The Orlando Sentinel blogger, Lauren Ritchie, posted a blog describing how one candidate for FL State Ag Commissioner, Congressman Adam Putnam, made a speech at a local Republican Women's Federation lunch (I was there), and also announced endorsements from three GOP groups. The article basically said the meeting and announcement was a slam to his opponent, local Lake County resident Carey Baker, who is currently a State Senator.
READ her blog here (also added at the bottom of this posting). Also read the comments, which contained some more issues related to Baker.
I wrote this response to Ritchie's column on her blog, but the Orlando Sentinel gave the following message, and would not accept my response:
So, here is my response - I decided to stop waffling and come out against Baker - he doesn't do anything that supports local taxpayers...unless they are gun owners or have "Bull's Balls" hanging from their trailer hitch.
Baker has also angered the volunteers who were trying to get more oversight and voter approval for the North Lake County Hospital tax district that costs local property owners 1-mill in taxes without ANY specific conditions on how the funds are to be spent by the two hospitals receiving them, AND no requirements for an audit trail to trace where the funds are spent.
Last year, as Chair of the Lake County legislation delegation, when supporters of improving the Hospital Tax district legislation talked, he cut their discussion short and moved their public input to the end of the meeting when everyone, including reporters had left. Then he put off any legislation delegation decision for a YEAR to the next meeting of the delegation (documented on www.FiscalRangers.com ), when he again failed to make a decision, saying he had to research the Constitutionality of the existing law. It was another excuse to put off a decision or stand on the issue. Recent calls to his office indicate he still has not researched the "constitutionallity" of the issue, which is not acceptable. ( I also sent an email request last week which was not answered). Thus taxpayers have no protection for how the $11-million in Hospital tax district funds are spent from the Hospital tax.
Additionally, about 1-2 years ago, Baker was asked as the head of the State Transportation Committee to get more active in speeding up highway construction on 441. He would not agree to do anything at a meeting where the FL State Transportation Dept and the highway contractor were speaking.
Thus, I can't see Baker ever making a specific decision that is important to local taxpayers other than gun issues or kids wearing their pants too low.
And here is Ritchie's blog entry - but go to the site and read the comments...
State senator slapped in his own backyard?
The Republican Party of Florida issued a press release Monday announcing that three Republican groups endorsed Congressman Adam Putnam for agriculture secretary in the 2010 election.
Officials chose the Golden Triangle Republican Women's Club luncheon in Mount Dora to make the announcement.
Ouch. That sure looks like a slap at State Sen. Carey Baker, R-Eustis, who is running against Putnam for the cabinet-level position in a fierce race.
Nothing like learning that the Florida Federation of Republican Women, the Florida Federation of Young Republicans and the Florida Federation of Teen Age Republicans is supporting someone else -- and announcing it in your backyard. The press release said the three groups join a "growing list of endorsements," including 16 Farm Bureaus, the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association and Florida Citrus Mutal, among others.
Baker wasn't around Tuesday morning to talk about the announcement. We'll update when we can reach him.
Note: Below are some of the comments posted on Ritchie's site - they seem to delete some articles after only 1-2 months, and these comments are relevant to an election cycle that won't end until next year: