News Flash

RPOF Newsletter – April 1, 2022

Chairman’s Message

“Our Governor is Red, White, and Blue”

Listen to the Van Zant song on Spotify, Apple Music, and SweetFloridaSong.com

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Florida Puts Children and Parents First

Florida is protecting children and parental rights, and Floridians and Americans support it

While the media-Democrat-Hollywood-Disney axis continues to melt down over Florida protecting children under 9 years old from being exposed to homosexual and transgender teaching in public schools, polls show that Floridians and Americans overwhelmingly support the law.

Governor DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education bill this week while two polls found significant bipartisan support for the law. First, a Politico poll found 51 percent of registered voters nationally support the law while only 34 percent oppose the law. That poll did not use the plain language of the statute, but instead summarized the two views from left-leaning Politico, yet it still found support for the law up by 17 points.

Second, a poll by Floridians for Economic Advancement, a PAC made up of major corporations including Disney, big Florida unions and some leftist organizations, found more than half of likely Florida Democrat voters support the legislation — 52 percent surveyed supported while just 36 percent opposed the new law. Remember, these are likely Democrat voters who will be voting in the August primaries, and they support the law by 16 points.

What these two polls show that despite a months-long media disinformation campaign wrongly calling the bill ‘don’t say gay,’ and staged protests seen across the country that included walkouts and protests by Disney employees, a significant majority of Americans and Democrats support the bill.

In the face of these polls, Democrats continued to make things up and misrepresent the bill to suit their own agenda. Florida Politics reported that Orlando Democratic Rep. Anna Eskamani told the news outlet that it’s what isn’t mentioned in the bill that matters. So it’s the imaginaries, not the actual legislation, that counts.

For the record, the new law simply reinforces parents’ fundamental rights to make decisions regarding the upbringing of their children. The bill prohibits classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through 3rd grade, prohibits instruction that is not age appropriate for students and requires school districts to notify parents if there is a change in services from the school regarding a child’s mental, emotional or physical well-being.

“Parents’ rights have been increasingly under assault around the nation, but in Florida we stand up for the rights of parents and the fundamental role they play in the education of their children,” Governor DeSantis said at the bill signing. “Parents have every right to be informed about services offered to their child at school, and should be protected from schools using classroom instruction to sexualize their kids as young as 5 years old.” 

Read more: https://www.flgov.com/2022/03/28/governor-ron-desantis-signs-historic-bill-to-protect-parental-rights-in-education/

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Governor signs curriculum transparency and school board term limits bill

 Governor DeSantis signed legislation that requires school districts to be transparent in the selection of instructional materials, including library and reading materials.

As a part of the Year of the Parent, this legislation preserves the rights of parents to make decisions about what materials their children are exposed to in school. Additionally, the bill sets 12-year term limits for school board members.

“In Florida, our parents have every right to be involved in their child’s education. We are not going to let politicians deny parents the right to know what is being taught in our schools,” Governor DeSantis said.

Read more: https://www.flgov.com/2022/03/25/governor-ron-desantis-signs-bill-that-requires-curriculum-transparency/

FLORIDA

Governor DeSantis Spurs Historic Increase in Republican Voter Registrations

Republicans outnumber Democrats in active voter registrations by more than 100,000

 

As of March 29, 2022, Florida Republicans reached a new milestone, exceeding Democrats in active voter registrations by more than 100,000. Since Governor DeSantis came into office, Republicans in Florida have increased their active registrations by 363,000.

The distinction between active and inactive voters is significant, as inactive voters represent less than one percent of the voting electorate in any election. Additionally, in 21 of the past 22 months, Republicans have outperformed Democrats in voter registrations.

“Under Governor Ron DeSantis’ bold leadership, Florida continues to write the playbook on individual freedom and maintains its national prominence as the number one state to live, work and raise a family,” said RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters.

 

IMPORTANT REMINDER: You have the ability to greatly expand the beliefs and ideas of the Republican Party of Florida by sharing out Facebook and Twitter posts. Please follow and retweet us on Twitter @FloridaGOP, and like and share us on Facebook at FloridaGOP. We can win over others only if we all pitch in to reach them with our message.

 

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Governor DeSantis calls Special Session for congressional redistricting

 

Governor DeSantis called a Special Session of the Florida Legislature to produce a new map establishing lawful congressional voting districts in Florida. The Governor vetoed CS/SB 102 this week after reviewing the bill, citing legal concerns. The Special Session will convene at 12 p.m., April 19, and will extend no later than 11:59 p.m., April 22.

“We have a responsibility to produce maps for our citizens that do not contain unconstitutional racial gerrymanders,” Governor DeSantis said. “I vetoed a map that violates the U.S. Constitution, but that does not absolve the Legislature from doing its job. I appreciate the Legislature’s willingness to work with me to pass a legally compliant map this Special Session.”

Read the proclamation: https://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/SLA-BIZHUB22032913200.pdf

Read the transmittal letter: https://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/SLA-BIZHUB22032912100.pdf

  
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Illegal immigrant charged with brutal double murder in Daytona

The Biden Administration’s dangerous immigration policies, as well as the soft-on-crime policies of the 9th Circuit State Attorney’s Office, have once again resulted in the needless deaths of innocent Floridians.  

On March 10, 2022, Jean R. Macean, a citizen of Haiti and an illegal immigrant, was charged with the murder of Terry and Brenda Aultman. Macean had previously been arrested in Orange County prior to the murders, but the charges were inexplicably dropped by the State Attorney’s Office under former State Attorney Aramis Ayala. 

Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young described these killings as “one of the most vicious attacks I’ve ever seen in my 20 years.”

“Floridians should not be subject to the reckless open border policies that the Biden Administration is imposing on this country,” Governor DeSantis said. “These policies are deadly — we also need answers as to why the State Attorney’s Office dropped charges against the defendant.”

The Biden Administration announced a new Temporary Protected Status designation for Haiti last year, a reversal of the policy of the previous administration. The policy allowed Macean to stay in the country. 

Read more: https://www.flgov.com/2022/03/30/man-who-brutally-murdered-daytona-beach-couple-during-bike-week-was-an-illegal-immigrant-with-multiple-prior-drug-charges/

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Florida approves 17,000 acres of conservation acquisitions

Governor DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet this week approved 10 land and conservation easement acquisitions to protect Florida’s natural environment.

The properties, covering more than 17,000 acres, will be managed and monitored by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Seven of the 10 projects, totaling 16,706 acres, are within the Florida Wildlife Corridor.

“These essential land and conservation easement acquisitions are important to protecting Florida’s rich natural areas and will preserve Florida’s critical ecosystems,” Governor DeSantis said. “Since day one, my administration has prioritized protecting and restoring Florida’s environment and natural resources.”

Read more: https://www.flgov.com/2022/03/30/governor-desantis-approves-10-land-and-conservation-easement-acquisitions-totaling-more-than-17000-acres/

 

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What are Florida university academicians trying to hide?

Last year, Florida passed a reasonable law requiring universities and colleges to conduct annual surveys that “considers the extent to which competing ideas and perspectives are presented and members of the university (or college) community, including students, faculty, and staff, feel free to express their beliefs and viewpoints on campus and in the classroom.” 

This used to be one of the high goals of academia. Apparently no longer, which shows the need for the law, which also allows students and employees to not participate in the surveys.

Nonetheless, opponents of the law are fighting it in court, asking a federal judge to prevent the state from moving forward with surveys about “intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity” on college and university campuses. They are asking for an emergency restraining order as the surveys will go out in April.

The opponents filed an overall challenge to the law last summer, contending that the surveys would violate the First Amendment. It seems like a frivolous lawsuit, but the question all this pushback raises is: What are they trying to hide? Why don’t they want Floridians to know if they allow multiple viewpoints? 

At this point, Floridians should be very curious about the answers to those questions.

Read more: https://thecapitolist.com/opponents-rush-to-court-to-block-floridas-intellectual-freedom-surveys-on-college-campuses/

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$10.5 million for apprenticeship programs in Florida 

Governor DeSantis announced $10.5 million in continued investments to expand registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs at 11 colleges across Florida. This money helps state colleges and technical colleges to start or expand registered apprenticeship and/or pre-apprenticeship programs. 

Registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship training programs are a key component of Florida’s workforce education. They provide excellent opportunities for employers to develop and apply industry standards to training programs that increase productivity, attract and retain highly qualified employees and improve retention and overall performance. And they provide a top quality pathway for students to get into high-paying careers with minimal or no debt.

“We are proud to invest in programs that make a difference for students and their employers,” Governor DeSantis said. “This $10.5 million will provide opportunities for an additional 4,200 students in the next year and will encourage more businesses to start their own apprenticeship programs to meet industry demands.”

Read more: https://www.flgov.com/2022/03/30/governor-ron-desantis-announces-10-5-million-in-funding-to-expand-registered-apprenticeship-and-preapprenticeship-programs/

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Val Demings says she is open to court packing

She just cannot seem to say ‘no’ to the radical left.

Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycNHXrHNehM

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AG Moody sues over Biden’s mask mandate on public transportation

Attorney General Moody is leading 20 other states in an action against President Joe Biden’s unlawful mask mandate on public transportation, arguing that it exceeds the authority of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

The Biden administration continues to use a failed interpretation of a quarantine statute — which courts have ruled against several times — to authorize the CDC’s rule. The agency’s mandate rule interferes with state law in places like Florida, which has imposed laws banning forced masking. The mandate also runs afoul of basic reason, as now even the states with the most stringent COVID-19 policies are beginning to lift indoor mask mandates.

 “President Biden’s shortsighted, heavy-handed and unlawful travel policies are frustrating travelers and causing chaos on public transportation,” Attorney General Moody said. “It’s long past time to alleviate some of the pressure on travelers and those working in the travel industry by immediately ending Biden’s unlawful public transportation mandates.”

Governor DeSantis supported the lawsuit. “Florida has led the nation in standing up to misguided federal government policies and fighting back against heavy-handed mandates that have no scientific backing,” Governor DeSantis said. “If politicians and celebrities can attend the Super Bowl unmasked, every U.S. citizen should have the right to fly unmasked. It is well past time to get rid of this unnecessary mandate and get back to normal life.”

Read more: http://www.myfloridalegal.com/newsrel.nsf/newsreleases/AA77384F1742127E852588140055CA74

Read more:

https://www.flgov.com/2022/03/29/governor-ron-desantis-and-attorney-general-ashley-moody-announce-lawsuit-against-the-cdcs-unlawful-mask-mandate-on-public-transportation/

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CFO Patronis honors first responders after Panhandle wildfires

Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis presented a Cabinet Resolution honoring Florida’s first responders that answered the call of duty following the Chipola Complex Wildfires that broke out in the Florida Panhandle March 10, 2022.

“As Florida’s State Fire Marshal, I was honored to present this resolution recognizing the courage and dedication of Florida’s first responders in Bay County and to all of the other firefighting professionals who traveled from near and far and worked around the clock to respond to the Panhandle wildfires,” CFO Patronis said. 

Read more: https://www.myfloridacfo.com/sitePages/newsroom/pressRelease.aspx?id=6145

 

ICYMI

Florida Ascendent

John Hinderaker, of the popular Powerline site, based in Minnesota, had this to say about Florida’s growth and leadership:

“People vote most sincerely when they vote with their feet. One of the basic realities of our time, transcending and perhaps ultimately overwhelming many of our current political debates, is that people are fleeing blue states and moving to red states. What states are in decline? California, New York, Illinois, Minnesota. What states are prospering? Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah. And above all, Florida.

“Current Census Bureau data speak for themselves:

“Four of the nation’s top 10 metro areas with the highest population growth last year were in Florida — more than any other state, according to new US Census data. 

“Florida’s growth isn’t mainly retirees. It is a great place to do business: 

“The US Census also revealed this month that the Sunshine State accounted for more new business applications than any other state.

“I have been to Florida four times in the last four months, and can attest that the state is booming. You pretty much have to see Naples, for example, to believe it. It isn’t just economic prosperity, either – Florida has an atmosphere of fun, activity, and freedom that draws people from across the country.

“Florida benefits, obviously, from excellent leadership. Governor Ron DeSantis and the state’s Republican legislature have scored another win with the state’s anti-grooming law, which protects small children from being indoctrinated with LGBTQ+ theories in the public schools. Remarkably, liberals have chosen grooming as a hill to die on, as in the Oscars last night, even though polls show the Florida law is supported overwhelmingly by Florida Democrats, let alone Republicans and Independents.”

Read the entire column: https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2022/03/florida-ascendant.php

 

Social Media Highlights   

 

REMEMBER: @FloridaGOP and retweet and share. The Republican message must be spread around the state, and you are integral to making that happen.

Standing for Border Security – Congressman Scott Franklin

Dear Friend,

Border security is a critical challenge facing America. Since President Biden took office, the border crisis has escalated at a dangerous rate due to his policies. Roughly two million illegal migrants have attempted to enter the United States  and Border Patrol estimates that 500,000 successfully escaped into our nation. Unfortunately, the Biden Administration reversed many successful policies that reined in the flood of illegal immigrants coming across our border. 

As a result of these dangerous open border policies, drugs and criminals are crossing our borders, endangering our communities. That’s why I cosponsored H.R. 2729 , the Finish the Wall Act, which would require the Department of Homeland Security to immediately resume construction of the border wall system along the international border between the United States and Mexico to secure the border, enforce the rule of law, and expend already appropriated funds as mandated by Congress. 

I will continue to work to secure our borders and make our country safe. I’m honored to represent you in Congress. For more information on constituent services, current legislation, and to sign up for my e-newsletter, please visit my website franklin.house.gov .

Best regards,

C. Scott Franklin

RNC Releases Part 1 of “Unchecked” Video Series on Biden’s Border Crisis

REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE NEWS UPDATE

from your National Committeeman, Peter Feaman

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RNC Releases Part 1 of “Unchecked” Video Series on Biden’s Border Crisis

WASHINGTON – The Republican National Committee (RNC) released today the first part of a new video series, “Unchecked,” displaying the horrors of Joe Biden’s open border crisis. The series features conversations with those who have spent time on the frontline and know firsthand the harsh realities of Biden’s failures that have led to over two million illegal immigrants being encountered at the southwest border since he took office.

WATCH HERE

The series release comes as Biden oversaw the worst February at the border in 22 years and Border Patrol is preparing for a “ record-breaking surge of migrants” this spring. Amid this historic crisis, Biden is reportedly planning to end the use of Title 42, an important tool to fight illegal immigrant, even though administration officials privately say this will create a massive influx of illegal immigration and worsen the crisis.

“Plain and simple: Joe Biden is the root cause of the pain and suffering on the border. Biden and ‘border czar’ Kamala Harris’ failures have put our law enforcement officials in harm’s way, leaving them to defend an open border with drugs, human trafficking, and crime surging. Every community is a border community under Biden, as drugs and crime move across the country.” – RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel

The series includes interviews with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Congressman Tony Gonzales (TX-23), former ICE Director Ron Vitiello, and journalist Julio Rosas.

“We are seeing a human rights catastrophe, we are seeing a public health catastrophe, we are seeing a crime and national security catastrophe … I’ve asked the Senate Democrats to Texas and see the border, not one of them is willing to do it. They are literally turning a blind eye, and they are counting on the corporate media to cover it up.” – Senator Ted Cruz

“These are people. These are real people there, right? So the migrants that are jumping off of trains and getting hurt – in some cases losing arms and limbs, that’s part of the two million. Every part of America has been impacted. You’ve got migrants going to every corner of the country.” – Congressman Tony Gonzales

“We’ve never seen a number that big, we’ve never seen two million encounters within a year’s time, it’s just never happened. The people that live just north of the border – they see the human trafficking, they see the exploitation, they see the smuggling, and so [Americans] are most effected by it day to day.” – Former ICE Director Ron Vitiello

“Often times when we see the rest of the media catch up with border coverage, it’s when there’s a sudden influx at one point. Which, ok that’s good, but that influx is happening at all different points, at all different parts every single day.” – Julio Rosas, Senior Writer at Townhall.com

Rep. Scott Franklin: The Ready Room – March 29, 2022

Hello Friend,

Welcome to my e-newsletter, the Ready Room. As a retired Naval Aviator, the Ready Room is special to me because it’s where fellow aviators meet to brief and debrief missions. This is my weekly briefing to you on my mission in Congress. Please follow me on Facebook Twitter Instagram  and YouTube for regular updates on how my team and I are working to serve you in Congress.

 

Opposing  Biden’s Negotiations With Iran

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As part of its ill-conceived nuclear negotiations with Iran, the Biden administration is reportedly considering removing Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list. This would be a dangerous decision for our country and our allies like Israel in the Middle East.

The IRGC is one of the most dangerous terrorist groups in the world today. Through its sponsorship of terrorism, it is responsible for the deaths of countless innocent people and at least 600 U.S. troops. It has consistently sought the destruction of our partners and allies in the region, most notably Israel, and has been an obstacle to peace in the Middle East for decades.

That’s why I led a letter joined by 86 of my House colleagues, urging Secretary of State Antony Blinken to keep the IRGC on the designated FTO list. Removing this designation would remove sanctions against the IRGC and provide the group with more resources to kill innocent people and threaten Israel and our allies. Read the full letter  here .

On Friday, I joined Fox & Friend’s First to discuss the threat posed by Iran and the IRGC. Watch my full interview here .


Discussing the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

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Last week, I joined Fox News’ Jon Scott to discuss the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Ukrainians have done an incredible job defending their country against difficult odds. In response, Russia has engaged in increasingly brutal tactics, targeting civilians, and wreaking indiscriminate destruction on their country. I raised concerns that Russian President Vladimir Putin could use chemical or biological weapons in an effort to regain momentum in Ukraine. His actions, such as his purported use of hypersonic missiles, reveal his willingness to use anything at his disposal when backed into a corner. The U.S. must continue to supply Ukraine with Stinger missiles and other sophisticated air defense systems so they can continue to defend their country. The Biden administration must lead proactively to counter Russian aggression. To watch my full interview,  click here .


Pre-register for the Congressional App Challenge

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Franklin & 2021 Congressional App Challenge Winner, Varun Patel

Are you a middle or high school student with a great app idea? I’m pleased to announce that registration for the 2022 Congressional App Challenge is now open. The mission of the Challenge is to inspire, include, and innovate the efforts around STEM, coding, and computer science education. This nationwide effort allows students to compete alongside other peers by creating an app for desktop/PC, web, tablet, mobile, raspberry Pi, or other devices. The Challenge is open to all middle and high school students in the 15th Congressional District of Florida. Pre-register by clicking here .


Constituent Corner  

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Chandrash, a veteran who lives in Clermont, was experiencing long delays and having trouble setting up an appointment at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. After multiple attempts to set up an appointment failed, he reached out to our office for assistance. We contacted the Department of Veteran Affairs and successfully helped him schedule appointments. If you need help with a federal agency, please call my Lakeland office at (863) 644-8215 or visit my website franklin.house.gov .

I’m honored to represent you in Congress. For more information on constituent services, current legislation and to sign up for my e-newsletter, please visit my website at franklin.house.gov 

Best regards,

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C. Scott Franklin
Member of Congress

RNC Files Lawsuit Against Pelosi, Jan. 6 Committee, and Its Members

REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE NEWS UPDATE

from your National Committeeman, Peter Feaman

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RNC Files Lawsuit Against Pelosi, Jan. 6 Committee, and Its Members

WASHINGTON – Today, the Republican National Committee (RNC) filed a lawsuit against Nancy Pelosi, the January 6th Committee, and its Members:

“The RNC has sued to stop the January 6th Committee from unlawfully seizing confidential information about the internal activities of the Republican Party and millions of its supporters which is completely unrelated to the attack on the Capitol. Nancy Pelosi and the Committee have weaponized Congress’ investigatory powers by issuing this staggeringly broad subpoena which tramples on core First Amendment rights of the RNC and millions of Americans. The RNC is challenging this unconstitutional overreach so that one of America’s two major political parties may not use the force of government to unlawfully seize the private and sensitive information of the other,” said Justin Riemer, RNC Chief Counsel.

 Background:

  • The Republican National Committee (RNC) is suing Nancy Pelosi and her January 6th Committee.
  • Pelosi’s committee has subpoenaed Salesforce.com (Salesforce) for the RNC’s data without any legitimate basis.
  • Digital communication has revolutionized how political parties and other non-profit organizations to operate, allowing organizations to interact virtually with millions of Americans and becoming a central and core component of political activities.
  • Salesforce collects and maintains significant amounts of RNC data, including confidential and sensitive information about private individuals with whom the organization has engaged, ultimately helping develop and execute political strategies.
  • The RNC had nothing to do with the violence that occurred at the Capitol and has repeatedly condemned it.
  • In fact, the RNC was a target of violence and had a bomb placed outside of RNC headquarters, which put our staff in immediate danger and is something the committee has yet to investigate.
  • Pelosi and the committee are weaponizing and abusing Congress’ investigatory power.
  • The committee’s subpoena is so broad, it jeopardizes exposing the personal and private data of up to 60 million Americans and strategy on things like our Election Day turnout operation and the Georgia Senate runoffs.
  • This information has nothing to do with January 6th, and there is simply no reason the committee needs personal and private information on millions of Americans. 
  • Pelosi’s committee is illegitimate, having rejected two Republicans that McCarthy appointed to the Committee – Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Jim Banks (R-IN) – an abuse of power for purely political reasons. 
  • Pelosi’s committee has dramatically exceeded its scope, having issued hundreds of wide-ranging subpoenas and demanded records well beyond the scope of the events of January 6th. 
  • Pelosi’s committee has disregarded checks and balances and has no respect for due process.
  • Pelosi’s committee is unconstitutionally attempting to exercise law enforcement authority, with The New York Times reporting  that the committee “is employing techniques more common in criminal cases than in congressional inquiries.”
  • Congressional committees are supposed to write laws, not run politicized investigations for the purpose of prosecuting their political opponents.
  • Pelosi is attempting to kneecap the RNC for political gain while trampling on free speech and freedom of political association.
  • If Pelosi and her committee want to look at candidates and committees who lie to their donors to dupe them out of money, they should look at Democrats.
  • In 2020, DCCC Chair Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) sent multiple emails falsely claiming that President Trump was “rigging” the election.
  • The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) sent emails falsely accusing Republican officials of “rigging the voting laws ” and having “rigged the voting laws.”
  • The far-left Progressive Turnout Project sent a fundraising appeal claiming Mitch McConnell had committed “treason” and had worked to “rig”  the impeachment trial.
  • The year before, the PAC sent a fundraising appeal suggesting if they didn’t get enough money, then “Trump will get away with cheating to rig the 2020 elections.”
  • In 2018, the DCCC sent out an email falsely claiming that President Trump had fired Robert Mueller.

Former U.S. House member Dennis Ross seeks return, plans to run in new district

Lakeland resident Dennis Ross, who spent four terms in Congress, wants to return to Washington, D.C.

Ross announced Tuesday that he plans to run this year as a Republican in U.S. House District 15. The Florida Legislature has approved new district boundaries as part of the once-a-decade redistricting process, and the newly drawn District 15 will cover northeast Hillsborough County.

Rep. Scott Franklin, R-Lakeland, currently serves in District 15, which now covers northern Polk County and parts of Hillsborough and Lake counties. Florida gains a U.S. House seat because of population growth, and the Legislature’s map creates a new district that covers all of Polk County.

Franklin is expected to run in that district. Ross said that he intends to run in the new District 15 and will not challenge an incumbent.

“Seeing what’s happened in the last few years has just forced me to get off the sidelines and get back in the game, and that’s exactly the way I feel,” Ross said Tuesday afternoon. “And I feel compelled to do that in, I think, a very statesmanlike fashion (that) I think the voters are craving for. I am a conservative, always have been, but I think I’ve also worked over the years to build relationships even with divergent ideas, divergent thoughts.”

U.S. House members are not required to reside within their districts. For example, Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, lives outside the boundaries of District 17, which he represents.

“And I think the one thing that I bring to the table is eight years of seniority when I go back, which will give them a step up in representation in Congress,” he said.

Ross, 62, served in the U.S. House from 2011 to 2019, originally in District 12. After the last round of redistricting, he shifted to District 15 for his next three terms.

Ross chose not to run for re-election in 2018 and was succeeded by Ross Spano of Dover. Franklin ousted Spano in the Republican primary in 2020 and then beat Democrat Alan Cohn in the general election.

Ross said he expects Republicans to retake a majority in the U.S. House with the midterm elections. He said he would push Republican leaders to “risk their majority” by acting on key issues they failed to advance when they controlled the chamber before.

Ross said he was frustrated by the Republicans’ inability to pass major bills on health care and reforms to immigration law, financial services and flood insurance. He said he favors a piecemeal approach on immigration, including a law to replace the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program former President Barack Obama created by executive order. 

Eddie Geller, a Democrat from Brandon, is running against Franklin and is expected to switch his candidacy to the new District 15. He leads all Democrats in the race in fundraising.

Gary White can be reached at gary.white@theledger.com or 863-802-7518. Follow on Twitter @garywhite13.

Conservative School Board Member Blows the Lid off Inner Workings of the Left’s Monopoly on Education

The battle over the nation’s children – from flagrant indoctrination to forced masking – has emerged in the national spotlight during the last two years, becoming a widely-known issue as parents take matters into their own hands after years of the left maintaining a monopoly on the educational system, doing their best to keep the leftist agenda moving forward.

However, in the last year, the woke left’s agenda has been exposed, leading to massive conservative victories, as with Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R) monumental victory in Virginia last November. Parents are fired up and taking power back, but this battle started years ago, as parents such as Bridget Ziegler waged a war against the radical left at the local level, even before it became a commonly known national issue. Ziegler shared her story in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News.

The Inner Workings

Ziegler, a mom of three and member of the Sarasota County School Board in Florida, has been at the helm of this fight since joining the board in 2014 – long before wokeness in school was a mainstream topic. At the time, she was the mother of an 8 month old and worked in the private sector, as she still does to this day. Her husband is heavily involved in politics, now serving as the vice chairman of the Florida GOP. But at the time, in 2014, a vacancy appeared on the school board, and he encouraged his wife to run, as she is “passionate” about children’s issues. She ultimately filed and former Gov. Rick Scott (R), now a Florida senator, appointed her at the time. She went on to win the election in a close race and stood out as a “staunch” supporter of school choice, which she said was more of a “taboo at the time.” But the union, she said, “just lost it.”

Ziegler said she began to see things that were “shocking” to her upon joining the board, as it operates very differently than the business world. She described going to the Florida School Board Association meeting, a chapter of the National School Board Association, and at the time the unions were suing the governor and legislature for taxpayer scholarships — something she advocated for. It was odd, she said, for them to utilize taxpayer dollars to send her to this conference where they were touting issues she was against. Seeing this, she and other conservative board members formed the Florida Coalition of School Board Members, which she described as a “small but mighty group” that passed a ton of legislation. While effective, she said the group did not gro

w exponentially, despite others showing their support, because there was “very much of an indoctrination to school board members, to policy makers.”

“When you get up there and are elected, you’re automatically part of this association and they tell you that your job is to support the superintendent. [It’s] not about protecting, supporting, representing taxpayers or focus on financial stewardship or … it as very much about no dissenting, very much groupthink, get in line,” she said, as this same tactic appears to be the common theme in school boards across the country. Many people, she continued, subscribe to it, even though they claim to be “conservatives.” But when they get on these boards, they “lose their backbone.”

“They’re typically in the minority and then they just wouldn’t fight for a lot of these issues,” she said, noting that many wanted to join the group but did not because they were nervous about losing their posts. Ziegler, however, a conservative firecracker in this realm, refused to go along with business as usual, paving the way for much of the mainstream exposure to the agenda items pushed by these radically left actors serving on school boards across the country as they dictate what children are exposed to in school.

The conservative group worked with the legislature and had 3-4 years of wins and ultimately dissolved, but reframed because they “knew something was there,” particularly with the battle over parental rights. Some participants branched off, such as Tina

Descovich, who served as the group’s president, focusing on her group Moms for Liberty.

Ziegler, who said she never planned on going for a third term on the board, stuck around.

“I believe it’s so important and haven’t subscribed to the groupthink. I’ve been independent and been very consistent on my policies over the years. I think we do have a moment to really change the tide and all the things over the last six years that I’ve seen that are so incredibly broken, where people are not serving their community with the student’s best interest. It’s more about the system than it is the student,” she said, pointing to the “big educational industrial complex” and the millions that are “in this same game to protect the system.”

“And then you have the media that plays that role and protects the progressive left agenda that are being pushed in there, and also everyone wants to hide the — you know we can’t say anything negative about the school because then you’re anti-public school. It’s not about correcting issues,” she said.

“It’s about, your job as a school board member is to be a cheerleader, not to be someone that serves the public,” she added.

Hidden Agendas

These school boards across the country often sneak in left-wing agenda items without parents knowing. Ziegler provided an example, pointing to the battle over the Parental Bill of Rights in 2018 in Sarasota County, as it embraced “gender diverse guidelines” as left-wing groups lobbied districts to adapt such “guidelines” – a term that helped them circumvent the board completely, robbing parents of a true say. These guidelines, Ziegler said, essentially stated that it was up to a student to determine what gender identity he or she wanted to go with and forbid staff to contact parents on this issue. She fought against this on the board, which fueled her drive to work with the legislature to draft the Parental Bill of Rights, which took three legislative sessions to pass in 2020.

“But now it’s very well known,” she said, noting that parents were being “systematically cut out of their parents’ education on purpose.”

But in 2020, the indoctrination in the school system continued to become more mainstream nationally as leftists became more emboldened and “aggressive,” partially triggered by the George Floyd protests. As another example of the left sneaking in their hidden agendas, Ziegler described a BrainPOP video— a program used in K-5 “heavily across the country,” which covers a myriad of topics for students and touts which she described as lots of propaganda. One video focused on the George Floyd protests, she said, with undertones about systemic racism and defunding the police. The video, she said, essentially told children that they need to act as an avenue for change.

“[It’s] basically a training video for social justice warriors,” she said, noting that another parent made her aware of the video, so she brought it to the attention of the superintendent. Many were not even aware of this video, she stressed, so it was pulled, although that triggered worries about censorship. These sort of issues continued to become more mainstream as some teachers in the district expressed concerns about professional development – which was supposed to focus on reopening schools – instead centering on training for white privilege and cultural responses.

All of these micro-wins have continued to pile up, causing a groundswell of parents to see what is happening and take back control of their children’s education. Ziegler credited Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for publicly standing up for parental rights, further nationalizing the issue.

A Crumbling Monopoly

Over the past year, these issues have come to the forefront nationally, serving as a driving force in elections. Between the radical Black Lives Matter agenda and nonessential anti-science coronavirus rules, parents have a clearer picture of the left’s long-held monopoly on their children’s education. And now, leftists are not sure how to handle it.

“Nationally, you see how concerned the left has become because they have had a full on monopoly on public K-12 education — if not all education as we see — and they’re going to

extraordinary levels because for the first time, I think they do see it’s at risk.,” she said, pointing to what we are seeing in areas such as Virginia, San Francisco, California. The left, she said, is “pulling out all the stops,” even stooping as low as deeming concerned parents domestic terrorists.

These school boards, she stressed, are innately tied with the Democrat Party, doing their best to coordinate their moves—a stark reminder that change truly does begin at the local level – a reality easily forgotten in a world of national headlines and personalities.

“The coordination that I’ve seen at the local level with the Democratic Party at the national level and state level with our local school boards to — for the mask mandates, to stick it to Gov. DeSantis because it was more about a DeSantis/Biden thing than it was about safety — and then you see now that there is a very strategic, coordinated effort with these foundations,” she said, using Sarasota County as a prime example and walking through the shift she has seen in the last 2-3 years.

Typically, the district would utilize pilot programs through nonprofits, but recently, she said there is a shift where districts — instead of utilizing money they have through funding – will earmark salary positions and fund them through these foundations, giving them a “straight back door into school districts to push programs.”

“And then the district ultimately is overleveraged and then they garner control without

being elected,” she said. Leaders such as DeSantis pushing back against the woke agenda has “triggered a lot of these foundations who used to work behind the scenes to double down and go all in,” she said, noting that it is happening in other districts as well.

Media’s Role

The establishment media, in its efforts to protect the left’s agenda, has only exposed the radical left’s agenda more. One recent example is their coverage of the Parental Rights in Education bill, which critics and establishment media outlets falsely deemed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, despite the fact that the bill simply protects children from age-inappropriate classroom discussions about sexual orientation and gender identity, applying to children in kindergarten through third grade.

“Bringing that up has been– I knew it was right,” she said of the discussions over gender identity. The left, she said, is “artful” in their branding when they try to push their agendas, but the “reporting has gotten so ridiculous where they’re pushing the left’s narrative.”

“They’re not [just] reporting on the left’s narrative. They’re pushing the left’s narrative, just the same way like the textbook material and all that stuff is not just covering historical aspects,” she said. “They’re pushing a narrative. And so that is why I believe there’s so much concern because there’s way more awareness to it and they worked for decades to

really play this ground game.”

“And they have, between Gov. DeSantis being completely fearless when it comes to punching back, whether it be the media or education bureaucrats or the work school board members or the union, he’s not backing down and thank goodness,” she continued.

The more DeSantis pushes back, she continued, the more people get “excited and applaud,” but the left “who’s been in complete control for so long” is “going to extreme measures and like you see, you see the media kind of becoming unhinged and being reckless with their reporting.”

A “Wild” Moment

“If wasn’t on the school board — I don’t fault parents. I wouldn’t necessarily know who my school members were,” she said, speaking about the national awakening.

“I mean, I might because my family’s a little bit more politically active than the average person, but I understand that that’s how — I understand that’s why when COVID happened, people started to see and showed up to school board meetings and were met with complete disdain of which I had a front row seat to for years. They were shocked.”

It was something to behold as school board members kept “doubling down,” Ziegler explained. She said it was almost as if the school board members and the left “didn’t know

how to change their behavior because they’ve been doing it so long and normally people burn out, they go away.”

That was not happening this time.

In her experience, Ziegler said it takes more time to see a change, “but they [the left] can’t help themselves because they’re so drunk on the power and shameless.”

“Because historically, they’ve been able to run out the clock,” she said, identifying that tactic as a basic in the playbook of education.

That’s what is “wild about this moment,” she said, as these issues she has been fighting for are finally mainstream. “It’s just like — I use this phrase a lot, but I feel like I was screaming in a crowded room but no-one would hear me.”

The Continued Fight

It will be “interesting” to see how this continues to play out moving forward, particularly ahead of the midterm elections, Ziegler noted. The battle against Critical Race Theory (CRT), for example, was fresh in Virginia, serving as a catalyst for Youngkin’s victory. But in Florida, parents were not subjected to two years of closures, remote learning, and forced masking (outside of 11 counties). DeSantis listened to parents and waged a war against it all, long before the Democrat Party and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

decided to loosen mandates because they were getting crushed in the polls. But in other places in the country, she said, parents are grappling with some of those issues. Ultimately, she said it “remains to be seen” how this plays out in the future, as parents likely will not forget what the left put them through.
“It’s almost Marie Antionette-style ‘Let them eat cake,’” she said. “They’re so disregarding.” And still, people are still showing up – those who never voted or paid attention — “and those people are mobilizing and activating people,” she added.

Some parents, she said, may not be as vocal, but when it comes down to decision time, “it’s hard to forget the complete disregard that they were met with when it came to policy decisions impacting their children.”

The left is “going to try very hard to make them forget … and try to flip the script,” she warned, noting there are “still a lot of people who are just fed up with government institutions in and of itself.”

“And I think you’ll see more conservative and even moderates all in to see — certainly for someone like Gov. DeSantis and school board members willing to serve parents and serve the people,” she said.

However, Ziegler warned that the left will pull out all the stops to create their narrative and brand their opponents in a very particular way, “just like they do with DeSantis.”

They use extreme labels and see what sticks, she said.

“That is their playbook. And they do it well. And they play nasty” to maintain their power, she added.

Local Beginnings, National Results

While this movement made national headlines, there is still work to be done at the local level, as that is what has triggered so much of this change in awareness. Ziegler, for instance, has been in the minority since she has been on the “nonpartisan” school board, with the majority of school board members serving as “progressive liberal” members – the “norm” across the state and country, Ziegler explained.

However, that could soon change. Of the five school board seats in the county, three are up, including Ziegler’s, as she is running again. But the other two are not running for reelection. In other words, if Ziegler wins reelection and they flip just one of the open seats, they will successfully flip the entire board.

“And that’s big deal because we have, from a party standpoint again, the Republicans are very, from a conservative standpoint, very focused on school board and in Sarasota have the chairman of the party and the vice chairman of the party in Sarasota County” she said.“Gov. DeSantis is obviously been a big champion of parental rights and has highlighted some of the work I’ve done which put even more emphasis on that race,” she added.

Breitbart,

by: HANNAH BLEAU

Rep. Scott Franklin: The Ready Room – March 9, 2022

Hello Friend,

Welcome to my e-newsletter, the Ready Room. As a retired Naval Aviator, the Ready Room is special to me because it’s where fellow aviators meet to brief and debrief missions. This is my weekly briefing to you on my mission in Congress. Please follow me on Facebook Twitter Instagram  and YouTube for regular updates on how my team and I are working to serve you in Congress.

Responding to the State of the Union

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Congressman Franklin in the Cannon House Office Building

Last Tuesday, I attended President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address. While President Biden was quick to point to his alleged successes, the American people know better. Under his watch, American families are struggling with the highest inflation in 40 years, gas prices are skyrocketing, drugs are pouring into our open border, violent crime is up in our communities, and the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan has emboldened our adversaries like Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.

While these are serious challenges our nation is facing, I have faith that we can restore a brighter future. Florida has led the way with sound, conservative solutions that respect our freedoms as Americans. If our federal government followed suit, we would be in a much better place. As we Floridians like to say, it’s time to Make America Florida. Click here to read my full statement. 

Missed Opportunity to Help Veterans

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Many veterans who deployed to the Middle East and Afghanistan were exposed to toxic fumes emanating from burn pits. This exposure has caused severe health complications. Last month, the Senate unanimously passed S. 3541 , a bill to provide resources to help burn pit victims. The House should have passed this bill, but unfortunately, we had to vote on an overly broad bill that would extend benefits to many veterans who were never exposed. I know this to be a fact, because under the House bill’s criteria, I would be eligible for these benefits, even though I was never near a burn pit during my Navy career. We have a duty to care for our veterans, especially those who have been injured, and I will always stand up for my fellow veterans. But we must also ensure our VA system isn’t prevented from helping those in need because it is overwhelmed with cases that don’t truly belong in the system. That’s why I voted against the House version of the bill. Congress must resolve the differences between the House and Senate bills so veterans exposed to burn pits will finally receive the care they need and deserve.

Want a Flag Flown Over the US Capitol?

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Did you know that flags may be purchased through our office and flown over the U.S. Capitol to honor a special event or commemoration? All flag purchases include a dedication message, which may be personalized for a particular person, event, or organization. For more information, click here.

Constituent Corner  

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Daniel is an active-duty U.S. Air Force member stationed at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. While assigned there, his wife gave birth to their daughter. After obtaining her Consular Record of Birth Abroad (CRBA), they unsuccessfully tried to obtain her Social Security Number and Card. After reaching out to our office, my staff helped Daniel get what he needed. If you need assistance with a federal agency, please call our Lakeland office at (863) 644-8215 or visit my website at  franklin.house.gov.

I’m honored to represent you in Congress. For more information on constituent services, current legislation and to sign up for my e-newsletter, please visit my website at franklin.house.gov 

Best regards,

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C. Scott Franklin
Member of Congress

Congress Passes a $1.5 trillion Omnibus Bill.

Congress Passes a $1.5 trillion Omnibus

With government funding slated to run out this past Friday, the House and Senate scrambled to pass a bill to keep the lights on and avoid a shutdown.
Written out of view of Americans and the rest of Congress, an exclusive group of leaders from both parties dumped a bill almost 3,000 pages long and costing an eye-popping $1.5 trillion taxpayer dollars on the House floor with less than 24 hours for members to read the bill before the vote.
The bill failed to rescind Biden’s unconstitutional vaccine mandates that have ousted our service members and fired our healthcare workers, advanced Biden’s climate policies, and included over $4 billion dollars worth of earmarks so lawmakers could bring their pet projects to fruition in their home states. Unrelated to government funding, the bill also jammed a version of the Violence Against Women Act which threatens American values such as our Second Amendment rights and fails to protect women from predators who may identify as a woman and gain access to facilities and programs alongside battered women. The bill even gives the Left exactly what they want by dramatically increasing the IRS’s budget to almost $13 billion, the same agency that under the last Democrat president targeted conservative Americans.
And with energy prices at record highs, the omnibus even pushed an earmark tackling racism in our energy system. You can’t make this stuff up.
It’s never been more clear to Americans that Washington is out of touch and not representing hard working Americans. This trillion dollars plus spending package comes at a time when Americans are reeling from Biden’s failed economic policies that have stuck us with record inflation and gas that tops well over $4 a gallon.
Both FL Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott were among 31 of 50 Senate Republicans who voted NO – please thank them. Shame on the 19 Republicans who voted Yes along with all Democrats.

Rep. Scott Franklin: The Ready Room – March 1, 2022

Hello Friend,

Welcome to my e-newsletter, the Ready Room. As a retired Naval Aviator, the Ready Room is special to me because it’s where fellow aviators meet to brief and debrief missions. This is my weekly briefing to you on my mission in Congress. Please follow me on Facebook Twitter Instagram  and YouTube for regular updates on how my team and I are working to serve you in Congress.

 

Standing Up For Florida Farmers 

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Strawberry fields being harvested (Courtesy of Canva)

Florida farmers rely on seasonal labor to cultivate the crops that feed America. The visa process for farmers is already costly and cumbersome. Now the State Department plans to raise fees on H-2A temporary agricultural worker visas from $190 to $310. This is a costly 63% increase at a time when supply chain challenges and the labor shortage are already driving up the cost of doing business. That’s why I was pleased that Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24) joined me, along with more than 40 colleagues urging Secretary of State Antony Blinken to halt the fee increase. Click here  for more on this important issue.

Accepting Applications for Summer Interns

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View of the Capitol Building from the west (Courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol)

Are you or someone you know interested in interning in our Washington, DC or Lakeland office? We are currently accepting applications from college students or recent graduates. A congressional internship provides a valuable opportunity to learn more about the legislative branch and to serve constituents from Florida’s 15th Congressional District. Click here for information on how to apply.

Constituent Corner

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Donald K. – Army Veteran from Lakeland, FL

Donald is a decorated U.S. Army Veteran from Lakeland who lost his medals and military records. After several unsuccessful attempts to contact the VA for help replacing them, Donald reached out to our office for help. We contacted the National Personnel Records Center and obtained his medals and military records. If you need assistance with a federal agency, please call our district office at (863) 644-8215 or visit my website at  franklin.house.gov.

I’m honored to represent you in Congress. For more information on constituent services, current legislation and to sign up for my e-newsletter, please visit my website at franklin.house.gov 

Best regards,

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C. Scott Franklin
Member of Congress