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DeSantis Touts His Pro-Police, Pro-Education Credentials at Montco Stop

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis highlighted law and order and education during a President’s Day stop in Montgomery County.

Although DeSantis has not announced a 2024 GOP presidential primary bid, his day started with speeches in New York followed by his visit to the American Legion Post in Fort Washington, before heading on to Chicago.

Several hundred politically active Republicans and elected officials warmly applauded his remarks.

“We are the nation’s fastest-growing state,” DeSantis said of Florida. “That’s just people voting with their feet, and they’re not going to go to a place that’s not managed well, that’s not governed well, that’s not safe. We’re number one. I think every year since I’ve been governor in net in-migration.” Also, Florida is “number one in economic freedom, number one in new business formation…number one in GDP growth, number one in education freedom, number one in parental involvement in education.”

The state has lower taxes, no state income tax, and a record budget surplus.

While low taxes are a good reason to move to Florida, “our commitment to public safety and our support for the men and women in law enforcement” is also a major draw he said.

“People in southeast Pennsylvania have seen a lot of the disaster in places like Philadelphia, which we’ve seen in New York City, which used to be one of the safest big cities in the world. Then you look at Chicago, Seattle… In Florida, our crime rate is at a 50-year low. So how is it you have it going up in so many of these other areas?

“We’re not any better than anybody else. We just have good policies, and we have leaders that will stand behind the people that wear the uniform.”

DeSantis contrasted his approach to law enforcement with those advocating “defund the police” politics.

“You had major cities slashing police budgets, really for ideological reasons, not that it was proven it would help the public safety,” DeSantis said. And, he added, Florida gives a $5,000 incentive to officers who move there from other states, along with other benefits. Current officers received $1,000 bonuses.

When he saw the riots of 2020 DeSantis said, “Not on my watch,” and called up the national guard. He also got the state legislature to pass an anti-rioting bill to make sure violent protesters were prosecuted.

“If you riot, if you engage in mob violence in the state of Florida, it isn’t going to be like Portland, where they take your mugshot, slap you on the wrist, and put you back on the street to do it again. In Florida, you’re not getting a slap on the wrist. You’re getting the inside of a jail cell.” Also, there are additional penalties for assaulting a police officer. “I’m not going to have these officers just be sitting ducks.”

Unlike Florida, some big cities are “putting woke ideology ahead of public safety.” DeSantis’ arguments got a boost from the latest news out of Austin, Texas, where street racers took over multiple intersections across the city, using their vehicles to spin doughnuts in the streets and lighting fireworks. They left one police officer injured and damaged several squad cars. Austin slashed police spending by 30 percent in 2021 but has since reversed course.

“Just the contempt of some of these politicians attacking police was really a low point…It has absolutely painted a target on the back of people who wear the uniform. You see it in New York City. Unfortunately, we just saw it at Temple. And I think if somebody goes out and murders a police officer, they should get the death penalty.”

The audience applauded in response. Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) announced last week he would not sign any death penalty warrants and is urging an end to the policy in the state.

In Florida, “we don’t have tolerance for prosecutors who get elected, largely with big contributions from leftists like George Soros…they say it’s their job to determine what laws should be enforced. Not you, the people who make laws through your elected legislators…these prosecutors are “a law unto themselves.”

He said he removed a prosecutor who refused to enforce the law.

DeSantis pivoted to education.

“If you send your kids to school in Florida, they’re going to get an education, not a political indoctrination,” said DeSantis. “Is it okay to tell a second grader they are born in the wrong body? In Florida, we think the answer to that question is no.”

“People that said this was going to hurt me in the election are very quiet after we won by 1.5 million votes,” he said. “We did tussle with Disney. They’d had for 60 years their own government that they operated and controlled in the state of Florida. Those days are over.”

“Then you also have things like critical race theory, where they try to racialize,” said DeSantis. “If you’re a young White kid they say, ‘You’re an oppressor.’ If you’re Black they say, ‘You’re oppressed.’ And this is just crazy that they want to do this.

“So we said no critical theory in K-12 schools. And some of this critical theory is teaching that police officers are just gunning down minorities with impunity.” It creates a hatred of law enforcement in young children, he said.

Bucks County Sheriff Fred Harran introduced DeSantis.

“The police are the public, and the public are the police, and the public must have confidence in the police in order to be safe,” he said. “There must be accountability (for those who commit crimes).” While the suburban countries still adhere to that credo, many cities, including Philadelphia, do not, Harran added.

“Back when I took the test in 1986 (to become an officer), there were 1,400 people [taking the test]. Now we’re lucky if we get 100, 125.”

Afterward, Harran said he supported DeSantis “as the governor of Florida, and we’ll see what road the governor takes. Any comment (on supporting DeSantis for president) would be premature, but I like what I heard today.”

Upper Salford Area 3 GOP leader Kurt Stein said DeSantis has “a great message. And I think it resonates with everyone. We need law enforcement to be able to do their jobs without having district attorneys not obeying the laws of the state. And the most important things to people are schools and crime, and he hit all of that. Woke ideology is destroying the country our founding fathers created.”

State Sen. Tracy Pennycuick (R-Montgomery/Bucks) called DeSantis “impressive.”

“I think he has the right message at the right time,” said Rep. Craig Williams (R-Chadds Ford). “One thing we can do right now is stand up with our votes and say, ‘We support our police.’”

And Liz Havey, Montco Republican chair, said, “DeSantis talked about solutions and the crowd loved it. Law enforcement is critical to society and working with them and supporting them like Gov. DeSantis has helped Florida have a  record low crime rate–just the opposite of what we are living with in Philadelphia, where elected officials have done the opposite.”

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‘Ready for Ron’ Petition to Draft DeSantis Snags 200,000 Signatures

A group attempting to draft Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to run for president tells InsideSources it has gained 200,000 signatures.

The milestone for the Ready for Ron PAC launched in May comes on the cusp of oral arguments in the federal lawsuit against the Federal Elections Commission.

The Miami-based Ready for Ron organization expanded to Veterans Ready for Ron, led by 2016 Republican National Committee Vets director Bob Carey, and Students Ready for Ron, led by former Young Americans for Liberty field organizer Dylan Dean.

Carey, a Navy veteran, noted the support he found for DeSantis when attending the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia.

“A place I canvassed was the Army-Navy game in Philadelphia and this very vet-heavy crowd is very interested in Ron DeSantis,” Carey said. “We collected 200 signatures in three hours, me and a couple of other people tailgating. To put that in perspective, when I worked for the RNC, the goal would be to get 500 signatures over two days when you have six to eight people working.”

The oral arguments in the FEC case will be Feb. 22 in the District Court for the District of Columbia. The FEC denied Ready for Ron’s request to share the names of the petition singers with the possible DeSantis campaign.

“Nearly a quarter million people have already publicly engaged with and joined the effort,” Ready for Ron’s counsel Dan Backer, who is handling the case, said in a statement. “Signing the petition is the ultimate act of political free speech and association, and there is simply no basis for the FEC to stand in the way of Americans telling someone they want him to run for office, or that they continue to support him doing so.”

DeSantis — who has led former President Donald Trump in several polls when it’s a one-on-one contest but usually trails Trump in a multi-candidate field — isn’t expected to make a formal announcement about entering the presidential race until the Florida legislative session ends in mid-March.

Samantha Fauncher of Bedford, N.H., sees support for DeSantis in the first-in-the-nation primary state, but it’s not yet certain.

“There are still a lot of voters in New Hampshire that don’t quite have an opinion on Ron DeSantis yet,” Fauncher said. “It’s still early. But a lot of people have an unfavorable view of Trump, and what they know of DeSantis is positive.”

She noted that Republican candidates linked to Trump in the 2022 midterm elections were harmed. She also said New Hampshire voters are favorable to DeSantis issues such as school choice.

“DeSantis can have sway with a lot of the independent voters,” Fauncher said. “Trump is just going to keep getting beat down by the media and more people feel that Ron DeSantis represents them and can win in November.”

Many New Hampshire Republicans love Trump policies but believe DeSantis could be better positioned to deliver on those policies, said Pamela Tucker, a former deputy chair of the New Hampshire GOP.

“Republican voters want someone who can win with positive Republican policies,” Tucker said. “Governor DeSantis can win the primary here. He has the name recognition and people support his policies out of Florida.”

The only declared Republican presidential candidates are Trump and Nikki Haley, a former South Carolina governor and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

“Americans are ready for Ron DeSantis,” said Ed Rollins, campaign manager for President Ronald Reagan’s 49-state landslide election in 1984, now the political strategist for Ready for Ron. “If he continues to govern as a bold conservative and enact pro-freedom policies, he will be poised to run for the Republican nomination and become the man to beat Joe Biden in 2024.”


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GIORDANO: Protestors View DeSantis All Wrong

When  Gov. Ron DeSantis was in Philadelphia last week to receive an award at the Union League, protesters and much of the media led people to believe that when DeSantis is a racist.

They claimed that when DeSantis jousted with the College Board over what he saw as a very politicized advanced placement course on African American history, it was part of a pattern of disrespect and prejudice that the Florida governor exhibits toward Blacks.

Those people are unaware that Florida’s curriculum on race in America accurately, thoroughly, and in great detail requires schools in Florida to teach about the horrors of slavery.

Florida schools emphasize the Ocoee massacre, which occurred on November 2, 1920, in Ocoee, Fla. Thirty- five Black people were killed to stop Black people from voting. Most African American businesses and buildings were burned to the ground. This emphasis is similar to the national memorials on the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre. Does that seem like DeSantis is hiding history?

Further, the Florida curriculum guidelines demand that schools teach, “The history and contributions of Americans of the African diaspora to society.” And also, “No person is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously, solely by his or her race or sex.” Every American should salute that statement. Are all schools teaching this?

Of course, the lies go well beyond DeSantis. People like pseudo-historian Don Lemon of CNN, the protesters in Philadelphia, and Nicole Hannah-Jones, author of “The 1619 Project,” to name a few, want Americas to believe that conservatives, many parents, and others don’t want the warts of American history to be taught to America’s kids.

I countercharge that many progressives don’t want the evolution and greatness of America to be taught. They don’t want kids to be told of the sacrifices of the Civil War that ended slavery. They don’t like to acknowledge how different the country is today. They do want kids to be taught that America is still a racist country.

This tendency is still exhibited by the Springfield Township commissioners in Montgomery County who recently banned a Thin Blue Line flag because a small number of people connected it to white supremacy.

I was told on my radio show that this woke positioning has already cost the township over $20,000 in various fees. Well, we broke the news on Friday that noted local attorney Wally Zimolong has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Springfield Township Police and the Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police to contend the banning is unconstitutional. Defending against this lawsuit is going to cost a lot more.

In the suit, Zimolong notes the Fraternal Order of Police has affirmed its support for using the Thin Blue  Line flag by law enforcement and the communities they represent. PA FOP believes that the Thin Blue Line flag represents the preservation of the rule of law, the protection of peace and freedom, the sacrifice of fallen enforcement officers, and the dedication of law enforcement officers.

This “wokeism” is expensive and, based on this suit, promotes a lot of antagonism toward police across the region. I know this action by Springfield Township has outraged my listeners in several ways.

More and more people nationally are becoming aware of both the silliness and danger presented by these woke disputes. DeSantis has challenged them and received resounding approval in Florida. I predict that he will benefit greatly by challenging them on a national level.

So, Philadelphia protesters, don’t put away your signs and outrage. This battle has just begun.

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GIORDANO: The Three Reasons for PA’s GOP Debacle — And How to Fix It

Last week’s anticipated Red Wave wasn’t even a Red Puddle, and it could be argued, Pennsylvania was the GOP’s biggest disappointment of them all.

Pennsylvania Republicans didn’t flip a single seat in Congress, they lost a U.S. Senate seat, weren’t competitive in the governor’s race, and even handed over control of the state House of Representatives. All this at a time when Democrats were defending an unpopular president and a struggling economy.

I have three major reasons for the losses here in Pennsylvania and some solutions Republicans must adopt.

The first reason is spelled out in just two words: Doug Mastriano. Mastriano lost so badly that if you removed Philadelphia and Pittsburgh from the voting, Democrat Attorney General Josh Shapiro still beat him by 195,000 votes. How is that even possible?

In Lancaster County, Republican registered voters outnumber Democrats by 64,453. And yet Mastriano only beat Shapiro by 4,399, the smallest margin of any Republican gubernatorial nominee in modern history. Even Scott Wagner, the previous Republican nominee who got drubbed by Gov. Tom Wolf (D), won the county by a 6,189 margin.

In Bucks County around 40,000 fewer voters supported Mastriano than voted for winning Republican candidate Brian Fitzpatrick.

I got the first area radio or TV interview with Mastriano and eventually interviewed him five times during this election cycle. I liked the style of debate he proposed with Shapiro, in which each side would pick a moderator for each debate and basically allow the candidates to debate without the usual rules.

However, I had to beg Mastriano to bring his campaign to our area. It was also clear to me that there was no infrastructure to take on a force like Shapiro. When Mastriano announced he would not support any exceptions to a total ban on abortions in Pennsylvania, I knew any hope of a victory was dead, and I said so at the time.

No one will win a race for statewide office in Pennsylvania demanding a ban on all abortions without exception. Dave White, a candidate for governor who lost to Mastriano and someone I saw as a potential bridge to moderate Democrats, also says no exceptions should be allowed under an abortion ban.

If he maintains that position, he cannot win statewide.

The solution to the Mastriano problem is for the Republican State Committee to endorse candidates for statewide offices. That does not mean we can’t still have open primaries. But an endorsement and discussion might give the public more information and dissuade some candidates from staying in the race.

Pennsylvania Republicans should take a page from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) who allows for exceptions in the case of rape, incest, and the life of the mother under any abortion laws, and also move toward supporting a time limit on how many weeks an abortion can be performed within and be legal.

DeSantis might offer an antidote to the second major reason for Republican losses: President Donald Trump. What do Mastriano, Dr. Oz, Don Bolduc, Blake Masters, and Herschel Walker have in common? They all came in second last Tuesday, and they were all boosted by Trump. At a critical phase of the election, Trump inserted himself in our races and allowed Democrats to run against him. It worked.

DeSantis has gained tremendous traction against Trump due to his stunning victory in Florida. I’m not adverse to the two of them squaring off in the 2024 presidential primaries.

Finally, mail-in ballot issues are a major problem in Pennsylvania. I think Republicans have done a pretty good job in the last two years of stopping Democrats from exploiting flaws in the system around things like drop-box security, undated ballots, and counting procedures. However, they have given up the advantages of early voting entirely to the Democrats. Historically Republicans were at least as likely to vote by absentee as Democrats. It allows the parties to “bank” votes and focus their GOTV efforts on others.

In the Trump era, Republicans were attacking the idea of early voting — and now are paying the price for it. I think they have to do better to get more of their vote to effectively use mail-in balloting.

The reforms I’ve suggested are not monumentally hard to put into place. The first step is to acknowledge that these are significant issues. I don’t think abortion be the top issue in 2024, but again no statewide candidate will win if they don’t follow my method of addressing the issue.

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