Richard DeNapoli at the Sarasota Statesman of the Year Event

Last night I attended the Sarasota Statesman of the Year Event featuring Sean Hannity, Attorney General Pam Bondi, CFO Jeff Atwater, and Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam.  It was an amazing event with over 1600 people in attendance.  Kudos to Chairman Joe Gruters and the team at the Sarasota GOP.

Picture of the Crowd - Care of Sarasota GOP

Picture of the Crowd – Care of Sarasota GOP

Richard DeNapoli at the Sarasota Statesman of the Year Event with Attorney General Pam Bondi, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, and CFO Jeff Atwater

Richard DeNapoli at the Sarasota Statesman of the Year Event with Attorney General Pam Bondi, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, and CFO Jeff Atwater

Excerpt from the Sarasota Herald Tribune, :

…More than 1,600 people packed the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall to watch Hannity receive the Sarasota Republican Party’s annual statesman of the year award.

Hannity also gave his most detailed explanation yet for why his popular television program is moving to another time. And he fired up the crowd by trashing President Barack Obama’s health care reforms and cheering on a potential government shutdown.

“We should be so lucky,” Hannity said of a shutdown, which could begin Tuesday if Congress does not pass a bill to keep the government funded. “There’s one day we don’t have to pay taxes, anyway.”

To a loud ovation, Hannity praised the work of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who spoke all night on the Senate floor earlier in the week in a bid to defund the Affordable Care Act. He said health care reform has put the U.S. on a path to socialism and will increase the cost of care for many of the very same people it’s supposed to help.

Said Hannity: “Everybody knows Obamacare is bad.”

Hannity said Cruz’s efforts, along with those of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Utah Sen. Mike Lee and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, show that the Republican Party has a bright future.

“What I think happened this week is the emergence of a revitalized Republican Party standing on conservative principles that, if we follow them, it will lead to great success,” Hannity said.

With key provisions of the Affordable Care Act set to go into effect on Tuesday, Republicans such as Cruz and Rubio have declared this their best chance to defund it. But that has created turmoil within Republican ranks from those who fear the strategy won’t work and could hurt Republicans.

Hannity had harsh words for those Republicans. He singled out Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., for attacking Cruz. Hannity said his message to Republicans is this: Fund Obamacare, and you own it.

Hannity’s 45-minute appearance in the region is yet another signal of Sarasota’s significance to the national Republican Party, said Sarasota County GOP chairman Joe Gruters. Over the last two years, Republican leaders including Donald Trump, Herman Cain, Haley Barbour, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have visited Sarasota County and met with GOP activists.

Gruters said the more success Sarasota has in assembling big audiences, the more it gets the word out that Sarasota is a must-visit community for conservative leaders and future presidential candidates.

Hannity typically commands up to $100,000 in speaking fees, according to media reports. But Gruters said Hannity came to Sarasota for nominal travel costs because of the county’s reputation. He said it certainly didn’t hurt that Trump spoke to 1,000 people a year ago at the 2012 statesman event.

Hannity, who owns a home in Naples, told the Sarasota audience he feels like a neighbor and plans to one day retire in Southwest Florida. Twice during his speech, he hinted at a potential future run for statewide office.

Hannity also said that his highly rated show’s shift from 9 p.m. to 10 starting next month was because he has “not been home for dinner for all of these years.”

He said he was looking for a more flexible schedule that would enable him to be home more often.

“I wasn’t gong to continue on Fox, to be honest,” Hannity said, “because I didn’t think I could do it and still be a father.”

Hannity has been on Fox News since 1996.

His “Hannity” program is the second-highest-rated cable news program in the country after “The O’Reilly Factor,” also on Fox News.

Hannity said Fox has built a studio in his home and given him the authority to tape more of his shows to accommodate his family.

Richard DeNapoli attends Ray Pilon Fundraiser

Today, September 18th, 2013, I had the pleasure of attending State Representative Ray Pilon’s Fundraiser.

Here is a little about Representative Pilon from his website.

Richard DeNapoli and Representative Ray Pilon

Richard DeNapoli and Representative Ray Pilon — Photo by Cliff Roles

Representative Ray Pilon is a graduate of Northern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology. Ray and his family moved to Sarasota in 1975 from Michigan.

In November of 1996, after a career in law enforcement and experience in the private sector as an Executive VP for a major cable company, Ray won the support of the citizens of Sarasota County by being elected countywide to the Board of County Commissioners, representing District 1. He was one of five commissioners responsible for policy decisions affecting over 300,000 residents.

Carrying over his knowledge of the political arena, in 2001 he joined the Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority (PRMRWSA) as their Community and Government Affairs Director. In that capacity he helped coordinate the efforts of the four county commissions making up the Authority: Manatee, Sarasota, DeSoto and Charlotte. In addition Mr. Pilon maintained rapport with the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) and its basin boards. He has been successful in establishing capital funding for the Peace River Water Authority and its ongoing regional water expansion, including the development of future alternative, reliable and sustainable water resources. He has retired as Communications Director for the Authority.

Representative Pilon is active in the community and has been involved with many service and non-profit organizations. He also holds memberships in several fraternal and professional organizations. Ray is married to Casey and has two grown sons, Sean and Chad.

Candidate Richard DeNapoli (FL-DIST. 74) Has a Record of Fighting for Voter Rights

Watchdog Wire covered my efforts to protect voter rights and the integrity of the voting rolls in Broward County.  Check out the article below…

Richard DeNapoli presenting evidence of deceased voters on the rolls in Broward

Richard DeNapoli presenting evidence of deceased voters on the rolls in Broward

September 17, 2013 by Dr. Richard Swier

WDW sat down with Richard DeNapoli, candidate for FL-District 74. As the 2014 election cycle heats up it is important for voters to know the candidates. WDW will continue to interview candidates and elected officials to educate voters.

DeNapoli served as a prosecutor in Orange County, Florida for a short time after law school, prosecuting third degree felonies, before returning to South Florida to care for his grandmother when his grandfather passed away in June 2003.

In addition to being a Licensed Attorney, Realtor, Mortgage Broker and Notary, DeNapoli is also a Certified Financial Planner. He worked as a Trust and Investment Officer for five years at Northern Trust on a team with $1.8 Billion assets under management providing services to high net worth individuals. Prior to joining Northern Trust, DeNapoli had a successful law practice.

What sets DeNapoli apart is his work in Broward County, FL to insure voters rights are protected.

In November 2011 DeNapoli sent an open letter to Dr. Brenda C. Snipes, the Supervisor of Elections in Broward County, about early voting locations. DeNapoli, the then Chair of the Broward Republican Executive Committee (BREC), found that all of the Broward County early voting locations were in heavily Democratic areas. DeNapoli in his letter noted, “Research in numerous scholarly journals has shown that the greater the distance from a voting site, the greater exists the likelihood of non voting. The incidence of early voting is highly sensitive to the location of the early voting location.” Due to his efforts one of seventeen early voting locations was placed in a heavily Republican location.

But DeNapoli was not finished. To continue reading the article, click here

Richard DeNapoli