Fiscal Awakening

Herman Cain Wins Florida P5 RPOF Straw Poll - What Does This Mean?

Herman Cain wins the Republican Party of Florida Presidency 5 Straw Poll by a 2-1 margin over 2nd place. How did this happen? What does this mean? Is this a real indicator of things to come?

Where Do Your Loyalties Lie?

Last week, the House of Representatives and Senate passed the  2011 Budget "Out of" Control "Debt" Act, in another seemingly disappointing act by Congress to kick the can down the road in order to "fight another day", as they say. Personally, I'm confused as to why the following illustration is difficult to understand:

Let's say I earn a salary of $40,000 per year.  One would think that my annual budget, as a result, is $40,000.  Instead, however, I follow our federal government's example and plan to spend $70,000 per year--resulting in an annual deficit of $30,000.  After doing this several years in a row, I realize this path is completely unsustainable and now I'm determined to cut spending.  As a result, as I earn a salary of $40,000 once again and I "make the tough choice" and use a "balanced approach" to cut my budget to $69,000 instead of $70,000.  All is good in the world and my credit rating should be just fine.

Congress calls this a savings of $1,000 and expects to get re-elected.

I'm not an extremist, I just use extreme common sense.

As we know, there were quite a few representatives in this debate, unfortunately, that surprisingly supported increasing our National Debt one more time and in a big way.  One of them was Congressman Allen West from Florida who has done an outstanding job taking on the progressive left.  His direct dealings with Congresswoman Debbie WasserName Schultz (who also voted with West in increasing our national debt) has certainly been inspirational in a town overflowing with political correctness.

As several tea party leaders turned on Allen West this past week for his disappointing vote, many were quick to defend him.  In a statement by one leader in Florida, he was concerned that we appeared "inconsistent".  At one point, he argued, we loved Governor Rick Scott's stances on Florida's budget but we were quick to point out our frustration with his refusal or inability to block SunRail.  We expressed appreciation for Allen West's commanding rhetoric in speeches but many jumped on him for his vote to increase our nation's debt.  To this particular tea party leader, we seemed inconsistent.  To me, it's a question of where our loyalties lie.

Below are excerpts from an email I sent to several tea party leaders around the country following the disappointing vote that lead to our national debt increasing and our AAA rating being downgraded:

IMHO, we have to remember where our loyalties lie.  We are loyal to our principles and values and with that comes consistency that cannot be shaken.  We are not “yes men” to any politician and we cannot appear to sway with the blowing wind of the votes of politicians.

It’s always dangerous to fully attach ourselves to Humans.  We are flawed beasts!!

“We’re Jeffersonians!”.  Uh, he owned slaves.  “We’re Reaganites!”.  Uh, he approved amnesty.  Damn!    “We believe in Liberty!”  Well, how can you argue with that without supporting Tyranny?

Is Allen West a breath of fresh air in a town that reeks with hypocrisy and wickedness?  Absolutely!

Are we proud to call him friend when he stands up for our principles and values and takes it right to our progressive enemies like WasserName??  You know it!!

Does that mean we turn a blind eye when for whatever strategic reason he doesn’t stand up to “leadership” and falls for and delivers manufactured talking points like “deadline” and “default” and “crisis” and “equal cuts for every dollar increase in the debt” (which we know is a farce) and takes a vote that sinks us further and further into debt without standing up to leadership for taking us down such an unnecessary path?  No.  We don’t turn a blind eye.

Yes, I agree, we shouldn’t “eat our own”, but he needs to know that we’re disappointed.  He needs to know that we appreciate it when he stands up and uses his platform to advance our principles and values, but when he gets in line and doesn’t stand up, he needs to know we’re hurt by that.

We cannot fall for the rhetoric they’ve put forth in this “debate”!  We demand better!  It’s an insult to our intelligence to try and sell this pile by talking about 10 year budgets.  We know the truth!  We know how this works now. We need them to ratchet up the “truth” meter and ease up on the ignorant-electorate rhetoric and start talking seriously.  I had the same conversation with Congressman Webster and Adams this weekend and again last night.  We The People are ready for the painful truth of what’s really going on and while we’re out there educating the electorate on the real numbers, on the real impact of mountains of debt, we expect our politicians to just do the right thing.

We didn’t hire these people last year to play it safe and wade it out and just make sure they don’t shake things up too much so they can get re-elected next year.  We hired them to do the right thing right now, take a bullet for the cause, make tough choices, face the painful truth and WE will worry about who gets elected next year.

We can’t just kick the can down the road.  We can’t just hope for some day one day maybe there will be a perfect scenario when we have the right number of people in the right spots in government and finally on the right day we’ll then begin dismantling the beast and eventually start doing what’s right.  THAT’s the mentality we’ve been fighting.  There is no perfect day.  There is not a perfect utopian time to start doing the right thing.  It’s right now, it’s every single day and it happens with every single vote.  Our beloved country doesn’t have time to wait for that day!!

So, does any of that mean we threaten them with a primary challenger?  Of course not.  It just means we need to talk to them about getting real with the American people, about leaving the tired talking points behind and just telling us the truth.  Sandy explained to me her strategic reasons and fear last night about why she voted the way she did.  To her, it made sense.  I believe she’s in line with our principles and values, but she had some concerns that others didn’t seem to have.  Does that mean we’re going to primary her?  No, and I told her that.  It did take me a while with her to let her know that we’re not falling for the rhetoric of 10 year budgets and “crisis” and “a dollar cut for every dollar increased in debt” and I told her my concerns with this version of the BBA and especially my concerns with “leadership” negotiating away any teeth it has.  I told her we’ve had enough of the rhetoric and talking points and she understands.  I completely appreciated her being direct and spending so much time explaining her reasoning and I told her that I wish she was louder and stood up to leadership with the path they took everyone down.  Nevertheless, we’ll be setting up a meeting with grassroots leaders later this week with her when she gets back.

Bottom line, we must remain loyal to our principles and values and not turn a blind eye when someone disappoints us.  That doesn’t mean we get emotional like many have and threaten this or that.  It just means we need to let them know we’re disappointed and we expect a greater level of honesty and direct discussion.  No more fluffy talking points.  We demand Honesty and the Painful truth.  And doing the right thing must occur every day.

Again, IMHO.

So when you're voting with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in opposition to Senator's Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Jim DeMint and Marco Rubio--who is being inconsistent and on what side do your loyalties lie?

Our Lives, Fortunes, & Sacred Honor - All Gave Some

In March of 2011, I was asked by Michael Patrick Leahy, founder of the popular Twitter hashtag #TCOT (Top Conservatives on Twitter), creator of the TCOT Report, and co-host of the original conference calls that launched the nationwide tea party movement, to join the Advisory Group for the new eBook series, "Voices of the Tea Party". The series is being published by Broadside Books, a division of Harper Collins.

3rd Annual Orlando Tax Day Tea Party - We Are Alive & Well

On Friday, April 15th, 2011, we held our Third Annual Orlando Tax Day Tea Party at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando. The event was schedule from 4:00 - 6:00pm, but with such incredible and humbling dedication, patriots not only arrived early, but stayed until the end which was well past 7:30pm.

From Everyday Republican to Educated Constitutionalist - One Man's Journey

I often refer to the tea party movement as an "Awakening". Read how one liberty-minded friend-of-the-movement went from an everyday Republican to an educated constitutionalist. In the tea party movement, at the end of the day, we seek the truth. And in this great "Awakening", our responsibility is to just do the next right thing.

Congressman Dan Webster (FL-8) Town Hall - Progressives on Display

On Tuesday, April 26th, 2011, Congressman Dan Webster (FL-8) hosted his third town hall in a week back in our district.  Webster once again brought the truth with him and shared the harsh reality that we must face up to what being $14 Trillion dollars in debt really means. Personally, I would like to see Congressman Webster take a stronger stand. I don't think he should have supported the budget with a mere $38.5 billion in cuts and I don't think that a "Yes, if...." stance on the debt limit vote is strong enough. I wish he was more bold in his statements and I believe that if more Congressman held a stronger line, they'd see much more support from We The People. In fact, some of the Senate Democrats may even feel such strong political winds blowing they may even begin to fold in the Senate and see the light.

Do I think Congressman Webster understands the issue, though? Yes. Does he really grasp what being $14 trillion in debt means? Absolutely. Is he trying to do something about it? Most definitely. I just think he has a different approach.

One thing is for certain, though, the Progressive groups are out in force in Florida.  We witnessed this in Tallahassee a month ago, we're hearing about them pouring money and hired activists into Jacksonville races, and now we see them on display at congressional town halls.

The Progressive groups are really desperate to re-create the successful and completely organic tea party uprising during the August recess in 2009 when citizens from all over the country attended town halls and questioned their representatives.

What I'm enjoying is that their cards are being laid on the table for all to see. They're coming out of the woodwork and showing their true colors, unable to hide behind double-speak and clever marketing...and they're doing it in an incredibly rude and crass way. The differences between good and evil, right and wrong, are becoming more and more apparent. Fence sitters will definitely have an easier decision to make in the next election.

Here is a story on our site where TomT investigated who the professional agitators were naming names and identifying by which groups they are funded (hint, Acorn and have something to do with it).

Full Story Here:

Some of the talking points we heard today were:

"Is this a scare tactic??" "Were you at the Grayson meeting??" "Where were you when Grayson was speaking?" "Are you going to raise taxes??" "We need to tax corporations!" "That's because you're not taxing the wealthy"

When we attended town halls in 2009, we asked about the constitution and the rule of law, the proper relationship between the states and federal government, about spending too much and placing mandates on a free people....and they're asking about what they're entitled to! The differences in viewpoints is stunning!!

In this video, a police officer actually asked that the interrupting Progressives act like grownups:

Clyde Fabretti of the West Orlando Tea Party takes on one of the Re-Gressive Statists after the town hall. This is where his point of wanting to implement the tax levels of the 90's is immediately met with the need to implement the spending levels of the 90's.

H/T and a very special Thank You to Todd and Linda for these videos today. They are true patriots that again and again take time away from their families and professional life to stand up against re-gressive progressives. With friends like these on the front lines, I'm confident our Republic will be saved.

Rally in Tally on March 8, 2011

On Tuesday, March 8, 2011, I joined between 700-1,000 Floridians on the steps of the old Capitol building in Tallahassee, FL as the 2011 legislative session began. With leaders from our statewide network of tea party, 9/12 and liberty minded groups, we hosted a rally, met with our representatives and presented them with our legislative agenda and finished the day by kicking off the very first Tea Party Caucus at the state level.

Congressman Dan Webster (FL8), CSPAN and AT&T

On Thursday morning, March 3rd, 2011, Congressman Dan Webster (FL8) was LIVE on CSPAN's Washington Journal. As any good constituent would do, I tuned in and called into the program to ask my congressman a question. At 17:07 minutes into the interview, you can hear my question for Congressman Webster...well, at least part of it.

Happy Birthday Tea Party Movement

On February 27th, 2011, the nationwide Tea Party movement was born. As most of us recall, Rick Santelli ranted on Thursday, February 19th, 2009 from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange about the latest bailout. That weekend, a handful of patriots gathered on a conference call arranged by Christina Botteri and Michael Patrick Leahy (TCOT Founder), to begin planning simultaneous tea parties in cities across the country.

Congressman Dan Webster (FL8) Town Hall

On Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011, Congressman Dan Webster (FL8) hosted a town hall at the Winter Garden City Hall. In a style similar to Congresswoman Sandy Adams' town hall the day before, Mr. Webster brought the truth back home to the district.

Tea Party Rally in Orlando Supporting Gov Rick Scott

On Monday, February 21, 2001 @ 5:30pm, I joined with our most die hard local tea party activists from around central Florida in front of Senator Bill Nelson's office on Robinson Street to show our support for Governors that are making tough choices dealing with their budgets and implementing fiscal responsibility.

Congresswoman Sandy Adams (FL24) Town Hall

On Monday, February 21st, 2011, I attended Congresswoman Sandy Adams' Town Hall back in her congressional district 24, at the Oviedo, FL City Hall. In a packed room, with many people standing around the edges, and after losing her voice, Sandy Adams brought the ugly truth back to FL from Washington, D.C. Armed with charts and graphs about our spending problem and the debts and deficits caused by generations before, Sandy bravely answered questions and did her best to explain how we may be able to get out of this mess.

The Rant Heard 'Round The World - 2nd Anniversary

Happy Anniversary!! Can you believe it's been two years since Rick Santelli ranted on CNBC from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile about the latest bailout?  Little did he know, on that day, he would have provided the spark that launched one of the most powerful great awakenings in American History.

"President Obama, are you listening???", asks Rick Santelli.

But as We The People have awakened, we've realized that the problems with our government are not about one man, one administration, or one political party.  We've come to realize that it's the 100 years of progressive big government, big spending, big bureaucracy, big dependency, big agency, big solution, big promises and central planning that has ripped our constitution to shreds, made our founder's original intent a distant memory and all that which makes us exceptional a mere thing of the past.

For those of you on those original conference calls that are still engaged in the fight today, I salute you.  Well done, indeed.  For everyone involved in some fashion or another in the tea party movement, I say Thank You, God speed, and please keep up the great work.

For everyone, I ask you to join me in praying for our nation and for those on the front lines of the battle to save our Republic. I ask that you pray these two verses as often as you can. We must put on the Armor of God, we must humble ourselves and we must turn from our wicked ways and call upon God to help us secure the blessings of Liberty He has so graciously provided.

2 Chronicles 7:14 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Ephesians 6:10-20 - The Armor of God 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Gov Scott Rejects ObamaRail - Fox35 Orlando Interview

On Wednesday, February 16th, 2011, FL Gov Rick Scott rejected federal money for the Orlando to Tampa High Speed Rail project. With an acceptance of the reality facing Florida taxpayers, Gov Scott has once again stood up to the federal government.

Eastern Orlando Tea Party Kickoff Meeting

On Tuesday, February 15th, 2011, I was invited as the keynote speaker at the newly formed Eastern Orlando Tea Party kickoff meeting. Many of the volunteers that have been engaged in the tea party movement for some time decided to form a group on the east side of Orlando and I could not be more proud of them.

Tea Party Express & Tea Party HD Hosts Town Hall

On Tuesday, February 8th, the Tea Party Express and hosted a Tea Party Town Hall at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Meeting with Congressman Dan Webster

Congressman Dan Webster's (FL-8) local office contacted me a couple weeks ago inviting me to gather a few fellow patriots and meet with the congressman when he visits his congressional district office. First off, what an absolute joy it is having a respectable congressman. It was a sincere and determined focus of ours over the past two years to retire and replace the disgraceful Alan Grayson. On election night, we proudly hung a sign across from Grayson's Orlando office that read, "Mission Accomplished".

Congressman Webster's local office is located the City Hall building in Winter Garden, FL.  One thing we noticed right away was that he doesn't have an office, per say.  He said he doesn't like to sit behind a desk when talking with constituents and therefore designed a "living room" type of office arrangement where everyone can sit comfortably and relaxed and simply engage in a conversation without the feel of a cold corporate office.  This is certainly a concept I'll incorporate into any future offices in which I work.

Today's visit was what we intend to be the first of many.   I believe it's important to have a dialogue with your congressman, one based on respect and mutual recognition of principles.  Everyone must first accept that the only person you'll agree with 100% of the time is yourself, and until you run for office, you must understand that there will be differences in opinion.  Some may be high level differences while others may be mere nuances.  A cordial conversation and open dialogue is certainly capable of nudging your congressman in the right direction while hostile dialogue will certainly get you nowhere while ruining opportunities for future dialogue.

One thing he mentioned was how impressed he is with the freshmen class.  He said there are so many members that are simply new to politics.  He talked about one congressman from IL that has 10 children and runs a pizza shop.  He also said there's quite a few doctors that ran for congress for the first time so they could get to DC and tell everyone about what ObamaCare will do to the healthcare industry.

With that in mind, here are a few bullet points on today's discussion:

  1. He called the meeting, and I certainly appreciate that.
  2. He's not confident that High Speed Rail will move forward. He's against the government running it. He's okay with them building the infrastructure, like building a road, or building an airport, but he says the gov doesn't own the cars on the highway or the airplanes, so why would the gov want to own the trains and operate them. With that in mind, he doesn't see any private sector company or consortium entering a money losing proposition. He did speak as if the federal rail money was cash already set aside, which we didn't agree with that outlook.
  3. He's against raising the debt ceiling, which he explained is just an arbitrary number set by congress anyway, unless there's a major trade off. His preference for a trade off is full repeal of obamacare. Other's have other forms of major spending cuts, but he'll support it for a repeal of obamacare.
  4. He thinks we need to concentrate on cutting spending before talking balanced budget amendment.

We gave him a list of items that we're interested in him getting behind and seeing where he stands.  The letter is copy/pasted below. - Audit the Fed. - Cut off money for private entities (planned parenthood, NPR, etc.) - Full review of foreign aid. - Balanced Budget Amendment. - Debt ceiling. - Immigration reform. - High Speed Rail.

Bottom line:  We like the fact we have a congressman that is not Alan Grayson, that doesn't end up chasing us out when we visit, ...and one with which we can have an open dialogue. Congressman Dan Webster is a good man, and I don't think he'll get the DC bug. In fact, I think DC should get the Dan Webster bug.


DATE: February 3, 2011

TO: The Honorable Daniel Webster House Rules Committee & Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

FROM: Members of: The Central Florida Tea Party Council & West Orlando Tea Party

SUBJECT: Partial List of Issues of Interest

Dear Representative Webster:

Thank you for your gracious invitation to meet with you today. We look forward to hearing of your work in the early days of your term and learning more about your legislative goals in the months ahead.

Sir, as we did during your candidacy, we support you now in the hard work ahead. We know that the principles and values that you bring to this office are those that are the foundation of our Movement – Protecting The Constitution, Fiscal Responsibility and a Limited Federal Government.

If we can be of any assistance to you in your work, whether using our networks to communicate your messages, or in advancing your agenda through writing, faxing or calling campaigns, please call on us – “we have your back”. If you would like us to organize a monthly or quarterly conference call with our people so that you can address them directly, we would be happy to work with you on that.

Obviously, there are dozens of issues that are important to us, all of which need to eventually be addressed by Congress. However there are a few issues that we are thinking about at this time that we would like to bring to your attention, though we realize that these issues may already be on your radar: (not in order of priority, we feel that they are all worthy)

HR 459 - “AUDIT THE FEDERAL RESERVE” – To require a full audit of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Reserve banks by the Comptroller General of the United States before the end of 2012. Currently there are 55 sponsors. Have you or will you co-sponsor and support this Bill?

ENDING OR LIMITING FEDERAL FUNDING OF PRIVATE ENTITIES – There are many, but a few examples are Planned Parenthood, National Public Radio, National Endowment for the Arts, and hundreds of other entities that the Federal Government has no business subsidizing with Federal tax dollars.

A FULL REVIEW OF FOREIGN AID COMMITMENTS – It appears that China is receiving $2.5 Billion in foreign aid. Why? 73% of Americans support scaling back foreign aid (Reuters) and we are among those that feel this way.

BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT – We believe that this is an important step in reining in our nation’s spending and finding true fiscal discipline.

RAISING THE DEBT CEILING - With discussions opening about raising debt ceiling, (apparently now in May) is possible to tie such an action to very deep and specific cuts, including, for example cuts in the EPA and Dept of Education and/or even a Balanced Budget Amendment?

IMMIGRATION REFORM – Most importantly, the securing of our borders. What is the difficulty, as you see it, in dealing with this important issue.

HIGH SPEED RAIL IN FLORIDA – We oppose any “borrowed” Federal money or any Florida Tax Payer money going into this boondoggle. Some politicians are arguing that if 90% of the money comes from the Federal government and the remaining 10% is provided by the private sector, that this would allow them to support “rail” in Florida. Where do they think that Federal money is coming from? We really don’t need HSR and the State and the Federal government simply does not have the money for this project. What role can you play from your position on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to help derail this effort by the “special interest groups” to push “rail” on Floridians?

Sir, there are many other issues that are worthy of attention, but these are just a few that we are thinking about at this time. Thank you again for inviting us to meet with you. We look forward to working with you in the future and wish you all the success possible in helping to save our nation and “fix what is broke in Washington”.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Representative Webster.


The Central Florida Tea Party & The West Orlando Tea Party

Rick Santelli's Rant - Blog Post from February 21 2009

The following was posted on my blog site,, on February 21, 2009.  The site has since been taken down and I believe the blog post must be preserved: For those of you unaware, Rick Santelli from CNBC, on Thursday from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade, ranted against President Obama's "stimulus" bill which seemed more like a piece of spending legislation than actual stimulus.

Rick commented that he'd be forming his very own Chicago Tea Party this July and asked if anyone wanted to join. Since then, conservatives nationwide have been uniting to plan their very own Tea Party in cities all across the country.

Orlando is no exception.

More to come....

Orlando Tax Day Tea Party - Blog Post from April 15, 2009

The following was posted on my blog site,, on April 15, 2009.  The site has since been taken down and I believe the blog post must be preserved: The live webcast will begin at 6pm EST from downtown Orlando at City Hall.

But what's next after the party? Visit a few days after the event to find out.

March 21st, 2009 Orlando Tea Party - Blog Post from March 2009

The following was posted on my blog site,, on March 21, 2009.  The site has since been taken down and I believe the blog post must be preserved: On Saturday, March 21st, 2009, Lisa Feroli, a concerned citizen with the group Floridians Unite, teamed up with Bud Hedinger from 540WFLA News Radio to plan and promote the Great Orlando Tea Party.

I'd like to begin by saying congratulations to Lisa for a job well done!! You're a great American!! You and your team did an excellent job!

The following slideshow depicts only a portion of how exciting this event was. I don't know the crowd estimate as of yet, but when I asked a police officer if she knew how many people were in attendence, she said, "watch the news tonight, see what they say and double it."

Photo Slideshow

Local News report from Channel 13 here.

Orlando Tea Party Declaration (2 videos)

Just to demonstrate how successful the event was, I broadcasted these videos live from my cell phone intermittently during the event. Again, these videos are from my cell phone with a low resolution. I'll be posting real video at a later date.

Part 1

Presentation of Colors, Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem.

Part 2

Tom Gaitens from Freedomworks speaks from 11mins left in the video to 7mins left.

Part 3

Walk-thru from the back of the crowd.

Watch the full length version of the Obama Deception HQ movie here.