Pam Bondi: 2011 Winner — The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45

Pam Bondi

Pam Bondi of Tampa is Florida’s first female Attorney General. She previously served 18 years as a front-line prosecutor in the State Attorney’s Office.
Prior to her 2010 election, she was best known for winning the first-degree murder conviction of Melvin Givens for the stabbing death of local NBC-News Producer Danielle Cipriani.
Bondi regularly traveled to Tallahassee to oppose the parole of convicted murderers and rapists.
She is now the lead Attorney General in the 26-state constitutional challenge to the government health care takeover which is pending before the Supreme Court. The case of Florida et al v. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services argues that the individual mandate provision of Obamacare violates the Constitution.
Bondi says “There is no case, anywhere close to being on point that says the federal government can do this to us. If the federal government can force us to purchase a product, simply by being alive — simply by sitting here — there’s no limit to what they can do. So this is very, very important. And it’s so much bigger than healthcare.
“Should Obamacare not be struck down by the court, it would bankrupt Florida. Now that these actuaries are coming out, it’s costing trillions of dollars, trillions more than anticipated, which is outrageous. We all know we need healthcare reform in our country, but this is not the way to do it.”
Bondi never sought elective office before 2010. She defeated Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp in the GOP primary and received a major boost with an endorsement by Sarah Palin.
You can read more about the contest rules and background at: The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45

Bettina Inclan: 2012 Winner — The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45

Bettina Inclan

A recent Business Insider article described Bettina Inclan, 32, as “The Woman With The Single Toughest Job In The Republican Party”. She is the RNC’s first National Director of Hispanic Outreach, and is implementing a new strategy which focuses on Florida, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina and Virginia. She says “We are going to have a strong ground game in all of those states.”
Inclan was previously Executive Director of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly and Communications Director of the House Republican Policy Committee. She was co-host of the national radio show “Power Play” where she debated a Latina liberal. Inclan also helped Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) win 51% of the Hispanic vote in 2010. Latina magazine named her one of the “Top Six Latino Players in the 2012 Presidential Race.”
Bettina had both good and bad news for Jarrod Agen on December 23. They were at Boston’s Old North Church and she accepted his marriage proposal. The bad news is that she also accepted the RNC job and would be moving to DC in the next week.
Her survey research demonstrates Obama’s growing unpopularity among Hispanics. The latest Gallup poll shows the president’s approval among Latinos at just 46%, down from a high of 85% in 2009 — the biggest decline of any demographic.
Inclan says the recession has hit Latinos harder than other group, and this especially true when it comes to unemployment, home ownership and their neighborhoods.
George W. Bush received 44% of the Hispanic vote in 2008, but McCain got only 31%. Inclan says Romney’s economic platform is popular among many Hispanics, and they were an important part of his winning coalition in the crucial Florida primary.
Romney has already made 54 trips to Florida. The former Governor is an immigration hard-liner who opposes amnesty and Obama’s version of the Dream Act. Romney praises Arizona’s SB 1070 as a model for the nation.
Inclan says “Democrats don’t believe Hispanics are very conservative voters on many issues. Even though people are labeled ‘Hispanic voter’ they often do not have things in common.
“Hispanics are a very diverse group. You can’t say they are monolithic on any issue. I think the immigration debate is not so much about policy as it is about rhetoric.
“Senator Jon Kyl (AZ), the GOP Whip, has always been an immigration hardliner but he still won a very high percentage of Hispanics because he talks about the need for immigration reform without blaming all Mexican-Americans or Hispanics. Hispanics aren’t single issue voters and they don’t vote solely on immigration.”
Inclan has a Mexican father and a Cuban mother. She grew up with a grandfather who had been a political prisoner in Cuba for 14 years. She describes herself as a Ronald Reagan conservative, and says “Perhaps we were fiscal conservatives because we were always on a very tight budget.”
You can read more about the contest rules and background at: The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45

Molly Donlin: 2012 Winner — The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45

Molly Donlin

Molly Donlin, 30, is the Florida State Director of the Romney for President campaign. Florida was the top battleground state of 2000, and it will have that role again in both the 2012 primary and general election. Florida will be the fifth GOP primary and the last one before the crucial multi-state Super Tuesday.
Donlin is a former Deputy Director for Volunteers at the Republican National Committee, and was part of the team that secured Bush’s 2004 re-election by winning Ohio with 50.81%. If Kerry had won Ohio he would have been president.
In 2008, Donlin ran the McCain campaign in Arkansas which the GOP won with 59%. She was shifted to Pennsylvania for the final month when the Arkansas victory was apparent.
Donlin also had key roles in the 2009 McDonnell (VA) and 2010 Snyder (MI) gubernatorial campaigns. Why did she choose Romney?
Donlin believes he has the best chance to defeat Obama, and can win independent voters in battleground states such as Florida, Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ohio.
She has worked in campaigns in all of those states. She also contrasts Romney with the president and says “To create jobs, it helps to have had a job. America needs a president who has been a leader in the private economy.”
You can read more about the contest rules and background at: The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45

Lizbeth Benacquisto: 2011 Winner – The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45

Lizbeth Benacquisto

State Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto (R-FL), 44, is the mother of three children and previously served on the Wellington town council for 8 years. She is a solid fiscal conservative who opposes new taxes. She was elected to the Senate in 2010 and  is the Chairman of the Budget Committee on Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development. She is also Vice Chair of General Government Appropriations.
In addition, she serves as the Deputy Majority Leader, a notable leadership position for a freshman legislator. Senator Benacquisto is also Vice Chairman of Florida’s Government Efficiency Taskforce, a joint legislative and executive taskforce that focuses on reducing governmental waste and overregulation. In this position, she is focused on finding efficient ways to save taxpayer dollars.

BOOK REVIEW: "The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South, 1932-1968" by Kari Frederickson, 336 pages, UNC Press

Reviewed by Gregg Hilton
This is an important and thought provoking book. The author is a professor of history at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and her effort resulted in the Harry Truman Book Award from the Truman Presidential Library. She is a liberal but there is no bias in her account of this period.
The Dixiecrats (or southern Democrats) were predominantly conservative, but the movement also included many racists. She accurately quotes them and that was enough to prove her point. Her account begins with Franklin Roosevelt’s election in 1932, but as she readily acknowledges, the Democratic Party’s Solid South really began with the end of Reconstruction in 1877. Continue reading

State Rep. Jennifer Carroll (FL) Named GOP Candidate for Lt. Governor

Carroll supported Attorney General Bill McCollum in the GOP gubernatorial primary, but has now been selected as Rick Scott's running mate. Scott defeated McCollum, and Carrool has the strong support of former Gov. Jeb Bush.

Florida GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott this morning selected State Representative Jennifer Carroll as his running mate for Lt. Governor. In making the announcement Scott said “Her conservative principles are in line with mine, and this fall we will present a clear choice between conservatives with business experience and liberal Obamacrats who want to bring the failed Obama agenda to Florida.” Continue reading

Will Liberal Democrats Listen to the Message From Massachusetts?

Republicans throughout the nation are thrilled with the victory of United States Senator-elect Scott Brown. Only 11% of Bay State voters are Republicans, and this seat has been in Democratic hands for 57 years. Brown will fill Ted Kennedy’s vacancy and be the first Republican in the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation.
No one is claiming the Bay State is turning Republican but voters did send a profound message. Democratic elected officials are asking themselves if they can not win in a state which they carried by 26 points in 2008, where in the world is it safe for a liberal to be a running for federal office in 2010?
Brown raised over $12 million online which a a new record for a Senate candidate. He raised about $1 million/day during the final week. In claiming victory at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel last night, Senator-elect Scott Brown (R-MA) said:
“I thought it was going to be me against the machine. I was wrong. It’s all of us against the machine. You have shown everyone now that you are the machine.” Predicting a cascade of election surprises throughout the nation, Brown said, “Let them take a look at what happened in Massachusetts. What happened here can happen all over the country. When there’s trouble in Massachusetts, there’s trouble everywhere, and they know it.”
If Democrats now moderate some of their views it would be a boost to their outlook in the 2010 election. There is a battle underway between liberal and moderate Democrats, and health care is now the focal point. The reactions of some prominent Democrats and journalists to Brown’s victory appear below:
Terry McAuliffe, former Chairman, Democratic National Committee, “This is a giant wake-up call. We have to do a much better job on the message. People are confused on what this health care bill is going to do.”
Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA): “It would only be fair and prudent that we now suspend further votes on health care legislation until Senator-elect Brown is seated.”
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI): “It’s probably back to the drawing board on health care, which is unfortunate.”
Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN): “Many of our people are in denial, but if you lose Massachusetts and that’s not a wake-up call, there’s no hope they will wake up. We can not have the furthest left elements of the Democratic Party attempting to impose their will on the rest of the country. . . Moderates and independents even in a state as Democratic as Massachusetts just aren’t buying our message. They just don’t believe the answers we are currently proposing are solving their problems. That’s something that has to be corrected.”
Mayor Thomas M. Menino (D-Boston): “I never thought I’d see the day when a Republican replaces Ted Kennedy. I think Scott Brown caught the wave of anger that’s out there, and the wave of anti-Obama.”
Former Mayor Raymond Flynn (D-Boston): revealed after the vote that he had supported Scott Brown. He said, “People feel like their vote is being taken granted with this powerful, one party state, and with one-party government in Washington. People want a little coalition, and a little respect… I don’t know how you regroup from something like this. There are going to be a lot of problems in the Democratic party from here on out.”
Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo (D-KY): who is running for an open U.S. Senate seat, “The President is especially unpopular in eastern Kentucky. An Obama visit would not help Democrats.”
Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA): “It is really time now for Democrats to shift their attention to issues that will enjoy broad public support.”
Rep. Allen Boyd (D-FL): “When it happens in Massachusetts, it really throws us a curve. It’s a big deal for a lot of members here.”
Politico: “Think back a year ago and imagine someone saying Obama would throw his support behind Democrats in New Jersey, Virginia and Ted Kennedy’s Massachusetts — and lose all of them. Think back a year ago and imagine someone saying he would celebrate his first anniversary without having gotten health care, financial regulation or energy legislation signed into law. And that less than 50 percent of the public would hold a favorable view of his presidency.”
The New York Post editorial entitled “Heck of a Job, Brownie!”: “This is the fifth time in three months that Obama has focused his star power to effect political and policy outcomes — losing each time. It didn’t work in Virginia and New Jersey, where he roller-skated in for Democratic gubernatorial candidates Creigh Deeds and JonCorzine last November. Or in Copenhagen, when he popped in to tout Chicago as host for the 2016 Olympics.
“Or in Copenhagen again, last month, at the global climate-change conference. And now this. . . Brown won. Coakley lost. But, obviously, so did Obama. Here’s hoping the president understands why.”
The New York Times: “What happened in Massachusetts on Tuesday was no ordinary special election. Scott Brown shocked and arguably humiliated the White House and the Democratic Party establishment. . . States do not come more Democratic than Massachusetts, the only one that voted for George McGovern over Richard Nixon in 1972. . . Most ominously, independent voters seemed to have fled to Mr. Brown in Massachusetts, as they did to Republicans in races for governor in Virginia and New Jersey last November. It is hard not to view that as a repudiation of the way Mr. Obama and Democratic Congressional leaders have run things.”
The Los Angeles Times: “The Democratic Party’s defeat in Massachusetts on Tuesday — the loss of a single, crucial Senate seat — will force President Obama and his congressional allies to downscale their legislative ambitions and rethink their political strategy.”
Dr. Stuart Rothenberg, GOP political analyst, “This is the biggest political upset of my adult life.”
I am also wonder if some prominent Democrats will now retract some of their comments about the moderate Brown. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called Brown a “far-right tea-bagger,” Chris Dodd (D-CT) said he was a”right-wing radical,” and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) claimed he had “right-wing views” and “radical record.”