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    Governor Scott is right. Pariente should recuse herself.

    Friends,

    With the rise of the “Indivisible” movement and their success earlier this month (they did not even wait to be sworn in before promising large spending increases and a progressive social agenda in the places they won), it’s important to understand how they operate: the radical left thrives on chaos, and by sowing seeds of distrust in our constitution and institutions. They never let a good crisis go to waste before proposing big government solutions to the problems big government created.

    This is what makes the looming showdown between Governor Scott and Justice Pariente so important. Progressives would love nothing more than the chaos of a constitutional crisis, and Pariente seems hell-bent on making that happen. Here’s the story:

    Florida law requires judges who reach the age of 70 retire at the end of their term. Three Justices on Florida’s Supreme Court (Pariente, Quince and Lewis) will be forced to retire on January 8, 2019, which also happens to be Rick Scott’s last day in office. Rick Scott believes that he will be able to appoint their replacements. The Democrats believe that Rick Scott’s successor (who they hope will be Democrat) should make the appointments.

    What would happen if the Democrats won the Governor’s mansion, and both Rick Scott and a new Democrat Governor appointed three Justices? Who would be seated? Who would rule on the resulting legal challenges? It would be the very type of constitutional crisis progressives crave to undermine confidence in the institution of the Supreme Court.

    The League of Women voters filed a lawsuit to settle the matter. Here’s the problem: one of the Justices who will rule on who gets make the appointments is none other than Justice Pariente, who in 2012 was brazenly critical of a sitting governor, campaigned to get re-elected on the premise that Rick Scott should not be allowed to replace her successor. Anybody wonder how she will rule on this case?

    I was running a statewide campaign to educate voters on these Justices at the time, and was critical of her obvious partiality (read here). Justice Pariente has shown remarkable persistence in her longstanding goal of preventing Rick Scott from appointing her successor, and will apparently continue this fight until she retires. She has already made up her mind before this case ever reaches her desk and like a good activist judge will use this case to push her political agenda, regardless of the law and facts of the case.

    If Pariente does not recuse herself, progressives will get what they want. If Pariente makes a mockery of the court by issuing a pre-determined ruling, it would do as much damage to public confidence in the court as the January 2019 showdown the case is trying to avert.

    Please thank Governor Scott for doing the right thing by demanding Pariente be recused. And let’s deny progressives what they want by fighting Indivisible at the ballot box so that we win our state and local races. That might be the only way we can make this issue go away.


    Jesse Phillips
    Seminole GOP State Committeeman

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    Florida to Puerto Rico Response Team

    My friend, and our State Representative, Bob Cortes may have as many as 7 relatives evacuate Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. In light of the devastation, he has joined with his colleague Rene “Coach P” Plasencia and a bi-partisan group of lawmakers to form the “Florida to Puerto Rico Response Team,” a partnership between public and private sectors to assist in recovery efforts.

    FL2PRThe goal of the team will be to assist with infrastructure recovery efforts, coordinate logistics of disaster supplies, assist evacuees with issues of education, healthcare, etc, and create regional “service centers” using their district offices to provide assistance and information for those relocating.

    I encourage you to support FL2PR, first by “liking” their Facebook page and sharing it with your friends and then reaching out to your state representative to ask how you can help.

    Also, there is also a relief effort ”I-4 for Puerto Rico” being spearheaded by Orange County Trump Chairman Randy Ross in partnership with Americorps to deliver supplies to Puerto Rico. They have drop off locations in Orange and Seminole Counties. The Rollins Women’s Volleyball Team is helping with the drive and has provided information on how you can contribute.

    Our hearts definitely ache for those who will be suffering the effects for a long time to come. As Rep. Plascencia put it, “the island’s infrastructure is literally being rebuilt.” It is encouraging to see our state and region taking a leadership role in the long path to recovery.

    - Jesse P.

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    Changing Hearts on Abortion, the story of Norma “Jane Roe” McCorvey

    Friends,

    You may have heard that Norma McCorvey, the “Roe” of Roe v. Wade has died. What some people don’t know is that later in her life, she became a staunch pro-life advocate. The thing that changed her heart on the issue was the simple science of a fetal development poster. Seeing the development of life in the womb had quite an impact.

    As I have reflected on her passing, I have been inspired by her personal journey, and I wrote about it in an op-ed recently published by the Orlando Sentinel (read it here). Defending life at every stage is an important part of our party’s platform. Let’s renew our commitment to the weakest and most vulnerable who cannot yet speak for themselves.

    Here is a powerful quote from McCorvey, describing the moment her heart changed on the issue:

    “The progression was so obvious. It hurt my heart, just looking at them. I ran outside and finally, it dawned on me. Something in that poster made me lose my breath. I kept seeing the picture of that tiny, 10-week-old embryo, and I said to myself, that’s a baby! It’s as if blinders just fell off my eyes and I suddenly understood the truth — that’s a baby!” - Norma McCorvey, “Won By Love”

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    Endorsed by Representatives Cortes and Plakon

    I recently announced that I am running to be the Republican State Committeeman from Seminole County. I am thrilled to announce that I have been endorsed by State Representatives Bob Cortes and Scott Plakon.

    One of the great privileges of my life was serving as the Campaign Manager to Bob Cortes, and working to elect the first Hispanic State Representative in the history of Seminole County. There is a reason that no Democrats currently hold county-wide office in Seminole. We’ve got great leaders and hard working people supporting them.

    Both Representatives Cortes and Plakon are honorable men, talented leaders and true conservatives that are working tirelessly for everyone they represent. It is an honor to have worked to support them, and to now have their support.

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    I am running…

    Friends,

    I am happy to announce that I’m running to be the Republican State Committeeman in Seminole County.

    This is an important time for the future of our party and country. Like so many Republicans, I am concerned about where our country is headed, and committed to work for a Republican party that is equal to the task of answering the challenges of our generation.

    The best hope we have to advance our values and cause is to develop an effective state party that can demonstrate the benefits of limited government and individual liberty by working to elect state and national leadership to carry these forward.

    I appreciate the opportunity to earn your support as we continue to work together to keep Seminole red.

    - Jesse P.