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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)

Can the States Stop Implementation of Iran Nuclear Deal?

On the Sunday, September 20, 2015 Lisa Benson Show we interviewed, David B. Rivkin, Jr. a noted Constitutional  litigator, a partner in the Washington, DC office of the Baker Hostetler law firm. The topic was “Can the Senate Sue the President over his handling of the Iran Nuclear Deal?”  Rivkin is also   a Senior Fellow of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).  He served in a variety of legal and policy positions in the Reagan and George H. W. Bush  Administrations, including stints at the White House Counsel’s office, Office of the Vice President and the Departments of Justice and Energy. While in the government, he handled a variety of national security and domestic issues, including environmental and energy policy, tax, trade and constitutional issues.  He is a much sought after as a media commentator on matters of constitutional and international law, as well as foreign and defense policy.

Rivkin recently won a landmark decision in the D.C. Federal District Court in the matter of House v. Burwell over the supremacy of Congressional appropriations authorities with regard to implementation of the Affordable Care Act that affirmed Congressional standing to bring such an action. He co-authored a September 6, 2015 Washington Post opinion article with Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) suggesting a possible suit by the Senate against the President for non–compliance with the language of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act requiring delivery of all requisite documents including the privileged IAEA side agreements.  A September 10, 2015 WSJ op ed by Rivkin and Elizabeth Price Foley discussed how the successful House v. Burwell suit gave standing to Congress to bring possible litigation against the President. Moreover, the suit in the ACA matter had survived a motion to dismiss by the Administration. We have published similar proposals by Sklaroff and Bender for Senate litigation over the JCPOA unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council on July 22, 2015.

The Sklaroff Bender proposal required the Senate to change Rule 22 to achieve cloture to cut off filibusters by Minority Democrats, before Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) might offer up a resolution to treating the Iran nuclear agreement as a treaty under Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution requiring a two thirds vote under the advise and consent of the Senate.  However, to initiate that would have required McConnell to make changes in Rule 22 at the start of the 114th Congress in January 2015.  Currently, to cut off debate requires 60 votes. Congressional Research Service reports on this issue indicated previous proposals reducing the threshold down in steps to a simple majority vote. A number of prominent conservative activists and organizations advocated such a change at the start of the new Congress but McConnell pushed back, arguing that Democrats would use the new rules once they returned to the Majority to quash Republican concerns in the future.

The Senate Republican majority failed in a last move to upend the Iran Nuclear deal. As reported by the AP, a Senate vote on a resolution requiring Iran to recognize Israel as a quid pro quo to lifting sanctions failed once again to reach the 60 vote’s threshold.  The vote was 53 to 45 before the deadline of September 17th under the Corker-Cardin Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said, in an AP report on the Administration’s start to implement the JCPOA, the deal “likely will be revisited by the next commander-in-chief.”  The AP reportedHouse Speaker John Boehner suggesting that possible litigation might be an option. Other Senators and Members of Congress have suggested renewal of the Iran Sanctions Act of 2006 before it sunsets in 2016.

Watch this mid-April 2015  Wall Street Journal interview with David B. Rivkin, Esq. He had presciently predicted the problems confronting  Congress  under the Corker-Cardin Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act to pass resolutions rejecting the JCPOA.

During the Lisa Benson Show interview, Rivkin suggested that the President had violated Coker-Cardin by not delivering all of the requisite information, including the IAEA side agreements with Iran. As a result of this violation, the Congressional review period has never started and, consistent with the statutory language of Corker Cardin, the President’s authority to lift any sanctions against Iran or unblock any frozen Iranian funds has been vitiated. Rivkin expressed the view that, if the President were to indicate that he intends to lift sanctions, or unblock frozen assets, this decision can be challenged in court, either by the House or the Senate, or the States. Listen to the Rivkin interview on the Lisa Benson Show sound cloud, here.

Rivkin and colleague Lee Casey wrote about that possibility in a July 26, 2015, Wall Street Journal opinion article, “The Lawless Underpinnings in the Iran Nuclear Deal“. They argued:

The Obama end-run around the Constitution could yet be blocked if states exercise their own sanctions regimes …The administration faces another serious problem because the deal requires the removal of state and local Iran-related sanctions. That would have been all right if Mr. Obama had pursued a treaty with Iran, which would have bound the states, but his executive-agreement approach cannot pre-empt the authority of the states.

That leaves the states free to impose their own Iran-related sanctions, as they have done in the past against South Africa and Burma. The Constitution’s Commerce Clause prevents states from imposing sanctions as broadly as Congress can. Yet states can establish sanctions regimes—like banning state-controlled pension funds from investing in companies doing business with Iran—powerful enough to set off a legal clash over American domestic law and the country’s international obligations. The fallout could prompt the deal to unravel.

An explanation of the JCPOA State Sanctions impasse was outlined in a Steptoe International Compliance blog on August 15, 2015, “The JCPOA and State Sanctions” by Bibek Pandy:

The Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) does not say much about Iran sanctions imposed by US state governments. Almost two dozen states (including New York, California and Florida) have passed laws that in some form (i) ban the awarding of government contracts to companies tied to Iran, and/or (ii) prohibit public funds from investing in companies doing certain types of business in Iran. These state restrictions can be more extensive in scope than US federal sanctions. For example, some state restrictions (e.g. in Florida) attach automatically to the parent entity of the company who engages in certain Iran activities. Laws in many states provide for the lifting of Iran sanctions when the President removes Iran from the list of countries that support terrorism; but the JCPOA does not do that, and, as a result, Iran sanction laws in most states will remain intact.

[…]

Companies considering engaging in activity authorized under the JCPOA need to be still mindful of non-federal Iran sanctions. In particular, state government contractors with Iran links should review state procurement laws before engaging in activities permitted by the JCPOA. Furthermore, contractors can face civil penalties in many states for providing false certifications related to their Iran activities. The bar for Iran-related disqualification in some states is relatively low, and the JCPOA does not change that.

David B RivkinDavid B. Rivkin, Jr., Esq.

Following the Lisa Benson Show, David Rivkin and this writer held a conversation to explore the possibilities of a state level initiative. Florida Attorney General (AG) Pam Bondi led a filing made in the 1st Federal District Court in Pensacola on behalf of Florida and more than two dozen other State AGs endeavoring to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Federal Judge Vincent heard oral arguments and ruled on the matter sending it ultimately to the 11th Circuit in Atlanta.   Rivkin thinks that a similar action could be mounted by Florida and a few other states in the same legal venue, the 1st District Court.  The filing might be based on existing Florida sanction law passed under the federal 2010 Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act (CISADA) supplemented by an Executive Order.

The State cause of action, according to Rivkin, could be filed in a matter of weeks, potentially forestalling the release of sanctions before the implementation date under JCPOA, December 15, 2015. As indicated in a September 11, 2015 FDD memo by Dubowitz, Fixler, et.al. the subsequent release of upwards of $120 billion of sequestered funds in several Asian banks would take an additional six months. Thus the Rivkin state litigation proposal, if implemented promptly, might possibly stop the release of Iran nuclear sanctions.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Nora Patterson former Democrat and Planned Parenthood Board Member running for Florida Senate

nora patterson at opening of pp facility in sarasota

Nora Patterson (sixth from the left) at ribbon cutting of largest Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Florida, located in the City of Sarasota.

Career politician Nora Patterson has filed to run for the Florida Senate in District 23. Patterson will be running against Florida State Representative Greg Steube and and former Florida State Representative Doug Holder in the Republican primary in Sarasota County, Florida.

Patterson is a long time supporter and former President of the Board of Directors of the largest Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Florida, located in Rosemary District, a minority area in North Sarasota County.

In 1998, when running for the Sarasota City Commission, Rod Thompson from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported that Patterson “has served as president of the board of directors for Planned Parenthood of Southwest Florida” … and she is “very much a supporter of Planned Parenthood.”

john and nora patterson

John and Nora Patterson at the March 2013 Planned Parenthood annual dinner. Source: Gulfshore Media, LLC.

In June, 2006 Patterson, with her husband John who is a partner with Shutt & Bowen, LLP law firm, attended a Planned Parenthood fundraiser. Sarasota Magazine reported on the Ruby Gala and wrote:

At the Ruby gala, big names were everywhere: Cornelia Matson in regal purple, Lee Peterson, Nancy Reinheimer, Betty Schoenbaum, Anita Holec, Caren Lobo, Flori Roberts,Leila Gompertz-too many to name. And husbands galore! Many politicos-Mayor Mary Ann Servian, former Mayor Mollie Cardamone, Commissioner Ken Shelin, School Board members John Lewis and Carol Todd, County Commissioner Nora Patterson and Betty Castor. Alex Sink, and other candidates for office were also there.

In 2007 Sarasota County voted for an $8 million bond to help fund a new Planned Parenthood abortion clinic.

While a Sarasota County Commissioner Patterson was the only one to vote to continue using county taxes to continue funding for Planned Parenthood. Steven Ertlet from LifeNews.com in 2008 reported:

Sarasota County in Florida has cut the money it sends to a local Planned Parenthood abortion business. Officials, citing poor economic conditions and the need to better balance the city budget, removed the second $12,500 of the original $25,000 allocated for Planned Parenthood family planning programs.

[ … ]

Nora Patterson was the only member of the commission to vote to retain the Planned Parenthood funding. The county gave the abortion center a $30,000 grant in 2007 and $28,000 in 2006.

Zac Anderson from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports, “Patterson is viewed as a moderate on a number of issues. She is a former Democrat who supports abortion rights ‘up to a certain point in the pregnancy’ and once served as president of the board of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Florida, although she noted her board stint was before the local affiliate performed abortions.” [Emphasis added]

Patterson’s efforts to distance herself from Planned Parenthood is misrepresenting the fact that she has consistently supported abortions, and the funding thereof, using Sarasota tax dollars ever since she left as President of Southwest Florida Planned Parenthood.

Stephanie Armour from the Wall Street Journal reports:

Three Planned Parenthood Federation of America clinics in Florida were ordered to stop performing second-trimester abortions after an investigation found they didn’t have the proper licenses, the state Agency for Health Care Administration said Wednesday.

The investigation also found one clinic that wasn’t keeping proper logs relating to fetal remains, according to the agency. The state may take additional actions, including administrative sanctions, against the clinics.

“Licenses are in place to protect the patient from unscrupulous operators and the state of Florida will ensure every facility is held accountable for its actions,” the agency said in a news release.

[ … ]

Florida Gov. Rick Scott last month ordered an investigation of Planned Parenthood clinics in the state following an antiabortion group’s release of undercover videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing the procurement of fetal tissue for research following abortions.

Perhaps Sarasota County voters should judge Nora Patterson on the company she keeps? That company being Planned Parenthood, and the industrial complex that makes a profit off of baby body parts.

Nora Patterson has been a loyal soldier in the war against the innocent and unborn.

RELATED ARTICLES:

4 Ways the Senate Could End Taxpayer Funding of Planned Parenthood

What the New York Times Didn’t Tell You About the Planned Parenthood Video Analysis

Black Pastors Demand Smithsonian Remove Planned Parenthood Founder’s Bust

‘Planned Parenthood Is Flailing’: Bobby Jindal Fights Back After Louisiana Sued for Terminating Medicaid Contract

The Feminist War on Family Science