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Bondi to co-host GOP presidential debate

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 by Dara Kam

Bondi with Fox News correspondent John Roberts

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi will co-host the GOP presidential debate on Fox News this weekend, according to a press release distributed by the Republican Party of Florida this morning.

Bondi, a Fox fave who often appeared on the news channel as a legal analyst before her election in January and a frequent guest star since, will join fellow Republican attorneys general Ken Kuccinelli of Virginia and E. Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma on former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s show Saturday night at 8 p.m.

Bondi is leading the charge in the multi-state federal health care lawsuit, launched by her predecessor Bill McCollum, now before the U.S. Supreme Court. Undoing the health care law is among the GOP presidential wannabes’ top campaign pledges.

“This forum is an excellent opportunity to engage each of the candidates in a candid conversation about issues that are important to voters in our state and across the nation,” Bondi said in the press release. “This will be a historic election, and I am excited to play a part in helping voters gain a better understanding of candidates’ beliefs on fundamental issues such as constitutionalism and the role of government.”

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum have all agreed to participate in the forum, according to the release.

Allen West discusses Cain, Bachmann, Paul, Perry, Crist, Florida’s primary date and more

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 by George Bennett

BOYNTON BEACH — U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation, won’t reveal if he has a favorite in the Republican presidential race, but during a town hall meeting tonight he weighed in on Herman Cain‘s Florida straw poll victory and 9-9-9 tax plan, Michele Bachmann‘s polling swoon, Ron Paul‘s Federal Reserve bashing and in-state tuition benefits for the children of illegal immigrants as championed by Rick Perry.

West also told reporters he expects Florida to be influential in presidential politics regardless of when it schedules its 2012 primary.

West also got a dig in on former Gov. Charlie Crist, the Republican-turned-independent who has contributed to one of West’s Democratic rivals.

Find out what West had to say after the jump…


The Wanderer: From Buddy Holly tour and Sgt. Pepper cover to bucking liberals and touting GOP’s West

Sunday, September 6th, 2009 by George Bennett


In an industry known for its prevailing liberalism, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Boca Raton resident Dion DiMucci is truly The Wanderer.

DiMucci — better known simply as Dion from his chart-topping Teenager In Love/Runaround Sue/The Wanderer days — turned 70 this year and is a registered Republican who has developed an admiration for conservative GOP congressional hopeful Allen West. West lost a challenge to U.S. Rep. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton, last year and is gearing for a 2010 rematch.



In a type of gig Dion says he hasn’t done before, he’s scheduled to introduce West at a Boca Raton Republican Club meeting this month and then perform a not-yet-determined number after West speaks.

Dion was part of Buddy Holly’s ill-fated 1959 Winter Dance Party tour (he skipped the doomed plane ride with Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson), and his likeness is included in the iconic crowd shot on the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover (he’s right behind Tom Mix and Oscar Wilde).



To the extent he’s ever been identified with politics in the past, it’s for his 1968 recording of Abraham, Martin and John, which associated him with the folky progressivism of the era.

“I still believe in it,” Dion says of the song. But in other ways, he says, he doesn’t understand the dominant liberalism of the recording industry.

Dion on Sgt. Pepper cover

Dion on Sgt. Pepper cover

“It’s puzzling to me because I’m a rock ’n’ roller and rockers believe in truth and freedom. I don’t believe a lot of them know what the two words mean,” says Dion. “I think a lot of them have confused it (freedom) with license — giving you permission to do anything you want without regard to the consequences.”

Dion describes himself politically as “kind of an independent. … I’m liberal with my love but conservative with my thinking.”

* * *



West Boca Community Council President Sheri Scarborough is said by well-placed sources to be considering a run for the school board seat of 21-year incumbent Sandra Richmond. One of the council’s vice presidents, Frank Barbieri, was elected to the school board last year.




As attentive readers of the Politics column undoubtedly recall, Democratic activist and former teacher/principal/school administrator Marcia Andrews is also looking at a run for Richmond’s seat. Richmond hasn’t opened a campaign, but has said she’ll “probably” seek reelection next year.




College student Gary J. Lew is one of three candidates who have filed for the Democratic nomination to succeed term-limited state Rep. Carl Domino, R-Jupiter, in 2010.

But Lew is a registered Republican. He says he signed up with the GOP because of an interest in libertarian-leaning Ron Paul, but avers that “I have never in my life voted Republican.”

He says he’ll switch his registration to Democratic.

Dem state House candidate is registered Republican; plans to switch

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 by George Bennett

Lew: Paulite past, Dem future

Lew: Paulite past, Dem future

Gary J. Lew, a college student and manager of a vitamin store at a holistic health center, filed as a Democrat back in January for the state House District 83 seat that’s up for grabs in 2010. He’s one of three candidates who have opened campaigns for the Democratic nomination to replace term-limited state Rep. Carl Domino, R-Jupiter.

But Lew is a registered Republican.

Lew said he signed up with the GOP when he registered to vote in 2006 because of an interest in libertarian-leaning U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex., who eventually sought the GOP nomination for president in 2008.

“Registration does not limit your ability to vote for a specific party in the general election here in Florida. I have never in my life voted Republican,” said Lew, who said he plans to switch his registration do Democrat.

“I feel like an independent. But in the eyes of the public, you have to choose a side. I feel like my politics coincide with the Democrats,” said Lew. He said he’s conservative in some areas, but “generally at heart I’m a liberal.”

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