Adrian Wyllie’s Pinellas Election Guide

Posted by Adrian Wyllie October 7, 2012 Comments are off 374 views


 

Note:  The opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent those of the Libertarian Party of Florida, nor the staff, management or advertisers of the 1787 Network.


PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

Gary Johnson / Jim Gray (Proudly Endorsed)

If ever there was a “no-brainer” choice for President, this is it.   Johnson is without question the best man for the job, and the one with the best track record on the economy as the two-term Governor of New Mexico.  He may be our last hope to avert the impending economic collapse.   He is the only Presidential candidate who will uphold and defend the Constitution, and restore so many of the liberties taken from us by Republicans and Democrats.  The Johnson / Gray ticket has my complete and unequivocal endorsement.  Gary Johnson is a personal friend of mine.  In addition to agreeing with 98% of his policies (according to http://www.isidewith.com), I can also vouch for his integrity.As a private businessman, Johnson grew a one-man handyman business into the largest construction firm in New Mexico, creating over 1,000 new jobs.   As Governor, he vetoed more wasteful spending bills than the other 49 governors combined.  When he took office, he inherited a huge budget deficit.  He left office with a balance budget and a $1-billion surplus.   Private sector employment in New Mexico by over 14% under his leadership.   So, who has the better business and governance record?He’s also our only hope to return to a sensible foreign policy, and to end the continuing cycle of bombing, occupying, and rebuilding nations all over the globe.   Johnson is the only Presidential candidate who understands that it’s time we considered keeping our nose, and our troops, out of other people’s business.   He’s the only one who entertains the radical idea that, maybe they don’t hate us because of the Kardashians (though who could blame them for that).  Maybe half the world hates us because we bomb them or fund dictatorial regimes who suppress them.

He’s the only Presidential candidate that will restore our civil liberties, which have been eroded by decades of unconstitutional abuses in the form of the TSA, the PATRIOT Act, NDAA, Real ID, and hundreds of other Congressional Acts and Executive Orders.

Don’t throw your vote away by voting for Romney or Obama.  Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil.  In 2012, voters in all 50 states will have the opportunity to vote for peace, prosperity and freedom.  Vote for Good.  Vote Gary Johnson.

 

UNITED STATES SENATOR

Connie Mack

Let me first say that I hate voting for any Donkey or Elephant.  I hate voting for any generational oligarch.  I hate voting for any career politician.  Connie Mack fits all of those categories.  But, even when taking NPA candidates into consideration, Mack’s voting record gives him the edge.

Though he’s by no means a Ron Paul — or even a Justin Amash — Connie Mack falls into the category of “libertarian-leaning” Republicans.  As a U.S. Representative, he has a better-than-average record on spending and tax votes.   He’s not afraid to vote against his GOP brethren on any issue.  He voted “NO” on debt ceiling increases, even when most Republicans followed the party line.   Though he’s not proposing any economic plans that would ultimately prevent us from driving off the economic cliff, he’s at least in favor of applying the brakes pretty hard.

On issues of personal liberty, Mack sides with the Bill of Rights more often than not.  For example, he cast “NO” votes for the renewal of the PATRIOT Act and the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA).  Liberty could do better than Connie Mack, but he’s the best we’ve got in this race.

The remaining candidates in this race are Democrat Bill Nelson and two NPA candidates.  I feel no explanation necessary for why I won’t vote for Nelson.

I gave both Bill Gaylor and Chris Borgia a serious look.  All things being equal, I prefer an NPA over a Republican or Democrat.  While Gaylor and Borgia both got decent marks, neither could bump Mack out of the top spot.  Gaylor had a good economic platform, but was a zealous theocrat on social issues.  His focus on putting God before the Constitution gave even a devout Christian like me a chill.  Borgia’s platform simply tinkers with the tax code, and doesn’t promote any policies that might actually salvage the economy.

 

US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISTRICT 12

Paul Elliott

Republican Gus Bilirakis has got to go.  He votes the party line 95% of the time, and only sponsors bills that are completely and utterly meaningless.  His entire career in the U.S. House of Representative has revolved around ensuring he remains in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Presumably, he wants to hold the seat long enough to pass it to his son, as his father did before him.

The Democrat in this race, Michael Snow, is so far left that he makes FDR look like a Libertarian.  This guy would be considered a hard-liner if he were running for a seat in the Soviet Politburo.   Snow is definitely not a viable option.

That leaves the two NPA candidates, John Russell and Paul Elliott.   Russell takes a libertarian approach to some issues, such as supporting the 2nd Amendment, banning surveillance drones over US skies, and legalizing marijuana.  However, his economic policies would be disastrous.  He supports a top marginal tax rate of 55%, opening Medicare enrollment to all Americans, and increasing FICA tax to fix Social Security.

Though lacking details, Paul Elliott at least seems to have the right mindset when it comes to economic issues.  He realizes that our current path will lead America to fiscal collapse, and he seems willing to do some of what’s necessary to fix it, such as overhauling the tax code and cutting entitlements.   The fact that Elliott hasn’t published any substantive plans for fixing the problems gives me considerable pause.  However, he at least recognizes that there is a problem, and seems to be willing to consider unpopular — but necessary — solutions.   Elliot isn’t someone I could see myself waving a sign for, but given the alternatives in this race…

 

US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISTRICT 13

C.W. Bill Young

Yes, I just threw up a little in my mouth.

I did attempt to take an objective look at Democrat Jessica Ehrlich, before quickly deciding that there was no way I could support her.   Her policy positions look like they were copied and pasted from BarackObama.com, with perhaps less substance and even more happy, socialist keywords.  There’s no doubt she would vote in lock-step with the Obama agenda.  That’s a deal-killer for me.

Sadly, there’s no NPA or third party candidate in this race.  So that leaves only Bill Young.

Bill Young represents everything that is wrong with Congress.  He’s responsible for more pork than Jimmy Dean.  He hasn’t read a bill since 8-track tapes were popular.  He’s so senile that he rarely speaks in public, and he makes a fool of himself the second his handlers are out of earshot.  More often than not, he doesn’t even show up on the House floor to vote.  In recent years, he’s missed more votes than virtually anyone else in Congress.

That’s his single redeeming quality:  He rarely votes on legislation.  He needs to take frequent daytime naps to keep up with his young wife, Beverly.  If we only had 217 more Congressmen like him, America would be a much better place to live.  Congress would have no quorum, and thus they couldn’t hurt us anymore.

There’s also a good chance that the Lord will see fit to call the 81-year-old Congressman home before his next term is up, giving us an opportunity to get a libertarian in that seat.  So vote for Young with the possibility of an Act of God — or at least fewer Acts of Congress — in the near future.

 

US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISTRICT 14

NONE OF THE ABOVE

Democrat incumbent Cathy Castor is a flat-out socialist.  She has proven time and time again that she has no moral compunction about decimating the Constitution, and stealing the fruits of our labor to promote her vision of social justice.   She wants to ensure that poverty is cured by making it the universal norm in America.   She will continue her quest to turn all producers into dependents.  Tax the rich; feed the poor, ’til there are no rich no more.  By the way, she’s the progeny of another political dynasty.  I’m starting to see a pattern here.

Republican challenger E.J. Otero is no better.   Otero talks a better game on the economy than Castor, but it’s intellectually vapid.  Colonel Otero is the prototypical product of what Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex.  He believes that it is America’s God-given duty to, in his words, “rain military might on the enemies of our country around the world.”  He fails to recognize that a nation engaged in perpetual conflict can never achieve prosperity.   The war machine must be fed with ever increasing blood, debt and taxation; which ultimately cripples a nation.  An educated man like Otero should better understand history, and he should know it was the path of conquest that led to the collapse of all great civilizations.

Do yourself a favor and sit this one out.

 

STATE SENATE DISTRICT 20

NONE OF THE ABOVE

What do I know about Ashley Rhodes-Coulter?   Virtually nothing.  I can’t find one issue position for her.  In fact, I can’t even find her campaign website.  There’s no doubt that the Democrats just grabbed someone off the street to ensure that the incumbent Republican, Jack Latvala, didn’t run unopposed.

Latvala is the ex-husband of Pinellas County Commissioner Susan Latvala, who is currently serving illegally due to a term limit law she is choosing to ignore.   To the Latvalas, being on the public dole is not just a career choice, it’s a birthright.  They represent the worst type of career political dynasties.

Jack never met a bill he didn’t like, and he thinks more government is the solution to nearly every problem.  He votes YES on virtually every bill that comes before him.  Since the 2011 legislative session, Jack has voted YES on 24 out of 26 key bills.  Most of them resulted in more spending.

I’d sooner vote for a lawn chair than Jack Latvala.   For all I know, Rhodes-Coulter might actually be a lawn chair.  Initially, that was good enough for me.  Then I heard through the grapevine that she actually did show up at a campaign event and opened her mouth.  What came out was highly unpleasant and quite statist.

Looks like NOTA wins again.

 

STATE SENATE DISTRICT 22

Jeff Brandes

Everything I’ve seen from Jeff Brandes looks pretty good.  Cut taxes, reduce regulations, protect gun rights, and reject Obamacare and federal stimulus.   However, a couple of his positions give me pause, such as his hardline position on illegals.  When politicians talk like that, it usually means they want citizens to jump through more hoops to prove that we’re NOT illegals.  I worry that Brandes will support unconstitutional programs like Real ID.

His only opposition is a write-in candidate, so this election is a lock for him anyway.  For the most part, he’s talking a good game during campaign season, but we’ll see if he actually means what he says.

Keep your torches and pitchforks ready, just in case.

 

STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISTRICT 65

Peter Nehr

Republican Peter Nehr is “OK” as politicians go.  He’s my State Representative, and when I pick up the phone to call him, he answers the phone and answers the question.  His votes are slightly better than average, but not what you’d call outstanding.  For the most part, his votes reflect fiscal conservatism and some degree of individual liberty.  But, like all politicians, he’ll occasionally vote political expediency above principle.  Nehr must be kept on a short leash.

His Democrat opponent in this race, Carl “Z” Zimmerman, is very elusive.   He’s another Democrat who apparently has no campaign website, he’s failed to answer candidate surveys, and has made few public comments on issues.  However, there was one trail that I was able to follow:  The Money.  When he ran for House in 2008, he raised $123,300 in campaign contributions.  More than $101,000 of that total came from the Democratic Party, labor unions, government agencies, lawyers and lobbyist.  There’s little doubt where Zimmerman’s bread is buttered.

 

STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISTRICT 66

Larry Ahern

I’ve got a soft spot in my heart when it comes to Republican Larry Ahern.  He cosponsored the HB109 last year, which would have repealed Real ID as it applies to Florida Driver’s License.  Real ID has made me an outlaw, because I cannot renew my driver’s license without surrendering my Constitutional rights.  In addition, his voting record is pretty solid on issues of personal liberty and economic freedom.  It troubles me somewhat that he votes on some issues based on his Christian faith, rather than on the Constitution.  As a Christian myself, I prefer to keep government out of my religion, and vice-versa.

His Democrat challenger, Mary Lou Ambrose is an Obama clone.  She jumped on the “war on women” hyperbole bandwagon, and is riding it to the finish line.   Men, we should all hope that there is never an actual “war on women,” because we’d be forced to unconditionally surrender in less than a week.  I’d probably die of starvation simply because I couldn’t find my car keys without assistance from a particular member of the fairer sex.

Mary Lou Ambrose is also a big fan of wealth redistribution for social justice, which makes me no fan of hers.

 

STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISTRICT 67

NONE OF THE ABOVE

In the race between Democrat Ben Ferrell and incumbent Republican Ed Hooper, I simply can’t recommend either candidate.

Hooper has a record of fostering the nanny state, and passing bills that attempt to protect us from ourselves.  He’s voted a few times to cut taxes, but has failed to take the shackles off the energy sector and small business when given the opportunity.  For these reasons, I can’t give Hooper the green light.

As I researched Ben Ferrell, there was a brief moment that I thought he might be a winner.  On the main page of his website, he quotes Lord Acton, which wins him some serious brownie points with Libertarians like me.  But, the honeymoon was short lived.  Kind of like sour candy, I was in for a rude surprise once I got past the wrapper.   Ferrell wants the state to “invest” in emerging technologies (think Solyndra).  He believes the problem with education is we’re not spending enough money.

Choosing one either of these guys is like choosing which foot to shoot yourself in.  My advice?  Skip it.

 

STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISTRICT 68

Matthew D. Weidner

Matthew Weidner is pretty much a single-issue candidate.  But that single issue is one of the most critical ones we will face in Florida over the next several years:  Mortgage and foreclosure fraud.  The banks are committing it every day at the expense of millions of homeowners.  There will even be a bill in the 2013 legislative session that will allow banks to foreclose with little or no judicial oversight.  The court system is quickly becoming a willing accomplice in this widespread deception and theft, and the issue needs a champion.  Matthew Weidner, the no party affiliation candidate in this race, is that champion.

Republican Frank Farkas is recycled politician, who is trying to get back into the House after being term-limited out once already.  Farkas has proven that his allegiance is to the utility monopolies, and has supported drastic fee increases (basically taxes, since we have no real choice) for energy consumers.  He argues that we should send him back to the legislature because he has the experience.  I guess that means that he already knows how to properly genuflect before the lobbyists.

Democrat Dwight Dudley is another single-issue candidate, but his single issue seems to be that he’s not Frank Farkas.  Dudley has promised to fight against utility company rate increases.  A noble quest, but why not just take one step further and completely deregulate electric utilities, and introduce a little free-market competition?

All things being equal, I believe the more pressing issue facing us will be mortgage and foreclosure fraud, which is why I recommend Weidner in this race.

 

STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISTRICT 69

NONE OF THE ABOVE

Much like the obvious innuendo for this district number implies, voting in this race might provide some fleeting satisfaction, but it would ultimately be counterproductive to the species.

I’ve never seen two candidates who used so many words to say absolutely nothing.   In my experience, those kind of lies of omission generally yield the worst kind of politicians.  And these two seem like the worst of the worst.

Democrat Josh Shulman’s website and interviews are so devoid of actual content that he might have well just picked a one-word campaign slogan.  But for him, I’m sure something as descriptive as “Hope” or “Change” would have been far too committal.  Don’t fall for another empty suit.

Republican Kathleen Peters is even worse.  Though she very also very noncommittal on actual policy positions, she does drop enough keywords to give you a hint as to how she might legislate.  Unfortunately, most of those keywords are straight out of the Agenda 21 handbook.   I appreciate that she at least said, “the best ways to improve effectiveness is through expansion of public/private partnerships.”  Thank you Kathleen…That made my decision much, much easier.

 

PINELLAS COUNTY SHERIFF

Scott Swope (Endorsed)

This is a race in which I can provide an extremely informed opinion.  I’ve interviewed the two candidates on the ballot on multiple occasions, moderated a debate in which they both appeared, and spoken to each of them numerous times on and off the record.

First, let me say that I like Republican Bob Gualtieri.  He’s a decent and honest man, who I’d have a beer with anytime.  But he and I don’t see eye-to-eye on the issues.  He favors things like stopping random vehicles at DUI checkpoints, and is weak on protecting citizens Constitutional rights — including the 2nd and 4th Amendments.  Gualtieri has done nothing to stop the encroaching surveillance society, and has accepted millions in federal grant money for programs like “Irregular Warfare Support” and automated facial recognition systems.

Democrat Scott Swope is an ardent supporter of the 2nd Amendment, and even holds campaign events at the gun range, inviting Pinellas citizens to come shooting with him.  He is an advocate of privacy rights, and believes that possession of small amounts of marijuana should result in a misdemeanor civil citation, rather than an arrest.  He has pledged to serve the thousands of outstanding felony warrants that have piled up under Gualtieri’s watch, and has said that he will resist the federal government whenever they overstep their authority.

For these reasons, I have formally endorsed Scott Swope for sheriff.

 

SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS

Jack Killingsworth

NPA candidate Jack Killingsworth has some ideas that make sense, and I’m willing to give him a shot.  One thing that is abundantly clear is that Deborah Clark has failed.  She has allowed county commissioners to appear on the ballot, even though they had exceeded their legal term limits.

Clark also sparked controversy when she recruited Pinellas County inmates to transport ballots on election day.  But then again, the inmates were probably far more ethical than Republican and Democrat party leaders, so perhaps she should be applauded for that decision.

 

BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS DISTRICT 1 AT LARGE

Neil Brickfield

Incumbent Republican Neil Brickfield may not be best commissioner that Pinellas County has ever seen, but he’s not bad when it comes to keeping spending from getting completely out of control.  He’s made more good votes than bad, and is a far better choice than his challenger.

His opponent, Democrat Janet Long, has bounced around from public office to public office.  As a state representative, she is perhaps best known for introducing a bill that required all state facilities and vendors to recycle.  To date, this has apparently failed save the planet.  But it has resulted in increased costs to taxpayers and consumers.  In perusing Long’s campaign website, the “ABOUT” page was full of pleasant stories about her government service and her family history.  Her “MEDIA” page had some high-quality photos of her most recent fund raiser.

Wanting to know more about her positions on important issues, I clicked on her “ISSUES” page.  It was blank.  Just like the box next to her name on my ballot will be.

 

BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS DISTRICT 3 AT LARGE

Nancy Bostock

I’m of two minds on Republican Nancy Bostock.  One thing is for sure, she seems to play her cards close to the vest.  I’m never sure where she stands on any given position until she actually makes her vote.   Perhaps she’s playing both sides of the political fence, trying to determine what will be best for her career.  Or, perhaps she’s doing exactly what a public servant should do, and waiting until she has heard from the people she represents, before making a decision.  At this point, I’m still willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, and assume it’s the latter.  But, I’m keeping a close eye on you, Nancy.

Democrat Charlie Justice is another recycled politician, who served in both the Florida House and Senate and made an unsuccessful attempt to unseat Bill Young for U.S. Congress.   Charlie Justice is mad as hell about Pinellas removing fluoride from the water supply.   Apparently wants us to keep drinking the same stuff that the toothpaste tube tells us to contact Poison Control if swallowed.

I’ll take my chances with tooth decay and with Nancy Bostock.

 

BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS DISTRICT 7

Buck Walz

This is one of the easier races to call.  The challenger, Buck Walz, is right on most of the issues facing Pinellas County.  He wants to fix the costly EMS boondoggle.  He opposes light rail, which will always be underutilized and over budget.  He wants to force PSTA to be self-sustaining, and improve efficiency in all county operations.

The incumbent, Ken Welsh, is a usurper.  Like his colleagues Susan Latvala, John Morroni, and Karen Seel, he is currently holding office illegally due to the Eight Is Enough term limit law passed by over 72% of voters in 1996.   Not only should he not be in office under current law; his name should not have been placed on the 2012 ballot.

Since there is pending litigation in the Sixth District Court that may remove Welch from the ballot prior to the election, there’s a good chance that Walz may win by default.

 

VOTE TO RETAIN FLORIDA SUPREME COURT JUSTICES

VOTE “NO” ON ALL THREE

 Not one of them deserves to retain their post.

 

AMENDMENTS TO THE FLORIDA CONSTITUTION

AMENDMENT 1:  VOTE “YES”
Health Care Services

SUMMARY:  This amendment would permit the state to pull out of the federal health care program, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It would specifically prohibit laws forcing individuals or employers to buy or provide health care coverage. Some believe if this amendment passes, it could conflict with federal law and be found unconstitutional.

This is an obvious 10th Amendment issue, and the state should have the full authority to nullify any Congressional act not authorized by Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.  This nullifies Obamacare, and would keep Romneycare at bay as well.

 

AMENDMENT 2:  VOTE “NO”
Veterans Disabled Due To Combat Injury; Homestead Property Tax Discount 

SUMMARY: This amendment would expand a special homestead property exemption to include combat disabled veterans who were not Florida residents when they entered the military. The discount would be based on a percentage equal to that of the veteran’s permanent, service-related disability.

This is a touchy one, because on an emotional level I want to say YES.  However, we must be consistent, and even though a homestead exemption (i.e. a reduction in property tax) is a good thing, we must resist any tax benefits or penalties that target a specific group.  Our position should be that if they want to help disabled veterans, then cut taxes for everyone.

 

AMENDMENT 3: VOTE “NO”
State Government Revenue Limitation

SUMMARY:  This amendment replaces the existing state revenue limitation, which is based on Florida personal income growth, and replaces it with a new revenue limitation. That cap would be based on inflation and population changes. Revenues collected in excess of the limitation would be deposited into the budget stabilization fund. Once that fund reached its maximum balance, the revenue could be used to support and maintain public schools.

This waters down the existing state revenue increase limitations, and gives the state legislature more authority to bend and break their own rules.  It gives them a green light to dramatically increase spending by making their baseline based on government spending, as opposed to private sector growth as it is now.

 

AMENDMENT 4:  VOTE “YES”
Property Tax Limitations; Property Value Decline; Reduction For Nonhomestead Assessment Increases; Delay Of Scheduled Repeal

SUMMARY:  This amendment would prevent increases in the assessed value of homestead properties and some non-homestead properties when the market values for those properties decrease. It also would reduce the annual growth assessment cap on non-homestead properties from 10% to 5%. In addition, it would provide first-time homesteaders with an additional exemption equal to 50% of the home’s market value. However, that exemption would drop to zero after five years.

While this amendment is not perfect by any means, it will have the effect of reducing real property taxes, or at least slow the rate of tax increase, for most residential and commercial property owners in Florida.

 

AMENDMENT 5: VOTE “NO”

State Courts

SUMMARY:  This amendment would require Supreme Court justices appointed by the governor to also be confirmed by the Senate before taking office. It would allow the Legislature to repeal a court rule with a simple majority instead of the two-thirds majority in place now. And the amendment would allow the state House of Representatives to review Judicial Qualifications Commission files whether or not they were related to an impeachment.

There is a very good reason for requiring a 2/3 majority to overrule the Florida Supreme Court.  Eliminating that provision would mean that any legislation passed by a majority of both houses of the state legislature would effectively become immune to court oversight.   This amendment decimates the courts as a check and balance to the other two branches of state government.

 

AMENDMENT 6:  VOTE “YES”

Prohibition On Public Funding Of Abortions; Construction Of Abortion Rights

SUMMARY:  This amendment would block the use of public funds for any abortion or for health benefits that cover abortions. It would mirror federal law, which prevents federal spending for most abortions. However, this amendment would not apply to expenditures required by federal law for cases in which a woman has a physical disorder, injury or illness that would place her in danger of death unless she has an abortion, or cases of rape or incest.

Regardless of your position on abortion, I think that most people will agree that our tax dollars should not be used toward that end.

 

AMENDMENT 7:  Religious Freedom – Removed from ballot

 

AMENDMENT 8:  VOTE “NO”

Religious Freedom

SUMMARY:  This amendment would overturn a part of the state Constitution that blocks taxpayer funds from being spent on religious institutions, including any churches, sects and religious denominations. The new language, replacing a provision in the Constitution going back more than 125 years, says an individual or entity may not be denied funding, benefits or support based on religious identity or belief.

Well, the title of this amendment, “Religious Freedom” sounds good.  But in reality it should be titled “Religious Restrictions and Taxpayer Subsidies.”  By allowing the state to fund religious institutions, we open a Pandora’s Box of unintended consequences and litigation.  Though I firmly believe that faith-based charities and organizations provide a valuable benefit to Florida and the Nation, I also strongly reject those same organizations being funded with tax dollars.

If the State of Florida wants to ensure that churches, synagogues, mosques and other faith-based charities are well funded, perhaps they should cut taxes so that the people of Florida would have more disposable income to donate to the faith of their choice.

 

AMENDMENT 9: VOTE “NO”

Homestead Property Tax Exemption For Surviving Spouse Of Military Veteran Or First Responder

SUMMARY:  This amendment would give a homestead property tax exemption to the surviving spouse of a military veteran or first responder killed in the line of duty. The provision would authorize the Legislature to totally or partially exempt a surviving spouse’s homestead property from being taxed.

It pains me to have to take a stance that potentially benefits spouses of our fallen military veterans.  But my objection to this amendment is based on the belief that taxes should always be applied equally to all, without exception.   Any tax law that specifically benefits, or penalizes, one group of Floridians or Americans should always be rejected on principle.  We cannot yield those principles, regardless of our sentimental desire to do so.

 

AMENDMENT 10: VOTE “YES”

Tangible Personal Property Tax Exemption

SUMMARY:  This amendment applies to businesses and would allow for an enhancement of the tangible personal property tax exemption. The exemption would apply to property, such as equipment or furniture, with an assessed value that runs up to $50,000. Currently, the first $25,000 of assessed value of tangible personal property is exempt from ad valorem taxes levied by counties, cities, school districts and other local governments.

While ad valorem taxes should be completely eliminated, increasing the exemption from $25,000 to $50,000 is at least a step in the right direction.  The exemption increase will help many Florida small business owners.  Since ad valorem taxes apply to all business who have tangible property, raising the cap does not single out any specific group of business owners.  It applies equally to all.

 

AMENDMENT 11:  VOTE “NO”

Additional Homestead Exemption; Low-Income Seniors Who Maintain Long-Term Residency On Property; Equal To Assessed Value

SUMMARY: This amendment would authorize the Legislature to let counties and municipalities grant an additional homestead tax exemption for low-income seniors. The exemption would be equal to the assessed value of a homestead property, if: its market value is less than $250,000; the owner has maintained permanent residence there for at least 25 years; the owner is at least 65; and the owner has a low household income under law.

For the exact same reasons as described on Amendment 9.  All forms of unequal taxation should be rejected on premise.

 

AMENDMENT 12:  VOTE “NO”

Appointment Of Student Body President To Board Of Governors Of The State University System

SUMMARY:  This amendment would create a new council made up of student body presidents from the State University System. The council’s chairperson would replace the current Florida Student Association representative on the state university system’s 17-member Board of Governors.

Do you really think that increasing bureaucracy will improve our state college system?  Do we really need another council, committee, board, or department involved in education?  And, even if you believe that this is necessary, does this sort of thing really belong in our Constitution?

 

 

 

About Adrian Wyllie

Adrian is the former Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Florida, founding partner of the 1787 Network and the 2014 Libertarian Candidate for Governor of Florida. He has over a decade of experience as an investigative reporter, and focuses on liberty causes, government corruption, and Constitutional violations. He is a third-generation Floridian, an entrepreneur, and served in the U.S. Army and Florida National Guard.

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