The Florida Senate Is An Assembly of Elitist Embarrassments

 

One of Florida state senator Jack Latvala’s accusers has made her identity known. She is Rachel Perrin Rogers, the staff director of the senate majority office for Wilton Simpson. Simpson is a  future senate president.

As the story unfolds, Ms. Perrin Rogers claims senator Latvala sexually harassed her over a period of four years. She says he groped her in a senate building elevator and engaged in rubbing her leg in the Governor’s Club, a private watering hole for Florida’s political elitists. Latvala denies this. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. The investigation chips need to  fall honestly where they may.

What is also clear is Ms. Perrin Rogers is not baggage free in her own right. This past June she sought help for her surgeon step father from Latvala to get him out of jury duty. Her texted request was that Latvala use his influence with the Pinellas County Clerk to arrange this. Latvala is said to have texted her to tell her stepdad to simply not show up and it would be handled after the fact. She thanked him via text the next day.

If you have been called for jury duty, you know how inconvenient it can be. But you must go; unlike Florida’s political elitists and their friends and family who travel in the circles of Tallahassee royalty like senator Latvala and Ms. Perrin Rogers.

Stories regarding this brewing scandal in today’s Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald also reveal text messages in which Ms. Perrin Rogers refers to current senate president Joe Negron as a “douche bag,” and senator Anitere Flores as “Flwhores.”

Of course, none of this grants a license to be groped by anyone, senator or otherwise. It does call into question the level of dysfunctionality going on in at least one of our legislative chambers in Tallahassee.

As a constituent of Senator Simpson, I wonder where he stands on such terms being used by his staff director to describe his colleagues. Is he on board with the level of disrespect being directed at his colleagues? Does he also grant favors like getting friends and family out of jury duty or other accommodations? Is he part of a plan to drive Latvala out of the senate and the governor’s race? Who knows?

 

 

He is smartly silent on the issue for now but it’s time to stand and be counted senator.

Call out the disrespectful language used by your chief staffer. Issue a policy that such a lack of professionalism will no longer be tolerated by the majority office. If you can’t do this now, what are we to think of your standards when you are senate president?

As this embarrassment centered around senator Latvala grows, coming on the heels of former senator Frank Artiles’ resignation last year, and former senator Jeff Clemens’ resignation just weeks ago, one thing is clear. Despite their posturing, the Florida senate is no less a swamp than Washington, D.C. Indeed, it’s the farm club where players often go to make the big leagues and pick the harvest in  the D.C. money tree orchard. The people know this. We know we are governed by some, perhaps many, who are weak narcissists and psychopaths; craving power, sex and money- and not necessarily in that order. Our own failure is we don’t mind as long as the offenders match our preferred red or blue jerseys.

It’s time for the real leaders in the state legislature, whether they have formal positions of leadership or not, to take a stand; to demand a higher level of professionalism and a higher standard of conduct. Providing anonymous observations and falling back on the platitudes of official policy statements isn’t affecting behavior and it isn’t showing leadership. A future senate president would be an ideal person with whom to begin.

The Florida Second Amendment Preservation Act: Who Will Walk the Walk of Shall Not Be Infringed?

The contenders for the 2018 Florida governorship, Florida House and Florida Senate elections are beginning to line up. Not surprisingly on the Republican side, every candidate is jockeying to be the “Second Amendment champion.”
They will yodel about open carry, campus carry, airport carry and no permit required carry (some call this “constitutional carry”) and how they believe in “YOUR SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS!” However, none of these carry questions are Second Amendment issues. They are state issues.
Wisely or unwisely, we the people of the state of Florida have given to the legislature the power to decide the manner of bearing arms and the places where those arms may be carried. If this is new to you, you will find this in our state constitution’s Declaration of Rights, Article 1 Section 8, Right to Keep and Bear Arms. The only way to change this is to  amend our state constitution.
There is a way for any candidate or sitting state legislator to truly be a “Second Amendment Champion.” As the Second Amendment is a prohibition on the federal government and forbids it to “infringe” (weaken,limit,destroy) a person’s right to keep and bear arms; all federal firearms laws are in fact unlawful and would be viewed by the framers and ratifiers as no law at all. A true Second Amendment champion would work to blunt the force of these laws in Florida.
But are there any real Second Amendment champions out there? Talk is cheap. Who in fact will walk the walk of firearms freedom?  It’s actually very easy to find out.
At the end of this introduction you will find a version of the Florida Second Amendment Preservation Act. A true Second Amendment champion, a person who understands the reason for the inclusion of the amendment in the Bill of Rights, and the relationship of the Bill of Rights to the states will not hesitate to sponsor this bill, co-sponsor it,or at the very least, have an honest discussion with you about it. The last time this bill was filed in the House was 2014. It had one sponsor and ten co sponsors. No senator would touch it due to NRA pressure. We are willing to bet that YOU believe all federal firearms laws are unlawful and don’t care an old musket ball for what anyone else thinks.
DON’T ACCEPT EXCUSES!  ONE EITHER BELIEVES THE SECOND SAYS WHAT IT MEANS AND MEANS WHAT IT SAYS OR ONE DOES NOT.
We encourage you to share this with a candidate  to whom you are considering giving support. Share it with your sitting state representative and state senator. Message us or post their responses. Be sure to include their name, party affiliation and senate or house district number.
It’s time to shake out the talkers from the walkers and yodelers.
Not sure who represents you in Tallahassee?
Find your state senator here: http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/Find

 ____________________________________________________________________________________

A bill to be entitled
An act relating to federal regulation of firearms; providing a short title; providing legislative
findings; creating s. 790.—, F.S.; prohibiting specified actions to enforce certain federal regulations of firearms and ammunition; providing for loss of position or office of an agent or employee of the state who violates the prohibition; providing a directive to the Division of Law Revision and information; providing
an effective date.
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
Section 1.
This act may be cited as the “Second Amendment  Preservation Act.”
Section 2.
This act shall have no effect on the right to keep and bear arms pursuant to
the Florida Constitution and  defined by state law.
Section 3.
The Legislature finds that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution reads as follows: “A well  regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not
be infringed.” The Legislature finds the enforcement of firearms
and ammunition regulations remains a power reserved to the State
of Florida and the people therein.
Section 4. Section 790—, Florida Statutes is created to read:
790. Federal infringement of Second Amendment rights prohibited.
(1) Notwithstanding any provision of law, the State of
Florida and its agencies, political subdivisions, constitutional
officers, officials of its agencies and subdivisions, and their
successors, or an employee of such an agency acting in his or
her official capacity, or a corporation or person providing
services to or on behalf of this state shall not, concerning any
act, law, order, rule, or regulation, whether past, present, or
future, of the Federal Government relating to a personal firearm
or firearm accessory within this state that applies to a
personal firearm or firearm accessory based on the design,
features, or characteristics of the firearm or accessory:
(a) Enforce any such federal act, law, order, rule, or  regulation.
(b) Provide material support to, participate with, or assist, in any form, any federal agency or employee engaged in the enforcement of any such federal act, law, order, rule, or regulation or any investigation pursuant to the enforcement of any such federal act, law, order, rule, or regulation.
(c) Use any state assets, state funds, or funds allocated
by the state to local entities on or after the effective date of this act, in whole
or in part, to engage in any activity that aids a federal agency, federal agent, or corporation providing services to the Federal Government in the enforcement of any such federal act, law, order, rule, or regulation or any
investigation pursuant to the enforcement of any such federal
act, law, order, rule, or regulation as these federal laws shall
not be recognized by this state, are specifically rejected by
this state, and shall be of no effect in this state.
(2) An agent or employee of this state who
knowingly violates subsection (1) shall be deemed to have resigned a
commission from this state that he or she may possess, and his
or her position or office shall be deemed vacant.
Section 5.
The Division of Law Revision and Information is
directed to replace the phrase “the effective date of this act”
wherever it occurs in this act with the date this act takes effect.
Section 6. This act shall take effect
upon becoming a law