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I trust Marco Rubio and so should you

28 Jul Rubio-Gop-dream_art

By Tom Tillison

It’s time to get off the sidelines.

I’ve always had an inkling of who I’d eventually support in the 2016 Republican presidential primary, although my intention was to remain noncommittal early on to give other candidates a chance to make their case. But with enough entries now in the race to field a small platoon, the cacophony of noise is reaching deafening levels.

Not being a member of the political class, I look for trustworthiness and the ability to inspire others when evaluating a candidate, and I believe Americans will take strong leadership ability over subtle policy differences any day of the week.

At the same time, I shy away from “progressive” big-government Republicans who believe the answer to our challenges can be found in a government program. I give candidates who prop up the status quo in politics the same wide berth.

I look for a candidate who understands what it means to be an American, who acknowledges the sacrifices that made this the greatest country on earth. A candidate who values our unique way of life and the principals behind it.

Taking these things into consideration, the candidates who remain standing can be counted on one hand.

The field includes several great options for restoring the blessings of America, including U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, but the one candidate who rises above the rest is U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

And that decision comes down to a simple truth — I can trust Marco Rubio.


Rubio wouldn’t know me from Adam if he saw me, although I have a photo of the two of us standing in his temporary basement office in Washington. I’ve been a supporter since the early days of his U.S. Senate run and even helped out once with security during a campaign stop when the crowds started growing. More importantly, I’ve participated in several private audiences with Rubio, prompted by his people after his involvement with the Gang of Eight immigration bill.

I watched him stand firm in his actions when it wasn’t the popular thing to do, refusing to duck and weave, or point his finger elsewhere, as politicians under fire typically do. Rubio cared enough about how he was seen in the eyes of his supporters to explain his decisions, and even took questions, unscripted, from the room.

Rubio faced the fire with honesty and integrity… so much so that even his fiercest critics walked away with a little more respect for him.

I also watched him handle the intricacies of dealing with the tea party, as difficult as the autonomous movement was at the time. After being elected, he continued to reach out when he didn’t have to — doing so because his word is important to him.

At the same time, he refused to be defined by the movement; Rubio walked a fine line, and did so brilliantly.

The experts will agree that Rubio is a great retail politician. The candidate has good political instincts and the intangible of being able to connect with the folks. There is a special quality to Rubio that the Republican Party hasn’t seen since Ronald Reagan.

These things all make for a good case to support Rubio in a crowded field… and if he earns your support, you can be sure he’ll go to extraordinary lengths not to let you down. I’ve witnessed this firsthand.

But the reason to support Marco Rubio in the 2016 GOP primary is much simpler than all that — you can trust him.

A conservative’s answer to ’28 Reasons I’m DONE Talking…’

26 Jul thats-not-all-folks

By Jeffrey Payne

So here’re my Conservative replies to the Liberal Ms. Willis’ “28 Reasons I’m DONE talking …”:

1. You meekly submit to Government’s version of history. Because politicians would never write history to make Government (i.e. themselves) look good.

2. You ignore Jesus’s definition of marriage. He didn’t say “A man or woman shall leave his/her mother & father, or fathers, or mothers, & shall be joined to her/his spouse or spouses, they 2 or more shall become one or a group.” You aren’t equalizing marriage; you’re erasing it.

3. You use Government to excuse yourselves from feeding the hungry. Conservatives do more charity than Liberals. Facts are stubborn things.…/276715-difference-liberals…/

4. You let Government take over freedom of religion. From a child praying in school, to a baker who feels that catering a “gay” wedding is sinful, we refuse to let politicians tell people to deny their faith & follow Government.

5. You substitute the voice of Government for the voice of God. Liberals’ false prophets are people like Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin & Mao Tse Tung, who’ve killed 10’s of millions trying to substitute Government for society.

6. We don’t question your faith. We just reject your insistence on making your faith Government policy.

7. You value sex more than children & Government control more than people’s lives. 56 million American babies snuffed out since 1973, mostly for convenience. Millions of victims of violent crime, made defenseless by Government longing to have a defenseless society.

8. You get excited about people dying. Babies (56 million, see no. 7); senior citizens (“death with dignity”); defenseless victims of crime (also see no. 7).

9. You assume that everyone on Government dependency programs are innocent victims of a free society. But if people in general are that bad & greedy, what make you think that people in Government are not bad & greedy?

10. You aren’t concerned about people’s medical care. If you did care, you wouldn’t have put everybody’s health insurance under Government control, administered by the IRS.

11. You don’t believe people are created by God. You look at a newborn baby & all you see is a rather cute sort of chemical accident. So you’ve got no reason to treat us equally. And you don’t. You shove people into pigeonholes of political “correctness” judging us by our skin, our heritage, our incomes, our sex.

12. You don’t learn. Many people are Liberal in their youth. Most grow up; you don’t. In a sort of political Peter Pan syndrome, you refuse to mature.

13. You don’t want the votes of people you disagree with to count. You dilute the votes of citizens with the ballots of the unidentified, stealing those voters’ rights as surely as if you pried open the ballot box, stole their ballots & burned them.

14. You categorize your friends — & everybody else — by whether they’re black, or Mexican, or whatever. Race is a lie, invented by oppressors to divide & conquer us.

15. You welcome Mexican illegals, hire them to your dirty work, create a minimum wage, & then pretend to be baffled by invincibly high unemployment among poor youth.

16. You import illegal immigrants for the same reason your favorite political Party used to import slaves. To exploit them for cheap labor. And then to use them to subvert elections (see no. 13)

17. You are bullies. 56 million babies were inconvenient, so you killed them. You forced a grandmother out of business because she didn’t want to bake a cake. You put health insurance under the IRS, then exempt yourselves from the rules.

18. You hate America. You seek to “fundamentally transform” America, because you see us as fundamentally flawed. You don’t care if war, death & destruction comes to America; you think we deserve it.

19. You dodge the draft, & burn your draft cards, & burn the American flag & believe that military service is just for people who can’t get a better job.

20. You treat the Constitution as a dead letter. It means whatever your 9-Headed Pope, the Supreme Court, happens to think it means at the moment. From the Dredd Scott decision blessing slavery, to the Obergefell decision erasing marriage, anything you want is what the Constitution mandates.

21. It’s impossible for you to see success that isn’t a gift of Government. To you, hard work, education, risk-taking are just lies made up by the exploiter class to justify their exploitation. Yet you are totally blind to the exploitation by the political class.

22. You don’t care about children. All you think they need is a Government bureaucracy. Having a mother (or 2) is OK; a father is optional (& usually a bad option). That’s why you made divorce so easy & were so eager to have Government redefine marriage.

23. You’re greedy & miserable. You spend more time bemoaning that your not allowed to take more from other people that you do figuring out how to share what you’ve already got.

24. You think your religion is the only one. You judge everyone who doesn’t blindly worship Government as much as you do as ignorant & backwards. You believe we’re all on this earth being as greedy as we can, making the worst decisions possible, & only the strong arm of Government can save us from ourselves. You never, ever ask, “Who will save us from Government?”

25. You are lazy & refuse to read anything that doesn’t support your predetermined misconceptions. We Conservatives have read the old books & the new ones. We have read your books, & have dissected & discredited your bad ideas, on both theoretical & experiential grounds. (I wish Conservatives would read & study less, & get involved in politics more.)

26. Your misfortune is the world’s fault. The free market, institutional racism, the patriarchy, Big Corporations, global cooling/warming/climate change, every hardship in life is an injustice that must be “fixed” by bigger, badder Government.

27. Everyone has their place in the pigeonholes of political “correctness”. Except you, of course. Your lot is to have the power to put the rest of us in our proper pigeonhole.

28. You think you own everyone’s paycheck & t should all be taken in taxes. No matter how much everyone pays, no matter how astronomical a debt you pile onto all of our children’s backs trying to buy your Government-run utopia, it’s never enough. You think Government’s “fair share” is … everything.

Randolph: ‘I’m doing this for HER’ … at YOUR expense

21 Jul Sus Hil outside

By Tom Tillison

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson’s protege, Susannah Randolph, appears to be mimicking the bombastic Florida Democrat’s successful reliance on fundraising emails in her ambitious run for Congress.

In her latest effort to separate unsuspecting CD9 voters from their cash, the rookie candidate points to her lovely 3-year-old daughter as the reason she is running. And by all accounts, Randolph appears to be a wonderful mother who can’t dote enough on her daughter –as it should be. 

But in laying out the reasons why she is running, the former ACORN activist is very instructive of what she actually represents. 

Randolph begins by saying she will “fight to make sure unaccountable charter schools don’t loot her public classrooms for funding.” A clear indication that while strongly pro-choice, she’s opposed to parents having the option of sending their children to a school of their choice.

Sus Hil outside

Photo of Randolph and daughter included in fundraiser email

A stance that calls to mind President Obama’s opposition to the D.C. voucher program, to the benefit of his high-dollar union buddies.

Randolph then says she wants her daughter “to grow up without ever having to worry about being able to see a doctor.”

Is this veiled support for single payer, nationalized healthcare?

The social justice warrior adds that she wants parents “to be able to get paid time off” to care for their children, when sick — a feel-good issue hard to oppose, but a measure detrimental to many small businesses that undermines the very free market principles that have made the United States the most prosperous country in the world.

This position is another example of the left-wing “progressive” activist following in Grayson’s footsteps.

In announcing his run for the U.S. Senate, Grayson spoke about an upcoming state-wide paid sick leave ballot initiative being pushed by Orlando-based community organizer allies. A measure designed to turn out voters likely to support left-wing candidates. 

Randolph is now firing on all cylinders.

When her daughter’s ready for college, Randolph wants her to “do it without going into debt.”

Is this a call for “free” college, as Obama called for in his $60 billion community college initiative? Paid for courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer, of course.

Being a Democrat, Randolph closes the email out with an appeal to identity politics, targeting women and the LGBT community — a prerequisite in the year 2016.

She tells potential donors her run is “about fighting for fairness,” but her vision of fairness doesn’t seem to be about equal opportunity as much as it’s about the false notion that liberal, big government policies can regulate equal outcome.

And Randolph spends little time talking about how to pay for all the goodies. It’s commendable that she wants so much for HER daughter… unfortunately, it will come at YOUR expense.

Eating crow: Randolphs owed apology for inaccurate story of possible shenanigans

17 Jul crow

By Tom Tillison

In the five plus years I’ve been blogging, today is a first — I will partake in the eating of a full course of crow.

Based on a tip I received from a source who has proven in the past to be reliable, I reported Thursday that Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph may be involved in some shenanigans to assist his wife, Susannah, in her run for Congress.

The report was on the actions of Andrew Bell, who I said was an employee of the tax collectors office, a determination based on information provided by the source and on my previous dealings with Bell while he was employed at the office.

That was erroneous — Bell is no longer employed there.

After calling the office today to verify Bell’s status, Randolph contacted me to graciously inform me that the employee left in mid-February and currently has no contractual relationship with the tax collector’s office.

Having always gone to painstaking lengths to ensure what I write is accurate, until today I could proudly say I stand by every article I’ve ever published — and they number in the thousands.

I apologize to readers who look to me to provide accurate information, and I apologize to Scott and Susannah Randolph.

I continue to look forward to educating Central Florida voters on the upcoming election and having learned a valuable lesson today, will endeavor to maintain a standard of accuracy that I failed to meet in this story.

Rumors already flying about misconduct in Dem primary to replace Alan Grayson

16 Jul a-gry-rand

By Tom Tillison

The race to replace U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson in Florida’s CD9 is shaping up, and rumors are already beginning to fly in what is expected to be a highly contested Democratic primary.

Amid an impressive turnout of supporters, to include a number of local elected officials, state Sen. Darren Soto announced Thursday his decision to enter the race. He will join former state representative Ricardo Rangel, one-time ACORN activist Susannah Randolph and Valleri Crabtree in an increasingly crowded field.

a-gry-randAs for rumors, a well-connected local source let slip that some believe Rangel is in the race solely to bleed Hispanic votes away from Soto, for the benefit of Randolph.

Rumors are commonplace in such a spirited race, and are easily dismissed — especially this early.

I gave the tip little thought until I saw a virulently anti-Soto blog Thursday from an ACORN activist at Organize Now who is closely aligned with Randolph. In the blog, Rangel was named along with Randolph as “excellent progressive voices.”

And that’s when the bells went off.

I was drawn back to the 2010 congressional race between Randolph’s current boss, the dastardly Alan Grayson, and Republican Daniel Webster — a race I was intimately engaged in.

Will candidate Susannah Randolph remain on
host committee of Planned Parenthood fundraiser?

Suddenly, I recalled that Grayson allegedly paid a local political gadfly that I choose not to name to prop up a faux-tea party candidate to split the conservative vote — their dog of a candidate, Peg Dunmire, drew less than 4 percent of the vote in a Webster landslide, never to be heard from again.

Grayson and Dunmire repeatedly denied any collusion.

But former WKMG reporter Tony Pipitone was all over financial connections uncovered between Grayson and the new political party, as well as the unnamed gadfly.

And you’ll never guess who Grayson’s campaign manager was in 2010?

Actually, if you’ve been paying any attention, you’ll guess easily — Susannah Randolph… not that we are implying guilt on the part of anyone.

On a side note, today’s sign that the apocalypse may be upon us comes from Rita Bornstein, the former president of Rollins College.

“We can count on [Susannah Randolph] to promote bipartisanship in conducting the people’s business,” Bornstein is quoted in a fundraising email sent out by the Randolph campaign.


That’s quite an assertion to make about an indisputable hard-left social justice progressive like Randolph, which means the former educator is either a) grossly misinformed, or b) blatantly “misspoke.”

Will candidate Susannah Randolph remain on host committee of Planned Parenthood fundraiser?

14 Jul planned parenthood

By Tom Tillison

Now that she’s running for Congress, will former ACORN activist Susannah Randolph continue to be on the host committee of a gala for an organization funded, in part, by the sale of harvested baby organs?

Talk about bad timing, Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida is planning a fundraising gala in the wake of the devastating news that Planned Parenthood Federation Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, was captured on video discussing the selling of body parts of aborted babies.

An event page set up to advertise the Sept. 26, 2015, fundraiser states:

“Join us for this fabulous evening featuring open bars, delicious hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment, and an organizational update from CEO Barbara Zdravecky.”

In addition to Randolph, recently declared candidate for state House, Carlos Guillermo, formerly known as Carlos Smith before his entry into the race, is also on the host committee.

Rumors already flying about misconduct
in Dem primary to replace Alan Grayson

And by a stroke of good fortune, Democratic state Sen. Darren Soto, who is running for Congress in the same district as Randolph, is NOT on the committee.

The list of who is included could very well prove to be a gold mine for political opponents:

2015 Generations Gala Host Committees

Host Committee Chairs: Maria Margenot & Dr. Boyd Lindsley

Matt Alford • Leslie & Ben Anderson • Karen Castelloes • Denise Cisar • Dr. Latarsha Chisholm • Robert Dent • Tony Diaz • Dr. Melissa D. Dodd • Ida V. Eskamani • Laura Fausone • Rona and Michael Feldman • Lynn G. Fenster • Steph Garber & David Collins • Abbigail Gately • Bob Gregor • Sally and Scott Hewit • Maya Hixson • Vicki Impoco • Patricia & Alan Jotkoff • Marci Kagan • Scott Kalota • Pam Keith • Vivian Kerstein • Vicki Kirkland • Erin Koski • Elizabeth Lee • Karen Leetzow • Dr. Boyd Lindsley & Michael Farmer • Bill Lundell • Peggy Lushine • Maria Margenot & Andrea Hays • Mitzi Maxwell • Keith Morrison • Kelly Quintero • Susannah Randolph • Dr. Sam Sanabria • Dr. Jennifer Sandoval • Joe Saunders • Gwen Schade • Carlos G. Smith • Pat Southward • Jo Staffin • Lani Steffens • Robert Strong • Diana Tennis • Nicole Varma-Thompson • Sharon & Derrick Wallace • Wendy Wallenberg • Sarah Wissig • Nancy Wolf

Honorary Host Committee (still in formation)
City of Kissimmee Commissioner Jose Alvarez • State House Representative Randolph Bracy • State House Representative John Cortes • Orange County School Board Member Daryl Flynn • Congressman Alan Grayson • Osceola County Commissioner Cheryl Grieb • Honorable Martha Haynie • Osceola County Commissioner Viviana Janer • Palm Bay Council Member Michelle Paccione • Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph • Orange County School Board Member Nancy Robbinson • Orange County Clerk of Courts Tiffany Moore Russell • Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan • City of Winter Park Vice Mayor Sarah Sprinkel • State Senator Geraldine Thompson

Former ACORN activist Susannah Randolph sets her eyes on Washington

13 Jul susannahrandolph2

By Tom Tillison

Susannah Randolph, a former community organizer for ACORN, has announced her intentions to run for the congressional seat being vacated by her boss, U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., who is running for the U.S. Senate.

“Today I announce my candidacy for Florida’s 9th Congressional District,” Randolph posted Monday on Facebook. “I’m running because I’ve always believed that if you work hard and play by the rules, you deserve a fair shot at success in this country.”

(The campaign page set up on the social media platform has generated just 353 “likes” after being up and running all day.)

The irony in Randolph’s statement is that she continues to advocate for policies that cater to an entitlement mentality that diminishes hard work and disregards the rules. It’s difficult to lift up the middle class when you’re continually straddling them with unfair burdens.

Employed as the congressman’s district director, Randolph previously served as Grayson’s campaign manager in his failed 2010 reelection bid, and is cut from the same progressive cloth, although not nearly as acerbic as El Jefe.

susannahrandolph2In every sense of the word, Randolph is a big government progressive who, in the never-ending quest for social justice, supports left-wing policies that undermine free market principles. Small business-killing mandatory paid sick leave is but one example of this.

And you can be sure organized labor will be in Randolph’s corner.

I didn’t expect her to get into the race, but now that she’s in, Randolph should be seen as a serious contender.

But I stand by a comment I made to Politico’s Marc Caputo that she is a political activist at heart, not a politician. An activist accustomed to working behind the scenes — so much so that Randolph appears somewhat awkward on the rare occasion she finds herself in the spotlight.

It remains to be seen if she can make the transition from being an issues-based advocate to being a candidate.

Nevertheless, as noted by the Orlando Sentinel, with the support of local personal injury attorney John Morgan, a key Democratic donor, among other notable backers, Randolph will be able to raise coin. And lots of it.

Morgan’s support is interesting, given Randolph’s strong loyalty to Grayson, who just called the attorney a lush.

Other relationships that could factor in with fundraising include Miami-based millionaire Chris Findlater, and Bill Phillips, a former Orlando resident who recently relocated to Washington, D.C.

Randolph’s relationship with the two was fostered through Florida Watch Action, the progressive activist group behind the infamous “Pink Slip Rick” campaign — she was state director of the group before returning to work for Grayson upon his reelection in 2012.

Phillips was described last year by BuzzFeed as an “adviser to national Democratic donors… who represents members of the progressive network, the Democracy Alliance” — according to reports, members must contribute at least $200,000 per year.

Findlater donated $25,000 to Citizens for Informed Elections in 2014, a local political action committee behind last year’s failed Democrat-led referendum to make Orange County commission races partisan and move the mayor’s race to the presidential-year election cycle. The Randolphs had a heavy hand in this endeavor.

Due to her behind-the-scenes nature, Randolph’s name ID is not all that strong outside political circles. It helps that her spouse, Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph, has been in the political arena for some time.

Having served as Grayson’s campaign manager in 2008 — the ties are deep here folks — husband Scott is sure to play a big role in her campaign.

A 2011 Sentinel feature of the couple — one of several — highlighted “Scott’s strategic mind and Susannah’s years of grass-roots organizing” while describing his own election to the state House.

“He was the brain; I was the brawn,” Susannah said at the time.

The Sentinel’s Scott Power described them as a “power family” in Monday’s write-up of her entry into the race, but did not mention that as a state representative, Randolph came under scrutiny for trying to direct $50,000 to the local ACORN entity at the same time his wife went to work for them. The funding request was denied.

The demographics of CD9 currently favor a Hispanic Democrat, but the redrawing of congressional districts could work to favor Randolph. Either way, the progressive movement has made considerable inroads in the Hispanic community, with a strong ally in the union front group Mi Familia Vota.

Other progressive activist groups likely to support Randolph include Organize Now, the de facto successor to ACORN Florida, Central Florida Jobs with Justice and the gay rights organization Equality Florida. Word has it that Randolph has played a key role in directing funds to each these groups.


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