Politics

Bill Posey Shows No Signs of Slowing Down

By: Jeff Henderson | Posted: July 26, 2014 3:55 AM
Bill Posey

Bill Posey

Bill Posey has quietly become one of the most successful politicians in Florida and shows no signs of slowing down. 

First elected to the Rockledge City Council in 1976, the year Jimmy Carter beat Gerald Ford in the presidential election and before “Star Wars" came out, Posey has been a force in Florida politics for decades. Long before he was elected to Congress in 2008, Posey served in various local and county offices and headed up the state Realtors. While not the most dramatic of political rises, Posey moved up to the Florida House in 1992 and over to the Florida Senate in 2000.

After Dave Weldon retired in 2008, Posey easily won a seat in Congress. Despite 2008 being a good year for Democrats, Posey won by 11 percent and blew out his Democratic rivals in 2010 and 2012. In his six years in Washington, Posey has won little national attention and his seats on the Financial Services Committee and its various subcommittees aren’t exactly the most enviable of launching pads for rising up the leadership ladder or making a splash on the various cable news shows.

Where Posey has shone has been his work for the space program, no real surprise considering he and his dad worked at NASA. Posey sits on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and he’s used it as a bully pulpit to push private space flight and jab the Obama administration for retreating from space exploration.

There’s a temptation, especially since he has been politically active for so long, to think Posey is older than his 66 years. More than any other Florida congressman, Posey is the subject of retirement rumors. They seem to surface every two years, even as he continues to be a strong fundraiser who often wins points with various wings of the GOP. Posey has been able to keep one foot in the mainstream conservative Republican Study Committee and another in Ron Paul’s and Justin Amash’s Liberty Caucus, with no problem.

Despite the rumors, Posey shows no signs of slowing down. By the end of June, he had already raised $786,000 in what is a solid Republican district. Democrats had some hope that Corry Westbrook, who was the legislative director for the National Wildlife Federation and had worked for the EPA, could give Posey some troubles and she started off with some strong fundraising. But things fell apart for Westbrook with accusations that she plagiarized Patrick Murphy’s campaign webpage getting national attention. The Westbrook campaign then dropped the ball by missing the filing deadline to make the ballot and even claiming they didn’t know about it.

Westbrook’s implosion left property manager Gabriel Rothblatt as the Democratic nominee. An eager and earnest candidate, Rothblatt raised more than $53,500, less than a third of what Westbrook had brought in, and only had around $4,400 in the bank by the end of June. That simply isn’t enough to be competitive against Posey who had $607,000 on hand at the end of June.

Posey is not the flashiest of congressmen, but he is a successful and often underrated politician in a Republican district. Even as whispers continue to go around that he will leave Washington one of these days, Posey looks headed back to Washington without breaking a sweat.



Tallahassee political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this analysis piece exclusively for Sunshine State News.

Comments (3)

Patricia Lavins
12:08PM JUL 27TH 2014
The claim that Bill Posey has been successful is a laugh out loud comment. In his multiple years as a political, he has done NOTHING beneficial for the people that he is alleged to represent. During this time in Washington, he has been a disaster. His vote for the government shutdown revealed him to be a political ideologue who care nothing about the fact that thousands of contractors at the Kennedy Space Center suffered financially because of his political stunt. College drop-out Posey is a climate changer denier and he is anti-science. He is a man of the 19th century incapable of dealing with 21st century issues.
Hugh Yonn
7:11AM JUL 26TH 2014
I wrote to Congressman Posey asking for his support in repealing cannabis laws. This was his response:

Dear Mr. Yonn,

Thank you for contacting me to express your support for changing our laws regarding marijuana. I appreciate hearing from you and knowing of your interest in this issue. At present there is no legislation regarding this issue anticipated to come before the House for a vote.

As you may know, there is a proposed ballot initiative regarding marijuana that is likely to appear on the Florida ballot this year that would address state laws on this subject. It would establish broader access to medical marijuana. For many years marinol has been available as a synthetic form of active substances in marijuana. It is not widely used, as health care providers and patients have often opted for more effective drugs. Should marijuana legislation come before the Congress, however, I will keep your interest in this issue in mind.

We must also work to ensure that any changes in policy do not undermine our messages to our youth to remain drug free. As you may know, we spend tens of billions of dollars each year treating, repairing, or dealing with the damage caused by drug abuse. Sending our youth the wrong message regarding drug use may exacerbate these issues, and that is an important issue for society at large to carefully consider.

Thank you again for contacting me. I appreciate having the benefit of your views. It is an honor to serve you in Congress. For more information on my work in Congress, to sign up to receive my E-newsletter, or to participate in telephone town hall meetings, please visit my website, (cannot post links on this site), or call my office at (321) 632-1776. If I may be of service to you in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,
b
Bill Posey
Member of Congress
Patricia Lavins
12:11PM JUL 27TH 2014
There is no doubt that Posey's staff is capable of sending out a form letter that is alleged to be a response to a constitutent's concern. Anyone who would take a serious look at his voting record knows that Posey has no concern for our youth. It is one of the reasons that he voted against the Farm Bill which funds the school lunch program.

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