The Sun Beam Times has interviewed all three Republican Candidates for Congress and evaluated Alex Sink. It is clear that David Jolly would be the best choice to serve the citizens of Pinellas County. The Sun Beam times recommends David Jolly for Republican primary voters on January 14 and in the March 11 General Election. David Jolly has the experience, the knowledge, the political skill and most importantly a belief in the right principles to best serve in Congress. At this point, David Jolly has outraised all Republican opponents ($388K vs $170K Peters and $54K Bircher) and has an 11% lead in the Republican polls (39% Jolly, 28% Peters, 18% Bircher).
The Sun Beam Times conducted detailed personal interviews of all three Republican candidates: Mark Bircher, Kathleen Peters and David Jolly. Sun Beam Times founder and Editor Dr. David McKalip also served as a panelist in a one hour long debate between Republican opponents on 1/2/14 (Kathleen Peters cancelled at the last minute which will be discussed below). In the interviews and debate David Jolly demonstrated his command of the issues, his ability to connect with the public and his willingness to listen to new ideas. The other candidates are either not prepared to serve or not the right choice.
Kathleen Peters is a current state House Rep. and past Mayor of South Pasadena and a Chamber of Commerce insider. However the current Mayor of South Pasadena, Dan Calabria, endorses David Jolly. In a one-on-one interview with Kathleen Peters it is clear that she is not knowledgeable on the issues or on even basic facts a Congresswoman would need. She also is dodgy on some controversial issues. Worst of all, it is well known that she was put up for election by political power player Jack Latvala (State Senator) who is a progressive and has a vindictive streak against his opponents. This demonstrates her willingness to be part of a political power structure, rather than being motivated to serve constituents in Congress, a very bad sign. When asked about the proper role of the Federal Reserve in America, she was unaware of efforts or the need to Audit the Federal Reserve and needed to “study” the whole issue more. When asked about the proper role of Congress in declaring war, she didn’t even appear to know that such a Constitutional authority existed. When asked about increasing the sales tax $130 million annually to build light rail (a Latvala dream project) she equivocated. She stated she liked the idea of more transit options and felt more money was needed somehow, but said she wanted to study it more. The number one issue (rail) in Pinellas politics for the last two and next one year does not need further study by a major elected leader to provide a firm opinion to a constituent. She also made a misstep recently by supporting the “Common Core” education approach. Further, much of her interview consisted of her attacking David Jolly as a “lobbyist” without indicating any particular problems with David Jolly’s lobbying activities- clearly she was uninformed as a candidate. Kathleen Peters missed the well attended 1/2/14 Pinellas County Young Republicans debate after being confirmed for weeks. She confirmed attendance the very morning of the event, cancelling only about four hours before it began. She referred to the recent death of her brother. However, investigation reveals he died 12/23 in the Chicago Suburb of Wheeling. The day after the death of her brother she was seen on Facebook and in the Tampa Bay Times delivering Christmas presents to Kids with Santa Clause in a clear Photo op. On the date of her Brother’s Illinois funeral, 12/27, she found time to write a political attack on her Facebook page against David Jolly. On New Year’s eve she posted pictures of herself on Facebook partying like a rock star. The death of her brother was clearly not a valid excuse. She has yet to return calls from the Sun Beam Times to provide an explanation for her absence. Kathleen Peters politically motivated campaign, lack of knowledge, lack of belief in core founding principles of America, and questionable veracity make her an unacceptable candidate to serve Pinellas County residents in Congress.
Retired Marine Brigadier General Mark Bircher would make a great elected official, but is not ready to serve in Congress yet. He routinely annunciates a sincere belief in founding principles of our country and a desire to ensure the federal government adheres to its Constitutional limitations. However, he has trouble moving beyond those talking points and applying those principles to the issues of the day. For instance, he is clear that Congress should declare war, but can’t clearly indicate whether it was constitutional or wise for America to attack Libya in 2011. In the debate question on the topic asking if Congress should declare war on Syria prior to any potential military action in the future, he found himself lost in his thoughts and annunciating real, but unrelated, issues in Faluhah and other foreign towns. He appeared to equivocate on the issue by indicating that when soldiers have “all their tomorrows” on the line, there may not be time for Congress to act. On the Federal Reserve he was clear in indicating that it has outstripped its authority and maybe should even be abolished. But on a phone interview he indicated that repealing the 16th and 17th amendments to the Constitution should be done to address the problems with the Fed. When asked what else he would do if these could not be done quickly, he could not independently come up with the idea of auditing the Fed, but supported it when raised. When asked to name just one market based reform to drive down the cost of health insurance in America, he was clearly stymied and said he would need to rely on “the experts”. Mark Bircher has troubles annunciating a clear message that will inspire most voters who are unaware of foundational and Constitutional issues. He will not be able to beat Alex Sink, even with the endorsement of Past Congressman Alan West. Mark Bircher has much to offer but should focus on a more active role in the community and perhaps consider a run at local office before trying a shot at Congress at this point.
David Jolly’s years of tutelage serving as Congressman Bill Young’s legal Counsel shows. He presents himself well to the public and would be a worthy adversary against Alex Sink. He has a command on the issues. When asked about market based reforms to drive down health insurance costs he was able to indicate ending employer only health insurance, ensuring insurance portability and ending such a broad federal subsidy program. On balancing the Federal budget he demonstrated a commanding knowledge of budget issues and the long term $120 trillion unfunded liabilities from entitlements and expressed a sincere willingness for reform for new entrants into the entitlement system. However he is clearly not a firm Constitutionalist. He supported an audit of the Federal Reserve, but there was some equivocation about exceptions to transparency. He strongly agreed that Congress should declare war and lamented military actions in Libya that did not. However he then supported America’s role in an “international effort” in Syria even without a declaration of war since President Obama “drew a line”. He redeemed himself by indicating that Americans should not be subject to death by drone strike or imprisonment under the NDAA without Judicial due process, insisting on a strong role for the courts. In personal interviews he indicated the need to slash Federal spending, but did indicate in the debate that balancing the budget in the next few years could only happen by increased federal revenue through economic growth (rather than tax hikes).
David Jolly is the best candidate in the current Republican field and should be supported in the primaries to prevent a battle between Kathleen Peters and Alex Sink that Sink will win. David Jolly is the only candidate that can beat Alex Sink based on messaging, political skills and on the issues. Alex Sink will be very weak on the very unpopular Obamacare issue while Jolly calls for Repeal and has solid ideas for replacement. David Jolly can raise the money, and connect with voters. His past linkage to Congressman Bill Young and the endorsement of Beverly Young will go far. Alex Sink’s carpet bagging move from Polk County to Pinellas will be an easy target for David Jolly with his long-standing roots in Pinellas. The Sun Beam Times recommends David Jolly to Republican Primary Voters and in the General Election.