Democrat Greg Para is running for the Florida House of Representatives in District 72. Para’s campaign website states, “Greg is a former senior sales and marketing manager in the industrial and energy sectors. He is a current and former small business owner, including a successful painting business, an educational training company, and Para’s Parrots.”
A varied business background to be sure. But has Para been “successful” in his business ventures?
According to his Full and Public Disclosure of Financial Interest – Form 6, Para has no liabilities, assets of $4,500 (a 2006 Dodge van $3,500, and Para’s Parrots, Inc. $1,000) and a net worth as of May 2014 of $7,000. Para declares that his annual income is solely from government agencies totaling $38,758 ($17,062 from State of Florida, $10,560 from the Navy and $11,136 in disability payments).
It appears from his public disclosure that he has not been very successful as the President of Greg Para, Inc., founded in 2004. This is interesting because he and his wife Pearl Dahmen Para, Vice-President of Greg Para, Inc., co-authored a book titled “The GOAT Program”. According to the abstract, “THE GOAT PROGRAM is a systematic approach to success.” Para is described in the “About The Author” section as follows:
Greg Para is a former Fortune 500 manager, corporate executive, successful businessman and creator of THE GOAT PROGRAM. As featured on television’s Beyond The Bottom Line, he used GOAT when he and his family moved to Florida with no contacts or money and created a successful business in 30 days. As a parent, professional speaker and trainer, Greg touches and inspires teens and entrepreneurs.
Perhaps Greg Para should re-read his own book? Para’s creation of a “successful business in 30 days” is unproven after 10-years in business according to his Form 6. If you go to www.TheGoatProgram.com it defaults to Para’s campaign website. Is the goat business a gone business? Para also sells parrots. However if you Google Para’s Parrots it also defaults to his campaign website.
Para was a volunteer with Save Our Seabirds. According to a July 2013 article in The Observer by City Editor Robin Hartill, Para led a protest against the organization. The protest accused Save Our Seabirds of having rats, dead birds and mold in their facility. Hartill reported, “Here’s what Sarasota city staff didn’t find at Save Our Seabirds during an unannounced inspection June 20 : rats or black mold. The facility was clean, filled with visitors and free of rats and dead birds…” Oops, false alarm.
Para on his campaign website states he is, “active with Florida Veterans for Common Sense, a veterans’ advocacy and assistance organization.” Florida Veterans for Common Sense began as an anti-Katherine Harris political advocacy organization, it has not changed its political focus. The group petitioned to become a member of the Sarasota County Veterans Commission. The request was denied because it was not a non-profit veterans’ advocacy organization (501c) but rather a political organization with a strong left wing bent. Another Para misstatement?
Recently Para took two interesting positions at a Sarasota Tiger Bay candidate forum.
Para opposes a bill introduced by FL Rep. Greg Steube “[T]hat would have allowed Florida teachers with military or law enforcement experience to carry guns if their school district signed off.” Para stated, “I am not a proponent of having anybody other than the sheriff’s department or police to be able to protect my children.” Having served in the U.S. Navy Para must know the importance of responding to deadly force in a timely manner with appropriate force to defend oneself. Surely he knows, based on response times to school shootings, that by the time the police arrive on the scene the event is over. The students have no chance unless there is a significant deterrent on campus. What Para is actually saying is let the children die because I am anti-Second Amendment.
Para also wants to restrict, as does President Obama and the EPA, Florida’s ability to produce cheap and reliable power.
Zac Anderson from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported, “The Republican-controlled Legislature repealed two of former Gov. Charlie Crist’s signature energy initiatives in 2012, proposals that aimed to establish a ‘cap and trade’ system for carbon emissions while requiring electric utilities to generate a certain percentage of their power from renewable energy… Para told the Tiger Bay crowd that the lack of momentum on renewable energy is the result of lobbying by big utility companies, which donate large sums to lawmakers ‘so they don’t have to worry about competition’.” This is especially interesting given Para lists working for “the energy sector” on his resume.
Cap and trade is all about taxing and regulating CO2 emissions. This is part of the global warming, now climate change, narrative used to impose unsustainable regulations on the energy industry. Sean Hackbarth in his column “Broken Windows: The Flawed Economic Logic of EPA’s Carbon Regulations“, writes:
One unseen cost of EPA’s attempt to restructure the power grid, will be the shutdown of reliable coal-fired power plants. For instance, Duane Highley, CEO of Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. and Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc., told Arkansas Business he “would prefer to invest in scrubbers” for the 1,480-megawatt plant near Redfield, “and let it run for another 20 or 30 years” rather than shut it down.
What’s more, enormous investments that have already been made to many of these plants to make them meet other EPA standards. Take the Ferry Power Station in Hatfield, PA. The plant’s owner installed $650 million of scrubber technology in 2009, but closed it four years later because of more EPA regulations.
During a July 23  hearing of the Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) summed it up when she said that EPA’s regulations will force the premature retirement of efficient, low-cost coal-fueled generation; lead to the potential loss of billions of dollars in investments made over the last decade to make coal plants cleaner; require construction of higher-cost replacement generation; and increase natural gas prices.
Like Charlie Crist, Para is a proponent of destroying Florida’s energy producing infrastructure. Para, like Crist, wants to close all coal and natural gas plants in Florida and replace them with costly and inefficient renewable energy plants – wind and solar. This position will impact every Floridian with higher energy prices. But Para and Crist know that.
Florida District 72 voters need to ask themselves: Is Greg Para a parrot for the Democrat agenda or a Democrat goat?