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Why I’m Endorsing Ray Pilon for the Florida Senate in District 23

The Florida Senate District 23 race has been filled with mud slinging, vitriol and attacks between candidates. And that’s just the Republicans running for the open seat.

Big money, the media, big business and the establishment GOP have worked to put into the District 23 Senate seat anybody but Ray Pilon. Sound familiar?

Ray is not beholding to big donors and has not gotten into the mud slinging pig pen, like some other candidates. Ray Pilon is the only candidate who is talking about and focused on the issues impacting Floridians. That alone is reason enough to cast a vote for Pilon.

But there are other reasons that compel me to vote for Ray Pilon. The reasons fall into four categories: Illegal immigration, law and order, the Florida economy, public education.

IMMIGRATION

George Fuller, an expert on immigration issues, sent me the following in an email:

This afternoon I received a response from Ray Pilon posted below who is running for the [Florida District 23] state senate. I voted for him previously and will again.

Thanks George, if I make it to the Senate you won’t just hear rhetoric from me you will see legislation and a campaign to correct this [immigration] mess. What you have said all along is getting worse. It is a major priority for me and maybe my fellow legislators will finally wake up. I will seek your counsel as we move forward.

Ray [Pilon]

Illegals cost the state of Florida over $5 billion annually according to FAIR. This is a heavy burden on all Florida taxpayers. Andrea Billups from NewsMax reported:

An estimated 925,000 illegal immigrants lived in Florida in 2012, according to data from the Pew Research Center. They made up 4.8 percent of the state’s population.

The annual costs to Florida’s taxpayers were estimated at more than $5.2 billion, according to data from the Federation for American Immigration Reform. This deficit was calculated after state revenue from illegal immigrants totaling $261 million was counted.

FAIR reported the following costs associated with illegal immigration in Florida, broken down as such:

  • $3.34 billion went to education
  • $660 million to healthcare
  • $579 million to justice and law enforcement
  • $317 million to public assistance
  • $568 million to general government services

LAW AND ORDER

Ray Pilon was born in Pontiac, Michigan, and attended Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in 1968. After graduation, he moved to the state of Florida in 1979, where he began working as a police officer.

Perhaps the second most important issue facing Florida is the maintaining of law and order. With the recent killings in Orlando and Fort Myers it is clear that the terrorist and criminal elements are always waiting to strike.

Pilon was part of that thin blue line keeping Floridians safe. He understands that without law enforcement officers there is lawlessness.

THE FLORIDA ECONOMY

A healthy economy depends on low taxes, a skilled workforce, and a regulatory environment that encourages job creation and entrepreneurship. In the Florida legislature, Ray Pilon has worked to remove government-created obstacles to prosperity.

I am confident he will continue to work with Governor Scott to create jobs, cut regulations and increase the chances for entrepreneurs to flourish in the Sunshine state.

PUBLIC EDUCATION

Florida Citizens Alliance (FLCA) was working on both a comprehensive bill to restore local K-12 education control and a focused curriculum bill to fix the loopholes in SB 864, passed in 2014 as FS 1006.283.

FLCA in a press release stated:

We are very pleased to report that Senator Alan Hays and Representative Ray Pilon are championing companion bills to fix FS 1006.283 and its loopholes:  SB 1018 and HB 899.

The purpose/intent of the original SB 864 was to assign constitutional responsibility for all instructional materials to school boards, and require a transparent policy/process for school boards and parents to remove objectionable materials. Due to several loopholes in FS 1006.283, the spirit and intent of the original bill are currently being ignored by many school districts in Florida.

FLCA later asked its members, parents and concerned citizen to “send a ‘shout out’ to Senator Hays and Representative Pilon, thanking them for their leadership.”

Ray Pilon has been a champion of moving power to students, parents and teachers in Florida.

Not sure what else I can say other than I urge all voters in Florida Senate District 23 to vote for Ray Pilon.

To learn more about Ray Pilon please click here.

RELATED VIDEO: Candidate Forum – Florida Senate District 23 (Republican primary)

Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law Stood Its Ground against attack – for now

By an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 11-2, the Florida House Criminal Justice Committee defeated House Bill 4003 by Representative Alan Williams (D). HB-4003 would have repealed Florida’s Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law.

According to NRA-ILA, “House Speaker Will Weatherford kept his word.  He gave Representative Williams and his Dream Defenders the hearing they requested. Committee Chairman Matt Gaetz kept his word.  He skillfully and expertly ran a fair, open and orderly 5-hour hearing. In a structured format, each side was allowed 30 minutes for Legislators who were not on the Committee to speak on the bill. Speaking in opposition to repeal were Representative Jason Brodeur (R), Representative Marti Coley (R) and Representative Katie Edwards (D). Representative Alan Williams was the only Legislator who spoke in the 30 minute time slot allocated for legislators to speak in favor of repeal.”

Karl Etters in The Tallahassee Democrat writes, “Florida was the first state to adopt the extension of the Castle Doctrine in 2005, which includes a clause stating that a person who feels threatened has no duty to retreat, but instead can lawfully use deadly force anywhere they are lawfully allowed to be. But with more than 10 bills filed in the Florida Legislature addressing some form of self-defense, lawmakers say even without a full repeal of Stand Your Ground, there is room to make tweaks.”

Etters notes, “At a Wednesday press conference, he [Rep. Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale] said instead of focusing on a full repeal, effort should be diverted toward bills like SB 130, which denies aggressors the chance to use self-defense. Gaetz said ‘what the Senate has proposed is an exercise in style over substance. I think you’ve got a couple of senators who just want to see something pass even though it doesn’t fundamentally alter the rights of Floridians in a favorable way.’ National Rifle Association and the Unified Sportsmen of Florida President Marion Hammer said this bill ‘wipes out part of the statutes. It doesn’t tweak it; it doesn’t amend it. It doesn’t adjust it. It is a repeal’.”

Allison Neilson from Sunshine State News reports, “On their Twitter page, the Dream Defenders brought in the issue of race at the hearing, saying that every single supporter of the Stand Your Ground bill at the hearing was white. ‘Every. Single. Opponent. testifying in support of #StandYourGround has been white. Everyone.’ read the tweet. But several lawmakers dismissed the claim that the law was about race, including Rep. Dane Eagle, R-Cape Coral, and Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach. Eagle dismissed the claims, saying instead the law was an issue of human rights.”

Speaking for 2 minutes each were 59 speakers from around the state (24 in support of repeal and 35 opposed to repeal). Following speakers on both sides of the issue the vote was as follows:

Voting Against the Bill To Repeal Stand Your Ground:

Representatives Matt Gaetz, Ray Pilon, Irving Slosberg, Mike Clelland, Dane Eagle, James Grant, Gayle Harrell, Dave Hood, Travis Hutson, Dave Kerner and Charles VanZant.

Voting in Favor of the Bill to Repeal  Stand Your Ground

Randolph Bracy and Kionne McGhee.

Currently twenty-two states have some form of an expanded self-defense law that extends to public places, while others only cover a person’s vehicle or business.