turn into pouty, “I’m voting for Jill Stein!” defeatists after their preferred candidate loses — Republicans usually unite after a primary.


The primary vote is Aug. 28. The last day to register to vote or pick or switch parties before the primary is July 30.




Florida Governor – Republican Primary

Poll Date Sample MoE
RCP Average 7/2 – 7/25 38.8 27.8 DeSantis +11.0
Mason-Dixon 7/23 – 7/25 500 LV 4.5 41 29 DeSantis +12
Florida Atlantic University 7/20 – 7/21 262 RV 6.0 36 27 DeSantis +9
Gravis 7/13 – 7/14 905 LV 3.3 35 29 DeSantis +6
Remington Research (R) 7/2 – 7/5 2826 LV 1.8 43 26 DeSantis +17

Adam Putnam is not going to win anything if he keeps lying on his campaign videos and posters!

Misleading Putnam ad twists DeSantis stance on taxes

(This is the second major lie, the first was the DeSantis vote for food stamps for illegals which was false)
 Katie Akin on Friday, July 27th, 2018 at 4:09 p.m.

“Congressman (Ron) DeSantis sponsored legislation to increase sales taxes by 23 percent, hurting families, destroying jobs, devastating tourism”

— Adam Putnam on Tuesday, July 24th, 2018 in a campaign ad from his political committee Florida Grown

Mostly False

Still from Putnam’s attack ad, which accuses DeSantis of supporting a 23 percent increase in sales taxes.
With just a month left before the Florida primaries, Republican candidate for governor Adam Putnam accused rival Ron DeSantis of backing a massive tax increase that would hurt Florida’s economy.   Set to suspenseful bluegrass music, the ad from Putnam’s Florida Grown political committee warns that a DeSantis-backed sales tax hike of 23 percent would touch everything from the market to the beach.
“What would a 23 percent sales tax do to Florida’s economy? If Congressman DeSantis had his way, everything would cost 23 percent more — groceries, gas, home purchases,” the ad says. “Congressman DeSantis sponsored legislation to increase sales taxes by 23 percent, hurting families, destroying jobs, devastating tourism.”   DeSantis did support a bill that proposed introducing a 23 percent federal sales tax, but the ad fails to mention an essential component of the plan: all other federal taxes, including income tax, would be eliminated.
A brief history of the Fair Tax Act
The ad shows a copy of HR 25, a bill known as the Fair Tax Act. A version of the bill has been introduced in Congress 10 times since 1999, earning support from prominent Republicans Mike Pence and Mike Huckabee.   In 20132015 and 2017, DeSantis, representing Florida’s 6th District, co-sponsored the bill.
The idea behind the Fair Tax Act is to introduce a 23 percent federal sales tax that would replace other federal taxes. The bill eliminates income, estate, payroll and gift taxes, as well as the Internal Revenue Service itself.   Supporters of the tax argue that even though purchasing items would be more expensive, consumers would be able to keep more of their income, and therefore have enough purchasing power to maintain the same lifestyle. Businesses would also save money, which would ideally lead to lower prices and more jobs.

DISCLAIMER: All comments or views do not necessarily represent the opinions or views of The Highlands Tea party.  This is an election year; there will be articles like this both negative and positive regarding candidates that we will post as the road to 2018 moves forward.  ‘The Highlands Tea Party’ does not endorse any candidates, we present them and their views on the issues confronting America, for the education of We The People.  We also present validated articles referencing the candidates stand for or against issues.  The Highlands Tea Party works very hard to validate the material we present, we do not fully rely on articles in the local of national press, which is critically important in the atmosphere of today’s national press corps!.

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Here is the low down on Florida Candidate for Governor RON De SANTIS

Finally President Trump chooses the right man to back ! His voting and
legislative record is exceptional ! 

Voting in August – don’t miss it. VOTE !

Since no one does any vetting on their own as they should – a fast vet for you.


On January 29, 2014, DeSantis introduced into the House the Faithful Execution of the Law Act of 2014 (H.R. 3973; 113th Congress), a bill that would direct the United States Department of Justice to report to the United States Congresswhenever any federal agency refrains from enforcing laws or regulations for any reason in the report, the government would have to explain why it had decided not to enforce that law
DeSantis spoke in favor of the bill, arguing that “President Obama has not only failed to uphold several of our nation’s laws, he has vowed to continue to do so in order to enact his unpopular agenda… The American people deserve to know exactly which laws the Obama administration is refusing to enforce and why.
In 2013, DeSantis signed a pledge sponsored by Americans for Prosperity promising to vote against any global warming legislation that would raise taxes.
On August 24, 2017, DeSantis added a rider to the proposed fiscal 2018 spending bill package that would end funding for the 2017 Special Counsel investigation “or for the investigation under that order of matters occurring before June 2015” (the month Trump announced he was running for president) 180 days after passage of the bill
The amendment would counter a bipartisan bill authored by two Democratic and two Republican U.S. Senators that was meant to limit the president’s power to fire the special counsel. The DeSantis amendment would potentially cut off funding for the investigation by November 2017. It was also a response to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein‘s statement that the DOJ“…doesn’t conduct fishing expeditions.” DeSantis stated that the May 17, 2017 DOJ order “didn’t identify a crime to be investigated and practically invites a fishing expedition.”
He is a member of the Freedom Caucus.

2016 U.S. Senate candidacy

Main article: United States Senate election in Florida, 2016
On May 6, 2015, DeSantis announced that he was running for the United States Senate seat held by Marco Rubio, who initially did not file to run for re-election due to his bid for the U.S. presidency  He was endorsed by the fiscally conservative Club for Growth.
DeSantis withdrew from the race following incumbent Senator Marco Rubio‘s announcement that he would seek reelection to the Senate, reversing his initial pledge not to run, on June 22, 2016.[1][2] After dropping his U.S. Senate bid, DeSantis filed to run for re-election to his U.S. House seat.[citation needed]

2018 gubernatorial candidacy

Main article: Florida gubernatorial election, 2018
On January 5, 2018, DeSantis announced his candidacy for Governor of Florida that year to succeed term limited Republican incumbent Rick Scott. President Donald Trump had stated in December 2017 that he would support DeSantis should he run for Governor

Political positions

DeSantis is a tea-party conservative DeSantis was endorsed by the socially conservative Family Research Council Action PAC in 2015.


DeSantis has a “B” rating from NORML for his voting history regarding cannabis-related causes. He voted against the Veterans Equal Access Amendment that would give veterans access to medical marijuana if recommended by their Veterans Health Administration doctor and if it is legal for medicinal purposes in their state of residence.

Contraceptives and abortion

DeSantis opposes abortion and has denounced Planned Parenthood.
DeSantis agreed with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., saying “This case does not concern the availability or legality of contraceptives, and individuals can obtain and use these as they see fit. The question is simply whether the government can force the owners of Hobby Lobby to pay for abortifacients in violation of their faith.”


DeSantis has said that the debate in Washington, D.C. over how to reduce the deficit should shift emphasis from tax increases to curtailing spending and triggering economic growth.] He supports a “no budget no pay” policy for Congress to encourage the passage of a budget. He believes the Federal Reserve System should be audited
In the wake of the IRS targeting controversy, DeSantis called for the resignation of Internal Revenue Service CommissionerJohn Koskinen for having “failed the American people by frustrating Congress’s attempts to ascertain the truth.” He co-sponsored a bill to impeach Koskinen for violating the public’s trust.   In 2015, DeSantis was named “Taxpayer Superhero” by Citizens Against Government Waste.
DeSantis supported the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which would require that regulations that have a significant economic impact be subject to a vote of Congress prior to taking effect.
DeSantis introduced the Let Seniors Work Act, which would repeal the Retirement Earnings Test and exempt senior citizens from the 12.4% Social Security payroll tax, and he co-sponsored a measure to eliminate taxes on Social Securitybenefits
DeSantis sponsored the Transportation Empowerment Act, which would transfer much of the responsibility for transportation projects to the individual states and sharply reduce the federal gas tax.
DeSantis has opposed legislation to require online retailers to collect and pay state sales tax  He voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.   DeSantis says the bill will bring a “dramatically lower tax rate” and “full expensing of capital investments.” DeSantis also believes the act will bring more jobs to America


DeSantis opposes federal education programs such as No Child Left Behind Act and Race to the Top, saying that education policy should be made at the local level   In 2016, DeSantis introduced the Higher Education Reform and Opportunity Act, which would allow states to create their own accreditation systems. In an op-ed for the National Review, DeSantis said that his legislation would give students “access to federal loan money to put towards non-traditional educational opportunities, such as online learning courses, vocational schools, and apprenticeships in skilled trades.

Foreign relations =


In 2015, DeSantis introduced the Guantanamo Bay Recidivism Prevention Act, which would cut off foreign aid to countries that receive detainees if they show back up on the terrorism recidivism list.  DeSantis opposed President Obama’s plan to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, saying “Bringing hardened terrorists to the U.S. homeland harms our national security.”  Regarding the formal restart of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba, DeSantis said “Raising the Cuban flag in the United States is a slap in the face to those who have experienced the brutality of the Castro regime.”


DeSantis opposed the Iran nuclear deal framework, calling it “a bad deal that will significantly degrade our national security.] DeSantis said “the Iran deal gives Ayatollah Khamenei exactly what he wants: billions of dollars in sanctions relief, validation of the Iranian nuclear program, and the ability to stymie inspections.”   During a line of questioning, DeSantis told Secretary of State John Kerry that the executive branch had a legal obligation to provide Congress with the details behind any side deals made between world leaders and Iran DeSantis accused President Barack Obama of giving better treatment of Cuba’s Raul Castro and Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei than of Israel’sBenjamin Netanyahu


In 2013, DeSantis introduced the Palestinian Accountability Act, which would halt U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority until it formally recognizes Israel‘s right to exist as a Jewish state and cuts off all ties with the terror group Hamas..  In 2016, DeSantis co-introduced the Non-Discrimination of Israel in Labeling Act, which will defend the right of Israeli producers to label products manufactured in the West Bank as “Israel”, “Made in Israel”, or “Product of Israel”.  DeSantis believes that the U.S. Embassy should be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.


DeSantis opted not to receive his congressional pension, and he filed a measure that would eliminate pensions for members of Congress. After introducing the End Pensions in Congress Act, DeSantis said “The Founding Fathers envisioned elected officials as part of a servant class, yet Washington has evolved into a ruling class culture  DeSantis supports a constitutional amendment to impose term limits for members of Congress, so that Representatives would be limited to three terms and senators to two terms.

Gun law

DeSantis opposes gun control. He received an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association. He is generally opposed to firearm regulation, saying, “Very rarely do firearms restrictions affect criminals. They really only affect law-abiding citizens.   Following the 2018 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting  Parkland, Florida, DeSantis expressed his support for hiring retired law enforcement officers and military   as armed guards for schools.  DeSantis also expressed support for measures to improve federal background checks for purchasing firearms. He also believes that there is a need to intervene with those who are exhibiting warning signs of committing violence instead of waiting until a crime has been committed.
DeSantis is opposed to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act He has called for the “full and complete repeal” of the act.  In March 2017, DeSantis said that he wasn’t ready to support the American Health Care Act, the House Republican effort to replace the Affordable Care Act.


DeSantis was a critic of President Obama’s immigration policies; he opposed Obama’s deferred action programs (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA)) and accused him of failing to enforce immigration laws.DeSantis opposes “sanctuary cities.” He is a co-sponsor of the Establishing Mandatory Minimums for Illegal Reentry Act of 2015, also known as Kate’s Law, which would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to increase penalties applicable to aliens who unlawfully reenter the United States after being removed.   After the November 2015 Paris attacks, DeSantis “called for urgent recognition that Islamic extremism is to blame for the Paris attacks and should be seen as an enemy for America.” DeSantis has said “The enemy is an ideology rooted in militant Islam” and has said that ISIS must be stopped and its members kept away from America.   Regarding U.S. policy toward refugees, DeSantis said “the prudent policy is to err on the side of protecting the American people”

Russia investigation

According to the Tampa Bay Times, DeSantis “made a name for himself [in 2017] attacking special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.”
DeSantis proposed an amendment that would halt funding for Mueller’s 2017 Special Counsel investigation probe six months after the amendment’s passage. In addition, this provision would prohibit Mueller from investigating matters that occurred before June 2015, when Trump launched his presidential campaign In December 2017, DeSantis asserted that if there was any evidence of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials, it would already have been leaked.
In January 2018, while on the House Intelligence Committee, DeSantis voted on party lines to release a classified memo authored by Republicans on the committee which purported to show that the FBI abused its surveillance powers in the Russia investigation. DeSantis voted not to release a memo authored by Democrats on the committee which accused the Republicans on the committee of playing politics with national security.  Democrats described the Republican-authored memo as grossly distorted and intended to discredit the Mueller Special Counsel investigation, and said that the Republicans on the committee had begun an investigation into the FBI and DOJ.
In April 2018, DeSantis called on FBI Director Christopher Wray to criminally investigate a number of officials involved in investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, including former FBI Director James Comey, former Acting Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, FBI Agent Peter Strzok and FBI Counsel Lisa Page. DeSantis also called for investigations of a number of former Obama officials, including Loretta Lynch and Hillary Clinton.


DeSantis has sharply criticized the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for the Veterans Health Administration scandal of 2014, in which veteran deaths were linked to fatal wait times. He co-sponsored the VA Accountability Act, which aims to increase accountability by providing for the removal or demotion of employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs based on performance or misconduct.] He is a member of the Post-9/11 Veterans Caucus


DeSantis Rising: Florida Congressman Now the Sunshine State GOP Gubernatorial Frontrunner

(Jeff Poor/Breitbart News)

JACKSONVILLE, Florida – With just over a month to go until Florida Republicans vote to select their nominee for the governor’s race, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) is pulling ahead of Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, according to recent polling data.   Past polling showed DeSantis trailing Putnam by a wide margin. One poll from June 21, conducted by Fox News, had DeSantis down by 15 points.
This month’s polling, however, shows the trend is decidedly in DeSantis’ favor. A survey from Remington Research conducted July 2-5 has DeSantis up 17 points. Another survey conducted by pollster Tony Fabrizio has DeSantis up 12 points.  According to the Real Clear Politics polling average, which includes the Fox News poll showing Putnam with a double-digit lead, DeSantis has a 2.7 percent edge over Putnam as it stands now.
At a campaign meet-and-greet–with a visibly pro-Donald Trump vibe–just south of downtown Jacksonville on Saturday morning, DeSantis offered Breitbart News his reasons for the surge.
“I think it’s a number of things,” he said. “I think it’s a strong contrast between me and my opponent. Adam Putnam is a career politician. He’s been in office since he was 22, and he’s been an insider transactional Republican. I’m somebody who is an Iraq veteran, a military officer – somebody who has really fought entrenched interests and has stood on principle. Those records are clear.”   “He was somebody that was very hostile to Trump down the stretch against Hillary Clinton, and if he had his way, Hillary would have won,” DeSantis added. “I’m somebody that’s been endorsed by the president, so it’s a big contrast.”
Trump has voiced his support for DeSantis on two occasions and going back as far as last December.
Donald J. Trump  @realDonaldTrump   Congressman Ron DeSantis, a top student at Yale and Harvard Law School, is running for Governor of the Great State of Florida. Ron is strong on Borders, tough on Crime & big on Cutting Taxes – Loves our Military & our Vets. He will be a Great Governor & has my full Endorsement!
 Donald J. Trump   @realDonaldTrump   Congressman Ron DeSantis is a brilliant young leader, Yale and then Harvard Law, who would make a GREAT Governor of Florida. He loves our Country and is a true FIGHTER!


Immigration  Throughout Florida’s 10 media markets, Putnam has run a series of TV spots featuring different Florida sheriffs touting his immigration bona fides.However, DeSantis insists Putnam is weak on the issue given he has opposed implementing E-Verify on the state level in Florida.  Adam Putnam as ag commissioner twisted arms to kill E-Verify because his donors want cheap foreign labor. I would sign E-Verify because if you had E-Verify, you’re protecting taxpayers.
Sanctuary cities. – Adam Putnam says he’s opposed to sanctuary cities but expecting Adam Putnam fight sanctuary cities is like expecting the fox to guard the hen house. The fact of the matter is his donors are going to want sanctuary cities because that will help protect their supply of cheap labor. I will make sure there are no sanctuary cities in Florida. That’s without question.”
‘Big Sugar’ and the toxic algae  = One significant issue plaguing coastlines in South and Southwest Florida has been toxic algae blooms. They are fueled by phosphorus and nitrogen runoff from farms inland in Florida. DeSantis touted efforts by the federal government but warned Putnam might oppose them if they conflict with the interests of “Big Sugar,” a term used to describe the powerful lobby in Florida that works to promote the interests of sugarcane growers.
Offshore Drilling: The third-rail of Florida politics – Another big hot-button issue for Floridians is whether or not to allow for offshore oil and gas exploration and drilling off of its 1,350 miles. Given the significant role tourism plays in the Sunshine State’s economy, most Floridians oppose offshore drilling in Florida.   DeSantis explained he is not a proponent of offshore drilling along Florida’s coastline because he believes it might affect the state’s economy.  “I’m with our governor,” DeSantis said. “We’re unique. Offshore drilling I don’t think is something we want to pursue.


Trump’s man in Florida overtakes gubernatorial front-runner

Constant messaging from some of the biggest
names in conservative politics has helped Ron
DeSantis, but nothing has fueled the surge more
than Donald Trump. | AP Photo
ORLANDO — Donald Trump Jr. traveled to central Florida to rally support for the White House’s favorite Republican gubernatorial candidate Rep. Ron DeSantis. What was striking was who the president’s son was not endorsing: Adam Putnam, the establishment political figure who entered the race as the presumed front-runner.
When Putnam, Florida’s agriculture commissioner and a former congressman, announced his bid for governor in May 2017 in front of hundreds of supporters in a rural swath of the Tampa region where he grew up, a sentiment common in big-league Florida politics began to solidify: It was his turn.  With just over a month ahead of primary day, Putnam is in the fight of his political life against primary foe DeSantis, a Jacksonville-area congressman pulling ahead in public polling in large part due to the support of President Donald Trump. The race has narrowed, and the momentum — a less concrete, but very important political metric — is decidedly at DeSantis’ back.
“Ron DeSantis was there from day one. He got it,” said Trump Jr., who was the main event at a Wednesday rally in Orlando for DeSantis. “He was with us when it was not exactly cool to be with us.”

The race to decide the next resident of Florida governor’s mansion has wider implications than state policy fights to be waged in Tallahassee when lawmakers return to session. Florida has long carried heft as the nation’s largest swing state, and the state’s next governor will be in charge for the 2020 presidential election cycle. Those implications have the race squarely on the national political radar.  The high-energy rally, held at a packed B.B. King’s Blues Club in the heart of Orlando’s tourism center, took place while Putnam was an hour away mingling at a candidate forum in The Villages, a sprawling Central Florida retirement community and GOP stronghold. DeSantis skipped the forum in favor of his rally with Trump Jr. The competing events reflect the way both candidates have decided to run their races. Putnam’s camp has taken a workmen-like approach, holding dozens of small, grassroots events — such as “Up and Adam” breakfasts — across the state.

DeSantis, on the other hand, has used Trump’s support and the coattails of national conservative media personalities after he gained their support sitting on the GOP’s right flank during his three terms in Congress. Putnam has countered with a wave of state-level endorsements, including from Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who is campaigning for him in Orlando Thursday, and most county sheriffs. That support, traditionally important in statewide Florida races, has been at times swamped by the national conservative microphone working to elect DeSantis.  Conservative influencers like radio host Mark Levin, Fox News’s Sean Hannity and Dan Bongino, a conservative commentator who makes frequent appearances on Hannity’s show, have been actively campaigning for DeSantis in Florida.
“If we had 200 Ron DeSantis in Congress, we would not be in this mess,” said Bongino as he opened the DeSantis rally.
That constant messaging from some of the biggest names in conservative politics has helped erode Putnam’s front-runner status, but nothing has fueled the DeSantis surge more than Trump. The president’s endorsement, which remains solid gold with GOP primary voters, has been touted twice on Trump’s Twitter account, and rumors about a Trump rally for DeSantis continue to hang over the primary contest.  “The president’s endorsement and DeSantis’ debate performance has certainly boosted his numbers,” said Nick Iarossi, a veteran GOP fundraiser and lobbyist. “There is still some ball to play, and Putnam has a good funding advantage and good grassroots operation. I expect the numbers will compress as the election nears. The big question is how much?”
After the rally focused on his status as a political outsider, DeSantis retreated to nearby Alaqua Country Club for a fundraiser headlined by Trump Jr. Those attending the fundraiser, for his official campaign, were asked to bring $3,000 for VIP entrance, and $500 for the general reception.  DeSantis has taken a sizable, at times double-digit, lead in recent public polling, all of which stresses the importance of Trump’s full-throated support.  A poll out earlier this week by GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio had DeSantis up 42-30, which is in line with other recent public polling of the race. Like others, Fabrizio pointed to Trump’s support as the biggest influencing factor, a dynamic not lost during the Orlando rally.
“I think it’s real,” a longtime GOP consultant said of DeSantis’ lead in the polls. “I’m not sure it’s double-digits, but I think it’s a six- or seven-point lead. Putnam has the resources to close the gap, but I’m not sure he will.”  The consultant and others contacted by POLITICO said they felt a momentum shift, but were reluctant to talk about it because they either had clients supporting Putnam or because the powerful state-level groups that have poured millions of dollars into his campaign could become upset.
“I don’t know if you heard this, but Ron DeSantis has been endorsed by Donald Trump,” Rep. Matt Gaetz, a panhandle Republican and staunch supporter of both DeSantis and Trump, said at the rally. “Can you make sure every Republican in Florida knows that?”  Trump not only serves as the force that has helped boost DeSantis’ poll numbers but also serves as an insurance policy against potential conservative critics. This is how one veteran of past Florida GOP primary battles sums it up: “Putnam has money and campaign ground mechanics to move numbers back. But one big challenge is that any negative ad he puts up, he risks a weaponized POTUS tweet in all caps that his charge is ‘Fake News,’ ending any threat to DeSantis.”

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.


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.

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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

Obama’s message was not what Democrats expected to hear!

Renewed Right

Barack Obama gave Democrats the last
warning they ever expected to hear

Barack Obama re-emerged on the political stage during a fundraiser at a posh Beverly Hills home.
Democrats greeted him like he was their savior.  But Obama gave Democrats the last warning they ever expected to hear.
Before Obama spoke, Democrat National Committee chairman Tom Perez announced Obama as the “real President.”
The crowd – which worshipped Obama while he was in office – gave him a hero’s welcome.  But Obama’s message
was not what Democrats expected to hear.
Breitbart reports:
Obama ended his remarks with a dire warning to Democrats, asking them to stop worrying and get out and do something that inspires people:
“All these people that are out here kvetching and wringing their hands and stressed and anxious and constantly watching cable TV and howling at the moon, ‘What are we going to do?,’ their hair’s falling out, they can’t sleep. The majority of the American people prefer a story of hope. A majority of the American people prefer a country that comes together rather than being divided. The majority of the country doesn’t want to see a dog-eat-dog world where everybody is angry all the time.”
There is some truth to Obama’s remarks.
The Clinton campaign in 2016 focused their message on the “this is not normal” refrain and completely missed that the voters were sick of the establishment and wanted to try something new.   But liberals are stuck in their social media and cable TV news bubbles where talking heads and journalists hyperventilate about the days political events that Democrats fall into a trap of thinking everyone shares their apocalyptic view of President Trump.
If Democrats continue with their “hair on fire” view of the world, they will miss that Donald Trump’s approval ratings are rising as Americans credit him for the booming economy at home and relative peace abroad.

UPDATED – 08/11/2018 – Videos of all Candidates Presented by The Highlands Tea Party 2018 Midterm – Cary Pigman, Matt Caldwell Ron DeSantis, Bob White, Arlene Tuck, Ben Albritton, Greg Steube, Julio Gonzales, Bill Akins, Rep DeSantis, Jack Richie, Ashley Moody, Baxter Troutman, Mike McCalister, Governor Rick Scott

Update 08/11


MIKE McCALISTERCandidate for Commissioner of Agriculture
FLORIDA GOVERNOR RICK SCOTT – Running for Senate Seat of Bill Nelson


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

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this video are solely those of the candidate, their sponsors or staff, and do
not necessarily represent those of ‘The Highlands Tea Party’.



 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’.




Candidate’s name

Candidate for position
(indicate County State or Federal)

Sebring, 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’


John Nelson -
Bob Gilmore
Dick Fankhauser