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December 2010

Why do elected officials get government pensions?

Electfinal_edited-1 Left with a little extra pondering time, Crowley Political Report came up with this question - why should elected officials get government pensions?

During the election most candiates railed against "career politicians" and many fervently believe in term limits (until they are confronted with them).

So if we don't want "career politicians" why should federal, state and local elected officials be eligible for taxpayer funded pensions.

The fact is that most politicians do want to be "career politicians."  Have a beer with them and ask them about their government retirement plan and most can give you a detailed explanation of the benefit, how it is calculated and when they will be able to start collecting.

But really - isn't it counterintuitive to give elected officials pensions? Even after voters toss them out, if the elected official has been around long enough, he still receives a taxpayer check.

And maybe one of the reasons Florida state employees do not contribute to their pensions is because that is also a perk for the elected officials who decide how the pension plan will work.

So, which "career politician" will be the first to step up and say it is time to stop giving pensions to elected officials?

Art by Patrick Crowley

Former Congressman Mark Foley will not run

Mark Foley will announce in a few minutes that he will not be a candidate for West Palm Beach mayor.

The former Republican congressman met with his family over the weekend to make a final decision on whether to enter the March race to replace term-limited Democratic Mayor Lois Frankel.

The announcement will be made during his radio show - Foley on Politics - which airs starting at 6 p.m. on Seaview 960 am.  You can also listen to the hour-long program live online at

Political observers in West Palm Beach said Foley would be the frontrunner if he ran for mayor against several lesser known candidates.

Despite Foley's humiliating resignation from Congress in 2006, Foley has been warmly received by many in his hometown who encouraged him to run for mayor.


Former Congressman Mark Foley makes election announcement tonight

Former Congressman Mark Foley just told Crowley Political Report that he will make a major announcement tonight on his radio show about whether he will run for West Palm Beach mayor.

Foley has been considering the possibility of entering the race to replace outgoing mayor Lois Frankel.

Foley and his family and friends have been in deep conversation about the race during the past few days.

The announcement will be made during his radio show - Foley on Politics - which airs starting at 6 p.m. on Seaview 960 am.  You can also listen to the hour-long program live online at


Chuck Todd: Alex Sink worst candidate of 2010

Asink[1] At first it may seem like a harsh verdict - Democratic Alex Sink's failed campaign for Florida governor dubbed as the "worst campaign" in the nation.

MSNBC's Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie gave Sink the "Chuvannah Award" with Todd wondering how Sink could lose in Florida against a candidate whose company paid a $1.7 billion fine for Medicare fraud.

While that is an oversimplification, Chuvannah is right that Sink ran a pretty dismal campaign. Long before Republican Rick Scott became a candidate Democrats were worrying that the less-than-exciting Sink was going to lose to the even more less-than-exciting Bill McCollum.

Her message was weak. Her performance dull. And no, she did not lose because of Obama.


Rick Scott needs to do an episode of Undercover Boss

Rscott079 Have you seen the CBS show Undercover Boss?

It is an interesting premise. The bigshot of a major company goes "undercover" to work for a week as an entry level employee in his own company.

The other workers - who have no idea it's a company bigshot - are told that a camera crew is following the new employee for a documentary about new workers in that industry. The first episode followed Waste Management Inc.,  President Larry O'Donnell as he worked a garbage route, toiled at a dump and did other entry level jobs.

He learned a lot about the sometimes unrealistic demands the company was putting on employees and O'Donnell got ideas on how to improve things for them and the company.

This week, Florida's Governor-elect Rick Scott is on a five-day, jobs tour. He's doing photo ops, mingling with a few workers and spending considerable time in private meeting with corporate leaders.

Some reporters are concerned about the private meetings.  Their concern is unfounded. Governors are entitled to meet with business leaders in private and  should if they want to hear what is really on their minds.

Continue reading "Rick Scott needs to do an episode of Undercover Boss" »

Rick Scott says Florida unemployed less important than deficit

With 106,000 Floridians about to lose their unemployment benefits, Gov.-elect Rick Scott told Bloomberg he would "love" it if they could still get help but not if it adds to the federal deficit.

Scott, who becomes Florida's newest Republican governor next month, is probably feeling the pain of his personal deficit after spending $78 million of his own dough to win the November election.

When Bloomberg reporter Margaret Brennan asks about the plight of 106,000 Floridians about to  lose their checks, Scott says:

"Well you know, what's tough is that we've got to find cuts in government to pay for these things and so I think it is a real problem. All of us got elected, I clearly got elected to reign in the size of state government. No one wants to see these continued federal deficits so I think they have got to figure out how they are going to reduce government spending to be able to do that."

Brennan: "So you don't want to see those 106,000 Floridians get that extension of jobless benefits?"

Continue reading "Rick Scott says Florida unemployed less important than deficit" »

Frederica Wilson the Lady Gaga of congress


Florida's newly minted Congresswoman-elect Frederica Wilson is surrending her hat challenge.

And golly, guess who she is blaming for the Mad Hatter silliness - the media.

Of course.

It was the media who made Wilson argue that she should be exempt from a House rule forbidding members to wear hats on the floor.

And surely it was the media that made her say she would ask the incoming House Speaker - Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio - to give her a hat exemption.  Certainly an important issue for all Floridians.F wilson

Yup. It's all the media's fault.

The Washington Post reported today on Wilson's quiet surrender. 

An excerpt:

She carefully crafts her ensembles, taking matchy-matchy to unprecedented heights of audacity. Indeed, a photograph of her at the recent House office lottery, in which she is wearing a fire-engine-red suit and matching cowboy hat drenched in sequins, has made the rounds in the millinery blogosphere. (Yes, there is such a thing.)

"I love the fact that she was confident enough to go sailing into the old boys' network wearing that hat and that red suit," says New York milliner Kokin - one name only, please - who has designed hats for Laura Bush, Barbara Walters, Queen Latifah and the extravaganza known as Ebony Fashion Fair.

"In her world, she's Lady Gaga."