Extremely serious charges of sexual harassment have been brought against Senator JackLatvala. Charges which he has denied, insisting that he will fight to clear his name. To pile on for political purposes, which we have seen others do, would be irresponsible at this point. An investigation has been initiated by the Senate President. We need to let that investigation run it’s course and see where it leads. If the allegations prove to be true then decisive action would certainly be required.
Republican Gubernatorial candidate Bob White is challenging Jack Latvala’s judgement and qualifications for the office of Governor. White is taking exception to comments made by his opponent before and after hurricane Irma made her devastating landfall. In comments critical of Rick Scott and widely reported by Florida media outlets before Irma made landfall, Latvala was quoted as follows …
“I have lived in Florida for 50 years. We have hurricane season every year. We try to use good judgment,” Latvala said. ”I’m not sure that we haven’t overdone it a little bit … Do you have to close down the state four days before the storm gets here?
He said he had heard from constituents asking him, “Why are we doing this so early?”
White contends that Latvala is singing an entirely different tune in the aftermath of hurricane Irma’s full frontal assault against the peninsula of Florida. In a news release issued by his gubernatorial campaign Latvala said,
“Hurricane Irma showed us just how vulnerable we are with 6.5 million Floridians losing power after the storm. In my home county of Pinellas, which was by no means the hardest hit area in the state, I heard from residents this week that were still without power. It’s time the utilities stop spending money on political candidates and instead protect the residents of this state.”
According to White, “just a day or two before what was sure to be a devastating blow from a category 4 hurricane, Jack Latvala was hosting a fund raiser for his gubernatorial campaign while simultaneously criticizing Governor Rick Scott’s crises management decisions in the face of that storm. Now, as our fellow Floridians are suffering he tries to score political points by making utility companies that have contributed to his political campaigns into bad guys, for making contributions to political campaigns. The hypocrisy is astounding.”
White continued, “People that know him well question Jack Latvala’s temperament every bit as much as his left leaning political philosophy. These quotes cannot be explained away as just callous or impetuous comments from a politician famous for his ill- conceived and often caustic retorts when asked to weigh in on a current circumstance or whatever the political issue of the day may be. Rather than endearing him to those that love him for his irreverence and his I don’t really give a damn attitude on most topics, this should be a wake-up call for anyone considering him as a serious candidate for Governor of the state of Florida”.
White continued, “This is beyond serious. This is life and death. At a time when Governor Rick Scott was doing everything humanly possible, and I might add doing it extremely well, to warn our fellow Floridians and prepare them for the potential devastation and loss of life from this approaching hurricane, the last thing he needed was for Jack Latvala, a state senator running for Governor, to undermine his efforts by suggesting that his comments were “overdone” and lacking “good judgement”.
Governor Scott received universal support, even from his critics, for his crisis response management and his coordination efforts with local governments, the Federal government and neighboring states in the face of this potential disaster. Said White, “This has been Rick Scott’s finest hour as Governor. I have no doubt that lives were saved as a result of his herculean efforts. Jack Latvala’s comments are inexcusable. He owes the Governor,and the people of Florida, an apology”.
Melbourne, Florida – Jack Latvala announced today that he will be joining Bob White and Adam Putnam in the Republican primary for governor of Florida.
The longtime state senator, a fixture of the Tallahassee political establishment, will have served a combined 16 years in the state legislature when the 2018 session ends early next year. His tenure and in some cases Chairmanship of various powerful committees during that time put him in a position to raise millions of dollars in dark money contributions from special interests with business before the legislature and he took full advantage of that opportunity.
“Jack is a far cry from the traditionally conservative candidate that he claims to be. His support for issues like in-state tuition for undocumented students, medicaid expansion, corporate welfare and high speed rail will not be supported by Republican voters. His opposition to term limits and his threats to do away with them will be especially difficult for him to overcome” said White.
Senator Latvala is backed by many powerful and traditionally anti Republican organizations such as the AFL-CIO, the United Auto Workers Union and even the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, all of whom were instrumental in helping Barack Obama get elected and then reelected as President.
According to White, “The press continues to equate viability with how much special interest dark money a candidate has raised. Unfortunately for Jack his liberal progressive voting record makes him a non-starter in this race. I don’t care how much money he’s raised, or will raise, using his power position as Ways & Means Committee Chairman of the Florida Senate. I sincerely welcome him to the race but it is highly unlikely that he can muster any meaningful support in a Republican primary.”
Melbourne, Florida – Monday, July 3, 2017 –Adam Putnam, Republican candidate for Florida governor, was purposefully misleading potential voters on Thursday when he hit the airwaves in the greater Tampa market claiming to be the only Republican in the race for Florida’s governor.
Fellow Republican gubernatorial candidate and chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida, Bob White, not only called this notion preposterous but also questioned whether Adam Putnam could really call himself a Republican based on his prior record in office.
“The poster child for career politicians, with a republican in name only voting record, claims to be the only republican in the race. He’s the only RINO in the race but certainly not the only Republican”
White, who will be doing his own media tour in the Tampa market on July 7th with interviews with News Channel 8, 970WFLA, Bay News 9 and WMNF, will be challenging Putnam in the August 2018 primary after announcing his run for the top seat in the state in late May.
“As the Chairman of The Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida for the past 4 years I challenge Adam Putnam’s claim. He’s possibly the only one in the race that has never earned a private sector paycheck, but hardly the only republican. In fact, examine his voting record and you will wonder if he even is a republican at all.”
Melbourne, FL- Bob White, Republican Candidate for governor of Florida, put out a statement today with harsh words for legislative leadership at the close of the special legislative session.
After a regular legislative session that ended with several back room deals on budget issues and a controversial education bill, the legislature was called back for a 3 day special session dealing with the budget, education and in the end, the implementation of medical cannabis. It was yet another back room deal between legislative leadership and the Governor that resulted in the call for the special session.
On the first day of the special session, Mr. White wrote an open letter to the Florida legislature as a whole imploring them to stay true to their conservative principles. At the conclusion of the session White intoned that the legislature, dominated by its leadership, had failed the people once again.
During the special session the legislature approved the controversial education plan that was the priority of the speaker. In trade, an additional expenditure for higher education, which was sought by the senate president was approved. An additional $50,000,000 was added back in for Visit Florida. Finally, in what may be the largest political turn around on any issue, a new fund of $85,000,000 would be given to the governor to support training and infrastructure projects. This fund lacks any real transparency or accountability and the expenditure of these funds is at the complete discretion of just one person…the governor.
Mr. White had harsh words for this “compromise” deal:
“It is a sad state of affairs that we can no longer take the word of our legislative leadership. The people of Florida were promised more transparency. We were promised that we would see principled governance even when it was not politically expedient. In the end we were deceived.”
White continued “What we have seen with this special session, as we have so many times before, is that legislative leaders, bolstered by their control over millions of dollars in special interest contributions, rule the day in Tallahassee and there is little anyone will do to stand up against them.”
“The people of Florida are fed up with a legislative process dominated by back room deals, special interest lobbyists, dark money, and a lack of transparency not only in the process but also in how our tax dollars are so often spent with no real accountability.”
“We need change in Tallahassee and that change starts at the top. We need to send a message that we will not tolerate being lied to and our state seemingly up for sale to the highest special interest bidder. That is what my campaign was predicated on and what we will always stand for. The people of Florida, conservative principles and ethics in office, will always come first for me as governor. I am not a career politician like my opponent but I do have a keen understanding of the process and that is exactly what we need in Florida. An outsider with experience that will have the people’s interests at heart and not those of the special interests.”
An Open Letter to the Legislators of Florida,
For years I’ve traveled back and forth to Tallahassee attempting to have an impact on the legislative process. I’ve watched the way things have worked in Tallahassee and have become disgusted by it. The people of Florida have been shut out of the process. We have had our voices muffled and silenced. As one back room deal paves the way for the next back room deal, the people of Florida have continually footed the bill for pet projects, higher regulations (that we then have to live under), corporate welfare schemes and crony capitalism projects.
I had hope for this this legislative session. Commitments were made. The process was going to be more open and transparent. Accountability to the people was to be the rule of the day. No more broken promises. It sounded grand. I looked on with cautious excitement that maybe this year would be different. That the people would matter. That principles would carry the day over political expediency.
I was wrong. We were all wrong.
This session may have been started with the lofty idea of more transparency, more ethics and more representation for the people of our state but it has ended in controversy, secrecy and the forgoing of the principles that it began on. This ruse of a special session is the epitome of everything that is wrong with our state government.
The people are fed up with the excuse that “this is just how it works” and we demand it to stop. We want better and we deserve better. It is the reason I started my campaign for Governor just a few short weeks ago.
As each one of you returns to Tallahassee today, I urge you to remember the promises you made to your constituents. We expect you to honor those promises. Our expectation is that you will lead our state into an era of more oversight, more transparency and certainly more conservatism when it comes to handing out our hard earned money. We will be watching.
Republican Candidate for Florida Governor
CALLS LEGISLATION THE “RIGHT THING TO DO” WHILE STATING HE IS DISAPPOINTED IN THE PROCESS USED
Melbourne, Florida – Tuesday, May 30, 2017 – Bob White, Republican candidate for governor and proponent of school choice, weighed in on the controversial education bill, HB 7069 urging the governor to sign the legislation. Mr. White does, however, side with opponents of the bill when it comes to the process used in this sweeping education legislation.
HB 7069 was put together in the final days of the 2017 legislative session by leadership. The bill itself is made up of several pieces of legislation largely comprised of house bills that had not made it through the entire committee process and was mostly not seen by the Florida senate chamber prior to the vote on HB 7069. Mr. White feels that, while within the rules, this does not respect our legislative process and should have been handled better by leadership.
However, the positive impact of HB 7069 can not be ignored. White, a long term proponent of school choice and other free market principles being introduced into our education system, calls this legislation a good start to fixing some of our chronically failing public schools while also providing more help for students with disabilities, being more flexible on test protocols for 3rd – 6th graders and even creating a “Founders Month” in which children will learn to be proficient in civics.
The most controversial portion of the legislation, the Schools of Hope, which would give more funding to charter schools in chronically failing school districts, White calls the “right thing to do.” A 2015 study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes, published by Stanford University, found that “urban charter schools on average achieve substantially greater levels of growth in math and reading relative to local TPS” (traditional public schools).
Furthering this, a 2014 study by Mathematica Policy Research performed one of the few studies on non-testing based education outcomes and found that students from charter schools on average had higher graduation rates, college entrance rates and higher median incomes as adults.
Even data used by the opponents of the legislation show that the majority of charter schools in the state of Florida rate the highest grading of an A or B (55%) while the majority of the traditional public schools receive a C or below grade (56%). Mr. White acknowledges the higher amount of charter schools receiving a failing grade than the traditional public schools (18% compared to 12%) but urges opponents to also understand that these failing charter schools are eliminated in Florida if they do not improve while traditional public schools will continue failing our students in perpetuity.
In the coming weeks the Bob White for Florida Governor team will be releasing Mr. White’s “Children First Education Plan” in which his goal is to have individual based outcomes and education plans for children to ensure that every child in our state can have the highest level of success in education.