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Political Bits and Pieces

Ron Paul, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum Head to Jax for Pro-Life Conference
By: Kevin Derby | Posted: June 10, 2011 3:55 AM

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The National Right-to-Life Conference will be meeting in Jacksonville from June 22-24 and there will a number of prominent conservatives, including pundit Fred Barnes from the Weekly Standard, pro-life journalist Michael Clancy and former Planned Parenthood director turned pro-life activist Abby Johnson. There will also be a forum for presidential candidates. So far, three of the Republican candidates -- U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, businessman Herman Cain and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania -- are confirmed to attend the event … Social conservative leader John Stemberger, the president of the Florida Family Action PAC, is encouraging his supporters who are registered Republicans to register to take part in the Presidency 5 straw poll. Registration for the event, which will be held in Orlando, closes on Friday. Incidentally, Stemberger offered an analysis of the Republican presidential field during a speech in Pensacola which can be viewed here … On Thursday, Brian Ballard announced that Smith & Ballard would now be Ballard Partners and Jim Smith, who had been there 13 years after his service as state secretary of state and attorney general, would be leaving … Florida Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney will be offering the commencement address at Keiser University’s Port St. Lucie campus on Friday night …

While he has left the door open to joining a crowded Republican primary field looking to knock off Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in 2012, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan continues to raise his profile on foreign policy. On Wednesday, Buchanan highlighted a report from the Senate Foreign Policy Committee that questions the effectiveness of American nation-building efforts in Afghanistan. In May, Buchanan called for the federal government to review foreign aid priorities and cut back dramatically … Speaking of that Republican primary race, former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner’s team, which has not been averse to taking shots at the other GOP hopefuls, went after former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux on Wednesday for his ties to former Gov. Charlie Crist. With Crist a persona non grata among Republicans for leaving the party in 2010, expect more of these attacks against LeMieux … Continuing to insist that he is behind the proposed budget backed by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., current state Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, who is also in the Republican primary to challenge Nelson, penned an opinion piece for the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday where he praised Ryan’s plan. Haridopolos also repeated his call to repeal the federal health-care law backed by President Barack Obama

Is Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, vulnerable in 2012? The conservative legislator was on center stage for much of the 2011 session -- including serving as the point man for the pension reform for state employees in the House. Workman, who currently represents parts of Brevard County in the House, has already drawn three Democratic challengers -- John Paul Alvarez, LaToya Reynolds and Kimberly Whiting Jim Dobyns has filed to run as a Republican for the Pinellas County House seat currently held by term-limited Rep. Jim Frishe, R-St. Petersburg. If the name sounds familiar, Dobyns got national attention a few years back for buying a whole lot of voting machines and other equipment from the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections, that were used in the 2000 presidential election, that he sells online. Yes, he also sells hanging chads. Fellow Republican James Stewart Welch has also filed to run for the seat … Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach, is in the midst of a busy June. She held events on both Monday and Tuesday in Starke and Macclenny, hitting both towns each day. On Thursday, she spoke to the Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach/Yulee Chamber of Commerce. She’s speaking to the Federation of Republican Women of Nassau County on Friday and has more events in Starke, Macclenny, Fernandina Beach, Yulee and Green Cove Springs later in the month …

It’s not getting much play, but a prominent conservative filed to be the state’s next education commissioner -- Bret Schundler. Schundler received heavy accolades from conservatives during his service as mayor of Jersey City, N.J., during the 1990s. During that time, Schundler pushed for charter schools. He would later run for governor, getting the Republican nomination in 2001 but losing in the general election and losing a close primary battle in 2005. Schundler resurfaced in 2010 to serve as education commissioner under Republican Gov. Chris Christie but he did not last a year in his post. Christie threw Schundler overboard after there were errors in the state’s application for federal Race to the Top Funds. Schundler also has experience in running the King’s College, a conservative and Christian liberal-arts school based in New York City … Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, has officially filed to run against Democratic U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor in 2012. Bennett does not have an open shot at the Republican nomination. Eddie Adams, an architect who was the GOP nominee against Castor in 2006 and 2008, and who ran for it in 2010, has decided the fourth time is the charm and has also filed … Remember John Stahl? He ran against Clay Shaw in a Republican congressional primary back in 1994 and took 22 percent of the vote, while Shaw pulled in 78 percent. Stahl’s running for Congress again -- this time, out in California where he is challenging U.S. Rep. Brian Bilbray in the Republican primary.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.


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Rosen13
7:15PM JUN 10TH 2011
I think that Rep. Ritch Workman has a great chance for the 2012 year. He has made unpopular but necessary changes. I think that the pension was necessary and it was needed to help Florida.
RepublicanConscience
4:53AM JUN 10TH 2011
I have found the Right to Life national and state chapters to be lobbying groups that will sell out principles to endorse the guy or gal they think will win, to give them a better talking position. Lost respect for them from too many bone head endorsements of pro-choice candidates over pro-life candidates. For instance Rick Santorum the darling of the National Right to Life, endorsed and campaigned for Arlen Specter in his 2004 reelection GOP primary against Pat Toomey, and never paid a price with the Right to Life groups. He also crossed his state line in 1997 to endorse and campaign for the most radical pro-abortion governor, Christie Todd Whitman. She actually vetoed a bill that banned Partial Birth Abortions, how radical is that? She also appointed the most radical Supreme Court Justices, who when the veto of the ban on Partial Birth Abortion was overridden by both houses of the state legislature, Christie Todd Whitman's Extreme Court said that the ban was "Unconstitutional." Santorum campaigned for her reelection against Murray Sabrin a strong Pro-life candidate, and Santorum is still the darling of the National Right to Life.

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