Advocates of Constitution Have a New Plan
The “R[love]ution” is far from over in Florida according to political analysts. Advocates of smaller government may not have much to cheer about in the coming presidential election, but activists have not lost hope. Though both of the major candidates for the presidency have taken stances that might alienate them from believers in the freedoms inscribed in the U.S. Constitution, voters across the state are checking out third parties, many for the first time. Additionally, they are now focusing their attention on state and local elections not dominated by the main-stream national press.
The battle shaping up for the Republican nomination in Florida’s eighth congressional district will be one to keep an eye on. Congressman Rick Keller was elected in 2000, and ran on a strict promise to serve only 3 terms. Although his third term is about to end, he is running again, on yet another promise - “I will not spend my entire career in Congress, but I will seek reelection in 2008. There is unfinished business. I will use my seniority and position to advocate for educational opportunities for all children and low taxes for working families.”
Orlando attorney and conservative talk-show host Todd Long thinks Congressman Keller needs to keep his original promise, saying “Sadly, since Ric Keller was elected in 2000, he and other career politicians in Washington have failed to address our Nation’s challenges, putting us and our children at risk.” Todd Long promises to make the war on terror a central part of his campaign. “We must first defend America from Islamic extremists and place a renewed focus on Iran. Iran’s dictator, Mr. Ahmadinejad, recently stated that ‘a world with no America or Israel is both possible and feasible.’ Iran’s dictator must be held accountable for any future terrorist actions he supports directly or indirectly.”
Candidate Greg Lewis agrees with Todd Long, at least so far as Congressman Keller’s job plans are concerned. Lewis sees the threats to liberty here at home to be at least as pressing as the ones we face over seas. “Our government is unresponsive to the needs of the people. It is serving special interests and not the public. It has forsaken the Constitution and is trampling our civil liberties.
Our national sovereignty is under attack. Our borders are porous. The Federal Reserve is devaluing and destroying our currency. The executive branch has become too powerful. It cannot balance the budget. The debt is out of control. Spending is out of control. We are going broke policing the world.”
In Marion County, the showdown between Democrat Sheriff Ed Dean and his challenger, Republican Paul Truesdell is already heating up. When Truesdall noticed that Ed Dean’s domain name registration on www.eddeanforsheriff.com was expiring, he placed a legal order to purchase the site. When the site registration was terminated for nonpayment, ownership was transferred to Truesdell’s wife. Befuddled, Sheriff Dean said, “I’ve never met the man. I don’t know why a political candidate would want to purchase the other candidate’s Web site.” Welcome to the world of cyber-politics.
But there is more to Paul Truesdell than just being tech savvy. His campaign platform is simple; Truesdell promises to; lower the budget, have more deputies and fewer chiefs, pay every deputy a better wage, get politics out of the sheriff’s office, and reform the way crime statistics are reported. Ed Dean’s platform is less specific. His “new” website http://www.electeddeansheriff. com - lists his priorities as; “putting citizens first, stewardship of your tax dollars, employee satisfaction, having a vision for the future, known for a servant leadership management style, providing service with honor, accountability throughout the organization, and core values” Dean has also drawn criticism from free-market advocate by having the Sheriffs Office take over the health care services at the Marion County Jail, and suggesting that same care could be expanded out to the uninsured residents of Marion County.
South Florida also has a number of freedom candidates that have been shaking up the political scene in the state. One tireless activist that was considering making his third run for Congress - this time as an independent, is fearful about America’s future. Frank Gonzalez ran as a libertarian in 2004 and earned 27% of the vote against incumbent Lincoln Diaz-Balart. He ran as a “Jeffersonian Democrat” in ‘06 and received 41% of the vote in the overwhelmingly conservative district. In ‘08 he was supporting the candidacy of Dean Santoro, a “Ron Paul Republican” making a bid in the same race. But, dismayed by people’s “apathy and ignorance,” he has since made a decision to exit politics and at one point was considering emigrating to Croatia. Santoro has since decided to run for the Florida Senate.
“The cost of doing business in Florida is driving big companies out of the state while small businesses are going out of business,” he said. One of his top priorities is lowering taxes for Floridians. Jose Francisco Marquez, running in District 119, is one of many liberty-loving candidates for the Florida House of Representatives. His motivation to run: “States’ Rights and Free Markets.”
Though Ron Paul has ended his bid for the presidency of the UNITED STATES, he hasn’t given up on restoring the rule of Constitutional law. “If they expected us to retire quietly from the scene, the political elite are in for a surprise,” he announced on the new “Campaign for Liberty” web site. Candidates and voters from across the nation are taking notice. In North-West Florida, Pastor Chuck Baldwin has jumped into the presidential race under the Constitution party’s banner. He has earned widespread support amongst former Ron Paul supporters, especially in the Sunshine State. But his candidacy is representative of a much bigger shift in voters’ attitudes.
“All politics is local,” remarked Thomas O’Neill, a longtime Speaker of the House in the U.S. Congress. It seems activists are finally taking heed.
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