Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Politics

Jolly votes against GOP budget: 'I simply kept my word.'

In his first high-profile vote in the U.S. House, Pinellas County's newly elected congressman David Jolly voted against the GOP's Ryan budget proposal on Thursday, becoming one of just 12 Republicans to do so.

"I simply kept my word," Jolly said. And, referring to the number of phone calls he got from media afterward, he quipped: "It's remarkable how newsworthy it is when a member of Congress keeps their promise."

The House's conservative Republican plan, designed to lead to a balanced budget in a decade, is considered more of a symbolic policy statement as opposed to legislation likely to pass. The Democratic-led Senate has no plans to take it up.

The plan calls for repealing "Obamacare," cutting taxes and making fundamental changes to Medicare, which would be transformed into a system in which seniors would use funds to purchase private health care options.

Jolly said during his recent campaign that it wouldn't be fair to change the rules on middle-aged people who have worked for years believing they would have Medicare in the future.

If the change were instituted for younger people, that would be fairer, he said.

This vote came a month after Jolly was elected to Congress in a hard-fought campaign, narrowly defeating Democrat Alex Sink, who is still considering running against him again in the fall.

Campaigning in Pinellas County's District 13, where one in four registered voters is over 65, both Jolly and Sink spent significant time discussing Medicare and Social Security. Jolly was hit with multiple campaign commercials suggesting he wanted to privatize Social Security and turn Medicare into a voucher program.

Jolly said that before Thursday's vote, he spoke about his position to House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.

"Obviously they wanted to build as many votes as they could, but we have a caucus that can have these conversations," Jolly said. "They certainly understood my position."

Campaign reports filed Thursday show Sink raised considerably more than Jolly in the race — nearly $3.2 million, compared to $1.2 million. But outside groups on both sides poured millions more into the race.

The new reports also showed that as of March 31, 20 days after the election, the Jolly campaign was $235,486 in debt. (It also listed $19,746 in cash on hand.)

Sarah Bascom, a Jolly campaign spokeswoman, said that's not uncommon in high-profile campaigns, and said fundraising efforts already were under way. "We are confident that we'll retire the debt," she said.

Meanwhile, Sink's campaign reported no debt, and $183,984 cash on hand.

Also Thursday, Jolly's office announced Preston Rudie, a reporter who covered the congressional campaign for WTSP-Ch. 10, will become the congressman's director of communications. Unlike most congressional spokespeople, Rudie will be based in Pinellas County rather than Washington, D.C.

Jolly was elected last month in a special election to fill out the term of his former boss, the late Republican U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young.

Comments

Sean Hannity, a Trump defender, under scrutiny for real estate deals

Atlanta Journal-Constitution (TNS)ATLANTA — On his Fox News program last summer, Sean Hannity effused praise for his guest, U.S. Housing Secretary Ben Carson. "I know you have done a good job," Hannity said. "You are a good man."Carson’s presence gav...
Published: 04/23/18
Having Cuba in the name of your company can be a financial risk and there is no solution

Having Cuba in the name of your company can be a financial risk and there is no solution

With the third largest Cuban American population, Cuba’s culture is celebrated throughout the Tampa Bay area and in a diversity of ways.Flags hang in homes, fashion is worn, music performed, food served.But be wary of honoring that heritage by puttin...
Published: 04/23/18
Trump says he doesn’t think personal lawyer will ‘flip’

Trump says he doesn’t think personal lawyer will ‘flip’

WEST PALM BEACH — President Donald Trump said Saturday that he doesn’t expect Michael Cohen, his longtime personal lawyer and fixer, to "flip" as the government investigates Cohen’s business dealings. Trump, in a series of tweets fired from Florida o...
Published: 04/21/18

Vive la France: Trump hosts glitzy White House state dinner

WASHINGTON — Now it’s President Donald Trump’s turn to pull off the ultimate charm offensive. Wined and dined on multiple state visits during his tour of Asia last year, Trump is paying it forward and celebrating nearly 250 years of U.S.-French relat...
Published: 04/21/18
Romano: Okay, now who sounds like a hysterical teen talking about guns?

Romano: Okay, now who sounds like a hysterical teen talking about guns?

The writer of the letter sounds hysterical. Perhaps a little desperate. And maybe that’s just who Marion Hammer is these days.Most of the world knows her as the take-no-prisoners maven of the National Rifle Association who directs Florida politicians...
Published: 04/21/18
Rick Scott’s term limits idea: Hugely popular and highly unrealistic

Rick Scott’s term limits idea: Hugely popular and highly unrealistic

WASHINGTON — Gov. Rick Scott’s first policy idea as a U.S. Senate candidate won’t happen and most of his fellow Republicans don’t support it.But it’s a surefire applause line at political rallies.Scott wants term limits for members of Congress: 12 ye...
Published: 04/23/18
Ex-FBI deputy director ‘disappointed’ in Comey comments

Ex-FBI deputy director ‘disappointed’ in Comey comments

WASHINGTON — Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director, is "very upset and disappointed" by comments made by his former boss James Comey that contradict his account of a disclosure to the news media, McCabe’s lawyer said Friday. "Andy has at all ...
Published: 04/20/18
Carlton: Mayor’s race: plot twists, meteoric rises, candidate implosions. It’s what we do in Tampa.

Carlton: Mayor’s race: plot twists, meteoric rises, candidate implosions. It’s what we do in Tampa.

The one thing you can say for sure about electing a mayor in Tampa is you can’t really say anything for sure.Historical proof: A couple of elections ago, Harvard-educated hometown-boy-gone-to-Washington Frank Sanchez was going to be our next mayor, h...
Published: 04/20/18
Carlton: Kids, want to make them listen? Vote

Carlton: Kids, want to make them listen? Vote

Today across America, high school students are expected to walk out of class in their latest show of solidarity against gun violence and elected officials unwilling to do much about it. It marks a grim anniversary — 19 years since Columbine bra...
Published: 04/20/18
Castor ends speculation: She’s running to be Tampa’s next mayor

Castor ends speculation: She’s running to be Tampa’s next mayor

TAMPA — For months, Tampa political aficionados have speculated: Will she or won’t she?Does Jane Castor, the city’s first woman police chief and presumed heavyweight mayoral candidate, really want the job? Asked and answered. Castor filed paperwork T...
Published: 04/19/18